If you have miraculously finished knitting, purling, blocking and sewing up your Christmas gifts, why not head down to the Southbank in London, to join Knit for Peace in the gallery@oxo. They’ve set up until 24th December so you can go in and knit things to be sent to children in Afghanistan… If you don’t have time to knit, you can always donate your de-stashed yarn or needles! Thanks Ysolda for flagging this up :)
Knit for Peace is an initiative of the Charities Advisory Trust that
encourages women (+men) from different, often historically hostile
communities to come together informally to knit (or sew or crochet).
With a shared common goal, differences in race, religion or caste are
irrelevant, and individuals come together to knit peacefully.
The annual Southwyck Christmas party went well yesterday; caught up with a lot of friends I haven’t seen in a while, ate and drank in a festive fashion, and even had an unprompted singalong!.
This year’s theme was to make a paperchain to be strung in the living room; each person contributing a link decorated and made however they wanted out of whatever they wanted. If people couldn’t be there yesterday, the link acted as Christmas card and they sent them along in the post. There were some fabulous ones made including the prerequisite one with cotton-ball snow, a sewn fabric one containing dried lavender, a möbius loop one from a scientific uncle (heh) and lovely crocheted link with a dangly snowball pompom! This one I confiscated from the chain and wore..
So this years gifts have been mostly handmade, including;
- Peppermint & Rose kind-of-creams*
- Frankincense / Clementine bath salts** (a bit fail, as most people have showers I found…)
- Fudge*** – supremo hit (if I may say so myself!) as it worked first time, is v tasty and easy to adapt. A tiny bit of fail was cutting it into star shapes for gifts, which meant that were lots of trimmings of peculiar sizes that – oh dear – had to stay here to be eaten by us!
* recipe hastily scribbled down from a cafe’s copy of Fresh magazine.
** Martha – Body Scrub; adapted scents and changed it from a scrub to salts using Dead Sea Salt.
*** Martha again – Foolproof Holiday Fudge; adapted to use veggie marshmallows (US import, try Sweet & Sara or Sweet Vegan in the UK) and G&B’s Maya Gold choc; seriously tempted to try another batch using their white chocolate. I’m guessing both these projects will be available on her site after the next issue is published?
ETA: Tried another batch of fudge using white chocolate and it failed miserably; it just stayed melty-marhmallowy and didn’t set.
New Year – New Teapot… Mum gave this to me for Christmas and I have to say it makes drinking tea a real joy… It almost feels like a tea-handbag as I carry it about from room to room; the tea following me around :)
I’d bought a copy of the The Adventures of Prince Achmed about 4 months ago, but had never got around to watching it. As my mum was coming over for the evening for a belated Christmas evening, I suggested we watch it…
"errr…. that’s what I got you as your Christmas present!"
Doh! Anyhow, we watched it and were transported into a magical animated world; it was hard to remember the silhouettes were all hand cut, the animation stop-frame and this done in the 20s.
The new edition has beautiful saturated colours, swirly and smoky effects that make you really think hard as to how it was achieved and delicate, delicate silhouettes.
It reminded me of the Kingdom Under the Sea book I had as a child with illustrations by Jan Pienkowski and of the magic lantern slides I’d seen on a barge in Little Venice. Perhaps on the puppet barge? I love the pic from the early 80s which exactly evokes my memories of the lock from when I was small :)
Those smartypants over at the P22 type foundry were inspired my John Cage’s compositions and have made a musical way to say whatever message you like!..
I put in ‘Merry Christmas and very Happy 2008 to you all! xx’, set it to play a glockenspiel and this is the result – ta da!… :)
On another musical note – here is Helen’s song – Christmas Queen – where I sang in the choir :) You can download the EP online at Bendi Records
I broke my own rule about doing anything Christmassy before at least November, but only by one day… Yesterday morning I ventured north to the optimistically named Cultural Quarter of Wood Green to partake in a choir.. yes sing! for a record! heh… Ms McCookerybook was making songs for Bendi Records, and needed some singers (and non singers – see where I fit in?) to sing crazy Christmas words including ‘Ding’ and ‘Dong’ a lot… I was nervous, but keen to see if I actually *could* sing – it’s been a long held curiosity never quite making it into practise. Well anyway the reward was a fruity lolly so how could I refuse. I was very glad to take part, and impressed by H making it not-at-all scary and fun… Listen to the final result! – Christmas Queen