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Shiny Bright Baubles

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One thing I love about this time of year is all the bright, pretty colours everywhere! Even though I wasn’t looking for decorations, I found myself rooting through a huge box of Christmas tree baubles in the Salvation Army shop on Thursday just because they were shiny. At 25p for a bag of eight, I couldn’t resist buying these old thread baubles to decorate future presents with:

 

The Week (of Birthdays) I’ve Had (12th Dec 2010)

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A random snap from Monday lunchtime.

This week, both my boyfriend, Steve, and I had birthdays. Steve’s was first and started with drinks in the Brewdog pub on Monday evening. Brewdog are a local artisan brewery producing some incredibly strong drinks; we were not the prettiest of sights by the time we stumbled home! Good thing we had both booked Tuesday – his actual birthday – off work!

How great is this vintage wrapping paper? I found it on Etsy about five months ago and have been hiding it away ever since. His birthday card was written in invisible ink (idea stolen from here) with the decoder pen wrapped up and buried in amongst his presents.

I felt like I should be spending the day making a fuss of him, but he seemed quite content to muck about on his Xbox instead! In the evening, we went out for dinner and then to a one off showing of Lemmy at the arthouse cinema. Steve’s a big Motorhead fan so the timing could not have been better!

Another random – this one from my walk to the dentist’s on Thursday.

And one from my walk home from work on Friday.

On Friday evening, we went to see Pendulum in concert. I was one of the few people paranoid enough to obey the No Cameras rule, but I did get a shot of Condensation Steve enjoying the bus journey home.

And today is my birthday!!! One of the downsides of having a birthday in December is that it’s almost impossible to get everybody together at one time to help you celebrate. One of the upsides of having a birthday in December is that you end up needing to have multiple celebrations so that everyone can be included!

Last night, a bunch of us were supposed to be going to a castle in the country to see a festive lightshow and magicians; alas, it was snowed off so we had a party at Steve’s and my flat instead, complete with regal attire and sparkly crowns. It gave me a good excuse to do some baking, too – Mars Bar crispies and Earl Grey cupcakes – yum!

And tonight, a few of us are going to the panto, which this year is Sleeping Beauty.

All in all, a wonderful week!

 

Print a Prezzie

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I had the best time on Saturday; I was learning to screenprint at Peacock Visual Arts!

Here’s my highly technical, completely expert, screenprinting for beginners how to:

1. Create your image. Do this by drawing or painting on this weird acetate sheet (it’s somewhere between tracing paper and cling film) or by sticking shapes to the sheet. Christmas confetti was popular in our class, but one student made a really cute bag using a chain of paper girls she cut out herself:

2. Put some kind of blue goo on a screen. Alternatively, sign up for a one day class and there’s a good chance your teacher will have done this for you.

3. Put your design against this screen then blast it with UV light. Wherever the light can’t get through (your pencil marks/paint strokes/paperchain), the goo will burn/disintegrate and can be washed off to leave a lovely smooth, detailed stencil:

4. Put paper, card, fabric or whatever else you’re printing onto under the stencil, then squeegee paint over it:

5. Allow to dry:

6. Congratulations! You have a screenprinted item. That was totally thorough enough for you to work from… right?

I’m very pleased with this tote bag (left) which I printed using handcut snowflakes.

The class was called Print a Prezzie and some of the other students and I were expecting just that: to print a prezzie. In fact, I came home with this bag, six prints, ten gift tags, eight thank you cards and a sheet of gift wrap that the teacher had made to inspire us. Alas, I can’t show you the other items as it would spoil a few birthday, Christmas and Secret Santa surprises, but I was thrilled to bits with my haul.

Anyway, art lesson over.

This was the first time I had been up to the printing room at Peacock and I was fascinated.  I thought I’d show you some of the snaps I took on the day:

And, finally, I took this on my way home:

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