Monday, 25 November 2013

Advent Crafting

Here's a very VERY badly kept secret: I love advent. I LOVE ADVENT. In a big way. It's officially the most wonderful time of year. It always puzzles me that of all the phases of the Christian calendar, the hard language of Lent has retained its place in the secular year, and yet the word advent only seems to appear in the context of advent calendars. The word itself is loaded with excitement and suspense! I do however love that lots of different religions and cultures have festivals at this time of year, so I approve of the idea of a "holiday season" for all. And the word "winterval." How delicious! If you're not a Christian, did you know that advent is the start of the Christian calendar, so that the first Sunday of advent is also new year? Did you know that advent starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas day, and not the first of December, so some years advent is longer than others, and you might be missing out on a few extra days of excitement? Probably not, and it probably doesn't matter to most people, but I am an advent lover married to a Grinch, and in this house we are not allowed to start decorating/playing Christmas music/watch Christmas films until advent is officially in session.

This weekend we all had the winter vomiting bug, and since Husband was already feeling poorly he is laid pretty low. He has mostly stayed in bed since Wednesday. Today I was feeling pretty rotten, but I had got quite a lot of jobs done, and Husband was asleep, so Sausages and I broke the rules and made snow globes!

Well, the photos are truly awful (I'm working on the camera problem), but here's what we did: first we superglued small Christmas figurines to the inside of the lids of clean jam jars; then Sausages poured some coarse glitter into the jars themselves; we topped the jars up with water and a little glycerin to make the water viscous; then we screwed on the lids tightly and gave them a good shake! I'm hoping to put a little superglue in the threads of the jars in order to prevent small people from unscrewing them, but Sausages is so pleased with them that I don't think he will. He keeps shaking them to see it snow, and then waiting to see who is hiding inside! Even Husband has to smile at that! Most of the equipment for this craft were already in the house, although I did buy some little Christmas cake toppers to go inside. They cost 20p each, and obviously you could use anything. I quite like the idea of a plastic dinosaur one! The most successful jar we used was actually one of those squat salsa jars. Hurrah for having a stash of such things under the sink!

Due to our nasty bug there has been no baking, but I had to cancel a yarn-dyeing play date last week, and had already prepped three 50g skeins of squishy merino, so when I had the chance I tried out dyeing them with Kool-Aid. I don't think I did very well, but it was a first attempt! The purple is made from a red and a blue mixed, and is beautifully variegated across the skein. The green and yellow was an attempt at dipping each end of the skein separately, but I didn't make up enough dye I think, and there are undyed patches that I have overdyed with a yellow-green made up from regular food colouring. The blue was supposed to be a sort of lavendar (I swear it was before it went on the yarn!), and is very patchy. At least the colour seems to have set really nicely. I'm not sure what they want to be yet, so all suggestions welcome. I notice there's quite a lot of green/yellow two tone appearing in my home dyed yarns; I obviously have some sort of draw to these colours, although independently I wouldn't call them my favourites. Maybe it's because I love daffodils so much?

Do you have many crafts lined up for advent, or the preparations for another festival? I'd love to hear about them. I'll be posting more advent crafts soon, and also giving you a glimpse of our collection of advent books in this week's yarn along on Wednesday. I hope you can join me then, and in the mean time, happy (secret! Shhh!) crafting!


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