Tag Archives: crafts

Learn something new!

Try something new

Be inspired to discover new pastimes

 

More than just a diary; the Dairy Diary features a fabulous and triple-tested recipe every single week.

AND a myriad of information and feature pages – 50 pages to be precise – to inform and interest its readers.

Here, I share a really interesting feature from the 2020 edition. I hope you feel inspired.

 


 

Learn something new

Do you have a secret ambition to speak Greek, make jewellery, throw a pot, grow tomatoes, knit a Dr Who scarf, build a drystone wall, take fabulous photographs, dig up the past? Or perhaps your inner adventurer yearns to learn the salsa in Cuba. Whatever it is, now’s the time to do it.

If you accept the challenge of learning something new, you’ll quickly discover the benefits that giving the brain a workout can bring.

It’s no exaggeration to say that it can be life-changing, although absorbing and enjoyable are probably more to the point. It’s great to feel you’re spending your leisure time doing something worthwhile and, who knows, you may discover a talent you didn’t know you had.

Once embarked on your quest for knowledge, you often get to meet like-minded people, and making new friends is always a joy. Any incipient boredom is staved off and with an active mind you tend to adapt more quickly to life’s inevitable changes. And, by no means least, the sense of satisfaction you feel when making progress is second to none, a real confidence booster.

Whether your reasons for taking the plunge (literally, if learning to swim is high on your list) are any or all of the above or to increase job prospects, for personal development or just to be happier, there’s no time like the present.

 

Have a go

What to learn and to what level may decide themselves, or not, but they still need considering carefully. Learn a language? Great! But which one? Where do you go on holiday most often? That may be the one. Do you feel an affinity to a specific language and think you’ll find it easier to pick up than some others? That may be the one. Take your time to decide.

Be inspired but realistic when deciding what level of commitment you are prepared, or able, to give. Dropping out is not a good feeling (despite any initial relief). Why not try a day or weekend course before committing to anything longer term? Fun and friendly, it may well lead on to bigger things if you want it to. In any case, knowledge is never wasted.

You could even combine dipping your toe in the learning water with a holiday – a relaxed state of mind, no day-to-day distractions, nothing else pressing to do. Sound good? Take a look at ‘learning something new’ on responsibletravel.com for ideas and possibilities galore. Whatever you want to do, it’s all there for the discovering.

 

 

Where to look

The internet is awash with online courses and video instruction, although that cuts out the social aspect of lifelong learning. Check for local opportunities but for more specialist activities, you may have to go farther afield. For courses in every craft imaginable, from wood turning to soap making, around the country, check craftcourses.com

The Open University
Flexible in-depth learning with a degree to show for it. Most courses have no formal entry requirements, you have a tutor and student support group.

Open Learn
Nearly 1000 free courses produced by the Open University in eight subject areas, and you can start right away.

U3A (University of the Third Age)
Great for socialising while learning for anyone no longer in full-time employment. Join your local branch for classes and activities arranged by the members for the members.

Museums and galleries (such as the V&A)
‘Spend a weekend, a term or a whole year learning from the experts.’ Subjects reflect the Museum’s collections. Check specialist museums, too. For example, the Derwent Pencil Museum in Keswick (derwentart.com) runs drawing classes and workshops.

The National Trust
runs courses in all sorts of subjects from gardening and wood carving to rag rugging and photography. The Hayloft Learning Centre at Knole in Kent offers a whole range of traditional skills, such as stained glass and perfume making. Look for others along the same lines.

Craft material suppliers
Many offer courses, in sewing, for example, jewellery making, cake decorating.

Learn a language
If you want to learn a language, try Duolingo (fun and free).

 

 

 

 

Categories:

Get a little bit crafty this Christmas

Crafty Christmas

There’s something incredibly therapeutic about sitting in front of the fire creating something lovely.

And with these simple tags, you can add a personal touch to Christmas gifts without spending lots of time and money.

 

Here’s how:

 

What you’ll need

  • A selection of offcuts of cards and paper
  • Ready-made tags (optional)
  • A hole punch
  • Ribbons
  • Christmas buttons or embellishments
  • Double-sided tape
  • Black pen

 

Methods

 

Christmas Gift TagesChristmas gifts tag

1 Punch a hole in a piece of rectangular card. Thread a ribbon through the hole.

2 Cut 3 squares in different sizes and stick them onto the card.

3 Adorn with ribbon and/or buttons to look like presents.

 

Christmas tree tag

1 Punch a hole in a piece of rectangular card. Thread a ribbon through the hole.

2 From green card, cut out 2 isosceles triangles of equal size (draw around the first to ensure the second is identical). Stick 1 triangle onto the tag. Fold the second triangle in half and stick only 1 half on top of the first – this gives a 3D tree effect.

3 Stick a piece of ribbon below the tree for its trunk and a star button or embellishment above.

 

Baubles tag

1 Make 2 tags as above or use ready-made tags.

2 Cut around 2 pence pieces to create as many round bauble as you would like – I have made 3. Stick 2 onto the tags and fold the third in half. Stick this on top of another to create a 3D effect.

3 Draw ‘strings’ onto the tags using a black pen.

4 Stick on other buttons/embellishments to create more baubles ‘hanging’ from the string.

 

#christmascrafts

#create

#happychristmas

How to make Handmade Soaps

How to make Handmake Soaps

.

Handy Handmade Soaps

As regular readers will know, I’m a bit of a craft addict. So, now birthday season is upon me (all my friends and family very unhelpfully decided to arrive in autumn!) I thought I would turn my hand to something new.

My Fairy helperI really love getting new scented soaps and so I thought gift wrapped soaps would be a lovely idea.


They were so easy to make,
though perhaps that’s because
I had a magical fairy helping me.

Here’s how:

Materials (available from craft shops)

  • Olive oil soap base
  • Knife
  • Heatproof jug
  • Soap colouring
  • Essential oil
  • Dried rose petals (optional)
  • Moulds

Handmade-Soaps-preparation

1 First of all, cut the soap base into small cubes (about 1 inch square). Then place in a heatproof jug.

2 Heat in the microwave for 15 seconds at a time until all the soap pieces have melted.

3 Add a few drops of colouring until you have the colour you like. Then liberally add your favourite essential oil for fragrance.

4 Pour into moulds. I used silicone cake cases, which were perfect.

5 If you would like to include rose petals, half fill the mould and then sprinkle the petals on top. Allow to softly set and then top up with more liquid soap.

6 Allow to set completely before peeling off the moulds.

7 Wrap with pretty ribbon or cellophane. You can even pop your soap on a pretty plate. Voila!

 

This one has already gone to a very deserving home – to Penny our lovely researcher who works really hard for us and was feeling a little fed up.

 

Bunting

.

Summer Fair Makes and Bakes

Bake sale season is upon us and gives us the perfect excuse to bake and make for good causes.

I haven’t left myself much time and so my creations for this year’s school summer fair will have to be pretty simple. For the craft table, I’m thinking of doing fabric bunting.

As you can see from my pic of my
girls’ room I am a big bunting fan!

With a pair of pinking shears, some pretty fabrics and some speedy stitching, this can be knocked up in no time. To be honest, I did steal the idea from our friends at Buttonbag whose stall you can see here.

Bunting-BarButtonbag have some great craft ideas and kits for things to make and sell.

Check out their website for details on how to make bunting and for lots more inspiration. http://www.buttonbag.co.uk/blog/free-projects/bunting/

For the cake stall, I’ll definitely be making this scrummy Summer Fête Lemon Cake and possibly these Dainty Floral Cupcakes too – I can’t resist something girlie!

cupcakes-and-lemon-cake-recipes

Hand-made Christmas cards

Hand-made Christmas Cards | Christmas crafts

Family and friends love to receive hand-made Christmas cards

Hand-made Christmas cards

Are you feeling festive yet? December is just around the corner, so it’s time to make a start on your Christmas cards.

Time is short for the majority of us,
but it’s so special to send hand-made
cards that it’s worth the effort.

They don’t need to be excessive, or take hours to make – a few simple touches can be used to maximum impact.

So grab a laptray and a few materials and you can knock up cards in no time whilst perched on the sofa watching Coronation Street!

Equipment

  • Pencil
  • Christmas papers
  • Scissors
  • Blank cards
  • Double-sided tape
  • Embellishments; assortment of any: ribbons, diamonte, buttons, Christmassy sequins

Method

  • Draw a stocking/bauble/present shape on the back of a Christmas paper.
  • Cut out shape and stick onto a blank card using double-sided tape.
  • Adorn with embellishments of your choice, but try to use co-ordinated colours for maximum impact.

Win a Bumper Christmas card-making kit

If you fancy making your own Christmas cards don’t miss the chance to to win a Bumper Christmas card-making kit  on 26 November. Make a note of the date to revisit Dairy Diary Chat!

 

And while you are making your Christmas cards, why not treat yourself to a little something?

Custard Tarts recipeThese Custard Tarts from
Britain’s favourite diary
are just the job.

Recipe taken from
Dairy Diary 2013
.

%d bloggers like this: