Gafni -The guy who puts the cycling into recycling

Isn’t this nifty?

Appearantly it will hit the marked next year and retail for $60-90.

…And Our Home-made Lampshade

And this was our take on a lamp shade. I used napkins, cut them into bird shapes and glued a single layer onto the shade with diluted PVA. I then embroidered little details onto the lamp shade as well.

Lamp Speculations and Ideas

I want to make a new lamp for my daughter’s room and bought some cheapo rice paper lamntern style lamp shades. When doing a bit of research I came across Taj Wood & Scherer. Their fantastical and whimsical designs really appealed to me because I think they capture the essence of children’s imagination so well! Their website really portray the essence of their style too.

My other idea I am sure you have all seen lately. There seems to be a trend for having a couple of rice paper lamps hanging down from the same spot. Of course now I couldn’t find a picture to show that… I thought it would look cute with two lamps in two different solid colours. Her bedroom is going to be all white with spots of bright colours.

The Sartorialist

I love following The Sartorialist and just happened across this little film about Scott Schuman and his way of working. Very interesting.

Christmas Panick

It’s the time of the year when we start talking about presents… expecially as two of our children have their birthdays in November, so by the time we’re done with presents and partyplans etc, it’s nearly time for advent calendars and all the christmas stress fun to begin. Every year I decide to give really personal gifts and preferably make most of them myself as well as remember to post a family letter with all the cards that I’ll send out in the beginning of the month (!) erm, usually I fail at most of the above and we end up staying up late on the last day of November wrapping a gazillion little advent calendar gifts, the christmas cards are sent out AFTER christmas and the family christmas letter ends up being a family new years letter and only gets sent out to half of the family, as I never get around to translating it (half the family is Danish and half is English). This year I’m planning on being slightly less ambitious in an attempt to make failure a little less likely! I do want to send out cards, but I think they’ll be done as a family home evening activity in November and there will be no christmas family letter, but just possibly a post on the family blog (a rare occurance in itself!) around that time. Advent calendars will be just that…  four presents for each child -one each on the four Sundays of advent rather than  72 smaller ones! (Just thinking about finding and wrapping that many makes my palms sweaty!)

As for the christmas presents, I still like the idea of making a few myself. There are some really good ideas around on the internet. Here’s one by Jesicca from Running with scissors that I really like (and which my boys would love):

The tutorial is here on Tatertots and jello. Aren’t they cute?!

Home Made Playdogh

My Playdogh recipe as promised. It provided hours of fun (read peace;-b) and on Saturday, when we needed a screwdriver for the weird screws on our patio roof, I used a bit of the home-made clay to make an imprint that I took to the shop, in order to get the right screwdriver, how’s that for a versatile material:-)

1 cup (250 ml) plain flour

1/2 cup salt

2 tablespoons cream of tartar

1 cup water with food colouring in

1 teaspoon vanilla (to make it smell nice, can be omitted)

Put all the ingredients into a large saucepan and stir over a medium heat until it comes together and starts to form a ball. Allow to cool, then knead until smooth and PLAY!

I find the best way to get the pans clean, is to soak them in water for half an hour or longer. After that the playdogh can be rinsed right off.

Update: I meant to add that here in Denmark, you CAN get cream of tartar… it’s called Vinsyre. I never thought you could and imported a tub from England now and then. But then the rest of you are probably smarter than me and knew all along…

Efterårsferie – Fall Break

It’s the last day of school before the Danish “Autumn holiday” begins and right on cue the lawn was all sparkly and frosty when we got up this morning and judging by the temperatures as the kids left for school, those snowsuits will be in use before the end of next wekk brrrr. I can’t believe that earlier this week, I was folding up summer dresses and shorts that the kids wore just last week!

But in spite of the low temperatures, the sun is out, making everything look beautiful and the autumn coloured leaves are glowing. My husband has to work next week, so we’ll probably be staying home most of the week. That of course calls for lots of fun crafts and activities and actually I can’t wait. My children are aged 20 months, 6 and 8,  and there is one girl and two boys, so the crafts have to be quite varied. Also they have to be -you guessed it -cheap or free! Some of the activities on my mental list for next week are:

  • Home made play dogh (I have a great recipe, I’ll have to share it on here)
  • Fimo clay (Polymer Clay) Utensils (a favourite of my older kids’)
  • cooked, dyed pasta (a big portion poured into a large tray… great for little fingers to squash and explore and it doesn’t matter if a bit gets eaten… I bet the older ones won’t be able to stay away once the little on gets stuck in!)
  • Dancing in the living room (EVERYBODY loves that!)
  • going on a trip to collect conkers and making things with them
  • buying the largest pumkins we can find and carving them freehand
  • fishing for starfish (there were tons of them down by the harbour the other day, when we walked past)
  • this!

Bring on any kind of weather, we’ve already stocked up on hot chocolate and snow suits.

Farmyard Animals Cake

The cake I made ready for my fondant class this week. It is by no means an original design. If you want to see a gazillion versions of this, just google “farm animals cake”. I thought this would be a fun one to try, after seeing a friend post pictures of one (VERY cute one in two tiers) on facebook. That way the students could have a go at as few or as many elements as they wanted to.

I had the theme tune to Shaun the Sheep stuck in my head the whole day after…

 

Fondant Fun and Early Morning Quilting

Lately I’ve been busy with a few things including a quilt for Teachers’ Day (yesterday) where all the kids in my daughter’s class had written their name on a fabric heart each, which was then stitched onto the quilt. Sadly I only finished it at 3:40 am yesterday morning and thus forgot to take pictures (yawn…)

If you, like me, are an unexperienced quilter, here’s an excellent link my mum sent me to help with the binding -or finishing the edge of the quilt as I thought it was called…

Also, I am teaching a fondant evening class. I was so nervous at first, but it is proving to be lots of fun, and all the ladies in my class are just lovely! This is what we did this week: Roses…

Alexander Wang’s or Hummel’s Chevrons?

I was reading though Topshop’s blog, Inside Out, the other day and couldn’t believe my eyes, when I saw these images:

(Images taken from Inside Out post)

They are from a fashion show by Alexander Wang, who is known for cleverly mixing sporty and urban styles.

What made me do a double-take though, is the chevron prints and colours and their resemblance to Hummel designs. Hummel is huge here in Denmark. In fact, just the other day, I picked my son up from a birthday party and while there, three parents were frantically trying to figure out which of the six identical blue Hummel trainers belonged to their kid (needless to say, for once I was quite smug, that my son’s were the cheapo black and white trainers that none of the other kids owned). Actually, I usually never buy “branded” clothes, yet when I think about it we have quite a pile of Hummel clothes between us… There are all the T-shirts, that my husband wears for work, Hummel branded with the name of the physio clinic he works at on the back, The football kit and ball, that my son received while on a sponsored summer camp and the track suit that my daughter ended up choosing because I made the mistake of taking one of her friends along, when shopping for her gymnastics outfit;-)

Anyway, sorry, I’ve gone completely off topic here, trying to portray how common the image of those chevrons are around here. What I wanted to say was, if you’re not already familiar with Hummel, have a look at this:

(My daughter’s tracksuit top)

or this:

(one of my hubby’s work T’s -image taken from the Hummel website)

I realise they are only chevron shapes and that these and zig-zags are popular patterns in textiles at the moment, but chevrons of this size and direction down the sleeves, have been Hummel’s trademark almost from the beginning of their existence in the 1920’s.

(Danish football team in 1979 -image taken from Hummel’s website)

There always is an immense amount of copying (that is not to say that anyone has been copying here… I’m staying well clear…) going on in the fashion industry, as it is hard to determine ownership of designs that are not completely identical. It varies between countries how close (by percentage) designs may be, but how do you determine this… Also, trends make it inevitable, that very similar designs will emerge from different sides. However, in this case, it is notable that the design on one part has been around for so long and is such a big part of their brand identity.

I find this particular case very interesting though, as I cannot help wonder if it won’t turn out to Hummel’s advantage, even if no legal action is taken, to have a high end designer produce designs so close to their particular trademark, long since established?

I contacted Hummel, asking how they stand on this and was told, that they are in the proccess of making a decision on how and if to react to this. They promised to let me know, as soon as a decision is reached, so watch this space. I know I will.