Happy New Year!…2017

Here’s wishing you all a year full of love, light and unicorn sparkles!

Is it me or did 2016 rush past too quickly? It was a year full of sad news and unsettling truths for all of us, but I like to think that there were also many triumphs, personal and otherwise for a lot of us (like this list of good things) – Leo finally won that much-awaited Oscar, wild pandas and tigers have had a good year, and of course health-wise, people are getting better news. Not to mention all those amazing movies, books and technology we have discovered this year (or are still on my to-read/to-watch waiting list!)

I think 2016 gave us all a lot of things to think about and reflect, and we all are looking forward to 2017 being a new year that we all want to make the most of as well as use to take the opportunity to make improvements and build better relationships. One of the things which really bugged  me personally about 2016 was not making the most of my time – it always felt like I was busy doing something boring like housework or grocery shopping. It’s not the fact that I had to do these thing which bothered me as much as the feeling that I wasn’t making more use of this time (although part of this comes from my self-pressure to always be doing something productive!)

So this year I’ll learn to take it easy and enjoy the moment, but also think more about what I am doing – putting my whole self into the things which need to be done without worrying about wanting to be elsewhere (or that FOMO feeling!)

So here’s something I put together this morning before I had my breakfast – a golden, glitter 2017 welcome to the new year – I had a lot of fun doing this, and loved the result. It’s also made me realise just how much stuff I have in my house, on my shelves and in my wardrobes, so I think there won’t be much sale shopping this year!

dsc_3856

Honeymoon Travels: The Grand Bazaar

I have always loved going to markets of all types, and I always seek them out when I’m in new places – so naturally I wanted to visit the famous (and biggest) market in Istanbul, which was the Grand Bazaar.

DSC_4549

It was certainly nothing like I expected, which was something like an open bazaar with people flogging their wares on stalls. The Grand Bazaar is just that, grand and diverse. Most of the market is inside an old building with several winding hallways and corridors, each one packed on both sides with sellers and shops. Below are just a few of the things which caught my eye, lanterns, carpets, scarves, lamps, spices and sweets, but there’s so much more. I caught sight of fake Louboutins, gold jewellery, ice creams, jewellery, paintings and hundreds more things which are available on display.

We ended up spending a few hours here looking for souvenirs, haggling and comparing, and came away a little dazed and overwhelmed, not to mention the fact that we had entered from one of the Market and exited half a mile in another direction!

 

The Mystery and Magic of Great Stories

“The secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover’s skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won’t. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again.

That is their mystery and their magic.”
― Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

DSCF2075

Pink Room Mondays

I visited the Warner Bros Harry Potter studios last year, which was amazing fun because of all of the props, huge sets and detailed little pieces which were all over the studio. After my visit, I decided against posting pictures of the tour and the studio, because I thought it would spoil things for people who wanted to visit, especially as there are plenty of different things to do, sets to see and activities to try out.

I’ve been reading Harry Potter since I was a young top hat, and grew up loving the books without ever knowing what a phenomenon it was and how popular it became – I’m glad I never knew while I first started reading it, because it meant I read with no expecations, and genuinely loved the books. I was 11 when I first started the series (same as Harry Potter was!) and it’s always felt slightly like I grew up with the series, at the same time as the hero did.

Even though I won’t spoil the tours for you, I’ll post one photo from the day, which was one of my favourite sets. This was the set used for the extremely pinky office for Dolores Umbridge in the film, which surprisingly looked a lot more glamorous up close than it did in the film (pink decor wouldn’t exactly be my first choice!) The room is in a little round concave, which looked amazing from the outside looking in, particularly when you see the tea-cups and saucers on the wall.

So here’s to some pinky mondays, not always favoured, but sometimes glamorous.

DSC_1016

Fleeting Gold Moments on a Merry-Go-Round

To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.

– Henri Cartier-Bresson

fleet (3)

The word fleeting means a lot of various things to different people. As part of this week’s Weekly Photo challenge, I’m posting a lit-up, colourful merry-go-round, perhaps to symbolise fleeting times spent at a fair, fleeting childhood, or just a fleeting five-minutes on a ride. You pick.

The Lego CP30

It’s been a while since I posted some nonsense about Lego, so here’s CP3O on top gold form (plus a silver leg, they must have run out of the gold), looking like the butler-esque robot that he is. Best of all, he’s life-sized too, so you can stand next to him and hook your arms through his, like he’s your robot bride and the Apocalypse has just come. Y’know.

20130313_162642

20130313_162656

Glueguns & Craftiness: Golden Shields, Swords and Crowns

In the spirit of Jubilee Week, my two nephews and niece were forced to enjoyed being able to dress up in kings-and-queens style outfits as part of their school celebrations. While it’s easier for the girls to pull out their fluffiest, biggest, swishiest dresses and call themselves princesses, for the boys it can be a bit harder to pull out a costume which goes beyond the usual Buzz Lightyear demand or Batman capes. I decided to help out my sister (their mum) with making a worth prince-outfit for them (which really consisted of the shield, sword and crown-making, rather than sewing any tights for them)

First, the shields. Because the boys have to be different so that they can both say they have a better costume than the other, we made one set of armoury silver, and the other gold (which also made it easier to make everything else exactly the same!) Using corrugated card, draw the shape of the shield, cut it out (cuttingit out is a lot harder than it looks, try using something close (but less crazy and illegal) to something sharp like a chain-saw rather than dinky scissors. We used a pen-knife and some very big scissors. Spray-paint in quick-dry paint, and then rope in the nearest child to pick out pretty letters to make the right name. Glue them on, and add some jewels. Don’t forget to use some left over card for the handle at the back.

Next, the sword – which was pretty  much the same as making the shield. Draw out, cut, spray paint. We cut out one and used it as a template for the next to make it look the same, and also made the handle something we could slot the sword through as a 3D-effect. Simple, yet effect. We added stick-on gems on this too, not quite Excalibur but the kids don’t need to know that, right?

Lastly, the crowns, which were even more simple. Get a piece of card, draw zig-zag lines down the middle and cut. Stick the two pieces together and fold into a circle shape (according to kid’s head-size and how still they stand). That way the zig-zag lines can continue evenly and the crowns are a good size. Again, stick on jewels make them all sparkly.

End result: some cardboard-happy boys who woke up the next morning to have a sword fight before school and getting their Jubilee-Kingyness on.
I’m having fun getting into this creativity lark 🙂