Christmas, crafts and cats with #VikingArtyParty

October 20, 2017 , In: Blog, Crafts, Leeds, Lifestyle , With: No Comments
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Christmas in October, now what a way that is to build up the anticipation… 67 days and counting. Well for you it’s probably 68 days, but having celebrated by the German tradition most of my life, the evening of the 24th is our big day.

Last week, Viking brought the festive spirit to Leeds with their #VikingArtyParty event. A Saturday afternoon dedicated to arts and crafts, having a catch up with other bloggers, and getting to meet new faces.Kitted out in Lamberts Yard, which is, of course, a perfect location for an intimate event and is absolutely gorgeous, the mulled wine reception brought on all the festive smells and Christmas music filled the room.

Bloggers arrived in red, greens, candy cane, gingerbread men pattered jumpers. I arrived with Cuthbert wearing a Santa hat. It had to be done.

I still find it hilarious, my cat has his face on a jumper. And how good does he look wearing this hat?

And it’s only a Christmas event if a bauble filled tree makes for the perfect photoshoot opportunity. It was all far too exciting and I couldn’t wait to get stuck into the workshop activities.

Learning calligraphy

Calligraphy is definitely a skill I admire. Bold strokes, on point precision and beautiful delicacy. None of which I’ve realised I can do. This session was hosted by Joyce from ArtsyNibs, who is pretty much the queen-lligraphy. As I watched everyone create fancy curled festive phrases, I was wondering where I was going wrong. I tried to relax, sit back and just go with the flow.

I even had an extra mulled wine to see if that would help. Nope.Even if my ‘Meowy Christmas’ card was so dreadful I daren’t show it, it was fun regardless. And I also now have a new mission to brush up on my lettering at home.

So, this year, if you’re expecting a Christmas card from me, it won’t be a personalised one yet with your name in calligraphy, but quite possibly next year.  

Purrfect stamp printing

I was so excited about the stamp printing. Making your own design to decorate whatever you fancy is just absolutely so much fun and so empowering. And you know what, it’s so easy. With just seven items, and 30 minutes later, one cat stamp was printed across my new work folder.  

  1. Plastic square   2. Foam   3. Scissors   4. Glue   5. Sponge   6. Paint   7. Folder

Maddie, from Tea and Crafting, who ran this session gave us a fantastic idea to find inspiration on Pinterest first. I spotted a really sweet cat design and created something a little simpler.

After a few test runs of drawing out the design on paper, it was time to move onto the real thing.In pencil, I redrew the cat online on the foam, and once I was happy with the shape, cut around it, and glued it onto the plastic square. Voila. Stamp done.

The next step was the dab the paint onto my purrfect cat stamp, and apply it to the folder. Simple, huh?I felt so inspired by this, and equally as impressed how easy it was, that I’ll be purchasing some fabric paint and print my own tee.

I’ve created a board on Pinterest to gather more ideas. And if you’re keen to try stamp printing a go, feel free to follow my board or suggest designs you’d like to see on it.

Making a cracking advent calendar

I hadn’t ever really considered how a cracker was made. And I certainly had never thought about making my own. In this workshop we were going to be creating an advent calendar of 24 crackers; focusing in on the two most loved paper elements of Christmas.  In this workshop, Jane, who is also from Tea & Crafting, prepped us with all the goodies we needed. This task is one for home, and after having worked on one, I understand why.

In preparation, we were given the most fantastic glitter paper, glue dots, cardboard roll and all the advent accessories. 

Having completed my first ever cracker was a real sense of achievement, and also fairly simple once you got the hang of it, but bloody heck, they’re time-consuming, but also a very relaxing task. We completed the first few crackers with nothing inside, but on completion, you’re left with a gap to still slot on your surprise. I’ve had a little think, and instead of putting sweets or chocolate inside, I might sit down with Nathan and for each of us to think of 12 things we’d like to do for the build-up to Christmas.Almost like a date night calendar box, so the cracker might reveal that it’s a cinema night, or the decision for that day to be a takeaway night. I might even throw in a few meanies like Nathan having to wash the dishes or hoover the stairs (because who the hell enjoys that?!).

Once I get around to working on this, I’ll show you the step by steps, and you’ll be able to create your own too.What a hoot the day was, and I’ve come away with so much excitement for new DIY projects. A huge, huge thanks to Viking, Artsy Nibs and Tea & Crafting for a marvellous afternoon of showing us the craft-ropes.

Cuthbert also really enjoyed ripping off the wrapping paper too. 

Lots of love

Charlotte xox

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Charlotte Corner

Lifestyle blogger & cat mother

And I really love a good brew. If I'm not busy writing, I'll either be eating, sipping a cocktail, hiking or convincing my boyfriend we need another cat.

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