Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is one of my favourite days of the year so i've been planning and looking forward to it for weeks. I made some paper mache treat bowls (they didn't turn out as well as i'd hoped) and some origami decorations and I also bought a few pumpkins to carve.

Unfortunately it's been raining here for most of the day so I only had one person come round trick or treating but such is the nature of British weather!

Anyway, here are some snaps:

Treat bowls -

My outfit (my favourite thing!) - 

I won't put up any pictures of my pumpkin until I finish the rest of them (I think I was slightly overambitious with what I thought I could achieve in one night when I ordered 5!)  -  and  I couldn't get a very good picture of it tonight anyway.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Stoptober - Cold Turkey or Gradual Weaning?

So i've been wanting to give up smoking for a little while now, not just for myself but for everyone in my family who keeps banging on at me to stop all the time. I thought now would be a good time to 'start stopping' due to the NHS starting their Stoptober campaign - an initiative designed to help people quit smoking during the month of October in case you hadn't already guessed.
It officially started on 1st October but I only found out about it on Saturday by chance as I don't watch much TV or read magazines so hadn't seen any adverts for it before. I decided to wait until after my Mum's birthday had passed on Monday before I started trying to quit as I didn't want to be grumpy for her special day (she also smokes and as i'm living with her at the moment it makes giving up that little bit harder).
Unfortunately the NHS are only offering Stoptober packs to people living in England, despite it being a national campaign, which is kind of annoying and the free app I downloaded for it doesn't work, which is even more annoying - so i'm just really using the term Stoptober because it's catchy, not because i'm actually officially taking part in it.
My question is though - do I go cold turkey or do I gradually wean myself off the cigarettes hopefully making completely quitting eventually easier? I first started smoking about 3 years ago, just socially at first but it soon became an every day habit, I currently smoke about 8 to 12 cigarettes a day on average, so i'm not classed as a long term or heavy smoker. Based on this what do you think I should do? (I haven't had a cigarette since about midnight, so it's been about 20 hours or so now and I won't be able to get any more until at least 7am tomorrow).
Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated!

Monday, 8 October 2012

The problem with not having Facebook

So I deleted (well, diabled as you can't actually delete it) my Facebook account a couple of months ago. It wasn't doing my self esteem any good seeing everyone gushing about how great their lives are when mine felt like it was anything but and I simply didn't care for it anymore. I'd felt like this for quite some time before I actually bit the bullet and took down my page but the final straw came when someone commented that I was on Facebook ALL the time (which to be fair, I was) and members of my family were starting to really bug me about it. I don't miss it at all which is quite surprising considering how much time I used to spend on there but the only problem is - literally NO ONE reads my blog anymore. I know I have been very lazy recently in regards to keeping my blog up to date but nothing really of note has been going on in my life so I didn't have much to say. I used to use Facebook to sort of promote my blog by sending people notifications when I had written a new post, I now realise that most of my readers were probably members of my own family and friends and that people who are actually subscribed to my blog very rarely actually read it.
I mean it's one thing to wonder if you're boring but to have it confirmed really stinks.

So if anyone is reading this (which I highly doubt), 'thanks'.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Tutorial: 8 Point Origami Star

I've fallen in love with origami ever since the Llanrhaeadr Show, my bedroom is now littered with paper cranes, hearts and stars - so today I thought i'd show you how to make an 8 point origami star like the one I made for my competition entry.

First you need to select 8 pieces of 15cm x 15cm paper in colour of your choice. The paper i'm using is just from a super cheap eBay shop but you can also use real washi paper for a more authentic Japanese feel. (I find it works better than the cheap stuff and isn't that much more expensive).

Step 1: Place the paper colour side down and fold along both the diagonal axis, crease well and unfold.

Step 2: Now fold the left side to meet the diagonal crease. 

Step 3: Make a mountain fold along the dotted line shown below. (To make a mountain fold you just fold the paper behind instead of in front).

 Your paper should now look like this:

Step 4: Fold the upper layer of the side i've labelled AB to meet i've labelled AC.

Your paper should now look like this:

Step 5: Flip the paper over.

Step 6: Fold the right side to meet the vertical crease.

 Step 7: Now make a diagonal fold  along the dotted line and fold the bottom tip upwards. 

Your paper should now look like this:

 Step 8: Make the unit you've already made a further 7 times. 

Step 9: Now it's time to assemble our star! First open up the right side of the first unit. 

Step 10: Place the second unit into the first. You want the edge to line up with the right diagonal crease of the first unit. To close back the first unit bring the tip over and tuck it between second unit completely so that both units are completely attached to each other. Repeat this with all the units. For the last unit you need to gently squeeze it in between the seventh and first unit without the rest of the units becoming unattached. It can be a bit tricky, so you have to be careful!

You're all finished! Your star should now look like this:

As I said earlier, the paper is not of the best quality so there are a few more crease in it than I would like.

Here's what it looks like when made with proper washi paper:

The back side:

***Have fun making your stars!***