How are you, are you braving the cold? We’ve been a plague-house this past week, falling one after the other into the chasm of ‘flu and cold …but surfacing now, at last. Amidst it all life has bustled busily on, brightened by a couple of big highlights like my father’s seventieth birthday last weekend. At his request it was just a small family dinner – everyone he loved the most, together around a table – but a mighty fine dinner it was. I brought a cake, because a birthday without cake is unthinkable, however old you are. The cake itself was a beauty from the local patisserie which had caught my eye, sitting siren-like in the window and demanding to be taken home. I wanted to make it a little more personal though, so I made a simple paper wrapper to go around it. Dad loves to paint, so I spread out all of my brushes onto a sheet and photographed them, then printed, trimmed and taped them together for a simple but beautiful accent which speaks to one of his greatest passions.. I secured the wrapper in place around the cake, and ta-da!; a treat fit for a remarkable man. My Dad.
I knew that we wouldn’t manage much of the cake after dinner, so I found an old photograph of my father as a child and used it to make take-home bags for the end of the meal. I love this picture; mostly I think because of his beaming, proud mother ducking almost-but-not-quite out of shot. Mothers and sons – it gets me every time..
All the celebrating over Christmas, New Year and the flurry of birthdays has left us with a small pile of champagne corks, so I’ve also had a chance to play around making champagne-top armchairs; have you ever tried this?
By far the most sensible way of shaping these chairs is when sober, with good light and a pair of pliers, but I always seem to end up doing it with my bare hands whilst tipsy and then waking up to find that I may have the wire equivalent of a three piece suite, but I also have no nails left at all and swollen, scratched hands. I’ll post a quick tutorial if you’re interested, with the caveat that health and safety are treated fairly recklessly in my approach..
As for this weekend, we’re setting a quieter pace and planning on doing some serious nesting; rumour has it that we may still be in our pyjamas at noon, albeit with thick woolly jumpers and socks to keep the arctic chill at bay. Heavy frosts are forecast and Harry and I are unusually excited; we’ve been playing outside with pots and pans of water and making soon-to-be-frozen ice sculptures to hang from the trees; I’ll let you know next time if it has worked!
Have a great weekend, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.
Here’s a PDF tutorial as promised for how I made my champagne cage chairs. If you find videos easier to follow, look on You Tube and there are a variety there. Once you’ve mastered the basics, have a look here for inspiration and further champagne cork-n-cage artistry! Good luck!