You can imagine the moment when Icarus, full of hubris and exhilaration as he sailed above Crete with his home-made wings, began to question the wisdom of using wax. Perhaps when the first rays of the sun warmed his back and he began to feel an alarming softening of his wingspan…. the rest, as they say, is history. Or myth, more accurately.
If only Icarus had enjoyed access to poster board and lolly sticks, we reckon it might have been a very different story. Lighter, less smelly than wax and feathers, and surprisingly resilient even when you get stuck in a doorway when trying to launch yourself outside, these are proving a winner in our household this week.
Harry has recently developed a passion for flight, in no small part due to discovering How to Train Your Dragon, and also the cast of Lego Ninjago – his new heroes. ’Mummy, can we make me some wings please that I can wear?’ well sure, let’s try, said I. ’Great! They need to ping out when I press a button and fold away when I click and they should be big enough to fly, ok?’ Ummm, no.
Still, we did OK. I quite fancy a pair of these myself, and am trying to invent / discover a party that I can justifiably wear these to…
I used poster board (foam board), and hand-drew a wing shape before cutting it out with a craft knife (I used plates to get clean half-circle shapes around the edges). Wooden lolly sticks glued in lines gave the appearance of a wing frame, and then I used ordinary paper fasteners and scraps of faux leather to make handles and to join the two wings together. If you fancy having a go, gather the materials below - I’ve also made a proper template which you can download and photocopy to the size you want it. If you’re in need of detailed instructions, just let me know!
- Two sheets of foam board or cardboard
- A pile of wooden lolly sticks
- Paper fasteners
- Glue (all-purpose or hot glue).
- Scraps of cardboard, faux leather or foam to make the handles and connector piece
- Braid (optional)
In other news this week, the fair came to town!
A traditional steam fair comes to the Village Green of a town near us each Autumn, for a weekend of bumper-cars, helter-skelter rides, coconut shies and old-fashioned fun. Crowds come from all of the surrounding villages and it’s a lovely event. Harry wore his aviator goggles throughout, although we persuaded him to leave his wings at home.
I’m trying to enjoy every last minute of Autumn, as we gather blackberries and pine cones and count-down the days until we can light the wood-burning stove and find that we are once again racing the sun at each end of the day; to school and work before it rises, home again before it finally sets. Already the stores are turning to Christmas, and festive displays are filling the windows. Part of me is horrified, and part of me slows and lingers, I confess.
I’ve been doodling on scraps of watercolour paper and thinking through ideas for Christmas cards (whisper it – I know it’s so long away..). Happy polar bears, perhaps, once I get the proportions right and add a few festive accents..
On Sunday, we focused firmly on the present and had a weekend tea party in glorious late-season sunshine for Harry’s godparents; a lovely change to a more traditional lunchtime get together, and a delicious excuse for cake-making…. I made the universal favourite chocolate biscuit cake, which apparently was served at William and Kate’s royal wedding (we add raisins, cherries and decoration to ours; we love a bit of overkill!)…
And also experimented with mini banoffee pies in flower pots, topped with grated chocolate to look like soil…
And finally Harry and I made a raspberry and lemon bundt cake, which has become a family favourite and proves irresistible to even the most virtuous and health-conscious guest..
And talking of cake, it’s time to sign off, as I must ensure I’m in position on the sofa, glass of wine in hand in time for the final, climactic episode of The Great British Bake-Off; we don’t watch much TV but this has become my weekly guilty pleasure; with just three bakers left and some pretty daunting challenges ahead, I’ll be gripped.
Have a great rest of the week!