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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: January 2017

Friday, January 27, 2017

DIY ANTIQUE CAKE STAND!


   This diy comes from www.shanty-2-chic.com .  An inventive idea to have around for the holidays and every day to put pinecones, nuts, faux fruit or any other decorative item you can think of.  Have fun!



Hey Guys!! I spent my weekend with the fam in Lubbock and made it home just in time to share my next project with you. A few weeks ago I saw a picture of an antique cake stand in a magazine and was instantly inspired to copy… although this shanty is far from antique:) Here’s what I did…
I started by purchasing my supplies. I found three great hat boxes at Hobby Lobby at 50% off. I paid less than $12 for all three… woohoo!!

 
 


 
 
 

I also bought 2 unfinished wood candlesticks and a bag of 6 little candlesticks. This picture shows 3… you only need 2.
 
 
 



 
 
 

I also had my Gorilla Glue Epoxy handy… Hot glue will not cut it on this project! I had to pull out my big guns…

 
 
 


 
 
 

For this project I only used the tops of the hat boxes. My first step was to glue my candlesticks to the tops. I added glue to each candlestick and started building…
 
 
 



 
 
 

My little candlesticks became the feet for the bottom stand…

 
 
 

 
 
 

Still building…

 
 
 


 
 
 

I used another little candlestick for the top and glued an unfinished wood finial to it. You can find these at Lowe’s on the trim aisle.
 
 
 




 
 
 

Now to add it to the top…

 
 
 


 
 
 

My next step was to get this baby one color! My color of choice… Rustoleum American Accents Heirloom White spray paint. I took it out in the garage and gave it a couple of coats.
When my paint dried I was wanting this to appear antique, so I distressed the candlesticks using my 3M block sander…
 
 
 



 
 
 

I then used a Shanty Sisters favorite… Ralph Lauren Smoke Glaze over the entire stand. You just paint it on and wipe it off with a cloth. You can leave as much on as you like to get the finish you like best.

 
 
 






 
 
 

Almost done…

 
 
 


 
 
 

I do love natural lighting for my photos so much better, but when you finish your project at 9:00pm that typically is not an option. Sorry!
My final step was to dress it up. I fought the urge to cover it in Christmas goodies! But, I did “Winterize” it a bit. I picked up some pine cones from a house down the street and added just a few walnuts on there as well. The best part about this… You won’t have to hide this project in a closet 10 months out of the year! It can be decorated for every season! What do you think??

 
 
 







DIY CRACKLE FINNISH ON THE CHEAP WITH AN UPPER END LOOK!





   This diy comes from www.makethebestofthings.blogspot.com .  I used to buy a special crackling medium that would cost quite a few bucks, but know anyone can get the same look for next to nothing.  Good luck and enjoy!


Crackle finish with Elmer's Glue




Thanks to Dollar Store Crafts for featuring this post!
 
 
 
 
For years whenever I wanted a cool crackled effect on my painted projects I used the very expensive (to me) crackle medium and even bought some paints that were supposed to crack on their own. Because of the cost I did not do anything large and I was sparing in what I did do. Well, thanks to this cheap alternative, I can go a bit crazy and experiment because I found out how to get the crackle effect with Elmer's Glue! It's alot less expensive than any size bottle of crackle medium and just before school it's downright CHEAP.
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I've been doing this for awhile but if you go to the Elmer's faq site, you can see the instructions towards the bottom of the page. Four sentences of instructions. Four sentences! I had more than four sentences worth of questions when I first did this!


On their page Elmer's used wood glue. I used Elmer's school glue or multi purpose glue for ALL of my projects and have always had great results. Even the Dollar Store no name glue works in a pinch. I have never had a "failure to crackle" with these glues.

So this tutorial, as requested, will have lots of pictures and step by steps so you can see what to expect. If you have used crackle medium you know the basics, they are the same, but you will use Elmer's glue. I used multi purpose but I see online that others have used the school glue and even generic school glues. For this project I used Elmer's.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I painted this piece of foam board with flat black acrylic. This is my base coat.
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
Here is the piece of painted foam board and a piece of painted muslin I have smeared with a generous amount of glue. I used alot so it would show up in the pictures. Let the glue dry til it is tacky, just a few minutes, then paint your contrasting base coat on top. Do NOT wait for the glue to dry all the way or the top coat will not crack. This is one point that you desire tackiness, lol! Let's call it sticky. Alrighty then. For these pics I did NOT thin the top coat of paint.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Try to use long strokes in one direction when painting your top coat. Do not go back and forth. Use long, steady strokes to cover your entire base coat with your top coat. Here is the foam board within a few minutes of painting the top coat of white paint. You can see the cracks forming pretty quickly, it is cool to watch!
 
 
 

 
 
 
Here is the top coat on the painted muslin.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And here is the painted muslin with the crackle effect. Since the muslin has a bit of give the cracks are smaller than the cracks on the wood board.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Here are two more pieces of painted muslin. The piece on the left is painted using turquoise and black. The black on the top left piece has been thinned slightly. The turquoise on the bottom left has not been thinned so it's cracks are not as delicate as the black. The big piece of fabric on the right has been undercoated with burnt umber and chocolate brown, then top coated with THINNED glue and THINNED white paint. The cracks are very small and delicate and hard to see in the pic. They are what I prefer for a doll face or something with alot of fine detail.

And here are some close ups of my sample boards. I tried to give you lots of pics so you can see what to expect when trying this technique.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Foam board with black base coat and white top coat. Glue is not thinned and either is the white paint. Board is about 2" x 4".






The wood boards in the following pics are about 1.5" tall x 5" wide.

Base coated brown on the left and black on the right. Glue is not thinned. Top coat of black on the left is thinned alot, brown top coat on right is thinned just a little.

Black base on the left, turquoise/teal base coat on the right. Glue is not thinned. Turquoise/teal top coat is not thinned. Black top coat on right is thinned alot, very watery.

I used gold Patio Paint for this board and it reacts differently to the glue. Perhaps because Patio Paint stretches a bit? The base coat on the left is P P gold with a watery black top coat. The base coat on the right is black with a Patio Paint top coat. It cracked, but not much. The glue was not thinned for this board.

I hope I've given you enough options that you can see what to expect with this technique. I would suggest experimenting a little til you find the combination that you like the best before using it on a final project. But have fun, it's easy to do and it's really really CHEAP!

LOHRI BONFIRE FESTIVAL FROM PUNJAB, INDIA!!!




 

   For the people of Punjab, the festival of Lohri holds a great significance, as it marks the harvesting season and the end of the winter season.  The main event is the making of a huge bonfire which is symbolic of the homage to the Sun God for bringing in warmth.  Celebrated on January 13th every year.  Lohri festivities are associated with the harvesting of the Rabi crops.  There is a special significance attached to the celebration of Lohri as this day the sun enters the rashi (zodiac) of Makara (Capricorn), this is considered auspicious as it signifies a fresh start.
   Lohri has special significance for the agriculturists because, it marks the beginning of a new financial year, on this day they settle the division of the products of the land between themselves and the tillers.  Lohri assumes greater significance, if there has been a happy evet in the family, such as the birth of a child or a marriage in the past year.  The family then plays host to relatives and friends and "making merry" is the order of the day.  Most people participate in dancing the bhangra ( a folk dance) to the accompaniment of the dholak.





 


    The festival of Lohri is linked to the atmospheric physical changes.  Lohri celebrations generate a lot of bonhomie as people sit around the bonfire, talking, laughing, exchanging pleasantries, praying for prosperity, even as they make offerings of til (gingelly), moongphali (peanuts) and chirwa (beaten rice) to the burning embers.  All these accounts and references point to the significance of saluting the Sun.  The Sun is a symbol of plenty it gives us all we need.  Fire sanctifies their endeavors  for a good life on the one hand and destroys evil spirits on the other.

The First Lohri

   On the first Lohri of the recently wedded bride or a new born child, people give offerings of dry fruits, revri (a kind of candy made of sugar and sesame seeds), roasted peanuts, Sesame Ladoo and other foods to the fire, as well as sharing them with their family and friends gathered around the fire.  They perform the "Bhangra" dance, in groups around the fire.  The dancing and singing continues well into the night.  The Bhangra dance has rhythmic movements of the feet, shoulder and body, with outstretched hands and a lot of clapping by women partners.  Food eaten, is generally of vegetarian and traditionally, no alcohol is supposed to be consumed.









The First Lohri of a Bride

   The first Lohri of a bride is considered very important.  It is celebrated with increased fervor and on a larger scale.  The family of the newly wedded wife and husband gather around the fire wearing their best, often new clothes, decorated with beautiful Punjabi embroidery in gold and silk threads with mirror work.  The newly married woman wears new bangles, applies henna or "mehndi" on their hands and puts a colorful bindi, a decorative spot on their foreheads.  The husband also wears new clothes and colorful turbans.  The new clothes and jewelery is given to her by her new in-laws.  She wears bangles almost up to her elbows.  The mother-in-law presents heavy garments and jewelry to he new bride.  The bride remains in her in-law's house where a grand feast is arranged and all the sons and daughters, with their spouses and children and all of their close friends and neighbors are invited.  In the early evening, when all have arrived, the new bride is dressed in her best salwar suit or phaphra and is made to sit, along with her husband, in a central place where the father and mother in law perform the presentation of clothes and jewelry.  The close relatives and friends also join in and present clothes or cash to the new bride.







 


The First Lohri for a Newborn

   The first Lohri of a new born is also a special occasion, in which all friends and family join to celebrate.  it is preformed in the later part of the evening.  Invitations can be sent for this function, depending on how the family wants to celebrate this occasion.  The event is observed at the home of the child's parents, in the presence of close relatives, friends and well wishers.  All the guests usually bring gifts for the baby and the new mother.  The child's grandparent's give gifts to the child's paternal relatives also.
   On the first Lohri of a new born baby, the mother is attired in heavy clothes and is wearing a lot of jewelery with mehndi on her hands and feet and sits with the baby in her lap.  The family does the presentations.  The mother and father-in-law usually gives a large quantity of presents in the form of clothes and cash and others in the immediate family do so also.  The maternal grandparents also send gifts of clothes, sweets, rayveri, peanuts, popcorn's and fruits.

THE KAAPSE KLOPSE (MINSTREL) FESTIVAL FROM CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA!!!






   The Kaapse Klopse is a minstrel festival that takes place annually on January 2nd, in Cape Town, South Africa.  Up to 13,000 minstrels, many in blackface, take to the streets garbed in bright colors, either carrying colorful umbrellas or playing an array of musical instruments.  The minstrels are grouped in klopse ("clubs" in Cape Dutch, but more accurately translated as troupes in English).  Participants are typically from Afrikaans-speaking working class "colored" families who have preserved the custom since the mid 19th century. 
   Although it is called the Coon Carnival by Capetonians, local authorities have renamed the festival the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival as foreign tourist find the term "coon" derogatory.









History

   One story goes that the carnival was inspired by a group of African-American minstrels who docked in Cape Town in the late 1800's and entertained the sailors with their spontaneous musical performances.  The popular song Hier kom die Alabama (Here comes the Alabama) refers to the ship that is believed to have brought them.  Another story goes that the traveling minstrels were actually white and painted their face black...hence the painted faces seen today.









Inspiration

   The source of the parade and the festival are the horrors of slavery, as was blackface minstrels in the United States.  As Denis-Constant Martin's book Coon Carnival informs us, several forms given to physical torture, including the burning of effigies on Guy Fawkes day, evolved into the present day commemoration.  Some would remind us, however, that American style slavery has more influence in America than Southern Africa.  Guy Fawkes day is a British custom, and is not connected as such with American slavery.  Even American blackface minstrels are more connected with celebrations of the people that came out of slavery than with the institution itself.









Troupe Organisation


   The majority of the troupes (approximately 169) are represented by the Kaapse Karnaval ("Cape Carnival") Association.  In addition, two breakaway organisations (the Kaapse Karnaval Association and the Mitchell's Plain Youth Development Minstrel Board) represent a minority of troupes.









The Carnival Today

   The festival begins on New Year's Day and continues into January.  Traditionally, it has been a site for grievances against white supremacy.  Festivities include street parades with singing and dancing, costume competitions and marches through the streets.  While many troupes now are supported by corporate sponsors, many refuse and remain sticklers for tradition.  The 2005 carnival was nearly cancelled due to an alleged lack of funding, while the 2006 carnival was officially called off for the same reason.  However, the troupe organisations subsequently decided to go ahead with the parade despite continued unhappiness over funding, and the festivities, were opened by Western Cape premier Ebrahim Rascool on January 2nd, 2006.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

BURN'S NIGHT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM!!!

Robert Burns





   Burns Night is annually, celebrated in Scotland on or around January 25th.  It commemorates the life of the bard (poet) Robert Burns, who was born on January 25, 1759.  The day also celebrates Burns' contribution to Scottish culture.  Burns' best known work is "Auld Lang Syne".





reading some poetry for Burns' night




What People Do?

   Many people and organizations hold a Burns' supper on or around Burns' Night.  These may be informal, only for men, only for women, or for both genders.  Formal events include toasts and readings of pieces written by Robert Burns.  Ceremonies during a Burns' Night supper vary according to the group organizing the event and the location.










    The evening centers on the entrance of the haggis (a type of sausage made from a sheep's stomach) on a large platter to the sound of a piper playing bagpipes.  When the haggis is on the table, the host reads the "Address to Haggis".  This is an ode that Robert Burns wrote to the Scottish dish.  At the end of the reading, the haggis is ceremonially sliced into two pieces and the meal begins.






Some whiskey and Haggis




Public Life

   Burns' Night is an observance but it is not a bank holiday in the United Kingdom.

Background

   Robert Burns was born in Alloway, Scotland , on January 25, 1759.  He died in Dumfries, Scotland, on July 21, 1796.  He was a poet and wrote many poems, lyrics and other pieces that addressed political and civil issues.  Perhaps his best known work is "Auld Lang Syne", which is sung at New year's Eve celebrations in Scotland, parts of the U.K., and other places around the world.  Burns is one of Scotland's important cultural icons and is well known among Scottish expats or descendants around the world.  he is also known as "Rabbie Burns", the fa"Bard of Ayrshire", "Scotland's favorite son"; and in Scotland as "The Bard".





Men in their kilts




    Robert Burns' acquaintances held the first Burns' supper on July 21st, the anniversary of his death, in Ayshire, Scotland, in the late 1700's.  The date was later changed to January 25th, which marks his birthday.  Burns' suppers are now held by people and organizations with Scottish origins worldwide, particularly in Australia, Canada, England, and the United States.

Symbols

   The Scottish flag is often displayed at Burns' Night celebrations.  It is known as the Saltire and consists of a rectangular blue background with thick white bars on the diagonals.  The diagonals form a cross that represents Saint Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland.
   At Burns' Night events, many men wear kilts and women may wear shawls, skirts or dresses made from their family tartan.  A tartan was originally a woolen cloth with a distinctive pattern made by using colors of weft and warp when weaving.  Particular patterns and combinations of colors were associated with different areas, clans and families.  Tartan patterns are now printed on various materials.



 

A plate of some Scottish delicacies


 

   Many types of food are associated with Burns' Night.  These include: socock-a-leekie soup (chicken and leek soup); haggis; neeps (mashed turnips or swedes) and tatties (mashed potatoes); cranachan (whipped cream mixed with raspberries and served wit sweet oat wafers); bannocks (a kind of bread cooked on a griddle).  Whiskey is the traditional drink.

INTERNATIONAL CIRCUS FESTIVAL OF MONTE-CARLO!!




Image result for international circus festival 2017






    The Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo (International Circus Festival de Monte-Carlo) was created in 1974 by Prince Rainier III of Monaco to promote circus arts....for which he had a lifelong passion.  The first festival was held from December 26th to the 30th, 1974 under the big top of the French circus Bouglione, installed on what was then the Esplande de Fontvielle.  In the forward he wrote for the program, Prince Rainiers said, "This International Circus Festival was created thinking of the circus community, of this family of underestimated people, so that you, attentive spectators of their efforts and of their work, could know them better, and celebrate them better".  It was the first true circus festival ever presented in the Western world.










   During the Festival, a selection of some of the best circus acts in the business are presented twice to a paying audience and a Jury of circus professionals, journalists, and specialists...presided until 2005 by the late Prince Rainier III, and since 2006, by his daughter, Princess Stephanie of Monaco.  The Jury awards Gold and Silver Clowns, and since 2002 a Bronze Clown, in the form of statuettes sculpted by Paule Male'.  Other prizes and trophies are awarded by the City of Monaco, and various
corporations, press organizations, associations, and individuals.  The Festival presents about 25 acts each yer, in two different set of performances.  The awards are presented during a closing Gala performance attended by the Prince of Monaco, and his family and guests.  Traditionally, the Prince also attends every selection performance.  The first Gold Clowns, which in time became the equivalent of an Oscar, to the circus world, were award to Alfred Court, in tribute to his exceptional career, and to Charlie Rivel.








 

   In 1975, the Festival was presented under the big top of the Italian circus, Nando, Liana e Rinaldo Orfei, and from 1975 to 1994, under the big top of another Italian Circus, Circo American-Togni.  Since 1995, it has been held under a large, sedentary circus structure, permanently installed in what is now the Quartier Fontvielle, in Monaco.



 
Under the big top tent in Monte Carlo


 


   In 2006, the Festival staged an extraordinary tribute to Prince Rainier III of Monaco (who had passed away the previous year), with a five hour show that gathered the greatest assemblage of Gold and Silver Medalists ever seen (some of them performing at the same time, like the amazing juggling duet formed by Kris Kremo and Anthony Gatto, or Oleg Izossimov sharing the ring with The Rodions and Wei Baohua &Wu Zheng).  It was probably the greatest circus performance ever produced.










   The International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo is now held each year in mid January.  Presided by S.A.S. Princess Stephanie of Monaco, it remains today, without a doubt, the most important circus manifestation in the world, and it has become the annual rendezvous of the international circus community and of a large international audience of circus enthusiasts.

"CARNAVAL DE QUEBEC", THE WINTER FESTIVAL IN QUEBEC, CANADA! WAY COOOOLLL!








 


    Visitors from all over the world will be playing in the snow and enjoying the winter festivities at one of the biggest winter celebrations that Canada has to offer. Quebec, Canada has been host to the winter wonderland known to locals as "Carnaval de Quebec", for more than 50 years and shows no signs of slowing down anytime in the near future as this year's carnival will see more than 400 unique activities. It has been dubbed as the "The coolest Part in the World", and why not? It has all of the offerings that you would expect form traditions Nordic culture, only they have went all out and included events for people of all generations, tastes, and backgrounds.












    The Winter Carnival got its start in 1894 and has grown each consecutive year by updating events and festivities to fit every lifestyle. Starting at the end of January and lasting up until the middle of February. Quebec opens its doors for a winter celebration that includes snow baths, glittering night parades, slide runs, ice fishing, concerts, snow rafting, snow sculpture competitions, a canoe race over the frozen St. Lawrence River, horse-drawn sleigh rides, husky powered dogsled rides, and skating.










    Music, dancing, live entertainment, deliciously prepared cuisine, rides and activities are also part of the Winter Carnival. The activities are non-stop throughout the week, but the special events are typically held during the weekend. If this isn't enough to tantalize your taste buds, then the city of Quebec itself might be what you are hungering for. The medieval setting is something straight out of a book as you will delight in seeing everything from the French architecturally designed homes nestled along narrow, winding streets to the colorful and inviting restaurants and shops that demand your attention. It is truly one of the most beautiful destinations that you will ever have the pleasure of laying your eyes on.


 




 

    The heart of the carnival is set up at the Plains of Abraham where the French and British once battled, but is now home to grazing cattle and the Winter Carnival. A particular favorite is the St. Hubert Derby that easily draws crowds of people waiting to see the single and double championship drivers of the horse team competition. While other visitors can't wait to chill out in the Ice Palace and see the one of a kind structure made up entirely of ice. Children gather in large crowds awaiting the arrival of Bonhomme the snowman who  plays as Master of Ceremonies during the snow bath event where daring adventurists play in the snow the Eskimo way, in bathing suits.










    The city of Quebec not only offers fun winter festivities, but it also holds the allure of being the only walled city in North America. More than 1.5 million visitors find their way to the Carnival de Quebec, and most of them will eventually find their way to the ancient part of the walled city that houses French neighborhoods that closely resemble a European village of sorts. Brightly lit shops and local cuisine can be found along the heart of the city as well as scenic views of the lake and mountains.