Random craft moments: Playmobil knights’ castle

Parents! Ever felt that a long bank holiday weekend in the company of small children just isn’t tiring and stressful enough? Why not set yourself a hugely ambitious and unnecessary project such as building a massive castle for some little plastic knights? Look at me – I did it! And after much swearing and “not now, kids, Mummy’s wielding a lethal piece of DIY equipment” look what I’ve ended up with:


A castle fit for a Playmobil king! (Not that the ones Playmobil make aren’t and I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy one of those, too. This is purely a supplementary play resource *crosses fingers that this covers any legal issues*) Continue reading


Just call me Kirstie Allsopp*

Kirstie and I have loads in common. Like being fond of crafting. And um… being fond of crafting. Basically, when it comes to making pretty items which, if they have any use at all, are probably still no better than the versions you could get in Poundland, both me and Kirstie are totally in there.

Of course, people should really be calling Kirstie after me. Because I was into crafting way before she was. It’s a passion that’s been with me since I had endless sessions of occupational therapy in a psychiatric unit, back when she was still twatting about cashing in on the property boom. So don’t talk to me about crafts, Kirstie. Been there, done that, got the tie-dyed t-shirt.

There are some areas where I feel Kirstie still misses the point. Like silk painting – she doesn’t do enough to promote that as an art form. And paying due homage to the feminist revival of traditional crafts as opposed to jumping in with the most reactionary, idiotic interpretation of their use and function – she’s a bit crap at that, too. Still, she’s the one with the TV series and book deal and I’m the one with the suitcase full of silk cushion covers I can’t get rid of, so who’s the real winner here? (me, obviously)

Today Kirstie’s in the Daily Mail (yeah, another day spent bravely boosting the most evil paper on Earth’s online traffic – I’ll flagellate myself later). The piece is naturally misogynist and exploitative, but it’s also vaguely entertaining insofar as you start to feel even the Mail – even the Mail! – can’t comprehend Kirstie’s particular brand of sexism. First she thinks women have forgotten traditional roles due to paid work, which they presumably never did before the 1960s;  then she thinks modern women need to learn to do all household tasks, even “masculine ones”, in order to be “the man that can”; then she also likes to embrace “traditional roles”, meaning there are things which, as a woman, she doesn’t ever do (household finance stuff basically – it’s all a bit “thinky”); then she says you could do these “traditional roles” the other way round if you really wanted (“it is not a male, female thing”). So basically, Kirstie, we can all split household labour any old way we like, but we have to pretend we’re doing it in a sexist way because that’s all quite quaint and appealing, a little bit “Mad Men”, as it were. Fantastic.

Anyhow, I don’t know why I’ve ended up ranting about this. The main point of this piece was to ask:

Would anyone fancy a silk-painted cushion cover?

Orders in the comments box, please.

* If you from the US, Kirstie Allsopp is Martha Stewart without the having-been-in-prison bit. Hence even more annoying than the latter.