Posted in Christmas, craft, featured, Seasonal

Blogmas – December 2nd. Making Cards

On the first day of Blogmas, the Advent Tree gave to me… well the kids, crafty bits to make cool cards for Christmas!  And here is what we did yesterday. ( if you missed yesterdays post, it is here)

Dec 2
I have been really impressed with the range of Christmas craft stuff available this year, particularly in the cheaper end shops.  Not only has it been possible to stock up on washi tape, but I have been able to pick up some really cute charms and stick-ons, which will look great on the cards. (We are going to pretend – just for this month – that I am not attempting minimalism, sustainability, or indeed any of the concepts that will run counter to my buying and making tat!)

As I am theming this year; going for Navy, white and Silver with a whole ‘Winter Wonderland’ vibe, I am going to be using these items that I picked up in Poundland (this isn’t a sponsored post, just a huge fan of their work). This is what I have bought:

A pack of 3 blue winter themed washi tapes
A pack of 15 blank cards and envelopes
A pack of sticky craft snowflakes
A pack of mini bunting

(I also bought some gift tabs from Home Bargains for £1, and as the kids wanted to use them too they are included in the crafting inventory)

The kids had a bit of an experiment and agreed to let me put the pictures up as long as I didn’t have them in the photos!

 

 

 

 

Washi tape is a literal gift from the crafting gods! It makes the process of putting cards together so easy, and as there is less glue involved there is (slightly) less mess.
We are now thinking of making up the rest of the pack as we still have plenty of washi and bunting left – although I may take them to Guides with me on Wednesday and see what the girls come up.

Have you got any craft plans for Christmas? I have bought some more bits and really want to spend an evening or two making things.  Hopefully will get some aesthetically pleasing pictures to share too.

Let me know what you are making for Christmas in the comments below.

 

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Posted in Bucket List, featured, Japan, Regarding polly, Tips & How to's, Uncategorized

#40 Make 1000 Cranes: Why an epic origami quest is on the Kettle List.

1000 cranes blog canva

 

Not everything on the Kettle List is an exciting outdoorsy adventure, or designed to snap me in half.  Some of them are craft based and have a bit more substance, like my task of making 1000 origami cranes

I have therefore started on my epic paper folding journey as I hope to create 1000 cranes by 2027.  If you go check out this vlog, you’ll notice that I didn’t do a tutorial, but included links to videos I have used, which will make folding your own cranes that bit easier. My favourite ones are Lelya Torres & Tavin’s Origami Instructions.  So what’s the deal with cranes then? And why am I making 1000 of the things! (That’s like 8 a month, every month, for the next 10 years!)

Continue reading “#40 Make 1000 Cranes: Why an epic origami quest is on the Kettle List.”

Posted in featured, Lifestyle, Ponderings, Regarding polly

Polly’s Pondering’s – Mobile Phone Addiction

The plan had been to Blog every day in October, but after my pre-written pieces ran out I realised that I didn’t have enough time to write everyday. The problem I have is that I tend to spend a bit too long thinking about what I am going to write, rather than actually writing, and as I generally leave the house at 6 am, and do not return again until 6 pm or later, this means I need to get a lot more organised in terms of when and how quickly I produce posts…and a laptop, I really need a laptop!

Therefore I would like to introduce a pilot episode of: Polly’s Pondering.

Polly’s pondering’s are very quick posts (that I can type into the WordPress App during my lunch break!) It is just me chatting about something that I have ‘pondered’ today and speedily typed up while munching on my bread-sticks and hummus. Consider it a take on modern miscellany with an older person’s perspective. This weeks pondering?

Phone addiction – Yes. I am writing this on my phone –Yes. I am fully and painfully aware of the irony.

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My name is Polly Thompson and I am addicted to using my mobile phone. I didn’t think I was, after all, it wasn’t like I was sat mindlessly playing games on it; I was using it to check emails, to research articles for my blog, to find out how old Leo Sayer was (70, apparently) and to tweet out about my latest posts.

Today I forgot to bring my phone to work – I know what you’re thinking, ‘nice try Polly, but you said you were writing this on your phone, so you must have it’…and you are right…I made my husband drive home and bring it back to me. The mere idea of being without my phone for the day filled me with utter dread, and it was at that point I knew I had a problem.

As I said, I have always used my phone for practical purposes: texting and organising meetings, getting hold of the kids, looking up which bus I needed to catch, that kind of thing, and I have therefore never considered myself an actual addict. There is no denying that the Smartphone is a very useful tool; I had to pre-organise a time and place with my husband when he dropped my phone to me because he couldn’t just text ‘outside’ as he normally would. I told him I definitely needed it so as to confirm my dinner date with my friend this evening:
“Just phone her from work” he suggested…
I then realised that I do not know anyone’s phone number apart from my Mum’s. Not even my own mobile!
Another important aspect of my phone?
All of my music is on it and the idea of a lunch hour without hearing ‘my boys’ doesn’t bare thinking about! (To be honest, my music addiction is a whole other ‘ponder’ for another day!) So on a whim, I took a test… The results were terrifying!

Mobile phone addiction is an actual recognised dependence syndrome, comparable to drug use that can have massive impacts on your mental health.

While I would argue that the questions are a bit skewed towards everyone who answers appearing like an addict, if you do think you may potentially have a problem there are tips to help you reduce your use here.

I could argue that my phone use has only increased recently because I now have a blog which I administer via an app on my phone – I would consider myself to be technically working, but then an addict would try and come up with an excuse wouldn’t they? Maybe it’s time to try out airplane mode for a few hours…it’s fine,I will be able to cope… all my K-pop is downloaded onto the phone anyway; my music addition is one I don’t want to be cured of!

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Posted in featured, Lifestyle, Music, Regarding polly, Uncategorized

5 K-Pop Bands who are worth a listen (and aren’t BTS)

I hate to be ‘that guy’ but I have been a fan of Korean music for a while now, and I feel that is puts me in a position to say a few words – and potentially incur the wrath of Army everywhere:
BTS are not the only Korean pop band; In fact, I will go farther and suggest they are not even the best one.

Kpop (1)

Don’t get me wrong, I love me at bit of BTS; I’ve loved them since it was slightly age inappropriate, what with me being a middle-aged mum and them being… well quite a bit younger.  No-one is prouder of their rise to global stardom, it is just that there is so much more to not only K-Pop, but Korean music as a whole.
So, as a quick introduction for you, here are five OTHER Korean ‘pop’* bands who are just as good, if not better than BTS.

Big Bang

This is a no-brainer addition to any list that proclaims to be showcasing the best in K-pop.  Big Bang started out in 2006 and as such have an extensive discography that I heartly suggest you dive into, and if you include the boys solo and sub-unit work, the number doubles. Whether you are after soulful ballads from, arguably one of the most beautiful men in the world, or fun party tracks , The boys from BIG Bang have you covered.  There is a very good reason I have been asking for 3 years for this group for Christmas, sadly they have yet to appear under my tree.  Until that day I recommend:

Bang Bang Bang

Block B

Possibly one of the most underrated groups in the genre, particularly as they are lucky enough to have both Taeil, one of the most beautiful solo voices in K-pop and my ‘BB Bias’  (that’s K-Pop speak for my favourite one. What can I say; I have a thing for guys in glasses!) and Zico, a rapper/producer extraordinaire.
The group currently do a lot of work in Japan, and I only hope they are still touring when I finally get there.  Watching a K-pop band live is part of the Kettle List, and I would love for it to be this band.  Their tunes are catchy, their videos fun to watch and in Youtube outtakes they look like they all genuinely enjoy working with each other

This song and video is one of my favourites: Nillili Mambo – Even if Taeil isn’t wearing his glasses in it!

Exo

While I will admit that I am not a massive fan of the band it would be remiss to not include them in this list, what with them being Guiness World Record holders for winning the most Daesang awards in the Korean music industry.
Their first album came out in 2013, while the band still had its 12 original members (they are now down to a mere 9 members!) and sold over a million copies.
They also performed in the 2018 Winter Olympic closing ceremony, not long after receiving a Prime Minister Commendation for their services to Popular Korean Culture & Art.

They also have some amazing choreography – as this video from their debut album will demonstrate.

Got7

Despite a number of Questionable style choices these boys have some great videos for you to watch on Youtube – including their appearances on Weekly Idol .  There is also an ‘unhelpful guide’ which is an “interesting” watch if you want to find out more about them.  They are are also recent winners of “Show! Music Core!”

This feel good track is one of my favourites:

2 PM

Originally part of a much larger band called One Day, 2 PM debuted back in 2008.
By 2010 they had won a “Most Popular Asian Singer” award in China at the Mandarin Music Honors.  As of this year many of the band members are serving their compulsory Korean military service, but youtube is for ever and some of their amazing tunes are there for you to watch.
But my party starter is this one – can even do the motorbike riding dance!

So who would be on your list? Any suggestions for new bands for me to try out?
Let me know in the comments.

*My actual favourite band aren’t featured as I would argue they are not pop…but that is a list for another day.

 

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