Saturday, October 21, 2006

Balls and beans

I went through a phase some years ago, of making Christmas ornaments from unexpected materials. Behold, the mung bean balls. They were such a pretty colour, but 5 years and the less than delicate handling of two small boys means that they are unlikely to be gracing my mantle in the future.


Another not-to-be-repeated Christmas decoration was the sprout tree. This was a cone shaped topiary made from individually wired brussel sprouts. It looked great, but after 3 days in a heated house, it smelled awful. Sadly, this was in pre-digital days, so I have no photo to show you. Perhaps that's a good thing - I wouldn't recommend it as something to try.


And how about these:


polish pinecone crafts

from a book called Vyrobky z pirodnich materialu. I have no idea what that means, but the book is full of strange objects made from seeds, conkers, nuts and corks. I have a whole series of these Polish (I think) craft books and I think they need to get out a bit more, so if you (or your kids) would get a giggle out of this, leave me a comment. If there are stampeding hoards of you, I'll draw names, but somehow I think it's unlikely.

19 comments:

capello said...

Oh my, those are hilarious. Is that a cow?

kirsten said...

those are awesome - the cow is so cute! i like the idea of using natural things to make your decorations. you should make a little swedish tomte from .... something. no wait, I should! :)

raspberryfairy said...

I so wish we could see the sprout tree, it sounds fantastic!!!

Alicia A. said...

That little duck is so good. A pecan? Perfect. I'll have to try those with my little J!

caroline said...

Last year we just made clay tree decorations - maybe we should branch out this year and make bean balls. They look so tactile I couldn't blame little people for touching them too much.

As for the walnut duck what a great thing to make you smile on a Saturday evening.

Julie said...

I admire your balls!!! I love the idea of christmas deccies that are a bit different - the animals are very cute, I can see Amy wanting to have a go with those.

Kate said...

Love the idea of a sprout tree! I've realised my Christmas decorations are incredibly boring.

bilblio said...

I think I need to go and buy some walnuts so I can make a duck... or an army of them. That's so cute!

Strikkelise said...

I love the wine cork creatures! So cute!
I made gold sprayed walnuts about 15 years ago, but that feels like nothing now...

Lesley said...

The cork creatures are adorable and
those books sound amazing! I would love to see more -

madmommy said...

Sure, I'll have a go! We love anything Eastern European...I can't imagine what Polish craft books would be like, but I liked quite of bit of their handicraft!

monica said...

how hysterical!

I love those 'balls' things though.

I attempted to dry orange slices one year... but forgot them in the oven. Have you got any idea how long does the smell of burnt oranges linger? Days!! Weeks even!! It still makes me sick just thinking about it.

Shame about the sprout tree. C'mon do another one!!

Catrina said...

Such a great idea...so cute!

stephanie said...

Oh I like those little cork sculptures. The little man reminds me of a fraggle rock character. I am interested in those books!

tiel s-k said...

threading and weaving sprouts? Now that is enthusiasm. Christmas makes us do some funny things doesn't it?

joanna said...

I don't know if I'm too late, Ali, but if any of your books were able to make a short-loan hop to Evesham, we'd definitely be game for some out-of-the-box crafting!! I absolutely LOVE the pine cone person - so sweet.

RANDI said...

I wish you had a pic of the brussel sprout tree-it sounds too funny ( and stinky)! ;)

Simmy said...

My goodness aren't they lovely. How did you ever get hold of a Polish craftbook?

Poshyarns said...

I am crying laughing thinking about The Sprout Topiary and it's aroma. Thanks so much for the giggle.

I really like the balls though, I think I might give them a go.