Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Pinwheel Pencil Toppers

I feel like I've been living under a rock for the last little while. The girls were sick - in that annoying, sibling-sharing-viruses, overlapping-each-other way - which meant I practically sat under them for 10 full days, listening to them whine their ways to wellness. I finally had both of them back into school for one glorious day... and then midterm hit... and is still hitting...
My blogging mojo has been somewhat suppressed as a result. But the weather was sunny (and very windy) here today so I'm sharing this easy-peasy pinwheel craft in the hopes that it hurries the Summer-vibes along!
You will need:
Squares of coloured paper (use origami paper or cut squares from colourful wrapping paper!)
Drawing pins
Pencil with eraser top
Ruler
Scissors
1. Fold the paper from one corner to the other to make a triangle shape. Open it out again and fold the opposite corners, again, into a triangle. Open the paper once more and mark the center spot clearly with your pencil.
2. Use your ruler to draw lines, along the creases, stopping 4cm before the centre spot. Then cut along each line.
3. Now for the tricky bit! Fold every second corner into the center. Hold them in place with your finger and then use the drawing pin to secure them, making sure to pierce through the marked center spot last.
5. Carefully push the sharp end of the drawing pin into the the eraser. Be careful not to push it all the way through! 

You’re finished! Give your pinwheel a blow and watch it spin.

This project originally featured in the August/September 2015 edition of Easy Parenting Magazine.

You can see more of my crafts in this months issue of Easy Parenting Magazine, which is available in all good newsagents for the princely sum of €2.00!

Monday, 18 April 2016

Presenting: An Fear Bréige

I have some very exciting news. I should really have shared it ages ago but better late than never, I guess! There's a new 7-part children's TV series called An Fear Bréige (The Scarecrow) airing now on TG4. It's a gorgeous production centred on eco-themes and featuring lots of crafting, gardening and... erm... scarecrow making! I was the designer and one of the presenters on the show and I am so unbelievably excited to see it now on the actual television. It's such a great feeling.
You can see it on TG4 on Wednesdays at 5.25pm. Or you can watch the first two episodes RIGHT NOW - wherever you are in the world. (It would help if you understood a bit of Gaeilge though...)

See the first episode - which is all about soil - HERE (featuring my co-presenter Kate Finegan)
See the second episode - which is all about biodiversity - HERE (featuring little old me!)

This weeks' episode will be all about growing healthy food - don't forget to tune in!
Photo by Conor Slattery
The production company (Abú Media) were looking for someone 'crafty', who also spoke Irish to design and make six scarecrows (and lots of other things) and to do some presenting. Despite having never even seen a scarecrow in real life nor having ever presented anything other than a gift... I somehow managed to convince them that I was the woman for the job.
I spent an incredibly hectic few weeks working my way around the country with a small band of incredibly talented TV people; visiting schools, researching ideas, shopping for equipment, stuffing my car full of straw, getting up at 4am to do my own make-up, making things for 'here's one we made earlier' moments, dodging rain, trying to hop from behind to in-front-of the camera without too much straw in my hair, laughing, gluing my fingers together, stressing, putting scarecrows on boats and in other unusual places... and ultimately thoroughly enjoying the hugely creative process that is television production.
With a BAHons in Drama and Modern Irish, I had always hoped that someday I might get to do something for our fantastic Irish language television station but I never imagined I'd also get to combine it with my love of making things with and for children! It's amazing and incredibly surreal to see myself on TV in such a gorgeous production and I'm really proud to have been a part of something that is not only educational for children but hugely enjoyable too.

The school my girls attend have been screening the episodes each week for the children and they have been basing a lot of their learning on the enviromental themes explored in the programmes. I've been invited to do some hands-on workshops with the children too over the coming weeks and I'm busy coming up with ideas that will be fun for them to try - (wish me luck!)
Photo by Conor Slattery
Of all the lovely things that working on this blog has brought me, this has to be one of the best.

I'd love to know what you think of it! I really hope you enjoy it!

Big shout-out to the amazing team I worked with: Bríd Seoighe (producer/creator), Rachael Moriarty (director), Andrew Cummins (camera), Conor Slattery (line producer) and Eamonn Davis (sound) and to all the children, teachers, friends and randomers we met along the way. It was a pleasure. Bhí sibh uilig álainn agus iontach!

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