THE CITY // Spectra 2017

18.2.17


Spectra Aberdeen - #spectraABDN

Running for its fourth consecutive year, Spectra - Aberdeen's festival of light - seems continually to grow from strength to strength. This year's festival took place across four evenings last week - from February 9th-12th - inviting visitors to experience the city in 'A New Light'. 

With a series of light sculptures and audio-visual installations in venues from Union Terrace Gardens to the council's Marischal College, a city centre usually steeped in grey winter darkness was suddenly alive and aglow! 

Whether your eye was most caught by Caitlind Brown and William Garrett's 'Cloud' of 6000 lightbulbs; the slightly disconcerting facial mash-up of the 'Doric Kiss'; the mammoth projection of 'Obar Dheathain'; the Aberdonian folk of Felix's Machines; or the choreographed spiders of Les Araignees, installed by Groupe LAPS, there was something to appeal to almost every generation and taste. 

Almost as good as the artwork itself, it was brilliant just to witness so many people bustling about the city, breaking up a long cold month with a bit of an excited buzz! 

I headed along with family on the opening evening and enjoyed it so much I took a walk back down to visit again before it closed on Sunday night...

The Cloud - Spectra Aberdeen - #spectraABDN
The Cloud - Spectra Aberdeen - #spectraABDN
Wave Garden - Spectra Aberdeen - #spectraABDN
Spectra Aberdeen - #spectraABDN
Group Hug - Spectra Aberdeen - #spectraABDN
Obar Dheathain - Spectra Aberdeen - #spectraABDN


Were you able to make it along this year? If so, what was your favourite piece? 

I, for one, am already looking forward to what might be in store for 2018! 


xo

GETTING CRAFTY // Origami E'ry Damn Day

11.2.17

Origami e'ry damn day
If there's one thing certain about inpatient life it's this: we have a lot of time on our hands. Far from the structured, therapeutic environment we'd like to imagine hospital to be, the reality is more a long and empty expanse of days stretched out with little programme to follow and not much to do unless you find it for yourself.

I've been filling my time with a lot of crafting these last few months - enjoying the distraction that it brings and the sense of having done something constructive with my day - and seem to have developed a particular addiction to the mindful art of origami.

It's gotten to the point that ex-patients have shown up to gift me a mountain of square paper and nurses have been bringing me the origami book from the ward's craft trolley, mistakenly presuming it to be mine! 

There are certainly worse things to be known for than a love of paper craft, so I thought I'd share some of the things I've been folding recently..

Origami paper
Origami - Crane chain

A Chain of Cranes

I mentioned in my previous craft post that paper cranes were one of the things I'd been making a lot in the run up to Christy and Gordon's wedding. It turns out I'm still not tired of making them. Perhaps because they're now so familiar to me, I find them more relaxing to fold than any other shape and have made dozens of them, stringing them together with a needle and thread and hanging up the chains to brighten up my bed-space. So pretty!

(Basic crane instructions here.)


Origami - Kusudama flowers

Kusudama Flowers

Incredibly easy to fold - though a little more fiddly to glue together - a kusudama flower is made by connecting five individually-folded petals to make one larger model. In theory, six of these models can then also be connected to create a kusudama ball - though I've yet to put that to the test! The flowers themselves are so simple yet effective and I can see why people would be inspired to use them as an alternative bouquet or table setting at a wedding. I have mine on display in a pretty pot in which I received some real flowers at Christmas time and am currently using it as a make-shift book-end for the little library I seem to be collecting by my bed.

(Kusudama instructions here.)


Origami butterflies

Butterflies

All the best flowers attract butterflies so, of course, I also had to make a few of them..

(Instructions here.)


Origami - making Christmas cards
Origami - Christmas tree

Christmas Cards/Decorations

Yes, I'm aware that Christmas is well and truly over with, but I've been in hospital a long time, all righty?!
In the run up to the celebration, I decided to make my own cards, featuring some origami reindeer and Christmas trees. Using festive-themed paper to fold my shapes, I glued each to the front of a blank card and decorated them with silver gems as baubles, or googly eyes and red pom-poms for Rudolph's nose.

They were pretty basic-looking cards, I'm not gonna lie, but they were fun to put together and I'd like to think there's something nice about that personal touch, however haphazard it might be!

(Instructions: Easy-peasy Christmas tree here. | Reindeer head over here.)


Origami - jar of paper hearts

Jar of Hearts 

Perhaps a little more seasonally appropriate, what with it almost being Valentine's Galentine's Day, I've also been making lots of paper hearts lately. In the past I've made them using a 6x6inch square of paper each, stringing them together as a garland of love and affection! More recently, I've been making smaller hearts from 3x3 inch squares, collecting them up inside a jar, which I could conceivably see being given as a cute gift, were that your kind of thing.

(Heart instructions here.)


I think that's about the extent of my creative endeavours for now. Next on my hit list is that full six-part kusudama ball.. Keep an eye on my Instagram to see how (badly) that turns out!

xo