by Cybele This post is part of our handmade Christmas series, because nothing says, ‘I’m thinking about you’ quite like gifts made with love.
Last week, Bub and I met up with the lovely Kinfolk Magazine and Blog Society crowd. Everything they do is beautiful. We nibbled on zucchini flower and parmesan tarts and sipped from jam jars, while chatting to Katie Searle-Williams, the Cofounder of Kinfolk and Julie Pointer, the Community manager. My idea of heaven.
A story Julie told has stayed with me. It was about the time she made a plate of cookies for an elderly couple she didn’t know and they invited her into their home and she spent a magical couple of hours learning about their lives. In a roundabout way it’s how she ended up working for Kinfolk.
We’re so lucky to live in the digital community era, but it’s easy to forget about those who live nearby. I want to take some time this Christmas to reach out to people in my area. So, I’m dreaming up and searching for good gifts for neighbours. These concrete cups will work for some. For the others, I think it’s time to whip up some chutney and maybe some panforte too.
This is one of those projects that caught me by surprise. I’d been toying with making some cement candle holders for a while and since I had to do some repairs using cement and had some left over, it was the perfect moment.
Now, I’m hooked. It’s a lot easier and more fun than I’d thought it would be. Think, making mud pies when you were a kid. It’s also cheap, which makes it easier to just play, because there’s nothing to lose. I think I’ll play around with different moulds, maybe one of a little star or perhaps even a hippo for the garden…
Ingredients: Cement mix (this is cement pre mixed with sand) PVA glue (optional: gives the cement strength) Container to mix cement in Trowel or spoon Plastic cups, one large and one smaller to use as moulds Something to use as a weight, like a hammer
To make cement cups
Stir the cement with water according to the instructions (if using PVA glue, add 1 part glue to 4 parts water and use this to mix with the cement instead of straight water). Ideally, you want the mix to be about the consistency of yoghurt, as this will make it easier to work with.
Pour cement into the larger cup, press the smaller cup in and place something heavier into the cup to keep it in place.
Leave to dry for a couple of days.
Gently peel the plastic cups away.
Painted others with liquid copper to use as candle holders and popped dried flowers in another.
What do you think makes the perfect neighbourly gift?
Cybele Masterman (Bele) trained as a beauty therapist, aromatherapist and journalist. After working as all of the above has found herself on a quest for a beautiful and meaningful life that doesn't cost the earth. Follow on google: +blahblahmagazine twitter: @blahblahzine or Instagram: BlahBlahMagazine