Sunday, 3 January 2016


New year, new craft. I hadn't planned to have a go at something new but I came across this Kirigami calendar at half-price in a garden centre. Kirigami is the Japanese art of cutting and folding paper. I'm sure you'll all have made snowflakes and paper chains when you were little. As you can see from the cover, these are bit more intricate - if you do an image search on the internet you can see some truly awe-inspiring creations.

As well as trying a new craft, I liked the idea of crafting every day, even if only for a few minutes. It fits really nicely with the ethos of mindfulness which I'm keen to try again after attending the short course last summer.

Each day you're given a different design and you use the sheet from the previous day to cut it out. The sheet has an outline printed on it to cut out, folding lines and a list of equipment. There's also a set of cards to show you the different folding patterns: snowflake, spider, starburst and so on.

This snowflake design is from 1 January.

And this is from 2/3 January. I'm planning to post the results each weekend. I've struggled to get back into the blogging habit lately and I think having a regular schedule will help.

So, as well as the Kirigami, I thought I'd tell you some of my other plans for 2016. They're not resolutions as such but I do like to have something to aim for.

Quilting has to be a priority. It's my quilt group's exhibition in June and, at the moment, I have very little to enter except 7 out of 12 journal quilts and a few mini-projects (like the bird quilts from the Elizabeth Wall workshops I attended). The double quilt above has been languishing in a drawer for probably a year. I adore patchwork but not the quilting and finishing. I know it will be 'quilt-as-you-go' but had been struggling to decide on a pattern for the machine quilting. Jackie from my quilt group has come to the rescue and suggested large circles which she showed me on one of her quilts. Now I just have to get on with it.

I'm aiming to read more in 2016. Mostly I seem to be aimlessly flitting between magazines and blogs so it's time to tackle my ever-growing pile of books. I'm teetering on the edge of signing up to The Year in Books after hearing about it on Louise's blog. You have to read at least one book a month. That doesn't sound like a tall order does it? Maybe I'll see how I get on this month with my first pick which I found in a charity shop - Us by David Nicholls.

Having spent 2014 on my Cookery Book Challenge, I really missed it last year and found that I quickly reverted to cooking the same old things. So, for 2016 I'm resurrecting it but with a slight twist: I've included issues of my Good Food magazines for added variety. Not sure yet if I'll blog about it - maybe just the highs and lows. You can read all the installments from the 2014 Challenge by clicking on the tag on the right.

I'm also going to continue getting out and about, if this rain ever lets up. More specifically, we'll definitely be exploring more of the Irwell Sculpture Trail which has been a great discovery and taken us to lots of places we wouldn't have visited otherwise.

There you go, some very modest but achievable aims. And there's no time like the present so I'd better sign off and start with the reading.

Happy new year to you all and enjoy the rest of your weekend. xx


  1. Hi Julie, I've never heard of Kirigami and I admire your quest to do this. I love the beginning of the year and setting new and hopefully achievable tasks. Happy New Year xx

  2. What a wonderful calendar - and an inducement to keep at a project. I need a challenge of some sort - I'll have to think on that for a bit. I think it will involve painting in watercolors - I've been meaning to get back to that for a while now. Your plans are great - I'll cheer you along as you go.

  3. That calendar looks like a lot of fun.

    I always thought your Cookery Book Challenge was brilliant, I so enjoyed reading about it. I hope it inspires you again this year. Happy New Year to you. xx

  4. A lovely new challenge for you to undertake. Hope you enjoy it. Enjoy cooking your books again too! xx

  5. I'm definitely going to be tackling my pile of reading material as a challenge and as I've been given books by my DiL I shall be reading more non fiction this year. I would like to take up a craft this year, but that will depend on getting to a craft shop. The Kirigami looks interesting as a possibility as I love all things Japanese. What I'm really looking forward to is better light for my photography interest.
    Happy New Year and all the best with your challenges.

  6. That calendar looks like a fun thing to do every day - not too taxing, but releasing the creative fairy dust in the brain. I don't quilt, but I should take a lesson from your cookery and try new dishes. We're in such a rut!

  7. I pick a word for the year and try and follow it through most days, last year it was JOY this year my word is NEW.. So in 2016 I will try to go to NEW places and learn NEW skills etc, books are on my list too, what with all the devices connecting me to the internet I have not read as much, as well as many other things ! the art of Kirigami looks like fun thing to learn, I did have a go at Needle felting over Christmas which was new for me. Good luck with getting your quilts in order for the summer and look forward to see what you read as well. Hope to be back posting a little more now as I have got my blogging head back on (I think).
    Take care .
    Amanda xx

  8. I've missed your blog posts over the last few months so it's great to see you back! I missed this post at the time, I've not been on the computer much (too busy reading!)

    I hope you are inspired enough to join in with the year in books. Pick thin books to ensure you finish at least one ;) or just join in on months you can? Sometimes people post and say they've almost finished a book, then say what they will move on to next too so I wouldn't worry if you don't quite finish a book one month. I don't know if you use Twitter but the monthly chat is pretty good and great inspiration (last Monday of the month at 9pm).

  9. Ooh, I like the idea of a sculpture trail!