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Advaark 2020 Day 24: Merry Christmas!

Well, it’s nearly Christmas! We’re all going to work together on a banner. Esther has started it, and we’re going to do a letter each.

The vaarks queue up to work on a piece of paper with “we wish you a” written at the top

So off we go, colouring letters alternately in red and green. M E R R

Dim writes an M

Matilda writes an E

Ratvaark writes an R

Ernest colours in another R

A Y from Bernard finishes off MERRY. Can you manage that pen Nano? Jolly good!

Bernard draws a Y

Nano starts a new word with a C

Fury says she’s looking at the queue while Micro works, and she thinks she’s spotted a potential problem. Arnold says it’s best not to mention it.

Fury talks to Arnold as Micro draws an H. Counting back in the queue it looks like Winston is going to get to write the S

Hypno and Vincent take their turns with R and I.

Hypno writes an R

Vincent writes an I

Ah! I see what Fury was worried about! It’s Winston’s turn, and it’s time for an S! But Nano says he knows Winston can do it if he tries.

Winston arrives at the banner to write an S

Nano looks up to Winston

Go on Winston. Take it steady… Think about it…. Nano says you’re doing fine!

Winston starts to write an S

Winston seems to be getting the S right

Hooray! He’s done it!

All the vaarks and peggy and Gino look at Winston

So, it’s just time to finish off the t, m, a and s of Christmas!

Ofelia writes T

Fury Writes M

Arnold Writes A

Esther finishes off with a second S

Fury asks Gino why he’s drawn a pair of eyes on the banner. They’re not eyes! They’re holly berries!

Fury talks to Gino who’s holding a red pen, and has drawn two circles on the banner

Peggy holds a green pen, having drawn holly leaves

And so there we are. We wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS! We know Christmas is a bit different this year for a lot of people, so whatever you are doing, have a safe and lovely day.

All the vaarks and Peggy and Gino stand behind the finished banner which reads “We wish you a Merry Christmas”

Advaark 2020 Day 23: Making wood work.

Fury and Bernard are going to have a go at some woodwork today! They’ve got Fury’s tools, and a selection of timber.

Fury and Bernard have tools and sticks of timber and a sheet of wood

Bernard is eyeing up this sheet of timber, I wonder what he’ll make?

Bernard looks at the sheet of wood

Fury is getting busy sawing up some sticks, she’s clearly got a project in mind.

Fury is sawing a stick with a big saw.

There! Fury has made some rustic crates – ideal for storing vegetables in, or to make up as a hamper maybe.

Fury has a couple of simple wooden crates.

And Bernard… Gosh! That chest of drawers is amazing. We never knew you were so talented Bernard!

Bernard has made a polished mahogany chest of drawers

Advaark 2020 Day 22: Let’s get weaving!

Today, Hypno and Ernest are going to do a bit of weaving today, in some nice Christmassy colours. They are starting with a piece of card that’s got notches cut in each end.

Hypno and Ernest have a piece of car with a zig zag cut into each end.

Hypno is stringing the loom, up and down, around the points. This is called the Warp! Don’t pull too hard Hypno, or you’ll warp the card!

Hypno and Ernest have a piece of car with a zig zag cut into each end.

Hypno threads the loom with white yarn

Now, Ernest is going to weave the colours in and out. This is called the Weft (you can remember because it goes from Weft to Right!). He’s threaded the yarn into a big bodkin to make it easier.

Ernest has a needle threaded with red yarn

Ernest is pushing the blunt end through first, so as not to split the warp threads.

Ernest starts to weave the red yarn in and out

Oh dear! Ernest got a bit carried away there. Better extract your snozzle before you do any more.

Ernest pushes the needle through and starts to get his snozzle caught in the threads.

Ernest’s snozzle is completely woven into the warp threads

Well, now, that’s coming on nicely. When Ernest thinks he done enough, it’s time to unhook the warp and tie the threads together in pairs.

Ernest has woven coloured stripes in red white and green

Ernest shows the finished piece to Hypno.

Now all Ernest needs to do is glue a piece of felt on the back, to hide all the loose ends and look! He’s made a lovely festive coaster!

Ernest applies glue to a piece of felt.

Ernest shows off the weaving as a coaster, with a cup and saucer on it.

Advaark 2020 Day 21: Silly string!

We’re going to have a go at some string art today! We’ve got string, pins, and a template. We’re going to stick them into a piece of balsa, painted black. You could use corrugated card, or polystyrene.

Fury, Ratvaark and Nano have gathered all the stuff together.

First thing to do is to lay the template on the wood, and put pins, or nails, in round the edge. We’re putting one at each corner and a few inbetween. Fury’s got her big hammer to tap them in with.

The vaarks lay a paper star on the wood and put pins at the corners

Fury taps the pins in with her big hammer

Now, Nano is going to take the thread and go for a walk in and out of the pins! He goes all round the edge first, then back and forwards to fill in with a random pattern.

Nano has the gold thread round his middle and is taking it round the pinsThe thread has gone all round the edge of the star

Nano has filled in the shape with random threads.

Now Nano, you can pick it up. What? It’s too heavy? It can’t be, it’s only balsa!

Fury and Ratvaark look on as Nano tries to lift the piece.

Oh Fury! I think you’ve nailed it to the floor!

Ratvaark looks at Fury

Advaark 2020 Day 20: Colouring the light.

Today, we’re going to make some ‘stained glass’ decorations! We need some squares of paper, a craft knife and some double-sided sticky tape. Oh, and some coloured cellophane wrappers from chocolates. We had to eat the chocolates. The things we do for Art!

Winston, Matilda and Dim have all the things they need , including a stack of cellophane sweet wrappers.

First of all, we’re drawing shapes on our paper to cut out. We’re choosing designs that will suit the colours of cellophane we’ve got.

The vaarks draw shapes on the paper, including a bell, a star and a Christmas tree.

Now we need to make the back of the paper sticky, with the double-sided tape. Before we peel the back off, we’re going to cut out the shapes we’ve drawn.

The vaarks stick double sided tape on the back of the paper

Winston uses the craft knife to cut out the shapes through the paper and tape

Then we peel the backing off the tape. What a fiddly job it is! Er, Matilda, are you stuck there?

The vaarks peel away the backing paper

Matilda has one of the pieces of paper stuck to her snozzle button

Now, we put the cellophane on the sticky side, and press it down. And then trim the extra from round the edge.

The vaarks stick the cellophane down to the paper

Dim trims the edges of the cellophane with scissors.

So here we are! These look nice hung up in a window, where the sun can shine through them. And if you like, you can draw extra details on, like Matilda did with her Father Christmas. Ho ho ho!

The vaarks pose with their decorations, a Santa, a star, a bell, a sweetie and a tree

Matilda shows off her Santa shape, which she’s drawn a face on to.

A trip to the Christmas Market!

Well, we’re having our annual outing to the Vaark Christmas Market this afternoon! It’s a grey day, but the fairy lights and lanterns make it very cheerful!

The vaark christmas market is set up with cabins selling goods, fairy lights and battery tealights

We’ve got a Santa’s grotto, stalls selling decorations and presents, and refreshments. Everything you need at Christmas!

Ratvaark is dressed as Santa outside a grotto with a North Pole sign

We see Winston’s Christmas Tat Emporium and the Festive Snacks stall

Peggy is in charge of a Gluhwein stall with a tureen of wine and china mugs

Hypno is very pleased to meet Father Christmas. He’s so jolly. Hypno-ho-ho!

Hypno talks to Santa

Matilda loves the decorations, all so sparkly!

Matilda admires the wreaths and baubles on the decoration stall

Winston is busy setting up his Christmas Tat, I mean Unique Gift, Emporium. Something for everyone here!

Winston has a selection of ornaments, toys and odds and ends

There’s always a crowd at the Festive Snack stall, obviously. Microvaark has some new stock this year, chocolate sprouts! Only to him, they look more like cabbages…

There is a queue of vaarks at the Festive Snacks stall.

Micro stands next to a tub of chocolate balls wrapped in foil to look like sprouts.

And it wouldn’t be a Christmas Market without a warming drink. There’s hot chocolate too. And of course, a warm greeting from Peggy.

Fury and Gino are queueing up for a mug of gluhwein

Now then, Winston is all set up. And Hypno wants to know what that yellow thing is? Ah, says Winston, that’s a caleye… kalyi… twirly looky thing.

Winston stands by his stall of stuff

Hypno talks to Winston about a yellow object

Well, that sounds interesting, says Hypno, lets’s have a look…

Hypno bends down to look through the kaleidoscope

Wooooo! Far out man! Hypno defintitely wants to buy that!

We see a distorted kalaeidoscope image of Winston

Fury says she’s pleased to see Winston has a couple of toy cars. Nano says, That’s not a toy! I’ll have that one!

Fury looks at a couple of tiny model cars on Winston’s stall

Nano has jumped into one of the model cars an is driving off

Oh look, says Nano, it’s that curator chap from the Museum who valued your unique Greek Urn. He’s come to see the market! Eh? says Winston. Crikey!

Nano sees the Museum Curator vaark approaching Winston’s stall

Nice to see you again, says Henry. Not got any more priceless urns for sale then, ha ha? No, says Winston, definitely not. Shut up Micro.

The curator talks to Winston, who is standing in front of an identical urn to the one he sold. Micro looks at the urn.

Time for a bit of music now. The brass band are playing a selection of carols and Christmas songs.

Ernest, Winston and Bernard are dressed in uniforms and caps, holding a trombone, a trumpet and a French Horn

And here’s Micro to do his bit as chorister. “Once in Royal David’s City….”

Microvaark, dressed as a chorister, has joined the band

A close up of Microvaark singing

Oh Matilda, hello. Er, is that a PRAM?

Matilda arrives pushing what looks like a black metal pram

Oh! No. It’s a Chestnut roasting barrow! How nice, Hot Roast Chestnuts for everyone, she’s doing a roaring trade.

Matilda turns the pram round to reveal a sign saying Hot Chestnuts and glowing coals inside. She has paper bags of chestnuts

The vaarks queue up to buy hot chestnuts

As an extra treat this year, Arnold has arranged a skating rink, what fun!

There is a foil pie dish in the middle of the market with Vincent and Micro skating on it

A close up of Vincent and Micro on skates on the rink

Peggy is especially happy and can’t wait for her turn, she loves skating.

Peggy waits for her turn, wearing skates

Well, says Nano, what a lovely time we’re having. We hope you’ve enjoyed our market, if you’ve missed your own this year.

A close up of Nano in his red christmas sweater

And as it gets dark, the lights seem brighter. We’re going to carry on enjoying ourselves into the night!

A scene of the market in the dark with lights glowing

A scene of the market in the dark with lights glowing

Advaark 2020 Day 19: Going to print

Winston, Esther and Gino are going to do some printing! They’ve got various things to make stamps from, and paint to print with.

Winston, Esther and Gino have gathered together paper, paint, a sponge, a potato, all on a sheet of newspaper.

Winston found a proper stamp and an inkpad, so he thought he’d see what it was. Oh! Well, that’s one way to get an S right!

Winston has a rubber stamp

Winston stamps the stamp on an inkpad

Winston prints on paper

The stamp is an ornate letter S

Right, lets start printing some designs. Winston has carved a tree shape onto this potato half. That looks lovely in green! 

Winston has a half potato with a tree shape cut into it

Winston has printed lots of green trees on paper

I wonder what Esther is printing in red? Ah, it’s a ribbon or banner. Lovely decoration.

Esther dips her half potato in red paint

Esther prints a waving banner shape on paper

Gino found a piece of foam packaging to cut his shape into, a lovely star.

Gino has a star cut into some foam

Gino prints golden stars

Hello, says Winston, what’s this pattern?

Winston looks at some pairs of oval blobs printed across a piece of paper

Gino! You’ve walked in the paint! You better go and wash your feet off!

The blobs lead to Gino, and are the same shape as his feet.

Advaark 2020 Day 18: That’s a wrap!

Matilda has decided to do some fancy present wrapping today. She’s started with plain silvery paper, because you need an understated base. Then she adds a single piece of fancy fabric ribbon.

Matilda has a box wrapped in plain paper, scissors, and tape

Matilda has wrapped a single piece of wide gold and coloured ribbon lengthways around the box.

Now, Maybe some gold cord to create the classic parcel look.

Matilda ties gold cord in a cross round the box with a bow on top.

And a parcel isn’t a parcel without a fancy bow on it!

Matilda adds a gold rosette style bow

And it wouldn’t be a Christmas parcel without some curly ribbon!

Matilda curls silver ribbon over the edge of the scissors blade

Matilda looks at her parcel, covered in ribbons and bows

Hmm. Still needs something else. Time to get the hot glue gun out, and tack on some chocolate coins!

Matilda looks at a giant glue gun

Matilda sticks a large coin onto the box

And there’s always room for a snowflake!

Matilda adds a paper snowflake tucked into the ribbon

Blimey Matilda!, says Dim. Yes, says Matilda, I’m not sure it’s quite festive enough yet! Dim says he’s sure it is, and ooh, are those chocolate coins?

Matilda shows the parcel to Dim

Dim sniffs at the chocolate coins

Advaark 2020 Day 17: Play with clay!

Today, we’re going to be doing some pottery! We’re using plasticine, but you could use air drying clay, or even salt-dough. Of course, if you have real clay and a kiln, even better!

Ofelia sits at a table with a ball of clay, a rolling pin and a craft knife

Ofelia is starting off making some hanging decorations. She’s rolling the clay out, and cutting a shape. Then put a hole in for a string before it bakes, and there you have it!

Ofelia is rolling out the ball of clay

Ofelia cuts a star shape with the craft knife

Ofelia has a clay star with a hole in one point.

Peggy is having a go at a “thumb pot”. Just poke your thumb (or in her case, your hand!) into the ball of clay and shape it up as much as you need!

Peggy has a ball of clay on the table

Peggy pushes her hand into the ball

Peggy has a shaped pot on the table.

Ernest’s turn now. He’s going to make a coil pot. Roll your clay back and forth to make a sausage, and then roll it more and more to make a long snake. Then start to coil the snake round to make a base and up the sides.

Ernest rolls a sausage of clay

Ernest has made a long snake of clay

Ernest starts to coil the snake

Ernest builds up the sides

Careful you don’t coil your snozzle in there Ernest! Ah, well done, a handy pot to keep things in!

Ernest’s long snozzle is entwined in the clay snake

Ernest has a finished coil pot

Good lord! Winston has a potter’s wheel! We never knew. See how he shapes the clay up as it spins. He makes it look easy, but it’s quite a skill to master.

Winston sits at a potters wheel with a lump of clay in the middle

Winston starts to shape the clay up into a cylinder

Winston shapes the cylinder and it starts to form curves.

Good lord! Winston, you’ve made an urn! Oh yes, he says, I’ve made loads of them over the years…

Winston has made a greek urn, suspiciously like the ancient one he sold for millions.

Advaark 2020 Day 16: Tiddly pom pom!

Ofelia and Micro are going to have fun with yarn today. They’re making pompoms! They’ve got pompom makers, but you can use rings of card if you don’t have them.

Micro and Ofelia have a pompom maker each and two balls of yarn

First step is to wind the yarn round each half of the pompom maker. The more yarn the better the pompom!

ofelia is winding white yarn round one maker, and micro is winding brown yarn round the other

When the two halves are full, clip them together, and snip round the outside!

micro and ofelia have filled the pompom makers

Ofelia uses little scissors to snip the yarn round the edge

Then tie a piece of yarn tightly round the middle to hold it all together, and peel the bits of the maker apart!

micro ties a piece of yarn round his pompom

Well, look! Ofelia has added a bit of felt to make a sheep. Handy for a nativity scene!

Ofelia has added a felt face to make a sheep

What have you made Micro? Oh! A pompom Ferrero Rocher chocolate! Ambassador, with this pompom you are spoiling us!

Micro has put his pompom in a gold wrapper

Of course you don’t have to stick to one colour, with a bit of care you can make all sorts of patterns!

Micro and ofelia look at pompoms made to look like a robin and a christmas pudding