Advaark 2020 Day 3: Cutting and sticking!

Ernest and Bernard are going to do a bit of decoupage, to make a fancy box. They’ve decided on a food theme, so they can use some supermarket catalogues!

Ernest and Bernard look at a stack of catalogues, a pot of glue, a brush and a plain cardboard box.

First of all, they look through for pictures they like. Ernest really likes mince pies, and Bernard is always keen on a bit of cheese.

Ernest looks at a page of mince pies

Bernard looks at a picture of a cheese board

They’ve decided on the best pictures, so Bernard is cutting them out. He doesn’t have to be too exact, as the bits will all overlap anyway.

Bernard cuts out a picture of a pavlova

Ernest is going to do the gluing, and it might get messy, so he’s put an apron on. We don’t want anyone needing a bath at this time of year!

Ernest holds the brush, and wears an apron

It’s dead simple. Ernest puts glue on the box, and Bernard sticks a picture on. Then Ernest puts more glue over the top to seal it.

Ernest spreads glue on one side of the box

Bernard sticks a picture of a pavlova onto the glued side

Now they just add more and more pictures, overlapping them so you can’t see any edges or any of the box. It’s looking very jolly!

Ernest and Bernard have stuck lots of images on the box

Bernard is just going to trim off any bits that stick out over the edge, and there! A lovely festive gift box!

Bernard uses scissors to trim the excess on the edges

Ernest and Bernard admire their box

There’s only one problem, says Ernest, with all those pictures, I’m feeling very hungry! Well, says Bernard, I think we’ve earned a little snack!

Ernest talks to Bernard

Ernest and Bernard share a chocolate coin

Advaark 2020 Day 2: Getting hooky!

Hello Esther, says Nano, what are you doing? Esther says, she’s crocheting a lap blanket for Santa. It must get chilly in that sleigh.

Esther is crocheting a red and white granny square

There, says Esther, that’s done. What do you think Nano?

Esther shows Nano the finished square in red and white with a white edging

Nano says he thinks it’s very cosy! In fact it makes rather a good ruff for him!

Esther looks at Nano who has poked hi head through the hold in the middle of the square

A close up of Nano peeping through the middle of the blanket

There, says Esther, I’ll leave it by the fireplace, and he can collect it when it suits him.

Esther puts the folded square by the fireplace

Advaark 2020. Day 1: Lettering!

Welcome to Advaark! We’ll post every day until Christmas Eve, with a crafty idea for Christmas. Maybe we’ll give you some ideas for crafty things to do too!

Today, we’re having a go at Calligraphy. We’ve picked a Christmassy word, and Esther, Arnold, Vincent and Winston are going to write it in nice letters to make a banner.

Esther, Arnold, Vincent and Winston have squares of paper, and pens

Everyone is concentrating on getting their letter right. Winston says he can’t concentrate if he can see the others working, so he’s turned round.

Esther, Arnold and Vincent have started drawing letters

Winston has turned his back to the camera and is using a dip pen and bottle of ink to write

There, that’s three letters done. What about you Winston, finished yet?

Esther has drawn an r, Arnold has an a and Vincent has a t, all in Old English type scriptVincent talks to Winston, who is standing in front of his letter

Ah. Well, it’s beautifully drawn Winston, but you’ve done it again…

Winston reveals his letter, an S drawn beautifully, but backwards

Never mind, says Esther, you worked very hard on it, and we know what it’s meant to be, we’ll use it anyway

Esther talks to Winston

So, Esther sews some thread through the papers to string them together, and we have a lovely banner!

Esther sews thread through the corners of the papers to hang them up

The 4 vaarks read the banner that says “Star”, with a backwards S

You don’t need special pens for this. We drew the shapes of the letters copied from an image. You could even just find a nice font on your computer and print them out!

Advaark Day 23

Well, it’s time to go out and harvest the sprouts for Christmas dinner! Arnold and Hypno have taken the trolley to carry them in.

Hypno and Arnold have brought the little supermarket trolley and ate looking at a stalk of sprouts growing like a tree.

The lowest ones are easy – Hypno cuts them off with an axe, and Arnold stacks them in the trolley.

It’s a bit harder as they get further up, but Arnold has has brought the tree saw, so it’s alright.

Arnold reaches up with the long saw to saw a sprout off

But now what are they going to do? The little ones are the best, but they are well out of reach!

Arnold and Hypno look up and all the remaining sprouts are out of reach

So they give Fury a call, and she says she’ll come right over. She says she knows what to do, she’s seen it in films.

Arnold and Hypno talk to Fury, who has brought a hatchet and a coil of rope

Blimey, she was up that like a monkey up a palm tree! Her hatchet is making short work of the job!

Fury has climbed the tree and is hanging in a loop of rope as Arnold and Hypno look on.

Fury chops a sprout off with her hatchet

“You might want hard hats on!” she shouts down to Hypno and Arnold. I think she’s right!

Arnold and Hypno wear helmets as Fury throws the sprouts down

Advaark Day 22

It’s party time! We’ve got a nice big buffet to enjoy and we’re going to have a few games!

The vaarks gather in their room, which is laid out with a buffet on a table. The vaarks gather in their room, which is laid out with a buffet on a table.

Gino is manning the gramophone, and making sure he doesn’t look, because we’re playing musical chairs! Round and round we go, and there’s one less chair than there are players…

And then the music stops and we all try to sit down! Bad luck this time Fury, you’re out!

When they sit down, Fury is left without a chair,

It’s down to the last two! Round and round they go, until… Micro is the winner! Well done!

Now it’s time for Blind Man’s Buff. Peggy is starting, so she’s got the blindfold on. Who will she catch…?

Peggy wears a blindfold as the vaarks hang around her

Oh, she got me! My turn next. I think we’re going to be playing for a long time! I hope you’ve enjoyed any parties you’ve been to!

Peggy grabs ratvaark

Advaark Day 20

Bernard and Ofelia are very pleased, they’ve found mince pies that Mr Human can eat. The are gluten and dairy free! Let’s see what they are like inside.

What! It seems that they are not only gluten and dairy free but mincemeat free too! What’s happened!

When a bit of the lid is removed the pie is found to be empty

Hang on, says Bernard there’s a hole in the back of this one…

Bernard looks round the back of the pie where there is a hole cut in the pastry

Nano! Well, says Nano, I like the mincemeat best of all!

Nano stands by the hole in the back with a spoon loaded with mincement



Advaark Day 13

Well, today’s the day we’re having our Christmas Market! So many stalls to look round!

The vaark christmas market is set up, with little cabins for stalls, and all the vaarks wearing scarves or sweaters are mingling

There’s Winston’s Emporium, where you can buy all sorts of gifts. Ernest is always keen to see what new stock Winston has, although, no, he doesn’t need a clock thankyou.

Ofelia is running the food stall this year, with all sorts of treats! Micro and Nano can hardly choose! They do like the look of the Smarties, so colourful. I say you can’t beat a nice big chocolate coin.

Ratvaark buys a large chocolate coin from ofelia

Peggy is all set up to serve Gluhwein and other nice hot drinks. You need a hot drink to keep you warm at a market like this.

Esther talks to Peggy who is running a stall selling mulled wine with barstools set up at a counter

Ah Hypno, you’ve got loads of decorations this year, are those the stockings Peggy made? Very good! And here’s Ernest to stock up on wrapping paper and a wreath.

We’ve got live music this year – well, it’s Dim, busking. I think he’s doing quite well. The accordion adds a lovely continental touch!

Dim is playing an accordion with a hat at his feet with coins in it.

I see the Hot Drink stall is busy! It’s a good opportunity to have a sit down and a rest. Shopping can be very tiring!

Ernest and Nano are at the Gluhwein stall, Nano is sitting on one of the bar stools

Ah, I think Dim has finished playing now, I wonder what he’s going to spend his hatful of coins on? Oh, I see. I think that’s Matilda’s present.

Ernest thinks he’s got everything now, but he’s wondering if Ofelia has any special treats he might want. She says she has just the thing for him. Oh! Oh yes, if anyone can eat a Curly Wurly it’s Ernest!

And now, it’s getting dusk, so it’s time for Arnold to do the big Switch-On. There, aren’t the lights pretty! We’re going to enjoy shopping well into the evening!

The vaarks mingle in a dusk scene with the lights on

Advaark Day 12

Today we present our classic Nativity scene. Here the angel Gabriel comes to see the baby Jesus, as Mary and Joseph look on.

Ofelia and Vincent are dressed as Mary and Joseph, Micro is wrapped in white in the crib and Matilda is an angel in white with gold wings and halo

Oh, here are the shepherds, with their flock! Hello Nano, are you a very small shepherd? What’s that? Oh, I see. You’re a flea on a sheep.

And finally, the Three Kings arrive with gifts for the baby. But how did they find the right place? Oh, they followed the glittery star!