Welcome to the Ex-Official Blog of Writer, Presenter & Crafts Expert Momtaz Begum-Hossain which stopped being active on 31st August 2016.

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Thursday 26 July 2012

Bouncy Stonehenge...my London 2012 Festival Video Diaries continue

I still can't believe there are so many fun things going on for the London 2012 Festival, and I'm living in the city that's right at the heart of it!
For my latest two video diaries I went to see an incredible outdoor choreography where seven performers bungeyed off Millenium Bridge in the early hours of a Sunday morning!
Here's what happened. Watch video

And last weekend I went to the Bouncy Stonehenge aka Sacrilege 2012. It's a giant inflatable replica of the real thing and gives adults a chance to have a good bounce.
I got a bit carried away in this video! And I got to wear a beard ; ) Watch video.

Sunday 15 July 2012

How To Make Batman Gauntlets

It is no secret that I want to be Bat Girl. It's the only job I would give up writing and crafting for - I know it's supposed to be a dual identity but I'd be happy to be Batgirl all day long. And with the new Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises launching this week I realised I needed to get my costume in order!
The Batsuit has 'his & hers' versions: they both have the tight pants, a utility belt, cape, mask, logo on the chest...and some gauntlets for the arms, And that's what I needed to complete my look! Follow these simple instructions to make your own in a matter of minutes. Be quick! There are criminals out there waiting to be challenged!
To make Batman/Batgirl gauntlets, you will need:
  • A4 black craft foam (also called neoprene or funky foam), 3 sheets
  • Scissors
  • Double-sided tape
  • Ruler
  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Velcro (self-adhesive)
1. Fold a sheet of foam over your wrist to get an idea of how tight you need to make it. A snug fit is essential and remember the higher up it goes the wider your arm will get, so adjust accordingly. Place one piece of your velcro on the outside edge, and the second half inside at the point the foam goes over your arm and trim off any excess. Do this twice.
2. Draw your 'spikes' on paper using your ruler, cut them out and use them as templates to cut from your third piece of foam. Remember you need two of each size and they vary: large, medium and small.
3. Wear the foam sleeve, to work out where the spikes need to be positioned, make sure they are pointing up.  Affix in place with double-sided tape so they stand up at the edges of the sleeve. Stick three more on the other sleeve so the gaunlets mirror each other.
 4. And there you have it! A costume essential to wear when you go and watch the movie. 
If like me you're a Batfan that fancies a recap of the previous two movies before number three of Christopher Nolan's comes out, then head to the Prince Charles cinema in Leicester Square London this Tuesday where they are having a double bill AND they're showing the original 1966 version soon too. KAPOW!!!

Now lets go save the planet!

Thursday 5 July 2012

My London 2012 Festival Video Diaries (the first two!)

Over the next 12 weeks I've been selected to keep a video diary of some of the fantastic events happening in the capital to celebrate the Olympics! There are thousands of events going on all over the UK - but I'll just be going to ones in my home town.
The vast majority are free - anyone can go to them, you just turn up! Some are ticketed and some are paid for but mostly I'll be watching the free stuff!
Arts Council London have given me a video camera and all I need to do is video my reactions to what I've seen and then they edit them down and host them on their Tumblr site.
There are 12 of us video bloggers or (vloggers) as I like to say, and most days the Tumblr site gets updated with the latest things we've seen. There are some great videos up there at the moment, including a 9-year-old girl who went to see an exhibition about fashion and a chap who went to the Southbank's Poetry Parnassus event (which I'm so sad I didn't get to see).

I've recorded 2 vlogs so far. I haven't worked out how to embed them in my blog yet so here's a couple of links. Both were free outdoor performances I saw as part of the Greenwich & Docklands International Festival.
 Closing Night: La Voyage Des Aquareves in Woolwich Town Centre (click on this link!)

Opening Night: Prometheus Awakes (link for my 1st blog - warning it's a bit dark!)

I hope you'll watch them - I'll keep posting the next ones on here too.

I'm really excited about it, but the downside is that I'm going to be so busy going out and about this summer that I won't have as much time to write my normal blog. On the plus side though I've always wanted to make vlogs and now's my opportunity!

Check out the London 2012 Festival brochure for all the events that are going on and if you see anything fab, I'd love to know about it!


5 Things I Love about Everything Oz (craft book review!)

1. There's No Place Like Home
Oz is without a doubt my favourite fairytale. To this day it I still cry watching it - there are just so many nostalgic moment; it is timeless. I liked last year's Everything Alice book but I love Everything Oz. You see as much as Alice was beautifully designed and had fabulous projects I've never had much affinity with the story - mainly because I didn't watch many Disney cartoon as a child, but Oz was on TV all the time and the more I watched it the more it fuelled my imagination. 
And what are those fab shoes beside the book? My very own ruby red slippers. I made them for my own book 101+ Things To Do With Glitter which is released this September. Mine are glittery and the pair that appear in the Oz book are made from sequin trim - both are just as amazing!
 2. Green Jelly
When I was studying for my A'levels there was a girl in my Media Studies class called Sian who had an obsession with green jelly and the minute I saw this project I thought of her. Jelly is one of the most fascinating food stuffs in existence I'm especially inspired by how Bombas & Parr have built a business by making impressive jelly sculptures.
Everything Oz has a subtitle of 'The Wizard Book of Makes & Bakes' and I'm glad this doesn't mean literally only foods that go in the oven.
Jelly is super easy to prepare, it's got much easier to find veggie versions and this project, through its simplicity will hopefully inspire a whole new generation of people to get back into the habit of eating jelly again for dessert.
A couple of weeks ago I was at a party where they served jelly and ice-cream and all the guests went crazy for it.Oh and on the Sian front. I recently reconnected with her and she has a blog too where recenty she wrote about being happy to receive Everything Alice as a birthday present....Sian, wait until you see this!
3. Pretty things
There are over 50 projects in Everything Oz and the good news is, they are designs you would want to own. For example I would buy these Emerald hairpieces they are so professional looking. Being shown how to make something that could quite easily sell for over £50 is a sign of a good craft book - especially when you see how easy it is to DIY!
4. Amazing projects
The projects in Oz are much more adventurous than those that appear in Alice, again like above, projects that you actually want to own. I particularly like this star lamp, it's something I will have a go at making - and also the Great Wizard's Thrown Tent - I've always wanted something like that!
5. Toto
Finally, when was the last time you saw a real life dog in a book, modelling crafts? Yes this book gets the thumbs up from me, for that factor alone.

The authors Christine & Hannah have captured what craft is all about - having fun. Craft is  not about making things from expensive printed fabrics or making your house looks like it's from the pages of a magazine....making stuff is about being creative, imaginative, smiling, laughing and getting covered in glue (and in this case green food colouring too!)

This booked is packed with ideas and little touches that would appeal to all types of people, in isolation you may not even notice the theme, but of course when it all comes together you can see that they really have captured the essence of Oz. I am sure Frank would be proud!

Everything Oz by Christine Leech & Hannah Read- Baldrey is published today by Quadrille Publishing.