Paper Stars…

Niall learned how to make beautiful waxed tissue stars at school, so I went in search of instructions online; it was a very difficult task! Here’s a red one that Niall made:

Eight-pointed Red Star

Eight-pointed Red Star

How to Fold a Tissue Paper Star Ornament
These stars are made from coloured wax paper, commonly used for making paper kites. When hung in a window, the light shines through the layers of coloured paper with a stained glass effect. Spread some joy by following these simple steps.

Steps

  1. Cut the paper into rectangles or squares. The more precisely the paper is cut and folded, the more accurate the angles of the design are when you are done. A good size for a rectangle is 1.5“x3.5” and for a square about 3.5“x3.5“.
  2. For an eight pointed star, use eight rectangle pieces of paper. Fold each piece of paper as follows:
  3. Fold it exactly in half lengthwise (along the long axis). Unfold. You will use the crease as a guide for the remaining folds.
  4. On one short end, fold each corner so that the short edge lines up with the center crease. You will end up with a square point on that end of the rectangle. Repeat at the other end of the rectangle.
  5. On one end, fold each creased edge to the center one more time. Kind of like when you’re folding a paper airplane.
  6. You will end up with a single, square point on one end of the rectangle and a double-folded, narrower point at the other end. Once you have all eight pieces of paper folded, layer them side-by-side in a circle, with the square points all matched up in the very center. The folded edge of each square point will line up with the center crease of the point next to it. Use a glue stick to glue the points together. You may also want to glue your final folds down so they don’t pop open.

Tips

  • Crease your folds sharply and make them as exact as possible.
  • Kite paper can be found in some hobby shops and online. It comes in many different colours and is much sturdier than tissue paper.
  • Use your imagination and try different folding patterns to make points.
  • Layer points more closely or further apart for different sized stars and different patterns. Square pieces of paper make different sized points also.
  • Hang your star in a window where the light can shine thru it. The pattern of lines that the folds make are often just as pretty as the colours and the way they mix!

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Fold a Tissue Paper Star Ornament. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Update: I just discovered a lovely, beautifully illustrated tutorial for these stars at the  “Duo Fiberworks” blog.

Vaishali’s Super Store: Indian Grocer

Finally found an Indian grocer that has all the ingredients for the cooking that I want to do (and more)! I’d just about given up. Vaishali’s Super Store is located in the west end of Ottawa, at 62 Wylie Avenue, in a little strip mall, perpendicular to Carling Avenue. You’ll miss it if you blink while driving past; it’s just across the street from the big Famous Players Theatre complex, near Bayshore.

The variety of spices and herbs is mind boggling, as are the legumes, pulses, and rice. Fridges and freezers contain a small number of fresh vegetables/fruits/peppers, curry leaves and fresh herbs, as well as a large selection of prepared foods and meals, condiments and ingredients. Rows of shelves contain jarred, canned, dried, and powdered pickles, condiments, sauces, and other ingredients and foods. I was especially pleased to find Surati Sweet Mart treats at a very good price (half the price of my local health food store)! In addition to food items, one can find cooking utensils, incense, movies, and cosmetic products.

The owner was particularly helpful and kind in helping me find the items that I was having trouble locating. I appreciated that he expained the proper pronunciation of the words that I pointed to on the shopping list that my friend had written out for me, and that he told me a little about the products (especially spices) that he was helping me find.

I enjoyed our trip to this store very much, and we will make it a part of our regular shopping!

UPDATE: On our most recent visit, we purchased freshly made pakoras, samosas, and kachoris from the front counter display — absolutely delicious!  We didn’t even get as far as home to eat them with condiments 🙂  They smelled so incredibly  divine that we ate the pakoras while sitting in the car in the parking lot, then had to go back into the store to buy some more!

Ant Moats at Lee Valley Tools

I plant flowers in my perennial beds specifically to feed the hummingbird families that come back summer after summer, but I also like to hang hummingbird feeders in the front and in the back of the house. I discovered this clever Ant Moat at Lee Valley Tools that solved my problem of unintentionally feeding the nearby ant colonies:

No matter where you hang your feeder, the ants cannot get to it as long as you keep the umbrella full of water! No more ants in the sugar-water reservoir, no more ants crawling up the pole or the walls of the house to get to the feeder…nada!

UPDATE:  Not only do our Ant Moats keep the Hummingbird feeders ant-free, but they provide the small birds in the neighbourhood a perfect place for a drink or a quick bath!  An unintended but enjoyable dual function 🙂

Chickadee Enjoying Hummingbird Feeder Ant Moat

Home Made Ant Bait

(ingredients as per Ed Lawrence)

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 6 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon boric acid

Dissolve the sugar in the boiling water. Add the boric acid and stir until dissolved.

Take any pint-sized plastic container and cut small holes into the sides at the bottom to allow ants access to crawl inside. Dip cotton balls into the solution, and place inside the container. Seal the container with the lid, and place the container on a pathway that the ants are using.

The ants will eat the solution, and take it back to the other ants in the nest, where it will “build up” and eventually destroy the nest. The solution can be refrigerated and stored for a couple of weeks if it is carefully labelled.

T-shirt Bags

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While looking through the Martha Stewart web site for a recipe, I came across instructions for a cloth shopping bag made from a t-shirt. They’ve got to be the easiest directions and design I have ever seen for creating a home-made bag — I think that just about anyone could make this, and it’s re-using an item that just about everyone has (and at some point, wants to get rid of).

Here’s the one that I created out of an old over-sized t-shirt that I couldn’t bear to throw out, as well as one that my 11 year old made out of a size 6x t-shirt that she loved:

tshirt-bag.jpg

 

Egli’s Sheepskin

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Egli’s Sheep Farm in Minnitaki, Ontario (near Dryden) makes this wonderful sheepskin steering wheel cover. It helps to keep my hands warm in the winter, and cool in the summer, and it doesn’t smell or off gas like synthetic materials do.

My first cover lasted for many, many years before it needed replacing; upon purchasing a new cover recently, I was surprised to find that the price was only $19.   Egli’s Sheep Farm and Animal Park carries a mind-boggling array sheep products that are manufactured both on and off site.