Man and his log: the relationship goes back a long way, and began perhaps with the spark that first made fire.
Woodworkers and lumberjacks may be few and far between these days, but the bond between man and log is still strong, as this cool log stuff shows.
Although the axe is a seriously macho tool, it’s no match for its powerful descendant, the log splitter.
It will get the job done in no time and saves you from the perils of manual labour: no bad backs, no impromptu amputations and no pneumonia / man-flu from being out in the cold for hours on end!
For the real DIY fanatic, the market now offers build-your-own-log-cabin kits: perfect for creating a nice new shed for storing your log splitter and other power tools, which also serves as a secret man den to escape to when a new project takes your fancy.
Other construction ideas could include an outdoor office, summer cabin or hideaway place for when the in-laws come to stay. Available in a range of sizes and shapes to meet all your log cabin needs.
After your log splitter has saved you the exertion of splitting wood, use your reserved energy and innate man power to ‘make fire’.
After all your hard work, it’s time to light up the log fire, put your feet up and relax with a nice bottle of whatever takes your fancy.
Gather ‘round ye Yule log and grab a fork, folks: you won’t need a log splitter to break up this log!
Also known as a Buche de Noel, this delicious Christmassy treat is fab for sharing with all your loved ones, while the blaze of your log burner in the background gives a little fiery ambience.
Shooting down a log flume may not strike most people as being a particularly romantic event. But for Lawrence Key, it was the most nerve-racking ride of his life, as he took the opportunity to propose to his girlfriend of five years.
She was completely unaware until she received her souvenir photograph at the end of the ride, proving that falling in love really can be a rollercoaster! [Source: Mercury]
What have cheese toasties and men’s slippers got in common? Why would you need a shoe to finish your meal? Which fish is named after a Roman flip flop?
If you have spent sleepless nights pondering these questions, never fear, for we have the answers. And if you have never worried about such matters, take heart in the knowledge that they might one day crop up in your local pub quiz.
Oh, the ciabatta, mistress of all things toasty and slightly Mediterraneany. The long, flat Italian loaf which forms the perfect base for those naughty, gooey panini that tempt you away from your usual cheese and pickle.
But did you know that ‘ciabatta’ is Italian for ‘slipper’! Why? – you may ask. Well, it (ahem) clearly looks like a slipper, doesn’t it?
‘Doing the little shoe’
Another Italian foodie phrase for you. ‘Fare la scarpetta’ or ‘to do the little shoe’ means using bread to mop up those lovely bits of sauce left on your plate at the end of a meal.
Why a hunk of bread resembles a little shoe is matter for debate. But you don’t need to go there. And while it’s not exactly elegant behaviour in Italy, it’s authentic, it’s old-school and it’s bloomin’ lovely.
The tasty sole is an unfortunate creature. If being skew-whiff in the facial department and rather on the thin side weren’t enough of a burden, this poor fishy has a rather unglamorous name.
And no, you’ve guessed wrongly. It’s not named after the sole of your foot, although you’re getting warm. It gets its name from the Latin ‘solea’ – a type of Roman flip flop!
A heeltap is the name for a ‘lift’ or extra bit added to the heel of a shoe to give the wearer extra height. Think Simon Cowell, Tom Cruise and Nicolas Sarkozy and you’ll be on the right lines.
It’s also an old English name for the dregs at the bottom of your drink. If you don’t fully sink your pint or drain your wine you’re guilty of leaving a heeltap!
Choux is the French spelling of the English ‘shoe’. The French named this delightful pastry after the dainty shoes worn by Elizabeth I on her trip to France in … No. Sorry. Wrong, wrong, wrong!
Choux has nothing whatsoever to do with footwear. It actually means cabbage. Confused? So are we. Never mind. Any excuse to look at pictures of profiteroles.
Yes, it’s true, leather slippers make you much more attractive to women.
So throw away your famous brand deodorant, and ditch the triple-blade superduper razor…they’re not going to get you anywhere. If you want to impress the opposite sex you need to start wearing mens leather slippers.
Why? Well read on and we’ll reveal what your slippers say about you…
A good friend once advised that in matters of the heart, one should always ask oneself: what would James Bond do? There’s no doubt, leather slippers are the only way Bond would go in the comfy footwear department.
So when you need to fetch another bottle of champagne from the fridge mid-loveathon, make sure she sees you slipping your feet into some stylish leather slippers, like the Carltons pictured above.
Novelty slippers are an absolute no no. They’re not ‘fun’ and unless you’re Adonis incarnate it’s far too dangerous to wear them ironically. Please, please don’t do it. Ever.
Trust us, the only thing shuffling around in tiger feet or wearing your football colours on your tootsies expresses is your severe lack of judgement, taste and sex appeal.
It’s more than a sock yet it’s not quite a slipper. The slipper sock is neither one thing nor the other. It’s an inbetweener, a try-hard, a climber of the footwear social scale.
Far from making a good impression, wearing a pair of slipper socks infers that you can’t quite make up your mind and that you lack integrity. Not a good start.
You have to be so, so careful if you choose to go down the stocking-feet route. Choose the best socks you own and make sure there are no holes – there’s nothing worse than a protruding big toe to put you off your carbonara.
Avoid white socks, Christmas novelty socks, garishly coloured socks, man-made fibres…in fact, forget it, just get some leather slippers.
Unless you are the kind of gent who takes good care of his feet – are you? are you really? – baring your pinkies to a new love is the worst thing you could do.
You don’t need to give everything away on the first date. Save the sole searching (sorry) for later on in the relationship when you’re comfortable enough to bare all.
Convinced? You should be. You need a pair of leather slippers and you need them now.
With some kitchen gadgets it’s a case of, once you have ‘em, you simply can’t live without ‘em.
We’ve rounded up our all time top 5 kitchen gadgets that are a must-have for any modern kitchen.
1.) The toaster. What, after all, would we do without toasted bread? It just goes with everything – whack some jam on it, or baked beans, or Marmite, or just simply spread some butter on and enjoy.
2.) The Kettle. Hot water in seconds, brilliant. The world’s economy would grind to a halt if tea and coffee took more than minutes to make. Thank you kettles for keeping our bellies warm and our minds alert.
3.) The automatic potato peeler. Cooking is fun. Peeling potatoes isn’t. Why spend hours doing the tedious bit when you can bung all your potatoes in the automatic potato peeler, flip a switch and watch in wonder as the skins disappear? You’ll find one of these in every professional kitchen, so why not have one in yours – it’s something you’ll never regret.
4.) The mincer. It’s great- you buy your own beef, making sure you get a really good cut, put it through the meat mincer and you’ve got excellent quality mincemeat – just like that. It’s so much better than the stuff you buy in the supermarket – or even from your local butcher. Trust me, once you’ve tried it you’ll be hooked.
5.) The bread maker. If you could bottle the smell of freshly baked bread then you’d be a millionaire, but in the meantime there’s simply no substitute for the real thing. A bread maker is therefore the ideal gadget. Just stick in your ingredients, hit a switch to say exactly what type of bread you would like and… voila! Freshly baked bread on demand.
Dolls houses are definitely not just for children. Whether you’re putting together a dolls house for your grandchildren or you’ve got your very own dolls house to play with, there is plenty of inspiration and ideas out there on the web. We’ve found some great dolls house and miniatures blogs to get you started…
Making Dolls House Miniatures is the ultimate guide to dolls house DIY. Some wonderful ideas, from building model fireplaces to creating miniature sepia photographs of your dolls and creating beautiful doll-sized photo frames. There’s even instructions on how to build a mini artists pallet! A great blog for inspiration.
Colleen is a cloth doll designer and teacher, and here she shares her tips and ideas on how to make dolls, ornaments and other great things to go into your dolls house – or even on a shelf in your own home. Bright and colourful, with fun updates and a ‘Freebie Friday’ givaway once a week.
Mary Williams has been making dolls for about 10 years, and here she exhibits her latest works. There are some fantastic photographs of the dolls (all so life like!) as well as advice on how she made the dolls and the scenes they represent. I particularly liked the drunken maid doll! Well worth a look.
Dolls and Daydreams is a fantastical creative blog. Here Sarah shows us how to make all manner of dolls and dolls houses, with some other interesting things to try along the way. One of my favourites was a ‘eco dollshouse’, with step by step instructions on how to make and decorate it. Truly stunning!
Janet embroiders beautiful and tiny decorative ornaments for dolls houses. Whether it’s a minute ‘Home Sweet Home’ sign on the wall, or a tiny Christmas stocking, nothing is beyond Janet’s capabilities. Here we get cheerful updates from Janet, as well as pictures of her latest works.
It’s not easy being a mini mum! Here Janice blogs about her favourite hobby – collecting miniatures and dolls houses (and finishing bargain dolls houses on eBay!). Quirky, fun and with some great hints and tips, Janice is sure to keep any enthusiast busy with her great ideas.
Here Debbie collects everything miniature, from tiny little ‘welcome’ doormats to beautful tiny birdcages. Debbie herself has been making dolls-house miniatures since 1989, so she’s got plenty of experience to pass on! A good read.
The mini food blog is exactly that – a blog all about beatifully miniature food for dolls houses. Tiny (but looking absolutely delicious) roast turkeys, venison chops and miniature fruit bowls. Create your own miniature food with their step-by-step photo guides. Stunning!
You really can’t help but be impressed by Maddie’s realistic miniature Hobbit Hole – exactly like the one in Lord of the Rings! Here Maddie blogs about her progress, with amazing pictures of the ‘Hobbit Hole’ and a step-by-step guide as to how she made it. Simply amazing!