March, 2015 Archive

History’s Best April Fools’ Hoaxes

April 1st is traditionally a day for tricks and pranks, but some people like to take it that little step further…

 ID-10049655Image courtesy of Robert Cochrane at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  1. The BBC’s Spaghetti Tree Hoax

It’s hard to believe now that it was ever allowed, but way back in 1957, a BBC producer sanctioned the making of a special news report, to be broadcast as part of the flagship (and deadly serious) Panorama programme. During the three minute ‘Swiss Spaghetti Harvest’ bulletin, Richard Dimbleby – the voice of authority in British TV at the time – informed viewers that there had been a bumper spaghetti harvest in southern Switzerland that year due to a mild winter and “the virtual disappearance of the spaghetti weevil”. The film was cut with beautifully-filmed footage of spaghetti dangling in abundant strings from tree branches and Swiss women plucking it and placing it in baskets.

The programme attracted huge attention, but far from immediately being called out as a hoax, the BBC’s telephone lines jammed with people wanting to know how they could plant their own spaghetti tree. The BBC responded by putting out a statement that to encourage their own bumper spaghetti harvest, viewers should, “Place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best”.

It is perhaps the greatest – and certainly one of the most well-known – April Fools’ hoaxes of all time, and probably one which ultimately got a fair few people in trouble as is it later transpired the Panorama producers had told none of their bosses higher up the BBC chain what they were planning to do.

  1. Burger King’s Left-Handed Whopper Hoax

On April 1st 1998, Burger King published an advertisement for its new ‘Left-Handed Whopper’, which they explained was identical to its standard ‘Right-Handed Whopper’, except for the fact it was rotated 180˚ for the convenience of its left-handed customers.

They were pretty confident it would be spotted immediately as an April Fools’ joke, however within hours, thousands of customers were requesting ‘Left-Handed’ and ‘Right-Handed’ burgers at their restaurants.

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Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  1. The Patrick Moore Anti-Gravity Hoax

The BBC – having apparently not learnt any lessons from the 1957 Panorama Spaghetti Tree incident – had half the nation thinking they had experienced zero-gravity on the morning of April 1st 1976, when the famous astronomer Sir Patrick Moore announced that due to an unusual planetary alignment that day, at exactly 9:47am, the Earth would experience decreased gravity. This, he told listeners to the BBC Radio 2 show he was a guest on, would mean that if they jumped in the air at exactly at the right moment, they would find themselves floating, rather than falling back to the ground.

Not even Moore could have predicted the results of this experiment however as not only did thousands of people in kitchens, offices and living rooms across the country simultaneously jump on command, but dozens phoned the BBC to report that they had indeed experienced the decreased gravity that Moore was talking about.

One woman even phoned from Holland to say that she and her husband had floated around the room together. Another caller reported that she, her ten friends and the table they were seated around had all floated into the air, and another man phoned demanding compensation after he had apparently hit his head on the ceiling during his ascent.

As TIME magazine wrote in 2011 when they named this their number 1 April Fools’ prank of all time, “The British media have a unique affinity for pulling April Fools’ pranks, matched only by the British public’s unique ability to fall for them.”

  1. Richard Branson’s UFO Hoax

Richard Branson inadvertently sparked a major ‘War of the Worlds’ style panic in 1989 when the hot air balloon he had designed to look just like a flying saucer was forced to make an emergency landing in a field just outside London. The craft, which was meant to land in Hyde Park as part of a publicity stunt to highlight Branson’s love of ballooning (and pranks) had unfortunately been blown off course.

It might have been meant as a light-hearted jape, but for the local residents and the poor, plucky police officer who was called to confront the silver-suited ‘alien’ that emerged from it, it probably didn’t seem all that funny.

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Image courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  1. The Flying Penguins Hoax 

You really would have thought the BBC would have learnt its lesson by now (the lesson being that the British public doesn’t always see the joke) but no, undeterred by previous incidents, on 1st April 2008, the producers of the Miracles of Evolution series released footage they said had been captured by their very own cameramen in the Antarctic, of a previously unknown breed of ‘flying penguin’. The penguins were shown flying in and out of the water, apparently on their way to the rainforests of South America where presenter Terry Jones explained they liked to spend the winter “basking in the tropical sun”. Nice one, Beeb.

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Image courtesy of xura at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Eggs Over Easy! Five Clever & Simple Easter Craft Ideas

These decorated eggs are fantastically simple to make and a cracking way to keep the little ones occupied in the run-up to Easter.

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Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You’ll Need:

Eggs & Egg Boxes
Vinegar
Thin Metal Skewer or Darning Needle
Matches
Thread
Tissue & Crepe paper
Watercolour or Poster Paints
Strips of Lace, Ribbon or Thread
Food Colouring
Small Cut Branches

To Blow The Eggs:

This part is best done by an adult as blown eggs take some practice and patience (as well as a sharp implement). Once mastered though, the crafting possibilities are endless!

  1. Pierce the top and bottom of the egg with the needle or skewer. To avoid cracking the egg, place in an egg box, then tap carefully with the skewer on the point of the egg, building up the pressure until you get a hole.
  2. Make the hole at the top of the egg slightly larger than the one at the bottom. Pierce the yolk of the egg with the needle or skewer. This will make the job of blowing the egg much easier.
  3. Then, holding your egg over a bowl, blow into the smaller hole until all the egg contents have run out. (You can use these to make a cake or omelette later!
  4. To wash the eggs, put them in a bowl of warm soapy water with a dash of vinegar added.

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Image courtesy of foto76 at FreeDigitalPhotos.netTo Decorate The Eggs:

  1. Crepe & Tissue Paper Eggs

The best thing about this decorative technique is that you can’t go wrong! No matter how small the artist, the result will be a beauty to behold! Pick three of four different colours of tissue paper for a watercolour effect, or stick with one for a vibrant burst of colour.

Tissue paper can be very messy to work with as it releases dye when wet, so before you start, protect your clothes and surfaces.

Cut your tissue paper into strips and shapes. One at a time, dip the pieces of tissues into a bowl of water with a drop of vinegar added, and immediately wrap over the egg, varying the directions of the paper ‘bandages’. Make sure you use a separate bowl of water for each colour. When your egg is completely bandaged, leave to dry. When dry, peel the tissue paper off and the remaining egg shell will be a masterpiece!

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Image courtesy of luigi diamanti at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  1. Painted Eggs

Pale eggs work best for painting. Alternatively, paint the whole egg yellow first, let it dry and then let your little ones loose with the poster paint, or watercolours.

Use thin card stencils for pretty painted ‘decal eggs’, or finish off by decorating with thin strips of ribbon or thread wrapped round the egg several times.

To keep their fingers from getting too messy, mount the bottom of the egg on a lolly stick, held in place with a blob of blue tak.

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Image courtesy of franky242 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  1. Speckled Eggs

For a ‘speckled’ egg, paint the egg in a base colour and let it dry. Then, lightly dip a rough-bristled paintbrush in a different colour, hold it close to the egg, and scrape the bristles back with a pencil or chopstick to ‘splatter’ paint across the egg. Repeat with one or two other colours until you get the desired effect.

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Image courtesy of Phiseksit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  1. Lace Eggs

For a delicate and dainty look, wrap a sash of inexpensive lace around your egg. Hold in place with rubber bands. Then dip dye your egg in a bowl of warm water mixed with food colouring (7-8 drops per cup of water, plus a drop of vinegar). Let the egg dry, remove the lace and the finished result is a lace-pattered beauty!

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Image courtesy of Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  1. Make An Easter Tree

The perfect way to display your decorated eggs! And they couldn’t be simpler to make.

First, break the head off a match and tie a piece of thread around the middle of the remaining matchstick. Push the match all the way into one of your decorated eggs. Then using the thread, gently pull it back. The match will lodge sideways inside the egg and you’ll be left with a thread for hanging.

Cut a couple of branches from a tree. Curly willow makes for an interesting tree, but straight branches work just as well. Strip the branches of their leaves. Or for a more natural look, choose branches from trees in blossom, keep the leaves and blossom intact, and stand them in water.

For a different effect, try spraying bare branches with silver or white spray paint, or wrapping them in ribbon.

Hang the eggs. Stand back, and admire!

2015’s Hottest Wedding Trends

 

Spring is here and there’s no better time to start planning a wedding! To celebrate, we’ve picked out some of this year’s hottest wedding trends. From catwalk gowns to inspirational venue decoration, here’s a round-up of the key looks for 2015.

  • Colours are set to play more of a role in 2015 than they have in recent years. Time for blush pink to move aside and make way for the arrival of the metallics, blues, greys and greens – all set to be huge in 2015.

Mirroe Image

Photo reproduced by kind permission of Mirror Imaging Photography
http://www.mirrorimagingweddings.com

  1. Boho-Luxe. Think Poppy Delevigne’s Moroccan nuptuals, elegant open air chill-out areas, hay fields, barn weddings, teepees, bright colours, VW camper vans, floaty fabrics and an abundance of blooms and quirky touches – the luxe-hippie vibe is set to rule this year. With less of a rustic feel than previous years’ festival-style weddings, boho-luxe is all about relaxed glamour.

Gibson Bespoke Etsy Dress

‘Moonlight’ Bohemian Luxe Silk Flower Crown
‘Bacall’ Ivory Blush Luxe Bohemian Wedding Gown
Both by Gibson Bespoke
http://gibsonbespoke.co.uk/
Photos reproduced by kind permission of Gibson Bespoke

  1. If the hippie-luxe vibe isn’t your thing, then maybe Modern Minimalism Sleek, clean lines and an absence of bling mark out this year’s most beautifully-unfussy dresses as seen on the catwalks of Amsale, Houghton Bride and Vera Wang.
  1. Dropped Waist and Lace Wedding Dresses. Elaborate, sexy backs were the star of the 2015 bridal catwalks collections. From Marchesa to Monique Lhuillier, lace and dropped waists are dominating bridal wear this year. Carry the theme through with lace-wrapped favours, napkin rings, lacy candle centrepieces and a lace-inspired cake design.

Chris Ward Photo - Lace Dress

Photo by kind permission of Chris Ward Photography

www.chrisward-photography.co.uk

 lace table numbers TreasuredInTime - etsy

‘Tea Coloured Vintage Table Numbers’ By Treasured In Time
Photo by kind permission of Treasured In Time
https://www.etsy.com/listing/211849061/round-mirrored-bling-centerpiececake

lace umbrella mr & mrs - chris ward

Photo by kind permission of Chris Ward Photography
www.chrisward-photography.co.uk

 

lace buffet labels TreasuredInTime - etsy

‘Vintage Buffet / Candy Table Labels’ By Treasured In Time
Photo by kind permission of Treasured In Time
https://www.etsy.com/listing/185079817/vintage-buffet-labels-vintage-candy-bar

  1. The Tropics. Bring guaranteed sunshine to your big day with a taste of the tropics. From palm trees to pineapples, tropical motifs are everywhere this year. And the bright colour palate it demands is a great way to add a splash of frivolity and fun to the wedding. Go on, pour us a piña colada!

CherryKamikaze Etsy picture

‘Tiki Pineapple Charm’ by Cherry Kamikaze
Photo by kind permission of Cherry Kamikaze
https://www.etsy.com/listing/218742125/cherry-kamikaze-tiki-pineapple-charm

  • The Art Deco theme is set to remain a big inspiration in 2015. And it’s not hard to see why. With its opulence and easy elegance, this theme is feminine yet sophisticated. Soaring champagne towers, dapper gents in tux and white dinner jackets , beaded drop-waisted column dresses, feathered headbands, gilded venue decoration, strings of pearls and emerald-cut diamonds, monogrammed stationery, geometric shapes and lots of sparkle… there’s plenty of ways to add Jay Gatsby style to the party. This is refined glamour from a golden era and it’s no surprise it continues to inspire couples.

art deco invitations - merrymint - etsy

‘The Charleston’ Gatsy Wedding Invtitations by merrymint
Photo by kind permission of merrymint
https://www.etsy.com/listing/151174845/the-charleston-gatsby-wedding

gatsby gold bottles etsy

‘Gold Glittered Wine Bottles with Peal Necklaces’ by babyboutins
Photo by kind permission of babyboutins
https://www.etsy.com/listing/214694937/art-deco-roaring-twenties-vintage-great

Orchardleigh Quiet Wedding Fireworks

Throw a real Jay Gatsby-style party with fireworks & confetti cannons

Picture from www.galaxy-fireworks.co.uk & Orchardleigh in Frome

gatsby centrepiece babyboutins etsy

‘Round Rhinestone & Mirrored Centrepiece’ by babyboutins
Photo by kind permission of babyboutins
https://www.etsy.com/listing/211849061/round-mirrored-bling-centerpiececake

Gibson Bespoke Etsy Headdress

‘Ishtar’ Crystal Silk Organza Headpiece
by Gibson Bespoke
http://gibsonbespoke.co.uk/

Watercolours. Colour-wash stationery and tonal dresses and flowers, whether they’re in soft pastels or bright hues, are big news in 2015. And given that the elegant theme works just as well for casual beachside vows as it does for a big formal affair, it’s a theme you can incorporate whatever your scale and setting.

The Little Brush Envelopes‘The Wild Meadow Collection’ by The Little Blue Brush – Photo by kind permission of The Little Blue Brush

https://www.etsy.com/listing/223242167/thewildmeadow-collection-luxury-handmade

 The Little Brush Splash Watercolour

‘Cyan Splash Watercolour Invitation’ by The Little Blue Brush
Photo by kind permission of The Little Blue Brush
https://www.etsy.com/listing/225660646/cyan-splash-watercolour-invitation

  1. Sequins. Stay on trend and inject some mega-watt glamour into your day with an explosion of sequins. With plenty of glittering wedding and bridesmaid dresses, luxurious embellished chair covers, table linens, clutch bags and shoes around this year, there’s never been a better time to plan a wedding with sparkle!

Gibson Bespoke sequin Etsy Dress

‘Bacall’ Champagne Gold Old Hollywood Gown
‘Lujon’ Art Deco Crystal Headpiece
Both by Gibson Bespoke
http://gibsonbespoke.co.uk/

Gibson Bespoke Gold Sequin Etsy Dress

‘Bacall’ Champagne Gold Old Hollywood Gown
by Gibson Bespoke
http://gibsonbespoke.co.uk/

Mirror Imaging Shoes

Photo reproduced by kind permission of Mirror Imaging Photography

http://www.mirrorimagingweddings.com/