Monday, 16 November 2015

Make: Wax sealed envelopes

I have always wanted to try making wax seals, and in September I had the perfect opportunity to give it a go. My friend Emily and I organised a hen do for our friend, in a cottage in Derbyshire and we decided the venue was the perfect location for a murder mystery party!

We ordered a kit from eBay ('The Bullet, the Brie and the Black Cat'), which came with its own set of invitations to post to our guests. 

I bought red and gold coloured sealing wax sticks from an art shop in Derby (you can also get them online). They also sold proper metal stamps but as I wanted each envelope to be personalised with the initial of the recipient I decided to try using my own wooden stamp kit which I had bought previously from Tiger. I had mixed results before perfecting the art as you can see below...

What I learnt...

These seals took quite a few attempts before I perfected the letters! To light the wick of the wax stick (you can also use a candle) I used a lighter which sometimes took several attempts as the wick wouldn't light very easily, meaning I inhaled quite a bit of smoke! So be careful people, and make sure you do this in a well ventilated space. Also obviously be aware of the flame, as once you have dripped the wax on the paper, you need to make sure to blow this out safely before stamping. 

I almost gave up after a few failed attempts at letters, and as I used wooden stamps this meant I had to peel off the cool wax each time from the stamp, so using the metal stamps may be easier. My biggest revelation came when I realised that waiting the right amount of time before stamping made all the difference, so once you have slowly dripped the wax onto the envelope you need to wait around 30 seconds until it's semi-dry before stamping the letter on. Once you get it right, it is most satisfying! Give it a go! The murder mystery party was a lot of fun too.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

New York Diary part 4: TV & Film Spots

It's hard to avoid passing by recognisable places when visiting New York (we happened upon the hotel from Home Alone 2 and the Magnolia Bakery by chance) but there were a few others I made sure to add to our map on our recent trip.

After visiting a few Girls locations in Brooklyn we headed to the famous Katz's Deli in the Lower East Side. (Actually it was pretty hard to avoid as the hotel where we stayed at the end of our trip was right opposite!)

Katz's was featured in the famous 'I'll have what she's having' scene in Where Harry Met Sally and was high on Tom's list of foodie places to visit (Man Vs Food has a lot to answer for!). We visited at an extremely busy time (lunchtime on a Monday) and the queue was spread right across the room, which I found a bit stressful! 

When it was finally our turn, Tom ordered a humongous pastrami sandwich and I went for a Swiss cheese which came with a side of the biggest pickles I'd ever seen. I must admit that Katz's isn't really the best place for a veggie, but it was fun seeing the photos of all the famous faces that had visited over the years.

We are big fans of Seinfeld, and although it wasn't filmed on location, we decided to take a trip to Tom's Restaurant (known as Monk's in the show) which was also name-checked in the Suzanne Vega song, Tom's Diner. Tom's is a pretty down-to-earth diner located in the Upper West Side, we both ordered burgers and a coke and marvelled at the painting of Kramer next to the counter.

Another thing high on my to do list was to go to a show at the Comedy Cellar, which often features in episodes of Louie. It's difficult to buy tickets in advance though and when we arrived all the early evening shows were full. There were some tickets left for the 11pm show but we thought it would finish a bit too late. So we resigned ourselves to some cocktails at the bar upstairs, accompanied by a brownie and ice cream. 

You can see the comedian who's performing on a TV over the bar (although you can't hear them!), and we also spotted the table Louie and his fellow comedians always sit around after the show which was fun. Sitting at it was the guy who did the Doggy Bounce in Flight of the Conchords, so the evening wasn't a complete loss! If we go again I'll definitely make sure to book ahead. (picture above via

If you'd like to see some of the food, drink and other places we visited in New York check out my colour-coded Google map here (I'm such a map-nerd!)

Have you visited any TV & film locations whilst on holiday? I'd love to know!
© make do and mend | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Created by pipdig