Thursday, 31 July 2014

Back Home to Re-pack

 After two days of very unsettled weather and more rain in Seaford than I have ever seen in all the years I have been visiting, Tuesday was a blistering hot day so we decided to take Sophie to Aqua which is a mini water park in Eastbourne.  It was lovely to just sit and watch her have fun.  In the past parents have not been allowed or encouraged to go on the slides etc but this year there did not seem to be a restriction which we did not realise otherwise we would have taken our swimming stuff as well.  It is at times like this that a brother or sister to play with would have been more fun for her.
I got half way through my second book of the holidays (goodness what is going on, it usually takes me months to read a book and makes me wonder what else I should in fact be doing instead).
On our way home we nearly visited Eastbourne pier and we were really sad to see it on fire yesterday on the News.
The first book I finished on Saturday is shown above and I bought it at a charity event last year.  I have read many of Erica James books after being bought one several years ago as a birthday present.  It is what I would call an easy read and follows the lives of a group of people who have chances meetings that lead on to life changing events and their paths cross many times before a conclusion is reached.  I like this sort of book which I can pick up and put down without forgetting what was going on!
If you see it in the library it would be worth picking it up and tryng it.
At the water park I started a free book that I found on my Kindle and the very short write up and the picture on the front made me upload it and it has been a real page turner but more on that once I have finished it.
We are now home  and the washing has been done and today we are packing again to catch a plane tomorrow to Corfu to catch our cruise ship to go around the Aegean Sea.  I intend on taking this netook so I can try and blog as I go along but last year the Internet connection was not very good so we shall see what happens.
I have realised that I have not posted any pictures from my school trip to Spain so after we have been to collect some Euros etc I shall pop back and schedule a post from Barcelona.
It has been all go recently but it is often like that here, noting happens for months then it suddenly changes and lots has to be fitted in.  
For example, my website has been so quiet that I nearly scrapped it this Easter and then yesterday I have an order and a commission made using it.  Seeing as my timetable may give me more time next year I shall give it more attention and see how it goes by next Easter so when I get back I shall upload some bags and items that I have made recently in time for later in the year!  
Take care all.
xx

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Loom Bands meets Macrame with a Dash of Scoubidou!

 The latest craze for Loom bands (my daughter made me those shown above) reminded me of a craft that I first learnt at primary school, Macrame.  I remember a small group of us were taught how to make a belt and possibly an owl, memory not so sure on that bit, and I included beads etc.  I made it with good quality string and I had that belt for years and years, never wore it as it was too big.  We worked to a pattern rather than body measurements.
Yesterday was unfortunately a wash out as we were caught on the edge of the severe storm that caught the south coast and our planned trip to Brighton was called off.  Just a dash to the shop for milk and bread was carried out.  So what to do.  Sophie had bought her loom bands and loom and we called in to the toy shop the day we arrived to get a few more (would not want her to run out!) and I saw these......
Remember these?  Scoubidou cords.  I have not seen these in ages and then remembered that I have a couple of boxes of these in a cupboard in the garage.  I then thought....Textiles Club!  I have brought my works iPad with me on holiday ( I now I should not have done but it is hard to just stop at the end of term) and planning the schedule for next year.  I did this on paper last year and despite having to cancel a few due to pre-Ofsted meetings, it worked well.  I thought this tiime I would put it on the iPad so it could be altered with a click of a button.
So yesterday I spent time trawling through You tube finding ways to learn just a few knots.  Sophie had done some last year with Brownies but had forgotten.  So we both sat down and had a bit of us time.
However, as you know, when you search on You tube you often get links to other similar crafts and here popped up the macrame.  I thought why not try the scoubie threads (made of hollow plastic) to do macrame with and so the below bracelet emerged.
 I was really pleased how well I remembered this and much easier than the scoubiedou knots that I had given up with after 2 hours of cursing under my breath!
This is usually done with string or cord but did work pretty well with the plastic threads and this was in shades of blue but on closer inspection the following day appears to be pale blue and purple!
A knot and loop fastening applied it is now sitting on my wrist to see how it lasts.
I then went back to the Scoubiedou knots as I did not want to be beaten by plastic strings and found a video on You tube that made a bit more sense..................
I cobbled this together which looks ok but is completely wrong!
I did start a box knot but lost interest as the draw of macrame came forth and I found the Macrame School channel which had loads of ideas.
 The above looks better in person but would make a lovely bracelet.  The plastic threads are not as supple as wool or string but I really would like to use up these Scoubiedou threads!
 These are a traditional Macrame stitch/knot which naturally starts to twist as you make it, really easy but very effective.
This one did not really work with the plastic but again would work better with string so I shall also have string as a material to work with at school.  Due to me doing the school run in September, as Sophie will be joining my school in Year 7, Sophie will attend the club and has already said that she would like to help with this activity and basically join the club as well.
So with some examples made and stored away in my bag I am now off to work on something else for next year involving felt, one of my favourite materials.
Today is much better and we might venture to Brighton and see how it goes.
Has anyone else had a go at Loom Bands or are indeed wearing a bracelet made of them?  Any closet Macrame makers out there with any tips?
Take care.
xx

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Seaford 2014

Regular readers will know that since Sophie was about 2 years old we have been coming to Seaford to see my sister in law and partner for a little holiday.  It all started with us cat sitting when they got two new cats and needed to go away for a couple of weeks.  They have now grown up and so has Sophie and it is our annual trip and we always look forward to it.
Last year we were going to go fishing on Seaford front but for some reason we never got around to it so our first full day on Saturday that is exactly what we did and Hubby showed Sophie how to cast out and having a smaller rod she became very good at it.
Several years ago we went and Hubby caught quite a few and we gutted and sorted them out, then popped them in the freezer for my SIL for when they came home after their holiday.  Unfortunately we were not that lucky this time and we did not catch anything at all.  Neither did anyone else on the beach that day!
However Sophie did find me some smashing stones and Shell's to draw and add to my lesson slides for next term.
Some lovely boats sailed passed as I was sitting on the beach allowing time to go by and looking for items to draw.  The sun was a little too bright for using the drawing paper and I had forgotten my board to lean  against so no drawing at all in then end, but plenty of just sitting still and listening to the sea coming in and out.  Very soothing!
Also gave me the chance to finish my first book of the summer as well.  I left the fly cover at home so I shall do a post on that when I get back and add it to my book tab at the top of this blog.

We tried again today (Sunday) but still no luck.  Although I do have to say that Sophie is very good at casting out her line and I think it is only a question of time before she is successful.

Tomorrow we should be off to Brighton and see if we can look at the Brighton Pavilion as I have never been inside before.  Not sure about taking pictures but I shall see what I can do.
No sewing yet but I have been trying something else that I have not done for ages!?  I need to get some pictures before I can reveal....................
Take care and see you tomorrow.
xx

Thursday, 24 July 2014

End of the Year - a change of Pace


Well, my colleagues and I managed it.......we got to the end of the school year almost intact.  Every year is much fuller than any human can really cope with but this year has gone beyond even that.
Big structure changes, an Ofsted under the new guidelines, my timetable which even Superman would have blanched  at,various personal issues to deal with and much more.  Individually what we do is expected and accepted, it is the timing and trying to do it all at the same time which is the killer.

Anyway, I have borrowed the image above which Peg at Happy in Quilting used some months back and I also found on Google. it pretty much sums up how I look and feel  at the moment (without the fur and long tail I have to say).    So we finished on Tuesday and a close and long time friend is moving to another local school which is ideal for her but a shame that a colleague and close friend will no longer be around at work to say hello to day to day an work on various tasks and projects.  So I asked if she would like to go to a cute little coffee shop for tea and cake before we went home.
Well the size of the cake was MUCH bigger than we were expecting but it was gorgeous.  Mine is here, chocolate. caramel and something else which I forget (another symptom of being whacked out, little or no short term memory).  My friend had and iced lemon cake, equally as huge!
We chatted away for over an hour then decided we should make a move.  In my car it was registering 27 degrees and it felt like it.  Even the air conditioning was hot!  Hopefully we will have a record breaking summer for a change but some rain at night will stop all the plants etc struggling and everyone can sleep better.
I wish my friend all the best at her new school and hope that the gifts I gave her will be useful, forgot to take any pics never mind.  I gave a hard backed notebook for meetings and a hand made keyring for her classroom key and an embroidered zippered pouch, both made by me.
We shall meet up along with our other joint friends  in the near future but we have worked together for over 16 years which is a long time.  Many of my colleagues that I have worked with (and grown older with) have left I am beginning to wonder if it is time for me to also move on?
For now I shall stay where I am for several reason's which at the moment suit me and my family even if not for my career as such.
So we get to yesterday which was my first full day of the summer and my much looked forward to lie in bed
Google images
 and what happens........I wake up 10mins before the alarm at 6.30am!  I can not get back to sleep either so I get up and see Sophie off on her last day at primary school.
The rest of the day, which is too hot to sit outside, is spent doing............school work!  It is a myth that teachers do nothing for 6 weeks of the summer.  I have to boxes and two massive bags of work to do before September and the only reason I did not actually go in to school, which I normally do at the beginning of the summer, is because we have builders in and it is a Health and Safety issue.
I did get quite a bit done, paperwork mainly, class lists, timetable, and starting to look at my planner for the new year which I shall do another post on once I have finished it.
It is not going to be all work.  My Mum had knitted some little hats in preparation for The Big Knit which usually has a deadline in the Autumn and I am going to add some decoration such as mini crochet flowers and perhaps some buttons.  I shall take these with us as we make our annual trip to Seaford tomorrow to see my sister-in-law.  I like taking a little crafty project which will not take up too much room and sit outside and catch up with what she has been doing since our last visit.
Hence the need to do some more work later today but first I have a fridge to sort out, then I am off to have my nails done before the voucher my hubby bought me for Valentines runs out and then take Sophie to a dentist appointment then some packing.
I hope to see you all here a bit more over the coming weeks as I slot in some me time as well as everything else so please do pop back so that we can catch up as I know that I have been a bit absent from here over recent months and there is more news to share including my on-going crochet quest.
Take care and keep smiling.
xx



Sunday, 20 July 2014

Paper Creations - Making Cards

It has been ages since I made any cards and this week I was asked at work if I had any for sale.  I did but thought I should add some new ones.  I have decided to may be make a few each week over the summer and then advertise at work in September again.

I decided to make some Thank you cards which always come in handy.These ones have a raised decoupage look to them and I do try and not make them too 3D as you can get caught out at the post office if it does not go through their magic plastic gauge and you end up being charged more.
All pink and cupcakey.
More cupcakes.  I made some cupcakes for a cake Sale this week, the first time in ages, and time was tight so I forgot to take any pictures.  Pleased to say that they all sold.
This card could be used for any reason which is always nice to do.
Finally, something a little different,  a card made using Batik which I really enjoy doing.  Bright tropical colours on a slightly smaller card and I really like this one.  I sell them at work for just enough to cover costs so it is a little hobby which pays for itself.  I have some regular customers who even have requests and with a slightly different timetable next year I might get a little more me time in the evenings to make a few more and let my brain drift off for a bit.
I also hope to blog more over the summer and really get to grips with a quilt that is half made and to make some more items towards a swap that I have signed up to.

I heard from the ATC swap host and all is well.  I will be sending the ATC's off to America this week.  The next theme is Vamp but due to me being away I shall skip that one and do the next one instead.
The link is in my side bar if you are interested in taking part.
Take care and enjoy this lovely weather we are having, been about 6 weeks of it I think.
xx

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Le Challenge -June -SMALL

I originally knitted a little mouse for this challenge before I went away to Spain.  Got back at the weekend and do you think that I can find it?   NO!
So I have made another little felt cat.  I made one of these a couple of years ago to go on a card commission for a friend.
This pound coin shows roughly the size of the little cat.  The knitted mouse would have been even smaller but that might be part of the reason why I can not find it.
Ages ago I bought this book about making characters out of felt and I intend to have a go at several projects over the summer and have them as badges to put on cards which do not need to be sent.
There are templates and the characters to choose from are really cute.
Off to add this to the Le Challenge website.
Take care all.
xx
PS
My tutor group won the end of term award for earning the most merits.  It is the first time since they joined two years ago that we have won and they really did not think that they would be any higher than 5th.  The looks on theirs faces was a picture, so we are off to the cinema on Friday morning as a reward.
xx
PPSS.  Can not upload to Le Challenge webaite to I will have to retake the pictures and try again tomorrow if you are wondering why you can not see it there.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

ATC Swap- June -Zodiac

Hello everyone.
Been absent from Blogland due to taking 46 students for an educational visit to Spain last week.  More on that once I have sorted out the photographs.  For now I have some details about a swap I signed up for but am not able, at present, to send off.
The theme for the June Swap was to design and create three ATC's using Zodiac as the starting point.  I decided to also include three envelopes as well.
I really found it hard to decide what to do but because I knew that I was going to Spain with the school I had to get a move on and I did finish them about two weeks ago.  I decided to go for a muted colour scheme which I would use across all three cards.
The colour scheme was influenced partly by the picture that I used shown above and I free machined the background before attaching the image and text.  I wrote details of the swap on another piece of card and then attached this to the back by sewing around the edge through all  the layers.
On this card I used some diluted coffee and dribbled it on the background before adding some symbols of the Zodiac with further stitching around the edge.
Finally, the last card I decided to use a collage approach with coffee, paint, images and text along the theme of Zodiac.  The details on the back were again written on tonal card and then stitched to the back around the edge.
 I am really pleased with how these turned out and I still like the colour scheme as it gives a sense of age and the Zodiac goes back centuries.
All I need now is the information as to who to actually send these to.  The deadline for sending is 15th July and despite 3/4 emails over the past 2 weeks I have had no reply.  There is nothing on the swap site and I do not know what to do next as it states that anyone who does not meet the swap rules is banned and not allowed to participate again.........ever.  So I shall pop over to the site and leave a comment there in the hope that something might happen.
Anyway, they turned out well and I really want to make some more of these as they are fun and half of the challenge is the size of the cards.
Hope you have all had a good weekend.
xx

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

The Guy's are back!

They started opening up Friday afternoon and the rain  last Saturday seemed to stop everything.
Then on Sunday most of them burst out in their full glory!
Welcome back guys, summer has now truly started and I am now going to look forward to the masses of other flowers to burst open!
Take Care.
xx
PS I am reeeealllllly pleased with the first picture which I took after the rain had stopped.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Pin Cushion - Revamp


I took a tired old cross stitched cover off this pincushion and the layer underneath was not much better either!
So I unscrewed the base and took this layer off too.
I then went off to find some lovely, cheerful and summery fabric and I found this.........
I decided  to stretch it over the sponge and wooden base rather than gluing it or using a staple gun which did not work as I did try that first!
What do you think?
My much loved and much used wooden based pin cushion,  now has a new lease of life.
Have a good week and thank you for the comments left.  I shall reply now that I have completed my end of year reports.
Take care
xx

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Zentagle Revisit - Sketchbook

It has been just over a year since I last created a Zentagle design in my sketchbook.  Where has the time gone and why is it so impossible for me to find time to draw them more often?  While I am pondering that  question lets have a look at my latest effort.
The main flower shape was already drawn in my book nearly a year ago and I could not think what my original idea was going to be so I just made this one up as I sat in the garden on Sunday afternoon thinking I hope that the lovely weather will last for another week.
(unfortunately it is going to rain tomorrow).
I wanted to use thick and thin lines and keep the flowers as the main feature of the page.
I also tried to keep the lines all curved and spirals also came to mind.
On the following page I had drawn some hex's, again not sure why, so I had a little go at adding some different patterns on this page.  Used more thick lines on this page to give a much bolder look.
I had forgotten just how much I enjoyed doing these and I have recently set Zentangle designs as a homework challenge for my Year 7 groups.
So hopefully it will not be another year before I create some more!
xx
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