Monday, 29 June 2009

France - Day 3

On the third day we went off to central Paris. We were dropped off over the road from the Eiffel Tower and it was very busy. A couple of youngsters backed out of climbing to the second floor due to being scared of heights. However two brave students , who were shaking like leaves, did go up to the second floor and back down and they were given a little prize for meeting a personal fear head-on. I also have a problem with heights which is why I forced myself to go up to the top of St Paul's Cathedral when I was about 9 years old.

I took this picture as soon as we got off the bus. Lovely blue skies.

The last time I visited here it had been a glorious day!

A view from the second floor.

A river boat on the river Seine which is to be our next stop.

I did try and take a picture of a view looking towards the Sac re cour but it was a little too far away! Once we had walked back down the tower we all made our way over to the river to enjoy a river boat ride up and down the river Seine.

The weather had just clouded over a little which I was happy with because last time I did the river ride it was far too hot, almost unbearable.

Just got part of Notre Dame, which is actually quite high up and the boat went very close to the river edge. A very impressive building!!

This is where Maria Antoinette stayed before she was executed. After the hour long boat ride we had a guided tour round some of Paris on the coach. There is far too much to put here, i hope no one has fallen asleep yet, so I shall just put up some pics.

The building above is said to be the the one that the Phantom of the Opera is based around. Very grand! I think it is the Museum of Music.

We also saw the outside of Johnny Depp's apartment but the angle was too sharp to get a picture, sorry, looked nice thought right in the heart of Paris.

We then headed off to the Sacre Ceour and Monmartre where there were lots of artists painting and selling their work. I bought some this year and I will post about them when I have had them framed.

It was very busy here and hot. Not long after this picture was taken it started to spit with rain and then the rain vanished as quick as it had arrived. Very odd.

The following day we had the long journey home and I arrived back through my front door at 12.45am Saturday morning1 I am still recovering a bit as we then hit the ground running at work and have been running ever since. I have reports to do this week, update marking and a review next week. Not much sleep for the next few days then. Not sure if the spell check and me have got it all correct.


Sunday, 28 June 2009

France - Day 2

Another early start with breakfast and then a sandwich production line to make over 90 lunches!! Then it was onto the coach again and off to Disneyland. Now, regular followers will know that hubby and I took Sophie to Disneyland in February and it was all booked before I knew that I was coming with the school. Due to a season change since then it all looked a bit different and it was still fun. I asked Sophie if she would like me to bring anything back and she gave me a small list, so that was one job that I needed to do.
All of the youngsters went off in small groups and met up every so often to make sure everyone was ok and the day seemed to shoot by very quickly. We saw a really big parade but I decided to take my smaller advantix camera rather than my big digital SLR which is quite heavy to carry after a while. Hence no pics. I will scan them in and add them once they have been developed.

During my last visit I spent a lot of time trying to catch up with Minnie Mouse, this time I saw her four times in different outfits, no Sophie to see this either, typical!

It was red hot so by 5pm I was more than ready to go back to the coach. On the way back we found a little french girl about 5 years old sitting on the floor crying her eyes out. Our kids were concerned but being so many of them actually frightened her more, so I stayed near waiting for one of our french speakers to catch up. By the time they did the girl clearly saw her Mum and ran to her. It astonished us that still in some cases a close eye is not being kept on little ones. It must have been some time that she was lost because the little girl was nearly hysterical by the time Mum appeared. Guess what, Mum did not seem over concerned either. Made me a bit cross that!
Anyway, off back to the chateau for dinner.
The evenings were lovely and warm right up to 10pm and it was nice to be able to sit outside the accommodation block, we took it in group turns to patrol the corridors each night.

I have just finished writing a scheme of work for typing up tomorrow so I feel quite pleased with myself! Sophie and hubby are playing with lego and they have found a website that has making instructions on it that may be of interest HERE.
More tomorrow as I have some more work to look at for tomorrow.
Take care xx

Saturday, 27 June 2009

I'm Back.....from France!!!! 1

We left last Monday morning at 12.30am and arrived at our destination about 20 miles outside of Paris at approx 5pm Monday afternoon! Numb bum, tired eyes and worn, out but the weather was lovely.

I will confess that I did not take loads and loads of photos, I have been before but last time I did not have a blog so I may cheat and use some pics from last time.

After a much needed shower and something to eat the students were taken off by PGL and activities were organised until 9.30pm where we took over and tried to get them to go to sleep!! No easy task at all and I think we got success by about midnight, excitement being the main problem

Day 1

On Tuesday we went to a local french market at Brie-Comte-Robert which is a historic town which gives a real insight into the Middle Age period...

It was a very hot day and sun screen had to be worn. I bought some lovely patterned bias binding, I know it did not take me long to make it a bus man's holiday but they are really nice and will become the edging to some new bags, book covers,fabric storage etc that I have planned. I did not take a picture so I shall to that tomorrow.

The fruit that was for sale was gorgeous and tasted as good as it looked. I bought a couple of peaches to go with my lunch later in the day. It was good quality too.

The cherries were wonderful and cost about 4 euros a punnet which is much better compared to £12.99 that I saw priced in a certain high street supermarket recently!!!

Sat down for a little breather in this cafe by the market. I bought Sophie a cute little dress and leggings from here which I will post when she is wearing it.

There were lots of buildings to look at. This is the main church. We then all piled back onto the coach and moved on to the Chateau le Vaux le Vicomte, which is breathtaking. We had a packed lunch in a nearby forest where there are covered over picnic areas, ideal for 85 students.

It was built in the 17th century and inspired Louis XIV to build Versailles using the same workmen and architect.

Complete with moat.

The Oval salon in the main entrance area.
We had a quick tour inside the chateau which was awkward to take pictures until I fathomed out how to stop the flash going off!

Window shutter detail.

There were various displays of costume which was not there the last tme I visited.

A bit blurred this one, sorry. I missed taking pictures of all the huge tapestries due to technical difficulties but they were very grand and must have taken months of work. The gardens are jaw dropping, just take a look at these pictures....

Lovely shiny jelly moulds in the kitchen, which reminded me of Lanhydrock just up0 the road from me in Bodmin.

Looking down the gardens from the main house.

Looking back towards the Chateau .

This pruning is soooo neat!

This chateau was the inspiration for Versailles which was built between 1661 to 1670. It really is worth a visit if you ever visit this part of France. By the time we finished walking round the garden it was time to start heading back to our own Chateau for dinner. it had been a lovely day and we could not have asked for better weather!

I do have other pictures that I have taken on my last visit, but I will have to check my memory sticks as they do not appear to be in my Picassa account! The lack of sleep is starting to catch up with me so I will be back with day 2 tomorrow.

Take care


Friday, 19 June 2009

Recycled item challenge...

Barb at I Wanna New Bag has set up a new challenge that some of you may be interested in taking part in. Every month or so she sets a challenge with a theme for recycling items into other products. The theme for this month is to use something a bit out of the ordinary. Not sure what that might be? Well take a look at my entry, YES! I have actually got organised ahead of schedule this time....

I bought years ago a plastic multi-pocket organiser to hang on the back of a door. Now some of you may remember that I have used this same hanger for another project for the same blog challenge to make a purse. The was a long time gap before I took this plastic organiser and cut it up again...

I started by looking at all of the pockets and wondering how I could take their storage use a stage further. We were due to go to the Eden project and I always take my camera....and with that an idea was born...

The flowers were all in full bloom so as we wandered round I snapped away with the camera and took loads of pictures.

I then slid the pictures into the pockets and sealed up the opening with a row of stitching. Once I had filled all of the pockets with pictures I then stitched up the sides. I did fold it right sides together before stitching and this was fine until I needed to turn the bag the right way round. It got there in the end but it was a struggle as there is very little give in it.

The next stage was to add some handles...

...because the top edge of the bag was already finished, because I used the finished edge of the organiser to my advantage, all I needed to do was to add some webbing handles. I left the inside as it was, the whole bag is wipe clean and it is very colourful!!

In case you missed the purse that I made to go with it....

This was a very off the cuff make so I did not really plan a tutorial for the bag but in my side bar I do have a more detailed explanation for the above purse.

So do pop over to see Barb and think about taking part. There is also a lot of inspiration and information to be found on her blog as well.

Well, I am now off to play with Sophie and her vast collection of Polly Pocket dolls, enjoy the rest of your evening.


Thursday, 18 June 2009

Dyeing Workshop...the Sequel.

My last post looked at how Sophie and I had fun dyeing fabric etc and here are the results.

By Sunday the dye was not as strong as it had been on the day of the workshop, so the fabric was not very successful, and getting caught in a down pour Sunday afternoon did not help. However, the cotton threads that dyed worked very well. Some are shown above. I think tat you can see the variegated, dip dyed threads that we tried too.

Sophie likes pink, I would never have guessed. The fabric that I had dyed on the day has now been ironed and ready to be used for some marvellous project that I have yet to think of.

I did try to get a range of colours, and the top one on the right is a colour combination that I come back to time and time again. Only managed one version of red.

I have been asked what type of dyes they are and where to get them.

They are Reactive Plus Dyes for cotton, linen, silk,viscose,rayon, paper,and all cellulose fibres. They come from Omega Dyes based in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire. They can be found by clicking on their company name. They have a range of other dyes which you could choose from. As yet I have not had a chance to look at the website as I would quite like a starter pack, if they have one, rather than buying loads of different pots. They are granular dyes rather than powder dyes which can cause problems for asthmatics, so they can not be breathed in so easily.

I have a small wooden frame upstairs which is screaming out for something small, creative and special to be made to go in it. So I think that these will be used to fill this frame.

This week has been crazy and very little making has taken place. I do have lots of pictures of finished items from the last two weeks which I will come back to tomorrow.

I would like to say a big Hello and thank you to the new visitors and commenter's for this week. I hope you will be back again.

Tomorrow is Friday and I shall breath a small sigh of relief before the hectic activities of the week to come. More on that tomorrow.

Take care :-)


Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Dyeing Workshop

Last Saturday I went to an Embroiderers' Guild Dye Workshop. We arrived at about 10am and the room was all set up ready. We were shown the first task to do. It just so happens that the lady running the workshop is a fellow branch member but is also my City and Guilds Distance Learning Tutor who is now living down in Cornwall. Small world or what?

I then spent the rest of the day standing up over a table with various pieces of fabric, threads and wool and turning them into lots of different colours. Bliss....but surprising;y tiring!

Here are some of the results...

A mini washing line was set up in the garden once I had got home.

Lots of lovely dyed threads to use in future work.

There was some dye left over and it has a short shelf life so I was asked if Sophie would like to have a go when I got home. It is as safe as washing powder and so with supervision Sophie and I had lots of fun on Sunday out on the lawn.

The equipment was assembled. The dye remainders are in plastic bottles but it soon became apparent that tipping out of these was going to get messy, so I tipped it gradually into a paint pallet instead. The fabric was rinsed in water and then put in the bottom of the blue box.

The fabric was rinsed and then put in the bottom of a blue box and the dyes were sprayed on (need to use the spray bottles more next time) or add using a paintbrush. Once the dye had been added it then needed to be left for 30 minutes. After that, the fabric and threads are then washed in warm soapy water to remove any excess and hung up to dry.

Sophie found it easier to add the dye with a paintbrush, but she also enjoyed dipping them into different dyes to get variegated threads. All by herself she linked that to the knitting wool that I sometimes use. My daughter is not daft ya know!

The whole activity is safe (a bit messy, but a shower sorted that out but gloves are needed and splashes will wash off) and a lot of fun, but above all it was so easy it was child's play....

Show you the final results tomorrow ..

Sunday, 14 June 2009

"Never Ending Knitted Blanket....progress...

I can see a glimmer in the distance (and yes it might a train, but it is the knitting train!). During half term I tried to knit a square each evening and I managed quite a bit. As the weeks have gone on I have had trouble trying to stick to that, but I am getting there.

I started to sew them together a little while ago, and last weekend I decided to lay it all out on the living room floor to get some idea of where I had got to. It is meant to be 10 squares by 10 totally 100 squares (what was I thinking when I started this?).

Whilst making this blanket I have learnt many new stitches and I am getting better at reading basic patterns. There are embellishment stitches to add and I thought that I may make up my own as those suggested are a bit repetitive. Once it is sewn together I thought that I might try and crochet a little edging around it to help keep the blankets shape. Well that is the plan.

Last weekend I made a bit of a spontaneous decision to buy a new mobile. It is nothing flash ,£30 in fact. My beloved Kath Kidston limited edition phone is starting to play up a little and I wanted something a little more reliable for the school trip to France. I shall keep the other phone and just swap the sim card back as I really do like the Kath Kidston design on it.

This time I thought that I really should make more use of a mobile phone case and luckily I was able to adjust one that I had made as a sample for the project that I run at school.

Made from bright pink felt on the outside and white felt on the inside. The button needed moving a little because this phone is longer than the last one.

I cut out flowers from a piece of felt that was covered in the green flowers. They were stitched on with running stitch. The button is a lovely bright green.

The flowers were then sprinkled over the flap and partway down the back of the case. The whole thing was then put together using blanket stitch. So I sort of recycled it. I have found another technique that I am very new to but I am loving very much so another mobile phone cover may well be created very soon!!!

Back tomorrow with news on that and my Workshop on Saturday.

Have a good week.


Friday, 12 June 2009

Tagged from the USA...

This was a surprise tag from Donna in America who has been visiting here for some time but not commenting. This tag comes with a very pretty button which I think is a little different from other tags and I have not seen this in circulation much in the UK.

The rules (I prefer guidelines but I will do as I should)

* The winner may put the logo/button on their blog if you wish.

*Put a link to the person who sent you the award. So I put Donna's link here and you put a link to me on your blog.

*Nominate 10 blogs.

*Put a link to their blogs.

*Leave a message for your nominees.

Now, some bloggers have mixed feelings about these. I feel that if someone has taken the time and trouble to join in and think of me in the first place then I like to join in. Having said that I do have an award in my pictures that I got before Easter and for the life of me I can not remember who gave it to me. So guess what tomorrows post will be about?

So, as for my 10, once upon a time this used to be difficult as I did not 'Know' anyone well enough, now it is difficult not to leave anyone out! I do have that mystery award for tomorrow, don't I?

Right, lets get on with it then:

1). Bagladee - Emma

2). SummerSadie - Joanna

3). Marmaladekiss - Julia

4). Primrose corner - Julia

5). Jellybelly -Jellybrain - Emma

6). Wonderwoman - Maria

7).I am a Ginger Monkey

8). I Wanna New Bag - Barb

9).The Chocolate Cat - Lise

10).To Dream to Stitch - Maggi

There does not appear to be anything else required.

I love visiting all of the above blogs very much and I am lucky enough to exchange emails regularly with several of these fine ladies. I hope they will accept this with a smile and I hope that they do not already have this!! All have been very friendly and have left lovely comments on this blog.

Again no craft items as this is the house of the Unclean as Sophie spent all night vomiting and hubby and I were up too because she had to use our room as her bed was ruined and needed to dry. There is a violent bug going round and boy is it violent!! I lost count, poor Sophie was so sallow and pale. She could not even keep water down! It is now 7pm and I think that hubby is now coming down with it!! If I am going to be struck down with this bug it needs to be now as next Sunday I am due to go on the school trip to France!! How good is that timing eh?

I am also supposed to be going to an Embroiderers' Guild workshop tomorrow, so no lie-in for me tomorrow either.

I have been knitting frantically so I WILL post about that tomorrow, unless I am locked in the bathroom!

Enjoy the evening!


Thursday, 11 June 2009

Craft Badge Buttons

These are fun don't you think? I am thinking of getting some more but I have some of these left which I shall be listing in Folksy this weekend. They were popular on my website and at Craft Fairs too. The Quiltaholic one is very suitable for me at the moment with all of the Quilt blocks that I have yet to make.
I have neglected my blog this week due to work. In fact we drove to Birmingham yesterday after work so that I could go on an Exam Board course today then drove back to Cornwall. I needed to get ready for that course too. However I do have a camera full of pics to show you over the coming days. I did manage to cram in a quick visit to Hobbycraft on the way back as well!!
See you tomorrow when I am a bit more awake.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Free Quilting patterns...

If you like quilting then I thought that you may like to have a look at this site
There are free patterns to browse and by leaving your email address you can get updates when the site is updated.
Could be worth a look and maybe adding to your favourites?
Very hectic with exams but I will be back with some crafting news soon.
Take care
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