Thursday, 30 June 2011

Creative Zips - Students work

This picture did not want to cooperate so it is at a funny angle but never mind. These are pictures of the accessories that the students made during the work shop. They had no idea what they were making until they turned up.

I bought a special pot of buttons and I did not know what type or colours there would be until it was delivered. The students loved them, all the colours that I dislike really, but I think that might be due to my age! They do finish off the centre of the flowers.

Some were attached to headbands, some were attached to clips or badge pins.

There were three different shapes of flowers to have a go at.

The loopy flower, which I thought they would find the hardest, actually turned out to be the one that they found the quickest to get to grips with.

It was a new concept for them and they were very good in that they went along with it. Once I had shown them the first one they went off and had a go and went out at lunch time with a handful of different items.

I shall show you how at the weekend. Been a busy week again and today I have had my letters printed for a big trip that I am organising in the Autumn term. Lots happening.


Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Creative with Zips

My final work shop offering needed some preparation in advance. I have a huge store of metal zips at school which are a bit heavy duty for much of what we make. They came as part of a bigger purchase, not my idea by the way. I really wanted to use them so I decided to look in google images and Youtube for some ideas.

The above hair band was made by recycling one of Sophie's bands and then making the zip flower. The centre enhanced with a button.
They can be very addictive to make and before you know it they are appearing everywhere!

I then decided to play with other shapes to try and gain a rose bud design. The metal teeth do add a bit of shine and glitz that plastic zips to not offer.

Hot glue gun and Voila!

These formed the basis of my samples to give the students a starting point and so that they could see what their creation might look like.

I will also do a little tutorial for this. The weekend is my aim along with some other blog jobs as work is a bit frantic at the moment.

What do you think of them? Not bad. The students work is up tomorrow, they made lots and they turned out really well.

I aim to make some for the giveaway parcel too.


Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Accessory Workshop - Part 1

My trusty TA and I had made it to Friday of our workshop week and the day would consist of making as many little accessories by lunch time as we could. Some students were back for a second time, some for the first time. There were both boys and girls in the group but not as many as the other groups had been. First, was a good old key fob. I had a template already planned out and we kept the construction simple and several students made at least two of these.
They chose from a range of fabric available. Some of the finishing was not quite straight etc but they made them completely by themselves and several were surprised that they could create something so quickly. Smaller classes are the answer but unlikely to happen in state schools.

The split rings were really useful especially when someone forgot to add it when stitching across their key fob. All was not lost and it just twisted on. Another crisis diverted.

A stock of camouflage fabric is definitely a must even though I had other more masculine fabric in my store, lads still go for this fabric more than any other. It was nice to see that several of the students made a second one for Mum or Dad.

The boys went to make some sweat bands with the TA, which I did not get a chance to photograph, and the girls made some fabric wrap around bracelets. I adapted this idea from a project featured in Sew Hip magazine. Sorry, but there are a couple of mistakes in the instructions which I followed when making up an example and I had to alter the measurements too. I shall show you my version next week here as it would be fun to use up those long thin scraps of fabric. You will need some poppers too. They were pleased with these but the need to adjust to fit your own wrist was ignored a little so some were a bit big, but better than cutting off your circulation!

Some decided to use fabric to match their key fob.

We then went on to make some hair accessories which I shall show you tomorrow as I have a headache and need to hit the hay to get rid of it.

Many thanks for the lovely comments about Sophie's ballet achievement.

See you tomorrow.


Sophie's Ballet success

A couple of months ago Sophie took her entry level Pre-Primary ballet exam and she got a merit. She was a little disappointed as the two previous exams she gained distinction, but things are now getting harder to learn. She is determind not to let it happen again.

Along with her certificate she was also award the above badge which she has now proudly

put on her ballet wrap cardigan.
When we got home from her lesson on Saturday she found the badge awarded for her first exam and they both sit side by side quite happily.
Now need to get another matching frame for the latest certificate.
She has been going to ballet for nearly four years and we are very proud of what she has achieved so far but also for sticking it out and keeping it going.
Well done Sophie!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Gadget Case Workshop

Here is a sample of the 25 plus gadget cases that we made last Wednesday with a large group of Year 9 students (they are 13/14 years old). The aim was to quickly design and make a cover for a gadget of their own choice. Many came prepared with the item to make a cover for.

My trusty TA and I geared ourselves for another busy day.

Many of the ideas came straight form their heads and us two had a job keeping up with it at one point. Ideas sometimes outshine ability with the old machine, if you see what I mean.

There was a range of fabrics that they could choose from and we had a pretty much even split of boys and girls.
Some had been to the Monster making the day before and they certainly got off to a quicker start having learnt that a whole day is not as long as you might think!
A couple of shapes were on offer and a selection of fastenings all the students needed to do was to adjust the basic shapes in terms of dimension.
Own ideas and additional touches such as the false buttons above were encouraged so that they did not all look the same.

No two turned out the same.

Bright buttons were used everywhere and all went home


As for us two?

Absolutely worn out and a room that looked like a tornado had rushed through, but very satisfying all the same!

Many thanks for the Giveaway ideas, a packaging for being formulated.

Have a good week


Saturday, 25 June 2011

Anyone got Giveaway ideas?

picture by Indigo Blue

Now that the workshop week is over I want to get back to my 700th post giveaway. I have been thinking what to do and I saw on another blog that the owner asked what people might be interested in.

So, is there something that you have seen on this blog that you liked, would find useful, could give as a gift to someone else. Is there a theme that I could go with such as bags, purses, a stash of cards etc.

I want to offer a little treat to my followers and visitors for sticking with me for 700 posts but somehting that will appeal or inspire.

This is a genuine question so please do not be shy pop some ideas in the comment section (you can do this even if you do not have blog, just click on comments then annonymous.

I look forward to what you suggest.

Every post needs a picture with some colour and I still really like this one that I took at the end of May in my school grounds. A perfect day.


*Gadget case pictures up tomorrow once I have finished uploading.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Fabric Monster Update

Well, it has been one tiring week but it is now finally the weekend. This is the first of several posts showing what the students have made this week.

First up is the monsters! 18 boys and one girl and they had a day to design and make a fun monster. Sounds easy eh?

Above is a group picture.

We started off by watching a bit of Monsters Inc while I went off and started the GcSE Textiles exam. They were asked to sketch some ideas whilst watching it. Then my TA and I had to guide them in re=creating these ideas. Crikey, what were we thinking of!

The colour yellow seemed very popular with many of the students.

I think that you can spot the one made by the only girl in the group. I bought some fur but not many went for it. Preferring to stick with fleece, probably for the best in the end. There is more "give" in it so it is easier to get all of the sections to fit.
This young lady is very talented and has ideas that she can actually follow through without someone else having to do it for her. She had her idea cut, pinned and stitch way before the rest. She then went on to make a mini version in a front pocket!

Each student was given a green ticket. On the front they gave their monster a name. This caused a bit of a stir. There was Mr Fuzzy, Francis, Zip and Spot to name but a few.

This was made by a lad who I have taught for three years and this year everything seems to have fallen into place. He understands what he is doing, is on the ball and is enjoying what he is doing. He used the word "proud all day". This was the main reason for doing the job that I do. It is well made and the bright orange nose makes me laugh.

I think that this fine example best represents how I feel at the moment. I just love the expression on its face!

This creature was made by a student who had not signed up originally for this workshop, but was keen to turn his drawing into a 3D fun monster.

By the end of the day the two of us were exhausted but we had a great group of monsters made by a group of teenage lads who were keen to work solidly all day and who wanted to take their work home, so I had a job hanging on to them to take pictures and put them on display for a week.

What do you think of them? There are loads of ideas on this theme on google images, books on Amazon and lots of tutorials and patterns on the Internet. It was good fun and the day went so quickly too.

Tomorrow we shall take a look at gadget cases.

Hubby is away this weekend so I have the ballet run to do so I shall say good night.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Monster Mash - Meet Cardy

For the past few weeks I have been planning and making samples for three workshops that I am running at school this week. One of the workshops is to make Monsters. Ideally we would use recycled items but the number of students involved I would have to buy out a complete charity shop! So we shall recycle what we can and use fleece, felt etc where needed.

So this weekend I finished the above Monster, meet Cardy my new monster friend.
He was made using this cardigan. I felted it and to give you an idea of how much it felted I used to wear this when I was pregnant with Sophie! Just two hot washes is all it took. The sequins survived and so did the buttons.
I saved the buttons in my button tin for another day.
Sequins. It was lovely to cut and the felting gave it a firmness to create something strong
, a bag would have worked well. However, I needed a monster!
I used fur for the areas that you can see in white, a felt mouth and a "tooth" like button. Some more felt for the eyes. I cut the main body of the cardigan for his legs and the monster's body and the sleeves became his arms. I was pleased to get the stripes on his legs and arms.

He did not take very long to make, about 2 hours but I was not rushing.

Toffy seems to like him as well.
I hope to have some pictures of the student Monsters to show you tomorrow, if I have not collapsed in an exhausted heap!
OPAM 2011 finish for June

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Happy Father's Day

A card that Sophie made at Brownies.

Happy Daddies Day




Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Royal Cornwall Show - Wool and Spinning

Last post on this years show I promise, but this bit was of particular interest to me. In the sheep tent was also a company which had fleece from the sheep, including some to buy. I do not know anything about what makes a good fleece apart from watching Countryfile.

I looked at all of the sheep, many looked a bit hot and I am sure that they would be sheared straight after the show. I did buy some dyed fleece of the Manx Langhead which I shall come back to in another post.
This year was a lady actually doing some spinning. We took the older group to Coldharbour Mill in Devon where we had a class on using a spinning wheel. You can still purchase these, I did find some on Ebay.

This spinning wheel was the one being used and the lady had vanished by the time I reached her. Good solid wooden spinning wheel.

This spinning wheel looked to much older and was displayed with the fleece.

The stand that had the spinning wheel also had some dyed and spun yearn for sale. I loved this colour combination, but could not think what I could make with it so a I left it. Makes a great picture though.

I am pretty sure that some of the yarn being spun further up this post is then twisted and sold as shown above.

Some of the hanks were pretty expensive but you could feel the naturalness of the wool and the work that goes into getting it this usable stage.

My eye was then caught by this little weaving loom. Looked quite old. They were using the wool that they were selling.

All of the sections were in perfect working order. A lovely little loom. I wonder what this was made into?

I love visiting all of the sheep/ animals etc. The wool Marketing board was also there showing ho9w wool is sorted and then graded.

Opposite there was a sheep shearing lorry and there were loads of people sat down watching different skills etc being demonstrating.

I will need to work on my a little project which I partly bought from the show and I will need to move on with it so be able to take some pictures.

Well it has been chucking it down with rain nearly all week and as we go into the weekend it is going to be much of the same.

Never mind, I am still determined to have a good weekend and sort out a giveaway prize as well.


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