Thursday, 30 August 2012

Zentangles for the Summer

I have been really busy last week and this with preparation work for the new term.
I do, however, have found lots of pictures that I took of Zentangle patterns that I designed whilst on holiday.
The first one that I want to show you is this, which I do have to say I am rather pleased with.  I have devoted a small sketchbook to my Zentangling and I drew this circle in it before I left home.  
I started with the waves on the right hand side and then added more shapes.  I did this at the kitchen table at my sister in laws house and was so focused that i did not realise until I looked up that there were four people watching me!!  I used a black sharpie pen and a black fine gel pen.
This was the next one that I started as soon as I completed the circle, which is unusual for me.  There is normally several weeks in-between.  Here I combined several of my own patterns with some that I have found on and google.
I have just been looking through my sketchbook and realised that I have not taken pictures of six other Zentangles so I shall post them tomorrow.
I shall show my sketchbook and go through the pens that I use too as you might like to try this for yourself.  It is very addictive and can be tried by any age.. Kids love it!!!Below are some designs created by my year 7 students just before the end of term.  they took to it straight away.....

They did very well, didn't they?

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Rose Compact

If you have been visiting my blog for a while you may know that I collect these.....
Whilst we were away we had a look around the antique/junk shops in Lewes and found the powder compact shown above.
I have been collecting these for about 14 years and the collection has reached a stage where it has to really stand out and catch my eye to be added.  We were looking for an unusual gift for my FIL when I stumbled on the above compact.
A little felty pouch was sold with it but I doubt that it is the original covering.  What really caught my eye was the raised rose design on the lid.  I have several with various rose designs on it but not like this.  I so not think it is mother of pearl as it does not have the look and sheen.  
I thought that one o the petals was broken but the edge has been finished like the others and why cover the lovely petals underneath.  The gold look edging is very different and it is plain gold on the back.
The inside is immaculate and clean but still not a new item.  It does not say who made it and judging by the ones I already have I can not guess either.  
So this lovely example was thought about over night and then I went back for it the following day.  We did the same with FIL birthday gift which was a pocket barometer in the style of a pocket watch.  He was thrilled with it.
So my collection has increased by one more and because we are re-decorating and re-organising the living room , my compact display case has been moved up on to the landing.  I actually see if all the time now whereas before it was behind the living room door and not seen at all!
Sophie loves dusting and looking at them so when I asked her if she would like to put the compacts back into the case after it was used her face lit up.
This is my modern day version of a button tin, she loves looking at the compacts and asking about them.
I like the historical element behind them and the fat that I can pass them on to Sophie.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Can't grow a MO - Sew a MO

Danielle over at Djcoolbear is starting a charity quilt to help raise money for Cancer Research.
It is very clearly explained on her website with a sad background story about her Father.  It is better for you to read it directly rather then me re-telling it.
Click HERE to go to her webpage.
If you are a quilter or like to sew then this might be for you.  The idea is that you create a block and then applique a "Mo" on to it.  There is a PDF of different styles if you need it and it is intended that the quilt will be raffled, hopefully more than one quilt.
I am going to ask some of my quilting friends if they would like to help out.
Measurements and additional details are on Danielle's webpage.
This is very timely for me......
the sad news I referred to earlier in the week was due to having found out that a friend who,  moved for her job so I did not see her as much, was diagnosed with cancer a short while ago, had sadly died.  Due to various circumstances, a group of us had tried to stay in contact, we lost track of where she was.  We were told that she had gone into a Hospice so we rang as many as we could with no luck. Texts were tried and phone numbers were not answered.  Whilst away my friends heard via a third party that she had died in January!  This was sad news but even sadder due to the loss of contact and the fact that we did not know for 7 months.  Ironically, we discovered that her funeral was quite close to where we all live.  Secondly my Mum was told this last week that another family member has been diagnosed with a brain tumour which has now been removed and will now need chemo with  a 1 hour trip to the treatment and then an hour back for 6 weeks!!  So more worry, heartache and stress for some of my relatives...................
Also we are  approaching a first anniversary of our own  in September for D .
So, I am going to see if I can make at least one block and send it off to help.  If you can not sew or take part perhaps you could advertise this project as there is a button and code that you could put on your blog.  I wanted to do something quickly to help so hence this post.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Chooky Christmas Swap

After several miserable failed attempts at signing up for this annual swap over the past 2 years I finally managed to time it right and signed up!!
Even though it is Summer, all be it very wet and rather cold for August I have been mulling Christmas ideas around in my head ever since.  
Do not know any additional info yet, just got to wait now........oh the suspense of it all!!!
PS, Pity Blogger does not want to let me load it into my side bar!

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Exam results- My groups did GOOD

That time of year again and as a Year 11 Form Tutor and subject teacher I really wanted to see how everyone had done.
My students did very well, gaining the grades that I said they would.  Lots of very happy faces last Thursday.  There was a lovely atmosphere and it was amazing how much they had all changed since we last saw them.

My tutor group also did very well and I am sure that we shall look at the results in more detail in the new term.  I main concern was that they were pleased with their results, able to mover on to the next stage such as college or job and that they had no regrets.  I spoke to  nearly all of them last Tuesday and the smiles (some of  relief) said it all.
The past 5 years have really flown by and I shall really miss all 28 of them.  Over the years I have worked with quite a few groups ranging from 1 to 5 years in time and I can honestly say that they have been the nicest, most fun, good all round group that I have been given.
  Tough act for the next group in September.
We had an award assembly just before they left and we won the highest attendance over the 5 years plus best overall Tutor Group. 
Many would say we were quite low key, did not appear to be top all the time but I think that the key was consistency over the years and just keep plodding away, which we included.
I have quickly met my new group and the first signs are looking good.
So well done to my old group, I shall miss you loads............hello to my new group and here is to the next 5 years!!!!!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Patchwork and Quilted Pencil Case

Quite a bit has happened this week which is one of the reasons for my absence from here.  Not all of it good but I shall start with something fun.
Just before going on my hols I did start a patchwork pencil case from an idea that I found in issue 21 of Making Magazine.  I have had my eye on this for ages and finally got on with it.
It is ideal for using up strips of fabric.
The above are some of my favourites and I wanted to include the Amy Butler fabric but had to make a join in it, but it turned out on the back of the pencil case anyway.
I also had some very thin denim look fabric which I thought would contrast well with the brightly coloured patterns.
I increased the proportions of my version by quite a bit as I wanted to put particular items in my new pencil case.  I top stitched down both sides of each of the seams as I was adding thin cotton batting to the back of the patchwork to also add a little quilting at the same time.  I decided that interfacing would not be thick enough.
I made an over sized tab to help make closing the pencil case a little easier.  I also wanted to make adding the zip neater.  I have seen on the Internet about adding a tab of fabric at either end of the zip before adding it and I think that you can just about see it behind the zip handle.  It certainly made the whole process much less stressful!
It turned out quite square in the end.
The reason for making the pencil case larger was so that I could use it for paint brushes and my small paintbox and water colour pencils and other arty items.  There is a purpose for all of this but I am waiting for confirmation before saying anything else.
Love my new make and I can see a few more being made but that will have to wait.
Now, I need to get on with finishing a project off for school which starts in just over a week and seeing as it resembles November outside today I do not think that I can justify doing anything else!.
Bye for now.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Brighton Rocks!

Our last excursion before going home was to visit Brighton.  It was soooo hot, plenty of high factor sun cream and hats.  Oh yes hats pity I left mine n the car and we decided to go to Brighton on the train.  Never mind.
It was packed everywhere, the shops, streets, beach and pier.  
A glorious day without much cloud cover at all so we did avid going on the beach itself but walked along much of the seafront itself.
Every time we have visited the Pier n the past Sophie has been too small to go on any of the rides.  Now, my daughter loves slides of any kind to she was quick to spot the Helter Skelter but also that she is now big enough to go on it by herself.
I really tried to get it all in my picture but my little digital did not quite manage but I think you get the idea of the size of it!
Needless to say she came off it with a big smile on her face.
We began to walk into Brighton to meet my sister in law who had had to pop into work at the University as part of clearing and future student questions due to the A level results having been issued.
Hubby spotted this shop.  It has very high windows on two sides with shelves and shelves of old hand sewing machines!!
It reminds very much of a window display in a shop in New York (I think) it was featured on a Craftzine post that I was emailed.  It was certainly attracting a lot of attention.
Some of the machines were so pretty.  Even though our machines of today are very clever, I do feel that they have lost any individual character and attractiveness as an object.

It was then off for some very nice lunch at English's which just so happens to be
right next to the 
Cath Kidston shop.  How handy is that?
I bought a new flask for the Autumn term as my other flask had broken after someone put it in the dishwasher.
I could not resist taking a picture of my dessert as it seemed a shame to cut into it, but I only had that feeling for a short while...............
After a very good lunch we thought we would see if we could find the chocolate shop featured on a programme that Sophie and I have been watching on Friday evenings.
Oh dear this picture did not turn out too well.  There were so many people inside and out looking at this shop.  It is a lovely cake shop and the cakes that are created are so clever it is hard to realise that it is cream and icing etc.  Works of Art.
google images
Well worth a visit.  We did treat ourselves to a extra special twist on the marsh mellows and choc crispies.  Lovely with a cup of tea later that evening.  Lasted several days by the way.
Then it was off to catch the train home again.
Another excellent day out had by all.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

A time to fish

On Friday we decided to try a little fishing on Seaford beach.  The last time we tried we did very well and caught enough for tea.
High tide and hubby was trying to keep his feet dry due to leaving his beach shoes in the car!
The waves were frequent and quite spectacular.
This is the first year that Sophie has really been able to have a go herself.  Always watched but actually doing it is much more fun.  Sophie is not quite so sure about the lug worms though!
A glorious day and the sound of the sea could easily lull you to sleep.
I keep me awake I decided to take some photos of interesting finds on the beach that I might be able to use next term.
Shapes, textures and colours.  Being a very pebbly beach shells are a bit thin on the ground but there are still some lovely things to photograph.
I do find seaweed a bit awkward as it never looks as good as it does in real life but the shapes and colours can be seen here.
Plus, of course, too many stones to decided which to take pictures of!
We did find a well rubbed oyster shell and since then we have found one that is even more interesting.
It was a lovely few hours just sitting, looking, helping, photographing and basically not rushing around.
Oh and the fishing?.....
We did not catch a single thing.
So we went off to the local fisheries in Newhaven and bought some to make a lovely home made Fish and Scallop Pie with the help if Delia Smith...............gorgeous it was.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Cats - and the things they do.......

Every day jobs that you and I would rather not do for a Cat suddenly becomes an.............
......opportunity to get involved and although he may not be much help with the ironing...... sister in laws Cat called Ray does appreciate a freshly warmed ironing board to snooze on when you are not looking!
He does have a partner in crime......his brother Dave.
You need to build up your strength before the next adventure.
Cats and the things they do......

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Destination - Relaxation

Seaford, Sussex
We came at Easter for a much needed rest.  Much of this year has been quite stressful and sad both personally and job wise.  It is that time again when the Summer Holidays means that we swap the Cornish coastline for that of Seaford and surrounding countryside.
Seaford Beach, Sussex
We may have swapped like for like but my husbands phone has not rung for 7 days!! A changer of scenery, people and weather is as good as a rest.  The weather here has been brilliant with only enough rain to keep the garden happy.  Lovely walks along the sea front after dinner, sunset pictures that I seem to only capture here and just plain getting away from it in the true sense.
Been here since Sunday and had a great time.
Monday we spent all afternoon looking in antique/junk/thrift shops. We are going back quickly tomorrow as we may have found the ideal gift.
Tuesday we visited Sissinghurst Castle which is now run by the National Trust and it was brilliant.
I need to do a separate post for this, there is much to tell.
Today due to a rain day we decided to go to the Cinema and watch "Brave" which Sophie loved!
Google images
Sophie loved every minute of it and still loves a soppy ending.  That's my girl!!
We the tried to book a bowling lane but all full so we went home to find that my sister in law was back from a few days away.  Sophie helped to make a chicken, cream and bacon sauce to go over Tolfie pasta and boy did this fill us up!!
Another long walk on the Sea front sorted us out them a glass or two of wine plus a lovely chat finished off another great day.
How was your day?
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