Thursday, 31 October 2013

Happy Halloween

 We thought that this year we would try something a bit different with our pumpkins.  So the one shown above is hubby's which has been sprayed with white paint and allowed to harden off and then the eyes and teeth were cut out which splinter off some of the paint.  We thought it was a disaster to start with but then we felt that it added to the scary look of the pumpkin.
 The next one we went for the more traditional approach but highlighted some areas with a marker pen.  This one will go outside with a candle later this evening.
Over the past few years I have always looked at the pumpkins that Alisa Burke designs and said that I should have a go, well this year Sophie and I both decided to try.  Sophie's is the one nearest the front of the picture and has also been sprayed painted with white painted and then once hardened it is decorated with different sized permanent marker pens.  The pens did not smudge at all on the white paint and Sophie created her pumpkin all by herself.  Inspired by the zentangles that we both like doing.
Mine is at the back and I sat in front of the TV with some newspaper on my lap and just kept doodling until I ran out of space.  We have decided to keep these indoors by the fire instead of cutting them for outside.  We all had a lot of fun with these and during the evening there was a programme about supermarkets and how they supply their customers and branches.....guess what?  There was a whole section dedicated just to pumpkins.  Apparently we buy over 2 million in the UK just for carving.  Years ago I remember carving out a pumpkin and using the insides to make some gorgeous pumpkin soup, but today they are basically hollow already and there is nothing there to cook with.....Pity.
Happy Halloween!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Ticker Tape Canvas - My Creation

It was a little while ago that I first saw these on Goggle Images and several Blogs have created their own.
I thought that it might make a good project for the Textiles Group which re-started this year after a 12 month break.
However, I do like to give it a go myself first to see if there could be any problems and roughly how long it could take.
 Many other blogs have used Modge Podge but it is very expensive and I would need quite a bit for 15 students.  So I did a test piece which I left over night using PVA and it was great.  The fabric did not run, it dried evenly and clear and I have plenty of it at school!
I already have a canvas and I had asked the students in advance to bring one in if they had one, we use them a lot in school and we have several budget stores near us that sell them.  Or we would use thick mount board.  My trial piece was on a bit of cardboard and it looked quite good.
I then cut up the shapes randomly and I did lay them out a little to start with to see how I would go about it.  I decided that starting in the bottom left hand corner suited me best.
As I worked on it I kept swinging the board around to prevent me from leaning on the wet glue.  I put glue on the board, then placed the piece of fabric down and then applied plenty of glue over the top to stick it down and to seal it.  These are literally scraps left over from other projects but I had also started a 2inch by 2inch quilt but soon got bored of cutting the silly little squares so I used some of these for the canvas as well.
It soon built up and I am really pleased with how it turned out.  The picture was taken in the evening hence the slight shadow which I think may be my head!
Straight after doing this I made another one but this time I used a thinner piece of canvas board which I have had for so long that I can not even remember why I bought it.  I now have it hanging up at school and I do not seem to have  taken a photo of it.
Prior to making mine I do have to say that my Crafty daughter got there first and made her version during the summer holidays.  Here it is.......................
This proved that my students would be able to do this and Sophie had great fun.  She has since made another which she has given away as a present.
Once my students have completed them, (they are still drying off) then I shall post their Ticker Tape canvas work here.  If you have lots of scraps then give this a try.  Google it to see other ideas for this fun and easy project.
Have a good weekend

Monday, 21 October 2013

Travel Pouch for Filofax Extras.

I have seen several of these on blogs and websites and they have all been used slightly differently.
This is a travel pouch for passports and tickets etc. I bought it from Amazon and I do have to say that as a stationary organiser it is fine but if I was travelling with it I doubt it would last.  Not great quality and when this does finally stop working I shall look into making my own fabric version.
There are numerous pockets including a slide in section and a one zippered section, plus pen loop.
First in is this handy little book of heavy duty post-its with tabs.  They have lines on for writing and really do stick.  I bought them from The Works.  They are great and I use them in my A5 Filofax which is my teacher planner this year.
This goes in the slide -in pocket at the back and I tend to have my everyday items nearer the front for easy finding.
Colour coded stickers for each year group, type of meeting, subject etc.  Do not mind what the shape is as long as it is Red, Blue, Green, Yellow and Orange.
Gold stars for those Star working moments/ homework etc.  They are used quite a bit so they go in one of the pockets near the front.  
The pockets are just the right depth to keep all of the sticker sheets nice and flat.
These dinky little post-its come from Clinton Cards in Seaford.  For some reason not all branches have closed down and they have a whole section of little post-its!!  I use these for personal work related reminders for me.  They stand out really well.  I do tend to glue them in so that they do not fall out.
These are from Staples and I use these as  additional tabs to existing pages both paper and card versions.  They are not all  removable and can be written on.  Very tough and put up with a lot of punishment and can still be read clearly months later.
In the diary pages if I need to change a whole day I simple cut to sizee an ordinary white label and cover the whole section.  
This is often a last resort but is quick to do in a meeting situation.  They go in the zippered pocket as they are not used very often.
Some fun post-its go in the other pockets and get used most days.
The big zippered pocket goes the full length of the pouch which is ideal for rulers and all sort of additional pencils etc that will not go in your planner.
It is amazing how much you can actually fit in these pouches so the not so good quality starts to fade a little.
The little pocket at the front holds some spare keys to some cupboards in case  the main key goes missing.
So once everything is in place with a pen slotted in the centre and a pencil sits in the loop and popped in the pocket below, then we are ready to go!
I have had highlighter pens in here but they seem to have ended up in my planner anyway because they are mini ones so they are missing form these pictures.
Even fully stuffed it is not very wide and the zip is not straining in any way.
I tend not to use the front pocket very much as it gets caught in my bag but there is more room for a little notebook and pen.
Overall, I have been using this for work for about 7 weeks and it is working very well indeed.  I just need to remember to re-stock it every now and again!  It has everything I need day to day and it lives in my work bag which frees up a  lot of space in my main planner, all of the stationary stays nice and the post-it glue section does not get covered in fluff or dust which stops them from sticking properly!
A good buy at £3.99 and has with stood the usage that I have put it under.
This item would be ideal as a pencil case or coupon and voucher pouch as well.
This has been a bit picture heavy but I hope it gives  you an idea of what I do to help me organise my working life.
Bye for now.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

GO! Sophie G0!

At the end of Year 5 Sophie started to talk a lot about wanting to join Netball Club with the chance to play for the school.
So at the beginning of this school year Sophie asked again and even though it is on the same day as Brownies which means lighting dinners and a whirl wind day she has been playing Netball.
After just one practise session ( I perhaps need to say that quite a few of the other girls have been playing netball for a couple of years while Sophie was learning Samba band.)Sophie found herself in a Home match at her primary school and they won.  She is in the B team.
A week later and an Away match was cancelled due to such heavy rain that it would have been more like Water Polo!
However, the next Away match with the B team ended in Sophie being presented with the above trophy!
 Sophie was awarded Player of the Match and the write up in the School newsletter was great...."Sophie worked her socks off running around to support her team....!
That's my girl!
The trophy has seen better days and is glued together so Hubby suddenly disappeared  into the garage and came back with another one and offered to donate to the school.  It has been duly accepted and the plaque and badge is being changed over.
 The look on Sophie's face when she showed it to me was worth all of the rushing around every Tuesday and was definitely a Slushy Mummy Moment!
It sat with Pride of place on the mantel piece for several days and has now gone back to school.
I just about manged to get to her school this afternoon to see part of her practise session and it is a sport that Sophie has said that she would like to carry on into big school next year.
As an added bonus, my Year 10 GCSE Art Textiles group told me today that my lessons are the best ever!!!
So a good week all round.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Our Inner Child.

I like being a Mum for many reasons.
The hugs and kisses, the smiles and "I love you Mum".
Being able to pass on skills and knowledge and trying to answer the endless questions.
Another reason is being to go into a Toy shop guilt free and be able to buy something without getting funny looks.  (Well, not many funny looks, maybe just one or two perhaps!).  Being able to re-live your childhood by introducing your child to books and games you loved as a kid.  Sophie can not get enough of Enid Blyton's Naughtiest Little Girl Series.  
To go into Toy R Us and see how some toys are coming back round again but this time you might be able to afford to buy it yourself without permission or it having to be your birthday!
Another for Hubby and I,  is to go and see films at the cinema that we might not normally go and see.
So this afternoon we went and saw....................
.....Monsters University.  As a family we like the  Monsters Inc Film and when this came out in July we were going to see it but the unusually lovely summer made us forget all about it.  Until last Sunday.
It was good clean fun with very funny scenes, in fact there were some which I have seen in real life and gave you that "Oh yes, I have been there".
  The time went really quickly and made us all laugh which is what it is all about.  So if you have a rainy weekend and your cinema is showing this film it might be a good way to spend it.
During the trailers they advertised this film..........
I like the Fast and The Furious films with Paul Walker and this seems to be a snail version.  The clips they showed were really funny so this may be our next spontaneous cinema visit in the weeks to come.
So just picture it..........a common garden snail who is zapped by something which gives him the power to move at lightening speed!  With some not so gifted side kicks.  

Monday, 14 October 2013

Le Challenge - Thriller

 The Challenge for October was Thriller and I will be honest that I did struggle with this one.  Halloween kept creeping into my brain and in the end I had to give in.

 I first saw this pumpkin in a craft calender, in fact it is the same one that I featured in in 2010.  There is a link to it in my side bar.  Several have been printed since and for other crafts including knitting.  It was the first time that I had anything published.
I have always wanted to make it and after my brain could not come up with anything else I decided to go for it.
I did want to add a bit to the design so I used orange thread and a pattern on the sewing machine that looked similar to a pumpkin and added this to each of the 6 sections.
To add a bit of strength I machine embroidered with fleece interfacing on the back.
The stalk is made from felt and hand stitched around the edge with blanket stitch and then hand stitched to the top of the pumpkin.
It may not be a massive idea to come up with but I was "Thrilled" to make a simple item that I have been meaning to get to for nearly four years!

Update:  Many thanks for all of the comments and hits for this post.  It is lovely to hear what you think and to have the chance to visit some new blogs.
A Halloween Linky Party 

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Spooky Hair-Do

I saw this on CraftZine...............
Should I?
Would anyone notice at school?
What do you think or will I get put in detention for my scary hair?
Fun idea though.
Have a great Sunday.  I have finally made a break through with my evening class sketchbook.  Pictures next time as i have not actually taken any yet. 
Many thanks for all of the visitors who came to look at my knitted snood.  It is lovely and warm without being too hot and soft, very soft so not in the least bit itchy or uncomfortable.
I can see ma making another of those.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Knitted Snood

As I was leaving work today I felt the first nip in the air of Autumn.
So this cowl/snood that I managed to knit up in a week (probably more quickly than that for anyone else but I made it over several days) will soon be in full use.
I picked this up recently and it knitted up really well..  Anyway,  this knit used one ball of Mega Chunky Rustic and I picked up a flecked purple which is very soft indeed.
Yarn is from FancyYarn.
The ball cost £3.99 and with it was a simple knitting pattern to follow.
This is what it looks like flattened out.  I had a snood in the 1980's which I wore to school in the winter when it was perishing cold and I had to wait for a school bus.  Then a few years ago I asked about snood patterns and I would get blank looks everywhere, now I am falling over patterns and the word snood!  Weird , but then fashion is on a constant cycle.
So to make this snood:
12 mm needles.
Cast on 42 stitches.
Knit 2 x 2 rib (Knit2, Purl 2) repeat this pattern.
Keep knitting until nearly all of the wool is used up.
Cast off.
To make up pin and carefully hand stitch the side seam together to make a continuous loop with the remainder of the wool left over after casting off.
I then folded it in half as shown above.
I was a bit concerned that it would too small but here on "Rose" it is just right.
Teamed with my favourite winter fleece which I can zip up quite a way, it will certainly keep out the draft and chill.
I did make a lovely red snood last winter which I used a lot and will be in use this year too, but I thought this one I could keep in the car and because it is not as big as the red version it will also fit in my hand bag more easily.
What do you have on your knitting needles at the moment?
Maybe started on your festive gifts?

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

OPAM September Round Up

I am not sure where September went and I  do seem to be saying this a lot just lately.  The days seem to be going so fast.  I am also having my usual struggle with technology as the Internet seems to not want to play ball at the moment and I have in fact been writing this post for several days.  I am also having problems replying to comments too so please bear with me.

I thought that I would do a little round up for the 5 makes that I managed to squeeze in last month.
This was for Septembers entry for Le Challenge and the theme was heroes.
Three felt book marks with lovely chunky buttons on the ends.
I also made a couple of items for a Halloween swap that I
 recently took part in as well.
These are two two swap items I sent and the Halloween Book mark is counted for Opam September.  The pincushion is a little older than that.
I have made an item for October and as it is Autumn a knitting project seemed appropriate so I shall how that is my next post.
I have been to my evening class tonight and a little of my mojo may be back as I have been Mono-printing and Lino-printing all evening and it has been great!!  I need to take some photos tomorrow in daylight but some have turned out pretty well.
See you tomorrow.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Spectacular Knitting!!

Where has the week gone?
I intended on posting much earlier than this but it seems to have been a continual race from once task or venue to another.  In fact I feel a bit like a hamster in one of those wheels but without the comfort of the cute furry coat and twitchy nose!
 When we visited the exhibition at Exeter last weekend there was also a fantastic exhibition of knitting.  It was all put together to make a gigantic book.
The first photograph shows a section of one of the pages.  Everything that you see has been hand knitted!  
Some sections had been made using felt or handmade felt.
I really liked this little bird and you can also see the detail of the knitted leaves.
This is a different page from the big book and a slightly different colour scheme due to the change in season.
The above picture shows the hinge where two pages meet.  The pages show a knitted garden with a vegetable patch and flowers.
The field's with knitted sheep were lovely and there is so much detail.  Whoever put this giant book together certainly had a task on their hands but I also suspect there was a lot of fun as well!
This little chap is my favourite.  Reminded me of the 1970's Macrame owls.  I have a vintage book on it somewhere.
On a different theme - knitted seagulls and the open sea.
I can not remember how this fitted into the giant book but seeing as I live in Cornwall I thought a picture of this was a must.
As we moved on I suddenly had the feeling of something behind me........but I was not expecting a giant knitted dragon.  This was linked to a Myths and Legends theme.
I always love the crafted challenge exhibition that they have and one day I might actually be able to find out in time to see if I can take part.
I did buy a few items on my visit.  I managed to avoid buying any fabric until the very last minute then I succumbed as I was near the exit.  Oh well.
As the evenings draw in I like to have something to do in front of the television and my eyes can not always deal with hand sewing.  A bit of nip in the air this past week or so prompted me to buy some  lovely wool.  I am half way through one of the projects and I shall post it as soon as I finish.
My evening class is now under way but I feel that I have rather lost my motivation with it.  Too much going on at work to really sit and concentrate on other things.
So I am going to sign off and try and get some marking done (yes it is Friday night but there you go..) so that I can have Saturday and Sunday with Sophie and my sketchbook.  There is some washing, vacuuming and dusting that needs doing too but hopefully some free time as well.
Oh help!!!!
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