Saturday, 30 March 2013

Chubby Bird Softies - OPAM March

At Christmas, (Oh it seems like an age ago) I took part in the Chooky Blue Christmas swap and I was lucky enough to receive a great parcel from Jan at Little Red Hen.
Inside the parcel were many gorgeous hand made loveliness including a pattern craft card to make the little fella below...........
 Meet..........Chubby Bird.  Made out of light blue and white felt.  He is a lovely full round shape, a bit like a tennis ball!  I will confess to deciding to enlarge the templates as they looked a bit too small........however, I may have enlarged them a bit too much as he really is quite big.
French knot eyes and detailing on his chubby tummy and a fun beak pointing skyward.
See what I mean about being rather round!  He is great though and Sophie soon spotted him sitting on the windowsill in the living room.
I think that he will be a regular around the house and may find himself in a certain little girls bedroom, but for now he will be spending Easter with us.
It has been a glorious day here in Cornwall and we even managed a few hours out in the garden today.
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Sophie's Art Brownie Badge

Sophie has always been very keen on her weekly Brownie sessions and this is matched with her wishing to chose and work for different badges.  Since last summer she has been working on some badge or other and the latest is her Art Badge.

So we have been planning which of the sections of the badge requirements that Sophie wants to do.
The first thing that we did was set up a fabric printing station. Sophie had made her own printing blocks months ago because she saw me making some for my Art Textiles course so it made sense to use them again.
A few trials to make sure that the colour was just right on some spare fabric which Sophie will take along to the Brownie tester to show what the fabric looked like before cutting it up .
A great deal of concentration required now and Sophie decided what the design should look like.  That little apron she is wearing was a present years ago when she was about three!  It seems to grow with her.
I showed her how to load the printing block with a paint brush and left her to work out the rest herself.
Sophie added to the fabric using a cotton wool bud and her fingers!
She then used a template of mine and drew out a paper pattern.  She then pinned the paper pattern to the fabric making sure that she picked the best bits of her fabric (her idea to do this) and then using her sewing machine she pinned, stitched, stuffed each of the above hearts with ribbon to tie them together.  The best bit is that she also stitched up the opening with the stuffing inside without any problems on her own when I said that I would help her with this bit.
They really are very good indeed and Sophie made these all by herself I was just in the kitchen with her to be on hand of needed.  I really was not needed (don't tell me that I am on the scrap heap already?)
She is delighted with them and I was delighted at how she coped with this and problem solved as she went along.  A real slushy Mummy moment when steps forward like this occur.  Sophie is only 10 years old and has a lot of ability that I intend to nurture as she grows up.
This is only a part of what she has made for her Artist badge and she will be tested on it after Easter so I shall show you some more in my next post.
I am now on Easter holiday, I have six boxes of work and I think that I have the lurgy coming that half the nation has had.  Brilliant timing as usual.
Have a great Easter weekend where ever you may be.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

A lovely Thank You!

This term we have had two lovely trainee's working with us and on Friday it was their last day and now they move on to their second placement.  School terms are always very long, busy and exhausting for all concerned and this term has been no different.
Trainee 1 is a Textiles specialist with Product Design as a second area.  Trainee 2 is the opposite way round.
Trainee two has some how found the time to make a gift for those of us that she worked with as a Thank You............
There is a lovely heart shaped bead with tiny little flowers on it and a few other beads scattered just below.
Hand made felt purple felt with machining in the centre.
On the back is a tiny brooch clip and it goes well with sooooo many tops that I have.  In fact I am wearing it right this minute with a lilac jumper.
Trainee 1 must have spent ages hand cutting a lovely card which I have hung up on my classroom which says Thank You with a contrast colour behind it.  Very cleverly done.
I wish both of our lovely trainee's all the best for their next placement.  I am very sorry to see them go, it has been a lot of fun working together.
Trainee 1 has made a giant start on the school production costumes and when the show starts we want to both go and see our efforts on stage.  I now need to finish off the rest of the costume needs.
I am the only Textiles teacher and it can get a bit lonely working on your own for much of the day  so it has been a breath of fresh air to have another keen and like-minded enthusiast to work along side!
Take care

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Hospital Date

Today I had confirmation that on 2nd April I will be going into hospital to have my cortisone injection in my hip.  I have the early stages of osteoarthritis and hopefully the injection will help ease the pain that I am in.  The pain is constant at the moment.  If it works I am going to ask about having one in the right hip at a later date.  I have had a letter explaining the procedure and the pros and cons.  I have read it and taken it all in and I am now going to just ignore the cons and keep my fingers crossed.
It is a cancellation, so a bit of a surprise.  They did want me at the hospital at 7am.  I live an hour away , so leave at 6am?  Get up at 4.30am or so...............with a 10 year old..........Mmmmmmm.....managed to beg and get 8.30am.  Not sure what to do with Sophie as Grandparents are on holiday that day and is it a bit early to impose on friends?  So poor Sophie is likely to be dragged along as well, I am not allowed to drive so hubby has to stay with me as well.  Family outing...........oh great............but such is life.
I have had some lovely post this week and I shall blog here about it on Friday when I can sit still and write it properly with pictures etc.
Best wishes

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Filofax - Old friends

Many thanks for those of you who gave suggestions on the last post.  I have made a couple of choices and just waiting for them to turn up.
Years and years ago I bought a cheap old filofax when I went to sixth form and used it in the same way as  I had used my school homework diary.  It has long since been in filofax heaven and thought no more about it.
Then about 8 years ago I became Deputy Head of Year (had to give this up when I went part-time for a year to look after Sophie boo hoo) I decided to go back to using one as I thought it might help to keep up with the additional tasks this would generate.
This is a brown Collins Personal with a zip.  I have had it for  years and it is still in very good condition.
 The zip is not damaged in any way and it is very well made.  It is surprising just how much you can squeeze into this.
Two inner slip pockets and a zip pocket kept everything in place.  Especially all of the little post-its I was given with messages that I needed to follow up.
Loads of plastic card pockets and dividers with tabs etc.
Right at the back is a slot for a pad and a loop for a pen, which does have to quite slim to fit.
I use this occasionally as it is not big enough for work anymore but too big to put in my handbag.
Then about two years ago I bought this one from Paperchase.
Definitely bright, cheap and cheerful.  It really is as bright as it looks and I use it for my blogging, Etsy, web shop, Art course and a whole lot more.  I had thought about covering it but I changed my mind.  
On the inside there are some little card pockets and a larger slip pocket which is stuffed with all sorts of cards and post-its.
I really like the plastic pockets with the  slide fastener.  Had them for ages and not broken them yet!
When I bought this in Cambridge it was cheaper partly because it was over half way through the year so I took all of that out and because the dates were not the aim I added my own dividers and colour pages.
I really liked this blue textured card.  I simply drew around an existing divider and cut it out with scissors.  I bought a 6 holed punch from Ebay and punched my own card and paper.
The back cover has a slide in corner pocket (not sure what to call it?) This is very useful and here I keep a little mini card clipboard that I made from an old hard backed note book.
For a personal filofax it is very roomy and that magnetic popper is good at holding it all together.
This filofax is used all of the time and I keep everything in here.  However, it never leaves the house and is really used as a little bright filing cabinet.  Too big for my handbag and too small for work etc.
Well worth every ( small amount of....) money.

There are many things in everyday life that need organising and I have seen many examples on Youtube this week.  For me, just being able to find a few bits of information quickly is really all I need.  I am not sure if I am going to keep the brown one, I might sell it on Philofaxy and give it a new home.
How do you organise?
Have a good week.  It is supposed to be getting much colder here.  Best get the thermals out.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Looking for...... Malden in Purple/Aubergine A5 Purple Malden Filofax.............
I have been told that it is more of an aubergine colour than the picture shows which I found on Google images.
I have googled this item to within an inch of my life and tracked down many other colours but I am afraid this is the one that I am prepared to pay out for as I would keep it for years!!!!  (They are not cheap)  There are loads on Youtube and it was only launched April 2012 but again I seem to have missed the retail boat.  
As readers of this blog live all over the world I was wondering if anyone knew where I could contact a seller for this item.
It is for work and my evening class among other things.  They could be phasing out my work planner in favour of using ICT forms of planning and organising.  Call me old fashioned but I like a hard copy of anything that I personally need.  I like to actually write things down as part of the remembering process etc. 
I would be very grateful for any pointers to tracking down one of these lovely books before my poor laptop melts through over googling!
Many thanks.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

My Kitchen Dresser

I was sat drinking a cup of tea in the kitchen today thinking about the next job I needed to do when it occurred to me that I have not really featured my little white dresser on this blog.
When we re-decorated the kitchen nearly three years ago (where has the time gone) I had said that I would really like some form of dresser.  Our kitchen does not have much wall space so behind the kitchen door was the only place available.
After much hunting, which took months, I finally found a narrow white dresser that fits perfectly in the space between the kitchen door and the adjacent wall.
Over the time that I have had the dresser I have gradually added and displayed various keepsakes such as items that Sophie has made or colourful cute items.
So the above rose is the latest addition.
Sophie spotted it first in Asda and it really is the smallest rose plant that I have ever seen.
Of course we could not leave.........
....the other one behind.  I will need to re-pot them so that they keep growing, but for now they have...
pride of place on the dresser.
What else is there?
I love blue and white so the mug is a Whittards purchase years ago.  The owl was a gift Sophie received at  Christmas.  The Russian doll I made in January from a kit.
This is a small ornament that we brought back from our cruise when we visited Amsterdam.  So cute.
A purchase during my cupcake obsession.
Cath Kidston set which was a 40th present from my sister.
A recently made felt heart.
There are other items and they all have a story or some significance.  They get rotated round and added to, moved to the living room and then moved back.
Overall, I love my little dresser and despite its small size it is very much a focus in our kitchen.
Do you have a dresser, display shelf or favourite corner in your home?
Has been a lovely day here in Cornwall and a pain free day for my hip.......
Hip Hip  (hooray) thank goodness.
Take care

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Inside my Sketchbook - Final Piece for Art Textiles

 The last two posts have shown my coursework, which has now been handed in for marking.  The work was   to develop ideas and produce samples along the  theme of Entwined.  I wanted the work to link to organic forms and have a sense of growing and movement.  The above picture shows a close up of my final piece.
Interlocking tendrils "growing " across the work. (But not in a creepy way).
Resulting in a final piece of work that nearly finished me off but was completely worth it.  We also spent two Saturday's st the college with our tutors to give us the uninterrupted time and space to really get stuck into our work.  it helped so much as well.
I am very pleased with the outcome and I hope it gets a good mark but I shall have to wait and see.  For now it is best to forget about it and move on to the next stage which is to start all over again and get prepared for my up coming practical exam at the end of April.
It was my evening class session this evening and I think I have come back feeling better about my idea than I did when I arrived.  I have just completed a mammoth report session so now there will be some me time along with some student marking.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Another My Sketchbook Peek

Another look at my coursework sketchbook  and above is a sample that I produced to begin to think about Entwined and how I was going to develop this theme into an item to make.
More designing was necessary and thinking about materials to be used.
Not being completely sure of my drawing (which is why I signed up for this course, to try and improve on this) collage has become quite a popular form of drawing and recording for me.
Materials were decided upon and samples needed to be added to my sketchbook so that the course tutor could see my line of thinking.  Annotation is very important and assists with getting the marks.
I did think about several variations of my Entwined idea with different layouts, colour combinations and material options.
I really enjoyed drawing these pages up in my sketchbook although at one point the list of what I wanted to add did seem endless.
Tyvek was a material that I really liked using and I have promised to do a  tutorial on how to use it in the near future.
I really had some fun with a bit of knitting and crochet and I really did not think that I would be able to incorporate either of these crafts.  I really enjoyed the complete freedom that his project lent itself and not having to worry about a seam not fitting exactly or a zip being put in straight.  The freedom to let an idea evolve organically and be surprised with how the samples turned out.
Next I shall show you what the final outcome turned out to be.
Take care and have a good week.
(Please note that all of the above are work created by myself and submitted for a recognised course and qualification which has yet to be determined so please no copying or taking of images from this post. I am sure you all understand.)

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