Friday, 28 February 2014


The day started normally and had a free lesson this morning to do some reports.  However I needed to take some home to do tonight.  So I picked up the box of 25 quite full sketchbooks and walked to the fire exit and put the box on the counter.  Opened the fire exit and as I picked up the box it slipped out of my hands and as it was falling it swung and the weight of 25 books fell forward too and it caught my little finger on my left which took the whole of the weight of the whole box and pulled it sharply sideways towards the floor.  Ouch!
Looked it at, no blood, cut etc but there was a sharp pain which seemed ok so I carried on.  I had my Year 10 group after break so the use of my hand was not in as much demand as usual as they are working on their final piece..  I did get some ice and put it in the accident book.
It was not until a colleague saw it (as she was on her way to the fracture clinic for an update on her shoulder after one of her dairy cows ran in to her.....honestly) that it was suggested it might be worse than I thought. Well...... it seemed a bit much but I asked about leaving straight after school instead of attending the training session as it was not long until the end of the day..
I went straight to the minor injuries clinic and they were brilliant.
I had an x-ray where the radiographer tried to straighten said fingers and I shot through the roof, which led me to believe yep this is not normal.  I waited some time as the x-ray was emailed  to Treliske Hospital in Truro.
When I was asked to go back to the clinic room I was told that I had fractured my finger but the delay had been due to a bone cyst showing up on the x-ray and the fracture had gone straight through it!  They were deciding what to do.  Hence the post title  "OUCH!".
So I now have to go to Treliske next Wednesday to see if the cyst is benign or not.  Brilliant.  I am left handed, for something so small it hurts like hell and my whole hand has swollen across the back and palm.  My other fingers and knuckles hurt and are swollen so I really did a good job in about 2 seconds!  So it is official....marking is not good for your health and on rare occasions can be dangerous (ha ha, got to keep smiling).
I am sure all will be ok but I was due to start my sketchbook for my evening class exam in April and I am supposed to be doing lots of observational drawing.  Not sure what will happen there but I might know more after Wednesday.
So no more sewing this month but luckily I had finished my final piece for the coursework yesterday evening (Wednesday).
Such is life.
Take care.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Crochet in a spin!!

 I have fond a new Blog!
Made in K Town and it is great for helping me to move on with my crochet learning.
The blog is run by Barbara and along the top of her blog are tabs including one for her Etsy shop.  There is also a patterns and tutorial tab which I clicked on more out of interest than actually looking for anything in particular.  
I found a very clear tutorial for making crochet Mandalas and in my quest for learning how to follow patterns and understanding the symbols I found some scrap wool and a 4.5mm hook and had a go.
Below is my first attempt............

I was not really thinking about the colour combination as I just grabbed any scrap wool before I lost the thread of where I was.  This tutorial also had great pictures to let you know what your own work should look like at key stages.
The top picture is my second attempt the following day and this time I decided to think about the colours and limit it to see how much of the pattern would still show through.
It was interesting to see how different the pattern looked by just changing the colours used.  This simple combination I like very much but the first version if enlarged would look good and a scatter cushion.

They even turned out the same size.
If I add these to the other new crochet ventures that I tried over Christmas, my crochet skills have moved on a little.
I am really glad that I have been able to actually stick to a New Year Target rather than a resolution) and I am building my way up to making actual items, but at the moment I am happy to simply experiment with shape, colour, different stitches and how to link the pattern sections together.
Pop over and take a look at her blog.
I have a deadline for my evening class coursework so I must get back to it but once it is handed in I shall be having a go at the African Flower square tutorial and see how I get on.
Take care!

Monday, 17 February 2014

Purple Malden - One year on.

It is about a year ago that I bought a pink Finsbury A5 Filofax to use for work but if I am really honest it was the Purple Malden that I was really after.  I still have the Finsbury and wondering if I should sell it as it was only used for three months.
Anyway, I looked at how to set it up over the next few months then as work too off with exams etc I put it to one side with the view to really using it last September.
Over the summer holidays I worked out the layout for the day to day pages that would work for me as I had always been given a teacher planner in the past, but that was now stopping in favour of an ipad but I like to have information on paper and the process of writing things down helps me to start to remember things.  Well not always ...............
The picture above shows that perhaps I am a "stuffer" but that is mainly due to what I need all the time more than anything.
The inside flap is always in use with post-it notes, colour coded stickers, memory sticks etc.  Plus pieces of paper to write on.
Opposite is my dashboard which I have just cleared as we are starting a school break for a week.  I made my own and laminated it so that it would last for at least a school year.  
I like using different sized paper so that i can see past sections and these are large post-it note agenda sheets from Asda. Due to the paper being quite thin I could fold them in half and use both sides. Ideal for note taking at meetings and slotting them into my diary later.
Colour coded stickers for groups.  I put these in place within my diary to see at a glance if a meeting or occasion is related to a specific year.
I also like clear dashboards so this is a piece of thick acetate sheet which I cut down and punched holes to add some smaller post-it notes.  It has a tab so that I can find it and I just add the stickers using a strip of double sided.
In case I need to make any changes next year, rather than laminating the tab titles in I have added them on top with stickers.
Last year I used the diary that came with the Filofax but found it was too bulky and there were several days each month when I did not write anything in.  So for 2014 I decided to print off the month to a page from Philofaxy and it has been working really well.
I also printed off a week to a page for more detailed and busy weeks.  I only put in a couple of months at a time to save space.
These are working so much better than the diary that came with it.  I like the fact that the page is split and there are no unnecessary extra calendars or months written in several languages getting in the way.  I use my colour coded stickers on these pages to show which meetings are linked to which year group or for which training session it might be.  The colour stickers are not very big but do show up clearly on the lilac paper that I have chosen to print the pages on.
The above picture is of my own layout which Hubby helped me to draw on Autocad so that I can change it to suit my needs at work.  This is the page which starts each week and I can write in items to remember and forth coming events etc.
The front page is then followed with these daily pages which divides my day up with the three lesson sessions of 100 minutes each.  I then just need to slot in the date etc at the very top.  they have been set up to print two on an A4 page and double sided.  This take a bit of working out but I have been printing them for a few months and I do a batch at a time to see me through a term.
I also have a few grid pages for monitoring class progress etc.
All in all it is working really well and the A5 is definitely the size I need and I intend on using my Malden for many years to come.
If you have stuck with me this far well done! and I hope it has been useful to see what I have done with my work/teaching Filofax.  Any questions just leave a comment.
Take care

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Batik and Tyvek Canvas

Last week I ran a taster session as part of the Options Choice process and in 50 minutes I set a group of 18 girls the challenge of adding batik to a canvas and painting it any colour using silk paints.  The wax sits on top of the canvas and the silk paints are lovely and bright.

To add some texture and a bit of wow factor we then painted some Tyvek which we heated and bubble to create all sorts of shapes.  They really loved this bit!
Finally we attached the tyvek where they wanted it using a glue gun.
All in 50 minutes.  Phew............just got it all done.
Very striking colour combination.
Lots of bright colours.
Blogger is sadly being awkward with the angle of some of these pictures and I started this post over a week ago try8ing to sort it out, but I hope you can see how lovely these examples are and they only had 50 minutes to create them.
They really enjoyed making these and I found out yesterday that I have a new GCSE Art Textiles group for September 2014.
So that will make three groups on the go so that is quite a lot of sketchbooks!
We have just started half term and I have work for the day job and evening class pouring out of both ears (awful thought really) but I hope to be a little more around this blog over the coming week and visiting others too.
I was hoping to run a little spring swap which would end sometime during the Easter holidays so this afternoon after I have been Truro I shall post what it could be.
Take care.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Sophie's latest Project

Sophie and I have decided that during the summer holidays we are going to set up a blog for her and I shall have access to it as well.  She is now making so many much more complicated things and using the sewing machine independently.  Sophie has also asked several times about it and I think it could help with her ICT skills and general writing and literacy.
So here is her latest make............with a bit of help as this was her first zip application.
 Sophie found this lovely elephant fabric on a day trip to Lostwithiel.  It has sat in her sewing box for just over a month until last weekend.  An idea began to take shape in her mind, something to carry her art and small sketchbook around in.
So a zip was also needed and luckily I had one just the right size.
This  isin fact the second zip because the first time Sophie closed and opened her pencils case the first purple zip broke!!!! It was a new zip and I had spent time teaching her how to sew a zip in, which she did herself under supervision.  You should have seen the look on her face it was heartbreaking but she never said a word.  I started to unpick it and she said  "No Mummy I will do that and let you know when I have unpicked it"  Unpick it she did as well.  I like zips to be well stitched in so you can imagine how long it took.  So when I found another one and triple checked it was ok I stitched it in this time to make up for the disappointment.
The owl tab was an added extra we popped in at the same time which she found at Coast and Country on the way to Falmouth.
 So after a bit of drama and despair at the quality of today's zips Sophie know has a lovely case for her art materials and small sketchbook which is of her own design.
She is now working on a sock cat.  this is why her own blog might be in order!
Take care.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

OPAM 2014 January

I first signed up with OPAM a couple of years ago and I have to say it is one of my favourite blog activities.  It makes me finish items that I have started, visit other blogs, find out about other swaps and basically interact with crafters in other countries.
So I have signed up again and I have a few makes for January to officially submit.
Three crochet head/ear warmers which we used in Austria.
Hand knitted "Bobble".  An on-going project with my Textiles Club.
2 crochet coasters (really pleased with these as they are a big step away from the Granny Squares that I usually make).
So that is 6 makes to start off 2014 and I have my next project ready to finish off.  Regular long time readers may even remember this.............
Back tomorrow with more on this but I have some marking to do..........
Anyone been watching
The Three Musketeers?

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