Tuesday, 30 November 2010

A Snowy Walk

It snowed steadily all day, so I was glad I got the bus this morning. My school was closed in the afternoon so I left by two and walked home, as I didn't know the state of the buses. It took an hour and was very pleasant. Here are a few local views! This is the old people's home just next to school. It is a fairly new building-the old one was empty and became derelict for ages. It is where Tiger and Lily were found as strays. I think the newer building looks a little Scandinavian-and in the snow it looks like a ski lodge.
I loved the colours of this graffitied wall.

Christmas trees for sale, getting an attractive dusting of snow.

Snowy sign at the crossroads next to Woolwich Common.


A view of Woolwich Barracks-no longer a barracks. (I tell a lie-it has been refurbished and is still being used by the army) It is a lovely building with a huge parade ground in front.


Snow crow in a plane tree-
I love the seeds of plane trees-they look like natural Christmas decorations.
Cassie in the snow-the first snow she has been in-she didn't like it! I will upload a little film if you would like to see her not liking it! She kept placing her paw in different spots trying to avoid touching the nasty white stuff.

video

Monday, 29 November 2010

Dark Winter's Tales

I read 'White Crow' by Marcus Sedgewick yesterday, by the fire, in the dark evening. It is gripping and unusual and I loved it! On the way to meet my friend on Friday, I read 'Crow' by Frances Horovitz. Beautiful.

Crow

hieroglyph between hills
inheritor of high trees
sudden wreckage of silence
cry alien among birds

ragged wing flap
startling the calm air
deceitful dalliance
black spy in the land

guardian on post and wall
watchful each in his own field
in beady surveillance
cottage and dark wood


I have two other dark, but funny things to share. The first is this quote from eBay-I was in the vintage book section of eBay, idly browsing, when I came across this book-
Vintage 1948 Spiritualism book called "Voices of the Passed" by Major J.H. Webster.
'The book is in good condition, although cover seems to have a few tiny pain splashes on it.'
I thought that splashes of pain were most appropriate for a book all about summoning the dead!
The second is a joke I heard on the radio on the way home. it was on a programme about numbers, and the final part was the guests talking about their favourite number. The one I liked was this-'664, the neighbour of the beast'.

P.S. Look-white crows!




Sunday, 28 November 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

This is my book doll. Yesterday, I found time for some much needed dusting in the bedroom, and the fun part-rearranging all the things from the many collections. The book doll ended up next to the book pile and made a dramatic reading shadow. For more shadows from around the world, visit Tracy at HeyHarriet here!


Things people have made this week that I liked-
Anairam made a paper angel.
Anne made tiny bunting
Mary's grand daughter Hannah made a lovely book for her-look at the paperclip binding-brilliant!
Rebecca made snowflakes with her students.
Aimee made funny pictures using the Boden catalogue.
Linda Sue made butter rolls and lavender bags.
Leenie made some massive pies!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Distracting

Some worrying things have been going on at work, which I can't talk about. I had no control over the things that have happened, and also have not been given the chance to resolve matters personally. This has left me feeling very uneasy, unappreciated and basically really upset. I am not writing about them here to moan, only to say the things which have kept me going during a difficult couple of weeks. These I suppose are my favourite distractions at any time, but have been particularly helpful now. 1. Going out and having a lovely time with friends-last weekend and this one. My sparkly pictures from yesterday are of Bond St, South Molton St and the one above is Oxford St. We met Lorna and had a drink. Then we went to eat at The Guinea Grill. It was lovely-cosy, friendly waiters, and a pie which had its own frilly collar and was delicious. I had white bean soup with truffle oil and croutons for a starter and that was just amazing.
2. Making things-the patchwork is coming along, and today I made some christmas cards-easy ones using a variety of photos and little star brads.

3. Using photoshop-always a quick fix if no other creative thing is going on. Tonight I have made a couple of backgrounds and doodled a couple of girls. This one is Rudolpha the red nosed girl.


4. Taking photos of anything that catches my eye-here is a scene of little folk in the window display of Diesel. You don't see them at first so it almost seems as if they have run out along the branch while you weren't looking!

See 2.-this is a little paper chain made from the trimmings from the photos for the cards.

Doodled girl number two.
5. Blog reading.
6. Being outside-this is just chance, as this week I was the outside person (we have four main areas in the nursery and rotate weekly) Also Forest School. When I am outside I forget my troubles!
7. Playing with Cassie.
8. A teensy weensy bit of internet shopping-a couple of teenage novels I heard about on the radio this week.

Winter Sparkle






Winter sparkle-from the day at work and an evening out.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Sophias

Focusing on shape in our carpet sessions with the children is fun. We do feely bags, look for shapes around us, draw them in the air, on the ground, walk them. Last week we were learning the name of a cylinder and a cuboid-with reference to what they can do-as in a cylinder can roll-so we rolled it around our circle to each other as we said it. This week we are doing a sphere-or 'sophia' as most of us say it! I am finding spheres all over the place,



Silly things on the news this week-our prime minister plans to start measuring our happiness, and the improvement in it over time. What an impossible task. It will give the government even more of an excuse to tell us how to live our lives, as they so love to do. At the same time there are announcements from the education minister that many more schools than already thought are failing, that lots of teacher's lessons are dull and uninteresting and that they will train ex-soldiers as teachers for free, as they will be able to instill good discipline in the classroom. Of course, why didn't I think of it, my job is almost exactly the same as that of a soldier. There have been big student protests this week over the massive debts they will now incur, with the tuition fees they will now have to pay. It has been quite reminiscent of the 80s, when I enjoyed a number of demonstrations and witnessed very similar scenes to yesterday. So, they will train soldiers for free to be teachers, but charge students £9000 a year for the chance of further education, yet they want us to be more happy.
The most snow has fallen the earliest in the year in 17 years, or something like that-not here yet but I can feel it coming! It is freezing. We went to forest school today, and after only about 10 minutes I gave the children the choice of staying out or going back in. Half went and half stayed so we had a very relaxed and bountiful hot chocolate and snack time. I have never seen Khy look so happy as when he was helping himself to his third hot chocolate from the giant flask!
Happy Thanksgiving to you if you celebrate it! I hope it has been fun.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Faces, Photoshop and Water

As I drew this face, I found out via a TV quiz show, that raindrops are spherical, not raindrop shaped. So all the cute depictions of raindrops in various places are WRONG! Art over reality.
These faces (thank you Linda Sue!) are providing me with much amusement, using them in tiny shops, taping them to the wall (I removed them, remembering the plumber was coming round and not wanting to scare him) then to some lovely cardboard packaging. I used the very handy multicoloured masking tape to match their faces. I have painted a rough dress shape and done some patterns. Photoshop next. The faces are so sweet and I like the pretty soft look with the textures added.






The last face is drawn on a page that has trimmings from my paper trimmer-a work job-stuck to the page and then gessoed. The effect just makes me think of having a headache. The sort of headache you might get if you don't drink enough water.
I have just watched a very interesting programme all about the growth of bottled water, how it is branded, and stories about it-for example the one about Coke selling its water in the UK, which was in fact tap water from the Thames with a few treatments, one of which resulted in it containing bromates which are apparently cancer causing. I have always had the uneasy feeling about bottled water that it is just a big con-and remember clearly the days before it. I don't often buy it-only really when on a journey of some sort, certainly not for everyday use. Apparently it takes three litres of water to produce one litre of bottled water, and a fifth of that bottle in oil-in the plastic production and transportation. When there is perfectly drinkable tap water available it seems ridiculous. Also the fact that so many people do not have access to clean water makes it seem immoral. There were some good things in the programme-one of which was a bottled water company which puts money into water projects in countries without good water supplies. Apparently sales have been falling-not sure if that was just the UK or other places.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Misty Tower, Legs, and where not to put your head.

This is The Shard. Taken late on Saturday night when we were on the way home from a drink and rant in the pub with Clare and Gary. It is going to be pretty spectacular with a sunset on it I think. Though I do quite like it in the misty brown drizzle. These two men in their lovely purple kilts caught my eye on the way out earlier. They looked most swish. I wondered where they were off to and would it involve Sottish Country dancing? I like the Gay Gordons-a circle dance and the only one I can do, but wish I was better at the others.

This is later again-I love the blurry phone picture of glamourous legs. I might seem like a bit of a weirdo following people around taking photos of their legs I suppose, but I like the results.
I was doing some work this evening when I looked up and this is the scene I saw. It just made me laugh!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Shop







Clarice and Pamela have been buying old junk for so long now, that they can't remember a time when they didn't. They are wondering whether to start a shop of their own, to make some room to buy more, as they have read that others do. (They have read this so many times it is starting to bore them!) They borrowed a friend's warehouse space, as their little house is too small to show off anything to its proper advantage. They had fun setting up some of their favourite items and pretending to be shop keepers. They like the idea of sitting around all day, sipping tea, quaffing cake, and waiting for like minded people to wander in off the street, and take something strange, old, most probably slightly damaged, but always wonderful, home. They are pondering over a name for the shop, premises and funds, but other than that it is all systems go.

In other news, they have mainly missed all the hoohah about the future wedding of the future king of England-William, to Kate Middleton-a 'middle class' girl who he met at university. I however, have not missed it, and find it all quite interesting. Obviously it is the perfect story to take the poor British public's minds off of their woes, so it is good in that sense. Also I do find all the detail strangely fascinating. Royal Doulton have had their china designed for a few years now-and changed the initials from K for Kate to C for Catherine quite some time ago. Phew that's a relief! I remember the wedding of Charles and Diana, which I watched at my Nan's flat. It is for this reason that I remember it most actually, rather than the wedding itself. I still have my
C and D souvenir china heart trinket box somewhere. I don't think I will be buying any memorabilia for this wedding though-life has become far too incredibly commercialised since the comparatively innocent days of the eighties! Out of interest, if anyone is still reading my ramblings, and if you live elsewhere-how much has this been covered on your news? I am curious!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Trip Trap Trip Trap


'That Funny Story' is what Jack calls the Three Billy Goats Gruff. We love that story! Though today the three pigs has come a close second. Before we started I told the kids the wolf was really hungry and asked them what they thought he would want to eat. It turns out that he eats mainly fruit!


After a long day I love coming home to sweet cats.
Cassie is cuddling El Gato-a catnip filled fabric cigar, after a long
day looking out of the window.




Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Autumn loveliness and circles

Autumn is my favourite season I think, as I love the grey days, and when the sun does come out everything sparkles and glows. This morning we had thick frost-so thick that I was almost late for work, scraping and waiting for it to melt. Then, as I drove down the last hill before work, there was thick fog, where before, at the top, there had been bright sunshine. Then, in the garden, we found iced leaves in the lid of the unused compost bin. (we have a big compost heap so the bin is not needed really)
I know these mosaics will come out tiny on the page, but you can click if you want to see detail. Not that there is much in fog! The frost on the other hand, brought out all the tiny leaves and blades of grass perfectly.


For once I didn't alter anything in photoshop-apart from cropping them a bit. The day was really this colourful!
I am doing a page in my journal everyday-or at least part of a page, after having a long break from doing anything. The first part of today was, as you can see, beautiful. The final part, with even more demands for even more paper work, and some intense discussions resulting from this, was not. It was difficult and not that pleasant. Consequently, I wrote down my negative feelings on the page before this, then drew some circles on this page. There is something about drawing circles that makes me feel relaxed. I love the feeling of it. Big or small, I don't care! The circles reminded me of the rusty section of bed spring-I think from the Thames-that is hanging on the back of the box room door-hence the picture!


I wonder what tomorrow will bring?! Hopefully the chance to finish my 3 billy goats gruff display which I love! The drawings a couple of the children did of the characters are so good.