Tuesday 29 December 2009

On The Sofa

My sofa and other sofas in other people's houses have seen rather a lot of me recently. DFS are trying to sell me sofas by giving me endless booklets picturing them. Out of these circumstances the 'On The Sofa' series came. It is as simple as it seems. I have a few more sofas stuck down and will continue to fill them over new year.
The carambar caramel that came from the paper acting as the rug in number one was delicious!
Number two-reading a Christmas book. This year I was lucky to receive two books. One is about teaching art and how to talk about paintings to children-it looks very interesting. The other is a great step by step photographic cook book from my Mum who was most sympathetic about my recent cooking disasters. It makes things look very easy. We shall see!
Number three is what sofas are perfect for-cuddling-in this case a cat! Not sure what happened to the legs in this one though!

The last few days have been hectic and I have not had the time to visit all of my lovely blog friends. I hope to do so after the new year! I wish you all a very happy new year and all the best for 2010! Make sure to spend some quality time on sofas!

Monday 28 December 2009

A Few Days

A few photos from the last few days-Christmas has come and gone again! This is Bertie, one of my Mum's cats (Bert and Ernie after the muppets) He and I had a battle for the chair he is on and he mainly won. He stares up into your eyes with a look of love.
Our Christmas day game. It is called 'Connect' and we have had it since we were children. It is a simple but strangely fun game where all you have to do is make connections with the underground map-like pieces. Usually everyone plays scrabble except me as I don't really like it(and am not very good at it!) but this year we played connect and then junior trivial pursuit-from the eighties-so very dated current affairs and sports.
On Boxing day we went to Antony's and had a walk into town which was really busy. This is an unusual lamp shade in his house-one of his drawings. I did a few doodly face drawings and then remembered this lamp and made them into candle shades. I have ordered some of those led tealights for a safe option though!
Antony is still in the process of clearing out the stuff from his house and I have relieved him of quite a lot of it. This tray was one I missed on our last visit-it is really 70s Christmassy I think. The counters were being thrown out at school and I rescued them.
On Sunday we went to my Dad's for lunch.
This is the view from the back of his house. I love the stark tree against the blue cloudy sky. This is Oskar. He belonged to the old man that Joan, Dad's wife, cared for for a long time. When he died, Joan and Dad adopted Oskar. He is a sweetie!
A deliciously scented hyacinth. I love these flowers.

Thursday 24 December 2009

Christmas Eve!

Fly Father Christmas, fly!

Here is the last advent door-I had fun over the last few days making this one but it was hard to photograph with enough detail. If you would like to see details there are lots more photos on flickr.

Happy Christmas!

Wednesday 23 December 2009

Advent Calendar Wednesday 23rd December

Click on the number to open the door!
Nearly there!

Tuesday 22 December 2009

Advent Calendar Tuesday 22nd December

Click on the number to open the door.

Big fluffy snow yesterday, that caused all sorts of transport problems. It came down so fast and everything just broke! Buses were stuck on hills, points on railway lines stopped working, tubes were delayed and stations were shut. I was on my way to my friend Clare's for a games playing evening so I persevered and got there eventually. We played Balderdash-a definitions guess the true one type of game. We also played Cranium which had something for everyone. It includes questions, charades and mimes, humming to guess a tune, drawing, and model making clues. It has the opportunity for budding impressionists to make their mark! The last game was Dingbats-far too difficult for me-you have to guess a phrase from obscure cryptic clues.
That is my car on the left and looking across the road you can see the lovely Christmas display of the opposite house. They are big on Halloween too. Under the tree are lots of those little German houses with lights in and a little train track runs around them.
I am doing a Suzi Blu class on painting Angels at the moment. This is my first one. I am not sure about her yet. I am painting it on a tall narrow cardboard panel that I found on the bin at work. Far too good to throw away. I think it is packaging but from what I don't know. I quite like her wings-I used modelling paste to make them.

Monday 21 December 2009

Advent Calendar Monday 21st December

Sunday 20 December 2009

Advent Calendar, Shadow Shot Sunday and A Train Journey

Advent calendar door for today...20

We went to see Avenue Q last night. I really enjoyed it. It was sweet and funny and done really well. The actors are the puppeteers. They are acting and running the puppet and you get this joint effect which is really clever. The set was great-a miniature New York apartment block with rooms that opened up and different levels and windows.

Here is my shadow shot for this week-the lighting rig in the theatre. Visit Hey Harriet here for more shadows.
Below are some photos from our journey into town. It was about 3.30 and the sun was setting. The gold of the sun was catching the buildings in the distance and everywhere looked really magical.

Saturday 19 December 2009

Saturday 19th December Advent Calendar

Friday 18 December 2009

Advent Calendar Friday 18th December

Today's photo was taken this morning when I was setting up outside-I just couldn't resist!
Snow falling last night in a very blizzardy way. It looked very bad at midnight.
By this morning though it was not too bad. This is the view walking up the hill to the bus stop. I didn't risk the car though I did go back to school in it tonight to collect my bag of presents!
I was glad we didn't have a snow day in the end as the children enjoyed the snow. We only had just over twenty children in in both sessions (out of the normal fifty) so we had a very relaxed day. We made a tiny snowman with a really big carrot for his nose. We dug the snow, made snowballs and snow angels. This one came out really well considering there was not that much snow. In the afternoon we went for a walk up the hill at the back of the school, danced around a bit, sang here we go round the mulberry bush and then went back for hot chocolate. We went out in the garden for a while and had fun trying to dig up the now frozen snow. Who needs toys when you have snow and some spades? It was a lovely end to the term. I have a day of work to catch up on on Monday and then that is it-holiday time!

Thursday 17 December 2009

Oddments and Advent Calendar

Click on the number to open the door..

Snow cloud over the playground. Party shoes. L. had a fantastic outfit on-a felted dress and jacket with attached flowers in the colours of turquoise, orange and green. It was beautiful! Her shoes are great aren't they?
Beautiful Brown Anne has got a poll on her blog, asking people to vote on their favourite colour. Mine is turquoise and it is not on the list so I didn't vote. However, I am going to go back and vote for brown today. Last time I looked it had no votes. Poor brown, it needs my support!
I did not like brown in clothes for a number of years as my school uniform was that colour and put me off. Then one day, I realised how much I like it. I had a lovely brown seventies shirt that was one of my favourite things for ages and which looked good with a turquiose necklace-brown compliments turquiose so well-another reason to love it.
All my Christmas presents are wrapped in brown paper this year-easy, simple, cheap and looks good with a bit of sparkly gold on the tags and a bit of brown or red ribbon.

Wednesday 16 December 2009

Advent Calendar Wednesday 16th December

Click on the 16 to open the door!

Today was lovely at school. We had our singing to the parents occasion which we have not done before. Usually we get involved in the Key Stage One production as the singers. It is stressful and time consuming as we have to go to another building and it involves toilet trips and lots of waiting around. Our timetable has changed this year so we can no longer do that. We came up with the singing idea quite quickly but it was really good and the children loved it! It was really sweet and went well.

Then, we had snow in the afternoon. It has been freezing all day-it is my turn in the garden this week so I am outside for most of the day. I really love the cold weather, it is so refreshing. I did have to stand under the heater at the door at one point though. This morning we were visited by a mad ginger cat. He is always popping in in the morning but never when the children are there before. He was like a thing posessed, chasing around the garden and then after the blackbirds in Forest School! At one point he jumped over the fence and went bounding across the grass and three of the children ran away! I think it was because he was moving so fast.

The snow turend to rain later on but more is forecast for tomorrow and Friday. We have our class parties tomorrow so hopefully it won't be too heavy!

The Creative Process

I think about something for a while, on and off, not really in detail, just thinking over ideas. Then, I suddenly have a breakthrough and get all excited and gather together some things with which to realize my marvellous idea. Then I look at the things and realise that it is not going to be as easy as all that. This is the point at which I may give up (leave it till later...)-or at which I think 'yes I can do it!' As I have said before, I never know exactly how it will go.
Such an idea has been going around my head for a few weeks now. Here it is in order of events.
1. ADO (Art Dolls Only group I belong to) has a monthly challenge and this month it is elves.
2. I do not want to do an elf like an elf done before by anyone, though that will be tricky with the tons of elves that have been made, drawn or existed(?!) over the years.
3. Wrapping Christmas presents for various groups of people during the evenings this week (school, friends, family) has been slightly tedious. I have the best of intentions, get everything prepared in advance but still it takes me hours! I always have this romantic idea of wrapping pressies, sipping wine and listening to Christmas music or watching a film. It always turns into a production line of epic proportions and does not live up to my hopes. If I wrapped them as I bought them then it may be easier but that never seems to happen. Anyway, the point of this is to say that I wished I had an elf or two to help me with this job.
4. The idea sprung into my head as I stood at the kitchen table wrapping another present.
5. It is called 'The Elf's Nightmare'
6 I collected a head (I have a few I made a while ago from polymer clay and they sit in a box looking resentful) He looks quite elfish. (Or is it 'elvish'?) I got a box I have been saving 'just in case it is useful'-hurrah! I got some wire.
7. I stopped to think.
8. I put it all on my pending table section in the back room (the small space next to the sewing machine where I put things I can't be bothered to put away immediately!)
9. I shall decide whether to continue after the rest of the presents are done-as sadly, no real elves have turned up yet.

I suppose this is why I, and lots of people have so many unfinished projects. The initial idea is so exciting and I can see it glowing in my head. I then come back to reality with a little jolt when I think of the practical side.

Back later with the advent calendar-not an elf!

Tuesday 15 December 2009

Hoping for this later.

Tuesday 15th December Advent Calendar

Monday 14 December 2009

Advent Calendar Monday 14th December

Click on the tiny number to open today's door!

Sunday 13 December 2009

Advent Calendar 12th and 13th December-and Shadow Shot Sunday

For more shadow shots visit Hey Harriet here!

Saturday 12 December 2009


Due to the internet letting me down at the last minute, I am late for a very important date. The lovely Vanessa's birthday and a secret party organised by Rhonda Roo!
Click on the pictures to see the birthday surprises. Happy (late) Birthday Vanessa! The white rabbit understands lateness!
The date I should have been there!

A gypsy caravan in Brugges-needs a little loving care Vanessa!
Cakes in the caravan!

Wednesday 9 December 2009

Advent Calendar 9th December

Tuesday 8 December 2009

Clown Doll

I have done hands for this doll but feet were beyond me! He sits ok though. I made his jumper from a knitted tube, his trousers from some fabric given to me by Anne, his jacket from some musical note fabric and his hat from felt. I used some of Anne's lovely wool for his hair-it is just the colour I wanted! (Thanks Anne!) I love the part of doll making where all the little details are added and the doll's personality really comes out.
I think he looks quite kind-I am glad he came out like that and not scary at all.
I had thought of a name for him but it has gone out of my head! Andy suggested Piccolo which I quite like but that was not it. Maybe it will come back to me. If anyone has any suggestions I would be interested to see them.