Thursday 30 June 2011


I have this feeling that someone is watching me... I don't know why but it is growing stronger... Oh, hello, and why are you in a bag? What's that? Sarah is taking you somewhere? Oh you are being taken home! For a picnic with 76 small children? That should be lots of fun! Make sure none of them are called Goldilocks though won't you-that girl has got a thing or two to learn about how to behave in a bear's house! (This is a most embarassing story-for all involved)

Oh-look-there she is, dreaming about taking a walk to a certain house in the woods...


''If I wear my polka dots, maybe they will be pleased to see me.''


Wednesday 29 June 2011

Second Man

This is the second go at the man on the magazine. His turban is still too small but his eyes are slightly less wild!

Tuesday 28 June 2011

Next Doll

Isn't he lovely? As soon as I saw this picture on the front of the Guardian magazine, I wanted to make a doll like him. I have not really wanted to make a doll for ages so I was pleased to feel like this. He has such beautiful eyes and looks so kind. The colour of his turban is gorgeous. I have had a go at painting him and have tried again since this painting. The photo is by Steve McCurry.

Have a look at his portraits. So many wonderful faces-and many more I would like to paint.
I have made his eyes staring by leaving a white gap at the top-which I only noticed when he was finished and staring at me! Also his turban is nowhere near wide enough. I loved trying to show his wrinkles!

Sunday 26 June 2011

Hot! (and cool) Colour

Hot tie dye for a dragon's tail. We are having a carnival at school. Each year group has a country, and ours is China. We are making dragons for a dragon dance. We have been given very little time to prepare, so have been making speed dragons. A large box, painted red, covered in pva glue, painted with yellow and red patterns, decorated with shiny stuff. If you say to a small child, ''Do you want to come and stick some shiny stuff on the dragon?'', most of them will say ''yes!'' Tomorrow the tails and faces will go on, Tuesday we will rehearse, Wednesday we won't do anything because Wednesday is 'transition day' when the kids from nursery go to visit Reception, and all 90 Reception children come to visit us! Fun, but noisy and hectic. Thursday I am striking, and Friday is the big day! No time for stage fright then!
Some of the beads came out interestingly dyed themselves. A few of the children helped me put the beads and elastic bands on the fabric. I would have dyed it at school but our washing machine is annoyingly broken.

More colour, from a mobile I made. I used to make mobiles in the nineties out of stripped electrical copper wire and things I found on the Thames (a different piece of beach to where we go now-and closed to public access about five years ago) I picked up loads of lovely glass pieces the other day and thought I would try to use them straight away. It is now possible to buy a beautiful and cheap selection of coloured wire in craft shops, which makes mobile making easier than it used to be! It was quite quick to do and looks beautiful in the sun.
The hoop is from a job lot I got years ago and have not used until now. I may make some more for my shop!

Lastly some cool colour-a buddleia branch and discarded purple lighter on the beach today. So pretty with the sand and the sage green of the leaves. Someone had had a huge bonfire but the branch had escaped the flames.

Saturday 25 June 2011

Another Mad Tea Party!

Alice met her Aunty, Anachronistic Alice, who was sitting on a table with her friend the White Rabbit. He was worried as usual, as he was late for something important. Aunty Alice had to rush off with the rabbit, but before she went, she told Alice a story about going on a journey to a strange land, with talking animals, and Queens made from playing cards. Aunty Alice showed Alice her journal page, a picture of a Queen wearing a china dress. The writing said that she was just like the Queen in Alice in Wonderland, except that she smiled. Alice listened to her Aunt, wondering, as usual, what on earth she was on about. Ah well. It was always interesting to see her.

When her aunt had gone, Alice felt very tired, and instantly fell asleep.

When she awoke, she was in the strangest room with the strangest creatures....

She wondered if she was still dreaming.

There was a terribly mad person using a teacup for a chair. There was another white rabbit, standing on the table! ''How naughty!'' thought Alice.

There was a friendly, but slightly disturbing, cat in a tree, that wouldn't stop grinning and kept fading in and out of view.

The wooden man on the chair was wearing the funniest hat.

''Could I have a cup of tea please?'' Alice asked. But as she spoke, a little dormouse popped his head out of the giant teacup! He had been fast asleep in there!

What a day! Alice continued to dream and dream. She dreamt of many other parties, all starting here at one spectacular party hosted by Vanessa! ''Oh this is such fun'' Alice thought in her dream. I hope I can stay asleep long enough to visit all of these parties!

Thursday 23 June 2011


High... Shooter's Hill, looking towards the City. On the left is the ever growing Shard building. On the right is the Gherkin and the Natwest Tower. Low...

Laying in the grass at Forest School this morning. So relaxing. We were looking for grasshoppers of which there were loads.

Wednesday 22 June 2011

Skip Treasure

Here is the box of wires-lovely colours! And below is the other stuff.
The box, the curtains, the books and the candle.

This is a skip. This is the Millenium Dome. (Leenie!)

Tuesday 21 June 2011

Longest Day Evening Walk

It seemed a shame to waste the evening sitting indoors, so we went for a walk down by the river. I love it down there. It is so peaceful and beautiful. We saw geese, grafitti, and the beginnings of the sunset.

The geese did not seem bothered by us walking along, but then a couple with a dog arrived, and they were off!

I can see a face in this rusty piece of metal.

I lit these candles when we got back-I found them in a skip on the way home from a course tonight, along with a number of other exciting items. I was slightly lost, and driving down a lovely street, when I saw the skip-I had to go a bit further then turn around and come back. I am fairly shameless when it comes to skips. You are supposed to ask but I don't usually. I ended up helping the neighbour lady to the skip park-she had loads of room but was not confident! She said this was the second skip. I may go back tomorrow! I also got a pair of yellow curtains, two Russian and one Greek book (great for art of various sorts), a wooden divided box and a box of bright wires, and bits of interesting metal.

I like the way the candles light up the pictures on the hearth. On the left is Andy's Granny, then my Nana and her friend Lily. Then there are two postcards I really like.

Monday 20 June 2011

Colour Swatches

Photoshop colour swatches from photos I took on Sunday of colour combinations I liked.





Sunday 19 June 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday

Beautiful castle-like scaffolding, spotted the week before last when I was out of school doing home visits.

For more shadows from around the world, visit Hey Harriet here.

Thursday 16 June 2011


Here is the fox in the header at the moment. He appears everyday at about 4 o'clock, stands in the playground, then walks across and through a little hole in the fence. Down to the side of the fence is a tangle of shrubs and trees, and the foxes live in there. One family that is. I think there are two more on the site, one up near the carpark and one on the hill at the top of the school where there is quite a big hole. Foxes are really common here-though I still love seeing them. A lot of people don't like them, and they do cause problems with rubbish being strewn everywhere, and on occassion have attacked people-children in fact-by going into people's gardens or houses.
We once had one in our kitchen at our last place-he had come up the back stairs, and the cats were staring into the room which is what alerted me. He was hiding under the table, and just slunk away when I went in the room. Often you see ones that are very undernourished or ill looking. This one is a healthy looking fox though, and not scared of people. He walked across the playground towards where I was, behind the door, looked straight at me, and opened and closed his mouth in a very deliberate way. I wonder what it meant.