Sunday 30 October 2011

Amazing Video

Mound by Allison Schulnik from garaco taco on Vimeo.

Found on Emily Barletta's blog. She does beautiful and intricate drawings in thread, as well as sharing some great art.


The Gang

A rabbit and his boy.....
...a cute cat...
...The Gang!

More from the cute Japanese felt book-the name of which I can't tell you as it is in Japanese!

It is from ebay-and if you google needle felting books it will appear-along with lots of other really tempting Japanese craft books.

Saturday 29 October 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday

I made crab apple jelly with the crab apples the children and I picked at school. I have been looking through 'The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady', which is a book I have loved for a long time, and recently found a copy of in a charity shop. It is a nature journal with lovely watercolours, notes on weather, finds and also poetry. I wanted to take a picture of my jelly in the sunlight, as it is an amazing amber colour. It tastes good too-nice with cheese and biscuits. I bought four jars, in a massive overestimation of how much the apples would make-but half a jar is better than none! The first page pictured is a painting of those red and white toadstools, and the second is of crab apples and sloes-which I have also been using this week. I love the feeling af autumn the photos gives me.

For more shadow shots from around the world, visit Tracy at HeyHarriet here.

Friday 28 October 2011

A Bunny's Work is Never Done

It is very, very, hard work being the bunny who gathers the pumpkins. So, I need to relax afterwards, with a cup of tea.
In my little kitchen.
I wonder what other jobs are lined up for me later?

Poor Bunny maid, I should make her a little feather bed to rest in. She is based on these bunny maids in the cutest ever felting book. It is Japanese so the instructions are unreadable to me, but the pictures are good enough. Normally I do not want to exactly copy things from books, but in this one everything is just so adorably cute that I must! Though mine don't come out quite the same as theirs. Name of the book next time with more creatures. The little kitchen and teacup were yet more bargains from the market yesterday. Things like this are ok to bring into our already cluttered house, as they fit inside something else-the dolls houses-which are microcosms of the clutter in the big house. (My self-justification process!)

Thursday 27 October 2011


A bargain from Greenwhich market. I nearly didn't go as I was feeling a bit under the weather, but am so glad I did. These and a vintage sewing box, in which I have consolidated all things sewing-well at least the cottons, knitting needles, needles and my sewing scissors. And it doubles as a useful little table. It was full of goodies-I must make sure to use lots of them so as not to pass it on to some other bargain hunting vintage lover in 30 years time. One of the popper cards says 'wartime issue' on it-that got me thinking to when I will be old and it will be in the forties-a hundred years after the war. Strange how your mind wanders when cleaning out an old sewing box. There were Cash's woven name labels for Thomas but he never used them. I put things from this, from my Great Aunt Peggy's, and from the other couple of old sewing baskets I have, together-all the bias binding, darning wool, zips, crochet hooks and poppers. Buttons are all in a basket-apart from the ones that aren't. The pretty little things-a couple of lovely belt buckles-one jet glass and the other silver metal and wood, a small glass screw top test tube of silver beads, some jet glass buttons and some blue glass and gold buttons, are all in a compartment. There are always pretty little things in these sewing boxes. There are also mementoes of their owners. One I bought years ago had the passport photos of the lady who I presume owned it. Another had winning certificates for two rabbit shows. I can't throw these things away, it seems wrong to do so, so they are kept in the box still, and I look at them when I come across them.

Tuesday 25 October 2011


My friend and I drove East yesterday to visit somewhere different to our usual favourites. Southwold in Suffolk. It took a little longer than anticipated to get there-two and a half hours-but was worth the drive. It is a really pretty town with colourful beach huts, little painted cottages, and lots of dogs! I have never seen so many Labradors and Retrievers in one place. View from the pier. The sun was so bright and it was hard to look at the sea with the reflection. It doesn't look it here, but the sea was rough-the day was really windy.

View of the beach huts from the end of the pier. We had a tasty lunch in one of the pier cafes-tasty but a very long time coming! Once we had finished, we wandered along the sea front into the town. I bought some local cheese to go with my cranberry jelly, and we enjoyed visiting a gallery and shop-though I could only afford some postcards. There were also a couple of interesting antique shops in which we had a very quick browse-the parking was running out fast!

Two of the dogs I saw.

The sea looks cold in this photo.

The sun was so bright it was doing strange things to my pictures. The glare and the little hexagons are not a special effect-that is how the photo came out.

A quiet backstreet-it reminded me of St Ives here.

A pretty yard near the High Street.

I think we may go down here on holiday at some point as it is a lovely area, and has lots to visit, but is slightly too far for a day trip-it took three and a bit hours to get back-queueing on the motorway and near the Blackwall tunnel. I want to visit Aldeburgh and Sutton Hoo, and then on down to Norfolk which I love but have not visited for years. We were only twenty miles from Lowestoft yesterday so nearly there!

Today has been much more boring-but quite productive. I have sorted my filing, typed some lists for a new group activity after half term, and started my term one reports-a couple of photos and a description of how the child has settled and some information about how they are getting on so far.

Monday 24 October 2011


I like the way anniversaries are named. I wonder where the tradition came from, and expect I could look it up, but for now just a few pictures of yesterday. Forty years ago my aunt and uncle were married. We joined them to celebrate these years. I don't often see my family-cousins and aunts and uncles, so it is lovely when I do. We went to the 10 o' clock service which was an experience in itself, as I am not a church goer. I enjoyed the service-a thought provoking and quite funny sermon, singing hymns, hearing what the children at the Sunday school had learned, and listening to the vicar somehow managing to compare a forty year marriage to a mature cheese! Frosted rubies of yew berries greeted us in the beautiful churchyard.

It was a warm and sunny day-as was the wedding day itself.

As we had coffee and biscuits after the service, I noticed that teddies go to church too.
I took a photo of the wedding photo but it has the refelction of the church window in it-completely covering my aunt-my Dad's sister on the right.

From left to right

My Dad and brother, Mum, aunt's sister, me(looking the wrong way!), the happy couple, my sister, my aunt and my Gran. I have no memories of the day, but seeing the photo, I had a memory of the fabric of my dress. I have always loved fabric!

After the service we went to another beautiful village for a meal-in a pub and restaurant that my aunt and uncle have been to each year since their marriage.

A lovely day!

Sunday 23 October 2011

The Dress

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This is me in the dress doing a twirl. Really it is hard to show how lovely it is. In fact it looks a bit sack like here. However-in the flesh it is so floaty and light-it is silk and a silk lining. I love the neck line and print-it makes me think of fifties dresses. It is lovely to wear-one of those things you don't know you are wearing it is so light-but warm. My stripey socks were not on show-I was wearing boots-this is just the indoors look amongst friends! I took it off and put it away after this in case I caught it on something!
It was a lovely day-more tomorrow if time!

Saturday 22 October 2011

Come To Our Party!

Come to our party, come along please.
We won’t even eat you, just give you a squeeze.

We don’t want to get you, or scare you or worse.
We only want you to help us rehearse

The lines we should use when asking for treats,
And how we should speak through our masks and our sheets.

You can bob for an apple, or run from a wolf, help a witch cast her spell, or stroke a giant moth.

But whatever you do, don’t turn your back, on the ghosties and ghoulies who follow your track, and don’t leave the path, or go down the dark stairs, as these are the things that catch fools unaware. Just stay in the light and hurry home soon, quick before wolf realises it’s a full moon!

I hope you enjoyed our party and didn't get too scared. If you would like a scary halloween book to read click here (a children's book I hasten to add!-which partly inspired my party)
We are all off to visit Vanessa here for her party at A Fanciful Twist. Please come along with us-we promise you will come to no harm!

Friday 21 October 2011

I am the Flower Lady

I got up extra early today, and was at school by ten past seven. I had lots to do preparing for the builders to fence off our garden next week. As the sun rose, I dug up the lavender and rosemary, cut some of the bigger seedheads and lots of smaller ones from the sunflowers, and put all the logs from the nursery garden over the fence into Forest School. I went out to the car a couple of times to put the plants and the sunflower heads in. As I was putting the logs over, a little boy walked past on his way to breakfast club. I don't know him so he must be new to the school. He asked his mum who I was, and she said I was the teacher. "That's not the teacher, that's the flower lady" he replied. I much prefer that! In the afternoon we had a sunflower ceremony.

We took the large sunflower-a sunflower tree, to Forest School, and once I had shared out the seedheads, the children walked around, deciding where to leave them. We hope some sunflowers will grow, even though we won't be there to see them.
The other sunflower has come home with me.

It left the dramatic grey clouds and evening sunlight, and is now secured by a drawer handle in the kitchen chest of drawers. I was very pleased with this solution to how to stand it up! I have planted the rosemary and lavender in a pot rather than the soil as I don't want bindweed in the garden and we have loads at school. I might as well not have bothered though. I removed the squash vine tonight-it was all dead and ready to come up. I then did a little chamomile lawn weeding and found two tiny pieces of bindweed! How annoying, it is so hard to get rid of. I wonder where it came from.

I also found a frog. He made me jump, but I expect I did that to him too.

Thursday 20 October 2011

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Busy Birthday!

I had a good birthday-very hectic at school. The photographer was in, to take individual and sibling photos-an hour and a quarter we were in the hall-the children were really great considering they had to hang around for that long, but it was a strain! Then we had a particularly loud musical session-I say we-I mean they. I left out my box of instruments because I was going to use them on the carpet, but didn't because of photos. The children have lots of instruments to use normally-but we have these carpet boxes too. They must see them as this restricted and desirable thing because when they got their hands on them today they were loud and exuberant with them for at least an hour. Then I took a headache tablet. Then it was the end of the morning and we had a session of picking the crab apples, before the tree is ripped up next week. They loved that! Now I need to buy preserving jars and attempt to make jelly. This may not work! Yes-another sky picture. The sky is just so amazing in the mornings at the moment as the sun is rising.

I was reading this book at the weekend and it inspired me to do a little painting. It is all about story telling through illustration, as the title suggests. The artist has a very distinctive style which I was not trying to copy, but I did copy the way she often does backgrounds-a layer of acrylic colour, and then a layer of black. I washed off the black a bit, as it was too much, so it left the green showing through. I like doing pictures inspired by books I am reading, and that is one of the suggestions in the book. This one is inspired by the book "The Boy Who Would be a Helicopter' by Vivian Paley. It is fascinating-all about how she uses stories in her classroom. She is the lady I mentioned last week. Reading the book I realise how much more there is to the way she works than the watered down and simplified version told to us at the conference. The book is really making me think about how I teach and how I can be better. Not that I don't think about these things anyway but sometimes you read something that has that effect. Anyway, the picture is the story table, and the helicopter is Jason's, the boy who would be one. The people have gold leaf hair. I love using gold leaf-so luxurious!

Aahh! Tiger looking at me while Cassie looks at her. I like how this picture came out.

I picked the squashes yesterday and they are on the kitchen table looking beautiful. Such lovely colours-greens, yellows and oranges blending together. I picked myself a flower from the garden for my birthday and a seed head from the yellow flags-I love putting flowers on the table-takes me right back to my Wendy house.

Doodle fish-finished today on a background I have had for months-the result of squashing colour between pieces of card.

Finally, I have to show you the two new schools of painting invented at nursery by C. and C.-the splodgist school and the scrawlist. It was near to tidy up time yesterday, and I came back to my watercolour table to find them both speed painting-paint, paint, paint, grab another paper, more frantic painting. None of them had names on, so one of the Charlies helped me decipher who each belonged to. I found I didn't need his help though, as each of the paintings had a distinct style. I suppose it is the way they like to make marks at the moment, but it comes out as style!

Well I have really gone on in this post. It must be because I am one year older.