Thursday 28 February 2013

Wednesday 27 February 2013

Please Do Not Touch

If I am ever organised or successful enough to exhibit anything anywhere, I will have a handcrafted and tactile notice inviting people to 'Please Touch'. This is a work by Shauna Richardson of large lion fame, shown at the woolly wonderland. I was pleased to be able to see it so close up, but I really wanted to touch it! I didn't though, as I am a pretty obedient person most of the time. I just imagined how it might feel. I did, however,  touch the sheep, as I didn't see the notice until it was too late. They are Gotland sheep, and their wool is so soft. I used some once to make the hair of a felted head lady, as it was just the sort of grey curls that I wanted.

Sunday 24 February 2013

Comfort and Joy

 Tiger under the blanket this morning just defines comfort so perfectly! 
And the joy? 
That of colour, scent, and yarn in abundance. 
And of anticipating new projects, as if there weren't enough current ones to be going on with!
 I went to 'Unravel' at Farnham Maltings yesterday with my friend. It was a fun (if expensive!) day. So many beautiful yarns and yarn related things. Lots of ladies wearing hand knitted garments, and a few men too, just a few. I bought wool tops, yarn, buttons, ribbon, a darning mushroom and a doll. Now I have to make something worthy!
 This is on our table at the moment. I planted the bulbs about a month ago and the advice was to leave them in a dark, cool place for 8-10 weeks. I opened the cupboard yesterday and the beautiful smell of hyacinths greeted me. These are really good ones, unlike some I have had recently which did not smell at all.
Back to the yarn!

 Amazing crocheted blanket in the Best in Show exhibition.

Friday 22 February 2013


We always park in the Rock-a-Nore car park in Hastings, as it is right next to the beach, easy to find, and not the multi-storey which is a particularly difficult one to drive around. Silver waves greeted us.
 It was freezing cold so we didn't stay long. Just long enough to see one of the younger gulls with a large fish in its mouth, trying to prevent the others from getting any of it. It is a good piece of beach for the gulls as the fishing boats pull up their catch there.
 The best and strangest junk place in Hastings-lots of little rooms with all sorts of things, from total junk to some actual antiques. This large red jointed man is most impressive. Maybe from a giant's puppet show.
 If you look carefully at this tangle of metal and rope, you will see it is another figure, reclining on some kind of fifties metal furniture. It reminded me of the beach sculpture on the Greenwich peninsula.

The old ice skates look good as a collection. We didn't rummage at Robert's as he was closed when we went by.
 This is the building at the bottom of the funicular railway up the cliff. I have not been on this one, only on one in Devon. I think they are a great idea!  I liked the plastic tassels on the Tudor looking building.
 Interesting doorways with red.
 I loved the pigeon painting on this piece of hoarding. I like pigeons, and think they make a great subject. I like how they go off the edge of the board.
 This seemed to be an artist's studio when I peered in past the bones and fossils.
 Cute dogs. The first one was quite good at posing and didn't seem bothered by me taking his picture. The second two looked so strange. I thought at first that they were Huskies, but then their heads looked like Alsatians. I didn't get a chance to ask the couple as they seemed in a hurry, but they stopped by the fish stall on the way back to the car park, and I just overheard the man answering someone who did ask what breed they were. Test your dog breed knowledge. Answer here!
A witch ball. 
It is roughly the size of a football.
The sun was going down as we left, turning the car park into somewhere looking more like the wild west.
A great day!
More Hastings here,  and here.

Thursday 21 February 2013

Short Post 5

I am making a room out of half a large Amazon box. I needed the other half to return some boots that were ridiculously too small and, once cut in two, this box suggested a room. I had some cellophane that I was going to take to school and thought I would do a stained glass window. But I couldn't resist having a little play whilst the sun was out and the window cut.

Wednesday 20 February 2013

Short Post 4

Orange and blue. The tiger and the sky in Hastings today. It was freezing but so sunny.

Short Post 3

Crocheted eggs for school. I hope they will be used for counting, role play, talking about colour and texture and for placing and arranging in the card egg trays. I ordered from eBay. They may also be thrown around, rolled, carried in one of the handbags, or stuffed in the postbox. I shall leave it up to the ever creative children.
I decided I would crochet something for my classroom each month. Last month it was the heart garland and this month it is eggs and shamrocks.
The primulas are from the flower stall in Eltham and their colours go well with the eggs.
Off to Hastings today. I hope the sun comes out again.

Tuesday 19 February 2013

Short Post 2

When you want to clean the windows using the traditional and effective method of vinegar to wash and newspaper to dry, check in your under the sink cupboard first to see if you already have some vinegar. I didn't so now I have 1 more bottle. You can see me selecting the perfect vinegar with my black assassin's gloves (hair dyeing gloves) to protect my sore winter hands. There you go, household cleaning tips, shopping advice and some pictures of vinegar, all in one short post.

Short Post 1

Whilst out and about I have seen a few interesting things, and whilst in I have been veering wildly between a number of different ongoing projects. Hence the upcoming short posts!
There is also the tiger to share. I finally took some photos of him yesterday when I went into school to do a few preparatory jobs for next week and to reorganise my annoying computer area.
This photo is of a sign in an alley in Eltham. What strange wording. I didn't commit any nuisance unless taking a photo counts as one.

Thursday 14 February 2013

This Week

 This week has been a long one. Last week sped by but this one has always been a day behind what it feels like. It hasn't been a bad week so I don't know why it has seemed like this. I have been at work late every night and I usually get away at a reasonable time on at least one night a week. We have had lots of meetings and various deadlines so it has been productive. The children have had a good time outside, using sand for absolutely everything from feeding babies, to making cakes, and even as a snowball today. I banned that activity saying 'it's not snow'. 'It is!' came the reply (and it did stick to the wooden fence in the same kind of way as the snow on Monday) The sand is everywhere, but the mess has been well worth it for the language and imagination displayed. We have had a variety of weather, from snow on Monday to warmish sunshine today. One of the boys said he didn't like sunshine. When I asked why he said 'Because it gets in my eyes'. There was a shower then a rainbow this morning which made everyone outside very excited.
We have made Valentine's cards, then this morning Andy sent me flowers at work, and it made me cry! I was so surprised and it was such a sweet thing to do. When Anne from the office brought them in I was on the carpet with the children. We were about to have a quiz where they could win their last few WOW beans to earn their biscuit decorating party, when she came in saying she had a present for me. I thought it was the box-as I am always getting exciting boxes and packaging from the office,  to use in the classroom. I asked if it was the box and soon found out it wasn't! The children seemed fine with me crying. I think they knew I was happy rather than sad. I got my phone out and rang Andy so they could speak to him-it was a bit of a free for all and noisy phone call but it was good natured!
 Big clouds at lunchtime.
After lunch when we were outside again, our headteacher appeared in the playground with a box. He went to the other member of staff outside first, then came over to where I was sitting with one of the children on my lap. (She had been having a bad afternoon and I was giving her a cuddle.) The box turned out to be a box of chocolates (which this child thought were for her and which did set her off again when she found out they weren't) But no-he explained that today was St Valentine's day, a day on which men give ladies chocolates! I thought it was a sweet thing to do. I hope he gave the male staff a chocolate too though-equal rights for all!  
 This is the tiger on Wednesday. We delivered him to the other nursery class on Monday with a special tiger handing over ceremony (which involved saying 'Here is the tiger, Grrrr!!!'). They have been busy adding his stripes, face and tail. I can't wait until he is finished to show you!  It has worked out quite well the way we worked together on this project. We have separate rooms which is good in many ways but not always. We are going to display the tiger in the shared area outside the classrooms, so that the whole school can see it. We are proud-grrrr!!!
 I am always surprised by the snowdrops. I don't know why because I know they are there, but somehow I forget. It is only a tiny patch which does not seem to get bigger, but is reliable. I loved the white with the purple of the violet in the background. I must do more gardening this year as I have really let it go. I am not sure if the chamomile will survive as it looks very stringy. I will add some compost in the Spring and hope it sends out side shoots.
This is a stalk of the Dogwood. It is not a very big plant, and is more or less hidden under a honeysuckle, but the stalks that do show look brilliant against the dark green background of the shed and the ivy.

Monday 11 February 2013

Snow Printing and Drawing

More snow today-of the wet, soft and slushy variety. It had made a thin layer on everything and was very slippery. I set up outside this morning, and while doing so couldn't resist a little play myself. The snow was just the right consistency and thickness to show the tarmac perfectly and to cling to whatever object was being used. Unfortunately, by the time the children got in, it was not this way anymore, but was still good for some snow castles and some slushy snowballs which stuck to the fence well.