Wednesday 27 March 2013

Eggs Again and Latest Crochet

The eggs have been in use all week and I am quite pleased with how they were received. They have mainly been used in the home corner for cooking, and within that there has been some counting, sorting by colour and lots of talk about eggs. 

The eggs being over, the next thing I have been doing is the swatches from my Kindle crochet book. As I showed earlier I started with texture patterns. As I looked through the book I found the lace patterns. I started with some simple ones, and, as usual, followed the written pattern. Although I understand the idea of the visual pattern I had never been able to follow it. I didn't take the time to understand the symbols and thought I preferred the written version. In the written patterns there are often little parts in brackets that describe one combination of stitches you do within another stitch. Add to this the asterisked parts that you repeat and take a pattern with many rows in its repeat, then each row begins to become very long winded. This then makes it hard to see where you are, and on a kindle I can't quickly draw a line to remind me. I got to one row on the pineapple pattern I was trying and got totally confused, so decided to look at the visual pattern to help. It was only then I began to see the beauty of the visual pattern. After a short time I was just using that, and 'reading' it in the way I imagine you read music-almost instantaneous looking and doing. I know this may have been a bit of a lengthy description of something maybe most people find easy and obvious but I was so pleased that I finally understood it. The fact that you see before you what is appearing in yarn just makes so much sense. I am also pleased that I am making progress in my understanding of crochet, as it has never happened with knitting! I will show the swatches I have made soon. I blocked the lace pattern ones last night. I blocked them quite 'aggressively' ( a hilarious use of the word aggressive I felt in my crochet magazine!), that is I stretched them quite a bit. I will unpin them later as they are dry now. I hope your week has been progressing well. Work has been exhausting this week and I cannot wait until the end of tomorrow! Egg hunt and biscuit decorating party to do first though!

Tuesday 26 March 2013

The Sun

Just visible behind the clouds for the first time for what seems like ages. Come back sun I miss you!

Sunday 24 March 2013

White, Grey, Black and Yellow

Saturday morning.

 Saturday evening.

 Sunshine indoors as there is none outside.

Weird Spring!

Thursday 21 March 2013


New stitches with more texture than my normal single crochet. The boredom of the eggs has spurred me on to try something new. I have a great book of stitches on my Kindle, which is where these came from. They are Angle stitch, Popcorn lines stitch and Popping circles stitch. All pretty easy to do. The popcorn one will make a good bath mat for the cardboard dolls house that has sat on our kitchen table gradually filling with dolls and other bits and pieces, but otherwise untouched. I might make some new bunting for my classroom with my stitch swatches. Good for texture talk. ( one of the many things children are required to be able to do to jump through the hoops of the current curriculum.) I might write a new curriculum called 'Teaching and Learning Through Crochet' !

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Eggstravagant Eggs!

I am officially sick of crocheting eggs. The eggstreme compulsion I felt is now eggshausted. I have two more to eggsecute and that will be 120, plus one Eggstravagant sized egg ( the throwing egg- the 'if you must throw them then throw this one' egg. ) I wanted to do 150 to fill five trays of 30 but no, the boredom has become overriding. I will have a little colour and photography fun at the weekend then take them in neggst week.
I can use the spare trays to present their Easter egg hunt eggs-they will be hunting tokens rather than the real things as the possibilities for dirty, sandy eggs are too great! Roll on Easter!

Monday 18 March 2013

A lovely subject for a painting I will probably not do.

 As I walked back from the shops on Saturday I spotted some pretty pink hyacinths. As I looked at the window more closely I saw the rocking horse and then the other face. It didn't move, so at first I thought it was another toy. But then the little face followed me as I went slowly past. What a beautiful dog and what massive ears. He-or she-looks like one of those Egyptian gods-Anubis is it? It is-but that is the Greek name for that God. Perhaps I will do a little painting on a postcard and post it to them as a (possibly creepy) surprise!

Wednesday 13 March 2013

An Evening Stroll

Even if the protests go unheard and certainly unmentioned on the evening news, the evening was worth while for being able to stroll about some lovely London streets. A quick summary in pictures below!
 The underpass under the A2 near our house is a top spot for some interesting graffiti. It is always swiftly removed by the council, so take a picture quick or it will be gone! I used to be able to do a Rubik's cube-my sister taught me a fail safe, by rote method, and I found it most satisfying, but learned nothing from it! I can still remember the lovely creaky noise they made as you turned them.
 Westminster Abbey.
 Meeting up with the marchers-we didn't quite make it to the rallying point for five o'clock, so met them coming down Victoria Road, heading for Great Smith Street where the DfE has its offices.
 Old and new buildings.
 My friend smiling despite the weird blustery, freezing snowy weather that whipped up as we were marching.
 Snow, bus and beautiful (but blurry) arched entrance to somewhere-1875 was the date over the arch I think.
 Our local NUT branch banner.
 Angry but reasonably polite teachers! There were a few speeches, and some quite restrained chanting.
 Melvyn Bragg, who I got in the way of at a crossing. (Not intentionally of course!)
 Beautiful reflections.  

 Cyclists ready to beat the traffic at a crossing by Westminster tube.
  A snippet of the inside of Westminster tube-one of my favourite stations because of its futuristic film set feel. I can just imagine a great chase/fight/James Bond type scene on those huge pipes-though you would have to be a brave stunt person with a wire on to do it!

Tuesday 12 March 2013

Matt Damon tells it as it is!

A speech Matt Damon gave at a Save Our Schools Rally in 2011. Heartwarming and heartfelt!
My friend shared this on facebook tonight and it is just perfect timing (though I wish I had seen it before!) as tomorrow the N.U.T. are meeting to demonstrate outside the Department for Education, against Michael Gove's ongoing attempts to destroy the education system of this country, with the utmost arrogance and the utmost disregard for the opinions of people who have a great commitment to children's education-teachers! Details of some of the reasons we are demonstrating in the links below. 

Monday 11 March 2013

Scribbly Animations

A new app on my phone called 'scribble it'. Black, red and blue pen, eraser and that is it. I was looking for a simple drawing tool. There are lots of complicated ones with endless features, but I quite like this one and the chalk board one I found. Slide show on the phone is good to see what happens, and then I used Picasion to make these silly animations. I know that in terms of animation they are not the most impressive thing, but I find them amusing. Like flicker books that I used to enjoy making.
picture to animation
Eyes left to right.

gif creator
Girl smiling.

picture to animation
Man getting angry.

gif creator

Single line drawings.
It is a different way to draw, in that you can't really see what is happening under your big, clumsy finger, so the drawings are done more by feel than sight. It would be better on an i-pad, but I have not got one of those!

P.S. The dentist went well. He is a very nice man and I enjoy visiting weirdly enough. He decided to try filling it after much scraping and prodding which didn't hurt at all after three injections. The only thing that did hurt was the third injection in the roof of my mouth! He had a very amusing consultation with one of his fellow dentists, then put in some antibiotic paste, and some extra sticky filling so the tooth will hold together. Then he filed the tooth down a bit so I won't bite on it so much. He stressed that it was an attempt and may not work, but I have faith! Thanks for all the good wishes!

Sunday 10 March 2013

Saturday Lunch

Today (Sunday) is Mother's Day, so yesterday we popped down to see my Mum with some flowers and tasty biscuits but no real plan. I didn't tell her as I wanted it to be a surprise, and telling people spoils that whole surprise thing! As we turned into my Mum's road, my brother, with my Mum in the passenger seat, was just turning out. A few minutes later and we were all in my car heading for Headcorn a few miles away for lunch. 
We popped into a little flea market in a Methodist hall (rebuilt 1870) before going to the cafe.
Headcorn is full of lovely old houses. The one above is called Shakespeare House and was built some time in the 16th Century. The one below is called Headcorn Manor.

I love the front of this greengrocers.
The witch flew above us as we ate. We have had a good weekend for lunches out, because we also had a lovely roast dinner in Greenwich today in the pub. Then a look around the market, then home to get warm as it is freezing out there! There are two large clumps of spawn in the pond today. I want to take some to school this week to show the children, but I will not keep it there as it seems cruel. I will take some tadpoles back in the same way-if any survive the freeze! I am not in class tomorrow though so it will have to wait until Tuesday. In the morning I am working with one of the management team to input my tracking data from the last two terms, (because the school has taken on a new data management system) which comprises of 36 children multiplied by 18 pieces of information twice. (1296 pieces of info), which then needs to be changed into a number not a descriptor (so for example emerging in the 22-36 age related expectations (22-36 e) becomes a 1 or whatever it is.) My tracking summaries are handwritten, since the NUT told us we do not have to comply to school based tracking forms (if they involve re-inputting your already existing data-which they did), so it is a case of me reading out the data and the other person putting it in. There are numerous preparations that could have been done to make this mind numbingly boring process quicker, had I been given the information I asked for a couple of weeks ago (basically about the code and the order of the children) but I wasn't, so it won't be. Can you tell how excited I am about this?! Then, in the afternoon, to round off the day, I have got PPA, but am going to the dentist so as not to have any more time off. My tooth will be filled or removed. Neither of these processes are thrilling prospects.
So, roll on Tuesday I say!