Sunday 31 May 2015


I have been doing lots of tidying and sorting recently. Today I did my wardrobe. A disaster area of epic proportions, which is now a place where I can see clothes I actually wear, and get them out. Three big bags of stuff going to the charity shop, and things I don't currently need but want to keep are shrunk wrapped. Anyway, when tidying bookshelves recently, I found this book by Judy Wise and Stephanie Lee. When I bought it I also bought some plaster but never got any further than that. 
I had everything I needed, including polymer clay to use for moulds, so I have been doing a bit of plaster casting. It is hard work getting the clay ready as it is pretty hard and needs a lot of kneading in small pieces to make it malleable enough to use for a mould. Not sure if it is because it is old.
I found various things around that I could use. I have had the little pointy hatted clown head for years. I think he came from the bottle shop in Greenwich, a long gone treasure trove of things dug up from Victorian tips. The porcelain doll body is from Rochester. It looks old but I think it is new and pretending as it says 'made in Japan' on the back.
I used the left over plaster to spread onto cardboard to make painting surfaces. I have attempted the clown. He is meant to be in the big top with balls flying around his head. I realise I should have done light coming in the opening. Too late now as the picture is covered in wax!

I have used all sorts of things, including a Father Christmas bottle opener, some stamps I made, plastic moulds, a Roman soldier and part of a china house.
 Now I need to decide what to do with them all!

Thursday 28 May 2015

Cake and Lemonade

I was called to by the two boys you can just see, as I drove down my road after work today. 'Cake and lemonade' were the enticing words. I parked, and went back up the road. They were raising money for Nepal. They said they had wanted to sell fish finger sandwiches, but their Mum had suggested that cake and lemonade would be better! 
 Heart warming and delicious. I would love to come home to cake and lemonade more often,

Tuesday 26 May 2015

Just Making

I have been arty partying today, in Balham instead of Blackheath, as it was busier there. I left at ten to seven as I wanted to drive but wasn't sure how long it would take or how bad the traffic would be. I was there in plenty of time (It took an hour) so had a wander and bought a coffee and some breakfast. The kids made clay cows today, loosely based on some lurid Andy Warhol prints. As usual it was an enjoyable day. 
The journey home was not enjoyable though. In the morning I know two thirds of the route well, so could ignore the satnav until I needed it. However, the other way is not well known, so I ended up going through Camberwell, Peckham and New Cross, which involved sitting in massive queues almost all of the way. When I got to New Cross I turned off of the queueing road to go round back streets through Deptford and New Cross. I was racing the clock as I had an Amazon order to post. I managed to get to Greenwich ten minutes before the post office closed so all fine, but by the time I got home it had taken me two hours! I need to look at the route tomorrow so I can go the nice way through Dulwich and Forest Hill.
So, by the time I did get home, I was really tired and felt a bit defeated. I had plans to carry on with the gradual cleaning and sorting of unloved areas of our flat, but did not have the energy for that. So instead I went into the garden and found some irises had flowered. I was taking a picture when my neighbour came outside, so had a chat with him. Then I just decided to knit. No aim, just using a bag of leftovers and enjoying the activity. It made me think of what happened on Friday in golden time at school. I was doing my last felting group, and had prepared bags with some roving in for them to make one more piece of felt, like a mini kit. Two of the boys in the class were upset, one by the fact that he was not doing football, and the other after a disagreement with his friends. They were weeping and grumping quietly in the corner (I had tried my best to sort out their issues but with no success) and didn't want to go to any of the activities. They are not part of the felting group, but I had loads of supplies so asked if they wanted to have a go. 'No' grumpy looks, sad faces. Five minutes later, they both had a piece of felting in front of them, and were excitedly asking if I had various colours. The healing power of making things in action!

Sunday 24 May 2015

This Week

All the shrink plastic things so far, apart from tonight's effort to make rings using ring mounts and epoxy resin glue (araldite). I have not used it before so am not sure about how effective it is. 
 A fire on Monday in a distribution warehouse near the river. Apparently there were 70 firefighters involved.

 Cassie inspecting the works. She is still not well even though I have been using the inhaler for a couple of weeks. I am really worried about her so will take her back to the vets next week.
 The house is looking nearly finished. 
 The weather has been cold, stormy and windy for half the week, then quite good today

I went to Woolwich on Wednesday for coffee with friends. I popped into Tesco's for stickers first. This is the view from their window.
Thursday morning in Bethnal Green, then the evening near my house. 
A donkey or horse made from pieces of wood. Interesting and unusual for this area!

A cat on a sunny step.
Thursday after school was my last reading club with year two as I go down to one day a week after the holiday. I took lots of different word searches, and a piece of writing about hedgehogs which I made up a quiz about. Some of the kids were saying goodbye to their teacher as he was going home. He said bye then told them to go and get on with their work. ''We're not doing work, we're doing fun!' said one boy. Favourite quote of the month!

Sunday 17 May 2015

Shrink Plastic and Green

Something made me think of shrink plastic last week and so I ordered some from ebay. I have not used it before although I do remember shrinking crisp packets when I was a child. It was a craze for a while. I love this stuff! I got the clear plastic, so the effect is shiny like glass on the reverse of where it has been coloured. I have used alcohol pens and colour soft pencils. The pencils are better, though the pens are good for emphasizing parts of the drawing such as the eyes. I have also stamped on it which works well. I have made rings. pendants and earrings so far. I have ordered some ring blanks and glue as the wire with holes arrangement I have used is not a very satisfactory finish.  

 The green is the garden. It is green. with pretty purples and blues in amongst it. It is a complete mess really but I like how it looks. I am waiting for the builders to finish out the back before I have a tidy.
 Speaking of tidying, I have spent the whole of today sorting out two very messy corners of the sitting room, then cleaning the floor. It doesn't sound like much but the accumulated mess and rearranging needed took a long time. I am quite happy with the results though, and have found more things to list in my shop too. I opened the shop last weekend, and had my first sale yesterday which was very exciting. A blue Lincoln Continental which I shall wrap up and post tomorrow. I intended to list more things today, as well as take pictures of felt and crochet things, but that didn't happen! Next weekend hopefully it will. Yesterday we went down to Kent for a birthday tea with my Dad as his birthday is tomorrow. It was a lovely day, more of which tomorrow.

Hope your weekend was good!

Saturday 9 May 2015

Friday Photos

First thing in the morning and last thing in the afternoon. To cheer up a day when the Conservatives got in for another five years. It has been an interesting election, especially with what has happened in Scotland. Labour trounced, SNP in, almost like independence in another way. 
 Irises in the little park I walk through just before getting to school. I like the colour of the graffiti in the second one as it compliments the colour of the flowers.
 Lots of duckling photos. They went home today. They are going to live on a green somewhere in the country with a duck pond, so the duck man said.

 They all rushed towards me-must have thought the camera was food. 
 A last cuddle before they go. 

 It was damp and slightly muggy when I got off the bus with strange stormy light, so all the flowers looked particularly pretty. Wisteria and red door, lilac and white house.
 I love the dragon details on these houses. They are just up the road from where we live.
I like the wisteria with the blue door slightly more than the red. 

Wednesday 6 May 2015

Bank Holiday Exploring

We went to two new places today. Both quite nearby. The first is Bluebell Hill-specifically the picnic area and viewpoint. (We had planned to go to Kits Coty but it was shut.) We drove down a fairly ordinary road, and turned into the carpark to be confronted by this view. The land just drops away and you can see for miles. It was windy but that kind of mild wind that is pleasant instead of exhausting. We ate our picnic in the car then drove on to Aylesford which is just down the road. 

 We were planning to stop in the village and have a wander around, but there was nowhere to park. We drove through and passed a sign for 'The Friars' or Aylesford Priory. It was founded in 1242 by Carmelites from the Holy Land. In 1538 (dissolution of the monasteries) The Friars passed to Sir Thomas Wyatt, and from then until 1949 it was owned by a number of people. In 1949 the Carmelites were able to buy back the priory. It is a peaceful place-although full of visitors-lots of coachloads of kids and adults, football, picnics and summer relaxing going on. There is a pottery, and lots of 1930s looking huts, one of which holds an upholstery workshop. The cake in the teashop was lovely!

It looks very French to me. I think these are original buildings but I am not entirely sure. 
It reminds me of of Avignon.
There were lots of these plants growing on the lawn and in the trees at the edge of the river. I thought they were called Monkshood (which would have been perfect!) but they are called Lords and Ladies. In the autumn they have a stick of red berries.
All around the walls in this part of the grounds were these little pottery religious scenes.
This is holy water not drinking water!
I love the 'please wipe our feet' on this sign, although it may be that the 'y' has rubbed out. 
The river was very still and muddy looking. This stick of plant is pretty big-like on of those giant hogweed plants that are banned. It may even be one. 
The lawns were beautifully covered in daisies. 
Last of all we popped into the Wellhall Pleasaunce as I wanted to see if the wisteria had bloomed. It had!
I love the green of the euphorbia with the pale mauve of the wisteria.