Monday, 31 January 2011

Getting Creative in Schools

Last week I did some work in a primary school in Wigan for a couple of days, as part of the excellent services provided by Drumcroon Gallery in Wigan (if you live in the area, please go and visit, they have a fantastic exhibition on at the moment).  I loved it!!  I love working with young people, and being able to get creative with them, and see them explore their own creativity was fabulous.  

I had the pleasure of working with 2 groups of year 4 children for a couple of days.  Their theme was snow and ice, and we were focusing on colour and shape to create a piece of work, rather than drawing a picture (a difficult task, they are so used to drawing a 'picture' they found it difficult just to make marks by exploring shapes).

The first session, we got pastels out and made a mess!!  They were covered, and although some initially made a fuss about having dirty hands, they soon get into the flow and created some lovely pieces.  The colours were fabulous and they really explored mixing and changing the colours.

These were then recreated in collage, using recycled paper from magazines.  

In the second session, we had a look at stitch.  Spent a bit of time learning to thread needles and create lines with thread before using these new skills on top of the collages they had done previously.

Like I said earlier, a fabulous couple of days.  The children were great and most of them really enjoyed it.  I am looking forward to doing more!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

My new shopping bag

It is great to see some fantastic reusable bags being produced by some of the big supermarkets.  I have been known to bring back big shopping bags from France in the past, but we seem to be catching up on the reusable bag front.  Hoorah.  

I love this one...  I managed to pick it up in my local Tesco a week or so ago.  Apparently they came out at the beginning of December, but I have only just managed to get my mitts on one (either they have only just made it up north, or I have a sheltered life!!!).  They have been designed by Orla Kiely and have been made to raise money for charity.  Each bag costs £4 with 50p of that being donated to CLIC Sargent, the UK's leading children's cancer charity, and Orla's personal charity the Royal College of Art,  helping to fund bursaries for textile students.  If you haven't already 'bagsied' yourself one, get yourself out to Tesco before they all disappear.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Pain in the ..... foot!

This week I have been suffering from Plantar Fascilitis (inflamation of a ligament in my foot).  It started last Saturday, when out shopping with the Fairy.  I hobbled around getting shooting pains in my heel and couldn't understand why as nothing specific had occurred.  All I could link it to was the numerous hours I stood at the ironing board* the previous night pressing pieces of fabric and cutting out hexagons for a quilt I am gong to start. The doctor informed me that this could have been the tip of the iceberg and that the only solution was to put my feet up for a week, use heel pads and do some exercises.  I couldn't even do any sewing as it is my peddle foot!!!  

Although I did enjoy sitting and reading for long periods of time... I do have a lot of work I need to do, so coaxed my left foot into action ( I am very right handed, and thought that I would be very right footed, but my left foot coped very well with the challenge!!).  Alongside some new pinnies and some other new products I have been fiddling with (all will be revealed soon enough), I had said that I would make kit bags for the children (mine and my nephews/nieces - 6 of them, aged 6 and under), for when we are together so that we can keep their things in order.  I made simple drawstring bags, each with their initial appliqued on.

Hopefully it will stop confusion and keep things a little tidier!!!  I love the spotty fabric... it looks red in the image ( it is gloomy up North and the light is terrible), but it is bright pink with orange spots.  I love this colour combination.  Fruit salad, pull your teeth out sweets, from the 1980's!!!

*re: ironing board - my New Years Resolution (to myself) was not to have the ironing board continually up in the living room.  So far I have failed miserably, as soon as the tree went and things get back to post Christmas normality, the ironing board went up... and hasn't been down much. I really must organize my workspace and get a board in here!!!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Some lovely moments over Christmas

Some lovely moments over Christmas...

... making things with the children, and watching them draw.  This is one of the fairy's recent scribbles... I just love everything about it, she drew it in biro (she loves to draw in pen) and I am envious of the freeness in which she drew it, and hope that this never leaves her.

Having the excuse to make scrummy truffles, boxes to put them in, the pleasure from seeing them packaged so beautifully, and the reactions from people when given as gifts.

The children's reactions to the place mats I made for them.  The fairy had been watching them being made for her cousins and kept commenting on how she wanted one too (little did she know, and her little face when she opened her parcel!), and the Tinker won't have his meals unless they are on his 'new mat'.  The eldest of my nieces was poorly on Christmas Day and insisted in taking hers to bed with her, and my youngest niece kept holding it up to her to make a skirt.  Great reactions, and well worth the time and effort.

Spending some time with my family... quite hectic (and exhausting) with the little ones, but fantastic.  There's my sister and me (quite flushed!!) in beautiful pinnies serving some food.  Unfortunately, it was so hectic, there weren't many pinny in action pictures to choose from!!

 I predict that 2011 is going to be a busy year for me (for a change), but I am looking forward to new challenges.  I will keep you all posted.

Best wishes to you all in 2011.