Friday, 29 April 2011

Hand made flowers

Hello everyone, hope the easter hols are still going with a swing!

At work recently my students were doing their art enrichment session, with the theme of layered collages.  The session was led by my colleague, and I was joining in, assisting etc and generally having a grand old time!  These sessions are so amazing, our students have had a pretty hard time of it in mainstream education and these creative sessions show the talents they have as well as allowing us valuable pastoral time.

So I decided to get my hands dirty and created a flower:

Here it is in more detail:

Q - can you guess what it is made of (answer at the end of this post!)

Then I made a fabric flower from the scraps at the bottom of the art supplies box

Both flowers are going to be used by 2 of my students as part of much larger collage projects, cant wait to see how these turn out!

I just love how art and craft activities really help to calm and de-stress - it has that effect on the young people I work with as well.


(A- the flower was made from blue paper hand towels and then coloured by areosol paint!)

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Spring in the garden

Hello everyone!

Hasnt the recent warm spell of weather brought the gardens on a treat?

Here are some little everyday, but nontheless amazing little treasures I spotted recently in my garden on a warm spring day:

Self seeded bluebells, we live (as the crow flies as they say) about a mile and a half from the most amazing woodland which at the moment is carpeted by bluebells (btw can you see the little critter on the tree trunk?!)

Self seeded violets - these seem so common everywhere now, but it wasnt always like that - I can remember my Dad going to all sorts of trouble to culivate them.

Such a pity that so many look on daisies and dandelions as weeds, they are just as amazing as cultivated flowers.

The strawberries are flowering, the earliest I can ever remember!

Simple pleasures, but amazing all the same!!


Sunday, 24 April 2011

Happy Holidays!

What better way to start the day - coffee in one of my favourite mugs, a cute little easter basket made for my lovely daughter by her lovely friend and a visit from the Easter Bunny!

Have a lovely weekend, whatever it is you get up to!!


Sunday, 17 April 2011

Midsummer Swap

Moonstruckcreations and CraftsQueen@home cordially invite you to their Midsummer's Night Dream swap!

The rules of the game are:

a minimum of 5 items to be sent to your swap partner by 24 June 2011 - please note that this is Midsummer Day, not the solstice of 21 June! :)

at least one item to be either handmade by you or by another crafts person
at least one item to have a Midsummer Night's theme - this could be fairies, the garden/outdoors, night sky/moon, summer theme, the choice is up to you!
some crafty bits and pieces (ribbon, fabric, beads, whatever you fancy!)

If you would like to play please RSVP by commenting on this post at either moonstruckcreations (Helen) orcraftsqueen@home (Sue) by 18/5/11. We will then randomly select the swap partners!

Please add the picture to your sidebar!

Love and best wishes, Helen and Suexx

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Day Tripper!!

Hi everyone!

I was lucky enough recently to take some of my students to the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.

It was a lovely spring day, lots and lots of warm spring sunshine!  As we parked the mini bus this lovely mural greeted us:

The students were amazed at the rather funky looking sky scraper just accross the way from the museum:

We were mind-boggled by these art works created by a robot - reminded me of Spirograph (I used to love that!!)

And loved this TV - reminded us of the WonkaVision TV in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory!!

Then just as I thought I had done really well recently using finer yarn to crochet with we came accross this - can you guess what the "fabric" is made of?

the fabric was made up into this ultra fine garment:

We couldnt believe our eyes when we read the information sign...

Absolutely amazing - imagine the skill, not to mention the patience needed to make such a thing!!

I just loved the fact that there is so much beauty and craft in a science museum!  The students loved it, many of them hadnt been to a museum before, which is a shame as they are aged 16-19.  All agreed that science could be interesting and fun! 

The museum backs onto Granada Studios where Coronation Street is filmd.  Sadly the set is no longer open to visitors (it used to be a brilliant day out I remember going there in the late 80s/early 90s) so this signed copy of a Corrie script had to do:

all in all a very successful trip - the young people were a credit to themselves and us.  So what you may ask?  Well, my students are usually labelled as the "most challenging" of young people, many have left school, well shall we just say, under a cloud?  We really are the last chance of gaining education for many of them.  So we see all the challenges, the negative behaviour, the problems etc.  But, once we have been with them for a while, given them due TLC (Tough Loving Care as well as Tender Loving Care!) most will actually blossom into hard working young people who are reaching towards a brighter future.  And just to hear them saying that they will always remember the day they went out with us is just fantastic.

The museum is well worth a visit and the best thing is, its free!  So if you are around the Manchester area over the hols, and you have young kids/teenagers, give it a go!


Thursday, 14 April 2011

Springtime crochet jewellery

 Hi everyone, hope your day is going well!  I have been trying out a new way of using crochet, namely making bracelets in spring-time colours. 

I love both designs, but cant chose my favourite!  These are all destined to become gifts for some of my favourite young ladies, but Im beginning to wonder - should I set myself up with an Etsty or Folksy shop to see if these might sell?  Which is best - Etsy or Folksy?  What are the pros and cons of each?

I would be so pleased if you could give me some feedback!


Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Spring Heart

Good evening all, hope you have had a good day!

Hectic day, with end of term approaching, but all good!

I have been at the hand sewn heart business again - can you spot my latest creation amongst the blossom?

Although my regular readers will know all about my thing for darker muted colours, I must say that I love these pastel greens and yellows

Still quite muted I guess!!

It has been a lovely spring so far hasn't it? Here's hoping the grand weather will keep up for the school hols!


Thursday, 7 April 2011

Candy pink hearts

Hi everyone!

I love making hearts out of felt (my regular readers will be somewhat well aware of this!!) so I thought I would post a pic of a recent hearty-make:

It was for the recent heart swap, here it is with the other things I sent to my swap partner:

I had such a good time gathering hearty things - and it gave me a great excuse (should I need one) to go into Paperchase to get some fancy tissue paper to wrap everything in:

Im curently working on some new designs for hearts, watch this space!!


Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Crochet bracelet

Hello again!

I have been dabbling with crochet again, this time with much finer yarn than I am used to (I am quite impatient so love using chuncky yarn as it grows so quickly!) and made this little bracelet:

A close up of the flower, its a bit blurred but hopefully you can see enough detail:

Im sure it would look much nicer on a younger wrist!!

It was a real delight to make, so Im going to be making some more in different colourways.  I also have another bracelet pattern Im going to try this week, so will post some pics when they are done.

In the meantime, this one is for my dear friend Sue's daughter (who is a lovely friend of my daughter) as I think she will like it.


Sunday, 3 April 2011

The swap that just keeps on giving

Hi everyone!

My lovely swap partner and dear dear friend, Sue was partnered with me for the Spring Makes Me Sing Swap.  We swopped parcels in person as we live so close, and at the time she said she had another swapsie gift for me but that she had misplaced it at home (we both have four kids so I can understand this!!).

Anyhow, it turned up this week and boy, was I excited!

Just get an eyeful of the Tilda loveliness:

This is my kind of eye candy!

AND THERE'S HEARTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (sorry Im going a bit OTT here, but I do love hearts!!)

What a lovely generous gift from a lovely generous friend - thank you so much Sue, you know me so well! 

Have a great day!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Another Grand Day Out - and an Award!

Good morning!  Weekend is finally here - woop woop!!!!!

Well, yesterday, I managed to get the day off work.  DH however did not, so I decided to call my bestest friend Sue to see if she could come out to play (i.e. go somewhere nice to browse around delightful shops!).  Although she had a pile of things to do, including interesting stuff like washing, tidying etc, she very nicely agreed.  So, giggling like the pair of naughty college students we once were, we hopped into her car and whizzed along to a local town, Ashby.  We had been meaning to go for ages.

And what a lovely little market town it is - just look as these shop window displays:

A K&W themed window at the local crafts supplies shop:

Flowers everywhere - well it is almost Mothers Day!

Loved these primulas in the cheery bags so much I got one for my darling Mum:

And we both thought this was gorgeous:

We love going down little alleyways and courtyards to discover charming independent shops:

Here are some of the lovely treats I bought home - such lovely colours!  and I love the way the fat quarter is folded, Im almost relucant to use it!!

So, after a jolly good time in Ashby we decided it was time to move on to pastures new, so we jumped back in the car and went over to the nearby Ferrers Centre.  First of all you have to give the correct password to this imposing fellow:

His faithful friend is inside, guarding the entrance to one of the shops:

These cheeky chappies popped up from amongst the flower pots:

Its just such a lovely setting, with lots of little shops  run by local crafts people

The neighbouring garden centre led to a purchase of a delicious Moroccon Mint plant

 And then all too soon it was time to head back home to see what kids and partners had been up to!

Thanks for coming along for the ride - posting today has been somewhat lengthy (blogger playing up a bit) perhaps this little chap had something to do with it

(spotted at the Ferrers Centre!)

And finally, now on to the award I was given this week by the lovely Clara - thank you so much Clara, it means a lot to me.  Those of you who are my regular readers will know that I am relatively new to blogging.  Im always really pleased and humbled to see that I now have followers and regular comments on my posts. 

So now I have to give 7 facts about me (!!)

1 - I am totally obsessed by hearts!!
2 - I love watching birds from my window, but have to keep a close eye on my cats!
3 - I have been crocheting on and off for 40 years (I was a very young girl when I learned this craft ;) )
4 - I am a very, very bad influence on my friend Sue from crafts@home ;)
5 - Sue from crafts@home is a very bad influence on me!!
6 - I would love a little summer house/cabin in my garden so that I can escape in there to do my crafts (DH are you listening my dear?!)
7 - My day job is teaching young people aged 16-19 who are very disengaged and challenging - and yes, I have taught some of the lads crochet - they loved it!!  And no, they didnt beat me up when I suggested it!!

So now it is time to pass on the award.  I would like to nominate the following:

Thanks to you all for giving me so much pleasure reading your blogs!

Have a wonderful day, whatever it is you get up to!  Helenxx