Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Fabric Workshop & Heart Swap

Remember in my last post I told you I'd been to a fabric workshop?

It was a cushion making day at Bill Quay Fabric Workshop in Gateshead.

The workshop does lots of fabric printing, batik and fabric collage and we were encouraged to have a  rummage through their scrap bag to find bits and pieces to incorporate into the cushion covers.

Here's what we made:

Laurie's cat cushion.

Kim's flower cushion.

Elaine's rainbow cushion, made to her little daughter's specification. (mummy hand painted the rainbow especially).

Catherine's batik strip cushion.

Katy's flower cushion - Katy had never sewed before but painstakingly hand sewed a sequin into the centre of every flower.

My abstract night sky cushion cover...

...and the filled cushion (the colours in this photo are more true to life than the one above).

We all had a brilliant day and the cost which included materials was a very reasonable £15 each.

Now to the heart swap, I was paired with the lovely Helen from Moonstruckcreations .

A really big thank you to Helen for being a brilliant swap partner, she has really spoilt me, just look at all the loveliness that she sent me.

All beautifully wrapped in gorgeous heart tissue paper which opened to reveal ...

Yummy heart shaped chocs (oops these didn't last long!), two lots of lovely ribbon patterned with hearts, two pink heart sticks, a fantastic rustic "home is where the heart is" heart, a gorgeous hand sewn white felt heart embellished with pink hearts and buttons (this is one for Flic's room because as soon as she sees it she will declare it "hers"), a set of heart shaped cookie cutters, a set of silicone heart moulds, a lovely heart shaped mirror and a heart shaped box with 3D heart confetti in it.

What a lucky girl I am!!

Thank you Helen xxx

Saturday, 26 March 2011

All change!!

I haven't been posting a great deal of late - there's been a lot happening which has all been a bit of a whirlwind, though I have to say it's changes for the better. 

I've posted before about the change of direction my work took after the new year, it was a change that was forced upon me and I certainly didn't welcome it. Although I didn't at the time post about it, prior to the half term break my doctor signed me off work with work related stress and high blood pressure. 

I asked to be returned to work after half term because I didn't want to let the job beat me and though I managed the stress better, I was actually relieved to be told that I would definitely be made redundant at the end of April.

But sometimes everything happens at once and it's all change.
Only a week gone Thursday I received an offer from a primary school in the local authority to take over maternity cover for one of the teachers in their additionally resourced base for complex learning needs. Now I am not primary trained nor have I ever worked in primary, but they deemed that my knowledge of special educational needs took precedence and asked me to start last Monday.

They have been lovely and eased me in by employing a supply teacher last week so that I could just observe and get a feel for primary teaching. I take over the teaching in the base on Monday and I'm really looking forward to it.

I've also taken part in a fabric workshop where I made a ...

...well I think we'll leave what I made for another post, but
to top off a very exciting week I returned home on Friday evening to this:

my "Spring makes me Sing" swap parcel from Shirley at The White House (Formerly Vintage Sea Muse)

Look at all the loveliness!!

Shirley included two little cross stitch kits, some gorgeous pastel buttons, pretty ribbons and lace, including a lovely piece of cream broderie anglais, a selection of craft papers, a beautiful shabby white tin bird (he made his way straight onto the door of my wardrobe!!), a vintage brooch, a piece of luscious flowery fabric, a magazine called "Vintage" which I have never seen before,  it is brilliant with so many useful articles and pictures. There was also a bottle of organic shower gel which smells divine, a set of ballet themed notecards, mini eggs and last but certainly not least an absolutely stunning cutwork embroidered white linen runner. We have guests coming to stay in a couple of weeks and this will then take pride of place on my sideboard.

Thank you Shirley for an absolutely lovely parcel.

what a great end to a life changing week!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Spring Swap Goodies

I recently took part in Emma's Spring Swap.

I was partnered with Janice (JP).

Janice is a retired primary teacher and loves reading blogs, she plans to begin blogging herself in the near future and I really look forward to becoming a follower and reading all about her crafty makes.

I typically forgot to take any photographs of the things I sent to Janice, but she sent me a lovely email letting me know things had arrived safely and that she loved everything.

I did however take pictures of the lovely parcel of goodies that I received from Janice.

There was a ball of the softest most gorgeous peachy coloured cotton yarn - I have been wanting a nice pretty coloured cotton yarn to crochet into facecloths and this fits the bill perfectly. There was also a pretty organza bag containing some fluffy little Easter chicks and pastel coloured wooden eggs - perfect for Easter decorations. A packet of unusual Nasturtium seeds, these are mixed colours with marbled foliage - I'm looking forward to planting these up for a splash of colour in the summer. There were also six pretty wrapped parcels and a little gift box to open.

Upon opening my gifts I found: A pretty green/blue hand crafted brooch, a lovely flower stamp, the most gorgeous vintage chiffon and lace runner, this is so delicate and beautiful and I have one or two ideas for this ( I will post and let you know what at a later date), also packaged with this was a lovely piece of vintage coffee coloured lace, I have already used some of this to make a fabric flower brooch, again something I will share in a later post. There was also a bag of the most delightful green buttons and a bag of pretty ribbons and yarns. Last but not least choccy treats (they didn't last long after the photo was taken ; D

I am really pleased with my swap parcel - I love it all and look forward to showing you how I make use of these pretty supplies.

Thanks Janice.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

I won!

I just had to pop in and show you what I won in a recent giveaway from Moonlight and Hares

Karen is an artist/illustrator and woodworker and makes some absolutely fabulous creations, she recently held a giveaway to celebrate her blog's 3rd birthday and offered a postcard and one of her wonderful handmade pendants featuring her "Sleeping Fox" illustration.

I am absolutely enchanted by my win - thank you so much Karen.

I absolutely love Karen's magical style. The illustrations on her blog, along with the wonderfully soothing music tracks that she chooses to play alongside never cease to provide me with a feeling of mystical calmness and melts away the tensions from my day - pop along and have a look for yourself. 

Friday, 11 March 2011

In The Ghetto

In the half term holiday my eldest (goth) daughter took pity on her poor mother  -(Ahhh) and escorted me on a day out to Newcastle with the express purpose of a visit to "The Big Mussel" in order to partake in "Mussel Mania".

A large bowl of mussels served with with home-made chunky chips and mayo, and in one the following sauces:
Classic - garlic, white onion, white wine and cream
Amatriciana - red onion, chilli and tomato
Peppercino - sweet chilli, ginger and garlic
Thai - chilli, lemongrass, garlic, coriander and coconut
Toon - bacon, mushrooms, black pudding and brown ale
Chinese - pak choi, ginger, garlic and hoisin sauce
Fennel - fennel, mushrooms, mustard and cream
I had mine with Thai Sauce while Ellie chose the classic.
The restaurant is right next to The Side Gallery which is dedicated  to (in their words) "documentary in the tradition of the concerned photographer." As Ellie is a photographer we decided to pop in and have a look at the latest exhibition, entitled "Lodz Ghetto Album" by Henryk Ross.

Henryk Ross was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1910, and became a sports photographer in Lodz before World War II. As a Jew, he was imprisoned in the ghetto and became one of three photographers employed by its Department of Statistic. He used his camera to produce a secret diary of not only the atrocities of the ghetto, but also some intimate moments of occasional happiness. When liquidation of the ghetto began he buried 3000 negatives in the garden of the ghetto's orphanage. Ross survived the holocaust and was able to retrieve the negatives and prints from these negatives form the basis of the exhibition.
Mother kissing her child - Source
 The exhibition was intensely moving, it documents not only the the tragedy of life in Lodz, but there are surprising photographs of some who occupied positions of authority and as such were the "elite" of the ghetto, a wedding reception, children playing and courting couples. Yet these are all the more poignant when you are reminded that almost certainly almost everyone pictured was killed before the war ended.

The exhibition is a touring exhibition and if you get the chance to see it  do try to go, there is no doubting it's poignancy and it also serves as a reminder why we should all strive to be tolerant of the cultural and religious beliefs of others.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Car Booty

Firstly apologies to all my dear readers for the lack of blogging, though I'm sure you all understand that the recent worry over my granddaughter has rather taken over. I'd like to thank everyone for their kind supportive comments and share with you the good news that she has made a good recovery and was out and about with us yesterday visiting two of her great grandparents. 

Today we headed off to Hexham for the afternoon car boot sale. It was such a wonderful sunny spring day so the drive over was beautiful, and we picked up one or two nice bits and pieces ...
...let me show you...

A lovely little Carlton Ware sauce boat. The "jug" bit is a leaf shape and is a pale yellow colour, it stands on a green "crinkled" leaf. I absolutely love this and look forward to using it for mint or apple sauce.

I spotted this rather nice trio on a stall labelled "everything 50p" - when the lady said that the matching sugar bowl was also part of the set and that the 50p was for all four items I just had to bag this bargain. The photograph doesn't really do them justice the outside glaze on all the items is the same green as the plate, and when viewed from above the shape of both the plate and the saucer is very "flower" like.

I also got this lovely shabby tin, I think I will use it in my craft room, probably to store ribbons.

And last but most definitely not least...

...can you guess what this is?

Yes that is Bakelite you see ... if you turn it onto it's side and flip down this little bit on the back...

.... then turn it around and open the little shutters on the front ...

a fabulous art deco travel clock.

Unfortunately the clock doesn't work, but I love it's quirkiness and for £5 I don't really mind that it isn't working.

(Plus it has Bakelite on it and I have a bit of thing for Bakelite!)

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