Thursday, 11 August 2016

Gift from Gramzle

IMAG0055 Gramzle (my dear Mum) spotted Feets' love for buttons, clasps, zips, and basically anything designed to keep her out.

So she made her a lovely set of pockets, each one closed by a different kind of clasp and each one hiding a different secret treasure.

We love it!  Thanks Gramzle!

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Anniversary Tablecloth

IMAG0094Our forth wedding anniversary. We seem to have been following a traditional American materials theme, and so this year was silk. I discovered the silk scraps in my collection led to rather an enticing colour scheme! We'd actually agreed an amnesty (lets have a year off gifts, we're too busy), and then both back-tracked on it. So this had to be made in two hours max. An anniversary tablecloth of silk scraps.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Around and About at Larmer Tree

IMAG0162 The recent Larmer Tree Festival was everything I dreamed of for the particular combination of Feets, Mr Liam and me ...

... small yet full of variety, intrigue and creativity, utterly welcoming to children of all ages, and overflowing with music, arty moments and people in crazy costumes.

These are just a few visual bits and bobs from around the site.
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Thursday, 21 July 2016

Larmer Tree Festival

We finally found a festival to suit the varied tastes of my family.  In festivals past, I've always focussed on the music, and I was determined this time to see not only music, but everything else on offer to stimulate our creative taste buds!  We managed drumming for littluns, storytelling for adults, round-the-table Ping Pong, a comedy / spoken word slam, a lot of food, shopping, music (or course!) and ... I crept away for some visual arts just for adults ...
IMAG0154 I joined a team making junk / rag peacocks to form the congregation of a 'wedding', with a llama marrying off a bride and groom peacock on the wedding lawn, sculptures developed by Anna Roebuck.
And, on borrowed time as Feets napped, I made a flower for the hedgerows, using plastic bottles, a tea-light and some spray paint. Not my usual colours! Thanks to Rehash Panache for the workshop.

Finally, I spent a glorious twenty minutes learning how to make Dorset Buttons, something supremely, traditionally crafty that has long caught my attention.  Photos to follow in a future post!

Sunday, 10 July 2016

National Gallery Art Night

IMAG0014 I joined a number of friends and colleagues at the National Gallery Art Night on Saturday. I'm afraid I had no idea Art Night was a thing! I was tempted in by a group of young freelancers, part of a project started at LTM, who organised the event at the National Gallery.

The night was inspired by the highly accessible George Shaw residency exhibition, which focuses on how the 'romance' of many Titian, Poussin and other historical paintings which are set in beaucolic woodland scenes, could actually be seen a bit more sordidly and less romantically, especially when moved into the equivalent contemporary world! I found the exhibition humorous and familiar, and the young freelancers had done a marvelous job in creating a similarly fun and humorous event which had really clearly grown from the exhibition itself. IMAG0017 IMAG0018 As they drifted quietly around the darkened galleries, ladies dressed as trees whispered to you, inviting you to share your secrets by writing them on leaves. Little did you realise that your secrets might be shared back later in improvisation by the hilarious and brilliant punk choir, Gaggle, who had me mesmerised as they moved from room to room to share their music.

Finally, we were invited to make dens, or the secret places we hung out as teenagers, on the balcony overlooking Trafalgar Square. I didn't quite get to making, but I instantly thought of the bus stop at the end of the road ... I had a fabulous time - it was just what I'd hoped for!

Sunday, 3 July 2016

The Imagination Tree

IMG_7873Parents among us probably never feel 'good enough' - and certainly this inspiring website is simultaneously a daunting model of parenthood to live up to! But at the same time I find it full of really simple ideas that require little resource or preparation, that can turn a really ordinary day with Feets into a revolutionary and inspiring one! Today's activity - using a spoon to transfer tiny pompoms into ice cube trays. Worthy of Feets' highest (and rare) praise - 'I excited'. The Imagination Tree centres around this article which articulates everything I believe professionally and personally about working with children - The Central Importance of Play.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Alphabet Cards

IMG_7876Having a daughter prompted Liam and I into creative collaborations that somehow it had never occurred to us to do before. The latest was Liam's idea - to create alphabet cards for Feets' long journey into literacy.

For this one, Liam was far ahead of me and as he finished and I was steeped in early pregnancy lethargy, and then Feets started IMG_7877 spotting the first letter of her name, I had to find a quick and effective way to complete my half of the bargain.

I worked with oil pastels and watercolours which were roughly as effective as I'd hoped (bold, simple), though the oil does have the tendency to come off on the other cards ...