Just popping in to say hello and hoping all is well with you lovely girls out there.So happy that January is finally over- am snowed under with work and the shop etc and wish the light was better for taking photographs-not long now though....I really enjoy reading about all your news and your amazing creations..such a tonic..
This was last Sunday at Heidi's.There were eight of us, me. Heidi, Liv, Laura,Linda,Jules,Jilly and Rosella. We ate Mexican drank bubbly and had a perfectly lovely evening.It was our Secret Santa night.Before Christmas at the Open House we pulled names from a hat and in the spirit of present financial restraint, the idea was to buy something for a pound,something from a charity shop and make something.Well it was very interesting to see how different the interpretations were.A lot of thought and fun went into the exercise.On the handmade front there was a cushion, a corsage, a crochet hook folder,a padded heart and a keepsake box.( I wish I had taken photos)
I picked Linda and I managed to find a Caroline Gardner calendar for a pound, a pair of lovely glass water goblets for a couple of pounds and I made Linda a patchwork bag from all sorts of scraps, including a Laura Ashley skirt.It is rosy on one side and cool blues on the other side.I had real trouble parting with it and intend to make one as my new school bag.
It is a nice thing to do and it really does let your creative muses fly.
Thanks girls for a lovely evening.
As part of our commitment at school we have to offer after-school activities or lunchtime clubs to all our pupils.Over the years I have done many things,ornithology,calligraphy,art & craft,model making,knitting,nature club and gardening.However,I like to have a change and far better to do something that I enjoy rather than just filling in time.So last term I started a Junior chef club,which has been so popular and is is a real pleasure to teach.I have thirteen very enthusiastic chefs(aged 8-10yrs) who have their own aprons,chopping boards and peelers etc.We have learned how to make soup,bread,chutney,pies,crumbles and sauces and then lately we did cakes,mince pies and then finished the term with cake decoration which was really enjoyable.I just wanted to show you some of their efforts. Children are far more conditioned to' have a go and never mind the consequences' and I let them loose with fondant icing and edible glitter etc and they had a wonderful time......I think they did really well.
My other club is on a Tuesday lunchtime and I teach sewing to twenty girls aged
(5to10 yrs}They start off with very simple things like needlecases and pincushions and then graduate onto embroidery,patchwork,cushions and bags.Some of the older girls use the machine and are learning to cut out patterns.We have made heart cushions for mothers day, mice,angels and this term we made owls out of felted woolly jumpers and stuffed them with lentils and kapok so they are like beanie owls.
Here are a few of the finished, rather quizzical looking owls.
So I am happy to be at school again. I am not a great cook or particularly skilled with a needle but I am keen to pass on the domestic arts and I think it is really important not to just teach but to inspire and enthuse children.....and sadly many of these things are no longer on offer in our schools.
As some of you will know I have one elderly dog and two tabby cats,Tom is nearly fifteen and Billy is nine.Over the course of twenty six years tigether John and I have had many cats- twelve in total all of whom have been waifs and strays or who have just wandered into our lives,Chalky our white cat, much beloved by both sons and nephews just appeared in our living room one morning and never left.He lived five doors down but he wasn't cared for and they would leave him out in all weathers with no shelter.I really believe that 'Six Dinner Sid 'style some cats choose their owners.Anyway to get back to the point,about a month ago my eldest son appeared at the foot of my bed early in the morning to tell me he had got me a present and then produced this little kitten.Apparently the owner was going to get rid of her as he couldn't afford to keep her. As it was six am and he had woken me up I can tell you quite honestly I was not terribly grateful.I really didn't want another cat and I really didnt feel it was fair on Tom who is an old man and doesn't need all the hassle.Really didn't want to start with litter trays etc.Wellshe is not the prettiest cat in the world but she is so affectionate and sweet natured and the fact that she is a girl is a real plus.Ive only ever had one female and she was my best and beloved Cleo who was seventeen when she died and I miss her to this day.So I wanted to introduce you to Betty who is a naughty little cat full of mischief but very enchanting and intelligent and I am afraid I am besotted.She is sitting on my arm as I am trying to type this and she is reading every word.So Betty is my best present not just for Christmas but for life.
She loves my vintage shopping basket which is hanging on a coat rail- yes she loves to climb.
There is one member of the family who is not too impressed.
This is Billy sulking and giving me that look......
Well, as I had a five am start to the day yesterday, it was a case of very early to bed and for the first time in years I did not welcome in the new year and I missed Jules Holland.Yesterday was not a day for resolutions as I spent the day lozzicking on the sofa watching Harry Potter and Twilight in between cooking a aroast dinner and dying the grey out of my sad middle aged locks.With all the gloom and doom which they say lies ahead I think stubborn optimism is the way forward and all the austerity measures will perhaps make us all appreciate the simple things in life a lot more so I don't intend to make any drastic changes to my life, just small alterations and simple appreciations.......
One of the things I really do hold dear are the kind thoughts friends and family have put into my Christmas presents.I received such lovely things and was quite moved by everyones thoughtfulness and generosity ...
A beautiful vintage tablecloth from a good friend and some gorgeous books.I love the pictures in Sophie Dahl's ook and love Kirstie's no nonsense language and common sense.
A pretty corsage and bunting from Cheryl ...I love them......
A Cath mug and fabby White stuff wristwarmers from Jules, a collar from John which is soooo warm and a vintage clock from Jenny....
Love poems from John.....I really love Laura Stoddart's illustrations and have several of her books.
A lovely cushion that Mum bought at the Vintage and Homespun Fair
Another gorgeous cushion which Jules bought from Rosella who crocheted the hearts.I nearly fainted when I opened it.Its soooo pretty and I think Jules had a hard time parting with it -And as you know I am in great need of cushions..........
Some very cleber felt bunting made by Jules which is currently adorning my dresser
Jules also made me this pretty snood which is very thoughtful as I wear a lot of scarves etc to keep my neck warm as I am prone to sore throats...It is so soft and warm...
Just had to show you Jules's wrapping .....she sewed padded baubles out of Christmas fabric and crocheted stars.......How pretty is that????????
I am out done again !!!!!!!!!
It's funny that how ever much we think we are over Christmas there is a small voice that is saying next year I shall.......
Happy New Year to you all wishing you good health and small joys.
PS.There is one present I haven't shown you.That's for my next post....