Sunday, 29 December 2013

Pyrography Artwork

This accomplished piece of pyrography was given to me by a very talented pupil in Year 9. She has begun selling her pieces for charity and each one is a labour of love. I have thoroughly enjoyed our conversations about the craft whilst doing gate duty this term – I don’t actually teach her this year so it was our best chance to chat! She only started pyrography a few months ago and I can only imagine how her skill is going to develop over the next twelve months but I look forward to going back after maternity leave and finding out!


Saturday, 28 December 2013

Bunny for the nursery

I somehow neglected to share this magnificent creation in yesterday’s blog post. I had everything else together in the cot but this toy has already found its permanent home in the nursery and it deserves a whole post of its own anyway.


Created by the incredibly talented Lib Haigh, both David and I commented on it when we were up there a few weeks ago so she happily (I hope) let us adopt it for the nursery. We love it and I’m sure that Baby B will too. Thank you Lib!

Friday, 27 December 2013

More gifts for Baby B

I finished work and Brownies last week and was inundated with presents for Baby B. All of my sixth form classes had talked to each other about what they were getting and seemed to each take a theme, which was incredibly impressive! One group went for books, another for toys, a third for clothes and one group even named a star after the baby. My final Year 13 class opted to get creative and made this fantastic mathematical mobile for the nursery…
Year 11 came up with an equally touching idea as the designed this bodysuit which they then got made…
Meanwhile, other people have been busy knitting cardigans for the little one. The two in lemon were made by Steph and my mother-in-law was busy making the white one for Christmas. I particularly love the duck buttons!
Thank you everyone, this is certainly one loved and lucky baby that I’m having!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Another superb piece of craftsmanship by Michael Hill of Compton Framers, Chirk

Having been so impressed by their work on Archie’s birth sampler a few years ago, I decided to use Compton Framers in Chirk to frame my red kite. It is framed tight to the stitches with a simple black frame and a spacer between the frame and aida to prevent the stiches being squashed by the glass. They stretched the fabric for me and mounted it on board that helps the stitches stand out. The glass itself is special artist glass that has superior UV protection and allows the true colours of the design to shine through. Only the best for my kite you understand! I picked it up yesterday and it now hangs in pride of place in our lounge – at last!


Sunday, 3 November 2013

For Mr & Mrs Webb

I spent Friday crafting in preparation for Chris and Laura’s wedding on Saturday. I must be out of practice because they took me hours – it actually took me a whole hour to decide on the design of the framed piece, which was ridiculous given the simplicity of it. Here they are:



It was a beautiful wedding for two very special people. For one final time on the occasion of their wedding, I’d like to send them all my love and very best wishes for the future.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Clothes for Baby B

So, this explains my absence in recent months. My crafting exploits have taken a backseat whilst my body grows a whole new person inside. If the truth be told, I’ve been far too tired to pick up anything crafty during the first two trimesters but as I rapidly approach the third I think I’m going to have to pull my finger out and start making some stuff for Baby B myself.

In the meantime, my Mum has been busy knitting a selection of jumpers and cardigans for her third grandchild. Unfortunately she knitted them before David stipulated that he did not want his son or daughter wearing yellow but I will undoubtedly be the one dressing the little one when it arrives and so I will get plenty of use out of them. It’s been quite a long time since Mum did this much knitting and I’m thrilled that she’s picked up her needles again. It’s just a bit terrifying how small these items are!



By the way, they’re actually a much more subtle shade of yellow and turquoise than these photos suggest but my flash along with the black background has played funny tricks on them.

Thank you Mum! Smile

Sunday, 22 September 2013

What next?

148 hours and 30 minutes over 51 sessions and about 51 months (that’s shameful) but here it is. I finally finished the red kite tonight. I’ll take it to be framed in two weeks time and then it can be displayed proudly in our flat at last…
Unfortunately, this does mean that we do not have any dinner tonight – oops!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

This is what 133 hours of cross-stitching looks like…

With rather a lot of the project still to go, this is what 133 hours of stitching on my red kite project looks like. I did six and a half hours today, which is the longest stint I have so far done in one day. What a great way to spend the last Sunday of the summer holidays, especially considering I haven’t actually picked this up since April 2012!



It’s only the landscape left to do. Here’s a closer look at the area I’m working on at the moment…


Saturday, 31 August 2013

A Christening Gift

It’s Alice’s christening today. I’ve made this little piece to commemorate the event for Bill, Melanie and Alice. I must be out of practice because it seemed to take me a really long time although watching The Great British Bake Off at the same time probably didn’t help!


Friday, 30 August 2013

Birthday Cake

My wonderful but cheeky sister turned 30 this week and requested that she have the same birthday cake that Mum made me last year. That’s being very generous, it was more of a demand really! Anyway, this year the task fell on me so I spent a couple of evenings creating this…




Tuesday, 30 July 2013

His and Hers–not exciting but hopefully functional

David has been nagging me for such a long time to make him a strap cover for his binoculars. I have finally got around to doing it. I do sympathise and the ordinary straps really do rub your neck when you’re not wearing a polo-shirt so I made myself one too. These are made from an old sheet and although they’re not the ideal birding colour I’m hopeful that they will keep us slightly more comfortable during our summer birding aboard.
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Monday, 29 July 2013

Mum’s Monkey Business

Archie is really pleased with Mickey the Monkey now that Mum has finished her first (& quite probably last) knitted soft toy.
She spotted this pattern in Yours magazine and was brave enough to give it a try. You can see what she was aiming for and you’d have to agree, she did a pretty good job of it.
She twisted my arm to embroider the facial features but Mum did everything else. Sorry about the quality of the photos, I only had my phone with me up in Wales this weekend but here he is in all his glory…

Monday, 22 July 2013

Upcycled Paper Beads

This is my preparation for the WCHS co-curricular day tomorrow. I can’t give away too much information just yet as the girls don’t know what they are doing but I’ll explain and post some more photos after the event.
So, I’ve been making my first ever batch of upcycled paper beads. I chose a nice orange advert from an old Sainsburys magazine and cut 17 isosceles triangles from it. They are cut lengthways (to make them as long as possible) and all have a base of 2cm. I then rolled the beads using a cocktail stick to start them off. The rolled paper then needed to be secured so I varnished it. Tomorrow I will be using acrylic varnish but I only had clear nail varnish at home so I tried that. For the record, it gives a nicer shine but is not as easy to use as the acrylic varnish.
Once dry I threaded them all onto a piece of elastic to make an African-style paper bead necklace, which I look forward to wearing with my authentic Ghanaian dress tomorrow.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Another Year, Another Special Leaving Card

We’re almost at the end of another year at Woodford, which inevitably means that a few people are leaving us. This summer we’re losing a fantastic maths teacher who is almost certainly one of the best colleagues that I will ever have. He has kept me entertained for three years and has helped me through some of the hardest times of my life. His enthusiasm is infectious and he loves teaching almost as much as I do. I’m going to miss him so much although possibly not his ridiculously creased shirts!
So, on my first weekend at home for a very long time, I had to make an equally special piece to be mounted on his leaving card. As usual, everyone’s been signing a blank card as I like to protect my creations until they are handed to the intended recipient. I decided to base my card on an optical illusion this year and used the following image as a guideline…

An hour later I had finished pricking the card and was ready to get stitching…
Four and a half hours later the piece is mounted on gold and black card and is ready to be mounted on the A5 card in school on Tuesday. What a productive Sunday afternoon!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Handmade says it better

Last week we officially said goodbye to the class of 2013. As usual, it was an emotional day (at least for me) and I can honestly say that this a year group that will be sorely missed. They’ve been amazing. Anyway, amongst many other touching gifts and cards I received these very special handmade pieces. Apparently they “just had to be handmade” for me!

The first card is an upcycled piece, which I absolutely love.


The second card is hand-drawn and I particularly liked that the student had started on the other side, wasn’t happy with the image and just turned over. I definitely approve of not having thrown it away and started again!


The third card was actually a booklet created by five of my form. Again, it’s all hand-drawn and mounted. The messages inside made my Mum cry!


Best of all… This year one of my form knitted me a teddy bear. You really can’t get much better than that. Not to mention the time taken, it’s thoughtful, creative and incredibly personal. I’m so very grateful.



Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Dried Roses

Well, it’s been a while and I really haven’t done anything crafty in the time that I’ve been away. I am hoping to find some time, energy and inspiration soon though. I’ll have to get going pretty quickly as I need to try out a new craft that I will be sharing with some pupils during this year’s co-curricular day at school.

Mum and I did go wool and pattern shopping last weekend though. She’s now busy knitting jumpers, cardigans and monkeys for Katryn and Archie. Now that’s real therapy!

Today’s post is not strictly speaking about a craft but I was given some yellow roses for my birthday (thanks Abigail), which I have dried out to go with the red ones that I was given by some of the school leavers from 2012. There is something about our flat (and probably the dehumidifier) that means I can dry them out relatively easily and they maintain much of their colour. I don’t do anything special to them at all. Here are the results…


Friday, 31 May 2013

Hand-embroidery on a Handkerchief

One of my best friends from school gets married today – congratulations Rhiannon and Simon!

Weddings always give me the opportunity to get crafty and this time around, Rhiannon asked me to embroider a very special message onto a handkerchief to give to her Dad on the big day. I used ordinary navy cotton doubled up for the stitching, which matches the bridesmaids. This was incredibly fiddly to do but I didn’t want the stitching to be too big and I wanted it to be obviously hand stitched. I have displayed the handkerchief in an old Radley box that once housed my credit card wallet. I do love to recycle after all!



Thursday, 23 May 2013

45 Good Luck Cards

Here is my final post about good luck cards and gifts for my students this year. As I mentioned in the previous post, they are sitting S2 tomorrow (well, most of them) and they all leave us for study leave at the end of the day. I’ve taught some of these girls for seven years. They have been a fantastic year group and I’m going to miss them dearly. Mind you, I did get a bit bored making 45 of these good luck cards!



Good luck Year 13.

Monday, 20 May 2013

I teach too many Year 13s

I’m hoping that my Year 13s are all busy revising for their S2 exam this Friday and therefore have no time to spot these on my blog before I hand them out on Thursday and Friday. This time around I have had 45 spoons to personalise. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this will be the most I ever have to make in one go but only time will tell.



I am thrilled with my new pyrography set. I used three attachments on various parts of these spoons. It was so much easier to use than my old one and I actually managed to knock them all out pretty quickly considering how many I was making.

Friday, 10 May 2013

120 Clovers for Year 11

I have just said goodbye and good luck to another 24 students hoping to do themselves justice in their forthcoming examinations. I sent them on their way with a total of 120 four-leaf clovers. Will it be enough?! Good luck ladies – I’ll be thinking of you!

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