Posts filed under ‘being creative’

artists at work

Licking spoons is a very important part of cake making.  Wearing cake mixture in your hair is optional.  Unless you’re 6 years old with flowing locks.

We loved having our nephew and niece over from Germany at the end of the summer. The days were filled with stories and laughter, Gruffallo games, drawing and sticking, woodland treasure hunts, tennis and tinkling the ivories.
And cake making.

George and I had as much fun painting our cakes as Tom and Kim did. You can see that G hasn’t lost his artists’ eye and that I still haven’t found mine!

In the afternoon we took Tom and Kim to Gloucester Cathedral to check out some real artwork at what is being described as ‘the sculpture exhibition of the decade’.  
Crucible features over 70 sculptures by many renowned British and International artists.  Some of the sculptures have never been seen in public before or were made especially for this exhibition.  Seeking them out in the various locations around the cathedral, cloisters and grounds is a little like a grown up cultural treasure hunt. Except when you’re with kids as soon as you find one they’re on to the next.  I like the immediacy and randomness of looking at artwork with children though; going where their curiosity takes you and their natural instinct, and mine, to reach out and touch to make sense of it all (fingers are allowed on all but a handful of fragile pieces).  I’d like to visit the Cathedral again before the exhibition closes on the 30th October to take a more considered look at the pieces I particularly liked, those I was puzzled by and the ones I missed altogether.

‘Come and find me at Gloucester Cathedral’ says Rodrigues Giant Tortoise

Rodrigues Giant Tortoise by Nick Bibby

September 17, 2010 at 7:25 am 12 comments

bootees for May flowers

Two very special friends have become mum’s this month so I’ve been busily knitting up more baby bootees.  I knew in advance that Jasmin and Matt were naming their daughter Daisy Belle and needed no further excuse for making a flower inspired pressie.   Ever the gardener I picked a grass coloured yarn as I’m not a fan of conventional pastel pinks and blues for new babies.  I couldn’t find a pattern for tiny knitted flowers so opted for the simplicity of felt flowers again (rather tricky this tiny but made possible using manicure scissors!).  With the daisy flowering on the front I used poppers instead of buttons for the straps.  Daisy was born a few weeks early bless her so it’ll be a little while before her bootees fit her.  Nevertheless it was really satisfying for me to post off her  parcel knowing they’d be delivered the same day as she was.

Mel and Keiron’s baby kept everyone waiting and wondering for an extra 2 weeks but arrived safe and well last week.  At 9lb 11oz I don’t think Rosa Willow will have much trouble filling her bootees!

May 19, 2010 at 7:33 pm 13 comments

making felt flowers

A girl can never have too many bags so it took some discipline to part with this green goddess of a bag for Jenny’s birthday last month.  If you lack the motivation and talent to reach for the sewing machine (guilty on both counts) hand stitching is very gratifying.  Who wouldn’t love felt for it’s no-edging-required virtues and lush bold colours?
Felt flowers inspired by Laura’s flower brooch tutorial. In need of supplies?  Felt squares, and more, available from Laura’s Etsy shop Lupin Handmade.

Laura’s felt squares

April 21, 2010 at 12:55 pm 17 comments

making bootees for tiny toes

Baby bootees are a good place to start if you’re new to knitting.  These bootees, my first (yay), were made for my friend Deb’s baby and took an evening to knit (+ a little time the next day to sew them up and add the buttons).   Milo was a Christmas baby so using 2 strands of DK yarn for the bottom of the bootee was as much about creating a more interesting colour as it was creating a little extra warmth and cushioning for his tiny toes.  I’m taking Milo’s smiley face to mean ‘good job‘.

©  Saartjes bootees pattern used – see Saartje’s blog for other inspiring knits

March 29, 2010 at 11:00 am 8 comments

giraffe of the day

I received an email yesterday that made me smile from ear to ear.  ‘I loved your giraffe so much I blogged about it’ wrote Ola of One Million Giraffes, having named my sunflower giraffe as her 234th Giraffe of the Day.  Back in September when I uploaded my photo it joined 267,350 other giraffes and today the figure stands at 547,792.  If you’d like to help Ola reach 1,000,000 there’s just one simple rule:  you have to create your giraffe with your own hands (without using a computer).  If your creation features more than one giraffe it counts for as many giraffes as featured.  Like the addition of a baby giraffe making two.

I love the way this project has sparked people’s imaginations all across the world.  Will you be creating a giraffe that’s one in a million? 

Lili Tupili’s knitted giraffesFernanda’s cork giraffe faceGrobuonis’s toothpaste giraffe, Funky Lunch Man’s giraffe sandwich, , Sunni’s champagne top giraffe, Gunnar’s 13 foot snow giraffe, Ingvill’s honey giraffe, Bjorn’s matchstick giraffe

January 31, 2010 at 5:43 pm 8 comments

making a strawberry hat come egg cosy

Big Knit - hatsI nearly forgot all about the teeny tiny strawberry hat I said I’d make for The Big Knit.  I was right not to build up expectations with rash promises to make more than one hat.  Before you congratulate me for doubling my efforts this lovely little blue hat, with fetching red pom pom, was made by Catherine (she of the muffin making fame).  Not bad for someone who hasn’t done any knitting since being taught by her mum a couple of decades ago.  Did you notice how neat her stitches are?  Very impressive.  Big Knit - strawberry hat egg cosyI was quite pleased with my strawberry hat which I found was a perfect fit as an egg cosy.  Our hats are on the their way to Fruit Towers now and Innocent have decided to extend the deadline to the end of the month to allow for delays with postal strikes.  So still 2 weeks to get knitting if you’d forgotten too…

note to self:  persevere with finding out how to take better photos indoors – wheelie bins do not make glamorous stands and rain is not good for cameras!

October 18, 2009 at 1:30 pm 7 comments

sunflower art to brighten up the garden

sunflower art - chicken with drawing pins

This lovely chicken is cheering up my little yard now that the autumn chill has killed off the summer plants. She was inspired by my friend Nicky’s love of all things chicken and was created using drawing pins.  I was going to make her in the same way as last month’s sunflower giraffes but pointy beaks and sharp talons are impossible to define by plucking of the yellow sunflower seed tops.  She’s been in the yard for a couple of weeks now and still looks just like this in spite of  rain showers and frosty mornings.sunflower art - chicken close up

Are you saving your sunflower seeds as well?  Why not brighten up your garden in the meantime and fashion your own favourite creature out of a droopy sunflower head.  The drawing pins sit in the gaps between the seeds so it won’t damage them.  If you don’t have any drawing pins you can pluck seed tops off like I did with the giraffes – here’s a reminder of how it might turn out (sigh, I do love giraffes!) sunflower giraffe family copy

October 16, 2009 at 5:40 pm 8 comments

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6 years ago today I took my last waddle to the allotment to pick green veg for a vitamin packed last supper.  I knew baby was on his way but had a feeling he wasn't going to be quick about it.  It's his birthday in 2 days time and I'm so excited for him, my darling Whopper (he was 10lb 2oz and my bump in this picture is 48"!)
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