Saturday, 2 November 2013

Arts Festival (and weekend away at last)

What a busy few weeks we've had.
The Arts Celebration took up a lot of time, both work and personal. It was a great success considering the time we had to put it together. The most popular workshop was, without a doubt, the wet felting being taught by Susan, who is one of the "Gang of Four" crafters who meet once a month at work. Every one of her workshop slots was full, and people were disappointed.. :-(

Here are some photographs:

Racing up the Climbing Wall; Jay was delighted to have beaten Jane! lol

Perspex Mobiles Workshop

Another popular workshop

Watching Archive Canal and Chesterfield films, on the John Varley boat

Trying out canoeing

Our Consultation on what visitors would like to see on our events area. Answers ranged from building a new visitor centre, a BMX track to leaving it as it is and holding these sort of events more often. (The last idea being our choice if we're honest, and luckily the most popular idea.)

One of our volunteers also does Pole Lathing at Woodland Festivals and Shows. We have two of his walking sticks at home. 

Here the visitors were colouring and cutting a paper version of Chesterfield. We ended up with 4 Crooked Spire Churches but it was great to see it building up over the weekend.

Jewellery makers inside the marquee

Just one of several groups who performed. Such a shame there weren't more people because they were really good. 

The Canal Poet Laureate, Jo Bell. She was brilliant.... Not usually into poetry, but I really enjoyed listening to Jo, on both days! :-) The Art you can see in the background was done by children in 2 or 3 schools in the area. This was all around the marquee and coordinated by Junction Arts who helped us organise the event. The children used templates for the shapes and then used sticky coloured paper on white paper carrier bags. As you can see, the result is absolutey gorgeous; so effective! :-)
The Chesterfield Canal Trust Promotion trailer - the James Brindley - also joined us on Sunday to promote the canal and talk to visitors about the possible impact of HS2!

And the Felting Workshops:

Susan showing how to work the wool.
Just a few of the completed works. 
One of Susans previous works of Art.... isn't this gorgeous? She made this while on holiday in Scotland, of the view from the cottage they were staying in... from stuff she collected while they were there......

And the "Gang of Four" made a Fairy Dell in the weeks leading up to the Art Celebration..........

What are these doing here? Lets follow the trail.....

Look! There's some more......

And more.......

.... and a little mouse.......

And there's the Fairy in her Dell........ :-)

The following weekend I thought I deserved to go away for a few days, so got out the Sites Big Book and found a little site only 15 miles from home, and booked a couple of nights for us. Adventure before we'd even pulled the caravan off the storage site.... As I tried to pull away I asked hubby if he'd released the brake because it was pulling.... He had. The motor mover had locked on!!! (Yeah! I know, but we're getting too old now to be pulling caravans around; and why do it when there's a solution? LOL :-D ) Anyway... it took us hubby over 2 hours to release it. It now needs fixing properly, but I think it may still be under guarantee if only he can find the paperwork... lol
We arrived. It was a perfect weekend. Really quiet site, in the middle of nowhere, perfect weather. Half way between Mansfield and Newark, we went into Newark on the Saturday morning to get something for tea and decided to get lunch and sit in the park by the Castle.

We sat on a seat to the right of this photo and ate lunch.

Newark Castle. Next time we go (and we will use the site again) I'm going to get him on that boat, and take a trip on the river.......... mwhahahaha (Hubby gets really motion sick on water of any description... which makes me laugh as he is "Santa" on the Canal Trust Santa trips..... :-) )

"This caravanning lark is such hard work.........."

Those kids aren't gonna come and get you, cos I'll scare them off first, Dad.

"Why you make me wear this, Dad?"

Poor Alphie... still not sure if he likes that T-Shirt or not... R reckons he's cold, I reckon he has a fur coat already.... :-D

And then finally..... R was repairing his motorbike and Alphie wanted to make sure he was doing it properly.... LOL

Well that's it for now. Have been doing various bits of crafting, but no photo's yet..... Been making Felted Christmas baubles, which are going to be one of the Raffle Prizes for the Boat Raffle over Christmas. Now we start the Christmas rush at work. The Canal TRust are "launching" their Santa trips today, at work, so I'm off down there to help out my colleague who is on her own today (another of the "Gang of Four") and is going to be besieged by local politicians with their children - free Santa Trip anyone? :p

Back soon I hope. Have a good weekend. 

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Using my room!

Yep! I am using my room.... I'm sorting out a kettle and tea and coffee too... That sounds serious, doesn't it? lol
So what am I up to in there? Can't remember if I told you but we have a little craft group at work.. just 4 of us, we meet once a month, with no set purpose yet except to do something for the upcoming Arts Celebration at work. My contribution towards that is this little lady.......

One naked fairy..... hahaha

One partly dressed fairy.....

And a messy haired fairy - still without wings at this point because I don't want anyone, other than my fellow work crafters, to see her until completed. The others in the group are making mushrooms/toadstools and they will will form a fairy ring for a "hidden" display over the weekend.

Oh! And our big event: This........ It's been manic trying to get everything arranged...  We have no idea how many people will turn up because we've never run anything like this before. We only had funding confirmed 3 weeks ago. We are local authority so anything we want to order has to go through an ordering system that seems to have been designed to make things deliberately difficult; luckily we have a partner organisation who don't have the same problems and they've been able to book the "artists" through their system! :-)

If you are a crafter and would like a table, there are still some available to book. You can contact my boss for more details.... leave a comment if you want her contact details, but hurry.... ;-)

My constant companion in my room is this little guy......

I like to think he enjoys my company - in reality he brings his ball up because he likes it to be thrown out of the door and down the stairs, so he can run down them, get the ball and bring it back again!!! Hahahaha Crazy dog! (Annoying too sometimes when I'm trying to concentrate on something...) Wouldn't swap him for anything though.

Last week the wonderful Canal Trust boat crew offered our team a trip on their boat one evening, as a Thank You from them to us for the organisation we do for the trips; although I think we should be thanking them too....

It was a great evening. They provided food and drink (Yep! I admit to having a couple of glasses of wine on the way out - luckily had sobered up with food and then the trip back! And they were very small glasses - I just don't normally drink so was a bit 'giddy', but made everyone laugh! :-D ) Anyway, I took these photos on the way back. I've been on the boat many times, but never in the evening, and to see the canal in the evening was an event I'm glad I didn't miss... it was mystical!

Isn't that pretty? Absolutely perfect evening. Thank guys and gals... 

Well that's it for now. A friend is having a table at a craft fayre in her village next month, and asked if I'd make some cards to help her fill the table, so that's what I'm doing this weekend. My biggest problem will be pricing them up? Any ideas??? :-)

Thanks for reading. Speak soon.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Busy, busy, busy

And not just crafts.....
I've been attempting to make my room "my room"... see, it was still P's room. Everytime I went in there I felt like I was intruding; like I shouldn't be there. Kept expecting P to be there and it wasn't good. So what to do? And on very limited funds...
I had a tin of white paint, so that was the obvious answer - paint the walls white. Then I had a brainwave - add some red acrylic paint and paint one wall pink!!! :o Pink? Yep! Always wanted to do a pink room but Z. was never a pink girl (until she got her own place I might add!!! LOL) I had fancied pink polka dot wallpaper, but the one I really wanted was £25 a roll, and I'd have needed 2 rolls, so that was quickly forgotten. :-(
Then off to the fabric shop where I found some sheer.......... Pink Polka dot fabric!! :-) Yay! I had a plan!
What do you think?

Sorry about the quality of the photos - they're off my phone because my camera has suddenly decided that it no longer wants to work; but you get the idea? The unit there is the 4x2 Ikea Expedit, and the drawers are "new" (to me) and help tidy it up a bit. The wall behind it is the pink one... I really didn't need it because the fabric just makes the whole room look pink.
This is the other side of the window - although it, too, has a curtain now but I don't have a photo of it yet.

You can see the difference in the room shading! This side looks as pink as the other now. That's the 4x4 Expedit by the way. It's not a huge room - it's the second bedroom of the house - and there is a lot packed into it, and still a way to go before I have everything tidy, and in a proper home. But it's mine! :-) Although it will have to be a guest room too; I'm thinking a sofa bed is the way to go for that; and it needs a blind of some sort, at the window, yet. 
I am now worrying that I was using lack of space as my excuse not to craft, but now I have a space, that I just won't want to craft..... :-(  Does that make sense? :-) I do wander up there.... I'm in the process of making a dressing gown - using my current, much loved, 11 year old, falling apart one, as a pattern; so maybe I'll be OK.

I have finished a sock!!! Yay!!!!! This is for a gift. Never made socks before and it's been a nightmare, but now I "get it" and have finished it... yeah! Just one, and the recipient will need two, so better get knitting... Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I did it... and here's the proof! lol

And now? Well, the other sock obviously. But we have just heard, at work, that we've been successful for an Arts Grant bid, so in 3 weeks time we are holding an Arts Festival... yep!! My line manager has got 4 weeks to arrange something she has never done before and has had no idea about.... she's learning fast! :-) 
Myself and 3 colleagues have just started up a little crafting evening once a month and are learning felting at the moment, so thought it would be good to make something to display at the festival, so we are doing a "Fairy ring". There will be needle felted toadstools, and a fairy.... Guess who got tasked with the fairy? :-D Yep!!! So now I have less than 3 weeks to attempt something I have never done before... think I'm going to be busy? Trying to decide whether to make do with the "roving" I already have, or make an excuse to go to the shop that sells felting "stuff". It's only open today (that I can go anyway) so it's today or not at all... I could make do, but it would be a run out.... ;-)
Anyway. Regardless of what I decide, I need to get moving. It's turned 10am and I really can't have a pyjama day today. No really, I can't - I promised myself one tomorrow!!!! LOL
Thanks for reading. Speak soon.

Monday, 5 August 2013

This weekend we.....

.... went to the National Memorial Arboretum to see this:

Me and Hubby went to the National Memorial Arboretum this weekend.
Hubby had to go into work for an hour for some training, so I got him to drop me off at Ikea first - how awful was that? I was devastated of course. Having to spend a couple of hours just wandering round on my own. I was very good actually - only spent £30, which must be a record for me. I got some frames for "my" room, a couple of small vases, and some artificial gerberas to put in them. I wandered round the kitchen displays dreaming.. One day we'll have enough to actually finish it, although I'll need new worktops by then! :-(
Anyway. He finished at work and met me in Ikea - luckily because I suddenly realised that I should have brought my side table with me, because my payment card was sat on it! :o Good job he had his! (It's a joint account, so no - he didn't necessarily pay!)
I'd checked Googlemaps while I was having a coffee so had a rough idea of where we were headed. Then I couldn't access the map again once we were on the move. Grrrr.  Anyway, between us we found it.

I'm sorry to report that the only photos I have are the ones I took on my phone - I can't access the camera ones for some reason. I know I need new batteries, but I think I need a new memory card too. Managed a couple of photos of what (for us at least) was the reason we went: The Royal Tank Regiment Memorial.
The Royal Tank Regiment Memorial

It was very moving. Hubby says that this particular model used to be displayed outside one of the camps he was stationed at. A lot of his friends from the Regiment are no longer with us.


Keep telling him it's too early to be growing the beard ready for Santa, but he wants to try for the real one this year! :-) And if we don't find a hairdresser soon I'm going to have to have a go at his hair; it's got so long so quickly!

And then these are sold in the shop there.... I think we need some of these for the visitor centre at Tapton?

I just love them. Was very good and didn't buy one - although I was very tempted! :-)

Yesterday and today I've been busy painting my room. I've given up on the idea of Pink polka dot wallpaper for now - only so I could just get on and do the room. Just the area behind the desk to do now. The desk has been pulled out. We are waiting for a list from P. to tell us what he wants out of the cupboard behind it while we're there!
Almost finished and then I'll take photos and share. maybe I'll even get in there and start crafting now!

Back whenever! :-D  Thanks for coming by.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Crafts at last!

Hello there
If you keep calling by to see the latest - Thank you.. I'm rubbish at updating, aren't I? lol
If you've only arrived here for the first time - Welcome.

Anyway, this time I have actually been crafting... I know, right! Amazing! A few of us at work have met up a couple of times, because a colleague does "felting" and offered to show us how to do the basics. So we met up up.. and Wow! I'm loving it... This is the first thing I made:

Case for my Kobo
Yeah! And? I can hear you saying... :-D Well.... The case itself was made by Wet Felting. Gosh Zumba has nothing on wet felting.... lol It's hard work, but so satisfying as you watch that fleece being turn into a piece of fabric. Susan then showed me how to do needle felting, and I started it during the session. When I got home I carried on and completed the poppies, still unsure what I was going to do with it - it was just a piece of felting with some poppies at this stage. I sat and looked at it for 3 weeks, trying to decide if it would look good in a frame or not. And then suddenly I knew.... I made it into a pocket and it was the perfect size for my Kobo. If I had to price it up, I guess the materials cost me about 50p at the very most - probably far less than that!

By now I realised that I was loving the needle felting, and had some ideas for Christmas presents (still in the pipeline, so not giving anything away - sorry) and needed to practice. So my very first project was this:

I know... his ears of very big, but for a first project I think he's gorgeous!!! :-D I'm so pleased with him. And the "girls" that did the felting with me have been making some very rude comments about how I must be fibbing about having done this before.... I haven't, honestly! Susan was very kind and said that some people are just naturals, and I am one of those... bless her!!! :-)

And then.... Well! Hubby said "Make an Alphie"... Yes dear!!! lol. Never one to pass up a challenge - no matter how daunting it seems, I thought I could at least try.

So here is the beginnings of Alphie. I'm plucking up courage to add his outer coat - he's long haired, as (fairly) regular readers will have seen. I have the perfect coloured fleece, it's just getting going! 

I have a video of the puppy "eating" water, but I don't know if it's going to work... If it doesn't can anyone tell me how to load it onto blogger?

And then.... when I was leaving Los Angeles, Elizabeth said "Can you make me some socks"? No problems, said I... Oh! How I laughed when I tried..... not! I am now on attempt number 3... This is what it looks like..... ;-)

Although to be fair, it is bigger now... I get as far as the heel and then lose what I'm supposed to be doing! lol. I'm now trying a pattern for beginners, which really is an Idiots Guide to making a sock, so fingers crossed this works! hahaha

And finally. The canal was "de-weeded" before it got too bad this year (although the recent heatwave has ruined all the good work!) and I thought you'd like the see the "Killer teeth" that clears the water...

You see the little boat at the back? They use that to push and pull along the Killer-teeth boat, which doesn't have an engine to power it. Now see where it is on the first photo? I closed the lock gates (because once in the lock, these guys realised they weren't able to do the gates themselves because they couldn't get out of the boats... :-) I raised the paddles to let water in......... now look at the second photo and see the boat at the back now?

Yep!!! It was about to turn over in the lock... It had got caught up on some over-hanging bricks inside the lock, and the guy didn't realise at first... It was a close call. Mostly because I couldn't close the flippin' paddle because it is so stiff, but with a bit of rocking, the boat came loose. The guy at the front is the boss, and while not at all happy, he did take the time it took to bail the boat out, to have a cuppa I made, and a smoke-break!!! :-) And the canal was weed-free at last! The water colour is NOT because it's polluted as some visitors come to tell us, but because it had rained heavily and a lot of mud and silt had been washing down from the river. 

So that's what I've been up to. Thanks for calling by. Hope you are having a good summer? Enjoy the rest of it. I'll be back when I have some more to show you.