Thursday, 9 September 2010

Back to School...and a sparkly sink!

Both my youngsters returned to school this week, my lovely daughter to Sixth Form (I still don't know quite how that's happened so quickly!) and my teenage boy to Year 9! Next week, it's back to school for me too as my after school art & craft clubs begin! Once all four clubs are up and running, I shall be making and creating with up to 80 children each week...and I am so looking forward to it!

I love to hear the children's ideas and to see what designs they come up with! Last term, we made coasters using old CDs and DVDs and, as the World Cup was underway, I had made a football-themed example and mosaic example for those that were not into football.

Without exception, the boys all made football coasters and the girls made mosaic ones!
I have always been fascinated by the "nature versus nuture" debate...are boys and girls conditioned to have different tastes or are they just born that way? What do you think?

I am a keen recycler and this crosses over into my after school art & craft clubs, not only because it is eco-friendly, but because I aim to show the children that you don't need a lot of expensive materials and equipment to be creative and have fun!

We made football trophies and goblets using plastic bottles, recycled cardboard, masking tape and papier mache - they looked fantastic once they had been painted gold and silver!

The children did some observed drawing using a charcoal pencil: apple and banana in a striped bowl. I found the end results very interesting:

These are some of the drawings from the Foundation & Key Stage 1 group - children aged 3-7. I love the different interpretations...the way that some children have drawn the fruit and bowl as separate pieces and how, for some, the fruit was hovering above the bowl rather than in it! I was most fascinated by the drawings produced by twin girls who are the youngest in the group, which can be seen at the bottom of this photo. The drawings are so similar, even though they didn't draw them together - they didn't even see each others drawings until they took them home!

So my sink will be sparkling again next week as I wash the empty pots, sticky spreaders and dirty fact, it's not just the sink that sparkles during term time...glitter seems to get everywhere!

I'm really looking forward to going back to school!

Bye for now,

Saturday, 4 September 2010


As you know, I love old books so I always have to have a good rummage through all the boxes of books whenever I'm in a charity shop, or at a jumble sale or flea market!

Just over a year ago I bought a 1949 edition of Dorothy Whipple's Because of the Lockwoods - you might remember me blogging about here. It's taken me a while to read it, not because it's a difficult read, but mainly because the only time I read is at bedtime and I tend to fall asleep, which is most annoying! Anyway, such was my enjoyment of this book from the outset that I vowed to look out for more of Dorothy Whipple's work. I have since purchased the Persephone edition of Someone at a Distance, but I really like to get my hands on old editions...there's just something about the old ones! So you can imagine how chuffed I was to come across this one recently at a local fleamarket:

No dust jacket and a little bit of damage to the spine, but I'm not bothered about that...I'm a book lover, not a book dealer! It has an inscription inside the front cover: "To Dad, With Best Wishes from John - Christmas 1941", which just makes me love it all the more! And, at 50p, I was even more chuffed!
I couldn't resist bringing home the needlework and dressmaking book - again 50p! It was a text book at Bingley Grammar School for Joan, Kathleen, Mary and Barbara, girls of Form 5A - I cannot be sure when, but the book is the 1937 edition. It is full of useful information, as well as snippets that make me smile, such as the advice when choosing the style and colour of a garment: "The Stout should always avoid bouffon style. Taffeta, for instance, is never a suitable material for a stout woman"!
I'm home alone today so, if I finish this now and speed through all my chores, I must just have time to read a little without nodding off!
Back soon,