When I was in primary school we did loads of cool art things that I don’t get to do any more. I could do something about this; I could build a makeshift flower press; I could take out some crayons and paper and head out for a walk to take some rubbings; I could even buy a load of different pasta shapes and make a collage, but I am less likely to do any paper marbling at home. Mainly because I can’t really remember how to do it and I don’t really remember what equipment I might need.
So when I saw that my friends at Edge of the Universe Printing Press were running a series of workshops last Summer I signed myself up straight away. It’s just taken me this long to type up my notes about what we got up to!
I went along to have a go at marbling and book binding in a two part session. Sarah and David divided up the participants into two groups, one tacking the marbling first and the others working on the book binding. I had brought along some coloured paper, trimmed to A5 size, and sat myself down to bind my little book first.
On Friday the 13th of May I got up stupidly early, took the tram to the station, sat on a train bound for Manchester and made my way to the absolutely huge Paperchase store that they have there. Now I like stationary as much as the next girl, but that’s not my reason for making the trek, oh no! I was going to learn a new technique for making things, lino cutting.
I’ve seen lino cut prints before but I’ve never actually tried it before, so when I was sent a link to the Paperchase Project craft workshops it caught my eye immediately and it turns out I bought the first ticket.
The class takes place on the first floor, but you have to pass through a mezzanine level to get there. The lass who was teaching us introduced herself, but I’m afraid I forgot to write down her name, so if you work at the Manchester shop please tell me so that I can amend this! Continue reading
As a person who grew up in a reasonably small market town, I love being in a city. There are so many more things to see and do, places to explore than there were back home. But, I grew up with Summer holidays spent searching for bullhead fish and sticklebacks in the river, climbing the ruins of the viaduct before I knew what a viaduct was, playing on a broken down, abandoned digger in a field, sitting on fences watching the sun start to set, heading out on scavenger hunts for rose hips and different grasses.
So much as I love twisting, turning streets, brick and steel buildings, roads filled with buses, trams and terrible drivers, sometimes I just need some grass, trees, leaves and flowers.
I’ve now lived in Sheffield for a year and I’ve barely explored its magnificent green spaces. I have made a concerted effort to get out and about a bit more.
A couple of months ago, I packed a bottle of water, a scotch egg, a penguin biscuit and some crisps, got on the 85 bus heading out of town from Hillsborough to go exploring. I was headed for Wheata Woods, in search of bluebells.
This year I have officially joined the WI. Having dabbled in finding a suitable group for a few years, I am now apart of Steel Belles WI in Sheffield, a very new group full of great ladies.
2015 is the centenary of the formation of the WI and as we are entering the week of the centenary celebrations I’ve been thinking about the women who inspire me and why they do. So here’s a top 4 women (in no particular order) that I think are awesome. They are all people I’d like to be when I grow up please, or at least steal aspects from…
I bought ‘Bossy Pants’, Tina Fey’s autobiography and it’s hilarious. I’ve read a huge number of funny books, but I’ve rarely laughed aloud to one as often as I did with this. In my eyes, Tina Fey can rarely do any wrong – she wrote Mean Girls, she wrote 30 Rock, created ‘The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’, she turns up in all sorts of things and is a breath of fresh air; I even really like Baby Momma and Date Night, I know I’m somewhat in the minority with the last two.
When I was younger, maybe 8 or 9, I loved anything on TV that involved Tony Robinson – obviously Blackadder, Maid Marion and her Merry Men and Time Team but he also did a fantastic show based on Bible stories called ‘Blood and Honey’. I would go every week to the library and borrow the cassette of ‘Odysseus the greatest hero of them all’ that was written by Robinson and Richard Curtis, read by Robinson. I’m not sure if anyone else got to borrow it much because I always had it. I’m not sure how it survived so many listens. I loved the way Robinson read it, doing all the voices and putting in all the drama, just like he did on the telly.
Mum and Dad must have been sick of listening to it over and over, because for Christmas that year they got me two new story tapes – The Light Fantastic and Equal Rites. Of course, they were read by Tony Robinson, and so in a round about way I was introduced to the brilliant world of Terry Pratchett. I’m not sure that my parents knew what they’d introduced me to.
Today, March the 8th, is International Women’s Day.
These days it seems that every day is national this or international day of that, so why should we take notice of this? Why should we care about today and celebrate it?
Aren’t words brilliant? You can use them for everything. You can take them and combine them and shape them into whatever you want, however you want. They can give you power, they can give you humility, they can give you insight, explanation, beauty.
I was reading over a book that I want to read to my class – The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett – and early on, Tiffany, our 9 year old heroine is thinking about the word sussuration and how much she likes it. It’s the sound of wind through leaves or grass and it alerts Tiffany to something odd that’s about to happen. I love that sussuration is included in a children’s book. Would you get a word like that in the rainbow fairy series of books? Would you get a word like that in one of Katie Price’s children’s books? In Beast Quest? Or even in Harry Potter?
I moved up to Sheffield carrying with me one large suitcase of general stuff, my travelling backpack, my tent, ready for Towersey Festival, and a big Ikea blue bag filled with things to make stuff from. When thinking about what I’d need to move to a new city with, I packed clothes, a few items for the start of school, and I knew that travelling up on a train would be a pain, but I couldn’t bear to leave behind my felt, embroidery threads, needles, bits of ribbon and other odds and ends for making bits and pieces.
A kind, thoughtful, intelligent man who stood up for what he thought was right. 88 is a good age and being with family is a good way to go but I’m afraid we don’t have many people left who are actually looking out for what’s best for the people rather than themselves.
And also, take a look at this:
As my time in Asia draws to a close (1 week left) I thought I’d put together a gallery of some of the people I’ve come across so far in Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. I’ve even included a sneaky few of me!
Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Phat gets it ready to cut off.
Memorial candles treasuring lost loved ones in Prague, October 2013
The first film I remember seeing at the cinema was when I was 5 years old. It was Disney’s The Little Mermaid. I was amazed by it, immediately decided I wanted red hair like Ariel. We went to McDonalds and I got an Ursula toy with my Happy Meal. It was 1989.
Some time not long after I was amazed to see the video in Ritz (as it was then, don’t think it had become a Blockbusters, or indeed a cafe at that point) and begged Mum to buy it for me so that I could re-live that magical underwater world at home. Mum said no. It wasn’t the film. I disagreed, it had Ariel on the front and I could definitely read the words ‘Under the Sea’ there too. Mum said it wasn’t, it was just in the cinema. I disagreed and must have pestered er for ages because somehow I acquired that video. Of course it wasn’t The Little Mermaid, it was ‘Sing-a-long Songs Under the Sea‘ which did feature some of the Little Mermaid soundtrack, but also other vaguely water related Disney songs including one from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in which Kirk Douglas seems to be telling his shipmates about some sort of dalliance with a fish or two. Mr Jim Causley has been known to do an amusing cover of this if you ever get the chance to see/hear it. Ask him nicely.
My obsession with TLM grew and I was exceptionally jealous of my cousin Rebecca because she had an Ariel doll. I even used to pretend to be Ariel when swimming at Brackley Pool – the pool has two sets of steps in the shallow end, if you swam around underwater, legs together because you are a mermaid with a tail, singing ‘Part of your world‘ to yourself and timed it right you could push yourself up the steps, breaking out of the water at just the right point to recreate the iconic waves/big stone moment. To me, I was definitely a ginger mermaid, to everyone else I must have looked mental.