Sometimes I find it hard to find presents for people. There is an ongoing and unresolved discussion with my siblings about Christmas – whether we should do presents for each other. My view is almost always yes – I’m single, have no kids and so if my family don’t get me present then I don’t really get any and that just seems sad.
I love planning presents – what to get each person, how to wrap and present it. This year was a bit different to usual as I was made redundant in August and from September to the end of November I really had very little money. I managed to pay for some things for the nieces and nephews and make something for Mum, but everyone else was going to miss out a little.
I was due to stay with my brother for Christmas, so wanted to get something for him and he’d said that they always like home made presents, which is handy because I have resources at home and I can normally think of something to put together.
When we were younger we had some lovely picture books; one that went astray and which we have both tracked down copies of was ‘The Winter Bear’ written by Ruth Craft and illustrated by Erik Blegvad. The story is a simple one, of a group of siblings on a winter walk and finding a lost bear. The landscapes are beautifully painted and drawn and for a while I’d thought that I could re-create some of it in felt but the main issue would be picking which page.
I settled on an image of the boy rescuing the bear from the tree because I liked the snowy scene, the colours of the landscape, I could embroider the grass and tree and the boy reminded me of my youngest nephew.
It seems like so many things have changed recently, I broke up with my boyfriend and was made redundant from my job of over two years.
It’s a shame to leave my job but in a way it’s been really freeing because I’ve had the time to decide what I want to do with myself. I have been looking for part time jobs, no luck yet, but I’ve decided to not worry too much because something always seems to turn up. But there are sometimes lower points and I’ve found some great support from strangers – members of the Made of Human Podcast Facebook group and the Attic24 Moorland and Moor Facebook group. It’s lovely to be able to see the brilliant creative things others are doing and have a place to have a little chat with people you don’t necessarily know.
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.
Name: Jen Gale
Company Name: Make Do and Mend-able
Make Do and Mend-able is an online resource to promote Making Do and Mending as an alternative to buying new, and to facilitate the learning of new skills. On the site you will find tutorials, and inspiration for all things Make Do and Mend, as well as a nationwide Directory of classes, workshops, repair and re-use events, and pre-loved and ethical craft supplies.
I live in Wiltshire, but the site is nationwide!
Make Do and Mend-able
FB: Make Do and Mend-able
This is not the most artistic of my photos. Ideally I’d like to take the blanket up to Hillsborough Park’s Walled Garden to show it off a bit more, but I’ve not got the time.
So why have I chosen this stripy, single bed sized blanket to be my ‘symbol’?
I’ve been a bit quiet again recently, sorry! But I’ve been making stuff for my brother’s wedding, dying my hair and working a bit too.
Have a look at what the weekend brought here:
More updates soon I promise!
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.
I’ve been a bit slack on here because I’ve been making things and working. I’m saving up to go on a round the world trip and so will be selling my felt creations to go towards this and help me blog from exciting places.
If you would like to help fund this then please click on the tab ‘Felt creations’, have a look through and fill in the form and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
P.S. If you’d just like to donate, then please do, that would be awesome!