Wednesday, 31 October 2012

WOYWWing & monster making

Hello fellow WOYWWers! Welcome to the monster workshop...

I haven't been able to do much lately as little Tula Belle has had a monstrous cold (I wrote that without intending to be funny - monsters are definitely taking over my brain) which has meant I've been unable to leave her for more than 30 seconds during the day without her crying, unless she falls asleep. Hard work at half term with all three girls home! We even had a thoroughly pointless trip to hospital on Friday night where we got to watch TV for four hours, waiting for the doctor's verdict. Yes - FOUR hours, with three under-fives in a horribly hot waiting room. Luckily the two older ones were angels, and there were lots of toys to keep them occupied, and the TV for Jude. Unlike my lovely girls, I was not in the best of moods, due to lack of sleep and worry over Tula, so by the time the doc re-appeared at 10:30pm, I was about ready to rip his head off. Needless to say, he allowed us to leave shortly after.

Tula is a special little girl as she was born with a slightly odd shaped chest, which means she is likely to have more problems than most babies coping with colds, which is why I wanted her checked out this time, as she hadn't been able to drink all day what with being so congested. Thankfully all was fine and she is slowly on the mend. I keep a separate blog to follow her story, which I occasionally update.

So, as a result, not much progress is being made with any of my projects. In fact, at some point I need to sit down and work out exactly what I need to get going on if I'm to get anything done for Christmas this year. Normally I'd be working out some card designs by now and have at least one pressie finished... this year: nada. zilch. zip. Despite my feelings about the whole Christmas frenzy, our gifts may have to be a little less personal this year than I would like.

scrappy heaven
Anyhow, back to the messy desk! I started making a pile of monsters to stitch onto party bags for Milly's birthday, but now I've finished a batch of the bags, I've realised most of the monsters are too gangly to fit the size of the bags.  Below left is one that's definitely too big, and he doesn't look anywhere near as nice shorter... so I've been playing with the pile of scrap fabric the lovely Dotty Bird flew in recently and trying to make some more squat figures.

I don't seem to be able to make 'cute' monsters: they're all a bit strange... 

This is the one that freaks Jude out the most

One completed scrappy monster!

My inspiration must come from my real-life monsters...

Skip on over to the lovely Julia at Stamping Ground who hosts What's On Your Workdesk Wednesdays and check out all the other busy desks on show.

Happy Wednesday everyone!! Have a lovely week x

Friday, 26 October 2012

Green Day!

I kept some photos back from this post just for today's Green Day!

A wonderful section of wildflowers in the planting scheme at Stratford Park in Stroud

A couple of late-blooming roses hanging on even though bare branches are starting to appear

How I wish my wildflower garden looked this fantastic!

Joining Fiona at Raindrops and Daisies for Green Day :-)

There are lots of fantastic photos from all round the world - take a look!

Have a great weekend everyone xx

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

WOYWW - It's Wednesday again!

I'm back! And with a different workspace.... my favourite father-in-law gave me an early birthday present of an Adana letterpress, which I am over the moon with BUT being the mother of 3 under-fives means I have NO time to play with it: a thoroughly novel kind of torture.

I don't normally write backwards: I thought it would help me set the type, but I didn't even refer to it in the end.

  I get to run in to my newly created workspace for half an hour in the evening before being summoned back by the youngest as she requests her evening/nighttime snack. Sigh. I almost wish I was the sort of mother who could just feed her babies every 3 hours and then shut up shop, but sadly that just has never felt quite right to me... however, now my new baby is exerting pressure on me too, I'm starting to think there could be some strength to that argument.

I'm yet to even make a single print: I have everything I need bar cleaning fluid (white spirit) and a palette knife to scoop the ink onto the printing plate.... I could make do, but John is such an impressive printer himself that the thought of doing anything he might disapprove of makes me feel unworthy of his gift or his teaching. I ran into Trago Mills (our local ghastly discount retailer) today trailing soon-to-be-3 year old and with (lead-weight) baby on hip, only to find at the till that there's a minimum spend on paying by card, which would have meant spending twice what I'd planned so I marched back out again as I simply couldn't face searching for more stuff to buy that I didn't want. I used to be able to go first thing in the morning when there'd only be 3 people in the whole store, but now I'm constrained by the school run.
Source: Wikipedia
So, I'm left with setting type, which is painstaking as the only bits I have are titchy, and I am very slow. I'd be happier with chunky type to start with just to be able to get used to the whole process, but I guess it's good practice. Hopefully I'll have a bit more energy tomorrow to get my supplies in and then I can get messy - the best bit of any creative process I think - from baking to painting! I do have a few blocks to play with too, so I don't have to finish my text (it's a silly poem I made up to give to John as thanks). And in the meantime I can carry on researching the wonderful world of letterpress! I'm reading this wonderful book too.

And it's rather nice to just sit in my new space and listen to all that silence for a bit.

And I still have plenty of monsters to sew! 

Joining Julia at Stamping Ground for What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday
hope you all have a productive week and I'll be poking around all those other lovely workspaces in due course :-) I'm especially envious of all those mugs of tea I spy - I never remember to make one before I start work....

Monday, 22 October 2012

Say lookit!

It's amazing what you can achieve in half an hour really....

From this:

to this:

(the curtain is to stop Jude sneaking up on me!)

Now I just need a bit of time to myself....

A good day's work I reckon! And now on with the rest of the day :-)

An early birthday present! Warning: there are LOTS of photos!

Well, we had a great weekend away; Jessie saw the Lion King in Bristol with Granny and it was amazing - she hasn't stopped singing the songs since... We went to the Museum in Stratford Park which was as stunning as ever

 where there just happened to be an extraordinary installation in the courtyard of fossils - one of which was a knitted trilobyte!!! How often do you get to see one of them??

 And inside was just as spectacular as there was an exhibition of Andy Goldsworthy's early work...

As you can see, I found it hard to stop taking pictures! I like the fact he is a 'Professor at Large'!

Milly had fun attacking us all with a 'docadile'

and got lovely a new knitted hat (a charity shop find, of course!)

Tula had a tussle with a tiger

The best thing of all, however, was an early birthday present from my printer father-in-law

 an Adana letterpress!!!!! !!!! !!!!

And lots of bits and bobs

So I'm going to have to dust off this box of old type

And clear out this shed...

And get printing!!!!!!!

 As you can probably tell from the unjustifiable number of exclamation marks in the previous sentence I am thrilled beyond measure, and am just itching to get going on it... he even gave me everything I need to get started, so it's damnably frustrating today that my utterly gorgeous baby girl is refusing to have her usual daytime 3-hour nap whilst the other two are at school/nursery. 

AAAAAARRRRGH!!! I just want to play with my new toy!!!

And here's a prettier picture to leave you with on this grey Monday morning in Cornwall...

Have a great week! x


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