Sunday 26 April 2015

Glow in the dark

While most people are thinking about the London Marathon this weekend my thoughts were on the much shorter 5k Glow in the Dark run on Saturday night.
The idea was to have a fun run round the nice flat Dorney Lake in Windsor and help my friend Nikki run her first 5k.  We took it steady, enjoyed the music and had some fun.  Everyone had dressed up with glow sticks and flashing lights so following the route was easy.  We came in at 39:03 which for a first time 5k was pretty good.
It was a nice little run.  We were set off in waves so there was no hanging around as there was a new wave every 5 mins or so.  No queue for the loos and a special tent with UV lights so you could take photos all glowing.  The perfect sort of run for a beginner.
(and the medal glows in the dark!  What more could you want!?)

Wednesday 22 April 2015

Aprils Writers Group

This months meeting was pushed back due to Easter and I guess the lack of attendees and writing might have been linked to this too.
But those of us who did attend had a really good conversation about writing, our motivation and the most important question - can anyone write?  I think we came to the conclusion that yes anyone can write but it takes time and effort - something a lot of us, including myself, struggle with.
Remember, the next time you see someone doing something and making it look easy - they probably spent a long time practicing and working at it before they got that good.

This months homework: 
Use the following as the inspiration for a story or poem: Freedom

Friday 17 April 2015

Garlic paper

A couple of years ago I attended a week of paper making at Central Saint Martins art college.  I can't remember now if I started collecting my garlic skins before this or after, but I finally decided that this Easter I would try making paper out of them.
I do use a lot of garlic in my cooking but in two years I had only managed to collect about 2 1/2 oz.

They were all stuck in a saucepan with some water and washing soda and boiled for a bit - this removes all the waxes and oils and organic stuff which would affect my paper.

At the end of the process you have something that looks like this.  Very appetising!  But once it is mixed with some cotton fibre then you can see how beautiful it really is.  I love that you can see all the fibres.  'im outdoors said it looked like hair.
Sadly I didn't have much so couldn't make very much paper, but I've already started collecting my next batch, so give it another couple of years and I'll have another go.

Above you can see the difference between paper made from onion skins, leaves of an ornamental thistle and the garlic skins.

Sunday 12 April 2015

A pretty little Coco dress

I love the idea of making my own cloths, so often what I find in the shops isn't quite what I want. So when I came across the Tilly and the Buttons blog I was quite excited, but not as much as when I found her Coco dress!  I fell in love straight away and bought the pattern. 
But this left me with a problem.  I didn't have a sewing machine.  I normally borrowed my Mum's, but it died while I was making my knitting needle wrap.  Dad lent me one to finish it with, but needed it back.  Time to treat myself then.  Welcome to my new Singer Talent.  Its a lovely little machine and we get on very well.

The dress took about 2 days to make once I had everything I needed to start.  The material came from the local haberdashery while the buttons came from Textile Garden, I could spend hours on their site looking at their buttons!  Tilly has all the instructions you need on her site, so it was like having my very own personal tutor talking me though how to do everything.  Perfect.

And there you have it - my first handmade dress. 

I have to say it doesn't look much until you put it on, but once on it feels and looks great.  I can't wait to wear it to work next week, and yes there will be a little bit of pride when I'm asked where I got it from and I can say I made it myself.
If I can find the right material I already have plans for the next one...

Sunday 5 April 2015

3D Paper Bunny

Isn't the internet wonderful?  When I saw this 3D bunny on Twitter I just had to follow the link which in turn took me to the german blog of Anastasia.  Here I could download the pdf file to print for myself, and with a little bit of translation could work out pretty much what to do.
A couple of evenings of cutting, folding and sticking and I had a bunny of my very own.  I think the lilic works very well, but now I know what I'm doing I'd love to have another go using metallic card.  That would look very sweet.

Thursday 2 April 2015

New Brewery Arts

"Bowls of Light" Anne-Lise Studer

If I won the lottery I would use the money to make an arts centre in my community.  Somewhere with room for exhibitions, studios for local artists and 'classrooms' for workshops and classes for people in the community.  And this is exactly what we found when we visited New Brewery Arts in Cirencester today.
We came to see "Eau - Fibre - Papier - Metamorphose - an international exhibition of fine art sculptural paper works".
Two rooms full of beautiful and thought provoking paper art, which made me wish I had more time to play with materials like this.  I'm off work next week so I am hoping to get some creative play in, but there is only so much you can do in a week.

"108 Peace Symbol" Anne Vilsboell

"Long Feuilles" Anne-Lise Studer