Friday, 30 December 2011

Fiction Fridays #5 Where's Spot

Firstly, I can hardly believe that it is that time of the week again, I was only reminded when I saw a fellow blogger and friend's Fiction Friday posting, and even then I was slightly confused - all the days have merged into one!  (And thank you for the mention by the way, we think you and your posts are fabulous too).

Anyway, here is this weeks entry, one of Freya's favourites, and I have to admit, one of mine too. 

It is one of those hardback books that come as a little adorable box set with the toy Spot, and I couldn't resist.  Freya loves lift the flap books, and this is the best of it's kind, with a 'surprise' jungle animal behind each flap.  We have a hilarious time with this book - when she lifts the flap with the lion behind it, I make a loud 'roar' noise, making her jump, sending us both into fits of laughter.  I think she is getting wise to my games as she is starting to remember which aniimal is behind which door, but she still loves it, and she loves making Spot eat his dinner at the end of the story too.  It's all too cute, but I guess you have to be there.

Freya has been the lucky recipient of a few new books this Christmas, and I look forward to posting about them in the coming weeks.  Happy Reading and Happy New Year from me, Freya and all the characters that we have met in Fiction Fridays so far.  :-)

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Hawaiian Applique and Jersey Landscapes

Welcome back!  First of all, I hope that all my blogging friends had a lovely and relaxed Christmas and that Father Christmas was good to you all.  I was lucky enough to receive a  beautiful, inspiring book called Material Obsession, (I also have the follow-up, Material Obesssion 2) Kirstie's Craft book and a glue gun, which was just what I wanted.  I also used some of my Christmas money to get other bits such as a new quilting ruler, some gorgeous fabrics for my current module (should be plenty left over) and some threads.  Oh I am easily pleased!  I am now thinking I want to make quilts from my Material Obsession book immediately, but I have the task of completing module 4 first, and then perhaps I will allow myself a small amount of time out to complete a mini quilt using one of the wonderful, original patterns.  As always I like to put myself under pressure! 

But just because it has been Christmas, it does not mean that I haven't been working in between all the eating, socialising and opening presents.  After all, I don't really consider my C and G coursework to be work, and it has been great to have a bit of extra time to focus and get things done while my lovely husband Pete takes Freya to the beach and little trips out.  The first thing I am working on is my Hawaiian applique sample.  Below is a picture of the applique part of it, the whole design hand appliqued by turning the edges under with the point of the needle.   I was pleased with the spotty effect, it looks a bit like a modern snowflake I think, so quite festive and appropriate. 

I am now doing the time consuming business of quilting it, Hawaiian style, but to be honest, it won't look a lot different when it's finished so I thought I would share it with you now. 

I have also been out and about with Pete and Freya in tow, taking photos of the Jersey landscape and coastline, for this module.  Fortunately for me, the theme is natural landscapes, so I really couldn't ask for more with Jersey's dramatic and breathtaking coastline.  I am so lucky to live so close to such beautiful places; it's the perfect backdrop and here is a small selection of some of my favourite pictures:

Greve de Leque

Plemont Bay

Plemont up close (it's where they did the sand art)


Corbiere Lighthouse

Beauport Bay (I think!  We discovered it on our 'tour' of the island)

I am pretty chuffed with my pictures, some of which were taken from the comfort of the car with the window down!  And the bleakness of winter creates a lovely atmosphere in the photos which goes perfectly with the black and white theme that is set for this portfolio. 

Changing topics completely, I have one final photo I would like to share, it's Freya with her new giant caterpillar puzzle and other smaller, yet challenging caterpillar puzzles.  She didn't have any help, she is our resident puzzle expert. 

Ta da!

Right, I must get back to it, before the New Year Celebrations begin.  Happy New Year everyone, I hope it brings you all you wish for. x

Friday, 23 December 2011

Fiction Fridays #4 The Very Helpful Reindeer

I have managed to get myself into gear this week and am pleased to be able to post my festive Fiction Friday offering, just in time for Christmas.  This week I have chosen 'The Very Helpful Reindeer which is a charming little book, complete with sound effects to enhance that magical, Christmasy feeling.  I wish I could say that Freya has enjoyed reading it with me, but for some reason, she is

just. not. interested.

Such a shame!  It really is a delightful story about yes, you guessed it, a reindeer, who ends up helping no less than Father Christmas himself, and in true children's storytelling fashion, saves the day.  I used it a lot last year with the children that I was tutoring at the time (ages ranging between 6 and 10 - no one is too old to enjoy a Christmas story with sound effects!) and they all loved it. 

 Outside the window,
the falling snowflakes

Santa flicked a magic spell from his fingers.
He sent happy Christmas dreams to Rory
and to sleeping children

On that note, all that wishes to remain is to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  May it be filled with family, friends, fun, food and festivities and I look forward to blogging again soon. xx

P.S extra special thoughts and love to my blogging friend on the other side of the world - you know who you are - thinking of you xxx

Monday, 19 December 2011

Apologies and snow collages

Lots to post about this week, but firstly, an apology...I didn't get around to publishing my Fiction Friday weekly update, shame on me!!  Where shall I start with my list of excuses (Freya had friends round to play, Pete was hogging the laptop, I have been busy with my C and G work, I have been preparing for a new arrival etc. etc.)not good enough I know!  But I feel that last weeks boat has most certainly sailed, so I shall keep last weeks installment for this Friday instead.  I promise.  And it's a festive offering, so it will be even more appropriate, being so close to Christmas.  :-)

On a more positive note, I submitted and got feedback for my colour module, and my tutor said that it was 'excellent' so as you can imagine, after nearly 6 months of slogging away, I am thrilled to bits.  But there is hardly any time for reflection, it's full steam ahead with the next three modules, as I try to complete as much as I can before Christmas and the new year.  Progress has been good so far, although I have to say my heart did sink a bit when I realised I have to complete 5 more applique samples, making it a total of 10 applique samples in total - it would have been nice to do something else then come back to it!  But hey-ho, that is what they want so that is what I shall do.  Everything is in the very early stages so there is not a lot to photograph and show you at the moment (although I have loads of ideas in my head and can't wait to get going) so for the time being I will share with you Freya's latest work...a snow collage...

First Freya did some finger painting
Then she added some cotton wool snowballs...

And next some sparkly pipe cleaners and silver snowflakes...
Before finally adding some blue glitter glue...
Freya hopes you like it!!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Fiction Fridays #3 Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

This is a charming little lift-the-flap book that I bought for Freya before she was born.  I made her a little story sack and I was particularly pleased with myself because I managed to use computer software to turn the front cover of the book into a little cross-stitch design which I then stitched to go on the front.  I searched high and low for lots of little animals that featured in the story and while I don't have all of them and there is a slight issue with scaling (note the giant frog and an elephant smaller than the lion for example!) these things are neither here nor there to Freya and she loves pulling out the right animal as she lifts the flaps.  It is certainly one of my favourites and I have even bought Freya the giant 24 piece floor puzzle which she can complete almost all by herself. 

I love fiction Friday's, I have so many more books and props that I can't wait to share.  And it will be such a lovely record for Freya when she is older.  Can't believe this is my 3rd post already...where is the time going?!  It will be Christmas before we know it.  And rest assured, there are lots more books on Freya's Christmas list! 

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Five Samples Finally Finished

Oh happy days, I have finally, finally completed all five of my applique samples for module 3. So here it is, the experimental reverse applique sample, based on an Aztec mask design I came up with that looks uncannily like a lot of little pac men...

It's quite hard to tell from the photo but I have used reverse applique for the eyes and mouth and the band at the top has been appliqued on and then all the masks appliqued on to a black cotton fabric.  The brief was to use a fabric that did not need to be turned under, so that's why I used felt, and I think the colours look really bold against the black background.  It is one of those pieces that looks so much better in real life, the photo doesn't seem to capture it somehow.  But there we are, the limitations of distance learning and blogging!  So just one or two tweeks to my portfolio and presentation and then it's on to module 4...

Friday, 2 December 2011

Fiction Fridays #2 Miffy at the Gallery

I think I must lead a very simple life because I woke up this morning with the happy realisation that it was Ficiton Friday again and I could finally post my next installment...

This book is a firm favourite with Freya, and I have lost count of the number of times we have read it.  And now it is requested even more given that I have bought her a co-ordinating bag and little Miffy, who we affectionately refer to as 'Orange Miffy.'  (This is to avoid confusion as we have quite a few Miffy Rabbit's in our house, of varying sizes and colours.) 

As the title suggests, Miffy does indeed go to the gallery, and she looks at many different works of art and sculpture; how cultured our furry orange friend is!  It inspires Miffy to think about what she would like to be when she grows up...

I love the rhyming in this book and the simplistic pictures.  Although it has got to the point where I don't even need to look at the words anymore as they are, along with many other stories, etched on my brain forever.

Looking forward to posting again next Friday (I have a feeling I will still be posting Fiction Fridays when Freya is at University!!) please do join in if you have a blog, it's so much fun.  (see the link to @homedad on the right hand side for full details).