Wednesday, 22 June 2011

On a hiatus

Some things have come up and I am totally worn out.  Just about managing to get myself into work each day and function.
Nothing serious just over tired  and too busy.
Will be back with a vengeance this weekend.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Weekend restrospectives #2

Everyone meet Blueue.  Yes he's only got one eye.  Yes his fur is worn and battered.  Yes his nose is on all squint but I love this teddy bear.
Blueue came into my life when I was about 3 years old - he was sitting on a table at a jumble sale at my sister's primary school.  I wanted him, my mum bought him for me and he's been with me ever since [35 years later!].  A child called out 'that's my teddy' as I walked away with him - I always wonder whether his own mother had told him that his teddy was being sent to the jumble sale.  Believe me - I don't think that little boy would have loved Blueue as much and as long as I have.
A short while after Blueue came into my life I had to spend some time in hospital.  A bout of measles had rendered me deaf and I had to have operations to restore my hearing.  Blueue accompanied me in all of my hospital visits.  In fact until about 15 years ago I still had the hospital arm band that they'd given me for him!

I think because he was my constant companion through operations and hospital visits he has remained the same into my adult life.  I am slightly embarrassed to say that as an adult when I have had to visit hospital he's come with me. 

In fact Blueue has been such a part of my life that an ex-boyfriend even threatened to burn him when I said I was leaving him!  I had to hide the teddy bear to stop him from exacting his threat.

Today I cuddled Blueue for the first time in ages - I've had a stonking cold, bad belly and on-off migraines all weekend.  This morning I was in tears because I was determined to go to work but I can't seem to leave the toilet and I keep getting my fractals in the corner of my eye threatening more migraines.

So I'm going now and leaving you with this quote:

"In a world where everyone seems to be larger and louder than yourself, it is very comforting to have a small, quiet companion."
-Peter Gray (don't know who he is but it's a great quote!)

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Upcycled Fridays #2 : What to do with old newspapers and magazines

This week has been super crazy - hence the late posting of Upcycled Friday which is actually being posted on Saturday - BAD POLLY.
We had a 'pre-Ofsted Audit' this week to prepare our school for Ofsted in the Autumn term.  I wasn't seen on Tuesday however I got a phone-call from the Head Teacher on Tuesday evening.  Apparently the Inspectors hadn't seen enough 'good' or 'outstanding' lessons and asked to be directed to teachers who would show them this.  So I KNEW I was being seen on the Wednesday and had to pull out a great lesson.  It was thankfully - not outstanding because my class are over enthusiastic and however hard I tried I could NOT get them to hold their hands up without calling out.  The Inspector was really impressed with my lesson though - he told me that I'm an extremely skilled teacher who is enthusiastic and engaging.  Apparently I'm 'peppy' - whatever that means.  However I just need to work on my classroom management skills.  That's ALWAYS been my problem.  I find it very hard to keep classes quiet and not because they're off task - they're always trying to answer the questions that I'm asking.
Anyway - after that - my body has kind of collapsed in on me and decided that I need to sleep sleep and sleep as well as make my nose run faster than an Olympic sprinter and create a hacking cough that is waking me up.  I slept from about 5:30pm to 9pm last night - went to bed and slept solidly through to 4am.   That's a lot of sleep.

Right - enough background to why I'm so useless - here's this week's Upcycled Friday - and what to do with those old newspapers you have collecting up.  I tend not to have many newspapers lying around as I read most of my news online - however I do love my magazines and I have piles of them all over the place.
This idea was influenced by this dress:
This was designed by a young girl called Yuliya Kyrpo who I am proud to say I know!  When I taught at a school in South-East London she was in my tutor group and in my English class - in fact I was her tutor for about 4 years. She is a lovely young lady and ridiculously talented and driven.  This dress won a competition for recycling the Metro newspaper - a free newspaper in London.  Gorgeous isn't it?

Make some wood:

This is designed by Mieke Meijer and looks pretty sturdy to me.  You can see designs created from this here , and I think this should be the way forward with old newspapers!

Make a gorgeous winged origami bowl - created by the awesome talents of Francene Levinson - all from upcycled magazines.

Turn headlines into art - great work by A J Bocchino.

Make some cute little gift bags - I'm totally making these because I hate buying wrapping paper but I think wrapping presents in newspaper sometimes doesn't look that great.  So making gift bags looks a lot more thoughtful - this blog post from What-cha-ma-craft-it includes a really great tutorial.

So do you have any ideas to share?
What are you up to this weekend?  I'm off to Deptford Market in a few hours (in the rain by the looks of things) then photographing Arun Ghosh and Dimbleby & Capper tonight.  I know both performers and to see them on the same bill is so exciting.  Both are so ridiculously talented and I feel very proud to know them - cannae wait.  Just hope I have some energy later.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Weekend restrospectives #1

I've just returned from a flying visit to my parents' in Suffolk to celebrate my mum's and nephew's birthdays and to meet my new second-cousin; Franklyn.  Going home (I still call it home!) brings back ridiculous memories; my folks' home is still full of childhood wonders as it was the home I grew up in and I can't help reminiscing about my childhood and youth.  So I thought I'd share with you, at the weekend, things that I've brought into my adult life with me.  Items that meant something to me as a child.
I guess I'm fortunate (and some might add the prefix 'un') in the sense that I've taken on my family's hoarding sensibilities.  Thankfully my parents have never got to this state:
 and have managed to maintain a tidy home; but we are all avid collectors. This means that my parents have kept many things from my childhood; stashed away for whenever I want them again.

A couple of months ago they gave me this:

I was born in 1973 - a couple of years after decimalisation.  My sister was born in 1969 just before decimalisation.  My parents bought us both a selection of Royal Mint coins that were available in the year of our birth.  I love this set - the packaging is SO disco!  So 1970s.

So weird looking at these now.  10 Pence pieces, 5 pence pieces and 50 pence pieces have shrunk dramatically in size.  There is no 20 pence, £1 or £2 coin.  And we still had 1/2 pence coins then!

I remember this sitting in the cupboard for years - always being told that when we were 'old enough' we would get them.  My set now sits on one of our shelves in the living room.  I love it even though damp has gotten through the packet and some of the coins are damaged.  It's mine, it's something that was bought for me when I was born, and it's something that I will always treasure.

My sister had many, many, many things bought for her when she was born.  There are sets of silver spoons, silver keepsakes, photos, photo,s photos and so much more.  There's not much for me.  It's hardly surprising though as my mum lost three boys before my sister and I were born.  Therefore this set means more to me than anything as it's something that was bought for me when I was born not something that was handed down.

Do you have anything that you have kept with you from your childhood?

ps: I've just read through this and I realise I'm sounding very scornful about not having keepsakes from when I was born.  I admit that as a younger girl/ woman I was quite annoyed about this.  As I've grown up I've realised why.  The first child is important, the first child who has survived after the deaths of her three brothers is even more important.  So I've come to terms with the fact that my birth wasn't as important to my parents as my sister's.  My parents, over the years, have spoiled me in other ways you cannot imagine - so I apologise if I've come across as a brat here!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Upcycled Fridays #1 : What to do with old games

Ben and I have an agreement that if we have more than 3 of something that constitutes a collection.  Then we give each other 'the look', then we exclaim 'the sigh' and finally we resign ourselves to the fact that we need more space to house yet another assemblage.

Recently I've acquired 3 games from separate visits to junk markets - bingo, lotto and of course my Monopoly set.  I'm still not sure what to do with all the bits.  Whether to keep them all in their current state (this is probably true for the Monopoly set) or whether to upcycle them into something else.

On my old blog I used to share upcycling inspiration so I thought I'd try and make it a weekly thing here.  So welcome to the first Upcycled Friday - and what to do with old games!

Turn the boards into book covers

Chutes and Ladders
Via Photoq
upcycled Sorry game, blank journal
Via Booksbystephen
upcycled checkerboard journal
Via Booksbystephen
Upcycled Game Books
Via Photoq

Turn the pieces and money into jewellery
Vintage Monopoly Game Piece Bracelet
via KyleLoopyJewelery

Admittedly the Monopoly games tokens were originally inspired by charms - however the do look lovely on a bracelet.
Vinyl Charm Bracelet
Via Texas Tarts

Barrel Monkey
Via Salvage Siren

Create a personalised board game
Altered Game board
Via GroovyHolly

Make some art
2009 SSD 1: Free Space
Via Peggy Dembicer

The New York Experience
Via S.T.A.R
Do you have any inspiring ideas you want to share? If so add a link in the comments below.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Successful day at the market

It's ridiculous how excited I get about going to Deptford Market (or indeed a Car Boot Sale) - I can't imagine having the same feeling wandering down Oxford Street or cavorting around Bluewater.  It's the 'thrill of the chase' I guess - never knowing what treasures you might find.  Well today I think I found a few little treasures:

I love old 'girls and boys' annuals and this one is a doozy. Such gorgeous 1970s illustrations and the stories are fun too.
More books :) I have a real love of follies growing up in Suffolk and having a love of the few that were around me. Shire books are such little treasures of weirdness and the bizarre (I have one about Egyptian shabtis and another about spoons). The gardening book has some cool little adverts (I'm currently compiling a collection of vintage advertising) and I'm really intrigued about stories within the book about Victorian sexuality.
The Reluctant Cook - I love the little illustrations in this - especially the inside covers where the husband and wife are sitting back smoking! Ha ha - you wouldn't get that in a cookery book now would you?
Most of us growing up in the UK in the 1970s were raised on Ladybird books and they're becoming pretty collectable now. I managed to pick up one of my favourites along with 3 others:
The Elves and the Shoemaker is such a wonderful book - I love it so much. The story AND the illustrations are gorgeous - especially when the elves are trying on their new clothes. If anyone finds a copy of the Magic Porridge Pot from the Ladybird series - let me know!
Finally with the books - another copy of my favourite book - The Little Prince. I managed to pick up a French copy last visit for Ben (I tend to give anyone who means something to me a copy of this) - this copy is beautiful. It's in a slip cover case and the book itself has a plastic cover. I don't think it's even been read:
All of those books cost me 50p each! Billy Bargain :)
A lovely little silver plated dish - currently housing some Werthers Originals on our shelf. 50p!
Some oil pastels for my art diary:
Two scrapbooks full of theatre, television and cinema ephemera from the 1980s:
Some photos for the Ghosts project:
An Ideal Home Exhibition brochure from the year I was born - I love architecture and am fascinated by the changes in housing in the UK.
(all of these were £1 each)
Finally I found this tin box:
Not that interesting? But we have a burgeoning collection of tins at the moment so I thought I'd take a closer look. Rattled it. OOooh - something's inside - let's have a peek:
Ooooh Monopoly money and ...
Chance and Community Chest cards and ...
Property cards and ...
1jun2011deptfordmarket-28Monopoly - wooden houses and hotels
Rules along with wooden houses and hotels and finally:
Monopoly pieces?Monopoly pieces?
Looky at these old Monopoly pieces! I never knew they even had ones like this. I've researched them and it seems that they come from the 1950s and apparently it's the same set that the 'great' train robbers were playing with when they were caught. Not this actual set of course but a similar one. If I'd had the box and the board I've seen one sell for £59! Unfortunately I don't but for 50p I think this was a billy bargain don't you?