Friday, 18 September 2009

Hearts and sewing and quilts

this little bit of terribly photographed graffiti is just amazing. J decided to use his spare time usefully by redecorating our space inbetween (a sort of room between the living room and the kitchen/yard that feels a bit like a thoroughfare but could be a useful art room for us all!) He stripped the wallpaper and discovered this graffiti from '93. At first we just thought aah how sweet I wonder where they are now but then we noticed the date. The couple who lived here were getting married the very day that my oldest son was born. How amazing, I just love those little or big connections that remind us how close we all are even though we don't know it. C. felt so special that it was his birthday.
Sadly we don't know who the people were but there's still something lovely about it, so it's been photographed (and now blogged about).

I have finished some sewing, a quilt for little A. She's excited, I'm excited what can I say? I can't believe I've made a quilt. Now middle T wants one he has chosen all blue fabrics and I cannot convince him to have another colour in there!

But I do love this quilt, it's the lap quilt from Amy Karol's Bend the Rules, which is a book I love. Clear and simple and happy results.

Oh and I have started embroidering from my sketch but I'm not sure what I'll do with the end result, we'll have to see.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Quiet times

Today all is quiet, Oldest boy set off to college for his first real day in the early hours. Two youngers have been taken off to play tennis and choose books in the library. So I have time to myself, don't get me wrong, the washing still needs doing and the chickpeas need cooking, but these things can be done inbetween others. I am turning this drawing that I did a couple of weeks ago...
into an embroidery that I think will become part of a pyjama case. Middle son has asked for a pyjama case (He wants vehicles on his) and I rather like the idea of a place to put pyjamas and the bedtime book so bedtime runs more smoothly. I don't think this embroidery will end up on his pyjama case, in fact I think he has chosen some retro tractor fabric for his. But this is slightly dreamy and I do think a pyjama case is the place for it.

I am starting to enjoy using a sketch book, I like sticking things in (memories of scrapbooks in childhood) and I like doodling with pencil crayons.

And the images do help with decisions about what to make next.

This is my favourite, a mix, some copied, and part of a picture of frida Kahlo that blew onto the book while I was working and became incorporated. It also influenced the patterned borders. Now, I think I will return to my quiet sewing while I still have a little time left before all return for leftover lasagne for lunch. I don't even need to cook lunch today!

Monday, 7 September 2009

Thinking about September

After a long summer on the beaches
splashing in water
the time has come to think about the autumn. The weather is getting cooler and cloudier and oldest son is soon to make his first foray into the world of formal education. This time of year always starts me thinking about the kind of learning we want to do at home, because there will be more time at home now. This year feels different, oldest is more academic he has always aimed for college but now my focus changes towards the younger two who have different needs.
Middle boy is not interested in being particularly academic at the moment, at twelve he hates writing anything more than a word, he likes activity and nature, which is great on the days we can get outside but more difficult on the days we are absolutely stuck inside. But right now he has a new interest - art. This is filling his indoor time in the most wonderful way. He and his sister are making exquisite corpse after exquisite corpse (a game where one person draws the head then covers it up then the next draws the body and so on until a bizarre creature is born). He wants to print, paint, sew and generally make things.
The best thing about this is Little sister is equally keen on all these things and is happy to read books to herself as well. This means I can draw, sew and print alongside my children and they can see ways of earning a living that don't create huge compromises in our family life.
I have been reading recently and I identified completely when she said that rather than seeing herself as a home educator she saw herself as a member of a home educating family. I think that is the way it should be.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Quilting for the first time and styling

I am trying to be brave and making the lap quilt from Amy Karol's Bend the Rules. It's not really all that brave as I'm using some very cheap fabric we got from a car boot sale but I still get nervous when I start cutting! This is our layout (help from two children) and I will need to start sewing the strips together but I have to wait ten days for the wadding. This is sooooo exciting for me because I have always wanted to make a quilt but have always felt nervous, this quilt seems fairly simple so I will write more when I have done more of it.

I had to add these pictures because while I was faffing around with pieces of fabric two of my children got a little bored (rainy day blues) and started styling and photographing their knitted babes...

...there are actually about twenty photos of said babes (quite a conservative number for a digital camera) but I've only shown two, perhaps all the rest ought to be on flickr...

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Sewing and quilting

The autumnal weather seems to be here so we are cosying in a little while still trying to stay open to the possibility of some late summer beach and kayaking weather. So I took this drawing...

... and embroidered it as this.
I am really unhappy about the raised blindfold and wish I'd noticed it before but it's only my sketchbook cover so I'll learn to love it.

This little bird is from a drawing I did of a bird by Lauri Faggioni ( ), I absolutely love her work.

I attatched it to a little red bag from Amy Karol's Bend the Rules.

A blurry picture but I really love this bag and have taken it on as my sock knitting project bag. It's probably time I started making some more things to sell but it's nice to be self indulgent once in a while!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Cousins together again

Back from a week of hols in the North of England mainly visiting family but also a day in Bradford at the national media museum (loved it and so did grandma and the boys, little girl stayed with little girl cousins). We also visited the Salt Mills just North of Bradford, the most amazing, gigantic bookshop I have ever been into, sewing books that I can never normally find, the most stunning selection of graphic books and Edward Gorey, whom I love, and never ever ever normally see anywhere at all.

Now we're back and cycling (we eat an awful lot of pudding when visiting). Eldest has been for his first day at college, in fact the first day in his life at any sort of educational establishment, a little overwhelming but hopefully it will serve his purpose as he has decided he would like to study some GCSE's. This is actually a retake course but free opportunities to study GCSE's as a home ed boy are non existent, so he has waited an extra year and is about to start them now at 16 and do four in a year. This should enable him to do 'A' levels, apparently impossible at 16 without GCSE's. I am hoping that if the government really do intend to implement the Badman report then qualifications, if the other two want them, won't be so difficult or expensive. I suppose that would be a positive aspect to the Badman report.

And now I had better get back to planning my children's year in detail as Badman requires and of course then the minor problem of actually following up any of my planning!