Happy Mother’s Day

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Hi everyone.  I’ve been awake since 3am on what is Mother’s Day in the UK, so I’m going to do a shout out to all mothers, mothers-to-be and those who just need a virtual (((hug))), perhaps because they miss their mums or fell out with their mums or have been separated for whatever reason.

My aunt, an American, married my uncle, a Brit many years ago.  My uncle lived in the US for more than two decades … could have been three earning a living with his Geology qualifications.  He vowed he’d return to the UK when his elderly parents became frail, and that’s exactly what he did.  He brought his wife to England; she thought our houses were ‘quaint’ and laughed at the disastrous ways we deal with a dusting of snow and the whole country grinds to a halt.  But, like most in the UK we Brits like to drink tea and are renowned for our trailing teahouses and cafes snuggled in narrow lanes and along cobbled side streets.

When I was very young, my uncle’s parents (aka my grandparents) were invited over to what we call ‘tea’ (sandwiches, cake and beverages of squash or hot drinks) – which was usually on a weekend because my parents worked and we children were at school in the week – and they turned up in their Triumph, which I then thought was a Mini.  My brother, a bit older than me, was prompted by my mother to make them a cup of tea on their arrival.  Assuming he knew how to do this task, he was allowed to set to work.  Minutes later, with the kettle boiling, there was a moment similar to: ‘You didn’t put diesel in petrol car, did you?’ moment as my mother stood, mouth agape gazing into the kettle.  Her son and my brother had added loose tea leaves to kettle instead of spooning them into the teapot.  She watched as the brown soggy leaves danced and pirouetted in the bubbling water, wondering how she was going to clean up the mishap.

Similarly, well maybe differently, my own son offered to make me a cup of hot chocolate when he was little.  I felt proud of this moment as I waited patiently for him to bring me a mug of steaming chocolate.  I took a tentative sip and found it weak and watery rather than thick and creamy or indeed chocolatey!  ‘How did you make this?’ I asked.

My little boy described how he had one MINI rolo left and wanted to give it to me … so he boiled the kettle, placed the mini rolo in a mug and added hot water to it.  Endearing.  I haven’t tasted anything quite like it!

Tea, on the other hand, is drunk black in our house.  I sometimes drink fruit tea at work.  My mother-in-law, however loves her tea from a teapot and then adds milk.  She likes Earl Grey and is content to receive a box of teabags for any occasion be it a birthday or Christmas.  I hope she likes her Mother’s Day present.  It’s not tea, but a bouquet of flowers will sit nicely on her table while we sip our drinks 🙂image

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Collage

I haven’t done collaging for years. Literally. When I consider how this final piece has been created it amazes me how many layers and media it contains: I can remember the bubble wrap, the potato I carved up for a stamp, the rusty nails I found out in the shed and the product I bought to tie my hair up in a bun before it was long enough to put up! The collage incorporates Sharpie pens, Tippex, acrylic paints, watercolour, kids’s bottled paint and of course the use of the Gelli plate.
It took rather a long time to put together and consider the position of the circles, but overall, it was a fun experience 🙂

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Day 3 of a Be Creative Month

I’ve started the gentle prompts given by Myfanwy Hart from the Be Creative facebook page and her blog. Using Myfanwy spans the prompts steadily over a weekend, but this month she is providing daily prompts. Considering I work full time, this is much more fitting with the time I have in the evening, given that I also have a commute into the city which gets chocoblock during school rush hour!

On day 3 we have been given a photograph, which you can view here

http://createaday2014.wordpress.com

Before you ask what happened to my response to prompt one and two, number one was to create circles using the base of a cup which had been dipped into some kind of liquid onto paper. We will return to this prompt (I am sure) later this month. Maybe tomorrow?

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For prompt two, I did write an acrostic type poem, but I won’t be putting it on here today.
There are many ideas of how I could use the photograph provided by Myfanwy – write a haiku; sketch, stitch or even take a small section and make an asymmetric design. I decided to base my creative exploration around a painting I saw during an Art History lesson. We were shown a white square painted on white square painted on white paper. Brush strokes were just visible to show the shape. So, what did I do with the photograph? Two things.
1 – I tore strips of textured paper and layered it into sort of collage

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2 – I then uploaded my creation, making use of the shadows created by the torn paper, into an Ipad App called Doodle Buddy. For some peculiar reason it rotated the image, so I turned it again (which is why the tool box can be seen upside down!)

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I have no idea what the prompt will be for tomorrow, but do head over to Myfanwy’s blog. Perhaps you might like to have a go 🙂

Hands

I’ve been gradually catching up with the Be Creative weekend prompts (as was ill for some of it).  For this, I drew my left hand with my right and my right hand with my left.  Another prompt was to add finger nails and decorate, so I decided on three colours shifting from orange, light blue and then dark blue.  The challenge came when we had to add fingerless gloves!  

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Today, I was delighted to receive a collaborative set of postcards that five of us put together. I’m only going to post my completed card (and some gorgeous birdie tissue paper that the cards were carefully wrapped in) as my next task is to complete my strips on the other collaborative cards.  This has been so exciting waiting to see the results and I am thrilled with my card; I hope my companions are as thrilled with theirs when they are also finished 🙂

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Beach Huts and Houses Heat-Fused Collage

Beach Huts and Houses heat fused fabric collage

Several layers of fabric, pieces of envelope; a magazine; card stock; strips of paper and blue foil fused with heat.  This is what I produced :

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Feasting

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He’s sitting there, old,

unshaven, peeling an egg.

Oblivious, he is, of the opaque strip,

sticky and swinging from the ceiling.

The morning breeze eases through.

A gap in the door: a portal –

blue bottles of fat seek blackened

apples. The tape, a pendulum ticking

in the wind, counts to the beat

of punctuated whistling as each buzz

stops. Then starts, then changes

pitch as life gets tough, swatted …

not by the man’s hand, still peeling

his egg, but the cat boxing.

The dangling tape sways, sending the fly flying

from the polystyrene-tiled ceiling

into a Earl Grey stained tea cup.

Postcard swap – Be Creative February 2014

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Not long ago, in fact last weekend, I took part in a Be Creative Weekend with other very creative people.  Prompts throughout the weekend were set up by another blogger and these arrived throughout the weekend.  I posted some of the results on an earlier blog page.  There were a few prompts that caused the group to giggle or hide their heads with embarrassment – one was to look in a mirror and draw with your non dominant hand.  In my case, this was my left hand.  We also were prompted to draw a shoe using something we don’t normally draw with and I opted for crayon, although I was tempted to get the chopsticks out!

As the weekend progressed, we began to construct our postcards for a swap with others.  I began to collage mine using various strips of tissue paper and Decopatch papers along with fine threads and wool. The three postcards were then covered entirely with PVA glue to keep them waterproof and text was added.  I did a combination of famous quotes about invention to writing my own poem.

 

Here are the postcards I produced and sent off:Image

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the poem reads:

a tangle of rivers, tributaries and streams link arms

unite as one, building
into a torrent of enthusiasm

gathering energy
when each touches

and teamwork begins.

A sea of life: where forces unite

and where peace’s found –

on the lake by the sun.

 

I received a comment by one of the group saying that my postcards looked like ‘little maps’.  Now I’ve looked closely again at them, I think she’s right.  A map of rivers?  A beach and sea contents labelled like you see in children’s geography text books?  Whatever the collages look like, it was a fun experience joining in.

 

The swap – I visited a new post office and I have to admit, I have NEVER seen a post office clerk spend so long and take such care sticking the stamps on postcards.  I asked for special stamps and was given a choice of two depicting horses.  I also posted off the Iris Folding card I made earlier.

These were the ones I received in the post … (I heard someone knock on the door and these postcards were handed to me, rather than pushed through the mailbox!  The postman seemed reluctant to hand over!) – the top one was done on hand-dyed papers and there were quotes from Pablo Picasso and one written in gold pen, so you could only read it if you tipped the card in certain directions.  Every one of the postcards people in the Be Creative group have made are all so unique and have raised a smile across the world.  There will be another Be Creative Weekend coming up soon.

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If you are interested in taking part, please visit Be Creative at http://createaday2014.wordpress.com/be-creative-now/
And another special ‘surprise’ arrived today complete with circular stamp…
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