Friday, 15 July 2011

The end of an era

When I was little I loved going to Brownies. I could hardly wait for my seventh birthday, and I remember Brown Owl coming to visit us at home a few weeks before I was due to start to tell me what Brownies was like and how much fun we would have. And the badges - how I wanted an armful of badges. Unfortunately I didn't mange to muster the energy to actually put in the work to get that armful but that's another story.

Tall Small has been a Brownie for nearly 2 years, and Tiny Small will be joining her pack in September, which is very exciting.

But it also means she has has to leave Rainbows.

Rainbows has been FAB. She has had a wonderful 18 months, been on endless trips, played lots of games and learned to sing silly campfire songs, and she is very ready to move on. This is all down to her wonderful leaders, and to say thank you she has been making presents for them. First up was the polymer clay rainbow on a stick with a potted plant, which will also be the basis for our teacher gifts this year (note to self - let the clay cool down before inserting bamboo skewer or it might crack). I let go of my desire to tidy it up - this was her present for her leaders, and it is what it is.

The other thing she made were shrinkie keyrings - we made these for the teachers last year and they were well used. Children can design these themselves to suit the personality of the teacher they're giving them to, and you or they can add beads or leave them plain. They take only as long to make as the child wants them to, and most importantly they are used - and that means a lot to us.

Monday, 11 July 2011

A labour of love

Let's just gloss over how long I've neglected this poor old blog, shall we? No dramatic reason for it; I've just been busy and got out of the habit and that makes me rather sad as I've very much enjoyed blogging in the past. I make no promises but I think I need to up my posting rate a little bit ...

The four school houses - my two are in Kestrels!

Anyway, one of the projects that has taken a lot of my time recently was the designing and making of a wall hanging for the village school my children attend and where I work part time. This is a tiny friendly place with just over 100 pupils in four classes, and this week marks the 150th anniversary of the school's opening. On Saturday there was a big tea party with singing and cake, and a flypast by a Spitfire piloted by one of the dads from the school which made everyone feel terribly emotional.

As part of it our new wall hanging was officially unveiled; I've been working with one of the other mums on the design and making of this for about half a term, and it's involved going into school and getting the children fully involved in making parts of it, then lots of cutting out and industrial quantities of bondaweb, culminating in a frenzied series of late night sewing sessions. My poor sewing machine doesn't know what hit it.

Panels made from the children's drawings - Class 1 made their sandpit, Class 2 drew portraits of themselves in the school pool, Class 3 drew the wildlife pond and Class 4 made pictures of themselves playing on the village green

This thing is BIG - 2 metres each way and I realised my house is not large enough to lay it out anywhere for taking pictures. It's also far too heavy to hang on my washing line so I apologise for these pictures - it really isn't that wonky in real life!

Class 4 each cross stitched a letter for the centre panel

Everyone seemed to like it - and most importantly the children and teachers at the school are thrilled with how it turned out. And so am I. I'm not sure it will last 150 years but hopefully a good few ...