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Taking Advantage

By on Oct 29, 2017 in environment, news | 0 comments

I have been feeling much better this week and the machine has been humming away, and not just to sew up the fabric I printed last week either! I realised that I had no unisex bags in my stock so I ran a few up in reclaimed denim…   and broke a few needles in the process.   However, it was far too sunshiny to stay indoors today so after a morning of tutoring I went outside to connect with nature. We are incredibly fortunate to have so many green spaces surrounding us in Beeston but today it felt like ‘a stroll by the river’ afternoon. There is definitely something calming about being near water, it was a chilly but still day and really pleasant in the sunshine. Leaves have fallen and bushes are starting to brown before Autumn completely sets them on fire. It was a glorious afternoon well spent.   The plan when I got up early this morning, fortified by an...

Charity Begins…

By on Aug 27, 2017 in environment, news | 0 comments

It is often said that ‘charity begins at home,’ an old fashioned saying that is generally thought to mean that we should take care of our family and friends first, before we extend our help to others. However this has been challenged and I tend to agree this was not it’s intended meaning, in fact it was that children learn charity first in the home.   I have always donated unwanted goods to charity shops and enjoy shopping in them too. It is interesting how over the years the status of the High Street charity shop has changed. According to Wikipedia the first Oxfam charity shop opened in 1947, but even earlier than that the Salvation Army ran second hand clothing shops to provide the urban poor with cheap clothing. At the outbreak of World War Two, other charities such as the British Red Cross also started to operate shops as a way to raise money for the war...

Art Therapy

By on Aug 20, 2017 in community, environment, news | 0 comments

For the first time, in as long as I can remember, I really did not know what I was going to blog about this week. It’s been a pleasant week but with nothing newsworthy happening in my world, by contrast the wider world has been filled with the kind of drama that is hard to make sense of, or ignore.   And although I have been deeply moved by such tragic events, I know that there is nothing I can directly do to change things, so instead I continue to involve myself in positive community projects that unite people. I have been thinking frequently about the existence of the blame culture, and how people have become so quick to judge others on such a large scale it is becoming infectious. Contrary to this I have been discussing with others what feels to us like the obvious rise in creativity and expression through art and music, which we explained as an antidote to our troubled...

Flower Power!

By on Aug 13, 2017 in environment, recycled projects | 0 comments

This week has been all about creating, and one of the things that I have been making a lot of lately is one of my signature flowers. There are quite popular and I have seen quite a few crafters make them, but you will always see them on my stall, attached to a piece of card as a brooch or stitched to a purse or bag.   I love making them! They are a great way of recycling smaller scraps of fabric and you can have fun with patterns and colours when you are making them. Although a staple on my stall, I am always happy to teach people how to make them and I think in the past three years I have probably run seven sessions where I have demonstrated how to make these sweet petal flowers, two of those sessions have been this year.    Pretty pinks and blues A small bunch Marmalade orange Here are a selection that were made at Friday’s class at Two Little Magpies, great...

Bee Lore

By on Aug 6, 2017 in community, environment, news | 0 comments

“In my garden I spend my days; in my library I spend my nights. My interests are divided between my geraniums and my books. With the flower I am in the present; with the the book I am in the past.” Alexander Smith    It’s been an interesting week. I started my new job on Tuesday and have enjoyed the challenge of learning new things. It is part-time at the moment so I still have time to do a bit of pottering, as I love to do on days off. The thing is though, there as been so much rain this week that I have done most of my ‘pottering’ indoors and not in the garden as I had hoped.    This means, not only is it looking rather out of control and neglected, there are shoots of green sticking out at all angles, I have been missing my opportunity to connect with the outdoors in the physical sense that I believe feeds my inner calm. I...

Drawing on Life

By on Jul 16, 2017 in community, environment, news | 0 comments

This week I have been making time to revisit old passions at Beeston Canal Heritage Centre. Steeped in nature, it is the perfect backdrop for the life drawing classes that are currently running in the beautifully renovated studio room upstairs in the old lock keeper’s cottages.   When I arrive, the room is quiet and gently lit by tiny spotlight stars. It is my first time at the class and I am more than a little apprehensive as it was a very long time since I had done any ‘real’ drawing, I felt a little under the spotlight.    However, it was a small friendly group that greeted me and I was introduced to a host of smiling faces. I already knew Janet who was running the class from the ABC Arts Trail and seeing her artwork displayed locally. She explained that this was an informal class, with a break in the middle for tea and cake, this and the relaxed atmosphere quickly...