Moooooo-dy Cows

Here’s another art project we did with guidance from Art Projects for Kids. Mine is top, Rafe’s underneath. When we showed them to the rest of the family, my husband commented that they looked slightly sad. Gman, always keen to get a pun in, said that they were probably just mooooo-dy cows:-)

rectangle cow - v

rectangle cow - r

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O is for Owl, Ostrich, Octopus and Oystercatcher

This week’s Sketch Tuesday assignment: draw something that starts with the letter “O”.

Rafe has drawn a variety of whimsical animals:

beginning with O - R

I think the ostrich is my favourite.

I went with an oystercatcher:

beginning with O - V

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Miaow

I have been MIA for a while, huh? Nevermind, here’s some cats!

We followed the instructions from Art Projects for Kids to make cats in the style of Brazilian artist Romero Britto. We all followed the same instructions and I love how we still ended up with three very different cats.

Here’s my scary cat:

britto cat - viv

Rafe’s worried cat:

britto cat - rafe

And Mark’s cute cat:

britto cat - mark

If you fancy having a go at making your own Britto-style cats the instructions are here.

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Stitching and Listening

Regular readers of this blog will know that my love of stitching is only surpassed by my love of reading. I’m not sure how I got to the ripe old age of 40 without discovering the joy of listening to books. One of the tasks for the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge that I am taking part in this year is to listen to an audiobook that has won an Audie award. I signed up for a free trial of Audible, and downloaded this book:

martiansmaller

First of all, it's a great story, and the narration is absolutely spot on – it really brought it alive. But mainly – audiobooks are a revelation! I can "read" a book and quilt at the same time!! I can "read" while I am making the dinner; I can "read" while I am doing the ironing; I can "read" in the bath without risking dropping my book in the water. Hurrah for audiobooks!! I have used my birthday money to treat myself to some decent headphones and a year’s subscription to Audible.

My next audiobook is this one:

sorcerer

This will fulfil the challenge task to read a book by an author from Southeast Asia. The author, Zen Cho, was born in Malaysia. The books sounds pretty intriguing, don’t you think?

The Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers, one of the most respected organizations throughout all of England, has long been tasked with maintaining magic within His Majesty’s lands. But lately the once proper institute has fallen into disgrace, naming an altogether unsuitable gentleman – a freed slave who doesn’t even have a familiar – as their Sorcerer Royal and allowing England’s once profuse stores of magic to slowly bleed dry. At least they haven’t stooped so low as to allow women to practice what is obviously a man’s profession.
At his wit’s end, Zacharias Wythe, Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers and eminently proficient magician, ventures to the border of Fairyland to discover why England’s magical stocks are drying up. But when his adventure brings him in contact with a most unusual comrade, a woman with immense power and an unfathomable gift, he sets on a path that will alter the nature of sorcery in all of Britain – and the world at large.

So, my Slow Sunday Stitching this week will involve headphones and a quilt, much like this:

stitch & listen

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Draw Your Vegetables

This week’s Sketch Tuesday assignment was to sketch a vegetable. Oops, I sketched a selection:

vegetables - v

Rafe got all arty-farty and sketched his on some black paper. It looks pretty effective, I think:

vegetables - r

I feel I should apologise for my lack of blogging updates this month. My creative mojo is taking an extended winter break but I can feel the stirrings of it returning so hopefully there will be sewing and whatnot to show you soon:-). I have learned not to panic about these things and understand the ebbs and flows of the creative life. Whilst I haven’t been sewing or creating much, I have been reading a lot, as well as having lots of lovely fun times with friends and family, and both things are important to me.

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Not Back to School in January

Today is the first day back at school for those kids that go. For those that are home educated, things can be different. Today Rafe has:

Completed a periodic table jigsaw puzzle that he got for Christmas:

2016-01-05_11-42-02

Although I wonder if I should ask for my money back in light of the news that four new elements have officially been added to the periodic table this week?!

He has thoroughly beaten his mama at a game of Countdown (another Christmas present). In this round, Rafe got a 9 letter word while I only managed “TOAST”!

2016-01-05_11-41-25

And written out this postcard ready to send to Anja in Germany, thanks to our participation in Postcrossing:

GB-731994

Next stop: lunchtime.

Happy days!

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More of the Same

My slow stitching this week has consisted of more hand quilting on my hexagon scrap quilt. I am just quilting in the light coloured hexies and have made it to the ring past the first dark one. A long way to go, but steady progress! I plan to get some more done this afternoon – the weather forecast is for rain and there’s darts on the TV:-)

More quilting

Do pop over to Kathy’s Quilts to see what other slow stitchers are up to this Sunday.

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Read Harder Challenge 2016

I don’t do New Year Resolutions. I try to go with the thought that every day is a chance to begin afresh. Or even every minute, every second, every breath. And I am generally a bit hopeless at sticking with challenges. However, I do like to read books. I like to vary what sort of books I read but, like most people, find it easier to stick to the familiar sometimes – genres and authors I know I like. So, this year I am challenging myself to take part in the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge. Here’s the list of the challenge tasks:

ReadHarderChallenge2016_checklist-1

I’m already making a start on “Read a book out loud to someone else” – I am reading “The Princess Bride” aloud to Rafe who, even though he is a confident reader himself, and nearly 11 years old, still likes to be read aloud to. I’m not complaining:-)

I am also already part way through “The Corpse Reader” by Antonio Garrido, which will satisfy the challenge to “Read a book of historical fiction set before 1900”. I must admit that I would never have selected this book had it not been recommended to me by two people – a bookworm friend and also my mum. I’m not very far through but it’s quite gripping so far!

Are you planning any reading challenges this year? Have you any recommendations for books to satisfy any of the other challenges mentioned? I am always on the lookout for good books!

Happy New Year!

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The Quilt as Journey

This week, I have spent as much time as possible hand quilting my hexagon scrap quilt. I started this quilt back in 2010, less than a year after I first started learning to sew. Having started on the hand quilting, it is becoming apparent that my stitching at the outset was…ahem…less than perfect and I have had to make a few repairs along the way. At first, I felt pretty upset about it, but then I decided to look on it as a record and a testament to how my stitching skills have improved and progressed. Until I decided to learn to sew in 2009, I had never so much as sewn a button on something, so it’s pretty amazing that I’ve got to where I am and made the things I have. I am looking on this quilt as a journey, and a journal. So the fact that the stitching is not the best in the world just adds to its provenance:-). In any case, as my Nan would have asked, “would a blind man on a galloping horse notice it?” I imagine that I will be the only one who will ever notice the repairs I have needed to make, much less care!!

Hand quilting in progress

Philosophising over, do pop over to Kathy’s Quilts to check out what other Slow Sunday Stitchers are up to!

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The Best Laid Plans…

My slow stitching plans for the week didn’t really get off the ground. Instead, I have spent my time looking after a poorly 10 year old boy. Thankfully, he’s starting to feel better now. As always, when someone in the house is ill, we took the opportunity to watch The Princess Bride.

It’s always good for taking your mind off things:-)

At least I did manage to finish off this star. It’s number 33. Maybe today, I will even find time to press it and take the middle papers out haha!

hexagon star number 33

Do pop over to Kathy’s Quilts and see what other slow stitchers are up to this week.

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