Working with Groups

More and more of my work is working with groups.  This ranges from working in Care Homes to working with adults with learning difficulties.  They all come with their challenges but also with their joys.  On Monday mornings I work with a group which has at it’s core two men who will sing songs and tell jokes.  I am given coffee and cake and we ‘play’.  There is no Monday blues at the start of my week.  Before Christmas I went and said to them that we were going to be cutting out Christmas trees from templates but I just could not think what we were going to do with them.  Jimmy decided he was going to make a picture.  When I suggested the two reindeer were going to fight, Jimmy, always the pacifist, told me they are just having a chat.  This is my favourite picture from the Christmas period.

talking reindeer 2 Jimmy dec 2016

A Long Time

I am not good at blogs.  It’s not that I have nothing to say, it’s the technology.  I have blogs in several different places for some reason.  I am hoping this will be where I think I have placed it!

I enjoy working with a variety of people and recently, on my monthly visit to Cairdeen Care Home an old friend turned up.  She had designed and embroidered a bag for her knitting.  It was a standard Hobbycraft tote and the simple design looked lovely.  She added her name to it and she keeps her latest jumper for the fish and chips babies in it, so called because they have no clothes and are often wrapped in paper to keep them warm.

She never remembers me but I am not offended as this lady has dementia, but her bag is always a connection and a reminder that she has worked with me before.

myra's knitting bag 2014 Cairdeen

The same group made Angels one year for Christmas.  I loved this one with her ruby red lips and tackety boots.  I think it says something about that generation that the lady was worried the angel had no shoes, or maybe I am reading too much into her comments…angel cairdeen Dec 2014

Dolls

I was at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival at the weekend.  I learned two things, one was not to turn up right at the start when there are big queues and the other was that online booking these days is not a quicker way to get in.  Nearly everyone had booked online so the few people paying on the day were in and enjoying themselves while we organised people were queuing in the cold!

One of the things I bought was a pattern for a knitted doll.  One enterprising lady had made two kits – one with all the materials and one without the wool.  She had also made the pattern available and this was what I bought.  If the choice had just been the kit I would not have bought at all.

This doll will not be given to a little girl as the last time I gave a crochet doll to a friends child I just got a look with no joy or wonder just confusion.  Obviously she was too young to understand the concept!

crochet doll

Christmas again

It’s that time of year and already the shops are running out of Christmas stock and preparing for Easter (this is what is happening in the warehouses apparently). I am getting out some of my work to be included in an exhibition in Linlithgow (The Line Gallery). Each year the exhibition is named after an angel and this year it is the shoulder angel. This is apparently the angel who sits on your shoulder telling you to be nice while the devil sits on your other shoulder and says don’t listen to her – be bad. I think we all like to think we listen to the angel more than the devil. Interestingly the angel is portrayed as female and the devil as male – I wouldn’t comment! My contribution will not be very Christmassy but like a dog it is for life and not just for Christmas.

Pomander Heaven

Wedding pomanders seem to have passed me by.  That is until someone asked me to make 4 for her wedding.  She is having 4 little girls from 2 to 8 and flowers would just be messy and maybe ruin their beautiful dresses.

I see online people advertising them made with felt buds.  They are very pretty and the bit of one that I made, even with it’s unregulated sizes, looks very pretty in dark red.  But oh, I would lose the will to live if I did a whole one.  Possibly because when I made the bud I felt it needed to be sewn at the base to keep it together.  Wedding paraphenalia are often kept as keepsakes and I wanted them to be as secure as possible and to be able to stand the potential battering on the day.  Of course because of the ages of the children pins were out of the question, so out came my glue gun.  This is not a tool I have used much in the past, but after one or two burnt fingers I thought I had managed OK.  The few that I did that is, the rest of the ball is now felted with a very pretty pink.

The buds are made by cutting a circle of felt then cutting a spiral starting on the outside edge and finishing in the centre.  The felt is rolled from the edge in to form a bud.  There should be a little flap which can be used to secure it onto whatever you wish.  Some people have used pins with pearlised heads which look very nice or, as I did, a glue gun is a more permanent way to attach them.

The pomanders I will be making will have flowers made from muslin and with little buttons in the centre.  We are choosing these tomorrow.  The ribbon handle will be Stewart Tartan to match the groom’s outfit.  I am so glad to have been asked to do this.  Watch out for additions to my shop when I get it up and running.

 

A lot of wise men

No college this week but that does not mean I have a holiday. We are at the stage of working on our final piece and I still have to finish off some of my samples.

I had thought I was clever by doing some thumbnail sketches of my story, but that was only the start. We have to do a life size plan on paper of the final piece before we can start sewing. This turns out to be a good thing as it helps solve some of the issues before you start sewing and potentially go down the wrong road. Planning is not my strong point I must say. Now I am in a quandary as I had thought I would just do a story board with the various scenes of the Wise Men’s journey. The last scene is bigger than the others so this seemed the most practical way to do it. Then my teacher suggested a scroll and I thought that sounded a good idea and in keeping with the times, but there was an issue about how it would be displayed. Then she threw in another suggestion – why not do a concertina style book which could stand up. I am not sure … I might go back to my original idea.

The whole thing is nine panels with the wise men looking at their maps, two deciding to go on the journey with the third staying behind, then changing his mind. Just before Christmas Sister Wendy had been on TV and had mentioned that of course there would not have been just 3 wise men as lots of magi would have seen the same thing and made that journey. So I expanded my story to include this idea. I have always loved the story and it just gets better as I get into it.

I have a needle felted picture of the three in my gallery which is much admired – probably because it is so simple.

IMG_4511

Everyone has at least one favourite story, I have several and this one certainly comes top of the list.