Friday, December 23, 2011

Ho Ho Ho

Happy Holidays everyone!

Apologies for missing out a week last week...to say it's been hectic is putting it midly! But, with the help of my faithful taxi driver (my wonderful husband), I've managed to organise my girls for the school holidays, complete all my Christmas shopping and do all the Christmas baking (there's not a lot left!).

Christmas biscuits prior to icing and hanging!

Ok, great news first....after winning the Senior Victrix Ludorum at school prizegiving,  my eldest is also a Prefect for 2012! She has had such an amazing year, we are such proud parents

Caitlin (on the left) and her friend Taylor, both in Grade 6 winning the Victrix....they got the most points at the school sports day! 



Two weekends ago, we had our Nipper Christmas party. Everyone was invited...there were presents for every child that was coming, including the Hokisa children (our local orphanage for Aids children) and Father Christmas arrived by sea, accompanied by two elves! He then handed out presents, we had a stunning hot meal with mince pies for dessert! I decided to do something different, seeing as it was a party, and created Christmas crutches...


My Christmas crutches!
 

The best news, however, is that I ditched my crutches last week Monday and today was told by the physio that I can get rid of the moonboot as well!! I still have a heel support inside my takkies (sneakers for my overseas friends), but at least I can walk around, even if it is rather slowly! 


I'd like to wish all my friends, near and far, a very Merry Christmas! May your Festive Season be special for you and your family and friends. If you're travelling, travel safely, if you're staying at home, have a wonderful rest. All the best for 2012, may you create new things, explore new places and start a whole new creative adventure!


Much love

Pennyb

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Last days of school!

School ends tomorrow, and then my eldest is in her last year of primary school! 6 years, just like that...where does the time go?! I am a very proud mom though, Caitlin received the Senior Victrix Ludorum at Prize giving last night!! 

 The Diva's challenge this week is to use a new tangle Fife. (You can see how to do it in the Newsletter here.) I find it similar to Bales but without the grid! All things Christmassy are around us now, and this tangle was asking to be used as a wreath...

Challenge #51...
Challenge #51 in colour!
 

I found this AMAZING book....! I know that us tangles aren't really supposed to use the D word (d..o..o..d..l..e), but this book has so many possibilities! Some of the pages are drawn and just need colouring (similar to the cover) and others have been started and you have to finish them!

THE Book!


One of the pages where the sketcher can play!

This one asks you to finish the antlers of the reindeer!!
  

Short and sweet this week....I must get supper ready now as I'm treating the whole family to Phantom of the Opera tonight! I saw it a few years and promised my girls I would take them the next time!

Have a wonderful weekend
Pennyb

Friday, December 2, 2011

2 down, 2 to go...

As the title goes....2 weeks down, 2 to go! I've now had my crutches and "moonboot" for 2 weeks...I am so tired, but boy, you should see the muscles in my arms!


My crutches and the latest fashion in footwear...!

The Foundation Phase at primary school (grades 1,2,3)  puts on a Christmas Play every year. The play runs over 3 nights, and before the play starts each night, each child gets a certificate. My youngest gannet - Michaela - got Exceptional Reading!!

Michaela (on the left) with her certificate!

This year's theme was Christmas Under The Sea...all the songs are well-known songs with different words...each one with a Christmas twist amd linked to the theme! The funniest class this year was my daughters class...they were all dressed up as bluebottles and jellyfish singing "Bottles make the Bluebottles float" (to the tune of "Baby makes her Blue Jeans Walk"!)
(Apologies for the quality of the photo, I took it with my phone) The kids have shiny wigs, blue jeans, sunglasses and BLUE bottles with rice in!


I got a lift to art yesterday, and played with my watercolours, ink and crayons...
 
Done with watercolour pencils, wax crayon (don't have masking fluid!), and brown calligraphy ink!

I don't think I need to say anything!


Challenge #50 from the Diva is to Biggefy...draw larger than we're used to! Following the Enthusiastic Artists AEDM idea( here ), I'm trying different tangles I haven't done before!

Challenge #50: Sh-rock, tripoli, fife, pais and bucky.


NExt week, hubby and I have been invited to attend the Grade 7 Prizegiving as Caitlin - eldest gannet - is receiving a prize...she's only in grade 6...dying to know what it's for!!


Have a great weekend everyone
Happy creating
Pennyb

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Let the games begin..

Greetings fellow crafty and arty people!

 I think I've had enough of 2011 now....I now have an orthopedic boot on my left leg (not called a moonboot for nothing...)and have cruthches for the next 3-4 weeks after tearing my calf muscle running on grass! I run on beach sand, on the road twice a week, but no...I run on grass and there we go! Ho hum...! All I need is a white marker and I can tangle my leg!


Anyway...a couple of weeks ago, I posted my Christmas Twirly's. They were designed by Sharon Wilson - serendipity@polka.co.za. I sat yesterday with my camera on a tripod and photographed each step as I beaded another one! So, for all you beaders out there, here goes:

Materials: beading needle, bead thread (I've got nymo thread), 45 size 8 seedbeads for the  core, size 11 seedbeads and 6mm bugles for the spiral. NB...use good quality bugle beads as the edges aren't as sharp and your thread won't get sliced!
Thread needle with 2m of thread. Thread a stopper bead (any large bead 30cm from the end to prevent beads falling off!)


Step 2: Pick up 4 core beads(size8); then 2 size 11 seeds, 1 bugle and 2 size 11s.

Step 3: Sew back through the 4 core beads.

Step 4: Pick up 1 core bead, 2 size 11, 1 bugle, 2 size 11s.


Step 5: Put the needle through the last 3 core beads AND your new one (so your needle goes through 4 beads), and pull through.

Step 6: Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you've used up all 45 core beads!

Hint/advice: Make sure each spiral lies on the top of the previous spiral. Don't pull the thread too tight - it'll snap and you have to start again! (We neaten and tighten the whole thing later!)

Step 7: Pick up 20-25 size 11s to make the loop.

Step 8: Sew back through at least 3 core beads, knot the thread in the gap, and go back through the 3 core beads. Now the tightening starts...you now have to put the needle through the first size 11 seed bead on the first spiral, pull through. Sew through the first seed bead on the next sprial and so on, gently pulling the thread as you go. (The photo didn't come out too clearly...buit what you're doing is joining each sprial to the next one using only the first seedbead each time.)


Step 9: Now that you're at the end of the spiral (hopefully), remove the stopper bead (DON'T cut the thread to get it off) and thread on your charm or a bell. End off your thread by threading it back up the core and knotting it a few times.
Step 10: Thread your needle with the original 30cm that was behind the stopper bead and work your way back up the spiral - sewing through the first seedbead of each spiral. Again, DON'T pull too tight...bugles love to cut through your thread when your almost finished a project!

The finished product! But....if you look really carefully, towards the loop is a broken thread...I didn't follow my own advice about not pulling tight and the whole thing is coming apart! Be careful!

End off your thread by sewing up the core and knotting.

I'm going to post this now and then go finish my tile for the Challenge, which I'll post tomorrow...along with my pottery which I got back!

Friday 25 Nov
Well, with only a month to go, whose thought about Christmas shopping yet...whose started Christmas shopping yet...?


Onto happier thoughts..! While I've been sitting around(not that I can do anything else at the moment, I've been drawing.) Challenge #49 "came to me" while I was putting on my one and only takkie... 

Challenge #49: Abbe Road, Jetties, Cockles and Mussels


My Raku fired pieces! We've had to wait 3 weeks because we've had very unseasonal rain and there's been a gas shortage...always tricky when the kiln is outside and is powered by gas!!

 
Zenplosions by Dani O' Brien...quite fun to do!


Flowe field inspired by Major Lazor from Flickr - he's got some amazing stuff!


Phew!
Play nicely
Pennyb

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Summer...finally!

Greetings from a wind-blown Fish Hoek! If there's one thing I hate...it's the wind, and we have lots of it...but the fact that it's blowing, means that summer has finally arrived! (It's been a little delayed this year)

I've had a HECTIC week this week...my brother came to stay for 2 days, while he had a operation, I speed wlaked 5.3km on Tuesday with my walking friends...one of which walks reeeaaally fast...I've got builders working on the chimney for our outside braai, it's Sports Day at the Primary school tomorrow, the eldest gannet has surfing on saturday, and we're off to Strand (other side of the Bay) on Sunday morning for the Nipper exams, as the first competition is next week!

The braai area with it's alomost complete chimney...
My mosaic! The other side will be done in the December holidays...hopefully!

I've attached a YouTube link to a video that was made last weekend advertising my wonderful town....and I'm in it! (I'm the funny looking lady wearing a turquoise blue rashvest and really bright orange hat  with my Starfish! I coach the Starfish every Sunday...they're only 5-8 yeas old and so eager!)  Fish Hoek "Summer is here" 2011

I finally finished my Water Lily...


I stumbled on THE most Amazing artist...especially for all those Tanglers out there, this stuff is incredible! Do yourself a favour, and have a look - you won't regret it! Her name is Irina Vinnik and you can see her stuff here


Oh boy...it"s Sat morning now...I had an interesting day yesterday...at Sports day, my eldest gannet ran the best 1200m ever and came first by 50m!! She came 2nd in high jump, 3rd in sprints and 1st in the relay! Very proud mom! Encouraged by my children, I ran in the mom's race...and have torn my achilles tendon and the muscle and am now on crutches for 4 weeks! (On the positive side, it's only partially torn and I don't need to have an operation!) So....my tangle for Challenge #48 is incomplete...

Challenge #48 with paradox and incomplete riverstones...
Ho hum...
Have a creative week everyone
Pennyb




Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembrance Day

A warm hello to everyone on this special day... 11.11.11.

The Diva's challenge to us this week was Remembrance. My tangle is for my grandfather, who was born in 1905, he was a true gentleman, and a marvellous wordsmith. He wrote the most amazing poems and stories, which I am lucky enough to have been given after his passing away. Everyone knows the rhyme to remember the days of the months...30 days hath October...   well, Gramps wrote his own nonsense rhyme, which goes as follows:

30 days has Octember
April, June and No-wonder.
All the rest have strawberry jam
except for grandfather, who rides a bicycle!


My Grandparents on their wedding day from my heritage album (the pencil writing is still due to be inked in, when I have all the right info!)



My Grandfathers family...he's the little baby on the far right! (The postcard is a copy of the original postcard sent by my grandfather's brother while he was in the service!)




Challenge #47: Remembrance (Tangles used: fescu, pepper, cadent, mist)




Still on Poppies (well sort of anyway...), I did my first watercolour on Thursday! I found a stunning book in the library for painting with mixed media, and copied the task in the book. This one is watercolour, masking fluid and ink pen. Fun, fun,fun!



"The season" is almost upon us, and I don't know about any of you, but I'm way behind on my christmas shopping! I have, however, got my Christmas decorations on the go...every year I make decorations to send with my Christmas cards...card for the family and decoration for the tree! My latest edition is this Christmas Twirly, which I'm packaging as a bookmark.
Christmas Twirly with bell or charm

Stars

The angels, tree and Father Christmas
Have a wonderfully creative week everyone
Pennyb




Thursday, November 3, 2011

Show Week!

This is a HECTIC week....hubby is away, and the Dance studio's bi-annual show is on and both girls are dancing! Never mind the fact that housework, school, homework and extra-murals still carry on as normal....I need to clone myself! (I wonder who would be in charge..!)

Fisrt things first... congratulations to The Diva (aka Laura Harms) on hitting her milestone of 200 000 hits! (My own milestone of 2000 seems a bit small in comparison, but I'm quite chuffed!) To celebrate the "awesomeness" of this occasion, she is running a competition with 3 of the most amazing prize packages! All we or you have to do is comment on her blog about how zentangle has changed  or enhanced your life, tweet her or blog about the competition...
I discovered zentangle by chance last year, was curious about the name, found the home page and here I am! I've used it in class with 32 14yr olds and got the most amazing work out of them. Zentangle was most definitely my sanity this year....to quote the Queen: this has been an annus horribulus (spelling??).  I had a pretty major meltdown in March of this year, where I was diagnosed with complete burnout, depression and major anxiety. I spent 5 months on sick leave (and have consequently resigned from teaching after 22 years) and it was during this time that Zetangle kept me going. I couldn't leave the house, answer the phone, drive my car....the list goes on...but I tangled!

I discovered The Diva during this time and her weekly challenges put a bit of direction back into my usually organised life. I'd like to thank Maria and Rick for Zentangle, and Laura for her challenges, and all the new friends I've met through this wonderfully addictive, calming and healing artform.


 Phew! So without further ado, my contribution to Challenge #46...
Challenge #46... Tangles used: florz, meer, punzel



The entire studio in the finale of "Groove is in the Heart"

This is an "accidental" photo...but I love the way it moves! Fortunately I remember how I did it, so can try again!



And now for a long overdue crafty idea...reycled flowers!

Step 1: any plastic container, preferably coloured, and a pair of scissors.

Step 2: Cut a circle out of the plastic.

Step 3: Cut into the circle almost to the middle...the more cuts, the thinner your flowers petals will be!

Step 4: Curve the one corner of each cut...
...turn the flower over and curve the other side of each cut.

Step 5: Cut a small circle from a colddrink lid or small piece of plastic for the centre.



Step 6: Nail to the fence, jungle gym, wendy house etc outside! They never "die", wilt, attract bees...all they need is the occasional rinse with the garden hose!

That's all from me this week!  Happy creating everyone
Pennyb