Sunday, 16 December 2012

200

So this is my 200th blog post!  I'm sure I would have got here a lot sooner if I could keep up regular postings though... More blogging is definitely going to be one of my resolutions for 2013.

I can not quite grasp that Christmas Day is merely nine days away. The whole of December right up to Christmas Eve has and will be a whirlwind of merriment and festivities, not including the fact the I'm at work until the 21st and have a tonne of things to do before I leave school for two weeks.  I have also picked up a monstrous cold in the last few days and have been proud that I have been able to power through my usual routine and two social gatherings while running on copious amounts of paracetamol!  Today is the first day in ages where I have vowed to do very little, although it feels very unsettling being out of routine and not feeling like things must get done.  I think a day of films, creativity and festive food is just what the doctor ordered for me to be feeling better in time for the holidays.

There are so many things I want to post, as always, so today's will be the usual accumulation of photographs depicting my recent adventures...

Not sure if you have noticed, but it's been cold.  We have so far had one day of snow where we live and lots of lots of frosty mornings.  Oh how I hate having to scrape the car windows in the morning, my hands always freeze and then take what seems like forever to warm up!


We took a nose dive into December; managing to get almost all of our Christmas shopping completed and we put up our Christmas decorations all on one Saturday early in the month.  We were really rather excited to be spending Christmas in a new home and our decorations had all been stored in boxes for two years.  We had forgotten quite how much stuff we have, including a ludicrous amount of lights.

Last Monday evening, I went for a Christmas meal with my old department, the lovely Textiles and Catering ladies!  This necklace was part of my Secret Santa present and I adore it.  It is made from paper which has been folded up, it's beautiful! 
I had the most amazing soup too, a pumpkin soup with toasted pumpkin seeds on the top and warm ciabatta bread, nom!



Even though my cold was in full swing on Friday evening, I managed to get myself to London to catch up with some of my bestest friends for dinner.  We went to Giraffe which is situated just off Oxford Street near Selfridges.  It was just what I needed, burger, chips and not breaking my limited budget!  Myself and Steve couldn't resist trying a salted caramel milkshake - I cannot explain how delicious it was!  We are always trying out salted caramel flavoured things, such as coffees and ice creams, but they are usually disappointing as they just taste like caramel.  This however, has the perfect balance of caramel and salt.  Wow, really wish I could get my hands on another one of these right about now...
My wonderful friend Sophy presented me with this utterly amazing brooch - Ruth also received one brandishing her name.  She announced how her children will love it (she teaches year three), I reckon I will come across as a bit of a maniac to my teenage students, but CAN NOT wait to rock this every. single. day.



Yesterday, we hosted a little Christmas gathering for our immediate family and it was splendid!  Everyone crammed into our tiny flat for food, drink, music and merriment! I did some baking - some vanilla cupcakes with oh so cute sugar snowflakes and a swedish cake from a book which I brought from Ikea a while ago - delicious! My Mum made the mince pies using my Nan's recipe and they are so incredibly tasty.  Might have to call her later and place an order for more, me and pastry just do not get on.

I hope that you are all feeling festive and keeping warm!  More festive blog posts to come soon!


Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

mono printing video tutorial


WireWAX is the worlds first taggable video tool. 
It is free to join and use and allows you the access to create your own popups and use the apps on the site, such as embedding youtube videos inside your footage as well as links to facebook and instagram. It is great for adding extra content to your video and tagging the objects is really easy. 

Phew.  Sounds pretty amazing right?

Well, a few days ago, me and Steve decided to work together to create a video tutorial on something creative.  After much deliberation, 
I chose to deliver a tutorial on one of my favourite things in the entire world - mono printing.  If you have never tried this technique, I thoroughly recommend it.  Not only is it fun, but materials are fairly cheap and you can come up with some really interesting and unexpected results.

Anyway, that's enough from me, here's the video (Eep!!).  Hope you enjoy!...


Pssspt...  I've also just renewed a few old favourites on my Etsy shop.  Keep your eyes peeled for more coming soon!..

autumn

As I have so much catching up to do, I thought it best to present to you a selection of images,  a visual treat to summarise my recent goings on.

It seems like Autumn came and went in a flash and I feel that I missed out on my favourite season this year. Hardly any walks through amber, rust and orange woodlands.

Winter is most certainly upon us. De icer is my new best friend.



'Cabbage flowers'.  
I have no idea what these are really called, but I LOVE them.
 

Steve's birthday torte - the delicious peanut butter and chocolate ensemble that I made once before.
Yum does not even begin to describe this.

A visit from two very dear friends.
In half term, our friends Ruth and Pat came to visit and we took them for a tour of the local area, including old fashioned tea rooms, the most epic jumble sale ever and a visit to a haunted church.
Was great to catch up, except I suffered with a cold for 95% of half term, which, to be frank, was rubbish!


 Vintage writing desk.
I drove past a charity shop one Sunday afternoon and this gem caught my eye.  The next day, I managed to convince Steve to drive back to said charity shop to purchase it.
I love it so much, and it now houses my 1960's tea set which was given to me by a friend of my Nan.  (It is so incredibly beautiful, that this tea set deserves a post all to itself).



Sunday, 25 November 2012

nostalgia

Well, a lot has been happening since I last managed to squeeze out a blog post a couple of months ago.

I have been really missing writing my blog and I have missed making things and selling them on Etsy and at fairs.  My intention was to get back into the swing of What Katie Found in the summer after I finished my teacher training course (Oh, and I was graded a 1 by the way, which equates to 'outstanding'!).  Then, in the middle of August, me and the boy finally got ourselves a new home - hooray!  One mammoth Ikea trip commenced and then before I knew it, a new term had begun at school and time has flown by ever since.  So to cut a long story short, I have just been far too busy to even think about this wonderful part of my life.  I am now teaching Art, after training as a Textiles teacher, so I have a lot to get my head around.  My evenings have mostly been spent practicing using media which I have not touched since I was at school myself.  Despite the pressure of having to get things prepared in time for lessons, it has been fun to revisit all these things and learn brand new techniques.  I will ensure that some of the things that I have been working on present themselves on this page sometime before 2013!

So, there is so much that has been missed, but I will start with this weekend.

I held a stall at a craft fair at my old High School on Saturday with my superbly talented friend Vicky who had created a range of Christmas cards - you can view her illustrations here.  I did fairly well, selling stock which I made over a year ago and which has been carefully stored away in vintage cases and baskets for almost as long.  Sorting through all my makes and presenting all my hard work on a stall really made me miss those days when I could dedicate so much time and effort to it.  I really need to become better with the whole 'work/life' balance thing which us new teachers are constantly reminded to ensure that we get right.



This morning, I kindly helped Steve with a video he wanted to create as part of his work as an intern at a company in London (more about that soon!).  I had to provide a tutorial on mono-printing CRINGE!  He has not started the editing process yet, but providing I can stand the sound of my own voice and terrible instructions, I will post it on here too!


As a reward for my hard work, Steve took me to a local tea room that we were curious about exploring for a spot of lunch.  Called the Lavender Tea Rooms in Hoxton, you enter a gift shop full of eclectic items, and then walk through a heavy curtain into what looks like your Granny's living room.  Lots of tables and chairs within centimeters of one another, rocking chairs and a counter of homemade cakes.  We squished ourselves onto what appeared to be an old church bench and perused the handwritten menu.  After choosing an egg mayonnaise sandwich for myself, Steve choosing a bacon and brie toastie and a standard pot of tea for two, we went to place our order with a very friendly lady at the counter (who I presume owns the tea room).  The sandwiches were served on mismatching vintage plates and came with a salad and a delicious homemade coleslaw.  Even though we were stuffed, we decided that to not eat any of the cakes on offer would simply be rude, so an order of victoria sponge and coffee cake was also placed.  The cake, as the food before it, was delectable and presented beautifully with an array of berries and icing sugar.


Overall, this weekend has been thoroughly enjoyable and I am beginning to feel rather festive!  I am extremely excited about Christmas this year and cannot wait to get the decorations out!  Tonight I think the Christmas card writing may begin...

Be back soon!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Dear my old friend, Art.

At the village street fair we went to while in Norfolk (see last post!), I came across this rather delightful little paint box for £2.  Since being offered my position as an Art teacher, I have been rekindling my passion for the subject.  As many of you who have been reading my blog for a while will know - crafts, textiles and dress making have been my outlet for creativity for the past three or so years, which led to me training as a Textiles teacher.  Just to recap, my degree was in Fine Art, although even then I focused on more contemporary media, such as video and photography, so it really has been a long time since I have attempted to paint anything properly.  I tried to create a watercolour of me and Steve a couple of years ago, but it did not go well!  At school, I always found painting quite challenging, preferring to work with dry materials such as charcoal and pencils and my old favourite - the black biro!  Now that I am going to be teaching others so many different skills, I really felt that it would be valuable for me to start experimenting with some of these lost techniques again.



I love the little colour chart inside which that gentleman that I purchased it from left there!  It's not really of use to me, but I can't bring my myself to tear it out!

One of the teachers in my new department gave me a beautiful, brown paged A3 sketchbook when I was offered the job - I love it!  I am really enjoying having a sketchbook again.  When I was at school and sixth form, I would carry mine everywhere, I have not really had one since.  I have really loved buying new art materials too and browsing around small, independent art shops, it's just a shame that everything costs so much money, I'm having to give myself a monthly budget at the moment!
So, here are a few of the things that I have been up to, it's quite daunting sharing my art with the world, I never have had much confidence in my work!  I would love to hear your thoughts and any top tips to improve though!  You never stop learning after all :)





The last image is a painting which is currently unfinished.  It's one of those works that you never seem to be happy with, but I am trying really hard to keep improving and to not give up on it!
I have also recently been reading a book called The Story of Art, which I borrowed from school.  I have become really quite engrossed in it.  I have never really had any desire to learn about ancient art, such as Egyptian and Greek, but this book is so well written and easy to understand that I have found it rather fascinating!  A really good read for anyone out there who is constantly swayed towards contemporary practice!

Friday, 3 August 2012

Norfolk adventure - day three






















Our final day in Norfolk was a good 'un!  Last summer, we really wanted to go on a boat trip to Blakeney point to see the seals, but the weather was so miserable that the tours kept being cancelled.  This year though, we did it!  I have a strange affinity with the sea and an odd obsession with boats.  So obviously, I thought that the whole thing was amazing!  I didn't realise quite how much I adored seals until I got so close to them in their natural habitat!  We also had to option at stopping off at Blakeney point for an hour, which was exciting and felt a bit like being let loose on a private, remote island (ignoring the other tourists of course).  

We also went to a village street fair which as you can imagine was very exciting!  A whole street full of stalls selling bric a brac, food and crafts, activities and games for children and tombola's.  The sun was shining and it all felt, well, very British!  I brought a little wooden case for my new acrylic paints and Steve finally found a zoetrope - I'm looking forward to seeing what artistic creations he comes up with using this!

To end our day, we went to Sheringham.  After watching some Harley Davidson enthusiastic zooming off on their motorbikes along the high street, we went on a search for a bag of chips to eat on the sea front.  A perfect end to a seaside break - not forgetting the mushy peas, nom!

That little break now seems like ages ago and it has only been one week!  I do have lots and lots of other happening taking place in the next couple of months though, so hopefully there will be many more things to keep inspiring me!

I am holding a stall for the first time in a year tomorrow (eek!).  It's at Whetstone Farm in Leicester -  you can see the poster here.  I'm really looking forward to preparing my stall and to be talking to people about my crafts again - if you're local, you should most definitely pop down and say hello!

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