Friday, 23 July 2010

The Sketchbook Project

I’ve just come across something called ‘The Sketchbook Project’. And suddenly I’m really excited.
The idea is you sign up on their website, choosing a theme (In flight, A record year for rainfall, If you lived here…, Lights in the distance, to name a few) and they send you back a bar coded sketchbook. You then fill it up with things that kinda go with your theme and send it back.
Then the exciting bit, it goes on tour in America before finding a home at The Brooklyn Art Library. And because its bar coded you can keep track of who’s had a look.
I would really really love to join in, but as the art work needs to be worked on between now and January it kinda clashes with the next OU course.
Something for next year maybe? Along with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? Something else I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. Oh for more hours in the day.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Counting Sheep

We had the last writers group of the academic year today.
Last months homework was to write a poem about a day out, and although I find poems hard work I thought I would give it a go.

Counting Sheep

Does she know,
As he turns her on her back,
What he’s going to do to her?
Keeping her left fore leg
Bent with his knee,
She lies docile,
Dark eye’s unfocused.

Thick rusty arms hold her,
Twisting her this way and that,
Following the contours of her body,
Each curve traced,
She is reduced.

It’s about our trip to the Alton Show at the beginning of July. I had wanted to write about the whole day but can see that concentrating on a particular part of the day, in this case the man demonstrating sheep shearing, would make a better poem. The group must have liked it, they suggested I send it to Farmers Weekly!

As unofficial administrator for the group I’ve agreed to make us a facebook page. Something else to add to my summer list. Next meeting October.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Stuff thats been happening

Tomorrow my Level 3 and M students will be celebrating Graduation. I’m hoping the day will be sunny but not too warm. And with graduation work finally slows down a little and I have time to breath and do some filing. Its been a busy couple of months.

Today I also signed up for my next Open University course – EA300 – Children’s Literature. I’m excited and nervous in equal measures, as always when I sign on to one of the OU courses. It sounds so interesting and I’m really looking forward to reading the set books, but will I be able to write intelligent assignments about them? I’ll have to wait and see; it doesn’t start until October.

And finally the best bit. ‘im outdoors and I bought our selves a Digital SLR camera at the weekend. We’ve been talking about it for ages and saving a little towards it and we finally did it. It’s a Canon EOS 550D and its lovely. We spent a sunny weekend walking round the garden with it taking photos of flowers, sparrows and hoverflies.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

A New Lunch Bag

For ages now I’ve been taking my lunch into work in a tatty old plastic bag. I keep thinking to myself I should make a bag – it can’t be hard, I’ve made bags before, but making my own design was proving tricky.
Then on the spool site I found a design for a lunch bag. It looked good, was only £5 and they would email it to me so no waiting for the post.
Of course then I had to find some material. I already had some brilliant blue cotton which would make a good lining. Then I was directed to a shop called C&H which have a remnant table and there I found a lovely cream off cut. Perfect.
It only took me two evenings to put it together and some of that was making templates that were the correct size.
It’s very pleasing when a project comes together without too much work - because I was careful with my preparation, putting the design together was simple.

And on the subject of sewing I’ve just found Amy Butler. I’m in the process of trying to decide what pattern I can make. I love one of her dresses but think it might be a little hard for a beginner like me, so maybe one of her tops or a bag?
To be honest I’m pretty jealous. I love her patterns, I love her fabric and would love to be making stuff like her! I hope she realises how lucky she is.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

A Book Review

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote of how I’d just won Rebecca Goldstein’s 36 Arguments for the Existence of God. I’ve now read it and here is my very first book review.

36 Arguments for the Existence of God is the story of Cass Seltzer who’s book ‘The Varieties of Religious Illusion’ has become a surprise best seller. We then meet various people from his past who have inspired his writing in some way.
The book was ok. The story was nice and the characters quirky. But it was hard work. I don’t want a book that doesn’t give me at least a little bit of a challenge, but at the same time I would like to understand more than two words in every sentence.
I enjoyed reading about the Jewish community, something I have no experience of, but felt that the flitting from current day to the past – sometimes in the same chapter made it confusing and I lost track, several times, of what was happening now and what had happened then.
I also thought that there were a lot of side plots what didn’t really go anywhere. His ex-wife wasn’t really explained and what was the point of Lucinda? I fear that these, amongst other things, are points that I missed or didn’t fully understand because of the language used.
But over all it was an interesting and sometimes funny story with a main character who you end up caring about. It was defiantly worth finishing.