Thursday, 30 June 2011

Dedicated to Sainte Angela du Nounours Habillé

Reims 2009. God is on our side!

Day 30: It is finished!

Phew! Thirty days of making things- I'm sure it didn't at all count if you just made lots of the same thing over and over again, but some of us just don't have Angela's versatility of craft!

We were all very pleased with the results, however! I would hasten to add that there were nearly as many bottles of wine as apples, and we went clinking into school this morning in a hideously inappropriate way for the nice, local Primary School!

Other things are finishing with the month as well. I think that being a very part-time term-time Information assistant at the nice, local University library (it's a nice, local suburb, really!) disqualifies you as a REAL stay-at-home mother, but there will be no more structured (regularly paid) teaching for the foreseeable future.

What I have loved about crocheting masses of apple cosies, has been the reassuring sense of moving gently around and around a growing reflection of the turning earth, the revolving seasons, the time for everything. My first attempt in the month of making was an attempt to recall the possibilities in creation from someone who most assuredly knows what He is making. My last attempts will be showcased tomorrow- one month over, the new one starts.

Most importantly, it's the holidays for us all as of 12.15 today, which can only mean one thing- down to the library for this year's Summer Reading Challenge!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

days 22 and 23 Gift tags and radio and TV!

This has been a very exciting week, dear readers! And for reasons I shall discuss tomorrow, it shouldn't have been so at all!

We were interviewed at 8.40 am on Good Morning, Ulster, and then all appeared on BBC1 Newsline at 1.30pm. Our road safety campaigning group- three walking buses coming down the road with 200 of our pupils and their parents. Three count stations, media coverage, our local Stormont MLA- bless you, Alastair Ross, and sunshine for the first time all week. I don't believe in coincidence!

Lots of gift tag making for teachers just now, for two establishments. Must get back to the ribbon. If you'd like to hear a squeaky middle aged woman ranting in the voice of an irate 8 year old, move the Radio Ulster timer on to 2:05:30....

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Days 20 and 21: Solstice

So it's the longest day. Last year Prince Charming and I were enjoying this, but this year we are enjoying torrential rain and all is grey!

Black and white photography is definitely not grey, when it looks like the above. Darragh Casey, photographer and parent at the suns' school, has started the visual campaign. So, between making a difference and making apple cosies, and the usual, the making month goes on, the earth turns, and life revolves.

Darragh's website is fabulous- in the Exhibition section there are very beautiful portaits of poets and authors alike. More than enough to brighten a grey night!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Days 18 and 19 An apple for each teacher

Do you know when we got to town yesterday we walked straight into an empty space on the pavement on Royal Avenue just in time for the Lord Mayor's Parade to go drumming, dancing, waving past? And I can't tell you what a joy it is to hear the loud, booming beat of drums other than the old ones resounding through those streets!

Anyway on Days 18 and 19 I made three apple cozies. Three down, nine to go. Because not only is it an apple for each teacher (and they're both in job-share classes), they also have two classroom assistants each, and then there's the school nurse (who worries about inhalers and epipens when I don't have to), the school secretary (who is worried by me), and when they saw the things taking shape they thought of Mr W Principal who apparently eats an apple every day in the dining hall, and they'd like him to benefit too. They each want him to benefit too.

Thankfully there were also bright cheery cherries, and lots of them! And thanks to Gladsome Lights, and Pom Pom, and the others- yours looked/sounded luscious too!

Saturday, 18 June 2011

A cherry challenge for a cheery weekend!

Pom Pom has a big bowl of cherries today, and Gretchen Joanna has just bought some too. I'm heading into town with everyone soon, and now have cherries on my list as well! I think we should all eat cherries today and post luscious pictures! I'm buying mine in Sawyer's, my favourite tiny speciality shop in my favourite tiny speciality street where maybe we'll even eat lunch in my favourite tiny speciality cafe. Mmmm- have a cheery cherry weekend, bloggistes!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Day 17: I made it!

I made it to the end of today- this is cause for great celebration; please have even a little whoop of something on my behalf! After work we made gingerbread men. (The flying elephant is so Chagall, n'est-ce pas? Not to mention the dancing Matisse lady on the right!!)

Then we played Junior Scrabble, and I made it to the end of Divorcing Jack in between goes! Then I made it eventually to Book Club, Divorcing Jack ringing in my ears as I drove. Not quite hot off the press- in fact, when we met Colin Bateman last night I felt quite sheepish when he asked which book we were reading for tonight, and we said Divorcing Jack (published in 1994) and he said, "Oh. The first one."

It has been a veritable rollercoaster of a day in my land- I do hope your weekend is beginning with much more peace and tranquillity! And speaking of peace and tranquillity (Yeats reference alert) tomorrow I must arise and go then, and go into town to find a fabulous Father's Day present. No. I'm not making one! If I make up the paper bunting for my giveaway I shall be extremely satisfied- last chance to comment here!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Day 16: Additions

Tonight I made an addition to my small but perfectly formed collection of signed by the author books.

And then when I got home Saskia had visited the strawberry patch and I made a new addition to my list of just unbelievably colourful, upbeat and amazing blogs.
It's been an interesting evening!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Day 15 Lanyon made Queen's, and how!

Charles Lanyon was the architect of the stunning main building at Queen's University, Belfast, which is where I studied after A-Levels. Four blissful years reading English Language and Literature, and French. Mostly in the Lanyon library just to the left of this Gothic college. For lunch we went to the Great Hall, immediately right inside the main door. It never looked this moody, but was continually beautiful, and for the Troubles generations, at least the ones who didn't form part of the much discussed Brain Drain to the mainland, it was solid and mind rich.
I was around there today, partly at the University Bookshop looking, in vain, for Divorcing Jack by Bateman- more of him tomorrow and even Friday! When all jobs there were complete I made myself sit down before the afternoon sun-rush. Green tea with jasmine in the quad, and silence! Alma Mater comes to me, speaking words of wisdom...

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Days 7,8,10 and 14: Making a difference

There haven't been many waking minutes this month unfilled with thoughts of road crossing possibilities! Out of my Lent thinking, and especially out of that day away I did with Cooking Catherine came some meetings and lots of emailing and an impressively accessible range of elected folk and even a facebook group called Cross the Jordanstown Road! Do join us! So far we're a fairly friendly bunch!

Over the next week we're announcing our desperate need for a lollipop person in local church services on Sunday, and trying to pull together a Big Morning Out next week- hopefully with media coverage- wow! If you're on this side of the Irish Sea, you'd be be most welcome to join one of our walking buses!

At our first meeting, the local station master described our route to school as a country road with motorway traffic, so, when no post appears to say otherwise, a difference in how hair-raising it can be walking less than a mile will be what I am trying to make!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Day 13- crazy lady on beach at sunset

This is also supposed to be my Monday Greatitudes post, so here goes! This month of making things is really quite good. A bit of focus and pressure to cut through the daily getting on and getting through and generally enjoying it all, but not actually knowing what you've achieved, if anything!

Today I made the rest of my Mollie Makes episode 1 felt phone pouch. I had started last night with suns cutting and sticking too, and all was mellow and jolly. I finished it today in the Bean, and that was really very nice! Weekly-ish green tea and chat is super enough, but working on a little thing as the world goes by and you have ADULT company- better again!

Out and about with Niqi for a little while after, and I realised that magazines don't appear in episodes, but issues! But I'm sticking with episodes for Mollie Makes- it's like an episode of a jaw-dropping lifestyle programme in your bag. En plus, I found one last copy of episode 2 in the newsagents.

Otherwise I'm extremely grateful that I live in a country which will give lots of money to the third world, that people came to the meeting last week about which I have yet to post, that many fine people call us friends, and that we are booking downward and upward very nice stops for our holidays!

I'm always thankful for holidays! Number 3 in my three favourite things! (Excluding human beans.) I'm quite excited about this one- no intense packing of the car with camping equipment required, not in July anyway! A house on a beach- hence the title of my phone pouch: crazy lady on beach at sunset. Greatitudes 389-404; approaching half-way!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Day 12

Today I made hot chocolate and croissants for our Sunday School class who had a quick field trip chez nous this morning to celebrate the P7s moving on next year. PC, however, well,

PC made the music at the local churches' Pentecost Barbecue at Loughshore this afternoon. Photo taken before torrential rain!

He even managed to change a string al fresco mid-set. Photo taken before torrential rain!

I made myself as comfortable as possible. Photo taken before torrential rain!!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Day 11- bunting and pie!

In the first episode of Mollie Makes I was particularly fascinated by Lola Nova's Happy Little Garlands. She used up charming strips of material left over from gorgeous sewing projects and stitched them onto card, then cut into pendants. I, obviously, don't have the same strippy stash! However, as I wanted to make bunting for the Mothers' Union noticeboard, I decided to recycle old MU magazines.

Also, being that sort of teacher who likes nay obsesses about displays that are as creative as they are instructional, even when she has taught only very part-time for ages and won't even be doing that for more than a fortnight now, I decided that the bunting might as well have little snippets of MU life!

I am very pleased with my meagre efforts- not least because it means that I have made something real in June, instead of messing about with metaphysical alternatives! Now I just need to find creative and instructional material to fill the noticeboard! All suggestions on noticeboard use will be very graciously received!

More than graciously received, but indeed extremely joyously received was the amazing toile de jouy that arrived yesterday from Mise. Oh my! I am instructed to make something pretty therewith. Well, the ribbon now holds the bunting, but My Marvellous Mother has not laughed at the suggestion that I could make a dress. We shall see!

Finally, I made an apple pie. The stunted holly leaves are supposed to represent Pentecost's tongues of fire! Interesting conversation that provoked- suns have never batted an eyelid at the idea of Jesus healing and coming back from the dead. But that His Spirit might make everyone speak in different languages? "That's impossible. Jo, you would be able to speak French. That's a miracle!"

ps Blogger, which won't let me comment chez anybody, also won't let me see who has arrived at the Patch to bring the Strawberry Pickers up to fifty. But apparently there are fifty wonderful, generous folk who call now and then to see how tearful things are! So, to say thank you and gosh, thank you again- I'd like to offer a Happy Little (Mothers' Union/National Trust magazine themed) Garland as a giveaway. Leave a comment and one will be picked!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Day 9

I've been working hard on making a difference, which will be my post every soon, justifying a seeming blank for the last few days, but in between that I'm enjoying making Googlemusic! Will it only be there for today?

Monday, 6 June 2011

Greatitudes 378-388 on Day 5

I finally made time to start climbing this mountain- with the Doctor and the Gladiator as climbing companions.

And I made time to read at the strawberry patch. With a blanket, because it was cold!

And then this evening I made time to read A Holy Experience, which I always put off because Ann Voskamp's words need time and savour and thought. And I was so glad I did, because her photos, better than mine, more profoundly meaningful than mine, were still a bit like mine!

And I am making time now to be thankful again on a Monday, for blogs that point you always in the right direction and that sanity-salvation high. For a husband who keeps you between the hedges, and even cuts the grass there too. For ironing that is finished! For the plight of the garage door that finally answered a question (that is admittedly an obscure one, GJ, sorry!). For bright, shiny, octane powered suns who demand time, but time in the right place. For the amount of "Behold" in Revelation, and isn't that what Voskamp is talking about today- looking for it now, expecting it now. And I was going to say this month that is nearly over, but then tomorrow isn't, as Jo postulated earlier, the last day of June and there is much to be made before the end!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

On Day 5 I made (second edition)

Jane Brocket scones. For tea. On a rainy Sunday evening after two circuits of skipping (most therapeutic) round Botanic Gardens Playpark, and a quick scoot round the Museum. Nice!

But then, later this evening, my friend Anne called to show me the AMAZING quilt that she has finished. Twelve months of the year in intricate artistry.

I liked July best- birthday girl gets money while being told, "Be honest" and the material behind the words is adorned with tiny, juicy strawberries!

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Day 4

We've just this minute made amazing discoveries: Master Martin has put PC on Youtube! Mise is sending me the toile! Real things will obviously have to be made now, but this may well remain the most exciting of the 30 days!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Days 2 and 3

Well done, E, for your 69 out of 97 on that French exam! That makes me very happy today! Such are the little things that make me happy in general just now! Which is my justification for ignoring the real creativity of all who surround and pushing on with the thought that I can make things too in June!

Therefore can I state that on Day 2 I made my vote count for the boyfriend of the daughter of my friend Anne! He is in the Next model competition, and is, apparently, very handsome...

And today, being Day 3 of 30 days of creativity, I made what I make best- tea for friends!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

A bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils!

They're for a small group of Special Needs Year 10 folk who have found themselves disappointingly on the cusp of a summer exam in French! Instead of tracing rainbows they'll be colouring them in, following French instructions. That's the plan!

I think after a long break I'm following Angela here with trepidation! Day One: I've made a cartoon!

Happy St Patrick's Day!

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