Wednesday, 31 January 2007
Tuesday, 30 January 2007
This afternoon, especially, I was with the reception. These children are aged 4 and 5, and so full of beans, but really willing to learn. My brief was to look at the painting, talk about the colours and let the children play with some chalk. The teacher's final words were "It doesn't really matter what it looks like as long as the children have had a good time."
And how! By the end of their session, each child was covered in chalk, mostly all over their hands & uniform. It's a good job it brushes off easily, or I'd have been for the highjump. But the experience had been so wonderful for them and me that I was left feeling... tired, yes, but really content with the standards these children had achieved. Satisfaction guaranteed. They had made their own little masterpieces like Claude and each one had made it different. the last little lad had rushed and made a dark shadow that looked just like someone leaning over the pond; one little girl had used all the chalk just as is and her painting fairly sang with colour. We had an art-gallery session at the end when we all looked and commented on the quality of the light, on how different effects had been achieved and compared our work with Claude.
I tell you what, people might pay millions for his work now, but my afternoon amongst the waterlilies with reception was priceless.
Monday, 29 January 2007
Wouldn't you just die for a fireplace like that? It's gorgeous, Posy and if I were Alison,I'd give you the award for the most scrumptious blog of the week!
So I have had a lovely weekend of shopping; Borders, Leeds on Friday night, Metro Centre on Saturday and York City Centre on Sunday. Spent money? You betcha!! But I had a really good time doing it, and I'm sworn off shops/shopping and portals of unlimited consumption until.... well, 10th February at the earliest.
And... I got my favourite magazine!! Yes, the Feb/March copy of Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion was in! I've been collecting this magazine for as long as I can (about 3 years now) and I love it. The magazine always has articles on craftspeople and their studios, features houses which have been decorated with love , care & a complete disregard for the less-is-more philosophy and always comes with a paper-doll to cut out and play with. What more could a girl want? My favourite article this month is about childrens' rooms and, yes, I know the space isn't there for Sarah's room to look like this, but I had to show you Hadley's room; a room for any 5 year old to lust after. I can feel a spring clean coming on... Sarah, do you like blue and red? Silly question, really. (apologies for the bad scan)
I spent Saturday when I wasn't shopping sat drinking coffee and reading through this and my other weekend treats, the American Country Living and a copy of The Idiot-proof Diet, recommended by the Daily Mail as the most readable diet book this year so far. OK, I'm game.
York had their residents weekend on, which meant, I think, that if you live there you got free entry into a lot of the local attractions. They had music and street entertainers, too. I thought it was a lovely idea, because there must be whole months in the summer when it's hard to walk down a street for the tourists, let alone have a visit to a major attraction. Somehow I find it hard to think of people living in such 'quaint' towns as Shrewsbury, York and Ludlow, and yet they do. I also bought some felt squares from a street stall and some wonderful dotted ribbon. I'm making some lavender hearts and these will be just perfect for the fronts!
And today? I'm at home with a James. He's not feeling 100%, poor thing, so it gives me a chance to do something... clear Sarah's room? make little hearts? re-arrange my kitchen cupboards? Or shall I snuggle up under his blanket with him and watch Spiderman, Power Rangers and all the rest of the brain rot TV? No contest, really, blanket here I come!
Friday, 26 January 2007
Thursday, 25 January 2007
Wednesday, 24 January 2007
I used gift wrap to make the bags and filled them with pink and fluffy treats. Love Hearts are my favourite sweet because they take me back to my childhood. I found the shoe keyrings on sale straight after Christmas, ditto the lip gloss, while the pencils are incredibly cheap at Instore. Enough for a grown up girl's party bag, I think?
At future meetings we intend to discuss some serious Chick lit. Any ideas? I like Warnings of Gales by Annie Saunders, or perhaps I don't know How She Does It by Alison Pearson. Nothing heavy or Boker prize winner. we also plan to have a chocolate tasting, a wine tasting and a cookie swap evening. I suppose we could have a few craft nights, with paper crafts and sewing.
I'm looking forward to it a lot. keep reading to find out how it went!
Saturday, 20 January 2007
The picture is fuzzy, apologies for that, but the idea is there. Sally wants one for all her friends and acquaintances, but only after I knit a scarf for her doll.
Friday, 19 January 2007
You can fill your home with things every decorating diva has deemed must-have;Covering house, garden, furniture and eating/food, I hope it will be a useful and stimulating present. And I get to look through it first before I wrap it. Sorry, Pat.
you can cook all your food in the manner of celebrity chefs; you can edge your
perennial borders in a manner that emulates that of the chief groundskeeper at
Kew Gardens. But these will all be pointless style exercises unless and until
you understand what style really means... The first place to start is inside-
rather than worrying about how things look, coordinate, taste and smell, simply
start thinking about who you are inside. If you can do this much, I promise you
will be well on your way to true style.
Thursday, 18 January 2007
She also holds Stitch and Bitch meetings on a Tuesday night.
My evenings are usually spent at home, I do go to a reading group (sadly cancelled tonight. Hope you're all well soon, girls) and I will be going to Girls' Night In next Thursday, but they are both monthly meetings. Do I need a little fun on a Tuesday? Can I afford to go into a den of temptation every Tuesday and still come out with a bank balance good enough for the bank manager to leave me alone?
I don't think I'm brave enough.
Stitch and Bitch, I wish you well. I may (after I finish Crafters' Anonymous meetings) come to see you, but for the foreseeable future you and I will be like ships that pass in the night. And, yes, I'm looking out for icebergs.
Tuesday, 16 January 2007
Monday, 15 January 2007
The wonderful thing about getting better after a cold and blocked nose is that there comes a time when you can smell again. I walked into the house today after shopping to smell these beautiful hyacinths (thanks Mum!) They've been blooming for a couple of days while I've been ill and I've actually complained to DH about their lack of smell. Being male and a realist he said it was a good job I couldn't smell them, as they would probably have set off my hayfever. Men, huh?
And the shopping! I had a bit of a non-essential day, I'm afraid. Aside from food, including a rather nice Twinings green tea with pineapple and grapefruit, I (had to ) get this stuff. The Country Living magazine is one of my favourites, and cheers me up every month. The chopping boards are red and blue, same as my kitchen. Red for meat, blue for something else, probably. The two red dishes are pottery and I bought them because I'd seen the rectangular ones on Nonnie's blog the other day. The book is, indeed, called Not Buying It and is by Judith Levine, detailing her year of not spending money on non-essentials. Yes, I get the irony. The little photo frames are 24p each at the moment. They are Christmas shapes, and I'm going to use them this year for the dated decorations I give to all the family's third generation. It's a tradition I started in2000 and I really love to do this, finding good decorations, often half price after Christmas and putting a name and a date on them in some way.
There are two styles of wrapping paper. In a little over a week's time, a group of girl friends are all meeting together at my house for our first Girls' Night In. We're going to have a cheese and (non-alcoholic) wine night and plan for a few more meetings. I've got some little 'bits' as a welcome surprise and the paper is to make little bags for them. I don't know whether to scan it or use it straight. I'll fiddle with it later.
The little blue pots are Tete a Tete daffodils/ narcisssi and I've got them for my craft room. I didn't plant any bulbs this year, although I have in the past, but I do love watching them grow. Hopefully as February hits and we may hit more wintry weather, they'll keep my little sitting area bright.This is the little photo frame in close up. My camera's not cracking at detail, but they are metal frames in snowman, Santa and reindeer shapes. Come next Christmas, I'll put photos in and get the name and date onto the back, probably. That's one of my November tasks.
Enjoy the rest of your day and I'm off now to make some more green tea and read my book. (30 minutes to school pick up!)
Sunday, 14 January 2007
New year, new me, as the saying goes and I'm on the move. The previously titled "Family room" is now called the "sitting room" and this, previously titled "craft room" is now the "toy area".
OK, I'll come clean. It still looks like this inside.
A lot of de-junking to go then, but the question is, do I de-junk their toy area and then set up my crafty sitting room or shall I risk the inevitable lure of a clear table and plenty of material by setting up my craft space first? Oh, choices, choices....
Saturday, 13 January 2007
I was supposed to be out tonight, but I'm full of cold and not feeling too well. Instead, I've been puttering in the boys' room and moving furniture. Why is it I always want to rearrange things when I'm ill and then I'm surprised when, shivering and tired, I fall exhausted into a chair? It's like I only get inspired when I'm in the throes of a fever. Never mind, it's a grey Saturday and I'm alone with three children while my DH goes to football. At least the flowers I bought last week are still cheerful. I hope they make me feel better, too.
Hopefully after bedtime I can sit in peace and watch a comfort film. Something soft and fluffy like You've got mail. Or perhaps Outbreak. I always used to watch that when I wasn't well before I had kids. Watching a lot of people with Ebola fever had the effect of making me feel better. Strange, I know.
Or, if the DH has to watch Match of the Day (it is Saturday after all) I can read my past copies of Mary Englebreits Home Companion magazine. That, and drink a pot of good old Lancashire Tea.
Friday, 12 January 2007
Anyway, I'll have to load some more stuff on the net soon. I'll see you again tomorrow.
So, who am I? Well, my name is Jo, I'm a married mother of three, supply teacher, crafter, reader and creator. I like making things like painted boxes, toys, knitted blankets and tapestries. I'm a Jack of all trades and master of some.
Anyway, onto the pleasant stuff; Why Angel Jem? Well, when I get my little craft industry set up, that's the name I am goimg to call it. I like angels, they remind me of fairies, my family nickname is the Christmas fairy and my initials are JEM so I sign my artwork as Jem.All in all, good enough reasons to call it Angel Jem.
The 'mess to less' bit is even easier. My house is a bombsite. This is after a years de-cluttering, you should have seen it before. I am hoping by putting my (literally) dirty washing out onto the ether to shame myself into creating my perfect house. My city cottage, my ideal home, my little bit of heaven on Earth.
That's where you invisible friends come in. You are my guardians of Home life. For so long I have read and found comfort in the blogs of Alison, Nonnie,Posy and Cherry and now I want to invoke their spirits. If I had a guest bedroom I'd ask them to stay, but it's full. (Don't ask what with. Just see later) Instead, I can ask anyone who finds me here for advice, comfort, HELP!