Friday, 31 December 2010

Snow Dyeing

Whilst the snow was on the ground I thought it would be a good time to use up the Dylon dyes I made up earlier this year........ Quick look on Google and away I went. My quick look was too quick..... I missed out the need to drain the snow as it melted and  the dye so it didn't puddle in the bottom of the tray. Lesson learned and some usable material, so all not lost.

Christmas tree

In the 1970s I found a wallpaper shop that sold unusual tree ornaments at Christmas time. These were admired by my mum who asked me to buy one each for two of her sisters Ada and Lily. They soon were asking me to get three special ornaments so they could have one and give one to each of the other sisters. So each year I had to get 3 lots of 3 different ornaments and carry them carefully home as they were glass. Mum died and I mentioned at the celebration of her life how the 3 sisters had this little ritual and to look on the Christmas tree for the man in the moon, two children on a sledge, a child wrapped around a huge snowball, a mini car, the funny doll like figures, the polar bear with lantern, the coffee pot, clock, turkey, owl etc. After the service, the tree ornament story had brought back many memories so I invited her only surviving sister, Ada, some nieces and her daughter in law to come and take their pick of some of mums collection of tree ornaments. Others asked if they could have some to remember her by because they remembered the fuss that Aunt Lilly and Aunt Ada and my mum made of the Christmas tree.

frozen pond and the birds

Not far from where I live is a public park, East Park, one of several in Hull. The pond in it was dug out during the great depression when work was scarce. Men turned up with sacking tied to their feet as they had no boots to work in.
During the summer we have masses of Canadian geese and see them later in the year practising flying in V formations before they fly off for winter pastures.
Some birds stay and do not venture off. Here they are on the frozen lake. They come waddling towards any human in the hopes of food.
From the footprints in the snow on the lake many people have walked across it and while I was there I saw a man walk across with his dog ! Must be the first time in years that the fire brigade hasn't had to rescue anyone who had fallen in while "testing" the thickness of the ice.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Ice on the fountain Kingston Upon Hull UK

In 60yrs I have lived here I have never seen the fountain like this. Its like a fantastic ice sculpture. Talked to someone who said they had been to photograph it daily as it is growing and changing all the time.
The fountain is surrounded by flower beds which are spectacular when in flower. It is laid out like wheel with the fountain as the hub and the footpaths the spokes of the wheel. The fountain was refurbished a few years ago and now is sometimes lit up at night which is quite romantic.
Behind the trees is the old victorian Queens Dock which was filled in before I was born and is now known as Queens Gardens. It is laid out as public park where concerts and other entertainments are held. The statue of William Wilberforce was originally just across the road from the fountain but now is at the other end of Queens Gardens.
I have NEVER seen anything like this, it shows how unusual the weather is. Minus 6 today.                                                                                                               AND the downstairs loo is FROZEN at home !!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

more angels

Abbie and Ellen aged 8yrs and 6yrs who live next door made these 3litre bottle angels with me and now they take pride of place in their sittingroom. Each wanted different wings. Didn't they do well?

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

bottle angel

The bottle angel can be made on any size bottle.  The circle of fabric, we use net curtain, is double the length of the bottle. A length of the header (where you slot the curtain rod or wire) is used for the arms. The head is made from ladies tights  or some stretchy fabric that can be stuffed to  the right size and fasten around the neck of the bottle. The circle of fabric has a hole in the middle for the head and two slots for the arms. Wiggle the head through the hole for the head in the net curtain and remodel the head back into shape. Tie a ribbon at each end of the arm material for the hands. Thread the arm through the arm hole at one side around the back of the bottle and out of the other hole. Flip it inside out and glue the base of the head to the bottle lid. Turn it the right way round. Tie a ribbon under the arms, add some wings and some hair, a face if you like and its done. If see through material is used cover the bottle with paper or material before you start.The nativity can be made in the same way. I have made these out of plastic carrier bags for outdoors. I attached them to a stick and secretly placed them in a neighbours garden. I managed to make a circle of them around a central bush without being rumbled. I used to make these with children for the angel parade workshops.

look well to this day

It was suggested that I google the poem, why didn't I think of that ? So I did. the longer version is as follows.
"Look well to this day, for it is life, the very life of life.
In it lies all the realities and verities of existence: *
the bliss of growth, the glory of action, splendour of beauty.
For yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow only a vision.
But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness
and every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day, for it and it alone is life.
Such is the salutation of the dawn.
Another translation has at this point * Joy of growth, splendor of action, glory of power instead of "bliss of growth" etc.
Apparently it is an ancient Sanskrit Proverb.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

human beings?

I checked out lyns blog (liniecat blogspot usually gets me there) and then checked out the blogs she follows. When I read stinkwanink blog, it made me smile as it reminded me of when I was 16yrs old, in hospital on the dangerously ill list. As  I laid there I pondered on many of life's great questions ie. what it meant to be a human being.  As I recovered I was wheeled through to the day room and a magazine plonked on my lap and left there on my own. In the middle of the page was a verse in a box so it stood out. "Look well to this day for it is the very life of life, every today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well therefore to this day." It was longer but that's all I remember and still remember to this day. When I got home I eventually got around to thinking more about what it means to be a human being and looked it up in a dictionary. To be human was different to being an animal because we have a conscience and be-ing meant a continuous state of to-be. Be is present tense for live or exist and Ing is active and in the present. So as eggs and sperm we were in a state of to-be and in the womb we went through several stages constantly changing be-ing until born when we change again. We change throughout childhood, puberty and adulthood always in a state of to-be. To be what?  That is where I left it and reminded myself of the verse, Look well to this day for it is the very life of life and grew up ! The next time I remembered the Human being thing was when I did a Fine Art degree as a mature student and it impressed the tutors !

Saturday, 4 December 2010

snow, snow , snow

The weight of the snow has snapped guttering brackets at the front of the house and added a worrying "belly" to the guttering at the back. The snow keeps dropping of the roof and blocking both my front door and back ! My "bus shelter" with the Wall in has a good 8" of snow on top and the polycarbonate roof is beginning to bow slightly.
I tried to dislodge the snow on the bellying guttering at the back of the house and started an avalanche of roof snow, I got covered and ended up in 2feet of snow (already standing on 18inches of snow). In seconds the snow was freezing round my wellies and I had to be dug out!
I know other parts of the world cope with this yearly but it really is rare in the UK especially this time of year. The last time I remember it like this was 1996 and before that in the late 1970s/early 1980s.
My lovely neighbours have cleared my drive daily but as its continuing to snow they are now just clearing a path to my house which is all I need really and the front garden is already full of snow...... where else can we put it ? The another neighbour gets me some shopping when she or her mother goes to the supermarket and another neighbour takes me to hospital clinic appointments and brings me home again. I am so very fortunate with my neighbours.