Saturday, June 12, 2010

Parties and workshops!

Well, the last couple of weeks have gone flying by, yes, literally flying!!! All my students are getting to the end of their courses, which is good, but very very bad for my bank balance! I shudder to think of the upcoming financial drought…my credit is about to be severely crunched! Still I’m hoping that I will be able to get enough summer school work to tide me over; after all, I still have a mortgage to pay, and there are soo many things I want to, no need to do over the summer, especially now I have no lesson prep or marking to be doing!

Myself and some friends took advantage of the £10 train ticket offer to travel for a day out to Hereford, supposedly quite a bohemian place, but the train broke down and we ended up in Birmingham for the day, where we made the most of it and had a nice lunch out and then spent the rest of the day fabric and embellishment shopping in their huge, crazy fabric market.

The social side of summer has started to kick in – we’ve had one birthday barbeque already, in beautiful glorious sunshine which is damn rare for England. We had the usual foodfest, complete with birthday cake, pass the parcel and goodie bags! After all, why should kids have all the fun! If you’re not familiar with ‘pass the parcel’, you start off with a gift, wrapped up, then you wrap another layer of paper round with a tiny gift in the wrapping, then another and another until you have a giant parcel of many layers and tiny gifts. Then you pass it round the circle to music, which is randomly stopped. If you happen to have the parcel in your sticky little mitts when the music stops, then you get to take a layer off! We like to put lovely little chocolates or pretty nail files, nail varnish, make-up, pens, stuff like that between. It’s such good fun and everyone goes home with a gift. I got the centre gift in one of the parcels, a lovely scented candle. I made a really nice glass necklace and pendant for Lorraine, whose birthday it was, but stupidly forgot to take a photo before I gave it to her – doohh!

I also spent nearly two weeks making the goodie bag gifts, little bottle cap pincushions in a rainbow of colour. They have an embroidered and sequined flower on the botton, and chain stitch border round the edge, and a lovely ‘iced’ top so that they looked like little birthday cakes, or cupcakes.

The day after that, myself and a couple of friends went to a Make and Sew workshop ‘Customising Charity Shop Finds’ – you know I’m well into that! We learnt lots of wonderful techniques using Bondaweb and Transfoil. The first thing we did was use strips of bright fabric, stitched together and embellished. These can be used for embellishing all sorts of things.

Then we tried an appliqué and free hand stitching technique using stabiliser,

then a patchwork-y type effect.

We also made little fabric roses! It was such good fun and I came away with loads of ideas and a burning desire to spend lots of money on more fabric, bondaweb, threads, transfoil, etc. I did come home and order a freehand foot for my Brother sewing machine.

The very next day, M and I went to London for the day; we’d got free tickets to see Rage Against the Machine in Finsbury Park! What a great day that was, only it took us four hours to get home! Four hours! We probably could have walked it in that time! There were quite a few bands playing, The Gallows (a punk band), Roots Manuva a London Rap artist,  Gogol Bordello (I love their sort of gypsy anarchist sound, and I love their track ‘start wearing purple’) and a DJ to play between bands.

The weather was lovely, despite dour predictions, we had a very light shower about halfway through the day, but we’d brought light jackets with us.

There are days when I feel up to the mosh pit, but today I was happy a bit further back with space to dance! Luckily they had big screens so that you could see exactly what was going on on the stage.

The finale was amazing – I swear that Zack de la Rocha, the lead singer of RATM looks exactly the same as he did years ago when ‘Killing in the Name of’ was Number One the first time round (and yes I saw them live on that tour too!  

The day was amazing and all the better because it was free! Proceeds went to Shelter which was excellent. Getting home was a nightmare though, the Tubes on Sunday end a lot earlier than in the rest of the week, and the police were being typically over cautious and closed off all the Underground entrances except one. Then they had mounted police filtering 40,000 tired and drunk party-goers onto one Underground platform! What a recipe for disaster! The Tube station is literally 2 minutes walk from Finsbury Park and yet it took us over an hour to get onto a train! We managed to get the very last Tube of the night and barely made it back to Euston for our last train home! Then that train terminated at Milton Keynes because of ‘engineering work’ at Northampton, and we had to get a coach back. A journey which would take us an hour by car took us over four hours! We got in at two o’clock in the morning and then I had to be up at six thirty, for an eight thirty lesson. I was knackered!  God knows what London will do when we get the Olympics! 




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