Sunday, 31 May 2015

Canals - My Favourite Summer Vacation Spot Blog Hop

Lexa Cain in the run up to summer holidays is hosting a blog hop of favourite spots where people like to take their vacations.  

My favourite place has become (over these past few years) anywhere on the British canal network. 

 Whether you are in the heart of huge city

 or in the middle of a historical feat of engineering

or high above

or far below

Just being on the canal is so relaxing :)
You get peace and quiet and see the country you live in - in a totally new way.  Your pace of life slows down and you become much more in tune with nature.  You meet plenty of friendly people from all around the world but also have loads of time just to enjoy being alone together as a family.  
I also like it because I get time to sit and read and I also get to see a whole lot of wildlife which I love :)

Now I'm off to explore others' favourite places to holiday so if you'd like to join in please click on the button below.

And tell me where is your best place?  Where did you go as a child?  What was your most fun experience whilst on holiday?  I'd love to know :)

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Come Tickle A Trout

Once again I'm joining in with Elephant's Child
and entering a poem containing certain random words (the ones underlined)

It's lovely how some words immediately conjure up pictures in your mind's eye and you have the scene in front of you but then trying to work those words to form pictures for others is so difficult to do well.  

I welcome any feedback and suggestions on how to improve this poem.

Come Tickle a Trout 

Come tickle a trout my father said
So we set off ‘cross the fields to the river
Under a cloudless sky
And the sound of the water as it came round the point
Tickled my ears as I grasped his hand
Through the ripening corn

Come tickle a trout my father said
So we knelt by the side of the river
Under the dappled trees
And a kingfisher with psychedelic blues
Tickled my eyes as I watched it speed
Over the rippling water

Come tickle a trout my father said
With his fingers submerged in the river
Under the brown trout’s belly
And he stroked so gently that it never knew
Tickled my nose with the drops that fell
As it rose out of the water

Dispatching it quickly
Being true to type allowing me to try the next one
But my childlike fingers were not as illustrious as his
Many slipped away to swim another day
Each time his shrug meant no problem, no regrets
And so I remained trying my best until a fish landed
And my heart sang
We carried them home and cooked them above the flames
And sucked the flavour of the river and success from their bones.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Celebrate #5

This week I am celebrating along with my fellow bloggers over at:

1) The safe return of my DD - she has had the time of her life - thank you Australia :)

2)  This weekend my parents-in-law are coming over to stay along with my husband's brother & wife and their three little ones so we will have a house full and it will be lovely :)

3)  I am very pleased that I was successful in my bid for a Victorian sofa in a local auction but now I have to figure out how I am going to get it back to our house as I have been told it will NEVER go on the roof-rack !  Whoops!!

4)  I am very grateful for all those who have stopped by my blog this May - particularly those who leave a comment - as I feel I have continued the momentum of the A-Z Challenge and have found some more real good blogging friends out there.  Thank you for making it such a good month :)

I hope everyone is going to have a lovely weekend and please feel free to let me know what you have been celebrating this week :)

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Coming Up in June

I am turning my thoughts to new experiences and blog hops I want to try in June.  I am trying to expand my horizons, meet new people, learn new skills and hopefully enjoy myself in different ways to how I normally blog.  So without further ado let me introduce you to some things happening in June that you may wish to have a look at too?

Beginning June 1st over at is this
I've never done a scavenger hunt before but I think this would be good to have a go at and might get me using my camera a bit more and "seeing" more things as I try to collect the necessary photos.

An even more ambitious project for me will be to have a go at creating an artistic piece each day on an index card
This is happening over at Daisy Yellow and will continue throughout June & July - I am really not sure for how long I will be able to continue this but if I don't try I'll never know?  If you want to find out more then click on the picture above.

I was also thinking I might give the write a poem a day challenge a go too - they understand that not everyone will be able to write like this so at least I won't feel too bad if I cannot manage 30 poems - hmm or even 10!  However, on closer inspection it turns out only those from Kentucky or living in or nearby can enter - so boo hoo fo rme but there might be others out there who do fit this criteria and may want to give it a go?

I will keep looking for maybe something to do in this vein as I would like to take those first few tentative steps into the world of grown-up writing - I can teach the basics of writing to children but can I write like an adult? So if you do know of anything that might fit the bill please let me know?

I'd love to know what you have on the horizon for June?  Are you off on your hols?  Are you competing in a new sport?  Have you got rehearsals for a production coming up?  Anything new in your hobbies?  Or now that you've seen some of these things above are you tempted by any of them?

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Christmas in May

My DD is heading home so I'd better make sure the presents bought for Xmas are all wrapped so she can have her Christmas as soon as she has recovered from the jet lag.  

Of course inevitably, there will be those presents I squirreled away that will appear later on in the year or even next year!

Her main present of course was money to spend on activities later on during her stay and I know she has done loads and built up a bank of very special memories but these little gifts just have to be done too :)

Have you found any Xmas presents you forgot to give?  Did you receive any late Xmas gifts yourself?

Monday, 25 May 2015

Creative Monday Ceiling Catch Up

Joining in with
hosted by Claire Justine

This week I have been "creating" in the spare bedroom and thought I'd show you the final photos in mending my early 18th century ceiling project!
This was how it was patch repaired and sanded down - no longer a great bowing in the ceiling and already for decorating.
Managed to get 2 pieces of wallpaper up by myself without too many mishaps and very pleased I got it straight and lining up everywhere as this was my first attempt at ever wallpapering :)
Then onto trying to match the colour of the original ceiling so that I'd only have to do the bit I'd repaired.  No such luck and after unsuccessfully painting it to find it dried to a darker blue I finally gave up and bought new pale blue paint to do the whole of this side of the room sloped ceiling.

Then I managed to get two more pieces (this time of lining paper) up on to the wall that I'd also had to re-plaster some small holes and finally painted that a purple colour rather than the deep blue it had been before.  It needed two coats to get rid of such a strong colour underneath but everyone agrees it now looks SO much better.  My next task will be to hopefully colour co-ordinate the bed linen and maybe get a throw to put over the black leather sofa in there and then it will look like a really nice guest bedroom :)
I know it's not perfect but for a first go at a lot of DIY things I am really pleased with how it's ended up and I don't think too many people would notice anything too bad if I don't point it out!!

I welcome any feedback or tips you can give and I'd love to know what everyone else has been getting up to on their creative side too or their own DIY jobs around the place?

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Collective Nouns

I was catching up with reading some of the blogs I follow when I came across this writing challenge on The Contemplative Cat - compose a story, poem, piece of prose that contains six set words. I was so taken with her short story written for the challenge that I decided to pop over to this week's originator of the words -  Elephant's Child

I am all for trying new things so here is my contribution in the form of a poem entitled Collective Nouns? . I would so welcome any feedback - the underlined words are those that were on the list :)

Collective nouns?

I know that a carillon is a group of bells
But is a bent a set of walking sticks?
An abracadabra a book of spells?
Is a glower a collection of eyebrows?
A nuisance - a profusion of cats?
And a smiling more than one rainbow?

Am I close with any of that?

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Celebrate #4

A day late but the crew over at:
are a forgiving bunch so just in brief these are my cause for celebration this week:

Less than a week to the return of my DD back from Australia after 7 months - I just can't quite believe it!!

Great success with the Charity Garden Party I helped organise this week - see yesterday's post for more photos and details

I finished decorating the spare room where the ceiling came down - more in my upcoming Creative Monday post!!

Also celebrating a long Bank Holiday weekend here in England with my parents coming over for a couple of days too which will be lovely :)

Hoping everyone else is having a wonderful weekend & now I'm off to do that last bit of tidying up before guests arrive!

What does your weekend hold?  Why not join in and say what you're celebrating this week?  
Check out these other bloggers below.


Friday, 22 May 2015

Caravans, Charity Tea Party, Clothes & More Friday 5!

Heading over to the linky party to join in with:

Firstly - over here in England we have another Bank Holiday Monday coming up so a long weekend - HURRAY!!  So as lots of teachers and students will be getting away, I came up with the idea of these little caravans - which will be part of a new activity I am currently working on for my TpT store.

Please feel free to use if they can be of any use to you - just remember to give a credit back to my store or this blog :)

I helped out this week with a wonderful charity garden party at a friend's house and the sun shone and it couldn't have gone better.  We raised over £300 for our two chosen charities and I think I came back with less than I took!

This photo shows part of the craft competition I introduced this year - where for £1 you could buy a pack (every pack was the same) - which contained some material, some bias binding, two buttons, a small zip and some embroidery thread - the objective was then to make an item which could be sold on the stall using some or all of the items (which could be combined with other things too) for £3.  Everyone who attended the garden party was given a voting slip where they put down the letter of the item they judged to be "best in show" and after three hours the votes were collated and I announced the winner - who received the princely sum of £5.  The competition raised over £25 for charity and everyone had fun making and judging so all in all a good success :)

I've recently been buying a few more very cheap but good quality second-hand clothes that will be useful for cutting up for the material and buttons/zips - thank goodness for table-top sales where everything is always £1 or under!!

I blogged about this yesterday - but we have been growing and finding out about carrots so if you want a freebie resource click on the button above to be taken to the blog page where you can get a copy :)

Finally, a bit of a shout out to the Celebrate the Small Things crew - who also post on a Friday - if you have something to celebrate you can let them know and they're such a supportive bunch you'll get lots of replies and comments :)  Thank you Lexa, Katie & L.G !
Click on the button to go there!
My post for this will be going up tomorrow so see you then!

Now it's your turn to share some of the things you've been getting on with or let me know what you think about the craft competition I ran?  Or what are you doing this weekend?  Or any good charity shop or table top purchases recently?  I'd love to know :)

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Counting Carrots

I thought I'd share something I designed (as we are into the growing season in school gardens up and down the land) and carrots are an easy crop to grow that appeals to many :)

As you know, many of the children I have worked with find problem solving difficult so I like to use graphics to aid their understanding.  By getting to read the question CAREFULLY and following the steps the children can begin to see how the problem can be solved and how we show this numerically. I would hope that in the future, they might be able to draw their own graphic to help them.  If you would like a copy of the sheets then click on the picture below.

I know the children have been fascinated by the fact that carrots do not only come in the colour orange!!
  Photo compliments of USDA Agricultural Research Service  Photo by Stephen Ausmus, USDA.

What new fact about a fruit or vegetable have you discovered recently?  Are you growing any differently coloured carrots in your gardens at the moment?

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Clipart Shout Out

As well as having to have the artistic talent, actually making clip-art is very time-consuming process. However, as clip-art is so useful for making teaching resources I am always pleased when I can find some offered for free that I know I can make use of!

Recently, I have found a number of new clipart artists and wanted to share their work with you.  If you want to be taken to their TpT store simply click on their graphic button :)

Alef Clipart

Ellie Lash

Mae Hates Mondays

 I have already used her sneaker clipart in an activity for Walk to School week

Miss Caprice

   Her donut clipart inspired me immediately so look out for a new freebie and product coming soon!


                            her unique style makes this clipart stand out from the crowd

Revi Devi

ReviDevi has produced a whole load of great quality clipart which she has given away free over the past few months.  I love her slightly vintage style and her lovely subjects - just right for primary school children.

D S Art

I hope this selection shows you some of what these talented artists can offer and if you do download any of their creations please make sure you leave them feedback - that after all makes it all worthwhile :)

I'd love to know if you create clipart or have you come across any awesome artists you would like to give a shout out too - so leave me a message :)