30 days of creativity – Day 25 – Zen Doodling

30 day creativity challenge Day  25, monochrome mindfulness

It only seems last week that I got my first box from Crafty Creatives. I get one a month because I’m worth it, and because it’s become fun to do stuff like this with my 10 year old son.

Box 15’s theme is black and white and as before the box is generously rammed with goodies, including a nice, thick papered notebook and a very gorgeous fineliner. Crafty Creatives have suggestions on their blog and Zen Doodling was mentioned.

I’ve seen doodles like this before and I didn’t realise it was a ‘thing’ that had a name. It’s clearly a big thing if you look on Pinterest, people get really into it! There are websites devoted it it!

box15zen

It’s not difficult and you can’t really mess it up. You draw a load of squiggles on a page and fill in the shapes you make with patterns. It’s tricky thinking of patterns sometimes, and it’s trickier for me not to get all perfectionist on it. Working with a ten year old knocks that on the head though. Some of these I did with my son, some I did on my own. We have been taking it in turns to fill in boxes and its become a restful, meditative process which gets him to shut the fuck up for 5 minutes so that is good.

The notebook and pen live on the sofa now so we can watch films and argue over who’s turn it is to doodle next.

The rest of the Crafty Creatives box is yet to be explored but the main kit bit of it is a needle felted sheep. Sadly our needle broke but they have great customer service and they are sending us a new one! Hooray!

http://www.craftycreatives.com/

https://www.facebook.com/craftycreatives

https://twitter.com/craftycreatives

You can see the reason this started and the rest of the days here – http://www.ragbaby.co.uk/1120-2/

And if you want to join in we have a Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/154085144775381/
Over on Crackbook a bunch of us are going to be working through Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: A Course in Enhancing Creativity and Artistic Confidence

The first exercises are to draw a self portrait, your hand and something else I can’t remember so you can see improvement. Then you move onto drawing a vase from a silhouette. You can see the vase exercise here – http://drawright.com/vaceface.htm.

The plan is to do an exercise every Sunday from the book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 days of creativity – Day 24 – Crafty Creatives Box

30 day creativity challenge Day  24, a box of goodies.

Disclosure  – I’m reviewing this because I like it, I wasn’t given a free box to review, this is totally unbiased.

A while ago, as a treat to myself for being dumped out of the blue by a dickhead going through a mid life crisis I signed up for a monthly box from Crafty Creatives.

For just under £13 delivered you get a box of goodies and instructions to make things once a month, each with a different theme. Past themes have included Steampunk and Glamour but this months theme is Western.

Opening the box is exciting as the contents are concealed behind rather lovely paper. Inside the box are kits with full instructions to make a dream catcher and a rope basket, a card with a rather lovely drawing of an Indian headdress on one side and a list of what’s in the box on the other.

It’s all carefully thought out and put together, it looks enticing and I have a 10 year old son who can’t wait to dive in and make something.

To be honest my heart sank when I saw the dreamcatcher kit, it’s not my kind of thing, but I’ve never made one before, and it is my son’s kind of thing, so that is all good. The instructions were clear and it was pretty easy to do. We worked on it together and he still has to finish it off.

1173731_426951220756007_1790356222_n

The other set of detailed instructions was for the rope basket. This required a bit of muscle so he started it and I finished it off. It’s become a basket to put rings into so it has a good use in our house.

1186013_427467807371015_900720119_n

We had a go bleaching the denim bits that came in the kit, my son was impressed that they might have been worn by a real cowboy. I am really not sure what we are going to do with these.

993371_427468734037589_1659937679_n

The rest of the kit has turquoise beads, a tiny stone bear, star studs, a bit of fleece with a native American pattern on it, metal feather charms, suedette trim, some tapestry thread and some lovely craft paper. My only criticism is that there are not more ideas for things to do. I have a rule that everything I make has to have a use or a purpose, being pretty just isn’t enough.

Crafty Creatives link to their Pinterest for denim ideas but I could really do with a nice chunky blog with clear tutorials we could dip into.

On the whole, what I love about this is that it is painless,  it’s all there for for you, no need to research, no need to think, just use your hands to make something.

For the money, this has so far given us around 3 hours of crafting, we have both learned something, it’s been great to do it together and there is plenty more to do. I think if you went out and bought the bits it would probably cost you more.  I am looking forward to the next box, and if anyone has any ideas for things we can make (that are actually useful) with the rest of the kit I’d appreciate it.

http://www.craftycreatives.com/

https://www.facebook.com/craftycreatives

https://twitter.com/craftycreatives

You can see the reason this started and the rest of the days here – http://www.ragbaby.co.uk/1120-2/

And if you want to join in we have a Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/154085144775381/
Over on Crackbook a bunch of us are going to be working through Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: A Course in Enhancing Creativity and Artistic Confidence

The first exercises are to draw a self portrait, your hand and something else I can’t remember so you can see improvement. Then you move onto drawing a vase from a silhouette. You can see the vase exercise here – http://drawright.com/vaceface.htm.

The plan is to do an exercise every Sunday from the book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 days of creativity – Day 23 – Somerset Rural Life Museum

30 day creativity challenge Day  23, getting crafty.
I’ve driven past the Somerset Rural Life Museum hundreds of times assuming that it was an expensive attraction. In fact, it’s a free museum and if you catch it at the right time there are loads of things to do there.

We (me and my 10 year old) accidentally went on Family Harvest Day by noticing the ice cream sign for the cafe, then noticing the massive great threshing machine outside. A team of people were making bales of hay, feeding straw into one end of an amazing huge machine with lots of pulleys.

Ice cream came first, it was very nice Marshfield, the tea was served in willow pattern china which I always appreciate, then we noticed that it was free admission. Yippee!

Downstairs was a lady making corn dollies, and she taught me how to join straw so you can make bigger things. We both made carrots, we didn’t really aim to make carrots but they turned out that way. I’m happy.

somerset

Photos by ten year old.

In the kitchen room (where there is a patchwork curtain!) there was going to be a baking on a range demo, but we missed that because we went upstairs. T made a really cool tree out of a paper bag then spent 2 hours on an Inkle loom weaving while I helped and talked to some really lovely people about crafts and history. They sell the looms for £18 which is such a total bargain I am now kicking myself, but I have their email address so I can see if they are in Bristol ever.

We had so much fun we missed lunch and didn’t notice.

You can see the reason this started and the rest of the days here – http://www.ragbaby.co.uk/1120-2/

And if you want to join in we have a Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/154085144775381/
Over on Crackbook a bunch of us are going to be working through Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: A Course in Enhancing Creativity and Artistic Confidence

The first exercises are to draw a self portrait, your hand and something else I can’t remember so you can see improvement. Then you move onto drawing a vase from a silhouette. You can see the vase exercise here – http://drawright.com/vaceface.htm.

The plan is to do an exercise every Sunday from the book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mine all mine – Rebejoo jewellery

321025_404380186313729_512935958_n

This scrunched up bit of recycled metal pendant from Rebejoo is mine all mine, and I love it. The middle bit is loose so I can fidget with it, it’s delicate and clumsy all at the same time, a bit like me. It’s made by a bloke called Dave in Southampton who uses bits of everything to make new things. He calls it “Alternative, industrial, cyber/goth and steampunk” but because every piece is totally unique it’s impossible to categorise. I think he is led in his design by the fates and what he feels like that day. It’s called ‘Rebejoo’ because it’s ‘recycled’ & ‘bijou” though some of his stuff is pretty chunky.

If anyone wanted to buy me a present, because I am worth it/sad/happy/ugly/gorgeous/stinky/lovely/horrible etc…. whatever reason, they might consider this one which is a total bargain for £12 and has a little squashed person at the bottom of it.

954678_502330973185316_1104401837_n

You can see more of Rebejoo and stock up for Xmas before his very reasonable prices go up (which they really should) here – https://www.facebook.com/Rebejoo and you can get more background information about Dave on his blog – rebejoo.blogspot.co.uk

I only give good reviews for things I like, I’ve not been bribed to write this and I don’t bullshit, Rebejoo is good.

 

Vents at Club 1980 – aka the Birdcage

The Birdcage is a weird venue with little pixie boy barmen. I like little pixie boy barmen, they make nice G&T’s with Tanqueray.

It’s a weird venue because there is a lot going on in there. Cakes next to beer, shoes and clothes for sale next to coffee machines, huge sofas next to a tiny stage underneath a load of bicycles stuck to the wall. It’s all very confusing. The best bit about this place is the hallway and the loo. The walls are covered in pages from 70’s and 80’s music magazines, Playboy, the odd gay propaganda flyer and classical music manuscript. That I like a lot.

It wasn’t full at all but some stupid fucking bint stood in front of me and sometimes on me so my view of the stage was restricted. She was clearly blind or very very thick, I’m a 10 stone 5ft 6 ginger woman, and I’m hard to miss.

Vents at the Birdcage

Vents are 2 people, 2 gorgeously discordant guitars, one amazing voice and a backing track. Things went wrong but no one cared, I had fun. The singer Emily is a whole lot prettier than the light makes her look in the photo and even if she was piss shit ugly no one would care, she has great legs and like I said, an amazing voice. She’s all the best bits of Patti Smith with a bit of Siouxsie Sioux that can actually sing in tune.

You can see for yourself here:

 

Middle Ninfa Campsite

I’d had enough of inner city sirens and a 10 year old off school for 2 weeks questioning me about pi, pedantically correcting my grammar and generally doing my head in big time. I really needed a very quiet place to be on my own.

Generally I go to Llanthony for a bit of solitary camping but you tend to get neighbours there, usually very nice but people all the same and I really didn’t want to see anyone. So I googled and found Middle Ninfa; a campsite split into smaller more secluded campsites with a sauna!

Middle Ninfa is up a very steep track indeed. My elderly Astra did very well though I feared for it’s clutch. There are really detailed getting there instructions which are worth reading because it’s not obvious where to turn off and up.

I was really lucky to get the Dixie field which has enough room for a tent and a campfire. Occasionally a horse squeezes it’s way in as well.
Dixie Field at Middle Ninfa

horse at middle ninfaNow I am not that comfortable around horses, I don’t really see the point of them, we have cars to get around and they don’t crap quite as much. This one was ok and supervised me putting up my tent. It didn’t mind bad horse jokes, though actually I was trying to offend it into leaving because it kept snorting and making me jump.

Camping cost me £6 and firewood £2.50. I really appreciate that in the firewood bag you get a mixture of kindling and thicker wood, it’s the kind of thoughtful touch that makes Middle Ninfa special. There are a couple of compost loos and a place to wash dishes and brush your teeth with running water.

I didn’t get to go in the sauna because there is a sign saying don’t do it alone in case you pass out.

The views around the site make risking your clutch worthwhile. The view from my site wasn’t the best but it was still pretty good. Better than the grotty house across the road from me which usually greets me when I wake up.

This picture shows the view from the field next to me.

view from middle ninfa

If you are feeling in a more social mood there are plenty of choices, a main camping field which looked nice and flat, and smaller ones which they only every rent out to one whole group so it would be a great place for a camping birthday party. There are lawn games you can borrow for free and plenty of walking to do as long as you don’t mind hills.

On the whole this is a really well organised, friendly, easy to stay at camp site. I will be back.

www.chapel-marketing.com/middleinfa

www.facebook.com/middleninfa

 

 

 

The Perverts at the Stag and Hounds 1st March 2013

The Perverts at the Stag and Hounds This was an accidental night out. We had been to the Thekla to see the mullet sisters (AKA Deap Valley). I was going to write about them but I’m too bitter because they are half my age and probably half my dress size, think JD is a whisky and can only play 3 chords, barre chords at that. Anyway, on the way home we stopped into the Stag and Hounds and paid a bargain £3 each for a Riot Grrls or whatever night. The pub has stages in two rooms on two different floors so it’s easy to get stuck downstairs when you are wedged into the sofa and miss what is going on upstairs.

Luckily I didn’t miss the Perverts.

I was drawn in initially by the dead cat on the mantlepiece but then totally transfixed by the insane gesticulations of the lead singer and the nasty screetching noises coming from the guitarist and various electronic things. The pair stood too far apart for me to get a picture of both of them, probably because the lead singer flails and stomps madly. In fact the whole thing is mad flailing stomping genius.

Here are the lyrics to Myra Pop:

“PUNCH UP WITH FATHER.
IM A BAD GIRL. AGED 8.
MY TREAT OF THE WEEK IS TO BEAT UP KIDS AGED 6 TIL LATE.

I MET IAN ON HIS TIGER CUB MOTORCYCLE.

CATHOLICS HAVE IT HARD,
THERE’S NOT ENOUGH PINK RINSE, GERMAN WINE AND LESBIAN WARDENS TO GO AROUND.

I MET IAN THROUGH WORLD WAR TWO HORRORS.

OH MEINE KINDER. OH MEINE KINDER. MYRA’S COMING TO GET YOU.”

There are never enough lesbian wardens to go around, it’s true.

You need to see them live to appreciate them and luckily you can because someone has put them on YouTube, Hooray.

Want more? Blow the dust off your debit card and invest £3 in a download of their album, Bacon Sandwich.

The Ghoulies at the Stag and Hounds April 14th 2013

The Ghoulies at the Stag and Hounds

The Stag and Hounds is one of my favorite venues. It’s a crumbling pile of a pub with wobbly floors, chandeliers, a real stags head with a manky ear, nice beer and very often lots of new bands.

Last night, denied the death metal gig we thought was on elsewhere we stumbled upstairs at the Stag to find the Ghoulies playing.  Any lead singer who starts a song with ‘Here’s one for all you ladies out there tonight…..DIE!’ gets my vote, I’m immediatly very impressed. There is a whole load of big beard action going on, a drummer who almost levitates and screaming teenage angsty vocals with fantastic dirty hypnotic guitars. They describe themselves as ‘Hammer House Rock’  and to make it you mix even amounts of  60’s surf sound, some really clever bass riffs, the Munsters, early Dr Who sound effects and some booming Beefheart. Bake upstairs in a falling down pub for half an hour and you have the Ghoulies. Fab, just fab.