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At last I have finished (one of at least) the little owl matchbox zigzag accordions.

Little Owl Matchbox

The idea was to have a little character that can be moved from page to page as you read the story ( or poem ).

Zig Zag Accordion

Little Owl bookmark

This one is my own, but I have ideas for some other texts too. I have previously spent ages ( in small doses ) typing in Publisher to get the text formatted. It’s not Shakespeare – nor even a haiku, but I wanted 8 sentences so it neatly fits two booklets on an A4 sized sheet.

Sixteen pages are about the limit to fit inside the matchbox in lightweight card. I like to use this as it gives a crisp action to the accordion- but sometimes I have to use paper to fit more in ( as in the dark dark book , blogged here ).

WonkyGiraffe Accordiaon Book in a Matchbox

Sometimes there is an object in the bottom ( a mini owl stuffie is planned for the next one ) but this time I made a fold out nest to pop little owl in.

Little Owl in Matchbox

I still have lots of ideas; so there is a production line of sorts making a mess as it expands from the storage box, but it is under some sort control now. Here are some pictures of it all as a work in progress today.

I found a remnant of brocade woven as a colour test piece; perfect, as there are several strips just wide enough for a matchbox in just the right “bark looking” colours. I have forced myself to cover a handful so they will be ready when I do the next accordions (see- production economies of scale!)

Matchboxes

With this one I have gone for embellishing “print variation A”- (there are lots!) which has some line drawings done directly in Publisher, with pencil and wax crayon. I used some old ‘texture plates’ (children’s’ plastic ones) to get some interesting surface finishes along with the lovely soft Lyra pencils.

Colouring ZigZag Little Owl Matchbox story

The owl is one printed from one of several stamps I made out of some recycled scrap foam stuff. It is actually a little bigger, as it was originally made for the illusion rollers (for a movie workshop, and the owl funpack). I printed some with ink in the normal way, then I scanned them to resize and print them onto the zig zag.

Little Owl Story

The little owl was made in the same way, then cut out and backed with some teeny scraps of a vintage “it-looks-like-an-owl” fabric left over from the owl sew a softie kits! You can just see it in the photo with the pencils.

Phew! After typing and reading through all that I can’t believe I bothered! Completely time wasting, but it was actually fun to do. The next ones will be quicker!
Ha!
At least this one can go in the shop now.

Little Owl Matchbox FINISHED

Looks a bit worried about that doesn’t he?

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I wrote this a few weeks ago; and didn’t publish it, because I needed to look for the photos. I just found it scribbled on some scrap paper, and thought I really should just post it up anyway, because today is my last little baby’s birthday.

It was pretty traumatic at the time as I had eclampsia and she was 6 weeks early. Delivered by a real, full on emergency, “emergency caesarean” in the nick of time to save both our lives. A real little 3pound 6oz miracle. I didn’t get to see her for a day , so I didn’t feel like I had a baby at all until I did; anyway I guess it explains some of the feelings I have about creating. Hmm interesting…

It was some Spanish friends who gave her her first nickname “Muñequita”( Little dolly)!

My other babies arrived in a more normal fashion – also miracles of course, but just in a more normal way. LOL

So here it is:

When you make a creature – and you get to the last bit where you turn it right-side out, complete, that always feels (to me) like it’s being born then!
I know, nothing like as full on as really giving birth LOL.

However when I see the raggy object pop out of its bundle into something resembling a creature of some kind… well it feels like it has arrived – been born if you like. Of course it needs filling; or button eyes or something; but that moment when I see what I have made for the first time, right side out and all the bits attached, is when the thing becomes a creature, for me. I’m pretty sure I am not the only one who thinks like this. 🙂

Yesterday I “birthed” 4 pegbag creatures, the day before three “Owls”. Phew.

At least no actual pain involved with these babies!

Anyway; Happy Birthday Little Dolly.

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Very busy over the Easter Holidays, including two big events: the first at the museum.

Visitor stats – 3000 on the Sunday and 5000 on the Holiday Monday!
Not all came to make butterfly chains with me and my lovely volunteers, but it was rather busy…

Museum Volunteers - WonkyGiraffe

We made butterfly strings, to tie in with the end of an exhibition.

WonkyGiraffe flutterbys

I would normally put this activity out for children when I am not around, but they said ‘keep it simple – it will be busy’… and it was!
It’s such a simple activity but strangely (to me anyway) lots of children like just “colouring in” butterflies.

WonkyGiraffe flutterbys

WonkyGiraffe flutterbys

Sticking them on a string gives an extra creative element, so they can make it into something; to wave about, decorate their room,

WonkyGiraffe flutterbys

or as you can see on the older girls –

WonkyGiraffe flutterbys

to wear!

I will make an “Art Pack” of these (with extra bits in), for the shops, as lots of people asked me for copies of my instruction sheet and templates to use for parties and holidays.
Not too much appeal for boys ‘though, even with bees.

WonkyGiraffe Bee

So I couldn’t help myself taking extras for the second day, and we had lots of caterpillar bookmarks and bugs.

WonkyGiraffe Beetle String

WonkyGiraffe Beetle

I also made this chap

WonkyGiraffe Guardian

The guardian of the cash tin!
I didn’t think him very worthy, (I’m always disappointed with clay!)
So, like a brave grown up, I let him return to the clay bin once he’d finished guarding for the morning!
Now I feel kind of betraying, seeing his cheerful face…
but at least a kind person took his photo for me!

I was inspired by the talented potter, Bird Wallond * after seeing these cute owls she had made.

Bird Wallond Owls - WonkyGiraffe

She and her helpful sons (who helped me lots too) ran a “making clay heads” workshop with the children.

*Leave a comment if you want to contact her – I tried to persuade her to set up on Etsy or Folksy as she sells them!

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Well that’s the snow gone- back to the normal January sog now. Grim. This is also NOT helping with the light for taking photos; anytime after 12ish there is really noticeable blue cast, and by 2pm you can forget it- unless you want everything in “shades of cyan”. This is annoying ‘cause I need to take step by step ones for the owl/cat thing kit. 

Which,  by the way, is driving me mad. It’s my own fault, instead of just popping it in a box with one info sheet and a pattern I’ve done my usual OTT thing. Almost on it’s own it’s kind of morphed into a proper lesson with loads of creative variables! I ‘m realising the main element of my workshops is probably me; and I can’t replace that, even with loads of instructions. Hopefully the photos (even in blue tones) will help. Meanwhile I’m still typing… 

I want to make a kit that is not just a “do it this way” boxful, but something fun which gives creative choice and AND basic skill support. (Now I sound like a helpdesk!) 

Anyway here is a sneak preview of some “we prepared earlier”… 

Owl Cat Thing

Owl Cat Thing

 

The gallery has been started with an animated gif of some of the variations:- 

SewASoftie Flickr Gallery.

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Happy New Year 2010-    

Twenty Ten – how sci-fi that sounds!    

  This year Wonky is going to try to get to grips with typing-     

not easy when you’re a dyslexic giraffe!    

If only I typed as fast as I speak…    

Still in holiday mode here; well actually just achieving holiday mode, after a rather exhausting Christmas! (Nice though). I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much time preparing food in the kitchen. This may be the norm in some households but the kitchen is a room I’d happily dispense with 90% of the time. I dislike cooking so much that my daughter bought me this fridge magnet for my birthday a couple of days ago!      

Fridge Magnet photo

I was going to make a delicious dinner - then I remembered I don't cook

 

  I love it; it made me laugh so much. Actually I do, of course, cook. Reasonably well too I’m told (usually by desperate hungry people). I just moan about it so much everyone is beginning to think I don’t/can’t. Well, I did excel myself with daily spreads of home made goodies this year, or rather last year, which is why it only now feels like holiday time. I actually cleaned and tidied (OK removed tons of chaotic clutter) as well before Christmas; only so we could actually eat at the table and sit somewhere! So now I can enjoy some crochet or knitting- I daren’t get the sewing out quite yet as I’ve promised to start this year with starting to de stash….   

cue horror music… “THE LOFT”.    

  I’m also going to add these photos of the beautiful Narnia like, snow laden woods behind our house just before Christmas. I know lots of places get this all the time but for me it is a rare treat so I took masses of photos. I hope to use some in an art project soon- Narnia theatre boxes for the shop maybe.    



Through the gate and up into the wood

Through the gate and up into the wood
       

This beauty was the reward for sitting in the car in heavy (well, heavy for here) snowfall for the 4 hours it took to drive home, the evening before. Out of a car park and a mile along down the road! [High Wycombe was on the countrywide news as it was completely gridlocked; no one could get up, or down our steep hills!] It was miserable at the time- but the next day we met lots of people out enjoying the unexpected “proper” snow- all with stories of their experiences!! So it was worth it; especially this sweet vintage sledge,      

vintage wooden sledge with metal runners and red motif

vintage wooden sledge with metal runners and red motif

 

  and this one my son and Mr WG “wizzarded” up, on our kitchen floor, the instant it snowed – now that is a good use of the kitchen.     

homemade sledge

homemade sledge

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