Category: Art and Craft

Universal Misdirection (by )

This morning is the first morning alone since the miscarriage as Alaric has had to go to work in Cheltenham, I did last night with just me and Mary but mainly she went to bed and I made Christmas cards until Al and Jean came in.

This is a whole day of empty house - so I decided to make more cards - I like making cards. I made it up to my attic, rested, looked through things until I found my crate of card making things... I bought it down stairs - my stomach is now unsurprisingly hurting and cramping up again. I'm not quiet sure what I was thinking, but in my defence it wasn't a heavy crate.

Anyway - I have made lit. hundreds of cards - no idea what I am going to do with them - I want to make more as well. I think I'll just put them out as "pay what you want" at the 2 craft fairs I am doing. And of course we wont have to buy any cards...

Mainly this is a distraction - I am trying not to think too hard whilst on my own. I've finally started my NaNoWriMo and got to 1000 words last night - again I was on my own with Mary in bed and I needed to blot my own thoughts out or rather have them on the perifery where I can think about them but not always feel them.

I still have a living room full of Christmas Craft stuff I'd gotten ready to run workshops with when it all went wrong. The kids and their friends keep randomly making things out of them.

Tuesday I went for my physio/neurology appointment for treatment to do with the head injury. The universe being the universe decided to kick me or attempt to a healiness or something and my physio had chosen that day to announce she was pregnant and going off on maternity leave - not that she needed to announce it what with her little belly.

Then I had to tell her what was wrong and why I hadn't been doing my exercises and why I was having a huge flare up of concussion symptoms. I am not sure who the appointment was harder for but she handled it well and head injury stuff is on a break for a month until I recover from this.

And also it might be aneamia causing alot of the problems so I need to go to my GP and have a review with the head injury team to try and sort things out. I am mucking up numbers again - I ordered the wrong knitting needles that I needed to finish a project off and I order twice as much mega chunky huge wool/yarn to do make Jean's rug with than I need.

But I managed to go for a short walk around the block and to make some food yesterday which is a huge inprovement. This was increadibly important yesterday as they day started pretty roughly with another kick in the teeth from the universe - we have a letter from the hospital for the Dr surgery but I've needed a lot of looking after and there have been alot of things to cancel/book etc... for Alaric to sort out and the up shot is the Dr surgery didn't yet know about me loosing the baby so I get a phone call from a super chirpy midwife congratulating me.

I said. "oh... no"

And obviously they were startled by this - I then explained with my voice getting quieter and higher in pitch. The phone call had woken me up, I had not slept well due to stabbing pains shooting through me. I'd only answered because I thought it would be the person saying the combined ashes had been scattered.

I should have tried to book more bloods then like the physio had told me too but before I could the midwife said she was sorry and didn't know what to say and then said goodbye. I cried. It would have been the day we had the next scan to see if the baby was still growing or was dead so it wouldn't have been a good timing for the phone call what ever.

I'd cried once we left the physio appointment too - I just can't help but think "thank Universe" over this at the moment.

On top of that I am angry at the universe - this means I end up in internet arguments with 50 yr old men who think they know more about the second world war than me. Or that women just plan can't understand strategy etc... Thank goodness my dad doesn't think like this and as he says he's 70!

He's a star and spent an hour on the phone talking to me about military history snippets he'd picked up he thought I might not have heard yet - he is a good distraction - knitting is a good distraction - shame the project is a breast feeding shawl but it was started for this pregnancy or even for me so I think I'm ok with it.

I realise that the two books I was supposed to have out before Christmas are not going to really happen but I have started to prod them a little further towards the finishing line - they were going to be tight anyway and with everything that's happened and me not even really sure of day/week I think it's best to just let the projects complete when they complete.

My inlaws have been wonderful - phoning up from South Africa and Brighton and offering support etc... and friends too - from all the different stages and parts of our lives.

Physically I am getting there (as long as I don't try to do stuff) and emotionally - well I'm a mess but I think that is the healthy thing at this stage - only time will tell on that one.

Can I have Christmas now?

Mad but Lovely Times! (by )

Things have been pretty mad here! There have been Science Festivals, poetry festival, scare acting and a whole host of other things! Last week saw SMASHfest at Gloucester Library which was super super amazing and Cuddly Science had a fab time.

The Wiggly Pet Press launched the Gloucester Poetry Societies first book Poetry without Pretension at the The Gloucester Poetry Festival and Salaric Art and Craft have been out and about doing Upcycling projects and drawing like fiends!

And of course all three of those things are me plus the acting! This last week alone saw me filmed for TV, interviewed for radio and though I wasn't in the photo Cuddly Science was photographed for the newspaper. I have so many photos and things to share and November is looking pretty exciting too with more acting, Christmas craft workshops, archaeology digs, singing, Diversity, literature and poetry Festivals, craft fayres, community outreach and museum gigs! I am no longer taking bookings for 2017 sorry about that but I really am full!

And that's without all the domestic stuff like my hospital appointments and halloween/fireworks events for kids etc... not to mention Nanowrimo and stuff.

Spoogy Woogy Oooogy! (by )

Monday night I inflicted my childrens poetry on an audience in the Waterstones Cheltenham as part of the Villanelles series run by The Gloucester Poetry Society.

Sarah reading The Little Book of Spoogy Poetry at Waterstones Cheltenham

This beautiful photo of the reading was taken by Kurt Schroeder Photography which is a challenge as I can't really do flash photography and the light levels were poor!

The Little Book of Spoogy Poetry

The The Little Book of Spoogy Poetry has been getting out and about again - Last weekend saw me take the baby yeti (Alaric) to Cheltenham Library along with El Nosy Rat for the Fun Palaces Event.

Sarah Snell-Pym reading from The Little Book of Spoogy Poetry at Cheltenham Library

It's interesting to note that the outfit Alaric is wearing is the reason there is a poem with the line "One Daddy dressed as a Yeti" in it and now he puts the outfit on for the poetry readings! It was originally made for a Yeti Hunt when we first started up the Cranham Scouting sections 🙂

A Hiding Baby Yeti at the Cheltenham Library Fun Palace Event 2017

At the poetry readings he is a naughty baby yeti who is also very shy and has a habit of hiding until the children call him to come out! This time the baby yeti stole Jean's shoes! When I took him to the climbing wall he kept hanging upside down! That baby YETI!

El Nosy Rat entertaining small child at the Cheltenham Libraries Fun Palace 2017

El Nosy Rat also features in one of the poems which he is a bit disgruntled about as it feels it gives rats a bad name! He is a relatively new member of the performance team and is also known as Ratty The Plague Rat/Black Death Rat when he comes out on Cuddly Science outings 🙂

El Nosy Rat and Mummy Eating Cherry Pie Cloth Patch

He is a big hit with the kids and talks with a bit of an Eastend twang. In the photo above he his holding on of the lovely cloth patches of the Mummy Eating Cherry Pie (one of the poems and illustrations from the book). I had these made last year and they are in some of my surprise pouches! These were made by White Wizard Purple Elf who also made Jean's beautiful dark fairy hoody. Talking of surprise pouches I did kind of forget I they were also glitter bombs so covered the Children's Library in glitter 0.o

Halloween and Autumn Colouring In sheets by Sarah Snell-Pym

Last year I also spent ages tracing some of the pictures from the book so that I could turn them into black and white colouring sheets. The idea is that eventually all the illustrations will be up for free down load and maybe even as an actual colouring book. I tend to be a bit slow going with this as I do a little bit every September and October. But it did mean that this year I had lots of pictures ready for digital clean up and conversion to colouring in sheets 🙂

I am steadily popping them all on WigglyPets Press - including the older ones I made which have some colour traits like the pumpkin outlines being orange 🙂

There are still quiet a few to be traced and scanned still but that along with new audio files will have to await my new computer!

And talking of audio files don't forget you can listen to the poems on my bandcamp though it is still missing it's story and song to be a proper collection 🙂

Or you can watch a much younger Jeany reading the poems and a baby Mary trying to join in 🙂

I only have about 20 of my original print run left, after they have gone the book will be a more expensive print on demand thing on Amazon. And a second volume is also wending it's way to completion 🙂

But that will be a tale for another year!

But before I leave you I shall explain why it is the Spoogy book and not a Spooky book - when she was 4 yrs old Jean asked me if we could make a poetry book for halloween and so we did about topics she picked... that book was all hand drawn and written and did not contain all ten poems that later appeared in The Little Book it also got a cup of water knocked over on it shortly after it's creation as Jean has it in her tray table next to her bed - the tray table where she was allowed her night time water as if it was spilt it would all stay in the tray!

The 4 yr old Jean could not say Spooky - 4 yr old Jean said Spoogy and the book was for her, I've been asked to change it for "proper" publication but the poems are what they are - first and for most for my kids and the Spoogy bit is an essential part of that. If you are interested here is the blog post from when I made the book back in 2009.

Fun Palace Coming to Cheltenham Library 2017 :) (by )

Cuddly Science Poster for Cheltenham Library

Last year we went to a grass root community event in a disused shop in Gloucester organised by Nickie Wildin. It was part of a national movement of Fun Palaces, to fight austerity and bring arts, science and culture to... well... EVERYONE - this is one of the centre tenants to both Cuddly Science and Salaric Craft - me and Alaric believe that science and art are for everyone.

You can read and see photos of last years event here.

This year we are at Cheltenham Library on Saturday the 7th of October 2017 organised by Stephanie Organ and boy do we have a line up! There is poetry by Angela France, robots with Oh Bot who we met at the Cheltenham Science Festival, there are language sessions, crafting, Cheltenham Hackspace... and so on - just check out the posters!

I am there as both Cuddly Science and Salaric Craft complete with puppets, Alaric dressed as a yeti and surprise poetry pouches!

I am just a little bit excited about this!!!

Fun Palace Event Poster Cheltenham Library

Upcycled Table Centres and Jewellery (by )

paper flowers

Tomorrow I am running two of my Sustainability Series of workshops as Salaric Craft at Gloucester Cathedral as part of their Sustainability and Harvest Festival - it marks the 1st yr anniversary of the solar panels going live and is part of an on going development process to make the Cathedral green and sustainable.

Upcycled Flowers

One of the workshops is making paper flowers from old magazines and books and turning them into table centres and displays, this includes making the "vases", basket making, and weaving paper and is adaptable to all skill levels.

Jean weaving paper

The other workshop is creating jewellery from reclaimed materials, this is another upcycling workshop - some of the materials are "rubbish" like old paper, card, bottle tops and some things that were surplus to requirements and were saved from becoming needless landfill like half used bottle of nail vanish and metal washers.

Paper beads

The Sustainability Series of workshops and talks that I have designed as part of Salaric is very important to me as I believe it a) helps people learn skills that maybe life changers or even life savers and b) it helps people become more aware of the waste and issues surrounding the environment and hopefully will help curb things like global warming c) it gives people ideas of cheap ways to fix, repair and make things which in these times of austerity is something that many people need (p.s. these workshops are free tomorrow 🙂 )

Upcycled Tag Bracelet

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales