Category: Knitting

Cephalopod Week 2017! (by )

Cephalopods are things like squid, octopi, cuttle fish and the nautilus or at least that is all there are today in the rock record it is quiet another matter. Ammonites with their curly shells pretty much ruled the seas at one point and were so wide spread and abundant and varied that we use them as markers in the geologic record i.e. you know what type of ammonite you've got - you know the time period the rock was formed.

Ammonite Ink Sketch

I love my fossil cephalopods (lit. head on legs) and the modern ones are pretty amazing too!

There are so many videos on youtube of them doing amazing things like escaping from jars and squeezing through very small gaps, mimicking walking and so on.

The Natural History Museum London has an entire twitter feed dedicated to cephalopods which is well worth a look and can be found here.

The Guardian has an article on Snake Stones i.e. our friends the ammonites again, which you can find here 🙂

The New York Times has an interesting article on the genetics and intelligence of squids and octopuses, which is stuff I am putting straight into one of science fiction stories as it really is quiet weird! You can find that article here.

Ever since I was a child I've loved the way cuttlefish skin changes colour, squid skin is pretty fab too 🙂

I also have one crotchet squid for my hair and one cuddly octopus for snuggling that have been given to me - surprisingly they are both purple 😉

Over at ChemKnits they happen to have collected a load of free patterns for our cephalopod friends which you can find here.

The drawing sheet still needs some work done on it but will soon be up for free down load though sadly not this week. I will also be creating two different boarders for it - one for workshops and one for the third of my adult colouring in books - Colouring Rocks!

Enjoy what's left of Cephalopod Week and I will try and do better next year 🙂

Sea Shanty Poetics (by )

This weekend (26th May 2017) there is The Tall Ships Festival in Gloucester and... The Sea Shanty Festival - for The Sea Shanty Festival I am running a poetry stage for two hours from 1 pm on the Saturday i.e. tomorrow! As part of the Gloucester Poetry Society. It's in the Kings Walk Shopping centre and is free to attend (Tall Ships Festival is not free but is amazing and we love it!).

Sneak Peak at mermaid outfit

I will be dressed as a mermaid - here are some sneak peaks at the out fit - the skirt is loom knitted and actually for the girls so is a little snug and see threw hence the shimmery cat suit 🙂

Knitted Mermaids tail

The girls are going as pirates and Alaric as a space pirate. I also have a treasure chest of poetry scrolls guarded by my little siren comrades!

Sirens in the treasure chest

These beautiful rag dolly mermaids are made by my friend Anne and are part of a series of stories I am writing but more on that around Christmas time 😉

Mermaids and poetry scrolls

The treasure chest is the papier mache thing I made for Jean's 4th birthday - it is still going strong!

Sirens guarding the poetry

I also have a new little poetry zine Sirens and Sea Foam, plus some kids poems from various Little Books of Poetry I am editing and compiling at the moment and maybe some other things but don't worry I am the compare filler and we have a whole host of poets and sea shanties and tales of the ocean to share!

Sirens and Sea Foam

Kind of hoping it's not too hot tomorrow or might just fry! (cos I'm a fish! Get it? 🙂 )

Today I am poeming and arting on a pig and I may have 9 pirate musicians staying at mine because that is just how my life is rolling at the moment 🙂

Also there is a Pirate Walk which if I survive I shall be taking part in!

May’s Challenges 2017 (by )

May is about my picture and children's books - there is a write a book/script a day challenge for the first week of the month. It's called NaPiBoWriWee and is actually more insane than the nanowrimo writing challenges 🙂

I have plenty of ideas for my picture books and zines so this is kind of a great way of actualising some of them 🙂

I am being slightly boring in that I am focusing on stories I kind of need finished for festival, workshops and my activity booklets anyway... but the plan is to kind of continue the challenge and actually spend this month working on my children's stories and picture books (and yes there is actually a distinction between the two groups - they heavily over lap but not completely - so I have kids books with no pictures and picture books that are not aimed at kids!).

So for those who want to know this means I am working on:

1) The Origami Story Box - this is a series so as long as I get number one done I will then work on it until I get bored 🙂

2) Scripts for the Paper Pals Theatre - same as above really only these are scripts for making the puppets act!

3) Folded Friends - again another series and yes it involves the origami and paper craft creations but this one involves humans too 🙂

4) The Little Books - there is lots of finishing up to do for The Little Book of Spoogy Poetry like finally putting it on Amazon and making sure the audio is out, same with The Little Book of Festive Poetry, then The Little Book of Easter Poetry needs to be put together and zined and The Little Book of Baby Poetry needs recording and zining. There are also many many more that are written but not edited or illustrated so probably going to get bored before completion here as well 🙂

5) City Scum (might be Scum City I can never remember!) - this is Alaric's role playing game and I need to finish the illustrations for it!

6) Activity Booklets - these are booklets I create to accompany workshops, they contain stories, games, facts and stuff to make and do. Main focus is Cuddly Science 2, Salaric's Arty Activity Booklet, Funky Folding, Spring Time Activities and Summer Activities.

7) Colouring Books - finishing off my Myths colouring book, sorting some sort of year thing for Love: A Stranger Dream, finish the Autumn Colouring In Booklet and make a Spring and Summer version.

8) Admin stuff - sort out Orange Monster which is my illustrations and kids books blog and in general sort out my art work and writing into easier archives for searching, sort more places to sell products etc...

9) Graphic Novels - I have unfinished The Punk Universe comics so getting them finished and planning out the other story lines 🙂

10) Zines and things - there is stuff waiting to be scanned, edited, printed, folded, stapled, and the Wiggly Pets blog needs some work on it.

This is obviously a lot of stuff which I doubt I'll get through but it gives me clear goals and shows me exactly what there is to do 🙂

My only concern is that there is no room for random creation - but then that does have a tendency to just happen anyway so maybe that's not a bad thing?

And that is just the writing side of things... so apparent from that little lot I am also having a finishing things off month again. So the aim is to try and finish one started project or work on a larger already started project each day - at the moment this is mainly things like candle making and knitting

Suppose I'd better get on with it all then 🙂

The Jan Recap… (by )

It's the end of January so what has gone on in the household snell-pym in the first month of 2017?

For a start there was the end of Christmas, I am still making the last few Advent vids ready for Christmas next year. We delivered presents though sadly not all the presents so we still have a back log!

Also mine and Mary's birthdays - mine involved a coffee, meal and shopping with Al before hospital stuff but we have only just done the proper celebration with kids and friends this weekend just gone which was also Mary's birthday. There was also posh vegan/Gluten Free brunch. Mary has so far played in the Waterstones cafe with her friend Lilly as her party is going to be in two weeks time. We've planned the party and got stuff ready for it.

This includes me working out how to make upcycled unicorn head bands and tail belts and little roll and pop up horses for the kids to make.

My mother was hospitalised so there was a trip to Essex and the adventures of getting home on the train which were unexpected.

DIY wise we have fixed several toys, remounted a coat rack which had pulled off the wall, dealt with networking and upgrading Jean's computer.

We got a telescope - an amazing thing which was a pool of Christmas money instead of presents for Al and Jean and part of mine and Mary's birthdays. We've seen binary stars so far. It was an undertaking to assemble and we now need to build a storage/transport box but it is assembled and being looked through though we've only had like three clear nights!

I've had three lots of testing at the hospital which took it's toll and norovirus hit the household. I missed a theatre meeting about performing a monologue and a poetry recording evening but I am being given second chances at those so that's all good.

I also missed my Krav self defence one off class and a poetry book launch which made me sad but on the other hand I was live streamed reading poetry at Food For Thought.

Talking of poetry I have also been typing up and editing poems from the BOOKCASE (Not shelf) of notebooks I have. The shear number is insane obv. not all of it is usable but a lot is so I have been organising Turquoise Monster and have even started submitting work again (as in 2 poems so far). I've written three poems this month predictable all about Trump. Of course I am doing my poetry writing challenges so I've drafted a good few more mostly not about Trump.

Jan has also been me gearing up for the poetry writing challenge that I host over at Wopo.

I have also designed, refined and created mini poetry scrolls, story scrolls, made bookwallets etc... for blank scrolls for others to write poetry on, personalised pencils and made write your own poem kits, made and put together 100 mini zine surprise pouches, story boarded two more zines, drafted half a short story, edited a couple of flash fictions, tried to write daily on this blog and started on the mammoth task of trying to sort out the Salaric Craft blog.

Also Storystorm - what used to be Picture Book Idea Month has rebranded and moved to Jan. so I have been idea generating and expanding on those ideas for kids books.

Alaric has been making a cufflink holder for the cufflinks I made him for Advent, the girls have been making invites and decorations for Mary's party and we have all been working on the cosplay outfits for True Believers Comic Festival which is this weekend coming. This has involved sewing, sticking, painting, metal twisting, papier mache and buying new wellys.

I had to get a third print run of my colouring book Love: A Stranger Dream made and in general have been trying to sort out The WigglyPets Press.

I have been teaching myself origami and have folded lit. hundreds of things from geometric modules to make bigger things from to little stand up foxes to pretty little boxes.

We've organised things for getting back down the allotment, so just sorting out containers for soil etc...

I've knitted four hats, made an Ironman craft kit, taken the kids to two (not us) birthday parties. Three projects are still currently being designed and refined including mending a rocking horse that is older than me. I accidently made a pair of slippers from an old coat whilst trying to make a portal gun (please tell me this happens to other people!).

Alaric made my laptop usable again (for now) and we had a chicken fatality 🙁 and we had to fix the chicken run and stuff and general animal stuff to sort out. We've got our new electric car and there was pie making!

NB pie was not chicken Al is veggi!

Jean is still at Scouts, Jujitsu, and Drama and Mary is doing her Ballet, both girls are missing climbing but for one of the parties we did get to go "caving". Alaric is still doing Krav and Hackspace each week. Oh and of course we had to do my tax (sobs!).

There were also visits from and too various family.

So that was January - it snowed and it rained and there was scary fog.

The Hackspace Grand Opening (by )

Those of you who follow me on various social media will have seen the photos of Cheltenham Hackspace new premises being spruced up and that is because tomorrow (well today now!) is the grand opening 😀

Sunday 4th of December - if you are local then please pop along - hackspaces or createspaces are made by and for the community and we'd love to meet you 🙂

I'll be taking along steam punk and textile stuff to be working on and have plenty of spare so others can have a go! There is plenty to see and people to talk to and skill share with 🙂

Also I have been making craft videos for Advent as it turns out it is the tenth Christmas of Salaric Crafts How To Blog!!!

Of course I only have 2 vids up and it is now technically day 4 - annoyingly obsolete laptop is obsolete and is being a pain in the backside but I shall continue limping along with it and hopefully get the other two vids to you some time tomorrow!

I also have a craft fayre Monday at the Costa Coffee on Metz Way in Gloucester 🙂 Mainly taking Wiggly Pet Press stuff with a bit of Steam Punk etc...

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