Saturday, 2 June 2012

Jubilee Busy

I'm finally back down to one couse again (Woo hoo!) having just submitted my final assignment for Children's Literature last week. I read through my essay again last night, and I've made so many stupid mistakes I'm rather cross with myself. Fingers crossed for 70% or more...

I have an extension for my Linguistics assignment. It was due in the last Monday, but my tutor has allowed me an extra week because, to be quite honest, I got too far behind trying to get my Children's Literature assignment together, and then Mr Bogert was away on a work thing and the Smaller Person wasn't quite himself.

Whilst I haven't been on here quite as regularly as I would have liked, we have been super busy with various things going on. I thought I'd start by sharing some of the Jubilee related things we have been up to.

We have had various newsletters sent home from school. Alexandra spent an hour at an after school session helping make a robot for the Kenilworth Arts Festival schools competition. Years 1 and 2 (5-7 year olds) created the fantastic 'Liz Bot' with her vacuum cleaner Corgis and lots of mini robots to spell out her name. We went along to the Festival to see it on display. It ended up winning first place and is now on display at the 'Machinery, Art and Design Museum' in Sheep Street, Stratford. One ofthe teachers is also sending a photograph to HRH Queen Elizabeth II aswell.

The PTA requested 'Jolly Jars' for thier tombola at the Garden Fete Fair: jars filled with red, white and blue things and decorated. We sent red,white and blue play dough with tiny red and blue cutters, a jar with make your own red, white and blue bunting, a jar with red, white and blue craft bits (ribbon, pom poms, glitter glue etc) and a jar with red, white and blue face paint, balloons, party poppers and sweets. Alexandra actually won 3 other people's jars with 6 tickets: sweets, balloons and face paint. The Fete went really well and it was a hot sunny day. All of the pupils were presented with a special printed leather bookmark to comemorate the Jubilee.

For the same event, the children were asked to bring a vegetable look-alike or animal into school. There were some absolutely brilliant ones. Alexandra had a fantastic idea to make a head like the queen. She was talking about it and thinking of ideas as soon as she knew and was chatting away with Grandpa (who suggested a turnip for the nose) talking about what fruit or vegetables could be used for each part. The night before she sat down to put her ideas into practice. Hard as she tried she couldn't get the cocktail sticks to go in, so under her direction, I put the sticks in for her. She did eveything else, and I think she did an amazing job, and so did the judges because she won first prize! She won a mini scarecrow and a grow your own tomatoes kit. She's so pleased!

Alexandra entered a drawing into the Coventry Evening Telegraph 'My Jubilee' Competition, but we haven't seen anything printed in the paper yet, and unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture before it went in the post. She did a lovely pencil drawing of the queen sitting at a big table with people and bunting and a union jack.

She also entered a Church art competition through school. St Barnabus', down the road from her school, asked for children to create a portrait of the Queen for the competition as part of the Jubilee celebrations. She copied a photograph that was in the paper. The art work has been on display all week for the public to vote for the winners. We went along on Friday to see the exhibition, enjoy nibbles cakes and drinks and hear the winners anounced.

They had around 150 entries in total, which is brilliant. The Mayor of Kenilworth came to announce winners and hand out trophies. They split the entries into infant and junior school children and awarded first, second and third prizes for both age groups. There were so many good drawings, paintings, collages and even a tapestry. I almost wasn't ready when the Mayor called Alexandra's name for 3rd prize for the infant section. She was so pleased, she went skipping up to the front with a huge grin. It's half term now for us here in the UK, so she will be taking her trophy an rossette into school after the week long break.

Alexandra's school had a special Jubilee tea party for the last day of school on Thursday, and the children were asked to come dressed as royalty or in red white and blue. Given the choice, the Small Person went for the Queen option (I knew she would!). We used her gold dress that my Mum made for her a few Christmas' ago, and I sewed her a blue sash and attached a brooch. I also made her a crown using some glittery gold PVC that was given to me a while ago by Potato Salad Heather and The Boy. It is covered in mosaic mirror tiles and plastic gems.

She looked lovely going into school, and even her school bus driver got down from the coach when he picked her up in the morning and bowed down to 'her Royal Highness'. That really made her day.

This past week she has also been working on 3 entries for the NAC show this weekend. They have a homecraft section with competitions. My Mum has entered several of the adult categories. The judging takes place tomorrow morning. The Small Person has made and decorated a golden crown. I saw her sat with the crown I had made for school, copying the shape (well, trying her best to: she couldn't manage thre Fleur de Lys shape, so did a triangle instead), but I do think hers is far more fantastically sparkly than mine! She also drew a paper plate face. She wanted to do 'the Egypt Queen' meaning Cleopatra. She's been very interested in the 'Egypt Queen' since there was a Pharoah's Tomb at one the places we visited whilst on holiday. I found her a picture on the internet and left her to it. She stuck some gold bits on that too, because we don't have a gold pen or crayons.

Her last entry is a flag on a stick. I am so proud of what she has created. She designed it on paper first, then  I explained what the rules said about size giving her a blank A4 piece of paper. She wanted to use fabric though, so she used the paper to daw around, she folded and pinned the edges over and did a running stitch all around the edge. She drew the cross shape on some white felt (she knew how to do this because they've been making and drawing Union Jacks at school) and the she cut some red pieces of felt and ribbon to put on top. She pinned and stitched these on too. Part of her design was to include a diamond in the middle for the diamond Jubilee, so she found a scrap of shiny fabric in her craft drawers, drew a diamond shape and cut it out. She pinned and stitched this too. She folded her flag around the stick (this would be her second stick as the Smaller Person snapped the first one) and carefully stitched down the side next to stick. She finished it off by wrapping the stick (which was a green garden cane) with some white sparkly ribbon left over fom the Jolly Jars, which she stuck at both ends with sellotape. She also tied a blue ribbon bow at the top of the stick by the flag, which is great because she's only just learnt how to tie bows. Not only did she try super hard and make something very lovely, she actually said to me afterwards that it was the most fun thing she had made and that she likes sewing (proud mama!) and then she followed that comment by 'How do you knit?'.

I'm afraid I haven't got any pictures to show you of the last few creations at the moment, but hopefully will have tomorrow.

The Small Person is not the only one who has been busy. The Smaller Perspn has been crafting for Jubilee too. For the past 3 weeks at Toddler Group our craft activities have been based on the Jubilee. We made Jubilee bunting with paper, glue and string, we created red and blue artwork on white paper (which mostly ended up purple!) and the last thing we did this week was make Jubilee crowns. They are made using 2 thick bands of card and 2 thinner bands of card. The 2 thicker bands form the base that goes around your head (measure and stick to fit), the the 2 thinner strips criss cross over each other and the ends are stuck inside the base (to form the raised top), then the kids had red gold and blue collage bits and gold glitter to decorate with. This seemed pretty popular, even though it was self assembly!

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