Sunday, 17 May 2009

Goodbye gift!

This is the goodbye picture I drew for the staff at school. My 'inner critic' has been going crazy and I'm doubting whether they'll like it or see it in the spirit in which it is intended (which is a spirit of much affection) but my husband insists that it's great and they'll love it and (since he is rarely wrong apparently!) I will go with it and take it in tomorrow.

All of these glorious people keep the school going and are a great team to work with. I am very sad to say goodbye to them all!
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Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Warning - angry rant approaching!

What's happening to our schools?

This week my daughter will spend hours sitting tests in Maths (2 tests plus mental), English (Reading, Writing x2, Spelling) and Science (x2). Of course I understand the need to assess children's learning and assess the quality of teaching but she has been preparing for these tests for weeks and weeks. She has had mountains of homework and practice tests galore. She has been stressed about them because her teachers (all of whom are my friends and who I really like and respect) have not stopped talking about them for months. She is only a little girl! Surely school at this age should be about the enjoyment and excitement of learning. Surely there are better ways of judging the success of a school or of a child's progress than simply going by these tests!

I'm glad I'm not full time teaching anymore. The amount of work at our school would be a very funny joke if it were not a reality. Every day a new bit of paper is given to the staff with more to do in preparation for the OFSTED inspection. More and more and more paperwork, meetings, lists, reports, surveys, forms, check this and that is done. Most time is spent teaching but I would say the least time is spent preparing to teach which surely should be a priority. Ohhh I could go on and on but I won't. I'm cross because a very good friend and a superb, committed, experienced teacher is finding that school is asking way too much at the moment and needs to take some time out.

Ok that's my mini rant over! If you have children at school, give their teacher a nice smile next time you see them!

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Just keep practising!

This is my second challenge from Different Strokes from Different Folks. I tried to work on the tonal quality of the buildings receding into the distance. I thought I'd failed miserably but now I look at the scanned image, I can see that I have managed to get the buildings to look like they're going into the distance. They really are a challenge these DSDF pictures.

I did this EDM picture with my new watercolour pencils. I like the way I seem to have more control over them - I'll enjoy experimenting with these.
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Monday, 4 May 2009

More from the journal

This is EDM No. 97 - a gift I have received. I chose the ring my mum sent me from Crete. With hindsight I wish I drawn it on my finger but ho hum!

Have you noticed I've learnt how to use the scanner - much better for my journal pages.

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Saturday, 2 May 2009

An Unexpected Party

You remember it was my 40th birthday last week? Well I was a bit retiscent about planning a party as I have a bit of a phobia about planning my own parties. (I panic that no-one will come!) Anyway, we decided last minute that we'd invite people over for one of Neil's curries (note the lack of the word 'party'). So miraculously everyone who I wanted to come, could come (about 17 of us) and it was a brilliant night.
We played a couple of silly games, my daughter and her friend made up a super quiz (which me and my friend won!) and the highlight of the night was that we all sang a line of a song and recorded a rendition of "Can't take my eyes off of you". We ate the famous curry with all the extra bits, lots of pudding and then played curling on the Wii. What a night. Lots of laughter and love and hugs. I shall remember it forever.

The best friends in the world!

Everyday Matters

In my efforts to focus my mind on things other than work and 'the big move' I have joined an online group called Everyday Matters. Every week they post a subject to draw. You can do them in order or not. You can do the most recent ones (like I have) or go back over old ones which I have done in my journal without realising it.
I am beginning to really value the online community. There are some extraordinary people out there - artists, crafts people, writers and all round talented folk. I find them truly inspiring and my experience so far has found everyone to be kind and encouraging. I posted some of my journal pictures on Flickr and had some very nice comments - it really warms my heart to think that someone I don't know takes the time to comment on my efforts.
So what with Everyday Matters and Different Strokes from Different Folks I have no shortage of arty inspiration.