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Weekend Making

July 20, 2016

I have recently started Xanthe Berkley’s Make Films course – this is my third course with Xanthe and I just love taking them. I want to expand my repertoire of films so this course seemed like a great idea.

We have a prompt each week and last week was Scenes from the Weekend. As I had already done a weekend film recently I decided to just film me on Sunday getting some City and Guilds work done.

This is the result.

Weekend Making from Kelly-Marie Cheesley on Vimeo.

I was making lots of lists – working out what I needed to complete my sketchbooks for Year One as well as everything that I need to do for my final project. I did get the backing of piece 1 bleached and I love how it turned out. A small amount of progress, but progress none the less.

I am going to keep filming my project as I go as I think it would be amazing to have a record of everything that goes into what is going to be a very ambitious piece of work!

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Out and about

July 6, 2016

I was having a conversation with an online friend yesterday about how, if we let him, Piran would stay home all day every day during the weekends and holidays. This is partly because he wants to play computer games all day, and partly because he just likes to be at home with his things. Whatever happens he doesn’t get to be in front of a screen all day but if we all want to go out then it can prove to be a problem.

As you can imagine this means that I look towards the six weeks of summer holidays with some trepidation!

My way of dealing with this is that we plan to go out every day. It doesn’t have to be a big trip, just going into town to the library or somewhere to play in a different park. Going out every day has some big benefits for me:

  • convincing them to actually leave the house becomes much easier if they know that we will be going out every day. No room for discussion (although what w are going to do may be discussed with extreme caution!)
  • it breaks up the day for me.
  • my children get on better when we are out. Less bickering makes me happier!
  • As a family as we have learned that shorter trips are better for us – if we plan to just spend a couple of hours somewhere then we aren’t fed up when they want to go home and we are headed back before they start to moan or get tired (National Trust membership is great for this as I don’t feel bad if we are only there a short time).
  • This also works for me too, sometimes I am completely bored silly when we have gone somewhere and so if I have had enough I feel I can say that I want to go home too.

Survive the summer holidays

Since adopting the shorter trip ethos we have had much nicer weekends. It has definitely been better for me as well as the kids. So this summer, when we are not in Cornwall I will be trying to do this most days. I hope it will help me balance getting some work done, looking after the kids and sorting out the house ready for us to move at the end of the summer (fingers crossed).

I made this short film one weekend at the end of June. We had been really busy and it was the first that we had all been together all of the time for weeks, and it was a lovely weekend.

Weekend fun from Kelly-Marie Cheesley on Vimeo.

Do your children just want to stay home? I would love to know if you have any other tips to get me through those six weeks!

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City & Guilds Textiles – Patchwork & Quilting: Summer School

July 2, 2016

I had intended on posting this last Thursday. Best laid plans and all that!

Our final practical day at college was Thursday. It was the day I had been looking forward to the most as we were having a go at Indigo dyeing.

Thursday’s video shows the process and all the different resists that we tried. We also had a go with some UV reactive fabric paints but sadly the sun disappeared at the crucial moment. I plan on using them again with the kids at some point so I will share that another time.

I loved the Indigo dyeing and I was really pleased with my results.

This first collage shows what I did to the fabrics (I didn’t have a picture of my marble weights top right).

shibori

And here are the results. The fabrics are in the same boxes as above, so you can see what created each effect.

Indigo

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City & Guilds Textiles – Patchwork & Quilting: Summer School

June 29, 2016

Wednesday was the day that I had been looking forward to the most as we were doing Free Machine Applique. As usual you can check out the video to see what I got up to on Wednesday*.

When we started though, I felt really blank! I was running out of inspiration and bright ideas after being there three days in a row! I had my trusty album of photos that I had taken on my jaunts around Shoreditch before. But these were the same photos I have been using all year and I think I needed something new.

Good news though as there was plenty of inspiration on the hashtag from the previous weekend – #blogtacularphotowalkeast had plenty for me to look at.

In the end I made this.

IMG_9870

 

*Video also contains snaps unrelated to summer school – Kate dancing, the SOLD sign outside our house, and rainbows.

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City & Guilds Textiles – Patchwork & Quilting: Summer School

June 28, 2016

And so we moved on to Tuesday. You can see my Snapstory here.

We were learning Reverse Applique (by hand and machine) and Cut Away Applique.

This was my Reverse Applique sample (who knew these words would be so apt this week).

Play Nice

I loved the design but I cannot say I am a fan of the technique. I would like the words up on our wall someday.

My second sample of the day was this Cut Away Applique design.

I loved this effect – but cutting away that many layers with little scissors was really hard!

Cut Away Applique Sample

Back tomorrow with Wednesday’s adventures.

Create

City & Guilds Textiles – Patchwork & Quilting: Summer School

June 27, 2016

I have reached the end of the first year of my City and Guilds. I cannot begin to tell you how much I have enjoyed it and how hard I have worked this year. I am gutted that I haven’t recorded it from start to finish but I might try and go back and fill in the blanks – I posted once about my sketchbook when it was up to page 15 and now I am onto my second sketchbook.

But last week was Summer School – 4 full days of college last week. I created Snap stories on Snapchat every day and downloaded them into slightly dodgy videos. They are not great but I wanted to record them here for prosterity.

Unfortunately I shot them portrait and I cannot get them to embed correctly on this page.

If you are interested please click Monday to go to Vimeo and see what I got up to on our first day last week. Our topics were Faux Chenille and Shadow Applique.

IMG_9841

My shadow applique before I started stitching.

 

I would love to know what you think and hope that you will pop back to see Tuesday – Thursday as I publish them this week.

 

 

 

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Cheesley Family Portrait 2016

June 26, 2016

Cheesley Family Portrait 2016

This year we delayed our Father’s Day until this Saturday. We had a lovely breakfast out, and a nice day at home all together dodging rain showers and hiding from the thunder storms. It is our tradition every Father’s Day since 2011 to take a family picture, and this might be my favorite.

Want to see how much has changed? All our other portraits are here.

Yours Truly

It started with a tweet.

June 22, 2016

I remember the little flip of my stomach when I read it.

Kat just sent a quick tweet asking if anyone knew of any Virtual Assistants that they would recommend.

I can remember a quick DM conversation that went along the lines of: what do you want? Don’t really know we just need some help, do you know someone? Yes. Me!

As I get older and wiser I am coming to realise that those are the best decisions that I make. The ones where I say yes almost before realising I am actually even considering it.

That was February 2015 and my job as a VA started just like that. Kate wasn’t at school yet and I knew that I would maybe want to start thinking about working again when she started in September. So, in fact it was perfect. I was already going to Blogtacular, loved the company and the Kat’s and was suddenly doing something I actually enjoyed doing again.

After Blogtacular 2015 I thought that would be it, at least for a few months until maybe they would want me to help out again this year. But as is the way of things, change happens. And so as 2016 began the Blogtacular dream team was Kat and me, chatting daily, endless Skype calls, more DM’s than you could ever imagine and lists and lists and lists.

If you were there at the end on Saturday you will have seen a very embarrased me called up on stage so Kat could thank me. She said some very lovely things about how Blogtacular is all in her head and I am the person that gets it out and helps bring it to life. And she is right. I am bloody good at keeping her on track and annoying her until the tasks have been done. I love working with Kat, she has the vision and I have the organisation skills. We make the best team.

Blogtacular 2016 - image courtsey of Mollie Makes.

Blogtacular 2016 – image courtsey of Mollie Makes.

What I didn’t get to say, and should have was that working with Kat has changed my life in so many ways. Not only is she the best boss who understands what it is like to try and work from home and juggle children and holidays she is also amazing when it comes to understanding that some days are my bad days and that on those days I might not be my super organised self. It takes a very special person to understand how depression and anxiety can affect someone and be so supportive. I will never be able to thank her enough.

As Blogtacular finished and everyone went out to celebrate I snuck off into the evening, headphones on, music in my ears headed back to where I was staying. After that much being sociable I needed to be alone – to know that I didn’t have to smile and talk to anyone for a while. As an introvert all that being sociable for two days is hard going (especially as my job is usually sat at home on the laptop). I stood by St Pauls, watching everyone going about their lives and I felt invincible. It has dawned on me over the past few days that Blogtacular is the biggest thing that I have done since beoming a mum. It seems that I have fallen into my new vocation and found a place for myself again. Kelly. Not Mum. Kelly. Not Piran’s or Kate’s mum. Kelly. Not Mrs Cheesley.

I have a new part of me now.

Kelly. The one that sends all the emails.*

Blogtacular 2016 image courtesy of Mollie Makes.

Blogtacular 2016 image courtesy of Mollie Makes.

*Literally how I introduced myself to most of the amazing speakers and people involved with the conference.

 

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Just busy, not gone

June 14, 2016

Sorry dear friends that I have been MIA for a couple of months.

No need to panic, or worry. (Not that you were but you know)

I am just BUSY. Blogtacular is THIS WEEKEND and that means that I am basically attached to my computer sending email after email after email and running around clutching lists and scribbling frantically.

It also means that when I have a free moment the last thing I want to do is stare at a computer again for fun.

If you miss me you are most likely to find me hanging out on Instagram and Twitter. I would love you to come and say hi if you have a moment.

K x

IMG_9618

In case you have forgotten what I look like here is a handy picture of me that Kate drew.

P.S. Are you coming to Blogtacular? You should be. You have no idea what an amazing time you are missing.

P.P.S. We have a buyer for our house (yay) NOT getting excited until we actually have exchanged contracts or maybe have the keys but it is still bloody brilliant.

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Today

March 18, 2016

Today I am so far inside my head that I am driving myself crazy. I am second guessing everything. I am on edge. I am paranoid. I am unable to focus.

Today is World Sleep Day. What a fucking joke.

Today I am sleep deprived, still ill and I feel like every second word needs to be a swear word. It could be the only thing that gets me through.

Today I wept as I left a crying kicking screaming Piran at school. This was just after I handed Kate over to a TA – she was wearing a Christmas jumper (not on the agreed uniform list, strangely enough) and yellow plastic star glasses that she insists she has to wear at all times or she cannot see. Kate that is, not the TA. I barely even said goodbye.

Today I feel like hell.

Today follows last night – where Kate decided that she can no longer sleep in a bed that has steps. So she slept in our bed on Mr C’s side, and Mr C slept on my side, which he didn’t like and ruined his sleep. Piran slept on the floor of his room on a mattress and I slept in his bed. Which is the most uncomfortable bed in the house. And I was so cold that I couldn’t sleep until I had encased myself in 2 duvets and two quilts and went to sleep listing the things that I HATE ABOUT CHILDREN AND SLEEP*. Piran also banged his head on a cupboard in the middle of the night and kept me up with his slightly maniacal sleep laughing.

Today I am in a very bad mood.

Today follows this week, one that started with Mr C sick in bed all day Monday and then me all day Tuesday and Wednesday. I still feel so ill that my legs don’t really want to hold me up. This too makes me really bloody cross. I have no energy. When I do something I get out of breath. Then I have to sit down and really nothing is getting done.

Today feels like the bottom of the slope again. All of the bedtime progress, all of the traction we had gained over the last two weeks is just gone again. Piran didn’t go to sleep until 10.30 again last night and the tricky behaviours are coming back. Illness means no energy, no energy means no routine, no routine means ARMAGEDDON*.

Today I feel completely hopeless.

Today is the end of the week, next week there are 3 days at school and then the holidays. 2 weeks in which we are away which will completely bugger up any kind of bedtime routine so maybe I should just give up all together.

Today the children have friends over after school and with those friends come their mums who are my friends. Who will say nice encouraging things and drink wine with me. And so perhaps, today will get better as it goes along.

Yesterday, the Hellebores looked stunning in the late afternoon sun.

Yesterday, the Hellebores looked stunning in the late afternoon sun.

*Today makes me prone to exaggeration.