Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Crown of Knots, Gargoyles & Scarecrows

Just taken a trip to Cirencester and came across this amazing crown 
in Cirencester Parish Church!  It was made by Stuart Grainger, who was president of the Intenational Guild of Knot Tyers  (I think you'll admit he was pretty good at knots and did you even know there was a Guild of Knot Tyers?).  Made of hemp rope, it's about 5 feet in diameter and height.  It was created in 1997 both as a tribute to the Queen for her Silver Jubilee  and to Oliver Hill's rope structure "Lion & Unicorn Fighting for the Crown", which had been made for the 1953 Coronation.  The current crown now belongs to Cirencester.  If you're in the vicinity - go take a look, it's fab.
We also took a trip up the church Tower (only 204 steps to the top - very narrow so save the big lunch for afterwards!).  And were treated to a demo by the bellringers on the way up - thanks, ladies.  They even let us have a go.  I tried to ring the biggest and, guess what - it's much harder than it looks! We liked the modern touch in the renovation work at the top.  Check out the punk gargoyle!

On the same adventure we called in at Calke Abbey, Derbyshire (National Trust).  Lovely grounds & great scarecrows!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Colourful Craft Ideas No. 1

Pom Poms in a wire chicken
Thought I'd start a little series of colourful craft ideas and here's the first!  These are just simple things to make and do to make life a bit more creative and colourful.  Get together with friends, children and have a go!

For this one you need - a see through container, some yarn of your choice and a pompom maker. The pom pom maker can be a comercial one (Pony & Clover both make them) or a homemade one which involves a couple of pieces of circular cardboard with a hole in the middle.  The cardboard ones will only last for a few pom poms (or maybe even one!) but they are easy and cheap to make and if you have an old cereal packet or tissue box lying around you're ready to go. 

Pom poms in a glass bowl
Next, make some pom poms (see the "How to make" page) - enough to fill your container - try different colours, sizes and textures.  Pop them in and admire.  You could do this with school kids, put the finished pom poms in a large container and fundraise with "Guess the number of pom poms".  Or put them in a vase and have them as table decorations instead of flowers, even display them in a bowl on a table or shelf for a bit of colour.  Use them individually when wrapping presents instead of a bow - whatever you like. Have a go and see what you think - you could find it addictive!