It’s time for another one of our wee roundups, talking about some of the things that are making us happy at the moment. Most are these are things I’ve just stumbled on or heard about. There is a disclosure statement at the bottom of the post to cover anything that has been sent to me as a review item.
Slinkachu: I did a post a few weeks ago about how much I love street art. Slinkachu’s Little People Project is one of my very favourites examples, combining street art installation projects and photography. I challenge you to look through the galleries of Slinkachu’s tiny little people and not have a wee giggle before you fall completely in love with them. The photo above is called Dead Leaves, from January 2012. For lots more like this check out the Slinkachu website and blog (linked previously) or like the Slinkachu page on Facebook.
Unmapped: The Unmapped Project is a collaboration between the artist Anna King (who I went to High School with – she was a ruddy bloody brilliant painter even when we were thirteen…) and writer Rebecca Sharp. The work – poetry and paintings – was made for exhibition in 2013, and I am a little bummed that I haven’t had the chance to see it yet, but I am consoling myself with the book for now. We also have one of Anna’s painting hanging on our dining room wall – I can see it if I turn my head slightly to the right as I sit typing on the computer. It provides a very welcome sense of space and silence in our little house.
Urban Writing Retreats: It can be so hard to carve out space in your life for writing. DorkyDad really struggled last year to spend time on his poetry, so for Christmas I got him a day at an Urban Writers’ Retreat. Based in Shoreditch, the retreats provide a full day of space and time for writing, for people who don’t have the money or lifestyle that allows them to disappear to a cottage in Devon for a week. DorkyDad got a lot out of it, and I know that my friend Older Mum has also been on one recently. I think I may put it on my list to Santa next year too…
Knit Your Own Scotland: A little woollen Billy Connolly popped up in my Facebook feed a couple of weeks ago. And then a knitted Heilan Coo popped up the week after. They were super cute and made me smile, but it wasn’t until a knitted plate of Tunnocks Teacakes appeared that I decided to investigate further. It turned out that they were all the work of the Knit Your Own Scotland team – Jackie and Ruth – who published a book at the end of last year on how to knit many of your own Scottish icons. Now I’m no knitter, despite my Mum’s best efforts, but the opportunity to knit my own Scotch Pie may prove too much to bear. I think I’ll have to buy the book.
The Wild Weather Book: This spring stinks, doesn’t it? As I type, on April 4th, there is snow whirling around outside, and I had to wear my gloves on the nursery run this morning. DorkySon is fairly reluctant to be prodded outside even in good weather – he much prefers the sofa and a pile of books – but when it’s as grim as this it’s nigh on impossible. Thank goodness, then for The Wild Weather Book, which I received a copy of a couple of weeks ago. It’s an absolutely beautiful book, full of lovely illustrations and ideas for activities to do outside with children in bad weather. Each activity is rated for difficulty – some, like snowball sculptures and windy day bubble blowing, are easy-peasy and can be done alone by children of any age. Others – such as ice lanterns or making a windsock – will require some adult supervision. I was really pleasantly surprised how inspiring I found this book, and can’t wait to haul DorkySon off the sofa and out into the snow to try some of the activities!
Mari Jones Design: Mari is a fabulous designer and dressmaker based in Edinburgh, but she also makes beautiful bespoke soft toys and puppets from recycled materials. She can either work from a picture or a desciption – so if your daughter has drawn an awesome 11 tentacled sea monster, or your son has invented a purple two-toed marshwiggle, you can now turn those imagined creatures into real ones. Mari has even designed and created – by request – a toy based on the e.coli microbe! There is no accounting for children’s tastes, so it’s nice to discover someone who will accommodate them, producing something unique and environmentally friendly in the process. Mari’s Facebook page is here, so if you want to find out more about her creations do go and say hello.
Those are my choices. What are the things that you love right now? Share some love in the comments…
Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of The Wild Weather book for the purposes of this review. I’ve received no other payment, and all opinions are my own.