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Monday, February 28, 2011

Sunday, February 27, 2011

spring into spring then!

Spring hare (definitely hare, don't you think s, too?) on the loose !

Young and old converged today on stage in the townhall, filling the tables by the second session hour again for their favourite pasttime: Needle felting!

It is great to see new 'old' and 'new' faces. And how this so endlessly versatile craft conjures up joy and fascination ever anew.
More pics on our February album from here onward.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Coming of Spring Festival and concert with Claire Hewitt in Penicuik

Claire in the (to us here for privacy reasons invisible) circle of young families
Yesterday the long prepared for 'Coming of Spring' celebration took off, a partnership event between the Penicuik Community Arts Association (PCAA) and 'Stepping Forward', the Penicuik Midlothian Sure Start (MMS) family support centre, inviting storyteller and singer Claire Hewitt to enthral everyone of every age group.
Claire in action !

Between 10am and 2.30pm Claire was 'stationed' at Stepping Forward on the masterly heartfelt by Liz yurt rug (see above) - truly enchanting the mums & babes & grans with her rhyme and mime time, her singing of sun and stars, wind and wave, endearing beasts and the human child, her playing the soothing harp, and sharing her riveting storytelling. It was awesome seeing a little 'never-sit-still' boy actually sit spellbound at the harpist's feet for a wee while. And it was such a joy to see the eyes and hands of all ages, and especially the wee ones', open wide in wonder at song and tone.
One such song story, The Lullaby to a Tree, very fitting for the afternoon spring planting session, can be found here for listening to and for seeing some of the photos of the day.
The full selection of photos can be found here.

The event was embedded in a 'Wheel of the Seasons'  rainbow banner making, or actually launching it, - an interactive banner which is to inspire the families at Stepping Forward for years to come to decorate it anew every season, as the seasons turn and bring us their gifts.
Claire, using the wetfelt technique, also made little banners with the little ones and their parents or grans:

 The banners, strung up on a home-made cord, then led us out into the garden, where the planting of spring plants (donated by Pentland Plants!) begun. Hear the planting song again here.

Diane (the grandparents organiser) planting snowdrops

 And then - after all our efforts of planting and singing,the sun finally was coaxed forth from behind the clouds!
and another Claire tidying up after the planting
Stepping Forward can be truly stepping forward now into a blossoming spring as the plants in the beds and bushes grow and the other springy things heartfelted on the season's wheel!

In the evening, at the Arts Association (PCAA) in West Street, Claire gathered a bunch of old and young round the fire and the felts of Liz to listen and watch her telling some dramatic folk stories from round the world. See a few stills here as you listen to her leading us through a singalong.

And if you are very sorry that you missed that event, you can have a chance to listen again to some bits and pieces if you download the audio files from here.

Claire in situ at the cosy West Street arts centre room at night

Thank you Claire for your stories and songs and your many other talents and gifts. Thank you, Liz, for the loan of these wonderful heartfelted rugs which made both events today a yurt feel occasion. Thank you Pentland Plants for your spring gift to Stepping Forward and thank you PCAA and MMS, and especially the volunteers of our Making Space here for these lovely 'Coming of Spring' events.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Starting the Seasons' Wheel Banner

From picture #37 onward on our February Album you can see and read the story of how the making of the "Seasons' Wheel" for the Stepping Forward MSS Centre unfolds: from it material test stages, through it various stages of stepping forward of existence, through it shrinkage crisis and rebirth until many more hands had a go at populating the spring corner...
This picture, by the way, is a sneaky preview from 2-3-11
This Seasons' Wheel banner has to undergo a few more stages, such as the fixing of the blanket to the foam pad (via sewing an elastic round the edge of wrapped round sheet), the creating a 'parking lot' for the many more to come seasonal felt creations (all the beasties and planties), an the proper allocating of these seasonal creations to their proper place in the wheel.
Can you spot above what we might have to change to create a time-connected felt picture year clock?
Such as fitting all spring creations to this precise quarter:
If you see the wisdom here? :-)

Thanks to all the busy hands from the Making Space Penicuik volunteers, this wheel got started rolling with and for Stepping Forward and we are all looking forward to see what and how it evolves over the year. It has much potential if we explore them: colour transitions - life transitions; shape and form of things that grow and run and fly and swim...; craft skills, confidence, natural touch and much more... such as story telling...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Preparing the Season's Wheel wall hanging

Tomorrow at our weekly skill-share Crafting in the Community Saturday session in the Townhall you are invited to join hands to help preparing a felt wall hanging for Midlothian Surestart's family support centre in Penicuik, Stepping Forward. The motif of a 'wheel of the season' will be based on the former Glasgow based multicultural community group Common Ground Glasgow and can be seen as painted by Glasgow artist Miriam and designed by the group there in the year 2000:

There the deep blue colour base of the wheel represents the midwinter time, the when the nights are longest. Opposite, on the top of the circle, the bright yellow represents to midsummer time, when the days are longest. Naturally the colour sequence of the rainbow then fits into this circle, for green appearing out of the meeting of dark blue and light yellow in all its myriad shades in spring, and the 'maturing' of the year again naturally emerges in the transitions from yellow over orange to the ripened red of autumn and then over the mellowed colours of red into blue via the purple hues of times of dying down of things in the seasons.

The Stepping Forward felt version of that will be 1m diameter and will be created over the next year as an interactive felt landscape upon the rainbow wheel basis. Next Thursday, at the 'Coming of Spring' Festival with Claire Hewitt everybody will be making little felt pieces they feel fits the season of Spring

what would be the 'spring' quarter in this circle can be seen here in the top left; whilst the other test circles can be seen to demonstrate different thicknesses of layers to create a strong yet subtle set of colour transitions - a very therapeutic activity, that creating wholeness!

On Wednesday there was a wee intro given as can be seen above, including the making of the first wee sheep!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Check this out: a Felt Story


Next week Claire Hewitt is coming, and you may have seen the events with her being advertised under our 'Other events ' section?
You will have seen the felt story flyer Claire put together for the outreach work she and Ruth Atkinson have done together?
Find out more about these felt story projects on above felt story blog.

We are looking forward to have Claire here in Penicuik at the 'Coming of Spring' Festival at Stepping Forward (Midlothian Sure Start Family Centre) for stories, songs, and felting with her, too!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Joan's felt pictures magic draws in many new hands

Joan's expertise in making and ever more refining the art of dry felt picture making inspires young and old. Best visit our picasa album "February Ventures' pictures # 15 - 28 , to fully appreciate the abundance created.
another Joan, artist and teacher, found a new outlet for her creativity
Avril's pride and joy of today

SarahM brought her play zone abundance again

and we especially admired her beautiful nature celebrating dolls (pictures # 32 - 36)

All in tune with the seasonal books.

At the same time this Saturday, on the other end of the townhall, Ulla had put on a doll exhibition, inviting young and old to show off their favourite dolls.
click here to check our 'Other exhibition' album, pics #1 -16 for more views of the dolls and folks

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Big Beading Session yesterday!

Tony and his girls had worked hard to prepare this beading community craft session, and were well rewarded by tables overflowing with eager beaders!
beads of all sizes
tiny reptiles this time!

 Luckily the plazone was also well prepared and much fun, relaxation and good company was to be had.

play dough, drawing, books...

Big Thanks to everyone! It was one of the most invigorating sessions we had !

See the wee video to see all the excellent photos Lucie took.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Growing up with Stories

Claire Hewitt will be coming to Penicuik on Thursday the 24th Feb, and we are planning something heartfelt - if you join hands with us?!
click on image to enlarge