Welcome to The Gingerbread Bunny! I'm Sarah, a textile artist specialising in crochet and felt based in Wigan in the North-West of England.

On my blog, you can find my day-to-day craft adventures and tutorials.

You can find details of my work for sale and workshops on my website - www.thegingerbreadbunny.co.uk

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Journal 52 - Jumping Ahead to Week 8

Despite not having even starting week 7's prompt yet, I've already completed week 8's (and the prompt was only posted this afternoon!)
The prompt was 'Found Poetry' encouraging us to create a poem. The inspiration page was an altered page from a book where words were highlighted that spoke to the artist.and the rest of the page blacked out.
I was inspired to have a go at this technique and grabbed my copy of pride and prejudice I use for craft purposes, ripped out a random page and grabbed a black pen. I followed the guide and just highlighted words that stood out as I read them and ended up creating this poem which is really relevant to me at the moment - it was as if the page and words just jumped out! I then added my little stick 'sisters'!
Incase you can't see it, it says:
Wished she had understood the truth traveling among sisters was great for her.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Journal 52 - Weeks 5 and 6

I'm really enjoying my return to art journaling, and it's all thanks to Journal 52.  I can't wait for each new prompt so that I can start to think about my next page.
Week 5 was all about being abstract. It is harder than you think and is something I've struggled with on my City and Guilds course. I want to represent everything just as utter looks in the picture and to turn it into an abstract representation is extremley challenging. For thus prompt I chose to make a Zentangle using colours instead of black and white (a first for me). I kept it simple and enjoyed the process, completing a section each day of the week.
Week 6 was titled 'The Lost Art of Love Letters' - very appropriate as it is Valentines day this week. I chose to make a very similar page to the one on the blog as it used a few techniques I've been dying to try out but never have. I made my heart first, using some wallpaper samples, and then hand stitched over the joins and blanket stitched round the edge. I stamped my quote, found on Pinterest, in black ink onto card and cut each word out individually. The background was created using gesso applied thickly and then stamping over it with a wavy stamp to create texture. I then applied pink acrylic paint with a credit card and sprayed the page with ink spray. I used some old bottle tops dipped in black and white paint to make the circles. Finally, once everything was glued in place, I used oil pastels to highlight areas and to outline the words. This is my most ambitious page so far!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Art Journaling Revival

You may recall, if you've been a follower of the blog for a while, that I used to post a lot about my art journaling and then all went quiet on the journaling front?  I discovered art journaling a few years ago on a trip to America where I met a lovely lady who had the most amazing art journals. I was mesmerised by them, and the process, and before I returned home I bought a copy of Art Journaling magazine and some supplies ready to start journaling when I returned home.  I was addicted and journaled religiously for quite some time and then, all of a sudden, I stopped.

Why did I stop I hear you cry?  Honestly, I'm not really sure.  I never forced myself to art journal as that isn't really the point of doing it.  It is meant to be fun and relaxing and, if you have to force yourself to do it, it is neither.  I also think that I stopped around the same time I began my City and Guilds course, which takes up a lot of my time. So art journaling was swapped for felt and a textiles course.  I was OK with the break, it happened and I accepted it.

However, recently I've been picking up my journals and my art journaling supplies and thinking that I wanted to journal again.  I've been pinning images of art journals on Pinterest and thinking how lovely they are. 

Then, late one evening when I was lying in bed pinning (a frequent occurence when I'm meant to be sleeping - why did they have to invent a Pinterest App?) I came across Journal 52 - a free art journaling workshop for 2014.  Every week, there is a new journaling prompt with ideas of what to do.  You can sign up for email updates when each new prompt is posted, find ideas on the website for starting your own art journal if you're a newbie and there is a Facebook group to share your pages in.  

It has really got me back into art journaling and I love the prompts each week.  I spent hours the other day catching up on weeks 1 - 4 and really enjoyed myself.  

So, here are my pages for the prompts so far:

Week 1 - Up,Up and Away

Week 2 - Somewhere, a Simple Place

Week 3 - You Make Me Smile

Week 4 - Building Character

It's not too late to join in - you can work at your own pace and it's a brilliant way to begin, or resume, your art journaling journey.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Teaching Crochet - Be Prepared!

In the words of the Scouts, 'Be Prepared'. 

This week saw my third session teaching my beginners crochet class and it really made me realise how important it is to be prepared for just about anything that might happen in your class.

As a very teacher, with over 8 years experience teaching children and adults, I know only too well the need to be prepared for just about any eventuality that may occur. Obviously, you can't be prepared for everything - you'd spend hours planning if you did - but it helps if you can think on your feet and improvise as required. For example, this week I left my new set of stitch markers, bought especially for the session, on the coffee table at home so we had to improvise with bits of coloured yarn!

There are, however, a few things you can be prepared for:

1) The High Fliers
In any group of students, there will be a wide range of abilities. There will be those who need a bit more support and those who whizz through the planned task in half an hour with over an hour of the class.left! To keep this group engaged, you need to plan extension tasks. This task will vary depending on your lesson; if you are teaching granny squares then have a few patterns for different motifs available for students to try, if it's changing colour then set students the challenge of changing colour.using the stitches they know. 

2) The Inquisitive
I love students who ask questions - it is a sign that they want to learn more! If your subject knowledge is good, then you should be able t.answer most questions that you're.asked.

But what if you can't?
Do not panic! Be honest! Do not try to make up an answer! Nobody knows everything about everything and it is perfectly acceptable to say I don't know. You can offer to find out the answer by the next session or set your students the challenge of finding out for themselves. Point them in the direction of books or.websites that might be able to help or, if it's  a practical question, ask them to try something out and see what happens. 

3) The Forgetful
There will always be times when students attend and forget their.hooks, scissors and yarn. It's always good to have spare few of everything that you and your students might need just in case they forget or, if you are providing materials for your workshops, in case something breaks or doesn't work. When I'm teaching crochet, I always have a range of hooks in different sizes and yarn of different weights to help with getting the right tension and being able to see the stitches.

It is never possible to be prepared for everything, but thinking ahead can save you a lot of stress and help to ensure that you and your.students have a great workshop.