Tuesday, 31 August 2010


Just a quick post about what I have been doing for the last couple of days.

This morning I took a box to the Post Office, containing this:

It's a paper mock-up of a Planner/Diary, which a friend asked me to make for her. 

It has space for a photo, a diary and a notebook.

I printed off some diary pages, just to give her an idea of the layout.  Once she's happy with it, I will complete the layout of the diary pages, print them and bind them into a book.

This is really just an example, made from paper, to give her an idea what it would be like and the chance to alter the design if she wants to.

I included this sheet of fabric and paper samples, so she can choose the materials she would like for the case and book covers. 

I hope she's pleased with this; then I will be busy making it!  I think I'll make some more diaries too, to put in my shop.  After all, once I've gone to the effort of making the diary layouts, I only have to print them off (double-sided, hem, hem...) and bind them inside some nice covers.  I might make one for myself too!

* * *

As if that's not enough to keep me occupied... I also sent an e-mail today.  It contained a spec for a one-day workshop, teaching "Papercrafts for Christmas" to 9-16 year-olds at DS's Saturday "Frontiers Club".  This is a club set up by the local Education Business Partnership, to give extra activites and learning opportunities to children who are on their school's "Gifted and Talented" register (because they are gifted in one or more academic subject/area, or have a special talent in the arts, sport etc).  J. goes to this for 7 Saturdays in each term.  They offer 6-week morning courses, with an all-day workshop (in a different subject) on the 7th week.  He really enjoys going and has tried all kinds of stuff, from art to computing, ceramics to science, writing computer games to table-top war games, masked theatre to magic! 

So, I looked at the prospectus and thought "I could teach a course.  I could teach papercrafts and bookbinding.  Icould make courses for kids, to show them some simple stuff that I like to do."  Back in May, I approached the organisers, asking if they would be interested.  I heard nothing and was a bit fed up about it.  Eventually I asked the club supervisor about it one Saturday morning and she chased it up.  Then I had an e-mail, asking me to fill in a complicated form and send photos of the stuff I would do in a one-day workshop... Apparently they start new tutors with a workshop.  Great. Try to decide what to do in only 4 hours... 

I admit I left it sitting in my in-box for a while.  I couldn't get my head round the form, with its "what will you teach in each hour" boxes and its "Learning Outcome" box for each hour.  I also wasn't sure about the content for a four-hour course.  I'd been thinking of stuff to keep kids occupied for 6 mornings of 2 1/2 hours each.  

I then had a reminder e-mail... I left it for a few days...  

So, this morning I pulled myself together and sorted out what I would do.  I couldn't just let it go; either I had to e-mail back and say I wouldn't do only a workshop; or I had to say I wasn't ready to do any course this term after all (having said I could... hmmm...); or I just had to pull myself together, put my ideas down on paper and send that form back!  

I filled in the form.  I decided on Christmas Cards, made with embellishments that the kids could create using rubber stamping and colouring, peel-off outline stickers, pre-printed pictures (like santas, christmas trees, cute reindeers etc), matting and layering etc -

This sort of stuff, like I made last year.

I also thought they could try some simple Christmas Decorations

I made these last Christmas.

I found some instructions for making decorations with sparkly pipe-cleaners and beads too, so I included pictures of those.

I did an afternoon course in card-making, for some of the ladies who live in the sheltered-housing where my mum lives.  The cards we made were similar to those above.  They really enjoyed it.  I think the same techniques would be very easy for children to do and we could just add in extra bits, depending on how quickly they picked it up.  The cards are quick to make and look good, so they should be able to make at least a couple each.  The decorations are a little bit more tricky, but not impossibly hard - they're all bright kids and they have to have something to challenge them. 

I hope the Club are still interested, despite my prevarication... It's only one day after all.  It might give me the chance to do a course in the Spring term - perhaps simple book-binding, or scrapbook making.  

Time Will Tell... but it's a bit Scary just now.  Wish me luck!  


  1. Good luck with your workshop - every now and again I get the urge to do one, but then I remember why I retired from teaching! I'm sure you have filled in your form okay - it should be just common sense, but if you come up against any education jargon/gobbledegook and you need any advice I would be willing to help, but I have been 'out of the loop' for a couple of years now.

  2. Thank you Jill - that's very kind. I think you're right, that the form is probably fine and it's just common sense. I filled it in how I thought I should and just put a note in the e-mail to say I'm not familiar with this type of form, so tell me if I need to do anything else!
    I hope I'll get on ok, if I do run the workshop. I've been "out of the loop" for about 3 years now, since DS changed schools...

  3. Good luck Lizzie - I'm sure you will be fab and I am sure your friend will love her diary LO...x

  4. Lizzie,
    I know you'd do great! Kids really love stamping and stickers.

  5. I'm sure they would love to have you teach Lizzie, you do great tutorials on your blog! Forms can be so tiresome sometimes. Best of luck!

  6. Lizzie everyone has said what I wanted to say - you will do a fantastic job!

  7. Lizzie
    It's always good practise to do these forms. They are a pain but they help you with your lesson plan too. I seem to spend so long filling out forms and quotes that it takes me away from what i really want to do but with this one I think you'll have planned the lesson carefully before you get there which is 75% of the job!
    Good Luck and I LOVE the diary. How nice to be able to choose everything. You are too good to your customers!

  8. I wish you the very best of luck! It sounds like a wonderful scheme - a fabulous way to enrich the lives of kids who might get bogged down in their academic life otherwise.

    I helped out at an eco-club for a while and found it very rewarding: but vrafting would be even better!

  9. Well, I'll wish you luck but I doubt that you'll need it. I think you will do fabulous with this, Lizzie! And the kids will love being able to craft these wonderful projects! Good for you for getting the form completed! The rest will be fun and easy for you! xo

  10. Good luck! Sounds like a fun course!

  11. I'm sure it will be fine,and once back into it you'll feel like you never stopped for a while!Good luck :-)

  12. Firstly, I love the diary/organiser, it looks fab - hard to believe that it's only a paper mock-up!

    Secondly, good luck with the workshop, it sounds great - and when it goes well, I'm sure they'd be interested in a proposal for a longer course, too. Good for you! xx


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