Belper Christmas Angels

I thought I would write an update about the Christmas Angel project. Knitters and Crocheters in Belper have been very busy this year making small angels as a Christmas Gift of Love for the people of the town. The project had been adopted by Belper Churches Together as their Christmas initiative but it has also been very much a community activity with hundreds of people getting involved.The Angels were made by local knitting/crochet groups, a 94 year old Oxfam Volunteer, a Town Clerk, residents of Spencer Grove Care Home, Church Leaders including the Vicar of St Peters, Chatterbox (a social group for adults with learning difficulties), the Blue Box Community, Photography Group enthusiasts, Open Gardens and Belper Garden Group members, Transition Belper, Church Craft Groups of all denominations, Creartii (a creative Art Centre in Belper), Woollen Woods knitters and crocheters and numerous individuals. Patterns had been passed to family members with some people producing a hundred or more. A new creative group was started at the Baptist Church to enable them to take part in the enterprise and this group which consists of church members and non-church goers plans to continue.Non knitters helped with adding tags to the angels, sorting them into boxes and hanging them out in the town. It was a real community effort. Angels were collected in boxes and placed in different churches. Each week more and more appeared. At the time of writing there are about 1800 angels and they are still appearing.
It was decided that the angels would start to appear in the town during Advent after the 4th of December. I was amazed how quickly they were taken home by people, and how much joy they gave. Gill and I went out early in the morning of December 4th and placed about 50 near the playground on Park Road and when I revisited the area at 11.00 they had all gone. We also placed them around the Christmas Tree on the Market Square and around the Railway Station and the same thing happened. It caused quite a buzz in the town as people searched for them and people put lots of lovely comments on Facebook using the hashtag #xmasangelHere are just a few of the comments:-
“Loved seeing the angels fill Belper today. Brought this lovely one home to live with us. Thanks to everyone who knitted them.”
“My two children managed to give 2 angels a good home today. What a beautiful idea. Thank you.x”
“Our youngest picked this one up from the library on Monday and keeps moving it around the tree, Merry Christmas.”“What a wonderful idea this is. It has been magical to see them popping up around town and my boys have enjoyed spotting them. Thank you to all who have contributed.”
“My Granddaughter found one in Belper Library and was very pleased to take it home. I’ve just been for a walk through Whitemoor park and there are lots tied to the railings. What a lovely idea.”
“My three-year-old daughter found one on the walk to nursery this morning and was so happy. It’s a lovely pink sparkly one that will be going on our tree. Thanks to everyone who took the time and effort to make these – it’s a lovely idea and it really is spreading cheer.”
“We found an angel this morning! Made my day and my little boys. Was so unexpected, but absolutely lovely. Thank you so much x”“Was at the railway station this morning and witnessed the delight from children and parents as they took one.”
“Belper is a brilliant place to live.”
“Thank you I am going to give this one to my terminally ill uncle”
“I am so pleased I have found this, I have looked for a Belper Rock but never found one. This has made my day.”
“We found them on the bottom of Mill Lane on a tree, by 10:30 they were all gone. My little girl wanted to take hers to school today, so we’ll hang it at home tonight. Thanks for making them, we loved seeing everyone finding them this morning” XX“Oh this is so lovely, well done to all involved, it was worth it”
“Wonderful idea…saw lady putting them on the bridge over the river going up to Shottle. Belper people are amazing”
“The children will love their angels – such a lovely idea, thank you very much xx”These comments give a picture of how people have felt and I would like to thank all those who made angels.
The project has given a lot of pleasure both for the makers and receivers of angels.

The Joy of Autumn

Autumn is such a special season. There is fun to be had walking along kicking the fallen leaves, searching for conkers and brightly coloured berries. The season used to start on September 21st and it can be a bit confusing these days as media weather people start talking about it starting on September 1st. Acording to the Met Office, It depends on whether you are referring to the astronomical or meteorological autumn.There are many poems about Autumn and the first line of a poem by John Keats is one that I find always comes to my mind.

‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.’One of the plants I love is Cow Parsley both when it is in flower and when the flowers are over, the lovely seed heads.I have recently started to crochet and at the moment I am crocheting a cow parsley pattern found on the Silver pebble website designed by Emma Mitchell. It is a free pattern which is fantastic. I have also bought the new book, Making Winter written by Emma. The book has lots of ideas of things to make during the Winter months. I enjoy searching for the different fungi that can be found particularly in ancient woodland.I have sewn my own fungi this year, something I have intended to do for a long time. I used a pattern downloaded from Ann Wood. This pattern is not free but not too expensive and the instructions are really comprehensive. I took a photo of this duck while on an Autumn ramble, not sure what sort of duck but they were enjoying some warm sunshine. I also loved these blackberry flowers but am not sure if they thought the season was Spring rather than Autumn. 

Adopt a Tree in Belper

In the town of Belper people are starting to think about next years Art Festival. Unlike many Art Festivals, the one held each year in Belper is a community event, a festival of inclusivity, not exclusivity and everyone is welcome to take part.Belper Art Trail has already posted on their Facebook page asking for ideas for next years trail which is one element of the whole Art Festival.

The planning for next years art trail has begun.
Next year we really would love to get Belper looking amazing.
It will be our 5th year, so its a bit of a celebration.

We’re always looking to include everybody…
So, we want to encourage you to put your ideas forward.
If you would like to Yarnbomb the King Street trees, that would be amazing.
if you would like to do some street art and add to the lonely old Tardis.
If you have any other installation ideas (permanent or temporary)- we would absolutely love to hear from you.

Let’s make Belper a brilliant place to visit next May.
To do this we really need your help..
Please get in touch.
Comment HERE or drop us an email at info@belperarts.org’

The title of this post is ‘Adopt a Tree’ because we are looking for groups or individuals to adopt one of the trees in King Street.  I have measured the trees and hope that the trunks will be surrounded with something woolly, knitted, crocheted or felted. It would be fantastic if as a town we could show visitors to the Art Festival all the different things that take place in the town of Belper.

I am hoping that some of the many local groups will get in touch to decorate a tree to promote what they are doing in the town. Here are some trees I decorated as part of the Six Streets Festival in 2012.

If you would like to adopt a tree you can comment on this blog, send a message on Anne Clark Handmade Facebook page or email anneclarkhandmade@gmail.com

Here are some other photos from trees made by others.

Belper Goes Green Fun Palace

Belper Goes Green 2017 happened during the first week of June. This year the dates were June 2 – 4th. The Friday evening as always was filled with beer and music. During the day on Saturday and Sunday there was an amazing amount on offer, plenty of food, drink, children’s activities, adult information stalls, handmade retail sales, talks including Talking Books, a variety of performances, numerous workshops and places to be quiet and meditate. Saturday evening was once again full of musical entertainment. Belper Goes Green is a local Eco Festival which is part of Belper Transition Group. Next year 2018 will be the sixth event and will take place once again on the first week of June, June 1st – 3rd. The part of the festival that I was involved with were the free workshops for both children and adults available in the Fun Palace Tent. Fun Palaces take place all over the world during the first weekend of October. Last year I was involved with the first one held in Belper. It was a great success and so it was decided to have Fun Palace workshops at Belper Goes Green. Fun Palaces are aimed at everyone with both artistic and scientific  activities, ‘Everyone an Artist, Everyone a Scientist.’ Continue reading Belper Goes Green Fun Palace

Padley Gorge Derbyshire

Padley Gorge is a fantastic almost magical place to visit. It is easy to access from Grindleford Railway Station. You can still get to this Station by train but it is much easier if travelling from Sheffield or Manchester. The train in the photo is going into Totley Tunnel which has a date above the entrance of 1883. It was the longest Railway tunnel in the U.K. up until 1985.Unfortunately it’s not so easy by train from Belper as you need to go to Derby, change to a Sheffield train and then change again for Grindleford. Consequently we travelled by car and luckily found there was plenty of parking on the road down to Grindleford Station. The old station building has been converted into a cafe which came third in the Guardian newspapers list of ten best Station cafes. The food is all homecooked and tea comes in half pints or pints. Continue reading Padley Gorge Derbyshire

Christmas Angels

The plan is to get as many people as possible to knit, crochet or felt, small angels. I have added a few patterns to this blog but you can use your own pattern as long as the angel is small. Once the angels are created and we hope for about 600-800 they will be placed around the town of Belper early on the morning of Monday December 18th.

One of the local Care Homes has already started knitting and here is a photo of some of their angels.These angels have faces and hair but this is entirely up to the maker. The ones I have made so far are very simple with no facial details.

Here is the pattern for this angel. It is a pdf pattern that you can print out.

Angel 1

If you prefer here is the pattern in the body of this blog.

KNITTED ANGEL

HEAD AND BODY

Cast on 36 stitches using double knitting yarn and size 3mm needles. Knit 3 rows.
(K2 tog, knit 7) repeat 3 times, 32 sts.
Knit 1 row.

Purl 1 row.

(k2 tog, knit 6), repeat 3 times, 28 sts.
Knit 2 rows.
Purl 1 row.
(Knit 2 tog, knit 5), repeat 3 times, 24 sts. Purl 1 row.
Knit 2 rows.
(K2 tog k4), repeat 3 times, 20 sts.
Purl 1 row.
Knit 2 rows.
(K2 tog, knit 3), repeat 3 times, 16 sts.
Purl 1row. (K2 tog), repeat across row, 8 sts. Purl 1 row.
Kfb in each st, 16 sts.
Starting with a purl row stocking stitch 7 rows. K2 tog across row, 8 sts.
P2 tog across row, 4 sts.

Thread yarn through these 4 stitches and from the wrong side sew up theback seam. Put a little stuffing into the head of the angel and then sew a row of running stitches around the neck and pull tight.

WINGS:

Cast on 21 sts on needle size 3 mm. K 1 row from RS. Then work short rows as follows: * K 7, turn and K back, K 1 row over all sts *,
repeat from *-* 6 times in total.

Then * K 2 tog, K 6, turn and K back, K 1 row over all sts *, repeat from *-*until there are 15 sts on needle.

*K 2 tog, K the rest of row *, repeat from *-* until 9 sts remain, cast off.

Sew wings to the back of the body with a line of stitches down the middle of

There is another simple pattern that I like to use which I will add to this blog. For all the patterns I use double knitting yarn and size 3mm needles to make sure the knitting is nice and tight. Also colour is a personal choice. The angels look good all knitted in white but I have also done some in purple, shocking pink, yellow and even striped.

Christmas Angel Pattern This pattern does say to use size 3.25 or size 4mm needles but as I mentioned before I always use size 3 mm to keep the knitting tight.

When the angels have been made we have a collection point in St Peter’s Church Belper or you can contact me through this blog.

Fun Palace at Belper Goes Green

After the success of our first Fun Palace in Belper it was decided to run another at Belper Goes Green. This is a fantastic Eco Festival run by Transition Belper for the local community. All the information about the festival can be found here Belper Goes Green ,this includes what’s on and parking.

The part that I have been responsible for is the Fun Palace Tent. I hope the weather will be good but if not we have lots of fun and informative workshops in the marquee so you will still be dry.The workshops, (as they should be for a Fun Palace) are a mixture of Science, Art, Craft and Nature inspired. There will also be the opportunity to learn CPR with Amber First Responders 

There will be the chance to make a willow bird feeder, a willow wand or do some lolly stick weaving. 

Katherine Wheatley will be making Carbon Monsters and she will be running a competition to win a copy of her very popular book.

There will be lots of Science and Engineering  on offer with the opportunity to make a whirlpool in a bottle, discover what bugs lurk in the local Coppice Brook, make your own mini wind/water wheel, put together an aluminium engine and make a catapult plane or spinning helicopter.

There is also plenty of Art and Craft, you will be able to make a collage of Belper, learn some origami, make a hedgehog, turn milk bottle caps into fridge magnets, make monsters with clay or make your own fairy with pipe cleaners and wool.

The workshops take place each day between 11.00-13.00 and 14.00-16.00. Each session has different activities except the learning of CPR which will be a constant. here is a PDF of the full workshop time table.  Fun Palace Workshops

Here is a map of the site.

Belper Woollen Woods 2017

Its that time of year again when the people of Belper are working hard to produce this years Belper Art Festival. A tremendous amount of planning goes into this event which each year gets bigger and better. Yesterday there was a small crowd who met at Number 28 on the Market Place to produce the festival trailer for 2017. IMG_0039

The part of the festival that I am most involved with is the Woollen Woods. This will be its third year and it is really exciting that both individuals and groups are already planning and working hard on their pieces. The wood is very central to the town of Belper, known as Belper Parks Wood. There is a free carpark beside the Market Place and a way to walk into the woods from there.

So far one of the care homes is getting involved as is a children’s nursery. There are young people who are learning to knit and others who have elaborate plans for complete trees. One of the highlights of last years event was the story trees, who could forget Alice in Wonderland or Noah’s Ark?Alice in tree doormouse Alice Tree animals ark

I know for a fact that this year there will be more of these trees, however this is truly an event that everyone can be part of. Last year we had lots of pom pom animals and spiders webs made from sticks and wool.pom pom ladybird in the woodsIMG_6243

It really doesn’t matter if you are not an expert knitter or crocheter, once everything is place in the woods it all looks fantastic and adds to the magic. Squares and rectangles of knitting can be turned into creatures fit for the woods. This caterpillar was made from a rectangular piece of knitting sewn into a tube and stuffed.IMG_0006

This year the pieces will be installed in the woods on Friday May 12th and will stay there until Sunday May 21st. We have an exciting addition to the Woollen Woods on Saturday May 13th when Lauren an artist and storyteller from Nottingham will be telling stories with the aide of her beautifully made puppets. This will be in Number 28 from 2.30pm. These are tales from Into the Wild Wood and will be suitable for families with primary school age children.IMG_0022

There is still plenty of time to be part of the Belper Art Festival and Woollen Woods. Please contact me at anneclarkhandmade@gmail.com

 

Belper Fun Palace 2016

It is not long now until Belper’s first Fun Palace. The event will take place on October 1st from 12.00 – 16.00 in the venue Number 28 which is situated on the Market Place in Belper. I have written in a previous post about how Fun Palaces started and each year since 2014 the movement has grown. The Fun Palace movement says, WE BELIEVE IN THE GENIUS IN EVERYONE, IN EVERYONE AN ARTIST AND EVERYONE A SCIENTIST, AND THAT CREATIVITY IN COMMUNITY CAN CHANGE THE WORLD FOR THE BETTER.comic.jpeg

In a previous blog post I have given information about some of the activities that will go on and in this post is more information about opportunities to be creative and have fun. Also a reminder that there will be a chance to learn CPR with Amber Community First Responders who will also hope to have their car outside the venue.car

You will be able to make your own song bird with the help of Nansy Ferret. Nansy is a local artist and also singer and songwriter in Belper band, Red Ruff. For the Fun Palace she will be giving you the opportunity to combine songs – either your own or somebody else’s – with visual image. Come along, play with words and create a bird to sing in your home or to give to a loved one so that they can see your song each day! You can see more of Nansy’s work by following her on facebook as Nansy Ferrett-Campbell or on twitter @monster_nip.FullSizeRender

The Derbyshire branch of the British Science Association will be there with some Science fun and experiments for visitors to join in with.BSA

There will be the chance to use your creativity with pipe cleaners and wool to make a variety of characters either human, animal or magical.FairyFullSizeRender

Artist Tan Draig will be leading a hands on activity with Platonic solids before he attempts (with the help of the public) to make the largest string vest in the world at 15.00 hours.platon1

There will be some creative recycling, using glass jars to make decorative tea light holders.FullSizeRender-2

This event will also have a cafe for light refreshments between activities.