Annabelle – Girl’s Birth Picture

Whilst my role as a teacher allows me to meet some great learners, it also gives me the opportunity to meet some really nice people who support the learners to achieve the best results they can.  I have worked with many support workers, but the ones that I have worked with over the last two terms have been some of the best.  These have included (in alphabetical order): Amanda, Danielle, Jess, Nathan, Neil, Ronnie and Tom.  Annabelle by Michael Quinlyn-Nixon for blogWorking closely with learners and their support workers in the classroom give you a real insight into the kindness and patience people have for those that they care for and in time you get to know these people and find out about their families and their interests.

One of the above named support workers, Nathan, was telling me about his family on one occasion: about his wife Tracey, their four-year-old daughter named Annabelle and their young son, named Max.  Annabelle is a fan of My Little Pony and also likes unicorns (but then who doesn’t?).  He requested me to do an illustration for Annabelle, which he and Tracey would present to her on her fifth birthday this month. 

Inline with his daughter’s interests, Nathan requested ponies, flying horses, unicorns – things of a fairytale theme, with the main colours of pink and blue, which are Annabelle’s favourite colours.  I made a suggestion of trying to include Annabelle in the illustration and bearing in mind the size of the illustration this was easier said than done, as I was illustrating a face that was so small on paper!  I had to use my finest pencils and a magnifying glass to see what I was doing.  I took a deep breath and whilst biting my tongue did the drawing, trying not to overdo it.  It was white-knuckle time!

I got a message from Nathan to say that the illustration is fantastic and his colleagues have also given me such great feedback about the drawing.  I hope the illustration was a highlight of Annabelle’s birthday and that when she is older it will bring back the most special memories of a wonderful birthday and a personalised gift from her loving father and mother.

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Christmas Craft Creations

Since starting to teach again last September, I have been busy.  Along with my 12-year-old niece we have been busy trying out craft creations, such as greeting cards and pen tidy pots and things like that, that can be used for practical exercises in the class…

I sketched some pictures on to a sheet of A3 paper (robin, snowman, reindeer etc) to create some templates to make greeting cards and then pasted them on to cardboard to cut them out, so we could draw around them on coloured paper and create the cards.  We had a great time and many hours passed before we stopped.  I don’t always get the time to ‘test’ things out before my students have a go, but on this occasion it was most beneficial, as it gave me the opportunity to work out what degree of difficulty was involved in making each card.  Believe it or not, the Santa Claus was the most difficult.  The reindeer was very popular, but my personal favourite was the penguin, but that’s because I love penguins.

We also had a lovely time creating a series of pen tidy pots, that were covered in felt and decorated with felt and cardboard pieces to create reindeers, penguins and snowmen.  Most of these were sold at my students’ Christmas craft fair, so that was a good enterprise scheme.  We had used coffee cylinders and crisp tubes, so apart from the felt and some glue and a few hours spent doing craft, it was rather a cost effective and enjoyable exercise…

Penguin handmade Christmas card Robin handmade card

Penguin pen tidys Reindeer card and reindeer pen tidy

To all of you that read my blog (and there are some that do it…frequently), I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and every best wish for the forthcoming year.  I hope 2016 is a good one for us all! x