I'm Kristen and I'm living in Crawley, Sussex (hoping to return to my beloved Brighton 'n' Hove when my ME/CFS allows). I drink a lot of tea, ride a lot of buses, go in a lot of charity shops, draw, sew and knit (and attempt to crochet), take a lot of photos, spend a lot of time sleeping, read a lot of history books and follow Jesus Christ. <3
There is a small group of silly souls who make sure that every Friday, they are wearing something stripey. This dates back many years, to one Friday at the company several of us used to work for, when, quite by coincedence, a whole bunch of people turned up in stripes... and the tradition of #StripeyFriday was born.
These days the stripey solidarity takes place on Twitter. Join us! Don your stripes, tweet a photo to @stripeyfriday, tagging it #stripeyfriday, and the Stripey Police will decide if they pass muster!
Charitable art project Art Everywhere has transformed 22,000 billboards and poster sites across the UK into great British masterpieces. For two weeks, each of these sites will feature one of the 57 works of art chosen by the public.
I can't afford to buy flowers at the moment but I spotted a huge swathe of germander speedwell (Veronica chamaedrys) growing in a shady spot at the side of the road, so I helped myself to a few (I only ever pick if there are plenty more left behind). They are so pretty, a beautiful purpley-blue. Not sure Cath Kidston would approve of the commemorative France 98 'vase' though.
Yay! Another lovely collaboration between animator Charlotte Blacker and musician-for-kids Caspar Babypants (a.k.a. Chris Ballew from The Presidents of the United States of America). Caspar says:
"Charlotte Blacker (Stompy the Bear) is back and made this little dreamy world for a little girl who LOVES mud to romp around in. I love that she has red hair just like Rachel Flotard who sings with me on this song. Enjoy and stay dirty kids!"
Greater Manchester Police has teamed up with the cast of cop show Scott & Bailey to help raise money for Joshua Wilson, a local boy who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2004.
Officers from the Prestwich and Whitefield Neighbourhood Policing Team, the Chief Constable and cast of Scott & Bailey demonstrate their best Gangnam dance moves in a video for the Whitefield student.
Joshua was diagnosed with his first brain tumour when he was just three years old and intrusive surgery means that he now has severe neuromuscular disabilities that require a fully adapted home. His family needs to raise £25,000 to pay for a ceiling track hoist, special building work and other basic equipment.
GMP’s film features the Chief Constable fronting a mock press conference to help track down one of GMP’s most notorious villains, none other than Joshua. Inspector Mark Kenny from the Prestwich and Whitefield Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “Joshua loves the police and when he got in touch to see if there was anything we could do to help, we were only too happy to help out.
A group of Big Issue vendors have got together with ad agency M&C Saatchi and independent typographer Stephen Kenny of A Two Pipe Problem Letterpress to design and create their own adverts, using 19th century letterpress equipment.
The national print and outdoor campaign, #SupportLocalBusiness, aims to highlight the fact that Big Issue vendors are small businesses in their own right, earning their living rather than receiving charity. The video above documents the project and includes interviews with the vendor designers.
The Heartsease project is a collaboration between R&B Handknit Designs, The UK Hand Knitting Association and the charity Kids Company (www.kidsco.org.uk). Kids Company supports 18,000 children and young people who live in exceptional poverty and have experienced chronic neglect and abuse.
Through Heartsease, knitters can extend care to children they have never met by sending them special heart-shaped bags. There are two patterns, one very simple and one slightly more advanced - you can download them from the Heartease website. You can add any trimmings you like to make them really special, and even include an encouraging note for a young person if you want to.
The bags will be used by the Kids Company team in therapy sessions with the young people they are working with. The bags will contain messages of hope and the 'pockets' can hold small keepsakes and treasures.
Heartsease runs until 14th February 2014 (Valentine's Day).
This is my beautiful new brooch, handmade by Gabi Reith of Small Stories. I've been ogling her work for a while now, especially her limited edition, handpainted wooden brooches, which are inspired by fairy tales and nursery rhymes.
I promised myself that if I got some birthday money I would buy one! I did, so this 'The Bear Went Over The Mountain' brooch is all mine. It's gone on my new winter coat and it makes me happy every time I look at it.
Today I stopped off at the hospice shop's cafe for a brew. Sat by myself, I was gazing round the room when I suddenly noticed my own reflection in my steel teapot! I don't usually like taking my own picture but here I am almost unrecognisable... and I love that my teacup is in the shot. I *am* a pretty dedicated tea drinker :)
This is a gift for Sean and Aileen on their first anniversary. Aileen loves sheep.
When she was getting married, Aileen sent me a swatch of the fabric of her dress, so I could match it with some satin flowers I was making for her (to be fashioned into a beautiful hairslide - see below - by our friend Cathy). I still had this little piece of material a year later, so I used it to back a heart cut-out on the reverse of this loveheart (but I seem to have forgotten to take a pic of this view before I put it in the post!).
In Sierra Leone, the Freedom from Fistula Foundation manages The Aberdeen Women's Centre. This centre currently provides free surgeries to women injured in childbirth, runs a children's clinic, and now has a maternity clinic.
The goal of the new maternity clinic is to provide mothers in Sierra Leone with quality care during childbirth which will have the double benefit of reducing the number of childbirth injuries, as well as helping to reach the worldwide Millennium Development Goal #5 which aims to reduce maternal mortality across the developing world.
The Aberdeen Women's Centre now has the capacity to: deliver 1,500 babies each year in the maternity clinic; treat up to 500 women each year in the fistula clinic; and treat more than 6,000 children each year in the outpatient clinic.
The Freedom From Fistula Foundation has pledged to give each new baby a cardigan, jumper or blanket as a gift before they leave the hospital. They're extremely grateful for all donations in all colours* and sizes!
Completed garments can be sent to:
Freedom from Fistula Foundation Robertson House
1 Whitefriars Crescent
Perth PH2 0PA