Wednesday, 30 July 2014

OVER AND DONE WITH! Been a while? Sorry!

Well blinking heck it has been a while hasn't it? Did you think I had given up blogging??? It almost felt like it! Well blame BT and the fact that we are so remote in location that our Internet connection has been something of a challenge of late - well, that and the fact that we have a hyperactive toddler and frankly I have been as busy as!! But here I am, boring you all once again with the finite details of my rather meagre existence! It has been mental, really it has, but here we go for a bit of a re-cap....

Well to start with we are all KNACKERED!! The pics below are not a fabrication - it really was a full-on rush and panic to meet those end of term deadlines!! I LOVED my girls this year and I really hope that we all stay in touch - they were all superstars and I will really miss them - it was so nice to come back after 8  months to such a receptive and dynamic group - I wish them all huge successes in the future. XX

We had our mad and fun moments - sadly this fine fellow didn't make the final cut - but I love Chloe for making him!

So here are the final shows in all their glory....  


















What follows is a selection of the best of the rest - a talented bunch this year! I did like how the examiner identified the fashion and textiles as being one of the strongest areas though....!!

I was totally spoilt this year and given some lovely, lovely presents - this wonderful bag off goodies was presented to me and was a bit cringe in terms of just how on the mark it was! I also received a lovely scarf and pair of earrings from Emilie, some homemade rocky road form Rosie, and awesome lipstick (and lovely book for Noah) from Caroline, an engraved shot glass and INCREDIBLY, a specially made Millie flat-pack stool - oh be still my beating heart!!

Car floor decorations- pahahahahaha Shiv - if you know me, you will get the "joke"!

I designed some mugs - I LOVE them!

Maxi was TWO 

Two of my favourite girlies in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD graduated - selling work and walking into paid employment immediately! Tooooo clever!

I always love the Bucks show and this year it was as good as ever - end of an era with their wonderful head of print retiring though - happy days Paul. XX

The Bucks Private View was Ivan (Mr Bicknell) and my first night out sans the toddler - it was, I have to say, very nice to wander around the different areas and take in a bit of non college creativity - we even got a sneaky look at their foundation course!
This is a peak at the degree level fine art and graphic communication shows -I love the presentation of the latter!

We had our private view - great -the drinks were on them!!!

It was safe to say that Tabby had the BEST TIME!! Owwy head (as Noah might say) the next day I believe!!

Caroline and Emma - VERY clever girls! Nice pout Caroline!!

Noah is becoming a bit of a dude - his sandals are apparently no longer cool enough - he has moved onto my Converse!!

We had a lovely weekend in London with Ned and Michelle - I love Michelle's take on pudding! My kind of girl!!

Saturday on Broadway market - tooooooo many good things to eat!!!

And buy.....

Noah has discovered ice-cream!

As if we weren't knackered enough - we had to put on taster days and welcome events at work - PLEASE SEND YOUR KIDS TO ALTON COLLEGE - WE ARE FAB YOU KNOW!!  Hooray for helpful students and reliable colleagues! Paul, Sammi and Georgie  you were ALL awesome!

Practise continuous collage session with the textile and fashion girls...

Yes Alex - it is very impressive that you turned up to help - but I would expect nothing less!!

Got to get the odd bird in there!!

I went to New Designers - it scares me how time flies - ex-students graduating left, right and centre!!

Becca in the spots has just graduated from Derby and is doing very well already and it was brilliant to catch up with Sophie, my loverly ex-colleague - I miss working with her......

Sophie and I wasted no time in catching up at Carluccio's over seafood and Sauvignon !! SShhhh, don't tell Ivan (Mr Bicknell)!!

Twice in one week - she came to help at Tweseldown too!

Roll-up, roll-up, buy your amazing printed goodies here...!

Here I am (courtesy of Sophie) and here is my attempt at making a mouse with the Stuff ladies that I share a room with - ah well, practise makes perfect!

I have NEVER seen rain like this! Talk about stopping play - not the most helpful weather for an abundance of sales...!

Fighting a losing battle me thinks!

This bread bin filled with water every single 60 seconds for about 20 minutes!!

Sammi, Noah and I got into the collaging too in preparation for our magnificent year tens taster day!

Noah got handy at home ..... not

As did Emma at college - she was far more useful!

Day one a great success - lots of awesome collage by the year 10's - note to self - don't leave Paul outside all day with the spray paint - it goes to his head!

My lovely girls!

The end results...

Well I was impressed, and well, a bit relieved that it all worked out so well, despite a few misgivings!!

Charmian and I went to the Design Museum for a CPD course - it was so much fun and the guest speaker totally blew my mind.... more about him in a minute. We had a day of being students again, viewing the current exhibits, problem solving given brief, building weird and wonderful things and meeting some of our counterparts at other local colleges which was really interesting and may prove to be quite useful! watch this space!! I LOVE the design museum, it always delivers with its shows and has a pretty cool ethos - God, I wish I had these sorts of facilities and enthusiasms at my finger tips - I also wish that the ideologies presented in that classroom really were echoed in the cold light of day  when we are up against it at the coal face trying to deliver on really long and demanding teaching hours, stuffed to the rafters classrooms, no money for materials and let's face it, pretty crap pay. Despite the fact that the creative industry is so MASSIVE in this country it beggars belief that so few schools and parents really embrace this and instead focus on STEM subjects - which is of course fine, but it makes for a very dull and geeky world.... and what people tend to forget is that for every car you drive, outfit you wear, building you sit in, pencil you use, app you download, box you pour your cereal from and bedlinen you sleep in, someone went to art school to help make these things a reality....

Did you know that...
  • In 2013 the Creative Industries was the fastest growing sector of the UK economy.
  • In the UK the Creative Industries were worth £35 BILLION last year.
  • The Creative Industries in the UK employ 1.75 MILLION people.
  • The Creative Industries account for 8% of the UK's GDP (economic output), a higher percentage than any other country in the developed world.
Well did you???

Designs of the Year 2014 from Design Museum on Vimeo.

Our brief, in small groups was to visit the current "designs of the year" exhibit and select a few things based on the playful quality they possessed and then, following a discussion with a "well placed" individual design a space that would meet their individual needs - our guy needed his living space to be not only mobile (which it was) but sound proofed, security conscious and cool - I tell you, it's amazing with you can do with a luffa these days.....

Asif Khan is an architect extraordinaire! Graduating as the top of his class in 2004 from the Bartlett school he was awarded a full scholarship to attend the architectural association. he is most well known for his Coca Cola beatbox in our Olympic Village (the first time Coca Cola has ever commissioned a logo less piece) and Megafones Mega faces for the Sochi winter Olympics. He was also the designer in esidence at the Design Museum in 2010 - quite a prestigious appointment given that he was the first ever architect to achieve this. I was unashamedly one of the first to volunteer to be on a debating panel with him - this was interesting as those who were brave enough (or stupid enough) to put themselves up were all complete show-offs so the discussion was lively! For someone so young it is inspiring to see such drive, ambition and unadulterated creativity - I couldn't help but approach him to ask if he would come to college - I was surprised to receive a business card and the suggestion that we should open a dialogue! So whilst i am "unpacking" my ideas for next term (key word of the day) I might just drop him aline.....

Sadly an unplanned powercut ended our seminar rather abruptly so C and I meandered through Borough market, ate sushi and wandered along the South bank - and very nice it was too - we even dropped into Tate Modern!

Back to work and back to entertaining and enthusing the newbies - this time a bit of a treasure hunt with the undertaking of different creative stations earning puzzle pieces which would then ultimately earn prizes - the work looked great and we survived the mayhem - good to meet some of new students properly too!

This is what happens when you lend you camera to people!

And now it's the holidays!!!

Cool T shirt Uncle Guy - thaaaaaanks!!

So far we have attended two weddings - first my cousin Rhys and his bride Flic who went all afternoon tea and Pimms....

Amazing party bags for the kids - VERY impressive!

And then Leo (the youngest theddonite) and his bride Katherine who wowed us with incredible music and an impromptu late night bonfire concert from Gwyneth Herbert....... the wedding reception was held at Thedden and we danced our blinking socks off!!

We have been enjoying the sunshine and going walking - well some of us have......

we (some of us) have been very helpful with our planting!

eating Alfresco...

I have been making - these are the beginnings of new clocks.

Back to Tweseldown and the introduction of some rather fab (even if I say so myself) new Owl t shirts!

I have been visited by some lovely oldies....

Courtney graduating in menmswear from falmouth with a 2:1 - awesome

Issie graduating in Lingerie with a first from Nottingham Trent - amazing

And my lovely Pip (yes Siobhan, you heard it it) who is making impressive waves at Westminster - I love this!

Watch out for these three they are all bloody good! I feel very proud and honored that they all want to come and sit in the sunshine chez Bicknell - although I think Noah may have had something to do with this!!!!

Finally - phew I hear you say.... in a bid to find something inspiring that may work for a promotional film for us I found this - it is 100% genuine and I love it - it certainly got my attention. These guys are all current students at the university of Rochester in the US and in a bid to recruit the faculty handed over the baton.... hmmm, now there's an idea. See you soon. XXXXX

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