Lily Witt May 4, 2021 Dot to Dot
Teapots, mugs, plates covered in spots and dots are extremely stylish and popular at the moment. Emma Bridgewater has her Polka Dot design and visit any household section of department stores you will see lots of spotty and dotty pottery designs. But did you know there are several very simple ways suitable for all ages and abilities to of paint your own pottery with a dotty or spotty design. Finger print spots Your fingers make some of the best dots on pottery and ceramics, plus it is something even the youngest child with a bit of help can do. The only thing you need to do before starting your finger print dots is to make sure is that your fingers are clean and free of any grease. When you change colours make sure you clean your fingers well. A damp sponge to wipe your fingers on works quite well. The spots created with your fingers may not be perfectly round but they are unique, stylish and completely personal.
Round Stickers You can buy round stickers in various sizes easily and cheaply from stationers and they can be used to create lovely pottery with white spots on a coloured background. All you need to do is stick your round stickers all over the surface your dry and clean bisque (unpainted, unglazed pottery) in a random pattern. Rub the stickers to make sure they are securely attached to the pottery. Then paint all the surface area in your chosen colour, this can be done with a paintbrush or sponge. To get a nice solid even colour at least two coats of ceramic paint are recommended. Once the paint is completely dry peel off the stickers and your pottery is ready for glazing and firing. If you cant get manage to lift the stickers at the edge a good tip is to take a pin and stick it in the sticker and lift.
I quickly put away the jar, vinegar, and baking soda and moved on to another exercise and another and another. At the end of each mindfulness class, I conclude with the same exercise: lying on your stomach and drawing your happy place. As soon as I announce that we are going to be doing the mindful drawing, they excitedly drop to their tummies and wiggle with the anticipation of a kid on Christmas morning. I pass out the fresh white paper and a can containing shards of crayons. The second their crayons hit the paper, you can hear a pin drop. There is no goofing around, there is no talking, but there is complete mindfulness. For fifteen minutes, they will draw, colour, and become immersed in their creation. Of course the real magic is not what is happening on the paper but rather what is happening in their mind. They are thinking about their happy place and then making it happen on paper - perfect mindfulness. It is the same as when we use guided visualization to enter into meditation.
The festival got off to a mild start with a set by Milk Maid over at Zoo that gently rocked the crowd into a frenzy and lead nicely into a half hour show over at the HMV Ritz from Bastille that had a fantastic turnout for so early in the day and revved things up a notch - getting everyone in the mood for more. More soon came thanks to the wonderful Lucy Rose, whos warm and fuzzy acoustics proved to be a huge hit. Her new single Lines could well be the song that takes her closer to mainstream success, but at this point it would probably be a good idea to catch her while she is at her hottest. Things were already starting to kick off elsewhere with The Dunwells and Jake Bugg at Zoo, Eyes on Film and Last Dinosaur at Joshua Brooks, The Night and Hyde & Beast at The Deaf Institute and all manner of shenanigans across the three stages over at the fantastic new Sound Control - a former guitar shop that has fast become one of the most interesting venues in the city.
It has been a long while since I last wrote. I really miss it when I cant put my thoughts to paper (or keys... as it is). Last week I was teaching a bunch of kids aged 4-8 about the importance of mindfulness. This is a class which I teach every week. If you have never taught little kids before, it is much like trying to herd cats. The mindfulness class is one hour and for one hour I need about ten to twenty different activities as their attention span is so fleeting. Last week I had prepared a very exciting lesson using vinegar and baking soda to demonstrate how, when your mind is racing, it is like bubbles in the jar. I LOVED my new experiment and the kids were mildly amused for thirty seconds. I taught them to put their hand on their belly and breathe down the "bubbles of anxiety in their minds". Naturally as the acetic acid reacted completely with the sodium bicarbonate, the bubbles settled. Seemed like a compelling lesson? But, as with the others, it was... on to the next lesson!
Since its humble beginnings seven years ago, Dot To Dot Festival has gone from strength to strength and has served up sets from bands that have gone on to see incredible success. In the past, this has meant shows from the likes of Mumford & Sons, Florence & the Machine and The XX - but this month it focused back on some lesser-known acts hoping to break through in the same way. Taking place across three cities - Bristol, Nottingham and Manchester - the event has a pretty ambitious mission statement. In Manchester alone, it uses seven different stages at venues like The Ritz, Sound Control, The Deaf Institute, Zoo and Joshua Brooks, but while this is probably something of a challenge for the organisers in terms of business liability insurance, the backing of sponsors Fred Perry probably provides some small comfort.
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