Monday, 31 January 2011

All Packed...

My life is now in a big suitcase and a little suitcase, ready for an adventure. I'm not sure if I'll get the chance to post tomorrow, but we'll see. It's nearly time, just one sleep away! I just hope I have everything... :)

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Blanket for Small People

Look look! It's only small but it looks so good! It's big enough to cover my body if I don't move... even though that's unlikely. I think I'm going to just send squares home every so often while I'm away. My parents will open up the envelope and there will just be a knitted square. And maybe at some point, I'll have a full blanket! :D I love it already! :)

Friday, 28 January 2011

Wooden Loose Parts Climbing Frame Jungle Gym

The best way I can describe it is that it is a model of climbing frame with removable parts. So all the horizontal pieces come out very easily, enabling interaction with the objects you are climbing on. It is a project I had to do for uni, to create a unique, completely original artefact that works in line with play theory. 

And I have no idea what to call it. Any ideas?

Thursday, 27 January 2011

The Joys of Pedestrianism :)

 Wandering around today, I found...

...some moustachioed birdboxes,

a decorated toilet,

a canal and it's bridges, and my shadow,

some Fairbridge cogs,

...and a wonderful winter sunset over Hollingworth Lake. :)

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Racoons and Pizzas

I had a fantastical 12 pizza meal with 8 good friends today. It was nice to see them, and it was good to catch up. I just hope that they make the effort to meet up while I'm away as well. They're an awesome bunch :)

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

NEWS: My Big Adventure

I think I've mentioned that it's going to be a crazy year. It already has been, and I think the tail end of 2010 was already mad enough, but here's the big news! Since there's only a week until the journey, I should tell you: I'm going abroad!

Some of you may know this, some of you might be shocked, but actually, if you really sit down and think about it, this isn't surprising at all. Oh come on, it's me! Zan! Spontaneity is my middle name... no wait, I don't have a middle name...

Anyway, I should explain really. Basically, in 2010, I came home from an amazing 2 wedding weekend and then found out that I was going to be made redundant and have no further possibility for funding. The weeks that follow happened in a blur but somehow I enrolled onto a Playwork degree at Leeds Metropolitan University as a second year undergraduate. And guess what? Part of the year is dedicated to placements and guess where I'm going? Abroad! Yay! :) USA to be exact. :)

The details of my adventure are a little complicated at the moment. The gist of it all is that I'm going over there to help set up a play project somewhere around New York. There will be lots of moving about, and lots of challenges. I'm so excited!

So next Tuesday, I will be in NY, USA and I will be having a glass of rootbeer and I will be smiling. I hope that you will all smile with me, and be happy with me. :) I won't be away for long, only 3 months, so keep watching the blog to see where I'm at :) Keep in touch - and for those of you that do, please pray for me. :)

7 days to go! :D

Where's My Sombrero?

Today, I found a guitar, a big hat, it's Mexican dude and his friend!

They seemed to be very happy! It made me giggle. Apparently there was some deal on in the student union. Sadly, they managed to gain only my photo-ing and not my custom. High five to them though - takes guts to stand around all day dressed as a Mexican! :)

Creative Fun :)

Displayed at the Fusilier Museum in Bury! :) Lots of children drew pictures from around the world apparently, and some of them are here. It made me happy :)

Sunday, 23 January 2011


On the way home from another evening excursion, I came across a curiosity...

So much of me wanted to believe that a fox had accidently stepped into fluorescent paint and left it's shiney footprints on the ground. 

Another part of me thought "Aliens?"

But my inner Sherlock Holmes got the better of me. Upon stepping on the mark it showed up on my shoe, and then I looked up and saw a projector lamp type thing. It wasn't so special after all, but it certainly fuelled the imagination for a little while... :)

Saturday, 22 January 2011


It's nearly finished now! I'm so excited! :D I want a huge one! :D

My Inner Pyro

It was a very cold, very still spring day today and I really wanted to do something fun. It just so happened that I have a large pile of old bills, out of date insurance policies, receipts etc that needed incinerating so....

...I decided it was a good moment for a little fire. :) An empty biscuit tin supported on two bricks. Can't really go wrong with that! Zan plays with fire! :D

Night Time Wanderings :)

Don't worry, I was safe. Just on my way home on the bus. Thought I'd share a pretty place with you. :)

Thursday, 20 January 2011

I'm Feeling Colourful

I made some cards today, ready to give to some very deserved people. It made me happy making them though - something about bright colours always makes me smile :)

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Playful Pieces from the Pros

Books and Stripes

I went to the library again and got really excited! Then I got a delivery of books! Yay! :)

Apparently, I like taking pictures so that things look stripey. I didn't realise. :) 

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

What could it be? #1

This could be a new game! Yay! :) Anyone want to hazard a guess? 

Monday, 17 January 2011

Re-discovering the Library

I've not been a member of any library for a very long time. Not since being a teenager. But this playwork degree that I'm doing has got me actively searching for information again, and boy, has the library system changed!

Okay, so you still go in, borrow books, take them away and then bring them back. That stays the same, but I actually had to read the introductory guide to the university library the other day to work out how to borrow books! Turns out it's all computers and radio waves now. At uni, all I need to do is zap my student card, put in a pin, and remember to put my books on the square on table that says "Place Books Here" (which I didn't do) and then you're all set. It even prints you out a little reminder receipt! After the initial confusion of it all, I was very impressed!

Having acquired my first book from a library for about 10 years, I decided to go all out and join my local library too. Since I had a bit of time today I decided to walk there, have a quick browse for books that I might want for my essays, and then joined. The process was a bit more familiar to me. Fill in a basic form and then wait for them to verify your ID. The amusing thing was the matching library card key fobs! They made me giggle so much! There must be some very regular library goers to have key fobs for convenience! :) 

It was a fun trip today, and even more fun when I found a book called Making Happy People. It can't possibly be a sad read can it? :D Wooo! :)

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Ladybird, ladybird fly away home...

I've no idea how you managed to get into my house on such a miserable Sunday afternoon! 

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Objects You Shouldn't Give Zan #23

An electric drill.

But I needed to do it for homework! Dad was supervising me so it's all good. There's always adult supervision somewhere, even if it's not in the picture :)

Friday, 14 January 2011

Happy Cake :)

Isn't it just so full of fun? Cake should be like this all the time!

Incidently, if you'd like a funky occasion cake, I know a fantastical cake maker. Leave me a message, and I'll put you in touch with her... :)

Thursday, 13 January 2011

End of an Era?

Here is the pile of playranger gear that I have accumulated over the last three years. The newly acquired playranger van is coming to pick it all up tomorrow so I decided to make things easier by putting everything in boxes and bags. I'm amused to see how much stuff there actually is! :)

It's been a fantastic project, and I am really quite sad to see it all go, but I know that this will be put into good use and give other children a chance to play. Bye bye playranger stuff. Maybe one day, we'll meet again! :)

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Geeking Out!

I've been doing a lot of reading....

I wish there was more to show, but I need more books! And post-it notes by the look of things! :) I have lots of papers and photocopies of journals but they're not as good to photograph! o.O But I read those too! Maybe when I have a big pile of them I'll try to take another pic :)

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Pretty cover, awesome book :)

This has kept me completely captivated. Maybe I should start recommending books. :)

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Perspective Play :)

I'm making a scale model of something for uni....

It's bigger than me! :D

Friday, 7 January 2011

Wishing Tree at Eureka

It was a bit bare because it was snowing today, but we had fun anyway! :)

And if you happen to visit Eureka over the weekend, you can add more wishes to my little tree! :)

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Word Count Frustration

How are you supposed to invent your own play quality indicator, put it in practice for 2 sites and then conclude in 2500 words? :( IT'S SO HARD! :( 

Someone save me from the madness! o.O

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Back to Play :)

I've been looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. There were simply too many "bank holidays" this year. I've been eagerly awaiting today to come since Christmas - and it seems like it was ages away! I like work. Really like work. And now I can work again! Wooo! People are back in their offices and I can call them now! Yay! Now I can resume as normal and do lots of things! :) I only wish that my car was still alive... *sob*

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Mini Project

Allow me to introduce to you the pile of knitting that will one day be known as my blanket. Say hello! :) Let's see if I manage to finish it this year :)

Hello 2011! :)

A flying start to the year :)