Pippa's blog

Win Freya Laughton cut-out-and-make advent calendars

Freya Laughton nativity advent calendarLovely Freya Laughton has given us two stonking pairs of her gorgeous advent calendars to give away to YOU.

They are ADORABLE and she always sells out fast, so don't miss out on a wonderful alternative to kiddies' Christmas chocolate melt-downs.

freya laughton advent calendar

 Hello freya... how are you feeling right now?

Fulloftoomanybiscuits (is that one word?) knackered also, overwhelmed (big to-do-list, not to-done...).

tell us about your creative business - what's your story ?

Freya Laughton calendar sketches

Both my parents have been self-employed for most of my life, so I thought it was normal.

I've always loved to draw and make things, they really encouraged me, and didn't seem to mind that I couldn't spell or understand numbers. I obviously wasn't going to be a hot shot lawyer or doctor!

I suppose I officially became self employed in 2005, but it has felt like a natural path that I started on fairly young.

When I finished an art course at Penwith College, I went to an art centre in America for a few months to work with some artists out there.

I came back and got a part time job with Poppy Treffry, who I still work part-time for now, almost 10 years on - she's a fantastic boss and it's a great company to work for.

With the rest of the week, I've been building up my own business, which started out as very textile-based. I made bags and other accessories, childrens and adults' aprons and cushions...

But in the last couple of years, I've stopped making as much with fabric and started to do more illustration work. 

freya laughton sketches

I illustrated a little Pocket Cornwall book, Cornish Feasts and Festivals, written by Liz Woods, an excellent food blogger, published by Alison Hodge (who also happens to be my mum).

I really enjoyed the illustration process, finding out about what I needed to draw and coming up with characters to tell the story.

I still love textiles, and spend a lot of evenings in my studio making things with my huge collection of fabrics, so I don't think I'll ever abandon the sewing machines.

What's the best bit of your working day?

I love doing rough sketches for something, especially people, they're totally anatomically incorrect. I think I probably pull funny expressions when I do the faces, but I like to scribble. I also like biscuits.

freya laughton nativity advent calendar

Why a cut-out-and-make advent calendar?

When I was little my aunt sent us each (I have an older brother) a traditional advent calendar. It was one of those cardboard ones with doors to open every day.

I loved uncovering a picture. Sometimes it would take ages to find the door, but that was what I liked, having a little activity.

I don't know when chocolate advent calendars really took off, but I know we stopped getting the cardboard ones. 

Freya Laughton advent calendar cottage

I watched children I knew with several chocolate calendars on the shelf - some would be empty a few days into December because the chocolate proved too tempting to wait for. Surely that was missing the whole point!

So I wanted to do something that was all about the activity, and pictures - not just cheap chocolate.

The first calendar I did last year was based on houses round the world. I wanted it to be fun and interesting. There is a different house for every day, with a little bit to read about the building and where you might find one. People live in some amazing structures. I really enjoyed doing the research.

freya laughton shepherd nativity advent calendar

There are islands in Peru that are entirely man-made out of the reeds that naturally grow in the lakes! The islands, houses and boats are all made from these reeds. I didn't know anything about them before last year. (Now everyone knows about them because Stephen Fry mentioned it on QI a few weeks ago...)

People seemed to like the concept of the Where We Live advent calendar, but there was also demand for something more traditional. 

So this year I started earlier, and did the Nativity calendar, which I liked drawing because it's people and animals, so I got to pull a lot of different expressions!

I hope the chocolate won't be missed, but everyone gets plenty on Christmas day anyway. And with one of these calendars they'll have a little model nativity, or world village to enjoy playing with too.

I’m already starting to think what topic I can do next year...

Freya Laughton Where We Live advent calendar

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Come encourage another mama on twitter

Come join us for our next #somum Make Date on Wednesday 13 November from 8.30-10pm UK time (find world times here).

This month we're all about sending a little courage to another mama who needs it.

Join us on twitter to make them together and talk about what gives us courage as mothers - how can we support each other? Find out more about what we'll be making and how at Encourage a Mama

I've made a simple template for an Encouragement Card that you can make and send. Send it to yourself, send it to a friend, send it to someone whose courage you see when they may not. 

Sam Osborne notebook and gift cards - make your own encouragement card to enter to win

Not only will you make another mama (or yourself) feel good, you might even win some fabulous prizes...

Lovely Sam Osborne is offering two lucky winners a gorgeous gift-pack of cards and a notebook (like these gorgeous ones here). 

To have a chance to win one of these lovely packs, just upload your encouragement card to our gallery some time this month - we'll draw the winners at the end of November.

Sam is a fantastic designer who makes beautiful useful things. Right now, the wall planners in her etsy shop are going like hot cakes...

Secondly, the wonderful Teika of Mothers' Milk Books is also giving away some goodies from her shop, The Mother's Milk Bookshop, which is chock-full of mothering beauty, in the form of books, cards, art and poetry prints. 

Greetings Cards from Mothers Milk Books - join Story of Mum #somum Make Date to winYou can enter to win a pack of 10 beautiful Mothers' Milk cards simply by joining our #somum Make Date on Weds 13 November and adding #somum to your tweets (choose either those on the left, or another pack which is equally gorgeous). 

PLUS you'll win a free entry to the Mothers' Milk writing competition (how's that for inspiration to get a little bit braver!)

Teika also published the inspiring anthology of art and words from mothers, Musings on Mothering. Do take a look if you haven't already...

We'll choose a winner randomly at the end of the Make Date from everyone tweeting using the #somum hashtag.

Then add a photo of your card to the online gallery here and you'll be entered to win the goodies from Sam at the end of the month too...

What is a #somum Make Date?

If you haven't joined us before, you might be wondering what on earth we mean by a Make Date on twitter.

Well, it's a chance for mums to get together on twitter and tweet while we attempt to do something creative - like doodlingtaking a photowriting poetrymaking stuff or even squidging plasticine.

We give ourselves some creative me-time and connect with other lovely mums. We do it every second Wednesday of the month and we would love you to join us. New friends are always very welcome.

You don't have to be a clever crafter, an artist or wordsmith. We're all about having a go regardless of talent or experience. Most of all, it's about getting together and having fun.

If you just want to chat, that's completely fine. If you just want to make something and lurk and never tell us you're there, that's fine too. We're just happy you're making time for you. 

Be brave and join us to spread some courage! 

How to feel alive, Mama!

Just when I thought our exhibition tour couldn’t get any more amazing, there we all were in London’s Photographers’ Gallery with Hollie McNish reciting her take on our communal Mums’ Poem to an emotional room of wonderful women (and a few wonderful men),

Penny Best, Pippa Best, Story of Mum www.storyofmum.com, Photographers Gallery

And in that moment, I felt truly alive.

I was filled with joy alongside my tears. I felt my body tingle and my eyes shine. I was so proud to be celebrating mothers together with my friends from my youth, friends from twitter, with new friends and strangers. With my own mother.

Where did this huge sense of vitality spring from?

Partly from reminders of loss - of friends, of our grown children, of moments that became memories.

But we also gained bubbles of life from these four wonderful precious things:

From community in celebration. From mothers together, joyfully painfully and in awe, receiving the rare credit we deserve.

From creativity. From seeing an idea, inspired by a special friend, take such beautiful flight. Seeing mums creating side by side.

From authenticity. From being completely engaged in something I deeply believe in. From a room full of honest sharing, the good and the bad, the tears and the laughter. From the mothers standing up for what we believe.

From mothers. Creators of life, holders of joy, givers of love.

Pat’s wonderful photos beautifully capture the event. 

Story of Mum: happy mums at the photographers gallery Make Date

With a glass of wine (or juice) in one hand, and cake in the other, we all somehow managed to make Mama Mash-Ups and edible poetry (care of lovely Sally Crabtree), had our portraits taken by the talented Pat Kelman, and added words to the washing line. I seem to remember eating any cake really fast so I had a free hand for all of this…

Story of Mum: mums making at our Make Date at The Photographers Gallery

The stories shared are all now online. Take a moment out of your day to watch one, or two, or the whole lot! And be reminded of the incredible strength and love of mothers.

Amy shares the challenges of mothering a young child while trying to hold down a job and pursue her dream of writing.

As a public person, Shelina explores how she protects her precious mothering space while simultaneously finding a strong voice and demonstrating the value of public activism to her daughter.

Lorna tells her journey from infertility to premature twins and a third daughter – through the bad news, the celebrations, the incredible support, and the joy in those everyday family moments.

Sue Atkins, Emma Murphy of FACSA, Shelina Janmohamed, Hollie McNish, Lorna Hauff, Amy Beeson sharing their stories for our Story of Mum Make Date at The Photographers Gallery

Emma describes her transformation from self-conscious woman to brave campaigning mother, who now works to raise awareness of FACS (a condition that has affected all of her five children in different ways), facing daily challenges but voicing hope too.

Sue shares her feelings of grief at an empty nest – her daughter has just left for university, her son is already there, and she is currently going through a divorce. She reflects on the joys of bringing up her children, and wonders how she will survive the shift to living their lives second-hand.

You can read Sue’s lovely post on what happened after the Make Date here – the power of the universe bringing you what you need, just as you need it.

Finally, watch this! For here is the fabulous Hollie McNish ‘curating’ the mum poem. I loves her. She’ll be releasing new material very soon, so keep a keen eye on her website.

Story of Mum at The Photographers Gallery: Dina of Kensington Mums, Angela and her mother, Pippa Best, Gretta Schifano

Thank you to all at the gallery, to the five brilliant mums who shared their stories, to the genius wordsmith that is Hollie Mcnish, to fabulous Pat Kelman Photography and Caroline Smith for their wonderful I'm a mum and a... portraits. To Jen at BritMums, Dina of Kensington Mums, all at the Museum of Motherhood, and all our lovely partners for collecting I'm a mum and a... photos.

Thank you to Takbir for filming, & to every wonderful person who joined us.

We were truly alive.

We wept and we laughed and we hugged and we were heard.

And we went home to our families a little stronger, inspired and strengthened by the reminder that what we all do is amazing.

Because it is. It really is. And together, in that moment, we all knew it. What we are doing here is special.

Thank you from my mothering heart. Thank you for giving life.

 

You can get in touch with Pat at Pat Kelman Photography – if you know anyone looking for a portrait or wedding photographer, send them his way!

Read about our daytime Make Date in "How to Find Out You're a Good Mother".

Find out more about the exhibition. We would love you to join in too. Why not add your own I'm a mum and a... photo like these below - there are lots more in the gallery!

I'm a mum and a... photos from The Photographers' Gallery

PS if you are admiring my rather lovely bling here and in the daytime post, these were a fabulous gift on the night from the delicious Jackie at Nibbling, and the only time I have stopped wearing them since is when my children have wrestled them off me...  

Hollie McNish reinvents your mum poem

exhibition buttonThe amazing Hollie McNish curated our communal Mums' Poem at our Make Date at The Photographers' Gallery in London on Friday.

Hollie chose from all of the lines submitted by mums from all over the world here, adding her own words and bringing her unique style to create a brand new mama poem.

Many thanks to Takbir Uddin at Words By Communications for filming the performance for us. And to Pat Kelman for this lovely photo of Hollie (with imaginary baby...)

Watch the film of Hollie's perfomance below...

You can also visit the previous 'curations' of the poem by Caroline Davies and Sally Crabtree in this post.

 

 

 

 

How to find out you're a good mother

The Photographers Gallery brought a new audience to the exhibition tour: sons and daughters, young and old, reminding mothers, very directly, of just how amazing they are. 

wall of mama mash-up collages from the story of mum exhibition

I'll be posting about our inspirational evening Make Date soon, but this post is all about the stories we encountered on Saturday when the sun was out... and so were the sons!

We're grateful to Jai and Janice at the gallery, to Sharon, Baobab Puppets, and everyone who came along and played (especially our twitter and story of mum friends!), Thank you.

Because we had Sally Crabtree’s wonderful edible poetry, we were able to tempt lots of lovely young women and men to play amongst the creative mothers...

You can see their creations in Caroline Smith’s lovely photographs below.

edible poetry

Every interaction had a story. One young man sat alone, quietly and carefully arranging his words on a biscuit. When he was done, he explained that he had made a poem for his mother, including things he knew she liked.

boys with edible poetry

And he took a picture and he tweeted it to her straight away to show he was thinking of her.

Lucky to have had such a good mother

An adult family of four explored the room together - mum, dad, two grown up sons. They thought of lines for the mums’ poem, browsed the Mama Mash-Ups and the washing lines.

As they left the room, we heard a delighted mama noise and turned to see a huge hug between beaming mother and slightly embarrassed son.

The son had just completed one of these fabulous feedback forms for us - the blue one...!

Puppet-making from Baobab Puppets was so much fun that even a grown-up daughter on a London shopping trip made her way to the kids’ table to get making with her mum and Auntie.

As Baobab’s stories engaged the children, their parents snuck away for some creative me-time. Catherine, a lovely mother who came along on Friday night even came back for more with her happy family in tow.

We met a German-Portuguese couple taking their first holiday away from their children, thrilled to be exploring a gallery in London, but missing their kids.

We met a man who had come to parenthood late in life and found it transformative (and a man who thought our project banal, but stayed for a LONG time to tell us that so it can't have been completely banal...).

We met a great-grandmother, proud nanas and granddads.

We talked to young women feeling broody, and to women exploring how friendships change as our friends have children and we don’t.

And we talked to mothers.

Mothers taking time out to make Mash-Ups, thinking of words for the line, and avoiding photographs.

Mothers sharing their stories as they chose pictures that represented who they really are. Mothers unable to find faces like theirs in the magazines we were using for collage. 

mothers with their mama mash-ups

Mothers feeling lost. Mothers feeling lucky. Mothers who love cuddles. Thigh-slapping mothers. Singing mothers. Mothers who dream. Mothers who love beards.

And mothers who had just heard how much their son loves them.

Join our Make Dates in London!

Come and join us on 18 and 19 October for Make Date events at The Photographers Gallery as part of our Story of Mum: Mums Making an Exhibition of Ourselves tour.

On Friday 18 October, we'll be hosting an evening Mums' Make Date from 7pm - 9.30pm.

If you're a parenting blogger, come along early - as we'll also have an extra BritMums networking get-together from 6.30pm. We've loved having BritMums as hosts of our regular round-ups of the 50 virtual exhibition stops curated by mums worldwide - you can read some of those here.

Why should you come along?

Our evening Make Dates are a unique chance to connect with other mothers, get creative and to share our stories. An opportunity to value all that we do, share our struggles and successes, and be inspired to get through the darker days of mothering.

Plus, this Make Date includes a very special performance by Hollie McNish. As this is the only time we'll be in London, we are so very excited to have Hollie with us, curating our communal Mums' Poem and performing some of her own.

We're equally thrilled to have five brave mums coming along to talk us through their own My Mum Story films.

As part of the evening Make Date, we'll be hearing the honest truth from the wonderful Sue Atkins, Amy Beeson, Lorna Hauff, Shelina Janmohamed and Emma Murphy.

Events are free, but places are limited for the evening Make Date, so you'll need to book here straight away. 

What about some daytime fun on Saturday?

On Saturday 19 October, we'll be at The Photographers' Gallery all day. So you can pop in and visit us from 10.30am - 1pm and 2pm to 4pm for a chat about Story of Mum and a bit of mash-up making if you fancy having a go.

On Saturday, we'll also have a Family Make Date: with storytelling and creative fun for families from 2pm to 4pm, including Story of Mum exhibition activities and puppet-making with Baobab Puppets.

Have you booked yet?

Call that babysitter, and then come right back here and book. Because you deserve a night out to celebrate the amazing things YOU do every day.

And if the babysitter says no, don't worry, you can come and see us on Saturday instead and we can tell you that you're amazing there too.

We would so love you to come and play with us!

Drawing on our stories

This months #somum Make Date partnered with The Big Draw to get us drawing moments from our mothering stories. Who knew we were so dang talented...?

Read some of our chat about the mothering moments we remember most in the storify below and visit the gallery to view all the drawings shared so far and add your own! Go on, if we can do it, so can you.

I love it when you sleep - robot days

We reconnected with our inner children - who used to like drawing...! And started to get into it, eventually braving sharing our scribbles and sketches. There were speed-doodles and beautiful pencil drawings, and abstract pieces like this lovely one from Robot Days: I Love It When You Sleep.

Every single image contained something insightful, all were beautiful, and visiting the online gallery is really moving. 

Some interesting themes are also emerging as more mums add their images to the gallery. (Go on, you can do it, we'd love to see yours... have a go and add it here).

Many of us drew the night time. Those long nights as we sleep, are woken up, feed, comfort, and watch our children dream. Such a huge part of mothering and yet we rarely see images of this. 

There were stunning drawings of breastfeeding too, each more tangible than a photograph. Below are 3am Feed from Not Nice Laura, In Love X by Jenson, and Feed Me by est.

three drawings of breastfeeding

This activity has been a pretty transformative creative adventure for me - I've found myself continuing to draw since I started with my two test images. It's such a powerful and contemplatice way to explore a memory .

Not only did we delight in drawing, but some lucky winners won goodies from The Big Draw for joining in - including these lovely sketchbooks. Doesn't that make you want to start drawing straight away?

You can find other goodies like these in their shop - it's a great way to support what they do. 

Visit here to find out more about The Big Draw. 

The 2013 Big Draw runs from 1 October to 3 November in fifteen countries, with more than 200,000 people expected to take part.  

Hundreds of drawing activities connect people of all ages with museums, outdoor spaces, artists - and each other. We loved being a part of it.

What do the pictures in the gallery say to you so far about motherhood?

What would you draw if you could? (PS did I mention that you can...?)


We'd  love you to join us in London for our next real-life Make Dates at The Photographers Gallery this week. We won't be drawing though - unless of course you've got the bug by then...

Join us on 18 October for a Mums' Make Date with poetry from Hollie McNish, five mums sharing their stories, creative stuff to do, and add to the exhibition, and a special pre-reception with BritMums. We'll be there all day on 19 October and will have a Family Make Date from 2pm to 4pm with puppet-making and storytelling to distract the kids so you can get creative with us. Hope to see you online and in London!

WIll you join The Autism Project?

The lovely Beth (known here as Superbee) is launching a new creative project to share the experiences of autistic children and their families. Here, she calls for you to get involved:

I am a disabled artist, photographer and aspiring filmmaker; I am also the mother of two young children, one of whom has autism, learning disabilities and other problems.  Since April I have been trying to set up an arts charity to enable children and young people with developmental disabilities to participate in and gain access to the arts: although finding trustees with the time to devote to such a charity is a very difficult task indeed.

It was while I was working on ideas to engage children (with these types of disabilities) with the arts that I came up with the concept of The Autism Project. 

The Autism Project is a multi media arts project that seeks to show the realities of living with autism in the family, especially its affect on sibling relationships, and in doing so dispelling the media myth that surrounds the disorder.   

All too often those who don't know, or understand the disorder perceive those with it to be either Rain Man (coincidentally he did not have autism) or people whose only engagement with the world is rocking and screams.  Now although there are those who never speak, and most children with autism experience meltdowns to some degree or another; autism is a spectrum of different symptoms and every child is an individual; every family affected differently: it is not a one type fits all diagnosis.

The Autism Project uses photographs of everyday situations to illuminate the highs and lows involved in being part of an ASD family, with a focus on photos involving siblings.  

I am seeking people willing to contribute some of their photos to the project, whether that is a holiday photo, a moment of success or the tears and pain of a meltdown: all are valid.  I am also seeking the words and artwork of those who themselves have autism.

All images have to be high resolution and can be emailed or sent in the post.  Every submitted image/ piece of writing will be featured on the website and selected pieces will feature in a photobook and an exhibition once the project draws to a close.

Alongside the images will be a documentary featuring interviews with parents, siblings and those with autism.  The documentary will be available online and shown at the exhibition as well as submitted to film festivals.

As this is not a profit making venture I cannot pay anyone for taking part, but all those who feature and support will be credited.

If you are affected by autism or aspergers in any way then you are invited to take part.  

To become involved in the project, or to find out more, email me at contact@truthaboutautismproject.com and send your high resolution photos, artwork, thoughts etc.  

For the documentary we are looking for families and those with autism who live on the South Coast or Hampshire, Surrey, West Sussex, East Dorset or Wiltshire.

This is your chance to show that our children are amazing and that a diagnosis of autism is not the end of the world; although it changes it.

We are also looking for people to help out in any other way so if you think you can then please also get in touch.

A new website has been erected at www.truthaboutautismproject.com although it is currently in its infancy.

You might also enjoy Beth's wonderful My Mum Story film, made as part of our online exhibition: Story of Mum: Mums Making an Exhibition of Ourselves.

My Mum Story: The Big Draw

Join our next #somum Make Date on Wednesday 9 October from 8.30-10pm UK time (find world times here) to have a bit of a draw together on twitter.

Is your first reaction the same as mine...? "But I can't draw!".

When I watch my kids drawing, I'm amazed by their confidence and vision.

My children see whatever they want to see in their drawings. They don't judge whether the sun should be that shade of pink, or whether the tree should be in proportion to the cow, or whether that hand looks like a bunched up string of pork sausages. They just draw.

They know that none of that judgement nonsense matters. What matters is the simple joy of moving your pencil or crayon or charcoal or whatever you have in your hand, across the paper. Of making shapes. Of filling space. Of dreaming and imagining and creating and remembering. 

Let's reconnect with that inner child's love of drawing. October's Make Date is a joint celebration of our travelling tour celebrating mums (Story of Mum: Mums Making an Exhibition of Ourselves, landing in London on 18/19 October), and The Big Draw, a month-long focus on the fabulousness of drawing. So we'll be using both hashtags: #somum and #bigdraw. And sharing what we create here: Draw Your Story.

Call it doodling if you like. We've doodled before at our Make Dates and it has always been both hilarious and insightful. This one even prompted someone to have a baby. Drawing is powerful stuff!

What will we draw?

We'll be drawing moments from our mothering journeys that we haven't captured in photos, on film, or in words. Or at least not in the same way. Moments and emotions entwined - that sit somewhere in our heads, in our hearts, held somewhere in those fingers that hold the pen.

They might be good memories, bad memories, mixed-up memories - but they are our memories. They are our stories. And the act of drawing or doodling or simply letting a crayon run riot on the page helps to shape them in our mind

That brown scribble above? It took me FOUR goes. Four blank pieces of paper to get to that heart-shaped night of sadness and guilt and worry, that dark sensation of intense closeness and overwhelming responsibility. And to you it probably just looks like a brown smudge with a face on, and that's completely OK. Because the process of drawing that moment, of re-experiencing those early fear-filled days of sleepless motherhood, of connecting with what that really felt like, was strangely healing. It doesn't really matter what it looks like.

At night I watch my children dreamI did try and draw a happier moment too. Of something I do every night - watch my children dream.

I actually take photos of them every night too, (you can see some in this short film from last year). But I've never attempted to draw that moment - and it was lovely to sit in the dark and listen to them breathing and try to draw.

As you can see I completely avoided drawing sausage hands by not giving my daughter any hands at all.

How will the Make Date work?

For a bit of inspiration, we're going to start the Make Date with a virtual screening of My Mum Story films from the exhibition (basically we'll each choose one of the films in the gallery here and watch it at the start of the Make Date, chatting along...).

We'll answer questions and draw as we go, sharing photos of our doodles and scribbles and wrong-coloured suns and giant cows. You don't have to try and think of a hugely significant moment. Because every mothering moment is significant.

And as always, you don't have to get creative at all if you don't want to. You can draw and never show anyone. You can just chat. Or lurk. We love a bit of lurking at a Make Date. (If you're still not entirely sure what a Make Date is, this might help).

Rather wonderfully, our friends at The Big Draw have given us some goodies to give away at the Make Date - just add both #somum and #bigdraw to your tweets to enter.

One lucky scribbler will win a Quentin Blake T-Shirt (you can have a child one or an adult one, or put a child in an adult one for maximum amusement opportunities...), along with a Big Draw Sketchbook, all packaged up in a limited edition Big Draw Tote Bag.

Two runners-up will also get lovely Big Draw Sketchbooks to inspire you to keep on drawing...

The Big Draw campaign struggles to raise the funds needed to spread a love of drawing far and wide, and you can find other goodies like these in their shop - it's a great way to support what they do.

As, of course, is drawing.

So join us on 9 October to share our stories in drawings. Bring your pencils, your felt tips, your crayons, charcoal or pastels. Grab a biro. Whatever you have to hand. And who knows what our drawing hands might help us to discover together. Let's draw.


Visit here to find out more about The Big Draw. 

The 2013 Big Draw runs from 1 October to 3 November in fifteen countries, with more than 200,000 people expected to take part. Hundreds of new and enjoyable drawing activities connect people of all ages with museums, outdoor spaces, artists - and each other. These events are for those who love to draw, and those who think they can't.

Since its launch in 2000, The Big Draw has successfully supported the Campaign for Drawing’s aims by encouraging everyone to draw. Big Draw events highlight the power of drawing to help people see, think, invent and take action.

 

We'd also love you to join us in London for our next real-life Make Dates at The Photographers Gallery. We won't be drawing though - unless of course you've got the bug by then...

Join us on 18 October for a Mums' Make Date with poetry from Hollie McNish, five mums sharing their stories, creative stuff to do, and add to the exhibition, and a special pre-reception with BritMums. We'll be there all day on 19 October and will have a Family Make Date from 2pm to 4pm with puppet-making and storytelling to distract the kids so you can get creative with us. Hope to see you online and in London!

Our Mums' Poems: On Film

As part of our Story of Mum: Mums Making an Exhibition of Ourselves tour, two wonderful poets have already interpreted the words you have shared with us as part of our communal Mums' Poem

Their 'curated' versions of the poem, very different in style, are below.

At our last Mums' Make Date in Penzance, Sally Crabtree created a song inspired by the words submitted to the giant Mums' Poem, including more submissions from the mums in the room that night.

It was genius and hilarious and comes with a heartfelt guarantee to make you feel better about yourself.

 

Sally Crabtree is an international songwriting poet and children’s author who has become well known for her unique brand of interactive poetry installations and performances such as her Poetree, Poems in a Tin, Phone a Poem, The Poetry Postie, Poetry Bingo and  "I'll Eat My Words" edible poetry.

She has been described as “one of Britain’s richest inventions “ (bu Lars Gustafsson, nominated for Nobel Prize in Literature) due to her innovative approach to presenting words in ways that delight and inspire all those who engage with them. You can find out more about her on her website, and watch a snippet of a song from Magic Train Ride here.


In Milton Keynes, Caroline Davies stayed true to the form of a Kenning - using some the lines submitted by mums to describe ourselves without using the word 'mother'. It's a beautiful and touching response to our submissions.

 

Caroline Davies is a poet and blogger as well as being the mother of two sons. Her first collection, Convoy, based on the experiences of my mother and grandfather during WW2 is published by Cinnamon Press.‎  Website:  http://advancingpoetry.blogspot.com/
Next up will be the ever inspiring Hollie McNish - come and join us in London at The Photographers Gallery on 18 October. Bookings open soon... I can't wait!
Story of Mum: Mums Making An Exhibition of Ourselves is supported by Arts Council England, Feast and a range of other partners. Find out more here.

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