Friday, 12 July 2013

Summer events for Ancient Landscapes project

If you have wandered into this Exploring with Stories blog, then this project has finished but we are running a new project: Ancient Landscapes - visit us on the sister blog, Ancient Landscapes for more event, activities and general excitedness!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Crows, Ravens and Wells

the fabulous Christmas Present Parrot, rarely seen but never forgotten!

We shaped birds….in card with fluttery bits, as hats with beaks and sharp staring eyes and as (sometimes frustrating) origami
a lot of our bird hats had a slightly demented air..(practice version)

Among the glue, tape, sticky bits and streamers and moments of anguish when that *!@** paper will just not fold the way the book says it should, we built the birds we know from our gardens and the hills around us and from our own hopes (parrots and penguins)

a proud Fluttery Bird Builder
if you have an origami Crow on your shoulder
are you a Pirate or maybe a wise Wizhard?

Through the day there was also an ongoing thread of excitement over the Waxwings that have been roosting in one set of trees beside one garden in one street for the last week or so

practice model, crow hat

Friday, 22 February 2013

Winter stories 2

Continuing the adventures revealed in Winter Stories 1, here are some more images from our event in Buxton Museum on Tuesday 19th

The adventures began with our sample pieces - pop-up cards and these circular story-lanterns. As a company we talked about our favourite wintry tales and then simply plunged in.....So take a deep breath and jump into our snow-drifts of stories

The Dark is Rising, Susan Cooper
Weirdstone of Brisngamen, Alan Garner
The Snow Elephant, Penny Dale,
The Snowbears, Martin Waddell and Sarah Fox-Davies
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
The Snow Queen, Hans Christian Anderson
Winter Woolies (this is a book one young reader loves from his school book box...we're not sure who the author might be!)
Moominland in Midwinter, Tove Jansson
The Arctic Adventure, Skye Waters
Carrie, the Snow-cap Fairy, Daisy Meadows and George Ripper

what would you add to this list?

Ella's story
Ella's story:
Once there was a girl called Ella. Ella wanted a doll for Christmas. It was Christmas Eve and the family had put out milk and mince pies and a carrot. That evening when they came home, Santa came and ate and drank. When he had done that he put the presents out. Ella got a doll. Then she played with it and had a lovely day.

I love the golden tree and its shadow in this one
another outside, inside pair

the snowman lives in a world where colour belongs to the trees....

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Winter stories 1

Tuesday 19th February. The first event of our Winter, Wildlife and Water Week, and a lively day of mess, glitter glue and laughter was had at Buxton Museum

We took our "favourite bits of winter" (as avery loose theme) and worked stories around them, adding in polar bear, penguins, wolves, mammoths and occasional hibernating trolls as we went

This will work best with pictures and snippets from stories. Another set of pictures will follow later

a cold polar scene

a winter forest with bare branches and evergreen trees
 This was a family event and it was good to see parents quietly getting on with their own designs

Among our younger participants, Narnia was  a popular theme as a favourite wintry story
The Wardrobe

inside The Wardrobe
Mr Tumnus
 the young man who made this  worked with such care and concentration that none of us had the heart to whisper that Mr Tumnus was a Faun (2 legs) and not a centaur

a cold winter night

and the welcoming house at the end of the walk
(the inside of the Winter Night card above)
 We made a number of these round stories. They work a bit as lanterns or maybe Table centres for Elegant Dinner Parties....

our sample story-lantern
another view of the same lantern
Naughty Nickerbox!
 The Story of Naughty Nickerbox

In a village far far away, there was a goblin called Naughty Nickerbox. Naughty Nickerbox was a thief because when he saw something he took it. So everyone in the village started to hide all these things so Naughty Nickerbox starved to death. Naughty Nicker was too old as well (he was 123) as starving so he could of died of old age

Granny Winter
 The Lost Polar Bear Lantern

There was once a baby polar bear who had lost its Mum. he wandered round struggling in the snow when he met a penguin. The polar bear told the penguin about getting lost. The penguin just laughed and walked away from
the polar bear who wandered off in the opposite direction. Just then he noticed a figure in the distance. He ran up to the figure and saw it was his mum and they live happily ever after

There is another event on Friday!

Raven Day

Friday 22nd February
Celebrating the crows, ravens - and other birds - of the Peaks - making bird mask, fluttering birds on sticks and even origami birds to sit on fingers or shoulders

Where? Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, Terrace Road, Buxton, SK17 6DA
When? 2 sessions, 10 - 12 and 1 - 3, free, open public sessions for all the family (children under 8 need to bring a grown-up) no booking needed, just drop by and join in!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Fossils, Art and Inspiration

Art and Inspiration
Art Days for Grown-ups
Sunday 10th March and
Sunday 17th March 2013
Dove Valley Centre
nr Longnor
10.30 - 4
create our own
ancient rockpools?

These days are partly training for our existing volunteers, training for possible new volunteers and also just days for adults who'd like to have a go themselves. We have worried about the wording of these - we want to offer days for adults and teenagers rather than families - we do a lot of activities for family groups but sometimes it is good for grow-ups to have some creative time that is just for themselves...

These days also mark the overlap between the end of  our "Exploring with Stories" project and the start of the next phase of "Ancient Landscapes"
just drawing...

Inspired by fossils from local limestone and the rich landscapes of the Upper Dove Valley, we'll share skills, ideas and techniques giving ourselves time to experiment and reflect

No experience needed - just join in and have a go!

Workshops are free and materials are provided but spaces are limited so please book a place (either day or both)
Further details sent with confirmation

Sunday 10th: crochet your own coral, needle-felt a fish, printing fossils, small models of monsters
Sunday 17th: making tiny people, plankton cloths, casting fossils, just drawing, fossil lanterns

Booking and more information:
07791 096857

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Winter, Wildlife and Water Week

Winter, Wildlife and Water Week

 a few extra project events in a week of public events celebrating this cold season, the birds of the high hills and deep dales and the ancient springs and wells of the Peak District

Winter Stories
Tuesday 19th February
Capturing the cold with children's stories and traditional tales and turning the best bits of those or your favourite wintry scenes into pop-up story cards and paper sculptures
Where? Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, Terrace Road, Buxton, SK17 6DA
When? 10 - 12 and 1 - 3, free, open public sessions for all the family (children under 8 need to bring a grown-up) no booking needed, just drop by and join in!

Raven Day
Friday 22nd February
Celebrating the crows, ravens - and other birds - of the Peaks - making bird mask, fluttering birds on sticks and even origami birds to sit on fingers or shoulders

Where? Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, Terrace Road, Buxton, SK17 6DA
When? 2 sessions, 10 - 12 and 1 - 3, free, open public sessions for all the family (children under 8 need to bring a grown-up) no booking needed, just drop by and join in!

Singing the Wells
Saturday 23rd February
A chance to enjoy playing with voices, stories, ideas and instruments.  Celebrating our ancient wells by singing stories, places, landscapes and water - to sing the Holy Wells of the Hills. No experience needed - just bring a sense of adventure and the readiness to join in! Led by musician and singer Jos Razzell
The end of this workshop will coincide with the Raven Walk so that we can join the procession and visit St Anne's Well

Where: Green Man Gallery, 55 High St, Buxton, SK17 6HB
When: 1.30 - 4pm. The workshop is free but places are limited: please email or phone to reserve a place:, 07791 096857

The Raven Walk
Saturday 23rd February
4.30 - 5.30pm, meeting at Bath Road entrance to Pavilion Gardens
Join the Stone and Water crew at the end of this week of Winter, Wildlife and Water for a walk round Pavilion Gardens. Bring Friday's Ravens or flags, hats or masks and we will salute the rich and ancient waters of the hills and  the wild and wonderful birds of our wild and wonderful winds!

if you are under 12, bring a grown-up with you so they can join in too!

Meeting points; Green Man Gallery and then the Bath Rd entrance to Pavilion Gardens, 4.30
Duration: 1 hour maybe?

celebrate the cheerful birds of the Peak District skies...
...the fiercer ones can be celebrated, too!

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Boggarts at Longshaw!

A Day of Boggarts

What day? Sunday February 17th 2013

Session 1: 10.30 - 12.30 (needs booking - meeting at the Moorland Discovery Centre, Longshaw) 
Session 2: 1.30 - 3.30pm (no booking needed - meet at the Visitor Centre)

Where? Longshaw Estate, National Trust

Getting there:

Useful link:

Cost and booking
morning: price: Adult £8, Child £5 cost includes activities, soup & a roll. Booking Essential (through the Trust - use the link above)
afternoon: activities are free but car parking charges may apply (no booking needed)

Exploring with Stories here will join the bigger event at Longshaw marking the opening of their Boggart* Play Trail. Exploring with Stories will be on hand to tell some Boggart Tales and do a bit of Boggartt detecting - looking for signs of boggart life, adventures and mishaps….

In the morning workshop there will be Boggart stories, Boggart building and other twitchy activities

* Boggarts? if you're not sure then a word of explanation might help…Boggarts are the awkward cousins of the fairies. You'll have read Fairy Stories, we are sure and you will know that Fairies are often beautiful. Boggarts aren't. And that fairies are sometimes kind. Boggarts aren't. And that fairies sometimes grant wishes. Boggarts? Not a hope!

But Boggarts are exciting, naughty, lumpy, bumpy, hairy and stary….Boggarts are fun