Friday, 22 July 2011

I'm Off!

Very excited by the arrival of my new course pack. I'm planning to start mid September when the youngest of my three girls starts school but I wanted to get all the info earlier so I could have a good read through and make sure I have everything I need, work out my deadlines, organise a work area, sharpen my pencils etc ready to start in earnest.  I've also got a few knitting projects on the go that I want to get finished in the meantime, particularly youngest daughter's cardigan that she'll have grown out of if I don't get a move on.  It's going to be a challenge not to be seduced into starting anything else new though.

It's the first day of the school holidays, so I spend all day trying to keep the kids amused in the hope of a few hours to myself later.  This pays off and armed with notebook and highlighter, I work out that first I need to complete my student profile to send off to my tutor.  I include that I'm intending to follow the degree programme over the next 8 years or so and would like to complete this course ready for assessment in August 2012.  I'd like to develop ideas both in knitting and stitching, work out the best method for me to keep effective learning logs and sketchbooks and cure my habit of not recording what I've done when I work in an experimental way (when I come to revisit something that's worked well, I've generally forgotten how I did it).  So my profile gets e-mailed off, along with a query about submitting work to your tutor - handbook says ideally A1 portfolio plus a box, yet an A3 Envopak is provided?   

I put together a list of things to do between now and September:
  • Order some books on reading list from library and set up wish list on Amazon
  • Check what exhibitions are coming up locally - Bankfield, Shibden Hall, Piece Hall, Dean Clough, Leeds Industrial museum.  Anything on Asian textiles maybe in Bradford or Dewsbury?
  • Plan to visit Harrogate Knitting & Stitching Show
  • Have a look at some Picasso & Van Gogh - think I've books at home
  • Draft a study plan
  • Think about what sized sketch books I should buy. A3 probably too big. A5 too small but would fit in bag. A4 probably about right.  I need a new bag!
  • Research Harvard referencing on OCA website
  • Read Study Skills Guide
  • Consider some ideas for a theme book.  Initially I'm thinking 'Underwater', possibly because we visited the Sealife Centre in Scarborough last weekend and it made me feel like a big kid and I fell in love with the seahorses.  Also I have a lovely coffee table book about exploring the underwater world and I'm always attracted to marine colours - sea greens and turquoise.  The other idea is 'My Garden'.  I love my garden and planning the planting schemes and I like to photograph it so have a good resource there.

  • Decide whether to enrol on any of the local adult learning courses that start in September, such as Developing Sketchbook Drawing.  Might they complement this course and might I benefit from the interaction and feedback of others? Courses are 2 hours each week for 10 weeks. 
  • Look into any relevant places to visit on forthcoming holiday to Jersey.   
The last thing on my to do list was thinking about paper v. online learning log. I spent some time looking at blogs by the OCA students and was impressed.  I like the idea of being able to cut, paste and rewrite my thoughts to get them in a coherent order and being able to share my work. So I've decided to be brave and go online.  I'll keep a notebook in my bag and put some clear wallets at the back of my file to to keep magazine articles etc. Little pieces can go into my sketchbooks.  Not sure how this blog thing works yet though and all these backgrounds, fonts and stuff to choose from!  Where did the link I put on get to?  In a knitting magazine I read today, it recommends some blogs.  I will check out what makes them good.