Queen Elizabeth I in a message to parliament.

Of all the monarchs England has ever had the first Elizabeth is my favourite.
May be it was the red hair, may be it was the steely resolve, may be it was being a woman in a man's world and doing it bigger and better, may be it was having Anne Boleyn as a mother and Henry VIII as a father.
May be I watched way too much Black Adder in my youth.
Who knows, but she's the monarch for me.
Which meant I was very pleased to be asked to come in to the Ginger Ninja's school recently to hold a workshop with the year 5 students on
Tudor and Elizabethan costume.
After a quick slide show and costume lecture from yours truly we
decamped to the hall.
I had taken in some dress stands and we had gathered a big stash of cardboard, paper, fabric, sticky tape, glue and hole punchers.
And so we let 5M and 5D loose.
I must warn you that this post is heavy on the photos.
But those guys did such an amazing job it wouldn't be fair to not show their achievements properly.

Young Elizabeth I

Old Elizabeth I

Henry VIII

And my favourite thing of the day.
Henry's shoes!

There were over 50 children working hard that day, all day.
They were all so creative and clever.
They worked amazingly in 3 teams to create these fantastic paper sculptures.
They solved problems and worked with numbers in new and unusual ways.
Making a ruff isn't all about frilly ruffles you know!
We all had the most fantastic day, and every one in the school was blown away by what the children had achieved.
I wish I had had this much fun when I was at school.
And not once did I have to say
"Off with their heads!"

Well if you have made it to the end of this post I want to say well done!
I thought today was going to be a brief departure from the current theme of
But as I look at all the pictures I realise I was wrong.
Love Nora xx


  1. What fun you've all had! Good on you!

  2. How utterly fantastic! They did an amazing job! Now, could you come over tomorrow afternoon and do it again with me and my daughter?

  3. Fabulous. I wish that the creativity and imagination that children have is nurtured and allowed to flourish and grow into adulthood instead of being stomped on in favour of all things logical and rigid. The world would be a far happier (and more fun) place.

    Anyway that all looks amazing.

  4. kids are so amazingly creative and it's really good to see that being nurtured. I never had that much fun at school either...

  5. What an amazing job they have done, looks like great fun. My school days weren't nearly as interesting as that.

  6. Therese Lyander7 March 2012 at 23:24

    Hello Jane, what a lovely post! Kids are just so creative.

    I hope you remember me, Amandas au pair Therese. I don't really know where to begin, but I've been thinking a lot about what I want to do and what I want to be and realized that costume design is what I want. I've declined my spot at CSM because It would just be stupid to put over 1000£ on an education that is not right. I'm going back to London as planed in mid April and thinking about taking the course in costume for performance at Morley college. During all of this thinking and deciding period you popped into my mind. I remember that night at the pub when you said that personality and ambition is much more important to you then sewing skills. That you were not afraid to teach. Then I had this crazy thought that you might wanted some help in your studio some days a week, and if - I would love to help and learn. When I come back to London I want to take every opportunity to get more experienced and learn so much as possible in the costume making area.I'm planning to apply to some schools in Sweden in the future who is highly competitive. So, what I need to do now is to gather every crumb of expierince and develop my sewing and pattern making skills. Maybe you could have a little think and might consider me to help out in your studio, it would mean so much to me.

    In either way I hope everything is fine with you and the ninja knitters! And if you run into Amanda and the family some day you should give each other a great, big hug from me!

    Take care
    Therese t.lyander@hotmail.com

  7. wonderful photos, and the sculptures are fantastic!

  8. Fantastic work, Nora. Love the sculptures.


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