Sunday, 8 November 2015

The Story of the European Wheelchair Basketball Photos

I have been meaning to write this for some time now but life gets in the way.  Earlier this year I was in Worcester for the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships.  Some people might of thought what another tournament Rebecca?

Well this wasn't just any tournament, it was my chance to combine the two things I love, crafting and basketball.  Also it was the qualifying tournament for European nations to go to Rio in 2016.  So what do I go and do, suggest another creative project to do alongside my officiating duties.

Well, I am so glad I did.  I contacted some other photographers and wanted to work alongside other people who produce some fantastic photography.  Things didn't go to plan but you can't foresee this happening.

I wanted to capture the story of the championships and the following people were kind enough to be part of my story.

The championships had a fan zone, giving people the opportunity to try wheelchair basketball, watch the games, learn to graffiti, get more information about sporting wheelchairs and learn more the University of Worcester. was in the fan zone throughout the championships not just in person but he sprayed a mural and a number of logos on the walls and some of these were captured in time-lapse videos and you can watch one here.

Malcolm is the chairman of British Wheelchair Basketball, he is extremely approachable and a good bass player.  He is so passionate about wheelchair basketball it radiates from him. 

Matt is a friend and fellow table official, he is a team player and is always looking out for people.

Lee was the local engagement officer for the championships.  Leading up to and during the championships I kept bothering Lee with my creative ideas.  Thanks for listening.

Maurice was one of the first people I spoke to at championships.  He had a smile that said 'let me ask if I could take his photo', he said yes.

Alex and Steve like all the staff and volunteers put in some serious hours, but they were always smiling.  

Carolyn has such a commitment to Wheelchair Basketball, she covers some serious miles to get to tournaments and games.  Planes, trains and automobiles comes to mind when I think about the travelling she does and I really admire this commitment.

Joe has a level of knowledge about the game of Wheelchair Basketball that made him an ideal commentator.  His commentary was great to listen to on the online feeds.

Mick is the Head of Institute of Sport & Exercise Science at the University of Worcester.  I have come across Mick many times and he has always been approachable and enthused about Wheelchair Basketball.

Andy is part of Sportserve who provide flooring, scoring equipment and everything in between to make a basketball game happen.  Yet again I took an opportunity to ask Andy to be part of my story and he said yes.  Andy, Will and their team were fantastic in everything they did to make the courts ready and you can see this on another time lapse video here.

Vicky is another kind and caring table official that I have the pleasure of working with.  Thank you for the pen and I am using at my games this season.

Miles is the GB Women's Head Coach.  He was very accommodating by letting me take his photo at a tournamnet that was so meaningful for him and his team.  They won Bronze again and qualified for the Rio Paralympics, congratulations to you all.

Sam volunteered in the fan zone for the majority of the time.  He was another volunteer who put in some serious hours over championships.  He was friendly, confident and got people engaged whilst in the fan zone.

Ian, Saskia and Gabe are great officials to work with.  It was my pleasure to take this photo, see you at a game sometime.

Leive, is one of most amazing volunteers I have ever met.  She always wants to do her best when she volunteers.  I hope you make it to Rio.

This lady is a Community Support officer for the University of Worcester, I met her on the first day of the championships.  She had friendly vibe and said yes to having her photo taken but I can't remember her name.

Javier, Linas (Leen-as) and Sasa were officials I have never worked with before.  The thing I love so much about wheelchair basketball is you get to meet so many nice people from around the world.  All photos have wording and I couldn't fit on everything Sasa and the guys said to me, sorry.

Rob and Dan are from Worcester and have developed into good table officials.  They are always pleasant to be around, take on feedback enjoy being involved with wheelchair basketball in Worcester.  Keep thriving and being who you are.

Allan was a commissioner at the championships, he always put me at ease working on the games.  I look forward to seeing at another tournament.  Thank you.

The morning I took this photo of Ian and Calvin, they were busy in the Fan zone.  Calvin was coaching some fans how to play wheelchair basketball.  Ian was drawing pictures with a young child who didn't want to get into a chair.  Being able to involve all members a family was great to see in the fan zone as this meant the family could stay longer and learn more about wheelchair basketball.

Toine is the team manager for the Dutch women's team.  Another friendly face in the sport of wheelchair basketball.  The team managers for all teams worked so hard looking after players and coaches, I really commend you.

When I finally got Jay to stay still long enough to take this picture, he was tired and really busy.  He was also losing his voice.  He and all the staff kept so upbeat even after the mega days they had put in.

Wow!!! Jeff loves Wheelchair Basketball so much he flew from Chicago to volunteer.  It blows my mind to see how far people will travel in order to volunteer for something they love.

Ade, Ian & Abdi were grabbing a drink when I asked them to take this picture.  The timing couldn't of been more perfect, they had just won and made it into the finals.  They won the finals and qualified for Rio.  

This series of photos was first shown at the closing banquet of the championships.  There was a pianist playing whilst the photos were on big screens.  Hence the choice of music, this was added afterwards and fitted perfectly.  When people saw their friends and colleagues they cheered.  I can't say how proud I felt to see how well my story in photos was received.

The following quote resonated with me whilst making gifts for the athletes "By doing what you love, you inspire and awaken the hearts of others."  So I included it in my story, I love making things and if I can inspire others to get get involved in crafts or sport I will be happy.  I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart every person who gave some of their free time to make gifts, shared my blog posts and tweets.

If you want to watch my story you can view it on Facebook or Youtube.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

My crafting countdown

I have not been blogging recently as I have been getting ready for my International Basketball tournament.  All the gifts people made have been gone to the athletes and they are busy playing.

Leading up to the championship I posted some countdown photos.  I have made a video of the photos but will explain the meaning to you.

Day 7:  At my day job we have a reindeer who is part of the team and I dressed him up with a basketball vest.  I was wearing a handmade top from a pattern called Sorbetto by Colette Patterns.

Day 6:  These were some of the basketballs that didn't get made into cufflinks for gifts to athletes.

Day 5:  These scraps of fabric are from five items of clothing I have made over the years.  The scraps are going to be made into patchwork.  I have never done it before but should look good.

Day 4:  This photo has four of the different gifts given to the athletes at the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships

Day 3:  Pin badges are always exchanged at international basketball tournaments and these three pins are from the major championships held in the West Midlands.

Day 2:  I love beads and being able to convey a message with them was great fun.

Day 1:  Mandeville was the mascot from Paralympics 2012 and there was a number of silver charms available so I got a basketball.

The tournament went well and the video can be watched here.  The music I used in the video was called "Many Hands" and I would like to thank many hands who made gifts, I really appreciate your help.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

The Knitting and Stitching Show - Alexandra Palace

About this time every year Twisted Thread and Upper Street Events host the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace. 
So this time last week off I went with some of my London knitting friends up the hill to Ally Pally.

It's been a few years since I went to this show, so wasn't entirely sure what to expect.  Alexandra Palace is such a lovely building.

I didn't really need any knitting or fabric stash but when has that stopped me or any other crafter?  The stalls were filled with lots of pretty things and people would stop oggle over them.  We went quite early and that was a good idea as it was busy.

I noticed this quilted bag on a stall, in the end I did buy some fabric.  

Some time ago I bought the t-shirt in the photo below.  It was made by Merchant and Mills for Uniqlo and I ended up buying fabric from Merchant and Mills.

Here it is and I intend to make another Belcarra Blouse number four.

It's always nice to be able to see products in person and more importantly spend time with friends.

Friday, 24 July 2015

The Big Hoot

Poppybead blog - The big Hoot "Peacock" 

As I walked home after a lovely knit night, I finally got to see some of the owl sculptures that have descended on the West Midlands.

These sculptures are part of The Big Hoot.  This is taken from the website "Presented by creative producers Wild in Art working in partnership with Birmingham Children’s Hospital, The Big Hoot has brought businesses, artists, schools and the local community together to create a public art trail of stunning owl sculptures on display across Birmingham from 20 July until 27 September.
With 89 giant owl sculptures to see – each one individually and intricately created by artists from Birmingham and beyond – this ‘owl-spotting’ experience is inspiring fun for everyone and is completely FREE.
Follow the trail from the City Centre to Sutton Coldfield; Winson Green to Bournville and many places in between and enjoy beautiful open spaces; inspiring buildings and Birmingham’s cultural heritage along the way.
All the giant owls have been sponsored by companies and organisations and at the end of the trail, they will be auctioned to raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Children and young people from Birmingham’s schools have also been busy creating over 120 owlets. These are displayed in ‘parliaments’ across the city as part of The Little Hoot education programme."

In a short walk I came across this one  

This one is impressive but my favourite so far is Peacock, located in the Mailbox.  I don't think I will get to see all of them but I am going to enjoy the trail and this great project.  I will create a folder with all of my photos so you can keep up to date with the owls and owlets I find.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Love Your Blog: Gratitude

I have been meaning to post this blog for some but health, basketball and life got in the way.

The Love Your Blog Challenge has helped me get my blogging mojo back.  I have been getting more organised and now plan my blog entries.  This helps when I don't have the chance straight away to write my blog entries.

It also gave me the opportunity to buy more stationery, I do love washi tape, sharpies and filofaxes.
Thanks Kate from A Playful Day blog & podcast for helping me get back on track.

A week of sewing

After sewing another summer dress last week, I got the sewing bug.  I had bought a Sewaholic pattern called Belcarra from Guthrie and Ghani my local independent haberdashery over a year ago.  It was about time I used the pattern.

I looked through my fabric stash and found that I still had some of the lovely fabric from my original summer dress.  So off I went. 

Here is the finished top and I loved making it.

Poppybead blog - Belcarra Blouse in Amy Butler fabric
Amy Butler fabric from House of Fraser
I loved it so much that I made another one.  The pattern didn't have many parts to it and the instructions were relatively easy to follow.   I did struggle with the cuffs but found a great page on a Sewaholic sew-along page

Sewing this week hasn't aggravated my primary raynauds.  I have cut out a third top and hope to finish it soon. 

The pattern can be purchased at many places in the UK and online

Saturday, 11 July 2015

A Summer (dress) Revisited

After an unsuccessful shopping trip in 2008 I decided I wanted to learn how to sew and use commercial patterns.  I signed up for an adult education class.

One of the first things I ever made was a New Look pattern. The number is 6890 but is now discontinued. 

New Look pattern 6890
I made this summer dress and it has worn really well.  I still get positive comments about it.

We have had some lovely weather in the UK in the last few weeks so I have been wearing my orange summer dress. 

I thought I would I would make another dress from the same pattern.   This time I wanted short sleeves.

I thought about pattern matching this fabric, in the end I didn't bother. 

I pressed my hems in place before sewing them.

Attaching the sleeves was pretty easy especially when I referred to my other dress. 

I covered a button with some scraps and I also made a scrunchie.

Apart from the bottom hem I managed to complete the dress in one evening.  I was really pleased with that as I have been struggling with my energy levels. 

I loved making this dress and will make more in time. 
What things are you making?