It’s definitely a while since I sat down to write a bee blog, but at least I feel when I do that I have something worthwhile to say these days – ha ha! As we reach the end of another turbulent year, I find myself reflecting on the last eleven months and feeling incredibly grateful for both the security the new job has brought me and the opportunities that have arisen outside of that. Never one to pass up on interesting projects, there are a few things that have been bubbling away that I feel will bear fruit in the spring, and that gives me a sense of hope. I am most definitely looking forward to the light again. In the meantime though, it’s time for some wintering and some peaceful pastimes that soothe the soul.

It’s quite usual for me to return to folding in the winter months. Often occupied with festive crafts, one of my favourite models to make is the origami star. I do find origami so relaxing. I can fold the same object over and over again, enjoying watching the pile grow and the impact that a large number of duplicate stars, hearts or butterflies can make as a display. A couple of weeks ago I took instructions for how to make the lidded origami gift boxes into school to give the students who don’t go out at break and lunch, for various reasons. It’s something constructive to do with the hands that stray into their pockets searching for their forbidden phones. Two students in particular responded really well to the activity so we are trying cranes this week.

A while back I became enraptured with this image. Black Cloud – 25,000 paper butterflies – a tribute to the artist’s late grandmother. I found it a very powerful image and felt I wanted to create something similar. Like me, Carlos Morales has a passion for replicating the butterflies delicate form. He has produced a number of art installations in the same vein, each one as arresting as the next. I started to think about where a swarm of beautiful butterflies could feature around Beeston and came up with an idea to incorporate them into the light night event that is scheduled for the end of January and is going to be quite the spectacle! With neon art work and much more light themed activities besides, this could be just the thing that Beeston needs to break up the dark months.

So I contacted Kayrakise, fellow Bee Creative who I did a butterfly window display with for Sherwood Art Week back in 2017. She had a more streamlined, multi-layered model perfected and I felt that it might work better for this particular project. A few YouTube watches later I had mastered the new butterfly and thought I should try and find a material to work with that might withstand the elements better that printer weight paper. I trialled a few in greaseproof paper, and although they were more fiddly to make, was pleased with the results. A light spray of glow in the dark paint and we have the beginnings of an idea for an installation that might just work. More experimentation this week should give me a better idea.

In my other role as Creative Editor for The Beestonian Magazine, I will be covering the Beeston Light Night and so will be in a position to tell you more about what you can expect at this huge community event. In the meantime, here’s a pic of some of the team celebrating ten years of writing together and producing our marvellous magazine. There are bigger things ahead too for The Beestonian next year, which provides another precious nugget to hold on to. I am choosing to end this year, fearless and fortunate and looking towards the light.