I was inspired by Kathy's beautiful project this week and absolutely had to give it a try with Jessica. So, I copied Kathy's tiger as best I could and we coloured it in together. Jessica insisted on giving our tiger eyelashes and purple eyes! Once we were happy with the image we set about hiding it in the jungle of tissue paper. It's a lovely mixed media piece and we had a lot of fun creating it...
Saturday, 30 June 2018
Friday, 29 June 2018
For the past few months Jessica and I have been attending the storytime sessions at the rather fabulous Blue Owl Pottery Painting Cafe in Great Horkesley. Jessica really enjoys her mornings there, which we do on the first Tuesday of the month. The children have a few books read to them based on a theme for the month before painting a related item and enjoying a drink and a biscuit. I get to relax and enjoy their lovely coffee of course! We went once when Jess was younger but she didn't have the interest to do it every month back then but it's been a lovely thing to do in the run up to her starting school in September.
Last month the books were all about Dads and the children were given the opportunity to paint a pen pot for Father's Day. This was the first time that she'd tried a sticker resist method and also the first time we'd used sponges to paint with. The colours are so much more vivid than with a brush because the sponges force you to use so much more paint. She also drew a mouse on her pot, which I then traced over using the writing bottles. We were both so pleased with the gift that I just had to share it on here. Here it is, front and back...
Wednesday, 27 June 2018
This is another one of our 30 Days Wild activities. We made our own windsock from a toilet roll, some tissue paper and some craft tape. Totally low tech and absolutely not weather proof but when the rest of June is forecast to be like this...
... it doesn't really matter. So, we made it and hung it high in our Cotoneaster. Now we have to wait for some actual wind because we made it on Monday when it was stifling and there was hardly a breeze in the garden.
Tuesday, 26 June 2018
So, our chicken pox crafting continues...
Yesterday we make an upcycled paper bead snake! We cut out large triangles from an old magazine and made them into long beads or tubes by rolling them around a pencil and gluing together. Next we found a polystyrene egg, a pipe-cleaner and some googly eyes for the head. We threaded the tubes onto some embroidery thread and used some beads for the snake's tail. Finally the snake needed some star markings on his head. Voila, one very long, satisfyingly bendy snake to play with.
Jess was pretty pleased with it wrapped around her neck!
Monday, 25 June 2018
I am a big fan of a paper plate, particularly when crafting with toddlers. They are so sturdy, easy for parents to transport home even if they're covered in glue, paint or glitter and they have so many uses. Off the top of my head I can tell you that in recent weeks I've used them to as shields, moons, faces, masks, hats and suncatcher windows. At just 2p per plate when you buy a pack of 50 from Poundland - you can't go wrong.
Now, anyone who knows my daughter will know how much she loves cats. Domestic or wild, big or small, it doesn't matter. She loves them all. Lions are amongst her favourites probably as a result of her love of The Lion King. So, on yet another day cooped up with chicken pox we thought we'd have a go at making a paper plate lion...
Sunday, 24 June 2018
We're participating in 30 Days Wild this month, which is a fabulous challenge run by The Wildlife Trusts. Admittedly, this was much easier for us to do before Jessica was stuck down with chicken pox but we're trying hard to keep going and do something inspired by nature every day in June.
So, one day last week we took inspiration from the poppies that Jessica has been growing this year and had a go at painting a picture of poppies using a blow-paint technique. We used ready mixed paints but I think liquid watercolours would have been better to be honest. We squidged a spot of paint at the top of each stem and blew the paint into the shape of a poppy. The blow affect is a bit lost as the paint was so thick but it was still an enjoyable activity and we'll learn from our mistakes and try watercolours next time!
Friday, 22 June 2018
I think it's really important to craft and create alongside Jess. I try not to do the same as her because that tends to deflate her and she will say that there's no point in her drawing a fox, for example, if mine is better than hers. However, it's good for her to see me playing, painting and making mistakes and for us to discuss creative processes. When we're painting I'll often get out my watercolours alongside hers and talk about what we both feel like painting today. She sees me plan, try, often fail, sometimes manage to salvage and always concentrate hard on what I'm doing. Crucially, we relax together and enjoy each others company while doing something productive. This handprint picture was a fun piece that I created during one such session. I love it!
Thursday, 21 June 2018
Wednesday, 20 June 2018
I love it when Jessica's feeling inspired and asks to do something herself rather than waiting for me to come up with ideas or instigate our crafting exploits. They are studying The Hungry Caterpillar at nursery this half term. They're growing caterpillars in the classroom and have done lots of lovely crafts already. One that Jessica particularly liked was making caterpillar pictures from cardboard tubes. She liked it so much that she wanted to teach me how to do it too...
Next we created a flower picture. There's magic in the printing process no matter how you do it or what you create.
Tuesday, 19 June 2018
Jessica and I have made a couple of bird baths now, both using terracotta saucers atop an upturned terracotta pot. They are so cheap and really easy to personalise. We use acrylic paints to decorate outdoor pots. This is the one that we made for our own garden...
We introduced it to the garden while we still had nesting blue tits in our box but I don't think they ever found it. However, this week we're regularly getting a pair of magpies using it. They are fascinating. They're bringing in bits of bread from somewhere and dipping it in our water before eating it themselves or (I suspect) taking it to young in their nearby nest.
Monday, 4 June 2018
Jessica and I stumbled across this little gem in a charity shop in Colchester a couple of weeks ago. The kit is a set of four pictures to complete with gems and foam squares made by The Orb Factory. There are all sorts of designs available and are sold as Sticky Mosaics - mosaics by number. The quality of the product is fantastic and the designs are beautiful but they do come in more expensive than similar kits by Galt and even Crayola. That is, unless you spot them in a charity shop for £1!
Jess is loving them. They are great for number recognition, following a key, manual dexterity and sheer patience and persistence. I highly recommend them, especially if you can find them on offer. They're currently half price in Debenhams...