• robot-blueprint-childrens-art

    It’s a Boy Thing

    As I’ve mentioned before, much of my boys’ creative activity is increasingly being carried out independently from me these days. They’ll find the stuff they want and get on with it, often without my knowledge. Once finished, they’ll sometimes bring the completed work to me, and explain at length exactly what’s going on. Other times I’ll come across something myself later, abandoned in their bedroom. That was the case with this drawing of a robot done by my 7 year old. Lots of his drawings relate to action and adventure, with Star Wars being a particularly popular theme at the moment. I love the way he’s annotated the drawing (complete…

  • kids-artwork-lavender-sachets

    Arty Lavender Sachets

    Time is still short for me at the moment, so I hope you won’t mind if this week I use a project that I originally created as a guest post last year. I very rarely do guest posts – not because I’m unwilling to do any, but just because I’m far too shy about putting myself forward for them! These lavender sachets  are a simple idea for creating a small gift with your children. I think they would look especially good presented as a set of 3 or 4 in a box, and they are another gift which is both unashamedly sentimental yet also useful – my favourite kind. All…

  • Features

    Colourful Castle

    It’s the Easter holidays, the kids are off school, and time for blogging is short again, so I’m a little late posting this week. We’re currently in Scotland on a rather cloudy and damp break, so I thought I’d share some photos from a visit we made to Kelburn Castle. Graffiti Art and ancient castles don’t usually go hand in hand, but at Kelburn they do! We are more used to seeing this kind of artwork in an urban environment, but Kelburn brought together four of the world’s leading graffiti artists from Brazil to work alongside Scottish talent and create a unique burst of colour, embracing the walls and turrets…

  • Freebies,  Nature,  Projects

    Flower Fairy Fashions

    Warning – if you don’t like fairies, then look away now, as this is an unashamedly girly post. As the mother of boys, I don’t often have the opportunity to indulge my well hidden girly side, but today I’m going to do it. I confess that I’ve always had a soft spot for flower fairies, though it’s not something I indulge very often. It probably started with the set of Flower Fairy books I had as a child, and still have somewhere, much battered, and full of my childish scribbling. The illustrations are beautifully delicate, and so sharply observed. Apparently the author, Cicely Mary Barker’s  sister owned and ran a small…

  • Projects

    Children’s Artwork Bunting Mural

    Yet another way of using some of the piles of children’s artwork that you can accumulate, this is a cheap and easy way to add some colour to a child’s room, using their own artwork. I’ve been meaning to do this project for weeks now, because my elder son’s room has never been properly decorated as a child’s room should be. Not that it appears to have bothered him in any way – he seems to be one of those people (frequently male) who have a complete unconcern for the environment he lives in. When I completed the project, I didn’t tell him, but left it as a surprise. It…

  • Projects

    Decorative Drawer-Liners for Mother’s Day

    Ever since we first tried making Paste Papers, I’ve been wanting to do more – it’s over a year since we did our last batch, so half term seemed like a good opportunity to have another go and try some different techniques. I had the idea to create some decorative drawer liners, which meant that fairly large sheets of paper were required, so out came the old flip chart again. This has proved to be such a good investment, as I find myself using it quite a lot. The paper is also quite thin, and is therefore ideal for the particular technique I wanted to use.     Last time…

  • Projects

    Even More Tissue Paper Cards

    Just a quick post this week since the kids are off school for half term, and keeping me busy, so I thought I’d share a few more of the Tissue Paper cards which I made a little while ago. I think this technique lends itself particularly well to flower and foliage motifs, as you can see.       They’re pretty self-explanatory, but if you want to find out more about them, check out my earlier post for the Valentine Tissue Paper Cards.  

  • Features

    Quality Counts

    I recently had to buy some new supplies of tempera paint. I couldn’t find the Reeves brand I had used before, so I bought some own-brand paint from a large store. It was a little cheaper, but turned out to be a false economy. It got me thinking about the art materials we give our children to use, and how this might affect their experience, so I decided to road test a few to see what the differences really were, if any. To begin, I compared what I had left of the Reeves tempera paint, with the new paint I bought. As you can see from the results below, the…

  • Projects

    Children’s Art Lanterns

    I love lanterns of all kinds, and paper bag lanterns are one of the simplest to create. In fact you don’t really have to do anything to them at all to create a beautiful lantern, other than put a lamp or candle inside (making sure of course that the flame is protected in a jar). You can use any colour bag, but white bags create the most ethereal lanterns, and will give out the most light. To create children’s art lanterns, you can of course just paint straight onto the bag. The best effect will be obtained if you use a paint that allows light to pass through, such as…

  • Materials & Techniques,  Projects

    Paint with Bubbles – 3 Ways

    Bubble painting is a classic children’s art activity, and it’s easy to see why – it’s easy, cheap, kids love it, and the results are pretty good too, but bubbles are also amazingly versatile, we’ve tried 3 different techniques now, and each one has distinctively different results. Bubble Painting Method#1 The first technique is the one most people will be familiar with. Here, you mix your paint (in this case tempera) with a little water, and a squirt of washing-up liquid, stir it up and then blow into it with a straw to create lots and lots of bubbles. You then gently place the paper over the bubbles to take…

  • Art Materials,  Materials & Techniques

    Valentine Heart Canvas

    This canvas was created mainly as an excuse to experiment with acrylic string gel medium. String gel is basically an acrylic painting medium that makes your paint more ‘stringy’ or stretchy, allowing you effectively to ‘draw’ directly with the paint by flicking and dribbling it about. As you can imagine, the amount of ‘control’ you have over your ‘drawing’ is limited, but simple shapes are achievable, and I rather like the dynamic spontaneous scribbles you get this way. All in all it’s lots of fun to use.  It is however rather expensive, so before I bought it, I experimented with achieving the same effect with PVA medium.  I found that…

  • Freebies,  Projects,  Seasonal

    Cut Paper Valentines

    Another Valentine inspired craft, this time using cut paper to showcase pieces of children’s artwork. I love cut paper projects, so much so that I have been considering getting a digital paper cutter, as yet I haven’t done so as they are relatively expensive and I’m not sure yet whether I’d use it enough to justify the expense, but in the meantime I’ve been doing a few projects by hand with a knife and board, which is quite time consuming when it’s a detailed design, but ultimately fairly satisfying.  This design is very simple and doesn’t take long to cut, but even so, because it involves using a knife, it’s…