• oranges-window-clings

    Scribble & Splat Window Clings

    I’m a bit late posting this time, simply because I haven’t had the weather to allow me to photograph this project. We’ve had non-stop rain and gloom, so the light has been really poor. The river outside our front door is in spate, really full and fast-flowing, and lots of places (fortunately not us) have had further flooding. Still, during a momentary gap in the clouds this weekend (and I mean momentary), I managed to grab the camera, so that I could get this post up at long last. These window clings were born of further experimentation with the string-gel medium once again. I had half a jar to use up,…

  • leaf-frottage
    Materials & Techniques,  Nature,  Techniques

    Fun with Frottage

    One of the things I most love about art is its sensual qualities. Art can be many things, but for me it’s the visual and tactile elements of art that I especially enjoy, and which I think are also particularly fun for children to explore. I’ve always had a particular attraction to texture especially – as an art student, I spent a lot of time seeking out ruined dilapidated buildings to paint because of the wonderful subtle colour combinations and textures you found there – not to mention their evocative atmosphere. A great way to achieve texture on paint is by using the technique of ‘frottage’. This is basically the…

  • Projects

    Art Portfolio Tutorial

    Keeping children’s artwork in good condition can sometimes be a challenge. Even if you are ruthless about only keeping the best, there is a tendency for it to get creased and dog-eared. It makes sense to keep it flat, and a traditional portfolio is the ideal way to do this. Yet the choice of portfolios available for children is limited.  I couldn’t find one that I liked and most were very small, so I thought I would have a go at making my own instead. This proved to be pretty easy and quite cheap to do, with the added benefit of offering the opportunity to decorate and personalise the cover…

  • 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…

  • 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.  

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Projects,  Seasonal

    Tissue Paper Valentines

    Sometimes the old favourites are the best. This project uses a familiar, one might even say classic, technique of children’s artwork, to create something that looks a lot more sophisticated. I actually made these cards (along with a whole bunch of others) a month or two ago, but decided to hold them back because they weren’t particularly Christmassy. I will share some of the others too at a later date. The cards are created by taking tiny ripped up pieces of tissue paper, and scrunching them into miniature balls. The balls are then glued in place, either singly or packed tightly together to form a picture, depending upon what you’re…