• Projects

    Decorative Fused Plastic Leaves

    This project is one which has evolved out of my recent experiments with fused plastic. It’s a way of recycling old crayons and plastic bags creatively and I love the finished ‘leaf-like’ feel of these. The finished leaves can be used for a wide range of purposes, or alternatively you could cut the fused plastic sheets up into any shape you like.   Materials Plain white plastic bags – or bags with large areas of white that can be used. Roll of Cling film Old wax crayons Metallic Gold Ink Pen Baking parchment Equipment Old kitchen grater Domestic iron Pinking Shears Heat Proof board (I used a toughened glass chopping…

  • Materials & Techniques,  Techniques

    Creating Abstract Sea and Landscrapes

    No, that’s not a typo! I’ve always been a fan of ‘accidental’ art, and this technique is one of those eminently satisfying yet essentially very simple ways of painting, that can deliver stunning results. That’s not to say that every single piece will create a masterpiece, but that if you do a whole bunch of them, you’ll end up with at least one or two that are frameworthy, and part of the joy of this activity is the very unpredictability of the results. You never quite know what you are going to get! The result is very like the technique that the artist Gerhard Richter has used in his work (on…

  • Projects

    An Artful Gift for a New Baby

    A friend of mine has recently had a new addition to her family, so this project was created because I needed a small extra gift that I could give to mark the occasion – something small, unique and personal, that I could make fairly easily. In the end I decided to make this simple hanging decoration decorated with monochrome drawings (in recognition of the fact that young babies see strong contrasts most clearly). If you use ready made plain shapes, minimal sewing is required, and all you need are fabric pens and a length of baker’s twine to attach them together and form a hanging loop. I left the backs…

  • Projects,  Summer

    Mini Seaside Dioramas

    Summer is here, and our walks along the beach have become more regular again. On these trips I can never resist picking up beach treasures – whether it be in the form of sea-glass, or sea-pottery, interesting pieces of driftwood, and even bits of old rope or other flotsam and jetsam. Collecting it however is one thing, finding something to do with it all is entirely another. So it was good to finally put a few bits and pieces to use to create these Mini Seaside Dioramas. The containers for these were simply some small lidded cardboard boxes I had lying around (I have saved the lids for future use!) …

  • Freebies,  Materials & Techniques,  Projects

    Botanical Washi-Sticker Art

    We have recently started stocking a new product in the form of rather beautiful rolls of individual washi-tape stickers in the form of individual flowers or petals. The delicacy of the paper makes them almost as beautiful as the real thing, but of course they are longer lasting and less delicate to use. They have a multitude of decorative uses, and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in and experiment with them. There are 6 different assorted rolls available, which we are selling as a complete pack. Perfect for making cards and tags, for decorating wrapping paper and journals or anything you choose, the stickers can be used individually or…

  • creative inspiration board
    Projects

    DIY Creative Inspiration Board

    I think this has to be my all time record for neglecting this blog, as I see nothing has been posted since the end of last summer – eek! Life just has a habit of getting in the way. So I thought it was about time I shared this project for a Creative Inspiration Board. Initially I was planning on making some form of standard pin or clipboard for the purpose, but on wandering round the local DIY store for something suitable, I spotted some louvred doors. I actually find I quite enjoy browsing DIY and hardware stores – in fact almost as much as art and craft supply shops,…

  • Projects

    Personalise some Arty Pencils

    It’s been a long time since I last added something to this site – life has simply got in the way, with moving home, school holidays, and lots of other things going on.  Although there are lots of other potential events on my horizon which might further disrupt attempts to get back to business as usual here, with the kids back at school again, I thought it was about time to give it some attention and make time for creative activities once more. With this in mind, and the usual back to school stocking up with stationery, I’ve been creating some personalised pencils. These are a lovely low-cost gift to…

  • Reviews

    Review – You Will be Able to Draw ….

    It’s been a while since I last did a book review, so when I was given the opportunity to review You Will be Able to Draw by the End of This Book by Jake Spicer, I thought it would be interesting to take a look.  I should make it clear here that this book is not aimed at children, but with guidance could be used with older children.     Drawing is one of the fundamental foundation skills of art – this is partly I think because the very act of drawing teaches us to observe, and to analyse what we see. However many people who want to draw and paint…

  • Projects

    Get Creative with Colouring Sheets

    You will sometimes hear it said that colouring-in, however restful or satisfying, isn’t especially creative. However there are in fact lots of ways to get creative with colouring. The beauty of colouring is that it is so very accessible, and requires a minimum of equipment. It is low-cost and low-tech, and can offer an ‘unchallenging’ or ‘safe’ way for those new to art to get started creatively. My particular favourite style of colouring page as a child was landscape scenes – as I coloured them I would pretend I was exploring the scene, and develop stories around it. Now, I find I love the dense detailed all over patterns best,…

  • Projects

    Kids Artwork Christmas Keepsake Baubles

    I have always loved the creative potential of empty clear glass baubles – I have seen lots of beautiful ideas for filling them with paint or glitter for example, including special messages in them, or using them as a memory jar. So having acquired a few of them recently I was keen to use them on the tree this year, but didn’t have a great deal of time to spend on filling them.     So I decided to simply use some old pieces of my boys’ artwork to fill the baubles – it was very easy to do, and the finished result can be as simple or as sophisticated…

  • Autumn,  Nature

    Doodled & Decorative Autumn Leaves

    It’s been a while since I last used autumn leaves for a project – a few years ago I did a project here in which I laminated them to use as suncatchers, and since then I have seen people using leaves for drawing on, and always thought they looked beautiful. However I was never sure what you would do with them afterwards – it seemed the most ephemeral of activities. So this project basically combines the 2 ideas to create something a little more lasting: greetings cards and Christmas tree ornaments. I used gold marker pen to draw the designs onto the leaves – as you can see, the effect…

  • Nature,  Outdoor,  Summer

    Creating Fairy Homes at the Beach

    With the Autumn fast approaching, we’ve been busy making the most of the last of the warm summer weather to spend time getting creative on the beach again. It’s always fun to make sandcastles, but this time we decided to create miniature fairy-sized homes instead, using only the materials we could find available to hand. Instead of using full sized buckets to make the buildings, we used plastic cups and bottle lids (I found the clear ones were the best as you could see the sand through the sides).   First we created a miniature village or castle with conical shell roofs…   Then we created a miniature scene with…