• 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…

  • Nature,  Outdoor

    Arty Activities at the Beach

    The seaside is a wonderful place for creative activities of all kinds, whether it be games, imaginary play or art. My own favourite activity is scavenging – I find it a physical impossibility to go for a walk along the beach without coming home with a collection of stones, shells, sea-glass and driftwood. All beautiful and inspiring materials that I can’t resist, and always think I will create something with. The collection grows ever larger now we live close by and the opportunities for collecting are greater! I first wrote about Beach Art a few years ago, including various ideas for artistic activities, but my younger son has now developed his own…

  • Freebies,  Projects

    Funky Fish Kids Art Collage

    This is a really simple but versatile activity which is great for using up odd scraps of paper, whether it be pieces of painted paper, children’s discarded artwork, wrapping paper or even sweet wrappers. Apart from this, all you need is a Medium Circle Paper Punch (we actually used 2 for the different sized fish, measuring 1.5cm and 1cm), some glue and pieces of coloured or painted thin card for the fish base. It’s also a great ‘drop-in’ activity or collaborative project. Each child can choose a plain card fish and they can then create something of their own which can be combined as part of a larger group artwork. Perfect…

  • Techniques

    Easy-Peasy Watercolours

    I remember reading that the artist JMW Turner once advised an amateur artist that her watercolours would be improved immeasurably if she dunked them in a bucket of water. This was not meant as an insult, but I think was a genuine piece of advice. The beauty of watercolour, which Turner especially exploited to its full, lies in its softness and delicacy, but this can be difficult to achieve successfully. Watercolour can be difficult to control, and I for one have come to realise that I perhaps strive to control it too much. So I have been very pleased with the new watercolour markers I recently treated myself to, because…

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    Christmas,  Freebies

    Snowflake Colour-In Wrapping Paper

    Each year I like to produce something as a Christmas ‘gift’ for readers, so this year’s offering is a snowflake colouring sheet which can also be used as a creative wrapping paper. Colour-in wrapping paper is I think amazingly versatile, offering lots of scope for personalisation by both the giver and the recipient. I think they look just as effective partly coloured as fully coloured, or even left plain. This snowflake themed sheet is very simple, and can be made to look very pretty with the addition of glitter glue, or metallic pens for colouring or outlining. Just click on the image and then right click to download it for…