• Art Materials

    Drawing with Charcoal

    Charcoal is my all time favourite medium for drawing –  I love the speed and spontaneity of the medium. However there is no doubt that it’s not something used a great deal with young children. This is probably because it can be incredibly messy to use (though washable), and young children could easily end up covered in it – not to mention everything else in the vicinity if you’re not too careful. I think this is a shame though, so I decided to bite the bullet and introduce my younger son to the medium. I would have involved the elder too if he had been willing, but though he took…

  • Display,  Projects

    New Colourful Gallery Wall

    We’re currently planning some decorating at home, so I’ve been busy getting samples of paint and trying them on the walls. Looking in the garage I find I have dozens of these sample pots since I never throw them away afterwards if there is still paint in them – after all they can be useful for touch-ups, or for small projects etc. So all this activity gave me an idea for a new gallery wall. Our existing chalkboard gallery is great, but I find I would like to have the wall back to draw on rather than just display artwork, so I thought I would create a new gallery wall.…

  • Projects

    Get Creative with QR Codes

    I’ve been adding QR codes recently to some of our business stationery and marketing materials, and being struck by their creative potential for hidden ‘secret’ messages and creativity, decided to experiment a bit. QR codes are very easy to create and download, and you can have them link to a webpage, a special photograph or piece of artwork you have uploaded somewhere, or simply reveal a line of text when scanned. When it comes to text, the shorter and simpler the information, the simpler and bolder the QR code created will be. I found that when printed at a reasonable size, the QR code becomes a piece of artwork –…

  • Christmas,  Freebies,  Projects

    Postage Stamp Christmas Wrap

    Christmas is creeping up ever closer, and for the last few years I’ve tried to offer readers a Christmas gift in the form of a seasonal free printable. I think I must have forgotten in 2013, but in 2012 it was 3 sheets of vintage Christmas wrapping paper, and the year before a printable Christmas Tree template to decorate. This year I’ve put together some sheets of Postage Stamp Christmas wrap using the scanner – one of my favourite tools for art making. My Dad has always collected stamps, but he was having a clear out recently and offered me a large number of Christmas stamps that he’d collected over…

  • Christmas,  Projects

    A Card with a View

    Another Christmas Card project! This one is a very simple idea which is really easy to make, and has the added benefit of recycling your old Christmas cards, so unless you’ve saved some cards from last year, this may be one to keep for the future! When I was a child, we inherited a few old early 20th century cards from a great-aunt, who had kept them because they were rather more special than your average card. I don’t know what happened to them, but I remember a couple of them in particular took my fancy. These were 3 dimensional snow scenes with a snowy window effect on clear plastic…

  • Christmas,  Projects

    Keepsake Christmas Card

    Christmas is getting ever closer, and I thought it must be time to start getting things ready preparing our home-made cards. We alsways need plenty of time for this, and this year is no exception. These days rather than making a whole pile of home-made cards at Christmas time, we’ve got a bit lazier and tend to send out just a few to special friends and relatives – this means we can spend a bit more time on them too, so it’s a little less like a production line and the quality is higher! So for this year’s card me and the kids put together something which can also double…

  • Projects

    Dip-Dyed Shoes

    I love the current dip-dyed trend, and have long been looking for an excuse to use the ‘Stained by Sharpie’ pens I picked up a little while ago. We’ve also been looking for an opportunity to try doodling and decorating our own shoes, so this project was a way of bringing all those things together. My younger son also fancied having a go, but used a more direct approach than me, to draw directly onto the shoe (see below).     For myself, I decided to try  a more experimental ‘dip-dyed’ technique as illustrated at the top of the page, and described below: First of all I dipped the whole shoe…

  • Display,  Projects

    The Art Wall Evolves….

    After a long, I might say unplanned break, I’m finally back and blogging again. I think that’s the longest break I’ve ever had, though I suspect more might be on their way as Christmas approaches. There has of course been lots happening behind the scenes, and hopefully I’ll have time to share some of the projects we’ve been up to, the new products we now have available, and other news before the madness starts. So I thought I’d start with an update on our Chalkboard Art Wall. This has been a really successful addition to our home – I don’t think I would ever be without a chalkboard wall now,…

  • Projects

    Arty Felt Accessories

    I promised I’d reveal what I’d decided to make with the hand-made felt I’d made, so here it is. I’ve always loved beautiful art accessories, (even if they are completely unnecessary), and one of my favourite gifts which I’ve received in recent years is a leather wrapped sketchbook, so I decided to create some more with felt. To begin, I cut the felt to size around the open sketchbook, leaving a border of about 3mm on 3 sides, and a wider border to form the wrap on the 4th (see diagram below). You can make this overlap (which will wrap over the front of the book) any size you like,…

  • Projects

    Felt-making Part 2

    I’ve been meaning to have a go at proper felt-making for a long time, and when I say a long time, I mean a long time, I estimate about 30 years in fact! I figured the time time was right, as I had plenty of wool fleece left over from making felt balls, so all that was required was time and opportunity – both somewhat thin on the ground these days. But I’ve been getting withdrawal symptoms from the sheer lack of creative activity lately, so I forced some time into the schedule (at the expense I’m afraid of getting the housework done – something had to give). Working with…

  • Reviews

    The Little Factory of Illustration

    It seems like reviews are a bit like buses on here at the moment – none for months and months, then 3 turn up at once. This was another case of an unusual and attractive product that seemed entirely appropriate for Artful Adventures to review. However I promise that the next post will not be a review of any kind, as I am now getting creativity withdrawal symptoms and am desperate to make the time for another project!     The Little Factory of Illustration is described as a ‘Picture and Activity Book’ and is published by Tate Publishing. The book was written by Florie Saint-Val, and translated from the original french…

  • Reviews

    Snappets

    A few of you may have seen these around the internet recently, as the inventor, Zachary Opaskar has been trying to raise funds via a Kickstarter project, to put them into full production, so apologies to those of you to whom these are not new.  There are some fabulous creative projects on Kickstarter and the other crowd-funding platforms out there, but the secret to success on them – i.e raising the funding required (in addition of course to having a good project which appeals to people) seems to be about letting enough people know about what you’ve got. I’ve seen numerous worthwhile and/or creative projects fail to get the necessary…