• Projects

    Arty Pencils

    One of the Christmas gifts I made this year, to go alongside a set of Artwork Jotters, were these artwork covered pencils. I was quite pleased with the result, which looked I thought fairly professional, so thought I would share them with you. If at all possible, these are best created using plain wooden pencils as a base, otherwise when you sharpen them, the original colour may peep through beneath. This may or may  not bother you, depending upon how much of a perfectionist you are. I just used some unused patterned pencils which I had to hand. You will need: Glue Matt acrylic varnish Brush for Varnish Pencils Decorative…

  • Features

    Caring for Keepsakes

    We all have treasures that we want to keep forever.  That curl from baby’s first haircut, or the first tooth to come out, the first painting or a special card your child has made for you.  I for one have difficulty throwing stuff away – I am a confirmed hoarder.  I find it especially difficult to throw away any of my children’s creative efforts, even though I know it’s only really practical to keep the best. There are lots of ways you can reclaim some space, by using those pieces of artwork to create a photobook, or a special piece of wall-art, or by photographing/scanning it all into your computer…

  • Features,  Nature,  Outdoor,  Seasonal,  Winter

    Icy Artwork

    Following on from my summer and autumn posts about Land Art, it seemed appropriate to continue with a post about Winter Land Art. This is the time to create those snow sculptures – to go beyond the usual snowmen, and create snow castles and palaces, snow animals, or even abstract forms. Or how about some ice installations. Those beautiful cold clear winter days when the sun glitters on the frost, and turns ice into diamonds, and red berries stand out like drops of blood, are particularly inspirational, and if you and the kids are wrapped up warm they provide the perfect opportunity to get out there and be creative. I…

  • Reviews

    Make a World

    I recently came across this book while browsing around the web.  Apparently, although I’d never come across it before, it’s something of a classic, and was first published in 1972.  It is one of a whole series of similar style books by the author Ed Emberley, all with different themes.  It seems that this book in particular was quite influential, and helped shaped the visual culture of an entire generation of artists and designers. The book covers a vast amount of subject matter in its 32 pages, and 400 illustrations, and the completely visual instructions are well suited to children whose reading skills may not yet be that strong.  The…

  • Features

    Interpreting your Child’s Artwork

    Children’s drawings, doodles and sketches have been the subject of study now for over a hundred years, and new theories and ideas about what they mean, how they develop, and how they can be used both educationally and therapeutically, are arising all the time. This week, I’m going to look at whether children’s drawings, especially younger children, can give any psychological insights into their character and thinking.  There is a school of thought that believes that children’s scribbles and doodles are in fact deeply revealing of intelligence, personality and emotional state, in the same way graphologists believe that handwriting is for adults.  Analysts will look at how the drawing sits…