• Display

    Inspiration from the Past

    Sometimes the old ideas are the best. Paper frames for the wall are far from being a new idea, but have become quite popular again recently along with decorative stick on ‘decals’ in general.  They were especially popular in the 18th century, circa 1750-1800, when ‘print rooms’ were all the rage. Unfortunately, few original examples have survived, but there’s a really good rare survival you can visit at Calke Abbey (National Trust) in Derbyshire, where caricatures, instead of the more usual classical prints, were collected and pasted to the walls.   Collectors of prints were able to purchase decorative printed borders by the length, and these could be cut and applied…

  • Features

    Digital Art for Kids

    Art isn’t just about paper and paints, in this day and age we mustn’t neglect that newest of art forms – digital art.  It’ll be interesting to see whether the arrival of the computer in the late 20th century turns out to have a similar effect as that of the arrival of photography on artists in the 19th century.  Then, arguably, it helped to kick-start the arrival of abstract art – after all, who could compete with a camera when it came to representation.  Artists had to paint something else, something that a camera, concerned only with surface reality, could not achieve – inner truths, emotions, etc.  Even in representational…

  • Projects

    Window Art

    I came across window crayons for the first time recently.  I don’t know how long these have been around, but they appealed to me and they weren’t especially expensive, so I thought we’d try some out.  The idea of drawing on the windows really appealed to my boys (and to me if truth be told), so almost as soon as they arrived, they were out of their packet.  The Crayola Window Crayons that we used come in a pack of just 5 colours (I’d have liked a few more really) but there was enough to give a really good effect.  The finished result really came into its own when the…

  • Projects

    Kids Bag Tags

    For this post I decided to have a go with some shrink plastic.  It’s not something I have any experience of, but I found it was really good fun, if sometimes a little unpredictable.  I bought a pack of A4 sheets of ink-jet shrink plastic, which I found on Ebay, and which worked out at about £1 a sheet.  You can print on it (which I fancied doing for my own purposes) or draw on it directly using pencil crayons or felt-tips.  It’s great to use with kids too, as it is quick, clean and ‘magical’. In fact it’s obviously quite popular as a kids activity as Shrinkles produce party…

  • Display,  Storage

    Art Photobooks

    As the stack of artwork created by my children increases, I’ve been trying to devise ways of keeping and displaying the best, while being a little more ruthless about discarding the rest.  I’ve already mentioned the Art Portfolio posters which were one response to this, but another approach I’ve taken is to have some made up into Art photobooks – one for each child.  The idea being that every couple of years or so I have another made.  I love photobooks, they’re a wonderful way of displaying your photos at their best, and many companies offer lots of creative opportunities to personalise them further with colours, backgrounds, frames and of…