Book Recommendation

Non -Fiction this week with these two gorgeous books by Dr. Dominic Walliman and illustrated by Ben Newman.The books are beautifully designed. Atomic Adventure has the character Astro Cat taking you on an adventure through the world of physics. Subjects like gravity, atoms, molecules, sound waves etc to fill interested minds. Frontiers of Space covers stars, galaxies, planets , the night sky and the Universe and more. Filled with lots of interesting information and the illustrations are bold and fun. Bought these two books a few years ago and they are great for picking up whenever you fancy and finding some new interesting facts .

Food Packaging Art

Making a piece of art with food packaging that you can find around the house .

You will need food packaging and if you also have wrapping paper, sweet foils etc

scissors and glue

An image , I have used a photocopy of a photo, an image from a magazine, a drawing. It doesn’t have to be but I think if it is black and white it has a better contrast to the colours of your recycled bits.

So first up find some packaging. Start cutting shapes out of them to use.

Next find some images you would like to work with.

You need some card to work on so I used the card from a cereal packet and roughly cut out an area 19cm by 22cm.I have used the inside of the card to use for my base. So now I have a selection of shapes and images to think about where to place them and which ones to use.

Have fun moving your pieces around to find the image you are happiest with.

When you are happy with your choice you can start to glue your pieces down.

I found some Easter egg foil and cut little pieces out to add to my mum’s image.Also made some pencil marks on her clothes. You could add paint, crayon, pencil etc to any parts you wanted to but I have just kept it to the packaging.

Here is my final piece. What’s great is everyone’s is going to be so different . Have fun and have a lovely weekend!

A witch/ Warlock wand

Even though we covered how to make a wand I didn’t really do a step by step, so I made one yesterday. So here is my step by step guide.

I used a 12″ long Wilton bamboo dowel rod ( from cake section in Hobbycraft)

So first we need to sand the end of the dowel to a soft point. You want to go all the way round and at different angles.

So now how are you decorating your wand. I have a ‘left over halloween bits and bobs bag’ so going to use some little plastic spiders and some bigger spiders that were rings but I cut the ring part off as just soft plastic.

So before I start attaching I am going to paint my dowel with a dark red acrylic paint.

No I’m going to glue the bits on using a glue gun.I am going to leave a space for where I will hold the wand.

Now I’m going to add glue to the handle so it has a better feel to hold.

I have put a little detail with the glue gun on the point end of the wand.

You could leave it like this but I went over the glue with the same red acrylic and added a little black as well.

Apart from a little drying time they are really quick to make and lots of fun. I am off to cast some spells!!!!!!

Magic Wands

I think at the moment we could all do with a magic wand !!! If you are a Harry Potter fan, into witchcraft or a fairy wishing to sprinkle fairy dust, wands are great fun to make. You will need-

A dowel or a chopstick or bamboo dowel rods ( from the cake making dept )

A glue gun or if you don’t have one some string and pva glue

sandpaper if you have a dowel

Acrylic paint

Chopsticks have already got a point to them ,so if you are using a dowel of any size you need to sandpaper the end to a soft point.

So now you are ready. Have a think how you want your wand to look. If you don’t like it then just add more glue to change the shape or paint over with a different colour of acrylic.

So from left to right above – the first wand you can see is just covered in glue gun. Second glue gun and then the start of adding acrylic paint. The third has had a wood burner markings all over and then the glue put on top. I burnt myself with the burner so please be careful if you are using one of those, adults only as it is such a thin piece to work on.

So three finished wands above from left to right – The first has had the most work so first of all we pulled apart plastic skeletons we found left over from Halloween. I then knotted some string and put it in a bowl of pva mixed with some water. After the string was fully coated with the mixture I started to place it round the down. This dowel is a bit thicker I got it from B&Q.After that dried we put a skeleton head on the top and used the glue gun to secure it and make some glue areas on the head. Next up painted the wand. Finally I used a wood burner to make some marks.This one is my favourite !

The blue one was painted first and then glue gun added to 3 areas. I like how the colour underneath comes through the glue area.

Finally Again string put in pva and water mixture and then wound round half of the dowel. The wand then painted black over the string section and white on the bottom.

So this one was painted green and then red at the top but really didn’t like the outcome so you can see I started to add the glue gun again on top.

So this is how it looked in the end. I painted over it in dark brown and black and then some gold.

You can paint them in black or pink, add biodegradable glitter, ribbons on the end , add bits from halloween- spiders ,skeletons etc. They can be bright, have sequins and shiny bits glued on and used for Unicorn magic!!! Or dark and ominous. We have made lots of wands with friends as they are really good fun to make. Have fun and wave your wands for some good magic that we all need !

Painting with Scissors

So today we are looking at a very influential artist Henri Matisse.In his late 60’s he became very ill which made painting very difficult so he began to cut into painted paper with scissors to make ideas for work. After a while he chose the cut outs over painting, starting a new medium of “painting with scissors”.As he was one of the first artists to use paper collage as an art form he is probably one of the biggest influences to my art as collage is one of my favourite art forms.

You will need coloured paper or paint on paper, paper/card, scissors and glue.

You are not going to draw on your paper and then cut out you are just going to cut out shapes. So don’t think just cut!! You can use however many pieces of coloured paper as you want but I think 3/4 choices are probably enough. If you don’t have coloured paper or paint to paint on paper, find magazines instead etc. The pieces left over might also lend themselves to interesting shapes.Play around with positioning your pieces to see which layout you like best.

So I have used 4 colours and just cut some pieces out.

I then played around with the layout.

Even though you have cut random shapes can they be put together to look like something?

I think my pieces look like plants. When you are happy with your layout just glue your pieces down.

I think this is a relaxing project to do and if you are interested in his art there are lots of videos on line about his work, life and might give you some inspiration.Have fun.

Pop Up Picture

This is the most basic pop up technique. Instead of making it a picture if you were going to do it for a card just be aware the size of your pictures when the card is folded. This is just a picture pop up so I have not had to worry about that.First of all think about what your image is going to be. I used a simple rainbow so I needed two blocks for either side of the rainbow.You will need card , scissors, glue and pencils or whatever medium you want to work in.

So I have cut 2 lines on the left 2 lines on the right.

When you open the card you can see the shape you have made . You need to push them in the opposite direction .

So when you close the card again this is what it will look like.When you open the card you can then glue your image on to the block.

I thought it looked a little sparse so wanted to put something in the middle.So cut two lines ,not as long as the other ones, in the middle. If I did it again I probably would have made those cuts even shorter so the image would be further back.

You do the same thing all over again, open card , push the shape other direction and close card. I cut out one of my drawings to fit in. Bit of glue on the back and pressed it on.

You can make big, short , long, tall areas. You can play with all different ideas

I made one more with the opposite shapes.

House in the foreground and trees in the background. You can obviously decorate the card as well. Have fun making your own little world. With Father’s Day coming up this might be an idea instead of a traditional card. You could illustrate you and your dad or things that he likes etc.Whatever you decide to do have fun.

Book Recommendation

Two days ago on the 20th May it was World Bee Day. This book by Piotr Socha is full of facts about…..yes you guessed it…..Bees! It is gorgeously illustrated and packed full of interesting information , did you know bees were around when the dinosaurs walked the earth?That Napoleon Bonaparte made them a symbol of France?That they have their own dance called ‘the waggle dance’? The book looks at the history of bees with a humorous touch in the illustrations.

We should all be doing our bit to plant flowers, trees etc that are their favourites as Bees were voted the most important living species on this planet.Yay to the bees!!!

Scratch Art

These days you can buy sheets of scratch art but when I was little we would make our own. I used to love doing these and I think they are quite calming to do. You will need crayons, paper and a tooth pick or something similar to scratch away. If you have some black acrylic paint you can use that too.

So have fun just putting down any colours of crayon down on your paper. You need to cover the area completely with your crayons.

So on the left I have covered it with a black crayon, try and cover it as much as possible( I obviously had not finished covering it at this point). On the right I have painted over with acrylic paint.You can already see that they have a different look to them.So next you get your toothpick and start scratching away your picture. With the flower I just started playing and didn’t know what I was going to do. With the rabbit I did a quick sketch on the side so I had an idea of what I was going to do. When you scratch away you will get bits on your picture of crayon or paint so if you have a tissue to lightly brush these away this will help.

So this is with the crayon on crayon.I think because you can see the colours behind slightly, it has an energy to it which I really like.

This is the one with the acrylic painted over which has far cleaner lines. Don’t forget to let the paint dry fully before you start scratching away your picture. What will you scratch away? Have fun .

A challenge

One of my favourite times at junior school was doing weekly poetry. It was a long time ago but I still remember it and I still enjoy writing poetry. So I challenge you to write a poem about A SLUG.Poems don’t have to rhyme but it’s quite fun seeing what words you can rhyme with. For some inspiration have a look / listen to any by John Hegly. You can find some on youtube or just google his name for poems. I particularly like his poem Guillemot .If you want to share your poems with us you can write them in the comments box. It is a gorgeous day outside so enjoy the sunshine thinking about your slug…. is he called Brian and found a lovely leafy ‘rug’, or is he best friends with Trevor who is a gigantic ‘bug’ ? Sorry I will stop now! or has he finished off all his home school and feeling a little ‘smug’. OK OK I’ve stopped!!!!! Have fun.

Pie Tin Frames

I love these tins. They come in all shapes and sizes and they make great frames ( well I think they do!!). This is a project that can take as long as you like or have a quick end result.

You will need a tin, I have used a M&S plant based mushroom one . Give it a good wash. Some paper, glue, scissors and paint ( or whatever medium you are going to work with). I used the base of the tin as an indication of the shape but mine came out too small, so I would give it some extra room as you can always cut it down.

Now the fun part to design your image. So I have done a pencil sketch and then acrylic to paint. Obviously you can use any medium.

When you have finished cut out and glue into the tin. I think they would look good as a collection using different sizes and shapes. Have fun!