Festive Little House

You will need A4 card, scissors , glue, ruler and any embellishments.

I have used a4 craft paper as it has a good weight and I like the colour of it.

I made a template then wrote the measurements down for you to see.

Cut all the excess off and make the 2.5 cm into a little tab.

Cut all the top section on the lines down to the main line across.

In the two 5 cm across sections mark 2.5 cm at the top and draw a line to the main line so you have a triangle. Cut a little excess off for tabs. Bend everything where there is a line for a clean bend.

So everything has been folded ready for construction. Turn your house over .

You have two options with a chimney ( if you want a chimney!) You can either use a scrap bit of your card – you need the chimney shape plus extra to glue down. Option 2 – you need a scalpel and on the very top piece of your cut out, cut three sides of your back roof so it will stick up.

Now with scissors or if you are going to make more detailed work a scalpel etc you can cut your door and windows. However many you want, shape etc. I only did mine on the front but they can be on the side too.Now is the best bit – the decorating!!!! Use collage, embellishments, paint, have fun!

Next is assembly. I glued the tab to the back first, then the front roof to the front triangle. Back roof to back triangle and the excess roof over to the back last.I did each bit slowly holding in place for a while so it was glued in place before moving on to the next bit. I then used a bit of cotton wool from a cotton make up remover pad and gently glued it to the back of the chimney. I already have a row of houses as I really enjoyed making them how you do too! Nadolig Llawen to everyone.

Coleoptera ( beetles!)

I only just found out that Ladybirds are Beetles!!!! I never realised! Beetles come in the most amazing colours and to make your own is pretty simple and quite a relaxing art to do.

First up find a scrappy piece of paper or thin card and fold in half. You are going to cut out your beetle shape. This one is a very simple teardrop shape. You could make it far more intricate if you wanted.

Now you open up your paper and you have your template for the beetle’s body.

I used a small ink pad but you could use any medium.Ink pads are quick!

So here is my beetle’s body. Why not try different shapes or cut out a shape. Experiment and have fun.

These two shapes of coloured card are cut out and then glued down.

So I have 6 bodies 3 using stamps with template, 2 coloured card cut out and 1 watercolour using template.

Now that we have our bodies we need to add our legs etc.You need 6 legs and some antennae or feelers. I think it works best using pencils coloured or not.

Then add a ‘ T’ on the body. I have also bulked up his legs!

Some had what looked like little love hearts on their legs!!

If you want to add wings, cut out your shape and cut in the middle leaving some space at the top.

Bend over where you have left the space at the top as this is where you are going to glue it down.

Now the fun part – decorating your beetle. You can use any medium, use biodegradable glitter, add sequins, use collage, mix your mediums.Most importantly have fun. This again is something you can do quite quickly for younger children or make something intricate etc if you have the time.You could name your beetles with some scientific sounding name or ‘Cynthia’!! You could even write a poem or story about them.

Collage Patterned Bird

I love collage as it is such a quick and easy way to add colour, so decided to make these quirky birds.

You will need – glue, coloured paper, pencils, pastels, googly eyes and anything else you want to add to your creation.

Choose two coloured sheets.Contrasting colours is always good but totally up to you.

On one of the sheets draw the outline of your bird and then cut out and glue to your other sheet.

Rather than cutting a flat wing shape, cut out a wing shape but add a little extra to use as a tab. This gives our picture more movement. Fold the tab over and glue the tab area to your bird’s body.

Now start cutting shapes you would like to add to your bird. You can cut a shape for the eye or draw it on or use a googly eye. Use as many sheets of colour as you want.I tend to use 2/3.

Start to position where you would like, always good to have a play to see how the bird looks with your pieces in different places. When you are happy you can glue them down.

Next up adding details with your pencils, pastels whatever medium you have. You can draw the legs or use some paper cut pieces.

So now do you want to add more details? I cut some pieces for the feet ( I like having bits off the paper but you don’t have to). Also I cut some fancy feathers for the head.

I still felt the bird needed more feathers, more colouring detail and I added some sequins because this bird is very fancy!!!!Finished Bird as above. Below is a bird I did earlier today for a family zoom project, he is called Huw! I love naming them as it gives them even more personality and maybe you would want to write a poem or story about your bird. Or make some more! Hope you enjoy making your bird and most importantly have fun.

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!!!