Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Everything's Changing

Everything's changing around here. 

I've resigned from my Duty Managing job, my safety net, so now I am totally reliant on freelance work, which is terrifying and thrilling in equal measure.

We're also moving a week today to a beautiful flat with a garden and a garage. It's just down the road, but might just totally change our lives for the better.

The changes are so positive but still I'm totally thrown by them. Why that is I don't know, I'm just hopeless with change. 

One day maybe we'll move to somewhere like the house I've drawn here, but I think it may be a while. Unless we're really brave and venture beyond the M25!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Weaving for little ones

My Preschoolers produced some lovely dreamcatcher style weavings this morning. To make some at home just cut out circles of card, cut slits of varying depths in them, then use the slits to thread yarns through.
A really nice introduction to threading for little hands, enjoy!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

A New York Paper Cut

This paper cut was designed for a couple's first anniversary, they got married in New York. 
It was a really lovely one as I had a totally free reign on the design.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Children's Art Ideas - Buttony Bugs

Pipe cleaners + beads + cut up drinking straws + buttons + googley eyes + imagination = some really cool creatures!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Open Studios

It's done! A lot of planning and three weekends of exhibiting are over. It's been a good year for me and my studio-mate Sam. We sold a good amount of work, received many commissions and had a lot of fun making finger puppets with our visitors.
I was a guest at Sam's lovely studio in her garden (magically converted from a garage!) Where you could see my works alongside Sam's wonderfully weird textile creations, like anemones from another planet.

On being a terrible blogger

I really am a bit hopeless at this blogging lark, I wanted to write something on here at least twice a week, I wanted to do a weekly feature on ideas for making art with children, I've failed to do either of those things.
In my defence I have been awfully busy with making and doing and showing. It's been Harrow Open Studios last weekend and this, which has been a lovely experience and has led to a number of sales and commissions. In between I've been working on paper cut and puppet commissions, running workshops and researching for a musical I'm designing which is going on tour to Australia in the autumn.
I've also squeezed in a 4 day trip to York which was wonderful, and filled with medieval art and architecture, my favourite kind.
So, I shall start my series of catch up blogs with some pictures of a fabulous installation I saw in York - The Temple of a Thousand Bells by Laura Belém in St Mary's Church. Children's art and commissions and open studios to come later.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Children's art on...erm...Thursday!

I'm not very good at this regular feature thing am I? I promised art ideas for children every Tuesday, and now it's Thursday!
Anyway, this week we made butterflies with wooden pegs and paper doilies. Just decorate them as you wish then push the doily into the peg. Nice and simple for little hands.

We also made rather a lot of bunting!

Tomorrow is the private view of the Harrow Open Studios taster exhibition in West House, Pinner Memorial Park so i've been busy trying to get my work ready and framed for that. It's the first time HOS has had a taster exhibition, so fingers crossed it goes well and generates lots of interst in the main event which runs over the following two weekends.

Friday, 25 May 2012

'What do I do now?'

Having a baby is amazing and wonderful and terrifying. When I had my first baby I spent months researching everything about pregnancy and birth and baby-care, we attended NHS classes and NCT classes. The pregnancy seemed to go on forever, the birth was terrifying, the stay in hospital afterwards was miserable.
Then we were suddenly home. With a little baby. The first night we were home we ate pizza and stared at her and thought, what do we do now?
When I drew this I was thinking of those moments.
Sorry for the lack of children's art this week, the ideas will be back next week, I promise!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Childrens' Art Tuesday - Spaghetti Painting!

We did lots of different things today, pictures with leaves, making laminated place mats, caterpillar puppets...

The most fun was had though with the spaghetti painting.
If you'd like to try it just cook some spaghetti until it's just soft, cool down, dunk in some paint and get messy!
Some of the children ended up with something a bit Jackson Pollock-esq...

Others were too busy enjoying the sensory play to worry about the image they created!

It was a big hit!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Drawing, Cutting, Sticking, Colouring

I've been working on some pieces for the Harrow Open Studios Taster Exhibition, here's the story of one of them...

First some drawing.

Then some cutting.

A spot of colouring...

then a break to watch this little girls assembly (she's a star fruit!)

Some rubbing out because those colours were a bit too bright!

Some more cutting.

(with a break halfway through for a spot of baking)


Apologies for the not-so-great photos at the moment, I'm having to rely on my phone camera because the battery charger for my proper camera is on the blink.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Children's Art Tuesday....on Wednesday

I'm a very naughty blogger, just one week into my weekly children's art feature and I'm a day late with this week's post!
This week's idea is very simple, but was very popular yesterday at my preschooler workshop.
Draw an outline of a genderless figure, add scraps of fabric, wool, and some glue. Together these ingredients create a messier, more creative, and boy-friendly version of paper dolls!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

The Politics of Making

It's a big day for local politics here today - We're voting for our next mayor. I'm quite a political person, although I try and hide it away on here.
I'm an old school socialist who believes in a big welfare state and paying as much tax as you can afford.
I believe in the value of art and culture for the masses and I believe this should be subsidised by the state.
I believe theatres have a duty to fund youth theatres and engage with their communities, and that if funding for these activities is tight then raising money to support them should be a priority.
I believe that making and mending is a political statement about moving away from thoughtless consumerism which does nothing but oil the machinery of capitalism and move the rich and the poor further and further apart.
I therefore am distressed to find myself working for a theatre which has disbanded it's education department, living in a city with a Conservative mayor (though hopefully for not much longer) and a country with an only slightly watered down Conservative government whose lives are totally detached from the majority of the people they serve.
So there you are, I have little money and even less spare time, but I will be running craft club in Pinner library this evening for free because I believe in the power of making and mending, and the importance of those skills being passed on. I charge much less for my toddler art workshop than I could or perhaps should because I believe that everyone should have access to art in their community.
But more than any of this I believe in democracy, and so even if you vote for a party I would never support, please make the time to vote today. It's really important.
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