Ever since I can remember I’ve always had a pencil in my hand drawing some kind of picture. As a child I remember drawing a lot of houses, mainly pretty thatched cottages… know idea why, or where my love for drawing came from. As I got older though, I began to draw a lot of portraits. It wasn’t just drawing though, I’ve enjoyed sewing, making paper crafts, jewellery, candles, salt-dough, baking and clay are just a few I can think of that I have explored over the years. I will try and dig a few out and post some photo’s on here.
When my first son was born I enjoyed sketching a picture of him that I copied from a photograph and used watercolour paints to capture his footprints:
I’ve experimented with many types of art mediums over the years, one of my favourites is acrylic paint. I like using this because you can use it thickly, to get a lovely texture, simply use water to clean your brush and it dries fairly quickly compared to oil paint, in which you have to clean your brush with turps. Here is a painting of the Sydney Opera House I produced using acrylic paint:
Interior design and home furnishings are another passion of mine that I have experimented with. I bought my first house when I was 19, it needed a total refurbishment and I thoroughly enjoyed the hard work… and the rewarding effects of the finished product. I bought another house a few years later, same predicament; needed a total revamp! Unfortunately I haven’t got any progress photographs to share of the houses, but I’ve got a few home furnishings to share:
To organise my ideas for art/craft activities to use with children I keep a sketchbook. I will show you the printing I produced using an apple, this activity could be enhanced depending on age and ability by looking at an apple in more detail, producing still lifes, drawing the apple from different perspectives, cutting it up… the opportunities are endless. Another little project I want to share is a mosaic. I produced the image using egg shells which I painted and then crushed into pieces. This project was fairly time consuming so I would not recommend it for young children, but you could use alternative, larger, pieces.
My boys (4 and 8) seem to enjoy dabbling in art and I am keen to encourage them. A few of the activities we have carried out include making dinosaur fossils out of plaster of paris and painting them, getting messy when body painting, free hand drawing, making posters and I have recently bought a candle making kit.
I have made bread rolls with many children and they love it! These can be adapted to suit most topics, here’s a few examples of the bread rolls I have made with children:
I used these as part of a story sack I created for The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl, here is the recipe and method for making Crocodile Bread Rolls:
Many of my ideas come from books and magazines, if I see a craft project in a magazine I pull it out to put in my scrapbook to file them all together. Here is a fraction of my collection of books that I would recommend for craft projects:
Here are a few links that are full of super craft ideas for children:
http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/kids_crafts.htm This site categorises the crafts, i.e. Easter crafts, World Book Day Crafts. It’s full of other useful bits too such as printables, colouring pages and educational resources.
http://www.crafty-crafted.com/ This is a blog all about crafts so it is useful to note people’s ratings of the ideas and any comments.
http://www.busybeekidscrafts.com/Salt-Dough-Recipe.html This site contains a good recipe for making salt dough besides a huge collection of crafts for children.
I’d be very interested to know what you think of Art and Craft, or if you have any projects to share…