Beyond origami Yoda

You’ll know I love a bit of crafting, but other than Christmas cards, I’ve never got into paper crafts. Lockdown has, however, started one of my friends into ridiculously intricate paper cutting, and we have a tin stuffed with about ten thousand origami Yoda’s (if you haven’t seen the Origami Yoda series by Tom Angleberger, the instructions are at the end of each book in the series – highly recommended). Anyway, I spotted the cutest sloth paper animal kit on social media so I invited Sam White to talk to us about her kits. Over to her …

There are many reasons why so many people are turning to crafting these days. Above the usual stresses of modern life, now being stuck indoors has certainly added a different kind of pressure and overwhelm for parents. I do feel your pain … At the end of the day, just being mum, it really can be exhausting, and just leave us feeling stir crazy. The modern mum is a busy one, however you can’t continue to be everything to everyone, eventually it will catch up with you! What I’ve learned recently, is that I need to take time for myself, to rejuvenate, to make sure I am not lost while trying to hold everything together. 

How to achieve this eluded me for a while, and then, at the end of last year, I decided to try something completely new, that was just for me, and I tried my hand at crafting. I bought an animal crafting kit from Flamingo Paperie and very soon, I literally had this eureka moment, when I realised, I absolutely love this!!! Not only was I learning a new skill, but I realised I was able, even as a beginner, to create something that not only looked good, but made me feel good! The whole process was so relaxing. I’d achieved something I didn’t know I could … crafting with Flamingo Paperie really has brought something fantastic into my life.

If you’re looking for different things to do, to keep everyone entertained, why not while away a few hours with some paper crafting? I mean who doesn’t love sloths and unicorns…  right!? Everything you need to create your own three-D animal model is included in the kit – all the templates, high adhesion craft glue, sticks for craft glue application, scissors and a scoring tool to create those crisp folds too. Just look at the proud “parents” of these completed craft animals…

Here is a short, speeded up, video of Emily and Joe creating one of the latest craft models, the Koala… they make it look so easy!

You can see product information for the full range, and buy online, at http://www.flamingopaperie.co.uk/web/samwhite/area/craft-kits/

Can children create with Flamingo Paperie’s Animal Crafting Kits?

 Absolutely yes! The kits are aimed at children aged 12+ and adults, however with help from parents a younger child can get involved too.

How long does a kit take to complete?

Kits have varying timescales for completion, but you can expect crafting fun to last 3-18 hours depending on the kit purchased.

How much are the 3D craft Kits from Flamingo Paperie?

They start from £15, including everything you’ll need, even a pair of scissors! You won’t need to find any fancy or expensive tools to help you complete a kit – everything’s in the box.

SPECIAL OFFER

Free postage over £30, and, even better, when you join the Customer Club, you receive a freebie with your first online order. Www.flamingopaperie.co.uk/web/samwhite/area/customer_club/

Have fun,

Sam x

Follow me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/samwhitephoenixtrader

Rocking the art

We’re well into the summer holidays now, so I thought it was time for some arts and crafts. Given the amazing weather, it had to be outdoorsy too, which means ROCK ART! My extended clan ranges from 5 to 15, so finding activities for all can be a challenge but this was a huge hit with everyone (including granny and grandpa).

We gathered the rocks on a hike (we’re currently up in Scotland and hiking daily, to some teenage mutterings). The 5 year old had ambitious plans that left his dad looking like Sisyphus pushing a boulder uphill in Greek mythology. The others had more modest sized selections. Back home, we decorated them using these

  • acrylic pens – I got a multipack plus silver and gold extra. The black ran out first, so next time I might get a spare as it was used to outline everything (I hadn’t realised that).
  • “>modge podge – we used the gloss finish but you can get matt if you prefer.

Several hours of painting and varnishing later, we had a large collection.

We then wrote the details of the local rock art FaceBook group on the back of each rock, to encourage people to share pics of when they found them, and hid them across the area (hike number two with absolutely no complaints from the teenagers). Just search for “rock art” to find the local group.

Here are some examples where we have hidden/ found rocks but there are loads of groups

Aboyne Pebbles & Rocks

Hidden Rocks Chichester

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The next morning, I woke to demands of a repeat of the activity – result! More hiking, more art. Happy families 🙂

There was huge excitement as several rocks were spotted over the next few weeks and the finders very kindly shared pictures of their finds on FB, but sadly most of the rocks vanished without a trace. We consoled the kids with the fact that their art work was so good people wanted to take it home as treasure. If you do find any rock art, I would urge you to share a snap with the FB group as it really makes the kids’ day.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Traditional Bulgarian Easter egg painting

Happy Bulgarian Easter! Yes, it’s today – it’s celebrated at a different time to in the UK and is a very important date in the Orthodox calendar. We have several Bulgarian friends, and every year they bring us the most stunningly painted eggs. The tradition is you bash the top of each others eggs and the intact one is the winner and has a year of good luck. The winning egg is kept until the following year – seriously – I still have mine from last year. You can read more about the tradition here Traditional Bulgarian Easter eggs

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Attempt one: we tried dying them with food dye. Epic fail. Very pale and washed out. So for attempt two, we’ve bought proper egg paints, but there’s a slight technical hitch as the instructions are in Bulgarian. And the packet comes with plastic gloves, which is a rather worrying sign for a kids activity. A quick experiment with 3 to 4 drops doesn’t give enough colour intensity, so we decided to use the sachets neat.

Step 1: boil eggs for at least 10 minutes. I put kitchen paper in the bottom of the pan to stop the eggs from cracking.

Step 2: cut up an egg box to make a painting stand.

Step 3: cool eggs.

Step 4: warm the gel sachet paints to soften, if you’re using ones like I bought.

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Step 5: dip brushes in the gel sachets and paint directly onto the eggs.

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Step 5: use the gold paint as a final decorative layer. Our finished eggs

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Now for the competitive side as the siblings attack each others eggs …

 

 

Anyone for pom pom sushi?

Every time my nephews and nieces get together, we try a new craft activity. They range from 4 to 15 so it’s quite challenging to find something that they’ll all enjoy. Since I’m always searching for new ideas (I actually keep a whole Pinterest board just for this – its become a tradition and the pressure is on for each to be better than the previous one), Let’s Make Pom Poms caught my attention.

I didn’t realise there were so many things you could do with a pompom, although I’m not sure anyone will ever need sushi pom poms? My personal favourite was the key ring but the kids voted for the Easter chicks, and since that’s seasonal, and I had some left over yellow wool from another project, that was easy.

There are other seasonal projects too. The spiders would be a great Halloween project, but I’d use black wool. And the snowman is a must for Christmas.

The instructions in the book are clear and simple. My only criticism is that it could do with measurements so you can make your own cardboard rings (old school style, using a cereal box), rather than having to buy the plastic ones. Cheaper, and more environmentally friendly. And it’s not difficult. As I didn’t want to buy seven rings just for one afternoon activity, I guesstimated. Obviously I miscalculated a bit as our chicks are hens. It was great fun though.

I love a spot of crafting and happily recommend this as a family friendly activity.

Let’s Make Pom Poms

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Fun and easy makes for all the family. Get crafty with pom poms with 15 easy to follow step by step guides. Make your own set of fluffy dice, sushi that looks good enough to eat and an everlasting Christmas tree as well as many other exciting projects

Purchase Links:

UK – https://amzn.to/2PdVBax

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KZLCBPG

 

Author Bio – Katie Scott is a craft and book blogger who lives in the county of Kent, UK. Living at home with her husband and infant daughter, Katie loves nothing more than long evenings in with a good book, a pile of crafting goodies and a very large pot of tea.

Let’s Make Pom Poms is her first crafting book.

Find more work from Katie Scott on her blog: https://www.bloomingfiction.co.uk

Social Media Links –

Twitter – https://twitter.com/bloomingfiction

Facebook –  https://www.facebook.com/BloomingFiction/

Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/bloomingfiction/

Pinterest- https://www.pinterest.co.uk/bfbookblog/pins/

 

 

 

 

(Legal) street art for all ages

“Please bring in some of the art you’ve done at home,” the teacher asks.

That’s going to be a little bit tricky …

Don’t worry, the garage doors were being replaced, and I’m thrilled with my colourful garage interior.

I adore street art. Several years ago Chichester did an amazing street art exhibition. These make a very teenager friendly alternative art tour. Plus I’m always up for a bit of stealth education.

Sadly my favourite, “King of Cats”, was whitewashed over recently by the council following complaints about antisocial behaviour. Personally I’m happy that the Belgian artist, Joachim, has provided a new masterpiece for us to enjoy. The Chichester Observer reported

Joachim’s management said he had been ‘horrified’ to hear his King of Cats mural ‘attracted antisocial behaviour’ within the city of Chichester and took it upon himself to put things right. Knowing that cats can be rather antisocial by nature, Joachim decided to paint ‘The Watchdog’ to watch over the streets and keep the neighbourhood safe.

King of Cats

King of Cats by Belgian artist Joaquim

Back to our budding vandal. It was really no surprise that he wanted a graffiti birthday party. Near Waterloo Station in London is Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel where anyone, armed with a spray can or two, is permitted to make their mark, without getting arrested. The tunnel was originally created by Banksy although his artwork is long gone.

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Luckily, his friends are urban cool, and their parents super chilled, so there was barely a raised eyebrow.

The toughest decision was what to paint over, because all the art was amazing, but eventually the spot was chosen and after a tentative start they all got into it.

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Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel

Top tips if you’re thinking of taking the kids

  • buy the cheapest spray paint you can as they race through it
  • painting masks from the DIY store hopefully helped with the fumes, but it was outdoors so it wasn’t too bad
  • surgical gloves are a very good idea! I bought a box of 100 from the local chemist.

The other artists working on the same day were super friendly and showed the kids how they used stencils in their designs.

There are official “street art” walking tours in various towns if you’re interested in exploring but unsure where to start. I was looking at the Shoreditch Street Art tour which I haven’t done but it’s on the list.

And since this is also a book blog, here’s a little bit of bookish news

Purely by coincidence, I just finished reading Revenge on the Rye by Alice Castle about the murder of a street artist, which I highly recommend. I blogged about this a few weeks ago.