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Archive for the ‘Paper Craft’ Category

Just a quick post to show you the Summer Solstice suncatchers made last weekend!

The Summer Solstice day on the reserve was actually all about food chains and photosynthesis- AKA sun energy. However as well as the food chain mobiles we wanted actual sun images.

I love making tissue paper and wire mobiles. I have used and developed this idea for lots of different creations of my own and for workshop events.
Using coloured tissue or cellophane in a shape to hang against the light is not new- but I now have a simple process that is as easy as I can get it (for drop in events) which still gives great sculptural finished results. The finished pieces are much more of an “art installation” creation than the usual black framed methods.

It made wonderful “suns”- especially with gold and yellow glitter glue! Lush!

Here are some “in development”:-
WonkyGiraffe Summer Solstice Dscn9539

WonkyGiraffe Summer Solstice SunCatcher

I printed some words as well which some of the children used to great effect.

WonkyGiraffe Summer Solstice Sun Catcher

They turned out very well and looked lovely hanging in the tree outside.
WonkyGiraffe Summer Solstice Sunshine catcher

WonkyGiraffe Summer Solstice

WonkyGiraffe Summer Solstice

WonkyGiraffe Summer Solstice dream catcher

WonkyGiraffe Summer Solstice

WonkyGiraffe Summer Solstice

We were working on a “sun energy into the food chain” theme; here is one of the food chain mobiles (sorry about the grotty photo, they looked very pretty).

WonkyGiraffe Food Chain Mobile

Oh and a random giant papier mache snail made by the Education Manager and anyone she could rope in!

WonkyGiraffe Snail Paper Mache

WonkyGiraffe Snail construction

It was made outside, with a giant leaf (also intended as part of the long term food chain display). It wasn’t made on the car – somehow it just ended up there at the day’s end!

WonkyGiraffe Snail Jeep

WonkyGiraffe Snail Jeep

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A quick update on frogs and monkeys

You know I had to try it- so here is a folded paper monkey! Mark 1 !

WonkyGiraffe WonkyMonkey DSCN8418

I wish I could say this first one was a complete and instant success- but just after this photo he, rather gracefully, pitched forwards! So…

C+

Not bad but needs work.

However, card may improve things as it was a flimsy scrap of paper (I had been making a list on the rest of it)! Then frog caught my eye and I remembered a monkey was on my list. Still a bit of tea in the cup to qualify as a tea break not time wasting… ( no, tea breaks are not time wasting if you put them to some other use at the same time. Like typing this for example).

Also despite all the sock and amigurumi monkeys around I just couldn’t think how to draw a monkey face. I came up with this effort- hmm. Could be a monkey- or a bear- or anything really. LOL..

WonkyGiraffe Wonky Monkey DSCN8416

As usual it was one of my “strike while the iron’s” hot moments; too much of an interruption of “flow” to go looking for one to remind me what they looked like. I‘d get distracted reading a history of sock monkeys or a blog…
and never get back to it.

So I just winged it, bearing in mind the frog was the original start point for him. I had a pretty clear idea about the body modifications to make, and did them in one cut! (OK – I doodled the hands and tail a bit beforehand – but then altered the cut shape as I went).

Here he is after he tipped over !

Wonky Giraffes WonkyMonkey Dscn8412

Anyhow that’s monkeys sorted enough to move on for now, so its bye bye from monkey, and from frog, who was saying hello.

WonkyGiraffe Wonky Monkey Wonky Frog DSCN8441

Love at first sight 🙂

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WonkyGiraffe Frog Blog

I am trying to make a paper frog today, as you do..!
I took the “hare” (made over as a bunny) to another event recently.

One little boy didn’t want a bunny but asked for a frog instead; so I made a quick adaptation, gave him some “pond” stuff to sit it on… and ( this is one of the creative joys when working with children ) off he went and carried out his idea, to make something fabulous like this…

WonkyGiraffe frog blog

I really liked the frog idea; so I kept my rough negative off-cut that I chopped out quickly for him,

frog cutout silhoutte

and this morning decided to have a go at making a frog template.

wonkygiraffe flattened frog shape

It is strange, but the more I attempt to frogify the cut, the less it looks like the ‘really quite frog like’ initial one.

frog outlines

wonkygiraffe frog shape making

Ribbit, ribbit is turning into rip it, rip it around here.

a row of wonkygiraffe frogs

Plus the casual bottom fold (that makes him sit but without tipping) is actually quite crucial- I was just lucky with it first time.

folded frogs legs by WonkyGiraffe

As there are only 2 folds they have to be right- but mega easy for children to get right too.

Start again?

It is hard to put the genie back in the bottle and be spontaneous again once you have already made a series of steps trying to work something out. I always work better with just the scissors rather than drawing and then cutting out.

So here I am starting again, step by step, cut by cut.

This survivor is putting a brave smile on it.

it is a frog

However you can just see that bin-full of frog bits!

cute frog by wonkygiraffe

By the way – the bright oilcloth is also a survivor – of the eighties; not my current taste – but blooming good at protecting the good oak table under it!
That is as far as this day went – life happened!
So here is the next go at it; in much brighter weather; with some rather more literary frogs. I still can’t bring myself to make prototypes in “the good stuff”- hence the rather endearingly appropriate word “small” in his tummy!

a Frog ready to hop by WonkyGiraffe

I thought I’d upload these photos as they do look such cheerful chaps. Even unfinished and wonky.

Well that is my motto: Wonky is a good thing!

cute frog or what from wonkygiraffe

Basking in the sunshine. ( Not sure if frogs do that actually – but this one does.)

WonkyGiraffe blog de frog Dscn7993

Next stop ‘publisher’ for the “how to” and he can go into the “Frogs and Ponds” art activity PDF set.

WonkyGiraffe frogs Dscn7992

Hey this one looks quite like a monkey now he is photographed!
hmm..
Oh no!
I started it again! Now I have to try out a monkey.
Later.

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MMH event was fun

Nice weather (hurrah) and not too busy (mixed feelings about that).
We made a lot of very mad hares – some were even pink!

It was a bit of a challenge to get the paper engineering simplified for them to just get on and make it work. At first some needed one to one help but then I got into my stride with the prep work, once I saw what they needed to do it themselves.

WonkyGiraffe Mad March Hares

I was really pleased how many quite young children got the concept and were very definite about which of the three movements they wanted.

None chose the easy one I prepared ( ! ) and most did opt for the hidden mechanism – although my colleagues, and most parents, liked it visible !

I really must be a child at heart because I wanted it hidden too! It did put in another step/concept to explain but I liked the effect.
The visible one was needed though, to show what was going on. If it had all been hidden in the device I think it would have seemed too daunting. Here are two with it visible.

WonkyGiraffe boxing hares

Wonky Giraffe hare

And in these two it is hidden behind.
What do you think ?
I wish I had more pictures because some of the background scenes were fab.

WonkyGiraffe hares

WonkyGiraffe completed picture of hares

Meanwhile – whilst all that was going on at one end, the other was filling up with little folded hares. They looked quite a wistful group “en mass” I hope some made it to a nice window with a view.

WonkyGiraffe origami hare

WonkyGiraffe origami folded hare

I wish I had a picture of them all scattered around the room. My camera went flat – a fault I think as it was charged… technology

So I only have a few snaps – but they were some great little hare chaps made, including a lot more finger puppets and stick puppets like this one:-.

WonkyGiraffe paper meets picture

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WonkyGiraffe's Desk

I’ve been making paper mad March hares for next weekend’s event; I love this kind of experimenting and creating.

But…it EATS time!

I started off early, over breakfast! it was a beautiful sunny day and I had a clear(ish) table to work on. Double pleasure; so I got started straightaway with the sun pouring in.

WonkyGiraffe colouring

As you can see by the pictures it got to afternoon and I was still at it. To be fair the ideas and scissor chopping, quick sketching bit is quick and fun. Then trying to make the actual templates and instruction sheets takes ages. I don’t mind doing it but you can find you’ve been an hour on one teeny page (I timed it!). Typing and tweaking and cropping and then redrawing.

This process is not my best bit of a project!

I am – apparently- a “starter instigator” according one of those work teambuilding profile things!

Who knew?

Well anyone who knows me lol!

Don’t get me wrong – I DO finish things- but it is not “my best”.
(Love that quote phrase from The Dollhouse- a weird TV drama, stumbled upon a while ago)

Anyhow I now have a couple of Hare finger puppets, a mad ‘revolving eye’ hare head picture, and an animated boxing hare scene (my favourite). Plus of course (being me) some interesting side diversions too maybe work on later.

My clear desk now looks like this;

WonkyGiraffe's desk

where I pushed it all back like the tide so I could take the ‘how to’ photos for the publisher instruction pages.
Also, I’m wondering if I can rescale the side profile finger puppet to fit the page better; but without a tiny pair of hands to try it on, I’m a bit stuck with that.

However, quite pleased with this little guy.

 WonkyGiraffe cute hare

His head probably could do with a ‘sink fold’ but I’ve tried to get it a simple as possible, otherwise I will end up making them all instead- not the point and no fun for the children ( or me ).

Simple is hard to get to sometimes; people have no idea when they see a couple of folds and cuts, how much you have to actually leave out!

These are just some of the casualties, ( and why I do most of my trials in scrap paper ) poor little paper people;

WonkyGiraffe paper casualties

time to tidy up, but….
… just for fun; this little chap looked quite like he would love to escape his paper world…

hare puppet

look little hare wants to get out into that sunny hillside..

I want to be outside...

there he goes

WonkyGiraffe - hare in the garden

off up the hill!

bounding hare - WonkyGiraffe

Sorry about the laundry, but it was the first sunny day a while…

and yes, I do use one of my own pegbags, he is just on the end of the line that you can’t see.

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I ‘m a bit out of step with the blogging of events- what with the festive season etc, so here are a couple I prepared and didn’t finish (last autumn- oops). I’ll do the next one later on!

I love autumn, and this yearly, countrywide, celebration epitomises all the beauty and bounty of the season as far as I am concerned. Plus I love it that Apple Day events actually spread out over several days – so, depending where you are, you can get to at least one.

We had a smashing event on the reserve, lots of traditional games, trails, orchard talks, stories, tasting, planting and cooking tips and, of course, arty stuff.

apple day

There was Apple Printing (very popular with toddlers, bam bam bam!) with extra printed ‘appley’ poems and words for older children to embellish their work with.

apple print pictures

We made an apple game –a simple blockade game called horseshoe- a bit like noughts and crosses. The visitors (even grandpas) liked it even more once they worked out the winning move. There were several “Ta Da” moments when the penny dropped!

apple games

We used disks of apple wood to make coasters and pendants with (sawn from branches cut from last years poor old dead tree- but much better than burning them).

I apologise for this poor photo; it was the only one, a shame because some were lovely. The green cylinders are laundry “softener” bottle tops with thin foam shapes stuck on as print blocks.
apple circles

Then there were hanging apple decorations; super easy and endlessly variable. I will post a tutorial on this idea (later on!) as it would adapt to Christmassy shapes too.

paper apples

Lastly, local orchards supplied masses of traditional English apple varieties for tasting and local supermarkets donated apple juice for sampling. (Very popular!)

apple tasting

Sadly no cider LOL, probably not a good idea anyway in combination with all the children, paint and water.

In true British fashion it was wet and windy but we were all very cosy inside the barn.

I am not sure the story teller in his yurt felt too cosy, poor man; we had to thaw him out with hot tea…

A good day.

apple day view outside

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Well I can’t believe another year has passed zip zap!

So many things not finished… sigh

hey, a new year.. so many things to start LOL

but for now Happy New Year and do look back at my last (first!) blog year if you like.

I’m not making resolutions but I am going to try to blog more frequently- or at least more regularly; the long gaps mean things get passed by as something else happens!

FOR EXAMPLE “here is one I prepared earlier” THAT NEVER GOT FINISHED AND POSTED UP. I would like to use it as it is a good way for me to remember a start of a project. ( so, sorry, but I’m going to inflict it on you too)!

This is the first publisher template I made for the matchbox accordion booklets. I’ve adapted it a few times now but at the time I felt very pleased with myself! It has made new ones much quicker.

It also shows me how much I can prevaricate and get sidetracked! ( cue; sidetrack)

My favourite author Terry Pratchett has a bit in one of his books where he describes ideas as sleeting through the universe- sometimes the best idea “hits” the wrong brain and is wasted; other times there is a lightbulb moment for some bright spark!

This idea so resonates with me; I often feel like I am standing ( or to be honest, more probably sitting) under a veritable rainstorm of ideas- sorting them out and getting a proper solid hit to work with has always been a problem. I like the metaphor of all the randomly crashing, sleeting, rain better than butterflies fluttering. It feels much more like what happens to me at times. It stops me actually finishing so many things- I prove concept and then get distracted by the next thing.

Of course sometimes I just can’t be inspired, or bothered, (impatient and lazy?) Know thyself! 🙂

Anyhow here is a sequence taken which to me shows how I work things out ; or how i should not to do it if i ever want to finish it!
!Idea! This well known rhyme “Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home, your house is on fire your children are flown”.

Firstly a 3D paper house using my bag/box/house fold. I wanted it all as one piece but the flames are added separately on these rather scruffy tryouts. [idea 1]

wonkygiraffe origami house

Then messing about with a little paper doll [idea2]

WonkyGiraffe paper dolls

Then I think it would go well in a matchbox (at this point I had done only the doll and beetles in them) so made a rough working out of layout of the text…

WonkyGiraffe paperdoll

…and decided to try out Publisher.

Much gnashing of teeth ( Publisher was, is a learning curve all by myself!)
but started messing about with seductive clip art [ ideas3 and 4] Oooo, great fun.

WonkyGiraffe Accoridion zigzag books

Covered a matchbox with fortuitous tiny scrap from friend quilting leftovers and thought about maybe using my nice vintage ladybird or house buttons. [idea5]
WonkyGiraffe vintage ladybird buttons

Which led to the idea to use even- more- tiny scraps as individual ladybird children (as can’t bear to waste such an apt bounty) glued onto card with threads so they can dangle..! [no.6]

WonkyGiraffe ladybird fabric

Then had idea to make mini fabric ladybird ( like Agatha beetles ).[idea7]
Tried it but at about an inch long a bit frustratingly fiddly- so not really happy with it and left that.
WonkyGiraffe miniature ladybirds

I also made up some individual booklets for my cousins’ children, with their names in the text and the – second verse ( more clip art fun and games)[no 8]

Abandoned whole boxful to do other rhymes.!!!

I did actually finish baa baa black sheep ( but there is a similar abandoned boxful of other ideas for that too!).

Hmm.

But today I feel like doing the ladybird one again- can’t find the energy to start anything completely new- even if it is New Years day!

Watch this space- I may actually finish one.

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