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Posts Tagged ‘creative’

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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Lots of activity on the reserve this holiday! ( This scene of tranquillity is a “before” picture ).

WonkyGiraffe Easter Event Dscn7464

The arty bits were held in the barn; which was NOT COLD and filled with the scent of blossom! Yippee.

Wonky Giraffe Easter DSCN7457

There were workshops and the middle “ drop-in” event, which was another “spin into spring” day ( as last years was such a success ). Simple pompom creatures were made into bunnies and springy chicks.

WonkyGiraffe Easter Dscn7340

There were demonstrations of knitting, crochet, and drop spindle spinning. Sadly I was so busy I didn’t get any pictures 😦 that day. If anyone did take pictures I’ll add some later. Between us we managed to teach the basics of spinning, knitting and crochet to quite a few people, including children; boys as well as girls.

We made all sorts of Easter bunny and chick things, in the workshop sessions.
There lots of bunny characters made from painted “dolly” pegs; some had chenille arms

WonkyGiraffe easter pegdoll  Dscn7421

and some had “crocheted chain” arms I made as we went along…

Yes, I am a glutton for punishment! But actually it was another way to demo some crochet to the uninitiated; and was an extra bit of fun. I think I will include this in my peg doll tutorial as it saves using pipe cleaners with little ones.

WonkyGiraffe Easter peg bunny 2011 Dscn7414

WonkyGiraffe Easter peg doll rabbit 2011 Dscn7424

Just look at this funny, sweet couple!

WonkyGiraffe PegDoll couple Dscn7433

We also created some Easter trees made with network wire and crepe paper – These are easy and very effective; if anyone wants a tutorial leave me a comment and I’ll send one. (The PDF is going to end up in the shop as well.)

WonkyGiraffes Easter Tree Dscn7403a

Many of them had a sort of post psychedelic, magic roundaboutish, vibe!

WonkyGiraffe magic roundabout tree Dscn7423

Some had bunny visitors

WonkyGiraffe Easter Trees bunnys Dscn7425

and some had nests
WonkyGiraffe easter tree nest DSCN7442

and amazing illustrations of woodland dwellers added ( look at the base of this one carefully ! )

WonkyGiraffe Easter Tree Dscn7444

I loved this cheeky fox especially! He was peeping out from under a more natural tree. His creator was more of a wildlife purist than some of our younger craftspeople.

WonkyGiraffe Cheeky fox Dscn7432

We also made felted eggs, from some wool of the Jacob sheep on site! The coloured wisps were extra bits- we didn’t dip dye the sheep!
WonkyGiraffe easter felted eggs Dscn7412a

WonkyGiraffe Felted Easter Eggs Dscn7397

These took longer than anticipated, and were very wet and messy, but everyone did have a go with a great deal of soapy relish.

Then there were baskets to take it all home in!

WonkyGiraffe Easter baskets Dscn7405

WonkyGiraffe Easter Basket  Dscn7437

WonkyGiraffe felt picture Dscn7435a

What sweet scenes on this one!

The owner managed to sort out these shapes out from a mixture of flowery ones left over from another event! Such a patience and a delicate touch.

Plus of course paper bunnies (morphed from the hares) and lots of marbled egg cards ! ( The marbling was also messy ! )

WonkyGiraffe Easter Holiday Event Dscn7358a

A lovely, sunny, good old fashioned day out.

WonkyGiraffe the view Dscn7456

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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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OMG SUNSHINE!!

Time to get on with pegbags; two have just been sold so will need some more in the shops. At least I can take pictures of them outside now. Here are some guys that have been waiting for their photo shoot for ages.

pegbags

WonkyGiraffe Bubbles Alien Pegbag

I made a cute little soldier but needed to decide which colour eyes.

wg pegbag eyes

WonkyGiraffe pegbag - which colour eyes?

ok what about this colour eyes

I have tried a couple just as normal one- sided ones.

wonkygiraffe creature peg bag

WG pegbag creature seagull

wonkygiraffe seagull back view peg bag

They were originally for a shop, so I was trying to cut down the time it takes to produce one. I like them, but I’m not sure if I should just abandon the double sided/opening ones which were the original concept.

It just does not seem worth selling through a retail outlet as the mark-up needed means either they become (what I think of as ) very expensive pegbags; or I work for peanuts. As it is they take about 3-4 hours to make. I am not sure why; it seemed to take less at first, but I guess they were slightly more simple. Now, with inserted beaks

WonkyGiraffe Pegbag beak closeup

and shaped padded feet

WonkyGiraffe Pegbag feet close up

WonkyGiraffe Pegbag feet closeup yellow

(and don’t get me started on dinosaur spines)

WonkyGiraffe dinosaur pegbag spines

WonkyGiraffe dinosaur pegbag

They just take longer. But it is hard not to make a creature when the fabric shouts so loudly at one to make him or her, LOL.I am still working from the fabric, up- as it were! I have loads of ideas of creature shapes but really can’t go buying more fabric when I can hardly move for “the Stash”…. so I am putting lots on hold ( but it is VERY hard when you have an idea, not to rush out, get fabric and make Mr Fox and Mr Badger). Sob!

Not to mention all the other toys and crochet all orbiting in a creative space holding pattern; which sometimes feels like it has slipped and is around my neck strangling me…

If only I had a house slave like the Romans…

and a dictation slave…

and a knitting slave…

HMM

Well must stop all this and get on with some sewing of the aforementioned pegbags.

I would love to see them in a real shop-
but the whole thing seems easier on-line; plus there is a personal connection to most people I have sold to, which I do enjoy ( even if it eats up more time ” it’s worth it ” ).

I would love to hear any comments on these subjects; selling and managing creative flow! Then I won’t feel like it is only me with the angst!

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Another lovely event at the reserve.

Bug in a bag (there is that alliteration thing again).

The children love this one. I use my paper fold box/bag net with some printing on. These are easy; my original best idea (one of them anyway, she said modestly) for a really versatile event activity.

I’ve adapted the box net for loads of different things;

they can be decorated flat (Sooo much easier!) then assembled (OK, usually by “moi”) when done.

bug in a bag

This time the children made a little bug (more about that in a mo) and popped it in to the bag to carry home. The bag gave them scope for naming their bug and adding some facts (or even a back-story!!) and also an opportunity to think about habitats etc.

bug in a bag montage

Neat. More stealth learning.

For the bug to go in the bag we wanted a different bug instead of our normal paper and wire versions, and thought of making things using wood from the site.[ It’s great that we have different styles – together inspire each other and come up with all sorts of different things.]

My friend spent ages sawing and sanding bits of twig to use as the bug body; and we used up lots small scraps of nice card we hadn’t been able to bring ourselves to throw away.

So as a bonus it was practically free… if you don’t count labour 🙂

They turned out F.A.B !

A step up from the first idea! Add in the children’s natural creativity, and voila!
Bug in a bag, extraordinaire.

bug in a bag

bug in a bag

As you can see the children were very inventive, although we did have a lot of the ubiquitous butterflies they seem to love above all else!

bug in a bag

We also had a neat life cycle disc; mounted on recycled CDs for the older guys. Plus caterpillar bookmarks…

bug in a bag

…and one very LARGE caterpillar!

This little chap laboured on; working his way patiently through some old, almost exhausted, felt pens (we need more cash!)

to finish this Opus Magnus.

caterpiller

And we found these abandoned when we tidied up!

Probably someone’s idea of what we looked like by the end of the day.

finger bugs

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