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Posts Tagged ‘wonkygiraffe’

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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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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I was given some soft grey yarn recently, really a bit too much to use for toys. It is ages since I made myself anything, so I thought I’d use it for a scarf and beret.
(Because of course I don’t have enough of either. Not!)

I just wanted to make something easy and portable. A pick up and put down project I can take out with me, or do in front of the TV – or, here’s a thought, in the outside air now the weather has finally become rather nice!

I found a pattern on Ravelry in chart form – first time I have used one for something other than an amigurumi toy. So far so good; it is only 2 rows and yet has an effective lace look. I should have just made something up but I’m a bit low on energy and time right now. Browsing Ravelry seemed so much easier (and is always fun), then working out one of my own “on the hook”, which I normally would like to do.

WonkyGiraffe crochet

Of course I seem to be putting it down rather more often than picking it up, or at least putting it down after a few stitches, let alone rows! World’s slowest “quick project”, and now the weather is warm so I don’t need it anyway, LOL.
Plus of course I have decided a plain beret is a bit boring and I am wondering if I can put a lacy band in to match the scarf, sort of like this :-

WonkyGiraffe crochet scarf closeup

Or maybe just make the beret lacy…
But then I have to finish it first, in case I run out of wool, because the scarf can be any length, well this is where I am at right now..

WonkyGiraffe crochetting pic

Onward and upwards….

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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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