Create! April blog - New beginnings
A fresh start..
Welcome to the Create! April blog. There’s something about this time of year with all the fantastic spring blooms and the lovely sunny weather that encourages me to think of new beginnings and trying things I’ve always wanted to do.
I’ve just started a really interesting new project doing book illustration, which I’m very excited about as it’s something I’ve always wanted to try my hand at. I’ve finally started putting pen to paper this week and it’s been great, but also really nervewracking.
Looking at a blank piece of paper and wondering ‘where do I start?’ is one of the hardest things you can do. It’s really scary! When I run my classes I always start with something to draw so that people don’t feel intimidated, but I had to start completely afresh this week and that certainly has been challenging. I’m so happy I’ve started it now though. I think that’s often the way with so many things - getting over the first hurdle is the hardest bit.
I had a really exciting day earlier this week when I had a fantastic photographer come to take some promotional shots of me and the business. I would thoroughly recommend Jo Welch http://www.jokatywelch.com , she’s based in Sherwood and her work is wonderful. I’m hoping to have some beautiful photos to share with you soon.
New workshops coming soon..
We’ve got lots of amazing stuff coming up over the next few weeks, including the return of our Easter craft workshops for kids. These will be taking place on April 16th and 17th and more details can be found on the website www.createwb.co.uk
I’m also really excited to announce that I’ve been in discussions with some local artists who are going to come in to Create! and do some Master-classes.
First up is Deborah Webster from Stone Stories who will be running a workshop for children. These are really beautiful sessions where children get to create their own story-telling stones and come away with their own set. This will be happening in May and details will go on the website as soon as it is confirmed.
I’ve also been talking to Bridie Filer, who will be running some print-making masterclasses in June. These are great for anyone who’s ever wanted to have a go at lino-printing, or perhaps those who have already tried it but are a bit stuck getting on to the next stage and want to develop their skills.
And finally, Oliver Lovley, a fantastic local artist, is looking to do some oil painting classes. I’ll be releasing more details soon in a newsletter and also on the website.
Bookings are open for next term so have a look through the website and see if there is anything that takes your fancy.
There are also a few spaces on our popular after-school classes, which are always good fun and a great chance for your children to step away from all their normal activities and just focus on doing something creative.
I hope you all have a very happy Easter and a lovely break, and look forward to seeing you soon.
Create! February blog - The month of love
Doing what you love..
Welcome to the Create! February blog. What a month it’s been! As I write this we are enjoying glorious sunshine, which is a wonderful end to what has been a really enjoyable month.
February is often thought of as the month of love, what with all the Valentine’s celebrations. For me, this month I’ve really been thinking about the importance of pursuing your passions and doing what you love.
One of the best parts of my job is helping people to find that time to do something they love, to give themselves a little bit of space to be creative and really enjoy doing it.
Places I love..
Personally, I was really lucky to be whisked away earlier this month to spend some time in Manchester, my second favourite UK city (after Nottingham obviously!). I used to live there and absolutely love it. It’s a while since I’ve been there and it was great to revisit and see how things have changed.
I was so impressed at how the cultural scene is so buzzing and vibrant. There’s regeneration everywhere, particularly in some of the areas that used to be really run-down. There were places I wouldn’t have dreamed of going to 15 years ago that have been taken over by artists, independent makers, bakeries, gin distilleries, art shops…you name it! It’s fantastic and I was left so amazed at how people have got that will to transform an area.
In Nottingham there are really similar things happening in the Sneinton Market area and, if you haven’t explored it yet, I’d really encourage you to go down and meet some of the people there. There are lots of independent artists and makers, and a whole load of small businesses doing really great things. It’s so brilliant to see and really worth a visit.
Sharing the Create! love..
With February drawing to an end I am starting to look forward to our plans for the next few months and I’ve just spent the last week working on new videos for the online course I am developing, which will be coming to a computer near you soon!
I really enjoy talking to camera about what I love doing, which is drawing and creating, and helping other people to be creative. That’s my passion in life and I’m really hoping it comes across.
I’ve also been busy taking bookings for upcoming classes for this term. The drawing and painting classes are getting really busy already, with almost all the places gone, so if you’re interested please get in touch as soon as possible. Our after-school classes are also really busy too, and we have a new sketchbook class for adults coming in May. If you want to find out more about any of these please drop us an email email@example.com.
I hope your month has been good. Enjoy the sunshine and I hope to see you in a class soon!
Hello and welcome to our brand new monthly blog!
First things first, a very belated Happy New Year! I hope you’ve had a good start to 2019. I’m really looking forward to an exciting year ahead with lots of new things coming up..not least this blog. I’m aiming to create one a month - with an accompanying vlog - to keep you up-to-date with everything that’s going on at Create! and let you know about what’s coming up. I’d love your feedback on the types of things you’d like to see included.
A creative year..
In this first edition I wanted to spend a bit of time reflecting on the past year. 2018 was a brilliant year, for me personally and for the business. Setting up and launching Create! and continuing to explore what’s possible has been so interesting and rewarding. I’ve learned a lot about what works, what doesn’t, and what people would like to see more of.
The classes for adults and older children have proved to be so popular, which is lovely to see. The sketchbook classes for children have been brilliant and all our adult classes are now full, which is great!
I have met so many lovely, creative people through these classes, and the atmosphere has been so supportive. It’s just wonderful to see people stepping out of real-life for a while, to become more mindful and absorb themselves in something artistic.
We also held lots of children’s parties in 2018 which enabled us to get out and about into the community. I love working with children and seeing them learn new skills, and the Masterpieces sessions we held over the summer were also fantastic. It was great to enable children to explore some of the great works of art and recreate them in their own way.
Towards the end of the year, the festive season was a real highlight for me. The festive wreath making workshops proved really popular again, but one of the most special things for me was helping to put on the Lady Bay Designers and Makers Market. My Co-organiser Alys (of Alys Power Design) and I helped 20 local creatives set up stall and sell their work to the community of West Bridgford.
I feel really passionately about helping independent makers and designers get the exposure they deserve and the day was a huge success, with over 500 people coming through the doors. I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported the event.
Turning to 2019, it’s a big year for me as I’m turning 40 at the weekend! Hitting milestone birthdays tend to make you quite reflective and it’s so nice to feel like I am exactly where I want to be in my life right now. I’ve got a great business which works around my family - I get to do the school run and see more of my girls and husband, and I’m getting to do what I love.
There are lots of exciting plans ahead for Create! too. I’m talking to some sheltered accommodation facilities about working with their residents and I’m really looking forward to being able to take art and creativity to people who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity.
I’ve also got plans for more one-off workshops on things like sketchbooking and print-making, and I’d love to hear your ideas about the types of things you’d be interested in attending.
Probably the biggest news is that we are taking Create! global! I will be starting a series of online courses which can be accessed wherever you are. I’m so excited about this and really want to thank everyone who’s supported me with it so far. Stay tuned for more news about launch dates.
I can’t wait to continue getting creative with all our lovely customers this year, and to meet some new ones. Thank you so much for all your support. Please do get in touch if you have any suggestions of things you would like to see, or you’d like to find out more about classes. I hope you have a wonderful start to 2019 and that I get to see you soon.
These are amazing subjects for crafts because they are so beautiful, colourful and spark so many conversations with the kids. They are so architectural and magestic. If you do this activity in the last summer, look out for sunflowers in the shops. They are lovely to brighten up the house, especially when the nights start drawing in! Also in these activities, I’ve included a cute buzzy bee to promote conversations about nature, pollination and the environment.
Activity 1: Sunflower Print/Painting:
What you will need:
Silicone Pastry brush
Paint: Black, yellow and red
Skills you will use:
Mixing colour, Fine motor, Printmaking,
How to do it:
1. Draw round a round object like the bottom of a cup or a small bowl to get a good shape. Use a permenant marker so that you can see the line.
2. Cut out the circle of bubble wrap out.
3. Squirt out some black paint into the paint tray (about a 10p amount is enough)
4. Use the roller to apply the paint onto the bumpy side of the bubble wrap.
5. Have a piece of paper ready….turn the bumpy side of the bubble wrap onto the paper. When you peel the bubble wrap off, you will have a black spotty print which looks just like the sunflower seeds. Put the bubble wrap to one side, we will use this again for the next activity.
6. Squeeze out the red and yellow paint in the tray. Take care not to mix them, we want the kids to experiment with mixing in a minute.
7. Using the silicone pastry brush, dip into the yellow and paint some petal shapes on to the paper around the bubble wrap printed middle. Then use the red paint to add some petals. You can see how the colours start to mix and mingle together.
Activity 2: Sunflower Collage
What you will need:
Circular piece of paper (brown or black)
Tissue paper (yellow, orange)
PVA Glue and Spreader
Skills you will use:
Sticking, Re-using, Cutting, Layering
How to do it:
1. Get a piece of paper, brown or a dark colour works well. Using the same object you used for making the bubble wrap circle, draw another circle. TIP: draw your circle at the side of the paper to avoid waste and it’s easier to cut out.
2. Cut out the circle
3. Layer the orange and yellow tissue paper. 4 layers works well. You can do this by folding or cutting out some small pieces (aprox 2cm x 5 cm) and laying them on top of each other. Draw a petal shape on the top piece.
4. Using the scissors, cut around the shape you have drawn but also cut the layers underneath. You should have several petals cut out by now. Repeat until you have around 20 petals in yellow and orange.
5. Cut a couple of leaf shapes out of the green paper and stick these on to one side of the paper circle so that they emerge from behind the petals, which you will add on in a minute.
6. Put a circle of PVA glue around the outside of the paper circle and start to stick on the petals so that they go around the circle but also that they overlap each other to make a lovely layered effect.
7. Finally, glue the bubble wrap circle that we used to print the sunflower with on top of the petals and you get a fantastic textured sunflower.
Activity 3: Buzzy Bee
What you will need:
A cardboard tube
Yellow and black Paint
Black paper strips
Antenae made from black paper
A black felt tip
PVA Glue and Spreader
Skills you will use:
Painting, 3D, Collage,
How to do it:
Spring Lamb: Ages 2-7
This cute little sheep is super easy and really fun for your little ones.
Sponge ‘dobber’ or cotton wool
Googly eyes (or make your own from small circles of paper and pens)
Funny Bunny: Ages 8+
This activity is perfect for teaching children how to use a pen to make marks to build up a picture.
Bunny Template (download or copy picture)
Pen (Biro/felt or fineliner will all work well)
Draw a Spring Tulip - Older children and adults
This is the puuuurfect project to make something totally beautiful out of scrap! This week, I’ve made these funky cats and dogs with my After-school group. The kids were 9 years old and up. They absolutely loved it (and so did I). It is super simple to do but looks really elaborate. It makes extra use out of gorgeous paper that we get in the house on a regular basis. Give your scrap a second life by re-using wrapping paper; lovely bits of packaging; newspaper; colour supplements and glossy magazines.
It is so important that we try to re-use as much ‘rubbish’ as possible in this day and age, we need to not only appreciate it’s beauty but also develop a social conscience. If we can turn it into something of beauty rather than landfill, whilst our kids get a creative buzz out of doing it …. surely that’s worth a try?
We can make this adorable dog / crazy cat in 10 easy steps.
Watch my sped up video to see how I did it. Here are the steps so you can stop the video as you go along:
1. Draw out dog or cat outline - just eyes and a nose will start you off.
2. Collect a range of interesting paper types e.g. tissue, packaging, wrapping paper. Try to make sure the colours and patterns are varied.
3. Decide on your colour scheme, although this will be dictated to by your scraps unless you have a full wardrobe of technicolour paper hiding away.
4. Cut your cat or dog ‘fur’ paper into small segments…I used elongated triangles. I used a small guillotine but you can use scissors, or if you aren’t confident using them free-hand, you can use a ruler and pencil to mark out your cuts.
5. Collage the eyes of your dog or cat with black tissue paper, if you are making a cat, also collage the nose and mouth, if you are making a dog, collage the muzzle and ears too. Use PVA glue as this is such a versatile glue to create art with, and if you get the washable version, it completely washes out of clothes, skin and hair etc.
6. Work in a methodical fashion laying down the triangular segments around the face. A little tip is to put the glue in sections first and then lay the collage materials down on top. This will save you a bit of time.
7. Fill in the fiddly bits with the shorter lengths of paper, off-cuts if needed.
8. The paper triangles form a kind of a mane, around the face. This gives a magnificent look to the beast, you may wish to trim off….. or not.
9. If you wish to trim off….do so now. You can re-purpose the triangle off cuts to plug any gaps in the ‘fur’ of the animal.
10. Draw in and tidy up any of the areas of the cat / dog to give it a sense of finality. And you are done.
Let me know how you get on. Happy Creating!
I spent a lovely afternoon with my eldest daughter decorating a fairy. It was an MDF cut out, which we painted with acrylic paints in pretty pastel colours. Then over the top we glued loads of gorgeous buttons, beads and sparkly bits. It turned out really well. It is now proudly displayed in her bedroom window. We also made some delicious scones and experimented with gluten free versions for a coeliac relative.
On the art school front, this week I made robots with the little ones. They particularly enjoyed the threading of chunky beads onto pipe cleaners and printing black and red onto tin foil. The adult painting class explored an abstract art theme with gauche paint.
On a personal note, I've learnt how to make fun gifs to help with promotional material. Rather amusing!
My daughter had a mould and paint fairy kit for her birthday. I'm a bit sceptical about kits like this normally but she was on and on at me to make it, so we did today. I had forgotten how much fun using plaster can be, We created the fairies using the moulds, an hour later, we were painting them and adding generous dollops of glitter! It was fantastic fun, now I'm thinking how I can use plaster in my other work.