Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Happy Journal Pages

I am currently using an old book about pottery as my journal. I have gessoed the pages but left the more interesting parts visible. It is quite thin and shiny paper but seems to stand up to things quite well. Below are some of my recent playing around pages. 
 Happy (and possibly slightly smug) girl in toadstool dress. The vacuous but appealing Hello Kitty. Until I drew her I don't think I'd noticed that she doesn't have a mouth.
 The cat from Shrek, one of my favourite cartoon characters! 
 Using stamps and smudgy ink pads. 
 This was going to be a background but I like it as it is. 
 Same here!
 Not sure what story this rat is from but I couldn't resist him. 

 This 1930s looking building reminds me of some of the factory buildings in Leicester where I lived for ten years. There is also a very similar one near here by the Thames barrier. Love this style of building.
 This one is the result of some school preparation of a postcard that went wrong. It is a postcard of Jephson Gardens in Leamington Spa photocopied on blue paper, scrunched up, inked and printed on.

Then more rejected photocopies, a print of the stormy sky, and some silver transfer stuff-some sort of poor man's silver leaf that you rub over the back of, onto a glued surface.

Monday, 9 June 2014


If you can't afford a BMW, then you can make one. This is the nearly finished, but finished enough, model we made last week. It has a spare wheel in the middle, for which the need became obvious once children started to sit in it and it sagged dramatically. The steering wheel was a rushed job but was largely made by Aidan who gave us the idea for making the car. Today I repaired it for the fifth time! We have had to limit it to one person only, as, despite a bit of cardboard wedging, it threatens to roll straight off its wheels. But despite all of its design issues, it has had a lot of use. I made a quick display to go on the cupboard behind it and stuck it up tonight, as who knows how long it will last.
 Do you like the cow print seat cover? I think it adds a certain something to the interior. 
 If you can't afford a big caravan and something to tow it, then you can buy a small one and imagine.
 A real BMW. I took this photo at the weekend to add to the display. Aidan didn't need it as he knew just where to stick the logos on his car. We are back to the topic this week-the fun part of making a big ship model based on two of the children's boat drawings from last week. We are pretty good at making large models now!

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Ghostbusters Sky

Storms and terrible weather were forecast yesterday. But all we got was this Ghostbusters sky and heavy rain for about an hour. Then it was a lovely day. The first of each photo is the unchanged one, but I couldn't resist making it more dramatic with the help of photoshop! To my eyes it looked more like the dramatic versions. 

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

This Week and Last

Last week was half term, and apart from debating what to do with my life, I also had to go into work twice-once for planning, and once for making this display-with the other teacher in Nursery. This is our topic table. We are looking at 'Bathers at Asnieres' and started by asking the children to talk about the painting. Obviously talk about seaside visits came up, some mentioned sharks and fish, and so we took that as licence to include lots of sea type things, I made the cardboard boat shelf from large card, papier mache and then painted it in a way supposed to be reminiscent of a battered old rowing boat. Also the oars. The two ships were a lucky find at the boot fair and the postcards from Rochester for 10p each. 
The topic was imposed on us, so is not child initiated as we like to do. So in addition to all the boat and sea related things, today was spent starting to make a BMW cardboard car-one that they can sit in. This came from a boy in my class who has been talking about cars a lot recently, especially BMWs. He never looks that impressed when I tell him I have a renault! It started with him, but lots of children helped. We found cable reels for wheels, looked at a real car outside the fence to see features of a car. measured and cut a large box, cut one door, tested my seat idea, (another box!) then painted the bodywork, (and each other, the sinks and. in one case a leg) black. We all cleaned up the mess pretty well though. Tomorrow we will paint the interior green, cut the other door and then on Friday hopefully fix the wheels and the other things like lights, number plate, dashboard and steering wheel.  A picture will follow!
Other bits and pieces from this week and last... Cassie being cuddly on the day after her trip to the vet (for boosters) She hadn't quite recovered from the horror of it.
 Another big ship in Greenwich last Friday. I love the way the water looks. 
 Another day after the vets shot. One exhausted little cat!
 My petunias are blooming beautifully. This is an old teapot I have had for years which I love. It does stay out in the garden so I thought it would appreciate a plant.
 I don't know what plant it is from, but this cottony seed carrying fluff was everywhere at the start of the week and the end of last week. As well as looking like snow as it moves through the air, it does a good impression of it on the ground.
Another part of our boat related work. A big boat picture for my carpet sessions this week. It started as a line drawing but it needed colour as you could not tell what was what. A perfect excuse for some relaxing colouring in.
I have been feeling creative again-I was too stressed to even want to make anything-ever since ofsted, but after deciding to leave I feel like doing things again. I saw Kachina figures on tumblr last week-they are Hopi spiritual dolls and are amazing. I love the simple shapes and bright colours. I particularly liked this one so had a go at making a cardboard papier mached one. Having finished it I can see that the head is too big, but I still like him. He is a  morning singer-so should help me wake up in the morning!
The Financial Times is my newspaper of choice for papier mache. It does not seem as pink as it used to though.
I had a lot of trouble getting the turquiose colour. It seems I have no turquoise paint at all. I bought a paint sample from B and Q as I didn't want to drive all the way to Hobbycraft. I used a mixture of paint sample pots, acylics, gesso, gouache, watercolour tube, and cassein paint. I am not at all sure if all those go together but it seems not to be peeling!
The base is an old (splintery so obviously had to be removed) wooden block from school. I hot glued two golf tees onto it, with a stick stuck to each, then pushed the hollow legs of the doll onto these. It worked well and suited my impatience to see it finished.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Little Things

A flower that fell off a bunch given to me by one of my lovely colleagues last week. I didn't want to throw it away and it survived quite well in a little dish of water. 
 One of the many hundreds of snails that appeared in the garden in the rain earlier in the week . They were so happy-or had that appearance anyway. Andy left a scratch card out on the steps and they ate most of it, then did little paper poos. Interesting.
Thanks for the supportive comments on my last post. I really appreciate them.