Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dragonflies: the insect work continues...

To follow up.
This is another group effort by the Year 5s.
I like the blue foam core board for a change. 
The board comes in a whole range of colours so the possibilities are endless.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bunting & Prayer Flags -a source of happiness

We have always had some Nepalese prayer flags, blowing our thoughts and wishes around our house and into the greater world. 

image by Secretlondon
Traditionally these flags are used to bless the surrounding countryside and to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom. The Tibetans believe the prayers and mantras will be blown by the wind to spread the good will and compassion into all pervading space. 
Therefore, prayer flags are thought to bring benefit to all.

I like to think of bunting, originating at the turn of the 17th century, as a bit of a western answer to the Prayer Flag (albeit superficial in comparison).  I know it is a bit of a stretch but the festive nature of bunting whether made from plastic, fabric, paper or cardboard is intrinsically joyful. 

I have been busy  creating some visual cues to be peaceful, lighthearted and positive.

I hope they bring benefit to the people who visit our abode... and my little blog.

Interior bunting for my kids with french fabrics

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dragonflies Galore - Art for 10 year olds and up

The Yr 5 boys I teach have been learning about insects in Science and I decided to complete a quick two lesson activity to revise and extend on their learning. The twist was that we substituted unexpected patterns and images for the usual delicate lace wings such as crocodile skin, water, bark & Mondrian reproductions etc. It might not be something you expect the boys to get into, but they absolutely loved it. As an added plus it gave them some fine practice developing their cutting skills. It is amazing how many 10 year old boys struggle with basics like cutting-no one has ever really shown them HOW to cut.

We arranged the dragonflies on foam core board and glued. Voila! 

Although I designed this activity for 9-10 year olds really a prep child would cope with this just fine, especially with some cutting help.

Next "my boys" are working on a bigger bee and fly which they will display a-la museum style. We discussed using text to layer the meaning which they have embraced  with enthusiasm. Keep an eye out for this in the next couple of weeks.

Note :The idea for the layout of the dragonflies came from

Here is a link to the fabulous free downloadable label holders which are perfect for museum stlye displays (amongst other things).  They are courtesy of Cathe Holden

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Vintage Gift Tags

I don't think that word has really got out yet that Reverse Garbage  is reopen for business at its new location in Burke St Woollongabba. If you have never been it is well worth a trip- especially if you are an educator, artist or anyone really. I snapped up some old Laminex timber veneer samples for 20c each - bargain! 

Also in Brisbane this weekend Rotary are having a book sale down at the Urban Village. There are an interesting variety of books at very cheap prices and I found a groovy 1972  children's book "Nature's Busy Year" for $1. 

My little wins gave me some inspiration for a gift tag for my lovely friend Lin whose birthday we are celebrating tonight! I wrote her name on the tag using some old Letraset rub on letters...remember this old product?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Button & Beads Keyring

A few years ago I bought a stack of buttons for 50c from the a little Church market stall outside the voting hall and this seems like a really handy use for them. This keyring includes one or two stray beads also. 

I can see myself making a few more of these as they are quick, eye-catching and feel lovely in the hand.

 This little something is for my dear friend

Here are some links to some other  similar ideas:

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Button Brooches, Hair Accessory or Crafty Corsage

Swift and colourful, these brooches are also easy to make!

Allison Harris at came up with the original idea, inspiring me to make some of my own. They would make great pressies for my girlfriends or mum. You just need to know their favourite colours and select fabrics accordingly.

So get together your left over fabrics, organise your layers and select a button. 
Now sew your first layer to some felt for strength. Then sew a "x" through the centre of the stack of circles for support and finally add a button and a brooch pin. 

The pink ones are for my little one and I sewed a hair tie to the back of one which can be worn on the wrist like a corsage. Or course you could also stitch one to a headband also. 

Here is the pattern, just in case you don't have a compass. Enjoy!