Art fun with the kids

A few weeks ago I became aware of a local activity that was starting to gain in popularity.  I think I stumbled across it in a post in facebook.  It’s called Rammy Rocks and involves painting on small rocks and pebbles and then leaving them for other people to find.  It’s not unique as there appear to be groups all over the country (if not the world) that have taken to leaving lovely messages on stones for people to find.

This one has really taken off in the local area, with a couple of talented Mums using this to get their children being creative and getting them outside.  Rammy Rocks seems to have captured the imagination of hundreds (if not thousands) of local residents.  and it’s not limited to the children either, there are loads of talented artists painting little rocks and hiding them about for people to find.

I, personally, am loving this craze.  It’s great fun to go out and find some pretty stones while on a walk.  So we’ve been doing a fair bit more walking over the last couple of weeks.  It’s a shame the weather has been so rubbish as we would have liked to get out a bit more.  (So it’s been great for getting Alice away from her tablet and minecraft and it’s doing me some good too).

We had a couple of snow days from school which meant we missed World Book Day (much to Alice’s disappointment), so I decided we would make the most of it and paint some book inspired rocks to hide later.

I have to say Alice’s are far superior to my efforts!  Her Matilda and Wimpy Kid rocks are quite brilliant.

We have great fun hiding the rocks too.  Alice rather likes to give them to people rather than hide them for other’s to find, so several of our efforts have been left on doorsteps of her friends.

We will be painting and hiding more over the next few weeks as well as going out and about to find some more.  As we have a trip to Southampton planned for the Easter holidays I think we might be finding some to take down there.  I’m also working on Alice’s Brownie leader to get them to make some to hide in the local park and woods.

It’s great to see all the posts from people when they find them and I’m not sure whether I’m more excited to find a great rock or to see one of mine that’s been found!

I hope we get some more nice weather soon and we can get out to hunt for rocks again soon.

Happy Rocking

xx

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Easter activities

We’ve had quite a lot to do this Easter holiday and this week Alice has been entering lots of competitions in our local shopping centres. First the small independent shopping centre, Millgate, ran a competition to design an Easter egg, the first prize is an Easter egg and an egg for everyone in their class at school.

I love watching Alice doing this type of thing. As the deadline is at the end of the week, we went for a cuppa to give her time and space to do her design entry. As usual I had my ‘big’ bag with me which has a box of crayons and some coloured pencils in – I feel this is a real sign of being a Mum!

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Last week we entered the Easter egg hunt on The Rock shopping complex. There always seems to be something like this on there in the school holidays, and it’s something different to do outside. Surprising though, this time Alice won the first prize – a month’s tuition at Explore Learning and an enormous Thorntons Easter Egg filled with Millies Cookies!!! So we collected the prize this afternoon.

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I think we have one happy little girl this Easter holiday and we might just have to share the egg and cookies around friends and family!

Happy Chocolate Eating!
x

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Half Term Art

This half term we’ve been lucky to all have the week off and we decided on doing some new things as a family.

So on Monday we were up and out early for a trip out to the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. I last went there when I was doing my art GCSE, back in around 1987/8, so I was looking forward to seeing all the changes. It was not really a surprise to find it nothing like I remembered. The galleries are really bright and airy, and the exhibitions are full of thought invoking pieces of art and sculpture. One of the most interesting pieces was a large cave-like structure adorned with knitting and crochet. It was very spookily lit, which made us think it was an old cave filled with cobwebs – very appropriate for this time of year. However, we were informed by one of the staff that it was actually the ‘Womb Room’ and with the low lighting inside it felt very warm and cosy.

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As it’s half term, there were several activities on offer for children. We opted for the ‘art hamper’ where we filled a small picnic hamper with art supplies and found an inspiring spot to make our own art. We decided on a bench overlooking the art garden and we all came up with something unique! It was great to do some drawing again, I realised it’s been a very long time since I actually sat down to draw a still life. But we all had fun and came away with our own piece of art.

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We finished the visit with the ‘welly walk’ around the sculptures in Whitworth Park. The weather was glorious, so we made the most of the dry conditions and played in the leaves, collecting some for possible future crafting back home. The walk involved trying to work out which of sculptures to find, using some slightly cryptic clues. We had great fun and particularly liked the out-of-season snowman and the upside-down trees!

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After lunch we headed off to The Imperial War Museum North, somewhere else I have been previously, but many years ago now. On arrival we were met with another menu of activities for half term, and we found ourselves in a studio doing still life drawing! This time of items from the Second World War. It was great that the parents were also encouraged to take part not just the children. So we all had another go with some beautiful pencils, drawing gas masks, goggles and incendiary bombs! This was all part of the ‘Big Draw’ and the gallery of work was pretty impressive – children and adults.

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We didn’t have anywhere near enough time to see all of the exhibitions, but we did do the Horrible Histories ‘Blitzed Brits’ exhibit, which was very popular with my daughter, even if she wasn’t really understanding everything. She loved doing the activity booklet, following the clues and getting hands on with all the interactive exhibits. It turns out I would have been a bomb disposal expert in the war!! Not sure I would have been any good at that, I see me more as a land girl or knitting socks for the troops.

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It was dark by the time we came out of the museum, so we had a quick walk over the ship canal to Media City, looking in vain for the Blue Peter garden, whilst enjoying the lights and the incredible moon. A quick cuppa in the Lowry while my husband set about taking plenty of arty photos in the dark, and then it was time to go home, thoroughly worn out!

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A great day out which we finished with a chippy tea. I would thoroughly recommend looking into any of these attractions and I think we will be going back to them again very soon. It was brilliant to do so much art too, I will have to see what else is on offer for the Big Draw week.

Happy crafting
x

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Last week of the School Holidays

Well this summer holiday really has flown by. I can’t believe we’re in the last week already, where has the time gone – does this mean I am getting really old? I feel like my feet haven’t touched the ground at all this week, as we’ve been visiting family, playing with friends and having fun in town.

We started the week with a trip into Ramsbottom and any trip there has to include a visit to the Aladdin’s cave that is Clark Crafts. I was determined (as always) not to spend a small fortune, but it’s so much easier said than done. We had a really good browse around all the products, finding more things that we ‘need’. I was quite good and just bought some more card blanks, but we found a lovely little craft kit to keep little ones amused.

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And at only £2.50, it was a bargain! We added some rainbow stickers (essential for any self respecting 6 year old) and foam shapes to the mix before calling in at the wine shop for Hubby’s birthday present. Well it wouldn’t do not to get him something from our lovely shopping trip.

Once home, the kits were immediately opened and the house was suddenly full of pom poms and pipe-cleaners. This kit is great, it came complete with self-sticking googly eyes as well as flat back gems, lolly sticks, and glue. My daughter started to make some spiders first, no glue required on these and all her own work, she cut up the pipe-cleaners for the legs and wrapped them around the pom pom bodies.

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We then had a look at what was left – absolutely loads – and decided on a caterpillar. She chose the order of the pom poms and I threaded them on a piece of cotton for her. We completed the look with googly eyes, a mouth cut from a piece of funky foam and rainbow antennae and hair made from pieces of pipecleaner. A truly rainbow hungry caterpillar, I think you’ll agree. Very cute though.

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She’s now thinking of other creatures she can make with the remaining pom poms. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!

We’ve also had a trip to the Fusiliers Museum in Bury this week, where they had a craft session making peg dolls. The theme was heroes and heroines of the wars. So of course, we made a superhero dog with special ice powers, a posh lady and little red riding hood!

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This has sparked the imagination and inspired, we made a trip to find dolly pegs and tissue paper, as my daughter wants to tell her Rainbows group leaders about it and make them with the group. We have several little green aliens and red superhero peg dolls peeping out around the house now!

After making peg dolls we headed over the art gallery where there were crayons and paper available to do some art. We have been inspired this week watching Big Blue Live and Big Blue UK, so sea creatures have featured heavily in drawings. Here we have the pick of the art from the art gallery. Superb attention to detail I hope you’ll agree.

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Now it’s back to sorting out all the school uniform and making sure everything fits! I hope she doesn’t need more new shoes…

Happy crafting
x

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