Art in August #17 – Loomband Hot Air Balloon

Hot air balloon and passenger

Hot air balloon and passenger

I had so much fun making my loom-less flower (using only the hook) that I decided to make this hot air balloon using a tutorial by the same person, FeelinSpiffy/Crafting Fantastic.

It took quite a long time for me to get the hang of it, and even longer to finish (it uses a lot of bands). Mine doesn’t stand up too well, I think because the jelly bands are so bulky. I wouldn’t have used them, but they were all I got in my last bulk order – unfortunately the cheaper the bands are, the less choice you get about what turns up!

In the original tutorial, Ellen (I think that’s her name) uses one of her super-cute turtles as passenger (and weight, to help it stand up), but my kids insisted on these penguins instead, using a DIY Mommy tutorial. They’re much easier to make, but the black doesn’t show up too well.

Hot air balloon with penguin

Hot air balloon with penguin

Of course my son wants a hot air balloon now, in green and black, although I doubt he’ll ever play with it. I’m having to take it easy though, as, even more than using the loom, this hook-only stuff kills my neck and strains my eyes. I feel 100 years old today.

Actually, hubbie and I are both shattered. Hubbie finished work on Friday, so has that post-handover exhaustion, and I’ve definitely discovered the limits of my childcare ability. Three weeks and I’m ready to do pretty much anything other than listen to twelve hours of squabbling for another three weeks. At least I still have my loom bands!

I’m trying to decide what to make next. There are so many cute things on the tutorials, I want to make them all. Suggestions? 🙂

Art in August #16 – Scary Sketch

My kids in a few years?

My kids in a few years?

When I did GCSE art, age 15-16, pencil was my medium. My favourite thing to do was pencil portrait sketching, preferably from posters and photos (I have a gorgeous one of Kevin Costner somewhere!).

One of the reasons I dropped art for A Level (aside from being convinced I wouldn’t get the grade I needed for uni) was that the art teacher kept trying to get me to use colour and I’m nothing if not stubborn. Ironic, then, that my solo abstract art exhibition in 2011 was titled It’s All About Colour.

Today I decided to try a sketch for the first time in about half a decade. I have to admit I was nervous and excited in equal measure. I couldn’t find any of my expensive pencils – long since lost to the children. So, using a broken HB pencil and a tatty rubber, I attempted to draw my children (from a photo).

The original

The original

It had to be both of them, to minimise arguments, so the choice of picture was tough: these days it’s hard to get a picture of my son where he isn’t sticking his tongue out. Hence why my son has a Christmas hat on: this one is from last December.

I really enjoyed sketching again, although it was frustrating to have a hard pencil, and a chattering child for company. I have to say, though, the holiday is certainly letting me do things I never normally allow time for. There has to be an upside to six  weeks of relentless parenting!

What’s a bit freaky is that the end result looks sort of like my kids, but like they might look when they’re older (and my daughter has a hint of Emma Watson as Hermione about her!). An artist’s sketch of their future maybe. I wouldn’t have shared it – I’ve done better – but this Art in August challenge is all about having a go! Time to raid the playroom and find my 2B pencil…

The Art in August challenge was started by the Laptop On The Ironing Board blog.

Art in August #10 – Loomband Luggage

Loomband Luggage

Loomband Luggage

It’s the weekend, and the kids were up at 5.30am. It was my turn for a lie in, so I hid in my room and made loom-band luggage while hubbie entertained the children for a couple of hours.

I am definitely obsessed. I’ve started seeing loom patterns in my mind while stacking the dishwasher or tidying the playroom, and I sat making mini roses while the kids had their bath. I then spent the entire evening making the beginnings of a loomband purse. Obsessed isn’t the word.

Still, it’s a relatively cheap and harmless obsession.

Apologies to anyone following these posts who is sick of loombands by now! I’ll try and do something more traditionally artistic soon…

 

Art in August #9 – Watercolour Dragon

Watercolour Dragon

Watercolour Dragon

I decided to introduce my daughter to the joys of watercolour painting today, using the proper kit rather than the cheap paints and brushes that come in kids’ kits.

We picked up a pad of heavy-weight grained paper after dropping little man at nursery, and I got out the hallowed box of expensive watercolour paints for the first time in five years.

I decided to have a go at drawing and painting a dragon, as that’s become a bit of a summer theme. I’m okay at copying things but I have no ability to draw things from my head, so I opted for a YouTube tutorial, seeing as that’s worked so well for the loom-bands.

I used this tutorial for the sketch – How to Draw a Dragon – Ten Minute Fast Doodle – and then made up the colours. I’m a bit rusty, and spent half the time watching my daughter like a hawk to make sure she didn’t leave my sable brush standing in the water pot (she did, frequently), but it was great fun.

Today reminded me of two things: 1) I love watercolours but need to practise more, and 2) detailed artwork and small children don’t really mix. I’m so precious about my paintings and my equipment and I’m like a two-year-old when it comes to sharing! One more thing to add to my ‘when the kids have left home’ list 😉

This post is part of the Art in August challenge from the Laptop on the Ironing Board blog.

Art in August #8 – Cheeky Turtle

My cutie turtle

My cutie turtle

I really wanted to do some ‘proper’ art today, watercolours or sketching or even colouring in, but I used all my energy taking the children swimming and then tidying up their mayhem from this morning. Hubbie said I should take a picture of the playroom and call it my installation art!

Instead I’ve fallen back on the old faithful and used the latest loomband pet. This was a tricky build because it needed a double loom but the spare I have is a cheap imitation one, so I had to hold it all together with one hand and loom with the other. Now daughter wants one too so I get to do it all again tomorrow, but with her ‘help’. Eek.

He’s my second favourite pet to date, after the dragon. We’re building up quite a zoo. My daughter wrote a book about them today (until we fell out when I gently pointed out that her bs and ds were back-to-front. Think I’ll have to leave teaching to the professionals!)

Is it September yet? I forgot to buy wine.

Loom Band Story

Loom Band Story

Outside the Pool

Outside the Pool

Art in August #7 – Loomband Unicorns

Rockin' Unicorns

Rockin’ Unicorns

Oh look, more loomband creations! This one was my daughter’s choice, as it was just the two of us today (and after we made a cardboard robot and a clay unicorn).

The brightly coloured one is hers (at least, she selected the bands! At 5 years old, her attention span and dexterity aren’t quite up to this yet.)

Unfortunately the sparkly bands are very soft so I hoped the unicorn pegasus would stand up better if made with solid bands. As you can see it didn’t make much difference: they’re still either newborn or drunk.

Never mind, I think they look quite rock and roll! If only my clay unicorn had looked as cool. It was so awful I squished it and my daughter made a snowman instead.

A day with my gorgious girl

A day with my gorgeous girl

On a non-artistic note, I’ve made it to the end of the second week of the school holidays; only four more to go (thank goodness we only have six).

While I’m certainly not missing the school run, we are all starting to unravel and to get on each other’s nerves. My son’s report from nursery today was that he’d been ‘challenging’, I spent two hours trying to sleep through Doc McStuffin episodes, and then had to carry my 5-year-old round the field on my shoulders, while walking the dog, because she got a blister.

When we got home from nursery pick-up, little man managed three tantrums in about ten minutes and little lady had two. The house looks like the aftermath of a three-day sugar-fuelled festival for preschoolers and the dog’s taken to following me around like a shadow. I haven’t figured out if she wants a walk or some respite from the constant arguing.

Life-sized robot

Life-sized robot

This evening, despite the less than desirable behaviour, I ordered the kids a GlowPet pillow pet each, as bribery/compensation because I’ve cancelled our planned trip to Sea Life tomorrow (I can’t face it!)

But as the pillows won’t arrive for a week I still have to come up with a plan for entertainment or they are going to murder each other.

Please tell me how any of us are going to survive another month? Thank heavens for Art in August, Facebook and Escape to the Country… Oh and chocolate.

Art in August #6 – More iPad Doodles

Olaf

Olaf

Today’s art is more KidsDoodle pictures, but this time observational sketches rather than doodles.

I quite like the random effect of the colours, having a different colour for each new stroke, because I’m normally so controlling. It’s more like doing abstract paintings than pencil sketches. Great fun. I’ve even paid the 69p to remove the advert bar! 🙂

I think Olaf is my favourite, although I like the sketch of my daughter watching TV too, and the colourful dog sketches, because our dog is actually black. The best thing about the app is you can replay your drawing as a video. As a wannabe artist, being able to watch how the drawing took shape, one line at a time, is fascinating. I also watched the videos of some of my daughter’s sketches, which was pretty cool.

Expect to see more iPad Art this month, especially as I still feel wrung out. Besides, anything I can do on the iPad instead of surfing Facebook and checking for Amazon sales and reviews is a good thing.

This post is part of Art in August as mentioned on the Laptop on the Ironing Board blog.

Little girl

Little girl

Little boy

Little boy

Sleeping Dog

Sleeping Dog

Rainbow Kara

Rainbow Kara

Watching TV

Watching TV

Art in August #5 – IPad Art

Doodle Dragon

Doodle Dragon

I’m still sick. I don’t even know what’s wrong with me. Maybe I’m just plain exhausted, although if that’s true only a quarter of the way through the summer holidays we’re all in trouble.

I stayed in bed for a couple of hours but after the fifth, “both of you get in here right now!” in response to the escalating squabbles that seems to have marked week two of the holidays, I hauled myself into the shower and took us off to the supermarket to buy popcorn and DVDs.

The trip out finished me off, so I lay on the sofa while the kids watched Angry Birds Toons and Elmo goes to Grouchland (their choices, sigh.)

I didn’t even have the energy for reading or loombands, but every time I lay down both kids piled on me for a cuddle (which, if you don’t have 3 and 5 year-old children, is a bit like the judo I watched in the Commonwealth Games).

Doodle Firebird

Doodle Firebird

So I decided to do my August Art on the iPad, using the children’s KidsDoodle app. Oh my, it’s amazing. My fingers are big and clumsy – I really needed a stylus which I don’t have – but I had so much fun. There are a whole range of brush types, but you can’t control the colour – a different colour comes every time you touch the screen. Very difficult to draw eyes!

I couldn’t choose which of my random creations I liked best so – as the children do – I saved them all.

Here’s to feeling better tomorrow!

This post is part of the Art in August challenge on the Laptop on the Ironing Board blog.

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Art in August #4 – More Loomband Pets

Loomband Alligator

Loomband Alligator

I had intended to have something other than clay and loomband creations to show off today, but as I’ve been in bed poorly all weekend this is all I have.

I probably shouldn’t have done these, even, as the eye strain is possibly contributing to my general feeling of dizzy malaise, but I need something to stay sane. There is only so much Commonwealth Boxing and episodes of Flog it! you can watch!

So, I introduce loomband Alligator and loomband Giraffe. Both come courtesy of DIYMommy instruction videos on YouTube.

Loomband Giraffe

Loomband Giraffe

My daughter requested the giraffe and helped me with some of the prep but really the 3D pets are a little hard for her concentration levels (or should I say for my patience levels – trying to teach a five-year-old to listen and follow a 45 minute tutorial is beyond my skill!)

The Alligator is the hardest thing I’ve made so far, involving much cursing, especially as it turns out the green bands I have are weak and prone to snapping (no pun intended).

Still, I am growing rather fond of my loomband pets (I have a purple bunny which is probably my favourite to date.) Hubbie thinks I might need counselling for my addiction…

This post is part of the Art in August challenge on the Laptop on the Ironing Board blog.

Art in August #3 – Clay Dragon

My dragon

My dragon

When my daughter asked to do modelling with clay, I knew what I wanted to make. A while ago, fellow author Rinelle Grey took a break from writing to make clay dragons. They are adorable. Her designs were based on the work of Becca Golins, aka Dragons and Beasties, who makes the most incredible dragons. I want them all…

Anyway, I’ve wanted to make one ever since seeing Rinelle’s post, especially as my first complete novel is all about dragons.

Unfortunately it turns out I don’t quite have the knack (oops, scrap that, one of the rules of Art in August is to not apologise for your art!) I think my first attempt is cute, in a timid sort of way. I wonder if it could be Ilaria.

Daughter's dragon

Daughter’s dragon

I must investigate what clay to use, as I don’t think painted white clay has the same impact (plus it’s really hard to paint!)

All good fun and, as with the clay dog yesterday, my daughter’s dragon was cool too. It reminds me of Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon.

This post is part of the Art in August challenge on the Laptop on the Ironing Board blog.