Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Don't panic Pirate Party food

It's 8:30pm on a Monday night, the children have just fallen asleep, and you realise that your son is supposed to take "pirate" themed food to school the next day. What to do? It only I'd thought to buy a watermelon:

Nothing else on the internet jumped out at me quite like that - I needed something that was portable, didn't need reheating or chilling, and wasn't too sugary.

This is what I did instead - taking a leaf out of IKEA's book (were the Swedish ever pirates?) and combining it with my favourite cheese biscuit recipe passed off as "hard tack" (I made half the recipe - it makes A LOT of cheese biscuits):
About to go into the oven
Out of the oven

And the great thing about the letters "A", "H", "O" and "Y" is that they read the same backwards and forwards (Take that, IKEA!).

the skulls looked alright going into the oven
but no so great once cooked. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Collaborative art project for older primary children

The great thing about children is that they by and large get more dextrous the older they get. So when you get a class full of 11 and 12 year olds (and mostly boys as their female classmates are all off at a choir performance) and you need to give them something to do that will keep their hands and minds occupied origami comes to mind. And given that the school's "language other than English" is Japanese, everyone was happy to go along for the ride.

And then someone showed me the work of Will and Caro:

and I knew what to do with all the butterflies we made:
I used these instructions:

Word String Art

Inspired by Poppy Haus (left) and Honey and Fitz (right), I decided on a string art project for my son's year 3/4 (7,8,9 year olds) school Art Exhibition project. The school was pursuing a theme of "growing" in its curriculum so that seemed like the obvious word to string out. A string art project is also great for getting many little hands involved.

I had some foam board left over from some IKEA packaging, so the principal costs for the project were calico fabric to wrap the board, a couple of packets of steel pins, and crochet thread - in a solid and a varigated colour.

I chose to push pins into foam rather than hammer nails into board because, well, life is short! Even so, the set-up (wrapping, printing word, pinning) took about 3 hours.

If you chose to do a similar project, I would recommend cutting the letter out before pinning it (above) - ripping the pieces of paper away after pinning is pretty tedious (below)!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Primary school Art Show fun

Many schools have hit upon the idea of getting students to produce collaborative artworks then pitting parents of those students to bid against each other to take the work home, proceeds going to the school (via the P and C). So it is at my sons' present school as it was at the last.

Not every class at the present school had a parent put up their hand to help in their class, so I ended up helping a few classes make collaborative works. Some classes had more input from students than others. This was one idea which is pretty basic but produced a work that sold at auction for $210 - and cost about $25 to put together (the cost of the frame, paper, and a new cutting knife).

I've always admired Australian artist Rosalie Gascoigne's work - especially the yellow and black works made with old packing boxes, or, here, road signs:
And currently there's "textual" fashion in art - using words to create artworks. I combined the two by getting the class of first years (5-6 year olds) to go through junk mail catalogues and magazines and pick out yellow pictures, and cut them out for me. You start with this:

And then, some sticking and cutting (words printed from computer and traced onto heavier card) later, you end with this:

There are many similar projects out there - here are some others for inspiration:
1. 2. 3.