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Gone back to blogger 16/02/2011

Posted by snoozerider in Uncategorized.
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I’ve moved this blog to blogger, cos I like it better after all ;-0

Follow me here:

http://home-edible.blogspot.com/

Winter Art 21/12/2010

Posted by snoozerider in art, craft, home education, kids craft, trees.
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Well, I’ve had a break from posting on this blog…but it hasn’t really changed what we do, so thought I would share a few of the boys’ latest beauties with you all :-)

Here are some tea light lanterns they decorated yesterday. I can’t find link to tutorial but basically you mod-podge the jars, add strips of tissue paper and torn sheet music (this is “Winter Wonderland”) plus bits of glitter in our case :-) They look beautiful with the little candles in:

IMG_6858

The boys have also made some lovely paintings of winter trees:

waif winter treeG winter tree 2010

(and yes, that is some more glitter!)

We have continued with the Sketch Tuesday and are all seeing real improvements in our sketching abilities. The boys have picked their favourites from recent assignments:

Gman likes his “something to cure a cold” sketch:

cold g

And Waif was especially proud of his “something you find in a toolbox”:

tools r

Oh, and we’ve been doing more Van Gogh inspired art. Van Gogh is both boys’ favourite artist at the moment.

Here’s Gman’s vase of flowers:

gman van gogh flowers

And Waif’s:

R van gogh flowers

This will probably be the last post of 2010…see you in 2011. Let’s hope it’s a good one!

Taking a Blog Break 18/10/2010

Posted by snoozerider in blogging.
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I am taking a break from this blog cos I have been wondering to myself whether I am doing stuff with the boys because I think they will enjoy/learn from it or because it will make great pics for this blog :-s

Wonder if other home ed bloggers agonise over this, or is it just my overactive guilt complex?

Matisse Week 04/10/2010

Posted by snoozerider in art, collage, home education, kids craft, printing.
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This last week, the boys have been learning about the artist Henri Matisse. We started by reading “Drawing with Scissors” and also watched an excellent BBC documentary “Modern Masters Matisse“. And of course, we got stuck in by doing our own art in the style of Matisse.

The boys made Matisse inspired collages:

matisse collage - george
matisse collage - rafe

(although Gman had trouble grasping the big, bold shapes concept at first!!)

made collaged name panels (an idea from Deep Space Sparkle)

gman matisse name panel
rafe matisse name panel

had a go at printing shapes over a collaged background (this idea from the “What’s the Big Idea?” book mentioned in this post.

playful prints in progress
matisse prints

And favourite of all, this wonderful Matisse-inspired dancer collage, another project idea from the excellent Deep Space Sparkle site:

matisse dancer finished

Sketch Tuesday 21/09/2010

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Having agreed with the boys’ request to do some art every day, I was very excited to find out about “Sketch Tuesday“. I originally found out about this from this post on Nadene’s excellent homeschool blog, Practical Pages, and thought it sounded just the job. Our first assignment was to sketch “something with whiskers”. Gman chose to draw a tiger, and Waif quickly followed suit. Here they are at work on their pics:

g with whiskers
r does whiskers

And here are their completed drawings:

something with whiskers - r
something with whiskers - g

I even had a go and drew this slightly odd looking rabbit:

something with whiskers - v

If you hop (teehee) on over to Harmony Mom’s post here you can see the album of people’s sketches on this theme. The front cover is Gman’s tiger and very proud he is too :-)

This week’s assignment is “something that floats”. Watch this space!

Favourite Art Books 14/09/2010

Posted by snoozerider in book reviews, home education, kids craft.
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In the Snooze Academy, art always wins the homeschool day! The boys find it relaxing and rewarding and we all learn a lot along the journey. We get a lot of ideas for art projects from websites and blogs (and always link to these when we do) but also use books and these are a few of our current favourites:

fave art books

Discovering Great Artists

This is an excellent book for finding out all about some of the greatest masters in the art world with one or two projects for each artist. They are graded by ability, by time taken and use a variety of techniques and materials, so great for ideas for using all the different art materials we seem to be constantly accumulating! It is a little short on illustrations of what the “finished product” might look like, but in some ways that is a good thing.

What’s the Big Idea?  Activities and Adventures in Abstract Art (Art Explorers series)

We used the Impressionist version of this book extensively when Gman was doing his impressionist lapbook earlier in the year. We also have editions on Expressionist Art, Pop Art and Surrealism. They are all fabulous, fabulous books! Each artist is introduced by a section showing a piece of their work followed by questions about the piece which really get the children properly looking at and thinking about the picture. Then there are a couple of different projects for each artist with very clear instructions and pictures of the completed work by children of various ages. We recently did some “Picasso faces” using this book as a springboard:

rafes picasso facewaif working on picasso facegmans picasso facegman does picasso face

I cannot recommend this series of books highly enough. They really are excellent.

Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists

Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists is our new favourite art inspiration book. This book isn’t aimed at children but there are a lot of ideas in it that could be used by kids.  There are 52 different “labs”, each giving a starting point for drawing.  They are light hearted, fun and whimsical, just what we like :-).  To get an idea of the sort of thing included in the book, check out the author’s blog, especially the assignments and tutorials down the left hand side.

The Lighting of a Fire or Two 09/09/2010

Posted by snoozerider in days out, environment, home education, sewing.
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mmm...marshmallowmarshmallows on firerafe blows on mallowwhoops, the popcorns on firegman blows out flamin mallow

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. – William Butler Yeats

Well, forest school is drawing to a close.   Tomorrow is the final session.  It’s been a great experience for the boys who have learned how to use various tools (secateurs, loppers, bow saw); collected firewood; whittled sticks to make marshmallow skewers; fashioned cups from apples and oranges; built dens; created nature pictures using blackberries and raspberries as ‘paint” and of course, learned how to light a fire and keep it burning!   The experience has hopefully been a fire lighting one in the sense that Yeats refers to above :-)

Continuing with a woody theme, we attended the Party in the Woods at Reffley Woods last weekend. Gman was particularly taken with a drumming workshop held in small clearing in the woods. He banged the drums while Waif shook his thang:

gman bangs the drums
waif shakes

I’m not sure how we have missed visiting these woods before, given their proximity to home, but we will definitely be returning not least because we spotted a bumper crop of not-quite-ripe blackberries which we will be returning to harvest this week (if others don’t beat us to it!)

This week has hopefully seen the sparking of a love of sewing in Waif. He patiently sat and sewed a little drawstring bag for his Granny, and was very proud of the result:

sewing channelconcentrating on sewingshowing off bag

Protracted 19/08/2010

Posted by snoozerider in art, family drawing time, home education.
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Who knew you could make such beautiful art using a protractor of all things?

Inspired by this post on the fabulous Art Projects for Kids website, the boys and I had a go at making these geometric pictures in the style of artist Frank Stella. They turned out fantastically well and were fun, and even meditative to do. As you can see, even though we all three followed the same restrictions (six traces round the protractor – three vertical, three horizontal and limited ourselves to six colours each) the three pieces are very different:

Here’s Waif working on his:

waifs protractor design in progress

And Gman steps back to contemplate his work in progress:

gman protractor design in progress

And here’s the three finished pictures:

finished protractor designs

Catch Up 12/08/2010

Posted by snoozerider in days out, home education, kids craft, painting.
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Is it really that long since I posted?  Yikes.  Time flies when you’re having fun.

So what have boys been up to?

We’ve visited several local art exhibitions, including my favourite, a textile art exhibition at Blickling Hall.  No photos of the exhibition but here’s the boys enjoying the grounds:

boys in tyre at blickling

windswept boys at blickling

We've done some more expressionist style paintings. These are expressing an "angry" feeling using unusual colour combos:

IMG_5602

IMG_5605

We've been on a visit to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford. The boys are lucky enough to have a grandfather who worked as an aircraft engineer at Duxford in the early sixties, so he was able to give them lots of insider knowledge on the planes.

duxford (3)
duxford (2)
duxford (5)
duxford (7)
duxford (9)

Another highlight of the last few weeks has been the first session of Forest School (there are five more 2-hour sessions to go). Here the boys will be learning about such exciting things as using tools, making a campfire, identifying plants in the wood etc. The first session was promising, hopefully I will be able to post some pics in an ensuing entry.

Art, Rust and Picture Perfect Boyhoods 17/07/2010

Posted by snoozerider in art, craft, home education, painting.
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It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here, but not because we haven’t been busy…

We’ve done some more abstract art, using watercolours and marker pens:

This was with the help of the great book “Painting Abstracts:  Ideas, Projects and Techniques“.  It’s not a children’s book by any means but a lot of the projects are accessible or adaptable for kids and the great thing is they aren’t too prescriptive so allow the kids to go off at their own tangent.

We’ve done some more experiments relating to Gman’s rock project.  The most recent of these goes against all my instincts and turns something that is perfectly edible (grapefruit) into something most inedible (a fake geode)!!  This project was taken from a fab little book we have out of the library and involves layering Plaster of Paris mix into the emptied grapefruit shell, then sprinkling in alum crystals and topping up each day with some alum mixture.  We put a little red and blue food colouring in the mix to make it purple and sparkly!  And yes, it is a messy process :-)

Waif particularly enjoyed doing some rust dyeing this week.  Again we took this project from a book aimed at adults: Fabric Art Workshop but which has a few projects that would be good to do with kids, as long as you take care and use rubber gloves etc.  To make this fabric, first of all we laid our unbleached cotton in a metal tray, then dampened it with a mixture of vinegar and water.  Next we ferreted around in the shed for some metal artefacts, some already rusty, some not eg washers, steel wool, weights, nails etc and arranged these on top of the fabric before spraying again with the vinegar and water mixture.  We placed the tray inside a black bin bag, tied it closed, weighed it down and left for 24+ hours.

This is what it looked like when we took it out of the bag:

Waif donned some rubber gloves and carefully removed the rusty things (we put them aside in an old ice cream tub for “next time”) then we soaked the cloth in a mixture of salt and hot water to set the dye.  The cloth is beautiful, partly because you can see in it what you like eg a treasure map, a wolf, the moon, monsters, an explosion in space…what can you see?

As well as the art and rocks, we have also been enjoying some old fashioned stories together.  Following a recommendation on Julie’s Homeschooling-ideas blog, we got hold of the book “A Picture Perfect Childhood“.  I found this a really inspiring book, convincing me that reading picture books to the boys (including 10 year old Gman) would be beneficial for all of us.  We’ve been slotting in a story after lunch each day, starting with the beautiful picture book, “The Barefoot Book of Earth Tales” and both the boys and myself have been really enjoying it.  It’s a lovely, quiet, cuddly time together and the stories themselves are raising plenty of issues to talk about.  Hopefully it will help balance out some of the over-boisterous boyish behavior that has been landing them in trouble this week, and help them get in touch with a gentler side…

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