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Saturday at St. Leonard’s

Star son has a school friend down with him, Nutty, and so they’ve been out exploring, having chips out of the paper wrapping for lunch, walking to the bakery for breakfast, iced coffee and chocolate eclairs, normally l would make them eat breakfast before they left but l figure it’s holidays “let them be kids!”
The weather has no been very summer like, heavy rain and overcast skies but they insisted jumping off the boat ramp again today so that l could film them in ‘slow mo’ l didn’t even know l had that technology!!!
Trust my sons to teach me something new!

We left them jump once, twice, three times and then the wind started messing with my ears so we stopped them and they are now in warm showers heating up! So here are some visions of our Saturday at St. Leonards.
** first post done on my phone**

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Lessons from my sons- Cartoons with Will.

Yesterday Master 9 came home from school with some books, yep it was library day and since he is doing the “Premiers Reading Challenge” for the second year we encourage him to borrow books from the list. We also have a deal he and I that if he reads from the PRC list I will read the book after him, it helps to keep him motivated last year I read all the Roald Dahl books and then Morris Glietzmen and Andy Griffith. But yesterday he surprised me by bringing home a Cartooning book, I’m almost positive it’s NOT on the PRC list but what the hey, if he does Art I’m happy.

He has some weird little idea that “boys are not good at art” which I simply had to get out of his head before that Monster ate him alive, I pointed out that some of the world most famous artists are indeed Men and were once little boys.. so we went through the books, Van gogh, Rembrandt and  VerMeer were all great artists and MEN, but apprently at his school “it’s not cool to be a boy and like art” so I pointed out “You’re not at school you’re at home and here it’s cool to be whatever you want to be and if you want to do Art come and play in my studio with me.” He has on a few occasions and we made a Zentangle one day and he loved doing that, he also made a “Butterfly of Love” for my good friend Creative gypsy. Sadly I cannot find a copy of the “Butterfly of Love” picture, here is Suzana’s website address you can see it here: http://creativetherapies.wordpress.com/2010/07/06/peace-art-from-canada/

Will's Zentangle

He was gome sick from school one day and was watching me do my first Zentangle and he asked “what do you have to do here Mum?” So I explained and asked him “Would you like me to help you draw the edges?” and then I left him alone to do his thing, and here is his first attempt at a Zentangle.

My first zentagle

He was quite happy to show off his work to his Dad but nothing much else came of it, until yesterday. He unpacked his bag to show me this book he’d borrowed on “Cartooning” and  then he went away and read it and was looking for pencil and paper and rubber and so I handed him his art journal and he invited me to come and join him. So began two hours of artistic interaction with Will, here’s what we created!

The book we worked from

Will setting up our lesson

Work inprogress

Finished results

And here is our finished pages although I still feel that I would like to go over mine with a black sharpie pen and still might, but we both got a carytoon out of it. Notice the use of background colour on the pages he and I had been exploring water coloured back grounds a few months ago. I love that for those two hours we chatted about different art techniques, whether you put the pencil on the side for shading, or if you rubbed that bit off you could make a different facial expression. Plus the excitement he had at showing off his work to Dad when he got home and telling him “Mum did some too but hers arent as good as mine she needs to practise more” hmmmm…

Lesson from my son…. Dream catcher

After the felting was done and we realised we had more time than we thought we decided to get a start on the next lesson which was to be making a dream catcher.

I got one for Christmas from Kit and so did Rob and so did Billy.

Billy’s dreamcatcher-Christmas present from Kit
Rob’s dream catcher gift from Kit
My christmas present from Kit

These are the dreamcatchers Kit made us for Christmas, and it was then I asked him to teach me to make them.

preparing to make my dream catcher

I picked up these pieces of willow on the way home from a shopping trip, I won’t take things off living trees but when they’re on the ground then I’ll take them.

I picked these up mid 2010 and wound them into the form waiting for something to use them for.

Almost finished

The first one I did I was no happy with so I cut the strings off and started again, this was my second attempt. I’m pleased with how it turned out, I threaded some tinsel through the wood and I am yet to add the beads and feathers to this one.

Finished middle section

I’m picturing this section in future dream catchers with beads or holey stones. The ideas are endless.

Lessons from my son…… Felting

My eldest son Kit is practising to be a “hippie” his words not mine. So as he goes through the world he learns all these new and wonderful skills. Then he comes home for a while and has decided that he should teach me, so yesterday was our first lesson and he taught me two things first how to felt.

He came over with a huge box of fleece, alpaca and sheep, and says “today I’m going to teach you to felt and then you can make things like wallets and purses and hand bags and book covers and when you get really good you can make hats and shoes” Ok, so I’m up for a challenge, if Kit can do it surely I can do it and so we started.

Collecting the materials to start felting

Now I’m not going to go through this project step by step, because I’m sure I’d forget half of it, but I di remember that we collected the makings.

*hot soapy water which he tells me helps to bind the fleece together and helps to create the “felt”

*bubble wrap to lay the felt on, the friction of the bubble wrap against the fleece and the fabric creates the felt.

* Fleece we used sheep which had been spun and dyed with vegetable dye and we also used a little bit of alpaca but in its natural state it’s hard to fleece so we only used a little bit it’s not yet been spun.

* Flower fabric went on the other side of the fleece  I’ll explain as I go…….

Alpaca fleece unspun

Laying out the first layer of fleece

 

So first steps first.

Pull off small pieces of the fleece and lay out on the bubble wrap to the size you require.

Rolling up the fleece

 then you need to wet the fleece, it’s a fine line between wet enough and too wet. Wrap it up tightly to form a roll and I put elastic bands in three places to keep the roll nice and tight, and then you roll, and roll, and roll,  you’re supposed to roll 100 times one way, then un roll it check it and then roll it the opposite way 100 times and so on and so forth. maybe if you google fleecing you’ll find a better description.

http://www.cottageschool.tas.edu.au/biggies/felt-01-stepbystep.html

here is Kit preparing his Alpaca fleeceKit started doing Alpaca fleece but soon gave it up as hard work and tutored me instead.Second layer is Alpaca

After rolling it the first time it’s time to open it and check it and add a second layer, I did a thin layer of alpaca just to try it
Then repeat the first steps with water and rolling.

adding water to my laters

The bubble in the soap helps with the felting process and also it’s not too drenching wet.

Ambrosia was site manager for the day supervising the whole show.

I think next time I get Ambrosia clipped I’ll get some of her fur to add to my felting process.

Adding colour and fibres and more soap

In the final layer I decided to get funky and add some glitter, and tinsel and coloured pieces, so I attempted a pattern.
I was quite happy with how it turned out I’m not sure what I’ll do with it yet but I am excited to try to make some more things and cut and sew it into things.
This one I think I’ll add a border to and make it into a wall hanging, as my first ever felted article. I also wanted to explore with adding different things to the felting process.
Lucky he’s coming back next week for more “art date days” maybe I’ll add a section “Lessons from my sons”