Oh we do like this time of year.. yes, we fret not about the grey skies and dark afternoons.. but we head indoors and we get crafty.. with Valentine’s Day around the corner, I particularly love all the “lovely love” inspiration (how often can I get the word “love” into one sentence I wonder”).. but what I do like to remind people, is that you don’t have to make Heart or Love cards “just” for Valentine’s Day.. these are great at any time of the year – be it as thank you cards after Christmas or a Birthday, be it for an anniversary or just because.. there is ALWAYS a good reason for making a card for a loved one. Here are 5 Valentine’s Day Cards that fit the bill… be inspired…. have a go – Were Art meets Crafts – explore Styrofoam Printing and make LOTS of these. Especially good as thank you cards, as you can mass produce these!
Another Art come Craft project – here we are taught to create these wonderful water colour birch trees.. What a beautiful technique.
Valentine’s Day Lantern Silhouette cards – possibly the coolest cards going – super personal, gorgeous and lovely. A definite keepsake. Like the step by steps instructions that have you itching to have a go! Would make a fabulous anniversary card or wedding card too!
So.. hope this inspires you to have a go this Valentine’s Day.. or if it isn’t Valentine’s Day to have a go ANYWAY!! I am sure you know someone who would love a lovely surprise at any time of the year!
The Boy and I haven’t had the chance for proper “one to one” time in quite a while now… yes, we have been to the odd Birthday Party together, leaving The Girl home with daddy. But that isn’t quite the same thing. That is just ferrying The Boy too and fro.
So when the lovely people from Nickelodeon invites us in for a day with Olive the Ostrich – doing some art and singing – I had our opportunity. A lovely friend agreed to look after The Girl and off we went.
We didn’t know much about Olive the Ostrich – mainly because I tend to steer clear of TV channels that carry adverts – I would rather buy the same programms on DVD.
And was pleasantly surprised – Olive the Ostrich is all about Art and imagination! Olive is different to the rest of her family, she doesn’t like running fast, nor does laying huge eggs appeal to her… she would much rather stick her head in the sand and disappear into her own world. And the wonderful thing being: her own world is animated by primary children from across the UK. How wonderful is that? Working with The Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts to seek out primary schools that would particularly benefit from involving and boosting the children’s art confidence.
Here is an example for you to watch:
We met the creator of Olive – Oli Hyatt – what a wonderful man indeed – he was fantastic with the kids, great at putting them at ease and so wonderfully passionate about his work.
The kids got treated to seeing how animations are made – The Boy was SO impressed to see his favourite TV characters being brought to life on the animators’ screens. And finally relaxed (up until then he was in “shy mode”, which is a shame, as he didn’t draw as enthusiastically as he normally would).
We then had some lunch and THEN had another exciting adventure – we went to a recording studio to record a short part of the “Olive the Ostrich” Pop Song chorus. The kids had a BRILLIANT time and such a giggle.
What a lovely day indeed and we were so pleased to be asked along. Thanks for having us and getting us involved in such a wonderful programme.
And I am so pleased that I decided to just take The Boy, yes his sister would have enjoyed it too… but to be honest, it was really good for us to spend some time together. He was chatting away to me all the way and it was lovely to be able to focus on just him!
Well.. after spotting the “Olympic Banksy” street art on the big wide web the other week, Me and My Shadow (read Liz’s post on Olympic Street Art) and I decided to go on a London Banksy hunt with the girls. We grabbed our scooters, and our phones and off we went to discover “street art”. Of course, we were just being “Street Art Tourists”, but it was great to explore London in a different sort of way. Let me start backwards, as our last “discovery” was our favourite: Banksy’s Child Labour:
Banksy Child Labour is on Whymark Avenue, Tottenham. Nearest tube stop 2min walk: Turnpike Lane, Piccadilly Line. On the side of Poundland
Considering that this was the LAST Banksy we found and the girls were getting tired, The Girl did show an interest in it. It must be because it depicts a child. We asked the children what they thought of it? How they thought the child might be feeling and what the child was doing?
It is said that this Banksy is a criticising child labour and it is situated on the side of Poundland. The owner happened to be walking by and told us how he had seen “a man” (probably Banksy) go into his shop, buy the bunting, come back and fix it to the artwork. The orginal bunting was only up a day. The owner then took it down, replaced it with a second set of bunting from his shop and fixed on the plexiglass to protect the street art.
Banksy’s Prison Guard Poodle & Banksy’s HMV Dog – located in “Cargo” Night Club gardens – open throughout the day. Nearest Tube: Shoreditch High Street or Old Street. On Rivington Street, Shoreditch.
Prison Guard and Poodle is located in the Cargoe Night Club – Banksy has a good relationship with the owners and there are two large Banksy’s here in good condition. Trying to make street art relevant, we showed the “doggy” to the girls. Do you like the doggy? What do you think of it’s nose? The Girl, was more interested in her cookie break. Well.. she is isn’t even 3 yet!
Banksy Placard Rat – Farringdon Road, nearest Tube King’s Cross
This was one of my (!) favourite finds of the day. It is near a bus stop on an ordinary part of “busy London”. And it reminds me of when I first “noticed” Banksy. Many moons ago, I used to see one of his rats on my way to work every day. It made me chuckle – I loved the play on the “rat race” and the daily commute. Then one day it was painted over by the council – in the days, when Banksy wasn’t recognised as a popular street artists, whose art should be preserved. Boo. There are still a number of rats (and copy rats!) around, but this one is in excellent condition, though the text on the placard is not the original. I love that it is right next to a bus stop. Where people get on and off every day and probably don’t even give it a second glance.
Now there are a NUMBER of Banksy still around in poor, obscure or damaged condition:
Banksy in London: Gas Mask Girl – Brick Lane, Cash Machine Girl – Rosebury Avenue, Giant Rat – Foundry Car Park, Skeleton Car – Truman Brewery, Happy Choppers – Old Street
All of the above were either damaged, obscured or defaced. Though disappointing to “Street Art Tourist”, it highlights what this is really all about: Street Art. How Street Art IS illegal (though increasingly the real Street Artists get permission from owners etc), how there are rivalries between street artists (and they deface each other’s work), how normal things “continue” – i.e. an ad placard is placed over the art. It ALSO shows, the increasing value of street art – the skeleton in the skeleton car was removed and sold. And only the car is preserved. Interestingly, there is another car, by another artist right next to Banksy’s which is NOT in a plexi car shell. So Banksy’s is perceived to be valuable, the other isn’t….
The damaged and defaced art, kind of made it all real again. And made the art that we COULD see all the more special and exciting.
My only regret? I wish I had brought The Boy along too. I think he would have loved it!
Signing off… The Banksy Tourists!
(PS more to come on the other Street Art.. and hopefully a Street Art Project too!)
As you may know from my “Girl and Balloon” photo attempt, I love Banksy. I remember seeing one of his little “City Rats” graffitis on my walk to work each morning many years ago. I love them. Then they got removed by the council. Banksy wasn’t known then.
Here are is latest pieces of Graffiti art putting his stamp on the Olympics. I am trying to find out “where they are”…
Going For Mould
Hackney Welcomes the Olympics
The above two images were shared by Banksy via his personal website. Here are two more.
The question however is: who did this one?!??! It is debated on whether it is Bansky…