children's workshops · craft

summer workshops

Next week is going to be a busy one for me with workshops in Cherry Hinton, Chatteris, Bar Hill and Cambridge Central libraries. I haven’t 100% worked out what I’m doing yet but it is very likely to involve cutting, sticking and generally having quite a lot of fun making monsters! The theme of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge is Mythical Maze so I’m going to be creating some monsters that haven’t been seen in a long, long time….Sort of like these guys:

Oinker

croc

children's workshops · craft

Dragons at the Feast

Despite worryingly wild weather that threatened to frighten away our tent, Saturday’s pop-up dragon workshop was a great success! It was a super day at the Histon and Impington Feast and we had lots of children and parents coming by to see what we were doing. Pop-up-genius Nicola Killen and myself spent the afternoon helping the children to cut, fold and stick their various wonderful creations. Here are just a few examples of the brilliant pop-ups they made:

seadragon

unicorn

venus

hard at work

it's a double-header!!!

dragon

pegasus1

pegasus2

penguin

dragons

children's workshops · craft

Pop-up Dragons!

Today is the day of the Histon and Impington Feast Book Jam and I will be joining forces with Nicola Killen to run a pop-up dragon-making children’s workshop! After independently doing workshops involving pop-ups and collaged dragons we decided to join forces and create a super-workshop that does the lot! If you would like to join in then come and find us at Histon Junior school later today. We will be running three sessions over the course of the afternoon, starting at 12.15pm, 1.45pm and 3pm. Here is my first attempt at a pop-up dragon…

Marion's first pop-up dragon

children's workshops · illustration

Dragons!

Saturday is fast approaching which means I’ll soon be off to St Ives for the Bookjam to make dragons at the library! Here is a sample of the kind of thing myself and the children are going to be making – this particular beastie is rather cute but I’m hoping for fire-breathing, toothy, spiky, scaly and generally fearsome additions… Do come and join in, the event runs from 11am – 11.45am which should be plenty of time to create some fabulous dragons!

Not everyone is cut out to be terrifying...
Not everyone is cut out to be terrifying…
children's books · children's workshops

Dragons at the Book Jam!

On the 7th June I am going to be taking part in the St Ives Book Jam for the third year running. The theme for this year’s summer reading challenge is “Mythical Maze” which has inspired me to want to make DRAGONS!  This year I will be holding a collage and drawing workshop at 11am at the St Ives Library and the children who come along will be making dragons from all sorts of collage materials including glittery stuff and anything suitably dragony that we can make stick.

I will be writing a bit more about this before the event but for now here is a little dragony inspiration to be going on with from my book Ready, Steady, Ghost!

dragon

children's workshops

Owls and Pussycats at Cambridge Central Library

A few weeks ago I held two children’s workshops based around the tale of the Owl and the Pussycat. The first was in Cambridge Central Library and the second at Linton Library. They were both great sessions and the children came up with an amazing array of lovely pussy-cats, elegant fowls and beautiful pea green boats.  I don’t think anyone went for a runcible spoon but never mind. Here are the pictures from the Cambridge workshop – Linton photos will follow very soon!

Cam1

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Cam3

Cam4

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children's workshops · craft

Jarrolds Fimo-fest!

On Saturday I had a Fimo demo in Jarrolds in Norwich – admittedly it’s a little early for Halloween but any excuse to start making ghosts and pumpkins is fine by me. I made the below steam-pumpkins to  Staedtler’s secret recipe and this is my little ghost who glows in the dark….!

Whoooooooooooooo!
Whoooooooooooooo!
Steam Pumpkin no 1
Steam Pumpkin no 1
Steam Pumpkin no 2
Steam Pumpkin no 2
This beuatiful castle was the creation of one of my rather clever pupils on the day - nice work.
This beautiful castle was the creation of one of my rather clever pupils on the day – lovely work and the start of a much bigger project.
This is an example of another tutee's excellent efforts - full marks!
This is a fine example of another tutee’s excellent efforts – full marks Mia!
children's books · children's workshops

Creepy House!

Today I visited Cambourne Library and helped children there create a rather excellent Creepy House collage for the Summer Reading Challenge. My book Ready, Steady, Ghost! is one of the selected titles this year which is very exciting indeed!  It was great fun today and the children were brilliant – the best thing is that I get to do it again tomorrow at Comberton, then it’s Cambridge on Friday and Huntingdon on Saturday! Here is the result of all today’s drawing, snipping and sticking:

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children's workshops

Waterlees Words Festival!

On Saturday I went to Orchards school in Wisbech to join in with the Waterlees Words Festival. It was a fantastic day for children with lots of book-related activities including mine which was all about creating an animal alphabet. The children came up with suggestions of animals for me to draw, which I did – after a fashion… When we had filled a new page with a particular letter it was the children’s turn to help colour them in to create our alphabet display. Over the course of the day we made it all the way through to O so we did pretty well! I hope the children of Orchards will take up the gauntlet and finish the alphabet – I’m afraid they get left with the tricky letters such as X, Y and Z but I sure they are up to the challenge!

The one day festival was a great success and a very fun day out. It was wonderful for me to meet pop-up artist Robert Crowther (I still have a very beloved copy of his Animal A-Z from my childhood – obviously it made a big impact…) and to see again storyteller Andy Hawkins and children’s book illustrator Steve Smallman. Special thanks too to Richard, Sue and Nicola! Here are some highlights from Saturday’s drawing:

Highlights!
Highlights!

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children's workshops

Animal Alphabet at Heffers

On Saturday Nicola Killen and I held a workshop at Heffers children’s bookshop in Cambridge with the aim to create an animal alphabet to put on display in the shop. It was a lot of  fun for us as we took turns leading the drawing and then the colouring and collage. The children did a fantastic job coming up with a stream of brilliant ideas and brand new colours and patterns for animals we all thought were sort of brownish(!) Together with our many helpers we managed to get all the way through to N – pretty good work I think!

A and B
Alligators and Bears!
Collaging
H
The hog that’s all heart…
Colouring B
I like that dragon…