children's books · children's workshops

witches at Ramsey Ram Jam

Witches were abroad at Ramsey Ram Jam this Saturday! By and large they were about 50cm high, made of paper, card and various sparkly things and looked a bit like Bella Donna

The children who took part in my workshops made some truly magical work and I think they were extra inspired by the previous day’s visit from Ruth Symes who is the fantastic author responsible for penning the Bella Donna series.

Ramsey Ram Jam is a super event with all sorts of workshops and talks from authors and illustrators who this year as well as myself included: Matt Brown, Nicola Killen, Lizzie Finlay, Steve Antony and Helen Moss. Thanks to all the children and parents who came along and the library staff and volunteers who make Ramsey Ram Jam a wonderful event for us all to be a part of. Below are some of the stunning results from witch class:

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children's workshops · craft

Art Club – 3D

On Tuesday Nicola Killen and I held our fourth and final Art Club and the theme this time was doll’s house rooms from shoe boxes. We had a wonderful array of bits and bobs for the children get creative with and at the end of the session we put all their rooms together to make a mansion of a doll’s house! Huge thanks to all those who helped us gather the supplies for this session – both Nicola’s and my parents, Perry and Ian as well as Jones the Bootmakers for supplying all the boxes. Special thanks go to my Dad who lovingly sawed up and sanded all the blocks of wood that were used to make the tiny furniture. We would also like to thank the wonderful Anne, Pippa, David and Richard from Cambridgeshire libraries for making Art Club happen!

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children's workshops · craft

Art Club – collage

For me and fellow children’s book illustrator Nicola Killen, this month is all about Art Club. We are collaborating with Rock Road Library to hold a series of art workshops for children and yesterday was one of my favourites – collage day! The children worked with multi-coloured, glittery and hand-painted papers to create some beautiful and imaginative images. Inspiration came from toys, flowers and other random objects as well as an imaginary book cover for the final piece. Many thanks go to the wonderful Anne Worthington who has been a great help to us with Art Club. Have a look below to see some of the children’s fantastic collages!

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craft

my silver clay day

I went to a workshop the other day to learn how to make jewellery from silver clay. Sounds amazing doesn’t it? Well it was! The clay really is silver, in fact it is more than 99% pure which makes it a higher grade than sterling silver. I was expecting to be able to work it like I would Fimo but it is very different – much more like an air-drying clay. And the surprise was that it dries so quickly that we only had about 10 minutes to make each piece, so I felt a little nervous… But once I had got my head around that particular constraint I had lots of fun and made some nice little pendants. We were under the guidance of Emma Mitchell who is not only a silver clay expert but a fantastic teacher too. She made it all very easy for us so by the end of the morning I had managed to make all of the below. Brilliant fun!

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heart earrings

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children's workshops · craft

A storm of Dragons!

Over the past week I have been helping children from Cherry Hinton, Chatteris, Bar Hill and Cambridge to make colourful, crazily collaged, crafty dragons. We had a lot of fun at the library workshops, there were wings, claws and teeth and flames everywhere and the children created a spectacular array of fire-breathers! I’d like to say a very big thank you to Cambridgeshire libraries and to the lovely librarians who helped me with my dragon workshops. Another big thank you goes out to all the children who left their dragons behind so that the libraries could make Mythical Maze displays with them! Here is my dragon together with some of its new friends…

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...a storm of dragons...
…a storm of dragons…
Librarians having fun!
Librarians having fun!
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:

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hard at work

it's a double-header!!!

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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 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!

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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!