“A book is a dream that you hold in your hands”

After a very period at work, I finally had some spare time to help down at the library. I have been volunteering there for over 9 years now and I still very much enjoy it.

I offered to create a display in time for the summer reading challenge to add a pop of colour to the establishment. I searched Pinterest and discovered the idea of creating butterflies from old book pages. I cut out pages from a book I had previously read and added some colour using watercolour paints.

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I then made a large book from card and placed the butterflies so that they appeared to be flying out of the pages.

I wanted to represent the idea of books opening new worlds to readers and hope I have achieved this.

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Snow White Crafts

Last weekend was a busy one and it started very early on Saturday morning with the running of a craft session based on Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs. I decided to hold this session after the success of my Beauty and the Beast one last month.

I prepared everything in advance and managed to create quite a mess at home doing so!

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The crafts I had to offer were a painted and decorated mirror, a red hairband and ribbon to look like Snow White, a necklace (one for boys and one for girls), a water bottle apple and a kitchen roll dwarf.

The session was very popular and I ran out of materials before the session ended as more children turned up than I had expected. The children really enjoyed it and the library was very happy. There is so much satisfaction in creating and running a class where children both have fun and can be creative. It is something I would have loved when I was younger.

A mix of paint, glue, paper, card and stick on jewels created even more mess than I had made at home and clearing up nearly took as long as the class! It was very much worth it, but I might think twice before considering using paint again…

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Beauty and the Beast Crafts

Last weekend at my local library, I ran a Beauty and the Beast craft session. With the popularity of the live action movie, the session was rather well attended. 

I was surprised that a mix of both boys and girls turned up as I expected the session to attract only girls. The most popular craft with the boys was creating a Cogsworth figure with moving clock hands and a swinging pendulum. The girls preferred making the enchanted rose in its glass casing. I also offered the opportunity to decorate plastic goblets, make bows, create beast masks and make rose bookmarks.

It was very successful and the children really enjoyed it. I have now planned a Snow White themed craft session to continue with the Disney princess theme. 

Christmas House Craft

Whilst in Swindon doing my Christmas shopping, I went to The Works. This is by far my favourite craft and book shop because I always find something unexpected. 

During this particular trip, I stumbled upon a wooden house to decorate. It was cute and supposed to be a fairy house. I, however, looked at it and thought it would make the most marvellous Christmas house decoration. 

I purchased the piece and my mind whizzed with ideas for a design. I pencilled and painted the design the very next day, using traditional Christmas motifs, such as nutcrackers and bells. 

I spent several hours on this, meticulously painting the minor details and am very happy with the outcome. I have also purchased a couple more houses online to experiment with some different designs. I hope you like what I have done! 

Bowie at Sotheby’s 

I went to London yesterday on a busy Saturday to view David Bowie’s private art collection at Sotheby’s. The exhibition is only open for a limited amount of time and, as a David Bowie and art fan, I thought it would be a great idea to go. 

As expected, Bowie’s taste in art was weird and wonderful. Some pieces were totally bizarre and disturbing. Others had beautiful colours and more lighthearted themes. 

It was a really interesting exhibition and I recommend it if you are in London. Entry is free and you will spend a good hour there, escaping the cold London weather. 

Remembrance Display 

I thought it would be respectful to create a display for Remembrance Day at the library. 
I used a piece of A1 white board and drew the silhouettes of WW1 soldiers and painted these in black acrylic. I then painted scattered red poppies along the ground and hand wrote a quote of Laurence Binyon’s poem ‘For the Fallen.’

This was a quick project and only took a couple of hours. I am, however, pleased with the outcome and believe it is important for the library to show its support for the cause. 

A Fairytale Pumpkin

I wanted to design a pumpkin for the library to display over the Halloween weekend and thought it would be better to paint a design rather than carve. The full effect of the carved pumpkin would neither be seen nor appreciated in daylight.

As I have previously said, I am a huge fan of fairytales and searched online for fairytale designs. I came across a range of intricate paper cuttings, which I thought would be perfect for my pumpkin. I used the Hansel and Gretel design.

I copied the image freehand and painted the pumpkin with black acrylic. The design took about 4 hours to complete, but I thoroughly enjoyed doing it whilst listening to chilled music.

The library was extremely pleased with the pumpkin and it took pride of place on the Halloween display.

Pumpkin Carving Competition

For the last four years, I have loved carving pumpkins. My friend, Phoebe, introduced me to the craft whilst we were both living in Germany.

I have carved a number of spooky designs and this year for my work’s competition, I decided to carve something a little more popular: Jack Skellington from Tim Burton’s ‘Nightmare Before Christmas.’

I drew the design freehand and gutted the pumpkin. I then started by skinning the pumpkin with a standard kitchen knife. Once the design was clear I carved deeper into the pumpkin to allow more light to filter through.

I was happy with my design and won the competition. It was a fun contest, which included a hilarious afternoon of judging by a senior colleague.

Halloween at the Library

The library where I volunteer hosted a halloween evening for the children of the area. Spooky stories were told, crafts were made and games were played.

After work, I headed over in my witch costume and hosted the witch hat hoopla. I made this game with black card and coloured paper. I created a variety of hats of different sizes to make the game a little more challenging. 

The children really enjoyed their time and the queue for my game was always very long. I think it was a very successful evening.