Category Archives: seclusion activity

Old cards and new scenes

Old cards and new scenes

a festive activity for the winter season

Low card box 83

Having a bit of a fidget?
Nothing to do?
Bored?
And it’s raining again?

(we posted this activity a while ago but are reposting here our friends at Creeping Toad have just made a little film to promote the activity…)

Why not dig out last year’s Christmas cards from the bundle at the bottom of the cupboard, or stealthily purloin one of this year’s, or the birthday cards you don’t quite want to throw out, or use a cereal packet (good card for making and folding, just maybe not as exciting in images as cards)

Make a little winter a scene to hang on a tree, a branch, a hook on the wall to stand on a shelf, or make a box to put that extra special present  

Low Card box 306(or maybe just the key that makes it go) in

You will need: a card or two, sharp scissors, a ruler, pencils or pens, glue (PVA is good here) and glue spreader, stapler, bradawl (or something for making holes – a pair of compasses would work), thin string

Low card box 91
Stage 1, cut the card in half

1. Cut the card in half along the fold – keep the “plain” half, you will need it later

2. Using the picture half of the card, on the reverse, draw a margin maybe 2 cm from each edge of the card

3. Where the lines cross at the corners, carefully cut along one of those lines to the point where the lines meet

Low card box 94
3, Cut to the corners

4. This card usually folds quite sharply, so now (use the ruler for a straight edge if you want to) fold up along each of those lines and where you have cut in, fold the short bit to make a corner

Low Card box 96
4. folded

5. Before glueing it all together, decide: if you are making a scene, keep the picture on the inside of the box. If you are making a box: you might want the picture inside or on the outside (you could always line the inside with some spare wrapping paper, or make a bigger box to become a lid.). Reverse the folding if you want to change the position of the picture

Low Card box 98
5. Glued and stapled

5. Making sure the sides of your box are sharply upright, glue the corner tabs onto the next side. A staple will hold it all in place. If the outside is too plain, you could colour it in or add some coloured tape. Or sprinkle it with glitter! ( we recommend finding some biodegradable glitter – or using some edible glitter {used on cakes} although this can be distracting….)

6. While the glue dries, prepare the scene to go in the box. Using the other piece of card (from stage 1 above), you could make a little tab to fix a figure to (we used some “embellishments” bought cheaply in a local craft shop), or you could draw your own character. Fix by glueing the tabs into the main scene. Again a staple might help. You might want to colour the tab so it fits into the background of the scenes. Some extra glitter might help again.

7. Use a bradawl or compasses to make a couple of holes (aim for places about 1/3 and 2/3 along the top side – use a lump of modelling clay under the card to protect tabletop or fingers), thread a piece of glittery string or ribbon through, knot it and hang up your scene.

Low Card box 39

Experiment with papers, colours, tapes, sequins. Try different places to hang them: from your ears? on your fingers (and create a fabulous dance around them)? a snowman’s nose?

Send us a picture and

we’ll post a gallery of scenes!

digital-white-background

Ash logs: worth their weight in gold

cold enough to need those logs

“they’re worth their weight in gold”

Firewood songs, 2

Celebrating Ash Trees

In our ongoing collection of firewood songs and poems, a slight change of sequence and here is “Logs to Burn”. You can hear it sung at the link below. It feels like there is a whole woodpile of these poems and songs that all carry echoes of each other, some claimed as “traditional” (like one I met years ago as a “traditional Devon song” that has some similar lines to this one and differences elsewhere) while others are identified with individual poets. A nice bit of detective rummaging for someone there…..

Logs to Burn,

by Honor Goodhart and first printed in Punch, 27th October 1920

Logs to burn; logs to burn;
Logs to save the coal a turn.

Here’s a word to make you wise
when you hear the woodman’s cries;
Never heed his usual tale
That he’s splendid logs for sale
But read these lines and really learn
The proper kind of logs to burn.

Oak logs will warm you well,
If they’re old and dry.
Larch logs of pinewoods smell
But the sparks will fly.

Beech logs for Christmas time;
Yew logs heat well;
‘Scotch’ logs it is a crime
For anyone to sell.

Birch logs will burn too fast;
Chestnut scarce at all;
Hawthorn logs are good to last
If cut in the fall.

Holly logs will burn like wax,
You should burn them green;
Elm logs like smouldering flax,
No flame to be seen.

Pear logs and apple logs,
They will scent your room;
Cherry logs across the dogs
Smell like flowers in bloom,

But ash logs all smooth and grey
Burn them green or old,
Buy up all that come your way
They’re worth their weight in gold.

INTRODUCTION TO THE FIRE WOOD POEMS

Our Ash Trees project has been a little quiet over the opening weeks of winter but as the snow closes in on Buxton it feels appropriate to think about firewood. Not that we are encouraging you to go out and forage for fuelwood: the fallen branches in our woods are an invaluable resource for wildlife but you could sit by your wood-burning stove, feeding sawdust nuggets to the flames and recite some of the assembled poems we’ve found that talk about the qualities of wood for burning. Some of us will have to make-do with a candle and radiator but we can still enjoy the poems

Fingerfulls of trilobites

FINGERFULS OF TRILOBITES

Low-Trilobites-01 copy
a rare sighting of trilobites in the River Dove in Dovedale….

This is another of a number of posts replacing activity sessions which we have had to cancel. Fingerfossils is a Creeping Toad event in conjunction with Buxton Museum and Art Gallery and Stone and Water. Based in Buxton in the Peak District, we all collaborate and support each other as we can, working closely with the Babbling Vagabonds and The Green Man Gallery. If you enjoy this activity, try visiting the others for more ideas!

Low Limestone 38
garden wall limestone from Buxton

Buxton is built on, and often, of, limestone, limestone that was formed in ancient tropical seas. 300 million years ago when our stone was being made there were no dinosaurs, no pteradactyls or tyrannosaurs, no giant reptiles swimming in prehistoric seas. Those ancient seas were still full of life and Buxton Museum has a wonderful collection of fossils from Carboniferous Seas. There are ammonites and lamellibranchs, corals and crinoids and trilobites. Trilobites are quite rare in our stones but they are there and are such fascinating animals they will be our first puppets in this session

 

Making your own trilobites

Low Trilobite 1You will need:

  • Some scrap card – doesn’t need to be big but card that can fold without cracking is good
  • drawing pencil
  • Coloured pencils or pens
  • Scissors
  • A small stapler or roll of sticky tape

 

Low Trilobite 2Step 1: draw your trilobite

Fold the card in half longways and draw half a trilobite against the fold. You could use one of these photos for ideas or look up trilobite on the web -there were lots of different types: large, small, smooth, spiky, lumpy…..

Keep the card folded and cut out the trilobite

 

Low Trilobite 4Step 2: add some colour

Flatten out the card, copy your design onto the plain half and then colour it in. We don’t know what colours trilobites were. They might have been camouflaged – sandy, seaweedy, rocky colours. They might have been bright as rainbows – we don’t know. You can decide!

 

Low Trilobite 7Step 3: fitting onto fingers

Use a piece of scrap card to cut a stirp about 1cm wide and maybe 12 cm long. Roll this into a ring that will slide easily up and down a finger. Position the ring on the underside of the trilobite, about the middle, slip your stapler in and fix in place. No stapler? You could tape it in place instead, or glue it. You can always tape over staples if you worry that they might scratch your finger.

Low Trilobite 98Step 4: Trilobite adventures

Now put the trilobite on your finger and set off to tell a trilobite tale! If you have a garden, you might go exploring (add another trilobite as a friend?). Through the undersea flowerbeds of the Back Garden Ocean. Past the lair of the Terrible Worms (= compost heap), over the Muddy Wellington Boots of Despair. No garden? How about a swim across the sandy seafloor of The Bed, clamber over the Coral Reef of Cushions, slide down the Book Mountains and onto the Carpet Wastes

 

Low Trilobite 117OTHER ANIMALS

If you are looking at pictures of Carboniferous Sea Creatures, you might have a go at some others. Eurypterids might be made in the same way as trilobites but with bigger card. Some of those spectacular sharks and fishes we’ll look at in the next activity – or you could create yourself just now

 

Ammonite

Why not try an ammonite? Like an octopus in a shell – look at Nautilus on a film platform.  Nautilus have survived for hundreds of millions of years. The ammonites were their cousins – growing large (up to 2 m across) and tough, they lasted right through to the end of dinosaur days

 

Step 1: Ammonite shells

Fold card in half

Draw a shell on the card and cut out through both pieces of card so you have 2 shells.

Step 2: colour

Set the shells side by side and colour them in – make sure you lie them down as mirror images – facing each other so they make a pair

Step 3: tentacles

I used an extra piece of card to make a tentacly head (with wobbly eyes) that I rolled into my finger-tube

Step 4: fitting it all together

Then I stapled the top of the shells together and fitted them on the tentacle ring. I used two extra bits of cards to add two longer tentacles (like a squid or cuttlefish).

what story waits here….

 Enjoy! Why not send us photos of any finger-fossils you make or record their adventures on a phone and send them in?

Reach us either  at

Coming soon –

something monstrous swimming in those ancient Carboniferous Seas as we look at how to make your own prehistoric sharks and fabulous finned fishes

 

Castles, towers, adventures….

Storycastles

build a place where adventures might happen….

Giant worlds strip

Build a castle, build a tower, build a landscape

where adventures might happen….

This is one of a number of posts replacing activity sessions which we have had to cancel. Storycastles is a Creeping Toad event in conjunction with Buxton Museum and Art Gallery and Stone and Water. Based in Buxton in the Peak District, we all collaborate and support each other as we can, working closely with the Babbling Vagabonds and The Green Man Gallery. If you enjoy this activity, try visiting the others for more ideas!

Now, flex those imagination muscles, exercise your scissor fingers and your colouring thumbs and join us to build a castle, build a tower,build a landscape where adventures might happen….

 

Low Storycastles 1You will need

  • A piece of cardboard: A4 or A3 white is best but this will work with cereal packet card as well or anything that you can cut and roll without it cracking
  • A piece of stiff card as a base
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Felt pens or colouring pencils
  • Sharp scissors
  • Small ball of modelling clay
  • PVA glue
  • Masking tape
  • Craft knife and cutting mat
  • A magazine with pictures to cut out, or tissue paper or wrapping paper
  • Barbecue skewers (one for each puppet character you want)

Low Storycastles 2Step 1. Getting ready

Use the ruler to draw a line maybe 2cm in from one of the long sides of the card (line 1). Take the rule in another 3 or 4 cm and draw another line (Line 2)

 

 

Step 2. Drawing the castle

Low Storycastles 3iAbove Line 2 draw your castle: think of it as a castle unfolded so work your way right across the card. There might be towers and battlements, and another tower, and a hole made by a cannonball. There might be arched windows, a door, arrow slits. Use Line 2 as a guide and don’t draw the top of your building further down than that line. If you do, you might weaken the whole castle. Don’t draw below line 1 – that will be used for something else

(We’re writing as if you are making a castle. You don’t need to: you could make a palace, a strange wizard’s house, a mountain, a forest. The same techniques work for all of these!)

Step 3. Cutting out and colouring

Cut out the castle. Cutting out windows: you might recruit a grown up with a craft knife and a cutting mat, or if you sit your castle shape so the window you want to cut out is on top of that lump of modelling clay, you can safely push the pencil through the card and into the clay. Give the pencil a wiggle. This should give you a big enough hole to slide some small scissors in and then you can cut out the window yourself.

Colour the castle in: completely? Or just draw in stones and ivy and decoration? Up to you!

All done? No! add a little bit more! How about some glitter?

 

Step 4: all decorated and looking wonderful?

Now cut tabs along the lower edge of the castle, cutting up to Line 1. Do your cuts about 2 cm apart

Run some glue along one side of the castle, then roll the other side round so they just overlap. Carefully press into place. Maybe use a bit of masking tape to hold it together while the glue dries or staple it if you have a staple. Carefully, fold the tabs out so that your castle will stand on the table with its tabs spread out like little feet

Step 5. Stand that castle up!

Turn your castle upside down and put a small squidge of glue on each tab. Gently stand on the castle on the tough card. You might need to adjust things a bit so that it stands straight and proud. Then press the tabs down. More masking tape will hold them in place while the glue dries. Now, rather than having a castle standing in a muddy cardboard square, decorate the castle surround with scrap paper or torn up magazine pictures or whatever (we sometimes use green sponges for bushes, grey ones for stone). There might need to be a paper moat) draw your own crocodiles or piranha perhaps). Step back and admire! You have a castle!

Characters

Having a castle means you might need a story to tell. Use some of your left-over card (or find some more) to draw someone to send on an adventure. Stick them onto a barbecue skewer (if it is very sharp, you could snip the point off with a pair of scissors so it is less likely to stick in someone!)

 

Giant worlds strip

We made an adventurous explorer. We added a dragon. Because this is an Easter activity this year, we thought our hero should go on a quest….They met a dragon. They found a treasure chest. A chest full of eggs! But are they chocolate eggs? Or do the hero and the dragon incubate the eggs to see who hatches out of them….

Low Storycastles 14

 

If you want some help with characters, there is a pdf attached that you should be able to print out of explorer children and some castle people

Story characters

Low Story towers

 

 

 

Make, take, play, laugh…spring activities coming up

Time To Make And Draw

activities for a strange Spring

make your own fingermouse

With all our planned events for the next few weeks cancelled, we are planning on posting some d-i-y activities to help keep your creativity going at home. To do this, we’re teaming up with Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, Creeping Toad, the Babbling Vagabonds and the Green Man Gallery so that between us there will be something for you to experiment with every few days (I am reluctant to say “every day”). On this blog we’ll psot liks to other people’s activites as they appear as well as posting our own activities so keep an eye on things here as  launching-off point to flap your wings and fly off to other people’s sites

If you make anything inspried by one of these sessions, we’d love to see (or hear) your results so maybe send us a picture – either through facebook (find us at https://www.facebook.com/stoneandwater/) or email us at stoneandwater@btinternet.com

And for today, why not try:

Creeping Toad’s A Fingerful of Animals

or

Babbling Vagabonds wobble monster

or

Buxton Museum and Art Gallery’s underwater colouring sheet

add some extra kelp to the museum sheet perhaps – or draw your own?