Outside In: Walking and making a labyrinth

Welcome to the FrostArt ‘Outside In’ blog 

Thank you for joining in. If you have ideas that you would like to try let me know and they could be included.

It would be great to see what is made, so please take pictures of what you make and we can share them here.

For most of workshop activities you are likely to need some tools and materials. Collect them together and put them in a box or drawer will mean you know where they are each time. A box for indoor making and one for outdoors might be a good idea too if you have space.

I thought it would be fun to show you what I have been doing this week. 

I have been cutting a labyrinth on the green near our house. It is being used by lots of families for playtimes and exercise because they can’t use the playground
My reason for starting this was partly just for fun, because we all need some right now, and partly because I was aware of all the restrictions on children and families who are finding it hard to keep children busy and happy, so this is a way to support others locally. My family do not live near, we see them via internet, so Skype and Zoom have been really great for keeping in touch, chatting and regular story times but that is not at all the same as having hugs and playing together in homes, gardens or playgrounds.

 

I invited people to use it via the local Big Eye Spy face book page, families have been making use of it as part of their regular daily exercise and outdoor play. Some dogwalkers have been making use of it too, but I hear that the dogs cheat!
Walking the labyrinth is a great and safe way to meet up and share the experience with friends or family while doing some exercise, we all need reassurance and encouragement to be positive. I heard from one mum who is very grateful to have somewhere safe to take her children because they had begun to be afraid of going out of their garden. Mental health is more important than ever when times are uncertain and families need to find ways to share safe spaces and good experiences.
Some families have used the opportunity to learn about labyrinths in history or stories.
Do you know the difference between a labyrinth and a maze?
There is only one path in a labyrinth so you can’t get lost, in a maze there are lots of ways to lose your way.
Who was the Minotaur and where did he come from?
There is a labyrinth in the floor at the entrance of Ely Cathedral, the pathway is the same length as the height of the west tower.
What else can you find out about labyrinths, is there one near you?
There are lots of instructions available online for making labyrinths and mazes. These can be done using paper and pencil or on a larger scale, with Lego, stones or sticks to make the pathway.
The Labyrinth society has information about labyrinths all over the world, including visiting times to some and instructions about making one yourself.
You could make temporary pathways in different places each time you go out for a walk, they don’t have to be very long.
I am sure there are similar spaces in every community that could be used for simple and creative activities while families have limited access to play equipment. This was not a difficult thing to do and the space was available but not well used, especially with the children not going to school. Pathways indicate to others that friends or family can come and walk there too, so it is a good way to share the space even if not at the same time.
Cutting the grass in a pattern means cutting less, so uses less fuel and allows grasses and flowers to grow. This can be a really good way to encourage wildlife to thrive in the spaces as well.
Enjoy the journey!

 

Outside In: Making and watching

Welcome to the FrostArt ‘Outside In’ blog 

Thank you for joining in. If you have ideas that you would like to try let me know and they could be included.

It would be great to see what is made, so please take pictures of what you make and we can share them here.

For most of workshop activities you are likely to need some tools and materials. Collect them together and put them in a box or drawer will mean you know where they are each time. A box for indoor making and one for outdoors might be a good idea too if you have space.


For inside
An apron
Waterproof covering for table or floor
a tray or shoe box
an old basket or container for collecting things outside

Tools and materials
Spoons – large and small
An old blunt knife
Pencils
Crayons
A piece of paper, a camera or phone
Pencils and crayons in a box or pencil case

For outside
A coat and hat, gloves or sunshade, depending on the weather
Outdoor shoes
A cushion or rug to sit on, if you are going to stay outside.
A board to lean on
A trowel
A garden fork
A container to collect things


Some of my family had to have a new fence for their garden and the bird feeders got lost, so it was a good opportunity to make new, clean bird feeders for the spring.


Inside activity
Birdfeeder
A recycled 1 litre juice or milk carton, clean and dry. Keep the lid and replace when you have dried it!
A short length of bamboo or stick, long enough to stick out of the carton about 100 mm each side
scissors
string about 30cm long
Paint, 3 or 4 colours. Paint mixed with white glue makes it water proof
Paint brushes, one for each colour makes the job easier
Spare cardboard, can be cereal box
A hole punch or knitting needle
White glue, PVA
Birdseed
Somewhere to hang the bird-feeder outside when it is finished
This time I have attached the instructions so you can print it off, let me know if that makes it easier, or if makes no difference!
The link is here https://workshops.frostart.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Blog-birdfeeder-copy.pdf

 
Making time about 30 minutes, but you need to allow time for paint  and glue to dry so it could be longer and you might make more than one. There are different bird seed mixes suitable for different species.



Pictures here are of making by my family. Do share and let us know how you get on with yours.

Outside activity
Tell a story using your hands, take a picture with your imagination


You might need
Groundsheet or blanket
Note book or paper 
Pencil or crayons
Bird book or identification chart


Find a safe space to sit or lie looking up, using a chair, blanket or groundsheet if you need to.
Stretch your arms up to the sky
Make a frame using your hands
Right hand faces you with the thumb upwards.
Left had faces away from you with the thumb down
Join thumbs to finger tips and make a rectangle
Stretch your arms out and look through the frame.
What can you see? Is the sun shining, are there clouds
Are there trees or buildings?
Are there any birds or animals nearby?
Can you name them?


If you like drawing you could draw what you see. How many wings or legs do they have? Do they creep or crawl or fly?
If you have play-dough or plasticine you could model the things
You could record how many of each bird, insect or animal there is, what they are and maybe find out the name of the species.
How many wings or legs do they have? Do they creep or crawl or fly? do they make a noise that you can hear?
This could be a regular record keeping exercise, make a diary of what creatures appear each day and at what time. Does it make a difference if the sun is out?
There are many resources on the RSPB and Bug Life website if you want to find out more.
 Learning Through Landscapes has loads more ideas!


Activity time – as long and as often as it needs to be. 

 

Outside In: Looking and sharing some time

Welcome to the FrostArt ‘Outside In’ blog. Thank you for joining in. If you have ideas that you would like to try let me know and they could be included.

Saturday April 4th is Slow Art Day

This is a day for galleries, museums and individuals all over the world to invite others to share the art that is precious to them. Spend time contemplating and appreciating skills, materials and techniques. Take time to slow down, this is the perfect opportunity. 

This year is different, we can’t meet up and share the art in the same physical place, or enjoy a chat with coffee and cake afterwards. But we can share in different ways. Maybe send an image of your favourite piece, or one you would love to see again and share it via a phone message, have a conversation and share time thinking about that piece. You could of course have a chat with coffee, or the drink of choice, and cake as well!
This does not have to be looking at old pieces, it can be any art of your choice. Make sure you spend at least 5 minutes to appreciate the work, think about how long it might have taken to make, who made it, where the ideas may have come from.
You could follow up time spent looking with researching your chosen artist, maybe there is something about the person and the way they live that would encourage you to develop a different life style. We have the unusual experience of having time to think!

I still haven’t decided what my Slow Art choice will be, I seem to take longer to make decisions, but that’s ok too!

Share what you looked at, I would love to see your choices.
Here is the website for Slow Art Day

Outside In: Finding and collecting colours

Welcome to the FrostArt ‘Outside In’ blog

Thank you for joining in. If you have ideas that you would like to try let me know and they could be included.

It would be great to see what is made, so please take pictures of what you make and we can share them here.

For most of workshop activities you are likely to need some tools and materials. Collect them together and put them in a box or drawer will mean you know where they are each time. A box for indoor making and one for outdoors might be a good idea too if you have space.


For inside
An apron
Waterproof covering for table or floor
a tray or shoe box
an old basket or container for collecting things outside

Tools and materials
Spoons – large and small
An old blunt knife
Pencils
Crayons
A piece of paper, a camera or phone
Pencils and crayons in a box or pencil case

For outside
A coat and hat, gloves or sunshade, depending on the weather
Outdoor shoes
A cushion or rug to sit on, if you are going to stay outside.
A board to lean on
A trowel
A garden fork
A container to collect things


Today’s Inside Activity and great idea was contributed by Tabitha Frost
You will need
Two sheets of paper
6 colours of Crayons or paint and brushes
Camera or phone

On the first sheet of paper 
Make 6 different coloured squares on the page, write the numbers beside the six colours, you could also write the words for the colours and numbers.
On the second sheet of paper
Draw a large oval


Can you find items in the house to match the colours and numbers? Place them next to the colour they match.



You could draw or take photos of the things you find.
Where will you find things, are they all toys, are some from the bathroom or kitchen? What are they made of?

Today’s Outside activity
You will need
Colours list
Camera or phone
Magnifying glass
A container for collecting things in


Take your colours list and see what you can find outside, can you find items to match the colours and numbers?
You might find things in the garden, on a walk or a bike ride. 
You could draw or take photos of the things you find.
You could make a face from the things you collect.

 

You might pick flowers or leaves, at this time of year lots of plants are very small and will grow larger soon. Please remember to ask for permission before picking anything.
You could measure the selected items, then go back each day and measure again. How much will it grow in a week?

If you have photos of making or using the ideas please share them, all contributions will be acknowledged. If you have a website you want to recommend tell us about that too.

 

Outside In: Ready, Steady, Make!

Welcome to the FrostArt ‘Outside In’ blog, thank you for joining in. If you have ideas that you would like to try let me know and they could be included.

It would be great to see what is made, so please take pictures of what you make and we can share them here.

For most of workshop activities you are likely to need some tools and materials. Collect them together and put them in a box or drawer will mean you know where they are each time. A box for indoor making and one for outdoors might be a good idea too if you have space.


For inside

An apron
Waterproof covering for table or floor
a tray or shoe box
an old basket or container for collecting things outside

Tools and materials

Spoons – large and small
An old blunt knife
Pencils
Crayons
A piece of paper, a camera or phone
Pencils and crayons in a box or pencil case

For outside

A coat and hat, gloves or sunshade, depending on the weather
Outdoor shoes
A cushion or rug to sit on, if you are going to stay outside.
A board to lean on
A trowel
A garden fork
A container to collect things

Indoor activities

Make a container – This container will be useful for collecting things outdoors or to hold your tools in.
You will need
An old plastic 2 or 5 litre container, deionised water comes in them, tomato feed for gardeners, or liquid soaps.
A long boot lace, with plastic ends
A knitting needle or BBQ skewer
Scissors
A marker pen – Sharpies work well but be careful where you write as they don’t wash off.
Make time about 20 minutes

Draw a line with marker pen round the container, 150mm from base. Cut round the line with scissors, making a hole with the knitting needle might help to start it off. 

With the knitting needle or skewer make a hole at each end of the bottle 30mm from top of the container.

Thread one end of the the boot lace through a hole from the inside, tie a knot so it doesn’t slip out. Thread the other end from the outside and tie a knot inside the container.

If the lace is very long for you, make knot where it fits and cut the remainder off., or you could make a loop and tie it there.

Keep the plastic lid, and put it in the container you have made.

Make a picture frame
You will need
Some stiff paper or cardboard – an old cereal box will work
A ruler or envelope
A pencil or pen
Scissors
Make time about 10 minutes
Draw a square on the plain side of the card, use an envelope or another piece of card for straight lines if you haven’t got a ruler nearby.
 




Cut the inside of the square out, fold it or poke the scissors inside first to start it off.

Now you can go out collecting with both the things you have made.

Outdoor activity of course depends on the weather and where you are.
Outside in spring there is a lot happening, it could be very small, or high in the air or very low down on the ground.
Move slowly as you go outside, small creatures get frightened of people moving fast.
Take 5 minutes to find a place you like the look of, an area of about 2 metres square or a circle as far as you can reach with your feet when you sit down.
Is anything moving? What is it, animal, insect, bird, flowers or trees, earth, stick or stone? Do you know what the name is? Best not pick up or touch, just watch for 2 minutes. You might use a stop watch.
 
Use the picture frame you made to frame the things you are looking at.
You could draw a picture, or take time to look at what is happening.
Can you see any more of the same, or maybe some different things. How many different things are there in the space you have selected?
Look at the colours and shapes and textures. You could touch gently, how does it feel, is it soft or hard, cold or warm, wet or dry?
Can you identify the creatures, or flowers. Do they have names you know?
If you like writing you could write a story about the place, what and who lives there?
If you like talking you might do a recording about the things you see.
If you like drawing you could draw what you see in the frame, or make a picture using found things on a flat surface. Place the things you find in the frame and maybe take photos.

Use the container when you are ready to go back inside you might pick up a few things to take indoors, put them carefully in your container using the plastic lid if it is crawly or squirmy.

Always put creatures back outside when you have looked at them, they prefer to live outdoors where you found them.

 

 

 

Welcome to the FrostArt ‘Outside In’ blog

dreaming and making

Today is the start of a new blog. This is where I will be sharing ideas and plans to make things that are either just for fun, some will be useful and most will use materials you already have in the house or find outside. Life has changed, we can’t do or go to all the things we are familiar with because of the corona virus and we need to find different ways of living and working. For me all workshops, exhibitions and events have been cancelled or postponed for the foreseeable future. I also need to find ways of relating to family and spending time with grandchildren without being able to visit in person. Who knew we could make such good use of the technology we have all become familiar with?

As a family we often spend time making and doing together, so we plan to do ‘Ready, Steady, Make!’ each week.
I hope you will join me find things that can be adapted into something new, transforming rubbish into beautiful and maybe precious items.
Each post will have one outdoor and one indoor activity. I will give an indication of how long I think each might take to make but of course it will be up to you how long you spend on each.
 
For most of workshop activities you are likely to need some tools and materials. Collect them together and put them in a box or drawer will mean you know where they are each time. A box for indoor making and one for outdoors might be a good idea too if you have space.



For inside
An apron
Waterproof covering for table or floor
a tray or shoe box
an old basket or container for collecting things outside

Tools and materials
spoons – large and small
a trowel
a garden fork
an old blunt knife
pencils
crayons


For outside
A coat and hat, gloves or sunshade, depending on the weather
Outdoor shoes
A cushion or rug to sit on, if you are going to stay outside.
A board to lean on
A piece of paper, a camera or phone,
Pencils and crayons in a box or pencil case
A container ot collect things


It would be great to see what is made, please take pictures of what you make and we can share them.
If you have ideas and suggestions that you would like to try let me know and they could be included. We are all learning together, some of you might be able to translate the notes into other languages and share with friends abroad.


Thank you for joining in with this, I hope we get to do some good things together.
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