Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Inspiring Arts and Craft books and Easy Embroidery Hoop project

craft books
In March, we take a little extra time to do a few more crafts anticipating the warm weather. With the kids at home for Spring Break, there is more time to break away from our routine and try some hobbies we put off during our busy schedules. We have been trying a few ideas from Quarto Knows books Brain Lab for Kids, Stitch + String Lab for kids, Art lab for kids, Paint lab, and Calligraphy Kit.

calligraphy kit
We have been practicing Calligraphy from different books and kits over the past years. Calligraphy: A complete lettering kit for beginners from Quarto Publishing Group comes with a cartridge calligraphy pen, three different nibs, 12 ink cartridges, a felt- tip calligraphy pen, calligraphy paper and a guideline sheet. This kit makes it easy to start exploring this art form because it includes high quality material we need to get started with comprehensive instructions. 
calligraphy kit
The book covers basics such as pen styles, angles, hand positions, letter heights and spacing, and practice strokes before showing advanced techniques for different types of calligraphic alphabets. The book includes tips on how to use size, weight, form, and direction for lettering design. The 32 page project book has Spanish translation. 
brain lab for kids book
Brain Lab for Kids have 52 experiments, models, and activities that will let children explore neurosciences. We like that the content of this colourful book is separated to ten units such as the neuron, brain, reflexes, taste, smell, vision, touch, hearing, sleep and body rhythms, and memory. The activities and experiments mention the time it will take, materials needed, and the method which is straight forward and easy to follow as it includes clear written instructions with photographs. The units explains the science about these topics, and includes interesting facts, explains what is happening, and gives information to think deeper.
stitch and string lab for kids book
Stitch + String Lab for kids has more than 40 creative projects to sew, embroidery, weave, wrap, and tie. There is an explanation about all the different materials and basics, then the content is separated into embroidery, hand sewing, fiber arts, weaving and string craft. There are lots of activities children will enjoy making by following the step-by-step instructions and photographs. 
wall pockets with embroidery hoop
From among the creative ideas, we got the inspiration to put a design on the embroidery hoop we used to hang the glass painted CDs from this book. 
designing embroidery hoop tatting
For this simple craft we used

an embroidery hoop
felt about 1/2 inch bigger than the hoop
any decorative design or embroidery art, I used a flower made using the tatting technique 
designing embroidery hoop tatting
Cut the felt about half an inch larger than the hoop and insert it into the hoop. 
designing embroidery hoop tatting
Attach the flower using the cotton thread that was used for the tatting. You can also do embroidery designs or attach lace material to decorate the felt.
designing embroidery hoop tatting
Paint Lab has 52 Exercises inspired by Artists, Materials, Time, Place, and Method. There are unique and experimental techniques inspired by a particular painting theme or application and other painting ideas including mixed-media techniques shown with photographs and steps. The underlying message of this book is that, as an artist, we would learn and gain expertise through experimentation and play without trying to achieve right or wrong result, rather finding forms of expression in our work and gain confidence in our skills. Designed to inform and inspire new artists and rekindle passion for painting in experienced artists. The author mentions about different artists whom the projects are inspired by and offers a range of exercises broken down by theme: Who (artist-inspired), What (tools and materials), When (a time-based concept), Where (a sense of place), and How (inspired by a technique or method). Paint Lab is illustrated with brilliant full-color images and multiple examples of each exercise. This book offers a visual, non-linear approach to learning painting techniques, and reinforces a fun and fearless approach to creating art. This book has inspired us to try art techniques such as using the squeegee to do paintings by putting some paint on canvas and slowly and steadily pulling the colour to the desired length without putting pressure on the tool, and rebuild the surface by layering after each layer dries.  
paint lab book
Art Lab for Kids has 52 fun and creative art projects set into weekly lessons, beginning with drawing, moving through painting and printmaking, and then building to paper collage and mixed media. The step-by-step lessons feature and relate to the work and style of a contemporary artist. Grouped by medium, the labs are set up loosely to build skills upon the previous ones; however we can begin anywhere. Some of the projects include drawing by creating a whimsical scene on a handmade crayon scratchboard, painting by using watercolours and salt to create a textured landscape, printmaking using vegetables to make colourful prints similar to our print project using okra before discarding the tops, paper by creating an expressive self-portrait using pieces of coloured tissue paper, and mixed media by making insects from patterned contact paper and watercolour pencils. The pictures in the book illustrate how different people using the same lesson will yield different results, exemplifying the way the lesson brings out each artist's personal style.

The popular Lab for Kids series features a growing list of books that share hands-on activities and projects on a wide host of topics, including art, astronomy, clay, geology, math, all authored by established experts in their fields. Each lab contains a complete materials list, clear step-by-step photographs of the process, as well as finished samples. The labs can be used as singular projects or as part of a yearlong curriculum of experiential learning. The activities are open-ended and can be done using simple easy to find material. The enriching activities are for a range of ages and skill levels and it is designed to be explored over and over, often with different results. The activities can be taught or guided by adults for younger children and older children can do most activities on their own.  

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  1. These are all fantastic ideas; They look like a lot of fun to do

  2. Thanks always looking for fun and creative art projects for the grand children

  3. These looks like fun books with lots of creative ideas

  4. These books would be awesome to have I would love to try Calligraphy

  5. Art Lab for Kids looks like a fun book


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