Saturday, 15 December 2012

Two Christmas Placemats - Printable!

The Excitement is Just TOO MUCH for Me...!

 Only TEN more days to go...!

I am sure you are all totally organised and relaxing this weekend, knowing everything is in place. 

Oh well, maybe not - so while you do what must be done, keep the kids happy and occupied with a couple of new Christmas Placemats - ready to print and be coloured-in to help decorate your Christmas table.

Here are your Christmas Placemats

More Christmas Placemats

And Still More...

Best Seasonal Greetings to you all...

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Nativity - Christmas Craft at Mencap

You don't need a lot of materials to make a Nativity Scene...

At Mencap, we made this charming little group with just bits of fabric, a few toilet roll cores, buttons and trimmings.

So get going and create your own little figures - a seasonal activity that will appeal to all ages...

Use the "Search" facility, top right, to find other Christmas craft ideas on this Blog.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

A General Knowledge Quiz - Printable!


 General Knowledge 

 Everyone enjoys a quiz!

Here is a General Knowledge Quiz - 15 questions altogether - some really easy and a few a bit more challenging!

Do have a go at it with your groups and enjoy the reminiscing and chat that it will stimulate...

 Here is a taster .............
 "Who was the actress who played "Pretty Woman" in the movie of the same name?

If you want more quizzes - have a look at my  
Quiz eBook (41 Easy Quizzes with Answers) which are printable and will keep you groups stimulated and entertained in the coming Winter months...


Friday, 26 October 2012

Fishy Fun! We Made a Fish Mural at Mencap!

This Fish Mural was put together over two afternoons...

Firstly we printed out fish shapes (search in Google Images for "Fish Templates" - lots to choose from there!) and after these were painted and decorated, with stripes and dots (from sponge shapes) we left them to dry and started sticking blue tissue paper right across our surface as "water".

Some pebble-printed decorative paper was used for the "rocks" and strips of green tissue stuck on as "seaweed".

When the fish were dry, we cut them out and glued them into position.

As a finishing touch we added a treasure chest, crab, skeleton, diver and submarine!

Our mural is quite large, but you can make it any size or shape you want. If everyone in your group wants to make their own "fish tank" you can size it right down to an A4 - just reduce the size of the fish accordingly...

Fish are such fun to paint - enjoy creating your patterns and choosing your fishy colours!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Decorate a Ceramic Tile!

We had a lovely afternoon at Mencap, Braintree (UK) decorating creamic tiles. We used white tiles (left over after bathroom tiling!), but any colour is fine, as long as it has a smooth surface. As you can see from the pictures, there are many bits and pieces that can be stuck onto a tile - easy, creative and such fun to do.

We used felt flowers and leaves, self- adhesive foil, buttons, flat-bottomed beads, wool, lace, other sewing trimmings, self-adhesive stickers, and bows.

We used tacky glue, glue spots and double-sided sticky pads to stick it all together!

There is this tutorial and more in my eBook - click here to have a look!

Completed tiles can be displayed, by standing on a plate holder or attaching to a tiled wall, with double-sided adhesive pads.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

A Fun Quiz - Songs with Colours in the Title - printable!

 I have compiled an easy quiz, for you to have fun with your groups. The songs are mostly from around the 50's and 60's, so should be familiar.

Singing along with the tunes, is all part of the quiz, so enjoy...!

Click here for the Songs with Colours in the Title Quiz

Have listed the answers on a separate page, just in case you get stuck!

If you would like more quizzes aimed at the senior generation have a look at my 

eBook - 41 Easy Quiz Questions and Answers

Nothing like a quiz and a cuppa!

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Bird Collage Tutorial - with Printable Templates!

You can make a collage out of bits of coloured card or paper - even pieces of felt or lace, buttons etc.... Just make a picture or a design and have fun with your group!

For my Bird Collage you will need....

A3 card for background. (any size will do - just adapt it)
Coloured card for the birds, flowers hearts and leaves
Dark paper or card for the fence
One smallish doily for the bird wings - mine was 16cm diameter
Small shiney flat bottomed beads for the eyes and flower centres (or use buttons or contrasting card)
Piece of cotton lace (43cm) or any kind of trim will do
Self adhesive butterfly stickers (optional)
Glue stick
Double sided adhesive pads

How to make... 
Using the templates cut out the birds, flowers, leaves and hearts. (I used my Big Shot die-cutter for the flowers and hearts, but have given you templates to use instead) 

Cut your doily in half and fold each piece into three, making a cone, with the join at the back. Stick the join with a bit of cellotape. Cut a slit in the bird, on the line marked on the side of the bird and slip the point of the folded doily into this slit. Fix into position with a small piece of cellotape at the back of the bird.

Bird Template
Flower templates

Heart templates

Cut out your fence and posts - mine are 15cms high and each post about 2cms wide. The centre piece or "gate" is cut in one piece and shaped along the top. (easy if you fold it concertina style and cut the curved tops all at once)

Using your glue stick, stick on the fence, birds, flowers, hearts and leaves. Stick on your beads or buttons.

Using double-sided sticky pads, attach the length of lace trim along the bottom edge.

Finish off your collage with some butterfly stickers...

Have fun!

Friday, 17 August 2012

Summer in Suffolk...Poppies, Sheep and Roses!

We took a drive out into the beautiful Suffolk countryside a few weeks ago - the weather was perfect.

Unbroken blue skies and just a rustle of a breeze.

We came across this field of scarlet poppies, just by chance........ near Bury St. Edmunds. 

The intense colour attracted us, as well as many beetles and insects - what a feast!!
In contrast, we watched these sheep finding the cool green grass, under a huge spreading tree. 
    This was near the Bradfield Park Campsite, where the Scouts, Cubs and Beavers set up camp and enjoy the outdoor life - not always in such perfect weather, I might add!


The palest pink rose - Suffolk grows them best!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Use a Doily to Frame Your Picture!

 Haven't we had a wonderful few weeks of being part of the London 2012 Olympic Games...

What emotions we have been through, as we cheer on our countries, watch in awe as Medals are won, shed tears with the athletes who didn't win, but admire their courage in adversity...

Phew...and next are the Paralympics, so keep watching and be amazed at the human spirit, the courage and the achievements in these games.

Today, I thought I would give you some simple but pretty little pictures to paint or colour-in and then frame with a doily.

I have given you two pictures to download and print, but you can use anything you might already have. Here are my two pictures

Old greeting cards are also a good source of pictures, that you can cut out and stick onto your doily.

I printed my pictures on a "black and white" printer and then got out the watercolours and painted parts of the pictures. 

If you would like to see more of my watercolours (ACEO's which are 3.5 x 2.5 inches in size) then click on "My Ebay" top right. 

For those who have never heard of ACEO's!! ... Enthusiasts collect these cards - as you will see there are hundreds of them offered on Ebay. 

I don't collect, but I love to paint them!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

We made a Wall Mural - Olympics 2012 - at Mencap Braintree

Olympic Games Mural - London 2012

With Shaun at the helm, we made a wall mural to celebrate the fast approaching Olympic Games 2012.

Shaun sketched the layout and then the Mencap Art group glued on layers of tissue paper, representing the sky, the Thames, the athletic track and the swimming pool.

Cut-outs of athletes and swimmers were then stuck on and some flowers placed, representing Summer!

Shaun then painted in the London skyline (with a little artistic licence in play, as regards the order of same!) in black acrylic paint.

Tissue clouds completed the picture - it does rain in London, in Summer!

The Olympic Rings were then placed at the top - made by Thomas (see here)

10 days to go to the Opening...!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Make your own Olympic Rings!

Thomas (6yo Grandson) with his Olympic Rings
It is really easy to make your own Olympic Rings...

You will need...
5 Paper plates
Paint or other colouring medium in Blue, Black, Red, Yellow and Green.
Double-sided sticky pads

How to make...

Cut the centre out of each plate

Paint or colour the rings and leave to dry

Cut through the Yellow and Green rings (as above)

Link the Olympic Rings (as above) and join the cuts made in the Yellow and Green Rings with the double-sided sticky pads.

Using more pads, stick the rings together, so they stay in the formation (as above)

Hang them up and let's all celebrate
 the world coming together
in London
for the Olympic Games 2012...

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

First Sweet Peas...!

Billy's Sweet Peas
This morning here in Essex (UK) we had soft early morning rain. When it lifted, the sun came out and we picked our first Sweet Peas...

Can you smell their sweet fragrance??

Will be back with more craft soon...!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

July 2012 Calendar - Celebrating the Olympics!

Citius, Altius, Fortius - Swifter, Higher, Stronger

The Olympic Motto will inspire not only the participants of the London 2012 Olympic Games, but all of us ordinary folk as well!

Powerful words encouraging us all to do better, in our own small ways...

To get into the spirit of the season I have put together the July 2012 Calendar for your to download and print - ready to colour-in with your groups - of all ages!

Just in case you are not sure of the colours - here they are...

Enjoy and Celebrate!
(Good Luck GB and all!)

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Giants' Art Trail Braintree

Shaun Hall, Voldemort and Dave Taylor
Led by Shaun Hall (Pottery teacher - and Dave Taylor (Freelance Sculptor / Communtiy Art Projects) the Arts and Crafts group at Mencap Braintree worked on one of the Giants - "Voldemort" no less - which will form part of the Giants Art Trail in Braintree....

Art and Craft group at Mencap working on Voldemort!
 "A wide range of free visual arts events, forming part of the district's F7 Arts Festival, kicking off with ‘Art in the Park' in Halstead Public Gardens, run by Halstead Art Group, and including work by local groups and solo artists.

This is Followed by an exciting art trail with a difference, featuring giant figures situated around Braintree. The giants will be made by various local groups, working with Essex based sculptor Dave Taylor. This event is organised by Braintree District Arts, with funding from Braintree District Council.

Mid June sees the start of the annual Braintree District Open Art Exhibition, at Braintree District Museum, showcasing selected works by Essex artists. Prizes are awarded, and entry forms can be downloaded from the Braintree District Arts website. Admission to the Museum will be free during the exhibition, thanks to sponsorship from George Yard Shopping Centre. The month finishes with the ‘Yard Art Sale' of inexpensive works by local artists, secondhand art books and materials, in George Yard Shopping Centre. Also look out for the chance to try out various art activities at ‘Yard Art' events in George Yard on Tuesdays during the summer."

For more information Giants Art Trail Braintree

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Diamond Jubilee Placemats - Printable templates - 3 in colour + 3 for you to colour-in...!



The days are flying by - only two weeks to the Diamond Jubilee week-end (2,3,4,5 June)...

So time now to print out your Jubilee placemats for your local street-party, picnic or lunch with friends and family...

I have put six together for you - three are in full colour, ready to print and use. The other three are to print and colour-in with your groups.

All are printable on A4 computer paper.

Here they are - Six Diamond Jubilee Placemats

(When you click on the Print icon, a screen will appear which will allow you to choose what to print and how many copies you want to print)

Use the SEARCH THIS BLOG box (top right) to find more Diamond Jubilee printables...

Enjoy the celebrations wherever you are...God Save the Queen!

Monday, 14 May 2012

3 Commemorative Diamond Jubilee Bookmarks - templates to download


Queen Elizabeth II

Diamond Jubilee 1952 - 2012

Here are three bookmarks for you to download and print...

Two are ready to colour-in yourselves and if you are printing in black and white, then you can add a bit of colour to the Queen's portrait as well...

Either print onto paper and cut and stick onto card or print directly onto card.
For a bookmark to last for many years try laminating it - (enclose in a plastic sleeve) If you are laminating, paper is fine - no need to use card.

Lastly - punch a hole in the top and add a ribbon or thin cord.

A lovley memento of a special event to keep or to give away as a small gift...

Click here for your 3 Jubilee Bookmarks

Use the SEARCH THIS BLOG box (top right) to find more Diamond Jubilee printables...

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Diamond Jubilee June 2012 Calendar

Our Beloved Queen


Here is the Diamond Jubilee June 2012 calendar for you to download and print...just click the link below!

Queen Elizabeth II

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Diamond Jubilee - Bunting! Three printable templates!

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee is only a month away...

To mark 60 years of The Queen's reign, the Diamond Jubilee celebrations will centre around an extended weekend on 2, 3, 4 and 5 June, 2012

(Use the SEARCH THIS BLOG box (top right) to find more Diamond Jubilee printables...)

So time to prepare your Bunting, hung it up where you will - and celebrate!!!

Here are three different options for you to choose from...

1. Ready to print in colour on white paper

2. Ready to print on white paper and colour-in yourselves 

3. Using coloured (red white and blue) paper or thin card, cut from the Bunting Pattern
Here are the templates - just click on the one you want to download and print...

1. Ready to print in colour on white paper

2. Ready to print on white paper and colour-in yourselves 

3. Using coloured (red white and blue) paper or thin card, cut from the Bunting Pattern

Once you have your bunting ready, take a length of string or thin cord and stretch it across a table (weigh the ends down with a couple of books to keep it taut) 

Then lay the triangles face-down tucking the wide end under the string about 1cm from the top edge. Leave about 1cm between each piece of bunting.

Tear off strips of sticky-tape and attach the cord to the bunting.

Make it as long as you want and hang it up...let the party begin!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Just Let Me Play!

Braintree Mencap's Play activity scheme for children with learning disability is being forced to close. The service provides children with a safe environment to play and develop skills and provides a much needed break for families. Essex County Council has withdrawn funding from the group after the groups were not successful in the procurement process. This decision will be devastating for the children and their families.

Please help this very essential activity scheme by signing their petition.

If you want to find out more about Braintree Mencap click here

Thanks for your interest in Mencap!

August 14th - Delighted to report that the Essex County Council have agreed to continue with the funding for another year. They will then do another review, but meanwhile the  Braintree Mencap's Play activity scheme for children with learning disability is back on...
Thanks for all your support!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

New eBook available - 41 x 10 Easy Quizzes with Answers

You asked for more quizzes and so here they are....!

I have put together 41 x 10 Easy Quizzes for you in an eBook -

Click on the  Menu Bar across top to see more detail about this.

Great fun for Seniors and in fact for anyone - most are General Knowledge but also have compiled others with specific themes - Flowers, Girls Names, Colours, Movies, Books and more.

Easy to use - after saving the eBook on your computer (in a PDF file) you will be able to print off individual quizzes (in any quantity you choose) as you require them.

So have a look and order your copy - only US$1.95 - ready to download immediately...

Friday, 20 April 2012

Three New Printable Bookmarks!


So many of you have asked for more bookmarks, so here are three new ones...

Best printed directly onto card, but can be printed onto paper and then stuck onto card.

Colour them in, punch a hole centre top, thread a ribbon and you have a bookmark...makes a lovely personal handmade gift!

For long-lasting bookmarks - laminate them (big stationery stores will do this for you) Laminating is "sealing an item in a plastic sleeve" If you can laminate, then you won't need card - paper will be fine.

Click here for 3 Bookmarks

In spite of all the new technology, I think books will be with us for many more years to get your bookmarks made!

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Calendar April 2012 Spring Flowers - Printable!

Here is your April 2012 calendar - ready to download and print.

Hand them out to your group and start colouring - mine are blue, but as Spring Flowers come in so many colours - you can decide...!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Felt Easter Bunny and Flowers Bunting - Printable Templates!

Felt Easter Bunny and Flowers Bunting

Still a few weeks to Easter, so have popped in another Easter craft which is fun and easy to do...

You will need... (for one Bunny)

Felt (185 x 105mm for Bunny and 85 x 85mm for Flower)
Either same colour felt for all your Bunnies, with contrasting Flowers, or make them all different - your choice!
One Button
Googly eyes (or small round pieces of contrasting felt)

A length of ribbon or tape (length depends on number of Bunnies!)

How to make it...

Print out the patterns

Cut out the Bunny and the Flower (use the smaller size)

Stitch the Flower onto the Bunny, with a button in the centre. (The yellow flower in the picture is one I die-cut with my Big Shot, but you can just use the template I've given you, for all your flowers)

Attach the Googly Eyes. (you can just use small circles of a contrasting colour of felt if you want)

Attach the Bunnies to the ribbon or tape, using double-sided sticky pads.

Enjoy making your Easter Bunny Bunting and have a Happy Easter holiday!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Make an Felt Easter Basket!

Anjie's Easter Basket
With Easter in just a few weeks I thought you might like to make up this delightful felt Easter Basket.

I found it on Anjie Davison's Blog - Pom Pom Emporium

Follow the link to the Scandinavian Woven Heart Basket Pattern for the template and tutorial.

Here is the one that I have made...

Hope you all have fun with this project and thanks to Anjie for her tutorial!