Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Things to do when you are staying at home

Since so many of us are staying at home at the moment, self-isolating and following the guidelines on social distancing, I thought it would be a good idea to put together a list with ideas for things you can do at home. I've grouped ideas into different categories, so whether you are looking after your children at home, missing going out visiting places or looking for a little distraction in these anxious times there should be something for you to do on the list! I will keep it updated if I spot new ideas and if you have any suggestions please do let me know in the comments.
Stay safe and stay healthy everyone x

Visit a Museum Online

You might not be able to leave your house at the moment but that doesn't mean you can't explore museums or art galleries! Google's Arts and Culture website allows you to explore the collections of hundreds of galleries and musuems from around the world, including:
The Natural History Museum, London
The Rijksmusuem, Amsterdam
The British Musuem, London
The Victoria and Albert Museum, London
The National Gallery, London
The Science Musuem, London

- Listen to some of your favourite music.
- Make a playlist for a friend.
- Practise playing an instrument and learn new pieces by searching for sheet music online.

Enjoy Nature
We are fortunate in the UK that we are heading into spring and the weather (so far!) has been improving. Whilst a lot of life feels like it has been put on pause, nature is still carrying on as normal. Go outside in your garden or if you don't have a garden, what can you see or hear from your window? Listen for the birds singing and see the flowers blossoming and trees becoming greener.

I will be spending as much time as possible in my garden over the coming weeks. I expect a lot of people will have tidier gardens than normal! I plan to sow vegetable and flower seeds, but if you don't have a garden you can still experience the joy of watching a plant grow. Herbs can be grown on a kitchen windowsill. Did you know that there are lots of vegetables that can be regrown too? If you don't have a pot of compost for growing a plant inside you can grow carrot tops, celery and onions in a saucer of water.

Get (or keep) fit! Even in a very small amount of space there are still exercises you can do. Sometimes if I'm feeling a bit anxious or stressed I like to remind myself how exercise releases endorphins and will make me feel better.

Joe Wicks has lots of free workout videos on his Youtube channel The Body Coach TV - including a daily PE lesson for children.

Dance - this combines listening to music to make you feel good and some exercise! I've been learning a routine to 'Come Alive' from The Greatest Showman via this video from Beginner Dance Tutorials on Youtube. I'm not very coordinated when it comes to dancing, but this video is easy to follow and fun!

Practise Yoga - Yoga With Adriene has lots of great videos to follow, ranging from short to long sessions and routines to help you relax or burn off a few calories.

Get Creative
Lots of designers are being generous right now and sharing free printables. A few days ago I shared a Butterflies and Flowers colouring page, which you can download via this post.
Here are some others I found which you might like:
- Angie Spurgeon has shared a weekly planner and Dahlia, Rose & Agapanthus colour-in sheet.
- Cara Rowlands has been creating lots of free colouring pages which you can see on her Instagram page Carabaradesigns

Have you seen rainbows popping up in the windows of your neighbourhood? I spotted lots on my one trip out to the supermarket. A think the trend started in Italy, but has spread around the world. It's a lovely thing to do to spread a little hope and raise a smile for your neighbours. People are sharing their rainbows online with #letsallbewell.

Start (or finish) a craft project. Did you start knitting a jumper or sewing a dress ages ago but never finished it? Now's the perfect time to do it! I've been looking through my stack of sewing patterns trying to decide what to make next. I've also been meaning to sew some oven gloves for ages but keep getting scared by the wadding which I've never used before, so maybe I'll do those first!

There are plenty of craft tutorials online too. You can see all the ones from my blog here.

Learn a new skill
There are thousands of classes to explore on Skillshare and if you sign up via this link you can get 2 months of Premium membership for free!

Make Art That Sells is currently offering their MBA (Money BadAss) online course for free (instead of the usual £178). The course is about making money from doing what you love and building a successful business - find out more on their website.

Affinity is currently offering a 90 day free trial of their suite of software; Publisher, Photo and Designer and a 50% discount if you want to buy and keep them. I love their software - it's what I use for creating my designs!

Read a book

We are lucky to have lots of books in our house, so it would take a very long time for us to run out of things to read! However, if you don't have many books at home there are lots of eBooks you can access online for free.
Oxford Owl have books for 3-11 year olds
Local libraries may be shut for now, but if you look up your library's website you can borrow e-books, audio books and e-magazines.

Other Ideas:
- Play a board game with a friend via a video call. You might not be able to meet face to face but you can still play a game together! Some games, like cards probably won't work but plenty of board games could be played from a distance for example battleships, chess, draughts, monopoly or snakes and ladders.
- Do a quiz with a friend online.
- If you are really desperate and have done everything else you could always clean your house and do some of those house jobs you never normally have time for!!

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Free Printable Colouring Page - Butterflies and Flowers

It's been a long time since I last wrote a blog post - I had to remind myself how I actually write one and the html code I need use! The spread of the corona virus has turned the world upside down and life for so many of us has dramatically changed over the last few weeks. It's a strange and scary time, but more important than ever to look out for one another as well as looking after ourselves. I wanted to find ways that I can try to do something more to help. If you are staying at home for the foreseeable future, home schooling children or just want something to take your mind off the news for a while, art and creativity can be really helpful.
I have designed a free printable colouring page for you to download and colour and am planning some other ideas which I will share with you soon. You can also check out all my past craft project posts here. This butterflies and flowers colouring page design has lots of details, so should keep you or your children occupied for a while!

I would love to see your coloured pages - leave a comment below, or if you share your pictures on Instagram or Facebook tag me @hazelfishercreations or use #myhfcmakes

The sheet is available in both A4 and letter size pages as well as JPG and PDF formats, so you can choose whichever one suits you best to download and print.
** Please note: this free printable is for personal use only! You can print it as many times as you like for your own personal use, but you may not redistribute it in any form or modify it or claim it as your own.  If you would like to share the colouring page with your friends, on your blog/ Pinterest etc. please include a link back to this page (not the download link). Thank you!

Friday, 18 January 2019

Pottery Painting at Blue Owl

Last summer my sister and I visited Blue Owl, a pottery painting studio, cafe and gift shop, in Great Horkesley, (just outside Colchester) Essex. We really enjoyed our visit and would definitely recommend taking a trip there yourself if you are in the area!
The building itself is a converted country pub - a beautiful old building, full of character (including wood beams). Everyone at Blue Owl is very friendly and the place has a lovely, relaxed atmosphere. We enjoyed sampling the cakes on offer and browsing the gifts before choosing some pottery to paint. There is a very wide range of pottery items to choose from: coasters, mugs, plates, figurines, tea pots, vases and much more! With so much choice it was hard to pick what to paint, but after a lot of pondering we each decided to paint a plate.

My friend, the talented illustrator Helen Smith, works in the kiln room and is Blue Owl's resident artist so she was able to give us a tour of the kiln room and show us how the pottery painting process works which was very interesting! I had never done pottery painting before, only having worked a little with ceramics back at school and in art college, so I really enjoyed learning something new.

Friday, 11 January 2019

Colour Palette #31 - Sea Holly

I thought that it would be fun to start up sharing my colour palettes again and to try out the palettes with my own designs. This palette was inspired by my photo of sea holly, which not only has interesting colours but striking textures and shapes too. I enjoyed taking lots of photos of plants in the garden centre during last summer so be prepared for more plant inspired palettes coming soon!

Monday, 29 October 2018

Inktober 2018 Round-up - Days 1-10

I began Inktober with the best of intentions to draw everyday, however, as it often does things got busy and I've fallen behind. I will still complete my list of 31 prompts, it will just end up being 'Inkvember' instead of 'Inktober'!!!
Here's a round-up of my drawings for days 1-10...

Monday, 22 October 2018

Rabbit Cut and Sew Doll Design

Creating a cut and sew fat quarter design was the challenge for this week's Spoonflower contest. I have been wanting to design more cut and sew projects for a while, so the contest was a perfect prompt for me to work on this!

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Printables Basics 5 – Printing and Resizing Scrapbooking Papers

This is part 5 of a series on learning the basics of using printables and how to get more out of them. In this post I will be focusing on how you can print and resize digital scrapbooking papers.

The scrapbooking papers in my shop are all sized 12 x 12 inches. This means they are great for using in 12 inch albums - to print them 12 x 12 inch size:
   - You can take the files to your local professional printers to be printed 12 x 12 inch size
   - They can be printed on A3+ size printers (check your model will take 12 inch wide paper)
However, if you don’t have access to a large format printer you can still use these files with your A4 / Letter size home printer.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Floral Butterflies Surface Pattern Design

This week's Spoonflower design challenge has a limited colour palette theme - the brief allowed us to create a design on any theme we liked so long as we used at least 3 of the colours specified by Spoonflower (black or white accents were also allowed).
I decided to create a floral and butterfly themed design...

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Printables Basics 4 - Printing Tips

Continuing my Printables Basics series, sharing advice and tutorials on using printables; in this post I will be sharing a few tips on printing.

Your printable designs can be printed at home or if you don't have your own printer you can take files to a professional printers. Having designs professionally printed is also ideal if your printer can’t handle the type of print you would like to make, such as large poster prints or printing on very thick card.
Home printers can produce very good results and are very affordable option – you don’t need a top of the range model for great prints! I have used an HP PSC2355 and Epson Stylus SX425W, both producing excellent prints. As general advice for best results from any printer, I recommend using your printer’s highest quality setting and a good quality paper or card. Printing at home also allows you more freedom for experimentation - you can try using different papers to see what you like best from your own printer.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Printables Basics 3 – File Types and Software to use with Printables

This post is part of my Printables Basics series, where I share tips, advice and tutorials on how to get started with using printables.
In this post I will be covering the file types which I use for my printables and some of the software you can use with them.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Inktober 2018 Prompt List

October means that it is time for the annual drawing challenge of Inktober again! Thousands of artists take part each year, making 1 ink drawing a day for the month of October, to practice their drawing skills.
You can find out more about the challenge, including rules and the official prompt list, over on the Inktober website.

I decided that this year I would set myself my own Animals theme and came up with a list of 31 different animals to draw throughout the month. Some are ones I have drawn before and some will be completely new for me - I'm looking forward to drawing them all! I will share a weekly round up of my drawings here, on my blog, or you can follow along on my Facebook and Instagram pages.

Will you be taking part in Inktober this year? Feel free to use my prompt list - if you do I would love to see your drawings! You can use #hfc_artchallenge or tag me @hazelfishercreations on Facebook or Instagram.
Lots of other people have been sharing their own prompt lists too, so if animals don't spark your imagination there's sure to be something that will! You can find more lists on the InktoberPrompts page.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Printables Basics 2 - Downloading Digital Items and Extracting ZIP Files

In part 1 of my Printables Basics series I shared a brief introduction to printables and some of the reasons why I love them. If you’re new to printables and ready to give them a go the first thing you need to know is how to download them…