crafts, create, google+ hangouts, kids

Chaos writes:pine cone hedgehogs

Looking for something different to make with the air-drying clay we bought AGES ago from my namesake the poet Graham Clifford at Canonbury Arts, when I was working in Islington. And at the same time, pondering, what do we do with the pile of pine cones we have beside the fireplace? So we figured, this adorable hedgehog!

So easy to make this little fella, one large ball of clay, formed into an upturned face, four smaller balls, flattened for feet, claws indented with the ends of a pair of scissors, two petal shaped ears, and a little bobbly nose… I find that having a little cup of water to soften the clay whilst you are working, really helps… we used felt-tipped pens for the colour detail when the clay had dried. The feet, I’ll admit, keep falling off, so we glue-gunned them on.

We are going to try some more over the Easter break with some Fimo instead of the clay, as it’s it’s more malleable for the kids, will let you know how we get on!
Pine-Cone-Craft-Ideas-youtubeTHEN Maggy at Red Ted Art invited a few of us creative types to ‘hang out’ on Google+ to share our pine cone expertise…! I must admit we did have a FEW technical problems, from falling cameras to lost internet connections!   You can see the edited version here, and yes, I do pop up at both ends of the video with my superman cape flapping behind me….please do take a look at the following links from the other creatives for shed loads of pine cone inspiration. Lizzie at Me and my Shadow produced a most fabulous photo holder, which is what we are going to make with the ‘spare’ pine cones we have. Aly at Plus 2 point 4 had some printing with pine cones. Anthea at Zing Zing Tree made a very adaptable felt animal creation.
The Frog & The Fairy made some adorable small world play trees. Jen Mum at the Madhouse made a gorgeous owl. Kelly (and her small person) Domestic Goddesque shows us how to make a beautiful door hanging, and of course, our lovely host, author Red Ted Art shares some pine cone babies from her book.
Oh, Maggy’s book is launched 28 March 13, so don’t forget to order your copy now!

Are you on Google+ Follow me here, and say hello, and I’ll add you back to my circles.

Oh, and I’m on too… Erm, and funnily enough on Facebook and Pinterest! Pop over to say hello x

crafts, google+ hangouts, kids, monster

Chaos writes:

What do you do with all of your children’s art, how can you preserve them as keepsakes?


My 10 yo is always drawing little mono monsters and aliens, so was delighted to be able to preserve his latest creation…. In the form of a 3D towelling monster alien!

We took the drawing, folded it in half, traced over it, onto a large piece of broadsheet newspaper.

Cutting around the shape, we then pinned our newspaper template onto the doubled-over towel, and cut and sewed around the edges. Leaving a corner un-stitched for stuffing the Towel Monster.

We turned the monster, inside out, and used ripped up shreds of plastic carrier bags we had in the cupboard (saving them from landfill!)  – He is safely the favourite ‘plush toy’ at bedtime now, and has been on a round trip of the UK to visit various grandparents already! Don’t forget your toothbrush! TowelMonsterKidsChaos


click image above to view the hangout hosted by

AND then we had a google hangout hosted by Maggy at RedTedArt who talked about ideas for making Easter decorations to hang from her Easter Tree (as featured in her new book!).

We were also joined by Anthea Barton Zing Zing Tree with her Glass Paint jars, Adele Crozier’s Playful Learners Artwork Bunting, Missie Lizzie’s Bubblewrap keepsake (wow!), Aly Hodge at PLUS 2.4.I who embroidered her children’s drawings, Anna Ranson from The Imagination Tree’ Eric Carle Initial Art, The Fairy and the Frog’s Father’s Day Card, Stephanie Stanesby, and Helen Newberry.

Ali at writes at

cooking, crafts, create, google+ hangouts, key stage 2, kids, monster

Chaos writes:


8yo wanted to personalise his book bag so that he can spot it, at a glance, amongst all of the identical school book bags, piled high on the playground floor. So we made the most of the oven being warm from a baked potato supper, and positioned some plastic bottle lids on some foil on a baking tray.

Five minutes later, and as the ‘monster’ started to melt, we added some Hama (or Perler) Beads for a bit of colour, and they melted in beautifully. Bringing it out of the oven to cool (warning, it does get super-hot) we positioned the googly eyes (don’t do that too quickly as the eyes will start to melt too!) I pierced a hole with some scissors, and we added a key ring and out Bottle Lid Monster is complete and ready to adorn said book bag with pride!
KidsChaosRedTedArt-screen-grab2We also thoroughly enjoyed a Google + hangout with this one too, featuring Maggy’s redtedart‘s bottle lid stamps, and ladybugs. Adele from Playful Learners bottle top Easter art, Anthea at Zingzingtree‘s bottle top flowers and people. Also Cerys’s beautiful bottle top owl, and a first – our anonymous blogger with Spanish Marbles, plus Kath’s KnittyMummy’s beer bottle photo badges.

For more Monster ideas, click here and for other bottle lid ideas click here. And for a fab Despicable Me Perler Bead classic click here.

Oh, and I’m on too… Erm, and funnily enough on Google+Facebook and Pinterest! Pop over to say hello x Like it? Pin it!
Ali also writes over on