Sketching at National Gallery and Hugh Lane Gallery

Today Maebh and I spent the day in the city center checking out the National Gallery and then the Hugh Lane Gallery. Both had family-focused drawing events on today so it was perfect timing for Soren to be invited to a football birthday party and us girls spent the day in the city.

We took the DART in which is a big adventure for a 6 year old and the bus home – with the high hopes of being at the top of the bus in the front row.  Had to settle for second to front as the people who were there were still there when it was our stop.

First up was the National Gallery.   Each Sunday from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm they have a free family event where kids are allowed in to a small area to participate in the artist-facilitated drop-in session in the atrium. These sessions are inspired by the collection and our exhibitions, are suitable for tiny tots upwards.  Each week they have a guest artist encouraging each child to explore the week’s theme. There are also free family tours taking place at 12.30 pm.  When we return with Soren, we’ll pick up a children’s audio guide at the information desk and take a family tour – which we did, but will get to that later.

It was packed, so we got a number and had a drink in the cafe before going back in.  Not sure if it’s best to arrive at 11:00 to be one of the first it at 1:00 to be one of the last?

This is the schedule for the future events.

8 January…Group of Cavalry in the Snow, by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier. With Jane Bowe
15 January… About Face with Susan Farrelly
22 January…As Still as a Statue with Beth O’Halloran
29 JanuaryThe Magic of Chinese New Year with Fala Buggy
(In association with the Dublin Chinese New Year Festival)
5 February… Me, Myself and I with Libby Simington
12 February… Lights and Lanterns with Louise McGrath
(In association with the Dublin Chinese New Year Festival)
19 February Light, Darkness, Drama with Edel Campbell
26 February… Dots and Spots: The Terrace, St. Tropez, by Paul Signac. With Valerie Moffat
5 March… The Animals of Spring with Kate Dick
12 March… Colours Around ‘The Sunshade’ by William John Leech. With Elizabeth Archbold
19 March… Artist Inspirations with Joe Coveney
26 March… Special Someone with Fiona Harrington
2 April… The Triumph of Cúchulainn by Louis le Brocquy. With Vita Ryan
9 April… Rock the Baroque with Janine Davidson
16 April… Design a Treasure Hunt with Jo May
23 April… A Party at the Palace with Eimear Murphy
30 April… The Gleaners, by Jules Breton. With Frances Coghlan

Today session was About Face with Susan Farrelly.  The artist discussed various faces and the kids using cups, made circles and various faces.

about faces

At 12:30, we took the half hour free family tour which was great.  The tour guide spent just enough time with stops at five paintings in one gallery room- explaining them, their styles from impressionism, pointism, abstract, etc and did a great job interacting with the children and naturally, Maebh’s had was straight up interacting. She showed five paintings including: Monet, Lavery, Picasso, Yeats and Signac.

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As the cafe in the National Gallery was packed and not a seat to be found, we ended up at KC Peaches for a quick lunch.  We split a blat (bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado) sandwich, which was yummy but was not my first choice. I would have preferred the spicy chickpea sandwich but I knew it would be too spicy for her. And based on the size and price, it was evident we’d be splitting something.  It was yummy but I do have a gripe with them as they do not have a children’s menu nor a child version of their sandwiches.  I don’t see why they don’t offer a half sandwich portion for kids?!  Seriously, why would I buy her an adult portion knowing full-well, she could not eat a whole one herself.    Would we return yes, of course, but would go with both kids and they could split one leaving me to my favorite chickpea whatever!  Oh yeah, check out the drink which she insisted on having only to hate it (too sour)!

We then headedover to Pennys and Hugh Lane Gallery for the second art event of the day.  We had high hopes of getting her some new shirts in Penny’s but we are right in-between seasons, so was not much.   She did spy a sequin two way shirt which she has been dying to get for a long while and at €3, I couldn’t say no.

One way is Elsa the next is Olaf.  Better believe she is wearing that on Monday to school!

At the Hugh Lane Gallery, we along with a couple other kids were there at 3 pm sharp for a sketching session.  They were brought into a room with Olive, the instructor who had them first look at different photos and see if they could spot umbrellas.  After a while discussing the paintings, history, style, etc they were to sketch them.

Overall the hour was very pleasant and Maebh enjoyed it. We will be back for future events with Soren too.  After we poked around the gallery looking at he various exhibitions including the Renior, Monet, Manet and Francis Bacon studio.

Afterwards we walked to our bus (she really wanted the bus home vs DART) and stopped in an arcade on O’Connell Street to play a few games!  Fastest €5 ever spent! 🙂

All in all was a great day and look forward to doing it again.  I personally am going to visit the National Gallery again soon (either alone or with a friend) but children-free so I can go from room to room and take a tour, etc.  There are so many things in Dublin I want to see some with kids and some without.  I am having a tour of The Little Museum of Ireland in a couple weeks.

3Doodler Start Kit

Maebh loves arts & crafts so very happy Santa brought her the 3Doodler kit.  This one is the best quality one …. This is the better quality one vs the cheap one that can be bought for €12.

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With the new 3Doodler Start your creative kids can finally bring all of their wonderful and imaginative ideas to life in 3D. The 3Doodler Start 3D printing pen extrudes an eco-friendly plastic that cools and hardens rapidly, allowing kids to literally draw in the air!

It uses an Eco-Plastic that’s made entirely from food grade materials, so it’s completely biodegradable, non-toxic and BPA-free!

The 3Doodler Start is seriously easy to use too, there’s only one speed and one temperature and no software or technical knowledge required – just turn it on, insert a strand and start Doodling in 3D. It can either be used while plugged in, or charge it up and Doodle wirelessly, anywhere for up to one hour.

There are over 200 free stencils and projects available online!   So we’re going to check the site out ASAP!  Extra plastic is going to be what Maebh spends her allowance money on!   Allowance money is being introduced after the New Year.

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While I think it’s aimed for 8+, kids like Maebh 6, enjoy it and kids like Soren nearly 9 find it hard.

Loads of wasted wax but still fun!  Extra wax kits are perfect birthday presents!

Coloring Contest Winners

Last weekend some of the kids on our street were hosting a yard sale to benefit Temple Street Children’s Hospital.    What kid can resist buying toys and things for 20 CENTS?!  We took home an army pencil case, two Beanie Boos, four mini m&m bags, two cupcakes, a kids keyboard (turns out to be broken) and a giant Sponge Bob teddy for a whopping TWO Euro.

The kids participated in a coloring contest and tonight’s knock at the door was their prizes and pictures back – both were thrilled!

 

Crafty Time: String Art

Yesterday I tried a Pinterest.com project, which I had been wanting to do for a while now – string art.  I think it came out great, but the wood was not the best – old shelf from a broken bookshelf – so instead of tossing it out, I recycled it, but it’s not “real” wood.  Also the nails were too short, so must keep that in mind when I buy more nails – longer are better.

First you put in the nails, then wrap the string…. this can be done in different patters and colors, but for the first one I didn’t fuss much.

Final item.  I think it’s cute and I have it in Soren’s room.

Maebh wants one so will do one for her possibly on the last shelf thing I have but what I really want to do is Massachusetts.    There are a few examples out there which I like so will do something similar but not exact.

Will update with Maebh’s board and the Massachusetts board.

DIY: Santa Cookie Plates

Last year at the kids’ school’s Winter Fair, I made some cute Santa shell Christmas Tree ornaments from the shells we collected up at Portrane Beach.

This year, I agreed to make something else for the same Adult/Holiday Gifts table.  I am going to be doing up some Santa & Rudolph Cookie plates.   I bought a few 1.00 plates at Ikea the other day, but I need to get the ones with flat rim edges as I think they’ll look cuter.  Some people make these type plates with Sharpie markers, but I have a whole kit of porcelain paint markers from Ross Baker, which will set better.   After you draw on the porcelain, you set by putting in the oven on 160 for 90 minutes!   It says safe to eat off, but I’m still hesitant on that… so best use for “Santa’s Cookie”.

Anyway, here are a few plates I did up  – some are cuter than others but all in all are pretty decent for my first try.   The ones with the rims will help prevent the paint from running down and allow for them to be personalized, if requested.

Happy to report they sold at the Winter Fair.

Sock Bubbles In The Backyard

As it has been a pretty mild winter (compared to last winter where Soren missed a week of school), we spent sometime in the backyard yesterday.

It is February 20, 2014 and not a single snow fall here in North Norfolk.  Part of me is okay with this as the Snow Drops have came out so we have the feeling that Spring will soon be here, but the other part would be okay with one dumping of snow so the kids can play in it.

As  both kids love bubbles, we decided to try to the bottle, sock & bubble thingy and it was a lot of fun. Not sure why we have not tried it sooner.