Kids Tell the Best Stories!

kids tell the best stories flyer.jpgI’m on a new mission.  I’m collecting stories.  Spontaneous stories told by children.

I am animating a few of them too!  Plus, once the animated series is out I will publish a beautiful book through Sojo Publishing Mouse, so you guys can read the stories every night!

Here is story number 1, written by a 3 year old called Morris.

“The Baby, the Sound and the Bird”

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Hop Island @ The Curve: A crafty experience for the whole family.

hop island The Spark Arts have invited me along (wearing my ‘visual artist’ hat, rather than ‘animator’) to contribute to a Family Day at The Curve on Saturday 23rd May 10am-6pm.  There will be lots of wonderful workshops happening throughout the building so pop it in your diary! For those of you that know The Curve, you’ll be aware of what a gorgeous, BIG space it is and I will be taking over a lovely chunk of the mezzanine to fill with some seriously crafty, Sojo fun for the whole family to happen upon and enjoy. Let me tell you more… HOP ISLAND! Mr Dedalus and his son Icarus are trapped on an island.  Can you help to make the island a more exciting place? Families are invited to get seriously crafty and add something tricky onto the model Island for Mr. Dedalus and his son to encounter. You can create ANYTHING!  Perhaps a grumpy bear in a cave or a rickety bridge, a secret maze or a talking tree. What will you add to Hop Island? Take a snap of your crafty addition and it can be added to our online #HopIsland gallery for all to enjoy.  If you have any advice or special tips for Mr Dedalus and his son, to help them pass your obstacle, you can share it on our ‘Tips Board’ for all to see. Pop along at anytime throughout the day to join the fun. Suitable for all ages so bring the whole family and loads of imagination 🙂 This activity is loosely linked to ‘Hop’, a poetic physical dance theatre production for children aged 4+ and their families.  Performances of ‘Hop’ are on Sat 30 May and can be booked by clicking right here.

Lakeside Arts at Cantrell Primary School

DCIM100MEDIA Last week I was invited to run a Sojo Animation workshop alongside the Lakeside Arts learning team at Cantrell Primary School in Bulwell.

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The kids in year five have been thinking about ‘persuasive arguments’ and have been using the book ‘The Great Kapok Tree’ to explore their ideas.  What a cracking idea! Hats off to the teacher that thought of this. In the book the animals try to persuade a man not to cut down their tree. thegreatkapoktree Rachel from the Lakeside Arts learning team transformed the class room into a rain-forest the evening prior to the workshops, ready for the children to discover in the morning. When I arrived at the school even the reception staff were full of smiles and excitement about how fabulous the room looked. I was in a less rainforesty (made up word alert!) room, but armed with a projector.  The children animated their rain forest animals in ONLY 2 FRAMES (that’s extra tricky) and then handed over their freshly snapped jpeg files to me, to take away and compile into one, quite frankly, BRILLIANT animation. Well guys…I promised you that your characters would come alive in seven days so here you are. 🙂

You should all feel extremely proud of yourselves.  I was blown away by your creativity!   DCIM100MEDIA DCIM100MEDIA

20/20 Eastmidlands Filmmakers Showcase: featuring 3 Sojo ‘Thunk of the Day’ Animations.

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I am over the moon that my 3 little ‘Thunk of the Day’ animations have been selected for this! Here’s Thunk no.1, incase you know not what I speak of.

The concept is brilliantly simple… 20 short films from 20 filmmakers based in the East Midlands.  Thank you Beeston Film for another excuse to celebrate the huge pool of creative talent we are surrounded by.

21st March at 19:25

24 middle street, NG9 1FX Beeston, Nottingham, United Kingdom

The beautiful simplicity of a flip book.

Not long ago I was invited along to Lakeside Arts to get involved with some research into learning how to better design and make sensory theatre experiences for young audiences.

The research was conducted by University of Nottingham PhD student, Roma Patel. You can follow her work here.

Anyhow, this is all by the by, the point of this blog post is this…

On Friday I walked into university and my tutor, Sean Myatt, handed me a fabric covered, cube shaped box with a lovely card from Roma, thanking me for my help with the research.

And this lovely cube was packed full of the most gorgeous flip books. I couldn’t believe it! I hadn’t expected a pressie at all, but as far as gifts go, this was pretty perfect for a Sophie.

There is something very special about seeing the raw line art, those very simplified early thoughts of the designers and animators, and being able to hold those still sketches in your hands and with a nifty move of your thumb suddenly make those sketches come alive.

It’s fascinating!  My kids agree.  I think it’s time we make a flip book of our own.

 

Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men is a beautiful tribute to Walt Disney’s original animators and their matchless skill. Though the animators were mostly in their 30s and 40s, Disney jokingly called them his “Nine Old Men” in reference to a 1937 book of the same name. These animators are acknowledged as Disney Legends and unparalleled contributors to the history animation. Now their work is being celebrated in a collectible box set comprised of nine flip books, each featuring a beloved classic Disney scene.

So thanks Roma, you are very lovely.

‘Finish me, colour me!’ T-shirts: Are they a good idea?

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Everybody loves a good scribble on their clothes, right?

…Just me?

Well it was my birthday last week (Valentine’s Day actually, incase you want to pop it into your diaries for next year) and we had planned a great big family walk and play in Rushcliffe Country Park

Bro and M :) followed by a pub lunch.

Now here’s something every sneaky mama knows…if you’re taking the kiddos to a restaurant, bring fun stuff to do at the table. Standard.

I thought this would be a fabulous opportunity to test drive a new Sojo product idea I’ve been toying with…

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…”The No-headed (but potentially 3 Headed)Monster- Finish me, Colour me, T-Shirt” and a bundle of lovely fabric pens.

Ok, the name needs a bit of work.

Anyhoo, everybody LOVED them (apart from my little girl, who was “…FAR too hungry to draw monster heads, are you crazy mummy?!”)

Here are some sneaky pics I took of the lunchtime madness 🙂

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The 4 year old’s approach: First things first, let’s swishle (new word) some colour all up on this Tee.

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6 year old’s know their stuff when it comes to designing a monster.  Easy peasy!

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My 9 year Old hard at work.

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The 32 year old’s approach: Serious. Very serious.

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Tadaaaah!

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Tadaaaah!

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Tadaaaah!

So tell me, what do you reckon…Should I go for it and develop these bad boys into a  crafty product?

Is it the type of thing you might consider buying?

What age range would most enjoy it?

Tell me, tell me 🙂

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‘Boo’s Nativity’ is to be screened @The Beeston Film Festival.

Beeston-Film-Festival---Laurel-Leaves-Black

What a wonderful start to the year.  ‘Boo’s Nativity’ has been selected to be screened at The Beeston Film Festival. Look at the lovely laurels! Click the link to find out more!

I am a lot a bit excited about this!