Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Free event this Sunday - all ages welcome!

 to make a sticky backed plastic collage mural!

The Rotary Club Letchworth is organising "The Big Lunch" in Howard Gardens, Letchworth on Sunday the 1st June. I will be there from 1-3 to make a big sticky backed plastic mural from precut shapes and layers of vinyl - depicting a garden path full of flowers and colour! It's a free event so please do drop in and come and help me make the will be used at this years Rhythms of the World in Hitchin.... to read more about what's happening on Sunday read HERE.

"Up the Garden Path" - free event in Letchworth! Come and help me make a big sticky plastic mural!

"Up the Garden Path"

Free event at:


Howard Gardens 
Letchworth Garden City 

......this Sunday!

Come and help me make a large sticky plastic mural on Sunday June 1st at Howard Gardens in Letchworth from 1-3pm. I will have pre-cut shapes to peel and stick - lots of bold and bright pre-cut shapes for all ages to come along and peel and stick! the final piece will be used at this years Rhythms of the World in Hitchin in August. This event is being organised by The Rotary Club Letchworth and will feature all sorts of other find out more read THIS...

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

No. 1 of my National Trust pilgrimage year - a day at Claydon House, Bucks...

I was left a little money from my father and instead of buying some jewellery or it being just absorbed into life...I thought I would buy myself a years National Trust membership and throughout the year travel to as many as I could. The plan is to sit and sketch too... to record in some way the visits I make and in doing so remember my lovely father and bring the memory of him to all these places I will visit. It's a pilgrimage of sorts I suppose. As a child we would go all over the place together. I have so many memories of trips to the New Forest, Stourhead Gardens... countless places really as he was a great one for getting out and having a pub lunch or a picnic! And I remeber very well visiting Florence Nightingales' grave at East Wellow when I was about 8, so her connection to Claydon is fascinating and brought her tangibly nearer.

So - No. 1 on my NT year is Claydon House in Buckinghamshire. Its a very beautiful place. We spent hours and hours there as its so peaceful. The view over the slight valley, over the ha-ha is just breath taking in that it looks like an English idyll. It really could be a living painting. there are no details of modern living - no pylons, or a big, hulking town lurking on the horizon, and no hum of traffic from a major road. It really was magical. Its also a bit wrinkly about the edges which makes it even more appealing. Sometimes National Trust things can be a bit too uber tweaked... and "organic vegetabley".....this isn't, it has a unique charm of its own, and a great little cafe and second hand bookshop too!

Claydon House has the most gorgeous light inside the house....
I love big stone balls....
Some serious cobbles....
The front of the house - this is the only surviving third..
The idyllic view across the meadows..
My little montage of sketches done whilst visiting...

Hoos Kids Book Fest - May 11th - huge sticky vinyl collage!

Last Sunday  I took part in Hoos Kids Book Fest at Luton Hoo Walled Garden! It was such a wonderful day - and the first time I have done a large scale piece with the sign writers vinyl that I have started using as a new medium. Its such wonderful stuff - and rescued from a local sign writers as it was in their mistakes boxes! It would only be going to landfill, so I was very pleased that they donated it to me to use. A MASSIVE thank you to Character Signs in Stevenage!

The day started at 10.30 pm and ran until 5pm, with events and talks throughout the day. It was a full on day full of noise and chattering and a lot of very happy children! Miffy was even there! That appealed to my inner 5yr old!

The final piece will be used again and again at the Walled Garden at Luton Hoo. As the vinyl is waterproof, durable, fade less for 5-10 years - its got plenty of long term uses. I was determined to design something that had longevity and wasn't just a collaborative piece that was thrown away at the end of the day.

To see more photos of the day - visit my schools blog:  Vanessa Stone in Schools

Mums, dads, grandparents and children of all ages had a go!

My greetings cards were available to buy too and examples of the sticky vinyl works....

It got busier and busier!

The tree as it neared was made working on a table top...

Detail of the leaves and the vibrancy of the colour tree

Signing it in record of the day!

The colour tree in all its glory!

Hoos Kids Book Fest, Luton Hoo - great big sticky backed plastic collage!

On Sunday 11th May I took part in Hoos Kids Book Fest at Luton HooWalled Garden, just outside Luton. There were lots of children's authors there, and illustrators too, so it was full of lots of chattering and stories and very happy kids!  I was there to make a great big sticky vinyl collage - a colour tree - made on a big piece of plywood. It was the biggest thing I have tried on my new technique of working with sign writers sticky plastic/vinyl. Its a wonderful medium - a peel off back means its clean and easy to stick for all ages and also can be cut into any shape. You would think it too fiddly for little ones, but actually it wasn't at all - kids are very used to stickers! and older grandparents helped the very young children. Everyone loved the feeling of the sticking down, the freedom and the boldness of it, and the peeling off meant people had a little time to think about where they were going to stick their shapes.

This piece was meant to be very collaborative, all ages involved and it worked fantastically well. I precut leaf and flower shapes and had them ready in a shoe box so that people could just choose and stick where ever they wanted to. I  got the trunk covered so that there was some clear space, but the rest was free for a blaze of colour!

The finished piece just looked so wonderful - so full of colour. A MASSIVE thank you to Character Signs in Stevenage for donating the plastic for me to use for this free drop in event.

Setting up on the morning and getting the base ready with strips of red and blue vinyl....

It was quiet at 10.30.....

......and got busier....

All ages had a go at sticking - little tots as young as 2 - up to some grandparents in their 80's!

As the day progressed the tree of colour became just that - full of vibrant, joyful colour!

A close-up, with a little mouse I added....

A few children improvised with the precut shapes... can you see the cat?

The tree as it appeared on top of the table.....

The finished tree of colour!!! 6'x3' of sticky vinyl loveliness!