A dozen roses in watercolour markers and black pen

I got a B in my O Level art, I painted a magpie in a bird’s nest, I think the prompt I chose was ‘an intruder’ and I remember being mightily pleased with my efforts. I often wish I had taken art further but truth be known, at 17 I didn’t have a clue about what I wanted to do.

Although being creative has never left me, I never really settled down to paint or draw again and always found myself saying, ‘Im no good at art.’ This gave me the perfect excuse to not even try. Plus it seemed, everyone was so much better at it than me, I would just ridicule myself if I tried, I would be uncovered as a dud artist the minute I put pencil to paper.

For years, my desire to draw and paint was squashed and forgotten, stuffed in an unused filing cabinet in the recesses of my mind.

Then a couple of Christmases ago I was given an adult colouring book. I was delighted and treated myself to a lovely set of pencils with a drawstring holder to keep them in. I spent time filling in the intricate designs and confess to still having lots of pages to complete! I quickly realised that I loved colouring in but, halfway through the picture I was getting bored with the repetition and blankness of mind. Although great for thinking time, the only creativity I was getting was choosing colours or blending them to my own choice.

I needed something more.

The following year I bought a copy of The Year Of The Doodle… 365 pages with a daily prompt to doodle. I didn’t get very far. Something was missing and I wasn’t getting much enjoyment from the book.

draw every day draw every way

Whilst surfing the internet for the umpteenth time towards the end of last year in search of novelty stocking fillers, I came across an intriguing book called Draw Every Day Draw Every Way. A book that focused monthly on different areas and gave daily prompts for pictures to draw. What’s more, each month uses different materials so you get to use a lot of different techniques and discover your own art.

I bought two copies, Alice said she didn’t want one, and Bessie and I sat down to have a go at the first section in the book – a month of nature.

To start us off I find some images online and screenshot them to use as a reference for shape and colours. By the time we were halfway through the chapter Alice asked if she could have a book too seeing how much we enjoyed the process.

dragonflies - Bessie

It hasn’t been plain sailing, I have had a couple of prompts I really disliked and Bessie cried a bit over ‘A dozen roses’ … “A dozen?” she yelled at me making clear they were way too many. I told her to just do one and cross out the prompt which she did and she was happier with that, her confidence restored until next time.

I think we may have found something good here, I see others showcasing their work on Instagram and we take a look at them for inspiration too @Joglassjo for example has shown us how to add fabulous backgrounds to our images. Even though we don’t draw every day, this book with its lovely prompts have got us drawing more often and trying things we would never have thought of, like a dozen roses or one…

Watch out for our work on our Instagram channel too.

draw every day draw every way

I am so happy to have been tagged by Josie over atSleep is for the Weak and Heather at SAHMlovingit in a very special meme on behalf of Save the Children which was also fun to carry out. It involves drawing self portraits (not mine thank goodness) but getting the girls to sit down and draw themselves. Now I really should have gone over to Red Ted Art to get some tips on how to teach children to draw themselves but in my usual back to front way I sat them down gave them paper and crayons and on a notebook showed them how to do a face. A big circle for the face, two eyes, a nose and a big smiley mouth polished off with some hair, easy right? Wrong! As the girls had watched very closely they took up their favourite colour crayon (orange for Alice and purple for Bessie) and drew a face upside down! It dawned on me they had been me draw  watching upside down

The colours were very feint so I have doctored them a bit with Picnik so at least you can see them. Now here’s the important bit….

The Campaign

This is Save the Children’s most ambitious campaign to date as they bring into focus the fact that 8 million children a year are still dying from preventable diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhoea. For the next few weeks the No Child Born to Die campaign is shifting its focus on to vaccination programmes in developing countries and we need YOUR help to make some noise.

In June, David Cameron is hosting a hugely significant conference in London attended by world leaders. This meeting marks the chance to ensure the funding shortfall for vaccinations (4.7 billion) is met by all the donor countries – it might sound a lot but this easily achievable, even in the current economic climate. It just takes commitment from those in power and holds the potential to save the lives of millions of children.

The #Blogladesh campaign last year proved that social media CAN make a difference, with our message reaching millions of people through Twitter, Facebook and news channels, leading to meetings with the Deputy Prime minister both here and in New York, and a petition hundreds of thousands of names strong.

Save the Children are building on this for the new vaccination campaign, taking three bloggers/ vloggers to Mozambique to follow the journey of a vaccine from the coldstore in the city right down to a rural community. They will write, make films and tweet about their experiences, the children and families they meet and the challenges of “cold” vaccinations in hot countries.

The bloggers going are diverse Lindsay Atkin (@Liliesarelike) is a hugely popular YouTuber, Chris Mosler (@christinemosler) is an influential parenting blogger and Tracey Cheetham (@tchee) is a popular political blogger and recently elected councilor. You’ll be able to follow it all on Twitter using the hashtag #passiton, as well as through exciting content on other social media channels.

The Challenge

Our challenge back home is to help support this amazing trip by spreading word of the campaign and getting people to SIGN THE PETITION to put pressure on the government leaders to meet the funding shortfall for vaccines at the conference in June.

The ladies mentioned above thought a fun way to do this would be to get bloggers involved in a crafty meme that celebrates the increased chance our children have of a healthy life thanks to readily available vaccines.

Here’s how it works…

1) Get your child to either draw or craft a self portrait of themselves now or in the future, perhaps imagining what they will look like or what they might do.

2) Sign the Save the Children petition and share news of it with your friends.

3) Write a blog post about it as soon as possible, featuring your children’s pictures and perhaps how you made them together, and including info about Save the Children and the petition. We want as many people linked up AND signed up the petition by Sunday 29th May 2011

5) Tag 8 blogging friends to do the same – #passiton!

6) Come back and link up your posts, either here or over at Red Ted Art, so we can all see each other’s posts and if you have time, go and leave some comment love on each others posts! It’s a blog-hop link-up so you can even publish the list of entries on your blog too.

We’re hoping to collect all the images at the end into a fantastic gallery, and stay tuned for news of some great prizes for the best efforts too!

Not been tagged yet? Do it anyway! Start another ‘chain’ of posts by starting us off with your own tagged friends. And even if you don’t feel like doing the challenge, just signing the petition, writing a post about the campaign, or helping to share and retweet news of the Mozambique trip will help make a huge difference.