Click here to print this page

Planning Retirement Online

An Art School in your home


TA.jpg (5637 bytes)Teaching Art, the leading organisation providing art tutorials at home, introduces a series of ideas to inspire those who haven't touched a paintbrush in years, as well as artists looking for new techniques


Judy_Belchin.jpg (29830 bytes)Amuse the grandchildren, Create a mobile!

The best times with the grandchildren occur when you share with them some special activity, and the fun really happens when it is an activity all generations can enjoy.  Creating a mobile is easy for older and younger hands, and it's wonderfully satisfying.   Give it a try.

Glass painting expert Judy Balchin shows how to make a bird mobile, using Crystal Gel – a three-dimensional glass paint. This is just one of the projects taken from Judy Balchin's 3-dimensional Glass Painting video.




Pebeo Cerne Relief Outliner: 

Pebeo Crystal Gel:



Sun Yellow 10
Ruby 12
Antique Orange 11
Sevres 14
Turquoise 16
Aquamarine 17

Paper and pencil

Clear acetate

Thin card


Feathers for tail and wings

Needle and thread

Thin pieces of wire


Pebeo Crystal Gel and Pebeo Black Cerne Relief Outliner and other materials needed to create this bird mobile can be purchased from all good art and craft stores

Stage 1

stage1.jpg (6648 bytes)Firstly get the children to draw birds on a piece of  paper, using an ordinary pencil – just simple shapes will do.  Make them approximately 2½ins long.   Place some clear acetate over the drawings and trace the around the outline of the birds with some Cerne Relief outliner, just as you would when icing a cake. Simply touch the end of the nozzle onto the acetate; squeeze the tube until some Cerne comes out. Now lift and pull, following the lines of your drawing.  Depending on their ages, children should be able to manage most of this without help.


stage2.jpg (6551 bytes)Stage 2

To keep the birds flat while they are painted, stick the clear acetate containing the bird outlines onto some card. Now the fun starts. Fill in the birds with a chosen Pebeo crystal gel colour such as Antique Orange and Ruby for the body and push it around with your brush.  Use Sun Yellow for the beak – it doesn’t want to be smooth so don’t worry too much. Use different colour gels for the other birds to add colour and variety.



stage3.jpg (7151 bytes)Stage 3

While the gel is still wet, decorate the birds by carefully adding some tail and wing feathers. Now twirl some little pieces of wire and place them in to the gel to act as the birds' plumes.



stage4.jpg (6221 bytes)

Stage 4

Once the gel has dried, cut the birds out of the acetate – be careful around the tails and wire pieces though. Now it’s time to make the cloud that the birds will hang from.




stage5.jpg (7167 bytes)Stage 5

Using Cerne Relief again on a piece of acetate and outline a cloud, fill this in with a Pebeo crystal gel colour such as Aquamarine, pushing it around as before.


stage6.jpg (6309 bytes)Stage 6

Once everything is dry, string clouds and birds together using a needle and thread, and attach to your clouds to create a beautiful bird mobile for hanging in a window. You can then attach the cloud to a coat hanger with thread to create a bird mobile.It’s as simple as that.   The grandchildren can hang their mobiles in their bedroom and recall a happy day with grandma or grandpa.This is just one of the simple projects taken from Judy Balchin’s 3-Dimensional Glass Painting video, available at good art and craft stores or by mail order from SAA home Shopping, priced at £17.99 Call FREEphone 0800 980 1123 or see the website address below. 


Teaching Art was formed in 1985 with one clear aim: to deliver the very best instruction through popular media.   The fact that it has succeeded is clear.  The organisation runs the SAA, Society for All Artists, which has over 17,500 members in 55 countries world wide, making it the largest art organisation of its kind. It runs its own mail order catalogue business, which allows people to purchase a wide range of top quality art videos, books and materials.

The secret of Teaching Art's success is the video. Videos allow you to choose your artist and feel as if you are on the tip of their brush or pencil as you are visually and aurally guided through their composition.   On top of this, there is the added benefit of stopping, pausing and rewinding whenever you like. Back-up books that accompany most videos enhance the learning experience.  Teaching Art have produced over TA.jpg (5637 bytes)150 titles in a variety of mediums from the very popular watercolour and oils through to art and craft videos.

Website:  and




To view previous articles in this series - see the laterlife-interest index page



laterlife interest

The above article is part of the features section of called laterlife interest. laterlife interest contains a variety of articles of interest for visitors to written by a number of experienced and new journalists.

It includes both one off articles and also regular columns of a more specialist nature such as healthwise, reports from the REACH files, mother and daughter and a beauty section called looking good in later life.

Also don't forget to take a look at our regular IT question and answer section called YoucandoIT by IT trainer and author Jackie Sherman.

To view the latest articles and indexes to previous articles click on laterlife interest here or above.  To search for articles about a certain topic, use the site search feature below.




back to laterlife interest

Site map and site search


Advertise on

LaterLife Travel Insurance in Association with Avanti