01952 810799 
sres_centres@sandwell.gov.uk 
Well, congratulations; we made it to the end of term! As the final Stay Creative pack hits the website, it’s given me a chance to reflect on the last four months of working at home: Some of you may have joined me each week on our creative journey through this crazy time; some of you may have dipped in and out, picking your favourite activities, but whatever your involvement with the Stay Creative packs, I’d like to thank everyone who has shared, downloaded, tried out an activity, taught someone else how to do them, or done each and every one of the ninety-nine (yes, NINETY-NINE...love an odd number!) ideas I’ve dreamed up to keep boredom at bay and your creativity levels maintained. 
I’m proud to say that we have gone international! The packs have made their way to America, New Zealand and who knows where else with teachers and students needing a little inspiration over the last months around the world. Who would have thought that would happen, right at the beginning when I had that little spark of an idea? 
With the situation improving, little by little, I’d love to be able to say it won’t be long before we can welcome you back through those big, old doors and be showing you where your bedroom for the week is, but it looks like it may be a little while longer before we are allowed to do that. We are all just as desperate as you are to start back to work and be in our studios working with you to create fabulous original art, drama, dance and music pieces - so it’s up to you to keep being creative until we can. 
 
We’ve used the nations’ loo-roll tubes, saved countless pieces of junk mail, magazines and catalogues from the bin and, in the process, fuelled your creativity and bolstered your skills. And I have to admit, you’ve been amazing! It’s really made my heart sing when you have shared your work, so thank you, all. 
 
So until we meet again, feed your brains with lots of creative inspiration, get out, take photos, get drawing, keep a sketchbook of ideas, be as safe as you possibly can, have a wonderful summer and, of course, 
 
Stay Creative! 
 
Heather x 

Where its all began... 

Hey everyone! 
 
I’m Heather, and I work at Ingestre Arts as the Visual Art Tutor, where usually, I’m up to my elbows in paint, paper and general arty-ness, happily beavering away with groups of children in the Art Studio. With us all being sent home to work, I decided to come up with some weekly ideas for you all to have a go at, at home, and so the “Stay Creative” packs were born! 
It was really important to me that everyone should be able to try these activities - I’m a firm believer in you all having an inner Artist, you just need to find it! So the ideas you’ll find in the packs are quite simple, need minimal equipment but are super-effective (kind of the mantra I live by in the Art Studio - if it’s simple and effective, everyone’s happy.) 
"I never really had many art materials at home, apart from the basics needed for homework and crafty projects" 

Materials 

Firstly, the materials: I was, and still am, one of those mothers who didn’t really do arty activities at home with my children when they were little (I KNOW! Who’d have thought?!). Maybe it was because I did art all day every day at school, or maybe I preferred the mess to stay at school, but as a result, I never really had many art materials at home, apart from the basics needed for homework and crafty projects. So the Stay Creative packs had to be accessible to everyone, especially those who don’t have the whole of Hobbycraft in their cupboards, like me. The activities then, only use things you’ll be able to find at home, or at least you’d have anyway because of doing homework. 

Ability 

Secondly, your ability - I can’t teach you to be the next Michelangelo remotely. I probably couldn’t do it even if you were sat right next to me, because I’m not that brilliant! But, these activities are all about refining the skills you already have; cutting out, sticking, thinking creatively and so on, so don’t worry if your results aren’t “good”. If you like it, great. If someone else likes it, even better, but don’t be too bothered about what other folk think - who are they, you or I to judge what’s “good”? (That’s good for general thinking too, while we’re on the subject!) Remember if it is the first time you’ve tried it, you’re bound to make mistakes - it’s creativity which helps you work out which ones to keep. 
Each week you’ll find a variety of things to make; some take a while, others are quite quick, but all of them are achievable and open to your own interpretation, after all, that’s what being creative is all about. 
 
Switch off from the world. 
I’ve found that doing the activities has helped me to switch off from the worrying world we’re living in at the moment. There's no doubt that it is one of the most challenging times I’ve lived through, but we will get through it. I began Lockdown by listening to every news report and having the radio on for every single update. I’ve decided to let that go now. I listen once a day for the main points, scroll past, or ignore. I watch the news at night, but that’s it. My speaker and some happy tunes while I create are the way forward; I’m trying not to stress too much about whether my children are dressed (who is?! I LOVE my pyjamas!) but I am concentrating on keeping safe, keeping healthy and keeping ourselves to ourselves. So, apart from a wander through the fields, a check on the neighbours and lots of video calling friends and family, we’re at home, missing everyone terribly, but at home. It’s never been more important. 

Download the packs 

I’m just loving seeing all of your creations and interpretations; don’t forget to use the hashtag #SRESatHome when you show off your brilliant makes.  
 
Check back each week as we update this, and do have a look at our Facebook page for other updates.. 

And finally... 

It goes without saying that I miss being at Ingestre in my studio, helping young people to be creative and find their inner artist, but at least by creating these activities I still feel like I’m inspiring and helping you to find that artistic streak that I know you all have inside. 
 
I’m sure, if you know me, or you’ve visited Ingestre, you’ll be imagining me saying this to you out loud, so don’t forget that part of the activity is the tidying up afterwards - try not to drown a paintbrush, or ruin its hairdo, and remember that there are no fairies who come along and clear up after you... 
 
... they’re much too busy checking under pillows for teeth to do that! 
Stay Creative, 
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On 30th June 2020 at 10:30, Erika Oldershaw wrote:
Thank you so much for the amazing projects ❤️🤗🎨
On 28th April 2020 at 15:00, Doreen Witt wrote:
I really enjoyed reading your blog Heather and found it very interesting . Im not very arty at all but i do buy lots of art stuff in for my grandchildren and encourage them to be and they love it
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