As the end of school summer holidays drew closer I found myself struggling for ideas to fill the last few days.

Thankfully a trip to meet the various craftworkers that form St. Fagans Makers Market not only provided an afternoon of creativity for my little ones, but also filled me with some creative inspiration.

We firstly came across  Sarah who is a pet portrait artist, running a business called Bespoke Pet Portraits by Sarah . Her stall was undoubtedly pretty and she had an evident talent with a brush, however, it was her lino printing that caught my attention.  It can be difficult to find activities that children of different ages can all participate in, but lino printing was one that they were all eager to get involved with and the results were great.

Sarah very patiently showed each of my three girls how to do the the lino print and aided them throughout the process. My nineteen month old, Rosaleigh chose a print of a hedgehog and pink paint. There was great concentration on her little face as she applied paint with a roller and a look of complete delight and pride as her finished hedgehog image was revealed. My two older daughters also produced beautiful lino prints, one of a dog and the other a fox. I shall most definitely be framing the three prints, perhaps along with the photographs of them busily making them.

I shall certainly be looking into doing some lino printing at home as my two eldest daughters were most impressed with the results and it seems to be something they would enjoy doing during the winter. If I can get organized perhaps this years Christmas cards will get to be lino printed.

Lino printing is a form of printmaking where the printing plate is cut into linoleum, as in the floor covering. The lino is then inked, a piece of paper placed over it, and pressure applied by hand or press to transfer the ink to the paper. The result a linocut print that is rather striking.  Lino printing has been used by starving artists of unrecognized merit through to the likes of Picasso and its nice to see that it remains a popular art form today.

Linoleum was invented in 1860 by a British rubber manufacturer called Fredrick Walton.  Linoleum is made from linseed oil which is heated in thin layers which in turn thicken and become rubbery; this is then pressed onto a mesh of coarse threads to help hold it together in sheets. Very soon after its invention it was seized upon by artists as a printing material for it economical and versatile merits.

As we pottered a little further around the St Fagans Makers Market we came across the paint your own ceramics stall and in just a few moments there were three very excited girls choosing what they were painting. Thankfully, they were all kitted out with large aprons as my nineteen-month-old decided that painting was great fun and whilst her enthusiasm was to be admired her brush control will need a little work.

I came away with some lovely memories, paint stained children and hand-made mementos to treasure. I understand that St Fagans Makers Market it not a permanent fixture at St Fagans museum, but it well worth checking out there Facebook page to see when they are next in residence as they have some lovely creative ideas and some lovely gift ideas.

Well, I shall now spend some time researching how to make a lino printing plate, whilst Harriet ponders over her craft entries into this year’s village fete. It’s certainly never dull having creative children, but the it seems that my carpet ill not be glitter free for quite some years.