August 8


painted CD 6 2015

I had always wanted to do some sort of outdoor mural and Cambridge Primary School has so many boring blank walls that I had to come up with something.

coloured question marks

question marks

I decided on a CD tree after seeing these trees at inspirational Coburn PS in Melton, Victoria.  Mel and Kate, the incredible art teachers at Coburn PS, invited me over to their school (well, actually, I think I might have invited myself) to have a look at ALL their outdoor murals and they have done plenty of them!

painted CD tree at Coburn Primary School

painted CD tree at Coburn Primary School

They have mosaic murals,

mosaic mural Coburn PS 2014

mosaic mural Coburn PS 2014

clay tile murals,

clay tile mural Coburn Primary School 2014

clay tile mural Coburn Primary School 2014

painted bollards

painted bollards Coburn Primary School 2014

painted bollards Coburn Primary School 2014

and CD trees!

Painted CD tree 2 Coburn Primary School 2014

Painted CD tree 2 Coburn Primary School 2014

They are everywhere and add so much to the atmosphere in their play space. So much better than bare walls!

mosaic mural outdoor Coburn Primary School 2014

mosaic mural outdoor Coburn Primary School 2014

So I decided I would have a go at a CD tree. However, like most things I do, the idea seemed to get bigger and bigger. Which grade level would I do this with? Perhaps the 5s? Or maybe the 4s and the 5s? Well, if I was going to do it with the 4s and the 5s I might as well include the 6s and what about the 3s? So, of course, I am doing it with the whole school!!!!

That’s only 940+ CDs – aaaggghhhhh!!!

screaming woman

screaming woman


So there will definitely be more than one tree. Perhaps it will look a little bit like this? This is a CD tree mural from Reservoir West Primary School created by Max Darby.

painted CD tree mural Reservoir west Primary School

painted CD tree mural Reservoir west Primary School

And hopefully all the CDs will fit as tree foliage on the one wall! We’ll just have to wait and see.

Gabby and Mel, who teach Prep-2 Visual Arts, tackled their CDs and I tackled grades 3-6.

painted CDs 35 2015

painted CDs 35 2015

We used Viponds acrylic paint, which is deliciously bright and glossy, as recommended by Mel and Kate from Coburn Primary School, as it is suitable for outdoor murals and will last on the CDs. I was stunned when I realized that Viponds Paint is actually manufactured in Victoria, in North Coburg to be exact. Not all that far from where I grew up in Brunswick. It always feels good to support Victorian manufacturers! You can get it from Cavalier Art Supplies in Geelong or Zart Art in Box Hill.

Viponds artist acrylic paint

Viponds artist acrylic paint

It really is gorgeous paint and I discussed why we needed to use it with the students and the huge price difference between it and ordinary school acrylic paint. They were all very careful with it and, in fact, the grade 3-6 students used less paint than I actually thought they would.

painted CD 6 2015

painted CD 6 2015

I asked the students to paint a background colour on first, which was very quick with a fat brush. I had eight students fit around one painting table and then place their wet CD onto the painting rack which was now covered in newspaper so the CDs wouldn’t fall through the holes. As this was so quick and easy to do it was easily worked around all our other ongoing activities for each grade level.

painted CD 42 2015

painted CD 42 2015

The following week the students were given back their CD and, as we had done so much pattern work earlier in the year, I asked them to decorate their CD with pattern/s.

painted CD 56 2015

painted CD 56 2015

I was so impressed with the range of finished CDs and know they will look beautiful when the mural is finally put together. That’s job number 4,095,864,345 on my to do list!

painted CD 46 2015

painted CD 46 2015

And the Prep – 2 CDs are just as lovely as the 3 – 6 ones, as well as being strikingly different! I will share some of them when I grab some photos of them from Mel and Gabby.

painted CD 11 2015

painted CD 11 2015

And as for the CDs, I didn’t buy a single one! I just asked the Cambridge Primary School staff and community to clean out their DVD cupboards and their computer desks and send all their DEAD DISKS to me! DEAD being scratched, obsolete, not working, DVDs, CDs, game console disks, start up disks for 5 computers ago, can’t even remember where it came from disks, and we had more than 1000 in no time!

painted CD 1 2015

painted CD 1 2015

So I hope you have enjoyed looking at all these lovely painted CDs and I’ll be happy to share the next instalment of putting the mural together when it happens. I’m sure the students would appreciate it if you left them a comment.

painted CD 70 2015




August 26


I have found that making sure I put an article into every school newsletter is a big commitment but now I have been doing it for quite a while, they are an effective avenue for communicating with the school community. On the few occasions I have missed putting something in I have the children asking me where my “Art Room News” was??? It has hugely increased the recycled donations being given to the Visual Art program which is fantastic!


Art Room News


Art smocks – As at last week’s check there were 206 children from grades P- 6 that do not have an art smock!!!! Was your child one of them???? If you do not want your child’s uniform covered in clay or paint please send an art smock along for your child to use. Waterproof art smocks with long sleeves are best however an old thick winter shirt in an adult size will do an adequate job of covering that expensive uniform.



The Art Room is looking for helpers in 2014. Don’t be shy! You don’t have to book in for the time that your child is in the Art room and you don’t need any special skills, just a willingness to help out, and some time to do it. It will give you the opportunity to experience one of our specialist programs up close! And you might even enjoy yourself!!! Just see Mrs Menhennet for details.



Don’t forget the  BLOG I intended to load up as many Art photos from 2013 as I could over the school holidays but like a lot of good intentions – it just didn’t happen! Hopefully I’ll get some time to do this over the next few weeks as I still have so many photos from the 2013 Art Show to upload.


And did I tell you about the wonderful lady Jascinta from Bondi Junction in NSW that sent me a huge parcel full of old calendars and cards as she saw my plea for them on the blog. She said she was so impressed with the children’s art work that she saw on the blog that she just had to send them! I keep telling you the world of blogging is amazing!


And did I tell you about the wonderful lady Jascinta from Bondi Junction in NSW that sent me a huge parcel full of old calendars and cards as she saw my plea for them on the blog. She said she was so impressed with the children’s art work that she saw on the blog that she just had to send them! I keep telling you the world of blogging is amazing!

Don’t forget to have a look at the cluster map in the side bar of the blog so you can check out where the visitors to the blog are coming from. The children love to do this in the Art Room. The blog is also a great way for you to share your child’s work with friends and relatives that live far away.

national  gallery  of  Victoria

Melbourne Now is the huge, popular, major exhibition running at the NGV until the 23rd March 2014.  This is a free entry exhibition! Did anyone tyake their children in to the Children’s Festival part of the exhibit in January? If you did I would love to hear from you.

. Melbourne Now celebrates the latest art, architecture, design, performance and cultural practice to reflect the complex creative landscape of Melbourne. This ambitious and far-reaching exhibition across The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia and NGV International presents the various ways in which visual artists and creative practitioners profoundly contribute to the society in which we live, and to Melbourne as a city with a unique and dynamic cultural identity. Melbourne Now is a collaborative, cross-disciplinary project that has involved staff from all areas of the NGV, as well as a team of guest curators and artistic collaborators whose expertise and networks represent the excellence and diversity of Melbourne’s cultural community. The exhibition involves more than 175 individual and group presentations, as well as a suite of special projects which extend from the visual arts to architecture and design, dance and choreography, performance art and sound.

The Melbourne Now project is supported by a suite of dedicated publications, including a limited-edition volume, an exhibition guide, a children’s book, and a free ebook, which will be updated over the course of the exhibition. Download the ebook from the App Store or view it online. In addition, a Melbourne Now App has been developed that allows visitors to explore the exhibition and public programs – to plan itineraries, discover multimedia content and find out where and when special events and new activities are happening. Download your free app now.

Plenty of information about the Melbourne  Now  Exhibition is available through this link

I’m really looking forward to theItalian Masterpieces from Spain’s Royal Court, Museo del Pradowhich will be the big exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria from 18th May-31August 2014. All grades will be discussing this exhibition and looking at some of the images available through the National Gallery website in second and third term.



Thank you so much for all the donations to the Art Room that I have had already this year. It seems that I receive bags and boxes full of treasures every day. So far I have received

  • Calendars
  •  fabric scraps
  •  egg cartons
  •  plastic jars with lids
  •  over runs of printed paper
  •  ice cream containers
  •  christmas and birthday cards
  •  cotton  reels
  •  small boxes
  •  assorted pieces of junk for printing
  • dead  CDs
  •  assorted plastic lids
  •  cardboard offcuts
  •  etc, etc, etc.
  • Please keep all these items coming as they are all utilised in our busy, recycling conscious, art rooms! So many things that you would ordinarily just toss out can be made use of in the Art Rooms.
  • And can we please have some magazines as our stockpile of them is running a little low?

Thank you,

Shelley Menhennet



November 17


Firstly, the Principal’s write up about the Art Show in her column in the school newsletter!!!

Congratulations to Shelley Menhennet and Susie Blake for the amazing job they did on the Art Show and leading up to it. Having spent some time at the Art Show, I was overwhelmed by the response from the community who attended the Art Show! It was a magnificent celebration for our community; there was so much positive feedback, and events such as this build our school into a stronger and more united communi-ty. The Art Show was a fabulous reminder of what a very special place Cambridge Primary School is and what very special and amazing people we work with.

Thank you Meenah!

And now for the School newsletter item!

Art Room News

Thank you! Thank You! Thank You! Thank you to all the wonderful families and friends that came to the Cambridge Primary School Biennial Art Show 2013! It was a huge success. I spoke to parents I have known for years and years and parents who were brand new to the school and everything in between and it was terrific to hear your support and praise for the Visual Arts Program. I especially liked all the “Oohs,” and “Aahs,” as everyone came round the corner and entered into the huge space in the middle!It was fantastic to see all of your smiling faces and especially the faces of all your children, grinning PROUDLY from ear to ear. And the children of Cambridge Primary School should be proud of themselves as their art work looked magical, on display, for everyone to see.

As you have probably already heard the Art Show, as announced at assembly on Monday morning, was a SELL OUT! Ms Cascone bought up so much work for Ms Marchbank that there was way too much for her to decorate her house with, so she sent lots of pieces back to school, and they are SLOWLY being distributed back through the classrooms. If your child has not received their work back yet, don’t panic! Mrs Blake and I have only had around 2000 pieces of work to distribute so it has all taken a bit longer that we thought to send it all home!

Thank you to those families that did buy their child’s art work. We were astounded when the count was done on Monday morning that the art sales alone had raised almost $1000. Most of this money will be used to buy some wooden weaving looms of assorted sizes for the children to use in the Art rooms.

Thank you to the Junior School Councillors for helping out when Mrs Blake and I thought we might not get all the work up in time. Thank you to Ms Mason ( and cute Estelle) and Ms McKenzie who came in to school in their own time to help us with the set up. Thank you to Ms Cascone, Mrs Hardy and Charlotte who came in especially to help us with the pack up. And thank you to Amy and Sarah Blake and Sam, Sebastian and Georgia Menhennet who worked long hours, both at school and at home, to support their exhausted, cranky mothers. It’s hard work being a teacher’s kid some-times!!!

I am really looking forward to the next art show, in two years time, and all the parents who said they would like to help out next time and will join me on the 2015 Art Show Committee. It will be fantastic to have so many willing helpers on board. And this is a picture of what I lloked like when I got home from the Art Show on the Saturday afternoon!



ART ROOM HELPERS If you would like to help out in the Art room
just come and see me and we will book a time that suits you.
You don’t have to book in for the time that your child is in the
Art room and you don’t need any special skills, just a willingness
to help out, and some time to do it.
It will give you the opportunity to experience one of our
specialist programs up close!

Don’t forget the BLOG – New art show photos on the blog soon – only about 1000 photos to go through first!?!?!?!


DONATIONS – Thank you for all the donations that keep arriving at the main art room. We love to reuse and recycle!


CDs (scratched ,not working or just a terrible singer, it doesn’t
really matter as we will be using them for WEAVING
(We have only received three but need many more!!!)


CLEAN plastic bottle TOPS and LIDS (I’m starting to save them for a big project for next year!)
JUNK OBJECTS FOR PRINTING (keys, buttons, spools, buckles, zips, cogs, screws, kitchen utensils, cutlery, clean sponges,etc, etc) Anything you can think of that would make an interesting impression in paint!
And anything else you can think of that you would like to donate!!!

Thank you!

October 6


I have been whiling away the hours today on my favouite place on the net –PINTEREST!


Yes, today I made the decision that my Art board was too big and difficult to find things on so I began the process of making a whole heap of smaller art boards relating to particular topics I know I will use, For example,

 Art ideas Textiles


Art Ideas Drawing


and I even made some for particular artists

 Art ideas Van Gogh


Art Ideas Paul Klee

Of course, they are nowhere near finished so I have just added another job to my ever increasing, all my own fault, list of things to do!!!

I have now decided that I must be insane as the term holidays are over and I should be in bed!!!


September 29


I found a pile of old calendars in the Art Room store room and cut then up to get all the fantastic images out of them.

I mounted them on cover paper and then laminated them.

It has taken ages to laminate them all as I did them in batches.

I ended up with quite a pile of a wide variety of beautiful, interesting and useful images.

This is only about a third of what I finally ended up with. I love recycling!!!


S o if you have any old calendars that you don’t know what to do with please send them along to my Art Room at Cambridge Primary School as I can always cut them up and use them with the children!