Light Up your Christmas with Festive Treats from Ards Arts!

We are delighted to bring you a series of festive videos from some of our local creative friends for you to enjoy at home! Some you can even try your hand at creating yourself! 

Happy Christmas from all the staff at Ards Arts Centre.

We look forward to seeing you in 2021!

Create A Floral Centre-Piece with Maureen Mulligan

In this tutorial, our Floral Art tutor Maureen will show you how you can create your very own stunning centrepiece for your Christmas table setting which is sure to be admired during dinner!

If you would like to make one of these beautiful centrepieces, then you will require the following materials listed below. Most of the materials can be purchased from local florists or garden centres, and you may even have some suitable foliage in your garden! Feel free to use fresh or faux foliage or flowers, or substitute any items for things that you already have.

List of materials:

  • Square Round container
  • One third of a block of wet Oasis, soaked and taped into the container
  •  Florists wire
  • Scissors / cutters
  • Variety of foliage, Maureen used: Osmanthus, Holly, Cupresses, Pieris and Ivy with seedheads. But you can use any foliage you like fresh or faux, you may even have some in your garden.
  • Variety of red flowers, Maureen used 10 fresh Roses, and silk Poinsettia stems cut to size
  • A tall candle (Maureen cut 4 kebab sticks to equal lengths of 1 inch and taped securely to the base, but you can also purchase candle holders made for oasis)
  •  Fir cones (wrap some florists wire under the teeth at the base of the cone, hold the 2 'legs' of the wire and twist the cone. This will twist the wire making it more secure)
  • Small Lotus Seedheads (available from most florists)
  • Artificial apples or baubles (gently push a kebab stick into the decorations, or wrap with wire
  • Optional: Whole Walnuts (gently push a kebab stick into the dark patch at the base of the walnut shell)

Create a Fun Winter Landscape with your Kids

In this tutorial video, Zoe from Creative Natives will show you how to create a fun, winter landscape collage artwork with your kids! You can create any kind of image you like using recycled materials that you will probably already have in your home!

If you would like to make one of these beautiful artworks, then you will require the following materials listed below - however feel free to substitute with any supplies you already have!

List of materials

  • Cereal box (or card) to make the Christmas trees or other shapes such as stars  
  • Scrap paper for the background: eg: magazines, newspapers, wrapping paper, etc
  • Empty crisp packet to make the shiny snow flakes and snow
  • Crayons / colouring pencils
  • Pritt Stick - Scissors

Print your own Christmas Bags and Tags with Steph Harrison

In this tutorial video, Steph Harrison from Searcourt Print Workshop will show you how to 'print' your own Christmas gift bags and tags using items you might already have around your home. You could even use this technique to make matching Christmas Cards as well, and would be a fun activity to do with kids!

If you would like to make these beautiful gift bags, then you will require the following materials listed below - however feel free to substitute with any supplies you already have!

List of materials:

  • Plain paper bags and tags (white or brown paper) you can either buy these or make your own
  • Paints (acrylic or poster paints)
  • Paint brushes / sponges
  • Old jar lids in varying sizes  
  • Other recycled items to print shapes (such as corks, bottle tops, etc)
  • Markers / pens / colouring pencils
  • Ruler

Bangor Author Lesley Allen reads the Christmas Passage from Little Women

Enjoy this video from Bangor writer Lesley Allen, who will read the classic Christmas Morning scene from "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888). Lesley chose this passage from one of her favourite books as it describes the joy, comfort and distraction that a good book or story can bring, and because books can make the perfect gift.

Lesley would like to dedicate this reading to her late mother who instilled the love of reading to her and her family.

John Tracey Performs 'I'll Be Home For Christmas'

Enjoy this beautiful rendition of Christmas classic 'I'll Be Home For Christmas' by John Tracey Music, friend and regular of Ards International Guitar Festival.

Tracey is known for his fingerstyle guitar playing and melodic voice and his music incorporates the sounds of blues, folk, jazz, ragtime and rock.

"Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence" by Gary Lutton

Enjoy this stunning performance from Ards International Guitar Festival favourite Gary Lutton Guitar (musician, researcher, educator and winner of Sky TV's 'Guitar Star'!). Lutton has toured in the UK, Europe, US and China, holds a PhD in music from Ulster University and lectures in various colleges throughout Northern Ireland.

In this video Lutton performs a magnificent rendition of "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence" by Oscar and Grammy Award winning composer and actor Ryuichi Sakamoto. This piece is the film-score of the 1983 movie of the same name, starring Sakamoto and David Bowie. Sakamoto's score won the film a BAFTA Award for Best Film Music.

Anthony Toner Performs "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"

Last (but certainly not least!) in our festive video series, our good friend Anthony Toner would like to share a special message to all our Friday Night Live and Ards International Guitar Festival regulars.

Anthony has chosen to perform "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas", with its very fitting line for this year; "someday soon we all will be together....". Enjoy this beautiful, festive performance.

This is a virtual exhibition