Thursday, April 19, 2018

Make a Mother's Day Pendant

I've blogged about making these necklaces before, but with Mother's Day around the corner it seemed like a good time to re-introduce this easy project. I was given the task of making Mother's Day gifts at school with the Kindergarteners. I picked up a packet of washers at Home Depot and a selection of inexpensive nail polsih in eye-popping colors. Thank goodness that nail polish is no longer confined to shades of reds and pinks. Be warned that you should work in a well ventilated area as it seems that the cheaper the polish, the more intense are the fumes. The polish is quite simply blobbed onto the washer and the magic begins to happen. Work on a sheet of foil or a piece of plastic as the polish may run as layers are added. Mine took a couple days to dry completely.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Kimonos with Kids

Save your scraps of pretty patterned paper (or create some of your own decorative papers) to make these little dolls. I used scrapbooking paper, origami paper, and some that I created by stamping or simple brushwork. I made these with groups of pre-schoolers who are studying about Japanese culture. They seem to work best with patterns that almost clash.


I'm starting a newsletter with DIY templates, news from my Etsy shop, and step-by-step photos of some of the techniques for my artwork and illustrations. The first newsletter in early May will include the kimono doll template. Sign-ups on the right-hand side of the blog.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Wind Socks and Rain Sticks

We upcycled large Quaker Oats containers and the heavy tube that is inside of tin foil to make these projects with preschoolers. The oatmeal containers are actually windsocks. The skinnier tubes are rain sticks, or they will be once I add some dried beans and decorative tape to seal the ends. I love reusing materials instead of tossing them out. The containers are painted with tempera, and embellished with bits and bobs of ribbon, buttons and craft foam. Little children love to embellish!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Funky Sculptures

I'm currently teaching an afterschool class based on three-dimensional art. Instead of going to a craft store and loading up my basket with a bunch of items that may wind up in a landfill, I sometimes have better luck just looking around my house. We are currently remodeling our powder room and our sink was packaged in this styrofoam. My husband cut it into squares using a band saw, a coping saw would also work. It made the perfect base for these wild little sculptures. I had some leftover pipe cleaners and picked up the straws at the grocery store, unfortunately they are individually wrapped. How ridiculous! The colored paper is actually leftover foam core or card stock. I used a hole punch to cut holes in the centers.
The kids had fun with these. They were simple to execute and will put a smile on your face.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Japanese Paper Lanterns

The paper lanterns were made from sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 card stock and printed with lemons that were turned into stamps. The card stock was folded in half and wiggly lines were cut started at the folding and ending about an inch from the edge. I turned sponges and acrylic paint into stamp pads. The lanterns are stapled together, holes are punched at the top, and brads were used to fasten the paper strips that become the handles.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Vegetable Prints

Printing with vegetables and fruits was a fun project for the pre-schoolers and for me. We printed with tempera paint. I made "ink pads" with damp kitchen sponges that had a thin layer of tempera on top. The children were encouraged to use all the edible choices and all the different colors, and to fill their paper with overlapping shapes. The little flower design was created with okra. All in all, we used artichoke, lemon, apple, okra, peppers and the base of a bunch of celery (not pictured). Any good shapes that I missed? I'm sure there is something obvious that I haven't thought of!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Masks with Kids

Constructing with unusual materials is a way of thinking creatively about making a face. I assembled a collection of odds and ends to pick from including tassels, glass stones, buttons, pipe cleaners, clothes pins, and spools. The fun comes in when you move the objects around to create different facial expressions, a tilt of the eyebrow changes everything. The face is cut from cardboard and wooden dowels are attached at the end to make the mask hand-held. White glue is used to attach the objects.