Wednesday, April 27, 2011

More Fun from the Archives: Cinco de Mayo Piñatas

Get thee some tissue paper, crepe paper, and paper lunch bags and have some fun! Detailed instructions (sans pics) can be found here, all the way back to 2007!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Painting Eggs, Three Ways!

*Stained Glass Egg

Happy Egg Day! 

Egg Art: Part Three

Earlier this week when we had all the watercolor supplies out, we decided to take advantage of the free time and paint supplies to make egg art three ways. Each of these three ways utilizes sturdy watercolor paper, watercolor paint, painters tape and crayons. Here is project numero dos. You can see the first project here and the second project here.

You Will Need:
*watercolor paper
*clean water
*white crayon
*painter's tape
*cereal, cracker or cookie box
scrumdilly-do it! 

 Tape a sheet of sturdy watercolor to your work surface using painter's tape. This will both anchor your paper in place while you work and create a pretty matte effect once the tape is removed. Gather your cardboard egg shaped that you cut from project number two. If you did not do project number two, cut out an egg shape less than half the size of your paper from a thin cardboard container such as a cereal or cracker box.  Cut another, smaller circular shape within your egg shape. Position egg shape onto your watercolor paper and tape into place by tearing strips of painter's tape into thinner strips and then arranging atop your paper in a criss-cross pattern. With a paintbrush, begin coloring in the white space all over your paper beginning with your lightest colors and ending with your darkest colors. Do not forget to rinse your brush as you go.
 Continue painting in your white space. Use a paper towel, napkin or piece of old cloth to blot up the extra wet paint splotches.
 When paint is dry, carefully remove tape. This may take a while as your pieces will be criss-crossed all over the place. Look for the top piece of tape and move from there. If you like, Use a pen or pencil to outline the colors of your center circle.
Looks a bit like a hardboiled egg sliced open, no? It also looks a little like a pretty stained glass picture. Find a happy place for it, stand back and admire! 

Egg Art: Part Two

Earlier this week when we had all the watercolor supplies out, we decided to take advantage of the free time and paint supplies to make egg art three ways. Each of these three ways utilizes sturdy watercolor paper, watercolor paint, painters tape and crayons. Here is project numero dos. You can see the first project here

You Will Need:
*watercolor paper
*clean water
*white crayon
*painter's tape
*cereal, cracker or cookie box

scrumdilly-do it!
 Tape a sheet of sturdy watercolor paper onto your work surface. this will both anchor your paper into place and act as a pretty matte once the tape is removed. Use a white crayon and ruler to create straight, criss-crossing lines all over your paper. Just go for it!
 The lines will be difficult to see but if you move your eye level down so that is skims the top of the paper you will see the lines. Point this out to your kiddo and let them talk about it for a few minutes. The nephew a-go-go really like this part. Next, take a piece of cardboard (we like reusing our cereal boxes and such for this) and cut out an egg shaped stencil. Save the egg shape part for project number three. Tape down the remaining part of your stencil over your paper with painter's tape. Your kiddo can place the stencil wherever she or he wishes. Just make sure it doesn't scoot off of the paper.
 Dip your paintbrush into some clean(ish) water and have your kiddo paint over the area inside the stencil. We're getting the paper ready to receive and carry the watercolor.
 It's paint time! Dip your damp brush into preferred color of watercolor and gently touch it to the damp paper and watched it skate around. Begin with your lightest color first while ending with your darkest color last. Lookie how nifty the white crayon lines show through the paint. Ask your kiddos if they know why that happens . You can also take a little bit of time to explain that the wax is resisting the paint and that we call this a resist painting.
 Continue adding color and more water until you are happy with the results. If you allow the paint to sit and dry a little bit before adding more of the same color or other similar color you will have a nice layered effect. Remove your painter's tape once the picture is completely dry.
 Hang in a happy place, step back and admire!

Egg Art: Part One

Earlier this week when we had all the watercolor supplies out, we decided to take advantage of the free time and paint supplies to make egg art three ways. Each of these three ways utilizes sturdy watercolor paper, watercolor paint, painters tape and crayons. Check out the pics...
Tape a sheet of sturdy watercolor paper down onto your mess friendly work surface. (we like to use painters tape) Make sure to tape all around each side of your paper. This will hold the paper in place and create a pretty matte effect once it is removed.  Draw an egg shape onto your paper using a white crayon or oil pastel. Color it in with the white crayon or pastel.  Pick a colored crayon and add a few shapes surrounding your egg shape.
 Continue adding shapes with other colored crayons or pastels. If using pastels, use your fingertip to smudge the color into the shapes. Good quality crayons will smudge as well, though not as much.
 Select a vibrant watercolor color and paint on top of your picture in a large band. Rinse brush and select another color to continue across your page. This picture used two colors.
 Continue filling your white space with watercolor. Once dry, carefully remove the blue painters tape.
 Hang in a happy place and admire!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fun with Water, Paper & Paint

The nephew a-go-go (who is 8) is on spring break this week and next, so we've been puttering around making, painting, drawing and crafting stuff. If the nephew had his way, he'd be making alien something or others non-stop but yesterday, the sister a-go-go pulled out a super nifty project from Water Paper Paint by Heather Smith Jones. The project she selected involved drawing with pencil, a large object and within, a smaller object. You then use watercolor to fill in the background and the small object within, leaving the large object as is. We explained to the nephew that this was an exercise and that for this there would be "rules" to follow.
After selecting a piece of watercolor paper (we used all sorts of sizes). He eagerly went to work creating a dragon with a U.F.O. (of course) clasped in its jaws. It was awesome. We gave him a quick lesson in watercolor using liquid watercolors, had him select a paint brush and let him begin.
Now, the boy is a bit of a perfectionist and needless to say, the watercolor was NOT behaving in a pleasing way for him. There was a lot of garumphing and frowning. He sighed the loudest sighs and came this close to tossing the paintbrush and giving up on the whole thing.
He wanted to start over. He NEEDED to start over but mean aunties that we are we said no. But hey, we said it gently. We encouraged him to move slower, to take breaths. We explained how different watercolor was from colored pencils. We pointed out the natural texture that we saw in his brush strokes and complemented him on color choices and he sighed a little more but kept going.
And then he wanted to paint his dragon, which was the LARGE object in his picture and we firmly told him that this exercise did not involve painting the dragon. We told him that he could paint the next dragon but that this one was to not be painted. He was NOT happy with that but I gently told him that this was an exercise. I talked about the difference between simply painting and creating and then creating within limits. I told him that sometimes we get very comfortable with making things we are good at and that working within limits can help us be even more creative. He listened and nodded and continued and made the most awesome painting!
And of course we let him do another and of course he painted his dragon. Actually, he used watercolor pencils on the dragon and then a damp brush to blend. I knew that if he tackled the beast with a wet brush there would have been much anxiety. The cool part is that he really got the hang of it. He talked about how he really liked working with the paint and that he noticed it was different from using pencils. He thought it was a good thing to do the first one as it was practice. I tried to tell him that if we let him paint the first dragon, he then wouldn't have TWO awesome dragon pictures. He even asked his mom if he could stay to finish painting, the boy remained focused and was really proud of his work.

In between it all, we did another project but that is for a different day. So what I mean to share with you is that allowing your kiddos to create for the sake of creating is totally the way to go but sometimes, boundaries too, are a very good thing. Just make sure they match your kiddo's temperament and skill and make sure you explain the reason behind the boundaries.  And if you do decide to do something like this, turn it into a family thing. While the nephew worked on his painting, I, the sister a-go-go and the mama a-go-go also painted and then we looked at how different they were even though we used the same paint, paper and project. Have fun!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Links for older kiddos

A friend just asked me if I had any ideas for her and her niece. I set her up with this happy list. I don't mean these projects verbatim but using these as a jumping off point. They may appear more girlie but I know that with the right colors, supplies, creativity and attitude your boy-os would have just as much fun...though maybe not the apron...or at least not one as lacy as a kitchen curtain offers. By picking a theme or different color palette you can tie these all together. The nephwe a-go-go LOVES aliens so I would tweak each thing to become some sort of alien something-or-other. He'll be spending much of his spring break with us and in between the building of our Death Star Globe I think we'll make a few of these. What will you do?

*straw & paper garlands
*friendship bracelet
*no sew apron
*mp3 pouch from a juice pouch
*sugar buns
* word garland
*no sew scrappy bunting
*gluten-free clay beads

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Playing with Tints, Painted Newspaper and Triangles

I'm so sorry I'm a bit tardy with this follow-up project to the tinting project. I had it done but it's been super busy around these parts. I sat down and did this project sans kiddos but it has prompted the nephew a-go-go to plan an enormous dragon project using this idea for the scales. Imagine how awesome it would be to create a series of these in each color of the rainbow!

So, to begin, you will need a sheet of newspaper that has been tinted as described in this post. Once you have that done gather up your supplies and get ready for some triangular fun.

You Will Need:
*painted newspaper (1 sheet is more than enough)
*glue stick
*acrylic or tempera paint
*empty cereal box or other carton
*white glue

scrumdilly-do it!

Grab your cereal box or other carton and flatten it out. Remove one large side and have your kiddo paint it a nice neutral color that will "go" with their tinted paper. Set aside to dry.

Once dry, flip over and have your kiddo use a ruler to measure in 1" (2.54 cm) around each side and then connect the marks using a straight line. They then should have a rectangle drawn inside the box carton.

This next part is for the grown-ups ONLY. Use a straight blade to cut into the rectangle towards the center. This is just to create an opening for your scissors to wiggle in. Use the scissors to remove the rectangle without cutting into your frame.
Ta-da! This will be the frame. Now, grab the other side of the carton and position the frame somewhat centered on top. Have your kiddo trace the rectangle onto the carton with a pencil. This will be your work space.

Bring the tinted newspaper into the workspace and cut a strip about 1 1/2" (3.81 cm) from one end of the tint spectrum to the other. Repeat. You may not need all the paper but having the choice of colors within the tin spectrum is nice. Next, have your kiddo turn the entire strip into a pile of triangles using a pair of scissors. Depending on the age of your kiddo you can let them have a go at it or turn it into a geometry lesson to see how to cut an equilateral triangle. Repeat for the second strip as well.
Once you have a pile of triangles, uncap that glue stick and get to gluing. You will want to begin the process a smidge outside the drawn rectangle. Happily apply glue stick to the surface of the rectangle. Gather up a triangle and place it along the bottom line beginning at either the left or right side, making sure to position it a little outside the lines. Place another triangle down next to the first until you reach the other side.

Next, repeat the same process but this time invert the triangles so that they are "upside down" and ready to snuggle into the open space between the first row of triangles. Continue moving up to the top of the rectangle, filling in all the space. Your kiddo can choose to continue with the tint theme moving from light to dark or vice-versa or they can pick randomly or approach it all as if it were a jigsaw puzzle.
Once the entire area is covered, it is time to add the second layer. For this your kiddo is going to wrap each triangle around their pencil to create a bit of curl and then apply the glue-stick just to the flat top (opposite the point) of their triangle. next they will affix the curled triangles atop the happy work area sticking to one triangle direction in each row. This too can be approached at random or following tint order.
Once dry and nicely "stuck", draw a thin line of white glue to the underside (back) of the painted frame and position over the design (you can also draw along the pencil line if you can see it). If the cardboard is being stubborn and won't stay in place, use a couple of clothespins or paper clips to anchor the pieces together.

Once the glue has dried, grown-ups can now trim the excess from the non-frame cardboard with a pair of scissors. If the triangles have lost a bit of their curl, your kiddos can gently rework them with their fingers. To hang, flip over and affix a paperclip, string or wire using glue or clear tape.
And finally, find a happy place to exhibit your nifty new piece of contemporary art!