Monday, March 26, 2012

Art Adventure: "Stained Glass" Easter Eggs

I've been so swamped with school, I literally just realized that Easter is only two weeks away. How did that happen?

I thought I would squeeze in one Easter craft.

"Stained Glass" Easter Eggs
  • wax paper (or plastic wrap)
  • permanent marker
  • tissue paper, cut or torn into small pieces
  • school glue
  • brush
Mix glue (eyeball it, a couple tablespoons if it's just one or two, more if you have the whole Brady Bunch) and water. I just add some and stir until I have a runny consistency. You can go half and half if you want.

Use the marker to draw your shape on the wax paper. Go as big or small as you want. Ideas other than an egg shape: flowers, chicks, bunnies. Then FLIP IT OVER! You want the marker on the back, if it is painted with the glue/water it will run.

Use the brush to paint the glue/water inside your shape and start putting on the tissue paper. You can be meticulous, or random. I was working with a three year old, so we went random.
Let your pieces overlap the edge of your shape. 

When it's all filled in, dab over the whole thing with the glue mix. This will make sure all is glued down and sealed in. 

Now, there's nothing left to do but wait, wait, wait.

Once it's dry, grab a pair of scissors and trim out your shape.

Supposedly, you can now peel off the wax paper. Your tissue paper would totally stick together, but I found that my tissue paper was firmly glued to the wax paper. It really doesn't matter much. When you put it in the window, the light still shines through.
Eh, dreary day, but still nice and colorful!

It would peel off plastic wrap, but I just find plastic wrap to be a pain to deal with. Wax paper works even if it doesn't peel off. 

Cheater, Cheater, Pumpkin-Eater

Dear readers, I've come to you today to beg you for has been well, a lot of days since my last home improvement project post.

And it's not that I'm not doing work on the house. I am. I've been cheating on you. I've been doing home improvement and not (gasp!) sharing it with you. (Picture me shame-faced.)

It takes time to write posts and deal with pictures and I've just let it slide. I'm not going to promise it won't happen again. It probably will. But I am sorry that I haven't posted a lot lately.

I haven't shared things like, I have no baseboards in the living room, but it is a new color:
Ignore the mess and be happy there is a picture! :)

This is just before Karl was assembled. Just grabbed it so you could remember the color.

The color is Coventry Gray by Benjamin Moore.
I don't think this picture does it justice. But once the whole room is done, I'll walk you through better pictures and why it is working so much better.

I painted the door finally. It was brown and that would have clashed with the gray, so now it's black.

We've started making a sofa table. It would be done by now, but I messed up my part and we had to regroup. But I'll show you that soon.

Matt has begun the outdoor projects by closing off the side of the deck. There's a whole landscaping thing coming with that too, but that was thwarted by rain this weekend.
That's what he's fixing. I don't have after shots yet.

Oh, and we rearranged our bedroom, and I have a great tip for you...but you'll have to wait for it. Gosh, I'm a cheater and a tease! 

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Art Adventure: Cubism

Many people know that Pablo Picasso invented Cubism, but he didn't do it alone. Georges Braque also helped develop cubism.

The idea is that to get a complete picture of any object (or person), you have to show all sides and aspects of the object. Just showing what a vase of flowers looks like from the front is not the whole "truth" of the vase of flowers. We need to look at every part.

After deconstructing the elements of an image, they then used them like building blocks to reconstruct the image.

Cubist Pictures

  • paper
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • pastels, paint, crayons or colored pencils (your choice)

It's confusing enough to think about all parts of an object, so first fold a sheet of paper into six equal sections and then unfold.

Use the creases as a guide to cut the paper into rectangles.

Pick an object or group of objects that are interesting. It could be a musical instrument, flowers, or something from the kitchen. I'm going to show you a ketchup bottle.

Use only one little rectangle at a time. Draw some part of the ketchup bottle. It could be the whole thing, or just a little part.

Ideas: looking down on the bottle, just a little part of the label, from the front, from the side, just the cap, just the ketchup.

Fill up each little rectangle with some part of the object.

Then once they are all done, assemble all the pieces. Move them around until you like how they look and glue them down to another sheet of paper.

It's challenging for kids to think about drawing something from many different perspectives. But the results are usually exciting.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Art Adventure: Cloud Blueprints

Spring seemed like the right time to share this project. Do you ever play the game where you see shapes in the clouds? You can incorporate that fun into this project.

First, I want to share a favorite book with you. 
Sector 7 by David Wiesner
(he also authored Tuesday)

Sector 7 is the tale of a boy who gets an even more magical field trip than the one to the top of the Empire State Building -- he gets taken to the Cloud Dispatch Center for Sector 7 where they design and make all the clouds. It's a fun tale and beautifully illustrated.

I had the boys pretend to work at Sector 7 and design their own clouds.

Cloud Blueprints 

  • paper
  • ruler
  • pencil and marker (optional)
  • school glue
  • blue tempera paint
  • shaving cream
  • a container
  • spoons
  • paintbrushes

First, prep the paper to look like a blueprint. I marked in from the edge a 1/2 inch to make a border around the paper. Inside the border I made a box. Mine was 1 inch tall by 4 inches wide. I added the words; Cloud form: (and when they designed it and named it we filled this in), Designer: (with their name). Remember to use all capital letters like they do in drafting. I also added Sector 7 to the top.

At this point, I handed them over and later I decided to darken the lines with a marker. I would suggest doing it now because it will be easier.

Now, mix up the cloud paint. It's basically the same as the snow paint if you did that project.

We are going to mix approximately equal parts glue and shaving cream. First, add glue to your container.

Add a small squirt of blue paint.

And stir it together.

Add the shaving cream and mix it all together. 

Make sure it is completely combined, but try not to stir too long, you want it to stay fluffy.

Now, allow your kids to experiment with spoons and brushes to create their clouds.

Will it look like a regular cloud? Is it a shape like an animal?

Brushing makes it thin, and dabbing makes it puffy.

When he or she is done, ask for the name of the cloud and add that to the blueprint.

Gabe called his Cloud Form: 154.

Malachi named his Cloud Form: Fusion.

It does take awhile to dry, perhaps as long as overnight. But once it is dry it will stay puffed and have a velvety texture.

It your child wanted to, he or she can go back in and draw measurement lines to show the dimensions. Take the blueprint thing as far as you want.  

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Art Adventure: Argh!

So. It's Tuesday. It's 9:30 pm on Tuesday.

Are you guys going to kill me?
Here's what happened. Chi just wanted to make play dough yesterday. That's all he has been into lately. I didn't want to tell him no. I figured, sure we can make play dough and then I'll do another project with Gabe for Art Adventure. But with Gabe being in school all day, timing can be an issue.

So, we made play dough and I did not have time to get another project done this week. Unless you count handing the kids a stack of paper and a set of stamps and letting them go to town. Which is wicked fun, I must say.

Forgive me. This month I have one spring project planned and two art masters projects. I hope you'll join us next week.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Valspar Sample Giveaway

Guess what? Valspar is doing it again. All month long, you can get a free sample kit.

I did this last year and the kit was great.

I redid my sad little end table with Sonic Sky.

I love this deal because you can try a color you would never try otherwise.

They send you a cute little box with your choice of color! Awesome. And a mini roller and tray so you can get going right away. Plus, you get a coupon for $5. They even send you paint chips that would look good with the one you selected.

Catch? There isn't one. They never harassed me or anything. The only thing is that it is so popular, that you have to remember to be on top of it the exact minute it opens at 9 a.m. eastern.

Not being paid or perked (except I'm going to attempt to get my own sample!), just sharing the love.