some memories never leave your bones. like salt in the sea; they become part of you. - and you carry them.
April Green, Paper Wings
This post has been 75% complete for the past 12 days. I was talking to a friend this morning about how many projects I have that are 75% complete. We were talking about that last 25% push that it takes to finish and all the obstacles that stand in the way. Sometimes the spark that was there at the beginning just wanes. Sometimes it's perfectionism. Sometimes we get tired. Sometimes the work just needs to breathe a little. Sometimes it's just life.
This time it was the life that is the final week of school before summer break. You know the one, chock full of school celebrations, party invitations, appointments, volunteer opportunities, AND 5th grade culmination. My first born is officially off to middle school. I'm not sure how it happened. It feels like her first day of kinder was a month ago but it happened and she is so clearly ready. I think I am too even though there is a lump in my throat, a tiny ache in my heart, and my eyes have been replaced by two hyperactive spritzing geysers. These milestones are markers of time and I don't always want to be reminded that time is moving faster than the speed of light.
It's not that I want to stop the passing of time, I am just looking for the pause button. My spidey senses have been telling me that it's buried somewhere in the California Desert. So I decided to pack up the husband, the girls, and 2 of the big girl's dearest friends and head to the desert in search of the pause. Time moves slower in the dry heat, drenched in pool water and bon fire smoke. It just does.
Speaking of the PA'S... Father's Day is 4 days away and we are sharing a simple, kid-made DIY that is sure to become one of dad's favorite keepsake treasures. You gotta make one... or 5!
- black and white photo(s) on printer paper
- large craft sticks (aka oversized popsicle sticks)
- washi tape
- gel sticks
- chalk paint or acrylic or tempera paint
- paint brushes
- hot glue gun
- assorted collage papers
- Elmer's school glue or Mod Podge
- pom pom hem
- twine for hanging
- square sheets of watercolor paper (We used 8x8 and still had to trim them slightly to fit inside our frame.)
1. Cut a square 8" x 8" sheet of thick white paper and grab some paint, oil pastels, crayons, and other favorite materials. Stand back and watch the magic happen!
Here we have a little rainbow action taking place.
2. Once the mini masterpieces are dry you will add black and white memories on top. Pick some of dad's favorite photos and resize them in your print settings. Select the black and white option. Print. Cut. Paste. Elmer's school glue or Mod Podge is the perfect adhesive for adding the images on top of the paintings.
3. Time to make a frame. Grab 4 large craft sticks and glue the corners together. We used our hot glue gun for this step.
4. Decorate your frame! You could add some washi...
Or add a distressed paint job...
Or a little bright paint stick action!
Oh the possibilities:
What about some finishing touches? Who can resist the lure of the pom pom? Mini or...
5. Add a hanging loop.
Guaranteed to make Dad smile:
"It’s just simple. You just take something, and then you do something to it. Then you do something else to it. And then something else. And then something else. Keep this up and pretty soon you’ve got something."
Hi, old friends. I gotta say that it felt a little strange to go three whole days without a blog or social media post, but boy did I need the break. The twenty four day series was a test of creative endurance that fell smack dab in the busiest time of year! I am so glad that I went for it without even considering what it would entail. Here's to occasionally leaping before you look.
The past two days have been pretty unplugged. We have kept it super simple; lots of quality time with the girls, reading, weaving on the new little loom, a little Netflix, and I can't forget the sweet, sweet (constant) sound of H singing and strumming on her new ukelele (she would want you to know that it's lavender and there is a wooden dolphin on it). Did I mention Ri's birthday is on the 30th? Yeah, she was born the day before NYE. So somehow over the past three years her birthday party has evolved into a two-day sleepover party that also encompasses New Year's Eve... and there are blanket forts and/or tents involved. It is pretty epic.
So my plan this week is to share a couple of New Year's Eve-ish projects and a couple of party craft projects that I think you will enjoy. The first is this mixed media project that lends itself so beautifully to the celebration of the new year but it can be done at any time of year.
- Kwik Stix tempera crayons
- free numbers and stars printable (see below)
- charcoal pencils
- oil pastels
- glue sticks
- collage scraps
This post contains affiliate links, which means that we earn a small commission on the products that you buy using our links at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!
These 6 images are from a larger series that Jasper Johns created in the 1960s filled with numbers and deconstructed flag shapes. Notice the way he used colors and texture.
1. Numbers. If you are doing this as a New Year's project you could choose a 2, 0, 1, and a 8. You could also do this for a birthday party project and use your birth date numbers. Or you could pick your lucky numbers... you get the idea.
2. Print your templates onto card stock or trace the shapes onto cardboard.
3. Lay out your numbers and stars on your background paper.
4. When you are satisfied with your layout, glue your shapes to your background paper.
5. Start using your materials to lay down color and texture.
Ri decided to go with a muted color palette of black, cream, yellow, rust, and grey. H decided to go BRIGHT.
Both of the girls really loved this project. We all highly recommend adding Kwik Stix tempera sticks to your art supply stash. They are super rich in pigment, they add a paint quality to the work without the mess, and they dry in a couple minutes. We are big fans!
"And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been."
-Rainer Maria Rilke
We are in full tilt birthday party prep, so today's tutorial is going to be a quick one. I wanted to come up with a NYE star crown that was quick, kid-friendly, and fun... bonus points if it entailed using up some of the empty cardboard TP rolls that are taking over my studio drawers. Mission accomplished!
NEW! Download your vintage inspired NYE tube wrappers here:
1. Paint your cardboard tube or print out the vintage NYE patterns and glue them around your cardboard tube 2. After your paint dries cut one end of your tube in a zigzag crown shape. 3. Hot glue 1-3 bent wires to the inside of your crown. 4. Cut out paper stars and add glitter or designs. 5. Hot glue your star shapes to the end of your wire pieces. 6. Attach ribbon or elastic band to the lower inside section of your crown (party hat style). 7. Place crown on your head like you are royalty.
One should either be a work of art,
Or wear a work of art.
- Oscar Wilde
The Artist + the Work of Art was last year's Halloween ensemble. It was conceptualized and executed in 2016 bb (before blog), which means that I don't have awesome step-by-step photos to share with you. But I thought I would link to the products that I used to achieve the look (a couple of the products I used are no longer available so I found really cute substitutes). The things that I love about this costume (outside of the artsy wow factor) are that it's not another Disney princess, it's gender neutral, and every element of the costume can be re-used. I don't know about you, but it feels kind of sad to buy or build a costume that will only be worn once. I would rather spend my money on items that can become a part of my kids' wardrobes. You might be thinking, "Arielle, what about the beret?" I am here to tell you that it is a timeless staple, it is a must have accessory for all future trips to Paris (we all need more of those), and it is a magnificent addition to your dress-up box... mime, anyone? How about pairing it with a baguette and a funny French mustache? This costume slayed at the Halloween parade and delighted every household on the block. If you make it... you will absolutely ROCK Halloween!
This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!
1. Get the Work of Art shirt here
2. Get the face art kit here
3. Get the apron here
4. Get the beret here
5. Get the scarf here
6. Get the striped artist shirt here
7. Get the paint palette here
8. Get the paint brush here
9. Get the artist clogs here
I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.
-Louisa May Alcott
- milk or juice cardboard carton
- white freezer paper
- masking tape - medium
- drafting tape - skinny
- thin rope cord
- acrylic paint
- foam brush
- skinny paint brush
- utility knife
- permanent marker
- skinny wooden dowel
- hot glue gun
1. Use a ruler to draw a dividing line down the center of your carton.
2. Carefully cut along the dividing line with a utility knife and scissors. Leave the entire bottom section attached to half of your carton.
3. Paint your boat with acrylic craft paint.
4. Decide where you want to put your "mast" (your wooden dowel). Mark a small pencil dot above and below that center point and create a small entry point. We added a little hot glue around the dowel inside the boat and on the underside.
5. Once your acrylic paint has dried you can take your masking tape and add racing stripes to your sailboat! We started with a piece of medium white masking tape.
6. Then we added a thin red pin stripe on top of our thicker white stripe.
7. The girls wanted to add some flags to our rope, so we created them with washi tape. We simply folded the washi tape around our thin rope and cut the ends in a V shape.
8. Then we drew our mainsail (the big one) and our jib (the little one) on a piece of white freezer paper. We have big plans to race our boat so we wanted a paper that was somewhat coated and water proof.
9. Time to add some pizzazz to the sails! We used washi and thin masking tape. Notice that we applied them to our drawings before we cut them out.
10. Carefully cut out your sails with a sharp pair of scissors.
11. Create two small entry points on your mainsail... one near the bottom and one near the top. You will push your dowel over the bottom of the sail and through and then come back out when you reach the opening at the top. We then secured the dowel to the sail with a dab of hot glue on the back side.
12. Create a small hole at the front center of your boat (on the pour spout of the carton). Tie your rope w/flags to the top of the mast and then come down through the pour spout hole. You will tie a knit below the spout to firmly attach your rope. You can add a dab of glue here if necessary. Add a thin line of hot glue along your rope and attach the jib (small sail). Apply pressure with your hand for a few seconds while the glue sets.
Umm... I don't think it gets any better than that! Time to hit the open sea.
I am always doing that which I cannot do.
In order that I may learn how to do it.
One of the first things that 90% of my adult students say when they sit down at an Art Camp session is, "I cannot ______ (insert draw, craft, paint, write...)". I hear this so often that I have developed a fast-acting response. I usually say some version of, "And I can't shoot a 3 pointer. Ask me how many times I have hit the court to try." I won't go too deep into my psychoanalysis hunch, but... my brother is a phenomenal athlete who won dunk contests and was nicknamed "The Train", which may have colored my desire to try to shoot a basketball more than say... three times in my entire life. Cuz who wants to shoot bricks from The Train's shadow? But I distinctly remember the voice that said, "you cannot play basketball". It is the same voice that says, "you will never be good at math!" (read more on that here). That voice starts to sound a lot like my own when I start to utter things like, "I am not tech savvy". Or "you know... marketing, sales, self-promotion are not really my thing"... and on, and on, and on. What do all of these things have in common? I have very little experience doing them and my fear of the unknown... or heck, I am going to be all the way real, my fear of not being GREAT at something on THE FIRST TRY keeps me from ever trying. That is the truth. Too scared to try was something I lived with for way too long. Fear comes disguised as a self-deprecating, yet totally endearing (not) proclamation, but rip the mask off the sucker and it's that pervasive little weed that will keep us from growing.
We don't expect our children to walk the first time they ever try or to recite the Gettysburg Address on their first birthday, but we have these ridiculous expectations for ourselves. The only way to out grow this kind of fear is to do the thing that our brain tells us we cannot do. Oh, this part is huge... lean in. You don't have to do it alone! Find someone who knows how to do the thing you "cannot" do and ask them for help. Sometimes this might cost a little money and sometimes this might come in incremental stages. Sometimes this might lead you to a step-by-step tutorial, but all of these little actions will take you to the land of "I'm doing it!"
Two weeks ago my wise grasshopper friend offered to help me shoot the video for our Egg Carton Mermaid Dolls. This morning I put the finishing touches on the very first video that I have ever created (outside of an app on my phone) from start to finish. I had a little help from my husband and my *11 year old (I highly recommend getting one of *those for tech projects). When we uploaded our soon to break the internet video (power of intention y'all... ha ha) to our YouTube channel, I turned to my husband and said, "I am so proud of us. We have done so many things that we "could never do" in the past 9 months. Look at all the things we know how to do now!" Ri, (my 11 year old IT girl) cue the heartfelt instrumental.
Guys, take it from me and my boy, Pablo... DO the things that you cannot do so you can learn how to do 'em.
Most of you have seen Pablo Picasso's doves and his famous portraits of lovers, lords, and ladies. His distorted cubist faces, horses, and bulls. Did you also know that he painted on vessels and erected giant sculptures out of stone and steel... and cardboard??? He did and you can make your own version with a few readily available materials. But first let's get inspired by the master works...
- print out our four page face printable on card stock
- or, you can draw your own on 8.5 x 11 cardboard, poster board, or thick mixed media paper
- 1 paper tube (paper towel size)
- small 5" x 5" cardboard square for base
- set of oil pastels
- glue stick
- acrylic or tempera paint (we used black, white, blue, and mint green)
- black marker for details
- scissors for cutting paper
- ceramic blade or utility knife and a grown up for cutting cardboard
- PVC glue or hot glue gun
This post contains affiliate links, which means that we earn a small commission on the products that you buy using our links. Thank you for your support!
Print out our printable (ART CAMP STORE) or draw your own Picasso faces on two sheets of thick, sturdy poster board or cardboard. You want thick, black lines, so if you are drawing this on your own make sure to cover over your pencil lines with black marker or a black oil pastel.
Cut out your faces. Use scissors if you are cutting card stock and a ceramic blade or a utility knife (adults only) if you are using cardboard.
Color your faces with oil pastel and/or paint. If you are making your own faces, remember to draw and color on both sides of your board because this is a 3-D sculpture!
Cut 4 entry points in your paper tube. This is where the faces will rest.
Paint your tube with paint. Think about stripes, dots, dashes, and abstract marks.
If you have used our printable, you want to attach the mirror images (front and back) together with a glue stick.
Cut a 3" notch down the center of your first face and a 4" cut on your other face. You are creating an interlocking system for your faces to connect.
Once your faces are interconnected, you will slide them in to place on the top of your paper tube. Inserting each section into the proper notch.
Reinforce all the connected points with a little bit of hot glue. We want our paper structures to be reinforced!
Add the bottom of your paper tube to the square cardboard base. Attach with a ring of hot glue on the end of your paper tube.
The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts.
- C.S. Lewis
paper tube (paper towel size)
acrylic or tempera paint
Cut two cactus "arms" out of the back of your paper tube. Attach one to each side of your cactus with glue.
Mix a bright desert palette and begin to paint your cactus. When your first layer dries you can add your stripes in a contrasting color or a darker shade of green. Cut simple spiky flower shapes out of recycled paintings or brightly colored paper and add them to the top of each of your cactus arms with glue.
What's better than 1 cactus? 2!
Why stop at 2? The more the merrier! After you make some cacti maybe you want to add a few paper tube desert blooms to the party?
Like wildflowers; you must allow yourself to grow in all the places people thought you never would.
This business of growing is hard, important work. Today my growth looks like being (kinda) okay with going S-L-O-W. I am still not feeling 100%... like at all. When my house got hit with this bug there were a million balls in the air and this was not the kind of sick that I could work through. I could barely get myself to the bathroom let alone handle business as usual. So those balls just dropped. The balls dropped and the fear of missing out, of not producing, of being forgotten, of letting people down, of not getting the momentum back, of screwing it all up, of messing with the flow... was WAY up. Why am I sharing this with you? Because maybe this is part of the human condition and you have felt these feelings too? Also, these feelings multiply in isolation so I am going to air them out and let them breathe in this space, here among friends. I am enough. I do enough. It's okay to go slow... and doggone it, people like me! (shout out to Stuart Smalley)
This weekend's family craft session was to put together a smorgasbord of handmade stamps for printmaking. It was a really fun group exercise to think outside of the box. Lots of experimentation. Some things worked really well and others not so much. In the end, we had so much fun printing and cutting and sticking and we think you will too!
1. Gather your scrapbook paper or card stock and start to cut out circles, leaves, and simple flower shapes.
2. Begin to create your stamps. We focused on simple designs that could be printed in the center of our flower shapes and leaves.
3. Create a variety of print textures by using a combination of cut foam, hot glue designs, and textural elements (string, beads, rice, rubber bands...)
4. Ink your "printing plates". If you are using paint you can add color with a brush.
5. We alternated between ink pads and acrylic and tempera paint. This is a great opportunity to sneak in a little color theory.
6. Once you have stamped all your wild flowers you will let them dry. Once they are dry you can go in and add another layer of printing and additional colors. Our final layer was printing little dots in the center of some of our blooms with a pencil eraser.
7. Once your prints have fully dried you will attach them to your wreath. We created this simple wreath form with the outside rim of a paper plate.
8. Hang your wreath!
"The artist's vocation is to send light into the human heart"
- George Sand
To bunny ear or to bonnet... THAT is the question. The girls said bunny ears... wait, no, flower crowns! Then my creative mash up brain said: BUNNY EAR FLOWER CROWNS. I thought I was a genius for a day and then my Pinterest feed was flooded with bunny ear flower crowns. But have you seen a recycled egg carton flower version? I think not! (If you have, don't tell me.)
I had big plans to make the girls oversized wire bunny ears this year like this ^ but then the Art Gods threw me a bone and I scored these pre made wrapped wire bunny ears at Target a few weeks back. So my fully handmade idea turned into a quick and easy up-cycle. Love when that happens!
We are big fans of the egg carton flower. So it was our first choice material for our bunny ear blooms.
Speaking of egg carton florals...remember our V-day flower wreaths? Well they work beautifully as Easter wreaths too! The girls have had their heart wreath hanging on their bedroom door since the end of January and I don't see it coming down anytime soon.
When we started making our blooms we all agreed that the petite flowers looked the best on our ears. The big ones were fun but they just didn't fit the band as nicely. Be sure to make plenty of leaves because they really make the flower crown come alive.
1. Cut your egg carton flower shapes and leaves. 2. Paint your blooms and leaves with a bright spring-y palette. 3. Tempera and acrylic paint dry really fast especially on egg cartons. We painted some of our centers and then my brilliant R suggested we use some dot stickers for the centers and they really made them pop!
Pretty spring time flowers made with just egg cartons, paint, and flower stickers!
4. We started in the center gluing down a single bloom. 5. Then added leaves and blooms, more leaves, more blooms... 6. A little dab of hot glue easily secured the flowers and leaves to our bands.
When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.
- Chinese proverb
This Saturday is Chinese New Year so we will be celebrating the lunar new year in the art room this week. In Chinese Astrology, each zodiac year is associate with an animal sign and one of the five elements: gold (metal), wood, water, fire, or earth. 2017 is the year of the Fire Rooster. My oldest daughter is a rooster so she has been proclaiming that "this is her year". I haven't had the heart to tell her that the Chinese believe that the year of one's birth sign is the most unlucky year in the 12-year cycle.
This year I am veering slightly from the traditional Chinese New Year projects that I have done in the past (think dragons, drums, lanterns, scrolls) and bringing you a fun, modern collage. I am not including my usual step-by-step because it is not that kind of project. It is all about the process of digging through scraps, tearing, piecing shapes together, and using texture and color in unusual ways...F U N !
- collage piles--scrapbook paper, painted paper remnants, magazine bits, painted cardboard pieces, newsprint
- glue stick
- scissors (I would encourage you to tear more than you snip)
- rooster examples--print out some different rooster images so that you get a feel for all of the different shapes that make up the bird (If you search rooster illustrations you will find a huge variety to pull from)
- bristol paper, mixed media paper, or card stock (You want a thick, firm base to glue onto)
" A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle."
- James Keller
I am so excited to be sharing a very special DIY with you today! My dear friend, Agnes Hsu, wrote a children's picture book called "My Color is Rainbow" and it came out last Thursday and is already spreading a message of kindness, love, and acceptance far and wide. This book is a beautiful, sparkly gem of a book and I am not surprised in the slightest because Agnes is a beautiful, sparkly, gem of a person. The story follows Little White Arch and his trusty blue unicorn pal on a colorful journey of self-discovery. The book is wonderfully illustrated in a bold, modern style by Yuliya Gwilym. It is brimming with color and playful shapes and is a perfect tie-in for K-5 art curriculum. My youngest is learning to read and she is able to handle most of the text on her own with just a little help from me or big sis.
You might be thinking but why the candle quote (or not)? Because 3 months ago I met Agnes for a cup of coffee in Westwood and she sparked my flame. That chance encounter with her (we had never met in real life, only on Instagram) is the reason this blog is up and the reason I have been pouring my ALL into my work every single day since. Agnes won't take credit for it... she thinks it was just a matter of timing and that I was ready to go long before we met, but I know in my heart that this creative flow I am riding was inspired by meeting her. Agnes is constantly acting on her inspiration and getting things DONE. This lady is a force of nature. She is an inspiration in her own right but the best part is that she is generous and inclusive and she wants to see the people around her manifest their dreams too. She is a rare and beautiful bird and I am so grateful to know her.
So let's make some hand-painted, no-sew pillow friends, shall we?
1. Fold your canvas or fabric in half. 2. Draw your pillow shape on your canvas with Sharpie or a fabric marker. 3. Cut your shape out of the doubled up fabric (this should give you two copies when you are done cutting). 4. Paint your pillows (we used tempera discs for the rainbow and acrylic for the unicorn). 5. Let your fabric dry completely. 6. Start to glue the pillow seams, little by little, stuffing sections as you go and then gluing a little more. 7. When your pillow is completely stuffed you will close out your final seam. 8. Add your felt embellishments (face on rainbow and mane and eye on unicorn). 9. Grab your copy of "My Color is Rainbow" and snuggle up with Little White Arch and his unicorn friend.
VENI. VIDI. AMAVI.
(We came. We saw. We loved.)
The girls went back to school yesterday, which means that I had time to write, exercise, and meditate this morning. Which means that I could actually pick up the phone, not once BUT TWICE, and I got to say yes to a lunch date at the end of the week. It also means that I have time to catch up on the back log of work that has been waiting patiently for my return. Before I start today's tutorial I just want to say that I know it might seem a little weird that we just rang in the new year and here I am sharing a "Valentine's Day Project" 30+ days before the day. But here's the thing--between now and February 14th we are going to continue to face a lot of big, important stuff. We are going to need to use our dollars, our energy, and our voices to hold the line, to protect human rights and while we do this most important work we are also going to need to remember that there is still love, and sweetness, and beauty in the world and we need to make time for it. Love is still here amidst the pain, the ugly, and the uncertainty and it is an almighty and powerful force. So how about we decide to celebrate love, not just on the day that's been set aside as a holiday, but every chance we get? Are you in? Okay, let's get to it..
I have been haunted (in a good way) by an Anthropologie display I saw awhile back. It was this gorgeous installation of beautiful, simple strands of blue and mauve hand-painted egg cartons. I pinned it knowing that it would one day inspire an Art Camp craft and Sunday was the day. I decided that it would be another great opportunity to gather my crew for a family craft session. As a group we have definitely played with our fair share of recycled materials, but none of us had ever re-purposed egg cartons in this way so it was kind of a free-form experiment. Each one of us contributed to the project in our own way. H really loved mixing and painting, R decided that she wanted to make a rose which required her to spend a lot of time layering and manipulating her egg carton pieces until she got the petals "just right", P was the master fabricator spending most of his time cutting, and I handled the finishing touches; texture, details, layout, and assembly. Collectively we really enjoyed this project and we think you will too!
1. Start by separating your carton sections with scissors and blending colors for your paint palette.
2. Trim your carton sections to look like flowers. There is no right or wrong way to do this. We kept some of ours very simple--some in classic flower shapes and some were very experimental. We really took a free-form approach. Think about scale and variety. Think about layering some and flattening some. The recycled paper cartons are very soft and easily manipulated...just play around with flower shapes!
3. Once you have created your flowers it is time to paint.
4. If you are using acrylic paint or tempera sticks your paint will dry very quickly. Once it dries you can add details to the centers of your flower buds.
5. On some of the blooms, we added little dots of washi tape and silver duct tape in the center for a little pop!
6. Cut leaf shapes out of the remaining egg carton scraps.
7. Add veining details on your leaves with a fine point pen and then layer metallic tempera stick or oil pastel on top for a very cool effect.
8. Cut out your cardboard wreath bases. We made a circle and a heart shape.
9. You can paint your wreath base to match your blooms or choose a contrasting color. We used pink and white Kwik Stix to color ours.
10. When your base has dried you can start to attach your blooms and leaves with a hot glue gun.
11. Time to spread the love and hang your wreath!
"Though she be but little, she is fierce."
My youngest is a mama's girl to her core. She mentions on a regular basis that she would like to unzip my skin and live inside my body so we can be closer. When she hugs me she squeezes the sides of my neck and pulls my head toward hers, wide-eyed, teeth clenched, she says, "I love you too much! Never let me go!" She is five but it feels like she needs me more now than she did in the baby years. She craves "mama alone time" a lot these days and I try to make it happen whenever I can.
Ri turned 11 a week ago and suddenly she is sleeping in like a teenager...like she wakes up asking for "brunch" instead of breakfast sleeping in. So the early morning hours have been all about the H. She has been more into performance art lately and less into the arts and crafts. It might have something to do with the fact that our home transformed into an art factory for the entire month of December? Is there such a thing as being exposed to too much art?! Anyway, it has been awhile since she seemed genuinely excited to sit down and make something so I was delighted when she was really into the idea of making penguins. H likes to direct the show.. and all of the players.. the lighting.. and the soundtrack... so she had some IDEAS about these penguins we were going to make. They had to be able to stand, not "flat ones", and she wanted to make two "a mama and a kid (NOT a baby)" and there would be "no dad or sister penguins". Subtle, H. Real subtle.
So we present to you the "mama and the kid" stand up, not flat, not a sister or dad in sight, 3-D collage penguin...
1. Sort your collage scraps into "penguin colors".
2. Sketch out a penguin shape on two pieces of white cardboard. One is a profile view and one is straight forward (no beak showing but you will have wings on this one). H wanted two penguins so I had to double up..................4 pieces of cardboard and 4 sketches.
3. Cut the penguin shapes out.
4. Use a black Crayola marker to mark where the penguin's black part ends and the white part begins, the "tuxedo" as H calls it.
5. Color in the black parts with tempera sticks, oil pastels, crayons, or paint. Please note that you have to color and collage both sides of the penguin. This is where the Kwik Stix come in handy because they cover the surface really well and dry super quickly.
6. Allow the black to dry fully before gluing the collage pieces.
7. Add in your collage bits and pieces. H used scissors but she mostly tore the bits with her hands producing some fun tearing effects. She also layered some tempera on top of her collage from time to time. She used a simple Elmer's glue stick for glueing.
"We are mosaics--pieces of light, love, history, stars--glued together with magic and music and words."
My house is quiet for the first time in two weeks. It feels very strange. I can actually hear the clicking of the keys on my keyboard. The sound of birds outside my studio window. The hum of our fridge. The whir of the laundry machine. I just finished vacuuming up the last bits and pieces of Ri's birthday/NYE celebration. It was a happy mess; glitter, sequins, feathers, bits of yarn, ribbon and scraps of wrapping paper. Evidence of all the fun we had. Ri said it was her best birthday ever and I gotta say it was pretty magical. We kicked off the party with La La Land...... have you seen it yet? I can't remember the last time I had that much fun at the movies. Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, singing, dancing, and charming their way through a punched up colorful East Side of Los Angeles. The music, the set design, the chemistry!!! I would have happily stayed in my cozy theater seat and watched it all over again after the credits rolled. The girls loved it as much as the grown ups. Ri can't wait to learn the piano scores. You gotta go see it...on the big screen.
Ri's birthday parties usually include an art component (shocking I know). This year she asked me to come up with a wearable art project.
Introducing yet another awesome thing you can make with painted, recycled cardboard...
- Unicorn Charm Template
- painted cardboard cut into strips and squares
- chalk markers
- glue gun
- yarn for necklace + tassels
1. Select the painted cardboard piece of your choice. 2. Trace a geometric shape or a simplified angular animal shape onto your cardboard in pencil. 3. Cut out your shape with very sharp scissors or a box cutter. 4. Add details to your shape with chalk or paint markers (dots, dashes, hearts, clouds). 5. Create your tassel (see below for a step by step). 6. Attach your tassel and necklace to your pendant with hot glue or by hole punching your cardboard and knotting your thread.
How to make a tassel:
If unicorns aren't your thing, here are some other ideas:
"See the light in others and treat them as if that is all you see."
- Dr. Wayne Dyer
Yahoooo.. Day 24! Today's DIY starts with a recycled crafter's staple: the cardboard inside of a TP or paper towel roll. Add a few strokes of a brush pen and tie on some pretty holiday flair and you have yourself a chic boho napkin ring in under 15 minutes!
- cardboard roll
- hand torn fabric scraps
- black brush pen
- festive touches: embroidery thread, leftover salt dough ornaments, holly berries, jingle bells...
- glue gun
By day 24 I have run out of long form tutorial steam so I give you the photo-collage:
1. Cardboard roll. 2. Cut cardboard roll. 3. Cut a small slit in your fabric and hand tear so that you get the frayed edges on your fabric strip. 4. Take a brush pen and draw simple patterns on your fabric. 5. Apply some hot glue and secure your fabric to your paper ring. 6. String your toppers on some natural thread and tie around your ring.
Sending warm holiday wishes to you and yours!
"If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sun beams and you will always look lovely."
- Roald Dahl
- painted cardboard
- glue gun
- single hole punch
1. Resize and print your bird template.
2. Cut your template and trace it onto your painted cardboard.
3. Cut your cardboard bird out and decorate with additional cardboard shapes.
4. Attach your shapes to your bird with hot glue.
5. Glue your bird to your twig with hot glue and then tie thread on each end of the branch to hang.
The cars are really simple. Trace out a car shape on your colored cardboard. Cut it out and then cut wheels and windows out of contrasting colors. Glue all the parts together, wrap and knot a little piece of thread around your tree and car, and you are done! We drew our car shapes free hand, but here is a cute and simple template you can use:
Tweet.. tweet .. Beep.. Beep.. Yeah!
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."
- African Proverb
So the thing that came up a lot for me during yesterday's "solstice reflection" was tremendous gratitude for my tribe. This year has been filled with many challenges and some pretty significant breakthroughs and I have weathered it all-the hard and the good, with a lot of help from my friends. We are not meant to do this life thing alone. We need each other. One of the coolest bi-products of starting this blog is all of the amazing people that I have "met" on the inter webs. I have been blown away by the words of encouragement, the personal notes that have arrived in my inbox, and the social media shout outs and shares. Hard to believe that I started this blog less than a month ago and I now have a dozen new, fierce, creative, entrepreneur friends. Pretty awesome to see what happens when one jumps out of their familiar, little pond for bigger waters and a new school of fish. Not sure what is happening with this metaphor but I am going to let it ride. Glub.. glub and away we grow.. together.
1. Print photo images of ice skaters. Cut out only the ice skate portion of the print.
2. For the tights, you will create bubble wrap prints in primary red and black. Let the prints dry for 20 minutes.
3. Once your prints are dry you can cut out the tights. You can also use collage scraps for the tights.
3. Cut out your skate skirt. We used tissue paper, polka dot scrap paper, and coffee filters for our skirts.
4. Once all of your pieces are dry and cut, it is time to assemble your skaters!
5. You can add little details like mini rhinestones on the toe of your skates and squiggly skate lines on your background!
"Color is the place where our brain and the universe meet."
- Paul Klee
Today is winter solstice. Officially the first day of winter. The shortest, darkest day of the year. The yogis believe it is a perfect time for reflection. A time to meditate, to be in nature, and to create. I started my day with morning pages and meditation and then spent the early afternoon creating this value painting with the girls. It's a cold, rainy day in Los Angeles and I have a bad cold so I am bringing nature indoors through the sound of "Sketches in Maine"...hello loons. Will you spend some time today in quiet reflection? Will you create something? Will you spend some time in nature? I hope so.
Today's project is going to introduce a little color theory and a little art vocabulary into the holiday mix. First off, what is value? Value is the lightness or darkness of tones or colors. White is the lightest value; black is the darkest. In color theory, a tint is the mixture of a color with white, which increases lightness, and a shade is the mixture of a color with black.
I have done many value painting projects over the years with penguins, igloos, and bare branched trees but never with polar bears. This is a first and I think it turned out pretty great.
- blue acrylic or tempera paint
- white acrylic or tempera paint
- paint brush
- thick drawing paper (we used white bristol and bright blue card stock)
- glue stick
- black and grey markers
1. Make your tint. We chose a pretty vibrant blue to start with, then we added our bright blue to white, creating a mid tone. Then we added that mid tone to white, creating a very light blue tint.
2. Paint your tints on your thick white paper in horizontal stripes. Let your paint dry for 20-30 minutes.
3. Once your paint is dry you can start to tear your sections. Darkest tint in the foreground, middle tint in the middle ground, and lightest tint behind the middle ground. We used our bright blue card stock as our background but you could paint yours.
4. Draw your polar bear(s).
Ri decided to add some grey dots to my bear and then she made some polar bear faces of her own. The bottom right is the one that H drew.. I love him, he has so much 'tude.
We added a little beige collage muzzle to this one:
5. Play around with your layout before you glue your bears behind your foreground piece.
6. Add some snow balls with white hole-punched paper confetti, a white chalk marker, or little dabs of paint on the back of your brush.
"There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it."
I can't believe it is Day 20! I also can't believe I am sick again. I wish I had something funny, witty, or soulful to share that somehow ties into today's project. But truth be told, my brain feels like a big bowl of holiday mush. I guess I can take this opportunity to send a shout out to my mom who is most definitely in the top 5 world's best grandmothers of all time. I seriously couldn't do any of what I do without her love and support. H and R definitely won the Grammy lotto. She just picked the girls up so I could get some rest. I love you, mom.
Today's DIY cards are quick and cute and create ZERO mess, which means easy clean-up! Yay!
- silver duct tape
- yellow duct tape
- colorful washi tape
1. Start by building your menorah with silver duct tape.
2. Add your candles by laying vertical strips of washi tape.
3. Cut flames out of yellow duct tape.
- card stock
- washi tape
- adhesive of your choice: glue stick, glue dots, foam mounting squares (if you want it to pop off your card a bit
1. Sketch a dreidel.
2. Cut your shape.
3. Cover with washi tape.
4. Mount it to your card.
Washi Christmas Tree
- black print washi
- sequines or hole-punched card stock for balls
1. Lay a vertical strip of washi tape for your trunk.
2. Build out your branches with skinny, black print washi tape (you can cut your washi tape down the middle to get these skinnier pieces).
- washi tape for scarf and buttons
- googly eyes
- small scrap of orange construction paper for nose
- black pen for smile
- pink for cheeks (we used a dot marker on ours)
1. Scarf: Lay a piece of washi tape from the left side of your card to the right.
2. Cut out 2 circle shapes from a strip of washi for your snowman’s buttons.
3. Cut out an orange triangle shape for your snowman’s nose and glue it down.
4. Add your googly eyes above your carrot nose.
5. Draw a simple smile shape with a black pen.
6. Add your rosy cheek.