Friday, March 29, 2013

Hugs for My Sister

 I wanted to send my sister some big hugs, so I made her a quilt.  I used a gorgeous Amy Butler fabric I have been saving, and lots of pink for peace and comfort.  I used an extra thick batting and tied it all together.

Here is a little surprise of color on the back.  Quilting is so much fun for me, a way to express love through collage art you can cuddle.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pretty Spring Lanterns

 Today with the kindergarten and first grade after school class we made spring lanterns using jars and tissue paper.

Here is the beautiful selection of springy colors!

 Add a little water to glue to make a glaze.  Paint it on your jar and then start to layer tissue paper, which you can cut out or tear to make the shapes you want.  Paint more glaze on top.  It will make all the paper lie flat and will create a shiny seal.

 How pretty this combination of colors and shapes is!  I asked the children to try two use some geometric shapes, and to layer colors to make them change.  We talked briefly about color mixing.

 Here are two friends being twinsies, using similar color combinations.  Did you notice how nice the lanterns look with the shirt you can see in the picture?

 When things aren't too busy, I think it is good for the children to see an older artist working on the same project.  This is my Wednesday helper.  She's wonderful.

 Two of the girls did many jars!  There were plenty so I let them do as many as they wanted.  I told them that they had started a lantern factory.

 Look at the little dots made of crumples of paper.  I love the way the way the children always come up with some things I hadn't thought of.

 I gave each child a votive candle so their parents could light the lantern for dinner tonight.

 After doing one lantern they could make another smaller one, or do a paper collage.  Look at the sweet hands busy making art.

Tissue paper collage is fun and a great way to work with shapes and the layering and mixing of color.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sunshine on a Rainy Day

Rain all day, but inside, sunshine, as I sewed the quilt top together.  It's going to be on our bed, bringing us Easter colors all year long.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Making Home

I put on my frilliest and most colorful apron, and got busy making

my first batch of strawberry rhubarb jam,

decking the apartment with beautiful flowers,

making twelve shoebox looms for after school art,

working on my beautiful quilt,

watering the flowers on the balcony,

starting to read a funny book,

buying some quail eggs for decorating for Easter,

pruning the grape vine,

and making chicken soup for my little boy, who has a bad cold.  Making home, making it a place that feels good, smells good, and looks good, a place that is good to be, for body and soul.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Weave Your Quilt Scraps

 I have been saving my quilt scraps, even the tiniest bits of selvage and strips from between squares.  I sorted the scraps into strips for weaving, and scraps for collage.

 Some scraps can be made into strips by cutting in a zigzag.

 You can make a loom for a child using a shoebox, a piece of corrugated cardboard, or an unused styrofoam meat tray.  See Weaving with Children, one of my posts, for instructions.

I used packaging string as the warp, and to make a firm edge at the bottom.  My warp strings are a quarter of an inch apart.  The warp is just one long piece of string wrapped round and round the box, with the ends tied together. The upper primary children are going to weave next week using the looms I made them.  I can't wait to see the results.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Frottage Project

 Our world is full of amazing textures which are fun to touch.  You can use these textures to make art.  We worked inside, but if it is dry out, you could have a wonderful walk outdoors and collect lots of rubbings!  This project is good for people of all ages.

Collect all kinds of interesting textures from your house, and make a workspace with some newspaper.

I love this bumpy and beautiful mini tart form.  It got flattened by the rubbing!

Since the cheese grater is sharp on one side, I taped it down, with the sharp side underneath.

Erik is a young artist who helps out with the upper primary class.  He demonstrated the method for children who were finished painting their clay boats.  He always takes projects in interesting directions and inspires the children with his intensity.  The children working below are from the kindergarten/first grade class.

After peeling the paper off the crayons the children rubbed over the textures onto paper, the crayons held flat.

 It's fun to layer the textures on top of one another.  It's also fun to use different colors to see how they mix.  Most of the children just experimented with the shapes and textures, making abstract compositions, but some made flowers and other kinds of pictures.

 Some of the children became very absorbed and spent a long time doing frottage.  Some only stayed with it a short time.

 I was fascinated with what Erik created, which shows how far an older artist can take the explorations.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Starry Night in the Forest

 It snowed the day before we did this project, so even though spring is on its way, there is still time to to think of winter's austere beauty.

I asked the children to imagine that they were in the forest at night.  Had anyone ever been in the forest at night?  Some had and we talked about it.  I talked about how I can see the full moon from my bedroom window, and how beautiful tree limbs (and everything) look in the light of the moon.  We imagined that we were standing in the forest looking up at the moon, with the branches of trees coming in from all sides.

I had collected some tree limbs with Karma and had put them in a vase in the middle of the table.  We looked at them and chatted a little bit about how trees have thick trunks, big branches, smaller branches, and twigs.

First the children used something round to trace a moon...a cup, a biscuit cutter, a jar lid.  If you use a thick blue marker to do the tracing, that will make it easier to paint around your moon.  They dipped their big brushes into pale gray paint and put some craters on their moons.

Some of the children used the crayon to shade their moon.

 Then the children drew trees with black wax crayons, and painted some slightly watered down ultramarine tempera paint over it all.

 I can't stop looking at this one, which has no stars but seems very misty and mysterious.

To do the stars, cover a table with newspaper and load your brush with watery white paint.  Practice tapping the metal part of the brush, (the ferrule,) on your finger.  Tiny specks of white paint will speckle down.  Are they stars?  Are they snowflakes?  You decide.

Those twinkling little white dots look magical on the deep ultramarine blue, and this moon looks incredibly three-dimensional with the shading.

Have fun!