Thursday, October 24, 2013

Summer Skirts for Nieces!

 Do you remember my simple little spring skirt pattern?  I made a couple for nieces this summer.  Here's the pattern if you want to look it up...

 I was able to find some rick-rack that looked great with this fabric, which I found in Switzerland.  The niece this skirt was made for loves blue...

 And the skirt this one was made for loves orange!

 And this sweet little quilt is for the blue-skirted niece's Waldorf doll!  See the little pillow?  My mother made it for my daughter's doll cradle long ago and I recovered it.

This is the back of the little quilt.  It's fun to make the sides different.  These are fabrics left over from our bed quilt....

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Castello, Italy

 On a misty day in Italy, near the border with Switzerland, on Lake Lugano, we went to visit this little town perched on the edge of a cliff.

 You have to park and walk into the town, and there is a beautiful shrine with this painting near where we parked.

 The beautiful little streets were hushed.  We saw not a soul.  We whispered.

 Some of the colors of the houses were so beautiful, terracottas and ochres.

 And I loved looking down to the lake over the rooftops.

 It must have been fun to live there when there were more people, especially children.  Imagine how fun it must have been to run up and down the little streets.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Parrots and Choices

 I wanted to share some parrot inspirations with my after school art class and brought in a beautiful book, Glorious Inspiration by Kaffe Fassett.  It has several pages of paintings of colorful parrots.  I did a little demonstration of how to draw animals, by breaking the animal down into shapes.  Then I showed them how I made some templates of those shapes for the children to use in drawing a parrot, if they wanted.  What do you think about using templates?  I'm a little mixed about it but learned about it from some art teacher blogs.  I does unfreeze children who are worried about their drawing ability, and I offer it as an option.  I suggested that the children make five sheets of collage paper, and use them for the parrot.  They could create a jungle background by doing leaf rubbings.

 Look at these gorgeous collage papers.  Some of the children traded bits of collage papers.  I'm glad the children are making their own, but I really miss my big treasure box of the papers I made last year for my classes.  They were lost during a school move.  Below, some jungle backgrounds.

Two children just wanted to use nature materials they had gathered during recess to make a collage together.  I encouraged them to do it, and I loved the way Sophie showed me her treasures, and the way the children worked cooperatively in creating their picture.

 Look at these beautiful little nature collages and sculptures they made and gave me.

 This child spent a lot of time wrapping layers of leaves.  I think there was a baby person inside.

 In the meantime, some of the children had used the inspiration to do a collage parrot in the jungle, and the results were wonderful, (some not finished yet.)

 One boy preferred to do a spider instead of a parrot.

 And after doing a rubbing with leaves, one girl wanted to sketch a parrot.

In the meantime, my son, who isn't taking the class, started making an origami water bomb!

I like the way things are going in the class.  Last year, I urged all the children to follow my instructions and give the projects a try.  This year, I urge them to go off on their own tangents and explore their interests.  After all, this is an after school art program and I'm not trying to teach an art curriculum.  I'm inspired by reading Franciful Arts blog.  I think the experiment is going really well so far.  I hope the children are happy, too.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Seashore of Endless Worlds

I've been missing Cape Cod so much and wanted to revisit this posting from a few years ago.  I got the idea of gathering these photographs together after seeing a beautiful poem by Rabindranath Tagore on Anna's blog.  I love the pictures of my son communing with the waves, standing on the rocks!  He was exuberant that day.

"On the seashore of endless worlds children meet.
The infinite sky is motionless overhead and the restless water is boisterous.

On the seashore of endless worlds the children meet with shouts and dances.

They build their houses with sand,

                                              and they play with empty shells.

With withered leaves they weave their boats and smilingly float them on the vast deep

Children have their play on the seashore of worlds.

They know not how to swim, they know not how to cast nets. Pearl-fishers dive for pearls, merchants sail in their ships, while children gather pebbles and scatter them again. 

They seek not for hidden treasures, they know not how to cast nets.

The sea surges up with laughter, and pale gleams the smile of the sea-beach. Death-dealing waves sing meaningless ballads to the children, even like a mother while rocking her baby’s cradle.

The sea plays with children,

and pale gleams the smile of the sea-beach.

On the seashore of the endless worlds children meet.

Tempest roams in the pathless sky, ships are wrecked in the trackless water, death is abroad and children play.
On the seashore of endless worlds is the great meeting of children."

—Rabindranath Tagore (Gitanjali)

I discovered this wonderful poem on Anna's blog, Our Homeschooling Journey, Thank you for sharing the work of one of your favorite poets with us, Anna!