Friday, October 31, 2014

Beth Curtin's Newest Collages

 This one is called "Harvest Moon."

This one is called "December."

Fall is coming. Winter is coming. The days are growing shorter. The nights are growing longer. We will turn on lights. We will light candles. We will gather together and keep the darkness at bay.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Another Recyled Cardboard Haunted House

Oooooooo! Look at this spooky house Madelon made using a Nespresso box! Wow! I love it! We're going to use this to decorate a craft table at the school Halloween party.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Imaginary Fish for First and Second Grade

 This is another great idea from Deep Sparkle Space. I have to come up with new ideas constantly because my after school classes are mixed grades and some of the children come back every term. I'm leaning heavily on Deep Sparkle Space for new ideas! For this project we looked at some drawings of different kinds of fish. I told the children they could make an imaginary fish. Look! This is a jack o' lantern fish, with bottle cap bubbles!

 They drew with a black wax crayon and then watercolored.  After gluing their fish on to the background color they had picked, I encouraged them to add some details like coral, plants, or other fish. This artist chose not to add anything, but went on to create a paper boat that floated in the sink! I'm glad the homeroom teacher was still in the class to encourage the experiment.

 This fish is swimming up. Look at the fish's yellow and pink crown. After each child's picture was finished they could add glitter! I always try to have a glitter project since most children don't get to do that at home.

 This artist added bubbles and plants with watercolor and crayon.

 A lot of spiders and spiderwebs showed up under the sea today because Halloween is coming.

 This is a lantern fish, surrounded by lots of spiders and their glittery webs.

 I love this fish's jolly little hat and many stripes. I forgot to mention to the children that it would be easier to cut out a fish with a smooth outline. 

 Wow! I get inspired when I see colors like this! Who says the sea has to be blue or black?

 More gorgeous stripes, plus some very beautiful undersea plants which are like little bouquets.

 It looks like spiders are spinning glittery webs from this fish!

A final very feminine fish with a crown, and a bonus painting below. Some of the children had some extra time and asked if they could do inventions.

A few weeks ago Chloe said she loves it when she gets to "imaginate." I like it, too!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Recycled Cardboard Haunted House

Britt and I made this haunted house for a special primary Halloween party at school. We are going to put it in the middle of a table to inspire children to draw their own Halloween haunted houses using white paint pens on black paper.

It is made of all kinds of cardboard boxes, from cereal boxes to lego boxes, opened, turned inside out, and glued back together with a glue gun. We used craft knives to cut out windows and doors free-hand, for a nice crooked spooky house. It was fun collaborating!

Britt's daughter is painting it black and is planning to add details, from monsters and ghosts, to curtains in the windows and tombstones outside. She is also going to cover the windows with yellow fabric, and put an electric lantern inside to light it up.

I can't wait to see what she comes up with and will post it here in a week or two!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Native American Bead Weaving

Check the side bar for instructions or click the link at the bottom of the post. We usually weave every term, and this Third-Fifth grade class liked weaving yarn so much I brought in these bead looms I made out of wooden clementine and strawberry crates. This class is really patient and each child seems to love art. It is an awful lot of fun to work with them.

 Look at this beautiful rainbow weaving! We used 8 strings in the warp. That's a great number for making a striking pattern.

 One of the patterns we talked about when class started was chevrons. It's not easy to do chevrons and about three of the children wanted to try. Nice work!

 A mixture of patterns is fun, too!

 I find that children love to rise to the challenge of learning a difficult skill. They are so proud when they are successful.

 Next time I think I will hand out graph paper and let the children spend time designing before they weave. The classroom teacher also showed the children some examples of Native American Bead Weaving from google images, and I think I should do that next time, too, to put it all in context.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall Trees Collage for First and Second Grade.

 We put a big selection of materials about and spent a small amount of time talking about tree branches. Next time I'm going to bring a branch in as an example. We discussed how many branches are Y shaped, going from big Y's to little ones. The child who did this piece put her all into it. She was very involved, and it shows.

 Available collage materials were felt, fabric, yarn, colored tissue paper, construction paper, and odds and ends in the collage box.

I encouraged the children to add a little animal. Here's a squirrel!

 And here is a deer with a particularly sensitive combination of collage colors at the top.

 Some of the children wanted to draw the branches. That was fine. They are still building up the strength in their hands for cutting, and their hands get tired. The boy who did this wasn't that interested in the project but seemed to have fun dipping his crayon in glue and doing experiments with that. We wiped the glue off the crayon later.

 This child stuck on a bear she had made at school that day.

 My heart sank a little when I saw a whole ball of yarn become the top of a tree. She agreed to share the yarn and we cut some off.

 This child also didn't seem very engaged in the project, but I like the way he added golden chocolate box forms for leaves. I no longer take it personally that not everyone loves doing every project! It just isn't possible to engage everyone every time, and that's okay.

 Some leaves seem to be falling from this tree.

 The girl who did this tree was very involved in experimenting. She wet gluey tissue paper and squeezed it onto her tree. Her patient grandmother is always willing to carry something wet and sticky home.

 I love how bright this whole picture is. I really do love colored backgrounds.

Next time....Bead Weaving with the older children!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Paper Cuttings/Collages by Beth Curtin

The most recent paper cuttings are at the top. I started with traditional Swiss paper cutting but am now doing collage.

"View From Lavaux"

"Free Range"

"Blackbird Spring"

"Flustered, Mustard, and Custard"

"Sussex Rooster"

"January 2015"


"Snowy Evening"

"The Walk."

"Harvest Moon."

"Christmas Market"

This one is called "Camilla's Copenhagen." I enjoy making my own collage papers.

 This one is "Mama's Grandchildren."

 "Full Moon with Chalets."

"I Know Where the Wild Thyme Blows."

"Fox Girl."

 "School Picnic."

 "The Rosdahl Family Hiking."

 "The Turner Family Skiing."

 "Ida's Hiking."


"They Keep Getting Away."


"Great Oaks From Little Acorns Grow."

"Family Campfire."

"The Virgin Nursing Baby Jesus."

"St. Nicholas of Switzerland."

"She's Coming!"

Some of these paper cuttings are for sale.