Friday, October 9, 2015

Handmade Stamps: Facial Features

 Foam Stamps
Stamps, paper, postcards, print-making...
This simple stamp-making project can provide hours of creative art time
 Painted Images
We were gifted craft foam stickers, pre-cut into animal shapes.
You could easily glue these pre-cuts onto wooden blocks.
Instead, we took a page from 'Mer Mag' and made geometric shapes that were interpreted in various ways.

Baby C was quick to pick out the "egg" (oval) and the "riangle" (triangle)
While O had other idea's about what the images represented.
What I thought looked like a blinking eye, she saw as a "roller-coaster", the closed eye, a "door" and the profile of a nose, a "foot". 

 Deep in concentration
 Sensory Play

The first round of art, both babes went at it; learning how to stamp, which side of the block to press ink onto, various ways around your could look at the image, finger-printing and creating art!

The second round, I asked O if I could give her a paper with a large oval to represent a face.
She started with eyes and a nose and then became fully immersed in finger-printing and filling the page with colour.

Pattern & Print
She even took to some pattern-making, squeezing in her own math lesson.

These stamps, ridiculously cheap and easy to prep, will last us a long time!
If you're children are interested, they can even be involved in cutting the length of wood into blocks, sanding and drawing images for foam transfer, to include them in the design process.

I love me some print-making!!
Not only beautiful on paper, but fabric too!!
Loads of lessons can be snuck into these art projects; math (shapes, geometry, patterns, counting), telling stories, writing letters, creative thinking.

Geninne's Cork Stamps. These are masterfully crafted from cork! Beauty!

Stamps & Lit. Mama Miss combines stamp-making with Leo Leonni's 'Swimmy' and uses tri-colour ink pads! 
We have been reading 'Last Stop on Market Street' and admiring the inner cover images.
Most children's picture books have gorgeous inside covers that could be inspiration for print-making,

Print & Possibility. We have used styrofoam before, which can easily be drawn on with a ball-point pen to create a printing block, but you can use various objects from around the house (and fridge!) 
Cork, clay, wood, foam, fruit, veg, buttons, objects found in nature, TP rolls, lino(leum) blocks.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

When Life Gives You Lemons? Make Dessert!

We LOVE lemons!
A sweet friend of ours gifted me this recipe from Julie Morris, 'Superfoods' and as she promised, it did not disappoint!

We squeezed and rolled our lemons for maximum juice, before twisting them through the juicer.
The recipe calls for 3T of fresh juice and zest...and we decided to double the recipe, which was a clever move!

At first, they come out of the oven very flaky and granola-like, but after cooling they have a great chewy texture and full lemon flavour!

Check out more of Julie Morris on her site

Meringue Pie. Key Lime, Lemon Meringue...the tartiness is my fave! Check out this vegan version of an old favourite here

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Walk in the Woods: Hibernation Time

Hibernating Snake

We walked in the woods,

Where the wild ones stay

And they didn’t show their faces

And they didn’t run away.

It was quiet in the woods,

And the wild ones heard,

When we brushed against the bushes.

But they didn’t say a word.

Then we waited in the woods,

And we listened to the air,

And they heard us keeping quiet,

And we felt them being there.

~Dennis Lee, from 'Garbage Delight'

Silhouette & Self

"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are"

I love this combination of portrait and person
Not only is it a physical outline of the child, but offers tidbits about who they are.
It seems we do a yearly 'Silhouette' project

The first challenge was to find a way to have both O & Baby C sit for their portrait!
Their shadow 'alter ego's' were entertaining them!

The second challenge was getting them to describe themselves.
I have lots of idea's about who I think they are, but I wanted to understand their version of themselves and not impose my own thoughts.
When I asked, "What are you like?" the responses were mostly things they like, but not who they are.
After a bit of discussion and examples about "describing people/things", we decided to include all their remarks.
I asked O if she could describe her sister, "She eats dirt and she likes chipmunks."
Surprisingly, when I asked Baby C to tell me about herself, she responded,
"Ummmm....Love daddy's phone. 
Ummmm...Love kissing mommy, daddy and O-yi-vi-a. 
Eat snails!"
(followed by chomping her teeth!)

O is very much into writing, so she dictated her thoughts while I wrote them on spare paper.
Later, she was able to copy them into her silhouette.
She put little lines in a left hand margin, to place each point!


Photo Blocks. I love this project and have these blocks stacked on our art table. They always make me smile!
It's a great way to display a range of emotions!

Only One You by Linda Krantz. Such a cute little story about parent fish giving their child fish some life advice. 
"Find your own way. You don't have to follow the crowd."
"Set aside some quiet time to relax and reflect every day."
"No matter how you look at it, there is so much to discover." 
The message in the end; "There is only one you."
In both English and Spanish.

Unstoppable Me by Dr. Wayne Dyer.  This is the first I had heard about the infamous American self-help author, Dyer. it was recommended on one of the blog book lists I frequent. Very well done, so we're headed to the library to get his accompanying book, 'Incredible You'.
There is a list of questions at the end, to get children (and their parents!) thinking about each of the ten points. O's answers were very amusing!!

 Unstoppable Me!

#1 "You're great. No matter what."
#2 "Persistence pays off."
#3 "Welcome the unknown."
#4 "You have a choice."
#5 "Farewell to worry."
#6 "Peace begins with you."
#7 Enjoy the here and now."
#8 "Healthy me"
#9 "Creativity is the key"
#10 "What can you give?"

Colour By Number

If we had lots of time and more wall space, we could create Colour By Number Portraits!
But that wasn't happening, so instead I took our tessellation stencils and produced a simple colour-by-number activity.

Since O is keen on learning to spell, I wrote the name of the colours to correspond.

Including math problems. This is a great way to sneak some math into your art time.

Colour By Letter. Another twist; add the alphabet! 

Theme Colour-by-Number. Include a theme; like the Solar Planet 

Monday, October 5, 2015

All New Light Box

I love my handy husband.

Our large light box died.
Rest In Peace. 
It was an IKEA's under-the-bed shoe container with lid, used as a slide so many times, it finally snapped.

I asked my clever husband to whip up a tinier version as the dark days are quickly approaching!
Light boxes can be used for all sorts of activities (art/tracing, sensory, imaginary play, building/engineering, science,) any time of year, but we seem to use ours most when daylight is shorter.

He came up with a simple, bottomless box with sturdy plexiglass top and drilled in a small hole to allow the light cord to poke through.
It's already popular and we haven't started any projects yet!

Rainbow Blocks. Dollar store 'jenga blocks' and some transparent duotangs.

100 Light Box Idea's. Something to get started with!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Leaf Resist Watercolour

Due to drying glue, this became a two-day project.
We introduced Day One with a Waldorf Leaf poem by 'This Cosy Life'
Then we collected leaves on a nature walk, looking at the different shapes, changing colours and identifying which tree they came from.
We then took a cereal box to make solid stencils for matching and tracing.

 Tracing an Oak Leaf

Once we had overlapped several leaf tracings, we tinted our white glue with red food colouring to draw over the outlines.

Day Two, Baby C fully immersed herself in painting!
Paintbrush, fingers, at one point, even her nose got involved!

O worked on using various colours to represent Autumn.

This turned out to be a fully loaded lesson, disguised as an art project!