Monday, December 3, 2012

Pony Bead Ornaments

I can't get enough of this pony bead project. I've made this project more classroom friendly and it sure made some fantastic ornaments for the preschool group I did this with. Silicone pancake molds work wonders to shape your ornament. I found these tree shapes at Diaso. Add plastic beads. You can use the translucent beads to make it look more stained glass like and you can also mix in some of the opaque beads for contrast. Bake for 12 minutes at 425 degrees. When it's cooled, drill a hole at the top to hang and you have yourself a masterpiece. BE SURE TO BAKE THESE IN A TOASTER OVEN OUTSIDE. Seriously, It's pretty toxic smelling. One of the kids used all sorts of plastic beads, not just the pony beads and I LOVE the way it turned out.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Graphic Illustration

With the 5th graders at Highlands Elementary I decided to focus on the difference between realistic illustration and graphic illustration. I used samples of the artist Romero Britto. His art is the ideal example for kids to understand the concept of bold and graphic. To help the kids keep the idea of simple and bold graphics I asked them to create their drawing in masking tape on their paper first. Once they had their tape down they were able to paint in sections of color and patterns. The results were so fantastic!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Funky Forest

I was trying to think of a fun lesson for the 3rd grade classes at HIghlands Elementary when I came across this image of a "Yarn Bombed" tree. I loved the patterns and colors! I decided that this would be a great lesson on inspiration and how we can see everyday objects differently. In other words...think outside the box.
I showed this image to the class and talked about how we might translate this image to an illustration. Below is the work that the kids did. It was a really great project using sharpie, gauche and a lot of creative imagination.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cherry Blossoms

Even though it's October I couldn't resist introducing the first graders at Highlands Elementary to the cherry blossom project. The kids all had the same materials and were given the exact same instructions. It's exciting to see each individual interpretation.
Here's how to do this: Tape a piece of paper down to a flat surface (this prevents the paper from curling) Watercolor the blue background. Drip blots of black liquid watercolor on the bottom left corner and while the ink is still pooled blow it with a straw across the paper. Repeat until you are happy with your branches. To finish the kids used q-tips to paint the flower petals.

Friday, September 28, 2012

POP goes ART!

Today was my first class at Highlands Elementary teaching art for the PTA Reflections art contest. I got a chance to spend the afternoon with one of the 2nd grade classes. I chose a Pop Art lesson for this group thinking that the bold colors and graphic shapes would be right up their alley. I guessed right! The kids really had a great time and I am so impressed with their work! In addition to using bright color palettes and dot patterns to have a pop art feel they also had to keep in mind that their painting should be something that represents the theme of the art contest. "The Magic of a Moment".
Cory knew right away what he was painting. He wanted to paint the first time he made a basketball shot. This picture doesn't really do his work justice.
Jocelyn was haveing a great time creating many layers using paint daubers to create layers of dots.This reminds me of Warhol's Diamond Dust Shoe piece. (an example I showed the class before getting started)
I am thrilled with Gino's work. So fun and festive!
Belliny was very focused. Her layers of flower shapes were very intentional and she was confident with every stroke of her brush.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I HEART the Container Store!

You see the projects I come up with and have you ever wondered "Where does she get all this stuff"? Maybe you think "She must spend a fortune on craft supplies". Well, not really. I organize craft swaps where people bring all of their supplies they are done with and swap them for free for other crafty bits. It's perfect for a junkie like myself. The problem. Organization! I see all sorts of things that inspire me to create a new project but storing them in an orderly fashion is not really a gift I have. I have stored lots of my little bits in tennis ball containers for years but as I create more projects for large school groups I have more and more stuff that needs a home in my art space. I finally decided to see the professionals! I went into the Container Store and was greeted by a wonderful woman named Tiffany. She listened to my needs and together we kick started my new storage system. After 2 visits and a couple hours of problem solving it was complete! I am THRILLED with my new space and feel the need to have a craft-warming party! I am also relieved to dodge the bullet of being selected for an episode of Hoarders.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Only YOU can prevent wildfires!

In the past I tend to keep my blog more kid-craft specific. I'd like to mix it up a bit and introduce you to more of what I do beyond glitter and glue. I recently finished a line of t-shirt graphics for good ol' Smokey Bear. I do a significant amount of freelance and the most exciting part about it is that it's never the same! These Smokey Bear shirts will be found in National Parks and Zoos.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Celebrating Baby!

The luxury I have of being completely passionate about all things design and art is that I can translate it to almost any medium or purpose. One of the ways I spread my love of creative problem solving is in event planning. I do this on a very limited basis because as you can imagine, I dive in full steam ahead and it tends to occupy a lot of my time. This summer I chose to take on hosting a baby shower for my pet loving, dear friend Beth. She is like my little sister (one of 3) and I could't think of celebrating my excitement for the arrival of her little peanut in any other way than FULL STEAM AHEAD. The sugar cookie dog bones were packaged with a note from all of her and her husbands pets saying "Thank You for celebrating our new playmate". Floral bouquets were in vintage glass milk bottles, the wagon bouquet was once a $3 red wagon at the thrift store until I got my glittery hands on it and a gourmet sundae bar for dessert topped off the warm summer afternoon. Doing events like this makes it hard for me to say "no" to more event planning. I had so much fun and I think all our guests did too!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Fun in the SUN!

This summer I have been pretty hooked on many forms of stained glass crafts. I've been working on making a project that can look just like stained glass but not have the danger factor like actual glass cutting does. On my journey to this solution I have stumbled upon tons of FUN! Melting pony beads has definitely delayed my progress on the stained glass project. Pony beads are the large plastic beads you see in craft stores and pre school classrooms. I personally have never had much use for them until recently. Now I can't get enough of them! All you need to do is arrange the beads on a pan in any shape you'd like. If you aren't feeling super creative you can even make it as simple as dumping a bunch of beads into a metal cookie cutter on a cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. After the pan has cooled your sun catcher will slide right off the pan. Drill a hole to hang with fishing line, string or ribbon. ***I HIGHLY RECOMMEND DOING THIS OUTSIDE! I use a toaster oven on my back deck. I don't know for sure that it is toxic however I'm pretty sure it's not healthy.***

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Rainy Day Crayon Molding

Crayon Molding turned out to be TONS of fun! Since my craft partners were 4 and 5 years old I had to think about the safest way for them to work with hot wax. I used a warming tray that I found at a garage sale. I turned the warming tray on high and made foil bowls for the girls to drop their peeled crayons into. They melted like colors together and then soon started mixing colors. It was a great lesson on color mixing. Next time we do this we will advance to color layering and marbling.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Fish Out of Water

I was trying to think of a fun summer craft and I had a stack of paper lunch sacks sitting next to me. Here is what I came up with. I just cut the corners off the bag, trimmed up the insides and punched a hole in the top for hanging. I used tissue paper circles and sequins to decorate it. Really easy, low cost and tons of fun. The streamers hanging down are crepe paper. This fish definitely does not like the water. He prefers the sun.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

No Tie, No Dye

I am mildly addicted to Sharpie Tie Dyeing. Those of you that follow me on Facebook are already aware of this. It's the perfect summer craft for ALL ages! Here's how you do it... Get something nice and plain. I have found that your basic t-shirt works best. Those canvas bags and hats you see in the craft stores don't do this project justice. GO basic. T-shirt. Stick with lighter colors but you don't have to use only white. If you are doing this on a shirt you will want to slip a tray or piece of heavy cardboard into the shirt so that the pen doesn't bleed through to the back of the shirt. Get your Sharpies and draw away! I found that making a basic shape and then adding a series of dots or small stripes worked best for the tie die look. TIP: I did provide letter stencils for those that were not confident in writing their name and adding patterns around it. Once you get the drawing done make sure your shirt is pulled nice and tight against the tray. (It is best if the tray has a lip on it so that there is space between the shirt and the tray surface. This helps the next step work best)If you shirt is much larger than your tray pull the shirt in a bunch in the back (where you have not colored) and wrap a rubber band around it to hold it tight. Now add rubbing alcohol to where you have colored. I used a pipette for dripping the rubbing alcohol. I suppose now is when I should mention that it's best to do this in a well ventilated area? Don't worry it will be just a matter of 20 minutes or so and your masterpiece will dry and not smell like a nail salon. Watch the pigment bleed torugh the fibers like magic! It's so fun! After your shirt has dried throw it in the dryer for a bit to set the ink. Voila! No-mess tie dyeing!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mosaic Beginner

I got the idea in my head that making mosaic trivets with my sons first grade class is a great idea. I have never even attempted mosaic trivets before so I decided a test run was in order.

I did some online research and realized the materials don't have to be quite as specific as I had originally thought.That was a relief! For the class project I ordered 6"x6" masonite fiber boards. These are VERY inexpensive and a great solution to keep the cost down. For my test run I used a ceramic tile that I had left over from another project. I drew a very basic image on the base tile with a dry erase marker. Once I got going on laying the tiles I realized that the less detail, the better. That is why there water lines are not in the final piece.Over all I think this test run was a success! I'll be sure to post some of the kids work when I get it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Preschool Masterpiece

No joke. I did this Mona Lisa with my daughters pre school class. Amazing, right?

This was a project I found that is done by an art school. When I saw it I KNEW it could be adjusted to work well with pre schoolers. I was THRILLED with the outcome.

Each child in the class was responsible for a 4" x 4" square. We melted crayons on a warming tray to give the end result a fine art quality. I have a new mild obsession with creating auction art projects.

Side note: I was the lucky bidder at the auction too! I love this piece SO much I now own it. YAY!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

1 Spider Leg, 1 Paper Pot, 1/3 of a feather Boa

My kids school is having their annual auction and needless to say when they told me the theme was "Dr. Seuss" I just about flipped!

I had the kraft colored paper mache pots from a craft swap, the green stems are very large Halloween spiders (Super clearance at Target) and the top is of course the feather boa.Add in some masking tape and spray paint and VOILA!

I will be making this smaller table top ones and also some large ones. I'll post more pictures of the decor as I get it created.