Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Name Stamp

The other day I was at the dentist sitting in the waiting room with such excitement, kidding. The wait was much longer than expected, as I flipped through a Family Fun magazine I found this great craft. Emma is really into writing her name right now on everything we own. I thought this would be a lot of fun for her.

wood block (I didn't have one, so I used an old eraser)
fabric paint
ink pad (we love Melissa & Doug ink pads)

First I wrote Emma in marker on a thin sheet of paper so I could flip it over to use as a guide for writing her name backwards. The magazine suggested using a pencil and rubbing off the name on the wood block. Then I used the fabric paint to write her name on the eraser. I did this once, let it set for a few hours and then did another layer and let it dry over night. The next day we got to stamping. We started with her name stamp and eventually made some finger stamp and even hand stamp pictures. After all it was a brand new fun rainbow ink pad that was just screaming to be broken in!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Good-bye Stationary for Friends

 Good-byes are so hard, especially when you are four and unable to actually comprehend why your family seems so sad to see you go or why your mom is constantly talking about making new friends. As we approach our moving day I try to make things a little easier for Emma to understand.
Today we made stationary sets to give to all of her classmates on her last day at her current school. This project brought up many questions and really got her thinking about what this move really means. It was a good time for us to talk about our new journey and for me to answer all her many four year old questions. Receiving mail from her old friends will be both exciting and comforting for her once we move.
I cherish these little friendships that my children make. It's where they learn to play, share, disagree, love and many other lessons of life that will be a part of making them who they will become.

We found blank cards and envelopes and put a couple in each cello bag along with stickers. We also included a little farewell note from Emma along with her new address. We folded the cello bag over and closed with a sticker. I think these would also be great as a gift for family or friends that live far away. It helps children learn a great step at staying connected even when afar.

We made a special little set for her teachers. Oh goodness, good-byes are never easy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fun product, Metallic Gel Sticks

I wanted to share with you all a fun product we have just discovered, metallic gel sticks. The ones we found are made by Faber-Castell. They are creamy and glide on almost like a lipstick. I also found black canvas which I did not know existed, but it does and was perfect to use our new gel sticks on. The colors appear so vibrant against the black and anytime Emma gets to use a canvas for her creative doings she feels so grown up and sophisticated. It's very cute to see and the canvas makes for a great keepsake or gift.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mixing Colors

What I love most about art is that there are no guidelines, no rules, no right and certainly no wrong. This is the way of thinking that I hope to provide my children with. Sometimes Emma feels like she has made a mistake in a painting or colored a bunny the wrong color and I make sure to encourage her to see that there are no mistakes in art and all of her work is beautiful. Sometimes mistakes are the best thing that could have happened in a painting for me.
Yesterday we had intentions of painting once we made the perfect colors, but mixing colors became so much fun that it was all we ended up doing. Our art for the day was making new colors and it was wonderful.
An ice cube tray gets a second life in our house. Along with some q-tips and paint it is the perfect tray for some color experimenting.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Produce Painting!

I love doing produce painting with the kids. They think it is so fun to use food for any other purpose than eating. It's also a great way to have your child experience different textures, shapes and smells. It is fun for children to see the different prints made by each fruit. So here are a few tips I have for this project.
First, I own a set of Curious Chef's knives https://curiouschef.alice.com/products. This is a wonderful product that allows children to safely be involved in the kitchen. I just love these. Emma loves that she gets to prepare the fruit and veggies for painting.
You can really use anything you have on hand for stamping. I used a mushroom, bell pepper, lemon, orange, apple and blueberries. That's just what we had today. Other fun ones are corn, which can be rolled on the paper to make a very neat print and asparagus is fun to use as silly paint brushes.
For citrus you want to squeeze some juice out and use a towel to get as dry as possible. You can either dip your produce into the paint or use a paint brush to paint on a thinner layer which usually shows the print best.
If you can't get them to eat it I am sure you can get them to paint with it!! Wishing you an artful day!
-green owl mama

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Get Art Organized!

Well, we are beginning to pack up for our big move. We are leaving California and heading to Portland, Oregon. It is an exciting journey for us and we look forward to exploring a new city, meeting new people, spending more time with our loved ones in WA and experiencing seasons!!
As I begin to pack I realize we have A LOT of stuff, way too much stuff and it is time to simplify our life and downsize our STUFF! I came across a wonderful article over at the Noble Mother, 10 Days to a Calmer Family. She gives tips on not just ways to simplify your home, but also your celebrations, routine, discipline and your family as a whole. There are way too many distractions in our world today sometimes we just need some silence to be. Simple is calm.

I got a little off topic as I sat in a room with boxes and a lot of stuff that I refuse to take along on our new journey. What I wanted to share with you today is how I plan to make our art portable. Since we will be staying in a vacation home and putting our things in storage while we look for our own home, we will only have access to the bare essentials for a few months. One of those essentials is definitely our art cabinet. I picked up a gift wrap organizer the other day and it worked perfect to organize and take with us some of our most used art supplies. It has many different pockets and even spots for our paper rolls. Best of all it folds and zippers right up for transporting. For our trinkets like sequins, buttons, pom poms and bells I got a bead box to hold it all without becoming a big mess. We are all set now to continue creating in our new city.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Magic Water Beads!

I had been hearing of these wonderful water beads for a while now. I finally stumbled upon them in Joanne Fabrics yesterday afternoon. They are in the floral section, normally used to hydrate flowers and fancy up vases. Not today though, today we shall scoop, squish, stir and enjoy the fun in these round little gems.
First you add the tiny little colorful beads to a bowl of water. The package has exact measurements on it, but I took a rough guess. You need a lot of water as they expand quite a bit. We did this step before Emma left for school. It takes a few hours for them to grow and I wanted it to be a nice after school surprise for her to see what had happened.

This was so much fun to just move your hands around in the bowl and I added some scoops and an ice tray for Emma to enjoy. The package says nontoxic, but I still kept a close eye on Grayson while he was elbows deep in this bowl. I am not sure I want him digesting these little expanding balls.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tofu Fun

Today was an exciting day for Emma. Back to school after a long two weeks off for winter break. Getting off routine for her can sometimes be stressful and takes a few days to get back on track. I anticipated she would need some relaxing sensory play when she got home today. I was in the local Asian market browsing around and came across more tofu options then I ever imagined could possibly exist. I grabbed a few thinking this may turn into something fun. After school I laid out slices of different tofu, cookie cutters, measuring spoons and other kitchen tools. They really enjoyed this. Pretending to cook, squishing the tofu in their hands, tasting, smelling and just exploring with something new and interesting. Success.