Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Puppy Party

My little girl is now 5 years-old. We have been planning her puppy party and celebrating all week. Here are a few highlights...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Map Coasters--A Great Gift Idea!

I received a very cool handmade gift for Christmas this year. Nancy, my brother's girlfriend (also known as Fancy Nancy) made these very personalized coasters by adhering the map to a cork coaster. She cut a circle from heavy map paper. I think she printed the maps herself on cardstock, but it is possible she used actual maps. I would think both would work. The circles were then adhered to the cork with acrylic gloss or Mod Podge. The best part of these coasters is that the maps are all close-ups of places I have lived, making it a very personal gift. The are really sturdy and have had lots of use, not only as coasters but as building blocks, wheels, babies and more. Personal and functional are always such a good gift combination.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Queen of the Laundry

I gave myself a face. That was my initial intention, I really did not want to portray myself as being choked or suffocated by the endless loads of wash, I wanted to represent a more beautiful side to a sometimes overwhelming mundane task. I was inspired by the works of Julie Heffernan, particularly her self portraits wearing dresses composed of tails, dead animals, flowers, etc. Many artisits have painted or drawn portraits of "washer women" and they always look burdened or tired, never glamorous. I wanted to give a new look to an old theme. The lighting in the new photograph is more true to life. It still has some proportion issues, but I am glad I took the time to put the face in. I feel like this is a concept I want to continue with. Let me know what you think of the addition of the face.

I spent a good part of last week working on this life-sized self portrait.
 I do realize that if I stop drawing the laundry I will have more time to wash, dry and put away. But that simply does not excite me:)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Post It Notes Collage

This is a great idea for a temporary collage for toddlers to create. This idea comes from Young at Art by Susan Striker--a wonderful book for creating art with young children. My little man loved peeling off the little sticky notes and arranging them on the furniture. The dog even ended up with a few.
Big sister could not resist joining in....

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Working with Pastels

I have been working with pastels lately and my little artist has been eyeing them up. We got her pastels out the other day, along with some heavy paper, contact paper, scissors and paper towels. We cut a few shapes from the contact paper to use as a masking device. Using both the positive and negative shapes we stuck a few at a time to the paper and started to fill in the spaces with pastels.
Pastels are a great medium for blending colors. Rubbing with a paper towel helps to smooth and blend. Rubbing over the contact paper, then peeling it off, creates bright clean white spaces and interesting shapes. You can then restick the contact ppaer over new white spaces or places that have already been colored.

Friday, April 2, 2010


The egg coloring has begun. Crayons on hot eggs will slide around so nicely and create very pretty eggs. Much less mess than traditional dipping. Keep the eggs in the hot water after they finish cooking. Place a few eggs into an empty carton, the carton makes a perfect workspace that keeps fingers off the hot eggs. Experiment first to find a temperature that makes the crayon melt but will not burn if someone decides to pick one up. You can leave the eggs as they are, or dip them in some dye for a nice crayon resist affect. The melting sliding crayons are really nice to work with.  

Our lovely collection. Glitter glue with a paint brush was also a big hit.
I think these marbled eggs are so pretty. After you boil your eggs, roll them on the counter to crack the shell, but do not peel it. Then let them soak in egg dye in the fridge overnight. Then peel off the shell off to reveal the lovely marbled eggs inside. We only made a few because I am not such a big fan of eating colored eggs. One of these years I will look into making these with natural dyes. For now, they are really pretty and our dog enjoys an occasional egg treat.
One more thought--A tray of watercolor paint and a brush is a great way for 2 and unders to decorate eggs. Fill a carton with white boiled eggs and give him or her a paint tray, a brush and some water. Painting is easier than trying to dip and and wait. No spills and very satisfying:)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Little Bit of Easter

 I had intentions of posting tons of Easter projects, but then the sun came out and started to warm this place up! We have been enjoying the warmer days. We have a few puddles, lots of mud, melting snow, sunlight from about 7 AM until after 9 PM. We have seen and heard some new birds and spotted buds on the trees. We can be outside for extended periods without full winter gear, and geese were spotted in Delta Junction, a few hours south of Fairbanks...Spring is here! We still have snow on the ground and freezing nighttime temps, but for the most part, winter is a thing of the past.
I did want to post a few pictures of some of the things we have been doing around here to get ready for Easter before Easter is over.
Hollin came up with this game all on her own. She selected 12 plastic eggs and painted an empty egg carton to match each of the eggs. She poured and mixed every color, painted, and even counted how many of each color she needed. It has been a cute game to play with Waylon as he is just starting to learn colors.

My personal favorite...We just had some work done on our deck which resulted in a big pile of scrap wood in the driveway. Hollin made this adorable Easter Bunny using the wood scraps. Just a temporary creation.