Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pounding Flowers

We have been creating so many cool things these last few weeks, yet it has been a challenge to keep up with posting. I really admire the crafty moms out there who always post so regularly--you inspire me! Thank you to all who put up with my erratic posting. I should warn you that we have a 16 day vacation coming up so things will be quieter than usual. Once the cold sets in I will be much more inclined to post regularly. Okay, now for pounding flowers...
This was a very fun process. We have pounded flowers on fabric before and had great results. The color from the flower transfers to the fabric when pounded with a hammer or rock creating a lovely floral design. I thought we would try to do it on paper. The result was different from what I had expected. The color did not really transfer, but we got some super textures.
Gather some leaves and flowers. Thick sturdy ones with good veins work best. You will also need a sheet of heavy paper, a sheet of newspaper or lighter paper, a hammer or rock, a paintbrush, water and a watercolor wash.
Wet your heavy paper with water, then arrange the flowers and leaves. Cover with the sheet of light weight paper.
Press down carefully with hands, then pound with the hammer.
Remove top paper and use the watercolor wash to bring out the texture.
Fun and lovely--especially when held up to the sun.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Spicing Up Our Walks

Sometimes I need to get creative to get everyone motivated for a walk. Even on the nicest days it seems that the kids would rather play in the yard than take a walk--or one wants to walk and the other does not. But, the dog needs a walk and I need a walk and everyone is always happy once we get started. It occurred to me recently that without even thinking about it I have been coming up with little themes or games that make the walk more interesting. We don't have many options as to where we walk around the house so I do need to spice it up a bit. Simply picking flowers along the way lost its appeal so I grabbed two pairs of little scissors and a vase full of water. Cutting wild flowers and arranging them right away was really fun, and now we have some flowers for some other projects I have been thinking about.
Something else we have been having fun with is a dicewalk. I got the inspiration for this via the Artful Parent, one of my very favorite blogs. Instead of arrows and left right directives, I wrote instructions such as "march", "sing", "be an animal", "pick a flower", "skip" and so on. It is half a mile to the nearest intersection, so we would have to take a very long walk in order to get our fill of tossing the die. I did not follow the instructions for making the box, it was thrown together in 3 minutes so it is sloppy and uneven--but it is covered in packing tape and seems to be bomb proof. the kids take turns throwing it. Hollin can sound out the words a little which adds even more excitement.

Sometimes I make a smoothie for them to take or suggest we have a rainbow hunt, where we look for something of each color of the rainbow. We sing songs, tell stories, look for critters or play I spy.
I would love some more ideas, so please share what you do on your walks with your kids.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Magic Bean Drawing

When Hollin woke up on this lovely rainy day, a long sheet of paper with a dried bean glued to the bottom was waiting for her. I told her it was a magic bean and that she should draw what it was going to become. She came up with this "fish plant". This was a quick and easy (no mess) way to start the day creatively. I love the thrill of artistic problem solving!
I think it really was a magic bean because Waylon is still in bed (9:00) and Hollin is unloading the dishwasher. I think I will go enjoy my coffee:)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Giant Dandelion Chains

Thanks to an endless supply of sunlight in the summer months, we have some of the biggest dandelions growing near our house. As you can see, they are at least 2 feet tall.
When you pop the flower off the stem you see that the stem is like a hollow straw. You simply loop the stem into a circle and stick the skinnier end into the thicker end.... then keep adding more loops. The smaller ones made nice round loops while the huge stems created more angular shapes.

I knew it was a good idea to let those sunny weeds grow free.