Saturday, May 30, 2009

Recycled Sun Catcher

Our town does not recycle much more than plastic bottles, so I have quite a collection of plastic egg cartons, salad containers and other items that I simply cannot throw away. Yesterday I came up with a cute way to reuse the top of a plastic lettuce container. Actually, any clear plastic flat lid would work. The one I used was not attached, but a clamshell type container could work too if you cut the top off. I gave H a little cup (repurposed applesauce container) of Elmer's glue mixed with a little water and a paintbrush, some small pieces of tissue paper and a bunch of confetti, small beads and small dried beans and lentils. She brushed on the glue, stuck on the decorations and then brushed a little more glue on top. I made sure it was applied thickly over the more 3-dimensional items. It took most of the day to dry. We hung it up this morning and it looks great!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Butterfly Tree

We have a seasonal "tree" in our house, which is actually just a branch in a jar. We decorate it with seasonal items throughout the year. Christmas ornaments at holiday time, leaves in the fall, flowers and insects in the spring etc. We find and make the decorations. Changing the decorations is always so much fun and something we look forward to. My daughter wanted a butterfly theme for her 4th birthday and we decided that the craft at the party would be a butterfly tree. This way, our guests could make something at the party and remake it at home throughout the year by changing the ornaments.

We used baby food jars for the base. We put a small ball of modeling clay in each jar to secure the branch. We stuck a small branchy stick (most were about 12"-18" tall) into the clay and placed little pebbles in the jar. We collected some of the pebbles and used clear glass globs as well. I cut out about a thousand butterflies (slight exaggeration) from colored cardstock and colored paper. Reusing previously painted or decorated paper would be really nice too). To cut the butterflies I simply folded the paper in half and cut a variety of wing shapes along the fold. They ranged in size from 1" to 4". I cut pipe cleaners in half and using one half per butterfly, I folded the pipe cleaner and secured it to the butterflies making a body and twisting the top into antennae which would later act as hooks to hook the butterflies to the tree.

The day of the party we set the empty trees out with plenty of bare butterflies and lots of geometric stickers. We used ring shaped hole reinforcers and colorful round stickers as well as a few sparkly gem stickers. The little ones decorated the wings with stickers and hung them on their trees. The ages ranged from 2 to 6 and it was fun for all of them.

The picture shows our seasonal tree (the larger one) as well as the one we made at the party. My daughter has reworked hers several times--adding drawings to the wings, rearranging and so on. We might be making changing our butterflies to fish in a few weeks!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My First Post

This blog is intended to be a collection of our family's artistic endeavors. I love being able to create with my little 4-year-old girl (H) and often with other little ones. My 1 1/2-year-old son (W) is getting close to his first art making experiences and I cannot wait. In the past year I have taught toddler art classes and private art lessons, as well as what we do at home and with friends. I am getting ready to launch Art in the Park (AitP), a weekly art and play group for the summer. There is always something messy taking place in our kitchen and I looking forward to sharing it with you. I love all of the idea sharing taking place on other blogs, I suppose I am doing this as a way to keep track of the things we do and as a way to share and give back to other families.

This is also a place for me to share some of my art with anyone who wishes to see it. the paintings above are titled Sycamore and Cantankerous Spring.