Monday, November 7, 2016

Butterfly Stencils and Silhouettes

I did this project with an after school class of very young children. Each child had a stencil of a butterfly taped to a sheet of white paper. I got out a dozen different stamps, some that I had made and some commercial ones, and ink pads. The children had to keep stamping until the area behind the stencil was filled with pattern. I think that they are quite beautiful!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Making a Canvas Rug

I made this canvas rug last winter and had every intention of writing a post that outlined all of the steps. However, the winter light and scale of the project, as I worked on it in a corner of my family room, were not always conducive to taking good photos. Plus, there are several good online tutorials on making canvas rugs. This is not a project that I would suggest making with children, but I wanted to share it here anyway.

 

If you decide to google directions for making a canvas rug, let me just warn you that it is not as "easy" or "inexpensive" as some of the websites suggest. I first read about canvas rugs from Martha Stewart years ago. Hers is designed using stencils, my designs are created with stamps that I made. I'll outline the stamps later. I happened to have the length of canvas that I needed, given to me by a friend, but the canvas itelf is not inexpensive. You will also need gesso, acrylic paint, varnish and a board to adhere your canvas to while you work. And just remember that, because of the size of the project, you will need these items in fairly large quantities. Now just let me say, that I do love my rug. After several months of use, it looks like new and cleans up easily. It gets a lot of traffic since I have it right in front of my kitchen sink.
I created the printing plates (stamps) from craft foam and the textured material that is placed under area rugs to keep them from sliding. The rug lining material is what give the leaves their texture. I had two different patterns of this material. Both are very easy to cut. The first step was to design my flower shapes and cut out the patterns in newspaper to see how it would fit onto the rug. I glued the designs to sheets of plexiglass. I designed a seperate stamp for each color. I used the plexi so that I could see exactly where I was placing the designs. Using a rubber brayer, I inked the stamps with printing ink.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Origami Animal Faces

These cute animal faces are a fun project to make with small children. In this case, I started with card stock that had been cut into 8 1/2 inch squares. I did all of the folding, since they were very young, and they told me if they wanted the ears left pointy (more like a cat or owl) or folded to be somewhat square (more like a dog or bear). I gave them a selection of buttons, corks, cork discs and pebbles. They adhered these objects with white glue to represent the features of the animal. A slight shift in placement will turn a dog into an owl and this is part of what makes the project fun. Some children added steps with tempera and a sponge.

 

Here are the steps for folding:

 

Fold the square diagonally.
Fold diagonally in the other direction.
Fold the ears back.
Fold the ears back towards the base.
Fold the bottom tip up for a chin. Or leave it pointed.
You can make the faces stand up by stuffing them with a bit of paper toweling.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Make an Owl Costume

Sometimes folks who buy my masks will ask me for suggestions on making a costume that will go with their purchase. So I decided to put together this simple tutorial about making a child's owl costume that is simple and inexpensive and does not require any sewing. Three plusses as far as I'm concerned.
I picked up a long sleeved tee shirt and some felt for the wings.
I made a pattern for the wings.
Traced the wing pattern onto the felt and cut out the wings.
Used Tacky Glue to attach the wing to the sleeve and side of the shirt. Naturally, if you sew, that would be an even better option!
Cut some felt designs out to mimic feathers.
Adhered with Tacky Glue and added some detail with this very easy-to-use fabric paint.
My masks is available here.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Painting Terra Cotta Pots

My three and four year olds painted these at art camp this morning. We used tempera and sponge brushes and then I slathered on some glossy Mod Podge. Tomorrow we will make fresh lemonade and then plant the lemon seeds in our little pots.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Storytelling with Masks

I'm prepping to teach an art camp next week. I plan on trying some storytelling with masks to start off the day. Then the children will decorate their own owl mask. I think we will use a bit of collage technique to decorate the owls. I'm going to decide after meeting the children on Monday.