Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Egg yolk painting: Jungle prints



I finally got my hands on a fantastic art book for kids - I found Discovering Great Artists by MaryAnn F. Kohl and Kim Solga from the library and brought it home.  The pages are full of art ideas for kids inspired by famous artists. I plan on doing quite a few of these projects this summer and was able to complete one with Maisy and Mina (ages 5 and 3) this afternoon.  

This art project is inspired by Henri Rousseau, a French artist famous for painting jungle scenes.  Our first task to get started was to go outside and collect leaves.  We also grabbed a few flowers and branches that were growing in the yard.

Since I was out of green paint, I decided we would make some.  Around Christmas time, we painted cookies with egg yolk paint for the first time.  The colors were so vibrant - it was perfect for our bright jungle scene.  I took and separated 5 egg yolks from the whites and put them into separate dishes.  I wanted to be able to make several shades of green.

I let the girls add food coloring to the egg yolks and mix them together.

Our five shades of green are all ready to go.

The girls used a small sponge brush to coat one side of the leaf with the paint, then they stamped it onto their paper (I had some left over posterboard that I cut to size).  Both of them got the hang of the process quickly and went to work covering their papers.  They had fun using different types of foliage and flower petals to do their printing.

We let the paint dry while we ate our lunch, then I gave the girls some markers to complete their jungle scenes.  I tried to take somewhat of a close up shot to show the dimension and sheen the egg yolk paint gives to the picture.  It may have worked a little better if their animals were drawn before we added paint since the paint is translucent and would have made a cool effect.


Maisy's artwork is on the top, Mina's is on the bottom.

This is my first time making my own paint - I know there are several ways this can be done. 

What is your favorite way to make paint?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fun with a cardboard box


What can a child do with an empty box?  The possibilities are endless.  Back in the fall my girls used shoeboxes to make homes for their collection of pocket sized dolls, but their larger dolls were left homeless.

My girls had been eyeing the growing collection of larger boxes in the basement (due to my love of online shopping).  So they set out on another Sunday afternoon to make not only a home for their dolls, but a little village.  Here's a complimentary tour of their neighborhood:

This home comes with a spacious yard where the kids can run and play.

Don't underestimate the value of convenient parking.  (Bonus that these dolls fit into the Barbie car so nicely)

And who doesn't love a full bath to relax in after a busy day?

And when the dolls' day is done, it's time to curl up with their favorite stuffed animal and hit the hay.

I love to give the girls something so plain and ordinary and see what clever things they will come up with on their own - with zero influence from me.  

Do you have empty boxes just begging to be transformed into some unexpected cool toy?  Go ahead and let your child's imagination run free - just hand them a box and see how their play time unfolds and transforms.  

Need a little more inspiration?  Check out these clever kids at play:





Tuesday, May 1, 2012

"Handy" handmade coasters


It's that time of year to show our teachers how much we appreciate them. Last year, my two oldest daughters and I found this handmade gift idea in Family Fun magazine and worked on these hand-shaped coasters to give to their teachers.

To make them I traced my daughter's handprint onto a sheet of cardstock and cut it out for a template.  We traced four handprints from each girl onto a piece of scrap fabric using chalk.  I trimmed the fabric so that it would fit nicely onto my sheet of Stiff Fusible Interfacing.  Then I placed another piece of coordinating fabric on the underside of the interfacing.  I ran a hot iron (of course this is an adult's job) over the fabric and interfacing "sandwich" for roughly 30 seconds or so.  You can tell if you're done ironing because the fusing will be adhered to the fabric.  After the fabric was cool enough to pick up, I cut along the traced handprint and had 4 handprints shaped coasters to give to each teacher.

I felt like these needed something extra so I attached this little poem to the package:


"I know my hands are little
And sometimes make a mess,
So I’ve made for you some coasters
 to give your drinks a rest.

Thanks for being my teacher,
It’s kind of funny, can’t you see?
Now I’ll be helping you
By putting mess on me."


These were fun for my girls to give to their teachers last year, but would also make a meaningful Mother's Day gift for grandma.

I haven't decided what to do this year for our teachers, but have found some great inspiration around the web.  Check out some fantastic ideas on my Teacher Gifts board on Pinterest.


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