Wednesday, May 30, 2012

* Origami Peace Cranes Gift for Friends With Cancer

Today is my husband's 38th birthday. 
He has been cancer free for 18 years
and we have celebrated 17 cancer free birthdays 
since he finished his treatments. (This is our love story)
Every year is a gift. 

We have two family friends battling cancer right now.

They are both beautiful, kind, strong, and loving women. 
One is my very best mommy girlfriend - we've raised our babies 
and figured out motherhood together. 
The other, is a colleague of mine, we taught together 
and is now one of my daughter's favorite teachers - 
she is so funny and tough (but she's really a total softie!) 

"Peace Cranes" are said to represent hopefulness and peace 
in the Japanese tradition. 
There is a legend that when 1000 Origami cranes
are folded, a wish can be granted.

To help encourage and show our support 
for these two awesome women and their families, 
we folded Japanese peace cranes and made chains.

Each member of our family participated. 
We all folded cranes out of assorted Origami paper.
 Then,  we used rainbow yarn 
to string the cranes into rainbow chains with beads. 

Both chains were well received and filled with love.
We intend to keep folding cranes so we can get our wish
to heal our dear friends. 

Here is a link with instructions if you want to fold your own 

My oldest daughter "E", is teaching her third grade classmates
how to fold Origami cranes today at school (these are the posters she made.)

Lisa and Leslie, today's post is for you. 
Love and Light to both of you and your families.
Note: My dear friend, Lisa passed away the day after I published this post.
She will always live on in my heart. 

Never, Ever Give Up. 
I Believe!

Pink and Green Mama, MaryLea

Monday, May 28, 2012

* Cardboard Box Fun - Homemade Machines

We bought a new couch from Ikea last weekend
and the girls took several of the boxes and "repurposed" them....

I came upstairs and found this waiting for me in the hallway. 
Two small voices announced, 
"Welcome to Machine Alley" 
The voices were giggling and sounded a lot like "E" and "C."

First there was this mysterious "Radio Machine" that plays CDs.
According to the sign, you just pop your favorite CD into the slot and it will play. 
It really worked. 

I did some investigating...A-ha!
 I think I know how this machine works.

What's this? A "Math Machine"... hmmm... 
wonder how this one works. 

The machine told me to write a math problem on a piece of paper
and push it through the slot. 
So I did and then these eyes appeared in the window!
Look carefully, do you see them?

Lights started flashing as "E" moved 
a flashlight  back and forth from inside the box. 

Machine Alley even has it's own phone booth.
There is a slot to insert a quarter
and a phone book with real phone numbers
and advertisements for Machine Alley inside. 

There was even a "Copy Machine" with a cute robot head.

"C" made the copy machine. 
Her big sister helped her with some of the words
and told her how to spell "Copy Machine" 
Yes, I believe that is a baby chicken on the sign.

Note, you can only use post it notes in the copy machine.
It has very detailed directions - very helpful. 

A sneak peek behind the scenes!

So now you know what my kids were up to this three day weekend.
Have your kids made anything fun with boxes lately? 

Pink and Green Mama,

Saturday, May 26, 2012

* Cardboard Shoe Box Play House With Egg Carton Furniture

Today, I wanted to share "E"s cardboard box play house with you.
She spent an entire afternoon and part of an evening working
on it and I think it is adorable!

She found this nice big shoe box in our garage recycling pile
and wanted to make a little play doll house out of it. 
Of course as soon as she decided to make a play house, her little sister wanted 
to make one too so she found a second box for "C" and divided her time
to help her sister make a little house too. 

She drew a door and windows on the back wall of the shoebox house 
and asked me to help her cut them out with my craft knife.

She added a handle on top to make it portable. 
Then, she attached it to the box with a couple of brads.

"E" wanted to make furniture out of egg cartons like
the cute egg carton furniture we saw 

So, I helped her cut the egg cartons apart and she fit them together
into the pieces of furniture she wanted for her little house. 

Here is the bed made out of egg cartons with a little basket on top.

These are the chairs, coffee table, and couch. 

After the furniture was assembled she got to work 
painting it with washable acrylic craft paint.

The artist at work.

Love that turquoise and green comforter!

She decided to paint the house too. 

After the paint dried, she added details with permanent marker.

She used "wood grain" contact paper to make the wooden front door
and the "hardwood" floors. 

Scrapbooking stickers were used as flowers. 

It is a perfect little house for some of our Calico Critters. 

See the little button burners on the stove?

That's a tiny "I Heart Art" poster on the wall. 

Mama bunny making the bed -- the cat always gets in the way,
just like our house!

Tiny painting. 
(She made curtains too- they're on in the corner of the photo.)

Home Sweet (Tiny) Home!

Pink and Green Mama

Thursday, May 24, 2012

* Cardboard Box Play House and More Cardboard Box Crafts for Kids

There's nothing like a cardboard box to entertain my girls 
for an entire weekend afternoon.

This time, we threw in some "fancy" duct tape
and woodgrain contact paper and the girls were in craft heaven!

Do you remember when they made this Recycled Robot?

Or, this little Recycled Box House?

I love it when the girls disappear into the art studio
and spend hours creating new "toys" for themselves.

 The artists in action!

This past weekend, they both made "computer machine things" out of 
giant cardboard boxes leftover from our new Ikea couch. 
They are adorable and I'll try to get photos of it up on the blog soon!

"C" (age 5) made a "copy machine" - 
we feed her a piece of paper with a drawing or shapes on it
and she sends out a copy of the drawing that is "her version" : )

"E" (age 9) made a big "math machine" 
with working lights (made out of LEDs and hearing aide batteries)
and a calculator -- it spits out math problems.

I wonder if I could convince them to build a foot rub machine
where mom sticks her feet inside and they rub my feet?!

For today's post, I wanted to share these cardboard box playhouses
that "C" and "E" for some of their little dolls recently.

"C"s house was a modified box from the post office.
Her big sister helped cut out the doors and windows.
They wrapped the whole thing with hot pink and leopard print duct tape.

They even cut and wedged cardboard inside to make a floor.

I love the way she added a handle on top so it's portable.
This way her dolls can travel around the house in style!

Coming up next...I'll show you "E"s little cardboard box house.

Pink and Green Mama

Monday, May 21, 2012

* Painting Outdoors With Kids

The weather has been gorgeous the past few weeks
so "C" and I decided it was time to make some art outdoors
before all of the summer bugs and humidity descend upon us.

We spent two afternoons painting al fresco and she loved it.
First, I set her up with my easel and a canvas
she helped me gesso a few weeks before.

You can recycle old canvases by giving them a fresh coat of white or black gesso
just make sure the gesso is dry before you start your new painting.

We "recycled" an old painting by gesso-ing over it so it has a really 
neat texture which is a look I prefer and do with my own paintings.

Then, I set her up with a palette of acrylic paint on a paper plate
easy to throw away when you're done painting just make sure it's not a 
windy day- you don't want a paper plate full of wet paint blowing across your yard
or into your work or your clothes!

Yes, we're the people painting in the front yard when you drive past our house.

One of my old art teacher tricks for keeping the paint from getting
smeared into gross brown on the palette is to use a different
brush each time you switch colors
so I just set her up with my big cup of paint brushes 
and hand her a new one each time she wants to switch colors -
we keep a second cup of water next to it to drop the dirty brushes into.

If I'm setting up paint cups I put a brush in each cup and it works that way too.

You can also rinse out your brush between every color but 
it gets gross, you have to change your water a million times
(not convenient when you're painting al fresco!) 
and it makes your painting drippy/runny/muddy looking.

My way is easier and I'm all about easy when painting with kids.

The artist at work.

Did I ever tell you "C" speaks fluent tush? 
Yes, she has a very expressive tiny tush.  : )

Beautiful blue sky full of clouds - I told you it was a perfect afternoon!
We had to end our painting session early to go pick up her sister from school
so the next afternoon we set up the easel again on the back deck
and "C" finished her masterpiece.

"C" (age 5) has been making these really cool color block
abstract drawings for the past 6 months so I wasn't 
surprised at all when she made this beautiful abstract painting
in the same style. I love that she has such a colorful way of expressing herself!

Love all of her colors and textures.

She even painted the edges of my gallery wrapped canvas.
Her masterpiece is now hanging in our playroom.
It makes me smile every time I walk past it! 

Happy Spring Painting!

For more Backyard Fun Art making ideas
full of 13 fun art lessons 
(cool stuff to make with your kids for your backyard!)

Pink and Green Mama

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