Monday, June 25, 2012

* Happy Birthday Eric Carle! Hungry Caterpillar Costume and Class Project

Today is Eric Carle's 84th Birthday!
He is one of our VERY favorite children's book author/illustrators. 
What better way to celebrate than to share "E"s Eric Carle biography project
with you from this past school year?!

This year, each student in E's third grade class, 
was asked to pick a famous person
to give a biography talk about, she picked Eric Carle.

"E" had to make a box to hold props for her talk.
So she took this shirt box and made patterned papers with do-a-dot markers and crayons.

She cut out this adorable hungry caterpillar and used a scrap book 
punch to make the circles.

Close up of her work -- so awesome!

Inside the box she had a homemade pom-pom hungry caterpillar
and a portrait of Eric Carle (she copied from a self portrait he made)
along with some books and her notes.

She also made this beautiful poster for her talk.

I LOVE the letters. She decorated the papers and cut the letters out
while I was cooking dinner. I was blown away when I came back into the art studio
and saw what she had been working on -- I think Mr. Carle should hire her as his assistant!

She decided to give the biography talk from the view point of the "Very Hungry Caterpillar"
and talk about her "creator" Eric Carle.
So we needed to make a costume for her to wear at school.

I whipped up this little polar fleece and felt hat for her to wear. 
And we sewed a bunch of green fabric pillows then stitched them together
and added shoulder straps (like a big pillow sleeping bag)

I went to school the day of her talk to take photos and watch her speech.
This is her "Mom, you're embarrassing me!" face 
as I'm photographing her in the hallway before her speech!

Giving her speech to her class.

"Johnny Appleseed", "Albert Einstein", 
"Juan Ponce de Leon", and "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." 

Here's a link to my old post about our 

Happy Birthday Mr. Carle!
Here's to many more great books
 and creative endeavors!

Pink and Green Mama

Friday, June 22, 2012

* Mouse Painting With Cotton Balls and Q-Tips inspired by the book "Mouse Paint" by Ellen Stohl Walsh

"C" and I recently read "Mouse Paint" by Ellen Stohl Walsh.

We were inspired to try some "mouse painting" of our own!
I set up "C" at the easel. 
She dipped white mice (white cotton balls)
into a tray of red, yellow, and blue paint to experiment. 
I also gave her some Q-tips to try out.

At first I thought she was going to paint a rainbow...
I tried to keep my mouth shut and let her paint whatever she wanted.
She did not mix colors like I thought she would.

The golden arch, turned into a lady with golden hair.
Two blue eyes.
Two blue nostrils.
One red smile.
When she added the blue highlight she announced that it was me! : )
(I had a blue feather in my hair at the time)

Check out my fancy blue high heels to go with my blue hair feather. 
She wrote "Mom" with a Q-tip dipped in yellow/blue to make green.

You'll see the words "Mom" and "Boo!" at the top of the painting...
They're two of her favorite sight words that she can spell right now. 

It was a pretty fun way to spend an afternoon. 

Pink and Green Mama

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

* Painted Rainbow Doily Bag Tutorial

This was a collaborative project the girls and I did together.
It was one of those projects I came up with in my head and it actually worked!

We worked on the bags this winter and spring
and now that the weather is warm, we have cute new bags
for our knitting projects, library books, shopping, and the pool! 

Lately, I've been spotted toting this one to Walmart for groceries
and to the library to stock up on awesome picture books for summer break!

So do you want to make your own? (Meg Duerksen, I know you do!)
Here's how we made them (Psst....they're easy!)

I started by setting up the girls with newspaper, a tray of water,
and some acrylic paints in the art studio.
("C" did a practice one with a paper doily and watercolors
before I let her at a regular doily.)

You should probably use fabric paint but this was all we had in the house at the time
and we're not planning to wash them much (or ever...)!

Here's "E" working on hers. 
I mixed up batches of acrylic craft paint with lots of water -- 
see that black dish to the left - the bottom is full of water and I just 
dropped a blob of paint in it...we used our brushes to stir and dilute 
the paint and water mixture
to get it to a consistency that we liked. 
(I'm sorry this isn't a more scientific recipe for you.)

Starting in the middle of a cotton doily, we painted one color at a time
with a tiny paint brush poking the paint into all of the little 
nooks and crannies to really saturate the color before moving to the next ring of color. 

New brush for each dish of paint/water. 
It will bleed a little - it's cotton so you have to watch your water and not 
get your brush too saturated. 
Err on the side of using the water with more paint in it...

Work your way around the doily, with rings of color
making sure to get the paint all the way into the doily for each color. 
It's more like dabbing and poking the paint into the doily than brushing it. 

We got our doilies from the craft store (JoAnnes) and I had a few vintage 
ones I picked up with a huge linen stash from Freecycle. 

See how the colors bleed and mix like tie-dye? 
I love it! 

The colors will be very vivid while it's wet.
It will take a day or two to dry because the doilies are cotton
and super thirsty -- they drink up a lot of water and take a while to dry out.
Leave it on the paper while it's drying but lift it gently when you're done
so it doesn't stick to the paper too badly.

It will lighten a bit when it's dry. 
It will also be stiff like a little lacy rainbow frisbee. 

I picked up these cute green and blue (and natural) pre-made
canvas bags in the craft aisle at Walmart - they have them at any craft store.
Or you could sew your own if you're so (sew) inclined!

Or...just up-cycle a bag in your stash - 
everything's cuter when you add a doily and a rainbow!

When the doilies were dry, I just pinned them to the front of each bag
and zipped them through my sewing machine
Just a basic straight stitch with red or orange thread to hide in the doily
about 1/2"-1" in from the edge of the doily all the way around the circle.

Super Easy and Super Cute. 
These are my favorite grab and go bags now!

Pink and Green Mama MaryLea

Monday, June 18, 2012

* Scissor Practice - Paper Cutting Box

My baby girl has graduated from Preschool,
time to start a new chapter and get ready for Kindergarten this fall. 

Now we have some time to fill with fun mommy and me activities.
I like to keep a bit of a "school like" schedule for the girls throughout 
the summer, we call it "mommy school."
The girls like the routine and having some activities to keep them engaged
between the stretches of free play time in the yard,
at the pool, and with friends. 
We'll spend plenty of time creating and "playing" in the art studio as well!

One thing I like to do is set out some materials as a bit of 
an invitation to play, learn, and explore.
Today's post is one of those "centers."

I put together this Paper Cutting Box for "C" 
to practice her scissor and hole punching skills.
It was Pinspired by this Pin from my Preschool Fun Pinterest Board.
She loves it!

I already had the divided box, I believe I picked it up in craft
department (near the beads) at Walmart or JoAnn's. 
Then, I just cut up a bunch of colored paper into different sizes 
and included some of those perforated border strips from my scrapbooking stash.
Then, I added a nice pair of children's scissors and a hole punch.

I set the box out on the art studio table with a tape dispenser,
some crayon rocks, and a bucket of Crayola Twistables. 

It didn't take long for "C" to discover it.
She has been very busy cutting and taping little abstract sculptures
and making tiny books for her dolls and stuffed animals.

Because it is portable she has even taken it along to the family room
for some cutting practice while she watches Sesame Street. 

It has been a fun and easy way for her to create and explore
and get some wonderful fine motor practice in the process!

And... of course, it had to be Rainbow : )

Pink and Green Mama, MaryLea

Thursday, June 14, 2012

* Color Your Own Coloring Book With Ikea Bird Fabric

We found this fun black and white bird fabric at Ikea last month
and as soon as I saw it I knew I wanted some for a coloring project with the girls. 
It was so cute and looked like a coloring book on fabric to me.

We put a scrap of cardboard underneath the fabric while we worked
so it wouldn't bleed through onto the table or itself. 

I picked up a package of Tulip brand fabric markers from Walmart -- 
they were okay and not too stinky
but some of the colors were duller than we would like. 

We ended up supplementing with some of our own permanent markers.


It became a whole family coloring project.
Geoff and I worked on it alongside with the girls.

I left the fabric and markers set up for about a week on the art studio table
and we would wander in there off and on and sit down and color a bird or two.

No rules, just color a bird however you want. 

It's fun to see how they're all different.

My original intention was to make some throw pillows for 
the playroom reading couch but then I didn't want to cut off any of the birds
 the girls colored and liked the way it looked spread out on the table.
So it was time to come up with plan B. 

The girls' bathroom upstairs has an old lace curtain I've never liked.
Sorry, no before photos but trust me - it was not my style (or yours!)
I would call it "old lady decor". 
Not to be rude to any old ladies out there,
I'm just not there yet and wanted something a bit more fun in the girls' bathroom
to go with their fun polka dot shower curtain. : )

So, I decided to make a new bathroom window curtain with the bird fabric.

Photo of the new curtain  - sorry it's a bit dark.
But you can see the corner of their adorable shower curtain (got it at Target in 2004)
and nubby turquoise bath rug (got it at Ikea last month)

Bird curtain in all of it's colorful and fun glory.
Makes me smile every time I walk upstairs!

Bought some other black and white fabric as well -- think we'll 
be doing some more fabric coloring!

Pink and Green Mama

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