Tuesday, July 31, 2012

* Tissue Paper Pulp "Painting" (or making paper without the mess!)

In college I was a printmaker and I loved making my own paper.
This house doesn't have a good junk sink for messy projects
(like paper making) so I haven't been able to do that with the girls yet.
Then... I came across this wonderful technique for
what is basically mess-free paper making 
using tissue paper and water. So easy.

Found this wonderful technique from the "Art Is Basic" blog here.
Marcia said she got it at the NAEA conference 
(I used to go to those in my past life as an art teacher, 
I loved all of the fun ideas I would come home with - 
would love to crash one again someday!)

She advises against using bleeding tissue paper.
It was the only kind we had in the house, so we used it 
and ended up tie-dying our fingers. The "pictures"
the girls made turned out pretty well and the colors didn't bleed much.

I set up the girls with a piece of artist canvas,
a bowl of water, 
and a stack of (bleeding) tissue paper strips. 

Then, I showed them how to tear off teeny-tiny pieces 
and dip the clump of tiny bits into the water.
Then you smoosh it onto the canvas and press the pieces firmly together-
this helps force the fibers together.
Yes I said "smoosh"that's a technical art-making term right?

We got ours so wet that it bled through the canvas and made a puddle
that had to be mopped up occasionally with a junk towel.
It's important to emphasize (and remind them) to use tiny pieces.

Once the picture dries, the pieces will re-bond and glue together.
Our pictures took 2 days to dry. 

"C" made the Very Hungry Caterpillar (one of his eyes fell off)

A few edge pieces fell off of "E"s concentric circle picture 
so we're planning to use a little glue or mod-podget to stick it back together.

I think they will look really beautiful framed under glass. 
E's planning an installation art wall for her room!

Happy (tissue) Paper Making!


Pink and Green Mama, MaryLea

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

* Homemade Gift: Embroidered Map Going Away Gift

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law are moving out of the state. 
They're moving back to my sister-in-law's hometown.
We had a farewell dinner Friday night and I gave them this going away gift.
A homemade gift from the heart, to remember us across the miles
and know that we're thinking about them. 
It's also a nice reminder for my niece and nephew about their 
Aunt MaryLea, Uncle Geoff, and their crazy cousins! 

I started with a frame I found at Michaels. 

Then,  I printed out a map of Virginia and a map of Ohio 
(use whatever state or place is meaningful to you)
from a google images search. I printed the maps on natural colored
vellum paper to make them look more "map like"
If you had real street maps that would be awesome but I didn't so I had to improvise. 
I cut out the shape of each state out of the maps 
(they're not perfect or accurate and they don't need to be.)
For the state shapes I googled "printable state maps"
as a google images search to find the right shapes.

Because I didn't want the paper to rip when I sewed it, 
I pre-punched holes with a straight pin on a piece of folded over felt
(to act as a little pillow behind the paper while I pierced it.)
BTW, this is a map I tried to use but didn't because it didn't look right. 

Then, to protect the map from ripping while I sewed it, 
I backed it with a small piece of clear packing tape.

I hand-stitched a heart shape on each map with some red embroidery floss.

Here's the back of my messy heart.

When the two states were finished, I mounted them to a piece of blue 
scrapbooking paper with some double sided tape. 
At a farewell picnic/party last weekend, I asked a good friend to take a 
photo of our two families together. 
I printed it out and added it to the middle of the frame.

Here's the finished project. 

Todd and Darb, we will miss you terribly 
but know you're off on a wonderful new adventure. 
Here's to new beginnings.
We'll be road-tripping to visit you soon! 

Pink and Green Mama

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Friday, July 13, 2012

* Life-Sized Body Maps Mixed Media Craftivity

Last summer, the girls and I made these wonderful, 

They were such a big hit, 
I wanted to share the details with you again in case you missed it!
They are a great classroom, homeschool,
or just-because art activity.

We started by tracing an outline of each of the girls on big sheets
of brown contractors paper (available in the painting section of any hardware store.)
Then we looked at some anatomy books and talked about all of the different
things inside our bodies: skeleton, organs, muscles, veins, etc.

I set out a variety of materials for the kids to explore and use 
however they wanted to. 
We even invited a couple of friends over and made maps with them as well

Each of the kids had a blast using different materials to create their
own body map. 
Here you can see felt that was used as a heart and some organs.
Yarn for the circulatory system. 
Big bubble wrap for the lungs (with all of the air chambers)
Squiggly yarn for the spinal cord and masking tape for bones.

"E" used shell-shaped dry pasta as the teeth.
Cut up paper doilies for eyeballs and a nose. 
Yarn for a brain and spinal cord.

Q-tips were cut up to make tiny finger and toe bones.

"C" used felt for a brain. 
Dry pasta as eyes and teeth and added a bit of yarn for "hair."

She drew the organs on felt and asked me to cut them out for her.
She used colored masking tape for her intestines.

More Q-tip bones!

Just because it's summer doesn't mean you have to stop learning with your kids.
Happy learning and creating!

Pink and Green Mama

Here are a few favorites in our household!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

* 4th of July Sifted Flour Stars Front Lawn Decoration!

We make these sifted flour stars on our front lawn every 4th of July.
Somehow, I forget to take photos of the process, so here we are with photos from 2009(!) 
maybe I'll remember to charge my camera battery this year.

1. Start by cutting a template out of cardboard or a piece of poster board.
Last year we used a pizza box. 
This is a job for a grown up, I just cut it out free hand every year with a box cutter
but I guess you could draw the star first with a pen then cut it out.

HINT: The edges of the box help to keep the flour contained and off the rest of the grass!

2. Lay the star stencil out on the grass. 

3. Spray the stencil with water. 

4. Sift flour over the damp grass. 

Remove the stencil/template and viola! Stars!

Works like a charm on the sidewalk and driveway too!

If it doesn't rain, the sidewalk stars last for about a week. 

Our star spangled front yard and sidewalk!

Will you be adding any sifted flour stars to your front lawn
this 4th of July? 

Pink and Green Mama, MaryLea

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