Wednesday, December 18, 2013

2014 Year of the Horse Chinese Brushpainting Project

Chinese New Year is always a fun topic for an art lesson, and this year is the year of the horse.
I came up with a simple but elegant project for the kids in my art class.

First start with scratch paper and do some sketches - the basic shape of the horse starts with an S shape.  Add the mane and tail, then the ears.  Now demonstrate the top of the horses head, practicing the curve of the forehead and the indent of the nose.  Next practice the jawline, another curve and indent, but the opposite direction this time.  Finally add the eye.

Have them also sketch the Chinese Character for Horse.

Give them their watercolor paper and have them sketch the horse and the Chinese character for horse.
Give the students a fine tipped brush and the black watercolor paint to go over their sketch.
The same for the red watercolor paint to do the Chinese character.

Now for the hangar - I found some fancy chopsticks and simply punched large holes with a hole punch, threaded the chopstick through the paper and added some red string tied in a loop.  Thread the string under the chopstick and you're finished.

Gung Hay Fat Choy!
Here's a new one for the Year of the Dog!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Dollar Tree Pumpkin Thanksgiving or Hanukkah Centerpiece

This year Hanukkah is during Thanksgiving so I am giving my students a choice of creating a traditional pumpkin centerpiece or a silver and blue Hanukkah centerpiece.  
I used Dollar Tree pumpkins and battery operated tea lights.

They are quite simple to make -
I cut the stem of the pumpkin off with scissors and then traced around the tea light where the stem was.
I used a serrated kitchen knife to cut the opening in the top along the line that I traced.
I removed the circle of styrofoam and stuffed a sheet of tissue paper into the pumpkin.
This is to keep the tea light from falling into the pumpkin.  The tea light sits right on top of the tissue paper.
Paint the entire pumpkin with Mod Podge and then pour glitter onto the pumpkin.
While this is drying assemble your label for the front. I used rubber stamps to create the designs.  For the Hanukkah ones I punched a hole in both and tied them together.
Once the pumpkin was dry, I wrapped the ribbon around the back of the pumpkin and hot glued the ribbon in the front of the pumpkin.
Then I hot glued the labels on and finally placed the tea light in the center.

A unique decoration for this Thanksgiving's Celebrations.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Holiday Crafting 2013

So I've been busy planning and teaching lessons for November and December and decided to post them here since I actually have a few minutes to do so : )

In November I wanted to do something with squirrels - I came up with a cute acorn squirrel but decided it would be too hard to teach because of the hot glue gun being the primary tool to make it - but it's cute and easy to make...
I cut the feet out of brown felt - they are one piece - and two ears.
I hot glued the two acorns together and then glued a pipe cleaner behind the body in the middle to create the arms.  
I used bumpy chenille for the bushy tail, glued the legs and ears and drew the face with a Sharpie.

Then I came up with a printmaking project with a Squirrel
Using large styrofoam plates I trim off the edges so there is just a flat piece of styrofoam.  
Students use dull pencils to draw their squirrel and leaves etc... onto the foam.
I used a directed drawing to help them with the drawing part and discussed using pattern on the squirrel in a few areas.  A stencil for just the outline of the squirrel might be helpful as well.
The very dark areas are created by taking the pencil and indenting the foam in the shape desired.
Next we inked the plates using a rubber brayer and yellow water based block printing ink.  
I chose brown paper for the background.
They use their hands to press very hard on the back of the foam to create the print.
If they want to they can create more than one print.
This is a fun project because students really like removing the foam and seeing the image they created underneath.

For December I am making Wooden Bead Elves, North Pole SnowGlobes, & Winter Angels
So the wooden bead elves are an idea from Pinterest, but I chose to use colored wooden beads to make him just a little more fun.  
The Snowglobes are also from Pinterest -  My So-Called Crafty Life.
I changed them a little bit too - I like putting a puffy snowbally pom pom at the top for the hanger and wrapping white sparkly pipe cleaners at the top.  
They are made out of plastic wine glass tops ground down with a Dremel tool, see the link for instructions.

I have been intrigued with the cute peg dolls I have been seeing on Pinterest so I decided to try and come up with an angel.
You start with a 2 3/8" Peg Doll and paint the bottom white, seal the head with Mod Podge so the paint doesn't bleed when you do the face.
The coat is a half circle cut out of felt, the hat a triangle, and the wings
 are a heart shape.
Using a hot glue gun I glued the hat into a cone shape and also glued in a length of pipe cleaner so I can shape the hat later.
I glue the coat, the hat and the wings onto the doll.
Then I added the Halo out of some tinsel garland that I found at Wal Mart for mini trees.
I finish with the buttons and bells and draw on the face with oil based paint markers.
I'm just going to have mine stand up as a decoration, but you could add a hanger easily for a Christmas ornament.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fun New 3D Birthday Cards

I've been adding a 3-D element to my latest cards.  
These are paper straws with baker's twine wicks and glitter paper flames.

These are fun little origami dresses that are fun to accessorize for the birthday girl...

Hot air balloons with a flat background balloon and then a pop up middle.  

One in a Minion Hats

One in a Minion Hats!

This is a project I came up with for one of my September Art Lessons.  I just love the Minions - they make me laugh!  I'm sure the kids will have fun creating their own wearable Minion.

I bought polar fleece yellow fabric and cut it 17" long by 19" wide.  This is a good size for a child's head.  If you want it for an adult head make it wider to fit.  

With right sides together measure about 9" down the side and cut about a 1/4" slit.  This is how far you will sew the right sides together.

Then turn it inside out and sew another seam 8" long for the cuff.

This is how it will look after this step.

Get a length of black yarn about a yard long for the black hair.  Fold it several times and them tie a knot on the end.  

Now get about a foot length of yellow yarn and gather the top of the hat together.
Place the knotted end of the black yarn into the gathered top of the hat.  Make sure the knot is below the yellow yarn and tie the yellow yarn into a tight knot around the top of the hat.

Trim the black yarn to your own taste - long or short etc...
Tie all of the yarn ends into knots to keep them from fraying.

I used different sizes of cups from my kitchen to create the different sized circles for the goggle eyes.
Use grey, black and white felt with large googly eyes.

Next I glued the goggle eyes together with Fabri-Tac from Beacon.  It is a permanent washable fabric adhesive.
Be careful - this stuff sticks quick!

After you have the eyes and the black band assembled place them on the cuff of the hat and glue them on.

Now you can just place some glue on the front and the back of the cuff to keep it from falling down, and you have made your Minion Hat.

These are very versatile - if you want it to be more like a beanie type hat simply cut it shorter and tie the top.

I think this could be a fun start to a Halloween Costume or just a cute hat to wear all Winter.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mother's Day Clay Flower Bowl

 I have been working on some fun art projects to teach for Mother's Day and this one gave me a bit of a challenge, but I think the Mom's will love having this fun flower bowl that their child created.
 The picture doesn't show the bowl shape very well, but the flower forms a shallow bowl perfect for Mom's small treasures.

I have seen this project before using traditional clay fired in a kiln.  I wanted to try and find a way to create this without using a kiln.  It's too big for Sculpey oven baked clay, and I tried the Model Magic Clay but it is too rubbery and flimsy.  I also tried a natural clay that said it was an air dry clay, but it fell apart when it was dry.  I finally tried Crayola Air Dry Clay in white.  I found it easy to work with and it was paintable too.

First I divided a portion of clay into 6 pieces and then rolled them all into balls...

Then I pinched them between my thumb and fingers into a flat round shape.  I pinched mine gently at the base to create a more petal like shape.  Try and make 5 fairly equal flower petals, but don't worry  much about perfection.  Creativity isn't about being perfect.

Next wet the edges of each petal with just a dab of water by dipping your finger into a bowl of water - be very careful because too much water will make the clay very sticky and impossible to work with.  Be careful not to press hard on the clay or it will stick to the table.  A good idea is to place a pillowcase on the table under the clay - the clay will wash out easily.
Now place the petals so that they are touching each other at the bottom edges and smooth them gently together.  This is essentially glueing them together so they won't fall apart when they are dry.  Probably the most important step in making your flower bowl.

Next I flattened the 6th clay ball for the middle of the flower.  
 I used another dab of water and placed it over the petals.  
 Then I picked up the flower and smoothed the back middle edges together for extra strength when it is dry.
You can leave the middle smooth or use a toothpick to create a texture.
Now place your finished flower gently (if you push hard you will make lines on the flower petals from the bowl) on top of the upside down paper bowl so that it will dry in the shape of a bowl.  After 2 or 3 days you can take it off and turn it over to dry more evenly.

The next step was the painting.  Any color combo can be used.  I used acrylic paint on both the top and the bottom of the flower and let it dry.  Then I used a clear paintable glitter for the middle and a little on the petals and let that dry.  The last step is a coat of clear acrylic gloss spray paint to give it a nice sheen.  
As long as you are careful with the bowl I think it will last forever.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Embossed Foil Bird Wind Spinner

A fun and easy Spring or Summer Art project using embossing techniques.  

Foil catering container lids - I found mine at a party store
Brass snap swivels # 12
Coated brass wire - Wal Mart craft section
Wood and shell asst. beads - value pack at craft store
Soft surface such as a catalog, magazine or newspaper
Scissors, markers, ball point pens, hole punch, bells (optional).

Use these foil catering lids to make the birds:
Create a bird pattern and trace it onto the foil lids, then cut out the bird.

Place the bird onto a soft surface like newspaper or a magazine etc.. and use a ball point pen to emboss designs into the foil.  Discuss different ways to create pattern and also if they want to make a realistic looking bird or a more abstract bird.  Different patterns should be used in the design of the bird.

 Using a hole punch or sharp instrument punch a hole in the top and bottom of the bird shape and attach the swivels.  Attach a section of coated wire to the swivels and add the beads and shells.  Create a loop by wrapping the wire around itself a few times and trim.  The bottom is created by looping the wire over the bottom bead and then wrapping the wire around itself and trimming.

Ready for display indoors or outdoors!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Spring Has Sprung

Getting ready for an Early Easter this year with my art lessons for March...

I ordered some black glue sticks from to try and create a really neat stained glass lesson.  I created a design and drew it onto watercolor paper in pencil, then I covered the pencil lines with the black glue.  It's a little tricky, but after some practice I was able to produce a pretty smooth line.  The nice thing about using hot glue, instead of regular glue colored black, there is no drying time - students can start painting right away.  I filled in the areas with liquid watercolors which are very intense.  The black hot glue seals the colors into each outlined area so they don't bleed together.

I also looked at several sock bunny designs - a classic Easter or Spring activity.  Somehow I have never made these myself.

I purchased large toddler socks in multi-packs to give the project a try.  I also purchased heavy thread for whiskers, tiny pom poms for the nose, googly eyes, small clear rubber bands, ribbon, dried pinto beans , fiberfill and a larger pom pom for the tail.   

I cut a 1 1/2 in. slit down the middle of the top of the sock for the ears, then I trimmed the ears to a more rounded V shape.

I filled the bottom of the sock with a few handfuls of beans and then added stuffing.

When I felt it was plump enough I gathered the ears and wound a tiny clear rubber band around the base of the ears.

Then I cut a piece of ribbon and decided where to tie the ribbon beneath the chin of the bunny.  I tied the ribbon in a knot before tying it into a bow.

Next I cut a length of thread and folded it a couple of times to make 4 threads, I tied a knot in the middle and glued the whiskers onto the bunny face with hot glue right behind the knot. Trim.

I glued the pink nose over the knot and added the eyes above the nose.

I glued the ears inside in a couple of places so they stayed folded.

You can add a little blush with a small brush to pink up the ears inside.

Last but not least is the larger pom pom for the bunny tail.

Here are the bunnies I came up with - I can't wait to make these with my students!

Galaxy Unit Astronaut in Space Mixed Media Art Lesson

I taught this lesson to my 3rd grade students for their galaxy unit.  I borrowed the class photo and enlarged it on a color copier to ge...