Tuesday, April 25, 2017

No Sew Whale Pillow

I'm teaching a Summer Camp with an Ocean theme so wanted to do one of my pillows with my students.  They seem to really like making these each Summer.  This is the first time I've done a shape other than a circle and it took awhile to come up with a pattern that works and still looks like a whale!

You will need:
Polar fleece
Googly Eyes or Buttons
Fabric Glue

Start out by tracing the pattern onto the fleece, I use a metallic Sharpie on dark colors.
Here is the pattern, it is two 8 1/2 X 11" pages and once assembled will fit on a 12" X 18" paper.

The Head just barely fits, just connect the two lines at the bottom.
Once you have the pattern created you'll need to make an even bigger one to allow for tying the edges.
Just trace around the pattern about 1 1/2" bigger.
Now trace the larger one onto the fleece.
Cut it out.  
I used a contrasting color for the back - you will need to cut out two of these in whatever colors you choose.
Now place both pieces of fleece on top of each other and put the smaller whale pattern on top.
You need to cut about 1 inch strips around the whale, going in about 1 1/2', it's OK to cut into the pattern a little.  The pattern gives you a guide for cutting the strips.
Remove the pattern and cut a 1/4" on the fold of each strip.

To tie the pillow take the tips of the strips and push them both through the opening you cut, pull them through evenly.

Leave the front of the whale open and stuff the pillow, then finish tying the strips.

Now you're ready to add an eye, mouth and a spout if you want to.

Using yarn make a mouth and glue it to the whale with the fabric glue.
Glue on the eye.
To make the spout I folded a length of yarn until it was 5 or 6 layers about a foot long and then tied it through one of the strips on top of the whale and trimmed it.

I think they will love their Whaley Soft and Cuddly Whale Pillow!

Monday, March 6, 2017

No Sew Fuzzy Bunny

You will need:
8x8" Microfleece squares
Dried beans or candy
25mm round wood bead
3/8 inch drill bit and drill
Black and pink acrylic paint
Fine point sharpie
Mod Podge

I was looking for a fun and easy bunny idea and this is what I came up with.  I adapted it from the washcloth bunny.

First drill the hole larger on the bead with a 3/8" drill bit.  I used vice grip pliers to hold the bead while I drilled it. Then put a light coat of modpodge on the bead to seal it.  Otherwise the paint will bleed on the wood.  
I like to do my face before I put it on the rabbit.
I dipped a skewer into black paint and made the two dots for the eyes, then dipped the skewer into pink for the nose.  When that was dry I used a fine point sharpie for the whiskers and mouth.

Start with an 8x8" micro fleece square:
Put some dried beans or candy on the square.  If you use candy I would put it in plastic wrap first.
Fold the top corner down to the middle of the square.
Roll or fold the top two times.
Pull up the two top edges together, these are the ears.
Push the other corner between the ears, this will be the tail.
Gather the ears together and adjust them to your liking, then slide the wooden bead onto the two ears.
I used a skinny paintbrush handle to poke the two ears through the bead.  Then I pulled on the ears until the bead was snug.
Put the two ear tops under the hole in the bead.
Then push them through with a skinny paintbrush handle.
Once they are through pull them with your fingers.
A simple little fuzzy bunny any age can make and enjoy.
Have Fun!

Friday, February 24, 2017

"The Very Hungry Caterpillar" By Eric Carle Printmaking Lesson

I was trying to think of a way to teach an Eric Carle Lesson to 1st Grade without taking 2 classes to make it.  Printmaking seemed like a fun way to create this lesson and they would still be making all kinds of textures and patterns with acrylic paint.  This lesson can be done in one class session.

I usually have the students create textured paper with tempra or acrylic paint and different texture tools.  Then they let that dry and we make the animals from the dried painted paper - like below.  This method requires 2 class times, but it is also a great lesson.

You will need:
Foam plates
foam brushes
acrylic paint
Q tips
Watercolor paper
Colored pencils

Start by reading "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle
I'm going to ask my students to describe how Eric Carle made his Caterpillar, and how they are going to make theirs.  We will discuss how we are using a different method to make ours, printmaking.
I'll demonstrate the process and we'll brainstorm all the different kinds of patterns and textures we can make.  Words print backwards and Eric Carle doesn't have words in his so I'm going to ask them to  use only patterns, no words.

They can use templates to cut two ovals out of the foam plates.  One large for the head and one smaller for the body.

They will start by making the body using the smaller oval.  They paint the oval with the foam brush.

Once it is painted they use a Q tip to create a pattern on the foam.

Next they put the foam face down and press evenly on the back.  Making sure all the edges and the middle are touching the paper.

Have them start the first section of the body a little bit low on the paper so they can curve it upward and back down again as they print.
They just keep repeating this process again and again until they have their finished body for the caterpillar.  I overlapped mine a little bit.  If you just use green you don't have to wash the foam between prints.  If you want to use other colors you'll have to wash the foam between prints.

When they have their body done they can print the larger oval as the face.
Once they are done printing the caterpillar hopefully the paint will be dry enough to add some details with colored pencils.  If not you can always use a blow dryer to dry the paint quickly.

They can add feet, antennas and fuzz with the colored pencils.
I think my students are going to love this printmaking project and make some fantastically creative caterpillars!

1st Grade Artwork
Love the creativity - Rainbow feet, eating cheese and a pear like in the book, with their butterfly friends, on a leaf - so much imagination!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Mona Lisa Parody Art Lesson

My students have been learning about Mona Lisa a little bit each time they come into our studio.  I was inspired by this article I found:

We are using the "Mona" "Lisa" call back and it's working great.  The students are very interested in the Mona Lisa and learning all about her.  Some of them have even drawn their own Mona Lisa or researched about her online.

I created a Mona Lisa Bulletin Board which I keep adding to.  They have really gotten the concept of a Parody because I keep bringing new versions of the Mona Lisa in each month.  Recently they have started talking about what other versions of Mona Lisa could be created, so I thought it was time for them to create their own Parody.

They can choose two ways to create their parody.
One is to add their own background, placing Mona Lisa in a different place, change her clothing, add accessories etc...

The other is to change the Mona Lisa into another character of their choosing.

I'm teaching 1st and 2nd grade so I am going to offer two ways to create their own Mona Lisa. Some students will happily jump right into drawing their own Mona Lisa, others will feel intimidated. I want to build confidence in all of the students.

The only guidelines are:
It needs to remain a portrait.
It needs to resemble the Mona Lisa so that people can recognize it as a parody.

I created a simplified version of Mona for students who want to try this as a jumping off point.
This is a Jpeg if you want to use it.

I'm going to keep the lesson very open - We'll brainstorm and then they can go to work.
They can do some collage by adding to the drawing also:  Putting something in her hands, jewelry etc..

If there's time the students can create gilded frames for their Mona Lisa.

The possibilities are endless for this project.  I can't wait to see what my students create!
I had them sign their art with Da Vinci as their last name.

2nd Grade Art:

 Disney Lisa
 Soccer Goalie Lisa
Winter Lisa (with hot chocolate)
Lisa's House
Baseball Lisa
Tropical Lisa
Unicorn Lisa

No Sew Whale Pillow

I'm teaching a Summer Camp with an Ocean theme so wanted to do one of my pillows with my students.  They seem to really like...