Category Archives: Art for Kids

Dandelion Time

Who doesn’t love picking  a dried dandelion and blowing the seeds into the wind? A wish, a bit of wind and away they go.

I was inspired by this picture on Artsonia. It is super simple and relaxing for any age.

A few Qtips, paint and cardstock and a soft blow into the wind and they are off…

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A Little Abstract Art and a Leaf Print or Two…

We woke up at the crack of dawn again this morning, still getting over some jet lag. A cup of tea, a walk around the garden and it was time to pull out some paints and get busy!

We pulled out liquid watercolors and just smooshed them all around. No real rhyme or reason, the girls loved playing with the colors.

Next we used printing ink and a brayer to apply the ink to leaves from the garden.

We pressed them over the dried watercolors with wax paper to keep our fingers clean.

And this is what we ended up with. A bit on the busy, bright side, but fun and creative and not super messy. It was doable at 7am with children, that must be pretty easy!

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Ahhh…summer crafts!

Ahhh…the lazy days of summer. The cicadas are singing, the sprinklers are running and the sun is shining. We just returned from a wonderful early summer vacation and the girls and I had some time this afternoon to root through the craft cupboard and rediscover the joy of a button box. My mother had one when I was little and I remember hours spent sorting, examining and just the tactile sense of picking up a handful of shiny buttons.

I am a bit obsessed. I have been known to do a happy dance when finding a bag of new buttons…seriously – ask my kids!

I wanted a cheerful necklace to go with a plain t-shirt I was wearing so why not use buttons? Here are a few we came up with:

I had some stretchy elastic and added a few beads. Pretty simple with a bit of pop? At least that is what we were hoping for.

Next up was a card with a stitched button. I have seen them all over Pinterest and wanted to try out one for myself. Here is what I used:

I want to make a bunch now! Super easy and the kids are all over it. Ahhh…summer!

Stay tuned for more creative crafts to honour the summer. Happy creating.

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Gelatin Prints

My kitchen floor is covered in a pile of prints. Take a look:

I have fallen head-over-heels in love with gelatin printing. It is so easy, inexpensive, creative and almost any age group can do it. I first became inspired by artist and print maker, Linda Germain. Check out her video on how to make the gelatin plate.

I used a cake pan for my gelatin mould and I needed 2 cups of water  and 4 packets of Knox brand gelatin. I followed the directions and voila, my sparkling gelatin printing plate.

Next I gathered my printing ink, brayer and old cookie sheet to prime my brayer. And then it was time to print. I used lots of item around my house to create prints and texture, an old credit card, bubble wrap, a few leaves from the garden, a wine cork and paper cut-outs in different shapes.

My kids joined in the fun and we now have a stack of mono prints thanks to a little box of gelatin…who knew it would be sooo easy? And fun? And addictive, I think I have about 50 prints now…

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Tissue Paper Stained Glass Craft


The grey days of February have been officially banished from our house. At least we are trying…

The girls and I grabbed a pile of tissue paper and set out to make a stained glass garden for our back door.

Cut a large piece of wax paper and fold it in half. Open it up and fill one side with torn pieces of tissue paper. When it’s filled and arranged the way you like fold over the other half of the waxed paper and place between two towels and iron until the waxed paper has melted enough to stick together.

Next we traced ‘garden’ shapes onto black paper. We cut the shapes out and then I used an exacto knife to cut out the inside, creating a black frame for our tissue paper background.

Grab a glue stick and attach the frame to the waxed paper. Cut away the excess waxed paper and tape on  a window.

Ooooh the colour! The magic of transparency has transformed our back door. February has never looked so good…

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Art for Kids: Inspired by Gustav Klimt

 

The other day I was driving through my neighborhood when a bright orange sign caught my attention. I slammed on the brakes (after quickly checking my rear view mirror – safety first!) pulled into a parking space and just sat staring at a new store. An art supply store. Cue dramatic music…

Although I live in a huge city, Toronto, our neighborhood was totally lacking in a good quality store to buy my favourite things in, art supplies of course! Before this lovely location opened I would go on an epic trek downtown, stock up on supplies and fight the traffic or hop on the subway home. This is a life changer for an arts and crafter like me. And it helped me gather the supplies I needed for my next ‘test project’.

I have been working my way through  The Print and Stamp Lab by Traci Bunkers.

It’s a great book for beginners (like me) and shows you how to turn just about anything into a stamp tool or printing block. I scooped up a brayer and block printing ink at the art supply store and quickly got to work.

Gather your supplies:

  • foam plate (this is a recycled meat tray)
  • black paper, (use a good quality paper, I used Artagain)
  • brayer
  • block printing ink
  • metallic pens
  • ballpoint pen to carve the foam with your design

I have had a Gustav Klimt project on my to-do list for a few months. I found it at Panther’s Palette, a great blog by Pam, an art teacher.

I started by using a ball point pen to carve a whimsical tree onto the foam. I then squeezed out a dollop of printing ink onto the back of a baking tray and rolled my brayer across it.  Then I rolled the brayer across my carved foam and tested it a few times to see how it worked.

I was disappointed with the foam tray I was using. It was quite uneven and it was difficult to smooth the paint across. The next time I try this project I might use a linoleum block and carve it or just try to find a smoother foam. Also, I tried regular acrylic ink and it was too runny and filled the carved lines.

And there you go:

I have fallen in love with my new brayer and can’t wait to try a million more projects. Kids from about the age of 6 onwards would be able to complete this project. There are so many variations to try.

Let me know what you think…comments totally make my day!

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Art for Kids: Inspired by Georgia O’Keefe

I have been inspired lately by the amazing works of Georgia O’Keefe. What a master she was! I found a great book at the library to show to my kids, Through Georgia’s Eyes.

I can’t wait to go through it together and roll up our sleeves and try a few projects.

My one absolute rule when doing any art project with children is that I must try the project myself first. I like to it out because it is just darn fun and to see if it works and what I might need to change or tweak to get it to work really well.

The first project I found was on the amazing art teacher’s blog, Brightest Crayon in the Blog. She has so many creative ideas posted and I fell in love with her take on a Georgia O’Keefe painting project. She didn’t provide any instructions other than using black glue at the end so I knew (to keep my sanity) I would have to try it first.

I didn’t take any pictures of the process, sorry! It really is an easy project.

I used:

  • watercolor paper
  •  liquid watercolor paint (pink, purple, blue, green)
  • acrylic paint (purple, black)
  • white craft glue

First, I used painters tape to tape my watercolor paper to the table. I then sketched a loose flower with pencil. Pink and purple watercolors were used to fill the flowers with a wet-on-wet technique. After the flower had dried I used blue/green to paint the background. I then used a fairly wet acylic paint to add some texture and depth to the flower. I used a hair dryer to speed up the drying process.

I mixed a small quantity of white craft glue with black paint and added a touch of water (to make it easier to squeeze out). I outlined the flower and made a few swirly additions. I had a blast and I liked the end result.

My next project came from another great blog, Artopotomaus. Please check it out by clicking on the name. Here is what I made:

For supplies gather:

  • watercolor paper
  • assorted colors of tissue paper
  • black sharpie
  • white glue (watered down)

I sketched out another loose flower with a pencil and then went over my lines with a black sharpie. Next I used tissue paper to ‘paint’ the flower with color. I just ripped and applied with watered down white glue. After everything was dry I filled in any white gaps with oil pastels, and voila, another great project!

I am just itching to try these out with my kids and see what they create. I will post a few pictures of their ‘take’ on the project. Happy creating everyone…

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