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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Monday, July 23, 2012

* Make Your Own Comic Book - Homemade Comics In The House!

Laughter is very important in our household.
We laugh together as a family daily.
The dinner table conversation is usually full of silly voices,
inside family jokes, impressions, and several potty jokes. 

I wasn't surprised when "E" (my 9 year old) started drawing her own comics
last spring. She had been drawing and designing "fashion sketches" for the past year
and it seemed like a natural evolution for her to jump over into combining her drawing with 
her fantastic sense of humor to make her own comic characters and stories.

Remember her "fashion sketches"? 
She still has a board of them up in her room.

She draws comics based on real-life experiences - usually ones 
that involve some sort of frustration. 
This is a comic about the time when mom spent an afternoon
on hold with the insurance company. 

She also made one about when the school lunch lady was out of popsicles 
and told her to "try again tomorrow" every day for 4 days (see the top comic in this post)!

"E" is so prolific and draws so many awesome comics 
that I made her a binder with page protectors to keep them in. 
It's her own comic book and she loves to share it with guests 
when they come over to our house and tour her room 
(we also do a lot of show and tell in our family!)

She made "themed" comic books like this holiday one.

She made up characters that recur in different comics and even
made profiles about each one. This guy is named "Cavey" he's a caveman and not very smart.
Another fellow named "Edward Smelly Bottom" also shows up a lot. 

She loves to make drawings and infographics about things she thinks are "creepy"
like vintage "Chatty Cathy" dolls, the "Big Tex" statue in Texas
and "Baby Alive" dolls - for the record her mom thinks those things are creepy and weird too!

Who knows, maybe someday she'll write her own graphic novel,
illustrate a comic strip, or write a book. This could be the start for that idea.
One thing I do know is that she will love this little binder/book of her homemade
comics and enjoy seeing her ideas when she's older (and so will her own kids!)

I absolutely loved this great idea I saw over on Mom's Homeroom.
Jolie Stekly suggests turning your home into a "House of Comics"
by making speech bubbles for inanimate and ordinary objects to express themselves --
What is the kitchen chair thinking? What does the microwave say?
She suggests cutting out big speech bubbles with paper or card-stock
and asking your kids to add words or thoughts, then tape them up around the house.
I think we'll be trying that out next. 

How fun is that?!
Keep smiling and laughing.

Pink and Green Mama

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Friday, July 20, 2012

* Homemade Erasers With Eraser Clay

My girls have extensive (embarrassingly large) collections of little erasers.
They come from different places and different companies
but they are all basically the same thing -- 
little erasers in the shape of tiny animals and junk food that pop together
(and apart!) into a million tiny pieces.

Both girls keep their collections in one of my hand-painted lunch tin boxes.
They enjoy sorting them and acting out little plot lines with them. 
They even build little houses out of shoe boxes for them.

We spotted a package of "Eraser Clay" (Sculpey brand) at the craft store 
and the girls wanted to try making their own eraser figurines. 
This is not a sponsored post.
I'm just sharing the fun we had as a family when we discovered this fun clay!

So we brought home a package and had a playdate with Grandma 
to make some figure. Grammy is a bit of clay expert - she helped make 
a claymation film (I GO POGO) a million years ago when I was a little girl. 
The girls are always impressed with her play dough and clay modeling skills!

Grammy made the tiny pink kitty for "C"
We used some play dough molds to make the carrots -- "C" had fun making them.

"E" made the green frog and the birthday cake above.

It kept the girls (big and little) entertained for part of an afternoon
and it was fun to add some homemade "toys" to our collection.

I just baked them in the oven on a cookie sheet per the package instructions
and they weren't very stinky. 
I wouldn't use these as "real" erasers - but they do "erase" a little bit when we tested them.

Happy Crafting!
Pink and Green Mama

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

* Curvy Board, Waldorf Rocker Board Review

I wanted to introduce you today to one of our favorite new "toys" in the house, my 
family was so lucky to have the opportunity to review this product and Etsy shop!
It's a Curvy Board/Waldorf Rocker from a wonderful Etsy shop called Open Ended Creations.

It has been too hot to play in the backyard this week -
we've been under a code red heat and air quality advisory so
my girls have been bouncing off the walls (literally!) 
This rocker board has been a life saver for everyone's sanity!

I can not get my kids to get off of it and I've had to start setting the oven timer
to let them take turns playing on it. I'm thinking we may need to order another one!

So what do you "do" with a Curvy Board?
Well...that's up to your kids. 
That's the whole beauty of it. It's an open-ended toy.
There is no wrong way or right way to play with it.
You just set it out and let them explore. 
They don't need instructions. They'll figure it out.

Action shot of "E" in the middle of a very enthusiastic rocking session!
The board is made out of 9 layers of poplar plywood, sanded smooth, 
and finished with varnish. It's handmade so no two are alike. 
Ours is the Walnut Finish, they also come in Natural and Golden Oak.
I think it's beautiful. The kids think it's awesome.

Ours has been a great "bridge" as a prop in imaginative play.
They've made Zen gardens with it. Troll Bridges. Barbie Moats. 

"E" is fishing with some of our homemade, magnetic bean bag fish
(leftover from "C"s penguin birthday party!)

Both girls enjoy sitting on it as an indoor see-saw. 

"E" the tiny rocking sea turtle. 
Watch out, your sister will come jump on your back in a minute 
and you'll be a human rocking horse if you stay like that!

Turtle on her back!

Homemade "chair" 

That troll under the bridge looks pretty cute to me!

What would you do with a Curvy Board? 
Go check out at the Open Ended Creations Etsy Shop!

Pink and Green Mama

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FYI: All opinions expressed are my own. 
My family received a Curvy Board to review and play with - we really do love it.
We did not receive any additional financial compensation. 

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