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We have been doing quite a bit of drawing lately, some painting, lots of cutting with scissors and even some installations (with paper and stickers on windows), too. Both kids become absorbed by the process of making marks on paper. Henry makes lots of small marks with an occasional long streak across the page. Eleanor uses circular motions, hard scribbling and even makes some very deliberate marks — mostly when Henry is asleep though. Marking tool of choice right now, for both kids, are these not-entirely-washable
stinky scented markers.
Installations have been created in various windows reached by standing on boxes of CDs or the couch, using cut pieces of paper, stickers and markers/colored pencils/crayons.
And, the other day while Henry was asleep, Eleanor painted a couple of “Mickey Mouses”, which involved two circles (ears? or eyes?) and a curved line, presumably the mouth. She did say that she was painting a neck on one of the pages — I think it was the one in the picture below. She is beginning to understand how to effectively use watercolor paint, which is much more translucent than the tempera she normally works with at school.
I love to see them hard at work, engrossed in their own creative processes.
A few weeks back, I took Henry and headed out to see a quilt exhibit I had seen mentioned on Whip Up. The quilts were all about Obama and the exhibition was called “President Obama: A Celebration in Art Quilts”. It was really interesting to see how all of the quilts were put together and how different each one was. Plus, I found a wonderful new gallery space in the Cafritz Art Center, which is relatively close to our home — definitely worth keeping an eye on. Henry found the mini loader working across the street more interesting than the quilts but at least he was safely occupied so I could enjoy.
I don’t know how it happened, but somehow we all became addicted to stamps and stamping around this house. I have always wanted to try stamp carving and I think after seeing tutorials like this here, and stamps like these for sale here, and more recently an inspiring collection of handmade stamps here, it just sort of happened. I bought a Speedball Lino Cutter Assortment — a really cool carving tool with different carving attachments that can be stored in the handle — and some of the plastic stuff to carve (I really have no idea what it is exactly). And, I must say that it is such fun. It is quick to carve small stamps (for the instant gratification fix) and always fun to see how it comes out when you press the stamp to the ink pad pad and then to the paper. The next step in the process is to try letterboxing, a fun adventure in treasure hunting I learned about from my friends Brad and Tia. So, anyway, here are a few from the growing collection in our home…
Three banded armadillo carved for my own little armadillo. (I used this picture here as inspiration, also check out the other picture of the armadillo uncurling — it is amazing, I just didn’t think it would make a good stamp.):
My good friend Sarah just had her new baby and he is beautiful! I made him a little swaddling blanket somewhat similar to this one in green flannel. Unfortunately, I did not photograph it before giving it to him. However, I did take a couple of pictures of the gift for his big sister.
I found this cute little Love Bird here. My original idea was to make a baby chick to go in the (slightly) bigger chick’s pouch, but it didn’t happen before the recipient’s baby brother arrived and a heart was quicker. The top of the chick is an old linen cocktail napkin I picked up at a rummage sale and the bottom is a bit of beautiful cotton from the first quilt I ever made. The feet, beak and heart are some wool felt that think is just lovely (from here). I used the down from an old pillow that had fallen apart to stuff it and it made a huge, gigantic mess all over the sewing/laundry room, but the end result was nice so it was worth it. Despite my best efforts to follow the pattern exactly, the little chick also turned out a bit square. I’m not sure why, maybe my inexperience on the machine? Or stuffing it too full? I would like to try this again though and see if I could make a more egg shaped chick, maybe when I have some extra free time.
They were not actually belated in the making, just in the blogging. For Eleanor’s classmates, we did some simple gluing of hearts and some stamping. We have been really into stamping around here lately (more on that later), and since Eleanor cannot write her name yet, the easiest way to sign her cards was to stamp the letters on. She did get weary of doing it (turns out “Eleanor” is a pretty long name for a three year old) but we broke the stamping up into several days and I helped her a bit. We attached the hearts to these adorable little pots with seeds that I found at Target in the dollar bin. I do hope they grow — the one we kept hasn’t done much yet.
Another Valentine’s Day project we did was for Vince. Eleanor and I took inspiration from Jean over at The Artful Parent and did stained glass with waxed paper and grated crayons. This is something I have done before but the clever part was cutting the melted waxed paper into hearts and hanging them up. We hung them in the front window so Daddy could see them when he came home from work. I think it was a bit dark on Valentines evening but they are still hanging, so we get to enjoy them as the days grow longer. (Actually, they are down now.) I had no idea how to photograph them with the bright light outside, so sorry about the crappy pictures. I really should take a digital photography class.
Holy cow. I started this post on February 25! What is my problem?! Anyway, maybe one of these days I will get back in the swing of things. Ideally, I would post at least one thing per week. Maybe that can be my St. Patrick’s Day resolution.