Carnevale Masks


Carnevale Masks

I came across these masks by Spanish artist Neusa Lopez. She calls this series Carnevale. They are so colorful and creative and BIG! A little cardboard, a little paint, some glue….amazing what a few art supplies can create.

I love them and I hope some day we can make them here at home. Thanks for inspiring us, Neusa!

Summer List 2012


Summer List 2012

Last day of school was Thursday. It’s officially summer vacation and we are quite literally jumping for joy! Here is our Summer List 2012:

1. swim + boat / 2. outdoor movie / 3. red velvet ice-cream sandwiches / 4. pipe-cleaner letters / 5. finger knitting / 6. fiesta pom-poms / 7. cloud dough / 8. melted bead bracelet / 9. bowling / 10. beach tic-tac-toe / 11. pom-pom garland / 12. yes day / 13. popsicles / 14. outdoor dining / 15. God’s eye / 16. roller coaster / 17. smoothies / 18. danny, the champion of the world

See my Pinterest Summer List board for links to all of these grand ideas!

Ideal Art Supply Cupboard


Ideal Art Supply Cupboard

It’s official…summer is here! Time for lots of arts and crafts. If you are like me, you want to keep the crafts simple. But what are the best art supplies to keep at hand in your cupboard? Believe me when I tell you that you need very few. Often we just use the same three: watercolor, markers, glue.

Design Mom blog had a great post this week about stocking your art room, or cupboard as they called it. They focus on the best 15 items, and it’s geared somewhat towards younger kids. But I think this supply list is not only a great start, it’s a great end! What more do you need?

Tip: My one favorite addition would be to keep a box of scraps to use for collage. My kids love collage and glue of any kind. It’s a wonderful tool to teach layering and depth.

Scrap Paper Collage


Scrap Paper Collage

This was move-out week! We rent our house out in the summer and spend weeks cleaning out closets, sprucing up rooms, and leaving behind empty shelves that are clean and ready for a new family. Since school is out for my little guy, he had to fend for himself for many hours each day (without making a mess!).

There was a pile of scrap paper in the art room, left over from a banner we’d made. While I was upstairs scrubbing stickers off my daughter’s wall, my son was busy creating! I was able to catch the tail end of his project on camera, before he raced off to score a goal (he was Clint Dempsey that day, kicking the winning goal for Fulham).

I asked him where he had learned to do such a cool, 3-D collage. “Margot taught me, of course,” he said. Margot, his beloved art teacher at school, is my new hero.

When you teach kids to make with what they have, you give them a gift. Necessity is the mother of invention!

Scrap Paper Collage:

All you need is scraps and a glue stick, and a whole piece of paper to glue it on to (cardboard would be best). Cut or rip the scraps. Twist them, fold them, pleat them. Glue them down, and make sure to make a “bridge”. This is when you take one long scrap and glue it across other pieces. Voila! Simple.

Daddy Portraits


Daddy Portraits

Being a good dad is a hard job, and can often go unappreciated. This year, the kids spent some time painting a portrait of their dad and writing him a special note to let him know that he really is one of the best.

I like the way my oldest took her time and glanced over at her dad while drawing to make sure she got it right. I like how my middle used a black outline and colored in her background. And I like how my youngest chose a special skin color and used his dad’s favorite colors.

Happy Father’s Day!!!

 

Magazine Flowers


Magazine Flowers

These flowers are actually made from J. Crew catalogs, but you can make them from magazines and newspapers as well.

I love this craft for three reasons: 1) I can use all of those pretty catalogs that pile up in my recycle bin, 2) I learn about new color names like tidepool and Hampton purple, and 3) my kids are gaga over this craft because they can crumple!

I found this idea on made by nicloe‘s blog. The directions are easy and when you’re done, you can use these flowers as present toppers, as a garland, or just by themselves. We put ours on the mantle but plan on making them into a garland soon.

 

My Favorite Artist: My Dad


My Favorite Artist: My Dad

Ruud Bergmans was born in Holland in 1939. He was number five of seven kids, and he always had an itch to leave his small town and large family. He married my mom, a girl from the town next door who was also ready for an adventure, had three kids, and moved 11 times by the time I got to middle school.

My dad was a banker for 40 years, eventually taking up residence in New York City. But there was always an artist inside of him. Growing up, he invariably found creative project to take his mind off the rat race. Whether building, painting, wallpapering or cooking, he always had an itch to express himself.

After retirement, he took up painting for real. He started by copying his favorite artists, like Van Gogh and Matisse. He moved through the impressionists and the fauves, and eventually found his own style in colorful abstracts inspired by nature. On his 70th birthday, he had his first art show!

Last week, he opened at a gallery in Old Lyme, Connecticut. What I admire most about my dad is his single minded perseverance.  And his intuitive sense of color takes my breath away. He is a true renaissance man! Love you, dad.

Easy Forts


Easy Forts

Kids love forts! It’s true. I have never met a child who doesn’t love small, enclosed spaces where they can hide their stuff, and hide themselves. I remember as a kid begging my parents to let me sleep in the basement, in the small storage room that was full of secret stuff. They let me! I moved my bed and all of my nicknacks to the basement. I remember that first night, feeling so lucky to have a “new room” that was dark and small and fort-ish (emphasis on “ish”). It was an exciting time! Until I heard the scratch, scratch of little teeny paws.

The fort my son and I built is much cheerier, and easy! No moving furniture, or living with mice. All you need is this:

String

Lights

Sheets

Clothespins

Hammer and nail

Ideally, you need to be able to stretch the string from one point in the room, across to another point. I used a tiny nail at the corner of a window frame. No damage done.

My son spends days in his fort (no nights yet, but soon). We can pack it up, and build it again and again…whenever he’s in the mood to escape ‘the sisters’!

Teacher Gift Tags


Teacher Gift Tags

I made these over the weekend and thought I’d try offering them as free printables! I’ve never done this before, so I hope I’m doing it right.

I bought some vellum at Staples that went through my printer. Then I cut them out by hand, punched a hole and put in a string. I also added a heart rubber stamp just to give it a little pizzaz, and because I love our teachers!

There are three different quotes to chose from:

A teacher takes a hand…

They may forget what you said…

A teacher is a compass…

Tip: I left enough space at the top so that you can write in a teacher’s name for a more personal touch.