Cardboard Paintings: Exploring Primary Colors


Cardboard Paintings: Exploring Primary Colors

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Last week I made some cardboard canvases for my 3-yr old class. They were totally digging the format and each of them painted two or three or more paintings. I cut some pieces big, and some small. I primed some with a light gray paint, and some I left unpainted. I drilled holes in the top corners so that the paintings could be hung (the best part). I used tempera paints and mixed a little bit of white with the three primary colors, just to make them a little bit opaque. These little kids had never been exposed to the words primary colors, and they didn’t know that they could be mixed to make new colors. It was a whole new world for them!

simple recycled art project for littles

I was able to capture the smile on Martina’s face when she discovered that yellow and blue make green, and yellow and red make orange!

simple recycled art project for littles

simple recycled art project for littles

simple recycled art project for littles

As they got more confident with their painting, they began to cover their whole canvas rather than just painting in one spot. Eventually, they all decided unanimously that they wanted just solid color paintings. I don’t know why exactly, but I went with it. In the end, when the monochromatic ones were all in a row they looked very cool and very constructivist, like Alexander Rodchenko. A triptych!

simple recycled art project for littles

I love how Madsie kept painting pink canvases for her mama.

simple recycled art project for littles

simple recycled art project for littles

I will definitely be doing this project again. The kids loved the cardboard and they loved mixing colors. It would be fun with older kids to set out a still life and introduce them to an artistic style. Like Gaugin or Matisse…painters who really loved their colors!

xo, Bar

 

Being Awesome + Love This {six}


Being Awesome + Love This {six}

It’s time for my monthly (ish) round-up of the things I’m loving these days.

But first… We had someone very close to us pass away this week. His heart stopped, at the age of 49. He left behind his beautiful daughter who is 14, and his dear and very spectacular wife. They are being brave and strong, as well as falling apart and weeping. George was his own person, so smart and funny with a story about everything and a twinkle in his eye. I loved being with him because he could always articulate what I couldn’t, and then add a punch line. He wore interesting t-shirts and brought over his own specialty beer wherever he went. He could see the big picture, he didn’t sweat the small stuff. George will be deeply missed. In his honor, I wanted to promote and salute all of the people in the world who are comfortable enough in their own skin to always be real and just totally awesome.

Love This {six}

1. Read this spot-on little piece about what you learn in your 40′s. But only if you’re in your 40′s.

2. Boyfriends do their girlfriends makeup. This is funny.

3. Photographer Kate T. Parker empowers girls with her photos. Her message: Strong is the new pretty. Yes!

4. Dalton Ghetti sculpts the tippy top of pencils. You’ll have to see it to believe it.

5. I need to own these tea towels.

6. These rainbow pencils are brilliant, just so simple and beautiful. I’m happy they are on the earth.

7. Affordable original paintings by Emily Jeffords. The stillness and beauty of her paintings make me feel calm.

8. I love the simplicity of these nature crowns. I am definitely making these at art camp this summer!

9. These two young boys brought the house to tears with their original rap song in front of thousands. Kids are just so darn brave!

Have a happy weekend!

xo, Bar

RIP George. We'll miss you.

RIP George. We’ll miss you.

 

Puffy Hearts {fun for all ages}


Puffy Hearts {fun for all ages}

Yesterday I taught my very first art class! You may have noticed that I have a new heading up top called classes. I am SO excited about this new adventure, it has been a dream of mine for a long, long time (as my friends can attest to). I can’t believe it’s finally come true!

My class of 3 and 4 year olds (mostly 3′s) came over today and we make puffy hearts. I was thinking it might be a bit of a challenge, starting off with a “product” rather than some open-ended creativity, but I was feeling like I needed to take this opportunity to have them make something for mother’s day. I had my 8yr old son make one as a “trial run”, and he did so well! His only painting instructions were to use rainbow colors. He came up with his own pattern, cut, stuffed and stapled all by himself. I was feeling pretty good about this!

rainbow watercolor art

rainbow watercolor art

So my little kids arrived and we talked about rainbows (r.o.y.g.b.i.v.), and I gave them the choice of painting stripes or creating their own patterns. “Just fill the whole heart” was really my only request. I obviously have not been around 3 year olds in a long time. Five years, actually, if you do the math. I forgot that they are babies. First of all, the 3yr olds had never used watercolors, or scissors. (Thank goodness I had a 4yr old who could prove that it was possible.) So we started from scratch. I explained that watercolors need water to work. They all chose brown first, and then black (because those colors are at the end of the palette), and then they moved on to white. Every color went on the same spot on the paper. (Stripes? ha!) But…with a little encouragement and repetition of technique, they got the hang of it in no time, and even began mixing their own amazing colors! Such a smart group.

the littles using their best small motor skills!

Look how cute they are!

strengthening small motor skills while making beautiful art!

strengthening small motor skills while making beautiful art!

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Here’s a quick tutorial on making puffy hearts:

1) cut out a big heart and use it as a template (heart should be symmetrical), then trace the heart onto two pieces of paper (we used sulphite paper, not watercolor paper which would be too thick)

2) paint both hearts with watercolors, then let them dry (we used inexpensive crayola watercolors)

3) cut out both hearts, then staple together all along the edge, leaving one side open to stuff

4) use tissue paper, or cut up some newspaper or scrap paper, and crumple into little bits to use as stuffing

5) staple the last side closed

strengthening small motor skills while making beautiful art!

I just LOVE the way their hearts turned out so unique and moody and beautiful. I swear, little kids are so uninhibited that they really make the best art.

Have a try at this one, it really does work for all ages.

Happy Mother’s Day!!

xo, Bar

PS: for a good mother’s day quote, click here to see my quote collage from last year….you’ll like it.

 

Mother’s Day Card {printable}


Mother’s Day Card {printable}

Mother’s Day is almost here! I made this card for my mom (who is the epitome of WOW) and I wanted to share it with you. Just download and print on card stock, then trim. Or print on regular paper and glue to cardstock. Fits a 5 x 7 envelope.

You could also give this card to a new mom, or a friend or sister to cheer them on when they’ve had a bad day. Or frame it to remember your mom, or to just celebrate mothering in general…because we are all worthy of a WOW!

xo Bar

ps: {mom…pretend you didn’t see this}

 

A Quilt // In Loving Memory of Grace


A Quilt // In Loving Memory of Grace

Many of you know I have a daughter named Grace. This post is not about her. This story is about another Grace. I was never able to meet this Grace, a beautiful and creative ten year old who was wise and brave beyond her years, but I did get to know her in a very different way…through her clothes.

patchwork memory quilt

I made this quilt for Grace’s mom and dad. They wanted to be able to wrap themselves up with her essence. It was a humbling experience, but so rewarding for me to be able to help (just a little bit) in the healing of a broken heart.

patchwork memory quilt

Here’s what I learned about Grace from her clothes: She had style, she loved American Girl dolls, she had a thing for the color purple, she loved peace signs, she was a cool kid with her striped leggings and her “just peachy” shirt, she loved the beach, she was a Girl Scout, she was loved by many.

Grace Evanko

I reached out to Grace’s mom to see if it was ok for me to write a post about Grace and the quilt. Although we have not met in person (yet), she is one of my heroes. Here is what she wrote about her daughter:

“Our daughter, Grace Marie Evanko, “Amazing Grace”, passed away at the age of 10 on March 2, 2013. She battled an inoperable DIPG brain tumor for two and a half years. She possessed strength, determination and an ability to overcome physical challenges, all with a smile on her face and never a complaint. And she had a lot to complain about…many surgeries, 6 weeks of radiation, a year of chemo, lost her hair and in the end the ability to walk or talk. Our daughter showed a zest for life and a will to live in her short 10 years that most people will spend a lifetime searching for; she inspired so many in such a short time. Grace loved playing with her friends, laughing, dancing, being creative and anything chocolate. She was obsessed with American Girl dolls! She could play school or tea party for hours! Grace adored her older brother Riley and truly looked up to him. As a family we were blessed to have her in our lives and have created many memories that will last a lifetime!”

The Evanko Family

patchwork memory quilt

I believe that children like Grace, the ones that leave us too soon, should be remembered and honored every single day. Whether it’s through prayer, planting a tree, walking for charity, writing a thank-you note, helping a friend in need, or more simply by lighting a candle and paying attention to how lucky we are to be alive. Celebrating those brave and beautiful souls is like sending a balloon up to heaven!

xo, Bar

PS: To reach out to Grace’s mom and dad, Denise and Fred, you can email them at fdevanko@optonline.net.