Monday, February 27, 2012

Thursday, February 23, 2012

This Week

Co-op fun: The 5th/6th grade class made multiplication boards with teacher Mrs. S. They were really cool. Here is a link to an explanation of how it works. Luke, Thomas and M. do co-op garbage duty. Buddies on the couch. (Katie, Nicole, Maria and M.) L. Cassie and Rachel enjoy cleaning the  co-op boards. W.'s class made models of blood with Karo syrup (plasma), red hots (red blood cells), marshmallows (white blood cells), and sprinkles (platelets). On Tues. W. had a Mardi Gras party at Friend Brigitta's. They learned about New Orleans history and got to try beignets fried by Brigitta's dad. They also made Mardi Gras masks.

Post Valentines

 For my Valentines I made these cute recycled can hearts that I saw somewhere on-line. Basically, you just bend a cleaned tuna can into a heart shape, spray paint it and fill with Valentine's goodies. For extra cuteness, affix some Scrabble letters to the side of one.
Before Valentines Day, I saw boxes of Christmas Candy canes on sale for 10 cents each. I bought a ton. M. taped them together into heart shapes and we used them for the girls's Valentines, then we used the leftovers as decorations for the Men's church Valentines banquet. We propped them up with clay.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Intense But Rewarding


This week I taught a lesson on embroidery to my art classes. I have thought about trying this for a few months, but finally figured out a project I thought would work. This is what you need:

*embroidery needles-I used size 5 
*embroidery floss-I used three strands of white. For simplicity, we only used one color and I had these split from the six strands the night before.
*felt, pre-cut scraps-felt is firm enough to stitch without stretching, and is inexpensive and does not ravel
*scissors-to snip the thread
We learned three basic stitches: running stitch, back stitch and laisy daisy stitch. I also brought examples of embroidery for them to see: a book, dish towels, pillow cases, stuffed animals, bookmarks, finger puppets, seasonal decorations. I also brought my collection of embroidery floss to show them the range of colors you can use. After demonstrating the stitches, the kids could practice while I assisted those that needed more help. My largest class has 12 students.
I felt this was an important lesson. It is good for eye/hand coordination, it is highly creative, and it is a traditional art practiced in many cultures. We talked about sewing and tailoring, and pointed out that many fashion designers were/are men (movies). Next week the kids will decorate larger felt pieces as they wish, and then we will sew them into  pocket tissue holders.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Last Week

M and L took two computer classes with their friend Katie. Daughter A. sang in church with Brittney and Marissa. So nice.
Yummy roasted vegetables for Valentines dinners. Drizzled and tossed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper, then roasted at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes. W. got out the colored duct tape and designed a few bracelets-whale, hearts, tiger in the grass.
I made these recycled felted red cashmere sweater slippers, embroidered with thin ribbons for my friend Ana's 50th birthday. Fuzzy toastiness.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Owl Be Your Valentine

Last Saturday was our annual women's sweetheart banquet put on by the men of our church. This year they made and served appetizers and punch, prime rib, roasted potatoes, salad, and cream puffs. The theme was owls. I made 34 felt embroidery owl finger puppets for favors, and printed out owl pictures and stapled them into cylinders for decorations. We played conversation heart bingo. One of our favorite nights of the year.

 The design is mine. I freehand stiched them and they are all different. The little fuzzies on the "ears" are from a  miniature feather boa I found at the craft store.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Paper Hearts

Since this week would be Valentine's Day, we made two types of paper hearts last week in my art classes. We talked about origami (Japanese paper folding) and kirigami (paper folding, then cutting, usually symmetrical). We also talked about scoring and worked with oil pastels. I think it is fun and good for kids to be able to fold paper hearts, boxes and fun things to work on in the car, for when they babysit, etc. Also, I find that many kids need practice with cutting, so that is something I like to incorporate even into the late elementary years.

We learned to fold paper hearts out of strips of (magazine) paper, then cut the top edges off to round them. I took a needle and some thin ribbon along and strung some of them for necklaces. We also made folded heart containers to hold the paper hearts or to use for Valentine's gifts. We decorated the heart boxes with oil pastels after cutting out the pre-printed pattern and before folding and gluing them. Here is a link to the video I watched for the kirigami paper hearts. There are lots of other videos for different paper hearts that might be fun to experiment with. I chose this style because many kids (boys, usually) have already learned to fold the paper triangles for table football. I did find that it is also easy to push in the hearts using the sharp edge of a table instead of your thumb.

The kids made some lovely designs on the heart containers. I found the downloadable template  here. Each child used a straight edge (popsicle sticks) and  a plastic knife to score the fold lines. This is a great trick for them to learn and helps tremendously with folding easily and precisely. (As long as the score line is placed correctly!)

Florida Koi and Orchids

These are the last of the pictures from Orlando at the Gaylord Palms. They had amazing Koi fish who always thought you were there to feed them, although it was not allowed. The plant life was also amazing, and I especially loved the orchids. Played a bit with taking close-ups. Postcards from God are everywhere.