Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring redecorating

It's spring break. We stayed home. Well, Levi has been on 2 sleep overs and a couple outings, but our trip to Bend didn't take place. So, I've been working on some creative projects. I've been wanting to do something for above the doorway in our kitchen for a LONG time. I've even had the blank canvases for a LONG time. I finally took some time to use some of my flower photography, Photoshop and Mod Podge and these are the finished products.

It seemed like it would be a pretty easy process. Ha! I got home with my photocopies only to find out that they did NOT copy at 100% of the original size so I couldn't use all of them. I did the "Dream" panel first. It worked out pretty well, had some minor trouble with bubbles. Then I did the crocus. It was TERRIBLE and I finally peeled it off the canvas so I could start over. After another trip to make photocopies I was able to complete the project on the second evening. I have a little touch up to do on the black edges and then should spray them with matte acrylic.

Next up was a project for the bathroom. Another one that I've been meaning to do for quite some time now. For the past 8 years (wow, I just didn't realize it had been so long) I have had a collage of B&W photos of the boys in the tub. Cute when the kids are little, maybe not so cute when the kids are now 15 and 9. Maybe I can bring them out again when the boys are all grown up.

Anyway, I've been wanting to use some flower photography in there to brighten it up, but again found that trying to choose which photos of the thousands that I have was just more than I could handle. I finally tackled it! I LOVE IT. With Photoshop I was able to crop and also add some words. I even made a layout to help me plan it. Then I sent the files to Costco yesterday afternoon and picked them up this morning, using a coupon for free prints to "pay" for them. FREE, love it even more.

A little yellowed after years of hanging in the bathroom.
And the acrylic frame doesn't exactly photograph very well!

I am so excited about this bright new addition to our bathroom.

I have a couple more projects in the works, so check back.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Over, Under, Over, Under

Levi repeated, "Over, under, over, under," as he wove his paper together this morning. He worked deliberately to make sure that certain parts of the painting would show, sometimes turning a strip around or sliding it up to make sure that it revealed just the right part. I LOVE the results. I have to admit that I wasn't so sure about it yesterday when I saw the way the sheets of paper looked, but they dried nicely and the results are beautiful. The colors really POP!

I matted his finished work with black and white and then put it in a black frame. This piece just might get a spot on our dining room wall.

Check out yesterday's post about the beginning of this project and a link back to the idea source.

Looking forward to spring break which officially starts this afternoon. I plan to get his bed moved which will allow him more room around his studio. (See photo in this previous post.) Hopefully that will make it easier for him to work and create there.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Color - Primary and Secondary

Today we studied color. We talked about primary and secondary colors and did a little mixing with watercolors to complete a color wheel.

Then Levi painted 2 sheets of watercolor paper, one with warm colors and one with cool colors. Tomorrow he will get to cut them into strips and weave them together. I got the idea for the color weaving project from Art Projects for Kids, click here to go right to the project.

As soon as he finished the painting he went off to do a little more origami.

More photos will come tomorrow after the project is completed.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011


This afternoon Levi told me that he tried to smile all day so that the day would go well and so it would pass quickly because he was anxious to be able to try some more origami. Wow, I hope I can continue to find projects that he likes so much! He stayed home and did origami projects while I went to Cole's track meet. Smart kid, it was COLD and started pouring rain while I was standing out there.

Will be keeping a lookout for more fun origami patterns.


I can't stop!

I stayed up late listening to an audiobook and folding boxes out of the pages of a catalog. Then this morning while giving Levi his spelling test I made my 2 tiniest boxes yet. I just couldn't see wasting the scraps of paper left from cutting the larger squares from an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. I think the green box was from 3x3 pieces of paper.

The larger box will fit 7 quarters. I couldn't find enough dimes so tested it with pennies instead, 6 pennies filled it nicely.

Ok, I've got to get to something more important!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Origami Fun

Late this afternoon it became obvious to me that I would not have time to do an involved art project with Levi as I needed to get dinner going. Something had been mentioned recently about origami so I decided to look for the box of papers Cole had when he was younger. After finding them and looking into it I realized why they really didn't get used. It was an origami animal kit with heavy printed papers and instructions that are not easy for a beginner. Not wanting to give up so easily I did a Google search for "origami for kids" and found many projects at this site,

We didn't have any regular origami paper so I just cut up some squares from regular paper and let him start figuring it out. His first project was a samurai hat. He did this one completely on his own. Then he wanted to do a ninja star. I helped him decipher those instructions and made one while he made his. He made a few more.

We branched out and looked up more and more patterns. We completed most of what we started but found a few too difficult to understand.

Please enjoy photos of our creations.

Levi's samurai hat

Our ninja stars

Levi's box with ninja stars

Our tote bags

Levi's inflatable goldfish

Levi's inflatable goldfish side view

Levi's frog made from a scrap of paper he took to his room at bedtime.
No pattern was used for this creature. Not bad!

My box and lid

During Levi's bedtime prayers he was thankful for the idea of origami and all the fun he had this evening. (He played with it from 4:30-8:30 with the exception of time out for dinner and helping do the dinner dishes) Then he told him it was so fun, even more fun than playing video games and he really likes to play video games! I know what he means. After I put him to bed and typed up most of this blog I just HAD to do some more origami so I made this little box with divider. The box measures approx. 2 x 2 inches, I wonder what I will find to put in these tiny little compartments.

Hope I can keep finding great projects for him.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Name Creature

This afternoon we combined some math with our art. I asked Levi what he knew about symmetry and found out he really didn't know what it is. (I remember that Cole impressed me with this word and concept at an early age after he learned it on OPB, watching Cyber Chase.)

I found this fun interactive video on symmetry and we watched it together. Then we moved on to our art project which I found here, at a blog called That Little Art Teacher. Levi worked at learning to make a fancy cursive "L" because the capital "L" in the italic cursive that he is learning really isn't as interesting.

Once he got the hang of it, he folded an 8x10 paper in half lengthwise and wrote his name so that it was resting on the fold. He then traced it with a black oil pastel and then refolded the paper and rubbed hard to transfer the name to the other side of the paper and then traced over that portion. Then the fun really began. He decorated up his creature, making sure to keeps things symmetrical. If he added to one side he had to add the same to the other side. If you look closely you can find Levi's name in this creature.

Levi's completed project.

Can you see my name in there? I took the easy way out and added
my background with Photoshop after scanning my creature.

I must say that his background looks a lot more interesting than mine.

Have an awesome weekend,