Melted Crayon Artwork

I came up with another project for the kids and I to do utilizing our over abundance of crayons.

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For this project I used a cookie sheet from the Dollar Store. We then put broken up crayons (wrappers removed) on the cookie sheet and put it in a preheated oven at 225 degrees. They were melted after about 10 minutes.

Next we removed the pan from the oven and started putting different objects into the melted crayon mixture that we had laying around the house (wooden hearts, stars and sequins) and then we sprinkled glitter over the entire project.

You need to act pretty quick when placing your objects because the crayon mixture cools and hardens fairly quick.

This was a very easy project and I think this is a cool piece of artwork!

For another idea to use old crayons read about another project we did here!

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Matchbox Car Art

I have wanted to do a project utilizing me and my brother’s old Matchbox cars from the 1960’s and 70’s for a few years now. As a kid, I spent hours playing with these. I kept trying to think of a way to display them properly. I always have a few hundred projects going through my head at all times. Time and how I will go about executing things is always a major factor in how soon I get them done though. I thought I might have a few extra minutes today and I finally figured out how I was going to do this so I set to work.

First I started with a plain wooden board that I got at the ReStore shop. It’s a place that sells used building materials so you can pick up stuff here for pretty cheap.

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Next, I painted the board black and created a square template using masking tape. As you can see, painting is a family affair around here!

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I painted around the edges of the masking tape so the board would have a simple design on it.

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After letting the paint dry, I glued my Matchbox cars on. I applied Gorilla glue on the wheels and placed the cars where I wanted them on the board. The cars are firmly attached and I can now hang this on the wall! Of course the kids think I am completely nuts for gluing cars to a board. They really think I should have just gave the cars to them to play with. I know better though, these would have ended up with the 48 other Matchbox cars under the stove right now!

Matchbox Car Art

Matchbox Car Art

It’s Kind Of Like Cloud Watching

I made up a new activity to do with my 5 year old son, Bency this past weekend. Well, I should say, I think I made it up. It’s such a simple concept that it has probably been around for a hundred years and I just never heard of it.

It came about because my 7 year old daughter, Iris had a friend over and they didn’t want to include Bency in their games. Bency was feeling left out so I told him I would play with him.

First we played a very long game of chess which I finally beat him at then I suggested we do some drawing together.

Bency sighed and groaned, “Oh please don’t try to teach me how to draw Superman again.”

Since Bency is my little artist and loves to draw I had tried teaching him how to draw Superman last week. I thought he was ready to advance beyond stick people. He wasn’t. I tried to keep the lesson simple but apparently moving from stick people to Superman is too big of a leap.

So I quick came up with another idea.

I’ll call it Cloud Drawing.

This requires two or more people

One person starts out by drawing a 1-3 inch line on the paper in any direction either straight or with curves (anything goes it just has to be 1-3 inches).

The next person starts off where the last person left off (keep the lines connected) drawing their own 1-3 line or curve.

This continues until the lines finally find their way back to the starting point and you have one large shape.

Now the fun part is trying to decide what it looks like. It’s similar to cloud watching!

We turned the paper every which way and would decide what it most resembled and then I went in and added details to bring what started out as a blob to life!

This was a great activity and would make for an excellent road trip game, some rainy day fun or in our case a cold, winter day with no one to play with except your Mom!

Here are some examples of the ones we made:

Bency and I both saw a tree with a bird perched on it so I went in and added bark for the tree and an eye for the bird!

Bency and I both saw a tree with a bird perched on it so I went in and added bark for the tree and an eye for the bird!

Bency saw a pirate standing by a tree...I didn't see it at all so he went in and added the details on this one!

Bency saw a pirate standing by a tree…I didn’t see it at all so he went in and added the details on this one!

We saw a puppy in this one but I had to add the tail and eyes!

We saw a puppy in this one but I had to add the tail and eyes!

What They Will Remember

As a small child I began my love of art and drawing.

My favorite and earliest memories were drawing with my mom each night at the kitchen table.

She would provide me with brown grocery store bags to color on.

Our medium of choice was chalk but crayons were fine too.

I remember sitting for hours each night just coloring with my mom. I don’t remember what she colored but I know my favorite was Strawberry Shortcake.

I know this because my mom kept all of my artwork. I have a huge container of my artwork ranging from ages of around 3 up to my teenage years.

When I look through it clouds of dust swirl from all of the chalk drawings.

Those were some of my happiest times as a child. Just sitting with my mom doing my favorite activity.

I try to keep this in mind when dealing with my own children.

It does not take expensive toys to make them love us or keep them entertained. It doesn’t require doing elaborate crafts or expensive outings.

They just want us to be with them; spending time and enjoying who they are. That is what they will remember.

pictures I did when I was around 4 years old

 

picture I did when I was around 4 years old. Strawberry Shortcake and Orange Blossom

Please Clean Up the Rainbow Poop in the Yard

Our typical Monday morning of cleaning and laundry took a serious twist at 9:00 a.m. when my nieces Lauren and Olivia came biking up our drive way… giggling! They just “happened” to be biking past when they “noticed” (wink, wink) a strange flyer taped to the telephone pole outside our house. They couldn’t stop giggling trying to explain what it was and urging me to see for myself!

Here is what I found:

Lost Unicorn. Her name is Vanilla. She is very nice. Reward if you find her. Call the De Pere Police Dept.

We quickly rounded up my 7 year old daughter, Iris, who is OBSESSED with unicorns and believes in them beyond a shadow of a doubt, to show her the sign. The moment should have been captured on video because words cannot describe the excitement that poured out of her little body! I thought she might be angry that someone who actually owned a unicorn could be so irresponsible to actually lose it but instead her reaction was, “It’s MY unicorn! I know it is! They just renamed her Vanilla!

Iris reading the sign

This past winter, Iris found hoof prints in the snow that were clearly unicorn tracks. She claimed this unicorn as hers and named her Uni. She spent several months calling for Uni everyday…several times a day!

My nieces spent the next few hours helping my son and daughter look for the unicorn. Thankfully, they found her alive and well. She was invisible but Iris felt her mane swish across her arm. It was the most exciting thing that has ever happened to her in her life! The kids managed to tie her to a tree in the backyard and Lauren devised a recipe of magical food to feed the unicorn (grass, yellow flower petals, sand and a little hocus pocus).

Lauren had to run home quick after this (wink, wink) and Iris made a call to the police department on Olivia’s cellphone. The police said that Iris could keep the unicorn (I guess that’s what you get for being a negligent unicorn owner)!  As Iris relayed this information to me I was quite sure there was never a moment in her life that she could have been happier!

After all their hard work I gave my “unicorn crew” some food. Finding unicorns builds up your appetite!

My unicorn crew…they are making horns on their head!

We rounded out the day with a rainbow art project/science experiment! As I’m sure you know, rainbows and unicorns go hand in hand.

We put 2% milk on a plate, added a few drops of food coloring and then poured dish detergent in little by little and watched it react to the milk

It becomes a Beautiful science experiment!

I’m happy to announce Iris has been diligently feeding her unicorn several times a day (unicorns sure eat a lot as it “magically” keeps disappearing) and following our orders of cleaning up all of the rainbow poop in the yard!

Our mundane Monday turned into the BIGGEST TREAT thanks to my nieces who just “happened” to be biking by!!!

A day full of rainbows and fun!

Art Project With REAL Fire

Every time I go on Pinterest I’m seeing more and more of the art project that has people gluing brand new crayons on a canvas and then using a hair dryer to melt them. It creates a running stream of wax down the entire canvas and creates a beautiful work of art. I never did this as a kid or anything that involved melting crayons. It intrigued me.

However, I knew a new box of sharp crayons is too highly coveted in our house to use and besides we have hundreds upon hundreds of dull, neglected crayons. Also, the use of a hair dryer seemed a bit boring to me.

Alas, I came up with my own project. This project utilizes real FIRE! Since this was an experiment for me, I waited for a day when my daughter was gone and my almost 2 year old was down for his nap and could be a one-on-one project with my 5 year old Bency.

First, I started with a blank canvas. (I actually used a paint by number canvas. These were on clearance at a local craft store and seeing as how my kids like to do their own thing, paint by number wasn’t a huge hit.)

Blank canvas not required….you’re going to be filling it up!

Next, cover your work surface (I forgot this step and got melted wax all over my dining room table!); get your old, dull, PEELED, crayons (we used 10-12) and a candle.

Now you can start creating by simply holding your crayon over the flame for a few seconds to get the wax hot and then quickly move the crayon above the canvas to let the wax splatter on it.

We just focused on making abstract art this time as it’s hard to control where the wax always lands. I think with practice we’ll get better!

On a scale of 5 I give this project 3 stars. I really enjoyed doing it but it was time consuming. We spent 2 hours on this (Bency wanted to keep going but my other son woke up from his nap). It was messy but it was my fault that I didn’t lay newspaper down! Plus it is potentially dangerous. Open flame and 5 year old doesn’t really go together so supervise your child at ALL times!

My son gave it a solid 5 stars! He has been proudly showing off his work of art to everyone he sees and telling them he used REAL FIRE!

The finished product!