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!

Angry Bird Art

Yesterday I posted about the Unicorn poster I made my daughter for Christmas. Today I got my son’s art done and got both files sent in to be made into posters for their Christmas presents.

In case this is something you are interested in doing yourself, it can be a very affordable and easy present for anyone. I did do drawing and painting in addition to some graphic design to create my posters but you can use free photo editing sites. I tend to use pixlr.com the most. This way if you are not into drawing and painting you can upload a photograph that you have taken and do many wonderful things with it to make it something really unique! I then send my files into walmart.com and have a poster made for $5.97!

Angry Birds2

My Hearts On Fire For Elvira

This afternoon I did an art project combining two of my childhood loves. Paper dolls and the song Elvira by the Oak Ridge Boys. This song came out when I was six and I can distinctly remember my Dad singing along with gusto to this song using his bass voice. I have since taught my own children this song!

collage piece I did today using an old book as the background, paper doll dresses from 1969 and my own drawings for the heads

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

Mr. Potato Head Got Cool

Mr. Potato Head

 

This is one of the first pieces of work my 5 year old, Bency brought home from Kindergarten. I immediately told him “Great coloring job Bency!” I then told him I liked Mr. Potato Head’s multi-colored teeth. Bency replied, “I wanted to give him some gold teeth to make him look cool.

I found this odd as I don’t think Bency knows ANYONE with gold teeth let alone someone “cool.”

After further examination I also noticed Mr. Potato Head has black rotten teeth intermingled among the gold, blood-shot eyes and a whiskey nose.

For fear of what his answers might be to the inquiries of these observations I simply was thankful that Mr. Potato Head didn’t have any tattoos and a big gold necklace hanging from his neck.

P.S. Bency was able to recite back to me the Kindergarten Rules!

 

 

Sometimes I Look At Her and I Still See a Baby

Painting I did yesterday taken from a photograph of Iris at 6 months

My daughter Iris is 6 months old in this picture. This year she turned 7 years old.

Sometimes I look at her and I still see a baby. She has not changed a bit.

Then I pull out the old photo albums and pictures like this pop out and it takes my breath away. When did my daughter get a jawline? She clearly did not have one at 6 months. When did her nose become long and slender? She had such a small button nose at 6 months. When did she get arms that revealed both her elbow and forearm? She had roly-poly sausages with five fingers sticking out of them at 6 months.

At 7 years old, my daughter is still very innocent. Yet, she knows words to pop songs. She talks on the phone to her best friend and they GIGGLE! I now fully understand the reference when someone says, “she giggled like a little school girl.” She talks about the presidential election. She asks me to do her hair a certain way.

But sometimes I just look at  her and I still see a baby.

Personalized Kid’s Plates

My brother recently told me about a fun project he had seen using Sharpie markers. Basically, you can write on porcelain using a Sharpie marker and then put it in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Of course I was intrigued and just had to give it a whirl!

I bought 3 plain white plates at the Dollar Store.

Plain white plates from the Dollar Store

We had a basket full of Sharpies already but if you don’t have a basket full you need to buy some of these too! (You do not need a basket full…I have no idea why we have this many!)

That’s it!!

My kids and I sat down and drew away on our blank plates to personalize them and make them beautiful!

Iris drew herself and a unicorn on her plate, Bency drew himself and a zebra and I made a plate for my youngest son!

Afterwards we put them in the oven and fired them and we were done!

A few notes on this project:

  • Sharpies say they are non-toxic but I’m not sure you can actually eat off of them. I am only going to use these plates to serve cookies on or something like that.
  • I put these in the dishwasher to see how they held up. Everything was fine except for the red. It turned orange. Also the silver Sharpie came off on some places. The green, blue and black were perfect.
  • My kids absolutely LOVED this project!

The kids are proud of the plates they made all by themselves!

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!