Posts Tagged ‘art’

The other week-end the weather was so gorgeous there was no excuse for not getting outside and into nature.  On the Saturday it was a bit chillier, but a Peregrine Falcon payed us a visit beckoning us to come outside.  My sons were thrilled to see the Peregrine Falcon so close, as it had visited that week before in our backyard but further away.  Good thing too, as it was eating a sparrow on the back fence, not something I want to see up close (bloody awful, literally).

We watched in awe as this beautiful and strong bird went about its business.

We acknowledged together that though we felt bad for the bird it was eating, we knew that it was all part of the cycle of life.

I looked up Peregrine Falcon and found this “It has been suggested that rescuing the peregrine from extinction has been one of mankind’s greatest environmental success stories.”  How wonderful that this powerful and fast-flying bird sometimes referred to as the “cheetah of the sky” visited us that weekend.  It was a reminder of the marvel of nature’s strength and ability to survive and then thrive.

On the Sunday when the weather was milder, we went for a bike ride in the valley and stopped to make some nature art . I have included some fast forward videos here to inspire.

There is no right or wrong way of doing this.  As long as you are respectful of nature, living plants, and possible habitats for small inhabitants, then how it looks is up to you.

 

Today we have a guest post from the creative Leah Piken Kolidas of  the Blue Tree Art Gallery & Creative Every Day. Leah shares her insights into being a new parent  of  her 9 month old baby.

 

 

Tell us a little about your family:

I live with my husband, Andrew, our 9 month old daughter, Annabelle, and our four cats near Boston, MA. I’m a part-time artist and full-time SAHM. We are over the moon about our little girl!

Describe as best you can what kind of parenting style you use:

We’re just at the beginning, so I imagine some of our style is yet to be determined. I know that we want to have a household with open communication, lots of nurturing, and creativity.  We want her to feel loved, supported, and encouraged. I want to be firm and consistent with certain things and more flexible (room for discussion) on others. Right now, while she’s young, parenting seems to be mostly about creating routines and a safe, loving environment in which she can thrive.

 

What do you see your role is as a parent?

I see my role as being a loving, supportive, encouraging, and consistent person in her life. Someone who will provide a safe, loving home, where she’s able to express herself, ask questions, and grow. I also see myself as being a role model, so that she learns by example, from watching my relationship with my husband and with my relationship with my work.

What has been the most difficult part of parenting for you and what helped you through this?

Thus far, it has pained me most to see her cry. Working through getting her to fall asleep on her own was a real challenge for me, but with some support from my husband and friends who’ve been through it before, we found a way to help her through the transition and we’re all sleeping better now!

What has been the most rewarding part of parenting?

Watching her grow and learn is absolutely fascinating. Also, the look of love in her eyes, when she sees my husband and I, is the most heart-melting experience. I know that she feels loved.

Twenty years from now, looking back at yourself as a younger parent, what helpful message would you share with yourself?  What might you say to other parents?

To myself I’d say, nothing can truly prepare you for becoming a mother. The beginning is hard, but don’t doubt yourself. You’re going to be great parents. To other parents, I don’t feel like I can share any real words of wisdom at this point. I guess I’d just say, welcome to the adventure!

Leah Piken Kolidas

is a mixed-media artist living near Boston with her husband, their daughter, and their four cats. She sells her artwork at www.BlueTreeArtGallery.com and leads creativity challenges at her blog, www.CreativeEveryDay.com. You can also find her on twitter: @leah_art.

If you like this post and think other parents would benefit from hearing different parenting voices please use the share buttons below!  Be sure to join  us next Thursday for another inspiring glimpse into parenting on the Listen to the Beat Within Guest Parenting Series!

 

A few weeks ago my kids agreed to try some doodle art inspired by artist Traci Bautista .  We never really got to the doodle part, but the boys had fun with the layers that they created using found stencils. It was a fun art activity to do with the kids.

 

You could have each family member do their own then piece them together in a collage, you can frame them side by side or if you are brave like me have your kids work on the same one together. Be prepared for disagreements. Think of it as an opportunity for learning.

 

There is no wrong way of doing this activity.  Below are just some suggestions and ideas of what can happen.  Encourage spontaneity and above all FUN!

 

Materials

  • paint
  • paint brushes
  • paper
  • apron, smock or old clothing to wear
  • old tooth brushes (optional)
  • sponges (optional)
  • brayer (optional)
  • stencils
  • Objects to us as stencils such as feathers, netting, doilies, popsicle sticks tooth picks, pennies anything goes as long as you’re okay with getting paint on it.
  • Things to add texture: large brush, sponges old tooth brushes
  • Spray bottles filled with single colour and some water

 

Choose a medium to large size paper. Choose about 3 colours that everyone feels goes well together. Have some white paint to lighten the colours adding to the layering effect. Not sure about mixing colours? Check this link out: mixing colours.

 

Here is what you will generally be doing to create your painting:

Place items on the paper and spray paints lightly over the area you want to make an imprint of. Remove the “stencil”.  Allow paint to dry between layers or before putting another stencil on.  Any object you place down and spray paint on will leave a negative of the object when it is removed, giving a stencil effect. The first ones will leave white outlines, but as you add more layers of stencils and paint the painting will have more textures.

 

Place object on paper, spray one paint colour at a time allowing it to dry before adding another colour.  This is to avoid making the colours muddy or brown.

 

Use a brayer or sponge to put paint on a plastic letter stencil for a neat print.

Press this down on the paper, being careful not to shift it and smudge it.

Press firmly.

Lift carefully.

Use a styrofoam tray for a wide pallet for use with wide brushes and brayers (paint rollers).

 Be careful not to put too much paint on your brush or it will get under the stencil.

Rather than dragging the paint brush on the doilies or other stencils, dab the brush into the holes gently to leave a print.

Lift carefully.

Be sure to hold down the stencil as you apply the paint.

Be sure to praise team work!

You’re done when you decide!

 

 

A while back my kids agreed to try making some sock monkeys.  Originally the idea was to make them as gifts for others.  Eventually we did get around to making sock monkey gifts (like the ones pictured above who traveled to Greece to be with my sons’ cousins), but first my boys made their own sock monkey to love and to hold.  While this wasn’t the first time that they have sat down and sewed with me, this was the biggest project they have done in terms of sewing time.  There’s something to be said for getting a smiling monkey at the end as a motivator!

 

Just so you know, these monkeys were completed over several days with lots of breaks in between.  But as you will see the first part of making the monkey is quite easy and can be completed fairly quickly, which is great for keeping your kids interested and motivated.

 

I wanted to make sock monkeys with my kids after being introduced to them again through a sock monkey therapy tutorial that I had signed up for as part of 6 Degrees of Creativity, an Art Therapy Alliance e-course.  They were really fun to make, and although my guys were tired of sewing after making theirs, they helped me stuff the monkeys that were sent to their cousins in Greece (pictured above).

 

Working on the sock monkeys brought up plenty of opportunities for problem solving . . .

 

I was amazed as I watched my sons carefully focus on making and sewing their monkeys with minimal help from me.  While my youngest who is almost 8 did get more help than his big brother, he sewed the majority of his monkey himself, only needing help with attaching the body parts.  I had the camera rolling as they worked in hopes that it would inspire other young children to give it a try.  Aside from the boost in self esteem that comes with taking on such a project at this age, if you watch the video you will see the sense of community created as we all sewed together.  At times it looked like a production line as one of my sons threaded a needle for me while I started sewing something for him, and other son was stuffing a new monkey.

 

That being said, it wasn’t always roses. Working on the sock monkeys brought up plenty of opportunities for problem solving when my youngest was frustrated with sewing or worse began to get discouraged because he compared his progress to his big brother who was moving along quicker.

 

The project also took on a silliness of its own as the sock monkeys came alive dancing around though 3/4 finished.

 

Below I have included a picture tutorial as well as a 15 minute video which you may wish to watch with your kids as you make you monkeys.  If you do end up making sock monkeys, we would love to see pictures feel free to post them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/offbeatfamily or e-mail them to us at petrea AT offbeatfamily DOT com

 

 

  • Start by turning your sock inside out

 

  • Flatten the sock (as if putting it on) and cut up to just below the heal to make the legs
  • sew using the whip stitch from the bottom up to the crotch on each side, leaving a hole for stuffing
  • Turn the sock right side out and stuff

 

 

 

 

 

  • Sew up the crotch

 

  •  Divide up the second sock as shown here

 

 

  • cut the heel for the mouth
  • cut a thin tail from top of sock: heel to toe

  • cut semi circles for ears from remaining sock
  • Cut the arms as shown in above sock diagram
  • sew all inside out using the “whip stitch” leaving a space to turn right side out before stuffing
  • pin to body and sew in place
  • choose button or beads for eyes and sew on
  • use coloured thread to sew a on smile
  • add a heart if you like
Get ready for some sock monkey LOVE!

A Guest Post by Becky Jaine of Monkey Shines for Glimpses of Family

My children and I spent an afternoon throwing rainbows and creating colorful explosions on canvas.

I called to Sonshine (my 2 year old) to get his attention for the picture,

and he “roared” his lion roar at me to share his delight.

My joyful art warriors!


 

 

This was the end result of a messy and hilarious family painting project we did together.  My husband, children and even our dog got in on the creative fun.  I documented the event sharing a simple “how-to” here 

 

 

 

 

Becky Jaine is a wife, mother, writer and creative arts enthusiast (in ever-changing priority). She passionately writes about what her family does to disconnect from technology, to be more fully present together. She calls these activities “togetherness projects“, encouraging families to occasionally disconnect to reconnect. Check out her Monkey Shines at www.MonkeyChiMonkeyDo.com .

 

 

When my oldest son was in grade two, his class was asked to make a drawing of where they would like to live. They drew their pictures, cut them out, and displayed them at the school art show. I remember seeing all the wonderful drawings of homes. The pictures were two sided with the outside of the home on one side and the inside on the other. When I asked him where his was he showed me a large airplane. It was colourful and full of details. Talk about thinking outside of the box- or should I say house! He was so proud of it that he hung on to it for years hanging it in his room. Read the rest of this entry »

A while back my husband and I decided to structure in some special time with the kids because of our work schedule and feeling we did not have a lot of time together as a family. While we had tried family game night where we play a board game (usually one that is cooperative rather than competitive) it just wasn’t as fun for the adults as when we were kids. Read the rest of this entry »

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