Saturday, June 30, 2012

Film Canister Uncle Sam Poppers for July 4th @WBCL

Finding uses for some of the donations takes time but every one of them finally becomes a project or two or more. This box of 35mm film canisters has been sitting a LONG time in the cabinet. It didn't take too much to convert the ugly container into a cute Uncle Sam necklace full of confetti to throw around on the 4th. 

I drilled 2 small holes in the bottom to insert plastic cord for the necklace. Another donation of wood hearts supplied the Sam heads. I sanded the canister tops and glued the hearts on before class using GlueAll but it did not hold. We re-glued all the tops before class. Thanks to the mom and kids who helped out on this. A bit of white paper was wrapped around the canister and the participants cut red strips for the stripes and glued or taped them on. They added part of a cotton ball for a beard and eyes to complete the face. Bet I see a few of them at the Wells Branch 4th Fest celebration. I'll be there helping people make fans to keep cool.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Incredible insects at art mini-camp

 The group began the week creating books to capture some of the projects for the week. I pulled art work from Pixar's Antz and Bugz for them to use as examples. They then colored their drawings with colored pencils. We worked on shading some of the edges.

Most of the group saw the egg critters the younger kids made earlier in the day and had to create one. It was good learning on use of glue guns and design.

 For the next project we used milk cartons and a variety of woody items, pine cones and glue to create a bug habitat. This group did not want bugs to inhabit these and were generally not into insects--hard crowd on this but the trip to look for bugs turned into more of a science project as they discovered their magnifying glasses could concentrate light and ignite leaves and wood fuzz. 
Edible projects are fun to do and usually intrigue most of the kids. I secured kits from the Smithsonian to make gummy bugs. They had to measure and mix and use pipettes to fill the forms. A day's wait and removing the gummy bugs was a bit hard but we got it done. Apparently they didn't taste too bad as they were all gone.

 We worked with clay a lot over the last 2 days and a couple of kinds of clay and processes. The cornstarch clay was a bust for sculpting but we made it thinner and layered it onto cards to do a puffy project. Into the microwave for 20-30 seconds and they were amazed to have puffed bugs to paint. The flour/salt clay made up well and each of the campers has a tray full of creations--penguins, computers, sofas, pizza--no insects but great work with the palette knives and shaping. So much so that we made a 2nd batch to work with in class.

Kat thought they would like to draw the Tracker Jacker from Hunger Games and the Mockingjay so led them in the drawing project. The drawings are really good and the coloring and shading are coming along.

We discussed scarab beetles and their place in Egyptian culture then used Fimo clay to create one for our last project. Our favorite example was the brightly colored beetle with metallic blue, green and gold. some painted their this way but most went for bits of gold. They learned how to soften and manipulate this clay and make legs and eyes stick.

Incredible Insects art mini-camp JR

We started the week off reading books on bugs then making our own books. The kids learned how to keep the books together and add pages. We decorated them liberally on the cover then went inside to decorate them more. we next learned how to made fingerprint bugs which were a lot of fun. Our next project at right was creating a variety of bug--a fat but very cute bug from an egg, a dragonfly from a clothespin and a bottle cap butterfly. Great creations one and all.

 Our next focus was on butterflies so we started by painting them with metallic tempera paints then created glitzy butterfly masks to wear. Before we went out on our bug hunt we decorated our bug collectors making them into bugs with big fluffy heads.
We grabbed our special magnifying glasses and went hunting for bugs in the yard. The glasses include a set of tweezers but most of the kids just scooped the rolly pollies and snail shells up in their fingers. We also found ants and spiders out there.
The kids were excited to be able to take the magnifying glasses home. Great find at Dollar Tree.
Our last day we got into the clay to create a bug house or bee hive for the bees from salt clay over a small flower pot. The Jr. Councellors had stamped out spiders in clay the night before so the campers could paint them. We used tempera cakes to paint them and the made our spiderwebs from construction paper strips and donated embroidery hoops. Turned out really good and most got a bead or two for the bugs that got caught. Lastly we closed with ants on a log but used graham cracker strips instead of celery to put the peanut butter and raisins on top. Must have been good as none were left.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Customizing cuzzies with artistic touches @WBCL

 A few years ago someone left a box of cuzzies behind after a program. I figured it was about time to use the box up and clear the space with a project that would give them a useful life. For the uninformed cuzzies are those foam things you put cold cans or bottles into so that you can drink your beverage and they stay cool longer. 
We first brushed the outside of them with Aleene's tacky glue then applies a patchwork of bright colored tissue pieces (leftovers from classes and donations). We then wrapped the result in a length of lace and glued it down using more of the tacky glue or hot glue on the seam. Lastly the kids picked out foam letters from another donation bag to put onto the outside of the cups--their initials or other. Cute and useful project. 
We are into full swing of summer and ran out of tickets early. Most projects only have enough supplies for the number of tickets issued. Hope your family has fun doing arts & crafts with me this summer.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Painting & Drawing art camp III

Landscapes are hard for kids to envision but once they get the idea of it they really run with it. This group has a really broad age range--5 to 13 so a lot of room to cover. Each person drew their own landscape then used artist's paints to paint the boards (we used foam core boards for this) The younger kids did much better when the theme was "draw and paint a park" Using colors was so much bigger for them.
We also used a crackled surface to paint a scene of a lighthouse that graced the cover of one of our books. Drawing the lighthouse was a bit of a task but once we got it they then used texture paints to complete the project. Our last project for the week was painting on ceramic tiles with gloss paints. Each of the kids got 2-4 tiles to do their project which was an open subject. We had sunsets and dragons and color use projects. Great week of painting.

Painting & Drawing art camp II

This was another day crammed full of drawing, sketching and painting from large to small. We started the day painting on large sized carry bags and used stamps as well as brushes to create our designs. The students were free to make whatever design they wished and they did. we loaded the stamps by tapping the paints on with foam brushes--new for most of the kids. Our next project was a Monet watercolor, "Field of Poppies." I was lucky enough to get a print of this recently so we used that to draw our basic design. The kids learned to use various watercolor techniques to preserve the colors and get the design to work. The last project was one of painting with texture paint on tiny canvases. Each drew a design and painted it using palette knives. Some of the kids loved it, some not so much but the results were great all in all. The mini easels were a hit with parents and kids alike.

Painting & drawing art camp 1

 All week long we kept our pencils going and brushes or other art supplies in use. 9 projects in 3 days is a lot and the periods of quiet concentration were many as the kids mastered pastels and texture painting. Pastels turned out to be an all time favorite this week. We did a mix of pastels for the bat bridge using black oil pastel for the bridge and bats and soft or chalk pastels for the sunset. Nice outcome too. Each of the kids had to draw their own bridge  with great results. We also did a session learning to paint clouds and draw and paint trees. They all agreed they did not like the sand paint very well.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Fantasy & whimsy art mini-camp 3 wands, gardens, exploring

Our final day for the week week was just a jam packed as the other two. We made our wands and decorated them with paint and ribbons then drew and painted a fantasy garden after reading a couple of books on flower gardens and the secrets they hold. It is fun to use the metallic tempera paints and the kids did well integrating painting and stamping to create the garden they wanted. Such a variety! Last we made our own Dora the Explorer board games with hand colored game pieces and a map of where to go designed by each participant.

Fantasy & whimsy art mini-camp 2 fairies and fantasy accessoriesd

Who would have guessed that the girls all wanted swords? When I had only a couple of boys sign up I did not cut swords for everyone--what a because everyone wanted one. We started the day off with some of the group finishing their finger puppets and others beginning their fairies. We read "Come to the fairies' ball" then used body cut outs to decorate as each person liked. It is fun to see the variety of fairies we got with the same supplies. we continued on to the accessories making and painting crowns, power rings, power bracelets, wands, and of course, the swords. I was able to add a number of daggers to suit most of the need. I think the group took princess knight to heart!

Fantasy & whimsy art mini-camp 1 unicorns, knights, castles

We started the week with the book "No one rides the unicorn" and a painting project making a unicorn magnet. Each student got to pick their own color scheme and then painted the unicorn face adding sand for texture for the mane and horn. Some of them added stars or rainbows in the background and glued the picture to magnet squares--great reuse of old magnet pieces. We read "Castle and Knight" and made our own castles complete with turrets, drawbridges, torches, flags, and some interesting signage using tissue boxes, tp tubes, straws, and construction paper. Some got a bit of paint but most used the boxes and papers to accomplish their castles. Last project of the day was over-sized finger puppets made from paper plate wedges. We read "the Princess Knight" and fashioned our best fantasy princesses and knights. The day went so fast that we ran out of time. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Wild & Wacky Science art camp day 3

we stated the  day with a 2 part project. We used construction paper and sequins to decorate altoids tins and serve as our rock boxes. Some were far more encrusted than their rocks. We then used more of the fimo clay to create different types of rocks--some with holes punched in them, some painted gold or with glow in the dark paints, some with a granite type look or ones with inclusions.
Our second project was one of color and movement of fluids. We started with coffee filters and colored many colored dots on them then dipped the edge in a plate of water and waited for the reaction. There were lots ohs and ahs as the colors spread but not nearly so much as the colloidal reaction. We used a plate of milk with food color then tried the effect of a Qtip--nothing, then a Q tip with detergent and the reaction was dramatic. The kids were then encouraged to gently stir the colors. Eventually of course it made a muddy color but was interesting as they went.
our last 2 projects were dymanic--we tried the experiment of propelling a soda bottle with vinegar and baking soda. Sometimes the bottles got corked and not quite flat on the floor before going off other times the cork had all the motion not the bottle, but sometimes the bottle scooted just as it should have. No matter what the kids really got into this very messy project. Secondly they used styrofoam egg cartons to make gliders and launch them. Most of them got them to fly a little way. I'd say we need some work on this one.
We finished off the week looking at our geodes which are crystalizing and our crystals. None of them glowed well but the crystals were pretty good.
Another 2 science camps are planned later in the summer.

Wild & Wacky Science art camp day 2

 we started our second day with a parks project to help understand a little about landforms. We used more of the salt clay and added sand, rocks, paper shred and gravel to give the project its 3D form. The kids were able to add a bit of paint to the clay to make the water areas blue and the grass or tree areas green. Lots of other structures appear in some of the parks including tables and bridges. Fun.
We reviewed some of the lighthouses around the world then made our own and checked them out to see if they would reflect light. We started with a 1/2 paper towel tube a a baby food jar. Each jar got a folded piece of foil inserted into it as the reflector. we then decorated the tubes with construction paper and made a conical roof for the top of the jar. The tube was then inserted into the jar and taped in place. Lastly we used flashlights to check and see if the lighthouses worked.
We switched to fimo clay for our last project of the day and used it to construct robots from spare computer parts, clamps, connectors and wire. Once the robots were completed I took them home and baked them to finish the projects. There was such a range of ideas and uses for the parts.

Wild & Wacky Science art camp 1

The camp got off to a fun start making glow in the dark crystals and setting up for geodes. We got all the solutions mixed and the eggs all settled into their cups to try and grow crystals. Mine grew much more slowly than the example one so we are on wait and see. We moved on to mousetrap catapults. At first many of the kids were afraid they'd snap their fingers but once they got enough tape onto the blocks they relaxed and got the devise constructed. we then moved to the adjacent room for testing. The pictures show a LOT of testing. No one was afraid anymore! We measured how  far several items could be launched--pompoms, tape wads, and paper wads. Mostly they were excited that they could shoot each other with the soft items. Our last project was to make salt/flour clay and sculpt with it.  Everyone learned how to knead and use palette knives to help them in working with the clay. This one is air dry so they just took them home to dry.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Painted pockets let kids get creative

 When I was give 2 bags of kids jeans a couple of months ago, I knew we had to paint on them and the pockets were the key to the idea. In the process of cutting the jeans up I had lots of legs that became small carry bags--something that was also a hot item to use. 
We used fabric paints and stamps to do the designs. Some of the kids used paintbrushes to embellish or create their own designs. We used the belt loops to run cord through for hanging or punched holes in the tops for the cord. To make the legs usable we hot glued the bottom edge closed. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Using sand to texture paint a unicorn @ WBCL

 Unicorns are magical and so it paint. I used blue paper to eliminate the need for a background and rainbow colors of paints for the project. I had the participants paint the unicorn first leaving the mane and horn unpainted (mostly). We then put white sand into the paint for the mane and had them use palette knives to create the texture effect. It was a little difficult for some of them then a lot of Oh Wow moments.