Thursday, October 30, 2014

Patterned Lego Guy and Big Book Mark

This was a fun end-of-the-year project from Art Club last year. I needed a project that would be easy for a sub to do because I wasn't sure I'd be there for the last couple of weeks. My daughter was having twins, so we didn't know when I might have to head out to help with the new babies.

As it turned out, I was able to finish up my classes before the babies arrived. (Hard to believe they are almost 5 months old already!)

Artists chose either the lego figure or a narrow strip (3x11 inches) for their design. I supplied a sample sheet of about 12 pattern ideas, but they were encouraged to come up with their own. I had the artists draw light curved or straight lines to divide the space and then fill the spaces with patterns.

We used black fine-tipped pens and added some colored pencil. The smaller paper kept the careful pattern work from being too overwhelming to young artists. But many chose the lego figure knowing it would take more time to complete.

Doodling and pattern making is a great way to explore line, and Art Club artists found it relaxing too. So did I! (I found the Lego guy here.)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Paper Cut Art- A Fabulous Find!

I found this the other day at my local thrift store. (Value Village). I think it's a great addition to my Halloween decor.

The paper cut artwork is signed- I think it's "Blecko". Or "Bleeke". But I couldn't find anything about him or her when I searched those names. 

Adding a spider and some web, along with some Halloween lighting, gave it just the right amount of creepiness. 

And there was nothing creepy about the price- original, signed art for under $5. I'd love to know something about the piece. It's one of the things I like about thrift store shopping- a little history, a little mystery. Who made it? Who owned it? And why did they decide to give it away? 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My interview with Midlife Guru

Just in case you missed it, I was interviewed over on Midlife Guru. Check it out!

A few of my Halloween friends found the interview fascinating. (Or maybe a bit scary?)
See what you think. 

Make it wonderful day!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Max Grover: Hunter, Gatherer, Painter

This summer, we took a day trip to Bainbridge Island, and it included a visit to the 

                                                   Stellar Robot (acrylic and collage, 2014)
 We didn't know anything about the small museum, but we're glad we visited! Admission is free, and the art was great. Of the several shows on display, Max Grover: Hunter, Gatherer, Painter, was a favorite.

                                                  Cinema (acrylic and collage, 2014)
 The show was built around the artist's wonderful collections that inspired his work. Somehow, I didn't photograph any of the collections! But they were as varied as tiny robot toys, wedding cake toppers, and other really cool stuff. His collage and acrylic work inspired me. Maybe some artwork based on my own collections in the future?

                                                       Equal (acrylic and collage, 2014)

                                                 Royal Winter (acrylic and collage, 2014)

And a few more….

I came home and ordered a book he wrote and illustrated:  The Accidental Zucchini, An Unexpected Alphabet. It includes things like a "Vegetable Volcano" and Octopus Overalls', and an "Ice cream Island".  Whimsy that made me smile. Can't wait to share the book with my grands.

Make it a Wonderful Day!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mushroom at the Market


Have a Wonderful Day!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Day of Service

 We recently had a day of service to put help Project Linus. Here are a few of the quilts that will be given to people who need a little love.

 This one is hand pieced, donated by someone who had done a lot of work. Nan quilted it and I sewed on the binding. It's a bit wonky, but I hope someone will love it.

We did several strip quilts- simple and colorful. We had young boys and girls helping too. Some of them had never sewn before. But they did a great job!

Make it a Wonderful Day!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sky High Blue Pie

I love blueberries. Yes I do. I love blue pie, how 'bout you?

Every summer, we pick blueberries at a farm not too far from us.
Bybee Farms is located at the base of Mt. Si. Some years, the weather is perfect, the view of the mountain awesome, (we've seen mountain goats there!), the picking abundant.

This year, it was rainy. But the picking was great! (And so was the price- $1.95 a pound.)

 We picked about 25 pounds, freezing most of them. (Wash, sort, and drain. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Place (level!) in the freezer until just firm. Use a wide spatula to loosen berries from pan. Bag in freezer-safe containers, labeled and sealed.)

But we don't freeze them all. Must make a blue pie with some! 8 CUPS to be exact. 
For ONE pie. 

 Yum is all I can say. Yum.

And if we'd picked a day later….

Sky High Blue Pie 

Pie Crust:
2 2/3 cup sifted flour – (measured by sifting into cup)
1/2  cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
5-7 Tbs. water
Cinnamon sugar to sprinkle, optional
8 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup sugar
6 Tablespoons flour
1 Tablespoon lemon juice (adjust depending on fruit's sweetness)

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees Sift flour into bowl.  Add salt and sugar.  Mix with fork.  Cut in shortening with pastry cutter or two butter knives until mixture resembles coarse corn meal.  Sprinkle water over flour mixture.  Stir until dough forms into a ball.
Divide dough in half.
Roll out one ball of dough on generously floured pastry cloth.  When rolled out into big enough circle, fold dough in half to put it into pie plate. Cut edges of dough around the rim of the pie plate.
Combine flour and sugar. Toss with fruit and lemon juice. Fill lower crust, mounding fruit.

Roll out top crust.  Place over of filling.  Cut around edges, leaving about an inch.  Fold under bottom pie crust.  Flute edges. Brush lightly with melted butter, and prick top of crust with fork or small knife to vent. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Cover crimped edge with foil or pastry rim.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove rim and bake another 20-25 minutes until crust is lightly golden and filling is bubbling. Cool and enjoy!

(The crust is adapted from my son-in-law's recipe- thanks, Jed!)

Make it a Wonderful Day!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Patterns and Plastic

I've been hoarding  saving plastic lids for a while now, thinking I'd have my Art Clubs make some mosaics with them. It didn't take me as long as you might think to collect these. And that's scary. Plastic is everywhere isn't it?

Here is some info from the EPA website:

  • 32 million tons of plastic waste were generated in 2012, representing 12.7 percent of total MSW.
  • In 2012, the United States generated almost 14 million tons of plastics as containers and packaging, about 11 million tons as durable goods such as appliances, and almost 7 million tons as nondurable goods, such as plates and cups.
  • Only 9 percent of the total plastic waste generated in 2012 was recovered for recycling.

I'm an ardent recycler, but our area takes the containers but won't take lids. Still, I don't have room to store all the lids I would need to make this work with my 120+ students, so I made three panels myself to act as placeholders on my Art Club bulletin boards at my 3 schools. Once I have student work to put up, I'll have three panels to store. Anyone need some lid art? :D

 The cardboard is from packaging I scavenged from one school- it's from the boxes tagboard comes in. (And boy, does that school go through the tagboard!) It's the same cardboard we use for our freestyle paintings…)
 I spray painted it black with leftovers from a light fixture redo, and the glue (The Ultimate! by Crafter's Pick) was in my stash too. So practically free from start to finish.

(At first, I played with writing the word art, but decided I liked the rows and organic designs better.)

 The cool green and orange rings are from old Target pharmacy bottles. (The rings are now attached to the bottles, too bad!) The darker green caps are from carrot juice. (We used the bottles for paper mache people…must post those soon!) The white rings are from tape rolls- I go through a lot of double-sided tape to mount student artwork.

Each panel measures 28 1/2"x 22 1/2". I didn't count how many caps. :D

Make it a Wonderful Day!