Monday, July 27, 2015

Be Our Guest LIVE! Well ... I taped it.

video

Magoo just finished a wonderful two-week theater camp in town.  As a former theater major, I'm pretty thrilled that he likes acting so much.  And the theater that he takes classes in  (Playhouse on Park) is only a couple blocks from our house and is so small, cute, and cool!

They just put on a showcase for the families.  Here's Magoo and some of the other students performing Be Our Guest from the musical, Beauty and the Beast.

Thanks for stopping in!
Julie

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Art Camp Week 2: Picture Book Party


 I was excited about Week 2 because it was a new theme.  (And it was my idea.)  I have SO MANY picture books and the illustration within them is so vast and awesome - I just wanted to do something with it.  And, of course, the fact that I write and illustrate picture books didn't hurt either.

We started the week off with The Simples Love a Picnic and the collage picnic ant project that I do at schools.  It was nice for me to start with something non-messy and something I've done many times before - although, to be fair, these kids are at the young end of the school spectrum.  Some of them will be going into Kindergarten in the fall.

All the kids loved Oliver Jeffer's The Incredible Book Eating Boy and had a great time making their own book eating children.


Mid-week, we busted out the watercolors and painted flying fish to go with the classic picture book Fish Is Fish by Leo Lionni.  (Lionni was one of my favorites growing up.)


 On Thursday, I read Klimt and His Cat by Berenice Capatti and I introduced the campers to Gustav Klimt, but I forgot my Klimt book!  D'oh!  It was OK because there were tons of pictures of his most famous works within the book.  Then we painted gold cats and decorated them with dots and rectangles of colors.


The final day was The Grouchy Ladybug day.  (An Eric Carle book.)  Of course the campers were all very familiar with Eric Carle.  I think they all had one or more of his books at home.  I had originally planned to have the campers paint one sheet of paper (to be used in the collage) each day as a warm-up, just like Eric Carle does.  But there were a lot of little ones in this group.  I didn't think they could the abstract nature of just painting a piece of paper without having clear instructions.

We did, however, manage to get one piece of paper painted after the Fish Is Fish project, and I did the rest.  Then on Friday, we put them altogether.


It was a big project, but they really did a fabulous job with it.


I had a great time at the Picture Book Party!  Next week: Asian Exploration!

Hope you're all having a great summer!
Thanks for stopping in!


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Art Camp, Week 1: Native American Wonders


First week of art camp at the West Hartford Art League is done.

I had a lovely group of twelve young ladies for Native American week, where I read Native American stories and all the art projects had a Native American connection.

(Above) There are three different classes in the Clubhouse Gallery at the Art League.  Two of those classes are in art rooms.  My classroom is in the gallery.  Here's what the set up looks like.

(Below)  A couple young artists pose with their Pattern Pots.
  

I read a story called Thirteen Moons on Turtle's Back, which is a collection of poems about the different seasons, and we did a wax resist/watercolor project where we painted turtles.

The wax resist crayon really helps the students keep the spaces separate, so they can mix the watercolors in small sections and not get a big oval of brown goop.


 Printmaking with kids this young (5 and 6 yr olds) is challenging.  It's a big project with a lot of instruction, a lot of set up, a steady neat hand, and a lot of clean up.  But I love printmaking and I love to give the students a nice range of projects throughout the week.  Besides, they always so a great job.


(Above) A student pulls a print.
(Below)  Finished projects.  Totem Pole Prints.



After all the work and mess of printmaking, I like to do something a little easier - collage.  Sure, there are small pieces of paper to cut and clean up, but it's nothing compared to printmaking.  We finished the week with a book called Beardream - a lengthy discussion on bears (the girls had a lot to say about them) - and a Pacific Northwest style bear collage.


It was a great week and I'll miss this lively group of girls.  (It's kinda nice for me to be around girls.  I have a boy and he has boy friends - so it's Nerf guns, video games, and Legos at my house.  And I love boys - but sometimes it's nice to be around some pink ruffled tu-tu's too.)

Three weeks to go!

Thanks so much for stopping in.
I hope you're having a lovely summer!
Julie

Thursday, July 9, 2015

DIY Kimono Slippers


It has been humid.  When it is humid the only cool place in the house is the basement.  Therefore, I decided to find a sewing project to do down there.  I was looking for a dress or skirt or something, but I came across these sweet kimono slippers on Pinterest.

Actually, I didn't come across these slippers - I made these slipper.  But I came across the pattern.  Here it is.

I think there are a few patterns out there and I read one lady made two pairs in an hour.  Kudos to you, magic sewing lady.  I'd say these took me closer to 90 minutes from "Hey, I'll make these kimono slippers" - to - finished.

I used cotton for the insides and nice IKEA canvas for the outside, and they're great for sporting around the house and not getting floor-dirt all over my feet.  :) 

So if you're feeling crafty and have some fabric and some time - give them a go!


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Fourth of July


We had a lovely Fourth of July this year.   Some friends came over for dinner, games, and fireworks fun.  I made Pineapple Chicken Kabobs, which turned out great and I wish I had taken a photo of them.  Instead we just ate them.  And Magoo decided that ice cream sandwiches would be a great dessert, so he helped make a batch of chocolate chip cookies in the morning, that we froze and made into sandwiches and wrapped them up all cute.  That was a big hit too.


Then evening came and it was time for some fireworks fun.


We don't usually go out to watch fireworks.  Magoo never much cared for them when he was younger - he never liked loud noises.  Now, I think he'd rather run around with sparklers and watch a few small fireworks go off in the driveway, rather than sit in a crowd and watch a big display.


He and the other boys certainly had fun!
I hope you had fun too!

Thanks for stopping in.  Art camp starts tomorrow, so I'm sure I'll have updates of my new little cuties and their artist endeavors.  :)

Have a great week!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bottled or Tap?

Magoo is out of school and summer is in full swing - which means I have to add another plate to my plate-spinning act: Magoo management.  He's actually a very easy boy - but if I don't motivate him a bit, he would happily spend the day playing Minecraft and watching YouTube.   Nu-uh.  No way.  So I have projects for him and sometimes he comes up with his own.

The other day he told a joke, but it wasn't a great verbal joke.  It was more of a visual joke.  I suggested he draw it.  This is how it turned out.

TAP OR BOTTLED
by Magoo





 

I think he did a great job!

I hope you are all having lovely days full of sunshine!
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

New Curbs - WooHoo!

Our road is in bad shape. 

You say:  How bad is it?

It's so bad that the location scouts for the new Road Warrior movie passed on it because it was too decayed to represent the ruined roads of the post apocalyptic future.

So all the neighbors and myself were THRILLED when the town started dropping off curbs on the street.  Yay - it's coming!  It's coming!  Curbs lead to paving.  And, a bonus for me, new driveway aprons!

So the show has been going full force in the front yard.  If Magoo was a toddler, he would have been fascinated.

Here they are digging up the front of our driveway.  (They had already dug up the side of the road for the curb.)


The guy in the digger was so elegant and controlled with that thing as he lifted the sidewalk, broke it into chunks, lifted the chunks, and stacked them off to the side.  So impressive.


Putting in the curb!  Yeeeee!


This morning they laid in the cement and smoothed it out.


I think the goal is to have our driveway ready for cars to be pulled in by the weekend, but I'm not counting on it.  It's cool.  Whatever.  I couldn't be more thrilled that this work is finally being done!

And it means I don't have to mow the lawn today - or tomorrow.  I would just get in their way.  :)

Thanks for stopping in!  Have a great day!