We discovered a bag of Clementine Art crayons waiting for us on the porch when we came home from Minnesota. (I won them in an online drawing.) I thought they looked like jellybeans, but my son called them mice. He was intrigued by the unique shape of the crayons and eagerly sat down to color, making energetic, fast strokes along the middle of the paper. First the lines were car wash spinners, and then they were an airplane. I left the table for a few minutes and came back to find that he’d also drawn a series of circles (eyes) along one side of section of the colored strokes and was beginning to draw hair along the other side. We haven’t done much coloring lately and I was surprised by this leap in his artistic growth. It was a good reminder to slow down and pay more attention to what he is up to!
Oh, my. What a beautiful, amazing surprise to visit the Minnesota Children’s Museum in St. Paul for the first time this weekend and walk into the huge art room they’ve provided for visitors. Enormous collaborative mobiles of recycled materials hung from the high ceilings, several collaborative weavings were in progress, and tables and shelves were well stocked with a variety of supplies for creating. An old piano had been painted on by many children, for a striking result. My son and his cousin crawled in and out of the yarn and wire wickiup (sweat lodge) and rested underneath it. His cousin stuffed tissue paper into the peg board flower garden and he did some ‘scissoring’ of colored wood shavings. His older cousin sat at the self-serve face paint table to give himself a zombie face. It was a perfect, perfect place for children to create and explore. I was very impressed and so happy to see so much thought given to children’s art. I can imagine how important this public space is in light of the arts budgets being slashed at so many schools. The entire museum was wonderful, but the art room was my favorite.
It’s been delightful to use up the inexpensive bulk canvases that were stashed in my closet. This LOVE canvas is 12×12 inches, with yet another decoupaged group of encyclopedia pages on it and the edges painted red. I added little loops along the edge of the text to create a cute border. Then I centered and glued the chipboard letters that were painted red to match. Many of the canvases are headed out the door to loved ones around the country, although I think this one may stay with me! Until we visited an art museum in Maine several years ago and saw his work, I didn’t know that this arrangement of the word LOVE originated with the artist Robert Indiana.
These little wooden people have been hiding in my craft room for too long! It was time to put them to work, so we found wooden candlesticks and painted them in a ROYGBV matching set. They remind me of little lifeguards in their towers, or preachers in a pulpit. I used acrylic craft paints, a #10 shader brush, and a smaller round brush for the eyes and hair curls. Craft stores usually have the people and candlesticks, but it’s much more economical to buy in bulk with friends from wood supply stores, such as this one. And it’s definitely more economical and fun to make your own than to purchase a premade set.
Valentine crafting fever continues at my house. I found these lovely little birds at Hobby Lobby in the wood crafting aisle. These canvas projects are so easy and quick, and so satisfying. This is another 6×6 canvas, modpodged with an encyclopedia page, edges painted brown, with a quick coat of red glitter paint over the top. There’s a strip of ribbon around the canvas, and the rest is self-evident, I think.