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Welcome!
Art teachers were STEAM-ing before STEAM was cool!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Artist Trading Cards

Ahhhh...the internet. I need to set limits because there are just WAY too many good sites out there with WAY too many great art ideas and I get lost in a world of links! But, on the bright side, I get so many wonderful ideas and learn so much! One thing I see that intrigued me is something called Artist Trading Cards (or ATCs).
Some of the ATCs made by my boys (the "Make More Art" one is by me).

Artist Trading Cards are awesome! Started in 1997 by an artist in Munich, they are a great way for artists to showcase their style or ideas, but they aren't just for professional artists! Anyone can create ATCs--children, teens, or grown-ups! There are very few rules for ATCs: 1. They must be 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" and, 2. You cannot sell them--they must be given away or traded. This is a wonderful way for children (and grown-ups) to learn new art techniques and express themselves! It is also a wonderful way to spend time together as a family--grab some art supplies and sit down and let your creativity go!

For Me: Personally, I am embracing the ATC idea! I'm an artist but I am also a mother of four and an art teacher trying to grow my business--I don't get to do huge masterpieces right now. I'm OK with it, but sometimes I get an art idea and need to explore that. ATCs are just right for me!

For my children: I am also encouraging my children to do ATCs. My children love to collect and trade things, but I seriously WILL NOT pay lots of money for cheap trading cards whose sole purpose in life is to get children to spend money (oops, getting off the soapbox now...). Anyhow, ATCs allow children to create & explore and gives them something they are excited to trade and are actually connected to. Learning and fun--I'm all in!

Supplies Needed:

ATCs are easy and require no special supplies, unless you want to try different techniques. Here are some supplies to begin with:

  • Posterboard cut to 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" to use as "blanks"
  • Glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Markers, colored pencils, crayons, etc.
  • Stickers
  • Stamping materials
  • Neat papers (I have a scrap paper bin I brought out and I save neat papers from junk mail, etc).
  • Old magazines
  • Paint (tempura or watercolor) & paintbrushes
  • Old photos
  • Needle & embroidery thread
  • The list is truly endless!
Instructions:

1. Cut a whole bunch of blanks from posterboard. You'll need about 8 or so per person to get started. Once you get going--it is hard to stop!

2. Start creating! Think about the different ways you can create:

Drawing
Painting
Collage
Stamping
Ripped paper
Sewing (by hand or machine)

There is no right or wrong way to do these. Relax and have fun. Send me pictures of your ATCs--I'd love to see your creations! ENJOY!

Need more inspiration? Here are a couple of links to check out:
This month's Family Fun Magazine
A great mini tutorial on ATCs from http://www.cedarseed.com/ 

My disclaimer: While I do look at all references before sharing, I cannot look at every page of every reference. Please check out these references before sharing with your children, to verify that the content and images are appropriate for your child's age level and the content is acceptable for your family.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Creativity Break: Cat Cards

I just got back from a camping vacation with the hubby and kiddos, and now I'm finalizing the curriculum "stuff" for this coming year (right before vacation, I was told I'm going to be teaching two more classes-YAY!!). So with all of this art stuff a-swirling in my head, I needed a break. I also needed two thank you cards to thank the two people who took care of our cat (and our bird and sea-monkeys). I knew I had some artsy papers so I did a bit of tearing and pasting and added a couple of stitches, and "ta-da!" instant thank you cards.



Torn Paper Cards

Supplies Needed:

  • Cardstock or greeting card blank
  • Envelope
  • Various papers (I used a good quality black paper, white rice paper and pink tissue paper)
  • Glue stick
  • Crayons, colored pencils or markers (optional)
  • Embroidery floss (I used two strands of burgundy)
  • Needle, needle threader
  • Scotch tape
  • Scissors
  • White construction paper for inside of the card
Directions:

Don't get too fussy with torn paper--it is meant to be fun and easy!

1. Cut the card stock to the size you want and fold in half. Decide if you want your card to be horizontal or vertical--this will help you plan your image on the front of the card.

2. Use the crayons, colored pencils or markers to create some texture on the front on the card, if you want. I used three different crayon colors and just did some light scribbling.

3. Rip the papers, a bit at a time, to create the image you want on the card. I started with the black and created the body of the cat. Then I ripped some white paper to make the white parts of his fur. I glued all of that to the card with glue stick. I took a bit of pink tissue paper and used that for his nose.

4. Once all of the torn paper portion was done, I threaded a sewing needle with two strands of embroidery floss (a piece of embroidery floss is made up of 6 strands, but that would be too thick for this project). I then sewed the eyes, mouth and whiskers of the kitties. Once done, I taped the floss from behind to secure it.

5. To hide the backside of my sewing, I applied glue stick to the backside of the sewing and attached a piece of white construction paper. I then refolded the card and trimmed the white construction paper even with the cardstock.

My cat-sitters are sure to enjoy these quick little images of their furry friend! ENJOY!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Here fishy fishy...Origami Mobile

This week we've been kicking back and creating a few gifts for someone we know who just had a baby boy. My son and I teamed together to make a mobile using origami. It was well received, but you don't have to make one just like ours--borrow some books on origami from the library, experiment and let your imagination go!


Our journey into origami began last Christmas when my oldest son received an Origami For Beginners Dover Fun Kit from Dover Publications from an aunt. The kit is awesome! It contains 3 starter books, 54 traditional sheets of origami paper in 18 vibrant colors, 24, rainbow sheets in 6 patterns and 18 metallic sheets in 9 shiny foil shades. The retail price on the Fun Kit is $14.95 (US)--what a great deal! My son has used the kit so much throughout the last few months and made all sorts of gifts. That brings us to this week's craft...The Origami Fish Mobile. It's simple to make (my son needed a bit of guidance, but was able to do the origami pieces and gluing himself) and it is inexpensive. It is also a unique gift and he was so proud when the mom opened the package at the hospital. Great job, Big Guy!


Origami Mobile

Supplies Needed:
  • 1/8" Ribbon (about 8 feet or so), we used metallic blue/green
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • 10" Wooden Embroidery Hoop
  • 2 Squares Origami Paper (same color) for Sailboats
  • 4 Squares Origami Paper (Various Colors) for Fish
  • 2 12"x12" Sheets Scrapbook Paper for ocean waves (we used aqua blue and a light blue dappled sheet)
  • Glue stick
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Directions to make fish and sailboat (not included due to copyright restrictions, but you can purchase the Dover Kit, borrow books at the library or search online for examples you like)
Directions:

1. Cut two 48" lengths of ribbon. Holding them together, find the middle and make a knot about 1" from the middle to hang the finished mobile from. 

2. Make another knot about 4" below the first. The space between the knots is where the sailboat will go.

3. Next, separate the two pieces of the embroidery hoop. Place the inside hoop on the table and make four marks that are evenly spaced around the hoop. Attach each of the four strands of ribbon to the hoop using the marks as a guide. I attached the ribbon to the hoop with pieces of tape about 8" from the bottom knot. Make sure you measure appropriately or your hoop will be crooked when the mobile is hanging!


4. Slip the outer portion of the embroidery hoop on and tighten the screw to secure.
5. Cut a few wave-like shapes from the scrapbook paper. Make the ends of the waves pointed so you can overlap them easily. Attach the waves to the hoop using a glue stick, overlapping the waves as you go around the hoop. A couple of layers of waves looks nice.


6. Make the origami fish (you'll need four if you're following these instructions) and the sailboats (you'll need two). I also made two little waves for the sailboat to "sit on" and attached them to the sailboat with a glue stick.


7. Using a hot glue gun, attach the sailboats to both sides of the ribbons between the knots at the top of the mobile. This will allow a boat to be seen from both sides as the mobile turns.
8. Using a hole punch or scissors, snip a small slit in the top of each fish so that you can slip the ribbon into the fish to hang. I unfolded the fish shapes and attached the ribbon to the fish with a dab of hot glue to secure & then refolded the fish. I also trimmed about 4" off of two of the ribbons so my fish were staggered a bit.


9. You are done! Enjoy your mobile & make sure you hang it far from a little one's reach and remove it from the crib as soon as the baby can sit up.



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