Saturday, February 26, 2011

thrifty friends

once upon a time, there was a little boy who fell in love with a stuffed animal at the drug store. he went there from time to time with his brothers and mama, usually to pick up prescriptions...not exactly joy to a child. his favorite isles were filled with colorful gifts, seasonal knick-knacks, and of course, toys. this particular creature hung with his friends at the end of the row, attracting the eye and begging for a cozy home. "put it on your list," the mama would gently say, noting how much the little boy coveted the creature while simultaneously thinking it didn't quite fit her idea of the perfect toy. several months went by, and always the same little guy called out to her son. satin wings in his favorite color, blue. one day, justified by the coupon in hand, the mama marched into the store prepared, finally, to bring the winged temptation home for her son's fourth birthday. enter "zlock", member of the webkinz gang...a "zumbuddy" to be specific. much to the mama's delight, this was no passing fancy for her son. he was thrilled to find him among his birthday gifts and has slept with him, loved him, and toted him on adventures ever since.

this adoration did not escape his observant older brother, who began to long for a little friend of the same species. oh, my! the collection fever had gripped them! now the family, it seemed, needed another zumbuddy.


fast forward to today and a much needed thrift store fix. the mama brought the oldest boy along with her for a treasure hunting adventure. fabric scraps, books, yarn...the normal odds and ends began to gather in their cart. but alas, you will never believe who gazed upon them from the piles of well-loved stuffed beasts...yes, a zumbuddy, please and thank you. and not just any zumbuddy, but the exact one, zana, the oldest boy had chosen to place on his list when his zumbuddy envy bloomed.

well, hit me with a daisy. that's the magic of thrift stores, i tell you. and now the two zumbuddies are sitting happily between their adoptive daddies, wrapped snugly in their newly made "sweater" bags.

but that's another story.

Friday, February 25, 2011

doodlebugs 2.18.11, this and that

what do you get when you put oil pastels, tempera paint, juice lids*, glue, and the "treasure box" in front of little artists? ...all kinds of cool creations!

*for these, i used the lids from frozen cans of juice with holes punched in them. i strung them with fishing line before the kids started working to ensure the holes weren't blocked by their little collages. to punch the holes, i used a crop-o-dile...a super cool, super strong crafty wonder.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

snow, sleds, sweet potatoes & star wars

on a whim today (thank you, joe, for your spontaneity...sometimes i just can't muster the energy), we headed up to the snow. nowhere special, just a roadside pile of the white stuff with just enough of a slope to keep the littles tickled. the timing was just right: warm sunshine & sam and eric falling asleep on the way. leif and joe got started first, while i took some pictures. woke up eric next so he wouldn't miss out, and the four of us got to play for a good while longer. sam finally woke up just in time for a stomp through the snow on mama's back. he was perfectly content, but i just had to go ahead and plop us both on a sled...even though that's not his favorite thing...i know, cruel. he giggled the first time, despite his initial protests, but the second time down was just too much for him. someday. anyway, we finished off the trip with a little snowfort construction while sam recovered with joe in the van.

when we got home, leif started peeling sweet potatoes for fries. after a day of sledding, fries are ok for dinner, right? the coolest part was that leif actually ate them...bless you, magical kid-assisted food prep...why do i hardly ever remember this trick?

the boys occupied themselves by parading as jedis, complete with fully equipped tool belts. for those of you (blissfully) unaware, please note eric's black-gloved hand, an unfortunate result of a duel with count dooku.

so there you go. how we keep ourselves entertained when the snow just keeps on coming.

Friday, February 11, 2011

doodlebugs 1.28.11, heart art, part I

and so began our adventures with hearts at doodlebugs.

this time we used heart stencils cut out of tag board

and potato heart stampers to create our works.

we also experimented a bit with color mixing; everyone began with four blobs of white paint and a cup of red, which they could mix into the white.

the result was a lot of pink, red, and white magic with a few distinct heart shapes peeking through. i think they look sweet grouped together (see above).

doodlebugs 2.4.11, heart art, part II

more hearts!

construction paper hearts, white glue, scissors & paper...endless possibilities. leif was the inspiration for this one, telling us about making heart shaped fish in kindergarten.

i love watching the youngest artists learn to use scissors...such a tempting and fantastic tool.

look how adept this little guy has become, and he's two!

next up, fingerprinting. this started out with a little demonstration of how you can make a fingerprint heart by making a little "v" with your fingertip, but of course, that was far too limiting for these innovators, and they went to town with fingerprints and handprints galore.

and when the supplies came together, the printing got even more creative. one artist even used his forehead and nose!

doodlebugs 2.11.11, heart art, part III

today was week three of more heart art. there are just so many fun ideas for creating heart loveliness! fortunately, valentine's day is in three days and everyone can have a break from our heart fever.

we had three stations today:
first, there were "handy" hearts, where kiddos could experiment with different ways to make hearts with your hands, including fingerprints, handprints, and using the sides of the palm (pictured in my sample above).

second, we used a print making technique & traditional valentine colors to create 4 x 6 art works. we'd used the bottoms of cake & pie tins to do this before, but using the cookie sheets and taping off the rectangles was an inspiration i found here, via the crafty crow.

finally, the hearts created when i made stencils for a previous project were decorated with tissue paper collage.

as always, supplies crossed tables, allowing for even more creativity and variety with the activities. we were busy little cupids, that's for sure.