Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Trip to Maine

The coast of Maine is beautiful. I just returned from Lubec, Maine... the easternmost point in the United States. I have a good friend who owns a cabin there, it sits across from the Lubec Channel, and is very close to the very picturesque Quoddy Lighthouse.

Dylan and Taylor in front of Quoddy Lighthouse.

It was a real treat to get away from the near 100 degree weather we are having in Texas. I took a couple of the grandkids with me..(ask me about road trips with grandkids)!!

Rusty, not admiring the beautiful view of the Porcupine Islands as he stands on Cadillac Mountain in the Arcadia National Park...but yearning to play the golf course he can see from the mountain, he played it the next day.

My husband, Rusty, and I survived,(and so did the kids); we had a really good time seeing another part of the country.

Taylor standing on the roots of this wonderful old tree on Sand Beach in Arcadia National Park.

My next trip is to Arkansas for Rusty's family reunion and a visit with the grandkids in Arkansas. Hoping to get back to art making in July. My how time flies!!!

My idea of heaven!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Flipped out!!!

As a mixed media artist I play with a lot of recycled objects. I have tons of flip flops in all sizes, each grandkid leaves at least one pair here every summer.

Lauryn and Lyndsey painting their silly shoes.

A couple of summers ago I decided to make a little art with these leftovers. The
rowdies have been anxious to make their own silly shoe art so this past week a few of them came over to Rowdy Grandmas and we made an "altered flip flop" which can be hung on the wall.

Lyndsey's flame shoe, Lauryn's buzzin' bee shoe.

For this craft all you need to begin is a flip flop - from there you can add anything you want to it. They come in really cool colors, so you don't even have to paint them. They can be very simple, glue on an image from a magazine, a color book or a piece or two of old costume jewelry.

Colorful flip flops.

My rowdies jump at the chance to paint anything, so we painted our flip flops. If the kids seem a little stumped about what to put on their shoe it's time for brainstorming. What is their favorite insect, what is their favorite thing to do, do they have a favorite doll or sport!!! Sometimes coming up with funny ideas is the best part of the project, it gets them talking and thinking.

Shoes with white primer paint.

Afer a little brainstorming Lauryn decided since she had a friend who likes bees her silly shoe would be all about bees. Taylor decided his dad likes to rides motorcycles so he would make his look like a road, and finish it off with tires he drew on paper. Lyndsey decided her shoe was goin' down in a maze of flames...and...well.... who knows why Lyndsey decides anything.

Taylor's road hog shoe.

All of the flip flips were first painted with a white primer or gesso. For Lauryn's bee we applied painters tape in a stripe pattern. The untaped area was painted yellow. Once that paint dried we removed the tape and painted the remaining areas black. It already looked like a bee!!

Taped shoe, ready for bee stripes.

She then drew pictures of bees, colored them in with colored pencil, cut them out and glued them to her flip flop with hot glue.

Lauryn's bees, so cute!!

Bees like flowers, so she hot glued a big flower to her shoe. We could have stopped there but we decided to take some wire, coil it around a pencil to shape it and add a bead to the end for antennas. The wire very easily slips into the rubber of the shoe, so just poke the wire in where you want it.

Wire for antenna, glued flower.

For all the flip flop projects we sprayed the final, dried paint with a clear acrylic apray so the paint would be sure and stay on. A note of caution, we sprayed Lyndsey's entire shoe with acrylic after we put the flames on. Her flames were drawn on paper, thin cardboard would have been a better choice, the acrylic spray made the paper flames a little limp. Lesson learned, on Lauryn and Taylor's silly shoe we sprayed the painted flip flop before applying the paper figures.

Two types of wire hangers.

There are several ways to make hangers for the "altered flip flip".

1. A length of wire approx. 4" length stuck into the top of the shoe in a loop fashion.
2. A length of wire approx. 2" length with each end bent up slightly and stuck into the back of the shoe, the best alternative if you don't want the hanger to show.
3. Just poke a hole in the back of the shoe near the top and hang it on a nail

So, the next time you are looking for a lazy day, summer craft just pull off your shoe and get to work!!