Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Monster root!!

We have had some big rains in Texas lately. When the rain pours the creek behind my house becomes a raging river. The coolest thing about this is a lot of stuff flows down this river. As the water recedes it leaves behind all kinds of junk, this is where I pick up most of my wood scraps.

cedar stump

This past week the grandkids from Arkansas visted us. While we were scavenging the creek we ran across these wonderful cedar stumps with roots.

cedar stump with gesso

I know I have been a good influence on the rowdies when we all have the same idea.....hey, let's turn this into a monster face!!! So we did. First step was to coat the wood with gesso. The gesso coat makes the paint brighter.

Sarah's monster.

Each kid then painted their idea of a monster on one side of the stump using acrylic paint, it became a three-headed monster.

Marshall's monster.

When the paint dried we applied a thick coat of varnish to protect the paint.

Faith's monster.

And, oh yeah I have two more of these to play with. I guess I will paint my own monster face!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I'm a weiner!!!

I was lucky enough to get this Kreativ Blogger award from Tina Morton http://thingsandplacesforkids.blogspot.com/ Part of the game is to name 7 things about yourself and name seven other people that deserve the same award.

Seven things about me:
1. I love my bulldog, Cinnabun....even though she snores.
2. I have a pet snake, Diana. I use her skin in my art projects..and share with my other crafty friends.
3. I have a pet rat named Spunkers who makes nests from snake skin and steals my pencils.
4. I recently retired from American Airlines.
5. I love wine and sometimes do wine tastings for friends.
6. I have four tatoos.
7. I in some way burn almost all of my art.

Seven people that deserve this award:

Amy Huff http://lonestarart.blogspot.com/
Mary Perlow http://colormary.blogspot.com/
Livia Hajovsky http://livia-theartjunkie.blogspot.com/
Mad Mary Davenport has three fabulous blogs out there

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's a stake up!!!

Kids adore gardening. They love to plant seeds, they love to wear garden gloves, and they really love garden tools!! So if you are planning a garden make a point to get the grandkids involved.

I will tell you this (from personal experience)....depending on the age of the kid, planting seeds can take a really, really long time. Patience Rowdy Grandma, patience!! If you plant seeds you probably need plant markers...I have a tough time remembering what we planted where...the older I get the tougher it gets!!

Here's one stuck next to some dill and cilantro...we call him Herb!!!

The rowdies and I have come up with a great little craft to do in the spring when we plant our garden.

Rosemary smells heavenly!!

Plant markers from old scrap wood. The only other thing you need for this project is paint. The markers we have made are from six inches to a couple of feet in height. If you make them small in height they are really cute in potted plants.

This is another craft where imagination is key. The stakes may be painted only in bright colors with the name of the plant on it, or they may like the idea of painting their own plant on the stake. Kids love painting faces so they may want to paint a person or their own face on the plant marker.

People plant marker!!

Another cool idea for these sticks is to paint the face and name of everyone in the family...grandma, grandpa, mom and dad and kids and place them all together in the garden to create a family tree.

Lyndsey's people plant marker!!!

It is a good idea to spray them with an acrylic sealer when dry, they last longer in the garden.

As an alternative to scrap wood you could also purchase a strip of molding or other type of wood from the hardware store and cut it into strips.

After they are painted try wrapping them with wire and adding beads and other trinkets.

These have been in my garden for years!!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"Make my Day"

Random acts of kindness....what a cool concept!!

As a Rowdy Grandma I introduced the grandkids to a project which allows them to pass on a little kindness. I call it "make my day", (I always had a thing for Clint Eastwood).....anyway it relates to an article I read a few years ago about a movement called Found Art.

The idea is to create small works of art and leave them in public places in the hopes when found by a stranger it will "make their day".

simple materials

One of the easiest projects we do for "make my day" is also a recycle project. It is simple, simple, simple...all you need is a brown paper bag, a glue stick and an old magazine. You don't even have to have scissors. I love the effect of tearing my bag, as well as the images I tear out of the magazines. Most kids will like the idea of tearing the materials...but there will be a few who really prefer scissors...either something in their little minds just can't handle the randomness of tearing or they like tools!!!

You simply tear the bag into strips the size of a bookmark and find wonderful, colorful pictures from magazines to glue to the paper bag bookmark. Look for fun, inspirational words to tear out and add to the bookmark. If you use white school glue to glue on your pictures you may also add an overcoat of the glue to the finished bookmark, much like decoupage.

paper bag strips

The grandkids and I have added all kinds of extras, such as stamping and embossing powders...but even if you don't have a lot of crafting materials in the house you are able to come up with the simple items for this project. Using pens or crayolas to write words such as "have a nice day" is another option , if the rowdies aren't old enough to write words they may want to use the pens and crayolas for designs...aka scribbles. Construction paper is a nice addition if you want to frame the pictures on the bookmark.

First bookmark has a coat of white glue, the last bookmark has black construction paper.

This is another good project for getting the rowdies to brainstorm. Ask them where they would like to leave their art. A supermarket shelf, a library table.....they will be delighted to help think up their special drop-off spots!! Plan a field trip and take them to the areas they want to visit with their art, it is also kind of a secret spy feeling ...leaving your art piece without being noticed.....plus you giggle a lot.

Another option is to leave a note on the back explaining this is "make my day" art and if you find it please let us know. You can set up an email address just for the purpose of "make my day" responses.

Please let me know what projects you come up with for "make my day " art, I would love to post them.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A walk in the woods.

I visited the rowdies in Arkansas this past week. They have recently moved into a wonderful home near Cabot, Arkansas. To my delight it was full of wooded areas with ponds and creeks; even an old delapidated house where I was able to collect some rusty metal and bottle caps, broken glass jars and strange nests left by who knows what kind of insect, I guess it is a dirt dobber!! Wonderful material for my next mixed-media project.

update...ain't google wonderful...my dear spouse just told me these are pipe organ mud dauber wasps!!

Paula, my oldest was in the play, Steel Magnolias, at the local dinner theater...by the way she was fabulous!! It was a little snowy and cold so I was only able to take one good walk through the woods but it too was fabulous. Woods and creeks are my favorite types of walks, I love the feeling of being deep in the woods and listening to the sound of the water......Sarah was good company and a good tour guide...thank you Sarah!!

Oh...and who remembers Dearborn heaters, this was in the old house...I actually caught my housecoat on fire when I was a kid by standing too close to one of these!!!