Category Archives: itty artists

camping 2013 part 2

I told you I fell in love with camping again this summer, so of course we had to squeeze in one more trip before the cold weather moved in.  The High Uintas have become our favorite…can you see why?  Look at this meadow…we even spotted some moose here.

Ben helping Olivia build a fairy hammock.

Ben helping Olivia build a fairy hammock.

Mirror Lake.

Mirror Lake.

Building s'more city.

Building s’more city.

forest

We ate like royalty once again with the Camp Chef stove {breakfast burritos, taco salad, blueberry pancakes…}, jumped and twirled through the grassy meadow, spotted a moose, felt grateful for our portable throne, built fairy houses and hammocks {fairies even came overnight and left treasures!}, read books and played games during the rainstorm, and talked about first kisses around the campfire {Ben had a couple stories!?!}.  Oh, and we tolerated some drunk, fighting neighbors and celebrated when their big, fat motor home bumped away into the distance!

Roll over the photos for descriptions. :)

milk carton village

milk carton village

Watch how we turned this...

Watch how we turned this…

...into this!

…into this!

First, a bit of whitewashing.

First, a bit of whitewashing.

milk carton villagemilk carton villagepainted fingerspaintbrushes

After the paint dried completely, it was time to add all the fun details.  Focus...focus...please don't get Sharpie on your shirt...maybe I should change your shirt before it's too late...

After the paint dried completely, it was time to add all the fun details. Focus…focus…please don’t get Sharpie on your shirt…maybe I should change your shirt before it’s too late…

You can never have too many colorful buttons around, in my opinion.  They make cute windows, doorknobs, flowers, stonework...and even balloons!  Grab your glue!

You can never have too many colorful buttons around, in my opinion. They make cute windows, doorknobs, flowers, stonework…and even balloons! Grab your glue!

More details with cut cardstock.

More details with cut cardstock.

Don't forget your cotton ball chimney smoke!

Don’t forget your cotton ball chimney smoke!

If you are Will, don't forget to draw Captain America in the window of your house.

If you are Will, don’t forget to draw Captain America in the window of your house.

Fancy crayon-drawn rooftop.

Fancy crayon-drawn rooftop.

Would you just look at this cute garden?

Would you just look at this cute garden?

"Honey, I hope we can qualify for a home loan for this neighborhood!  It's everything I've dreamed of!"

“Honey, I hope we can qualify for a home loan for this neighborhood! It’s everything I’ve dreamed of!”

And that, my friends, is what you do when you have a child with a dairy allergy and you have half-gallon almond and coconut milk cartons bursting at the seams of your recycling container.  It was so much fun, and it filled two whole summer days!  The summertime equivalent of a gingerbread house.

coloring station

crayon centerpiececrayon centerpiececrayon centerpiececrayon centerpiececrayon centerpiececrayon centerpiececrayon centerpiececrayon centerpiece

Have you ever been in a decorating slump?  My kitchen table had been barren for months because I was tired of my usual set up, but had no clue what to put there instead.

Sometimes inspiration strikes unexpectedly, like it did when I thought up this idea.  It was nearly midnight when I remembered I had this great wooden candle holder.  I’ve had it stored in a cupboard for quite some time because  I’ve used up the candles and don’t know where to find replacements, but it’s such an interesting piece I didn’t want to let it go.  What to do?  Turn it into a crayon caddy!  Yes!  I zipped to the kitchen, so excited to put together a centerpiece that would be hands-on instead of hands-off.  An old wooden tray, a stack of printer paper cut in half, a friendly plant to fill in the gap.  I thought of adding glue sticks, etc., but decided that simpler was better in this case.

I left a little message for the kids to see the next morning, and it was funny how interested they were in my super amazing new centerpiece.  “What’s it for?” Nina was so confused.  “It’s for you kids, so you can draw at the table all the time!” I explained.  She just smiled and smiled.  My kids are always bringing paper and crayons to the table anyway, so this just made sense.  They jumped right in and colored the morning away, as if they’d never used crayons before and just couldn’t get enough!

I know this wooden candle holder isn’t something everyone has or can find, but I think this could easily be done by using pretty glass jars (think candy store style) or a row of small cups or vases.  Get creative!  And your kids will too.

We’ve had this on the kitchen table for a couple of weeks now, and not a day goes by without our little coloring station being put to good use.  If you build it, they will come–and color lots of pictures!

DSC_1865web

the more you use…

watercolorsWe go through these paints almost as quickly as cereal around here, and they are truly the best I’ve found for kids.  Crayola Washable Watercolors, set of 24.  The colors brush on brightly, and they honestly DO wash out of clothing (and other things besides the designated paper).  I’ve purchased them everywhere from the grocery store, to the craft store, to Target.  Treat your kids this week, or yourself for that matter.  And stock up because you will love them!

rainy day library and art gallery

playing libraryDSC_6802webkids-art

clothespin man

Will made this little man all by himself!

I don’t know what the weather’s like where you live, but here it’s been a cold and often rainy (or snowy!) spring.  When we woke up to another grey morning, my first thought was to switch on a movie for the kids…but then I noticed all the library books in the basket and said, “Hey guys…why don’t you play library?” No complaints there! A couple friends joined in and pretty soon everyone was “checking out” books and putting them into their library totes.

Once the “library” was closed, it was time to open up the art studio and get ready for a seriously cool exhibit. With some watercolors and a handful of craft supplies, the kids definitely added some much needed sunshine to a rainy day!

 

endless alphabet

DSC_61471 DSC_61491 DSC_61521 I recently stumbled across this app, and I’m so glad I did!  I know, I know…we all have different limits when it comes to screen time for our kids, but honestly, I don’t mind if my kids play this one for a while.  I’ve even caught my older kids playing it here and there, just because it is so well done and entertaining.

Endless Alphabet is a free app (yay!), created by the Sesame Street folks who brought us There is a Monster at the End of This Book. Continue reading