Mondrian twist

I wanted to do this project last year with a group of my kids after seeing it on this blog. This year I made sure to allow enough time to properly introduce Mondrian to my third and fourth graders.  They are my most adventurous artists this year and take challenges head on.  So when I suggested the Mondrian twist, they were ready to go.  Between the classes I only had a couple repeat animals, the monkey and the owl.  Otherwise they were all about being unique which is music to my ears!


I love their interpretations and variety in cube size and color patterns.




City Prints

I recently did a project with my third and fourth graders that involved print making.  I saw the project here and thought with some minor tweaking it could work in our classroom.  We reviewed warm and cool colors, watercolor techniques, stamp making and print making.  I inherited several stacks of foam trays so we used those (along with dull pencils) to make the stamp.  The kids were very creative with their city drawings and proud of their finished pieces.  I definitely think that we will do this one again.


Bark Paintings

I saw this article and while first drawn to the colorful paintings, found that the story behind Amate Bark Paintings was actually quite interesting.  My kids love hearing stories and I knew this project would interest them.  It’s also a great way to recycle some paper bags (should have done this one closer to earth day perhaps).

I did this one with first and second grade.  I gave them the freedom to create a subject of their choice but it needed to be bigger than their hand (that’s hard for the little ones sometimes).  It also needed a border (we drew lots of borders on the white board for ideas).  I only photographed a few before my phone battery died and they’re on display now.  Hopefully I’ll add more photos in soon.



Many “selves”

I find portraits to be tricky.  Perhaps that’s because I don’t do them often, or I favor a more cartoon style with gigantic eyes.  Either way I wanted to teach the children the basics on self-portraits so I turned to Deep Space Sparkle for help.  She teaches portraits in a way that breaks down the basics.  Eye spacing, lip width, hair lines, you name it.  She was my assistant teacher for this class.  😉 And because portraits aren’t challenging enough, we used chalk pastels to color them.

The results were amazing!  I’m getting ready to hang them, without names. They ended up being that accurate and the children want to show off their pieces.

Taming the rainbow

Recently I finished a room makeover for my gal.  What I shouldn’t tell you is that I started planning it a year ago. I’d like to think that was because I’m detailed and thorough and wanted everything to be perfect.  But the reality was that I have three kiddos and it was summer break and well you know how that goes.

So twelve months later I was able to carve out some time and get to work.  Because I was so eager (sure…eager) I forgot to photograph the before shots. And I do have room photos taken years ago when it was a little kiddo space…but I can’t find them. I promise that I’m more together in my daily life.  But I do have this photo.


Taken before the whole transformation went down.  Goodbye aqua walls.  Goodbye cherry tree with five symbolic birds.  Goodbye other stuff that you can’t see in the photo.

And hello to a bigger girl space.  She wanted yellow. Well actually she wanted rainbow until I said pick one color and we will incorporate the rainbow.

This is what I can up with:


The wallpaper covered the cherry tree and we kept the curtains, bed and the chandelier.


She inherited a new dresser (from little brothers room who gets a makeover next) and a new “doll house” for the American Girls (AND THEIR STUFF).


She got lots of frames and a message board for organizing artwork, notes and other important nine year old things.  And of course she got a faux turquoise deer head (aka Rosana).


The room will never be this clean again so I took extra photos.  🙂

And finally we turned the wardrobe into a desk area because she WANTED a desk area and I wanted the wardrobe.  See how well I compromise?  Team player here!


So there you have it.  A room fit for a nine year old.

Up next, a safari nursery makeover for my little dragon trainer.  Wish me luck!

Hello Mr. Calder

I was doing some reading about Alexander Calder and found him so inspiring that he had to be added to some projects this year.  This one specifically was for my third and fourth graders.  It came from the Dick Blick website (even the wire that I used).

I found these two videos really helped the children get excited about Mr. Calder.  The second clip is a little creepy with the music but they found it oddly interesting (I can’t blame them).

Before we started with the wire I had the kids so a quick drawing exercise. They sat across from one another with a sheet of paper and a marker.  They had to draw the person across from then without picking up their marker or looking down at their papers.  It was so fun and the children ended up with amazing abstract faces that would be really hard to reproduce if our analytical brain was watching!

The children did many drawings and I had them choose a favorite.  From that drawing they’d add the wire overtop, twisting at bends or intersections and using masking tape along the way.  At the end they remove the paper and hang their work.

The top left is a grandma, can you tell with the curly hair?  And the bottom right has pigtails.  I wish I could show you them all!


Teen Room

I really shouldn’t admit this BUT, my poor teenage boy has lived in his little kid room for about 13 years now.  Annnnnd….he’s 13.  It was time to give him a more mature and simplified space.

Recently we completed an addition on our house so we shuffled rooms around. His room got a new coat of off-white paint.  This is huge for me, lover of all things color.  I made him a big bulletin board (his request) that I mounted on a painted blue rectangle.


And then added music related accessories.  The guitar in another painted blue square and then framed album covers.


Keeping the paint color neutral really helped the albums on the wall pop.  Here is the room with the furniture added.  I found this really cool vintage snare drum that was turned into a lamp.


And then the whole room with the bed.


I need to work on cord management next!  We are both really pleased with the room.