Sunday, November 2, 2014

Moldable Printing Stamps

Moldable Foam or Magic Stamps is a product that I was totally unfamiliar with. I originally came across it on Pinterest and could not find it locally so I ordered it from Joann's Fabric. One source online recommended using ordinary craft foam, but I did not find that it worked well at all.
The blocks of foam need to be warmed with a heat gun for a few seconds. My husband had one that I tried, but it was too hot, and my hair dryer was not hot enough. The one that I went out and bought was perfect and could probably be handled safely by older children. After the block is heated you press the warm surface onto the textures and their impression remains. I used washable ink stamps to transfer the images to paper. The really great aspect is that the stamps can be used over and over, but once you have reheated the surface your design magically disappears and you can start again with a different texture. The ink washes off with water.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Printing Texture

Using a rubber brayer or a sponge roller (Dollar Store) to apply paint to textures and then printing them on paper is a great, open-ended activity. You'd probably be surprised at how many textures you can find by looking around the house. Yes, that's an unused fly swatter. I used acrylic paint, but printmaking ink or even thick tempera paint can work quite well. The results can be framed or used as gift wrap and there is plenty of room for experimentation and absolutely no room for "mistakes".

Monday, October 6, 2014

Halloween Masks

This is the time of year when I'm visiting classrooms that the children begin to reveal to me what their Halloween costumes will be. Halloween was definitely in the air here in New Jersey over the weekend as I felt the nip in the air and noticed how many spiders were spinning their webs outside our front door.
All of my masks are available here. Naturally, it's always fun to let your child make their own mask.
My masks are printed from my original pastel illustrations. Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Texture Tissue Paper Prints

This is a collaborative printmaking piece that was created with pre-schoolers. It's a large piece, approximately 3x4', with the work mounted on a pre-stretched canvas. Sheets of colored tissue paper were imprinted with ordinary objects that have interesting shapes such as popsicle sticks, buttons, zippers and metal screening. Some of the more intricate patterns are rubber stamps.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Painted Wooden Tops

I painted wooden tops with children at summer art camp. I had a few left over and couldn't resist painting some myself. I started by painting them with acrylic paint, using contrasting colors on the top and bottom. Thank goodness for all the bright colors of nail polish. I went out and picked up a couple of very inexpensive bottles and decorated the tops with dots and wiggly stripes.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Making Pinwheels with Pipe Cleaners

I've posted before about making pinwheels, but I recently discovered how to make them without using a push pin and still have them function well.
. To anchor the pinwheel to the wooden dowel and allow it to move freely with the breeze, I threaded a pipe cleaner, that I had cut in half, through a large plastic button. I then twisted the pipe cleaner around itself a couple times so that there would be a little space between the pipe cleaner and the dowel. I then twisted the pipe cleaner around the dowel. I was surprised that it rotated so easily. Usually I glue the points of the pinwheel to the center, but this time I used a stapler and it did make it more secure.
Pinwheels are such a nice, old fashioned toy and a good end-of-the-summer activity.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Cardboard Crocodiles

I made these crocodiles with children at an art camp last week. I assembled the pieces and the children painted on the scales and added the eyes and teeth. You can get an idea of the assembly from the photos. I used a heavy rippled paper that I have on hand, paper towel rolls or poster board would also work. I stapled the parts of the body together. The head and tail were separate pieces that I attached to the body through slits that I had cut. The feet are cut from craft foam and the eyes I happened to find on the sale shelf at Michaels.