Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Treasury: Tuesday:Baby Basics Electric Elephant

I didn't make any new treasuries this week, but I was featured in one!...

Want some more treasury goodness?  Head over to today's RNEST Treasury Tuesday post and click the links!

Monday, March 26, 2012

New Monster Monday: Spring Edition Bunny Nubbin

Okay, this isn't a "monster", but it is new!  This weekend, I made a Spring Edition of Bunny Nubbins with ears lined with a pink/blue/cream floral-print flannel I've had laying around.  I'm loving the texture of the flannel against the fleece.  I like it much better than the fleece on fleece I was doing before.  After using the flannel, using fleece for the ear lining seems to make the ear too bulky now.  I may need to locate a solid pink flannel for the "regular" Bunny Nubbins.  Maybe I can find some pink pajama pants to upcycle?

This will be my entry for the April edition of the RNEST Monthly Challenge.  I will post again on April 5th when the voting starts!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Treasury Tuesday: Laundry Day

Today was a major laundry day for me.  And I was happy, since it was the first time it was nice enough outside to use my clothesline!

I love hanging my cotton bedspread/tapestries out on the line (although I always think that my neighbors must think I'm a hippie whenever I hang them out!).  They just look so pretty and they always smell so wonderful afterwards.  The cotton has a very particular smell, which reminds me of "up at camp" in the Adirondacks, since the first time I ever bought one was at a store in Old Forge, NY.  The one I originally bought was a red/black/cream Indian design with elephants.  But it got a lot of use and got torn.  I have some of the fabric around somewhere, because I wanted to make it into a skirt.  The ones shown on the line I got at Goodwill (the red/blue tree one and the green circular pattern one), I received as a gift from my brother (the purple/magenta sun patterned one) and bought at the Celtic Festival (the green/black one at the far left)

Anyway, all of that to say, after my lovely, productive laundry day, I found myself wanting to make a laundry themed treasury.


I got a great compliment in the comments from an Etsian whose work I'd featured in this treasury.  She said "I think you may have done the impossible and inspired me to do laundry after this!"

I made another treasury, inspired by some items in the "New items from your favorite shops" box that is in the sidebar of my Etsy activity feed. (specifically, the washi tape and the painted tree trunk slices.)  I got to include some fellow RNEST members in this one.  Can you spot them?

What item, from either of these treasuries, is your favorite? (let me know in comments!)

Monday, March 19, 2012

New Monster Monday: Wilhelmina

I've been watching the TV series "Ugly Betty" on Netflix lately...and the main antagonist on the show is named Wilhelmina.  I don't imagine this monster having the mean, manipulative personality of the character that is her namesake, I just think Wilhelmina is a great monster name! (no double meaning intended!)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Art Lesson With Little Kids: Watercolor Splatter Monsters

We made "Splatter Monsters" today in the little kids' art class. (known as "Drippy Monsters" at the blog that I got the idea from, "smART Class" ).

This first one is my example I did the previous night so I would have a final product to show the kids. 

 It's pretty simple...just splash a little puddle of watercolor paint onto the paper, then blow through a straw to make the paint go all splattery!  Do this until you get the desired amount of splatter effect.  Add eyes and mouth from colored paper/cardstock...and voila!...a Splatter Monster!

I like that the kids used multiple colors for their monsters.  The merging paint makes a cool-looking effect.

(the writer of the blog I got the idea from said that she used liquid watercolor paint, which I went out and bought and used as well, but I learned while experimenting that regular watercolor paint works as well.) 

 This goofy little orange tripod guy was the step-by-step example I did during class.

The kids had a lot of fun with this one!  I'm sure their older brothers are chomping at the bit to do their own Splatter Monsters next week!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Treasury Tuesday: Mayday Underground April Applicant Preview

Spring is coming!  And that means one of my biggest craft shows of the year is coming soon... Mayday Underground! (April 28, 2012 at the Village Gate in Rochester, NY).  One of the organizers (and fellow RNEST member) has made this great treasury featuring work from some of the Mayday applicants!...which includes my own Farnsworth the Stripey Sweater Gremlin!

Mayday Underground April Applicant Preview

I haven't technically been accepted yet...but I have a good feeling. (especially since I was featured in this "preview" treasury!...aaaand I'm kind of friends with the girls who organize it!  But I don't like to be cocky and assume I'll get in just because I have "friends in high places".  So I wait to celebrate until I get my official acceptance email.)

Want some more treasury goodness?  Head over to the RNEST Treasury Tuesday post and click the links!

Monday, March 12, 2012

New Monster Monday: Farnsworth the Stripey Sweater Gremlin

"Farnsworth wants to be a scientist when he grows up. But for now, he enjoys performing various culinary experiments in the kitchen...most of which end up being some shade of orange."

I made Farnswoth from the arm of a thrift store sweater.  I have a "brother" for him, made from the other arm of the sweater, waiting  for me to sew the final details (eyes, lips and heart) by hand.  I think I'll name the brother...Finkleberg.  Don't ask me why...it just popped into my head!  And I think the two names sound cute and funny together..."Farnsworth and Finkleberg".  It sounds like it should be a kids' cartoon show (like "Phineas and Ferb"?) LOL.  I'll have to post photos of Finkleberg when he's finished.

Orange and blue are one of my very favorite color combinations to work with!  It seems only natural that they go so well together, since they are complimentary colors.  He's a fairly large monster (about 18 inches tall) and the sweater's texture is woolly and soft...so he's perfect for hugging and snuggling.  (confession: I'm snuggling with him right now!) 

I can just imagine a child taking him to bed every night...not being able to go to sleep unless they have their favorite stuffed toy.  I wonder if they'd keep the name I've given him, or make up their own name.  It kind of makes me giggle to imagine a child whining "But Mooooom, I CAN'T go to sleep without my Farnsworth!"

That makes me think...I need to start writing the monsters' names on tags to pin on them at craft shows. (which my mom has been suggesting I do for awhile now) People at shows will sometimes ask if I name them.  I really only end up naming the ones I list on Etsy.  But I've sold monsters before on Etsy solely because of what I chose to name them!...because the buyer had a particular attachment to the name (their middle name or the name of a good friend).

Yes, Farnsworth is turning out to be yet another one of those "favorite" monsters that I secretly want to keep for myself. (wait...isn't that every monster I make?) 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Art Lesson With Big Kids: Mini Muffin Pan Crayons

The older boys saw the recycled crayons their siblings made last week and wanted to do the project as well!





With such a simple main project, I had to make them work a little, so I had them do a drawing exercise. (I want to get into more drawing lessons with the older kids, instead of just crafts.  Crafts are great, but they need an opportunity to actually practice drawing.)  So I cut out a couple dog silhouettes using my Cricut, then gave one to each kid and had them use it as a stencil and trace around it.  Then I had them try and copy it freehand.  I was impressed by the results!

 I think I may try having them do this as a weekly drawing exercise.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

RNEST Monthly Challenge: March (Rise of the Machines)

Please take a few seconds to go vote for my Robot Nubbin in the RNEST Monthly Challenge for March.  
The theme for this month was "Rise of the Machines".  The deadline to vote is tomorrow (Wednesday, March 7th) by midnight.  Just go to the RNEST blog and click your choice in the poll at the top right-hand corner of the blog (no registration is required!).   Thanks!

Treasury Tuesday: Rust & Patina

My apologies for falling behind in the Treasury Tuesday posts here.  I often get preoccupied with the ones I do for the RNEST blog and forget about doing one here on my personal blog!

Treasury I created:
"There is a beauty is in the colors of 'imperfection'..."

Treasuries I was featured in:

More Treasuries I was featured in:

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Art Lesson With Little Kids: Mini Muffin Pan Crayons

Even though melting old broken crayons into "new", swirly, multicolored crayons has been done (and is almost cliche), you can't deny that kids love it! (which is why it's been done so much!)
Last time I had the "little" kids for art class, they found some crayons I had made with another girl a couple summers ago.  The kids were doing some texture rubbings during free-draw time and found that the "muffin pan" crayons worked better since they were flat.  When they asked about where the flat crayons came from, I told them about making them and said that could be the project for their next class, and they could make their own. 

It was a pretty laid-back class today.  Most of it was the kids peeling the paper off old, broken crayons and trying to break them into smaller pieces.  I brought out a knife and cutting board so I could help cut them into even smaller pieces.

3 kids...3 rows of four...so each kid got to make 4 crayons.  I suppose I could have taught a bit of a quick, simple math lesson here, but these kids are a bit small to be learning division.  

 The kids were SO excited to get them in the oven!

They were so cute!  When I put the pan in the oven, they all sat right down in front of the window to watch the crayons melt! 

 We had a bit of a mini science lesson about solids and liquids.  I explained that the crayons they cut up are solid, but then when heated they turn liquid, but then turn solid again when they cool.

 I always like how they look on the bottom!

When I took the kids home, their older brothers saw the crayons and said they wanted to do this project too, so I guess I know what project I'll be doing again next week!  Good thing I had broken crayons left over from today!