Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pixie Sticks ? Stix?

Pixie Sticks or Stix?? I'm not sure but these are really big ones!! I used these with the glitter, craft foam hearts glued to the end as part of a dessert table display for a volunteer meeting a few days before Valentine's Day. I simply hot glued the hearts to the end of a giant Pixie Stix and put them in a large glass vase from Ikea. After the meeting was over they were just hanging around ... we are having a fundraiser this weekend with a Bake/Dessert Sale as part of the fun. I decided that I'd add some ribbon, curling ribbon and torn fabric strips to make them irresistible to the younger shoppers and put them in the Goodie Sale  (this is my usual MO of trying to dazzle with packaging and presentation and hopefully keep anyone from realizing that I didn't actually BAKE!!). After making the hearts I got to thinking that these could be made for all kinds of events. The giant Pixie Stix are inexpensive (about 50 cents each if I buy them separately at the party store or less if I buy a box at Costco or BJ's) and the craft foam shapes cost just pennies. Add some odds and ends of ribbon that are hanging around and you have a cute bake sale item , gift for children in a class or party favor. 
I made some with Shamrocks on the end and dug out some Easter Foam shapes to make some for Easter celebrations as well. Stars on the end, tulle ribbon and glittery curling ribbon would make excellent magic wand party favors... the possibilities are endless! 
I'll let you know how they go over:)

Everyone's Irish - On March 17th!!

In the midst of all the excitement of green food and leprechaun mischief this is a great little project. This started with a Dick Blick canvas , the 8x8 square ( I told you I'm on a mission to try all the sizes they offer in the economy packs.) I painted it blue and striped it in turquoise. The shamrock is created using 3 hearts and a wooden spoon shape ( they are in packages by the popsicle sticks at Hobby Lobby where I can wander for hours... ) These were painted green and then given some polka dots using the eraser end of a pencil ( a fav tool of mine) and children love making those dots! I squeeze out the paint on a tray and we practice "dip and dot" standing up and keeping our arm up and out of the wet  paint dots.
(If you are in a situation where you can incorporate a faith based message then the shamrock is a great opportunity to include a lesson on the Trinity and the real St. Patrick)
I used my Crop-A-Dile to punch holes in the canvas for a fun, beaded wire hanger. (Still don't have a Crop-A-Dile?? Go get one. Right Now.) For classes with young children I use a pipe cleaner for the hanger and for older children I use a a finer wire. For classes, I go ahead and make the holes ahead of time.

OK, looking good. You can stop here or you can add some ribbon ( or torn fabric strips- my budget substitute for ribbon.)  I, however, have no restraint when it comes to ribbon (or that runny, white cheese dip in Mexican restaurants... sorry, off-task !)
 So, a little bit of polka dot ribbon and it's finished. All ready for the Leprechauns! And hopefully a pot of gold!

A couple of thoughts ... First, if budget does not allow for canvases and wood cut outs, this could be easily done using craft foam. You could cut the hearts and stem from green and still use the acrylic paint to dot the shapes. Acrylic "sticks" just fine to the foam. You could still do the cute hanger with a hole punch and a pipe cleaner - gold if you have it - and some pony beads. 
Second, I like to send home some nice, "substantial", "keeper" projects regularly. I was just thinking as I looked at these pictures and the Love canvases that I posted recently that it would be nice to do one seasonally themed canvas each month (the same size) so that they would create a " calendar" of sorts of the school year. It could be very cute displayed in the child's room or playroom. We go to school  August to May so we would only have to double up twice. You could definitely do a Father's day canvas early for June and something patriotic for July and the year would be complete... I can just see it! Hmmmm, I think I'm going to work on that. Keep you posted, literally :)

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Friday, February 25, 2011

"A Whole Lotta Love"

How cute is this?? Just in time for Valentine's Day!  This project was done by 4 year olds and they loved it (not to mention what a great job they did!!) We used an artists canvas this year 
(last year we had some scrap lumber and they were on wood - cute either way). They wrote the letters out in chalk first ( no correcting - let it be their handwriting!!) and then they painted the letters with black acrylic. We put white polka dots on the heart and glued it inside the "O". I used a Crop-a-Dile to punch holes in the canvas so we could create a decorative hanger ( If you do not have a Crop-A-Dile get in your car and go get one. Right now. It punches a nice smooth hole in almost anything.... cookie sheets, canvases, paint sticks, chip board....) I'm serious. It is amazing!! The little artists strung beads on a silver pipe cleaner and added a "key to their heart". A very nice man at the Locksmith gave me a box of very cool "reject" keys - all different so everyone could choose the one they liked. This project is a BIG hit with parents every year. 
The canvas was as cute as the reclaimed wood we used last year. I order the canvases from Dick Blick. They are the economy classroom packs and are very affordable, come in a great variety of sizes, ( I'm anxious to come up with some projects for some of the unique sizes they offer), have a nice surface and the children get a kick out of using " real artist" canvases!!

No More SNOW!!

I know I mentioned snow projects but I really had to move on when it thawed out in Atlanta. I was ready for Spring things!! I'm just going to quickly show you a cute Snow sign I threw up on my front door for our unusual 5 inch snow. It's painted on an old scrap of wood and the snowman is painted on a quart paint can lid. A scrap fabric scarf and some beads and he's cute as can be. I had already
made these with a group of children at an art class and they loved painting on a paint can lid, stringing the beads on the wire hanger and spatter painting the background before they painted the letters. They wrote them out in chalk before they painted them so it was their handwriting - that's a keeper for moms!!