Saturday, April 30, 2011

It's finished - The Recycled Art Auction Project

It's finished! #4

Okay, drum roll. Here is the finished recycled art project from Mrs. E and Ms H's 2nd grade class, all ready for the school art auction....

Finished art auction project 4

It's awesome, right?

Finished art auction project 2
Finished art auction project 3
It's finished! #1
It's finished! #5

We may all be partial but we think it turned out even better than we envisioned. But of course,we couldn't stop there. I really wanted to be able to use every recycled item that we received. So I decided to donate some flowers and make the stock pot we received, into a planter that would be a lovely complement to the wind chimes in a garden. We decided to make some garden critters with the last bits of our supplies too.

Ross' dragonfly he made

Ross made this cool dragonfly (directions found here). And I came up with a simple butterfly pattern that made the leftover glass beads really sparkle.

I was very happy with how it turned outMy beaded butterfly

Our garden insect party turned out very pretty.

We also came up with a story of what the wind chime represented. I printed it on card stock and drew some flowers around it. Then I tucked it between the tines of a fork and stuck it into the planter for everybody to see at the auction. Here's what it said:

The wind chime represents our wonderfully diverse 2nd grade class.

The two main parts represent our great teachers – Ms. H & Mrs. E (not every class was lucky enough to have not one – but TWO – fabulous teachers during the year!)

The kids in class each beaded a utensil that was later attached to the wind chime. As you can see, each utensil is a work of art by itself, that clearly represents each individual personality.

Each utensil was also donated by the class, and there are 26 different utensils to represent the kids in class – all wacky, wild and wonderful 26 of them!

We also received a donation of this cool, old stockpot. It was begging for some fresh Spring flowers to revive it’s usefulness. With leftover, recycled beads we made some Spring visitors and thought it was a beautiful addition to our art project. As you can see, the sweet, little watering can of our wind chime is pouring down love and happiness and patience and perseverance and kindness ………and the flowers (just like the kids from Ms. H & Mrs. E’s class are BLOOMING!!

The other part of the recycled art auction

Was that too cheesy? Awwww....I don't care. It totally fit the kids and the uniqueness of this cool class. The day of the auction, Ross and I brought it into the classroom to show the kids before we hung it up on the auction stage. We clanged and clanked down the hallways at school and people stopped us to ask about it the whole way. The kids totally cheered and clapped when they saw it all put together. That was the best part for sure.

It's finished! #6

It was a very popular item up on the art display stage and people couldn't resist walking by and tweaking a utensil to get a little sound out of it. The really fun part was watching the kids drag their parents up to see it. We actually had a bidding war going on at the last minute of the auction, but one of the students from class persuaded her mom to buy it. She was so excited to get it in the auction and she tells us about it every time we see her. I'd say it was a success.

It's finished! #3

Now....I am trying to come up with some ideas for next years art auction ..... hmmmm...this will be a hard one to top!

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Final Birthday Hat

G's Birthday Hat - Duck colors of course

Our friend Greg was pretty patient about waiting for his handmade birthday hat.

G's Birthday hat #1

He had an awesome birthday party hiking at Smith Rock and the wind kicked up by the end of I think his Green & Yellow (DUCK COLORS) Brain Waves hat came in handy!

G's Birthday hat #2

I love giving handmade gifts to such appreciative people (big or little). That makes me happy.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mother's Day Wreath Craft

Sweet Mama's Day present

You are probably waiting with bated breath to see what we made with our egg carton flowers....Well, we decided to make some very lovely Mother's Day wreaths first.

Hearts & flowers of course

These turned out to be one of those crafts that looks even lovelier than you anticipated. And the kids were troopers. I was amazed that a 3 year old and a 4 year old could do all of this. But I told you it was easy, right?

1. First cut a wreath out of some cardboard. I used a recycled mail box and a small plate to outline my circle. Then I cut the wreath shape out.

Our impromptu wreath craft

2. Next the kids picked their yarn colors. I went with some old Lion Brand Homespun yarn that I had laying around. It was perfect - it's floofiness added some neat texture to the wreath and the kids didn't have to be so exact with wrapping because of the uneven texture of the yarn - meaning a few wraps of yarn could overlap and you wouldn't see a big lump like if it had been smooth or thin yarn. I also unwound some yarn into a small ball that would be easier for them to maneuver with around their wreath.

More wrapping

3. So the kids wrapped and wrapped and wrapped and really did an awesome job. I didn't think they'd have the patience. Luke especially persevered with his task and finished it up in no time. When they started and finished the yarn I just tucked in the loose ends good and tight.

Peelu winding her wreath with yarn
He did such a good job wrapping his wreath

4. Next, the kids picked out the flowers they wanted to use and I whipped out the glue gun. I put dabs of glue where they told me and then they immediately pressed their flowers down and held them for a count of 10. Peelu wanted to add the hearts that she painted to her wreath.

Peelu gluing her flowers on
Holding down his egg carton flowers

Piece o' cake! That's it. Seriously! Aren't they fantastic? And those kids are pretty darn cute too!

Close-up of Lukey's flowers
Peelu's cute egg carton flowers

Such an easy and fun craft with quick results. The kids LOVED these wreaths and were SO proud of themselves. Luke, especially, could not wait to give his to his mom. Obviously I couldn't be Peelu's intended recipient since I helped make them - so Grandma W got the wreath for her door on Mother's Day.

Makes a cute picture frame too!
Lukey's finished wreath
Two cute kids and two cute wreaths

Oh, I almost forgot - the other egg carton craft. Equally easy - a simple flower brooch.

Painting egg cartons

Just take one of your egg carton flowers and glue inside some beads (or button or chenille wire stem or anything else you can think of or even just paint a cool design). Then glue a pin back on the back side of the flower.

Back of Lukey's Brooch

I used some E600 glue to make everything stick really well. Luke made this cute version also for his mom. Peelu and I will have to try some more of these since Luke's turned out so well.

Lukey's Brooch/Pin for his mom

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Egg Carton Crafting

Pretty Spring palette

I was so in love with this beautiful egg carton flower wreath that I found via The Crafty Crow. And I decided then and there I had to make one with the kids. Well, I have not finished enough flowers yet for a whole wreath. But Peelu & Luke helped me paint a bunch of them one day. And then I was so inspired by their pretty flowers that we made up two other crafts...a yarn wreath with flowers and a flower brooch....all in time for Mother's Day. Stay tuned for those two crafts.

A pretty palette and some flowers

For now, here's the really simple explanation on how to make egg carton flowers:

1. Recycle some of your egg cartons (not styrofoam) by cutting the egg sections apart. You can also use various other parts of the carton to make other flower accents, leaves, stems or hearts as Peelu did.

Blank egg carton flowers

2. To make the flowers I took an egg carton cup and just went around with my scissors making different cuts. Sometimes I just made cuts all around and spread the "petals" after. Other times I actually cut petal shapes. You can really do anything. Check out the blog post above again for more flower ideas.

Painting away

3. Then paint the flowers, leaves, etc. You can really make the flowers really stand out with different paint shades and details and by stacking different shapes inside each other.

Peelu's bright egg carton flowers

4. Now you've got your flowers. You can attach them to a cardboard wreath or you can make some other artsy/craftsy items with them..

SUch pretty flowers

....stick around and see what we made.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The School Art Auction Project: 2nd Grade 2011

It's finished! #9

This year, our school decided to add an Art Project Auction to it's annual Hoe Down fundraiser. Each class was supposed to make an item (although some classes made more than one thing) and donate it for the auction. Of course, I thought this was a FABULOUS idea. The only bummer (I thought) was that art has been rather eradicated from our school (at least in the form of art teachers and in-depth directed art projects - the teachers themselves simply do not have any time with all the stuff they must cram into the kids for State/Federal testing purposes - that is a whole other rant I could go on and on about). So I asked our second grade teacher if she would like help with the project. Then she went out on maternity leave and her equally wonderful interim teacher said she would love if I could handle the art project for the class. Yipppeee!! :-)

I'm such a craft/art geek!

It's finished! #11

I am not quite sure when the idea for a recycled art project came to me, but I thought the idea would appeal to the kids and give them a chance to donate some items themselves and become more a part of the project.

To be made into a recycled wind chime #1

So I went into the classroom to explain the project a bit and we sent home a flyer for the parents. The flyer had some photos of other silverware wind chimes that we have done in the past (to give them idea of what we were looking for), it had an explanation of the entire project and some donation suggestions (ie. silverware, metal colanders, old glass beads, old metal kitchen utensils, etc.)

To be made into a recycled wind chime #4

We got some good items. A huge cache of old seafood forks was one of my favorites.

To be made into a recycled wind chime #3

The cute, little watering can was another favorite by all the kids.

Flattened utensils for the wind chime

We didn't get as much silverware as I thought, luckily we were able to supplement with our vast supply of Goodwill silverware purchases. Ross and I also donated the glass beads, fishing line and swivel hooks. OH yeah, and he donated his strong forearms, because he personally hammered all of the utensils flat himself and then drilled a BUNCH of holes through the items.

S working on one last beaded utensil

One afternoon, I went back into the classroom to enlist the kids help on beading each utensil. Ross had put his amazing fly tying ability came into use as he attached a long fishing line to a small swivel. He made enough strings for each child in the class.

I love these little forks!

I took the utensils and pre-tied strings into class, along with some of the bigger items. I explained how the wind chime was going to look and about how their recycled items would help beautify somebody's yard or garden. The kids were more excited than I thought they would be. I did have worries though about piles of beads going all over the classroom floor. So I grabbed handfuls of glass beads and put them in baggies and gave each table a few baggies. Each child was given a string with the ore-attached swivel. Then we let them pick out which utensil they wanted to personally bead. I instructed them to string between 15-20 beads on their string and then we tied on their utensil on the bottom.

R's last beaded utensil
A beaded fork
A beaded knife

The project went perfectly. It was quick, easy and the kids were proud of their contributions, both in the recycling and artistic sense.

A Pile o' Beaded utensils...

I took all the items back home and Ross and I commenced putting the wind chime together with the other recycled items that we had received. First he untied every utensil and put swivel hooks on the end of the string and then re-attached the hook to each utensil. He thought they would hold up better and swivel on the wind chime more nicely. He had also pre-drilled holes along the edges of the colander that was our base and through some of the other items that would be clangers for our wind chime. After much tying and sorting and moving things around so the weight was evenly distributed...some audio testing...(all done by Ross) and artistic tweaking (done by both of us), we decided that the 2nd grade recycled wind chime art project was done!

It's finished! #3

Stay tuned for the finished project!