Art Festival Time!

Posted Saturday, March 26, 2011

Our homeschool organization hosts an annual children’s Art Festival, and my family has the double privilege of setting it up and participating as “artists.” Children aged 5 and up are invited to submit original artwork using any desired medium, including scratch art, pastels, watercolors, ink, spray paint, oil paints, colored pencils, graphite pencils, and even markers or crayons! The variety of pieces is exhilarating. All children receive a ribbon, with the best artists taking home First, Second, Third, or Honorable Mention awards. The evening of the festival, children come with their families to the beautiful reception hall we rent to view the display, to listen to music played by myself, siblings, and friends, and to receive their ribbons. Another highlight is the personal judging event, where families are encouraged to submit a ballot indicating their own favorites. While the votes for the “People’s Choice” awards are being tallied, guests enjoy snacks. This new category of placement allows individuals to choose what THEY think are the best pieces, since non-professional judges’ opinions are also valuable!

I have the privilege of overseeing the artwork of my younger siblings, which proves a true delight! In the past I have given them lessons and at art festival time they appreciate tips on shading, perspective, or coloring. It is amazing to see the talents with which God has endowed them! Since we were quite busy this year, no one ventured into using paints, and most did pencil drawings, but this year I entered the graduates’ category with two acrylic paintings. In the past, my younger brothers and sisters have entered watercolor and acrylic paintings, which are a delight to behold! Colors and children are almost synonymous as we think of their bright countenances and enthusiastic curiosity about the world about them.

Since there have always been young children in our family, when it rolls around to art time, we are always quick to pull out the art smocks! Those little hands have a way with paintbrushes that tends to decorate more than the page! We have enjoyed making these smocks for the little girls, but I also noticed some really cute ones offered on Etsy Kids. Since boys may recoil from the wearing a “smock,” aprons made with appropriate fabrics can encourage them without belittling them or making them feel out-of-place.


Little girls might like the HELLO KITTY CRAFT SMOCK by “twogirlsandamom” on Etsy Kids, or the PINK FLORAL ART SMOCK by StolenTime.

While our contest invites children aged 5 and up to enter, the young toddlers are always encouraged to be artistic alongside their older siblings. When we don’t have paints out for them, crayons are often the medium of preference, and what better way to keep them handy than the CHILDREN’S APRONS with CRAYONS by CabinFeverGiftStore! The fabrics are adorable, and the bottom section of the apron is sewn in divisions for 24 crayons.

It is so important to encourage children’s creativity….after all we are created in the image of the Great Creator God!

Posted by Elizabeth Gwen for Plume De Nikola

Here Comes Peter Cottontail

Posted Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Our shamrocks and pots of gold are all put away for another year, and Spring is finally, finally here!! Woo Hoo! Here in the Midwest, and in many other parts of the world, it's been a long, long winter, and we are ready to surround ourselves with everything SPRING!

Photo Makeover Series Part 2: Lighting

Posted Monday, March 21, 2011

Happy Monday! I am just popping in to remind you all that it's time for part 2 of the Etsykids Treasury Team Photo Makeover Series!

In this series you will get these incredible tips:
Light tips specific to the products you sell. Plus, how to make your own inexpensive, yet professional light box. This post also announces the winner of the 1st Photo Makeover Challenge - Backgrounds! YAY!!!!

So please make sure you head on over to the EtsyKids Treasury Team blog and check it out!

Also please make sure you read TinyStitches post about raising money for Japan. Our team is full of wonderful people who are selling their items to donate money to help all of those in need.

Raising Money for Japan

Around the world people are looking for ways to ease the suffering in Japan. Money is the universal item that is needed most. Money allows humanitarian aid organizations to meet specific needs as they arise ... be they food, water, medical supplies, blankets, clothing, shelter, clean up ... rather than waiting for needed donations to come in.

Crafter's and Etsy sellers have realize this from the beginning. With each disaster that has hit our planet, they have donated their goods and services, their time and talents, to raise money for organizations to instantly and strategically put to use in devastated areas.

These four EtsyKids sellers are no different, lillollipop, thetrendytot, 1PixiePlace, gracehesterdesigns. They are donating a significant portion (50% - 100%!) of the sale of their item(s) to Japan Relief Efforts through large well established aid organizations. Please join them in giving aid and relief to Japan by purchasing a qualifying item and see your dollar do double duty!

Lotus Blue Kimono Wrap Dress 50% to Doctors w/out Borders by lillollipop
Japanese Flag Skirt 50% to American Red Cross by thetrendytot
Hello Kitty I Spy Bag 100% to American Red Cross by 1PixiePlace
Thank You Cards in Japanese 100% to Save the Children by gracehesterdesigns

Help, Help There's a Monster in the Closet!

Posted Saturday, March 05, 2011

But don't worry. He's really well dressed.

You'll find him and his friends the Broccoli Monster and the Yoga Monster, hanging out near Hartford, Connecticut, or on Etsy at Monster in the Closet.

Sarah, the gifted printmaker responsible for all these adorable monsters, is a full time middle school art teacher. If spending all day creating with kids doesn’t provide enough inspiration, she has daughter Lucy, age five and a half, and son Ronin, two and a half to keep the creative juices flowing. Her sense of humor is present in all her work, appealing both on a child’s level and the adult’s. The Evolution of the Mix Tape is a very clever example of her skills to charm all ages.

Sarah’s work also exhibits the artist’s most important tool, her passion for her art. She cites Japanese artist Hokusai, who created thousands of wood block prints in the late 1700’s to early 1800’s as a great influence on her carving. She understands his obsession, always thinking about the next carving, even while her hands haven’t finished the carving she just started.

Monster in the Closet sprung from a shirt Sarah printed three years ago for her daughter. She remembers thinking, “I actually love this!...what can I make next!”. Her Etsy shop was a natural next step for someone who has had various business venture though the years, including selling friendship bracelets as a kid. Her art and life experiences flavor all her prints with exuberance and wit.

For every working mother/artist, the greatest challenge is finding enough time in each day to make lunches, read stories, buy groceries, work, and create masterpieces. Sarah makes the most of any opportunity, no matter how small the window of time, to work on her carving. Because her medium is fairly portable, the livingroom can double as a studio so she can create while the kids watch t.v.

Lucy and Ronin do provide help to their mom’s entrepreneurial enterprise, too. Often, they work in Sarah’s work space with her. They create along with her, mixing materials and ideas. Lucy offers suggestions for new designs. What better advice for designs for kids, than from a kid?

It is obvious that Sarah thoroughly enjoys all that she does. She has found a way to balance work, family and art. Most importantly she has not lost her own silly sense of wonder at the world. She has let it color her work, and bring a smile to those she shares it with.

Potty Training with Dr. Seuss!

Posted Thursday, March 03, 2011

We're potty training our caboose. My fifth and final go at potty training. It's bittersweet.

My husband and I marvel at how different the potty training experience has been for each of our children. Same parents, same basic approach with small modifications tailored to each child's needs. And just like her siblings, this one has taken to potty training in away that is totally unique to her. Fascinating really.

Same basic approach ... lots of books in the bathroom to read to help relax the child and make sitting and waiting more interesting. Her book of choice, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, by Dr. Seuss.

Individualized modification for child #5 ... #5 can listen to, and turn the pages of the digital One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish on my Droid while she patiently waits on the potty. Fabulous on days when she's not wanting to stop and sit and wait.

I have a couple of Dr. Seuss books on my phone now [thanks to well placed ads in a favorite game of my 4 year-old] and I gotta say I'm loving them [and am less annoyed that my 4 year-old spent my $10 on digital books]. They are interactive, hold my kids attention, and aren't a game. If your a Seuss fan, and looking for fun, interactive, totally kid friendly (love that this is interesting and entertaining for the two year-old, four year-old, and seven year-old) stuff for your phone that is also a bit educational, consider check it out the collection of Seuss books at oceanhousemedia.

What is your child's favorite Dr. Seuss book or character?

Check out these whimsical Seuss inspired accessories and adorable clothes made with Robert Kaufman's Dr. Seuss fabric line by EtsyKids team members.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...