Archive for the ‘ Inspired ’ Category

Backyard Nature Collecting

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

In our backyard, Magnolias are blooming, Lilacs are bursting, patches of chives are thick and green, and Violets and Dandelions are polka-dotting the grass. Last weekend, my two daughters set to work harvesting some of the beauty — some for spells and magic potions and some for a gorgeous flower garden centerpiece.  Not only was their creation beautiful and a true independent creation, it was a lovely way for them to explore the different textures, colors, shapes, and smells in their backyard.

Encourage  children to pick and collect the flowers, weeds, herbs, and growth in your surroundings (teach them to skip over special, planted flowers like Tulips and Irises). Leaves from trees and sticks and twigs are great additions to a natural collection!  Ask them to share notes about their observations and to draw pictures of their bounty.

Sometimes, it is okay to pick the flowers.

-Emily

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Make it :: Communal Twig Sculpture

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

 

This past fall, I ran a Story Disk workshop at the Boston Children’s Museum and had the honor of spending the day in the art studio with the incredible Arts Program Manager,  Alice Volger.  The studio is gorgeous — inspiring, organized, and filled with most beautiful creative work.  I found myself especially captivated by the communal twig and tape sculpture that dangles from the ceiling, cheerfully greeting visitors.

Alice told me a bit about the process. Children filtered into the studio all day long and used twigs and colorful masking tape to add to the sculpture.  By the end of the day (or perhaps it was a few days), the twigs were intertwined in the grandest of ways.  It is breathtaking, really.

Why not try this at home?  Ask children to gather sticks and twigs (yard clean-up!).  Leave the twigs and multiple roles of colorful masking tape at a craft station for a few days.  Show children photographs of sculptures and encourage them to experiment with making their own unique creation.

If you have small children and are anywhere near Boston, definitely stop by the museum for a visit!

-Emily

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Inspired :: Patterns and Designs

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

When you are out and about with your children, encourage them to search for designs and repetition in the world around them.  Look for places where the same motif repeats itself and creates  a beautiful pattern.  Walls, trees, the sky, ceilings, city streets, and parks are all sources of inspiration.

My children feel proud and excited when they discover a naturally occurring pattern. We like to take photographs of our discoveries, and I have plans to make a photo book using our collection.

Have fun!

Emily

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Inspired :: Drawing

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Ask your child to draw you a picture of an imaginary dream house — a fantastical place that she could inhabit in her dreams What color would it be?  Would there be ladders and rainbows?  Grassy fields and forests?  Would it be on an island surrounded by dolphins?

xo emily

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Inspired :: unintentional art

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Sometimes the most beautiful art is unintentional.  I like to search for gorgeous colors, shapes, and patterns in the scraps and outer edges of my work — places where art wasn’t intended.  Pay attention to scraps, blotting towels, and brush rinsing jars; search for interesting colors and curious shapes in your mistakes.   The blue blob on the paper towel looks like it could become a hedgehog, right?  Encourage children to pay attention to full process of making art!

My student and I decided that this is the color of an early morning summer sky.

xo emily

p.s. Visit my blog for a fabulous book giveaway and author interview!

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