My mom friend Loren from Felix Doolittle Fine Stationery sent me these photos with this note about a trip to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts with her 9-year-old son who had just finished reading The Kane Chronicles series by Rick Riordan. Ancient Egypt and action adventure had suddenly made museums desirable!
Julian also read From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg, a personal favorite of mine, but an award winning book that I haven’t yet been able to convince my own kids to read.
Museum Outings Bring Chapter Books Alive
She says, “On MLK Day, Felix, Julian, and I went to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA). It’s not often that I can convince Julian that a day at the museum is a good idea, but he was just as excited as I was.
Could this statue be similar to the mysterious one in From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler? Read more…
Mondrian Art and Music Project for Kids
I didn’t realize how much Piet Mondrian was influenced by the music of his day, jazzy blues called Boogie Woogie. I was more familiar with his simple geometrical shapes and primary colors (blue, red, yellow) that he used to express reality, nature and logic. This piece, the Boogie Woogie, takes the beat of jazz and turns it into a geometric design.
Let’s learn about Piet Mondrian:
Mondrian, who had escaped to New York from Europe after the outbreak of World War II, delighted in the city’s architecture. He was also fascinated by American jazz, particularly boogie-woogie, finding its syncopated beat, irreverent approach to melody, and improvisational aesthetic akin to what he called, in his own work, the “destruction of natural appearance; and construction through continuous opposition of pure means—dynamic rhythm.” In this painting, his penultimate, Mondrian replaced the black grid that had long governed his canvases with predominantly yellow lines that intersect at points marked by squares of blue and red. These atomized bands of stuttering chromatic pulses, interrupted by light gray, create paths across the canvas suggesting the city’s grid, the movement of traffic, and blinking electric lights, as well as the rhythms of jazz. from MOMA Read more…
Getting Crafty for Valentine’s Day
My college roommate was talking about her new mother-in-law a few years back, describing her as “crafty.”
“Crafty, in a good way,” I asked? I was thinking sneaking Machiavellian crafty.
“No, not evil crafty. Arts and crafty!”
My brain just does not compute crafty because I am not good at arts and crafts. The thought of homemade Valentines as my kids’ school requires typically fills me with dread because my kids are too old for my old standby: paper lace and pink heart paper cutouts.
Thankfully, this year I have Pinterest and the Kids Blogger Network. I am going to use these resources for homemade Valentines this year. Here are some ideas I’m considering.
Do you make or buy Valentines? Please share your ideas!
The Imagination Tree has lots of heart crafts ideas ideal for making cards for different age recipients. I like her potato print cards for school Valentines and her heart shaped photo holder would be perfect for grandparents. The red and white clay heart ornaments would be another option that would stand out for school Valentines.
Doodles and Jots demonstrates how to make your own heart shaped box instead of buying one. In real life, she’s a product designer. Can’t you tell? My older kids would love to make this! It would be perfect for a teacher gift and she gives a recipe for chocolate pretzels. Now, I just have to save cereal boxes!
Impressionists Art Project for Kids
Did you know that the Impressionist painters had to make their own paint? Not mix paint. No, they actually had to make their own paint. They couldn’t just buy it in tubes from a store!
See those small vials of powers? That’s what they used to mix colors to make paint! Their paint didn’t come in tubes!
How Impressionists Made Paint
See those pots of colors? Inside are ground up pigments made of all different kind of materials found in nature to make paint.
Canvases too had to be made by each artist! They couldn’t buy a canvas from an art store. Instead, they bought fabric, used wood to create a frame, nailed the canvas to a the wooden frame and then prepared the canvas with a substance called gesso. It’s made of gypsum and can be painted onto the canvas to “prime” it. Read more…
Abstract Art by Kids inspired by Arthur Dove
The art of Arthur Dove (August 2, 1880 – November 23, 1946) at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston is child-like, is it not? Ok, maybe a really talented child. He is considered the first American abstract painter. The girls and I found him on the third floor of the new American wing’s Modernist collection. We hunt down PickyKidPix‘s favorite artist, Jackson Pollock, whose No. 10, 1949 hangs there too.
Modernist Artist Arthur Dove (a little art history)
This is the painting that caught my eye. With just simple shapes and a few colors, Dove conveys a nature scene. I love the colors and its simplicity.
Evening Blue, 1941. In this lyrical composition, Dove solidified moonlight into distinct planes and geometric shapes. The deep cobalt tones evoke the color of the night sky. Museum of Fine Arts Plate
Carving Out an Art Studio in Our Basement
I was inspired after reading Artchoo!’s post on Kids’ Art Room Floors to try to carve out an art space for my oldest, Grasshopper and Sensei, who gets frustrated trying to do her art on the dining room only to be forced to clean up before she’s done with her paintings because it’s time to eat. A dedicated art space is so great to eliminate that!
She got a nice, huge desk for her birthday last year but there simply isn’t room in her room for all the art supplies. Canvases and paper and paints take up a surprisingly large amount of real estate! Read more…
Homemade One-of-A-Kind Christmas Ornaments
When it comes to crafts, my kids and I are bad at cranking out duplicates of anything. We are easily bored and not good an creating a manufacturing process to maximize uniformity or quantity.
I think that is ok. Our first homemade Christmas ornament came out of serendipity. Someone (his sister?) tried to play my eight-year-old son’s guitar using a pencil as a bow. As a result, the strings were damaged and his guitar teacher has to replace them.
Guitar String Wreath Ornament. The old strings with their slightly springy action seemed to beg to become a wreath. My son added a tag and voila! Our first homemade DIY Christmas tree ornament. Wire would work as well.