Scavenger Hunt

23 06 2011

We’re very into scavenger hunts around here. In the car, the house or the yard. With picture clues or words. Lists of items to find, clues that take you from room to room or simply a hide and seek affair. The kids just can’t seem to get enough of them. So when thinking of what games the kids might enjoy at Eleanor’s birthday party, it didn’t take me long to land on a scavenger hunt. And since both of the crafts and all of the decorations were flower related, it was time to do something with butterflies.

I made these magnets using wood circles, photos, modge podge, dimensional glaze, super glue and, of course, magnets. The wood circles were cut from branches in our backyard. Each one sanded down smooth while I dreamed of a hundred other projects I could use them for.

I even got a little help. This is her best “why are you taking a picture of me” face while wearing a nightgown over her other jammies and a matching headband to boot.

Although I have plenty of my own pics of various butterfly stages, I decided to go with the classic monarch. And since I only had a shot of the caterpillar stage, I went looking on flickr for the rest. I was fortunate to find images which allow for personal use. The egg shot is from kiwinz and the butterfly is from grandma sandy+chuck. I’d tell you the chrysalis shot only I lost the link. Sorry chrysalis photographer! But I can say that I really appreciate their willingness to share and plan to look at creative commons licenses for some of my photos.

I printed the pics on plain paper and affixed them to the discs with modge podge. After they dried I added a layer of dimensional glaze. Awesome stuff, I tell ya. It adds a nice think resin like coating. The right side of this pic is before adding the glaze, the left after. It goes on sort of milky but dries clear after a day or two as you can sort of see in the top photo. Hard to take a pic of, but I think you get the idea. The last piece of the pie was to glue the magnets on the backs. I used your regular ol’ black circle magnets but would really love to research stronger magnets for future projects. I think the patience needed for this projects was the hardest part. All that waiting for things to dry drove me nuts. I so wanted to touch them. And well, I did. Once. Had to re-do that one.

I made a complete set of 4 for each child attending the party. Fortunately, the rain eased up so we could do the scavenger hunt outside. We bundled everyone up, headed to the backyard and had a brief discussion on the 4 stages of a butterflies life cycle. Most of the kids were 3 or 4 years old after all. They were jumping up and down to tell me the answers. We then sent them into the yard to find one of each magnet. Once they found their 4, I sent them back to help their friends.

The magnets were theirs to keep but I felt a reward for finding all 4 was still needed. And what did they get? A flower lollipop of course!

And could I stop at just one flower per kid? Oh, no. Not me. I had to make a whole basket full.

Super easy to make while watching tv after the kids go to bed, but not so easy to make when they’re around. “I want root beer flavor” “I want cotton candy!” “Will you write my name on this one?” Ugh – go away.

I used left over crepe paper streamers from a past birthday party, winding around the sucker while occasionally folding in a bit at the bottom. Then I secured them with some floral tape, which I continued all the way down the stem. It took a couple practice goes, but I eventually got the knack of it.

After each child picked out theirs (and immediately tore off the crepe paper) I divvied out most of the rest into the thank you bags.

I really had fun creating the magnets and lollipop flowers and the kids really seemed to enjoy it all too. This was the one project I did more than a day in advance. And good thing too, with all that drying time!


Valentine Pencils

21 02 2011

Thought I’d get through all the valentine posts last week but I ran out of juice. I realize you are all probably over Valentines Day and wanting to move on, but I’m going to bore you with 2 more posts and then swear to do my projects earlier next year (you know, like I do every year).

These are the valentines Seth gave out to his classmates this year. Totally inspired by Erin over at House on Hill Road who in turn was inspired by Alissa at 24*7*365.

And although I think the suckers they used were totally cute and I believe candy and valentines day go hand in hand, I know I can count on other parents to supply plenty of treats. Therefore, we opted for pencils.

These photographs do not do them justice. But they were hard to photograph with the limited sun we’ve had around here. We printed the pics on card stock to keep the cost down and simply wrote on each one with a sharpie. Seth was a trooper and signed them all himself on the backside the day before the big day. In fact all of these projects were finished on the very last possible day.  Such is the way we roll.

Perpetual Calendar

12 01 2009

Photos courtesy of Photojojo.

OK, I can’t even describe to you how much I want to make this calendar. It’s made of photos clipped together and can be used indefinitely. I want to walk up and down University Ave finding numbers to photograph. Or if I’m smart, I’ll even enlist my son to help me locate all the numbers I need. Wonder if I can think of somewhere inside with way less snow that I can find a bunch of awesome numbers.

Anyway, you can find the how-to and the clips at Photojojo. If you like photography, you should definitely be signed up for their newsletter. Seriously. I swear to you every single email I get from them tickles my funny bone. Oh, and they have pretty good picture taking tips and projects too.

And for those polaroid peeps out there, check out this and this version of the calendar. Neat!

After thought: Doesn’t this project remind you of Jen’s Friday Letters? Any locals that wish to join me on a letter photo scavanger hunt are welcome. I’m thinking an antique store or architectural salvage place would be good.


16 12 2008

Oops! Forgot to take a picture of a painted lighthouse photo I did at Jen’s last pARTy! And I just gave it away as a Christmas gift to a dear friend. At least I still have this one to show you. Though it is by far the poorer of the two. This a portion of a photo taken by one of my parents in the ’70s while on vacation in Door County. Using Jen’s techniques as before, I adhered the photo to a block of wood and highlighted the boats with paint. Rather hard to get a perspective here but you should know that it’s only about 2×3 inches. I had a hard time painting the boats as they were so tiny. I probably should have found smaller brushes. Oh well. I hadn’t even intended to do these two paintings only I was have a hard time getting my creative mojo on and was given other peoples scrap wood to work with. A few of my photos were there from the last time we worked on this project so I decided to go for it. Ah! It did the trick and I had a fabulous creative day with a bunch of kick arse women. I even got to use the wine basket my mom made me last year. I so rarely bring two bottles of wine anywhere but the basket worked so nicely maybe I’ll always bring two bottles from now on. The basket on the upper step? Handmade by a woman in Carlock, IL. Unfortunately, I don’t remember her name.

My New Toy

9 09 2008

So Martha’s got me all excited about TtV. TtV stands for Through the Viewfinder and is basically when you take a picture with one camera through the viewfinder of another camera. I really want to try it, but first I needed to find an appropriate camera. For those of you that don’t know, my parent’s home is a treasure trove of goodies. I inquired about this Rolleicord I remembered and found it tucked away on a shelf. Here’s a triple exposure shot of me taken in the 70s in Tennessee. Most likely my dad took it with this camera:

Hubby thinks it’s creepy but I like it. The photo is a little crisper in person but still has that ghostly look to it. Like how I did a different pose for each shot? I might have been coached.

The camera was fairly dusty but it cleaned up well. There’s still a roll of film in it, if you can believe it. My mom also pulled out 4 rolls of film from the fridge dated between 1971 and 1989. I realize there a good chance it won’t work but honestly how can I not give the old film a chance? Not only may I be able to take some fun real film shots but what about the half a roll of film that’s been sitting in there all these years. There could be some gems on there. But first…… I need to read the manual as I’m still a bit baffled by the available settings.

Painting on a Picture

2 07 2008

I just have to say I have one of the greatest friends EVER. Approximately 6 times a year this amazing woman not only has a party but a pARTy. Not only does she take the time to clean her house and pick up some nibbles to entertain us but she also organizes an art project for us to work on. I know this takes a tremendous amount of effort as I’ve thought through hosting one myself. She’s got to come up with a project, make samples, purchase and often prepare the materials and then patiently wait for us to catch on to whatever it is she’s showing us. This month it was painting with acrylics on a digital photo. We each supplied our own digital photos that she laser printed out for us. Then following her lead we created amazing pieces. Here are the two piece I did. On the left is the photo I used, the right is what I did with it, description beneath each piece.

This lovely penstemon sits in my native prairie garden like it’s been there forever when in fact I planted it last spring. Image mounted on wood block. Negative space painted out with green, flower petals left untouched. Strip of aspen added to side as an accent piece.

Image of an out building at my CSA farm. Image also mounted to a wood block. This time I painted over the teal and coral colors to make them pop. I liked how using the same color for the flowers, window boxes and door tied it all together.

I was a little nervous about working with acrylics as it was yet another new experience for me. But it was easier than I expected. See Jen’s fab tutorial to do one of your own or to check out what the others in the group did.

100th Post Giveaway

18 06 2008

Miss me? I decided a 100th post deserved some reflection. You know, things like do I want to continue blogging and am I achieving the goals I set out to. In the end the answer is yes and so much more. What I need to do is find a better balance between reading other blogs and keeping up on my own posts. Not to mention flickr. I’m a flickr addict and need to control that a bit more. I’ve been rather surprised at the number of friendships that have resulted from joining this online community. I absolutely love it but I need to keep a grip or I’ll loose site of my original intent of creative motivation.

So, in honor of my 100th post and decision to keep moving forward – a giveaway! It’s not my best work and not my worst but I had fun making it. Ever since I saw Kathy’s post on Art Projects for Kids I was dying to try my hand at this. I love projects that combine digital photos with other media. Who cares if the original project was meant for kids? I want to try several more of these but I’ve decided to give this one away. It’s a digital pic of a float plane getting ready to take off from Lake Superior in Duluth, Minnesota. I’ve altered/enhanced/added on top of and surrounding the pic with watercolor painting. I’m quite a novice when it comes to watercolor and in fact this is my first real go with watercolor pencils and sticks. So if you’re interested, leave a comment on this post by end of day Tuesday, the 24th of June and I will randomly select a winner. Your comment can be as simple as “pick me!” but what I’d really like to know is what do you want to see more of on this site? Projects, tutorials, kid stuff, recipes… you name it. Alternately, you could let me know what posts I’ve done that you like the most. I’m very intrigued. Let me know.