Sunday, February 27, 2011

Kids Love Finger Painting

....well at least mine do. That's why I always seem to do a Seurat art class. That and the fact that most students are familiar with Seurat's "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte." And if they're not, they can see it at the Art Institute of Chicago. For this class, I told the kids to paint whatever they wanted, but I encouraged them to used dots to fill the entire page with color. Some chose to do that, others did not. But I think they all had fun and ended up with some great pieces.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy Happy

My birthday fell on a Thursday a few weeks ago. I was planning on doing a birthday project during PreK Art Lunch, but we didn't have class because of the blizzard. As I mentioned earlier, I wasn't happy with the books I had anyways, so it all worked out.

This past Thursday was Ms. Jane's birthday. Jane Cornett is in charge of all of the Jane's Place after school programming at Nettelhorst. She has always supported me, since I came to her last year with my idea to teach "Under the Influence....of Art." This year, when I told her I wanted to teach a class to Ms. Nakamura's 1/2-day prekindergarten students, she was open to the idea. With the class being in the middle of the day, space was limited, but she helped me work that out as well, and we now have a wonderful class every Thursday.

So, in honor of Ms. Jane's birthday, we finally did a birthday project, though it wasn't the one I had originally planned, and I found a great book for this one. "The Birthday Fish" is about a little girl who always wished for a pony for her birthday and never got one. She even had a name, Marigold, picked out for the pony. When she opened the gift from her parents that she was hoping would be a very small pony, she was disappointed to find it was a fish. The story shows in a whimsical way how she formed a relationship with the fish (the fish begged her not to dump it down the drain), and in the end, she loved the fish and named it Marigold. It teaches us that we might not always get what we wish for, but it might be exactly what we end up wanting. 

So, we made fish, and they turned out adorable.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Going, going, going....

It's that time of year: the spring fundraiser at Nettelhorst. This year we have a raffle (you can win $10,000! so please contact me if you are interested in purchasing a ticket or ten), a gala in downtown Chicago and an online auction. Check it out to bid on everything from jewelry to electronics to sports and entertainment tickets. 

This year my contribution is once again a Raspberrykidz gift certificate. However, I also wanted to do something more. My daughter's first grade teacher, Ms. Lennard, helped me out by having all the kids draw what they thought represented First Grade, inside the classroom and out on the playground. They came up with some great interpretations! I then incorporated them to create two pieces: First Grade: INSIDE and First Grade: OUTSIDE. Each piece is matted to fit a standard 11x14 inch size frame, and every student's artwork is represented in one or both of the pictures. Some of the elements are raised up a bit, lending a 3- quality to the scene as well.

Below, you can see both pieces, along with a few of the original drawings from the students. See if you can find where they are used in the larger piece....

If you would like to order a Raspberry inspired by your child's doodles, please contact me, or better yet, bid on the gift certificate in the auction!

A little Joy

As a member of the
Etsy Kids team, I'm excited to start a small mini-series, highlighting other members through occasional interviews. The first interview is with Sarah from Joyfully Sewn Designs.  Every item in her Etsy shop has been individually and lovingly made by her. You will find everything from feminine dresses to jumpers, tops, skirts and more. Here's a little bit more about her....
1. How long have you been sewing?
I've grown up sewing little things here and there, but I really got seriously into sewing about 11 years ago right after finishing high school. My grandma taught me to sew and passed on her love of it to me as well as modeling for me the joy of serving others through sewing. I've began doing custom sewing for friends in 2000 and gradually branched out to friends of friends over the years. In the fall of 2009, I decided to step out into the world of online sewing and opened an Etsy shop - Joyfully Sewn Designs.

2. What inspires you?
My biggest inspiration comes from seeing or hearing of the joy my outfits have given to the little (or not so little) girls who have received them. I love to know that I can create something that will give others pleasure! :)

3. What is your favorite time of day to work?
Morning is my favorite time of day to work although I usually enjoy sewing any time of the day. In the morning I'm fresh and ready to tackle whatever project is next on my list!

4. Do you have a favorite item in your shop?
Nope, sorry. :) I like nearly everything I make. :)

5. Who are the adorable models in your shop?
Aren't they cute?! :) My sweet, willing models are girls from church who gladly play dress up for me, and daughters of friends who have generously offered to do pictures for me in exchange for some sewing. :)

6. Can you explain the process of a custom order? Do you send the customer a sketch first?
Most of my custom orders come from someone who has seen something in my shop that they like, but they need it in a different size and/or color. I ask my customer to tell me what they are looking for, and then I go to the fabric store to check on fabric possibilities for them. I then send the customer pictures of fabric choices. Once they have chosen their fabric, I get measurements from them, and start on their order. When I'm doing an order for a specific person, I like to make a custom size to make sure the outfit will fit that person's unique build. 

7. What are three words that describe your shop?
Cute, feminine, and modest

8. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I really don't know - wherever the Lord leads me. :)

9. What do you like to do when you're not sewing?
When I'm not sewing, I love to read, cook, bake, play with my niece and nephews or the children at church, enjoy God's beautiful creation, read money saving blogs, and enter blog giveaways! :)

10. Anything else you would like to share?
You can include the coupon code ETSYKIDSPROMOTE for 10% off in my shop through the end of February. Also my blog address is

Sunday, February 20, 2011


With the warm weather we've been having, I thought it was the perfect week for "Planting a Rainbow" and "What makes a Rainbow?" After reading both of them, the children were given tissue paper to create their own 'rainbow gardens.' These pictures (and the warmer temperatures) make me smile.

Jean Debuffet Deja Vu

Sometimes things just work out well. A few weeks ago, because of the blizzard in Chicago, school was cancelled, so we didn't have art class on Thursday. That was the week we were learning about Jean Debuffet. It was a fun class, and I was sorry the Thursday class missed it. This past week, we had a special Tuesday class for heART of the City, which took us off our usual plan. So, that opened up Thursday's class to do a "makeup" class of Jean Debuffet. See how that all worked out?