Introduction to J

Most of you would know me as J
who made artwork on this website,
but now I am taking over the site so I can 
show you what projects I am working on and 
what fun things are happening. Look for up and 
coming posts.


Marimekko project (by J)

At my school that I go to the fifth graders 
always do a interest fair project on what they are interested in.
This year it was my turn. One day my dad just suddenly 
says that I have a lot of work to do I didn't know what what he 
mean't. He told me that I had a lot to do on my interest fair project.
When we had not started talking about it in school 
someone popped an idea in my head that Marimekko would be a 
good one. Marimekko is a finnish design company. I thought that would 
be perfect because I have always heard my family talking about it
and I never really knew the history of it so I decided to 
go with it. it was a lot of work, but it all came together 
when it was time to present I was surprised how many people
knew what Marimekko was and that they had Marimekko 
at their homes. In the end I had a really fun time doing it and 
learning more about it.


Inspirations (by A)

     Some people may find inspiration hard to "find". My
 typical 12 year old brain says to give these people
advice, but not your normal advice from a child. I
am going to give you inspirational quotes by people who
are known around this fascinating world. Maybe that
will get you onto something.

"You cant wait for inspiration. You go after it with a club"
- Jack London

"Do one thing everyday that scares you."
- Eleanor Roosevelt

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to
 decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
- Jane Goodall

 “I was never really insane except upon occasions
 when my heart was touched.”
- Edger Allan Poe

 “I never made one of my discoveries through the
 process of rational thinking."
- Albert Eisenstein 

 “Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like
 a sonnet: You're given the form, but you have to write the
 sonnet yourself. - Mrs. Whatsit”
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

"Why fit in when you were born to standout?"
Dr. Suess 

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but
 often we look so long at the closed door that we do not
 see the one which has been opened for us."
  - Helen Keller

 "Whatever you are, be a good one."
  - Abraham Lincoln

 "It's kind of fun to do the impossible."
- Walt Disney

 "And, in the end
The love you take
is equal to the love you make."

 - Paul McCartney


Still Life Objects by J, age 8.5

 J had fun today, her first time drawing
with charcoal.
Pitcher and Saucer

Hunting Hat

Butter in a Dish

My First Clay-Mation


     Ti got a new app on her iPhone called Stop Motion.
 610 pictures were made in the process of making
 this. I do encourage people to make a clay-mation
of their own. All you need is a phone or camera, and
your own creative mind. I promise you, you will be
surprised with what imaginative things you come up
Written by A 

Coldzilla Wreaks Terror on Snowyville

     As people know from past postings, this blog is being passed down from Ti to me (Who Ti refers to as the 12 year old, A). It is quite exciting really. Something being passed down to you with such trust. This is sort of rare to me. I really don't know why.


I played around with snow and food
 coloring and ended up with this.




Passing the Blog-torch

I started this blog when my daughters were 5 and 8.
They are now 12 and nearly 9. So, I am passing it
onto them... and maybe I will be a guest blogger,
occasionally.  They have asked me many times to
add their work to this blog within the last few
years, and I have failed. BUT, the theme for
this Spring is: if you can do it yourself, why have 
mom do it? (Especially when mom should be
helping dad finish that new house, so we can
move in this Summer.)

There will be ground rules, of course. (Hey,
I can feel that eye-roll.) But, I am looking forward
to watching how this develops. After all, the
basis of this blog is kid-driven brilliance.

Here is my very first post on Making Honey below:
Some of my best memories from this summer spent with
our daughters was when they were exploring, inventing,
and creating... and I was there, not micro-managing

Now while getting my Art classroom ready for the school
year (I teach Art to grades 2-12), I am thinking back to our
summer moments of "making honey", those sweet (and
sometimes sticky, messy) moments of kid-driven
brilliance. I thought I'd share some of these creations
to help other parents with ideas, but also as
a way to keep making more memories with A & J.
Childhood is so short. Our time together is so short.
So let's make honey!

Handmade Paper Quilts

Last summer our local arts guild hosted an art camp for
elementary-aged students. Especially since we don't have
an elementary art teacher, we had a great turn out and a
lot of enthusiasm.

This project involved making recycled handmade paper in
various colors, creating a quilt pattern with tearing or cutting
the handmade paper squares, gluing  the "quilt" patterns onto
some brown craft paper and then painting various details for
added color. Later, these quilts and some other projects from
the camp were on display at a local cafe.

Students show me their handmade paper, still wet on the felt.

Painting on the quilts when we ran out of table space.
A, age 10. A manga-inspired "Chibi Quilt"

J, age 7. "Colorful Quilt"

A, age 10, found some extra handmade paper
recently, must have been the same day that
she found my sewing kit!


A Vocabulary of Her Own, age 10

 As an artist mom, it is especially exciting to watch your child
develop her own visual vocabulary, her own style and way.
Of  course, this comes with practice and comfort with 
both materials and the forms. Such a joy to watch the magic 
happening, and not get in the way

A, age 10.


Drawings I find around the house

J, age 7. Inspired by a trip to the salon.

J, age 7. Inspired by a trip to the salon.

A, age 10.

How my 7 year old sees me, 3 pears in my mouth and 2 on my cheeks.

J, age 7.


We're Going To Be Friends

Below is a project that J's class created with
her homeroom teacher Mr. Thompson. They
each illustrated three pages and are singing it
too. What a great idea!
(This preview image is a drawing by J, age 7.)

A's Ladder Sculpture

Especially living in the North, Spring springs new energy,
projects and ideas...

Shortly after her family-tree project in school and the day
after her dad went turkey hunting, we found A (age 10)
busy collecting sticks. Later, I came upon this scene. She
explained that she has hung 16 turkey feathers from the
ladder she constructed, one for each of her first cousins.
She wanted to include each of her cousins on her
family-tree school project, but she ran out of time.
So, this is her Cousin Ladder Sculpture up to her
"family tree".
supplies: sticks, a small hatchet, string, scissors,
turkey feathers, patience

16 feathers, one for each first cousin.

She obviously loves her cousins!


Waxy, Reusable Creations

Recently J (6 years old) found left-over Bendaroos
(wax-covered string) that she got as a gift for her birthday,
and came up with these great little sculptures. They make
me smile, fun bursts of color and something to do in the
middle of winter. They can be used over and over again.
Although, I am hanging onto these little guys for awhile.
  "Ta da!" A surprise that came at a time when I needed a smile.

More bursts of color on our kitchen cabinets.
I went on the search for some more, but ended up getting
Wikki Stix. (I know, too much like Wiki Leaks or Wikipedia,
right?) They are a little different, but came in a large selection
of color. Not a cheap art supply, but they can be reused and
reused. It has been awhile since I have seen them get so into
making something!
"I don't want to stop." A (age 9).

Despite some technical difficulties, not being as
soft and pliable as they'd like, their creations turned
out pretty cool. J's review of Wikki Stix, "They are
okay, but Bendaroos are definitely better." Okay,
I will take that under advisement. Dear Blick Art
Materials, please start carrying Bendaroos.


The way kids display

Last weekend I stepped into the kitchen and the fridge was
hosting a portrait exhibit! I was impressed with the work
and the way it was displayed. And to tell you the truth, this
discovery helped relieve of some of the guilt I've had for
not doing more art-making with my daughters lately. If
materials are available, they figure it out.

Our 6-year-old's portrait exhibit on the fridge

This got me thinking about how kids choose to display
and arrange other things.  Looking around our house there is
evidence of kid-driven display. In our bathroom a "how to
properly wash your hands" colored worksheet from school
hangs above the sink. It appeared there one day, and is a good
reminder. Let's put that informational signage to work.

 Always Wash Your Hands

Bedrooms. Well, we all remember when we took over the
control of what was on the walls and shelves of our childhood
bedrooms. What they choose to display says a lot about them
and the stages they are going through at the time. Which makes
me think--it would be fun to document the changes on the walls
and shelves over the years.

Our 9-year-old's bedroom wall, 
a.k.a. her first large-scale collage


Accessing Her Inner-monkey

There is something about age 6. When else in our lives are we
so sure about what we want? When J walked into the party
supply store and said, "Here comes the birthday girl!" about
herself and then marched down each aisle on the search for
"jungley" party stuff, I realized that I am not the family's
exclusive party planner anymore. Kids can be the party
planners. We are the drivers with money and a cell phone.

Not much was jungley enough for her in the party store, so we
decided to make our own jungle of monkeys and lions from
markers, colored pencils, and Benderoos (wax covered string).
Her friends at the party added to the jungle branches. The up-
side-down one on the right is the birthday girl's monkey. So
amazing what they can come up with uncoached, and without
examples--through accessing her inner-monkey!
Benderoos added colorful and jungley details.
(Okay, I am done using that word now.)

After the party was taken down, she wrote thank yous 
and sent the lions and monkeys to her friends that made them.


Work what you've got!

When our niece stayed over last weekend, I was
I was kicking myself for not having more paper or
canvas panels to paint. Of course, it didn't take us
long to find something... How about boxes and an
old frame?!!

Great practice mixing new colors, not straight from the bottle.

I was thinking about using spray primer on this,
but A convinced me that she wanted to paint it
as it is. It turns out that the design on the box added
to her painting. There are so many great colors
typography on the boxes, why not leave some
of the
original design as part of the new one? And
a great chance to talk about and notice packaging design.

A free standing painting.
Ah, I seriously am not organized enough to plan to
use a Honey Maid box for our Making Honey blog...
just noticed that now! Wow, sweet!