Friday, April 29, 2011

200 Followers! & a Giveaway

Well, I have to say I was very excited to see that I hit the 200 followers mark. This is a huge accomplishment for me considering I teach small private after school classes. (My blogger friends who teach hundreds of children, you have my utmost respect and regard!!)

I created MaryMaking as a way to keep a log all of my art lessons as well as enjoy the exchange of creative ideas. It has been such a wonderful experience for me, and a constant positive in my life. I have so enjoyed the dialogue with mothers, home schoolers, elementary teachers and art teachers. Thank you all for your comments and questions!

To mark this milestone, I am following the lead of a number of other bloggers with a couple giveaways.

#1.) I Can Cut and Stick and Art Skills , both Usborne books. This 2 book giveaway has art project ideas for preschoolers thru teens and beyond. I am a big fan of Usborne books.

#2.) Kaleidoscope, Ideas and Projects to Spark Your Creatvivity, This is a great book for those of us who need to keep our own creative fires burning beyond children's art lessons. If you like collage, mixed media and the written word, this is for you.

To enter, simply leave a comment with which book(s) you are interested in and a way of contacting you. I will draw the winners on Sunday, May 8.

Lastly, but most importantly, a big thanks to all the children (and of course their parents) who choose to spend a creative afternoon with me each week. You keep me striving to provide art lessons that will teach, entertain and inspire you!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Difference 3 Floors Can Make

View from our 3rd floor room

View from 6th floor rooftop

We took a very quick 2 day getaway up the coast to Venice Beach, CA. Walking the boardwalk is quite an experience: home of the famous muscle beach, birthplace to the modern skateboarding movement, and lined with street performers, artists, a freak show (no literally, not metaphorically) and some very colorful characters. It's good to get the kids out of their OC bubble every now and then. :D

But the difference between our 3rd floor view and the view from the 6th floor rooftop just struck me as funny. Just thought I'd share while art classes are out for the week.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

First Grade Sillies + Blog Award

"Can I make my cheetah pink Miss Mary?"

bug to come after spring break :)

I spend my Thursday afternoons with a very silly group of 1st graders. Some of their conversations are just plain hilarious. And since we are just 1 more day away from spring break, the silly bar has been raised. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. One of my fellow bloggers had posted about a step by step book "How to Draw 101 Animals."(I would love to give you credit if you read this). I clicked on the link to Amazon and thought it would be great for my Animal Art Mini Summer Camp. But I had to give it a whirl now. For today's class I chose the cheetah. We followed the step by step with Sharpie and then used tempera paint.On a separate paper they could draw a ladybug, butterfly or bee which would be cut out and added somewhere to our composition. Everyone chose to have the bug on the cheetah's nose. So cross eyed cheetahs it was. Nice job kids! And it only took 3 rounds of the "quiet game" to get these done. :)

Versatile Blogger Award
A big thanks to Joanna at We Heart Art and Marilena at Art at Chesterbrook Elementary Art School for sending me a Versatile Blogger Award. You both have a lot of wonderful art project posts. I love the upbeat vibe on your blog at We Heart Art, Joanna. A special congrats on your baby boy on the way! Marilena, I'm so glad to have found your blog. I love seeing all your excursions to art museums, and your recent wonderful cat art posts inspired by different artists.

Here are 7 Interesting Facts About Me:

1.) I once built a boat out of cardboard and trash bags and rowed it around a lake. (3D Design class at SCAD. You've got to love art school!)

2.) I grew up right across from a cemetery that was used in a lot of movies, including Alfred Hitchcock's last film, "The Family Plot." (they left behind some fake grave stones that we used at our annual haunted house on Halloween)

3.) I have worked as a Coat Check in Atlanta and a Mini Bar Attendant in Beverly Hills.

4.) I have had 1 pedicure in my life. My feet are very ticklish and .... let's just say I made a bit of a scene.

5.) The farthest place I have traveled to is Indonesia.

6.) Sleeping in for me means 7:00 am. It's a genetic malfunction my whole family seems to have(5:00 am risers).

7.) My husband and I love Thai food. So our typical date out includes trying a new Thai restaurant. Lucky for me, there are many in our neck of the woods.

Pass the Award on to 10 recently discovered bloggers:

I love seeing so many wonderful new art project ideas!

Congrats!! (now: tell 7 interesting facts about yourself, pass the award onto 10 newly discovered or favorite bloggers, and lastly, thank and link back to the blogger who gave you the award.)
*You can copy the award picture from We Heart Art as I forgot to include it here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

International Postcard Swap

Thanks to Learning Parade for the heads up about a great upcoming postcard swap. Playing By the Book is creating an opportunity for you to send and receive 5 postcards from overseas (or at the very least a different corner of our country) with a children's book recommendation. You just submit your children's names and ages along with a favorite children's book recommendation and you are paired up with similar aged children from around the world and their favorite book (just click on the link above for all the details).

I have a collection of children's books, so this is right up my alley. It would also be fun to use the postcards for an altered art project like the gorgeous work in the Griffin and Sabine series by Nick Bantock. (shown here) I think my 9 year old daughter will have fun waiting for our 5 postcards to arrive. (Deadline for sign-up is May 17)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tropical Birds

I was mulling over the idea of doing a tropical bird lesson based on one from the book, "Drawing with Children" by Mona Brooks. I then saw some great birds on Bluemoon Palette and that settled it(thanks Tami). I have a majority of 1st graders in my after school classes this spring. I find that they both enjoy and do well with breaking down a subject matter step by step. So I gave them (as well as my other grades) big sheets of board and we created a variety of tropical birds, moving around the space. I was focusing on composition with this project so I encouraged them to really fill up their page: birds first, then branches and last leaves and flowers. They could use watercolor and/or oil pastel to bring their piece to life. This seemed to be a very enjoyable lesson to everyone. One girl squealed with excitement, "this is the best art I've ever made!" Aahh, music to my ears. :)