Art Masterpiece

One of my favorite parts of being a mom is getting to do Art Masterpiece projects with Superboy and his friends at school! It was so hard to narrow all the art I love down to just 9 art history lessons with corresponding crafts but I did my best to pick works that I thought the kids would like and that would also represent a range of styles, cultures and historical periods.


In September we looked at Color Study: Squares with Concentric Circles by Wassily Kandinsky and painted to music with acrylics on watercolor paper. Here is one of the results:


Superboy’s favorite flower is the sunflower (he says that is because it gets its power from the sun just like his favorite superhero) so we looked at Monet’s Bouquet of Sunflowers in October. We made our own sunflowers out of wooden dowels, cardboard, tissue paper, glue and yellow and green paper shreds for the petals and leaves. We planted them in aluminum cans stuffed with newsprint.


Our school wanted to display a project from each class at the winter music concert so I scheduled several sessions with the kids in November to make a winter village a la Grandma Moses. We painted milk cartons for houses and gave them cardboard roofs decorated with all kinds of different materials including ribbon, acorns, tree bark and twine. We added pine trees made from pine cones painted green and white and a glittery, silver skating pond filled with paper ice skaters. The whole scene was displayed on white tulle with white Christmas lights underneath to look like snow.


We looked at various works by Leonardo da Vinci in December and made our own flying machines out of cardboard, wooden dowels, glue and paper. The kids decorated them with paint and markers.


In January we did two projects. First I showed the kids photos of Aboriginies, Australian animals and dot art by various artists, including my favorite, Naiura. They painted with tempera and used the ends of the brushes to make Dreaming Dots.


Next we pretended we were Lego mini figure designers. Here are just some of the really cute results:


Many of the kids are into comic books so I thought they would get a kick out of the stories in Navajo sand paintings for February. I told the kids the stories in a few different paintings and we discussed elements such as protective borders, commonly depicted deities, the fact that males are shown with round heads and girls with square, etc. I gave each of the kids a sheet of sand paper to create a faux sand painting by coloring on it with oil pastels.


For March I finally got to use the huge tree branch I’d been storing since fall when a storm took down part of my friend’s tree! We painted the whole thing green and added flowers made from coffee filters and glitter glue so that it would look like Branches of an Almond Tree in Blossom by Vincent van Gogh. It’s as big as a couch and I could barely stuff it into my backseat!


In April I told the kids the myth of Perseus accompanied by a slideshow of black figure pottery and shards from Ancient Greece. I had some broken roof tiles from a house under construction that we used as shards and painted with black tempera. On this shard you can see Andromeda with Perseus and Pegasus in the background:


And last week was our school Art Walk where we got to show it all off!


I’m going to miss my little art buddies a ton over the summer but I’ve got a lot of fun ideas percolating for fall when school is back in session!

Butterfly Art Featured on Brickyard Buffalo

Here’s a screenshot of my 3D Paper Butterfly Art on my favorite deal site, Brickyard Buffalo, this morning! Limited quantity 50% off for a limited time!

Update 3.7.13: Thanks to those who purchased! DIY directions with free templates now available at

More Rainbow Paper Butterfly Art

Update 3.7.13: DIY directions with free templates now available at!

Here are some more of the different paper butterfly punch pieces I’ve been making with scrapbook paper in all different colors, patterns and textures that are now for sale in my Etsy shop at They come in easy to hang black wood frames that I distressed (outside dimensions: 19″ x 23″). Thanks again to Brittney Williams for doing a beautiful job with the photos!

These can be made in any color combination for any room in the house. Here are two made in a gradient including yellows, greens, blues, purples, browns, gray and black:

I bent the wings up off the paper so that it looks as if these little butterflies are resting for a moment and will soon take flight. Glass is not included to enhance the 3D effect.

Here’s a close up of the rainbow one I made that included all the primary and secondary colors:

And here’s one in shades of yellow, orange and pink:

3D Paper Butterfly Punch Art

Update 3.7.13: DIY directions with free templates now available at!

I have so many sweet nieces and girly little friends and they all have such pretty, colorful bedrooms! Over the last year I’ve made a lot of 3D paper butterfly punch art pieces in different rainbow combinations for their birthday gifts. These are so fun and easy to do! I’ll be adding directions to the DIY section of my site soon but in the meantime here are some of the wonderful photos Brittney Williams was kind enough to take for me of this 21″ x 27″ piece…

Keen Halloween Convention (Kid Friendly!)

Keen Halloween is just 12 days away! Wondering what I’m so excited about? It’s a Halloween Maker Faire where you can shop the Monster Market for artsy products, attend craft Workshops, enjoy spooky Entertainment and more! I’ve roped my husband Anthony into participating with me so come see us Saturday, September 29, 2012 at The New School for the Arts & Academics (NSAA), 1216 E. Apache Boulevard Tempe, Arizona 85281. The whole event is from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. but here’s our schedule:

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – my DIY Poison Apple Crate Craft Workshop! Read a short story by yours truly and check out all the details here:

5:30 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.- Iron Skull Competition, in which Anthony and I would love to have your support as our team tries to assemble the best costume out of random materials.

7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. – Anthony and I will be working at the Evil Genius Costume Bar where we’ll offer costume ideas, advice and inspiration along with other experts.

Everything is included with the price of admission, which is a steal: adults are $7 online and $10 at the door, kids under 12 are free!