Category Archives: Art

Rolling in Art!

Maybe you read our post from last March about the Mobility Cart manufacturing tour we took. If not you can read it here. Maybe you thought to yourself – WOW! I had no idea that so many people suffer from not being able to get around in other countries, just like we did after we saw the incredible videos of disabled people in Africa. This New Years, we came together as a family to create a custom, African design inspired cart for a child in need thousands of miles away! If you read this and think you’d like to do the same or as a fundraising activity or even just donate money toward to cost of a mobility cart, you can check out Mobility Worldwide’s website here.

Once our cart is fully assembled at the plant, we will update this post with a photo…Can hardly wait! Happy New Year!!!


Here is a video of the people who are helped by these incredible carts!



Branching Out…

Things are really turning around over here!

Inspired by Olive’s pot-making,  I decided to try a little something new, the lathe! Some of my first projects included: pens and small japanese-like kokeshi dolls… But my new favorite are these mini vases, all of which are less than 4 inches tall! So far I’ve turned many different woods like: cherry, pine, teak, black walnut, redwood and my personal favorite which is made of many types of wood glued together. I’m trying new kinds of wood, both hard and soft, to get an understanding of how each turns and finishes differently. So far, I loved the teak and pine – they cut easily and finish cleanly.  Black walnut has had an unexpected ‘flicker’ in the wood once it is polished. That is COOL! I have been using beeswax as my final coat which makes them smooth and incredible to the touch. Wood has never felt so GOOD!

They are tiny enough to put small bunches of dried flowers, twigs or other natural bits of joy in them. I’m thinking a bowl might be my next project – stay tuned!!

As an aside, for one of my assignments, I researched soft and hard wood. I’ve included the overview of the soft woods on this post. I’ll never look at trees the same again!




The Effect of Color…

We’ve been learning about color and our awesome friend Annie sent us a tutorial showing her making marbled paper with acrylics and water. So in addition to the pour painting project we had planned, we added this one into the morning.

Here’s how it works: Start with warm water in a bowl, dip your brush into acrylic paint of your choice and let it move onto the water surface. The water tension will hold it in place so it will just float until you add the next color. Once you have what you want, give it a little swirl and the gently place your paper on top of your design. Wait a moment and pick it up – Voila! You have marbled paper! Super fun and easy to do. Thanks Annie! :0)

The next project was trying our Acrylic Pour Painting. We learned about artist Holton Rower, a famous sculptor. Wow is it COOL! Check out the images below, super simple, easy and fun. We’ve also included a link to one of Holton’s time lapse pour projects. Check it out and see what you think!

That’s all ‘pour’ now.


IMG_6101full marble

On Your Mark… Get Set… Paint!

How do the roots from a garlic plant make their mark? As it turns out, kind of lightly! This week we are learning about how everyday objects in our home and nature work when combined with ink to “make their mark”. The results were different than you might expect!

We started by each finding 5 unique things, both inside and out. There was everything from balloons, matches, a silk flower, a real flower, bamboo tassels, tin foil, leaves, ribbon and of course, a feather! It was trickier than we thought to turn them into “brushes” by connecting the chosen objects and finding a way to secure them into the metal rods, and then onto sticks. But we did it – Hot glue to the rescue!

Once assembled, we ran out of time to do the actual painting, so today, we had that to look forward to. India ink and blank coasters were our medium. One ‘brush’. Dip. Paint. Another one. Dip. Paint. The results were interesting. We liked the marks of the sponge – bold and saturated. We expected a clearer pattern from the flowers, but the ink resisted. The feather, of course caused smiles and oooohhhh! The tassel and embroidery thread brushes were the most paint-brush-like, but not nearly stiff enough to get good control.

So there you have it! Next time you are anywhere in the world, look around you and see if you can imagine making a mark with unexpected things. Once you do, grab it and give it a try!!



Happy Diwali!

Diwali is the festival of lights. It is one of the most popular festivals in India and extends over 5 days. We love the the significance of this occasion – it is the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, hope over despair. It is celebrated with candles and sweets, family and fireworks. Here is a Nat Geo Video that gives the highlights :0)

In honor of the very celebrated Hindu festival, (it’s also a festival for followers of Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism!) we made our own Rangoli – an expression in temporary art, it is created from sand in bright colors, many times in a mandala shaped design. We created some last year, but we think we have improved!

We watched many videos on tricks to create our rangoli. We have included 1 we thought was lovely for you to see.

So! We wish you a Happy Diwali! We love to celebrate anything that focuses on hope, light, love and family!






This week, we made baby envelopes, magnets and an icosahedron made out of maps, which we learned all about before we took to them with scissors and glue! We learned how the legend or key works and guess what? They have icons for sunken ships, where moose and elk live and even native american tribes… How cool is that!?! We also discovered how the mileage calculation works, how colors represents denser populations and how font size is relative to the size of the city being named. Now, enough learning, onto the CRAFTS!!!

First we made little envelopes made out of the map using templates from Paper Source, scissors, a map, glue stick and our hands! Because the template is see-through it made it a lot easier to choose our favorite parts of the map. All we had to do then is fold on the edge and glue. You can also do this with drawings or book pages you don’t like any more. Super DUPER fun!!!

We also made these fun little magnets. First we traced around the glass circle where it touches the map then we cut it out – since they are all different we can’t use any pattern. Then we glued the map to the 3D glass object, after that dried we painted the back black and glued the magnet on. It’s that simple.

The last map project we created was the ever-awesome icosahedron map star. We found templates here and with patience (that’s a lot of cutting and folding for 20 points!) and glue you end up with this completely awesome little star to hang.

Well! That was our lesson on 2D maps – up next!? Topo Maps!


This is where the crafting with maps began…

Baby and card sized envelopes!


Easy to make out of any paper you have! Trace the pattern, cut and glue!



Map Magnets!


And finally, a 20 pointed Icosahedron!!



Air, Water & Friction!

A couple of weeks back we went on a beach adventure to learn about the evidence air, water and friction in nature, such as the title says!

Driftwood is is one such natural phenomenon that all 3 can be seen. The air moves the water, (along with other forces) which moves the water which pushes the wood. The sand moves up and down and over time – a long time – it abraids the wood, wearing it down. Same as beach glass and, well, stones throughout the rock cycle – which we also love to find. All these things are changed, worn down over time by air, water and friction.

After collecting our favorite pieces of wood, we came back from the beach and started our project. We used twine, a few hooks in the wall, a drill, some white and blue paint, driftwood (there’s a song about that you know!), a big branch and a warm fuzzy blanket to sit on!

We drilled small holes in the tops of the pieces of wood but only the tops. Then we painted the ends white and blue and hung them from the larger branch attached to the ceiling. Now it hangs happily in our learning space, reminding us about the power of the forces of nature!