Monday, March 30, 2015

Bunny Origami

 Bunny Babies

Beautiful Bunny tutorial on MoodKids
We swapped out our snowflakes dangling from the branch, in favour of paper rabbits for the Spring.
Though this origami was a little complicated for O (I had to repeat the video tutorial about ten times for myself!), she was intrigued with the bunnies that were hanging, as soon as she saw them when she woke up!
Origami are brain puzzles that involve a mix of math and load of patience!

Once I got the hang of it, they were multiplying as rabbits do!
I made a few of them out of pretty paper from chocolate wrappers!

Origami Paper Packaging

The best part about this amazing 'origami' paper, is you get to eat the contents!
Anna Tolazzi is a local chocolate artisan who sells organic, fair trade, vegan chocolate at our market!
I usually make my choice of chocolate, based on the pretty paper it comes wrapped in!

We combined our Rabbit Wake Up Call, with a delicately designed book Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit, by  Il Sung Na
This story could easily be followed by another artistic endeavor, with relentlessly inspiring illustrations!!

Bunny Embossing

 Bunny Embossing Plate & Product

Design Mom was contacted by Cheerio's to be creative with their recycled cardboard cereal boxes...and this is what she came up with: homemade embossing plates!?

We had a Bunny Theme going on today, so I opted to create a geometric-style bunny with Daddy's Cheerio box.
We happened to have a notebook of natural paper Framma and Frampa brought back from Cuba, which served as the perfect medium; heavy cardstock quality with plenty of 'give' when wet.
Instead of spraying the paper, we sandwiched it between a wet cloth before placing it over the embossing plate and pressing with our fingers.

O wasn't in the mood, so after one go, she left the rest of the work to me.
Then she got busy creating 'surprise balls' with crepe paper and the natural cardstock, which she wet into balls to be opened tomorrow!

Sashiko: "Little Stabs"

Every single pair of pants I own, have holes in the knee's.
I learned about the art of Sashiko, though I have a long way to go to do it some justice!
At the very least, it's fixing the hole issue.

While I was busy at mending, O was working on some Sashiko of her own!
Then she asked to pose with our potted flower!

These pins got me started.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Seed Study

 I Heart You

Seed Study is potentially a vast topic!
So we're starting small and collecting seeds from what we eat to learn more about how things grow.
'Playful Learning' has some amazing worksheets for Seed Study but worksheets get tossed to the wayside over here. 
For now, it's hands on experiments.

Though these are absolutely not local, they are a fun project and have many uses.
We learned how they float (transporting themselves), how to crack one open, peel away the edible meat and use both the interior and exterior.

 Avocado Pits

Currently our kitchen counter is being covered with vegetables that can regrow

How to grow an avocado tree
...and another

 Prepping the Crown
In depth details for prepping the crown for re-growth

Growing Garlic Chives (from the sprout already forming in your fridge!)

Amazing books!

 A Seed is Sleepy

First introduced to Dianna Aston at the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory. She has an amazing array of nature books that are not only chocked full of interesting facts, but the illustrations are gorgeous!!

 A Tiny Seed

Eric Carle doing what he is best at; simplifying life's most amazing natural wonders!


A good study for seed dispersal and pictures that look like photographs; I'm still not convinced!
 The Giant Seed

A book with no words!
This picture-tale shows a tiny family who use floating seeds and flower head to their advantage!

 And then it's Spring

After receiving this book as a gift from Miss A, I've since searched for all things Julie Fogliano!
What a beautiful nature-lovers book!
You can almost smell Spring in it's pages!!


There are scientists who are making Seed Study their life work.
This book illustrates the need to preserve and protect biodiversity in seeds.
Beautiful quotes, straight up facts and useful tips on how to save seeds and grow a community of seed traders!
More a book for older children and adults, but the photos are plentiful for the younger naturalists!

Bird on a Wire: Shadow Puppets

 Shadow Puppets

Taking a note from 'Inner Child Fun', we used our teepee as a pre-made Shadow Puppet Theatre.
We've been doing a bit of a bird theme this week (that I'm sure will run well into every other season of the year). Of all the lovely bird books we've been reading, 'A Funny Little Bird' was requested over and over again throughout the week. 
It's a library loan, so we loved it up as much as possible.

I gave O a simple cut-out shape of the bird featured in the story, who is actually invisible, but the illustrator strategically places objects around the bird so you can envision an outline. Then we used some feathers, ribbon and pipe cleaners to embellish the bird, as she did for herself in the story.

O loves using scissors and never ceases to amaze me when she has a pair at hand!
She manipulates the materials by trimming and slicing for effects, instead of just gluing them as is.
She told me she had to, "trim the feathers and give the bird a haircut each day".
Then she made small snips in the ribbon and wrapped it around the birds neck as a scarf!

Finally, when Baby C woke from nap, we began the show!
We used an extra large flashlight, that turned out to be the literal highlight of the performance!
The strings that hold the teepee together worked well as a 'stage' for the birds to be propped up on.

Artists in Action

This lovely little book is a mix between the creative and the environmental movements. Definitely the inspiration for our Bird Puppets above.

Roots & Shoots: Forced Tulip Bulbs

 Little Florist

Although this was a major cheat (we were supposed to start from bulbs, but bought the tulips and washed off the roots!), we still get to witness plants in action! 'Sand and Sisal' featured a Forced Tulip Bulbs post that was a much-needed reminder that Spring is coming.

 Roots & Shoots

Both roots and shoots are visible for a little lesson in botany.
In our case, the flower buds are already present (since we bought them near-blooming!)
With some water, sun and a little more TLC than likely necessary, we're hoping these tulips force us right into Springtime!!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Charley Harper Scavenger Hunt

Too chilly for Charley
Even the birds were not around much this week, as Spring took a backseat to morning frost and light snow!

We had good intentions and we'll hear out with Harper next week when the weather warms up!

We adapted our Scavenger Hunt to the birds that are local to our area: cardinals, robins, crows, sparrows, blue jays, seagulls and herons.


Animal Action Dice

Baby C waited patiently for a new game to arrive.
These Action Die are featured on 'Crafting Connection' We made one with animal drawings, so everyone can 'read' the image.

After Baby C examined the die, she got right to work rolling and acting out the animals!

 ...pecking like a bird...

...growling like a bear!

Cut the Cookies


Cookie dough was the perfect sensory medium for Baby C, who loves to mouth everything she finds!
She was smitten when handed this ball of dough!

She repeated, 'ball, ball' over and over before throwing it into her mouth as fast as lightening!

When we mentioned that she had to 'cut the cookies', rather than just 'bake the ball', she took a rolling pin and whacked the dough! This caused an eruption of laughter from her big sister who was enjoying the entertainment from the sidelines, with tears of joy in her eyes!

Finally, 'ball' meets cookie cutter;)
Next time you come to our house, I suggest you pass on any offer to try our cookies!

Daily Doodle: Bear on Rollerskates

 Fine Lines

During little intermissions in the day, I often give O an open-ended activity like play dough, salt or scented rice. Yesterday I gave her some Sunshine Salt on a baking sheet and she requested a chop stick to go with it.
Then she proceeded to make these dainty designs with the tip of the chop stick.

 Bear on Roller Skates

The next time I turned around, she had drawn what she titled, 'Bear on Rollerskates'
Being a biased mother and all, I thought to myself, this illustration is made for literature!
Plus I envied how children take a tool and turn it into a beautiful piece of art, so naturally!

Then she turned the chopstick on it's side and erased her bear like an Etch-a-Sketch board!

This week, I read about an author I had never heard of, but likely would benefit from getting to know! Keri Smith writes books to destroy! Kind of. 'Wreak this Journal' prompts you to create and then destroy 'Finish This Book' encourages you to take up where she left off, 'How to be an Explorer of the World' suggests ways to keep in touch with life around you.

The Artists Way. I love this book so much, it was on my book list, but I already owned it (it had just been in storage a while!) Cameron takes a gentle approach to opening up the creative side we all have within and examines reasons why people become out of touch with their inner artist.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Alexander Calder: Inspire with Wire

 Calder-Inspired Wire

Art Bar featured this fascinating art project made with wire
One picture and I was in!
O brought each of us a hat to wear (I assumed we were getting into character? but apparently we were prepping for a trip!)

Sometimes (okay, often!) I fail to read posts entirely, I just scan all the pictures to key me into the prospects of the project.
Luckily, I read this one through, as at the end, it mentions that they offered pipe cleaners to their younger artists. Clever (since I almost poked my own eye out with 24 gauge!!)

 Not ears, but hands on hips!

While I presented O with several colours of pipe cleaners and discussed facial features and attaching them to the sides of the circular coat hanger, I got busy alongside her with 24 gauge; very easy to manipulate (or poke out your eye.)
O was intensely studying her work!

I loved every step of this process.
O really got into it and spent an hour creating and adjusting.
We included washi tape I bought in Shanghai and have been looking for an excuse to use!;_ylt=A0LEV2unFhJV_QwAWOLrFAx.;_ylu=X3oDMTBsa3ZzMnBvBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkAw--?_adv_prop=image&fr=yfp-t-406&va=washi+tape

I was in character yelling out, 'Magnifique! We were born to create!!"
"No mom." O matter-of-factly corrected me, "We were born to love."
Then I heard her call out, 'Magnifique!!'

Then Baby C woke up.

She came poking over the tabletop, examining the premises and sniffing around the work we were doing without her.

She wasn't upset.
She just needed to be included.

I had taken Alexander ('Sandy') Calder's book out of the library.
His mobiles reminded me of some of the modern pieces that are popular in nurseries these days.
His wire art was impressive, so we took a look!

 Wire Art
 Moving Miniature Mobile

Baby C was drawn to one photo in particular.

Feed The Birds