Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Words with Friends

A few months ago, one of my boys took an extra long time brushing his teeth.
After he was in bed, I found this in the bathroom:

Yep, his name spelled out, in hair thinga majigies, combs, tooth brushes.
Creative spirit!
He started something, y'all, and my friends and family joined in!
My dear friend Suzanne's hubby did this from his office, in Little Rock, AR:
And she responded with this one, from her home:
Then I found some Joy, while hiking.
It is usually where I find the most joy--
outside, with my kids, in the warmth and fresh air.

Another friend, Ann-Marie, sent this from her office in Rockford, Illinois:
(I totally thought that was toilet paper on her desk, at first glance!)
And, below....
behold, my dishes.

Oh, and another from Suzanne. Isn't this sweet? :D

Monday, March 25, 2013

Meet Thor

This is our newest family member, Thor Joseph Adler. He is a pyr/golden lab mix, 9-weeks old.
Quite a large baby! Isn't his yawing face just precious?
My little sis, Julie

He's such a good pup-- always comes right to me when I call him.
He stays next to me (on a leash) while I run and walk, too.

Awwwww, just presh, you have to admit.
I'm not a "dog person," but this little (big) guy stole my heart.
We puppy-sat him twice, and did a lot of reading before bringing him to our home.
He's like the Pied Piper-- neighborhood kids started coming out of the woodwork to give him some sugar.
Are you a dog or cat person? Have any experience with Pyrenees or golden labs? We're cat owners, so most of this is new to us. I can read and read, but experience speaks louder.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Pour Jons

This coffee shop isn't just any old coffee shop, folks!
Talk about combining great food and atmosphere!

She's so talented, friends. And she happens to be my Dad's girlfriend's daughter. (Mouthful, yes.)

Seeing as I have ZERO- ZIP- NADA musical talent, I greatly appreciate those who do.
Especially impressive to watch someone play guitar, harmonica, and sing.

Love Pour Jon's new vinyl shop, too! They even have the little 45s! And, believe it or not, I actually own a record player, and bought a few (including a record from the Rocky soundtrack, for my Man.)
Also. I want a brick wall like that in my home.

How fun are these two?! Makes me want to go dye my hair all mermaid-like!

And, of course, my sister, feigning a fall out the open two-story window. Niiiiice, Julie.

 If you live in my area, and haven't been to Pour Jons yet, you have to go!!
I highly recommend the French Toast Coffee. //drool

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Remember those volcanoes we sculpted, using our salt dough recipe?
A week later, they were dry and ready to paint!
We used acrylics to paint the inside red, the outside brown, and add grass around the base.

 I gave them creative license with their eruptions. Some of them had an all-out explosion on their hands, and others had rather inactive volcanoes.

Love how their personalities come out in their art.

 Progress, on some of their work:
We'll add more dimension to our dioramas next time, with pebbles and twigs, etc.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Girls' Art Class

For the last two weeks, we've been working on Folk Art drawings,
with lots of bold patterns and bright colors....
 {{amazing results!}}
 ...and bead-making, with this salt dough recipe.
 We also make necklace pendants and itty bitty houses.
I can't tell you how delighted I was to see my little pupils painting their homes with stripes and polka dots! That's what I love about kids!!-- their imagination is the limit!
Round house? Why not! Polka dots and swirly doors? Sure!
 It was sooooo gorgeous last week, so we did our lessons and snack break outside on the porch,
along with a little stretching (goofing off, whatev')
The sky is the limit!
Make some dough, mold your scuptures, and let air-dry.
(We left ours under the couch for a week, and painted them during the following lesson.)
Use tempera or acylics to paint them.
These are great, cheap, easy, personal Mother's and Father's Day gifts!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring days are here again

Things are starting to turn green again, y'all!!
We even hiked in tank tops and shorts last Saturday, and felt pretty sweaty after 5 miles.
 The breeze on top of the dam felt wonderful, and we took our snack/water break up there,
while watching boats go by, and rappellers descend.
 THIS is why I stay in Arkansas.
I dislike the cold, wet lingering winters (I know, you Northerners, I am a wimp!!)
but I looooove the forests and hills, boulders and bluffs, rivers and caves. I love the abundant sunshine and gorgeous views. The Ozarks are truly one of the most beautiful places in the world, especially when everything turns bright and blooming. {sigh} Can't wait.
 Two of my four kids looking. ha. It's hard to get the whole crew still and facing the same direction!

Oh, spring, hurry along!! I had to wear gloves on my bike ride again today, and I'd much rather don the tank top and shorts again instead!!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Boys' Art Class

In my Boys' Art Class, on Tuesday, we worked on Modigliani Self-Portraits in Chalk pastel!
First, with our black paper in hand, we created creases to help with the proportions that Modigliani is so well-known for.

 The boys were great about following directions, and listening to the very brief description of Modigliani's art.
 After sketching out their self-portraits, they colored them in entirely, and started adding the details.
We talked about blending pastels, and how to use fingers to smooth the color around.

Modigliani also typically left his portraits with a "blank" stare (think- no eyeballs), but only two of my students wanted to leave their self-portraits like that, which is okay. It IS a bit creepy looking.

Next, they outlined their entire portrait in black pastel.

I love that this sweet little dude even copied the pattern on his shirt!

In our remaining time, we molded volcanoes out of the air-dry modeling clay I had mixed up before class.

By our next class, they will be dry and ready to paint!

Enjoy art every day, folks!
It's all around you, in everything you see!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Jello Playdough in Art

The best thing about jello playdough? It smells aaaamazing!
Your whole house will smell marvelously yummy while you cook this.
I hadn't intended to make more playdough so soon, but our art lesson with professional artist John Lasater required play dough in primary colors. And, wouldn't you know it, Wal-Mart had only blue and yellow. Being in this little town, with no Target or other means to search for red playdough, we decided to make our own! 
Below, my amazing Jello Playdough Chef.
He poured, he mixed, and he was the first to try out the goods. 

~Jello Playdough~
 •1 cup of flour
•2 Tbs salt
•2 Tbs cream of tarter
•1 cup water
•2 Tbs oil - (I used canola oil, but I'm sure any edible oil would work!)
•1 3oz. pack of Jello in the color of your choice (the off-brand will work fine)
I doubled this recipe, for our group.
First, mix all your ingredients in a pan or pot.
Mix in your jello and watch it turn a bright color! This is the strawberry flavor.
After it's mixed, turn the heat to medium-high and stir constantly. Works those arm muscles!
It will start smelling great. It will also start slowly thickening and clumping together, after about 2 minutes. It's done in about 6-7 minutes. Just make sure there aren't wet areas, and it's in a ball.
Let cool. If it seems a bit sticky, add a touch more flour. It should be smooth and pliable.
Store in an airtight container or plastic bag, and it should last quite a long time.

It was a hit with the little artists!
A huge thanks to our guest speaker, John, for the lesson he shared about values, hues, and color mixing!
Our homeschool group has so many wonderful opportunities and so much support!!!

I love watching kids take such joy in art!
When I grow up (ha) I'm going to be an elementary art teacher!! --
....wait, I already get to do that!
I live such a great life! :D