Wednesday, December 21, 2011

magazine stars

Cut out swatches of yellow from magazines.  Draw and cut stars from recycled cardboard and glue down pieces of yellow.  Trim as needed when dry.  Add glue and seed beads for extra sparkle on some of the stars.

Monday, December 19, 2011

our secret garden

Last week, Ella and I discovered a hidden gem just steps from our house. A cute little park tucked away next to the hospital.  No swings or slides here.  Just shady paths for skipping.  A wishing well for - well, what else, wishing :)  Some very cool musical instruments to explore.  And several interesting statues to wonder about --- Ella believes they just may come alive at night!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Shiny Ornament

Leslie made one of these when she was small.  Ella saw it on the tree and asked if she could make one.  Hard to refuse, especially when this is a super simple project and you can basically use whatever you have on hand.  Just cover a toilet paper tube with foil.  Paint foil with white glue and then go crazy with confetti, foil stars, beads, etc.  Finish with a sprinkling of glitter.  Let it dry and attach a string for hanging.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

No Bake Clay Ornaments

We used lids that we'd been saving - the ones from Play-doh worked really well - and no bake clay from Crayola to create some ornaments.  It was as simple as pressing clay into the lids and then decorating with whatever we could find in the collage bin.  The clay dried and hardened in about 24 hours and we were able to add ribbons for hanging.  Ella was so proud of how these turned out!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Handprint Angel

Handprints for the body and wings - grapefruit print for the head (although we should have used an orange because the head seems big) - details filled in with paint - and glitter added to wings.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


We used some cereal boxes from the recycle bin and some fabric scraps to create ornaments for the tree.  I cut shapes and let Ella spread glue over them and attach scraps.  She applied a second coat of glue over the fabric and then added buttons and/or glitter.  They turned out so cute!  Can't wait to put them on the tree!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Turkey Time

Leaf Print Banner

My dad brought us some fall leaves from his recent trip to Michigan.  We painted some of them with liquid watercolors and made prints on a piece of cotton fabric.  Attached the fabric to a stick we found on a walk in the park with a few stitches & used yarn for hanging.  I like the way it looked in my tree but Ella wanted to take it home!  I'll have to make myself one I guess . . .

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I like to call them fairy houses . . .

The big girl has been helping the little girl build fairy houses all over the backyard.  Well . . . I call them fairy houses.  They call them butterfly houses, and bird houses (they actually moved the parrot in for a short time), and lizard houses.  Big showed little how to catch lizards today.  They imported a few to the latest little stick house & I'll have to admit - the lizards seemed pretty happy there.

alphabet book

We made a book based on Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? last month.  It was so interesting to see the great things she came up with to illustrate each letter.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Day The Babies Crawled Away

Ella and I found this book at the library and fell in love with it.  The illustrations are very cool and it got my creative juices flowing.  So . . . after a few readings we pulled out the watercolors and painted some backgrounds like the ones in the book.  Once the backgrounds were dry we took black tempera and let it pour down the page so it looked like a bat cave.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Label the room with Sticky-Notes

I found these alphabet sticky notes on sale and knew that Ella and I would put them to good use in one way or another . . . We pulled out one full set of alphabet stickies and went to work labeling.  Ella thought it was a terrific game and it gave me some insight into her letter-sound connection.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

if you're a monster and you know it . . .

We discovered this adorable book at the library.  A cute play on the familiar song.  Love, love, love the illustrations so we decided to try to make our own monsters.  We started by painting monster bodies.  Then we cut out parts and pieces and Ella chose the ones she liked best and glued them on the painted bodies.  She added some details with markers & decided some needed feathers and stickers :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Playdough Self Portrait

We've made self portraits with paint, pen and ink, and by cutting construction paper.  We even tried it on the magnet board.  This version wasn't permanent, but I think it was our favorite :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Fall!

We picked up some twigs at the park this morning & if you give us some twigs we're going to start thinking art project :)  This was inspired by some trees on  We used a canvas board and tempera paint for the background.  Then Ella glued the twig on for the tree and added tissue paper balls.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ella and the Seven Dresses-Part 2

Dresses finished.  Glue dry.  Time to turn it into something to play with.  (Oh - and maybe throw some days of the week and color word recognition in as well!)
Ella painted our cardboard paper doll that we had used to trace the dresses.  Then we added a photograph of her face for the doll's head.  

I wrote out simple sentences using Ella's name and the color dress she would wear for each day of the week.  For the cover, I glued on a simple pocket to hold the doll.  Then we headed to the copy shop to have the pages bound into a book.  Finally, we added velcro to the doll, each dress, and each page of our book.  

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ella and the Seven Dresses

Ella loves fashion.  Every day she walks in wearing an adorable dress and clutching her backpack which holds one or two more for her to change into when the mood strikes her.  She has informed me that she plans to become a fashion designer one day and is encouraging me to add sewing to her Pre-K curriculum this year :)
I knew that Ella would adore Hannah and the Seven Dresses by Marthe Jocelyn.  And she did - except for the ending.  Hannah ends up wearing pants.  Ella wanted me to leave that part off when I read it for a second time (at her request).  Hannah may be swayed by the comfort of pants - but not Ella.  No, she is a dress girl through and through.

I asked Ella if she'd like to design some dresses using scrapbook paper/supplies and she was ecstatic.  I'd planned on just doing a few at a time but Ella was a dress designing machine.  She didn't stop until we'd finished all 7!  She did a fantastic job sorting through materials and matching colors.  Her only complaint was that it took too long for the glue to dry - she wanted to play with them right away!

What we did:  I used a cardboard template of a paper doll and we traced around her on patterned scrapbook paper.  Ella decided if the dresses should be sleeveless, short-sleeved, or long.  I cut the dresses out and then Ella went to town with glue and buttons, rick-rack, yarn, fabric flowers, and other things from my scrapbook stash.  Stay tuned . . . this project continues on Monday :)