Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Soft D's

I was on Etsy a few weeks ago as I was looking for ideas and found this listing.  Horsepower Studios will take your child's two-dimensional drawing and turn it into a three-dimensional object.

I know my kids love taking their mini toys and creating imaginary scenes where their objects interact with each other. When I saw this listing, I was imagining the characters  my son used to draw and having them come alive. I could hear the lively conversations.

I wrote to Wylie and asked her what inspired here to create these soft dimensional objects or Soft Ds. It began with her oldest daughter and the stories adn drawings she would bring home from school. She loved the bizarre creatures her daughter imagined. Well as it turns out, Aeriel is no different from any other child and she loves stuffed animals. Wylie decided turn one of her own hand-drawn creatures into a stuffed, 3d “animal” that she could hold. She's not sure who was more pleased with the result, her or Aeriel.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Story Books for the Elementary Art Room

With a broken ankle, I will not be returning to the classroom anytime soon but for the teachers out there Mrs Picasso's Art Blog has an excellent list of  art books that you should have in your collection. Click here for the list. One book she doesn't have is Melanie Watt's Leon the Chameleon. Leon is a chameleon who does not camouflage. In fact, he turns a different colour than his peers. It makes him feel different until he uses his colour to save the day. I use this book to talk about feelings of being different. Its a great introduction to complementary colours. See my previous post.

And since I am writing about back to school, Kathy Babro of Art Project for Kids has a list of her favourite art supplies. Click here.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hands on Keepsakes

As you know, I am in search of all ways to preserve children's artwork. I came across Hands on Keepsake, a Canadian company founded by two moms, Sarah and Rachelle. They are based in Kelowna, BC. After a quick email, I was on my way in creating a silver charm pendant for my daughter's 8th birthday. I sent Rachelle a picture of Pinky.
Pinky is Maya's beannie bear. She came to us  as a gift when she was born. The bear who is more grey than pink is our third child. We have lost and found her in many places. When her brother opened the box, he was totally blown away. He declared that Maya was going to love it! Hands on Keepsakes creates silver and bronze charms using your child's hand print, foot print and your child's artwork . These charms can be made into a necklace, charm bracelet or a key ring.  Every piece is handcrafted and perfect for Christmas, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Anniversaries, Birthdays!

It's easy! Rachelle and Sarah are great to work with and you will get an amazing product. Go to their Etsy store Hands on Keepsakes. As a Budding Artists reader you will receive free shipping. Just write them a message to say that you read about them in this blog and they will refund you the shipping! Isn't that great! Act now and find that special artwok. You will have a fantastic keepsake!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Art Apps for iPhone

I got an iPhone in early January and I absolutley love it!  My favourite art app is called ART by ADS Software. Its a huge gallery at your finger tips. It has bios of master artists and a collection of high quality resolutions of their masterpieces. I have learned so much by just casually reading about artists I have never heard of. For example, I was looking through the the Most Expensive Art Tab and I found an artist called Pontormo. His painting "Portrait of a Halberdier" (1528-1530) which sold for $60.5 million in 1989.
The App allowsyou to download your favourite masterpieces to a gallery and you can use them as wallpaper for your phone or admire them through a slideshow. It has a quiz so you can test your knowledge. Good thing to do while waiting ...

Also on my phone, I have MOMA, I doodle, Sketch Me, CameraBag, Best Camera and ShutterCal

For more iPhone art apps, check out this article from the Teaching Palette 30 Best Apps for Art Teachers. Have fun!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Vote for Us for Mom Entrepreneur of the Year!

Budding Artists has entered The SavvyMom Entrepreneur of the Year Award, a readers' choice contest designed to find “Canada's top Mom Entrepreneur.” The winner will be announced this fall, and will be awarded a $22,000 cash prize designed to help take a business to the next level.

Budding Artists is an art-based fundraising company showcasing children’s artwork. Budding Artists preserves children’s imaginations by creating unique customized keepsakes and giftware using original artwork. Budding Artists digitizes original artwork and prints them on t-shirts, mugs, aprons, and a variety of other media.

The idea was founded by London mom, teacher, and entrepreneur, Maria Calleja. Through her own art experiences with her two children, her students, and the development of Budding Artists, she launched Budding Artists in January 2008. Since then, Budding Artists has helped schools and day cares raise almost $10,000. This home-based business has grown steadily and continues to grow through an online presence and word of mouth and social media marketing. It has served local schools across the country, from British Columbia to Montreal. In addition, two percent of profits go to support a Filipino family microenterprise based in Iloilo, Philippines.

“As a teacher, I loved teaching art. While most kids love creating art, some students didn’t feel like they were artistic. To them, realism equated art. So I steered away from art projects that emphasized drawing and started to showcase their art in a variety of non-traditional ways. Reluctant artists began to see art as design-more than pages on a fridge door. This is the core of Budding Artists,” says Ms. Calleja.

With the title of Mom Entrepreneur of the Year, Budding Artists would use the award money to help build promote Budding Artists as an alternative to traditional school fundraisers. Building Budding Artists from scratch has been a rewarding experience, but it’s time to take it to the next level. This opportunity would allow Budding Artists to move beyond a one person operation to being able to access professional services.

Throughout the contest period, Savvymom will be hosting a 'Mom Entrepreneurs Gallery'. Click here to vote for Budding Artists.

Voters are also eligible to win a $500 cash back prize provided by PayPal Canada, the presenting sponsor of the award program.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Visiting an Art Gallery

As a kid, my father would take us to the National Art Gallery in Ottawa. we would bring friends and basically giggle our way though the exhibits. We did our best to behave and look interested. The exposure had led both my brother and I into careers of  art appreciation.

Now when I take my kids, I make sure I have an activity we can do. I also don't stay long. The rule is always to leave at the height of the fun then kids remember the experience as a good one. I try to go during free admission times or during family events.

If available, take advantage of the audio guide tours for kids. They are usually very good. Its worth the extra money to keep your kids engaged. Before visiting, I check out the gallery's website to see if there are any kids activities on-line. We surf the website and look at possible pieces we may see.

Once we are at the gallery, I begin with a visit to the gift shop.We always pick up post cards and decide which art pieces we would like to see. Then we search for them in the gallery. Kids can send the postcards to family or friends or keep them as a souvenir. Once you get home, display them for inspiration.

Bring a clipboard and play some games such as a treasure hunt or bingo. I found this bingo card by Carol Sabbeth in her book Impressionists for Kids. Its called Monet Bingo. She uses the following words for her bingo card: complementary, warm, cool, landscape, portrait, self -portrait, still life, pointillism, bird's eye, pleinair, pastel, seascape. For a list of ideas for a treasure hunt, click here for a sample.

Last year, we were at MoMA. They had free audio guides for the kids and a really good online website for kids called Destination Modern Art. By the time the kids got there, they were pumped. It was a wonderful experience. At the end of it, my daughter told me that her favourite painting was one by Jackson Pollack! She still talks about the colours, technique and its size.

Have fun on your next visit!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Nurturing Creativity

I was reminded of this video sent to me years ago on schools killing creativity. Its about 20 minutes long but its worth it. Sir Ken Robinson is entertaining and he makes a good argument on how schools undermine creativity rather than.nurturing it.. It is on the TED: Ideas Worth Spreading website. Click here. Thanks to Kathy for her post on Art Projects for Kids

Friday, August 6, 2010

D.I.Y. Kids

Found this book in our local library and it has some great ideas that you can do with children's artwork and homemade arts and crafts.  According to the authors, Ellen and Julia Upton, D.I.Y. Kids encourages young readers to use basic design principles and hands on materials to express their individuality through more than ninety imaginative projects. You can check out their website D.I.Y. Kids. Stay tuned. I will be testing their ideas and I will share them with you. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010


This is a fantastic service. Shuttercal is a calendar based photography site.Everyday, I upload a picture from my iPhone to document our life in London, ON. Once a photo is uploaded you can then use any of them to send a postcard for US$3. It is printed, stamped and mailed.  This means I can send a personalized postcard to my parents every week when they are living in the Philippines. They are luddites and do not have access to internet.  I figure that I have to spend over $1 for one stamp. For $3, I can send a beautiful crafted personalized postcard from my computer. No hassle of buying stamps and then finding a mailbox. The postcard is printed on heavy duty cardstock (not on flimsy cardboard). So, why not send your child's artwork on a postcard to someone special today? Check out the Kidsartwork site I created and enjoy the art.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Name Mandalas

I found this on someone's blog. I read so many to gain inspiration that I have forgotten where I got this from. Teach Kids Art had it on their blog recently. One of the wonderful things about blogs is that we get great ideas from each other and share with our readers. I am pretty sure, I first saw this idea somewhere else too.
Make this mandala using your name. Take a square piece of paper and divide into 8 triangles. On one triangle, write your name in block letters. use a window to trace your name into the other triangles. At the creases, you can close your block letter or leave open. After trace with a black sharpie and then erase pencil lines. Colour your mandala. You can also begin with a circle and divide into 8 triangles. Its so cool. Kids love trying to figure out the names of each mandala.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Blick's Art Materials

I was wandering around the internet and came across this great site at Dick Blick's Art Materials. Its an art store based in the United States. The art lessons are really cool using all sorts of interesting meterials. They also have a material list which links very nicely to their website. Many of the projects have videos. I spent hours looking and generating ideas for future projects. I can't wait to get started.