Monthly Archives: July 2017

Two-Dimensional Ideas on Paper: Nature’s Collage

Two-Dimensional Ideas on Paper: Nature’s Collage
Nature's Collage

Nature’s Collage

The craft NATURE COLLAGE is adapted from the project “World of Nature/Spring Mural Collage” found in the Arts and Crafts Activities Desk Book by Joyce Novis Laskin and published by Parker Publishing Company in 1971.

MATERIALS:

White glue or glue stick

cardboard any size

Scissors

Any combination of: poster or acrylic paints, brushes, fabric scraps, newspapers, magazines, photos, pen and ink, crayons, construction paper, tissue paper, brown paper bags, ribbon, buttons, etc.

Objects from nature: leaves, twigs, bark, shells, pebbles, seeds from plants, etc.

1. A collage is a composition or picture made by attaching different found objects and materials to a surface. That surface is often (but not always) flat. Like all forms of art, the first step in making a collage involves thinking. What will the collage be about?

2. Decide the size of the collage. Glue, draw or paint everything on the cardboard so it is important to decide if you want a large or a small collage. Use a large sheet or cut it in half.

3. Next, decide if you want the design to flow across the cardboard (horizontally), from the top to the bottom (vertically) or from corner to corner (diagonally).To create depth, larger objects should stand in front of smaller ones. It is smart to work from the back to the front of the collage so glue the smaller objects first. This gives the person looking at the collage a feeling of depth. “Depth” means that you can see objects in back of the objects that are in front of the scene that you are creating.

4. Collect the materials that you will be using. Different materials make up a collage.  This collage project has one main subject (nature) so collect many objects from and about nature. Photographs, drawings of objects from nature (the sun, butterflies, bees, birds, clouds, etc.) can also be used.

Use cut paper, too. Cut the paper into different shapes suggesting nature (i.e., leaves and flowers) using scissors. This will produce paper edges that are wavy, zigzagged or straight.

Or fold the paper once. Turn the paper on the other side and fold again in the other direction. Tear the paper along the fold. Continue to fold and tear the paper into shapes. This creates ragged paper edges which will look different from the papers cut with scissors.

Glue the papers down and overlap them. The layers of tissue paper will show the color and shape of the paper or board underneath and create pretty designs.

5. Glue the materials to the cardboard. If you are not sure about the design, glue them to a piece of paper like construction paper before you decide to use them in the collage. If you decide that you can, glue the paper with the objects to the cardboard.

6. Frame the collage and hang on your bedroom wall!

VARIATION:

SEASHELLS: Find a couple of seashells. The kinds that are sort of flat are the best for this idea. Choose two or three colors of paint and squeeze some on a palette or piece of wax paper. Brush the paint on one side of the shell. Experiment with the amount of paint. Print the shell on a piece of construction paper by rolling it and pressing. Do this with the other colors and shells, occasionally overlapping some of the shells to create a pattern. To add another dimension to the shells, glue tiny seeds or pebbles on the ends of the printed shells. When the paint is dry, cut the printed shells and glue to the cardboard along with the other objects collected. (See the Summer Camp for Kids: Nature Prints tutorial on this website for more information.)

The collage below includes a drawing of a flower, a sun print of leaves and twigs, a part of a nature print of leaves and rubber stamped leaves.The background consists of assorted cut paper.

 

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Two-Dimensional Ideas on Paper: Prints from Nature

Two-Dimensional Ideas on Paper: Prints from Nature

The craft NATURE PRINTS was adapted from the project “From the Yard/Nature Prints” found in All-Around-the-House Art and Craft Book by Patricia Z. Wirtenberg and published by Houghton Mifflin Company in1968

Materials:

Leaves, bark, twigs

Printer’s inks or poster or acrylic paints in various colors (cheaper to use)

Drawing pencils (optional)

Rice or bond paper in white or various light colors (works best with poster/acrylic paints)

Brown wrapping paper or construction paper for use with printer’s inks

Brayer (or roller)

Piece of glass

Newspaper

Solvent for cleaning brayer and glass if using printer’s inks unless using water-soluble printer’s inks

  1. Collect fresh leaves from the trees or bushes in your neighborhood or yard. You will need some to experiment with and some for the last print. Other objects such as tree bark (if it’s easy to peel off) and even some twigs will work along with the leaves, too.
  2. Cover your work surface with newspaper. Lay down the glass and brayer on the work surface. Select the paints or inks that you will use. Acrylic or poster paints are less expensive than oil-based printer’s inks and easier to clean up after use.
  3. You can squeeze one color for each leaf or squeeze two or three colors side-by-side on the glass. The leaves in the samples shown used one or two or three colors at one time.
  4. Roll the paint or inks on the glass until the pigment covers the brayer. If you are using more than one color, let the colors run into each other. Roll the brayer over the leaf several times and turning the leaf over, lay it on a piece of paper like rice paper or bond paper. Use your hand to press the leaf so that it prints on the paper. Paper that is not too thick or too thin is the best to use if using acrylic or poster paints. Printer’s inks can use a slightly heavier paper like construction or brown wrapping paper.
  5. Remove the leaf and see how it printed on the paper. Experiment until you have a print that you like. Experiment with other materials from nature combined with the leaves.
  6. To create a mixed media design, color the whites of the leaves or the background paper or outline the printed leaves with colored pencils. See the two samples below.
  7. Frame the print or using old note card stationery, make note cards or poster cards of the printed leaves. They make a thoughtful gift for people who still write notes!
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Two-Dimensional Ideas on Paper: Textured Rubbings

Two-Dimensional Ideas on Paper: Textured Rubbings

Materials:

Thin paper like rice paper or bond paper

Any kind of crayons including Wax crayons

Graphite

Textured surfaces: chain link fences, tombstones, bricks, sidewalks, gratings, certain fabrics

 

  1. Find an interesting raised surface to rub. For the first rubbing, select a surface and rub with either the graphite or one of the wax crayons.
  2. For the second rubbing, rub with a different wax crayon on another surface or on the same surface. The shift the paper up or down or sideways, rubbing the surface with another color or the graphite.
  3. For the third rubbing, select two or three colors and two or three surfaces to rub. Use only one sheet of paper for this. Select a color and rub the first surface with it. Rub the second surface with a second crayon. Rub the third surface with a third color or the graphite.
  4. Do you notice a pattern created with the different colors and surfaces? Insert your best rubbing in a poster frame and hang on the wall of your bedroom.
  5. Alternative Project: Rubbings also make great greeting or note cards. Cut a blank piece of paper in half. Cut the rubbing and paste it to the front of the folded paper.  Cut the rubbing smaller still and you can make gift tags the same way as the greeting card.

 

For more ideas on rubbings:

All-Around-the-House Art and Craft Book by Patricia Z. Wirtenberg

Arts and Crafts Activities Desk Book by Joyce Novis Laskin.

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Two -Dimensional Ideas on Paper: Make It Abstract

Two -Dimensional Ideas on Paper: Make It Abstract
Make It Abstract

Make It Abstract

 MATERIALS:

Markers

Pencils

Crayons

Construction or bond paper

PROJECT:

  1. Find interesting objects in your home and trace them.
  2. Arrange them on construction or bond paper creating an abstract design.
  3. Trace the objects with markers or pencils or crayons. Trace one object at a time, adding objects as you go or lay them all down and trace them.
  4. Remove the objects from the paper. Choose three colors or two colors plus black. Now add patterns to the traced objects: dots, stripes, zigzags, checks or color some of the areas in the design.
  5. Mat the abstract design and display it or use it as a cover for a favorite book.

 

VARIATION:

Trace one object, turning the paper as you trace. Or overlap the object by placing it vertically, horizontally, upside down, etc.

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Time for a Family Road Trip! 

Time for a Family Road Trip! 
NOT JUST FOR THE BEACH

NOT JUST FOR THE BEACH

Deciding on a family road trips are often daunting challenges, not to mention an exercise in patience.  However if you prepare ahead of time, you will experience some of the most memorable experiences of your family’s life.

Here are some quick and easy tips for making your family road trip a fun and safe one.

First, prepare a checklist of items you will need.  This will include first aid kit, food, snacks, drinks, and lots of toys, coloring books, paper and crayons, a portable DVD player  so your kids can watch their favorite movies; and a cooler.

DESTINATION

DESTINATION

A good idea is to ask the kids what games they would like to take, within limits of course.

Ensure that the snacks are healthy snacks.  Too many sugar snacks can have the kids bouncing off the car seats.  Remember, this is a relaxing family vacation and you want to avoid the kids getting bored or repeatedly asking you when you are going to arrive.

Check online to print out games for the road that you and the kids can play along the way and don’t forget to bring puzzles and riddles, too.

In addition, if you have very young children you will need to take the diaper bag and wipes for the occasional spills, blankets and pillows if applicable and a favorite item or stuffed animal for the young ones is a good idea as well.

URBAN LANDSCAPE

URBAN LANDSCAPE

Second, decide on the destination and then contact AAA for a trip ticket.  Ask for the scenic route, one that is much more calming and pleasing to the eye, especially the driver!

Third, as you check out the planned route you may want to check online to find gas stations along the way that offer the cheapest gas.  Also if there are any points of interest along the route mark them on the map and plan to stop at these sites.

Fourth, while on the road make sure that you make pit stops regularly. This will allow the kids to run around and let off some steam, while allowing the adults to stretch and re-energize.  Bring along a football or soccer ball so that the entire family can have some fun while exercising at the same time.

Finally, it is very important to discuss safety concerns.  This includes having the car checked at your local mechanic or gas station.  Change the oil and filter; inflate the tires (don’t forget the spare tire, too); and replace windshield wipers (if needed).
Take these precautions and you will know that your  car is in great condition before you head out.

In addition, you may want to place the following items in your trunk: a lawn chair, extra blanket, emergency road kit, umbrellas, water, flashlight and batteries, a battery-powered radio, and windshield wiper cleaner.  In the glove compartment include a first aid kit and cell phone charger.  Keep all medications in a Ziploc bag in the glove compartment as well.

SUMMER MUST-HAVE

SUMMER MUST-HAVE

Another good idea is to take a list of telephone numbers including the hotel or motel where you are staying as well as those of family and friends you may need to contact.

If you enjoy scrapbooking, this road trip will be a perfect opportunity to add new treasures to the book.  As you make stops at some scenic sites, ask the kids to find an item they would like to include in the scrapbook.  Or if the kids point out something along the way that they find fascinating, take a picture of it to include in the scrapbook as well.

Engage the kids in the decision-making and allow them to decide what they would like to bring.  Have them pack their clothes (check the suitcases afterwards) so they feel part of the overall experience. Planning ahead of time for a family road trip will save you time, stress, and money.  And the kids will enjoy this adventure, too!

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