I Cor 16:14

"Let all that you do be done with love." I Cor 16:14

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Teacher Gift

The end of school is fast approaching for my boys.  Just one day left!  They are very ready for summer and I am, too.  I am ready for a calmer schedule and the lazy days of summer to begin.

For my Kindergartners class I had the boys and girls sign their names with neon paint markers on a spray painted terra cotta pot.  Many of the kids enjoyed embellishing with smiley faces and hearts.  I sprayed a clear coat on it and then planted some light and bright pink geraniums.  Their teacher is retiring after 18 years of teaching to spend more time with her family.  This was just a small way for us to show her our thanks for a great year and to congratulate her in her new season of life.

Are you ready for summer to begin?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sewing for Africa

A gal from my church has started a ministry of sewing baby bedding and twin size comforters out of hand batiked fabric made by women in Ghana.  She incorporates modern fabric into Ghanian fabric and comes up with a very bright and fun mix of patterns.  You can learn more about her "Two Little Fish" ministry here.  God's hand of blessing has provided so many people for her to take her vision and make it a reality.   All profits from the bedding go to purchase a mattress for an AIDS orphan in South Africa as well as missionaries across the world.

Every week 3-4 women gather in her home to cut, iron and sew (and laugh and talk of course!)  I wanted to show you the twin size comforter I have done some applique on.  Fun little appliques are scattered throughout; won't it look great in a little girl's room?  I love how it is so bright and cheerful.

I think the buttons for the owl and birds eyes are too cute!!

It has been a joy to work with the these talented women and be a part of helping out women and children in Africa who face such big challenges.

Blessings to you!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Art 101

Months ago I mentioned I was doing some sketching and really enjoyed it but the "busi-ness" of life has prevented me from doing very much of it.  But, recently I have had the joy of sitting in on my youngest sons art classes that meet once a week after school.  It is through a wonderful program called KidzArt.  I just wanted to learn some techniques and tricks well, anything really that would help me!  His teacher graciously said yes when I asked her ( *happy dance*!)

His teacher is simply wonderful:  she doesn't allow any negative self talk, she says there is no such thing as perfect art and she will never draw on anyone's paper as everyone has their own idea of what their art should look like!  After just a few instructions the kids get busy while she walks around guiding them.  Soothing classical music is playing after the instructional time.

This week the kids were to draw a mama and baby duck near the water using example drawings.  After sketching with pencil and outlining with colored pencil then they colored in with chalk.  To make the artwork look like a painting they were suppose to use a wet-wipe or q-tip to create shading (this was so neat to see the transformation!)

I wanted to share some of the things she taught me before I show you our drawings:
1) always draw with a light touch.  There are no mistakes in artwork - just go with the flow!
2) nature always has some curve to it; while man-made things (such as buildings) are linear so use a ruler.
3) keep in mind value, called ABC:  (A) dark, (B) medium and (C) light - this will give much needed depth to a picture
4) symmetry (just like in photography) the subject looks best a bit off center (say 1/3 to the side)

Now for our artwork, first off is my sons.  He takes great care in his drawings and he works so hard to get them just right.  Can you see him apply the ABC principle?

I have to say drawing is a huge tension reliever for me.  I walked out of the classroom feeling like a 1000lb weight was lifted off my back (can we say mommy stress?)  I was so amazed that just an hour and a half of sketching could do that!  Here's my drawing.

And here is an example of a house I started a couple of months ago and haven't finished yet!  It didn't occur to me then to use a ruler when drawing it (applying the man-made -straight line principle) so it was very difficult to good symmetry on either side of the door.  Anyway, it is a work in progress.

I also wanted to share a couple of good art resources in case you are interested in sketching too.  The first is from Anne Voskamp's blog, Why Everybody Needs to Make Art Everyday.  Fear of failure is something that keeps me back more times than I care to count.  When I am faced with a blank white sheet of paper I have to fight back fear which says to me "you'll ruin it", "you'll never do a good job", and on the list goes in my head until I overcome it and pick up the pencil and just start.  So, Anne's 4th tip to creativity really hits close to home with me.  She says "when we stop fearing failure, we start being artists."  So true!

The second resource is about a nature journals.  Take a look here.  Just makes me want to grab my sketchbook and go outside right away.  The author even includes resources for the the art materials she likes the best. 

I hope you have been inspired to do something artful today.  Trust me you will be glad you did!  There is something in the creative process that really soothes the soul.