Friday, November 16, 2012

Extraordinary Painting

I went to the opening of an art show last night at Extraordinary Ventures (an organization that helps adults with developmental disabilities  - and also a partner of the Art Therapy Institute, where I work).
This piece was my favorite of the night. It is so full of happy energy... 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Simple Ombre Mobile

I got some model magic to use at work, and since I'd never used it before, I did some playing around with it yesterday. I ended up making a couple of simple mobiles, and I'm thinking I'll try something similar with some of my clients. It was a nice sensory experience but wouldn't be too complicated or frustrating for the lower functioning kids who have difficulty with fine motor tasks.
Materials needed:
 1oz. packet of yellow model magic
 1oz. packet of white model magic
a twig
some string
a needle

I rolled a little bit of yellow model magic into a ball and smushed it to create round, somewhat flat disks. 
I did this with the yellow first, then slowly mixed in the white, ending with a few disks that were purely white. Then I took a bunch of photos of the little nuggets drying - I just think they look so pretty all lined up.
They look like little candies or something. I strung them with onto some cotton twine with a regular sewing needle. They were easy to puncture once they dried, and very light weight - almost the texture of a super stale marshmallow.
I strung them a couple different ways and still can't decide which way I like best. Here is the "necklace style":
And here is the "abacus style":
Which way do you like best?

I've done simple mobiles with children using lots of materials in the past. I just really like the look things that hang... Here are links to a few of them:

Monday, November 12, 2012


 I asked my students to draw and paint things they were thankful for last week. Here are a few images.

Thankful for Colors

Thankful for my Best Friend

 Thankful for my Bed

Thankful for my Cat

Thankful for my House and Garden

 Thankful for my Family
(images posted with permission)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Getting Back to Clay

 I went shopping for clay, glazes, and hand-building tools today. It was fun and I spent too much money.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Kindergarten Puppets

 Today my Kindergarten group painted the puppets they've been building. Last week we added paper mache, so they were strong and sturdy for painting.
This one is a ninja turtle:
And a colorful cow:
And this is a bunny rabbit:
This one is an Angry Bird:
 And here is "baby Iron Man":

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Monday, November 5, 2012

Art is Art

We've been working on paper mache puppets in art club. On Fridays I have a group of 12 five-year-olds, and 10 of them are boys (not to gender stereotype, but boys are much harder for me to handle than girls). It's been a really busy few weeks, adding my new work at the therapeutic school in the mornings on top of everything else.
My mom visited this weekend and got a little crafty herself (as Darby looked on from her sofa-perch). She is painting on a Buddha Board, which is amazingly relaxing. I think some of my clients would really like this non-permenent creative outlet.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Beautifully Heartbreaking

Her colors and textures were so lovely, I had to take a picture.
It feels like fall all of a sudden.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Some Gratuitous Baby Faces

There are a lot of babies to love in my life right now. Some are far away (Hi Henry! Hi Maya!) and others are nearby enough to be subjected to my camera on a more regular basis. So. Want to see just a few of the many cute babies I am lucky to know?
 Here is Judah (He of the Famously Long Eyelashes), 9 months, in mommy Jess's lap.
Here is Theo (He of the Amazing Expressive Eyebrows), 3 months, in Anna's arms: 
And here is Lia (She of the Ginger Red Locks), 4.5 months, with her mommy Rachel: 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Painted Points

It felt good to do some random painting tonight.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Closer to Fine

 I saw the Indigo Girls last night for the first time since I was 15 and it was awesome. In high school I didn't really have friends who liked the same music as me. I actually didn't have many friends who liked any of the things I liked - one reason that high school was a turbulent time. So when the Indigo Girls announced they were coming to Milwaukee (1.5 hrs away), my dad agreed to drive me to the concert and see the show with me at the Riverside Theater. He was probably one of 15 men in the whole venue. At intermission he went into the bathroom and came running back out, horrified look on his face, thinking he had misread the sign and accidentally walked into the women's room (he didn't realize that at an Indigo Girls concert, the concept of a "mens' room" was not entirely a strict one). Then he bought me a shirt that I still wear as jammies and drove me back to Madison while I slept in the car, as I am known to do.

This story is a good example that Eli might cite to illustrate the impossible standard my dad set for all subsequent men in my life.

Well Darkness has a hunger that's insatiable
And lightness has a call that's hard to hear
I wrap my fear around me like a blanket
I sailed my ship of safety 'til I sank it
I'm crawling on your shore

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Art Club is Back

 I have so much fun with this group of kids. It's really a highlight of my whole week.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Public Service Announcement

I just spent the last 9 days in the grips of a horrible horrible flu, and now that I have come out the other side, I implore you: GET A FLU SHOT. Trust me. I'll spare you the graphic details if you just go get the shot, because holy cow, influenza is an evil beast. Save yourselves!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fabric Mobile

My high school group made this fabric mobile today. They each got a big strip of cotton muslin fabric and used sharpies to draw and write things that represented them. Then we tied them all to a large branch and hung it in their classroom.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Eli's Day

Thursday, October 4, 2012

But Have You Seen Her Eyebrows?

How do people with dogs not photograph said dogs every single day and post the results on the internet? It is a constant battle for me to not be That Person.
(but today I failed)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Work and Play

Work has been busy lately - getting all my groups lined up at the beginning of the school year is always kind of a scheduling nightmare - and it's about to get busier. I'm taking on some additional work at a therapeutic middle school through the Durham Arts Council's CAPS (Community Arts in Public Schools) program. Some of the kids in my group are transitioning out of inpatient settings, and others have been removed from previous schools due to behavioral issues, which is a bit of a departure from the population (children with developmental disabilities) I work with currently. I hope it will be good experience for the kids (and me!). I am still also running after school art programs two days a week. So I'm sort of all over the place, but I'm glad to be doing more networking and getting some new opportunities in my field.
Meanwhile, I have discovered The Real Housewives of New York City, and it is amazing and ridiculous (in exactly the way I need it to be - sometimes they are just being rich and rude, but often they are hysterical and oddly relatable). I have plowed through three seasons and now feel like I need to ration the rest, because it is so riveting. Riveting might not be the right word. It's possible that watching it has decreased my vocabulary.

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