Thursday, October 30

Red Umbrella - Dancing In The Rain 3-D Mixed Media

This is the second umbrella mixed media framed board I've created.  I see more in my future.  I find I have so much I want to explore, technique, texture, color, mixing patterns, colors, collage and layers. 

I used to wonder why an artist would create the same essential piece of art over and over.  Now I know, it's not just a matter getting a subject right, to me, it's become all the different ways I can tell the story of  the same subject.

I used torn pieces of patterned paper from my scrap pile. Not one piece was new or even whole, smoothing them with a credit card and gel medium as I went.  I tend to use what is on hand, sometimes Golden Brand medium but often Modge-Podge because it seems to be less expensive. After the first layer of decoupage is finished, I scraped a bit of gesso over the top because the patterned papers were just to dominant for the direction I was headed.   You might notice the translucent rays.  I used my favorite Studio Calico Template and painted the empty spaces with Tattered Angels glaze.

I printed the girl on paper, decoupaged it to thin cardboard, (this time from a cereal box) and set her aside as the very last element.  But I needed her to help me place the water rings, also cut from used papers (I'm pretty sure these are K & Company).  I added an extra wash of blue over the rings with Distress Paints, painting with my fingers.  

The rain drops are hand cut tissue paper that I sprayed with Tattered Angels Glimmer Mists, and then later, after they were glued down, touched up a little.   

The girl's overcoat/dress is yellow tissue paper I cut to fit.

Her face shape just formed itself by accident.  I attempted eyes but this seemed to blur the lovely profile.  I didn't want to ruin it so I used a charcoal pencil to emphasize the edges of the "hair," and Distress Paint to make her face stand out.

The umbrella is Tattered Angles Mist and Glimmer Glam.

The idea of dancing in the rain, holding the umbrella, but not evening using it- it expresses such freedom to me.

The skirt is tissue paper too, both yellow and plain white that I painted with Tattered Angels.  It had a softer, tissue feel before I finished the whole project with spray varnish, but I thought a sealer might be a good idea since some of the media I used was still reactive to water. 

There may be a storm outside, but I'm just going to dance my way through the mud puddles. 

Don't forget there is great inspiration for cards, scrapbook layouts, mixed media, and all sorts of crafty goodness over at Party Time Tuesdays, as well as a fantastic weekly challenge where you can win prizes!

Thanks for visiting.

Paper and Other Things I Can't Resist, Pinterest Board, Scrapbook, MixedMedia, Paper arts, Collage, art journal

Wednesday, October 29

Art Canvas: Be This Guy

Be This Guy, Stand,

This photo was circulating around Face Book a while ago. 

Wikipedia says:

 August Landmesser (born 24 May 1910; 17 October 1944; confirmed in 1949) was a worker at the Blohm Voss shipyard in Germany -best known for his appearance in a photograph refusing to perform the Nazi Salute at the launch of the navel training vessel.  

Do you see him there? From the left, near the middle of the photo, the resolute looking man who is not saluting, but has his arms over his chest.  

His story is incredible and sad.  He was killed because of his convictions.  

I'm sure he didn't set out to be a martyr, he joined the Natzi party looking for work, nothing more.  He was just an ordinary man who refused to lie, pretend, or go along with the status quo.  

Altered Art, Mixed Media, Dapoppins

Altered Art Canvas, Mixed Media,

My husband is an amazing man of integrity and conviction.  (He will tell you he is not.) He set standards for himself that he does not break.  One of them is that he does not council or spend time with women who are not his wife.  It doesn't matter who the woman is, or  how old she is, his standard is across the board to avoid spending time alone with any woman.  That doesn't mean that he doesn't talk to women, or isn't friendly and helpful, he is.  Very much so.  He can talk my girl friend's ear off about computer stuff.  But he will only do this if I am there. 

Mixed Media, Altered Art Canvas

This is one of his core values, and since we've been married almost eighteen years, I think it 
is one of  the principals of our marriage that has helped carried us through.  Certainly there have been tough times.  But his fidelity and commitment to me and our family have never once been in question because of the standard he set eighteen years ago.  It may be old fashioned thinking, but I have never felt insecure of my husbands love or attention either.  Not once. 

There are so many examples I could give you of his honesty and his refusal to compromise.

You might think that this makes my husband stubborn and hard to live with - But he is also humble.  He asks forgiveness from his wife.  He asks forgiveness from his children when he feels he has done wrong, lost his temper, or feels he handles a situation incorrectly. .

I don't often have writing on my pieces.  I think I like them to tell their own story.  But August Landmesser reminded me so much of that Bible Story with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abedngo when they would not bow down.  (Daniel 3) and the New Testament verse, "Having done all, Stand." (Eph 6:13) 

And ofcourse, he reminded me of my husband. 

Tuesday, October 28

Grasping At Moments

I was at my evening job (home helper/elder-care) when we had one of those magical moments...3 deer came into the yard.    It's not the first time, but it's always special to me. 

I try to grab on to those moments, but I they really do slip through my fingers like sand. I know that's cliche, but it's also true.   I was trying think of some special moments with my kids, where I was Super Mom and extraordinary parenting took place.

I couldn't think of anything.  

I know, you are being gracious and thinking, "Dapoppins, you know those moments must have happened. Most parents get those moments now and then- maybe you just didn't notice it."  

Or maybe you are thinking something totally different.  

The thing is, I feel like there is so much I have already lost and forgotten, the way my kids have forgotten what it was like to get their first taste of ice cream.  

I try to grab on to the now.  But I feel that slipping through my fingers too.  My youngest son just turned thirteen.  At thirteen both his brothers hit a growth spurt and by fourteen their voices had changed.  

It is the job of parenting to teach our children to become adults.  

Mine are becoming adults.

I really want to stop doing my job and turn them into toddlers again.  

Monday, October 27

Art Journaling: Jane Was A Nanny Too

Just sharing some pages from my art journal today.  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is one of my favorite novels.  Written in 1847 it still stands as a representation of female empowerment without any accompanying sacrifice of faith, honor and femininity.  

When I first read it however, what I came away with was how much romance novels still imitate Jane Eyre's plot and characters.  

I made three pages on different parts of Jane's life...

Art Journaling, Nanny, Nannylife

Art Journal, Nanny, Nannylife

Art Journal, Nanny, Nannylife

Art Journal, Nanny, Nannylfie

What books have inspired you?  Have you done any art journaling related to them?  What creative thing have you done this week? -  Let me know in the comments so I can stop by your place and see!  Thanks for visiting.  

Monday, October 20

Art Journal & Art Play

I was working on something else when this guy just appeared...

It was the start of a sweet whimsy face, but this little lost fellow came out of no where.

When I plot a story I usually start with one scene, one idea.  When I work on a page that will go into my art journal, I do the same.  The idea was to practice making cute, adorable girl faces, but what I ended up with reminds my boys a little too much of this character called Slenderman.  He's some freaky guy from a video game they are not allowed to play but still know all about.

He looks like a bit like a skeleton to me.  Or a forgotten harlequin doll lost in the attic, or the Moon Man looking for a friend.  So what do you think.  Want to play?

How To Teach The Writing Process to Pre-Schoolers

Can a child who neither writes, read, or spell words write a story? YES!

Will practicing story writing with my pre-school age child help later in school?  YES!

Writing, The Writing Process, teach writing, pre-school
Just because your child doesn't read or write, doesn't mean he can't tell stories!  In fact, most pre-schoolers I have encountered love to tell stories.  At the most basic level a story only has three components: 
  • A beginning
  • A middle 
  • An ending 

 Mastering the skill of sequencing, or "follow the leader," will be necessary for success all the way through college.  There is no reason parents and caregivers can't help with this skill before a child ever steps foot in a school.

A simple story needs to only have one idea (the leader) combined with a series of events that follow the leader - the beginning, middle and end. 

When can a child start telling stories?  Most children who are beginning to communicate are already telling some type of story- He tells you what happened that day, he tells you what he did, he tells you what his big brother did to him--All of that IS A STORY.

All you need to do is write it down for him and ask questions to flesh it out. 

Steps to Story Writing, Writing, Writing Process, Dapoppins

When you write down the child's story and read it back to them - they begin to make a new connection with the power of their words.  

It's that simple.

Story Writing, Writing, Writing Process Pictures, Dapoppins

When your child starts scribbling on paper with the intention of drawing, he will bring you images and say, "This is a truck."  

It doesn't look like a truck, but you stay, "Oh, what a wonderful turck!"

Instead turn it into a teachable story writing moment.  Write on the paper, "This is a truck."
    This is the the leader, or main idea. This story will be about a truck.  

Ask: "Where is the truck going?"  

The answer could be anything.
    If you can, write the answer down on the paper using part of the question to form a complete sentence.         Instead of: "..going to grandpa's house."  Write, "The truck is going to grandpa's house."  

Ask: "What will the truck do when it gets to grandpa's?"

Answer: "Take a nap."
    Write a complete sentence.  "When the truck got to grandpa's house, he took a nap.  The End."

Read the story back to the child.

This is a truck.  The truck is going to grandpa's house.  When the truck got to grandpa's house, he took a nap.  The end. 

Beware, sometimes he will want you to read it back ten times.  

Praise the child for making an illustrated story.

Early story writing helps makes "connections."

As babies change into toddlers and their brains begin to make connections incredible things start to happen. I've been blessed to see it happen over and over as little one's begin to learn.  They begin to think, problem solve, form ideas, and develop opinions.

I think one of the keys to success later in life is not limiting a child's opportunities to learn, but instead offering a variety of experiences.   Any Nanny will tell you that one of the best ways to avoid a child becoming a picky eater is to offer a huge variety of foods to taste and try while the child is still young enough to want to try everything.

This is one reason reading aloud to babies has such a big pay off later in life.  By reading aloud you offer a limitless possibilities in the mix of ideas and visual stimulus.  You offer a "variety" of brain food.

It is the same with many life skills.

The whole writing process is an educational milestone all kids will face in school.  It can be hugely daunting.  In my opinion, it can be frustrating and creativity killing because of all the required "show-your-work" steps. But understanding that the main idea of a story is always the leader, and the rest of the story must follow the leader, with a beginning, middle and end will help break down some of the later mechanics.

I will try to dig up some of the "stories" I wrote with my kids when they were very young to share with you, but in the mean time, I would love to see what you and your child (or the children you work with,) come up with.  Usually storytelling with three and four year olds ends up with some really hilarious little bits of  writing you will want to save forever. 

Wednesday, October 15

The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak : The Nanny Reads

Next pay check, I am putting this book on order.  It's not really a story, but yet it is amazing, and sends a simple message about the power of words that every kids who hears it will understand.

 I think it would change the way kids look at books,

I think it will change they way think about words and writing.

I think it will make reading fun again.

I must have this book in my Nanny Tool Bag.

(watch out Mary Poppins!)