latest creation

Happy Valentines Day

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I was just reading the latest post over at Angry Chicken and saw that she interviewed an artist who just wrote a book on printing. In the interview she mentioned how after reading the book, she and her kids want to carve erasers and print all sorts of things. I realized we did just that the other day. Not on an eraser, but on the back of the Z stamp I made for Zed’s cards.
Ezra drew the illustration and wrote his name, in pencil, on a piece of paper. I then used the handle of a brush to rub the backside of the image drawn on paper onto the Speedball “Speedy-Carve” medium I typically use for block prints/stamps. Because I transferred the image I was able to have Ezra’s name written backwards on the pad, ready to carve. I once carved directly into the medium and everything was printed backwards. Don’t do that. I had to say the invite must be read in a mirror to break the secret code. Ha!
I had Ezra ink up the first few and print them on his own, but to make them legible I had to do the rest.

Both he and India also did a few shrinky dink necklaces to give to teachers and best-ies. You can see how I fixed Ezra’s printing attempts. I just went over them with white.
I like what Ezra drew… I like that he is drawing these days. Earlier in the week he came home from school with a handmade Harry Potter book. It was obviously not teacher initiated, just a few little pages stapled together (by the teacher). He was so happy with his creation he cut out the figures and began coloring and playing Quidditch with them.
These are two pages left intact:

The one on the left is probably Harry, with his glasses… not sure who the other is. I think the ice cream cone arms are their wands.

One Homemade Gift

The others are probably still en-route so I cannot post yet. Yes, Christmas mailings are always late… sorry.

This was given to India’s teacher who visited Japan a couple summers ago and has incorporated their culture into the classroom. The kids bow every morning to him, they sit on the floor at super low tables, drank tea (herbal, just in case you were wondering), etc.
India did this mostly by herself. I had to do the boat late at night since when she tried she and I were distracted by two screaming boys. It happens.

Inspiration from “That Artist Woman”

I posted of Facebook how I had been inspired by a blog called “That Artist Woman” several weeks ago. She does some really amazing work with here elementary school kids (she’s an art teacher). Since the art program at India’s school is lacking, I have been frustrated by the fact that art is yet another thing she needs to have supplemented after school. As the years have passed, and homework takes longer, the time we have for art at home is dwindling. India loves art, she loves to create things. So my goal is to do more with her. This blog has helped. Here is the result:

This was a gift for the kids’ cousin. He loves Batman… although he has a Iron Man b-day party. My kids (and I) don’t know Iron Man, so we opted for Batman. I hope he likes it. If anything, it was great to get something together that India was excited about. She wanted to work on it every night. We googled Batman coloring pages to get the images and then worked on the story. India wanted a much more complex story line, but as with many things in our life, this was all done very last minute. It was drying in the car ride to the party. Humph. The inspiration can be found here. She had put in many different movable pieces that we just didn’t have time to do. Maybe you’ll create something similar… if you do, please share!

Halloween: Avatar Style

For about 6 months now Avatar has been a main topic of conversation. “Will you paint an arrow on my forehead?” “Can I get a blue tattoo of an arrow on my head?” “Can you make it go down my back?”
So we’ve been back and forth about tattoos and airbending and earth, water and fire bending. Exploring the different elements and how they can be used and why we aren’t really into tattoos. The permanence of a decision made at 4 years old would be regretted even when my boy became 10. So we researched henna and saw that some black henna can scar. Henna lasts too long even, especially for something on the forehead. The questions have subsided a bit, as we have explored each variable of the Avatar land ways. There was even a time when Ezra thought he wanted to be Anakin… that was after watching one or two of the newer movies (an impressionable child). I’m just glad the cartoon has a generally good message. If you don’t believe me, just watch it yourself and see. The movie was enjoyed by my kids, but we made the mistake of seeing it at the dollar theater. Never again! The speakers were blown, so I couldn’t hear the dialogue (not that I was missing that much) and even the projector was a bit choppy so I couldn’t really see the action sequences. We’ll have to watch it on the home theater. It’ll be much better, I’m sure. The reviews for the movie were terrible. After having watched most episodes with the kids, I would agree with the critiques. Compared to the cartoon, the movie is but a shadow.
So as with most folks these days, Halloween isn’t just a one day affair for the Smiths. There are school, work, friend and church parties days before leading up to the traditional trick-or-treating. I must say, this year we will get rid of the candy much sooner than we have in the past. I am embarrassed to admit how long we had it last year. So I won’t!
I was handed a flier from Noodles and Co. today. Each kid to give away even a piece of candy to them on Sunday will receive a free bowl of noodles (this was the location on Evens and Franklin in Denver). The candy will be sent to the gi’s and given to kids throughout the world. Too bad this promo is on Sunday. We might have to stop in to just give the candy… although I know orthodontists do a similar thing.

At school. Mr. C as a gorilla, frightening India and her friend.

All of us, from left: India as Katara, Stacie as Suki (the Kioshi Warrior and girlfriend to Sokka), Zed as Momo (the flying bat lemur), Zach as Sokka (Katara’s brother), and Ezra as Aang.

All costumes made using dye, felt, fur, burlap and whatever else I could find on hand. Very few sewing skills were used. A friend suggested this be a Project Runway challenge. I said only half a spool of thread could be used!