Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Pasta Art

Remember macaroni picture frames? Ziti necklaces? Mixed pasta mosaics?

  • pasta in various shapes (ones with large holes for stringing, otherwise any will do for gluing)
  • plastic storage bags that seal
  • rubbing alcohol
  • food coloring
  • parchment paper
  • baking sheet
  • pipe cleaners, yarn, play dough, glue, paper plates, etc for more fun!

  1. Divide pasta into separate bags, one for each color.
  2. Add a little rubbing alcohol into each bag, close the top, and shake until the alcohol is evenly distributed (amount depends on how much pasta is in your bag, I just poured a little in, maybe a teaspoon?). This will help the dye distribute and dry faster than if you added water.
  3. Add some food coloring to each bag of pasta (I added maybe 4-5 drops?).
  4. Seal the bag and have child shake it up to distribute the color evenly.
  5. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (for easier clean-up), pour out contents of each bag to dry (I put ours next to the dehumidifier to dry faster!). 
Penne. Ziti. Rigatoni.

I'm not sure who is going to have more fun with this. Me or Little Miss E.

Now for some glue...

...and some more glue...

...and some leaves and seeds...

...and some feathers...

...and some pom poms!

"Mommy! It's a daddy egg, a mommy egg, and a baby egg!"

Punch a hole on the side of the paper plate, loop yarn or string in it, and hang on a Christmas tree, in the window, or decorate the fridge!

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Art of Storytelling

Little Miss E loves to tell stories. She wakes up talking, falls asleep mid-sentence, and talks in her sleep. We read together several hours a day and when we aren't reading, she's weaving her own stories, often with an interpretive dance component as well.

We recently dug up some lake stones my husband and I collected back in summer of 2007 on a trip up north. Prior to becoming husband and wife. Prior to becoming daddy and mommy. Back when our days were based on our own schedules. Back when decisions seemed complicated but were simple in hindsight. Back when we felt so free to do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. Today these stones will tell another story. They will be in the hands of someone who is free to imagine and create. They will be in the hands of someone who finds delight in the little things and notices things we intentionally and unintentionally pass by without a thought.

Fabric cut-outs adhered to rocks using Mod Podge. 


Once we ran out of stones, I ordered 1.5" wood disks to paint on images and seal with a thin layer of Mod Podge (although some disks got a really thick layer of Mod Podge because I had to glob it on in fear of smearing the black marker I thought was permanent but wasn't - they ended up looking like a ceramic finish!).

There are so many ways to create the images for your story stones or disks. Stickers, stamps, paint, permanent marker, clip-art cut-outs, etc. Do what you're inspired to do!

 All was good until I dipped my paintbrush into my coffee cup. Oops.

Make sets for party favors with a little journal for children to write down their stories (or for you to jot down their stories if they don't write yet!). Mail them off to pen pals to exchange story disks and stories!

Create disks based on recent travels or what you saw that day. Maybe you went to a baseball game. Maybe a squirrel was in the backyard collecting acorns for the winter. Maybe you visited an aquarium and saw fish, octopus, seahorses! Maybe it was a rainy day and you caught a glimpse of a rainbow as the sun shone through the last few drops of summer rain.

These story stones and disks may help children re-group when they are having meltdowns. There's no right or wrong way to create. What they do or don't do is completely up to them. On this particular day, given a marker, a paper plate, some fun tape, and a bowl of story stones, we moved past our rough morning and everyone reset!

Shucking local corn on a warm fall afternoon after covering the back patio in chalk drawings.