Posts tagged: art

Clam Shell Mobile – “Beach” Unplugged Project

By , August 2, 2010 2:01 pm


As is my pattern these days, I am a day or two late in posting our project for July’s Unplugged Project theme of beach.  Oh well!

I am such a packrat that I have had these clam shells sitting around all summer.  In fact, I am embarrassed to admit that I saved them from a fabulous meal in Upstate New York back in June and brought them all the way home with me!  (I just don’t really trust Arizona seafood.) We soaked them in hot soapy water right away after eating to clean off any grease and smell.

We used a dremel tool to drill a small hole in each one.  You’ll need a good masonry drill or dremel bit for this since, as we discovered, clam shells are quite hard.

Before we began painting, we soaked them again, this time overnight in pure bleach just to get rid of the last lingering slightly clammy smell. We then rinsed them off in cold water and let them dry.

Next we painted the outside of them bright colors. (I think it would also have been a pretty project with them left as-is, but my daughter wanted them to be colorful since this was to hang in her room.)

After the paint dried, we decided to splatter them with gold paint using old toothbrushes.  Fun but a bit messy!

We left the inside natural, but you could paint that too if you want.

After they had dried completely (overnight), we strung a piece of fishing line through each one.  My daughter brought in four sticks from the yard to make the frames for hanging them.

We tied each pair of sticks together in the form of a cross using yarn and then hung one shell off each arm of one of the crosses.  We suspended the second cross below the first using yarn to create a second tier.  We again tied one shell onto each arm and hung our final one much lower from the center.


Quill Pen Art

By , September 24, 2009 8:12 pm

9 year-old daughter using the turkey quill pen and sepia ink.

Sweet Dreams Cards: "These cards make you have really good dreams!" – My Daughter, Age 7

By , September 3, 2007 9:54 pm

My 7 year-old daughter won’t sleep without one of these Sweet Dreams Cards under her pillow! I bought these as a stocking stuffer two Christmases ago for my daughter (then 5) and they have become part of her nightly ritual ever since.

After I tuck her in, she picks a card and looks at the picture while I read the back. Lately she has started reading the back herself. Some nights, my 5 year-old son even asks for one.
These cards have gorgeous Victorian illustrations on one side (with plenty of fairies and many images of children in fantastic, magical surroundings). The other side presents a soothing poem to put sweet thoughts into a child’s head before sleep.

These are not “children’s” poems but are works by such poets and authors as Rumi, Oscar Wilde, John Keats, Emily Dickinson, as well as many lesser known and anonymous writers (there is even one Navajo saying). The art work is dated and attributed to it’s illustrator, when known.

Some of the poems are quite sophisticated and at times it is difficult to find a quick and simple pre-bedtime answer to the question “what is that about.” The language of many poems can also be a bit archaic and complex, but my daughter does not seem to mind this.

Her favorite card is “Hope Is The Thing With Feathers” by Emily Dickinson and she likes to recite this one by heart. The cards are well-laminated and still look new after one year of loving use (except for the one that my son cut with scissors and we had to tape back together – oh well!).

When asked for a quote for this blog, my daughter says that I must tell people: “These cards make you have really good dreams!”

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