Wreaths

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I love art projects related to Christmas! Wreath making is the first Christmas project I do each year.

 
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Christmas Wreath jaclynsue.com
 

This year Noël is old enough to understand what I am doing, so I incorporated gathering my wreath materials with an exploration walk. I let her collect things along the way to bring home. I think she got some pretty good stuff in her discovery basket, don’t you think?

 
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Materials: wreath base (I got mine at dollar tree!), scissors/ trimmers, berries, leaves, pine cones, twigs, anything in nature you would like to add to your wreath, (optional: hot glue, wire)

 
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STEPS:
1. Make all your foliage visible so you can see exactly what you have
2. Decide if you are going to have all your leaves going in one direction or if there is going to be a center and two different directions. Take the bigger branches to fill up your wreath first.
3. Start by tucking in branches to the base (later on you can glue or add wire to secure your branches)
4. Fill in the in between areas with smaller branches/berries/pine cones or even flowers!
*glue or add wire for security

 
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#ilovechristmas

Good Morning, Autumn

Again I say: Good Morning, Autumn.

autumn jaclynsue.com
 

Let me just say Fall in Oregon is beautiful. I remember my mom always pointing out the few changing trees in our neighborhood back in Los Angeles. I thought the leaves changing in California were pretty, but to see all the leaves change around you in Oregon, that is something else. Again, Autumn here is beautiful.

 
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Noël and I go on walks almost everyday, so of course we see a ton of fallen autumn leaves on the ground. This toddler art project is simple with (in my opinion) beautiful results.

Materials: leaves, Sharpies, acrylic paint, paint brushes, water bowl, towels, paint pens, glue, paper

FIRST STEP - gather leaves!
Go on an exploration walk with your toddler. Pick up any (preferably whole) leaves. Pick leaves with stems, without stems, small, big, red, yellow, green, brown, red and yellow… (you get the picture). The more variety you have the better.

Next, lay your leaves out on a flat surface and place a few books on top to help flatten your leaves. I would wait a few days. We actually waited an entire week before using our leaves.

After you leaves are nicely flatten, set up a simple workspace. I decided to op out of my regular table cloth and use an old cardboard box instead. I figured the table cloth might damage the leaves and cardboard would provide a more sturdy surface to work on.

BEGINNERS PLEASE- Supervise Sharpies
Okay, I am so glad you are trying this out! I know, Sharpies?! Yes, Sharpies. Try it. Have your toddler wear a dark or old shirt if you’re afraid of stains. But as long as your your little one is being supervised, you will live. Give your toddler one color at a time. I even showed my daughter how to hold the leaf with her other hand so that the leaf would stay in place as she decorated. Let your little one use 2-5 colors on each leaf.

 
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PAINTING ADVENTURES- color pop
I decided I wanted to participate in the project as well. I love painting and honestly the color contrast is much more pleasing. If you have let your little one use a brush before, I would really encourage you to have them paint their leaves as well. I would pick 2-3 colors, preferably on the lighter side. I had Noël use off white, gold and light blue acrylic paint. Another alternative to paint and paint brushes for this particular project would be paint pens. You can use them like markers and they might give you more peace as you watch your child get excited over their masterpiece.

 
 
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CHALLENGE ME- draw a picture, make a face
If you want to do this project with an older child, have them draw a picture or face or make a pattern on their leaf. I painted a few with patterns and made a cat head and little creature on a few of my leaves.

 
autumn cat jaclynsue.com
 

After you finish decorating your leaves (if it is painted let it dry first), glue your leaves to your choice of paper. I also decided to round the edges and cut my paper to frame the size of each leaf better.

Flatten your leaves one last time to ready them for display.

 
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Then enjoy! Tape these masterpieces to your wall, hang them in a frame, add them to the refrigerator, make an autumn flag, turn them into cards.. Just make sure they are being enjoyed by your little one and others!

 
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diy| Rock Rings

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This DIY project comes to you from Pasadena's Arroyo Seco Festival. The festival culture is definitely changing.  No longer is there just music, but now it kind of reminds me of a fair.  There are products being sold, the food is better (with a lot of choices), you can visit activity tents, see art installations, and kids, even babies are in attendance! 

I spent the first few hours of the festival by myself. I was able to move at my own pace, and just enjoy the moment.  During that time I stumbled upon an activity tent where festival attendees could make pouches, headbands, and different types of jewelry.  I decided to make myself some rings. 

This is probably one of my quickest and least thought out diy projects, but I loved the results!

 
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THERE IS NO WRONG WAY: Have fun! 
Honestly, there is no wrong way to do this.  You can pick any rock/shell/crystal/bead of any size.  It is a statement piece, so I say the bulkier the better (:  
Materials: rings, wire, rocks/shells/crystals/beads, hot glue gun (optional), wire pliers (optional) 

 
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STEPS: 
1. Pick an object for your ring (any rock, crystal, bead, shell, etc. be creative!) 
2. Place the object/stone on top of the ring pad
3. (optional) Glue stone to ring pad
4. Wrap wire around stone and ring pad for security
5. Cut excess wire and tuck or wrap leftover wire behind stone

 
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I enjoyed my rings the rest of the festival and got to take them home as a small souvenir 

 
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Patty came and joined me after work.  As much as I love alone time it is always better to experience life with loved ones.  I'm glad we could share this California day together.  Soon these will be rare and few. 

 
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Art Presentation

 

In art, presentation matters. A simple mat, border, frame, or even lamination goes a long way (especially in kids art). 

 
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Not every piece can be framed and some projects are better as cards or hung with a thumbtack on daddy's office wall. So adding a simple border really makes a toddler's abstract piece look more purposeful and even professional. 

Here is Noël B's mixed media art piece for this year's Father's Day. She used watercolor and crayons. Her choice of colors, of course! 

 
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To recreate Noël's Father's Day frame- we used black cardstock paper and measured a 3/4" border around her mixed media art piece, everything is held together with glue stick