Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Romanesco Holiday

New to me, Romanesco's been around for while. Some botanists think it's been selectively bred since the 16th Century. I guess I don't get out much.

It was pretty enough for me to wrap up a head of it and give it to a friend for her birthday. (What? You don't give your friends vegetables for their birthdays?? She did say it was the most unusual gift she received…I hope that was a good thing!) :D

I bought some for myself and we liked it. Lightly steamed, just a touch of kosher salt.

And then I bought more the next week- it was $2 LESS a pound at Whole Foods than it was at the other natural foods store where I first saw it.  ($1.99 a pound versus the $3.99 a pound I paid the first time.)

This time, I sautéed it in olive oil with a sprinkle of curry powder and turmeric and a little sea salt. Yum. And the last of it was added to a pureed vegetable soup topped with cashews (pan roasted with dried onion flakes). Also very tasty.

Romanesco broccoli (also called Romanesque cauliflower) has a very mild taste, similar to cauliflower. It's beauty is striking- an approximate natural fractal. And the number of spirals on the head is a Fibonacci number. It's also high in vitamins C and K, fiber, and carotenoids. Give it a try!

Make it a Wonderful Day!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Peacock Feathers and Paisleys

Hi again! Yes, I've been busy.  A son's wedding in New York. An open house here to celebrate with West Coast friends. Christmas travel to spend time with ALL our kids and grands. So not much time at the computer. I'm going to try and catch up with a few Art Club projects. 

I try to dove tail projects that use up leftovers from the previous project so we have less waste. This also allows for early finishers to move on to the next project without me bringing entirely different supplies. (I have to haul everything to each school every week, so I have to think about that!) In this case, we finished up collaged glass plates like these with either silver or gold paint on the backs. So with extra acrylic paint still on our pallets, we moved on to a mixed media piece.

Artists could chose to paint paisleys, peacock feathers, or a single letter. I demonstrated how-to-draws for each. (And I shared a real peacock feather fan from India that a former student had given me. So beautiful!)

The following week, with the paint dry, we added color with oil pastels. (And then we began another project with oil pastels too. More on that in another post.)

 I only got photos at one of my schools. These are mounted on white paper. Another school got red mats- very striking. (You'll just have to take my word for it..)

The kids got to practice using very small brushes, making sure to make the paint smooth and creamy before loading the brush. And I love how great the colors look on the heavy black paper. (An up cycle of some business folders…love being able to use something that was headed for the trash!)

These were fairly small, I think about 5x7. Smaller scale meant a quicker project.

Hard to see in the photos, but the shimmer of the metallic paint really added interest.

Make it a Wonderful Day!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Quick Yarn Scrap Art

Here's a quick version of yarn scrap art. We built our own hearts or other simple shapes to mold yarn scraps dipped in thinned glue. (Maybe you've seen something like this done with cookie cutters. But this has the added fun of making our own foil mold.)

Here's how: Tear off a 12-inch strip of foil. We used the heavy duty foil that is 18 inches wide.

 Fold in half, then in half again. And then in half one more time to make a long strip that's about 1 1/2 inches wide and 18 inches long.

Shape into a simple open shape and then tape the ends. (Or use a small strip of foil to secure the ends by just wrapping around the ends and pressing with your fingers.) Place on a small piece of foil, larger enough to write the artist's name on it with a sharpie.

Dip short scraps of yarn into the diluted white glue. (About 1/2 glue, 1/2 water.) Use your fingers to wipe off extra glue so it's still pretty wet with glue but not swimming in it. Layer them into your shape and let dry. 

Once they are dry, carefully lift off the mold. We left the yarn shape attached to the backing foil and cut out near the edges of the yarn. We liked the way the foil shined in places to add interest to our yarn shapes. Mount using hot glue to colored card stock. Ours are on 6"x6" squares.

We did these as an "extra" on the days we were doing our paper mache, which used the same diluted glue. A roll of foil and a box of yarn scraps were easy to bring with me, and the kids were already in "gluey fingers" mode.

Make it a Wonderful Day!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wooly Woo Our Way

As my Art Club artists finish up their cartoons, I like to have a quick project or two available for quick workers. They might draw another cartoon, create their own character from animal photos, or build a character from an idea sheet of eyes, noses, and other parts. It's really an extra project, so those who work more slowly on their cartoons have time to finish quality work. 

This year, we made Wooly Woos. 

Wooly Woo,designed by Brenda Hoddinott is a drawing exercise in the book Drawing for Dummies. Her version doesn't have arms and legs. Or wiggly eyes.

I created a step-by-step drawing worksheet from Brenda's book. Once they had practiced in pencil- including drawing the eyes and nose with some shading, I gave them a small sheet (5.5"x4.25") of white card stock.

 The hardest part of this was getting them to NOT draw the eyes on their final, since I had them draw eyes during the practice. Yes, it's my fault they were confused! :D

They used sharpie pen for the fur lines, adding arms and legs in whatever pose they wanted. I love this one with his hands up in the air…

 Then they used colored pencil to layer still more furriness on their character.

Adding the wiggly eyes made  a quick character come to life.

Make it  a Wonderful Day!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday, November 2, 2014