ringo atelier

Ringo atelier is a creative studio, and resource, for children and their blog is lovely, too. Lots of their drawing activities have a PDF to print out and do at home. They have loads of pages to colour and develop, like this invent the fruit that goes with this leaf (below; above is Auggie's rainbow fruit), which we tried yesterday during a rainy day

and this construct a city (this one is meant to be for collage, but we painted and scribbled them)

There are also some really great projects that we haven't yet tried, like the à la manière de section, with projects inspired by the work of artists like David Hockney or Sonia Delaunay. I think the David Hockney one is perfect for July, and I will put in a little translation here (find the original project here). Observe water (in your bath, swimming pool, by the sea or edge of a lake...), in the style of painter David Hockney. Have fun trying to reproduce the waves, the reflections, the colour of the water. To do this, use watered-down paint, sponges, tissues and different papers. Look carefully at this painting of a swimming pool (below, left)

The 1 livre—1 book section has a nice library of books, too.

Birthday Party

I tried to set up Easter crafts a few times this week, but it just didn't take. Auggie is not yet too interested in Easter anyway, and our last session turned into making a birthday party for Trudy (as we are in the middle of a long birthday craze around this house). This is Trudy.

We spent a lot of time making party hats for the guests. Hats are a pretty forgiving sort of shape, so it was a good craft to practice cutting. Putting on pom poms was the most exciting part and led to a lot of running around and discussions about our favourite colours. One of our guests, Bulldog, turned 32 the day after Trudy's party. (Trudy turned 2).

Next it was time to choose the present. A zoo train full of pom poms. We were going to wrap it, but then Auggie decided against it. We then a fun time surprising Trudy with almost every toy in Auggie's room.

And the party food. Well, every good party needs something to go wrong to laugh at later. I earned the nickname "Silly Mama" for putting out ice cream cones for the guests. Auggie found this hilarious and could not believe a body would think of ice cream cones for a party. Once they had been safely cleared away and replaced with a bulb of garlic and two eggs we were ready to carry in the cake and sing happy birthday.

As I am not a talented photojournalist, I couldn't photograph and play at the same time, so I just grabbed the guests and photographed them while dinner was on. By the way, we found this great washable neon paint at Michael's last month, which we used for the hats. And we also had an impromptu wheel painting session midway through the party planning.

Textile crafts from the Brooklyn Children's Museum

Kente cloth, Adire and Adinkra are different types of patterned textiles from Africa. Kente is woven. The colours of Kente cloth have different meanings (image Kaylor Jones via pinterest).


Adinkra (left), from Ghana and the Cote d'Ivoire, is patterned with symbols. Adire is resist-dyed with Indigo in Nigeria (Adire cloth, c. 1950, Joss Graham).


Auggie trying out the Adinkra stamps at the Brooklyn Children's Museum.


The child-scale grocery store they had there was fun, too.


The boy in the hat was so cute and so nice.


the school of things

This summer we visited an exhibition of Lee Ufan (Marking Infinity). It was very relaxing. I loved the rocks on cushions (Relatum) and the repetitive paintings and prints. If you are interested in this type of thing, you can find out a bit more about the movement that Lee was a part of, Mono-ha, and see a video about Ufan here. Mono-ha may translate to "the school of things". This is apparently not a very good translation, but I like it. It seems very vague and inclusive. I feel like I belong to the school of things.

Anyway, I came across our tickets from the exhibition while I was tidying my paperwork today and we decided to do some Ufan-inspired paintings at the kitchen table with the Augs.
We used brushes and q tips. Auggie improvised by drawing suns over top and running a toy crane through the paint, wheel painting-style.

It was fun. And then we cut our paper up (it was thick watercolour paper) and used some for birthday cards.

Shoelace Sewing

Simple shapes with pre-cut holes that your little one can use by sewing around the edges (this isn't a practical sewing project). This activity was originally inspired by a 5-year old boy I spoke to. His kindergarten class has a wooden sewing set which is very popular with the children. Here are instructions and templates so you can make your own sewing set.

This is great for the 3-5 set and is a surprisingly easy craft project to set up.

Instructions are here and a set of templates to download so you can make this at home. There are 4 shapes to sew: Windy's kite, Sunny's guitar, Snowy & Chinook's flower and Foggy & Cloud's boat.


· Card stock (such as an empty cereal box)
· Scissors
· Hole punch
· Shoelace (yarn with scotch tape on the end would work, too)
· Templates


1. Print out one of our templates.
2. Trace shape from template onto some card stock or cardboard. We used the inside of a cereal box.You can also hold the printed template together with the card stock and cut the shape out directly.
3. Use a standard hole punch to make a series of holes around the shape you have cut out.
4. Child may then use a shoelace to sew around the edge. You may also use a thick piece of yarn with some scotch tape rolled around the end for stiffness to mimic a shoelace.

Brown Owls

We've been taking a bit of a break due to summer colds, but we'll be back soon with a book review and some snow globes.

In the meantime, here are some owls we've come across recently in our travels:

Owls and nests by the K 1/2 class at Charles Dicken Elementary and a brown owl cardigan adapted from the Owlet pattern by Kate Davies.

Edited to add one more owl, this time one for Auggie, with button eyes:

Buffalo collage collages

Erin from collage collage sent us these lovely portraits of Tulip the Buffalo receiving his birthday present from Snowy & Chinook. These are from a crafting session she held earlier this year. We love the bright red and green tissue against the kraft background. Also googly eyes are always great. We'll be posting more about making paper and tissue collages soon.