Weekend of Face Painting

I just love face painting! 🙂 I especially love little girls who want to be dragons! Lots of great imaginations at this party!

Little girl with pink dragon


Little Girl with Green Dragon


LIttle boy with dragon breathing ELECTRICITY instead of fire.


Daisy Chain


Lavender Tear Drop Crown


Pink Tiara Face Paint


My Favorite Butterfly Eyes!

Shooting Stars!!!

Shooting Star Face Paint


If you are having a themed party I can put together face painting designs to go with your theme, or choose from one of my themed party packages!

Glow in the Dark SLIME!!!

Uh-oh. Christmas break is looming! What am I going to do with the kids?!?! Well, of course I’m going to send them to Grandma‘s house for a while, lol. But not the whole time. I’m going to have to bust out the recipe book.

Today we make Glow in the Dark Slime!




Glow in the Dark Craft Paint (readily available at Michael’s craft stores)

4oz Elmer’s Glue

Two bowls for mixing (we’ll be making two separate solutions and then combining them!)

First, pick a bowl for the glue mixture. We’re going to squeeze that entire 4oz bottle of Elmer’s into a bowl! This is great work for little hands: they can squeeze to their little hearts’ content! If a mom were to do this by herself she *might* take the cap off the glue all together and dump it a lot faster, but kids do like to squeeze out the glue, and if they get tired (bonus) you can take the cap off for them, too. 🙂

Then we’ll add one cup of warm water to the glue, and 2-3 tablespoons of the glow-in-the-dark paint and start mixing. We used a small whisk, but a potato masher or large spoon would work just as well! (*NOTE* The glow in the dark paint at the Michael’s by my house came in several colors, however it also came in a neutral, glows only, non-color. If you only have the non-colored glowing paint available to you, add yellow food coloring to give it a nice popping color when its in the light!)

In the next bowl we will combine 1/3 cup water and 2tsp borax. We added r two tablespoons plus one teaspoon of the borax solution to our glue mixture. However if you want a stiffer slime, add a bit more borax solution!






And voila! There we have it. Now shut your kids in the bathroom – you’ve got about thirty minutes before they get bored, go watch t.v. – something with a grown up theme! LOL

Kids and Cardboard

It may be September, but its still summer in Texas. Its so hot that after eleven in the morning the kids refuse to go outside, not even to play in the hose! So I tend to force them out the back door as soon as they’ve finished breakfast. Surprisingly this morning there was actually a coolness to the breeze and they went out happily. BUT they kept sneaking back in! I’d hear one door open, go to investigate, and while busy with that child I’d hear the other door open and shut. I’d tell the first child to stay while going to investigate the new situation, then the child I was originally questioning would scramble around and dash out the other door. Hmmm… In time all was revealed. They were on a covert supply gathering mission! While I would have handed over the scissors, paint, brushes, and tape had they asked they preferred to “be sneaky.” Every time a door opened and closed it meant my little squirrels were stashing paint brushes down the back of pants, paints in their pockets, and tucking scissors into the tops of socks. WHAT FOR? you may be wondering. Well, a couple of weeks ago we received a large delivery and I’d given them the box and packing materials to play with outside. The box has been a hide-away and a trap for dinosaurs, the strips of packing cardboard have been swords and walking sticks and roads for race cars. This morning the kids took it to the next level and turned the cardboard into walkie talkies. 🙂

They used rocks and shells and fake pearls as buttons:

Sticks stood at attention as “commuters” (aka antennae):

They were beaming ear to ear. So was I.

Art Museum Influenced Kid Watercolor Paintings

Last weekend we visited the Austin Museum of Art on “Family Day.” On Family Day they have reduced rates for families to enter the museum, as well as art activities and puppet shows put on by Austin Literature Live. Of course we were early and had some time to kill, so we kicked around the museum for about an hour. Have you ever talked about fine art with four and six year olds? Or tried to keep four and six year olds from touching fine art? JEEZ. My kids are so touchy feely we don’t make it to the museum much. This time we were lucky. The exhibit was about design and featured a lot of art deco furniture. We were able to really talk about the funny shaped furniture, and there were several early telephones. One phone was built directly into a desk. I pulled out my cell phone and we had a lively conversation about phones then and now! They only touched one painting and during our rounds we found these:

These are ink line and watercolor paintings. The kids thought they were “really cool,” that’s a direct quote.  We also noted that these were something the kids might be able to do. So we took a picture to remind us, and after we finished making our watercolor paints from scratch we got to work.

First the kids got their crayons and “scribbled” a line design onto their paper. Then we got the paints. In the art we observed at the museum the artist outlined the “scribble” lines and used pale colors to fill in certain sections. My kids were so excited to be using the paint they had made they couldn’t be restricted by rules or guidelines, they just went where the art took them. 🙂

Our paint had gorgeous color! And while it was thicker than traditional watercolors, it certainly layered very well. Interestingly, when you use crayons and watercolors, the crayon acts as a resist. The watercolor paint pulls away from the crayon and won’t paint OVER the crayon. I knew the kids wouldn’t want to exactly do what we saw at the museum, which is why I chose crayons for them to use in their line and water color art. I didn’t want the line part of their art to be lost. Our homemade watercolors, however, painted right over the crayon. Hmmm… Veddy, veddy intaresting…

We like to have some fresh flowers around while we paint. Hazel chose these sunflowers, talk about vivid color! The fact that the flowers had been dyed didn’t escape notice, and the kids are eager to try coloring their own flowers. Can you guess what we’ll be posting about next?

Painting a Tree Mural

I decided a month or so ago that I wanted to redo my daughter’s room. She and I discussed it and decided a painted tree was just what her room needed. I started researching tutorials on mural painting, as I’ve never done it before, and was a little worried because almost every single tutorial directed the use of an overhead projector! I don’t know where to get an overhead projector and didn’t feel like renting one. So, although I’m not an “artist,” I decided to go freehand. Am I crazy? Maybe. Freehanding the outline was an exciting thought. But how to change it as revisions would be inevitable? Then bam, it hit me: CHALK! Its easy to erase from the walls. Plush stuffed toys or dirty clothes are easy to find lying around kiddos rooms, and either one does an amazing job erasing chalk from walls without leaving anything permanent on the object you’re using as an eraser. Its a little hard to see, but there is a chalk sketch of a tree on the wall in this first picture! I want to empower you to attempt your own freehand outline!

I erased and re-sketched quite a bit. Once my outline was done it was time to start painting. I thought about the paint quite a bit. There are a number of different choices out there as far as paint. Ultimately, however, I opted for interior wall paint, as opposed to acrylic craft paint. I thought that with acrylic I’d have to go over the finished mural with some sort of fixative or my kids would slowly chip the paint off the wall! Lowe’s sells these small tubs of  “sample” paint for about $6. I picked a brown I liked and had them mix it up for me.

I’d had such success with sketching my outline freehand I decided to attempt painting freehanded as well. Sadly, the walls in my house are textured, not smooth. This means that no matter how gently, no matter how slowly, you drag your paint brush across the wall you’re going to get little “jumps” of paint ruining your straight edge. Here I’ve pictured the side I tried without tape. Not so great. I decided to move to tape before I went too far.

Taping is tedious. It took forEVER to get the entire tree outlined. I used regular, narrow width masking tape and a double wide masking tape. (Mainly because I didn’t have blue painters tape and didn’t feel like going to the store, but also because historically the blue tape hasn’t worked well on my walls.) ***TIP*** I tore the masking tape at an angle to create kind of pointy, tapered tape ends that gradually widened and uesd those narrow pieces for create the forks in the tree trunk.***I painted as I taped, just to give myself a sense of progress, but even with the husband and two older kids out of the house it took me a couple of hours.

Happily, tho, I finished before they got home from swimming. I gave the paint some time to dry before I pulled it off, and voila! One beautiful tree outline.

Now for the leaves. My daughter wanted leaves she could change with the season. No problem, I thought.

I wanted to do something super crafty and cool at first, but really, what’s better than a pad of autumn colored paper, a marker, scissors, and adhesive putty? First I sketched some leaf outlines. The oak leaves would have given a lot of texture to the tree, but my daughter is five. She would have had trouble cutting out leaves with such complexity, so I opted for a smooth, general leaf design. Then it was off to the craft store where scrapbooking embellishments and paper packs were 40% off! I bought a package of autumn colored photo mat sized paper.  Its a light card stock and would hold up to our task. I traced the outline of the leaf on a number of cards for my daughter to cut out, but I found it was easier and faster for me to simply fold the card in half and cut freehand (there’s that word again) the leaves. It took a while, there were 81 cards in this particular pack. We chose not to use the white, pink, and purple for leaves, but that still left seventy something potential leaves to be cut. It was fun, tho, and these leaves can be saved and re-used again next fall.

To attach the leaves to the walls we used plain ol’ Scotch brand removable adhesive putty, like you frequently find on school walls, and that’s working fine for us. My daughter LOVED pulling the putty apart, rolling it into the little balls and smooshing the leaves onto the walls. This project is definitely time intensive and a creative process not to be rushed.