Sunday, April 26, 2015

Crayon Art with Quotes - Revisited

Back in June of 2013, I created what I thought were pretty darn awesome paintings using crayons.

Here is my newest (created because I saw this one on Deviant Art) and my favorite so far:

Time Length:
     Perhaps half an hour to create the color / crayon art, then 15 minutes to trace (via projector at school / work) the painter, and another 10 minutes to write the quote.

     Choosing from the myriad quotes I love.
     First I drew the painter free-hand. Not good. Too tiny. Very difficult to erase. (I can still see my original drawing...) Had to resort to tracing, but I love the way it looks now. Am I supposed to use something besides pencil to draw on canvas? Will something else erase better?

What Made It Easier:
     Not having to clue the actual crayons on to the canvas. NIIICE! I also like the looks of it better than the last few! (Especially since most of the crayons have fallen off of the others!)
     Using the projector to trace the painter.

I created another or a grandmother that continues to come in and share her time with us during Genius Hour. The painting is similar, but the quote is more appropriate for her, and the drawing is more accurate / better, in my opinion.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Balloon Ice Shenanigans

One of my 7th graders this past school year made "frozen marbles" as part of her genius hour project... and I saw the same idea here on Pinterest.
This one had two earwigs in it... my nephew thought that was a hoot!
This time, instead of just making the frozen marbles, I decided to create a game so that my niece and nephew and I could play on the cul de sac while waiting for the fireworks to begin. Here are the directions for...


You will need:
            frozen water balloons (frozen marble)                    chalk
            big, open pavement or vacant street                        a way to keep score
            (optional – gloves)

            Be the first player to accumulate exactly 20 points by rolling or sliding a frozen marble across pavement that is marked with various points.

            Freeze water balloons. Pull off the latex, and store in a cooler at the time of play.
            Create a playing “board” of some sort using chalk on the pavement. (Suggestions below.)

How to Play:
            Decide on a scorekeeper. Each person chooses one piece of balloon ice from the cooler. This will be his/her game piece for the game. The youngest player takes his turn first. He must first declare if he is going to add points or deduct points from his score. (For the first few turns, everyone will be adding points in order to get to 20. Later in the game, players may decide to deduct points in order to accumulate exactly 20 points.) The scorekeeper will write either a “+” or a “-“ underneath his name, depending on his decision. He must then place the balloon ice on the ground, and roll or slide it forward, aiming for a number on the “board.” At this time, the player chooses to either leave his piece on the board, or take it away. If he takes it off the board, the scorekeeper writes down his score. If he leaves it, it may be knocked to a different location, depending on the next player(s). When all players have had a turn, the scorekeeper should have a new score for each. Continue playing until one player accumulates exactly 20 points.

            Your balloon ice must be either in your hands or on the ground under your supervision.
            Every player begins with zero points. It is possible to go up in points or down, even into negative numbers.
            You MAY shape your ice – either in your hands or on the ground. Keep in mind –you will keep this one piece of ice until someone reaches 20 points.
            If your ice balloon lands on a line, you must count the higher number.
            If you touch someone else’s balloon ice, deduct 5 points from your score.
            If, on your turn, a balloon ice (yours or the one you hit) touches any part of a vehicle or a person, you are eliminated from that game and must return your ice.
            If your ice breaks, you may forfeit or continue the game, using a broken portion of your piece.
            If your ice breaks during a slide/roll, you may either use both scores, or only one. If you use only one, be sure to take away the piece you will no longer use.
            After each game, you may either keep your ice balloon, or TRADE for a new piece from the cooler or a willing player.

Possible game boards à
 We used the one below, because it "looks more like fireworks..." :)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Easter Egg Pointillism

I saw these beautifully done, simple looking egg designs on Pinterest... Could I do this?

YES. Yes I can!

Time Length:
     Three minutes an egg

     Not having template stickers. I found images online and just used my eyes!
     Not knowing what animals to give what family members.

What made it easier:
     Simple designs.
     Being able to make the designs more exact - you can always make them smaller using the Sharpie.

Easter Centerpiece

 I saw this beauty on Pinterest, and just had to try a version of it...

Time Length:
     What took time was finding the glass containers. (Still I feel I have the wrong sizes...)
     10 minutes to set up

     Having jelly beans fall across the counter and onto the floor.
     Squishing the peeps in between the glass. They really are too small.
     I don't like how the jelly beans are all different colors. The original was much prettier. Of course, the gerber daisies used in the original were much prettier, as well.

What made it easier:
     Simple flowers.
     A family that understands I like to try new things.
     I loved using left over flowers for the bathroom, too...

These are in an old salad olive jar.

Easter Bunny Cake

So when you see a bunny cake that looks as simple as this one I saw on Pinterest, you've just got to try it!

 You'll need two of these...

Cut one so it looks like a baseball - these will be the ears and bow tie.

 It fits perfectly on the homemade tray - 25 X 12 inches.

 Oh, no... SO MUCH CUT cake to frost!

 My love showing me how he'd frost the cut portion of the cake...

Without a mouth..

 The finished product!

Time Length:
    Typical baking time, and then an hour... just to frost!

     How the HECK do cake companies frost CUT cake?? I had to load on the frosting, then put another layer over that. (This made substituting applesauce for oil in the cake recipe a joke...) I checked on YouTube and found a few videos, but none on how to frost CUT cake. I found out later that I could freeze the cake for a bit... 
     Making a tray for the cake to go on. 

What made it easier:
     New round pans.
     Flour over the sprayed oil on the pans - they popped out without a hitch.
     The fact that my love had a strong piece of box to cut the tray and cover with foil.
     My love helping me stay patient - and showing how he'd frost the sides (put on a LOT, and place it there with a spatula).
     Getting more frosting, so I wasn't afraid of using it all.
     The fact that I really wanted to surprise my family with this cake. That was motivating.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Duct Tape Wallet

The kids have everything these days... But my niece did not have a wallet! Yippee! I used this YouTube Video (see below) to help me along the way, and I kept going back to this wiki as well... Best thing about this project? It is my favorite gift to give this year! Side bonus: It seems as if it will last forever. :)

Time Length:
     An hour... if you have both colors of tape. I looked at the wiki before I saw watched the YouTube video, so I had only purchased the "fun-colored" tape.

     Having to go back to the store to get the solid-colored tape.
     Cutting the tape could get tricky.
     Now my nephew wants one.

What made it easier:
     TWO colors of tape - decorative (for the outside) and solid (for pockets and trim).
     Pieces cut ahead of time.
     Having clear packing tape for the ID (clear) pocket.
     Doing this in one sitting. It's not something you can stop in the middle of...

Update from 5/4/2014:
I created another for my nephew's birthday today (the one for my niece was a HIT), and made one for my son-in-law, as well, while I was at it! Camouflage, it is...  :D

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cardboard Challenge Compliments

With the Second Annual Cardboard Challenge (inspired by Caine's Arcade) coming up, I thought I'd just bring some extra materials and try something new that day. Then I saw this idea, tweeted out from Gallit Zvi. A place for students to leave compliments? Great way to spread smiles throughout our students' time at school.

Time Length:
     This took me about one and a half hours. It would take a little longer had I not had a box full of scrapbook paper. It would take a little less time if I didn't want to decorate it with stamps or directions.

     Not wanting the directions to be too rigid, but wanting some guidance for students.
     My OCD kicking in, as always - I wish I could have been more patient and asked students to decorate it. I think it would look much better. When I compare it to the original one, the green pattern doesn't "pop" like the other one. Kids would've done much better - maybe they'll want to make a new one.
     Wrapping packing tape around it to make it last longer. Why did I do that when I think it could look even better?!?!

What made it easier:
     Using 12 x 12 scrapbook paper - you only need one sheet - to cover the tissue box.

What I might try when I display it:
     Using a digital frame that shuffles through pictures. I'd like to take pictures of beautiful, yet simple compliments, and have them scrolling through, just in case 7th graders don't know what to say. HOWEVER... If I give them examples, will those be the only ones that show up in the box? Any ideas?