Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Art class at home.  I was thinking it might be a fun thing to have an "official" art class once a month at home.  The girls put on their little aprons, and with a little prep from mom before, we had a nice little art class this month.

Speaking of cute aprons.. My sweet friend Teresa gave me a darling birthday gift this very own apron!!!  I love the way it twirls and makes me look instantly fashionable.  Teresa is a very generous lady and her heart goes into each apron.  She started pouring her heart into making aprons for her friends as a way to break out of her "shell" and be a better friend.  Teresa says she can't put a price on friendship or what these aprons have done for her, so...for every apron she sells, all the proceeds go into materials to make baby blankets for the hospital NICU and other service oriented projects.  That's one amazing lady! You can support her service by purchasing an apron ($25 adult apron/ $15 kid apron).  She even makes suspender aprons for boys and men (see the UofU apron?)
So..back to our Kandinsky art lesson:  First we laid on the floor while I played different types of music.  "What does this music make you think of?  How does it make you feel?"
Then we learned a little about Wassily Kandinsky ( and how his possible synaesthesia allowed him to appreciate sound and colors with two or more senses simultaneously.  He could see the colors of music and could hear colors.  He sometimes called his artwork his "improvisations" or "compositions".  We observed some his artwork and talked about what Abstract Art is.  We talked about his famous circles and a way to remember these is to think of the top of a can for Kandinsky.  Kandinsky felt that the circle was the most peaceful shape and represented the human soul.

Art Project #1: We sat at the table and were given pencils to draw as they were moved by the classical Chopin playing in the background.  Then the girls used watercolors to complete their works.
Art Project #2:  I gave each girl a half a piece of posterboard.  They each got their own bowl of gluewash (elmers glue and water to thin out) and a brush.  I laid out onto the table lots of shapes cut from tissue paper.  The girls brushed their glue wash onto the posterboard and layered shapes into concentric "Kandinsky Circles" or even squares or other shapes.  They had fun creating their own little masterpieces.

Complete the fun with Kandinsky snacks... concentric circles of course! Crackers and circle cheese slices, orange slices and pear rounds...

"Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul". -Wassily Kandinsky

What other ways have you shared Kandinsky art with your children?  Let me know in the comments below!
SMMART MATH:  You could share a little geometry lesson in circles with your child.  "What is the radius of a circle? What is the diameter?"  You can measure the radius and diameter of each concentric circle.
"Let's measure the circumference."  Wrap the circle with a string and measure the lenth of the string. 
 Natasha Wescoat "Jeweled Trees"
We have been having a "formal" art class each month at home.  It's a chance to share a more in depth look at artists and technique... which means a little more prep by mom.  This month we made our own version of Natasha Wescoat's "Jeweled Trees".  We learned about Wassily Kandinsky in last month's home art class. You can see the influence that Wassily Kandinsky's concentric circles have on art years after he lived.  Natasha Wescoat's leaves are little concentric circles.

Natasha Wescoat is known for her "Jeweled Trees" collection of whimsical trees with jewel like circle leaves.  The leaves remind me of Kandinsky's circles.  "I want the viewer to feel the movement, energy, and life coming from the artwork. I want my art to force people to smile again. We all need a little sweetness. A pick-me-up when the world gets too heavy. We can’t be serious all the time. ”— Natasha Wescoat.

We talked about trees.  Trees have roots, trunks, branches, leaves, buds, fruit, flowers...  Trees can be large and strong or thin and frail, twisted like a Monterey Cypruss or straight like a poplar.
We painted our trees with tempura paint and used the paint as glue to secure little sequence circles into the centers of our jewel leaves.

You can even encourage your little artists to paint nests, beehives, birds or other tree-dwelling creatures.  If you are quite fancy, you could create mini origami flowers to adorn your jeweled trees.

Monday, February 13, 2012

SMMART Reading: 
Valentine Scratch-offs

My neighbor friend across the street showed me a fun idea for a valentine... a scratch-and-reveal valentine.  She was making several for her son's class.  She had a picture of Gavin inside a heart.  Then she covered the picture with the scratch-off paint so the students could have fun discovering what was hidden inside the heart.

I was thinking this would be a motivating valentine for beginning readers.  Little love notes written inside a heart and covered with the scratch off paint.  I'll set them out in the morning beside their little Valentine's Day breakfasts.

First, write a little love note on cardstock.  Then, cover the cardstock with a piece of clear contact paper and cut out the hearts.
Mix together 1 part dish soap to 2 parts metallic craft paint.  Just squirt a little bit of dish soap and then two equal squirts of paint into a small cup. 

Paint the mixture over the contact paper-covered hearts you cut out.  I had a metallic silver paint that was painting on quite see-through, so I ended up adding a squirt of white craft paint and it helped with coverage.  You will want to let the first coat dry and may need one to two more coats to fully hide the writing.
Give your child a coin to rub off the scratch-coat and watch your eager little readers share the hidden message of love.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Disney on Ice Toy Story3
(Salt Lake City, March 7-11, 2012)
(Giveaway Closed)

Congratts to our Winner: Jamie said...

Jamie S.
We like leap frog!
WHAT: Inspired by the #1 animated movie of all time, Toy Story 3, and memorable moments from Toy Story and Toy Story 2, everyone’s favorite characters are hitting the ice in this sensational live production coming to your hometown! Catch all the heroic action when Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Jessie and the Toy Story gang escape from the rambunctious tots of Sunnyside Daycare and race for home, in their most daring adventure ever. Plus a few new faces join the fun, including Barbie’s groovy bachelor Ken and Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear. It’s the biggest Toy Story experience ever on ice, jam-packed with fast-paced adventure such as Buzz’s galactic battle with Emperor Zurg and a hoe-down on the set of “Woody’s Roundup.” Relive the humor, friendship and charm of Toy Story when Disney On Ice presents Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story 3 takes family fun to infinity and beyond!

WHEN: March 7-11, 2012
Wednesday, March 7 – 7:00pm
Thursday, March 8 – 7:00pm
Friday, March 9 – 4:00pm & 7:30pm
Saturday, March 10 – 11:00am, 2:30pm & 6:30pm
Sunday, March 11 – 1:30pm & 5:30pm

WHERE: EnergySolutions Arena – 301 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101

TICKETS: Ticket prices range from $13, $17, $23, $40 (VIP) and $52 (Front Row)
Opening Night seats available for only $12 each (discount does not apply to premium seating)
**All seats reserved; service charges and handling fees may apply
Tickets are are available through the EnergySolutions Arena Box Office and all SmithTix locations, via phone by calling 801-355-SEAT or 800-888-TIXX and online at or

"The Toys are Back in Town!"  I have a FAMILY-4-PASS to give away!

Enter the Giveaway- 2 entries possible:
1) Comment below and leave your name (first name and last initial) and email.  Tell me what your favorite educational toys or games are.  Birthdays are coming up for my kiddos and I am very interested in what great toys and game you have found!

2)Comment below and leave your name (first name and last initial) and email.  Tell me that you follow my blog.  (Click on the "Join/Follow" button over the little face icons, in my left side bar.)

Winner's name will be posted Friday, February 17th!  You will have 24 hours to email me at to claim your tickets, or I will choose another winner.  I will email you if you have left your contact info. 


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