Sunday, October 17, 2010

painting bugs with vegetables

The past week or so, I've been starting to feel quite a bit better, and so I've been working on trying to get things back to normal around here. Really simple things, like trying to get back into cooking dinner, which is something I couldn't bear at all when I was feeling so nauseous all the time.

The other thing that is forefront in my mind is to try to get my relationship with my daughter back-to-normal. Not that it's gotten horrible or anything - but I just haven't been myself the past few months and I think that it was starting to wear on her a little. I don't blame her at all, or myself really, either, but that's just what life had given us. And so I've been focusing on once again making the most of our time together, and getting our simple, loose routine back. It feels so good.

Because Adelaide is the kid who seems to focus well and enjoys working on projects, I've been taking some time to gather up craft ideas, and research and prepare simple craft kits for her. I'm collecting these ideas up, ready-to-go, in a big bin. It is my hope that by having many activities all ready for her, that maybe on days when I distracted or struggling (and I know there will be lots of these days coming) I will be able to have Addie pick a ready-to-go project out, and get her set up and going. Fingers crossed!

So the other day we awoke to a particularly nasty wet and dark day. Feeling a bit fried, I pulled out the idea bin, and after much consideration, Adelaide decided that she would like to try and paint ladybugs with vegetables - which is a project I found and adapted from the wonderful book Farmyard Tales Big Book of Things to Make and Do. This turned out to be a wonderful project, required minimal assistance on my part, and she was entertained for an entire afternoon.

To paint the ladybugs, we used one potato and one carrot. I mixed up shallow plates with tempura paint powder in red and black. I showed her as I cut potato in half, and then cut one of the halves into thirds. I poked a fork into the half potato, and showed Addie how she could use it to dip in paint and stamp many red ovals with it. She stamped several pages of ovals in this way. By time she was ready to try another type of stamp and colour, the paint from first pages had dried up.

I then poked another fork into the 1/3 of the other potato half, and showed her how to stamp on top of the red ovals to make the heads of the ladybugs with black paint. Once she had finished, we cut a carrot, and she used it to dip in the black paint and make the spots of the ladybugs. When they were dry, we added antennae with a black pencil crayon.



After making many ladybugs, Addie announced that she would like to make caterpillars, too. Her idea immediately reminded me of Eric Carle's classic children's book The Very Hungry Caterpillar and I ran and grabbed our copy of the book for inspiration. Together we saw that we could use vegetables to re-create this caterpillar, too. After poking around in the fridge, Adelaide chose a zucchini, baby carrots, and a celery stalk to make her caterpillar. She chose the zucchini for the caterpillar's body parts, celery for feet, and a baby carrot for the antennae.

Because of a little paint, paper, and vegetables, Addie and I both had really lovely afternoon. Projects like these may cost a couple of bucks and take a bit of time to think up, research, and prepare, but they truly can make the difference between an awful day, and an absolutely brilliant one.

38 comments:

Heather said...

Your daughter is adorable! I love the prints, she's made. My son will love to make the very hungry caterpillar!
Glad you're feeling better!
P.S. Came across your blog through a link on Minnie's blog and have been having fun reading through your projects!

Betsy said...

oh my, this is precious! i can't wait to have kids and all sorts of inspired arts & crafts just like this, how lovely :)

glad you are feeling better!

Terra said...

The celery feet are brilliant!

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Great works. ;o)

April said...

I hope your second kid loves to do projects with you guys when he/she is old enough. :)

And I hope someday any kids I have will like these kinds of projects, too!

Nicole Austin said...

absolutely adorable! i miss this time with my own daughter who is now 8. we used to sit for hours and do art together. sigh. i love the veggie print projects! these came out so nice and look at how happy and proud she is to show the results! :)

wootabix said...

sqwee! i can't wait until my toddler is old enough to do this with me! lovely work, ladies.
and such a fabulous idea with the project bin. thanks!

Lizeylou said...

Love love love it!! Your little girl is just gorgeous and very crafty indeed .... am guessing she gets that from you! Hope your feeling better soon.

Minnie said...

What a simple but terrific project. I have a girl who is three years old so this is perfect for her. I think we'll do this Monday morning while her brother is at school. She loves to paint and I think she'll really enjoy this.

By the way, I'm a new follower after only recently learning of your blog though I'd seen your address file boxes and other work around the Internet years ago. I was so interested in your writings and ideas that I blogged about your beautiful home. Thank you for your inspiration!

Kat - TeamKitten said...

aww that's great! i might try that idea with my little one and see how he goes!
Thanks for sharing this - too cute!! xo

Many A Mickle said...

What a great idea! I've just started doing crafts at home with my three year old. We both love doing them but one drawback is that I need to be constantly on call to make sure she doesn't decide to paint the sofa!

KerriAnn said...

what a great project. i'll have to try this one with my little one. thanks for sharing!

Julie said...

what a fabulous project! she is so very talented, I love how focused she is....pays off, the end result is amazing!

Elle said...

Fantastic idea. So glad you are feeling better. Where do you buy your tempura paint powder?

jennifer said...

love those celery feet.

i found this neat idea recently: hide googly eyes in a lump of play doh and let your child dig them out with her fingers! i just told my son to look for 25 eyes and he was busy for quite some time. best part is, if they are not sure if they have found them all, you can shake the lump to listen for any rattles!

Jeannie said...

I've tried introducing art to my son, but he just doesn't seem interested. I did manage to get a couple canvases of abstract painting out of him though which he seemed to enjoy the mess of it :) Her pics are definetly frameable keepers! :)

Gül said...

and she is having an apron on? Such a serious artist as always! :)

K said...

I love her concentration! Great work, Adelaide and Mama!

Hope you continue to feel better and better!

stephanie Toole said...

How delightful.. I tried with apples.. if you cut them right in half you get a little star image.. but my son was a little young and just wanted to eat the apples.. we will try again soon!

Anonymous said...

i loved the food painting. i remember we used to use apples. she's growing up so fast.

Sarah said...

Love the caterpillar! She clearly inherited your craftiness!

lynelle said...

Can you share what you have in your bin?

lifeinredshoes said...

So glad you are feeling better, and how wonderful it is that you will be sharing your lives with a new one:)

Rose said...

This is absolutely adorable! Love the caterpillar!

Amanda said...

Thank you for sharing your special moments with us! I agree with all the previous blogs, but that last photo with the hidden smile is just magic!
As a grandmother to be, I will keep that idea as one to try in a few years!!

Barb Fisher - Hopscotch said...

What a great idea! Little Addie is so clean and tidy. My Isobel (same age as Addie), whilst very creative, seems a whole lot less.....precise.

I love the third pic, such concentration. Adorable.

donna said...

When I was expecting our second child (and for the next years) I wanted to promote the closeness between the two siblings. I told the first daughter how much the baby loved her. When the second daughter was old enough to hear anything, I told her how much she was loved by her sister. They have been very close and still are as adults. When number two would fall down(as a toddler) she sometimes had to decide whether to go to me or her sister for a hug. They are only 22 months apart.

Norma said...

her projects turned out great! She did a great job. FUN!

Mrs Button said...

Hi to you and your lovely little artist daughter. I have never seen such gorgeous ladybirds before. I teach a course for parents to get creative with their children and will tell my students about this wonderful blog. Your arty home is a complete inspiration and I'm sorry to read that you are not feeling well. I hope you feel better soon and I will visit again to see more of your fabulous art.X

marikobrown said...

Love it, love it, love it!
You two are so creative.
I know it takes some planning and a lot of thinking ahead for such a seemingly spontaneous project with small children.
I am simply inspired.

~AnY~ said...

Hi hi Sharilyn

I'm glad you're better

What a wonderful idea to spend a nice afternoon with the children.

We see that the beautiful Adelaide is very funny, right?

Greetings.

^^

Delphine said...

you are a great mom! :D
well done Adelaide and mommy <3

jenn said...

love your blog... yer our soul sista from afar. super cute idea! i will try that this week with my 2.5 year old!

Teresa said...

So glad to see you are feeling better. Thank you for sharing this creative project! I cannot wait to try it with my little girl. She doesn't like making a mess, so I think the veggies would work great! Can you share where you found the lovely kid apron (or is it handmade)?

jozen said...

hello there! just wanted to drop in and say hello! loving your little corner of blog land here!

guess what? i am from vancouver, bc too! well.. in the burbs of langley! always nice to meet another fellow canadian blogger!!!

Diana Gutiérrez Toledano said...

Wow, your daughter's caterpillar is amazing! And she is adorable.

Sigh, these pictures make me want to teach again... Anyway, I think I might use your potato printing idea some day... maybe on my own art!

molly said...

Indeed, I often find myself questioning the R&D end of things, then thanking my lucky stars when I actually make the effort. Preparation is everything.

And oh my, what results! This project -- and that caterpillar-- are the cat's pajamas.

scrappermom said...

What wonderful ideas...thanks for the art projects I can share with my three year old!