EXPLORE ART project: Learning Primary and Secondary Colors

Learning Primary and Secondary Colors
with "Chance Collages" inspired by Jean Arp
Jean (Hans) Arp was a part of the Dada movement that challenged existing notions of art and experimented with spontaneous, irrational methods of artistic expression.  It sounds like life living with a child under 5 right?!
Arp is known for his "Chance Collages" in which he took squares or ripped smaller pieces of paper and dropped them onto a larger blank sheet of paper.  Dropping the paper he relinquished the art's control and the image was up to chance.

This is a project for 3-5 year olds, but could be adapted for younger children.  The focus of the project is going to be learning the primary colors: red, blue, yellow; and how to make secondary colors: orange, green and purple.  They will do so by making a series of fun Arp inspired "Chance Collages".

First, materials you will need:

 3 full sheets of plain white paper
  Construction Paper: full sheet of red, yellow and blue, 
half sheet of purple, orange and green
One of each color crayon
scissors and glue

The first "Chance Collage" will be our PRIMARY COLORS
Red, Blue and Yellow

Put all three sheets together and ask your child to name each color.  You can take a few minutes and see if they can name things that are that color, red apple, blue sky, yellow sun.   Explain these are the primary colors that are pure colors found all around them in the world.  They can also be used to create other colors of the rainbow. (which we will be getting to...)
1. Take your full sheets and divide them in half

2. Keep one half of each sheet set the other aside
refold and cut along fold, then cut pieces into the size rectangular scraps that will be dropped onto the white paper.
(note we used kids scissors you could rip the paper)

3. Once you have cut each half sheet of red, blue and yellow into scraps get your first sheet of plain white paper ready.  Your child can then pick a big hand full of scraps up all the colors and with their hands over the white paper begin to drop and scatter the pieces.
Cy had decided that I needed to drop the paper and he needed to glue.  Four year olds they know everything!
4. Remember this is a fun project, let the pieces fall where they are going to fall even if they don't all make it onto the paper.  Once your child is happy with the amount of paper pieces on their white paper you can begin gluing the pieces in place.

5. Simply raise the corners up and put a little dab of glue under each piece.  You will have multiple pieces on top of each other, this will take a few minutes.  You can continue your color discussion.
Then set your paper aside to dry.

The next "Chance Collages" will go on to include SECONDARY COLORS

Explain to your child that two primary colors put, mixed together make a secondary color.  
Red and Yellow make Orange.  
Red and Blue make Purple.
Blue and Yellow make Green.
Get out your extra half of red, blue and yellow paper you set aside.  Fold it down the center length wise again and cut the fold.  Now you
 can help illustrate which primary colors put together make the secondary color.  Lay the papers of two primary colors out and then put down the secondary color it makes, ask your child if they know that color before you tell them.  (We even colored on the white paper each primary color and the secondary color)

Now for each Secondary Color "Chance Collage" each one gets its own white sheet of paper.  Repeat the steps above 2-5 cut or rip your three selections of colors, scatter and glue them in place. Note you will have more scraps of the secondary color you are using a half sheet and each primary color now has a quarter of a sheet.  I cut the pieces a little bigger to also illustrate that was the secondary color.
Here's the line up of all our Color Collages drying.
And a close up of each collage.

Hang them up to display your child's art work proud and continue the discussion about primary and secondary colors.  See if they can remember them a few days later and let them show off their work to friends and family.




I've given it a name...... my dinner iphone- foodography
I love posting pics of fun, different food we're trying on my facebook page with a quick snapshot from my iphone.
A few creations above:
Garlic, Lime Shrimp with Edamame over Rice:
saute pre- cooked shrimp in a pan with butter and garlic, add in edamame and lime juice
serve over brown or white rice

Cobb Salad with homemade Green Goddess Dressing:
Tutorial coming soon on my new favorite dressing, with a few variations

Cucumber, Mango Salad with Chili Pork
dice thick chunks of cucumber and mango to top romaine or ice berg lettuce
Marinate pork in honey, lime and chili powder, grill and add to salad

Chicken Koftas 
I used a variation on this, it called for ground chicken I used shredded cooked chicken and added diced onion, parsley, cucumber with 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt.  Serve on pitas, mint leaves optional.
Side is Zuchinni Fries, panko bread crumbs mmm.... 

For someone who never cooked, seriously cooking meant making a box of mac and cheese, I'm pretty proud of my dinner foodography.  More to come with some fun recipes.......


Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Recipe

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Recipe
4 cups rhubarb diced 
4 cups strawberries diced
1 1/4 cup sugar
lemon for zest and juice
1 tbsp cornstarch (not pictured)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
 1 cup cooking oats
12 tbsp unsalted butter

Preheat oven at 350 degrees 
Toss fruit, 3/4 cup sugar with lemon zest in bowl

Next dissolve the cornstarch in measuring cup or small bowl with lemon juice
Pour over fruit mixture. Add to 8 X 11 baking dish
Mix ingredients for topping.  Flour, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, salt and oatmeal.  Mix low speed, add butter and mix until ingredients crumble. Pour over fruit mixture in baking dish.
Bake for1 hour until fruit bubbles and topping is golden brown.

I pulled mine at about 45 minutes topping was still nice a crispy, next time I will leave it in the full 1 hour

Serve with whipped topping or ice cream and ENJOY!





You scream, I scream for..... no not for ice cream...

The month of June brings a new tradition with my boys- U Pick Strawberries!
My sister and I use to always go with our grandparents, who are both gone now, and last year we decided it was a tradition worth renewing.  She couldn't make it this year so we settle with B, grandma, who we could actually never put in second place......

Cy was great this year and even got the you only pick the ones that are bright red, not too many little green and yellow ones made it into his basket.

Sage wasn't quite sure what we were doing in a field with baskets crawling through straw paths.  But as soon as he got a strawberry he knew what to do!  He had berry stained lips and legs the rest of the day.

This is the stuff memories are made of......

and the best part of taking home a basket full of berries
(this is about only a quarter of what we actually went home with)..............

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
The standard recipe found in any Sure Jell box
2 cups mashed fruit, 4 cups sugar, 3/4 cup water with packet of pectin 

I love the warmer months, when you can get out and let everyone loose to enjoy the world.  Come the colder weather when your all tucked inside you draw everyone in to surround you with warmth.  All in all you get the best of both world.  And sometimes those worlds cross paths as you pull a jar of freezer jam out in the middle of December with snow flurries out your window.... a little bit of that June day returns and somebody's strawberry lips!!

Congratulations you've survived MONDAY!  Only a few more to go till another lazy SATURDAY morning with my little loves.


EXPLORE ART project: Paul Klee

Childrens' Watercolor Resistant Paintings
inspired by Paul Klee

Paul Klee is known for his primitive, surrealism, cubism and children's art.  His work can be described as delicate paintings and watercolor with strong use of lines and symbols.  He often used letters and numbers with figures of people and animals.  Here's a few examples for inspiration:

Red Balloon

Paul Klee

Insula Dulcamara

 This project would be ideal for 3-5 year old children.  
First, show them examples of the artist's work, opening discussion to how he used different colors, shapes, line and figures.  Ask your child what they think of the art work.  Why do they like it? What do they see in his paintings?  Do they like what he painted? The colors?  How does it make them feel, happy, silly...?  Any questions you think will spark a discussion about the work with your child.  Get them thinking about what and how Paul Klee painted not just that he painted a red balloon or a person.

Watercolor paper 
I use large 18" X 24" it gives them more room to work with and kids think its fun
Painters Tape
line the borders of your paper this will give you nice finished edges
any type you already have will do 
kids palette trays, seen above, work just fine
Wide Paint Brush or Foam Brush
you need a wide brush that will give you a nice wash over the whole picture, covering more area

Okay, to get started:

First, your child is going to color a picture. (make sure you have taped your borders with painters tape)  Remember to talk about the things they saw in Paul Klee's pictures.  What did they like the colors, the figures?  Try stencils for shapes and numbers or let them make their own.

Second, after their crayon picture is done they are going to apply the watercolors.  The trick to getting a nice watercolor wash is to add more water.  Make sure their wide brush is quite wet and even add a little water to the little palette of color.  Once they have enough diluted watercolor on their brush begin painting over your picture.  They may use multiple colors or just pick one, paint over the whole picture even spots containing the crayon picture.

The key to this project is the watercolor is resistant to the crayon picture that is already been laid down.  Yes your child is painting over the picture they colored but the watercolor still works as the background color because the crayon marks show through or they are resistant to picking up the watercolor paint. Neat! 

Let your child's picture dry for a couple hours on a flat surface.  Once dry you may remove the painters tape.  Tip: remove it at an angle slowing so not to rip up any parts of the paper.  
Now display it proudly for everyone to see!!

  the scary monster and little triangle person- Cyrus Jones 2011

 Silly People- Cyrus Jones 2011

Every Child Is An Artist 
Pablo Picasso 


We Celebrated

Happy Birthday to BOTH of you......
We celebrated my mom and sister's birthday with girls lunch date at House on the HillDelicious lunch crepes, I had the rendez vous- eggs, ham, tomato and a whole lot of other goodness. 
Doesn't that fruit cup just make you smile?

Celebrations continued with dinner and of course CAKE!  Bundt, pound cake with fresh berries and homemade whip cream.
Unfortunately yes even I sang, Happy Birthday To You..... but who wouldn't for a piece of cake.
Cy insisted on a piece of cake, which is rare.... turns out he wanted the candles in his cake so he could have a turn blowing them out.  Practice I am assuming for that other birthday he keeps reminding us about that is coming up next year.
Have I mentioned I hate having my picture taken, even worse while I'm eating.
Sage doesn't mind....anything that involves food he's down.  If he really likes something he sings, hums, while he's eating its pretty funny.  If he wants something or gets excited he pinches his lips together and says Ooo, Oooo...
Grandpa and his boys, a rare photo of my dad, this only happens when he doesn't know you taking it!
Happy Birthday to two very special people and beautiful women in my life!!


Paletas please

These look delicious beyond words.....
Paletas- Mexican ice pops 
pureed frozen treat that's either ice or cream based

Here's a few recipes I came across:
Watermelon Lime Cilantro, same page includes recipes for Avocado Mango, PB banana

some other combinations sour orange, strawberry...... mmmm... must give these a try!


Hello Green Beans

HELLO Green Beans.....

Our garden has sprouted meet a few of our new friends...

Silly Squash soaks up the sun....

Perfect Peas picked this picture.... 

The gang in the garden grew and grew, tremendous tomatoes chill next to the cool cucumbers, spiced with some bustling basil, cute chives and radicial rosemary.

Okay I might have read too many bedtime stories tonight or maybe when I bumped my head at the playground...but anyway that's our new summer garden gang.
We'll keep you posted on their progress! 


1,000 words

This Picture is worth a 1,000 words......
priceless, love, joy, family, cousins, superheros, dress up, make believe, imagination, childhood, memories, fun, summer, birthday, play, laugh .......
You get the picture, no pun intended

and then there's Sage, my little wild man he always looks crazed or just surprised.

Happy Wednesday- Half way through the WEEK!
I can almost see you WEEKEND here we come.....


My Menu

I cannot make decisions, I hate it, I procrastinate until I absolutely have to or run out of time.   With that in mind you can understand why I plot out a weekly menu.  Seriously if I had to think of what to make every night when we get home we wouldn't eat until 8 p.m.  So here's a sneak peek for this week:
Woman's Day BLT Pasta Recipe

 I have to laugh.... we've been making a big batch of fruit salad every week.  We all LOVE fruit.  I can't remember when but Cy and I had watched a sesame street episode where a mother and two kids were cutting up fruit to make a fruit salad.  They were naming each type of fruit then they started some kind of song while they mixed it in a bowl..... but all Cy and I can remember is the part that goes:
Fruit, Fruit, Fruit S-A-L-A-D...
I can't find a clip or what episode it was so for now that's the only part of the song we can sing.


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