Purple Twig- Art Exploration for kids. A mom run small business in Los Angeles. Stop by to see the trials and tribulations.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Celebrating the Sun

For Mother's Day we made these lovely sun prints mounted on wood. These early photographs are a wonderful way for kids to explore the nature growing in their neighborhood, even if that nature is planted and controlled. We gathered leaves fallen from trees and clipped leaves and flowers from abundant bushes. 

Once we got back to the studio we furthered our investigation of our botanical bounty. We squished, smelled, we looked closely and compared sizes, shapes and colors before they made their thoughtful choices of which plants to use on their photographic prints. 

We used rocks to weigh done the plant materials so they wouldn't blow away in the wind. So just the count to 20 in the sun and then into the water bath to wash away the light sensitive chemicals. 

While we waited for the prints to dry the kids prepared their wooden bases for their prints by sanding down the edges to a smooth finished edge. Using drills they drilled holes in the top of the wood to pass a wire for hanging. 

A layer of Modge Podge under and over the sun print and they were finished. Moms will be happy about these. I know I would. 

Happy Mother's Day

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Day at the Museum

It is such a treat for us to be able to work with such a large group of children as well as an honor to partner with such a respected institution as the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles.  We spent the day in their gardens today creating clay figurines with children of all ages. The event coordinator, Marisol, asked us to put together a workshop inspired by the exhibition Grandes Maestros.

After seeing the exhibition using clay seemed like an obvious choice.  Clay being one of the oldest materials for sculpture. The exhibition has some incredible ceramic figurines by contemporary artists. to be inspired by. 

So along with colorful fabrics, beads, buttons, yarn and pipe cleaners we set out the materials for kids to come and create.  Children from ages 3 to ages 16 stopped to make bowls, creatures, dancing figures and more.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Bug Collecting Boxes

 We did some bug collecting during our Spring Break Camp this year. This is such a fun project to get the kids to interact with their surroundings and to get out into their neighborhoods.

After looking at images of all kinds of insects and beetles the kids drew bugs with oil pastel and used watercolor to add color to the bodies.

We then hid the bugs around the neighborhood for them to find, saying the insects escaped and flew away. Kids love a scavenger hunt. They love to solve problems and the finding of an item is a great way to solve a problem. Like looking for clues.

Using mint tins that were generously donated to us the kids found and collected their own bugs from around the neighborhood. They had to really look closely and notice their surroundings in order to find their bugs.

The kids then decorated the tins using all kinds of decorative papers to make a place for the bug to live.

Happy Bug Collecting!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

How does your garden grow?

When making a collage I believe the more varied textures the better. These garden collages were made by ages 5-6 using layers and layers of materials. 
We began by reading the book UP, DOWN and AROUND by Katherine Ayers. This book illustrates so beautifully how things grow both above ground and below ground. 

I had prepared ahead of time shapes cut from thick and thin pieces of fabric appreciating all the patterns. The children could determine for themselves which shape would be which vegetable. I used gorgeous orange velvet and bright purples and pinks in upholstery fabrics and all kinds of cotton green patterns for leaves.

The first layer was drawing a line to mark the boundary of below and above ground. They then painted brown for below ground and whatever color they wanted for above ground, some wanted a blue sky, some pink and some orange. 

Discussing what vegetables they wanted in their gardens, they chose the fabrics and talked about what vegetables they like best. Adding the greens for each vegetable really made the garden complete.

The kids added buttons talking about bugs that live under ground or minerals that are underground. The final layer was a sprinkle of sand. We didn't have brown sand so we had to settle for black sand.  It adds another texture, a rough texture to the collage. 

Happy Collaging!

Saturday, March 21, 2015


I am a believer that if you start with beautiful materials then the final project will too be beautiful. In our haberdashery class, for ages 6-9,  we didn't actually do any sewing. It was mostly gluing both hot gluing and regular starting with beautiful materials to make glorious, playful hats.

We used  sensory materials like plaster or shaving cream and glue as well as familiar materials like plastic flowers, duct tape or pieces of jewelry that I pick up at flea markets ( this is always a favorite with the children,  just looking through the big jar of shiny jewelry to see what they can find). 

We made cake hats, and flower hats and feathered hats and fruit hats and top hats.

The kids would be giddy with delight when they saw the materials on that table for their choosing. It was difficult to hold them back so we could choose fairly and with a bit of order. 

Fabrics, plastic flowers, butterflies, beads, feathers and ribbon.

Look at these gorgeous velvet flowers that I actually found at a thrift store, bags of them.

We used berry baskets as our base for the smaller hats and cardboard as the base for the larger hats.
It was delightful to watch them working out ideas with the materials, discussing if this should be added or if this was too much ( It was almost never too much). The children would draw out ideas, but usually those ideas would change and evolve as they began to work with the materials. 

On the last day of class we invited family and friends together and performed a fashion show with make up and music. We practiced our walks, both slow and fast.  We asked questions. Would each hat have a different walk? Which hat might have a slow walk and which one a faster one or a twirl?

What a fantastic ending to the haberdashery class with no sewing.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Valentines for Young Readers

We are busy this week at our house getting ready for Valentines Day celebrations for the kid's school.
I love it! The red and pink fabric and paper, yarn and heart stamps come out and litter the tables all week long while working. 24 is a lot of Valentines to make. It can take a while. My daughter has decided to make bookmarks for the kids in her 3rd and 4th grade class this year.

We ordered these adorable cards from Minted. Not only are their designs fantastic but you can also personalize them with your child's name. 

We came up with a simple design for the bookmarks using red felt, some flowered fabric and some pink yarn. Materials that we just happen to have around which made it even easier. We cut out the shape we wanted using pinking shears. We glued the flower fabric onto the red fabric for the girls and left the red ones as is for the boys. 

She punched holes in the felt at one end and passed the yarn through to make tassels at the end.

She then punch holes in the corner of her Valentine cards and tied them onto one of the pieces of yarn. She is excited to hand these out to her friends on Friday. 

Happy Valentines Day!!!