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

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year's

When the school's are on vacation we get busy putting together an enriching curriculum for the kids who spend days with us during the camps. During winter break we put together a curriculum surrounding winter, whether it be fairy tales about winter like Persephone or making igloos or winter animals.
For our first day of camp we put together a celebration kit for NEW YEAR'S EVE. I really do love any excuse for a celebration and celebrations are even better with hand made accessories.

We painted show boxes and added some fabric to the bottom. We then filled it with the things we made throughout the day. We made celebration flags, noise makers, and party hats. 

Each project was fairly simple but really fun to put all together. We bought party hats at a dollar store. Took one apart and traced the shape onto paper. We gave the paper to the kids and they decorated them as they wished. After gluing the paper onto the hat form they then choose from different glittery garland  which we hot glued along the rim. They then glued some glittery pipe cleaners or plastic foliage in the top. Voila you have a hat to fit any party. 
The noise makers were also bought at the dollar store. We dissembled them to just the whistle part and added our own decorative paper fringe and feathers. 

After lunch we all went a noise maker parade through the neighborhood. It really was was a great way to celebrate. 


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Holidays!!!

Spending the morning making paper snowflakes with my children is my idea of a wonderful day.

Happy Holidays to you and your families!!!!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sparkly Pinecones

The curriculum for our  family classes for ages 2 and 3 being seasonal. I love coming up with ways for these little ones to create objects to bring cheer to the winter. I also use a lot of natural materials as art materials. That way kids find a connection between the world around them and creativity.  So this is what I came up with, hanging sparkly pinecones.

You'll need 
pine cones, which you can collect on walks.
paint of your choice
colored wire ( I use twisteez)
glitter lots of glitter.

After twisting the colored wire around the first few seeds of the cone so that it will hang you can set the pine cone on a plastic plate ( I use these ones from Ikea for all kinds of projects). Give them paint of color of choice and let them go to town. It's a different type of exploration for kids to paint an object rather than on paper. 

After paint comes the glitter which I put in small cups for them to sprinkle and then it doesn't get too out of control. 

I then give them each a cup of beads so that they can bead onto the wire. It's much easier for this age to bead onto wire rather than string. It's great for eye-hand coordination as well as fine motor skills. They love talking about the different colors of beads as they choose them.

The result are these little sparkly tokens of winter to hang in windows or on the door to greet guests.

Happy Holidays!!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Holiday Card Printing

I love the holiday season. I love the decorations.  I love the early darkness. I love the tree lightings. I love the cold. I even love the holiday music. Today we started off some celebrating by holding our first of many holiday workshops, holiday card printing. 

We used the foam printing process. It's such a simple process perfect for printing cards. You will need water-soluble printing ink, card stock, a brayer, printing foam or styrofoam, a pencil or sharp tool and a piece of plexi-glass, but plastic placemats will do as well. We first cut the printing foam to 4 X 5 inches. Then cut different colors of card stock 4.5 X 5.5. We give the kids short skewers to draw into the print foam. 

We then spread the ink on the plexi-glass. You can use the placemats for the ink. The kids love using the brayers to roll the ink on the pled-glass. Next spread the ink onto the print foam using the brayer.   When the ink has covered the entire foam image use a clean brayer to press the foam image onto the card stock ink side down and there you have it. 

We used a few different colors of ink as well as printed on a few different colors of paper. This made for many options for the kids. Each one displaying it's own individuality. Look at this sparkly silver snowman card. 

After the ink dried a bit we added some glitter. I really stressed to the children to use the glitter sparingly (which is incredibly hard to do). They did an amazing job of just adding a little embellishment.

I would be so excited to receive one of these beautiful cards in the mail. 

Happy Holidays!!!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sidewalk Murals

During our Thanksgiving day camps we take inspiration from some native tribes from both America and Canada. We look at the different ways they live depending on where they live. We look at some of their sacred objects and artifacts to create artworks of our own. We looked at designs of the Southwestern tribes, Navajo, Apache and Pima. This time we made murals on the sidewalk in front of the studio. 

I used Rangoli pigments to mix with liquid starch. This brilliant idea came from my friend Lauren Sharpe owner of Art-i-fact, a kids art studio in San Francisco. Rangoli pigments are those colorful powders that Indians (from India) use to color elephants. They are water soluble so it mixes well with the liquid starch and slowly fades away with time and rain. Perfect for sidewalk painting. Look at these amazing colors.

Now looking for liquid starch was not as easy as I had hoped so I finally decided to just make it myself. It's simply make from corn starch and boiling water. I then mixed the powders with the liquid starch to make these brightly colored paints. 

After researching some designs we decided to use designs from the Apache, the Navajo and the Pima nations. We talked about the tribes and designs with the kids and then outlined the designs on the sidewalk with chalk.

Then the kids just went to town painting away. While they painted the kids began to organically talk about color, pattern and symmetry. We had some great conversations.

After a few days it faded into this beautiful vintage looking painting. 

Happy Painting!!!

Monday, November 25, 2013


There is nothing like a square dance to bring a community together. I approached my friend, Tracy Green, who owns The Green Bean in Eagle Rock, just down the street from the Purple Twig. She is also in the incredible band The Hollow Trees. If you know the Hollow Trees then you would know that Traci would be the perfect person to partner with to put together a family square dance.  So we did.

I got the ever talented Triple Chicken Foot for the music and the incredible caller, Susan Michaels. Traci rented the Legion Hall. Add some decorations, a food truck and we were ready to go.
Susan, the caller, not only teaches everyone the dances as we go, she also knows so many whimsical dances perfect for  little ones. We had kids as little as two dancing away. It's such an incredible way for families to spend time together. 

It was an incredible way for the community to come together, just laughing and dancing together. Thank you all who joined us.  It was so fun to work with Tracy on this and we are now talking about having it be a regular thing.

Come Dance With Us!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Hand Building

We have been pinching, coiling, rolling as we find our way with clay.  I have been teaching a hand building class for kids ages 6-8. We have been making pots, pots and more pots by using the basic techniques of manipulating clay. Making pots is such a great way to introduce these techniques. I have watched these kids become more and more confident with the clay over the past 10 weeks.
We have been using a low-fire white clay.  Here are some great examples of the coiling technique.

They really experimented with the coils, making designs on top of the pots and sometimes with in the walls of the pot. Sometimes smoothing the away the coils and sometimes highlighting the coils. Some even sculpted creatures on top of the pots.

The low-fire glazes are bright and colorful.

 I love this little green beauty of a pot. 

Look at these amazing slab and pinched out pots. The kids really loved exploring with the crackle glazes.

We also experimented combining soft materials with the fired clay inspired by Tracy Wilkinson at TW Workshop here in Los Angeles. She makes incredible weavings attached to her pots. Although weaving seemed a bit ambitious for this age (or any age actually) I altered the project to be more age appropriate. The kids poked holes into the clay while forming their slab pots.  After firing and glazing they wove yarn or grass in and out of the holes. This process was frustrating for some of the kids but a such a great way to work through frustrations and succeed in creating something they can be really proud of.