Tuesday, June 12, 2012

...the Bronx Is Up and the Battery's Down...the people ride in a hole in the ground....

I'm looking forward to representing Picasso's Basement at the upcoming Fanwood Green Fair on June 26th and that got me to thinking about the wonderful projects the kids have done with recycled items. I always save and reuse what I can, from cereal boxes to yogurt cups to bottles.

Months ago I told you about our  Upcycled New York City. Well here it is! I still have to poke the holes in the background and add the strand of lights so it will look like night stars. But I figured I'd better get this posted before another 2 months pass!

Watch Out! King Kong is on the loose!

St. Patrick's Cathedral
Lincoln Center complete with taxis
Chrysler Building with Empire State Building in the background

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Riddle me this, Batman!

I got one for you.

Q: What does a vinyl Thompson Twins album, a Barbie doll shoe and an egg carton have in common?

Give up?
A: I can use them ALL as art supplies!`

I have many generous friends who have literally kept Picasso's Basement going by supplying me with their refuse. Several parents of Picasso's Basement students recently asked what else the art room could use. My list is long and everchanging but I've done my best to put together a current list. If you have anything listed that you'd like to contribute or you have something new (or old) and exciting that you think you'd like to pan off on me donate, please drop me a line!

  1. Clear square CD Cases. Really. With or without enclosed CD
  2. Egg Cartons (Plastic for great paint trays, styrofoam/cardboard are saved for crafts)
  3. Bubble Wrap (the small bubbles, not the big ones)
  4. Rounded small Applesauce/Fruit containers 
  5. Extra craft supplies you're getting rid of! (Wait! Why would you get rid of it?! Well, IF...)
  6. Old maps
  7. Buttons
  8. Pencils 
  9. Erasers
  10. Wooden frames
  11. Plywood Scraps (big enough to cut into small signs with a jigsaw)
  12. Printer paper
  13. Vinyl albums and singles (do you remember these?)
  14. Bottle caps. (Yes. Still.)
  15. Laundry detergent bottles, preferably brightly colored ones
  16. *Teeny tiny toy pieces (Gumball machine items, Polly Pocket dolls and accessories. Letter blocks etc.)
  17. Old magazines for cutting up.
  18. Things with weird textures. (I know. It's vague. Use your imagination. Have a strip of mesh food baggies? It's fantastic for printmaking!)
  19. Art books
  20. Art posters
  21. Lampshades
If you want to know what the teeny toy pieces are good for take a look at this fabulous piece created by one of my Middle School students:

Assemblage ala Louise Nevelson

And if I haven't said it enough, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU  to all of those whose generous contributions have kept my art program going! 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Diamond Jubilee Crowns Fit for a Queen!

It's true. I have a little thing about England. 
It could be that it is because they have such great accents. 
It could be that it is because they drive on the wrong side of the road and eat marmite and say "vitamin" and "aluminum" in such silly ways. 
So it was with great excitement that the PreK kids arrived in time to help me celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

"What do you need to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee" you ask?
That's right. Buckets. 
Here's the whole list to make the most royal crowns ever!
  1.  One Bucket per artist
  2. Paper and Crayons (we used only reds and blues)
  3. White paper cut in strips long enough to fit around the bucket
  4. Red and blue and white Bottle Caps or buttons or something to be the "jewels"
  5. Glittery Pipe Cleaners (I used silver)
  6. Glue and hot glue
  7. White tape
  8. Red felt (or some royal color of choice)
  9. Newspapers for stuffing
  10. Optional glittery garlands

Make sure buckets are empty and clean. Flip em over so the open part is on the table. 
Glue some clumped up newspaper on top--this is only for stuffing so no need to be picky. 
Top with large rounded cut piece of felt. Glue the bottom edge of the felt to the bucket with glue dots or hot glue. 
Have kids draw Royal Patterns on the paper with different reds and blues. (This is a GREAT time to talk to younger kids about there being many tints and shades of any color.) Glue or tape that paper around the bottom of the bucket so it covers the bottom of the felt. 
Wrap a circle of pipe cleaner around the upper portion of the crown and attach other pipe cleaners so they can be wrapped around the top.
Glue on Bottle Cap jewels and festive garlands and any doodads you think will make it look royal.

 We decorated tea cups with paint markers too because where would the Queen be without her tea? 
But no need to show them for they were a mere afterthought. 
It's all about the crowns!