Super easy melted crayon ornaments!!

 Hello friends!

I hope you all are having a wonderful December!  I wanted to just jump on over with a very quick blog post about project that I did with the kids--melted crayon ornaments!  They turned out so pretty!

This wasn't my idea at all, rather it was the result of a quick Pinterest search!  I love how they turned out, and the kids had so much fun making them with me.  If you are looking for a quick and easy gift for your kids to make with you help, this is a great one!
For our ornaments my kids each picked out two colors of crayons for each ornament.
We cut up some crayons into little pieces, and put them in glass ornaments (Make sure you get the glass ornaments and not the plastic ones.  The plastic ones will melt!  I bought mine at Michael's).  

Then I used a piece of yarn to tie to the top of the ornament. I let my kids use a hair dryer to blow the ornament, and then I used a kitchen mitt to move the bulb and let the crayons swirl around the ornament.  Be careful, as the ornament gets really hot!  (This is why I let my 6 and 8 year old use the hairdryer, rather than having them help with holding the ornament). All in all, a pretty quick and easy project!
This project was just so much fun that I had to share it!  I hope you all are having a wonderful December!!  

XOXO, Jill


Easy DIY dishtowels from your kids art work!

Hi friends!

Are you all caught up in the Holiday rush?  I sure am.  That's why I really love this little project that I did with the kids.  We turned art into dish towels and I think they turned out so cute!  Hop on over to Make It and Love It to check out the full tutorial!

Have a great week everyone!




My Favorite Art Supplies and Books for Kids...all in one post!

Please note this post contains Amazon affiliate links.  This basically means that if you purchase from Amazon after clicking on one of these links, a small portion of the sale goes to me...all at no cost to you.  Fine Art Adventures was given to me to review as well.  All opinions shared in this article are my own though. 

Hi friends!

So a while back I gave you a list of all of my favorite art books for kids.  I thought I'd expand on that post today with some of my favorite art supplies for kids...and I'll include the book info as well so that you have one really complete long list.  With Christmas coming up, I know that lots of you might be looking into fun art gift ideas for Christmas.  I'd say this list is pretty good for kids 5+.  A few things are good for the younger kids too.  A lot are inexpensive and would make great stocking stuffers!

I love, love, love roundups like these and I really hope that it's a great resource for you! If you have something you love feel free to add a comment to the end of this post.

1.  Oil Pastels.  They are cheap and make a great stocking stuffer.  Kids love the vibrant colors and the fact that they look so impressive with construction paper.

2. Gouache paints.  My 8 year old got these for her birthday and she was thrilled.  She really loves experimenting with using the paints at different consistencies--either full strength or watered down like watercolors.  Throw in a palette and you've got a great gift.

3. Master Kitz Art Kits:  My kids love these.  They get to recreate a masterpiece largely using stencils and rollers.  It's a great introduction to famous artists though and would be great paired with some of the books I shared below.

4.  Spin Art:  We have this paint spinner and it's been a favorite with my kids since they were preschoolers.  My second grader is starting to be less interested now, but it's really great for preschool and kindergarten aged kids.

5.Polyform Model Air:  This is the clay that I used to make ballerinas and doll food for my kids. I really like that it is air dry clay, so the kids can make their projects without adult help.  You can also use markers to color the clay...just add in a little bit of ink while the clay is still wet and knead it until the color is taken up.  For younger kids though I'd stick to play doh.

6.  Glitter Gel Pens:  I used to write notes to my friends in high school with gel pens such as these.  My kids love them to draw and write notes with!

7.  Glitter Glue:  My kids love it.  My husband hates it. 

8.  Pipe Cleaners:  These might seem like such a basic art supply, but my kids can never get enough of pipe cleaners.  They will play with them for hours, making little sculptures and animals.  They love to add beads on them, and glue on googly eyes.

9.  Scratch paper:  Scrape away at this paper to reveal shiny and colored paper beneath.  It's really fun for kids to make neat designs. 

10.  Pottery Wheel Kit for Kids:  My kids got a pottery wheel last year for Christmas.  It's something we've only used a couple of times, but it's really been an enjoyable experience for them. 

11. Spirograph:  A spirograph has to tug a little bit at your heartstrings, right?  It's such a classic!  I loved one as a kid, and my kids love it now too.

12. Flower Press:   I'm a big fan of any product that kids can really own and take control of themselves.  A flower press is so great for that!  I let my kids collect flowers and leaves in the backyard, and they can press them themselves.  Then we turn them into bookmarks, or add the dried flowers to their artwork. 

And here are my favorite picture book and activity books, that I originally posted about this this post:

Let me tell you a little bit about these awesome books!

1.  Sandy's Circus: A Story About Alexander Calder by Tanya Lee Stone:  Few artists captured my kids imagination as much as Calder and his circus.  This charming picture book explores Sandy's whimsical circus inventions.

2.  Just Behave, Pablo Picasso!:  This book is Ellie's favorite.   Picasso wasn't willing to just make art that conformed with the standards of the time, hence the title. Ellie loves everything about Picasso--from his rebellious spirit to his colorful and strange-looking art.

3.  The Noisy Paint Box:  The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky's Abstract Art:  This Caldecott Honor book is a lovely tribute to Vasya Kandinsky and it's BEAUTIFUL.  Truly.

4.  Linnea in Monet's Garden by Christina Bjork:  This was one of my favorite books when I was a kid, and it still is.  I love the charming illustrations mixed with real photographs.

5. The Dot by Peter Reynolds:  I love Peter Reynolds' books.  From the dot to Ish...they are simple and sweet.  Great for any kid who maybe feels a little reluctant to get started with their own art. 

6.   Katie and the Sunflowers by James Mayhew: It's not the traditional art story book--it does involve kids jumping into famous paintings after all...but its a fun twist.

7.   You Can't Take a Balloon into the Museum of Fine Arts by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman: I love all of the "You Can't Take a Balloon" series.  The illustrations by Robin Glasser are just so captivating--Ellie spent so much time studying them!

8.   Children's Introduction to Art: The World's Greatest Paintings and Sculptures by Heather Alexander: This one's more of an art resource book, but Lu ate it up.  Lots of info for an art enthusiast. 

9.   Meet the Artist books:   This series of books is amazing.  We're talking 3D pop-ups and interactive pages.  Really, really cool guys.

10:  Degas and the Little Dancer by Lawrence Anholt:  Maybe it's because my kids love dance, but this book really captured their imaginations.  It inspired them to make their own ballerina sculptures. 

11.  Mix It Up! by Herve Tullet: Herve Tullet makes such fun interactive books.  This book presents color theory in a way that's so fun, especially for the younger crew.  Be ready to mix up the colors on the pages--who knew that just a regular book could be so interactive?

12.  Uncle Andy's:  A Faabbulous Visit with Andy Warhol by James Warhola: A lovely look into "Uncle Andy" and his exciting life.  I'm pretty sure my kids were left wishing that they had an uncle Andy too!

13.  Iggy Peck Architect by Andrea Beaty:  Andrea Beaty's books speak to my heart.  Ok, ok, maybe this book isn't about an artist exactly.  The creativity of Iggy Peck though makes me feel like this book belongs on this list though, even if it has more of a science feel.  After all science and art do go together! 

14.  Fine Art Adventures: 36 Creative, Hands-On-Projects Inspired by Classic Masterpieces by Maja Pitamic:  I received this book to review, but all opinions are my own.  There are lots of fun projects here inspired by lots of artists.  I think my favorite thing about this book is that the projects don't require lot of expensive supplies.  This makes this book perfect for teachers --or a last minute project at home!

15.   Ed Emberley's fingerprint books: I think fingerprint sketches are so fun!  And I love that my kids can do these projects all by themselves.

16.  Scratch and Sketch book:   There are a whole series of these books--including an art version!  My kids can't get enough of them....I guess there is just something magical about scratching and seeing a color of rainbows underneath.

17.  The Girls' Doodle Book by Andrew Pinter: I bring this book to any waiting room I need to bring my kids too.  The prompted drawings hold my kids attention for so long.  There's a boy version too!

18.  My Crazy Inventions Sketchbook by Lisa Regan: The scientist in me loves this prompted activity book.  My kids love it too! 

19.   Once Upon a Doodle by Hannah Cohen:  This book stays in our activity bag alongside the Girls' Doodle book and the Crazy Inventions Sketchbook above.  

 20.  Doodle and Design Fashion by Jennie Sun: This activity book is really simple--just outlines of girls in different outfits.  Lu loves adding her own patterns to the outfits though, and it's provided hours of entertainment.

Have something to add to the list?  Add a comment below!




Holiday Pop-up Cards Your Kids Will LOVE Making!

Hello friends!

The holidays are approaching, and my kids LOVE to celebrate with cards for their teachers and friends.  They were begging me for a craft idea when I remembered how I used to make pop up cards as a kid.  Did anyone else make these too? 
 The basic idea is that you make the beak pop out, which is totally perfect for a turkey!  The more we got to thinking though we realized that we could make so many cards perfect for the holidays!

We added a little scallop to the bottom to make a Christmas tree...
 and turned it upside down to make a Snowman's nose! 
 The best part is that they really are super simple to make.  No words really needed!  See the full tutorial below!


Have you checked out my Society6 shop yet?

Hi Friends!

I can't wrap my head around the fact that Thanksgiving is just in a couple of days!  And then it will be Christmas before we know it! 

If you are like me, you're probably beginning to think about what you want gifts you want to give your family and friends.  The last few months I've been slowly building my Society 6 shop, and I'm really excited today to share some of the products that I have available there now. 

Society6 recently just updated their website shopping interface, and I'm really happy with it.  It makes it so much easier to browse the different items in my shop!  The biggest change is that you can now browse by all of the different categories: prints, hand towels, travel mugs, stationary cards, tote bags, wall clocks and pillows!

I know it's kind of confusing that I have both an ETSY shop and a Society6 shop. The reason that I have both is that I don't make the products on Society6. That means I can offer my art on a much wider product line than I could produce...and you aren't limited by the number of goods I can produce. 

I love these pillows for example!  I ordered the girl and unicorn pillows for my daughters for Christmas!

My other big favorite Society6 items are their tote bags.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE the largest sized ones!

Oh, and remember all the seed packet art that I did this summer?  I have those designs in my Society6 shop too! 
Anyway, I've only really shown you a small amount of what's available in my shop right now.  Most of the designs are available across a wide range of products...so you can get the art as a hand towel, or phone case, an ipad cover, or even a rug

Thanks so much for shopping with me today!  I so appreciate your support of my creative journey!




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