That Look and a Lesson in Letting Go

I’m constantly amazed by the places my kids decide to put their foot down.  You know, when they choose “that” moment to exercise their independence and prove to the world that they don’t need you anymore?  I’m supportive of most of their efforts.  It’s tough as a parent to watch them move forward without you.  And even tougher to resist running up behind them when they stumble (metaphorically speaking, of course).   We’re at the stage now that if I make a suggestion on how to accomplish a task, my son will do the opposite and I get this “look.”  You know the one.  The one that says “I’m doing this just to prove you wrong,” or, as it often happens, to prove me right, much to his chagrin.   When the stakes are low, I let it all slide.  After all, who will it really hurt if he wears his clothes inside out and backwards?  Or, as in the layout below, he wants to eat his ice cream IN the pool?  Sometimes you just have to let it go.

Kit Credits
Now Get Scrappin!

While we try to teach our children about life….

This month’s quote challenge at Polka Dot Plum (that’s a challenge to make a layout using a particular quote) really got me thinking.
I wrote a brief note to my boys; I’m sure some day they’ll go “oh yeah, this is what my mom meant!”

Funny thing about parents… we don’t take you to museums, parks and other “extra curricular” activities just to keep you occupied (although it’s definitely a part of it!).  I’m sure some do it out of wanting to enrich their children’s education, or feel obliged to offer them opportunities to explore and offer a variety of new situations.
I know that I do it for a little bit of each of those reasons.
My real reason is it keeps ME young.
When I get the chance to interact with you on your level, it makes me marvel all over again about science, art, nature and appreciate more the wonders  of how you are  growing up and taking in this big world.  It keeps me young when I get to laugh with you over the funny things and act silly with you whenever the opportunity presents itself.  It goes to prove that…
While we try to teach our children all about life,
Our children teach us what Life is All About. -unknown

The guys are in front of a painted aquarium wall pretending to be under water.  I don’t suggest these things, by the way.  They are so used to me pointing the camera, they yell – “Mom, take this shot” or “Mom, look, I’m being eaten by this giant (insert name of whatever mural or billboard we are near).”  I love their spontaneity.  That, too, keeps me young!

I created the paper by extracting some of the mural and blending them over a blue background.

Check out the Quote Challenge
and Get Scrappin!

Collage with Kids… A lesson in Pokes and Sticky Fingers

I love collage!  I consider myself a mixed-media artist and having the right adhesive is as important to me as having shelter, food and clothes.  To keep me active in art, I teach art camps at KVPAC .  ( A great place for kids to explore their creativity through art and theater. )  This week I taught 14 kids ages 5-8 the art of Collage and Assemblage.

I LOVE teaching kids.  I taught adults for many years and grown-ups want to copy my sample to a “t.”  Wheres’ the fun in that?  Kids could care less what mine looks like.  Show them the “how” and they deliver some really creative stuff! I always find it interesting at the differences in the kids.  Some are tactile challenged and can’t stand to touch paper mache glue.  On the other end of the scale are the kids that just want to run their hands through the tub of beads or shells because “they like how it feels.”  There are the kids that dream up flying monsters that breathe oatmeal and the ones that, when drawing their house, want each brick to be exact.

This week, I was reminded about the drawbacks of teaching the 5-8 year olds – they don’t know how to communicate without poking you in the arm or tugging on your shirt!  At one point, I was helping one child and I had 2 on my right and 2 on my left poking me in the arm and tugging on my shirt.  I heard the one that said “I have paint on my hands” first.  Then “can I wash my hands” from another.  Sure enough, I looked down and had paint smears on one side and globs of glue on the other.  If only I had planned fabric art collage for the week’s curriculum!  🙂

The project we completed as a class was this Creative Community Collage.  We used the discarded foam board from the class next door (they used the circle cut outs) and collaged on 8×8 squares to place behind the openings.  Most of the kids made at least one “hole.”  They all had a say in what went where!

Kids are amazing and being around them in these classes inspires me!  I’ll be back to doing my own collages again…. as soon as I finish peeling glue off my hands!