art, education, life, news

To blog or not to blog

Forgive me readers for I have sinned. It’s been six months since my last blog post. 

Yeah, yeah, I know, this isn’t news here. When I look back on my last 5 years or so, I realize that I often get side-tracked by life and I stop blogging for months at a time. And every single time, I feel bad about abandoning my blog. This time, I actually debated about keeping or deleting the blog. But in the end, when it came time to renew my WordPress subscription for this site, I decided to go for it and keep the blog alive. I am making no promises of regular blogging but I will definitely try to check in at least once a month. Nothing’s stopping me, now that I have a nice computer!

So anyway, what happened in the past six months? I finished my year-long project of daily art. I will share a few photos of the last ones here eventually. I continued my fine motor skills activities at school and am now doing them with the third group of kids, the pre-k class. I’m actually adapting a lot of the activities I previously did with the others so that we can do them in two sessions instead of one but these kids are really good (I’m afraid I might run out of activities!) 

What else… Those who follow me on Facebook know this already: I’m an auntie! My brother and his fiancée had a beautiful daughter a little over two months ago: Clara. We are totally in love with our little princess. I won’t share photos of her here to protect their privacy.

I haven’t created a lot of art since the beginning of this year. A few doodles. A bit of colouring in some of my books. I think that my daily art project burned me out and I needed a break but now, I’m ready to get back to art. Maybe not daily but at least weekly. I do have a couple of watercolour paintings that need to be finished soon. And now that the weather is improving, I’ll start going for walks and taking photos again.

In the meantime, I leave you with this quick charcoal drawing I did tonight. Thank you for sticking around and see you soon!

SoFy

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art, education, life, project

Tangrams

First things first… I’m having computer problems these days so this will be my last blog post until said problems are resolved but you can always see my daily art on Facebook or Instagram.

Second, even though my blog title says tangrams, I’m starting with a mandala that I made yesterday.

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Third, here are some tangrams my students made during our fine motor activity. I printed the shapes from this website on cardstock and cut only around the square they formed. I had the students work on their scissor skills by cutting the pieces on their own. I noticed that instead of cutting the middle line to separate some pieces, they all cut each shape out individually. When all the pieces were cut and the scissors put away, they got to play with their tangrams by reproducing patterns I had printed out. Some of the patterns are in different colors because they come from this website. Each student left with their own little cardstock tangram in a little bag. In order for them to redo the activity, I gave them each a piece of paper on which I had printed the two website addresses I used.

Finally, inspired by today’s activity and this pin on Pinterest, I made my very own tangram stamps from a 2″ square of carving material. Fun!

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Hopefully, I’ll be back soon on the blog… Until then, thanks for visiting!

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art, education, project

Oodles of doodles

Today, I’m showing you a ghost zentangle that I made yesterday, inspired by this mandala. And a “double draw” or two-handed drawing, which I first encountered here.

The latter was also a technique my students tried today in fine motor class, as well as the Michelangelo technique (lying on your back and drawing with your arm extended up), and the “easel” technique (standing with extended arm, the hand not touching the paper.) I noticed that a lot of kids were tempted to rest their wrist or even forearm on the paper while drawing standing and I kept telling them to reposition their arm. Each technique had its challenges but everyone seemed to have fun.

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art, education, project

Doodling and geoboards

Today was my birthday but I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather. (And speaking of weather, it was unseasonably warm this afternoon.) I didn’t do much celebrating today. Dinner with the family was Saturday, and yesterday it was lunch with my coworkers. I did get a stack of birthday drawings from some students which was really sweet. And since I didn’t have any cake today, I decided to give myself a zentangle cupcake!

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Yesterday, I played with watercolors again to create a doodle frame and added details and letters with a paint pen.

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For my fine motor skills activity, we played with geoboards. My father made me four with nails, I bought a kit of six plastic squares, and we also used cork trivets with push-pins as well as looms that used to be for elastic bracelets (remember Rainbow Looms?)

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The kids enjoyed the different ways to work and I had different types of elastics so they could see the difference in tension and texture. It was a fun activity and pretty quiet too. I had printed models for them to reproduce but they ended up free-styling it the whole time and that was fine by me (creativity galore!)

Anyway, not a bad day for a birthday…

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art journal, education, project

Art journaling

I’ve been itching to play with paints in my art journals lately. I always have at least 2 art journals going at once. Yesterday, I played in the small one (4.5″ x 6.5″) with watercolor pencils for a still-life while today, I played in the bigger one (8.5″ x 11″) with acrylics and ink for an abstract. Here are the results:

At work, for my fine motor group, we practiced our writing skills and pencil grasps by completing some drawings: adding feathers to an owl, scales to a fish, stripes to a zebra, etc. I kept telling the kids that this wasn’t to work fast but to work well as some of them were rushing through the pages. I asked a few of them to erase and restart some of their work as it was too sloppy but in general, they did well. I’m really impressed by their skills.

That’s all for today. I hope you have a nice weekend and I’ll be back on Sunday.

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art, education, project

Doodling and Lego patterns

Let’s start today’s post with the fine motor skills portion. We had fun playing with Legos and following patterns I had printed off of the internet. I found the alphabet here, the color towers here, and the other models here. Oddly enough, they had a harder time with the color towers than the letters or other models. And I don’t know if it was because they were more excited but this was the first time that my fine motor activity was really noisy. I might have to figure out a different way to do it with the next class.

And I finally took a photo of my manipulation objects.

Now, on to the art portion with some doodled mandalas and a hand-lettered postcard. Nothing fancy but still fun.

Have a nice weekend! And if you’re Canadian, happy Thanksgiving weekend!

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art, education, project

Drawing and threading

One thing that always surprises me is when I create something that I deem ordinary or even sub-standard and then receive a lot of “likes” and positive comments for it on social media. Yesterday’s piece was one of those. I was tired after my work day and a 3-hours line dancing class and not very inspired. Because I had all sorts of music going through my head, I decided to draw a treble clef and embellish it with some zentangles. I thought the end result was ordinary but it seems it caught the eye of a few of my friends ad family.

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Today’s creation is also a drawing but this time, I brought the charcoal pencil. It’s more of an experiment but I’m pleased with it. If I were to redo it, I wouldn’t add the big shadow blob below the feather but what’s done is done.

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Also, today was my fine motor skill activity and we had fun with threading. I supplied a variety of threading material: large and thin shoe laces, plastic lace, pipe cleaners. I also had various beads and buttons as well as pull-tabs from soda cans. Only one of the students had a hard time threading so I helped him by tying a big wooden bead on one end of a large shoe lace and showed him how to thread with my pieces of pool noodle. Once he got it, he moved on to the big wooden beads and then smaller ones. I added new objects to the manipulation basket which they loved: puffer balls, “fart putty”, bendable figurines and more stress balls.

Thanks for visiting!

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