Crafters Night!
A Fall Meme

Painting Day!

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Do you have a regular painting day at your house? A day when you break out the brushes and watercolors, tie smocks on the kids and let them have at it?

Well, in theory, we do - though in practice, not so much. I mean, I am completely sold on the idea that a regular painting day (just like a regular nature study day or a regular tidy-up day) has an important place in our home learning rhythm. So what keeps us from doing it more often? (I am asking myself as much as anyone!) I think the answer (as with most things) lies within the issue of organization.

Basically I am looking for a way to make kid-crafting more do-able: easy and spontaneous, yet with a manageable mess quotient. I would love - love - a corner all set up for this kind of crafting; in fact, I have one "on order." ;) Bill is working on making over our basement into a playroom for the boys. I have requested a craft corner - with enough space to work, to store supplies neatly, and with perhaps a clothesline hung above for finished or drying projects. It also has to be set up in a way that Earlybird can manage - i.e. enough materials to be creative, not so many as to be overwhelming.

But all that will be fodder for a future post (when I get some pictures of downstairs), for now, let me return to our "Harvest Moon" painting day last week. It was so nice out, we decided to work out-of-doors ....

Here are the boys at their workspace (the picnic table covered in newspapers):

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Due to Earlybird's sensitivities, I hesitate to use traditional watercolors when working with him. Instead, I mixed up some natural food dye with a bit of water, and hoped for the best.

He pretty much liked the mixing part the best:

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Working with a Harvest theme, we stuck to yellow and red (and thereby, orange).

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I was a little fuzzy on the whole paper thing - it had been a while since we last painted - soak, don't soak, soak a little? I didn't have the OM manual at my side, so I hedged my bets and ended up wiping the paper with a damp sponge. It seemed to work well.

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I loved watching all the boys get into it in their own way. EB was all about the water, Crackerjack wanted to get back to his baseball, lol (though he did finish his painting), and Bookworm took things nice and slow:

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The only instruction I had given them was to fill their papers with "harvest color." Bookworm decided to make an autumn sunset, and he worked on it for quite some time.

You can see the paintings hanging to dry on our clothesline at the top of this post. They dried very quickly in the breeze and were ready to craft with before long.

I made an orange moon out of my paper and hung it against peach tissue in the windows:

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It reminded me of the sky in the opening scene of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, when Lucy and Linus head out to the neighborhood pumpkin patch ... do you know the one I mean? The sky is always perfect in those CB specials.

Crackerjack made a pumpkin face with his (photo forthcoming) while Earlybird used his painting as drawing paper (photo not available). :)

Bookworm used some of my orange painted paper to cut out a smaller Harvest Moon. He rigged up a pulley system and suspended it over his sunset (adding a piece of starry blue scrapbook paper above) ...

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He then had a neat little nature story to tell - the rising and setting of the Harvest Moon! You could do this with any full moon, changing the color to white or even blue or green. (Or even the shape could change as the moon waxes and wanes!)

I expect our next painting day will be held indoors, unless we get another touch of Indian Summer - but hopefully we'll have our craft corner soon ready downstairs! You know, I would love to see how other folks set up their crafting corners ~ now, wouldn't that be a fun carnival?

Well, thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a great Wednesday!

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