Homemade trees make an appearance around my house fairly often: crocheted, knitted, stitched, felted, wooden, paper, cardboard, and simple branches in vases filled with sand. So when excited kids, air dry modeling clay and small bits of trees get together, yet another homemade forest is born:
You can let the clay dry with the mini-trees stuck in the stand, but the branches dry out in a few days and the needles make a pretty mess. I recommend making the clay base taller with a larger, deeper hole, leaving out the branch until the clay is dry. This creates a reusable pine stand that can make appearances in any season, for colorful ponies and woodland animals alike.
I guess it’s really time to show the Finished Kitchen Cart. It’s been a while since I first wrote about this family art collaborative, surely long enough to have it done. Yep.
Thing is, living in a family of artists, not only are we still drawing on it, finding empty spaces now on the sides and legs, but the young artists have also begun drawing over what they’ve already done. Layers of creativity, of paint pens and designs.
From afar it looks like chaos, but looking closely you see so many little moments, secrets, signs. My Little Pony portraits. A pitched tent. Rainbows of stars. Strong-Strong from Zita the Spacegirl squeezed in by a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle speaking Love. There is so much of my young artists’ personalities in this project, it has become my favorite thing in the house. A family heirloom nobody else could create.
All this is to say, it may never be done. I can picture them coming home to visit as adults and adding another doodle. Seriously. And I will have paint markers ready, just in case.
So here is our trash-found treasure, once a kitchen cart, now an Art Cart. It’s got math, monsters, ponies, camping trips, stars, spirals, lizards, faces, video game mentions (Dust), and a lot of color, love, and time put into it.
First there was a great wooden kitchen cart that I found put out to trash in Manayunk.
Then… there was InkTober.
Inspired by Ben Hatke of the Zita the Spacegirl series and Jake Parker of Missile Mouse series? Yep, these kids were game. And at first… at first paper was enough for us.
But the supplies were on the kitchen cart… and they know my feelings about artistic graffiti created in the right situations… Sooo…
It’s been a week and they’re still drawing. The kitchen cart that almost went into a landfill, now has a new life as a work of art.
Sometimes—often—our kids are passionate about things we are uninterested in, perplexed or bored by. At times, listening to them closely can explain why they care so much, and give us enough fuel of interest to hold our attention through the monologues of information. If nothing else, we can love their love, be grateful they care a whole lot about something (not everyone does), and help nurture it in whatever way we can.
For instance, my ten-year-old daughter’s dragon love. It has been in her since toddlerhood, since before she could speak in sentences. It began with toys and board books, then drawings, sculptures, paperweights, Lego projects, and now in chapter books.
Yes, honey, I will buy you out-of-print dragon codices. Don’t worry.
And yes, you can make dragon rune graffiti in the garden. I understand.
And I love your love.
Being the type of homeschoolers we are, there’s no such thing as homework around here.
But there is Home Work, especially for old chests that need a new lease on life and a happy color. Nobody in this family needs cajoling to complete a lesson using spray paint.
An after Home Work, there’s Extra Credit in Dragon Runes: