Monday, March 5, 2012

My Niece's Creativity Fair Project

My Niece's Creativity Fair Project

I love being Aunt Vickie to my twin sister's kids. These two little girls are wonderful. One is seven and the other four - their birthdays are coming up in a few months. (How did they get so grown up so fast?!) They are the two funniest people I've ever met! 

The seven year old has a Creativity Fair coming up for second grade. She couldn't wait to ask me to help her with it. She says she "wants to be an artist like Aunt Vickie" all the time. 

I melt.

I show her my work a lot to inspire her. She is fascinated that I make so much out of recycled materials like cardboard and junk mail. She wanted to use recycled materials for her project - "just like Aunt Vickie!"

I set up the dining room table for us to work since there's not enough room in my messy studio. 

When she arrived to work on this she had an egg carton with her. I asked if the shapes of the egg carton looked like anything to her. When she turned it over she saw mountains. I thought a row of it looked like a bug. She said "caterpillar" right away! So creative! 

I let her do all of the art part and I only handled the hot glue part and painted a few toilet paper rolls to move things along a bit faster. She cut the egg carton into rows lengthwise. I showed her how to decoupage with torn tissue paper. I have some printed with music. She ripped up and crumpled the pieces. We sat together and I made a caterpillar, too, to show her some techniques. We painted over our decoupage with craft paints. She got creative with the stripes and dots. 

I poked the holes so she could thread pipe cleaners through the egg carton for legs. Then I showed her how to wrap a pipe cleaner around a pencil to get a tight coil. 

Since I had recently been working on some toilet paper tube crafts she wanted to do something with those, too. She thought they would make good buildings. She painted six tubes different colors. 

I also have been working with coffee cup sleeves as art and that kind of blew her mind. So I gave her a couple to see if she could come up with an application. She pulled one open in the middle and saw that the part that is folded over would look like a roof if she cut the sleeve in half. She's a genius, right? Am I biased?

There was a roll of punchinella (sequin waste) on the table. She asked what it was. I gave her a piece to experiment with. She said it would make good roof "tile". Again, genius!

I hot glued the roofs onto the toilet paper rolls and then glued on the punchinella she had cut to fit the roof shapes. 

When the caterpillar was near the houses the idea of scale came to my mind. I said it looked like a GIANT caterpillar was walking through town. She laughed and then excitedly said we should make a lawn and a road for the scene. I love that she gets funny things like this now that she's old enough. 

I hot glued three pieces of poster board together to make a sturdy base. She decoupaged more tissue paper to that and painted the grass - making sure to mix three shades of green for more depth. She also added a road and sky on the base.

Another coffee cup sleeve looked like a car to her. I showed her how to cut one to look like a car. She cut her own and painted it yellow. I had some really thick black craft foam sheets I was mounting my homemade foam stamps on, and I thought that could make good wheels. They would be thick enough to hold the car upright. She liked that idea. She cut out "circles" and painted hubcap spokes with silver paint. (I think we need to work on the scissors skills a bit more!)

She also made paper windows and doors for the houses. If you look closely you can see she drew people screaming and being frightened by the GIANT caterpillar outside their homes. There is also a cat and mouse peeping out a few windows.

She designed and made 99% of what you see in the photograph up top. I only painted a bit and glued it all together. And soon I will teach her how to use the hot glue gun so she can do that by herself. 

I can't wait for the Creativity Fair at her school now! I am going to be so proud to watch her show off her hard work! 

- Vickie