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CLASSES

Fine Art Mixed Media & Pottery classes.  We figure you prefer to do Pinterest crafts at your kitchen table.

CAMPS

Stay cool without those harmful UV rays in our weekly half-day Mixed Media and Pottery Summer Camps.  

PARTIES

We plan an unforgettable party start to finish - you just worry about the guest list & something to stick candles in!

WORKSHOPS

When school is out, art is in! Come to the studio to create with others around a holiday, theme, or fun art technique!  

2017 SUMMER CAMP REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!

STARTS THE WEEK OF JUNE 12. MIXED MEDIA (@ MAIN STUDIO + DILWORTH) AND POTTERY!

NEWSY TIDBITS

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MODERN CRAFT COLLECTIVE

Modern Craft Collective

MAKER WORKSHOPS & PARTIES FOR ADULTS & TEENS!

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MLK CAMP

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ANNUAL FALL FESTIVAL

Saturday, Oct. 29 11am-2pm

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CHARLOTTE MAGAZINE

Best of the Best Awards

LATEST BLOG POSTS   <--->

Vintage Camera Illustration / www.smallhandsbigart.com

Vintage Camera Illustrations

Contour Drawing Technique

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Dip-Dye Tapestries

inspired by Chelsy of the Dreamy Gypsy

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Upcycle Cardboard Reindeer Sculpture // www.smallhandsbigart.com

Upcycle Cardboard Reindeer Sculptures

Holiday Happiness!

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Bee Illustration Lesson

Bee Illustration Art Project

Insects always spark creativity!

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Thanksgiving Mobile Art Project for kids

Thanksgiving Mobiles

Giving Thanks

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Amanda Moody Inspired Super Moons

Our latest local artist obsession!

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More Mechanical Creatures from the Studio

Still obsessed…

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Art Bar Blog

Wooden Bead Mobile // Inspired by Art Bar Blog

Fave new book!

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Mechanical Creatures // Leonardo DaVinci Inspired

Amazing inventions!

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Recap // Art Studio Fall Festival 2016

Highlights from our 8th Annual Fall Festival!

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8th Annual Fall Arts & Crafts Festival – Sat. Oct 29

SAVE THE DATE! Oct. 29, 11am-2pm – Fall Festival Craft & Pumpkin Bedazzling Palooza!

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Fall Feathers

Who doesn’t love feathers?!

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Isabella Santos 5k // Counting

In the last 48 hrs, almost 1000 children worldwide have been diagnosed with cancer.

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Mixed Media Feathers // Wall Hanging

Feather Wall Hangings in our Teen Art Camp

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Sandpaper Color Pencil Owls

Vibrant colored pencils on black sandpaper!

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Black & White Chalk

We were so proud of these young artists in our Teen Camp last week!

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Tooling Foil Silberzwieg Portraits

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Art Summer Camp in Charlotte, NC // Highlights

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Kaleidoscope Mandala Collagraphs // Art Summer Camp Projects

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Bicycle Illustrations

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Geometric Gemstones

Faceted hearts!

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Kim Welling Inspired Shadow Boxes

Pictures tell the most beautiful stories.

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Silberzweig Self-Portraits

Speechless.

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Elf Craft Tutorial for your Holidays

Step-by-step to make your own little alien elf baby!

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Papier Mache Reindeer Busts Tutorial

Step-by-Step Instructions

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Elf Craft for Kids // Holiday Fun in the Studio

These were adorable!

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Chalk Landscapes // Glue Resist Technique

From our 9-14 yr. old class.

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Reindeer Wall Sculpture Workshop // Holiday Art

Highlights from our Reindeer Workshop!

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Inside Outside House // 3D Illustration Art Project

Take a peek inside these houses!

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Back, Middle, and Foreground Art Project & Skill Development

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Ceramic Feather Wind Chimes // Pottery

Beautiful!

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Pete Cromer Birds // Collage Project

Collaged budgies & other exotic birds!

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Winter Vegetables Acrylic Still Life Study

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String Art Wall // Fall Festival Art Installation

Mental yoga, anyone?

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Fall Festival Magic Recap // Art Studio Fall Festival 2015

Highlights from our Fall Festival Craft & Pumpkin Bedazzling Palooza!

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Sensory Fringe Fabric Wall // Toddler Art Class

Our toddler class enjoyed painting this fringe fabric wall last week!

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Laurel Burch Horses // Chalk Pastel Drawings

One of the highlights from summer – Laurel Burch inspired horses!

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Coffee Can Decoupage // Collage Project

A fun upcycle coffee can craft!

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Fancy Hens // Brooke Connor Chickens

Check out this cast of characters!

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Melanie Mikecz Collaged Zebras // Collage Project

These collage zebras inspired by illustrator Melanie Mikezc came out stunning!

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Collagraphs Art Lesson // Printmaking in Summer Camp

Feast your eyes on these beautiful collagraphs from a group of students in camp!

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Chameleon in a Box // Mixed Media Art Lesson

Just try not to chuckle while you’re looking at these!

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Back-2-Back Game // Drawing Game for Kids

Here’s a fun partner drawing game we won’t soon forgot!

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Upcycled Containers

Think twice before you toss those unwanted plastic containers!

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Papier Mache Balloon Sculptures

Our 9-14 yr old campers made these stunning papier mache balloon sculptures!

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Clay Circus Themed Pottery Camp

Ladies & Gentlemen! Step right up!

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Typography With a Twist // Decoupage Typography

We’d like to buy a vowel please.

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Toddler Sensory Foil Wall

Our toddlers enjoyed this sensory play experience in class last week!

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Toddler Sensory Flower Wall

Our toddlers had fun painting this 3D “Fluttery Flower Wall” this morning!

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Magnetized Flying Fairies // Movement in Art

Fairies really do fly!

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Land of Nod Art // Land of Nod Tour Bus

The Land of Nod met the Land of Art last Friday!

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Melanie Mikecz Inspired Happy Hippos

Inspired by the colorful artwork of Melanie Mikecz!

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Mixed Media Stacked Birds

Created with tempera, chalk pastel & collage papers.

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Mixed Media Elves // Holiday Workshop

Trying to invent a better elf design every year is no easy task!

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Winter Holiday Art Highlights // Holiday Workshop

A few little gems from our winter holiday festivities…

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Upcycled Holiday Reindeer // Holiday Workshop

This might have been our favorite reindeer-making workshop yet. And we’ve had some real doozies!

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Ceramic Gingerbread Houses // Holiday Workshop

Teens & adults enjoyed sculpting these ceramic gingerbread houses at our ceramic holiday workshop last week!

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Upcycled Dolls // Pre-school Art Project

These quirky upcycled dolls were crafted from large plastic bottle pour spouts in our 3-5 year old classes last week!

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Wooden Acorn Craft Inspiration

Every Fall, we ceremoniously dig out our box of wooden acorns and have at it! We paint, glitter, adorn, and stamp…

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Mixed Media Feathers // Art Summer Camp

Students made these stunning mixed media feathers in a recent camp with kraft paper, aluminum foil, paint & collage papers.

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Starry Night Sticky Mosaic Wall // Fall Festival 2014

For our Fall Festival this year we took this sticky mosaic wall to a whole new level inspired by “Starry Night”…

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Fall Woodland Mural // Fall Festival 2013

Enjoy this Woodland Creature Mural from last year’s Fall Festival featuring hand drawn forest friends!

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Five Minute Apron // Sewing Project

We made about 500 tie-dyed superhero capes for the Isabella Santos Foundation 5k and repurposed the extras into aprons!

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Baby Hedgehog Halloween Costume Inspiration

You can DIY this adorable baby hedgehog costume for Halloween with just a few simple household items!

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Tie-Dyed Super Hero Capes // Isabella Santos Foundation 5K

Wanted! Big dreamers. Risk Takers. Action Seekers. World Changers. Cancer Fighters.

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Moose Mixed Media Art Project // Art Summer Camp

Check out this stunning herd of moose our students created in summer camp last week!

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Papier Mache BoxTrolls // Art Summer Camp

Students in summer art camp created these unique boxtrolls inspired by the upcoming 3D stop-motion movie, “The Boxtrolls.”

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Tooling Foil Art // Art Lesson

Take a peek at these amazing tooling foil drawings carved by our students in art class

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Charlotte Magazine BOB Award

We received two Charlotte magazine “Best of the Best” in 2013 and 2014 – Thank You!

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Sarah Hennessey Tree Towns

We recently discovered the illustrations of Sarah Hennessey, and thought our 9-14 yr. olds would love her style!

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Winter Hares // Winter Inspired Painting Lesson

Students painted these Winter Hares during a recent snow day camp.

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Bella’s Birthday Bash // Isabella Santos Foundation

Sunday, March 9th would have been Isabella Santos’ 9th birthday. We miss her.

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Pig Portraits // Portraiture Lesson for Kids

After learning all about the history of portraiture, students in our 5-9 year old classes painted a portrait of a pig.

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Elya Yalonetski Inspired Ceramic Bandicoots

These lovely sculptures were inspired by the amazing ceramic artist Elya Yalonetski.

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3D Mixed Media Owls

To say we were giddy when kids were creating these 3D mixed medial owls would be an understatement!

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The Crayon Game // Art Game Idea

Here’s a fun little indoor game that Miss Katie played while growing up in the frozen tundra of Minnesota.

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Animal Mash-Ups // Oil Pastel Art Project

“Animal Mash-Ups” combine features of two different animals to create an entirely new one!

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Cow Inspired Art Lessons

Last week spontaneously turned into “Cow Week” at the studio, inspired by a Russian folk tale called The Giant Turnip.

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Kristy Patterson Inspired Illustrated Book Pages

These beautifully illustrated mixed media vintage book pages were repurposed from an old Louisa May Alcott book!

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Teapot-ingo + Other Rare Birds // Arnold Lobel

What do you get when a six year old combines a totally random object with an animal? Creatures like these that are WAY too fun!

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Upcycle Toy Sculptures // Art + Craft Tutorial

What to do with the family’s surplus of broken toys caught underfoot?

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Wood Sculptures Inspiration

It’s amazing what kids can create with a little glue & some wood scraps.

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Nutcrackers Craft // Holiday Workshop

Check out these festive nutcrackers our 9-14 yr. olds created in class this week!

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Tween + Teen Art Class Highlights

See these fabulous masterpieces created in our older 9-14yr. old classes in recent weeks!

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Dasher & Donner // Holiday Reindeer Workshop Tutorial

These whimsical reindeer from our holiday workshops were so spectacular, it literally pained us to let them leave the studio!

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Pixar Inspired UP Illustrations // Open Studio

Artists had to think of a fun destination for their colorful, well-traveled suitcases.

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Coke Can Christmas Tree // Holiday Inspiration

What do you do on a super busy Tuesday instead of the 150 items on the “to do” list?

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Egg Carton Foam Painting // Toddler Sensory Art

Kids squeezed shaving cream onto egg cartons, then sprayed with watercolor – such a colorful mess!

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tthankful mobile | www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Thankful Mobiles // Thanksgiving Art Camp

We created “Thankful Mobiles” adorned with beautiful drawings in our Thanksgiving Camp!

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upcycled icicles | www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Upcycled Icicles Tutorial // Studio Decorations

These creative icicle holiday decorations are an easy DIY project that uses card stock scraps and a little paint & glitter!

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Oobleck Sensory Play // Toddler Sensory Art

Cornstarch + water = crazy gooey, crumbly oobleck-y fun! Part art, part science, oobleck is both a liquid and a solid, oozing between your fingers or crumbling like a saltine cracker!

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Fall Leaf Batik Tutorial

These stunning cotton batiks are fun for kids of all ages to create!

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Owl Masks // Fall Festival Recycled Art Project

These DIY owl masks are a simple and easy fall craft for kids of all ages! Creative kids busted out about 200 of these at our Fall Festival last weekend and we wanted to share the “recipe” to inspire creativity at home!

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Craft-A-Palooza // Fall Festival 2013

Enjoy these images from our Annual Fall Festival on Sat., Oct. 26th!

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One-Eyed Talking Bat // Halloween Craft

Here’s another quick and easy DIY Halloween project! This one-eyed flying bat likes to hear himself talk! He can’t see where he’s going but he sure does have a lot to say!

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Pet Bat // DIY Halloween Craft

Who hasn’t dreamed of owning a cuddly little bat as a pet? Thanks to this easy DIY craft made out of a recycled box, kids can create a whole colony without needing a rabies shot or worrying about neighbors calling the Health Department.

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Mixin’ it up // Color Mixing Lesson for Pre-schoolers

We have a delightful little group of 3-5 year old artists in our classes this Fall – some of whom are new to exploring with art materials and some who, even at their short stature, try to teach us a thing or two. Regardless of age, any lesson that involves color mixing is always a hit!

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Old School Diorama Art Project

Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned diorama?

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Barbara Kobylinksa Inspired Sculptures

One of our favorite projects from summer camp!! Upcycled water bottle bird sculptures inspired by artist Barbara Kobylinksa.

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Summer, Thus Far… // Summer 2013 Recap

Summer around here is CUH-RAAAA-ZY! We’re sweaty & glittery and our feet hurt, but we LOVE this time of year because we get to spend so much time with with kids in our weekly camps, seeing them every day & having a blast, making new friends and generally just getting super creative together!

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Wooden Sculpture Gardens // 3D Art Project

Last week in art camp, the students created these other-worldly sculpture gardens using small pieces of wooden dowels, oil pastel & liquid watercolor. The end result was amazing!

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Happy Mother’s Day // Mother’s Day Art Workshop

This decoupage collage portrait of Mom is the perfect handmade Mother’s Day Gift! It’s an easy art project for kids of all ages, and she’ll cherish it forever!

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Giant Marble Painting // Preschool Art Project

Here’s a super fun, active, & collaborative art project for toddler & preschool age kids: giant marble painting! It’s a great way for kids to improve their fine and gross motor skills as well as their coordination!

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Talk to the Hat // Hat Art Project for Kids

We had fun making these “mini me” hats in one of our Spring Break camps last week!

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Fantasy Bookshelves // Colin Thompson Inspired Art Project

Fantasy bookshelves inspired by author + illustrator, Colin Thompson, in our 9 – 14yr. old classes.

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Papier Mache Puppets // Art Project Inspiration

Everything is better on a stick.

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Salt Painting // Picasso Inspired Self Portrait

Salt painting is a fun art art project for kids of all ages! We usually structure a salt painting lesson around a famous artist or a specific drawing technique such as a continuous line contour drawing. It’s also a great way for younger children to learn about primary and secondary colors, and to experiment with color mixing.

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Georgia O’Keeffe Chalk Pastels

We kicked off Spring with these bright and beautiful Georgia O’Keeffe inspired chalk pastels in our 9-14 yr. old classes!

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Giant Toddler Sticky Wall // Sensory Toddler Art

For our toddlers this week, we set up a giant “Sticky Face” wall using ordinary household contact paper and a smorgasbord of colorful do-dads that they could stick on the face. Endless possibilities for good clean, sticky fun!

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Why Is Blue Dog Blue? // Art Inspired by George Rodrigue

Student artwork inspired by George Rodrigue.

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Furry Forest Friends // Paper Collage Project for Kids

Soon it will be spring, that joyful time of rebirth and renewal < insert sound of birds chirping >. Sadly, for beloved woodland animals like foxes, raccoons & hedgehogs, springtime means they will soon be abruptly cast to the wayside in favor of fuzzy little farm animals like bunnies, chicks, & piglets.

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Love is the Beginning // Valentines Day Art Inspiration

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Topographic Sculpture // Middle School 3D Art Project

These paper sculptures in our 9 – 14 yr. old class were inspired by topographic maps. The final pieces looked so amazing!

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Handmade Holidays // Holiday Workshop Recap 2012

Wishing everyone much Peace & Love this holiday season! Happy New Year!

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Preschool Block Printing

We did this block print project in our 3-5 yr. old class this week. We didn’t want to let the kids take them home!

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Trick Out My Reindeer // Holiday Reindeer Workshop

This easy DIY red-nosed reindeer spreads holiday cheer with his festive tricked out antlers wherever he goes! We hope he inspires you to spread as little cheer as well!

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Decking the Halls // Holiday Decorating in the Art Studio

Hanging our stockings with care and trimming a really cool tree printed on fabric…

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Owl Suncatcher // Karla Gerard Inspired Sun Catchers

Students in our Open Studio class last Saturday made these whimsical owl suncatchers with oil pastel and contact paper!

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Box Dump Trucks // Toddler Art Project

Try this quick and easy two box dump truck design for your little ones!

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Autumn Arts + Crafts // Fall Festival 2012 Recap

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our Fall Open House this year! Just fyi, that glitter will eventually wash out of their hair.

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Fall Suncatchers // Karla Gerard Inspired Art

Inspired by the long shadows and different angle of light that streams through the studio windows this time of year, we dreamt up these whimsical Karla Gerard suncatchers for our 5-9 year old classes this week.

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Two Minute Fabric Cuff // DIY Cuff Bracelet

Sure you could spend all afternoon trolling Pinterest for a super cute DIY cuff bracelet to whip up to impress your crafty fashion-forward friends, only to be left feeling like the world’s most over-scheduled & creatively stunted human being on the planet. Or you could just spend two minutes making this!

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Bubble Prints // Toddler Art Projects

Cooler Fall weather signals the reminder that soon kids will be spending most of their time indoors, shuffling around the house on Saturday mornings in their footie PJs and inventing sneakier, more permanent ways to stain the carpet. While the weather is still nice, this classic bubble print project is perfect to set up outside on the patio!

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What Remains // Isabella Santos Memorial

One afternoon in late summer 2010 a pretty, vibrant mother with long dark hair will come breezing in to the studio to buy the largest quantity of art classes available. She will tell you how much her daughter just loooves art and will mention almost as an oh-by-the-way that her daughter has cancer.

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Kookie Creatures // Selwyn Sherrill Inspired Dolls

With this creative project, kids dream up a kookie creature, write a biography about it, design it on paper, construct it out of papier mache, and build a little home for it!

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Mix & Match Dolls // Up Cycled Box Dolls

Inspired by the classic mix and match books that we all loved so much as a kid, we dreamt up this three dimensional project and I’m not sure who had more fun with it – us or the kids. In our humble opinion this project totally rocked – it has all the elements of a super fun summer DIY project for bored kids and frustrated moms!

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Snudda Spirals // Watercolor Art Project for Kids

In the studio, we often set up a really simple low-budget spiral art station with our toddlers and pre-schoolers, using a $7.99 Ikea Lazy Susan. Snudda, for those of you who speak Svenska. It’s a great activity for kids to practice their hand-eye coordination while improving fine and gross motor skills and making a really cool piece of art!

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Decoupage Collage Portraits for Father’s Day

The younger kids created decoupage collage portraits of their Dads in Open Studio today! It was amusing to listen to them banter back & forth about their Dads as they deliberated one eyebrow or two…

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From Fridge to Forever // Children’s Art Photobook

I suspect my parents are among the seven people who regularly read this blog, so I’ll just say up front that I don’t mean to hurt your feelings Mom & Dad, or make you feel guilty in any way for the mysterious circumstances in which the only surviving original artwork from my childhood, a small green clay frog that I “sculpted” in first grade, has vanished.

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Watch our Video! // Charlotte Children’s Art Studio

We’ve always wanted to figure out a way to bottle up the fun, excitement & pure joy that kids experience when they are creating in the studio with us! This video may be as close as we’ll ever come! Enjoy!

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Upcycled Paintbrush Peeps

We can’t take an ounce of credit for having dreamt up these adorable little paintbrush people, but when we saw them we knew just where to get all the supplies we needed!

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Mr. Fox’s Wild Ride // Papier Mache Foxes

We admit that we have a love/hate relationship with papier mache. It’s so bad. But so good. It starts out so easy. But then we have to wad up paper.

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Papier Mache Carrot Pencils

Motivated to whip up a less predictable spring craft involving something other than pastel colored eggs for a change (!), these papier mache carrot pencils seemed the obvious answer!

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This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef // Painted Pigs Art

We were giddy about these little piggies our 3-5 yr. old class painted this afternoon! We were sad to see them go to market, and now our walls are bare! Until tomorrow.

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Mosaic Love // Mosaic Art Inspiration

A bell’s not a bell ’til you ring it. A song’s not a song ’til you sing it. Love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay. Love isn’t love ’til you give it away. ~ Oscar Hammerstein

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Heart Art // Toddler Valentine’s Art Project

Valentine’s Day collages on canvas in our toddler classes this week. Drizzled & swizzled & sprinkled with love.

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Flubber Valentine’s Day Art Project

This Valentine’s Day, nothing says love quite like a giant tub of flubber!

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Semi-Secret Valentine // Valentine’s Day Craft

When it comes to matters of the heart, it’s challenging to find the best way to express our heartfelt sentiments to the objects of our affection. We want to tell them. But we don’t. Yikes! This Valentine’s Day craft takes all the pressure off of you, and puts it squarely on the shoulders of your beloved!

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One Man’s Trash // Recycled Art Inspiration

They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure…

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Holiday Workshop Recap 2011

Thanks to everyone who helped make our holidays merry & bright this year! Happy New Year!

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qu’est-ce que c’est? // Plaster Sculptures

We started these plaster sculptures the other day, and as they were drying they looked so interesting against the backdrop of paintings from an earlier class. We’ll let you use your imagination to try to figure out what they’ll be when they’re finished. (No, not penguins. But good guess!)

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No Melt Snowballs // Winter Snowball Craft

Make a beautiful wintery holiday display with these quick and easy glistening opalescent snowballs made out of paper and plastic wrap!

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Upcycled Cardboard Beads

Feeling a little guilty because you ordered more stuff for yourself on Cyber Monday than gifts for others? (“one for you, three for me….”) When the boxes start piling up on your porch, we have a cool project that can help ease both your environmental and gift-giving consciences!

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Baby Barn Owl Pendant

Looking for the perfect accessory for your new fall outfit? Look no further!

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Sticky Spider Web

Spider webs are sticky and so is this quick and easy Halloween-inspired craft for toddlers!

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Junk-O-Lantern // Pumpkin Painting

“Junk-o-Lanterns”, or “Stuff-on-a-Pumpkin” as we affectionately like to refer to this craft, is one of the few projects where the name, in and of itself, tells you pretty much everything you need to know in order to make one! But let’s walk through it anyway:

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Tin Can Bot // Recycle Robot Craft

Part art, part science, & part saving the environment, this project has something for everyone! With a little imagination, a soup can, and a pile of do-dads, you can create a creature with special powers and clean out the kitchen junk drawer at the same time!

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Me or Miss Hannah? // Art Studio Games

We make up a lot of games around here – mostly for our own entertainment & sanity. If the kids like them too, well then even better! One of our favorites is called “Me or Miss Hannah”, and it goes something like this:

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je t’aime paris

Springtime in Paris with my {then} seven year old niece. Begging to try escargot (“Aunt Jer, it tastes like dirt!”). Climbing to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. The Eiffel Tower on a blustery rainy day, gulping hot chocolate & cafe au lait.

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Rolled Paper Beads Tutorial

This project was inspired by a trip to Asheville last week, where we bought some really beautiful paper beads made in Africa at this cool shop Garage34. Make beautiful bracelets, necklaces, and ankle bracelets from your piles of junk mail and catalogs!

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Shaving Cream Paper Marbling Tutorial

This is guaranteed to be the cleanest, best smelling art project you’ll ever do – shaving cream paper marbling!

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Flying Pigs // Decoupage Craft for Kids

For centuries, pigs have had to walk to the market to get their roast beef. But today’s busy “on-the-go” piggies have found a more efficient mode of travel. Flying!

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