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31

Aug

2017

Altered Photographs

In this day and age of Photoshop and digital photo alteration, we were inspired to explore the lost art of altering photographs by hand!

21

Aug

2017

Kinetic Sculptures

These giant kinetic sculptures appear to shift and move from every angle!

13

Aug

2017

Melanie Mikecz Inspired Elephant Collage

In the category of cutest project ev-er…. these elephant collages were inspired by one of our fav artists, Melanie Mikecz!

03

Aug

2017

Dip Dye Wall Tapestries

Dip Dye Wall Tapestries in our Tween + Teen Camp

21

Jul

2017

Botanical Collages

Botanical collages inspired by artist Julie Hamilton.

19

Jul

2017

Circle Weaving Art Project

We had a full house in our Summer Camps last week and were surprised how relaxing this circle weaving art project was!

03

Jul

2017

Southwestern Cacti

A colorful cacti painting project inspired by the muted desert colors of the Southwest!

22

Jun

2017

Manarola // Cinque Terre

The inspiration for this fantastic chalk pastel relief sculpture is the colorful villa of Manarola, Italy!

17

Jun

2017

Pete Cromer Inspired Koalas

Prepared to be overwhelmed by koala cuteness!

16

Jun

2017

Chalk Pastel Collagraph Plates

These colorful lighthouses were inspired by those that dot the Carolina coast!

27

Mar

2017

Watercolor Cacti + Succulents

This watercolor cacti + succulent painting project was inspired by the iridescent colors, interesting shapes, and varied textures of these beautiful plants!

26

Mar

2017

Lighthouse Collagraph Printmaking Project

North Carolina coastal lighthouses were the inspiration in this amazing printmaking project!

09

Mar

2017

Everyone Has a Story

I’ve been thinking this week about this encounter I wrote about in my very first blog post from September 21, 2009, when I first opened Small Hands Big Art.

04

Mar

2017

April the Giraffe Obsession

Have you been watching the April the Giraffe live web cam, as April gets ready to deliver her fourth calf?   If you are like me, which is to say, someone with a borderline unhealthy addiction to live zoo cams and not one to miss the birth of a baby giraffe if you can help […]

11

Feb

2017

Llama Drawing Project

I’m really not sure how we’ve managed to not do a single llama drawing project in eight years, but this was a first for us! It will certainly not be the last!   When we plan an instructed drawing project, one of the challenges is deciding what to draw!!  Animals are such a fave go to […]

30

Jan

2017

Lisa Congdon Inspired Geometric Designs

By Katie Breaux We’ve been getting our Lisa Congdon on lately.  (And Sanna Annukka too – but that’s a different story.)  These Lisa Congdon inspired geometric designs were a favorite over the holidays!   If you don’t know who Lisa Congdon is, we’re sure you would recognize her work if you saw it.  She is an […]

22

Jan

2017

Sanna Annukka Folk Art Birds

Our latest obsession

18

Jan

2017

Vintage Camera Illustrations

Contour Drawing Technique

17

Jan

2017

Dip-Dye Tapestries

inspired by Chelsy of the Dreamy Gypsy

13

Jan

2017

Dala Horse Love

Inspired by traditional Swedish wooden toys

24

Dec

2016

23

Dec

2016

Bee Illustration Art Project

Insects always spark creativity!

24

Nov

2016

Thanksgiving Mobiles

Giving Thanks

15

Nov

2016

Amanda Moody Inspired Super Moons

Our latest local artist obsession!

13

Nov

2016

11

Nov

2016

09

Nov

2016

03

Nov

2016

Recap // Art Studio Fall Festival 2016

Highlights from our 8th Annual Fall Festival!

11

Oct

2016

9th Annual Fall Arts & Crafts Festival – Sat. Oct 28

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

28

Sep

2016

Fall Feathers

Who doesn’t love feathers?!

26

Sep

2016

Isabella Santos 5k // Counting

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

13

Aug

2016

Mixed Media Feathers // Wall Hanging

Feather Wall Hangings in our Teen Art Camp

28

Jul

2016

Sandpaper Color Pencil Owls

Vibrant colored pencils on black sandpaper!

24

Jul

2016

Black & White Chalk

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

24

Jul

2016

Tooling Foil Silberzwieg Portraits

We have loved these Sandra Silberzwieg portraits so much and last week we came up with an idea to try them on tooling foil!  Students colored them with Sharpies, and then we mounted them on black poster board. Sandra Silberzwieg is a contemporary Canadian artist that has been inspiring us for quite some time. We were […]

23

Jul

2016

Art Summer Camp in Charlotte, NC // Highlights

We’ve been buried in watercolor paper, paints, and left-over wire pieces around our art studio this week in our Art Summer Camp in Charlotte, NC. Kids have been having a blast staying cool during the summer heat making beautiful and fun art. We’ve been so in love with some of these projects and wanted to share […]

02

Jul

2016

Kaleidoscope Mandala Collagraphs // Art Summer Camp Projects

These mind-blowingly beautiful Kaleidoscope Mandala Collagraphs  were created in one of our Tween & Teen camps. After studying the geometric symmetry of mandalas and radial designs, they cut and glued layers of very thin foam on large round poster board circles to create their printing plates.  The foam makes a perfect material for collagraphs, but […]

01

May

2016

Bicycle Illustrations

We’re showcasing some of some of our favorite projects from the “archives” this month: one of our favorites are these bicycle illustrations. Can you  believe our middle schoolers did these in our art studio one week? Have you ever tried to draw a bicycle? Try it!! It’s challenging!  We thought we knew how everything fit together, but in […]

16

Feb

2016

27

Jan

2016

Kim Welling Inspired Shadow Boxes

Pictures tell the most beautiful stories.

22

Jan

2016

23

Dec

2015

Elf Craft Tutorial for your Holidays

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

21

Dec

2015

Papier Mache Reindeer Busts Tutorial

Step-by-Step Instructions

20

Dec

2015

15

Dec

2015

Chalk Landscapes // Glue Resist Technique

From our 9-14 yr. old class.

13

Dec

2015

Reindeer Wall Sculpture Workshop // Holiday Art

Highlights from our Reindeer Workshop!

26

Nov

2015

25

Nov

2015

Back, Middle, and Foreground Art Project & Skill Development

Students in our 9-14 yr. old classes practiced their Back, Middle, and Foreground Art Project & Skill Development with this watercolor pencil drawing project. You will fall in love with these beautiful pieces of art just as quickly as we did. We included a mat board picture frame as a fun design element in the composition. We […]

25

Nov

2015

23

Nov

2015

Pete Cromer Birds // Collage Project

Collaged budgies & other exotic birds!

06

Nov

2015

Winter Vegetables Acrylic Still Life Study

Hearty winter vegetables were the inspiration for last week’s Winter Vegetables Acrylic Still Life Study in our 9-14 yr. old classes. We loved the muted colors and earthy textures of these vegetables!  We selected root veggies like beets, carrots, turnips, & rutabaga, as well as a fennel & rich-colored egg plan (which, surprisingly, no one selected […]

29

Oct

2015

26

Oct

2015

Fall Festival Magic Recap // Art Studio Fall Festival 2015

Highlights from our Fall Festival Craft & Pumpkin Bedazzling Palooza!

20

Sep

2015

Sensory Fringe Fabric Wall // Toddler Art Class

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

25

Aug

2015

Laurel Burch Horses // Chalk Pastel Drawings

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

13

Aug

2015

Coffee Can Decoupage // Collage Project

A fun upcycle coffee can craft!

03

Aug

2015

Fancy Hens // Brooke Connor Chickens

Check out this cast of characters!

30

Jul

2015

Melanie Mikecz Collaged Zebras // Collage Project

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

15

Jul

2015

Collagraphs Art Lesson // Printmaking in Summer Camp

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

07

Jul

2015

Chameleon in a Box // Mixed Media Art Lesson

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

06

Jul

2015

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

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

05

Jul

2015

Upcycled Containers

Think twice before you toss those unwanted plastic containers!

01

Jul

2015

Papier Mache Balloon Sculptures

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

25

Jun

2015

Clay Circus Themed Pottery Camp

Ladies & Gentlemen! Step right up!

19

Jun

2015

Typography With a Twist // Decoupage Typography

We’d like to buy a vowel please.

01

Jun

2015

Toddler Sensory Foil Wall

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

22

May

2015

Toddler Sensory Flower Wall

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

22

Apr

2015

21

Apr

2015

Land of Nod Art // Land of Nod Tour Bus

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

15

Apr

2015

Small Hands Big Art Hiring for Summer 2014

If this looks like the best job ever, trust us – it is!

17

Feb

2015

Melanie Mikecz Inspired Happy Hippos

Inspired by the colorful artwork of Melanie Mikecz!

10

Feb

2015

Mixed Media Stacked Birds

Created with tempera, chalk pastel & collage papers.

22

Dec

2014

Mixed Media Elves // Holiday Workshop

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

18

Dec

2014

Winter Holiday Art Highlights // Holiday Workshop

A few little gems from our winter holiday festivities…

17

Dec

2014

Upcycled Holiday Reindeer // Holiday Workshop

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

16

Dec

2014

Ceramic Gingerbread Houses // Holiday Workshop

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

10

Nov

2014

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!

09

Nov

2014

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…

07

Nov

2014

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.

28

Oct

2014

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”…

20

Oct

2014

Fall Woodland Mural // Fall Festival 2013

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

01

Oct

2014

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!

22

Sep

2014

Baby Hedgehog Halloween Costume Inspiration

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

21

Sep

2014

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

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

03

Aug

2014

Moose Mixed Media Art Project // Art Summer Camp

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

26

Jun

2014

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.”

14

May

2014

Tooling Foil Art // Art Lesson

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

08

Apr

2014

Charlotte Magazine BOB Award

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

25

Mar

2014

Sarah Hennessey Tree Towns

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

23

Mar

2014

Winter Hares // Winter Inspired Painting Lesson

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

16

Mar

2014

Bella’s Birthday Bash // Isabella Santos Foundation

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

15

Mar

2014

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.

14

Mar

2014

Elya Yalonetski Inspired Ceramic Bandicoots

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

13

Feb

2014

3D Mixed Media Owls

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

11

Feb

2014

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.

09

Feb

2014

Animal Mash-Ups // Oil Pastel Art Project

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

30

Jan

2014

Cow Inspired Art Lessons

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

27

Jan

2014

Kristy Patterson Inspired Illustrated Book Pages

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

20

Jan

2014

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!

27

Dec

2013

Upcycle Toy Sculptures // Art + Craft Tutorial

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

23

Dec

2013

Wood Sculptures Inspiration

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

22

Dec

2013

Nutcrackers Craft // Holiday Workshop

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

19

Dec

2013

Tween + Teen Art Class Highlights

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

15

Dec

2013

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!

12

Dec

2013

Pixar Inspired UP Illustrations // Open Studio

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

09

Dec

2013

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?

09

Dec

2013

Egg Carton Foam Painting // Toddler Sensory Art

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

03

Dec

2013

Thankful Mobiles // Thanksgiving Art Camp

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

01

Dec

2013

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!

22

Nov

2013

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!

20

Nov

2013

Fall Leaf Batik Tutorial

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

11

Nov

2013

Pumpkin Spice Play Dough Recipe

There are tons of recipes for homemade play dough, but this is the best we’ve found! It’s soft, easy to work with, and not sticky or crumbly! This recipe makes about three to four large fist-sized balls of dough; adjust as necessary to make more.

06

Nov

2013

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!

04

Nov

2013

Craft-A-Palooza // Fall Festival 2013

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

30

Oct

2013

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!

17

Oct

2013

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.

03

Oct

2013

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!

16

Sep

2013

Old School Diorama Art Project

Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned diorama?

10

Aug

2013

Barbara Kobylinksa Inspired Sculptures

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

19

Jun

2013

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!

15

Jun

2013

Amedeo Modigliani Inspired Art // Father’s Day

It was All About Dad in our Saturday Open Studio class this morning! Students created Amedeo Modigliani Inspired Art in the form of oil and chalk pastel portraits of their Dads in the elongated style of Amedeo Modigliani, & composted cute little heartfelt notes for Daddy.  Happy Fathers Day!      

12

Jun

2013

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!

05

Jun

2013

Ink-Blot Illustrations

Our 5-9 yr. old classes created the most amazing ink-blot illustrations this week! We love this project because #1) we all remember doing it as kids, right? and 2) it is just pure childhood creativity, straight from their little imaginations.

25

May

2013

Charlotte Magazine “Best of the Best” Award 2013

This year, Charlotte magazine writers and editors selected small hands big art as the winner in the “Best Kids Class” category for their annual compendium of the best this city has to offer.

12

May

2013

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!

02

May

2013

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!

10

Apr

2013

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!

28

Mar

2013

Fantasy Bookshelves // Colin Thompson Inspired Art Project

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

25

Mar

2013

24

Mar

2013

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.

21

Mar

2013

Shake, Rattle & Roll // Toddler Art Project

This super fun and interactive art project for toddlers and pre-schoolers uses empty oatmeal containers! It’s very sensory (loud!!!) – and is great for helping little ones develop their fine and gross motor skills & coordination. It also has toy and game-like elements that really appeal to children, and the prize at the end of all this is a beautiful speckled marble painting!

18

Mar

2013

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!

07

Mar

2013

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!

27

Feb

2013

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

Student artwork inspired by George Rodrigue.

14

Feb

2013

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.

08

Feb

2013

Love is the Beginning // Valentines Day Art Inspiration

♥  i don’t know who said it, but isn’t it true?  ♥

17

Jan

2013

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!

28

Dec

2012

Handmade Holidays // Holiday Workshop Recap 2012

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

11

Dec

2012

Winter Camping // Toddler Art Painting Project

Our toddler class gave new meaning to the term “art camp” this morning!

07

Dec

2012

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!

28

Nov

2012

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!

27

Nov

2012

Decking the Halls // Holiday Decorating in the Art Studio

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

12

Nov

2012

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!

01

Nov

2012

Box Dump Trucks // Toddler Art Project

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

28

Oct

2012

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.

23

Oct

2012

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.

04

Oct

2012

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!

19

Sep

2012

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!

29

Jul

2012

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.

22

Jul

2012

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!

01

Jul

2012

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!

17

Jun

2012

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!

16

Jun

2012

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…

03

Apr

2012

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.

18

Mar

2012

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!

12

Mar

2012

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!

06

Mar

2012

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.

25

Feb

2012

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!

15

Feb

2012

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.

14

Feb

2012

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

11

Feb

2012

Heart Art // Toddler Valentine’s Art Project

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

06

Feb

2012

Flubber Valentine’s Day Art Project

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

27

Jan

2012

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!

26

Jan

2012

One Man’s Trash // Recycled Art Inspiration

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

29

Dec

2011

Holiday Workshop Recap 2011

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

11

Dec

2011

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!)

06

Dec

2011

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!

30

Nov

2011

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!

10

Nov

2011

Salt Dough Recipe // Salt Dough Birdhouses

Salt dough requires only three simple ingredients from the kitchen! When it’s baked it is hard and can last for years!

09

Nov

2011

Calder Inspired Wire Sculptures

Alexander Calder inspired wire sculptures.

03

Nov

2011

Baby Barn Owl Pendant

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

29

Oct

2011

Fall Fever // Fall Festival 2011 Recap

After such a long hot summer, finally being able to throw on your coziest polar fleece is cause for joyous celebration in my book!

17

Oct

2011

Sticky Spider Web

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

13

Oct

2011

To Whom I am Speaking? // Decoupage Telephone

The kids in the studio do not believe us when we tell them this is a real telephone! I regale them with nostalgic stories about how in the old days, before computers or video games, you could fill hours every afternoon crank calling boys from school or random strangers to ask if their refrigerator was running.

09

Oct

2011

je t’aime paris, part deux

Paris in the Fall. Exactly three years ago this week. Mid-70’s, beautiful fall colors. Long shadows and filtered sunlight. Strolling and basking. Afternoons warm enough for ice cream from the vendors in the Jardin des Tuileries, and evenings cool enough for cozy scarves and boots. Remnants of summer hanging in the air. Slow pink sunsets. Golden leaves from the linden trees along the Seine sparkling like diamonds fluttering in the sunshine, falling and crunching under our feet on the gravel path.

06

Oct

2011

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:

04

Oct

2011

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!

30

Sep

2011

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:

29

Sep

2011

Nikki de Saint Phalle Sculptures

On a windy early Fall day recently, Hannah & I enjoyed a little excursion to view the open air exhibit of Niki de Saint Phalle’s sculptures on display at The Green (the whimsical little park across the street from the Mint and Bechtler museums).

29

Sep

2011

if this picture could talk

this is how most kids react to papier mache.

28

Sep

2011

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.

09

Sep

2011

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!

05

Aug

2011

Shaving Cream Paper Marbling Tutorial

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

03

Aug

2011

Starry Night Mural // Van Gough Inspired Art

Amazing mural inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

06

Jul

2011

Shrinky Dink Dream Catcher + Memory Keeper

Once upon a time in a land far away, before cable TV and video games, when kids had to chase the ice cream man with their Big Wheels – not their parent’s SUVs – doting moms were concerned that their children would overheat from too much freeze tag, so they had to pull some amazing stuff out of their apron pockets to entice kids to come inside for a few minutes each day.

26

May

2011

Paper Blossoms + Vase Tutorial

School is out and if you’re going to stand a chance of having frozen yogurt for breakfast, lunch & dinner all summer, it’s time to start buttering up the ol’ M-O-M! She’ll be putty in your hands when you present her with this adorable decoupage box vase and handcrafted paper blossom stems!

04

May

2011

What Up My Peeps! // Easter Peeps Tutorial

Wouldn’t it be fun to have a downy little pet peep perched on your wrist all day, cheering you on during soccer practice and helping you with your homework? These cuddly little springtime companions double as a colorful fashion accessory that you’ll want to show off to all your friends

18

Apr

2011

A New Kind of Smiley // Emoji Craft

Statistics show that the daily number of web searches for emoticons is increasing at a staggering rate, causing us to wonder how kids are able to express themselves during the fifteen or twenty minutes a day when they are offline.

12

Apr

2011

Enchanted Fairy House Tutorial

If the thought of tackling all of your spring home improvement projects is a little too daunting, try scaling down and working in miniature! Recapture the magic of childhood by handcrafting an enchanted fairy house with your child!

02

Mar

2011

Please Don’t Pick the Flowers // Recycled Flowers

Get a jump on your spring flower garden this year with this classic and colorful craft! These funky flowers have a cool retro look, and don’t require a green thumb to make! Crafted from aluminum soda cans, these environmentally conscious perennials are fun and easy to make at home.

07

Feb

2011

Gimme Some Love // Love Bug Craft

Bug your Valentine in a good way this year! Nothing says “I think I sorta might possibly like you” quite like an irresistible cuddly little bug, made from the heart with gobs of glue & glitter!

05

Feb

2011

Be My Valenswine // Valentine Craft for Kids

Love in the 21st century calls for a healthy dose of unconventional creativity! This Valentine’s Day, when everyone else in the class is mindlessly passing out paper heart doilies and candy hearts, grab your sweetie’s attention with a lovable little piglet made out of recycled crayon chunks and glitter!

06

Jan

2011

March of the Penguins // Papier Mache Penguins

Our 5-9 year old classes have been making papier mache penguins and we took them out for a walk on this beautiful sunny day! Fun times!

08

Dec

2010

Elf on a Shelf Craft Tutorial

Back in the day, it used to be a complete mystery exactly how Santa found out whether you had been naughty or nice. Electronic surveillance? Mandatory parental quarterly reporting?

15

Nov

2010

Snowy Owls Winter Craft for Kids

Owls have captivated children for decades. In the 70’s, Mr. Rogers’ cheerful X the Owl loved the color blue and taught us how to tolerate cranky neighbors like Lady Elaine Fairchilde. Then there was the wise professor Owl who, before the American Dental Association could intervene, encouraged kids across the country to find out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop (one?).

15

Nov

2010

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!

07

Oct

2010

Sweet Dreams // Halloween Batik Treat Bag

Savvy and environmentally conscious trick-or-treaters can take their creativity to the next level by designing a ghoulish trick-or-treat bag customized to accessorize his or her costume!

A great outfit means nothing without the right bag, and Halloween is no different!

12

Sep

2010

Art in a Box // Art Project with Kids

If you have kids above the age of four and want to be absolutely amazed and awe-struck at the power of a child’s imagination, simply give them a used cardboard box, glue, masking tape, and the entire contents of your kitchen junk drawer.

18

Mar

2010

You Make Me Happy

Goodbye Winter….hel-lo Spring! How can one little hour of extra daylight make such a difference?

18

Mar

2010

Making Things

I’ve always enjoyed making things. When I was six, my great grandmother taught me how to sew a zig zag, wind a bobbin and gather a ruffle hem – a highly technical skill needed to make a new bonnet for my Holly Hobbie doll.

06

Dec

2009

Lel-Low

Time is fleeting. I’m not sure why I’ve been preoccupied with this thought lately; maybe it’s the change of seasons or the holidays, or my dad retiring in a few days, or one of my best friends giving birth to a beautiful baby girl. Seems like every December I unpack holiday decorations that were just put away yesterday, even though I know for a fact I took them down last February!

12

Oct

2009

Kids Love Buttons

It’s Fall! My absolute favorite time of year! Even though its still hovering in the high 70’s, in the studio as I write this, we’re enjoying the lingering scent of mulled hot apple cider left over from our Fall Open House this past Saturday, and dreaming of turtlenecks and boots, and the cool, crisp weather and good hair days that we know are right around the corner!

21

Sep

2009

Everyone Has a Story

I wish I could say that opening small hands big art is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream and passion for me, but I’d be lying. While I’m definitely passionate about my new venture, it isn’t quite that simple.