Write On

  

Have you heard about Write_on? It was started in 2014 by a couple of letterpress companies and joined by Sakura USA, an excellent maker of art supplies(like the koi watercolors I mentioned last time). You can click over there for the full story, but basically everyone who takes part writes a letter a day for the month of April. So far I’ve managed to stick with it, and I even got my son to send a letter to my mother after he saw me writing. The kids are curious who I’m writing to and what I’m writing about, plus they love putting the letters in the mailbox and raising the flag. I used to be an avid letter writer, sharing stories, collages, and mix tapes with friends across the country and the world. Some of those friends I’ve lost touch with in the shuffle of adult life, so I’ve done a bit of Google stalking to find addresses for them to send them letters and let them know I still think of them often. Who would you write to in a month of letters?  

 

Watercolors on the Go

I can’t tell you where(see yesterday’s post on sleep deprivation and brain function), but the minute I saw these Sakura Koi travel watercolor sets and brushes I knew we needed at least one. I got one for my purse(for art emergencies), and one just for my oldest daughter on her birthday. Today at the park, my middle daughter and my son took turns using my set on a little block of watercolor paper I brought with me 

   
I was pretty impressed with the loveliness of the colors, ease of use, and the art the children made, and honored when my daughter presented me with her mini masterwork 

 I will be framing it, and probably getting a set, or at least one of the neat water-filled brushes, for each child.

One Hundred Bunnies

Today is my middle daughter’s 100th day of kindergarten. Of course we had plenty of notice about their 100th day celebration, to which each child brings a collection of 100 objects, but didn’t get started on hers until last night. Project 100 bunnies(origami ones, that is). Thankfully I stockpile pretty paper every time I visit Daiso, and I know the steps of an origami bunny by heart. Double good fortune: my second-grader decided to lend a hand and learned how to make them too! 

 Where we left off last night… 

 This is what 88 bunnies looks like 

 Folding bunny 100!

I made a little photo tutorial if you would like to make some bunnies too. Easter is right around the corner, after all!

Step 1: fold to make a triangle and unfold, repeat to make two diagonal folds   

     


Step 2

Fold in half to make a rectangle, unfold and repeat to make two more creases 

  

  

Step 3 is a bit fiddly- the photos explain better than words, but start with folding a triangle, and pinching where all the creases meet in the center, then fold that into a double-layered triangle. 

     
   

Step 4- fold the point of one layer up to meet the center point of the triangle, and repeat 

   
Step 5 I’ll let the photos speak!   

 Step 6: Use these folds to make little pockets- observe 

    
   

Step 7: Flip over and observe 

    
    
    
   

 

Brushstrokes 

My big girls have the week off from school, while the little fellow’s preschool is still in session- staycation time! One of my favorite destinations for school vacation is Brushstrokes. The big girls especially love the magic of glaze, and I’ll take any excuse to make something too- our family birthday cake plate, my favorite coffee mug, and the kids’ breakfast tea pot are all products of various vacation outings to the studio. This visit was as inspiring as ever.

The eldest painted an initial to hang on the baby’s wall(so sweet) 
My animal-loving daughter painted a china puppy and a China hedgehog
  
And I made a set of whimsical salt and pepper shakers(somehow we only have plastic salt and pepper grinders in our house!)

 
I used to object to the cost of painting studios, but considering that a movie ticket is around $10, and the obligatory movie snacks run pretty pricey, a trip to paint doesn’t cost much more, and a week later you have something lovely to remind you of your vacation! I’m already planning the butter dish I want to paint on our next visit…

Spring Saturday

Despite being a California transplant for nearly 20 years, I am always joyfully surprised by the way spring arrives in February. After a dry few years, this spring is finally the lush, green season I remember, and we took advantage of the sun and warmth to spend a lazy Saturday morning in the garden.

  
We picked some gloriously scented flowers(which come back yearly despite my decidedly brown thumb) and painted their portrait, then invested some hopeful time in planting seeds   

   

My eldest daughter has a resolutely green thumb, so I should probably have her plant everything, but I couldn’t resist scattering some California poppy seeds on a patch of soil, and pressing some nasturtiums into an empty raised bed. Fingers crossed. Do your job, little friend!