Pinecone People

“Pinecone People” – Today I made “Pinecone People” with a group of 20 preschoolers out in the forest. I wasn’t sure how the natural materials would stick because everything was wet from two days of rain. I sort of cheated and pre-glue beads to the pinecones so there would be some level of success, even if the other bits were falling off, at least the heads would stay on! I also had some plain pinecones so children could create whatever they wanted.

Pinecones are challenging in that they tend not to stand up on their own and have very little flat area to glue onto. So this led to exploring the following ‘adhesive materials’ and I share some thoughts on how it went.

The next picture shows the art materials I gathered that I thought might be useful to adhere natural materials to the pinecones. I wasn’t sure how these would work but I wanted to have a variety of options to test out. (If I was making these indoors I would have used my trusty low-temp glue gun since it makes things stick even if the surface isn’t flat.) But that’s a challenge of being outdoors is figuring out how to make it work even in damp weather! Listed below are some thoughts on these materials!

Liquitex Acrylic Medium – I read about this in Sally Haughey’s book, “Wonder Art”, and thought I would give it a try. It’s much more expensive than glue but so worth the investment. A little bit goes a long way and it seemed to work well with a wide variety of textures. Obviously the drier the material the easier things seemed to stick, but even with some damp materials it all stuck really well. So I would definitely suggest adding this to your teacher art supply kit. I used a popsicle stick to get a little out at a time and kept it in a little scoop so I could keep track of it.

Glue dots sort of worked especially if stuffed into the pinecone. If the materials were lightweight and dry, they seemed to hold fairly well. Today with the damp though, wet materials did not stick well.

White glue was all but useless since pinecones have very little flat surfaces and take way too long to dry. This was frustrating for some kids and though they can be independent with the glue it really didn’t work well.

Twine & yarn was woven into the pinecone independently as decoration and with adult support the yarn was used to tie the leaves on like a belt or scarf.

Fuzzy sticks (pipe cleaners) ended up being a great tool. Many preschoolers could independently twist them onto the pinecone and have their people holding acorn babies or used to hold on their wings.

Air Dry Clay was not really great to get the materials to stick together but some enjoyed squishing materials into the clay and squishing small bits into the pinecones.

Wool roving wasn’t in my materials bag today but in hindsight I could see the kids enjoying weaving it into the pinecone, creating hair, or making arms with it.

Moss also wasn’t in my materials bag today but would have been fun to add for hair or decorations.

Milkweed Pods all the little pinecones became ‘babies’ and I was wishing I had some little pods to use as cradles!

A related discovery was that using washable markers on wooden beads led to smears and bleeding. I discovered that the wooden beads and colored pencils worked well though the color was light. I was tempted to use a permanent marker but knew that many other aspects of the projects needed adult support.

Have you ever made “Pinecone People”? Any tips or tricks that you discovered?!

“Spacecraft Design 101″

“Spacecraft Design 101”

at the Davies Memorial Library in Waterford, Vermont 

July 19, 2019 ~ 9:30 -11:30 a.m.

 

Every young astronaut dreams of designing & creating their own cardboard space travel machine. April Zajko will lead this hand-on workshop where every child will be encourage to let their creativity shine. Afterwards participants will be ready to blast off home with their own rocket or spaceship.

Kindly pre-register by calling the library (802- 748-4609) so we will have enough materials on hand!

Though April has not traveled to space herself, she has inspired children for almost two decades to reach for the stars! As a licensed Early Childhood Educator, she believes that children (of all ages) learn through play and that the universe of knowledge and joy awaits children in the books they read!

 

Pop Up Art Studio ~ December 18

Local Teaching Artist, April Zajko, will be offering a series of “Pop Up Art Studio” sessions in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. These open studio sessions are for everyone! Pop Up Art Studio is a welcoming space, that creates opportunities for dialogue, skill sharing, and art making between people of differing backgrounds, ages, cultures and abilities. If you would like to host a Pop Up Art session at your business, organization, or circle of friends please contact April at aprilzajko@gmail.com

April’s unique perspective as an early childhood educator makes participants of ALL ages and artistic abilities feel welcomed and at ease. With a focus on enjoying the process of art making, participants can feel the gentle transformative power of creating art in a cozy and encouraging space where ALL are welcome.

The December 18th session will focus on card making with mixed media & paper collage. Participants are invited to drop in for an hour (or several hours) to sip tea, chat, and create unique paper collages. Bring a friend or family member or come meet new friends in your community.

POP UP ART STUDIO ~ Card Making

December 18th

12:00-8:00PM

Location: 142 Eastern ~ St. Johnsbury, Vermont

$10 suggested donation per person

No one turned away for lack of funds

All ages (Children 8 and under must attend with a responsible adult)

 

Live Music from 5-8 p.m. with “BOBBY FARLICE SOUND SYSTEM”

With a long history of music in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area, Bobby Farlice was a member of Nobuko Miyamoto’s band Warriors of the Rainbow and the Change Band with Flip Nunez and Michael Howell. He was also a contributor to music for the progressive social scene at San Francisco’s Glide Memorial Church. His set is jazz, blues and Latin, all with a touch of soul, and all for your listening pleasure. Having played the nightclub scene for many years, he prefers playing community gigs like First Night, which he generously supports. The sound system in the Bobby Farlice Sound System is his Roland FP2  keyboard with Session Partner, which turns Bobby into a one-man band.

Art Series: Gifts from the Heart

Art Workshop Series: “Gifts from the Heart”  ~ for children ages 5-8

art materials close up color pencil colors
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This children’s art series is designed for ages 5-8. The classes will give children the space to explore a variety of art materials and the opportunity to create four unique homemade gifts. Projects will include: jiggle-scribble bots, keepsake painted canvas, eco-sculptures, and paper collage. Children can choose to wrap their projects so they can be given as gifts from the heart to their loved ones.

Where: Catamount Arts Center Classroom in Saint Johnsbury 
When: Wednesday, December 5, 9:30 am – 11:00 am

Fridays, December 7 – December 21, 9:30-11:00 am

Instructor: April Zajko, M.Ed.

Class fee: $60. Catamount Arts is committed to offering quality arts activities for children, regardless of ability to pay. Please call 802-748-2600 ext 108 and speak to Anne to inquire about scholarship availability or working out a payment
plan.

Registration Deadline: November 30

To register, head over to the Catamount Arts website:

http://www.catamountarts.org/shows/details/gifts-from-the-heart-ages-5-8