Monday, March 31, 2008

Charlotte Mason- Watercolor Collage Project

"Children have 'Art' in them.––With art, as with so many other
things in a child, we must believe that it is there, or we shall never find it
....Therefore we set twig or growing flower before a child and let him deal with it as he chooses. He will find his own way to form and colour, and our help may very well be limited at first to such technical matters as the mixing of colours and the like. In order that we may not impede the child's freedom or hinder the deliverance of the art that is in him, we must be careful not to offer any aids in the way of guiding lines, points, and such other crutches; and, also, he should work in the easiest medium, that is, with paint brush or with charcoal, and not with a black-lead pencil. Boxes of cheap colours are to be avoided. Children are worthy of the best, and some half-dozen tubes of really good colours will last a long time, and will satisfy the eye of the little artists."

---Charlotte Mason- Volume 1 Page 313

For this project you will need:
  1. watercolor paper
  2. watercolors (We liked these ones the best.)
  3. watercolor brush
  4. scissors
  5. glue or double-sided tape
  6. salt (optional)
  7. rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs (optional)
Step 1: You can start by cutting your watercolor paper into different sizes, if you have an idea in mind and know about how much of each color you will need. Or you can watercolor whole or half sheets of paper each a different color so you can have a lot of options when it comes time to make your collage.

Step 2: Watercolor each piece of watercolor paper a different mix of colors (i.e. red and purple or green and blue).
Step 3: You can add texture to your watercolor by sprinkling salt on it while it is still wet or by dripping on rubbing alcohol with a cotton swab. You can also splatter different colored paint on top of a color wash to add texture.
Adding rubbing alcohol makes a bubbly texture.
Adding salt makes another interesting texture.
Step 4: Let your papers dry completely.
Step 5: Cut shapes out of the watercolored papers to create a collage. Try to keep your shapes fairly large so you won't lose them and will be able to glue or tape them down.
If you and your children use this idea, I would love to see photos of your completed projects. It is so much fun to see what you all come up with. Feel free to email me photos or leave me a link in the comments.
***I am also thinking about putting together some watercoloring tutorials this summer, if people are interested. If that is something you would like to know more about, when I decide what exactly I have in mind, feel free to email me and I will put you on a mailing list.
This project was inspired by the look of Eric Carle's book illustrations.

Bird Book Suggestions- Spring Kit Links

Here are links to to the bird books suggested on page 2 of the Bird Nature Study instructions in my Spring Kit.

If you cannot see the covers of the books for some reason (we think it might be an issue with Firefox) you can click through to Amazon to see the book covers. We're not sure what is up.

Friday, March 28, 2008

And the winners are...

So, the winners of the Hearts and Trees Perler Bead Contest are...
Tina, Nutri Slimmin' Momma & Carol

I will email you all and get your addresses! Thanks to everyone who participated!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Oceans Art Show

"Study of Pictures.––The art training of children should proceed on two lines. The six-year-old child should begin both to express himself and to appreciate, and his appreciation should be well in advance of his power to express what he sees or imagines.
Step II.––Give them the picture... to look at, and ask them to find out all they can about it themselves, and to think what idea the artist had in his mind, and what idea or ideas he meant his picture to convey to us."
Charlotte Mason Volume 1 Pages 207-8
Here is another art show for your viewing pleasure. This art show's theme is: the ocean. There are lots of different styles of paintings in this art show. I think you will have fun viewing them with your children. I am super busy putting together my spring kit, so I wasn't able to put together notebooking pages like I did for my clouds art show. You can check out this page, however for some ideas of questions to help you take a deeper look at the paintings.
Or, here are some suggestions of questions and activities I came up with:
  • Examine how each artist painted the sea differently.
  • Look for cool or warm colors.
  • Tally how many paintings depict calm seas and which are stormy.
  • Tally how many paintings have boats in them.
  • Decide on the "mood" of each painting- how does each painting make you feel- cold, warm, restless, calm, etc?
  • Use the canvas measurements provided to see just how big or small a painting is.
  • Decide which painting is the most realistic and which is the least realistic.
  • How would you feel if you were in a boat on each ocean?
  • Which painting have I included that isn't really a painting of the ocean? (Hint: Look at the titles.)
  • If you find a painting you like, take a minute to look at some other paintings by that artist. (Artchive is where I found these paintings.)
  • You could make your own version of your favorite ocean painting.
  • Vote for your favorite in my poll in my sidebar. (I made it so you can vote more than once, so please have your children vote for their favorite too! One vote per person please!)

You can also click the paintings to make them larger.

Richter, Gerhard- Seascape (Cloudy)
1969Oil on canvas6' 6 3/4" x 6' 6 3/4"
Private collection, Berlin

Seurat, Georges The Channel at Gravelines, in the direction of the Sea

1890 Oil on canvas 28 3/4 x 36 3/4 in.

Rijksmuseum Kroller-Muller, Otterlo

Hokusai, Katsushika- The Great Wave Off KanagawaFrom "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji"
1823-29 Color woodcut 10 x 15 in.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Kensett, John Frederick- Sunset on the Sea

1872Oil on canvas28 x 41 1/8 in

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Lismer, Arthur- Mine Sweepers at Sea

1917 Oil on canvas 12 x 16 in.

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax

Monet, Claude- Garden at Sainte-Adresse

1867 Oil on canvas 38 5/8 x 51 1/8 in.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Nolde, Emil- Autumn Sea VII

1910Oil on canvas 60 x 70 cm

Nolde-Stiftung Seebull

Courbet, Gustave-The Stormy Sea (or The Wave)
1869 Oil on canvas3' 10" x 5' 3 1/2"
Musee d'Orsay, Paris

Hopper, Edward-Rooms by the Sea

1951 Oil on canvas 29 x 40 inches

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut

Friedrich, Caspar David-Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog

c. 1818 Oil on canvas 94.8 x 74.8 cm

Kunsthalle, Hamburg

Goodman, Sidney- The Elements - Water

1983-84 Oil on canvas 96 x 76 in

Collection Mr and Mrs John J Turchi, Jr

Hartley, Marsden- New England Sea View - Fish House

1934 Oil on board 18 x 24

inPrivate collection

Avery, Milton- Black Sea
1959 Oil on canvas 50 x 58 in.
The Phillips Collection, Washington

Avery, Milton- Bridge to the Sea

1944 Oil on canvas 32 x 48 in.

Collection of Mrs. Sylvia G. Zell, Long Boat Key, Florida

Avery, Milton- Sea Grasses and Blue Sea

1958Oil on canvas60 1/8 x 72 3/8 in.

The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Beckmann, Max- North Sea I, with Thunderstorm

1937 Oil on canvas 21 3/4 x 27 1/4 in

Collection Dr and Mrs Stephen Lackner, Santa Barbara

Rousseau, Henri- The Boat in the Storm

after 1896 Oil on canvas 54 x 65 cm

Musee de l'Orangerie, Paris

Redon, Odilon- Red Boat with Blue Sail

1906-07 Oil on canvas 54 x 73 cm

Private collection

Be sure to vote in the poll on my sidebar for your favorite!

Friday, March 21, 2008

One More Week of Pre-Ordering

So there is one more week of pre-ordering for the Hearts and Trees Spring Themed Art, Handicraft and Nature Study Kit. Be sure to check it out if you haven't already. I am really excited about this kit.

I have been really busy cutting and printing and laminating and doing all sorts of other things to get the kits ready to ship on the 28th. I have had some help from my mom, dad and brothers. They all pitch in when things get crazy.

I had to learn to use the scroll saw to cut out the birds.

Stacks and stacks of cut poplar birds for the woodworking project.

I am also putting together another Art Show like the ones on my sidebar. So, be sure to check back in Monday for that.

Have a great weekend everyone. Hope it feels a little like spring wherever you are. Spring sure has arrived in my neighborhood! I love it.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hearts and Trees Perler Bead Contest

I have a large assortment of Perler Bead projects that little children made for me when I worked at a school. Every afternoon when we would come in from snack and recess and it would be project time, at least one child would ask, "Can we do Perler Beads today?" Perler Beads were the most requested project time activity.

Basically, Perler Beads are small colored plastic beads (as seen above) that you place on pegboards (as seen below). Not only are there specific shaped pegboards (flowers, people, animals, heart, etc) but there are also large square and circle shapes so that you can totally design your own project. The pegboards are reusable.
These are the projects I pulled out of my drawer this morning. I did the LOVE one, but I think all the rest were gifts from little ones.
Perler Beads come in lots of different colors: primary, pastels, neons, glow-in-the-dark, etc. In the photo above the heart is made of glow in the dark beads.
My little brothers did these projects.

There are a lot of skills developed using Perler Beads. Not only does it develop small motor skills, but it requires patience and gentleness to place each individual bead on the pegboard. I was amazed that some children who could barely sit still the rest of the day could sit for hours working on detailed Perler Bead projects. Depending on the set of Perler Beads you purchase your child might also have the chance to work on color recognition. At the school we would have three shades of pink and the children could distinguish one from another.

Once your child (or even you might be tempted to give it a try) places the beads on the pegboard and finishes his or her design you simply need an iron to heat the beads so that they stick together, using the special ironing paper that is provided in each pack of Perler Beads.

My Mom's post about Perler Beads can be found here.

Now for a contest. I purchased three small Perler Bead sets at Michael's the other day. For the chance to win one you will just need to make a post with a link to my blog on your blog. You can link to any post or just my main page. Or you can borrow my Spring Kit Pre-Order button (below) and add it to your blog sidebar. Once you have done one of these two things, just leave me a comment with a link to your post or blog and you will be entered into the Hearts and Trees Perler Bead Contest. In the afternoon of Thursday March 27th I will draw three names from all that have entered my contest.
211 preorder button

If you decided you would like to use my button, just select all the html in the box below (ctrl a) and copy it (ctrl c) and then paste it into your sidebar. I am not too good with technical stuff, but if you have trouble I might be able to help you out.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Spring is in the Air- Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival- March 18, 2008

Welcome to the March 18, 2008 edition

of the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival.

I had a lot of fun reading though all these posts and putting them together for the carnival. Be sure to read though them all as you find time. I have tried to arrange the submitted posts by subject. We had a lot of nature study related posts entered for this edition. Spring is in the air! (All photos were taken in my yard.)

Nature Study and Art:

First off, MomToCherubs shares with us two posts. In her first, Nature Study Using Bird Feeders, she shares with us the joys of having bird feeders outside her school room windows and how many "new friends" she has identified. She also shares about combining technology and nature study in Signs Of Spring. She and her children have put together a photo nature journal sharing with us all what they found when they went looking for signs of spring.

Nature Mama presents Planting Our Space Tomatoes saying, "We recently received tomato seeds from project Tomatosphere and this post shows us planting them. Our space tomatoes are sprouting very vigorously and so far both the regular tomato seeds and the space tomato seeds are performing the same." To check out Nature Mama's original post about what a Tomatoshphere is and how to get one, see her post Our Tomatoshphere Seeds Are Here!!. This looks like a really interesting experiment!
Barb from The Heart of Harmony and Handbook of Nature Study also submitted two posts. In her first post, Handbook of Nature Study: Picking a Focus, she shares how to pick a focus and use the book Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Comstock to get the most out of your nature study time. In her second post, All that Outdoor Time, At the Expense of Art?, she discusses Charlotte Mason's view of how art and nature study complement one another.
Amanda has put together a free download: a Spring Nature Walk Worksheet.Designed as a senses scavenger hunt to encourage you to use all your senses on your next spring nature walk. Be sure to check it out!
Tea Party Girl presents Spring Flowers and the Tea Party Table, saying, "Is gardening a part of your homeschooling? Here is some practical inspiration for using the spring flowers that are around the corner."

Candace submitted her post: This is My Father's World. Here Candace talks about reading the book A Pocketful of Pinecones by Karen Andreola and shares an easy and inexpensive bird feeder idea.

Be sure to check out Andrea's post The Perpetual Cackle where she discusses her efforts to let her children explore nature on their own terms and cut down on her "cackling."

Tina in WA shares with us a Free Mini Lesson on Cattails. In her post Tina discusses her nature study time focusing on cattails and has even put together a free mini lesson that includes a notebooking page for us to download!

Melissa shares In the Sparrow's Nest - Precious Moments in God's Creation a post about her realizations about the importance of studying creation.

Finally, Makita shares her plan for nature study using Green Hour Challenges and the Ambleside Online plan in her post: Planning Our Nature Study ~ CM Carnival.


Jimmie submitted a wonderful post entitled Lapbooking and Charlotte Mason. She asks "Can lapbooking fit into a CM homeschool?" and answers "Yes!" In her post Jimmie discusses lapbooking as a form of narration. This is one you don't want to miss!
On the subject of narration, Kristy presents Come Narrate With Us inviting us all to join the Yahoo forum which has been set up for parents to discuss narration techniques.
History and Citizenship:
Elisabeth presents Studying History Using the Ideas of Charlotte Mason. In her post she discusses the value of studying history as outlined by Charlotte Mason.
Lindafay presents In Praise of Plutarch saying, "Miss Mason highly recommends studying Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans as a source of citizenship and character training. I couldn't agree more with her."
Kris Correira presents Science notebooks where she discusses how notebooking for science does not need to be complicated and even links to a free reproducible.
Susie presents How to Make a FABULOUS Homeschool Planner posted at Hearth and Home, saying, "A Charlotte Mason friendly planner for busy homeschooling moms."

And last but not least, Belinda Letchford presents Tell Him your Reasoning saying, "By bringing our children into our world we give them the opportunity to learn from real things in the real world."


That concludes this edition of the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival. I hope you enjoyed it!

You can submit your blog article for the next edition of the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival using our carnival submission form. You can also view past posts as well as future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Spring Nature Walk Worksheet

I have put together a Spring Nature Walk Worksheet like the fall and winter ones I have posted in my sidebar.

Spring is a perfect time to get out and enjoy the changing seasons. Especially if you live in a place where winter is cold, wet and dreary, the warmth and freshness of spring is always welcome. Because spring is a time of change, it can be really exciting to spend a little extra time in nature study- observing new growth, listening to streams rushing from runoff and hunting out wildflowers.

My worksheet is designed to get you and your kids outside, looking for specific things and spending time exploring nature using your different senses. On this worksheet I have included a space to sketch something you find during your nature walk if you have not yet started your own nature journal.
When you click on the link it will take you to a page. Scroll to the bottom and click on the Download File button. The download should start automatically. If it doesn't start, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Download File Now. I will be listing the worksheet link on my sidebar as well.

(You can also check out my Summer, Fall and Winter Nature Walk Worksheets found in my sidebar.)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Submit Your Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival Entries!

I will be hosting the next edition of the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival here at Hearts and Trees next Tuesday. I chose not to have a specific theme for this edition so you are free to send in your blog entry that has anything to do with a CM homeschool education: narration, picture study, Mother Culture, living books, poetry, Shakespeare, nature study, habit training, character training, short lessons, or anything else you can think of that others might be interested in reading.

You can enter using this link: Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival Entry

You will need to submit your entries by Monday evening at 8pm.
My entry will be a spring nature walk worksheet, like the fall and winter ones I have in my sidebar, so be sure to come back to check it out!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A Quick Book Recommendation

I just remembered that my mom gave me this book when I told her I was putting together a mini unit study about clouds in art. It is a great resource if after looking at all the wonderful ways artists have seen and painted clouds you are inspired to learn a little more about how to draw clouds yourself.

If you haven't already, you can check out my Clouds Art Show here and my mini unit study here.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Tabletop Garden Update #3- Flower Edition


~Look at my garden now!~
So, my tabletop garden now has flowers! I never expected my vegetables to flower! Here are the photos as proof! The turnip is the only on that is flowering, but the others just keep getting taller and taller. The parsnip is the tallest- now about 10" tall! The yam is the prettiest, with ivy-like leaves. I have been having such a hard time getting photos, that is why it has taken me so long to post this update! I had a little help with the photos from my Mom, who has a super macro setting on her camera.
~The turnip has pretty little yellow flowers.~
~The yam has ivy-like leaves. I love the colors of these leaves and the texture of the yam.~
~Look at the roots in the water. They look like they are dancing.~
You can have plenty of nature to observe indoors, even if it is still too cold to go outside.
If you are interested in starting your own tabletop garden, see my post here, and be sure to check out my free Tabletop Garden Notebooking Page. If you clilck on the label "Nature Study" (at the bottom of this post or in my sidebar) the other tabletop garden updates will come up.
And for everyone who is interested, I will be starting pre-ordering of my spring themed art, nature study and handicraft kit on March 14th, so be sure to check back for more information about that. I am really excited about this kit. I think you all are going to love it!