Thursday, July 16, 2009


Well, day two of art camp was just as successful as day one thanks to another great project and an awesome group of girls. On the agenda today was a project that combined a few concepts that all came together into one great little journal. My goal for this week is to put together projects that result in something that the girls can not only cherish but also put to good use.

We started the day with a scavenger hunt around the yard looking for objects in nature that would make interesting patterns when used to make prints. The girls came in with some fantastic finds: tree bark (from the ground, not the trees!), leaves, flowers, rocks and shells.

Peanut loved this part because she was allowed to go in the gardens!

Once they came in with all of their great finds, they sat down to a big piece of scrap paper to test out the possibilities. We used acrylic paint (watered down a tad) and the girls applied paint to the objects with brushes or just dipped them right in the paint. The only rule was that the paintbrushes should not touch the paper, only the objects. 

Peanut enjoyed this even more than being in the garden. She was really digging the rock and cone flower combo!

After experimenting a bit with the patterns and discovering that they could use each object several ways to make different designs (they even used individual flower petals like paint brushes. remember: no paint brushes on paper!), they swapped out the scrap paper for cover stock that would be used for the covers of the journals. 

They each had three sheets of cover stock, two to make their two journals and one to make some bookmarks. They were told to cover the paper in a random pattern because we would be using a template to trace and cut the journal cover from the paper and  parts of the sheet would be discarded. One sheet of 81/2 by 11 cover stock would yield the front and back cover of the journal and an inside pocket. (template courtesy of How About Orange)

I loved how the flowers and sticks and such looked covered in paint.

Once all three sheets were beautifully printed, it was time for lunch and a little girl time why the paint dried.

After the break, we layed out the templates on the beautiful cover stock and cut out the journal covers. I did not get a shot of this step as we were busy contemplating which way to lay the templates to be sure to incorporate the most beautiful parts of the designs.

Then we added the journal pages, 5 sheets trimmed to size and folded in half to make ten pages, and used embroidery floss and a large needle to bind the books. For a great video demonstrating this process, go here.

Here is a shot of two completed journals. You can see the thread of the hand binding in the center of the journal. The patterned corner on the right of the open journal gives you a bit of a glimpse of the inside pocket.  I love this feature of the template.

The final shot of the stacked journals all wrapped up and ready to bring home.

Tomorrow's plan is to do several smaller projects that do not take the entire camp day to complete. The girls have worked hard, they've earned some instant gratification. The theme for day three: wearable art!


Tamara McDonald said...

Your cute little projects have inspired me to do an "art camp" with my girls and their little friends! Very cute!

Get Real Girl said...

I love this project. Another great day of ideas from your Art Camp.

Kathryn said...

I'm hoping to replicate your Art Camp with my girls in a few years. Great ideas, thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Wow, both the purses and notebooks turned out beautifully! It sounds like you have a knack for pacing the day and adding fun things like searching around in the garden. My 6-year-old just used a sewing machine for the first time this summer, and I was amazed that she could really do it. Sometimes they're more ready than we know.