- Monster Bubbles: 6 cups water, 2 cups Joy liquid dish washing soap, 3/4 cup light corn syrup. Mix in a large bucket and let sit for 4-6 hours. Use string threaded through 2 straws, hangers shaped, hands, plastic lids with holes cut out from the center, etc. The bubbles LOVE humidity but it is not necessary. Have a blast out side!
- Shaving Cream Paint: Mix tempera paint or food coloring with squirts of shaving cream. Allow your child to paint on cookie sheets or plastic trays OR if it is a stormy summer day put them in the bathtub with no water and their swimming suits and let them paint there.
- Finger Paint: 2 T. sugar, 1/3 corn starch. Place in saucepan and slowly add 2 cups cold water. Cook on low heat for 5 minutes until clear and smooth gel appears. Cool. Stir in 1/4 c. liquid dishwashing soap. Scoop in containers and add food coloring or tempera paints. Will stay in sealed containers for several weeks. Let them paint on foil, wax paper, regular paper, or cookie sheets. It is finger paint so let them use their fingers!!
- GAK: 2 c. white glue, 2 c. warm water. Mix together in a container that is not used for food and can be cleaned or disposed of. Mix together 1 c. water and 1/2 c. Borax. Slowly add the 2 solutions together and mix them well until it coagulates together. This does not come out of clothing. You can draw on it with markers or bury toys in it. Very fun but messy. Store in zip lock bag.
- Kool-aid play dough: 2 Kool-aid packeges matching flavors (without sugar), 2 1/2 c. flour, 1/2 c. salt, 3 T. oil, 2 c. water. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Bring the liquids to a boil in a saucepan and then add the hot liquid to the dry ingredients. Knead together. This smells so good and is a great time to play with when it is warm. Keep in tight container and store in refrigerator for several weeks.
- Toe Paint: 3 parts flour to 1 part salt. Add water until gravy consistency. Stir in food coloring and paint with toes on paper–outside preferably but not necessarily.
- Penny Cleaner: Mix salt and vinegar. T his makes hydrochloric acid. Drop pennies in the mixture then use swab to wipe them clean. Dry immediately.
- Colored Pasta or Rice to play with like sand: 1 c. uncooked rice, 1/2 t. food coloring, 1 t. rubbing alchohol (optional). Place in plastic bag and mix together. Place the pasta or rice on a tray to dry. Pour in a plastic bin and add cups, spoons and toys.
- Snow paint: 1 c. White King Natural Laundry Soap, 1/2 c. water, 1/3 c. liquid starch. Whisk or blend. It whips up like frothy snow. Store in covered container.
- OOOBleck: 1/2 c. cornstarch, 1/4 c. water. This is the oddest stuff. You can make a solid ball and then it will melt in your hand. Read the book by Dr. Seuss, Bartholemew and the Oobleck.
- Sand pictures: Mix white corn meal with powdered tempera paint. Get glass jars and layer them with colors. You can color sugars and do the same thing as gifts. Place glue on paper and use the sand like glitter to make colored pictures.
- Squeeze Paint: 2 c. flour, 1 1/2 c. water, 1/2 c. sugar, 1/2 c. salt, food coloring. Place in squeeze bottles. (You can buy these at Michaels, or go to the dollar store and buy ketchep and mustard squeeze bottles)
- Gelatin fun: Make your own wonder worlds with clear gelatin. Make it in a bowl and let it set. Tip over the mold and now you have a jelly fish. Take an eye dropper of food coloring and water and squirt it inside. you will have all sorts of colors inside. Slice it with a plastic knife. Explore this strange substance.
- Contact paper collage. Cut a piece of contact paper and take the backing off. Place the sticky side up on a table and allow your child to stick things on it. Gather leaves and petals from outdoors, feathers, string, yarn, toys, fabric, cotton. If you child wants to keep it cover it with a clear piece of contact paper on the top.
- Sand paper flannel board. A piece of sandpaper can be a sensory experience with your child. Allow them to stick cut flannel, felt, string, yarn, cotton to the sand paper.
Once upon a time on a cold snowy day four years ago, I got on my boots, hat, and gloves and walked outside in my back yard with a shovel. As an artist I was searching for an explanation to pieces of me I had lost. And I was going to create it using the frigid frozen snow on the outside to match the cold empty loss I felt on the inside…
My mother’s body died four years ago today, January 26, 2014 but her heart died April 28, 2012 when her sweetheart of sixty eight years went to heaven. I began lifting heavy mounds with a shovel, then on my hands and knees began packing the snow meditating into my creative process hoping to somehow connect. My muscles strained from the weight of the frozen water. My body shivering. My breathing deep and rapid sent small clouds of steam that kept fogging and refogging my vision at each breath. The tall evergreens moved subtly in the wind and I could hear them whispering behind my back; I found myself looking up and around to see which was mocking me for being a grown-up “playing” in snow without a child.
Art explains without words.
It is a visual puzzle with clues and question marks spilling out to make some sort of sense of our world.
Most of the time we don’t know the message that our soul wants to surface–
but sometimes we do.
But it has to come out–somehow, someplace.
The art piece began to take form as it turned into a snow sculpture of my recently passed mom, so very very happy holding hands with my dad, both dressed in angel-white snow but wearing actual pieces of their own clothing, I had saved.
The piece began to take on a life of its own as my soul and their souls connected through art. My mother’s head tilted like it always did when she was photographed and her scarf fit over one ear like she always used to do, pulling it up to protect that one sensitive one from the cold.
My father wears that smirky-smile that goes straight more than up and finally looks complete with my mom next to his side. He was always so proud he got her! They both are waving like I remember so often when we would come and go from “our” home that we loved. When I finished the last of the accessories, placing mini-jam jar lids on for buttons, I stood back in silence. I was exhausted and chilled but feeling drips of sweat between my chest and under my arms–I also felt warm. The trees were silent. It was the three of us standing there on the planet waiting for something to happen. But nothing happened. So I gathered my shovel and walked inside.
I began to change out of my wet frozen clothes, put on a cup of peppermint tea, (my mother’s favorite) and get warm. As I began to do this, I missed the snow-people I had just placed a piece of my soul into. (This happens with artists and their creations.)
In the few minutes it took to change I ran to the window to make sure they were still there.
I needed them to still be there.
They were there…
What happened after this was quite extraordinary…
When I looked out the window I noticed the shape surrounding the figures. While I was sculpting them up from the ground with tenderness and as I moved around gathering up snow, I had somehow surrounded my parents in a heart without knowing it. …Or they sent it to me. No matter, I could feel their love so expansive and genuine… They were still here not only in snow, but in spirit!
“How strange to build snow men of your parents who have died.”
But I am not embarrassed I created this.
It has been six and four years since they left for heaven
and I notice every single day.
They are always together and when I look at this I know it is true and it makes me happy.
Four years later I look back and see them…watching and loving us; still waving hello and never good-bye. This feeling has never melted even though in spring the snow did.
Hello back, mom and dad…I love you too—
So very glad you’re still here.
My dear friends and followers,
I am taking this full virtual-space (Cancer Together; What do I do now?) and add it to my other blog-bowl;
to create a big messy gooey life recipe.
I offer you a spoon and hope you will dip in and take some tastes.
I am excited to also introduce to you a new blog on my passion; Preserving that mysterious and wonderful time called “childhood.” Please take a peek and send others.
This space will stay open offering my hand and heart as a continuous life preserver holding to you as you return back to posts.
find those pieces of HAPPY
you feel you have lost
cancer brick load.
I understand and acknowledge YOU.
Thank you for allowing me
to hold on to you
as my life saver.
I hope you will continue on my journey and enjoy…
If you would ask me what my favorite flower is
it would be a white Marguerite daisy.
I have never told this story to anyone before.
It was in a High School art class.
You know the elective that all your friends sign up for to have a social period. We were to bring in a real flower as part of a project. I forgot until the day it was due so ripped a white flower from off of a bush in our backyard and brought it to school wrapped in a wet paper towel.
For the assignment we were to fold a 12 by 18 in. white construction paper in half then over to the side to open into four rectangles. We were to draw our flower in each rectangle realistically, in abstraction, in cubism, and in a unique view point.
The teacher insisted that we sit for 15 minutes and study our flower and if we goofed off we would receive detention. And then she set the white egg timer clicking the time and sat down. There were a few snide comments and some giggles but soon a hush fell over the classroom.
Have you ever taken 15 minutes and stared at one flower?
It is a long time…
At first you look at it and your mind takes a picture and you think, okay I saw it…
And then you move in to take a closer look. It was a white Marguerite daisy, I found out later. It did not have five loopy bright colored petals with a bright yellow circle center that most of us doodle on paper and gets made into a giant sticker to stick on the rear of Volkswagen Beatles.
Every single petal narrows to the end that attaches strong into the center then tapers out to a curve which cups just a tiny bit at the end.
Each petal has hills and valley ridges that stripe the petal which change the white to different shades.
When the petals stretch out they overlap because it is crowded.
The petals feel like silky fuzzy paper.
The inside has hundreds of little curly balls clustered together and grab to a center orb.
They appear yellow but when you look closely they are a variety of golden earth tones which also change in the light.
The flower has a green stem made of long strands of vein like fibers and at the jagged end, where it was ripped from its life source, is an opaque white center that drips fluid.
At the top underneath the white petal umbrella is a star shape cup made out of green leaves with points at the tips. This cup tucks the entire flower perfectly inside to hold it upright.
The timer went ding. The chatter resumed. The class bell eventually rang and we left. I completed the assignment in a few weeks. I loved that picture.
I grew up with a mother who spoke to flowers and a father who spoke to animals. They did not only model reverence for earth’s gifts but to be enamored by them.
But 15 minutes with a Marguerite daisy converted me.
I believe I finally saw God as an artist
and I have been in complete admiration ever since.