My latest project with the Dumpling is to make trendy animals (ex: llamas, flamingos, narwhals, etc.) from the past and present. Owls, of course, made the list because they were everywhere back in the early 2010s due to Harry Potter mania. The birds were inescapable, being featured in clothes, home decor, and toys and even becoming popular household pets.
The first thing that comes to mind when I think about owls are their eyes, so the Dumpling and I made ones that blinks and winks…among other expressions.
2. Glue two pairs of eyes together. Select two pairs of eyes from the template (or draw your own) and hole punch where indicated. Position one pair in front of you, then vertically flip (very important!) the eyes over to glue the second pair onto the backside.
3. String a thin wire through the eyes and tape the wire in place on the back of the owl. (I only had floral wire…that’s why it is green!)
Geometric art seems to be popular these days, so I wanted to incorporate the design trend in my next art project with the Dumpling. Combining it with the tape-resist technique, the Dumpling and I put a twist on this classic kid-friendly activity to create a series of geometric animals…and a heart!
Taping the designs might seem complicated and cumbersome, but I managed to create them pretty easily by tweaking a hack I learned online.
Download a geometric animal design. Head over to thenounproject.com to peruse its library of geometric animals and download the one you would like to use. All the animal designs I used in this project were created by Agne Alesiute from the Noun Project.
Dot the corners of the animal print. Open the image file on your computer and tape the paper (the one you will be painting on) onto the monitor so the print shines through. It doesn’t need to be perfectly visible—just enough to see the outlines. If preferred, zoom in to enlarge for a bigger design.
Lightly dot all of the corners with a pencil…with emphasis on “lightly” because you don’t want the markings to be noticeable on the final.
If your paper stock that is too thick for the image to shine through, apply this step on regular photocopy paper first. Then remove the photocopy paper from your monitor and puncture the dots with a safety pin. I’ve found it helpful to do this on top of a flat surface with a towel underneath. Using the punctured image as a guide as to where to dot, lay it on top of the paper you will be painting on and lightly mark each hole with a pencil…again, emphasis on “lightly”.
Connect the dots with painter’s tape. Before investing the effort in applying all that tape, test peeling off a small strip to see whether it tears your paper. If it does, tape the strip on your shirt first to remove some of its adhesiveness.
As you are connecting each dot, keep the original image file open on your screen for reference because the dots may look entirely random!
Color with watercolor.
Peel the tape off once the paint dries. I removed all the strips easily and was rewarded with sharp, clean lines. Despite spending so much effort taping everything on, it was quite satisfying taking them off!
* All geometric animal designs used here are created by Agne Alesiute from the Noun Project.
The Dumpling got into nursery rhymes lately after watching The Mother Goose Club. To make storytelling a bit more interactive and personal, I decided to write my own and narrate it through a homemade cardboard stage. The plot is based on true events, although names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.
There was once a little bunny who refused to nap. He ran around the meadow and drove his mother mad. He hopped with a frog. He pranced with a deer. He climbed with a squirrel. He fished with a bear.
His poor mother chased him all around. She couldn’t get a break Because her little bunny wanted to stay awake.
The little bunny was finally tired by nighttime And hopped straight into bed. His mother opened a bottle of wine And poured herself a glass…or three of red!
Behind the scenes:
The Dumpling kept grabbing and putting the props in her mouth, so I ended up ditching the stage altogether and moved the characters around with my hand. She eventually succeeded in gouging the bunny’s eyes out and then kidnapping him altogether. I spent the next few minutes chasing her around the coffee table to rescue my blinded actor.