Painted Pottery for Father’s Day

I’m finally getting around to posting photos of the pottery Wildman and Cutie Pie painted for J for Father’s Day!  We packed a lunch and met some friends at our local pottery painting studio one afternoon.  I really wanted to work on something myself but with all the chaos of setting up, eating lunch and helping the boys with their projects, I ran out of time.

I absolutely love how the boys’ pieces turned out!  Cutie Pie did an excellent job on the “My Dad Rocks” square plate.  I think it looks rather Impressionistic.  I, of course, helped a little with the lettering 🙂

Wildman went with blue and green stripes for his coffee mug.  The mug is a great size and weight.  It’s manly.  Substantial.  Wildman painted the word “Dad” on the side in green but it didn’t show up very well.  So, I went back and defined the letters with a bit of navy paint.  I think it came out wonderfully!

The boys each signed the bottom of their pieces and I added “Happy Father’s Day 2011”.  I know we’ll keep these dishes forever!  Perhaps, we’ll make this an annual tradition.  Each year we can add a new item to our collection!


Spring Fling 2011

Cutie Pie’s preschool Spring Fling was on Friday.  Another mom and I were in charge of planning this event this year which made the entire week leading up to it totally stressful for me.  It was especially awful because I spent several days fielding personal phone calls about when each age group was scheduled to come out to enjoy the field day…  The preschool director typically handles communication between the parent volunteers and the teachers.  This year, however, the director failed to come to the two planning meetings I hosted and also failed to read my meeting minutes in which I detailed the timing for each age group.  She never told the teachers the time line so I ended up having both parents and teachers calling my home to ask…  For a person who hates talking on the phone it was a hell.

Enough of my complaining though!  The Spring Fling came together beautifully despite all of my fears and worries.  It always comes together with more help from eager volunteers than I could ever hope for.  Have I mentioned that I love Cutie Pie’s preschool?  The parents and teachers are wonderful!

This year we had six stations for the children to take turns exploring: bubbles, marble painting, spray art, an obstacle course, lemonade and cookie stand and face painting!  The children came out by age group with the toddlers being first, then the threes and, finally, the fours.  Each group had 45-minutes which ended up being plenty of time for them to relax and enjoy themselves.

What went down at the bubble station is probably pretty self-explanatory.  We had several bubble machines going and lots of trays and cups of bubble solution.  The children could choose from bubble wands of every size.  This station was quite popular!

At the marble art station, the children got to choose the paint colors they wanted to squeeze onto the paper.  The paper was set into a box top to keep the mess contained.  Once the paint was squirted onto the paper the children were able to drop a few marbles or bouncy balls onto it.  Tilting the box to roll the balls through the paint produced some wonderfully gorgeous art work!

An obstacle course ran down the center of the yard.  The toddlers weren’t so much interested in the doing the activities in the sequence they were designed but that was ok.  It was all about the exercise and fun.  The older children waited in line and took turns.  Everyone got a “superstar” gold medal at the end!

There was a snack station set up with lots of yummy sugar cookies and ice cold lemonade and water.

We filled up spray bottles with colored water and let the kids spray the colors onto a long paper sheet.  We had to mix a bit of tempura paint into the water because food coloring did not make the water dark enough to show up on the brown paper we used as a canvas…

Of course, face painting is always a hit.  One of the volunteer moms was fabulous at it!  She created some beautiful lady bugs, Easter eggs and flowers.  Some kids went back to have both cheeks and hands painted 🙂

It was a lovely yet stressful morning for me.  I couldn’t have done it without all the wonderful volunteers who showed up.  I’m working on a special thank you for them that I will share with you in a bit.

Today is the first day of Spring Break and it’s raining!  Argh!  What are we going to do?!

Melbourne Art Festival

This weekend was the 26th Annual Melbourne Art Festival in historic downtown Melbourne.  I took the boys on Sunday while J removed and cut up a tree that had fallen over in our backyard.  I have fond childhood memories of this festival that I hope I can pass along to my boys.

We managed to find a sweet parking spot right near downtown so our walk to get to the action was not too long.  Minimizing our trek is key when I have two small boys in tow…  There were over 250 artist booths set up along the tree-lined streets.  The air heavy with the scent of kettle corn and hot dogs.

Up first was a visit to the frozen lemonade cart.  Two, please!

Then we were on to look at some amazing works of art.  Here are some of my favorites:

This painting was glorious.  I would have this in my home if my money tree would simply grow.

Just look at the texture of the oil paints!  Heavenly!

The boys had fun checking out all of the artists’ wares as well.

There was an area of the festival designated just for children where they could create art to their heart’s content.  The best part was that it was absolutely free of charge.  So, I made sure to tip the wonderful people manning the stations generously.  Like the Balloon Guy who whipped up a couple of guns/hair dryers for Wildman and Cutie Pie:

I enjoyed the spin art station almost as much as the boys did.  It was so cool to watch the paint and glitter splatter out onto the paper.

I might just have to frame the finished products:

By the time we’d finished up in the kids area the boys were dragging.  It was pretty muggy out and the streets were crowded with patrons like this unlikely Rasta Man:

I was ready to call it quits too so we made our way back to the car with me balancing the wet artwork and encouraging my flock to stay together.  But we could not leave before purchasing a bag of yummy kettle corn for the road!

I don’t think there’s a much tastier snack out there than a bag of fresh kettle corn.

It was a wonderful couple of hours filled with nostalgia and truly magnificent art!  I’m so glad that Melbourne puts on this festival year after year.  It’s one of the events I look most forward to attending.

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