FCp! goes to Camp!


By request, FCp! has started a one-week full-time Art/Nature Camp, for ages 3-12. Today was Day One, and what a time we had!

We have been very lucky to get a dry, sunny week, which has given us a lot of flexibility in our choice of activities.

Today’s schedule included: Get Acquainted Time
Vehicle Play (everything from scooters, to skateboards, to Plasma Cars, to bikes, to bins on wheels, to riding on a garden wagon, to scoot-along cars, to tricycles)
Basketball (mini, midi and regular size)
Sand Play
Water Play (sprinkler and water table)
Trampolining (a favorite theme)
Up the treehouse and down the giant slide
Nature Observation (spiders and webs, mostly)
Collage projects
Rock cairns
Bowling with blocks

And of course, snack and lunch. All activities took place in the great outdoors.

Our art projects included: 3 necklaces (one beaded on embroidery thread, and two blingy rapper chains)
Paper and wooden airplane
Spiral glitter mandala
A swing and environment for a hamster
2 collages
More tomorrow!
My apologies for having been such a negligent blogger. My son just got married, so that planning has occupied much of my year.

See for photos.

Toddler Art Surprises



The other day I taught a toddler art class to 11 two-year olds in a local children’s store’s community room. We spread a dropcloth over the rug, and the Moms sat with their tots for help when needed.

The project was called Shredded Paper Collage. I provided multiple colors of construction paper to choose from and Elmer’s Glue in tiny little cups with tiny little brushes. The collage materials were laid out in a silverware organizer by color – 1″ squares of painter’s samples, 1″ squares of tissue paper, long packing shreds, and short paper shreds straight from my office shredder. There were also 2″ strips of construction paper available.

Every child was given a paper plate on which to collect their choices of colored shreds, and a home-made Glue Press (a giant wine cork). The purpose of the press was to assist with flattening, smooshing, or attaching shreds, and was especially designed for those who don’t like to get glue on their hands.

The sensory aspect of this project was amusing to watch – some children loved having sticky hands and played with the glue blobs on their fingers. Some wanted the glue wiped off immediately with the wet paper towel I provided for each family. A few of the kids wanted nothing more than to paint the glue all over their paper and couldn’t have cared less about the paper shreds, and some were oblivous to the glue altogether and just wanted to mess around with the papers, pulling them apart like yoyos, tearing them, or making them rain down onto the floor

All in all, a great time was had by teachers, Moms and kids alike. Looking forward to the Finger Puppet Project that is next in line. .

What I’ve learned


Yikes! I knew it had been a long time since I posted here on WordPress.com, but I didn’t realize it had been 2 months! That just proves how busy FLOOF Collage pARTy! has kept me, in my home-based art studio, and with FLOOF-on-the-GO.

It’s taken 4 years, but it appears that folks are finally finding out that I exist! In the last 2 months, I have been at 2 schools for after-school or vacation day enrichment programs, have been approached by two more, and by the local counseling service.

A big holiday party with FLOOF-on-the-GO is coming up soon. Today I used the clean-up after a birthday party for 12 seven-year-olds to accumulate my supplies for the next Collage pARTy! That made choosing the found objects and recycled materials easy – whatever the kids left on the floor or in their baskets after their projects were finished went right into the Holiday Party Bucket.

I love observing how kids make choices in deciding the “what” and “how” of their projects. At the party today, there was the usual variety of types of child artist: The careful, thoughtful builder, the hunter/gatherer who is mostly interested in accumulating objects to take home rather than constructing anything, and the speed demon, who finishes quickly and with no concern for logical positioning. Of course, kids fall in all kinds of areas on the spectrum among those extremes.

It is fascinating to me to watch the creative process evolve. I love listening to the children freely express themselves with art materials without worrying about making a mess, or being quiet, Sometimes I wish I had a recorder to capture what they say as they are assembling their work. The spirit of cooperation is evident as kids bounce ideas off each other and share materials, or make suggestions when someone is struggling with a concept or its execution.

One pair of girls are in the same class, and worked collaborately to make one single sculpture on fiberboard. They talked about how they were going to share it, because they had never been to each other’s home. I think a new playdate arose out of their combined work, as they spoke of bringing it from one home to another for a month or two. We’ll see what happens, because one of the girls said “My Mom thinks we already have too much art”.  That made me laugh, as they are only seven!

Photos will be posted on my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/floofcollageparty.

I’m on ReUse Tompkins!


FLOOF Collage pARTy! is now on reusetompkins.com! Reuse Tompkins is an online directory of reuse stores in Tompkins County. Check us out at reusetompkins.com, and discover forty other secondhand stores as well!

I’m proud to be part of this community that emphasizes keeping things out of the waste stream. SocialMediaImage


It’s More about the Process than the Product


In the past, I have taught classes at BLOOM in Ithaca and at my grandson’s elementary school, (Pot Springs in Timonium, MD) with the following themes:

Sticks and Stones, Shells and Bones
Strings and Stamps in Silver
Glitter and Gauze in Gold
Ribbons and Rainbows and Rings, Oh My!
Designs, Doodles and Decals
Miscellaneous Multicolor Madness
Portraits and Paintings with Paper
Things that Swing
Silly Sock Puppets

I still have the materials gathered up as “FLOOF-on-the-GO!”, so repeating those classes is easy.

I always bring a basic supply of scissors, punches, glue, a hot glue gun (which I operate), basic paper, markers, pens and pencils, rulers, along with a little box of the materials specific to that class.

The themes are only a suggestion – I’m pretty laissez-faire about kids’ ideas. Whatever works for them, works for me. It’s really more about the process than the product.

Two collage artistsCanon July 2012 003The Youngest Artist