Little Sheep

I made a little sheep this morning out of wire and scrap material.  It’s simple, but it feels good, and it seems to like standing on my Olle Eksell book.  I’ll let the kids play with it when they get up from their naps.

Fishing!

We were at the park over the weekend and I spotted some very nice tree branches on the ground and decided it was time to make some fishing poles! The kids each picked out a stick and we carried them home.  I took my knife and whittled down the bumps, found some string, a couple of old wooden spools, wire, two magnets (stolen from the fridge), and made …

Art Show

I just had an opening reception for my art show at the Daily Cafe in Portland.  It was a great dinner party.  In addition to the art, I designed coloring sheets for kids.  If you want to try them out, download below.     Coloring Sheets: Click on the images below, then print.

Slotted Building Discs

While reading the December issue of Art Forum Magazine, I came across a brilliant Damián Ortega sculpture made of tortillas.  Of course I immediately wished I could play with them.  So I scanned some recent collage circles I’d made, printed them out, and made these building discs.  It’s surprisingly tricky to build with them, but amazingly …

Little Paper Cowboy

Today I made a little cowboy scene out of paper.  Similar to the paper animals I made before.  These are made from painted paper that I use for my collages, but any paper will do.  I also used a black and silver pen to draw on them.  I like toys like these because they flatten and you can take them on the go, to restaurants or the doctor’ …

Design Tree

A few days ago I got to spend some time at the Portland Art Museum on my birthday.  I hadn’t been there in awhile and was really inspired by the Native American exhibits.  Dance wands, totem poles, jewelry. So I came home and dreamt up the idea for this toy.  A kind of interactive art sculpture that can be assembled many different ways.  It’s …

Paper Chicken Animation

I used to do this all the time when I was a kid, but forgot about it until a couple of weeks ago when drawing with Jack and Tess.  It’s a great trick, and you can do all kinds of animations.  We did a chicken first.  If you want to try something like this, here are a couple of tips. Draw your design on the bottom first, so you can trace over …

Dress-up Drawings

This morning we were drawing together and I thought it would be fun to get some material scraps and cut them into clothes so we could dress-up the drawings.  Similar to the vintage buttons game we did before.

Modern Doll House

I finished the dollhouse!  At least for now.  I’m sure I’ll never stop making furniture for it.  It’s too much fun.  My son especially loves organizing and arranging the furniture.  The guys in the family are playing with dollhouses and the girls are out riding bicycles.  Nice.

Doll House Furniture

I’ve started to make some doll house furniture.  I’ve been wanting to do this for a few months now.  My kids love playing with doll houses.  I bent a little chair out of wire, and finally found a use for the awesome hand printed fabric scraps I got from Umbrella Prints.  Got out the hot glue gun, cut some wood scraps and found a tree …

Finger Puppets!

The kids got some new construction paper for a Christmas gift last night, so we made finger puppets this morning. You can see on their faces the excitement and wonder they had for the tiny puppets. They had a great time acting out really funny scenes and stories. A super fast craft with fun results!

Sleepy Froggy-Bears

The twins just got some cute Japanese toys from a friend. They called them froggy-bears and thought they needed a nap, so I did a 20 second sewing project and made them some fleece sleeping bags. Then we made lego beds. It’s pretty fun. I’ve been so busy painting for my October art show that these one minute crafts are all I have time for. …

Zoo Blanket

I’ve been tackling some larger projects, so I haven’t posted in awhile. One of them is this zoo blanket. Jack and Tess love to get out all of their animals and arrange them on the floor to “make a zoo”. I thought it would be fun to design a blanket or play mat that had some fun shapes and colors on it where we could put the different animals. …

Vintage Buttons!

My wife’s grandma just gave me her Tiffany Cigar box full of buttons during our visit last weekend. She said she was never going to use them, so I gratefully accepted the gift. The kids already love playing with them just in the box. Then I drew up some animals and pictures that they could place the buttons onto, which was a big hit also. I can’t …

Simple Handmade Books

I’ve seen little books like this all around, but now that I have a sewing machine I finally got to make some. I made the covers from thick art magazine covers, and then used a paper cutter to cut the pages. Then just fold the papers in half, and sew a line down the middle. Simple and very satisfying! It’s going to really be fun when the kids get …

Paper Animals

Yesterday my son and I had fun cutting out some scrap paper and turning them into little animals. It was really a fun way to use old paper. We kept making more and more animals until we had a full zoo. Here are a few of them.