Thursday, September 23, 2010

wooden rainbows

these two are my pots of gold!
I'm so glad you enjoyed the rainbow pictures earlier this week. Who doesn't stop in their tracks at the glimpse of nature's masterpiece? We're lucky to live in a valley that's blessed with lots of rainbows, and my children know the exact weather conditions, and kind of light that shouts "rainbow alert". During our hunts for those arcs of color, we've inevitably talked about the spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet (Roy G. Biv).
rainbow sticks
This has led to creating our own with crayons, markers, paint... etc. One of the simplest and most satisfying art projects we've done recently was stumbled upon by chance: painting watercolor rainbows onto wooden craft sticks. The water colors bleed into one another creating a seamless spectrum. Our countless rainbow sticks have been used for book marks, magic wands, and building materials for fairy houses. They're also considered "lucky sticks", good for tucking in pockets when going on adventures.

Such success with simple materials led us to paint watercolors on any scrap wood we could find:  the gorgeous outcome was so enticing. At the peak of this wooden passion, we rediscovered the the "Curiosity Bags" sold at our favorite local shop: Mama Goose.  Curiosity Bags are a wooden treasure trove of odds and ends, seconds, and leftovers put together by my artisan neighbor, Wild Apple.
wild apple toys 3
I've shared my love for Wild Apple toymaker, Gunther Kiel, before here and here. If you live anywhere near Mama Goose, don't pass by these humble looking bags. They are not sold as toys because they might need to be sanded or could be missing a part, but we found many pieces that were gorgeous... and for water coloring:  they're pure bliss. Parent supervision is necessary for young children because some of those bunnies and sheep are so tiny (and cute).
wild apple toys 2
My daughter created this play set (I love that pink goose):
wild apple toys
So grab your watercolors and craft sticks, maybe peek into your garage for any scraps you have lying around, and count on hours of fun. You can also find inexpensive wooden shapes, animals and letters at all craft supply stores. But if you happen to be local,  run down to Mama Goose! Pin It

19 comments:

  1. i've been playing around with watercolour recently, and i like the way it blends into other colours. i imagine the grain in the wood pieces helps that effect... lovely pieces.

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  2. Good ideas! Beautiful colors! Good Work! Congratulations
    Joana

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  3. Those are beautiful. I never would have thought of using watercolor, but it's perfect.

    My childhood self would have had countless hours of fun with those.

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  4. This makes me want to run out to my scroll saw and play. I cut out the alphabet from some baltic birch a few years ago and I think your watercolor idea would be perfect for the kids. Great idea!

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  5. This is a fantastic idea. These came out so nice. I need to find some blank wood pieces like this.

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  6. Beautiful pieces! And we love Roy G. Biv :)

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  7. I'm a fan of Roy's, too! I just saw part of a rainbow earlier this week and you are right... we stopped in our tracks and gazed at it for a bit. They are so magical!

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  8. I love the rainbow sticks! I've been planning to do this project (https://nettleknits.wordpress.com/2010/08/27/colourful-music/) with my son's preschool class, and now I want to figure out a way to combine it with the sticks... Rainbow Music Sticks?

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  9. wow, what a pretty idea... lovely! I think I will give this a try this weekend.... yay!

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  10. so much fun and I love the photo!

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  11. SUCH a great idea! We are totally doing this... as soon as I figure out where to get the animals!

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  12. So much fun isn't it? Painting the toys is my favorite part of the process! My son painted a turtle last week and he is obsessed with "helping mama make toys" now.

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  13. a woman after my own heart. I love the painting I need to do more of that. I often find myself wondering to much about product and making sure it is the right kind than just GOING with the flow ..

    thanks for this post.

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  14. What a simple idea and so pretty. we will try for sure!

    tricia

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  15. What great ideas! I found your blog on the Artful parent. Cool!

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  16. Oooh! I bought a bag of these at Mama Goose a while ago with the same idea, but wasn't sure what kind of paint to use. Now we can finally get started. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  17. Oh, what beautiful rainbows! I can't wait to try this with my little one. :)

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