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Sunday, January 08, 2012

Dinosaur Excavation, Fairy House, Spin Art, Hanging Decoration

Just some random things we were doing in the last quarter of 2011. I was sorting through the photos and thought Ana might like to read this some day...

A dear friend of mine sent us this Dinosaur Excavation Kit. Comes complete with pieces of dino skeleton buried in plaster, plus tools for excavation. This was a Daddy/Daughter excavation start to finish, done in small installments over a couple of weeks. I simply wielded the camera and hovered around on and off.

Naturalist and Film-maker Nigel Marven's Dinosaurs Book and Walking With Dinosaurs Movie helped us learn more as we tried to understand how paleontologists have painstakingly uncovered evidence and proposed theories based on their finds. The miniature excavation at home revealed assorted bones of a triceratops, (which wasn't a surprise as the picture on the box showed it), but, it was a good exercise to put the bones together to make the whole skeleton.

Building Fairy Houses and Nests are a favorite backyard activity for Ana. And, as long it interests her, I am just fine with it. Within 4 minutes of stopping on the wayside during our recent trip to let Oggie do his business  (which he didn't!) as we were miles away from the next rest stop, Ana had a whole collection - assorted colored and shaped rocks, shells, leaves, twigs, and even a sand dollar (wonder how it got there, we were miles away from any beach). Which is to say that her pockets and bags fill up with Nature Things fast. I hope she never outgrows this connection to nature. I was a city girl growing up - backyard gardens and parks were all the nature I experienced aplenty.

Spin Art is something we do on and off. Nothing fancy. However, I was pleasantly surprised to discern an elegant red bird (with an eye to boot!) flying against a sunset sky in one of the spin art paintings.

We just use the good old salad spinner and some paints. We try acrylics, tempera, even water colors. We try different consistency/dilution of paints to see how they flow. I just cut one-side-print paper to fit the salad spinner. We experiment with different papers too - card stock, construction, heavyweight.

I am surprised I haven't posted it here in the art exploration series so far, so here it is. If the colors and pattern look good, we cut pieces from it to make collage or card later.

After her first Hanging Decoration Fish project, we've done a few more. This is a Winter Holiday themed one that Ana made for her Nana - Snowman, Gingerbread Cookie Man, Christmas Tree, Candy Cane, and Stocking. And sure enough Nana was proud to hang it up when Ana gave it to her during our recent visit.

[vintage image source:]

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At 9:25 PM, Blogger Megan said...

Ok, we're trying the spin art this week. I keep meaning to, and then put it off. But now I'm in. Thanks!


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