Arts and Crafts

Enjoy Museums for Free at Target Arts & Wonder Weekend

July 14, 2010

This weekend, Target (you know, that place where you buy diapers and bathroom cleaner and toys and the occasional dress or shirt) presents Arts & Wonder, a free family event with free general admission to six of San Francisco's leading museums and free art activities and performances.

This weekend-long marathon of free family fun kicks off Friday, July 16, 2010 from 5–8:45 pm at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, where you can turn Target's canine mascot Bullseye into a work of Andy Warhol-inspired "Pup" art and watch a ballet performance celebrating the work of Impressionist painter Edgar Degas. General admission and activities and performances are free, but if you want to see the Birth of Impressionism exhibition (highly recommended!) you'll have to get a special timed ticket—$15 for adults, $10 for children 6–17, and free for kids 5 and under.

Coloring Easter Eggs the Natural Way

March 30, 2010

In case you haven't picked up one of those Easter egg coloring kits from the store yet, never fear—there are ways of coloring your eggs using stuff you may already have around the house, including natural dyes that you may never have thought of! A friend of mine passed on a great post from the website iLunchBox that goes over alternative egg dying methods. One suggestion is to use the plain old food coloring that you may or may not have in your cupboard. Mixing different combinations of blue, yellow, and red will give you just about any color imaginable.

If food coloring' not your thing, then uing a natural ingredient for dye, such as spinach or grass for green, turmeric for yellow, or even red wine or red wine vinegar for a red color. Read the article here for more Easter egg tips.

It's Sticker Paradise at Mrs. Grossman's Sticker Factory

February 17, 2010

Mrs. Grossman's Sticker FactoryAnyone who loves stickers, knows about Mrs. Grossman’s Sticker Factory. Located just north of Marin in Petaluma, I’ve been wanting to take my kids on their famous factory tour so we can see how their stickers are made.

This family-owned company is a must-visit place for families in the Bay Area. For $3 per person, you get a guided tour, a goody bag of stickers, and more. Tours are held Monday through Thursday by reservation only. You can give them a call at (800) 429-4549 to schedule a tour. Tours last about an hour.

Go Swimming Indoors This Winter

January 19, 2010

I decided that I’m going to do something for myself this year—I finally joined our local health club and I’m going to get myself back into shape. I signed up at the Marin YMCA a few weeks ago, and have to say that it was the best decision I’ve made so far this year. Not only am I able to take advantage of the workout room, but our entire family can participate in the classes and programs they have to offer as well.

One of our favorites features so far is the indoor pool. Believe it or not, we have been making a lot of use of it during on these recent rainy weekends, and my kids are able to burn off some energy as well as brush up on their swimming skills. My son wants to join the swim team in the spring and he needs to be able to swim the length of the pool first, so we’re getting in some valuable practice time.

There’s something I love about swimming in an indoor pool on a rainy day. At first thought it seems a little odd to want to go swimming when it’s cold and wet out, but once you get to the pool it’s warm and pleasant and a contrast to the yucky weather going just on the other side of the windows and walls.

New Art Studio in Downtown Petaluma

July 20, 2009

Jennifer Richardson art studio painting activityLocal artist Jennifer Richardson has just opened a new art studio in downtown Petaluma that offers children's art camps and art classes for adults, teens, and children. The new "For the Love of Art" studio, conveniently located a short drive from Marin at 600 Petaluma Boulevard South, is the perfect place for children, teens and adults to feel safe and allow their creativity to emerge with guidance from Jennifer.

In addition to offering summer art camp, Jennifer offers a Tuesday night (7–9 pm) Teen Art Night—a safe place for teens to come and hang out and foster their artistic skills and interests. Thursday night is Adult Art Night, which offers an artistic learning experience along with a glass of wine and great music. Also offered every Friday from 6–9 pm is Parent’s Night Out, where kids can come and join in educational art activities, have a bite to eat, and let Mom and Dad have an evening off.

Jennifer’s art studio also offers birthday parties. Art projects are the take-home gifts and the clean-up is taken care of.

Learn the Techniques of Eric Carle at Art for ME

July 19, 2009

The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric CarleEvery child loves books by children's author and illustrator Eric Carle. Carle classics include The Grouchy Ladybug, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and The Tiny Seed. Learn about how to make your own art using Carle's techniques at Art for ME's workshop tomorrow, July 20, from 4 to 5 pm at Riley Street art supplies on 4th Street in downtown San Rafael.

Kids ages 4 to 6 will explore Eric Carle's collage techniques and make their own illustrations in his style. To create his unique and distinctive illustrations, Carle paints interesting, colorful patterns, then cuts them out and layers them.

Studio 4 Art Opens in Downtown Novato

October 1, 2008

Studio 4 ArtStudio 4 Art now has a permanent location in downtown Novato. They’ve been offering mobile classes and art parties in Marin for years, but now they have a home at 1133 Grant Avenue, (where the Glazy Daze ceramic studio used to be). Their grand opening party, with free art, food, and drink, is on Saturday, October 4, from 2 to 5 pm.

The studio offers fine art workshops all week with daily themes in drawing, painting, clay, and sewing. Workshops begin with preschool children and continue on for children up to 9th grade. There’s also a drop-in studio where everyone from infants to adults can come in and create in any medium of choice. Drop-in studio is available from 10 am to 6 pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Scrapbooking the Virtual Way

September 9, 2008

I love taking photos--lots of photos--of my kids. I never really get a chance to show off my photos, because they are all stored on the computer in iPhoto. When my son was born, I, like a lot of new moms, got sucked in to the world of scrapbooking… Hundreds of dollars and two years later I was still trying to put my son’s first-year book together. My closet had become a veritable scrapbooking arsenal, full of paper of every color and pattern, ribbons, embellishments such as labels and metal tags, stamps, ink, and  cutting devices. I felt a little overwhelmed with the whole process. My husband, web designer that he is, suggested that I put together a digital scrapbook. A friend of mine also had shown me a digital scrapbook she put together online at Shutterfly, and I have to say that I was really impressed.

Great Ideas for 4th of July Crafts, Activities and Recipes

June 30, 2008

With the 4th nearing and the kids out of school and at home, the age-old question of “What to do?” gets asked more frequently., the website for Family Fun magazine, has a wealth of great ideas for seasonal family activities. Among their offerings for the 4th of July are craft ideas, including festive fans, Fouth of July twirlers and liberty shakers; patriotic games including the egg and spoon race and popcorn relay; 4th of July parade-wear suggestions; and picnic recipe ideas. Some of the recipes include are frozen yogurt pops, frozen Uncle Sams, pineapple coconut sherbet, and kids' strawberry daiquiris to name a few.

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