Tag Archives: Angel Street Kids

Dinosaur Territory

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The leftover glass stones and rocks from our paper flower project have made a great little habitat for our dinosaurs and plastic bugs.  Yes, the kids are in heaven.

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I won’t be surprised if some fairies show up later.

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It’s days like these when I get inspiration to write books like this.  If your child likes digging, dinosaurs, and mysteries, they will definitely enjoy this book!

Super Easy Paper Flower Pens

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This is a great gift for Mother’s Day or for Teacher Appreciation Week.  These flowers look beautiful, and you will be surprised at how easy they are to make!

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First, start by printing out this template (click HERE, or on the image for the printable version).  Each sheet will make ONE flower, so print as many sheets as flowers that you want.  Don’t worry about printing on any special paper, regular printer paper is what I used and it works great…just part of what makes this SO easy.

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Use watercolor paint and have your child paint to their heart’s content, right onto the template.  The paper will get buckled and the paints will smear—and that’s perfect!  (Tip:  the finished flower looks really great if you paint the largest and smallest shapes one color, and the medium shapes a contrasting color)

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When the paint is dry, just cut the flower shapes out, then cut cross-hair slits in the center of each shape, right where the small circle is.

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Push the shapes onto the top of a pen, from largest to smallest.  (Note:  I used black pens with lids.  I took the lids off and stuck them on the top of the pen, then attached the flowers.  This way, the pen is ready to be used, and adds a little height to the flower as well)

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When all the pieces are on, I wrapped a little florist tape around the top of the pen lid, as well as underneath the flower.  This will hold the flower in place so the pieces don’t slide off (you could also add a little hot glue onto the pen tip before wrapping the tape, if you want).  Squish the upper pieces together  so they kind of form up, then squish the bottom piece down just a tad—this will make it look very flower-like.  20140508_121011

For the flower leaves, I used 1/2” green ribbon, cut to about 5 inches in length.  Just tie once, then secure it with a little hot glue under the knot.

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I found these cute glass jars, and filled them with rocks and green glass stones.  Won’t these cute pen flowers look cute on the teacher’s desk, or maybe next to Mom’s computer, or by the kitchen phone?

The best part is that it is truly hand-painted, and any child will feel so proud of the end product.

The hand-painted bloom is perfect for adding the child’s touch to a beautiful gift for anyone…and it’s SO easy!

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Getting Flashbacks

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Except for the red hair, this is pretty much a flash back moment.  Yes, this illustration is flashing me back to my good old college days.  I always had paint on my cheek, and all over my art smock.  In my early married days we lived in a small apartment.  I had a small painting space to work in, so when I was working on large paintings, I’d turn some binoculars backwards so that I could “back up” in a way and see my paintings from a distance.  I’d use a small ladder to reach the top of the painting.  I had a habit of turning the paintbrush backwards and scratching the top of my head with the end of it, so I would often get paint strokes on the ceiling.  There were always smudges of paint on the phone and the doorknobs.

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This character is an important key in the solving of the newest case for the Gumshoe Crew.  I am getting so close to finishing the illustrations for the new Investigator Anne book, “Case #5 – The Grave of the Indian Princess.”  I just finished illustration #84 out of about 100.  Hoping to do some more tonight.  (I’ve got to go out and weed my garden in the meantime though.  Planting time is coming!)

The Librarian

There is a part in the new book where the Gumshoe Crew visits the library in search of some needed clues.

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This was the original sketch I created of the librarian, but then I thought it would be more fun to style the character after my friend, Sylvia, who actually works at the town library.

 

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This is how it turned out and I think it works much better this way.  Thanks for the inspiration Sylvia!

My Day So Far

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I finished this illustration last night.  Funny thing, while I was working on it, I just kept yawning.  It made me tired to draw someone tired.  Well, that and it was about 11:30 pm.  Today, I’m working on new drawings.  Maybe if I draw someone with lots of energy, it will make me feel energetic…here’s hoping.  Is it okay to play with my own mind this way???

Character Sketch — “Lily”

Lily is one of the characters in my Investigator Anne series.  She’s smart and she loves all things to do with nature, plants, and animals.  She always wears a flower in her hair, and she often helps solve the mysteries by contributing knowledge about her interests.

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In this scene in the upcoming book, Lily and Anne are having a discussion about lemons and invisible ink.  What is the connection you may ask?  You’ll have to read the book to find out.

Anyway, I just reached my halfway point with these illustrations!  I “only” have about 50 more illustrations to go.  Stay tuned, I’m in the groove and so excited to complete the book.  It’s a fun story and I think you’re kids will love it.  My kids have read it already, so it truly is kid-tested and kid-approved.  As always, I’ll keep you updated on the progress!

Super Easy Mother’s Day Cards

Handmade says so much!  Even if you don’t consider yourself a crafty person, you can totally make these.  These are the easiest cards you and your kids will ever create.

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This Floral Heart Mother’s Day card is already painted for you.  Just click on the image below and print it on your handy dandy color printer.  Cut it out, then write a meaningful message for your momma.  Super easy.

(Just click on the image you want, and then print it)

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I left out the personal Mother’s day greetings on the card templates, so that you can customize them yourselves for your mother or grandmother, or other special mother in your life.

 

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The kids will love these.  Whip out some paints and have the kiddos create their own finger print flowers. The stems and border are already done for you!

 

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Just have the kids dob their cute fingers three times around each flower head.  Try using three different colors to make the card fun and bright.  Water-based paints are best – (use watercolor paints or slightly thinned acrylic craft paint)

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Mom’s are busy bees…and they are also bee-utiful.  These bees are also fashioned with fingerprints.  Just print the template, cut, then dob on some fingerprints.  The bees’ stripes and eyes are already there, just press some painted fingers over the design.

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Mother’s Day is just around the corner.  Take time to make the mothers in your life feel special!  To view and print all the cards, click HERE.

Investigator Anne – Sketch

Yesterday I worked on some illustrations while my kiddos were job shadowing me.

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This is an illustration for the scene where Anne is trying to figure out the meaning of a cryptic message the crew discovers in a forgotten old building, dating back to the days of the Pony Express.

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Investigator Anne book #5 is called “The Grave of the Indian Princess.”

Yesterday, I gave my kids a mock assignment for “Take Your Child to Work Day,” and told them to draw the Indian princess.

Here are some of my kids’ assignment paintings:

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Gizmo Sketch

I’ve been up to my eyeballs in sketches and illustrations for the newest Investigator Anne book, so I thought I’d post a little teaser.

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I’ve been sketching the spot illustrations for “Investigator Anne – Case #5 Grave of the Indian Princess.”  Usually there is anywhere between 80 and 130 illustrations in the Investigator Anne books.  I feel like it’s important to have a lot of pictures in early chapter books.  It helps to break up the wall of words that can look so overwhelming to young readers.

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After the sketches are done, I finish them up with a cleaner drawing.  Gizmo is a fun character to draw.  I love his big goggles and inventive personality.  He is always creating some kind of gadget.  In this book, his newest, one-of-a-kind invention, is just as brilliant as ever.

BTW, you may wonder why this style is so different from other styles I’ve done.  It’s obviously very different from the watercolor I recently finished.  The reason is simply that this style is a relatively quick way to illustrate a book with so many pictures.  There really aren’t many chapter books out there with a full-color illustration on nearly every page.  I use this style mainly to save the book buyer’s money.  My books are always a low affordable price, and this is just one way of how I can make it that way.

Kids Creations – Happy Earth Day!

My kids have an Earth Day art contest at school today!  These are their beautiful entries that they submitted yesterday. These paintings are each created on the backs of cereal box cardboard, in honor of recycling and preserving this beautiful place where we all live.

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Congratulations to Eliza!  Her class already voted yesterday and she won the art award in her class!

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I love all the details the kids put into these, and the textures are beautiful.

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Anne and Mary’s classes will vote today on their class art winners, so we’ll see how they do as far as the prize goes.  As far as I’m concerned, these paintings are SO beautiful and I’m so proud of their work and creativity!