Saturday, March 21, 2015

Happy Arab Mother's Day 2015

For most in the Arab world, today is Mother's Day!
Arabic Mother's Day Handmade Card
Youm Umm Said (Arabic for Happy Mother's Day) to all my friends!  (just a reminder for next year, I have a number of choices in my Zibbet shop to send your mom a little love.)

Check here to view what dates you need to memorize to celebrate other Mother's Day(s) all over the world.

I found this great video and wanted to share it with you and ask that you take a little time to share it on your social medias also.

Jazak Allah Khair everyone, and don't forget to hug a mom today.  Doesn't matter if she gave birth or not, or if she belongs to you via blood or not, just give her a hug.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Norooz Mubarak 2015

I want to wish everyone a happy Norooz!

Norooz Mubarak!

Norooz, or Nowruz, is a holiday celebrated each spring equinox to welcome in the Persian New Year.
Norooz Mubarak from the garden of ACraftyArab
I took photos of some the flowers in my yard today for my daily #mkbpicaday challenge on Instagram. Those are daffodils, a white hyacinth, and forget me nots above.  I then went on a weekly walk with a friend at a local park.  While there, we were surrounded by more beauty in the cherry blossoms that are blooming and floating to the ground like snow.

Afterwards, I visited a friend who just moved into a new home.  Her husband was Persian, so I gave her a new plant to welcome the new year.  I also brought over other treats, including pastries for her toddler, who shared a few bites with me.  But only after she rubbed them into her knee.
I love those little pudgy fingers.

I got a tour of the lovely home.  After a few minutes, I started looking for secret places to stash a sleeping bag so I can squat without being seen. We ended at these adorable chicks that were just hatched and awaiting their move into their new chicken hut.

One of these chicks is not like the other. Can you spot it?

Then it was off for a play date and accounting (aka "fudging of numbers to make it all make sense") meeting to wrap up my work as girl scout cookie manager for my youngest daughter's troop.  This was my first year as cookie manager and I must say, hats off to those that have done this in the past.  Wow.  I had no idea it was so painful.  Next time you see a mom standing behind a girl scout at a table selling cookies, give her an extra nod of recognition.  Or a spa gift card. 

Hours and hours later, okay, it just felt like that looking at all those numbers, I took my tired 8 year old home. We all made dinner together so I could also spent some time talking to my older girls about our upcoming 30 Days of Ramadan Crafty Challenge that will be starting in less then 90 days!!  I know, so much to do, how can Ramadan be so close already?!?

I ended the night at a comedy show with girlfriends and we laughed so hard we cried.  Seriously.  Funny.

The beautiful and hilarious comedienne Marilyn Gibbs.

I hope your Norooz was filled with flowers, friends, food, family and fun too!
Norooz Mubarak Handmade Card

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

2nd Grade Art Lesson: Value in Nature

I went into my daughter's 2nd Grade class room as an Art Docent today and shared with them a lesson on value.

We have been going over the 7 elements of art, and I was so happy to see that many of them remember the ones we've already covered this year (color, line and texture), and a few knew the ones that we haven't learned yet (shape, form and space).

We started our lesson on value by looking at some cherry blossom tree photos similar to this one.

I pointed out to the children how value deals with the lightness or darkness of a color.  Since we see objects and understand objects because of how dark or light they are, value is incredible important to art.

We looked at  a few more images of cherry blossom trees to study how light hits the blossoms in different directions.

I then showed them this image on an apple and presented them with a little test.

I asked the class to raise their hands if they thought this was a photo or a painting.  Only three of the 26 students guessed correctly that it was a painting.  Everyone else thought it was a photo.

I showed them how the artist used 8 ranges of value, both of the color red and white, together to create the illusion the apple was real.

I then spent a few minutes illustrating how the green on my shirt (Happy St. Patrick's Day!) looked different depending where I stood next to the window.  The side of me that faced the window looked lighter then the side of me that faced the hallway. Despite the shirt being the same color all over.

Feeling confident that the children got the concept, I handed out paper, brown markers and oil pastels. I had really wanted to do this lesson in watercolor, but alas, I didn't have extra hands to help and had to resort to a less messy lesson.

After making sure we all wrote our names on our paper, we turned them over.  Since cherry blossom branches don't go up and down, we want to make sure our main branch started on one side of our sheet.  We made two thick lines and darkened the side of the branch away from the sunlight with the brown marker.  We drew in lines to create the value of bark.

We then went in and drew in smaller branches, also by creating two lines that don't meet, coming off the main branch.  The final step was to add Ys at the end of our smaller branches to support our flowers.

Now the fun of coloring in the rest of our value of the branches and get started on the cherry blossoms.  We pulled out the red oil pastel and drew in five circles, since there is always five petals on a cherry blossom.

We drew radiating lines of white oil pastels coming out of each red petal, racing towards the center.  We then took our fingers and smudged the colors, three touches only, to blend the colors to make pink.

Here are a few of the masterpieces.  I did not put these up on the wall because I wanted the kids to take some spring home to their parents.

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