Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Halloween Party Room Mother Chair

Monday night was the Room Mother meeting at my son's sc
hool. I had volunteered to be a room mother, though not HEAD room mother, since it our first experience with kindergarten and class parties, etc. So I met the head room mother and the other room mothers, and I am really happy with our group. They all seem pretty laid back and fun. We started discussing the Halloween party and asked if anyone wanted to be the chairperson for it. My friend Aimee nominated me, she knows I go crazy about Halloween. I accepted and now I need to start researching some games, easy projects, and other fun ideas for the party. I am super excited, because as I said, I go bonkers for Halloween. (I am putting out my decorations this week!)

We have about an hour for the party, including the costume parade

Here is a list of things we need for the party~
  • candy/treats for the treat bags
  • supplies for games
  • supplies for crafts
  • halloween music
  • halloween book/story
  • healthy snack/drink
  • halloween plates and napkins
  • decorations?
  • coloring pages (someone else will have to print/copy, my printer is having issues)

I already have a few ideas on some projects~

(from Family Fun.com)

Spider Pops


Black pipe cleaners
Googly eyes

Time needed: Under 1 Hour
1. Holding all four pipe cleaners, center them at the base of the pop and wrap them around the stick once so there are four legs on each side.
2. Bend the pipe cleaner ends to form eight feet.
3. Glue on googly eyes.

Stage a spooky scene by assembling a colony of these winged creatures made from miniature pumpkins and craft foam.



Black acrylic paint
Ornamental (miniature) pumpkins
Black and white craft foam
Hole punch
Glue dots
Black duct tape
Wooden skewers

Time needed: About 1 to 2 Hours
1. Cover your work surface with a drop cloth or newspaper, then paint the pumpkins. Allow them to dry completely. (DO THIS AHEAD OF TIME!)
2. For each bat, snip two identical eyes from the white craft foam and use the hole punch to make pupils. Adhere the eyes to the pumpkin with glue dots.
3. Cut matching pairs of ears and wings from the black craft foam (our wings are about 6 inches long). Attach the ears by taping a toothpick to the back of each one, leaving about 1K inches of the toothpick exposed, then inserting it into the top of the pumpkin.
4. Finally, tape a skewer to the back of each wing, leaving a 2-inch point exposed, and push it in place.
at your child's school party or to visitors on Halloween -- fun and festive treat bags like the one below will surely do the trick.
i love this craft, but would it be dangerous to have skewers on the bus ride home? Maybe we could put the bats in a bag and place them in their bookbags.

Scarecrow-head bag/treat bag


colored markers
lunch-size paper bag
white crayon or chalk

Time needed: Under 1 Hour
1. To make one, simply use colored markers to draw scarecrow-style facial features onto a plain brown lunch-size paper bag.
2. Use white crayon or chalk for eyes and teeth.
3. Fill the bag with goodies, then staple the top closed, adding a bundle of raffia for hair.


Party guests are sure to get wrapped up in this activity: crafting mini mummies to take home as favors when the festivities are over.


Wire snips
Wooden craft sticks
Wooden craft spoons
Glue dots
1 square yard of muslin torn into 1-inch-wide strips (this should be enough for at least 7 mummies)
Small googly eyes

Time needed: Under 1 Hour
Step 1 - Craft Stick Mummy 1. With the wire snips, trim 2 craft sticks to 2 1/2 inches for the arms and 2 more to 3 inches for the legs. Attach an arm and a leg to each side of a wooden craft spoon (or plastic spoon) using 1 glue dot per limb.
2. Stick the end of a muslin strip to the skeleton with a glue dot and wrap the rest of the length around the wood, using another dot at the end. Wrap 4 or so more strips around the skeleton in this way. Use glue dots to attach googly eyes.

And a few ideas for games~

Which is Witch Game

Use this quiet game to settle the throng before refreshments at a party. The outcome will tell you which partier is the most clairvoyant.
Cauldron (a bowl)
Walnut shells (one fewer than the number of kids)
Green or yellow paint
Tally sheet
Witch's hat

1. Halve and hollow out the walnut shells. Paint the inside green or yellow (one color inside each shell).

2. Players sit in a circle, in the center of which is a cauldron with seven walnut halves (for a party with eight children) lying flat-side down inside it so no one can see the colors. The person who is "It" wears the witch's hat for dramatic effect. All the others pick a walnut half, keeping the color a secret. From his seat in the circle, "It" tries to guess the color of each child's walnut. As he goes from player to player, he gets help from the walnut holders, who try to help him psychically "see" their color by thinking hard about it (green, green, green...). After he guesses, right or wrong, each walnut holder reveals her color to him. An adult or older child sits nearby to tally up the number of rights, and then the game starts over with the next "It." When each player has had a turn at being "It," the player who had the power to "see" the most colors correctly wins.

Mummy Wrap Game

Twist your guests into a frightening frenzy with this simple game that has kids writhing with delight.
White crepe paper(Toilet paper)
Spooky music

1. Divide the kids into teams of two and give each pair a roll of white crepe paper. Instruct one member of each team to race to wrap his partner, mummy-style, at the sound of the music (play something devilish, such as "The Monster Mash"). Kids must use up the whole roll, avoiding the head and wrapping arms separately from the torso.

2. Once wrapped, the mummy hops to a finish line, holding his arms to his sides and trying not to break any of the wrapping.

3. Award the winning team, reverse partners' roles and then start again with fresh rolls of crepe paper.
(not sure if we have enough room in the class to do the race, but maybe we could do it in the gym.)

I Went Into a Haunted House: Students sit in a circle. Student A says "I went into the haunted house and saw a witch". Student B contines: "I went into the haunted house and saw a witch and a black cat". Continue around the circle...

Pass the Pumpkin: Ss sit in a circle. Provide a plastic pumpkin for children to pass while the teacher beats on a drum or plays some music. Children pass the pumpkin to the tempo of the music. Alternate between fast and slow. When the music stops the child who has the pumpkin stands and takes a bow. Continue.

Pass the Vampire Bat: Supplies: one straw for each child / bat shapes cut out of tissue paper. How To Play: Divide the class into 2 teams and line up each team. Sts pass the tissue bats down the line, teammate to teammate, by inhaling and exhaling on the straw to hang onto or release the ornament. No hands! The first team to successfully pass the bats up and down the line wins! (TP: V: bat, straw, line up, pass. AA: Before the game you can get the students to make the tissue bats).

Who am I Ghost?: Blindfold one student. The other Ss stand in circle around the blindfolded student. Spin the student around and then stop him/her facing another student. S says "Whooooooo (like a ghost). Who am I?". The blindfolded S must guess who that student is and call out his/her name.

Treat ideas~ (from teachnet.com)
One of my room helpers brought this treat for our Halloween party. Take an orange and cut the top off as you would a pumpkin. Scoop out the inside as best you can. Then add chunks of fresh fruit. Put the top piece back on and put a wooden stick in the middle for the stem. Draw a jack-o-lantern face on the outside. My room helper put each of these in an individual baggie with a plastic spoon. The children just loved these!!!

Witches Brew~ adorable
This activity works well in the month of October. On the first of the month, bring in a large, black pot that resembles a witches' pot. Inside the pot there is a slip of paper that reads: "I am the Witch of the West and I am out gathering ingredients for our halloween brew." On designated days, place the bags containing ingredients in the pot. The ingredients should be placed in a pot, inside a plastic bag so that no smell escaped. Place plastic bags within brown paper lunch bags and have appropriate names printed on the outside of the bag. On Halloween, empty all the bags and stir the brew.
We could do this at the party, one of the room mothers could be dressed up as a witch, and could do this all at once, and then fill each child's cup with some. healthy and FUN!
1 C. Blood Drops - Red Hots
1 C. Owl Eyes - Peanuts
1 C. Cats Eyes - Peanut M&Ms
1 C. Chicken Toenails - Corn Candy
1 C. Colored Flies - M&Ms
1 C. Butterfly Wings - Fritos
1 C. Earthworms - Corn Curls
1 C. Cat Claws - Sunflower Seeds
1 C. Ants - Raisins
1 C. Snake Eyes - Chocolate Chips
1 C. Cobwebs - Triscuits
1 C. Lizard Gizzards - Shoestring Potatoes
1 C. Bat Bones - Pretzels
Taken from Open the Door for Reading

I am totally open for ideas and suggetions! If you are an experienced room mother, let me know what has worked for you, or what hasn't! Feel free to use any of these ideas for your own parties!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Kindergarten Apple Art Project

A few weeks ago I went to do an art project with my son's kindergarten class. His teacher heard that I was an artist, and asked if I would come in and do a project with the class once a month, and of course I jumped at the idea! Anything to get me in his classroom, and involved! I see myself in the future being psycho, control freak, room mother, but in a GOOD, fun way!

My demo apple for the kids

I did some research to find the perfect apple themed project. There were lots of options, including apple prints, you cut an apple in half and make prints on paper with different colors of paint, to cute hanging apple cores, to Johnny Appleseed projects. I choose a project where the kids make an apple out of a paper plate, by painting them red, adding a pipe cleaner worm, green leaf and brown stem. I also decided to draw some eyes, noses, and mouths, and let the kids add those too! I had the paper plates, so I bought the pipe cleaners, and printed out copies of the sheet of facial features.

The day of the project, we passed out the plates and had the kids paint the apples red, yellow, or green. This painting process was extremely messy and took a whole lot longer than I expected (I forgot to add in dry time). I must add that it is a whole lot different doing an art project with 20 kids, rather than 2 kids! The teacher and I rushed around to help the kids with putting their pipe cleaner worms through their sopping wet apples, and to help them select facial features and get them started on cutting them out. By the time they had these cut out and glued on it was time to go home, and we did not have time to add a leaf or stem. That was ok, though I came back the next day and did that and hung up the apples in the hallway!

My son's finished project hanging on our fridge.

It seems like the kids had fun, although next time I may avoid paint, unless that is the ONLY thing we will be doing. I sort of have a better understanding now about how involved a project should be, and the time I need to add in for gluing, drying, and helping! I loved how all the apples turned out really different, sort of like the kids themselves. Next time I will take a photo of the projects hanging up all together. I want to find a really great Halloween project for the kids! Something with skeletons, I am thinking. I should start doing my research now!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Portraits for Sale

Portraits are my main creative outlet, and have been for the past few years. I do them on commission and also give them as gifts for weddings, birthdays, holidays.... So this is what I do for the most part, I wanted to get this blog here first!

Right now some of my work is hanging in the Peoria Symphony Guild's Show House. The one below is a study of a famous Leonardo sketch.

"Leonardo study," Charcoal and conte crayon, 2008

Here are a few examples of my portraits~

"Kristin's family," Graphite, 11x 14, 2006

"Beautiful Bargers," 8 x12, Charcoal, 2008

"Rockabye Girl", 11X14, Acrylic, 2006

"Alladin Sayne" 16x20, Oil Pastel, 2005
I have a portrait website~
and myspace~
You can check out more examples of my work at these links above.



8 X 10

11 X 14

16 X 20

18 X 24

Charcoal:$30, 55, 80, 120

Graphite:$35, 60, 85, 125

Pastels:$60, 85, 110, 150

Acrylics:$85, 110, 135, 175




Happy Yellow BumbleBLOG

Welcome to Happy Yellow Bumblebee! This is my new blog for all of my artistic endeavors. I hope to share creative projects, painting and drawing tips, knitting and crochet projects, party planning ideas, kids arts and crafts, homemade gifts, home decor and holiday creations, so on and so forth. I also hope to meet other creative folks to learn from and swap ideas and maybe even art!

Here is my artist's bio~
I am a 28-year-old daytime stay at home mama, wife, artist, and rockin' music lover. I have been drawing since I was a child. Actually, the artistic touch runs in my family. My mother and grandmother are both artistically talented. For as far back as I can remember I have always wanted to draw people. I have been doing portraits for commission for about 7 years now! I love the challenge of capturing one of the hardest subjects, the human face.

In 2000 I was accepted into the Art Institute of Chicago, which was a cool accomplishment, after 2 years at community college. I did not attend the institute, as I couldn't come up with that kind of dough. Instead, I choose a college closer to home (Bradley University), and I also worked at the Peoria Art Guild for 2 years, expanding my knowledge of the local art community.

About this time I met my future husband and baby number one came. With these major life changes I became a bit distracted from school, and decided to take a break to focus on my family.
About 5 years ago, I started my own business drawing and painting portraits from snapshots. I began by doing them as gifts for friends and family. It was a great way for me to continue making art, keep my portfolio growing, while also make a little extra spending money. Baby number 2 came in 2005. I have continued to do portraits for commission consistantly, by word of mouth and online customers. I am lucky to get to stay home with my 2 boys, and create art whenever I get a chance.

Lately I have been doing a lot of knitting, crocheting, and of course lots of kids art projects, which I will also be happy to share here!

So why "Happy Yellow Bumblebee"? That is the name of a song by my favorite band, of Montreal, and I thought it was appropriate for an artsy blog! Here are the lyrics to the song.

I am a happy yellow bumble bee, I fly around the flowers and trees
and all morning long, I flutter about in the swirling breeze and the sun is yellow like me

I am a happy yellow bumble bee, everything's so much bigger than me
but I'm not afraid, for if something gets too close, I give them a sting that makes them howl and scamper away..

No I'm not afaid, though sometimes I get lonely because my parents are dead and I can't find my brothers or sisters..

At night the sky looks so black and I can't find the sun. It doesn't matter how hard i try, but when i feel like I'm covered in darkness, and that light won't touch me anymore... I hear the cardinals singing and I know who they're singing for when I see the sun......

That makes me a happy yellow bumblebee, all my friends are beetles and centipedes and all
summer long we laugh and we play, but we don't talk to spiders because they're mean and they try to trick us, because they want to eat us..
but they'll never beat us....