Category Archives: Creating Art

Creative Art Activities

The Evolved Snowflake

The sun is so generous to share her afternoon beams of joy with me. At the end of the school day, when my teacher work is done, the lighting in my art studio inspires many clever photo shoots of freshly made works of art. Showcased below are images of kirigami snowflakes.

kirigami snowflake

Kirigami is the art cutting paper to create intricate symmetrical designs. Does the term remind you of origami? If so, it is because they both end in “gami” and when translated in Japanese, “kami” means paper. Origami is the art of paper folding. “Ori” means folding + “kami” means paper = folding paper. Can you guess what “kiri” means? That’s right: “kiri” means cutting. Therefore kirigami = cutting paper. Typically, kirigami begins with a folded base, which is then cut and opened offering a magically surprise in the end.


These snowflakes were created using a tri-fold technique which produces a 12-sided snowflake. To read through an informative snowflake tutorial, visit Michele Made Me. And take the time to snoop around her beautiful website, it is one of my favorite places to spend free time!

Have you made your holiday decorations this year?
Or maybe a clever advent calendar?
If so, please share your creations!

Have a lovely first day of December! -MJ


Filed under Creating Art, Inspiration

Hello Oils. I love you.

I did it. I set up shop last night and hung out with my palette knife. We are best buds. Completed in the AM today, this dahlia inspired floral portrait is dressed in various green hues with hints of warm and cool patches, just like the ocean’s current.My painting session consisted of Gerry Rafferty Radio on Pandora, delicious colors that felt like butter while mixing and an ice cold martini. Thanks, Nicky.

Gotta love Gamblin’s Transparent Orange. I use it as an intense under painting color and it stuns the eye in details. Here is my floral work in progress. By mid session it reminded me of Blanche’s bedspread in Golden Girls. No Joke. Not good. Had to work on my palette choices. Can you sense the GG’s? or Miami Beach? Well, it is what it is.

Have you painted lately? What colors live on your palette these days?

Thank you for being a friend. -MJ


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Recycled Beauty

zinnia made from only 3 paper towel rolls. 

A fellow teacher introduced me to this process. It is super cheap and easy and exercises your playful side. If you have a naked white wall in your home, this could dress it up a bit and be a popular discussion piece at your next household gathering.

Materials: At least 3 or more paper towel rolls; a pencil; a ruler; a scissor; tacky glue or hot glue and a glue gun; clothespins; a large flat workspace; a playful, open mind.

Press down on the paper towel rolls. It should look like someone sat on it and flattened it a bit. The open circles on either end will now look like a pinched oval.

Measure and mark off the paper towel rolls into 3/4 in slices. Now cut on the 3/4 inch marks starting at the pinched ends.

Once you have a collection of sliced pinched oval shapes, start laying them out on a large, flat surface in a branching pattern of sorts or a giant zinnia shape starting with a design in the picture above or another design that your imagination might invent! My vine above was made from only 1 paper towel roll. You will have many more ovals to arrange if you cut more than 1.

vine made from 1 roll. you will have many more to work with

Once you are happy with your design, begin to attach them with tacky glue or hot glue. Use the clothespins as a vice to keep your connections together and move on. This will keep your hands free to do the creative busy work of attaching rather than waiting for the glue to dry while you pinch each individual connection.

Mount your finished piece onto a wall will small unobtrusive nails or clear tacks. Witness the artistic beauty made by your own hands!


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