Matisse Meets Lily Pulitzer

I really have no idea what's gotten into me, and honestly if I didn't know better I would wonder... wonder if maybe my sudden urge to clean and declutter, my sudden insatiable hunger and expanding midsection might indicate the arrival of... but I am 200% certain that the symptoms are just a coincidence! (Thank God... I have two hands which is nowhere near enough to handle my three kids!)

Alexander and I were in the kitchen this morning. He's dying to learn how to read. Before he learns how to read he needs to recognize his letters, upper and lower cases. So we were working on some alphabet activities that I had printed out from Starfall and after about 20 minutes of tracing and coloring As and apples he had had enough. He wanted to do some crafts, with glue. Anything as long as it is with glue. So I thought it would be fun to do a collage. In the spirit and the vein of Matisse. I asked him what colors he wanted as I pulled out the craft papers. "Pink. And pink and white. And green." So I pulled out the colors he requested and he selected the dark pink sheet as his background. Together we went to town tearing bits of paper. As I searched high and low for the glue (I found one empty bottle) making an insane mess as I did, I came across the Mod Podge which is my most favorite crafting glue ever. It works like glue but it adds a shine to the finished product. I found a plastic paint plate and a paint brush and Alexander immediately went to work "painting" the glue on to the paper and sticking the pieces of paper over the paint and painting over the glued-on paper. Alexander was having so much fun I decided to join him and created my own "Matisse." I love the end result. In fact, I am going to frame them and hang them in Rebecca's room.

Whose do you like better?! ;)

When we were done Alexander wanted to paint. So I took out the watercolors and while he painted I cleaned out my art basket -- a huge wicker basket that sits under my desk. I tossed old markers, broken crayons, dried up glue, broken brushes, unfinished masterpieces long ago abandoned by my artistes. I removed all the Play Doh and Play Doh accessories and put them in the office, in an empty cabinet. I tossed out dried out and empty paint containers, unfinished craft products, beads and broken googly eyes. I organized my pens and markers and papers and paintbrushes and all my crafting tools.

Matisse certainly worked in many mediums and had a broad range of styles and phases. But the simplest of all seemed perfect for my 3 year old. I will try more complicated things with the older two, or I may not. There is something beautiful with his simplicity.

It was a productive day indeed... I wonder what tomorrow will bring? Meantime if you want unleash your inner Matisse here are a couple of great kid-friendly sites to visit:

Meet Matisse

Matisse for Kids

In school Alexander is learning about Frida Kahlo and on Wednesday we are going (his preschool class and the 7th grade Spanish class) to have lunch at a Mexican restaurant and talk more about Frida. I will report back about that on Wednesday.

I'm going to sign off and clean out the armoire now!

(For more of my crafty ideas check out the crafts under the Labels section and visit my abandoned site