Posts Tagged ‘model magic’

rainbow birthday party

today is N’s 4th birthday – happy birthday to my sweet little artist! last weekend, per her request, we had a rainbow art birthday party. i was THRILLED at her choice of party themes, as i, myself, had a rainbow birthday party for my fifth birthday – the same year i coerced my parents into painting a rainbow on my bedroom wall and getting me rainbow sheets, while blasting “the rainbow connection” 24/7. anyway, i thought i’d share a few (well, quite a few) images from our party preparations and the party itself.

we created waldorf kite paper rainbow stars for window decorations for the party, using garden mama’s tutorial. N loved doing this, and now has them in her bedroom windows. (if these composite images seem too small to see details, click on them to open the larger version.)

another item we made for the party is a rainbow striped picture frame. i got a large, inexpensive, lightweight wooden frame at ikea, and we painted it so that it could be a prop in a “photo booth” area at the party, where i hung rainbow fabric as a backdrop and let the kids hold up the frame. a huge hit!

N and i also created shrinky dink nametag pendents for the guest’s gift bags. N had a great time decorating each kid’s nametag with colors or a theme that she knew they’d love. the nametags are necklaces that each child can wear on rainbow yarn.

the gift bags were filled with rainbowy fun toys and art materials, including some homemade snowflake (winter bday) rainbow crayons that we made like the heart ones from last valentine’s day. (you can see them in the post just before this one.)

for the party, we provided light snacks and cake, as it was between lunch and dinner, and we had 20 kids (plus parents) there! as a surprise to N, i created two different rainbow cakes. the first was a 7 layer ode-to-ROY.G.BIV cake, ordered properly according to the chakras, of course. i saw the idea on one charming party.

it turned out to be so awesome inside!

i made a second rainbow cake, which was a psychedelic swirly rainbow cake, just two layers. i saw this idea on omnomicon, but i did *not* make her sprite/weight watchers version. i just followed the cake box recipe.

on both, i kept the icing simple and just made cream cheese icing (1 8oz package of cream cheese, 1 stick of butter, and 1 lb powdered sugar, a little vanilla.) i had to triple that recipe for these 2 cakes. my talented baker friend over at bliss bakery created a dozen gluten-free, vegan rainbow cupcakes for our guests with dietary restrictions.

in addition to some good ol’ pirate booty, i made a rainbow layered fruit salad. i left out the candy – cake offers enough sugar!

since it was a rainbow ART party, of course we had a few art stations. one was a place where kids could create watercolor initial paintings, like N did when she was two years old in this post.

we also had a model magic table, with the primary colors of model magic, along with white. the kids had fun with this modeling medium, and it’s not at all messy!

we also had a table where i rolled out a large doodle roll sheet of paper and offered a couple buckets of crayons so the kids could work on a mural together.

we found that playsilks make for beautiful window decor…

and helped to warm up the entry area. (p.s. – this isn’t our home. it’s my friend’s condo’s clubhouse room.)

the kids had a ton of fun… and let’s be real. there was more running than art-making at the art party.

the birthday girl had the most fun of all!


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monster magnets

play-doh is a surefire way to occupy N all on her own for at least two hours, if not three. throw in some googly eyes, and we were doing the monster mash up in here!

the day N was playing with play-doh, i happened to see my blogger friend’s post about her pink and green mama’s halloween craft fun book. at the bottom of the post, there was a cute little piece of play-doh with an eyeball stuck into it. again, with only that one photo, i was inspired by the wonderful mary lea (her books are great – check them out!) anyway, adding the eyeballs to N’s play-doh play was a hit.

she squashed so many different colors together, giving them funny eyeballs and faces, and having a good time making silly monsters.

play-doh is not all that strong when it’s dried, so admittedly model magic or another modeling medium like sculpey would have been better to do this with if planning to keep the final product. but it’s about the process, right? and well, it was a play-doh day for us anyway. so we went for it regardless.

we decided to see what the product would be like if we kept N’s cute creatures, so we let them dry for a few days. sure, they’re a bit crackly in spots, and sure a few eyeballs fell out and needed to be elmer’s glued back on, but still so adorable.

so much so that i decided to use household cement to attach magnets to the back of each monster face.

right now they’re gracing our fridge and getting cozy with some of N’s other art work, though i anticipate that each unique  monster will be given a new refrigerator home come halloween week… 😉


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lasting impression necklace

a while back i posted a blog about making impressions of natural objects in sculpey after a nature walk. it was one of my favorites…

since we discovered that sculpey is fairly toxic when baking, i decided to try this out again, but this time using crayola model magic. N and i wanted to make a farewell gift for two of her sweet friends who are leaving the state, so what better thing to give than a piece of the bay area? so, impressions from the redwood tree in our yard. we pressed a leaf and a tiny pinecone into two pieces of model magic, and fashioned it into a droplet form, poking a hole through the top with a wooden skewer.

then we let it dry for 24 hours, and strung it on a leather cord along with a few earthy wooden beads we had in our stash. and there you have it – our ode to california farewell gift.



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springtime magic

after making so many wooden easter and springtime friends, N really wanted to make more out of “clay.” since we don’t have a kiln over here, i busted out the model magic, and she got down to business.

N made lots of eggs and a caterpillar. i also helped her make the 2 spring chickies you see above, and a bunny.

it took two days for the model magic eggs to dry (they’re dense, even though they’re lightweight.) when they were ready, we painted them with acrylics. we first had a lesson in what-happens-to-each-color-of-the-rainbow-when-mixed-with-white-paint? PASTELS FOR SPRING!

we had a little painting party…


we probably got more paint on our hands than the figures and eggs, but it was all good clean fun.

we loved decorating our home with our new little spring sculptures…



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model and mold

okay, it’s not revolutionary to play with play-doh… but it is a staple of childhood. opening a canister of play-doh set my olfactory memory off on a trip to the 70s, squeezing dough hair through plastic heads in my play-doh hair factory. as an adult and a mom, i usually opt to make my own play dough with N, but sometimes the neon colors and unmatched squishiness of play-doh is irresistible.

so when N got play-doh AND dough tools for her birthday last week, i was psyched to have an excuse to use the stuff again! she can sit for HOURS (literally, it’s magic) and sing, play, create, chatter, rhyme. (in fact, she is playing with it right now as i type this beside her.)


my sister (N’s aunt kim) gave N a a set of dough tools that melissa and doug makes, and N is loving these… 3 rolling pins, stamps, and a dough cutter. mix this with some good ol’ cookie cutters, kid-safe scissors, and some of her tiny toy figurines, and she’s off and running for an entire morning.

so i had to give a little nod to the creators of this modeling compound in all of its fluorescently pliable unnaturalness for the guilt-free momma-time it provides while productively stimulating kids’ minds, hands, and senses for decades.



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crayola’s model magic is magic, and today we were magicians turning plain white putty into adorable animals! i love that model magic is mess-free and so easily malliable for little magicians.

N had a great time squishing and smooshing the model magic for a long while before we made any “thing.” this sort of art-making time is what it’s all about — it’s the process, not the product. in those moments, she is having a sensory experience, and she is fully engrossed in imaginal play, telling stories and making up dialog and voices. i live to listen to these activities, and it seems like sculpting supplies really brings my daughter into that inventive space. (of course, paint does, too. i love art.)

model magic

her first creation today was a sphere that got smooshed, and then she gave it a face. she’s getting good at figure representation.

first face sculpture

first face sculpture

then i remembered that i saw this clay owl on the 4 crazy kings blog, and i knew i had to make some! N and i both adore owls (they’re one of my totem animals,) as do many of my friends, so these will make festive autumn gifts, or perhaps holiday ornaments. we followed the simple instructions from the blog, and made an entire owl family. N was able to help me make the balls, smoosh them, and also to indent the feathers and eyes with the end of a marker.

magical owl family

magical owl family

then we got model magic happy and made some cats, fish, and turtles, too! this goop comes in tons of colors, but i like to get it in white because it’s easy and fun to paint and/or color with markers.


we brought these animals to life with paint after they had hardened 24 hours after making them. such fun!

creatures with features

creatures with features



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