Wednesday, May 6, 2015

An art desk in her room and making a colored pencil holder

Quinn has been begging for an art desk in her room for quite some time now.  I've held off because art desks can get messy....lids get left off markers....oil pastels get dropped on the floor.....crayons get stepped on.  I like our art desk where I can keep an eye on it and give reminders to clean up properly.  Finally, though, we decided at almost-seven she was ready to have one in her room.  We started off so simple.  We moved our little writing table from the kitchen up to her room.  They weren't using that table for art or writing since I set up the big table in the living room.  Thus it had just become a place to pile junk, so I wasn't too sad to repurpose it!  In her room I set it up with a painting the neighbor had made her, a bulletin board to hold some of her finished work, a sketch pad (actually she is already on her third one!), a marker block and a colored pencil block.  Less items means less she has to maintain.  She isn't ready for paint or glue or other media in her those are nice activities for us to do together still.

She just adores her little art desk and cranks out work by the dozen.  Drawing and writing is (and always has been) so very soothing and calming to her and she often unwinds at the end of the day here, drawing by her soft lamp light.

She wanted to display her work in her room, so I gave her a roll of washi tape--that way it won't harm the paint on her walls.  My kids know they aren't allowed to use real tape on walls.  We spent far too much time painting this house to have to redo it!  So washi tape is perfect.

Lately she found a couple children's dictionaries and has spent hours copying the words onto her own dictionary.  I remember doing the same thing as a child and it fills my heart with joy to see her discovering the world of words and their features, motivated intrinsically.  I could get onto a big soapbox here, but times like that confirm our decision to progress very slowly initially with her academic schooling.  I need to write a post about that someday soon!!

She also took a Van Gogh art book her Grandbob and Grandsue gifted her with into her room and made her own versions of many of his pieces.  Be still, my heart.  :)

I really like for writing and drawing media to be displayed beautifully and in a way that invites their use.  One of my favorite ways is to make a simple marker block or colored pencil block.  I start with these even when my kids are tiny (click HERE to see what this looks like)--with just a few markers to choose from.  Now she has way more choices since she can handle more!  I bought her a new pack of colored pencils, so I knew it was time for a new block!  I just cut two 2X4's to the same size and used woodglue and a clamp to stack them.  The next day when the wood had dried I sanded the corners slightly, measured the size of the colored pencils and found a drill bit slightly larger.  I made a mark on the drill bit so I could plunge in the same depth on each hole so there would be uniformity.  Then I drilled my holes, inserted my pencils, and presto!  It looked so pretty with all the pencils arranged in color order that I kinda wanted to plop that baby in the middle of our dining room table.  But my girl intervened and carted it off to her room to draw away!  And I've already had to help her with a pencil-sharpening session when she wore em all down to nubs!!