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i have had such a blast working on little handmade books with some of my favorite arty kids over the past month and a half or so, and finally, they are pretty much done!

during our first book get-together, the kids covered some bookboard with masking tape and then sculpted their covers with paper clay.  i had some photos of this but i seem to have lost them, so you’ll just have to see the final phase photos instead.  during our second get-together, they collaged the inside covers of their books and prepared the pages (this was a sunny day and the kids were distracted by playing so we didn’t get much done on the books, but it was such a fun day none the less!).  finally, this past weekend, we painted our covers and started binding.  here are some fantastic photos of elie, jack and finn working on their creations:

autism spectrum art group
one of our favorite places to meet is the st. john’s mcmenamins.  love the huge table upstairs with all of the natural light AND the fact that they don’t mind us getting messy.  🙂

elie is the master sculptor of the group and made a precious snail, flower and mushroom on her cover:

aspergers art group

jack is more focused than finn.  🙂  notice finn hasn’t even started painting his cover (we’ll be finishing his oringial book this week)…

aspie art group

elie’s gorgeous front cover is now complete!  snail in the snow.  i love it!

art group with kids
here is a picture of the precious little mushroom — i am so in love with the way she painted it:

mushroom detail
and her easy binding was started with some of her favorite fabric and embroidery thread (we’ll probably get to finish this next weekend else she finishes with her mama):

asperger's art group
here is some detail of one of the other books (i probably did more work on this than finn did, at least with the paint, and of course it’s not done, but you can peek at it anyway).  we will be painting some more on it, filling the holes with black and adding some crackle:

art group, kids, aspergers
i think finn’s favorite part was embedding objects into the clay while it was still wet.  not sure what happened or why i didn’t get more photos of the other two books, darn it.  i’m easily distracted sometimes.

of course there was plenty of time to play on the cozy couch once we washed up (here you can see one of the more calm moments — should have gotten some shots of the pig-pile they made on top of each other).

play time at kid's art group

and last but not least, their almost completed books — love them!!

kiddo art group -- completed books
thank you audrey for some of these fantastic photos!!  (she took all of the good ones)

during our next art group, we’re going to be making holiday trees.  the boys are making minecraft inspired trees once we can figure out what to do for the blocks and i don’t think elie has decided what she wants to do yet, but i think mine will be created from fabric-wrapped wire and will be in a wooden base.  then of course we’ll have to make some ornaments to decorate them.  we always have so much fun together!  with our other group of kids that we get together with from our neighborhood, we will probably just make some ornaments for their parents.  last year we did special boxes, some with drawers, with treasures inside like handmade books and ornaments.  whatever we do, we’ll be sure to have heaps of fun.  i’ll share more photos, of course.

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my oh my, i’ve been itching to share!  my dang camera broke though and i was unable to fix it until today.  it almost feels like the world stops when the camera breaks.  silly, i know, but i’m so very dependent upon it as i’m sure most of us are as blogging artists.

so, our “tallest handmade book in the world” project is still going strong.  sir finn, my eight year old fireball has requested that the end date be april 27th, 2012.  that is his ninth birthday.  i said sure thing!  so, let’s see how tall we can get this — it’s not currently very tall but it’s gorgeous! click the tallest handmade book image on the left to read the full post and requirements if you’d like to play.

here are some peeks of less than half of the unbound pages.  i’m a tease ’cause i want you to be surprised with the whole thing at the end.  🙂

tallest handmade book in the world project peek

(i just realized i forgot to put a peek of my page in there.  ha!  at least finn’s is there… can you guess which are his?)

so, i have officially purchased a domain for the website of our wee non-profit asperger art group.  did i even tell you that i have finally started it!?  i’m so excited!  i’ve got four boys so far but couldn’t possibly take any more until we get the studio done for them (have 7 more interested kids, two volunteers lined up both with backgrounds in asperger’s syndrome and autism).  right now we’re kitchen tabling it… tight squeezes but heaps of fun!  it’s called little bug’s studio.  or bug’s art shack.  i bought both domains ’cause i couldn’t decide… and my bug isn’t going to be “little” for much longer.  next step: set up the 501c3 non-profit status stuff through the state.

it’s so amazing how much these kiddos can fight and argue while trying to play soccer or wii games or legos but you put an art project in front of them and they are so very calm and sweet.  and quiet!  my son is always one of the most audible children on earth but while doing art, it’s a different story.  ahhhh!  blissful silence.  🙂  my camera broke just two weeks before solstice so i didn’t get pics of most of our projects, but here are a couple for now.  each of the kids made a “special box” for themselves and one for a holiday gift for mamas or aunties or friends.  here are two progress photos of the 8 year old created “special boxes”:

mixed media art box, altered box

this bird part was black and white paper he colored in/painted.  his aunty said her favorite colors were “purple, red and sparkle” so the box is covered with so much glitter my house looked like a faerie had exploded in it.  it was fun to see their faces light up with their finished projects.

mixed media art box, altered box

here are the two completed boxes finn made for his aunties for solstice/christmas (the left one was a memorial box for my sister who’s dog recently passed away — he’s such a tender and thoughtful boy!):

mixed media art boxes

i wish i had shots of the rest of the boxes from the other kiddos.  there was a space box, an einstein box, another footed bird box and a pirate box.  apparently i didn’t even take cell phone pics of those!  another fun thing we did was posters of ourselves (i traced them on five foot wide paper pieces and they painted/collaged/embellished/etc. with their favorite things).  that was a hit — they all loved it and expressed so much through their art about what they like, love and appreciate in the world.  art with kids is so much fun!  especially seeing their eyes light up — such a gift!

but i must get back to adult-hood soon and finish some of my own projects.  xx

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