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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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what a grand summer!  arting both alone and with the kids, camping, traveling to see properties (that we can’t buy — more on that another day), weeding my ass off in the garden.  it’s all around good times.

i’ve been spending a lot of time painting over the past couple of weeks while gearing up to break out piles of assemblage supplies (i like painting in the summer because it’s more portable — i can sit in the sun, or shade if i’m smart — i fry in the sun).  here is a peek at some recent girlies.  i call them my imaginary friends.  well, four of them at least.  the others are a bit standoffish.

paintings by alicia caudle

these are available in my shop, here: http://alteredbits.com/alicia-caudle-art.php

the “tallest” handmade book in the world is slowly but surely coming to fruition and more resembling an actual book than a pile of gorgeous pages.  i’ve just added drawers to the back cover but no peeks yet!  i shall post some in the next week or three.  i don’t know what it is with me and drawers and secret places in books, but i like it.

in the meantime, i wanted to share some of the fun art some of the kiddos and i have been creating.  we’ve been trying to get together with a couple specific friends every friday for art, and have another couple of friends who come here on an irregular basis.  friday before last, we made collaged “special boxes”.  we thought we would make them so they can put other projects they’ve made into them to keep them save, along with other treasures.

finn (my 10 y/o son) reminds me of myself sometimes.  somehow a nude stamp got into the pile of goodies which i thought i had edited well, but i hadn’t.  his friend elie turned it up-side-down and diverted her eyes when she happened upon it, and finn snatched it up before a word could be said.  here is the top of his box with the nude stamp and some skull beads (AND i am the lucky recipient of this box!):

finn-art-box

miss el started to create a box house for some of her tiny dolls.  i wish i would have gotten photos of the completed box house but i was too distracted.  they both had so much fun collaging, painting and finding random items to glue on.

elie-art-box

here is the table — think i brought enough stuff for two kids to make boxes?  (this wasn’t even all of it!)

art table

after that, finn was quite inspired to surprise elie with a doll house the following friday, and look what he made, complete with popsicle stick hardwood flooring, wainscoting, etc.  i helped, but shhhh.  she loved it and we had super fun making it.  good times all around!  this is a bad angle — there are photos of birds on the walls on the lower level.

mixed-media-doll-house

soon we’re going to be working on some sculpted covers for handmade books (i’ll probably bind them for them).  i love sculpting with the kids!  in fact, here are two bird dolls el made before summer.  these weren’t done when i took the photo, but you can tell she is an amazing talent!

els-birds

here is a detail shot of their super cool heads:

els-birds-detail

anyway, having lots of creative fun both alone and with the kids, and loving every minute of it!  hope you’re having a creative summer too.

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