Art Through Our Year

Art is always so much fun for me. Since the time when our son was a toddler, we made time to just be creative and make things out of the bitsies lying around the house. As our children have gotten older, the projects have changed and grown a bit but I still try to be as thrifty as possible without diminishing the quality of the product we create.

“If you’re not making a mess, you’re not doing it right.”Melody Kittles’ art motto

My Art Plan

My art plan for the year always undergoes change as the year progresses and as our budget dictates. I used to be able to buy everything we’d need in advance. Alas! I can’t do that anymore and we just have to live one day at a time, even in making our school purchases. Here’s a list of what my art plan looks like with the nixed projects crossed out and the revisions in italics.

  • September – mosaics (2 weeks)/ stone carved pendants (2 weeks) clay pendants created to look like carved stone
  • October – metal jewelry (2 weeks)/ natural dyes (2 weeks4 weeks)
  • November – embroidered samplers (2 weeks)(braided rug as a fall-back project)/beeswax candles (2 weeks)(wood-burning as a fall-back project)
  • December – art in Literature (poetry, play-writing, etc.)
  • January – Fine art with concentration on still life in pastels/charcoal, portrait art with video tutorials to guide, and watercolor vignettes
  • February – cardmaking (2 weeks)/culinary art with focus on candy making (2 weeks)
  • March – nature art such as floral designs and whittling
  • April – fashion design based on musical compositions
  • May – music composition

Tips for Purchasing Art Supplies

You’re probably wondering how one collects all the necessary supplies for all these projects. Here are a few tips I’ve learned about over time.

  1. Coupons! – Clip coupons, print coupons, use coupon apps like those from Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, and Joann’s. Even Wal-mart has a nifty app for your phone or tablet!
  2. Ask! – In the King James Version of the Bible, James 4:2 says, “Ye have not because ye ask not.In the Complete Jewish Bible it says, “The reason you don’t have is that you don’t pray!” Either way, ask around. You’d be surprised what people are willing to get rid of because they don’t want to throw it away.
  3. Bargain shops – I’m often surprised at the different things I find in dollar shops, bargain shops, and thrift stores. They offer a wealth of supplies ripe for the picking more often than not.
  4. Giveaways – Find some appropriate blogs to follow and join in the giveaways. It’s never a guarantee, but it’s usually fun. You may even find they give away short e-books on how to do different things just for signing up to receive their newsletter.
  5. Don’t buy! – Can’t afford curriculum? Don’t worry. Try one or more of these options! Blogs by artists, Blogs by artisans, YouTube tutorials, and there are tons more if you just dig a little!

Melody Recommends

Here are some of my favorite places to visit for art knowledge. Why not check them out!

  • Atop Serenity Hill – Consie is an artist and body painter who is full of positivity and has a beautiful technique. Her mixed media work is my favorite!
  • Hodgepodge blog – Tricia Hodges shares so many helpful tips and tutorials. Their family works with pastels and she often shares free tutorials. Tricia also offers a curriculum which you can purchase at a reasonable price.
  • DeviantArt – While DeviantArt is not necessarily a place you want your younger children going without supervision, it /is/ an excellent place to ask questions and have them answered. There are also many tutorials posted on the site from how to draw cartoon and manga characters to how to create GIFs. There is also an option to turn on the safe-surfing button so you can avoid most of the things you wouldn’t want your children viewing. It’s not foolproof, though.
  • The Toymaker – Marilyn Scott-Waters does beautiful work with watercolors. She also has tons of paper toys you can download and print free! If you like what you see there, be sure to check out the books she has for sale.
  • Brenda Swenson – This wonderful lady is a new discovery for me. I found her blog while doing research on vignettes. She works in watercolor and offers lots of good, solid advice.

These are only a few of the places I visit for knowledge, inspiration and encouragement in teaching art and art appreciation. Do you have some tips or helpful websites you’d like to share here? Please comment below! Thanks for reading!

Exodus 35:35 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

35 He has filled them with the skill needed for every kind of work, whether done by an artisan, a designer, an embroiderer using blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and fine linen, or a weaver — they have the skill for every kind of work and design.




TheRo creating her mosaic tiles ~ photo by Melody Kittles ~ We used Crayola air dry clay and carved a pattern into some of our tiles before cutting them. We found a craft knife worked the best to make clean lines in the clay. The clean-up was easy, too! We look forward to one day working with slip!


TheRo and theShi painting their mosaic tiles using enamel paint ~ photo by Melody Kittles ~ We chose enamel paint for its durability and sheen. Once our paint was dry, we sealed the tiles with a clear glaze spray paint which we hope will add to their durability.


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