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Hope Wish Prayer Flags

I love these children's Prayer Flags from Future Craft Collective. The traditional Tibetan prayer flag is a colorful panel or rectangle of thin cloth in many colors and strung together. Traditionally they are woodblock printed with prayers in the form of text and images. They are often found strung along mountain ridges in the Himalayas to bless the surrounding countryside. The thought is that the breeze blows through and around the flags thereby spreading the prayers far and wide. This prayer flag project is a great way for children to send well-wishes into the world.

Celebrate Spring with Naturally Dyed Eggs

With April just around the corner, signs of spring abound. The first, shivering crocuses are starting to bloom in my flowerbeds, and my resident woodpecker has taken up his knocking anew. I love to celebrate the coming of spring with natural art projects at Clementine Studio.

Coloring eggs has long been a favorite. Recently, I’ve been exploring natural dyes for my eggs. I was amazed by the vibrant colors I got from simple household vegetables, fruits and spices.

Use this egg dying chart below from Lakewinds Natural Foods to get perfectly vibrant colored eggs with natural dyes. Use hard cooked brown or white eggs. After eggs are cooked, quickly cool the water or rinse in cold water. This helps to prevent "greening" of the yolk. Natural dyes take a bit longer to color the egg, so plan on extra time, or leave the eggs in the refrigerator overnight.

Natural Colorant

Egg Color



turmeric powder

bright yellow to deep gold

Put -1-2 tsp. ground turmeric powder in heat proof cup. Fill 2/3 full with boiling water. Add 1 tsp. white vinegar.

Works quickly.

Turmeric stains.

Wipe dusty spice residue from eggs.

chopped red cabbage


Put 2-3 tbsps. chopped red cabbage in heat safe cup. Add boiling water. Add 1 tsp. white vinegar.

Let sit overnight.

Avoid excess handling.

onion skins, yellow

light peach to gold/orange

Use 1 large handful of onion skin for each cup of water. Simmer 20 minutes then add 1 tsp. of white vinegar.

A perennial favorite.


grape juice

blue to purple

Add 1 cup frozen juice concentrate to 1 tsp. vinegar.

Eggs may be simmered right in the juice to cook.

grated red beets

magenta red

Put 2-4 tbsps. freshly grated beets in heat safe cup. Fill 2/3 with boiling water. Add 1 tsp. white vinegar.

Speckled design.

Dye may be strained before use.

Orange beets may be used to obtain saffron color.

red cabbage & turmeric


Pour scant tsp. of turmeric and 2-3 tbsps. of chopped red cabbage in a heat safe cup then add boiling water.

Speckled design.

Wipe vegetable off with damp cloth.

red cabbage & beet


Put 2 tbsps. grated beet and 2 tbsps. red cabbage in heat safe cup. Add boiling water.

Striking and intense.

onion skins, red

pale celadon green

See directions for yellow onion skins.

Allow long steeping time.

Creativity, School and Your Child

This fascinating video featuring Sir Ken Robinson is about how school can hamper the development of creativity. He suggests creativity be taught with the same urgency as reading and math. It's Clementine in a nutshell. I encourage you to have a look.

Recycled Bubble Wrap Prints

I always have piles of used packing supplies in my recycle bin. This colorful project is a great way to reuse what you might ordinarily throw away. It is a simple introduction to printmaking and can be done with children as young as two. Printmaking encourages the child's understanding of color-mixing, cause and effect, and multi-step processes. We did this project at Clementine Studio recently with a class of toddlers.

Set out large brushes or rollers with brightly colored tempera paint.

Tape bubble wrap to your table cover. Newspaper or a reusable, coated tablecloth work well.
Paint on the bubble wrap until you feel happy.

Press a sheet of paper on top of the paint and rub lightly. Peel off the paper to reveal your print.

Creative Spaces

Supporting a child's creativity includes providing a well-stocked space for them to do their thing. When designing an art space for your child, keep these elements in mind: Independence, Organization, and Inspiration.

To encourage your child's artistic independence, it is important to let go of any expectations for the outcome. For young children, it is the process of creating that is richly developmental. Encourage your child to make choices; the project that lights up their eyes, the materials they fancy, and how the project looks at the end (it's hard, I know). Arrange art supplies in containers that make the contents visible and accessible to your child. Choose safe and age appropriate materials (child safety scissors, splat mats under the work space), so that all art time doesn't require such close supervision. A little space goes a long way in creating an independent artist.

I love these interlocking floor tiles from www.skiphop.com. They are made of foam and washable!
Perfect for protecting floors from messy artists.

Clean and well-organized spaces let children focus on their ideas and provide a sense of calm and order to the project at hand. This is not to say that the space won't get messy, but your art area will be easier for you and your child to maintain when everything has a proper place. Also, art disasters like spilled paint and glue are less likely.

1. Put your child's art up on the wall (I love the cable and clip system below).
2. Choose clear jars for organizing materials by category (markers, crayons, paint, collage materials). I love the 'candy store' look.
3. Tape a photograph or drawing on the shelf of the item that goes in that spot. Even your young child can return items to their proper place.

Creating an art area that is easy, manageable, and pretty is easy if you keep inspiration (for yourself AND your child) in mind. Choose colors that you both love for the walls and furniture, find beautiful, simple and natural materials, and remember to keep open spaces that will make room for new ideas. You won't want to wait to start creating.

I love this chalkboard wall in this garage art space. Talk about freedom!