Category Archives: art

Creating with The Thin Stix Creativity Pack from The Pencil Grip, Inc. ~ a Crew review

Thin Stix Creativity Pack

Kiwk Stix and their thinner friends, the Thin Stix, are favorites of our family to use, providing hours of endless creativity. Recently, we received the Thin Stix Creativity Pack, a set of 24 Thin Stix, from The Pencil Grip, Inc. to use for this review. We have had hours and hours of fun with lots of friends using these wonderful tools!

Thin Stix Creativity Pack

Thin Stix are a thinner version of the Kwik Stix. All are a quick drying tempera paint that is dry within just a few seconds of laying it onto your project. The website says 90 seconds but we have found it to actually be much, much faster drying than that, which is wonderful with younger kiddos using the product. Because this is a stick form of the paint, there is no need for water, cups, brushes, or smocks. You would do well to still protect your working area, just in case, but we have found these to clean up very well on all sorts of table tops. The bright, cheerful, energizing colors are non-toxic and washable. This makes them a wonderful product to explore with younger kids.

ghost pumpkin

The Thin Stix Creativity Pack is a set of 24 colors. Included in this pack are the basic colors, such as red, blue, green, brown, black, and yellow. You also get white, pink, and purple. But – and this is where the girls got REALLY excited – there are also metallics and neons in this pack! Metallics include shiny blue, purple, pink, green, gold and silver. The neons include super bright pink, yellow, two blues, green, and orange. What combinations and opportunities lie within these color combinations!

Thin Stix Creativity PackThin Stix Creativity PackThin Stix Creativity Pack

When these first arrived on our doorstep, the girls squealed (literally squealed!) with delight about the huge pack. They immediately begged to use them and do art first for school that day. I agreed and the day started happily with a couple of hours of drawing, experimenting, and trying out all sorts of ideas and uses.

coloring party

One of the evenings, we had several girls over for a sleepover. When they got up the next morning, the girls and their friends really wanted to do something but they weren’t terribly energetic. Out came the Thin Stix Creativity Pack and a pile of papers. The next two hours were filled with exclamations of how much fun these were and showing off drawings that were made. My favorite moment was when I was asked “how long until I can turn this over to sign my name?” I answered “now.” With a puzzled look, she tried it to see if I was kidding with her and then exclaimed “It’s dry!!”

One of the girls’ mommas is a drama teacher and when she picked up her daughter, she commented on the colors. I showed her what they were and how they worked and she was super pleased. Her comment? “I think it is budget spending time.” A good endorsement, I do believe.

friend's pictures

Another time we used these was when we were babysitting a 7 year old, a 4 year old and a 2 year old. They are a creative family so had used lots of art products before. We pulled out the Thin Stix Creativity Pack and the papers. They were excited. Something new for them!! They spent at least an hour drawing and creating. Even the 2 year old! She just loved drawing and coloring and showing off her pictures. All of them had so much fun and they really enjoyed getting to use a product that was new to them.

a bat

We have used products from The Pencil Grip, Inc. quite often and have always enjoyed them. They can be used on just about anything regular tempera paint works on, though for now the girls still prefer paper. We have used them for Christmas drawings,  backgrounds on Santa projects, regular creations, and trying out black paper with the metallics, just to name a few times we have used them.

These are definitely something to try!

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Thin Stix Creativity Pack {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

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Weekly Science Lesson

simple weekly science lessons

We have had a lot of fun recently using a weekly science lesson from a company called Mystery Doug. Each week we get an email with a link to a video answering a question. We watch the video and then, if even one of the girls is interested in learning more, we do the extension activities when they are offered.

This week the question was about the skeleton – why do our skeletons have so many bones? The short, five minute video was a neat illustration of the human skeleton and its function. It doesn’t take long for the video and we have really learned a lot of interesting things from these videos.

company name

Sometimes, there is an accompanying hands-on activity. This week, it was making an artistic rendition of your own hand so that it looks like an x-ray. It was lots of fun and Miss J did a great job with hers.

We have found that the video do so well that the topics pop up in conversations often. For example, the other night, we were talking with grandparents about the trees changing colors. Miss J popped out the explanation for the change in colors and shocked everyone at the table (the other two girls had missed that particular video lesson). She was quite proud of the fact that she knew something no one else did. Great way to increase self-esteem, as well.

If you are looking for a short and simple addition of science to your week, check out Mystery Doug.

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Metallic-colored Creativity

Not long ago, we received some Kwik Stix (disclaimer: they were not for a review; this post is a “just because”). We got some of the basic colors, like we have had and reviewed before. We also received some metallic colors, though. The girls were fascinated and went to work immediately. They used them on several different colored papers and types of papers to see where and how they looked best. Then the creativity began.

metallic Kwik Stix

For several days in a row, new pictures were made using the lovely new Kwik Stix. We have several of those hanging in our bedroom, reminding us how much fun it is to draw and paint and create.

Kwik Stix are so much fun and they make great gifts! If you want to read more about them, check out our previous reviews and projects.

Torn Paper Nutcracker

Kwik Stix – review and giveaway (giveaway is no longer active)

Thin Stix ~ a Crew review

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String Art – Initials

String Art Project

To kick off our school year, our church group got together for lunch and an activity. One of the ladies suggested doing some string wrapping. We had some string at the church building that was part of a stash of yarn and string belonging to a sweet, kind lady that is affectionately referred to as Mama D. Mama D has gone to her heavenly reward and is much missed here but has left behind an amazing legacy of love and gifts. We used some of her string for the students to create an initial of their own, giving each of them yet another special something from Mama D.

nail examples

We used leftover plywood that we spray painted and cut a piece of paper the size of the wood block. Then we used a pencil to draw a block letter that would fit the wood. The students had the choice of a simple outline or a crossing pattern. For the simple outline, we just put nails in at each place where the string needed held in a particular shape. If they chose the crossing pattern we put nails every inch or so. We were not really particular and let most of the students pound their own nails in.

string art images

After the nails were in, we tied the string to a nail and let them go at it. The outlines were good for the younger group and the older group really enjoyed doing the crisscrossing. They all came out lovely and they were really quite simple to do. Such a fun project to start our homeschooling year off.

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Kwik Stix now at BJ’s!

In the past, we have used Kwik Stix for tons of art projects and craft activities. Produced by The Pencil Grip, Inc., Kwik Stix is a wonderful paint product of solid tempera paint that can be easily and cleanly used by all ages. But here is the big news of the day – Kwik Stix can now be purchased at  BJ’s Wholesale Clubs! (BJ’s are found all up and down the East coast of the US, just in case you were wondering, as I was.)

Kwik Stix pack

As I mentioned, we have used Kwik Stix in the past. We have used them on canvas, paper, board, and more. Just about anything you would use paint on, Kwik Stix will work. We have even heard of them being used to paint rocks. This solid tempera paint works wonderfully and produces bright colors. With no water and no brushes, the cleanup is quick and easy. I do recommend putting something underneath the work space, just in case the paint goes over the edge of whatever you are using it on. Want to see more? Check out our reviews from the past – a Christmas project (note that giveaway is closed) and using Kwik Stix on art lessons.

The Pencil Grip, Inc. is creating some neat products, with Kwik Stix up there on that list! With availabity growing constantly,  BJ’s Wholesale Clubs is just the most recent addition to the places you can get Kwik Stix. Be sure to check them out for your next art project.

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DISCLAIMER:  Once in a while, At Home: where life happens receives a free product or service in exchange for an honest opinion expressed on this blog. I am not required to write a positive review, nor am I additionally compensated for these reviews. I share my opinions, and my family’s opinions, of these products. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

 

 

 

 

Paper Mache Help from ACTÍVA Products ~ a Crew review

Activa crafting kit review

Crafting seems to be a constant around here and the idea of having some new ideas and products to work with is always exciting. When we heard about ACTÍVA Products and their Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit, we were excited. Miss L loves to create all sorts of things and these materials would be just right. And to make it even more exciting, Activa is offering everyone a copy of their free ebook ACTÍVA Products’ Favorite Sculpture KIDS CRAFTS, which has full-color pictures and directions for creating a number of projects with the kit.

ACTÍVA Products is a company that specializes in crafting materials. They offer paper mache products as well as other several other clay products, colored sand, casting materials, and even a few flower arranging materials. Their site also offers a huge number of ideas and instructions for creating projects with their offered materials. I got a lot of inspiration and have lots of ideas that I want to create.

The Kit

Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit
We received the Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit for this review. When they arrived, there was a lot of excitement and we immediately pulled out the packages to look things over. In the box, were unlabeled packages and a photocopied instruction sheet. I’ll admit – these kind of dampened the excitement because I had to tell the kids that I had no clue what any of it was or how to use it. Labels would have been good and instructions on each product of how to use it would have been good.kit contents

After some research, I figured out that we had two rolls of 4 inch wide Rigid Wrap and one 8 oz package of CelluClay. But I still had to do some reading and researching to figure out how to use them. There was, on the copied sheets, instructions on the Rigid Wrap but I had to go to the website to find a sheet of instructions for the CelluClay. (I found it by searching for CelluClay. There is a link to the sheet on the page for the 1 lb package towards the bottom of the page on the right hand side.)

We did finally jump into projects but it was a bit intimidating. It was also very messy. I was very glad I had covered the table with a plastic cloth. And the kitchen floor had needed mopped anyway. These products create a lot of dust and very fine particles.

Rigid Wrap

Rigid Wrap

Miss L chose to use the Rigid Wrap and created an angel and a rose. Sculpting those from the Rigid Wrap took some patience.

Miss L working

To create the angel, she had to build up the biggest part and add the details slowly, The White Angelallowing a bit of drying time in between. The wings took some finesse but she just patiently molded and shaped until they were as desired. Then she held them in place and I fanned until they would hold their shape. After she got it how she wanted it, she set it aside to air dry. This took about 5 days to fully dry and it dried to a matte finish white. She has a collection of angels that she loves that are minimally colored and for now, she will leave this one white, as it fits fairly well into the collection.

For the rose, she cut each individual petal and one strip about 6 inches long. Dipping the roselong one into warm water, she then rolled it up for the center of the rose. Dipping each petal into the water, she would add it to the center, adjusting each petal to the shape and placement she wanted. She would then hold it in place while I fanned it to help it set and dry a bit. With so many pieces all on top of each other, it has taken a long time to dry. She had to leave for camp before it was dry so it will be painted when she returns.

I wasn’t as brave but I did want to try the snowman starproduct myself so I took on the star and snowman ornament from the ebook. Using a cardboard star cut from a box, I cut strips of Rigid Wrap and placed them over the star. Using my fingers to smooth it out and down over the edge, I covered the cardboard. After letting it dry for a bit, I took some of the scraps we had from other projects and used them to scrunch and fashion a snowman. I got the strips a bit wetter so they would stick better to the flat form. I was able to create some definition and depth by twisting and scrunching up the strips as I placed them. After it was fully dry, I painted it. While the yellow paint was wet, I shook some gold glitter down over it to add some sparkle. I hot glued the ribbon onto the back. I kind of like this little snowman. He brought some cool to the hot summer!

CelluClay

CelluClay

The CelluClay, a recycled paper product for instant paper mache, I was a bit leery of. I didn’t feel like I had good instructions. But knowing I needed to at least try it out, I dove in. This product feels like the lint from a dryer. It is just as dusty, too. Please take precaution; inhaling this is awful, causing a lot of coughing. I guessed at how much I would need to make three ice cream shaped pieces from a candy mold I have. I put it into a plastic ziplocking bag and added a bit of water. I added just a bit of water at a time, zipping it closed, and then mashing it around through the plastic to mix it up. Once I felt like it was well mixed, I tried to use it. It was like pulling soggy paper apart and I had to add additional water. I was finally able to get it to a consistency I could use.

I packed it into the mold until it was level on the back and I felt I would get good definition on the front detailing. I then removed it from the mold and added a red bead to be the cherry and to put a cord through. Then, I let it dry. It took about three times as long as I expected for it to dry. I even tried to speed it up, as they recommended, by using a hair dryer. I did that for about 15 minutes and felt like it did not really make much difference. So I left it to dry overnight at that point. When they were dry, I painted them and added the string.

ice cream necklaces

I can see several possibilities for CelluClay now that I have used it. I would love to see the company add good instructions to the kit’s box, either printed on the box or a sheet inside that addresses both products and is easier to read. The project ideas are fantastic and I would love to see more product ideas for CelluClay come with the kit, as well.

ACTÍVA Products has some interesting products and ideas. The  Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit is a great way to introduce your kids to the opportunities that abound with these products.

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Others have been creating some amazing projects with this kit, as well. Head over to the Homeschool Review Crew blog by clicking on the banner below to find other projects.

Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit {ACTÍVA Products Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

Driveway Art

Driveway Art whatever inspires

Do your children pretty up your driveway with art? I just love it when I walk out, or am backing out of the drive, and see it all cheerful and colorful. Lots of bright images and plenty of things to make me smile.

It brings a smile to my face when I see artwork that welcomes daddy home from work.

It makes me grin to see a funny drawing.

Driveway Art How Wonderful

It makes me proud to see an image about something related to their belief and understanding of God. Especially when that is directed at sharing about him to passersby.Driveway Art Christ

Driveway art just makes me smile.

Driveway Art

May these pictures of our driveway art make you smile today.

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