Create Crafts with the Art Mouse Studio Blog!

Connie Ewing

Recent Posts

Top 6 Reasons Why Art Mouse Camp is Great for Children

Posted by Connie Ewing

May 27, 2014 8:00:00 AM

Don't Miss Out!  Limited tickets still available.  
Classes limited to 10 campers a week.Banner-for-Camp

Is your child looking for something more than just drawing & painting?

 Top Six Reasons Why Art Mouse Camp is Great for Children


Art Mouse Campers will:

  • Learn how to put your hands on a potter's wheel
  • Use traditional hand-building techniques with CLAY & glazing is included too
  • Create fantastic edible Art snacks with the group & share
  • Create an original sculpture from "Imagination Mystery Box"   
  • Art & Science connections with cooper wire & a D battery
  • Pool side fun with your new friends & relay races & games

Get ready to dive into three-dimensional  & more fun!  We will build sculptures from a variety of materials.  With form, children develop more problem-solving skills by having to examine work from all visual points.  Ceramics is one of my favorite art mediums. For me, working with the clay allows the creative side of the brain time for sensory development, motor skills, problem-solving, & pride.  Clay also has a therapeutic quality that I have seen it settle and calms children; retains their attention too. There is no better moment for me to see a child's joy as they sit at the potter's wheel for the first time and place their wet hands on slowly spinning clay!  At the studio, students will have the experience of texture & feel of the clay;" Students will express what they are sensing ; It's cold, it's wet and squishy, & its heavy!" Clay asks to be poked, pinched,, twisted, and rolled as the children handle it, many feel its freedom. 

For me as an art teacher, I believe that clay is an unique medium, that allows children to learn to repair a mistake , this gives a child a sense of control over their projects success which improves self-esteem and self-expressions as  they realize that mistakes aren't going to stop their progress. However, not to worry, I can show a child how to quickly take a piece of clay and fill in the damaged area & the child can do it too.  Yes, pride & self worth is more important than the product.  I will place emphasis on the discovery and joy of creating clay projects with the belief that clay is an essential element for nurturing children's growth.


Art Mouse

Connie Ewing



Topics: arts and crafts

Summer Arts & Crafts Ideas to connect with your child

Posted by Connie Ewing

May 26, 2014 2:46:00 PM

 Are you looking for easy ways to keep connected with you child for the summer?

2014-05-16_09.42.53Take a look at the date on the calender, children across America are ready for Summer Fun 2014!  Are you looking for an easy way out, but the second voice in you says this  summer will be about building creative confidence, encourage invention, building processes applying critical thinking skills new purposes of common materials with your child?
  • Set up a creative space in your home with a small table
  • Use a large tray to share common materials
  • Recycle tin cans & styroform trays to hold brushes & paint
  • Label all supply containers for markers & crayons & more
Find several used  old shoe boxes & fill it with odds & ends  from all your junk ( keys, bolts, washers, odd buttons, old greeting cards, sea shells, pasta, packing papers, small boxes, left over ribbons, newpaper comics,pipe cleaner, odd game pieces, ect
Why should I do all this for my child ? Is this really good for us? Here are a few good reasons to join in for some too.
  • Your child will just luv ya more & enjoy the process of designing their own projects.
  • It's true that self -directed art projects encourage confidence and critical thinking skills.
  • You''ll be so proud of your masterpieces  & will enjoy sharing the fun with other families.

How do you model habits of creative thinking to your child?

 Art journaling is a great place to start by setting a goal of two pages a day to boost & nuture your creative spirit.

The objective of these challenges is to enable children to explore a material’s potential, build creative confidence, encourage invention, and envision new purposes for common objects…. skills that are at the heart of innovation.


Topics: arts and crafts

How to teach imagination to find inspiration in your ART

Posted by Connie Ewing

Apr 23, 2014 10:58:00 AM


Where do you turn when looking for inspiring ideas for creating & making art?  Artworks are not produced by a computer, vacumn, or a microwave.  For me, artworks can be inspired by my dreams, interactions of experiences, and the relationship of creative ideas & feelings expressed in some form.

Art is my passion, I hope you will find Art as a way to express yourself to others by asking a few questions.

  • How can I work through or solve this ideas using ART?  
  • How can I use ART to show the things I learned?  
  • How can I use ART to persuade people about my passions in life?  
  • How can I use Art to brainstorm new ideas that might impact our planet?  
  • How can I use humor and spontaneity and even mistakes to create ART? 

Pracitce away from the computer is my motto -- and should be yours too

Yes, it really helps you to keep a sketchbook to draw, record your observations and yes, practice your drawing skills.  For me, I enjoy learning different techniques - painting is my favorite.  I can draw for hours, "practice" is my motto. I love ART as a way I can express myself in so many ways. 

Recently, there has been a lot of buzz about connecting imagination with logic.  The world today is all about connections with social media, video games, Google, twitter, Facebook for interrelationships of experiences, perceptions and feelings expressed in some artificial form.I am blessed to have had an opportunity to benefit from today's technology to view a wider range of artworks than ever before with the aid of books, slides,posters, large reproductions, the Internet, DVD's and exhibits in art museums.  

Maybe art students of today may find a balance of inspiration and motivation by a real time of memories and observations of their surrounding ( not viewed on youtube).  Marc Chagall reflected many of his artworks from childhood memories of living in a small Russian village and imagery from reading Russian folk stories. While teaching third graders, this was a great inspiration for artworks based on asking questions & recording family history and their own cultural and personal background into a time-line painting. It's amazing to me how children can remember very early events about their lives as toddlers and apply colors & symbols into their artworks.                                                                                     


Immerse yourself in culture

I have to admit that I'm all in using websites for viewing many diverse kinds of artworks... The work of others creates a world of cultures, provides artists not only with images & facts about art, but also with the attitude that there is no "right " or "wrong" way to make art.

I am inspired by my love of traveling to European cites searching through museums viewing artworks from other artists as inspiration for my current artworks.  Claude Monet was inspired to create a series of paintings finding inspiration by observing the changing effects of light on his garden and lily pond because a single painting could not express all that he loved about nature. I had the honor of visiting the American Landscape Museum several years ago seeing the home & studio of Claude Monet & experiencing how your surroundings can have a definite effect on what influences an artist.

Learn from the Greats

Claude Monet, Mary Cassatt and van Gogh were apart of a group of artists that studied & loved culture of the Japanese through their wood prints & paintings too. Picasso and Braque were inspired from visiting Africa and were inspired by African masks & sculptures.  One of my favorite artist to acknowledge is Henry Matisse, he layed in bed and used a series of images in his mind at the age of 70 + to cut out and create vivid, colorful collages.  

I'm amazed by the invention of the camera,it allowed Degas to compose his series of race horsing paintings into what we call a snapshot. Today photography has developed into its own artworks with the aid of photoshop & other online tools enjoyed by millions of artists.

Most of all, artists are still inspired by drawing and painting from nature. I have visited Milan, Italy & viewed Leonardo da Vinci inspiration from volumes of sketchbooks filled with his drawings of inventions, drawings of people, and nature . Yes, it was an amazing experience seeing his " Last Supper" and hearing the story how it has been preserved through the ages.

I must say working with any media - whether it is painting, or just pencil and paper---- it just sparks a sense of wholeness within me.

So just take a little advice from "the Art Mouse" be yourself & discover your inner self. I wouldn't want to be anyone else, but me!  Keep creating your ART! 


Click here to post your sketches and artwork to our Facebook Page




How to create an inspiring Fleur De Lis painting with a paint brush

Posted by Connie Ewing

Apr 13, 2014 10:59:00 PM

Art Mouse Studio presents: 

"Inspiring Fleur De Lis Symbol"

Fleur_de_lis-1This Fleur De Symbol is one the most beloved symbols, known as the "Flower of Life," whose origin dates back to the ancient Egyptians, the Lotos Flower.  Later, it was adopted by France in the early 12th century. During my research on this symbol found it is used as a religious symbol of life, loyalty, faith, religious theme representing the Trinity of God.

Art Proceses: Why is it important to recognize shapes , texture , & colors creating artworks? Let's expand our color palette to discover new combinations that fascinate you!  Texture is the key ingredient for this project:  actual & implied techniques, variety of brush strokes, and application of embellishments effects  will  create a never seen before  Fleur De Lis  painting.                                            


Step 1 - Selecting size of canvas to me more about what I have left over  from teaching classes and what's on sale at your fave craft store.  For the current project, it measures 5X5 canvas. I always try & buy packs of four or more to get a better discount. I try to prep all the surfaces with various colors rythumns & textures so that save me time later to keep my creative right-brain waves flowing through the painting experience.  Look at the images below for supplies, fleur de lis image, & color pattern ideas. I selected warm colors for the background, but to make the image pop-out a cool green color is best. Refer to a color wheel to reference color section is very handy.      


       Creating the Technique      

Step 2. Selecting your fave fleur de lis image & print to scale for the size of the canvas & cut it out with scissors or cutting knife. Take a pencil & trace the outline of the image on the painted canvas.  Now kick in gear the right-brain for imagination reach for there is only one canvas like this out in the global community.


Gather Your Materials

Step 3. I like to flirt with mettalic colors with my color schemes too. My paint is acrylic which is water based. I use three brushes large flat, medium flat,& a small round from most all projects. 


 Creating the Mettalic Technique

Step 4. Brush strokes can be similiar to a singer's voice.  You are in control moving the brush with light strokes ( placing light pressure with the tip loaded with paint.) Just create a rythmun applying color using thick stokes & blended stokes of color.  I often load my brush with three values of color & roll the brush to create a vibrate display of colors within the elements of shapes on the canvas. I used more of a dry brush technique for this project ( less water than water color) I build shapes of color by add more colorful layer that can be overlapped, one layer on top of another area; paint the large shapes then move forward adding small stokes & more detailed patterns.  Always remember at any time during your paintng experience just paint over an area with the brush.  



Paint your Fleur De Lis

Step 5.  Embellishments:  I keep a collection of odd items like buttons, sequins, glitter paint, glitter pens, old jewelry, old books (tear out pages, cut out favorite quotes that inspire your faith, ribbons, just cool stuff !) I just play with a few items from the box.  You can lay your faith onto the canvas with your own collection of embellishments too.


Now play with the glitter until you luv it! 


 Thanks for reading my FIRST blog post!  Please comment and let me know what you think.  I'll be posting many more articles for all ages!  

If you have any questions or need any help making your art, please contact me -- the Art Mouse is always happy to help!


Topics: Art Techniques

About Art Mouse Crafts Blog

We will be updating the blog reguarly with arts and crafts projects complete with directions and pictures for you to get inspired from!  See something that you like?  Let us know and we can create the craft project in the studio with you or can even sell you a completed craft or a package for you to make your own!

Thanks for stopping by!


Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts