Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Crafty Review: Disney Art Studio (and Our Not-So-New Anymore Giant Magnetic Memo Board!)

One perennial thing about my kids (and probably any kid, as I've never known a kid who feels otherwise) is that they LOVE how-to-draw books. My kid who isn't really into art likes them, I'm guessing because the procedure-following helps her feel in control and the finished result lets her feel successful.

My kids who is really into art likes them, too, I'm guessing because they help her create more sophisticated drawings than she'd be doing on her own.

I used to be wary of how-to-draw books, thinking that they were suppressing my children's creativity, but Drawing for Children broke me of that with the author's wonderful explanations of how empowering it is for kids to be given the tools and the structure to create, with the encouragement to make their creations their own.

So now we're big fans of how-to-draw books, usually checking them out a stack at a time from the library, but a while back a publicist sent us a couple of Disney Art Studio kits, the original kit and the Palace Pets kit.

We have been drawing with these a LOT:
I don't know how she can draw with the cat in the way like that.

I was kind of surprised at how easy it is to make the perfect Mickey Mouse, if you follow the directions.

You can apparently even do it with a cat on your lap!
 Syd really likes to take the guided drawing and turn it into an entire scene. Sometimes they're enchanting--
Aurora by the Riverbank

--and sometimes they're a little more... gruesome. Poor Minnie Mouse is being beset by an entire legion of dangers!

You may remember that a long while back I was bemoaning our house's lack of suitable display space for children's artwork and fun magnets. Over the summer, I bought a GIANT sheet of metal (it was actually a big production that involved a post-Children's Museum trip to an Indianapolis metal store and consultation with the salesman and the perusal of several different kinds of sheet metal in several different sizes) and Matt and I roughly followed this tutorial to create this!

We had a harder time putting ours together than the author of the tute did, primarily because we probably shouldn't have tried the glue method--it just didn't hold well for us (humidity, perhaps?), so parts of the frame drifted, and then Matt tried to hold them on with duct tape until the glue cured, but the duct tape left residue that wouldn't take the paint, so I had to re-sand the pieces and paint them again...

Anyway, it looks awesome now, so yay!

It's a little hard to figure out the scale of it without any furniture or cats in the way, until you realize that most of the artwork displayed is done on 8.5"x11" sheets of paper. Look at all the artwork that it holds! This is now our main artwork display area; when a kid creates a new work but the memo board is completely full (as it now always is), I take something off, photograph it, recycle it or save it for crafting, and put the new piece on in its place.

I made a set of Scrabble tile magnets and a set of dyed wooden mosaic magnets to be the main types of magnets that we use on the memo board, although very special handmade magnets will also receive consideration (hence the two kid-made fused glass magnets also on display there). I already need to make more of those magnets, actually, and one of my dreams is to also make a life-sized paper Scrabble board to put up, so we can really play Scrabble with our Scrabble tile magnets!

Maybe I should hang that separately, though, as clearly all the space on that giant memo board is already being used...

I received Disney Art Studio and Disney Art Studio: Palace Pets free from a publicist, because I can't write about something unless my kids have used it to figure out how to draw Mickey Mouse with his tongue sticking out, and then draw that on every single math page so that I know they disapprove of math.

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