Monday, January 31, 2011
Our party day was so hectic that after it was over with, I dragged my poor tired Fridita out to take even more pics. I am a pathetic Mama!
Posing for her Frida retablo-like portrait:
And here is the birthday girl modeling one of her presents from us, some super cool Frida necklaces I made just for her:
I know I am so behind on domino tile and scrabble tile necklaces, but we just started making them and we are addicted!! I am sure you will be seeing many more gracing these blog pages. Frida collage sheets from here and necklace supplies from here.
R made Grandma W.'s flowers into another crown, so of course we had to take more pics!
Boy, she looks tired, doesn't she? The week long fiesta has finally caught up with her. Buenos Noches, mi hija!
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Yes, on to the food. Of course we were having a fiesta - so a Taco Bar was needed. Unfortunately I don;t have a good photo of the food set-up before the senoritas went through. Trust me, it was yummy! We had taco shells and flour tortillas, beans, ground meat, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, corn, cilantro, onions, olives, chiles, cheese...pretty much all the taco fixins you could think of.... And we had fruit salsa, corn chips, a veggie tray, chile roll-ups and our favorite punch (lime sherbet and 7-Up. Amazingly enough, the girls demolished this pretty fast and I didn't get a good photo before hand.
Oh, and a quick mention on the decorations. Unfortunately we didn't have too much, but we tried to spread the Mexican spirit around.
We made papel picado flags, Ross had strung up some crepe paper and bought some VERY bright flowers to decorate the table.
But my favorite decorations were the pretty tissue paper flowers that Grandma W made by hand. I have always loved her paper flowers that she makes. I can never make mine look so good. Each of the girls got to pick one and many of them stuck them in their hair or behind their ears. They also decorated the tables and furniture and the cup cake stand..
Ahhh yes, the cupcakes...another lovely delicacy created by Grandma W.
She thought Frida would have approved of the bright colored roses that she put on top of each cupcake. R sure enjoyed them. And let me tell you, there was not a crumb of cake left or a frosting rose dumped on any plates. Grandma knows how to make some goooooood cupcakes!
The girls did have some moments of craziness after the punch and cupcakes. They ran around like the were running from the bulls in Pamplona. And for a bit there, we thought we might have to disagree that perhaps 10 girls was NOT easier than 5 boys...but they settled down and were very proud to show off their artwork and party favor bags when their parents showed up.
I think it's save to say, that our little Frida had a great 8th birthday party.
Adios Frida! I have a feeling we'll still be seeing you around here for a while!
Okay, a continuation of the Frida Kahlo Party art activities....are you still with me?
We had some magazine pages ripped out and some other catalogs spread around for the girls to use for a self-expression collage when they were done painting. I told them they could be like Frida and use other imags to make a collage about themselves or things they love. Scissors and glue sticks started working away.
One of the pre-party crafts I made were some oven bake clay pendants. I knew I wanted the girls to make a bright and bold necklace a la Frida. But I couldn't find a pendant or an inexpensive charm that I liked. So I made my own for the girls.
Very easy to do. Flatten a ball of clay and push something with a nice textured image into the clay - voila - a simple pendant design. I used stamps and buttons that I already had on hand. And I tried, for my first time, to make a few rolled clay roses as well.
Anyway, after I got all the girls finished painting and collaging we brought out the colored ball chain necklaces, bright, chunky beads and pendants that I had made.
They were appreciatively oohhhhed and ahhhhed at by the girls. And then it was free for all as they dived in and started stringing their chunky Mexican, Frida-inspired necklaces.
My only downfall was that I made very small wire hooks that I pushed in before I baked the pendant and most of them ended up pulling out of the clay when the girls put the necklaces on....so I had some quick gluing to do to fix them while we ate. But overall the necklaces looked beautifully colorful, just like the girls themselves.
And I got my own awesome necklace made by the birthday girl herself, but modeled by her brother:
The structure of the party went similar to S's Mad Artist Party. I had three art/craft activities picked out for the girls to do. But first, after everyone arrived, we discussed Frida. I wanted to give them a mini art lesson on Frida but most of the girls didn't even know who she was. So we combined a history/art/self-awareness discussion into a very nice talk about Frida.
First off, I had to figure out how to approach Frida's more scary/dark artwork. Thankfully I ran across this wonderful post by Jimmie's Collage. She addressed the issue of Frida's scary/dark artwork and how to explain that to kids very nicely, I thought. So, I explained to the girls who Frida was and how her life unfolded, with her accident, her tumultuous marriage and the pain she constantly lived with....but I made sure to use language that was appropriate and understandable to the girls. I explained that what I most admired about Frida was her ability to keep to her motto - VIVA LA VIDA - (Live Life) while she lived in such physical and emotional pain.
As we looked through some of her more sedate paintings, I explained that I could really appreciate her style of using her paintings and her personal journals as a healthy outlet for her emotions and thoughts, be they good or bad, happy or sad. I thought that was a great skill for us as women and girls to be able to practice. I also told the girls that we can learn to appreciate art and not have to LOVE everything that an artist does. Because frankly, I can appreciate what Frida's dark paintings are saying and what it must have taken for her to let that out of herself, but I don't really like those paintings myself. We also talked about what it must have been like for a woman artist at that time in the world and how brave she must have been to share her very private work even when she was constantly criticized and misunderstood. R picked her favorite Frida paintings and we copied them onto paper to show the girls (obviously we didn't pick anything that was disturbing). We talked a bit about what she included in her portraits and how she painted them and what symbols she used and what role tradition played in her work. Not only did I use R's Frida book for information but I also used some art ideas from my FAVORITE art series by Joyce Raimondo. Oh yeah, and we also had the Art Museum Mad-Lib leftover from S's party. I asked the girls if they wanted to do it and the answer was a resounding "yes". Then they asked to hear what the boys wrote from the first Mad-Lib round. The girls were much grosser than the boys with their nouns and adjectives, if you can believe that!
So our first art project was the main one - a self-portrait of course. We discussed various ways to paint a self-portrait and we placed a few mirrors around. Two girls asked if they had to paint themselves and I said I would love for them to try it, and that they could put whatever spin on it they wanted, but that they could paint something else if they really had to.....both girls ended up painting fabulously unique self-portraits.
Thankfully, two of my close girlfriends stuck around to help and we spread acrylic paints and paint palettes around, paint brushes here and there and the girls got busy. We mixed various skin colors on request.....some girls found the toothbrushes leftover from S's Pollack painting activity and used them very creatively on their paintings....
some of the girls whizzed through their portrait....
some of the girls spent quite a while working on their portraits.....
But they all turned out so fabulous...way beyond even my expectations for 10 7-9 year old girls. Their beautiful portraits make me smile...
Phew! This post is getting long. I better continue with the other art activities on the next post.