Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Open ended Christmas Art

While I love doing projects with my kids that have an end in mind, projects that are suppose to create something specific I also truly believe in the value of exposing our children to open ended and child directed art forms. This philosophy aligns with aspects of The Reggio Emilia Approach. I used to be a preschool teacher in a Reggio school and I saw first hand the benefits of child directed/open ended art.

We do a ton of open ended art that goes un-blogged/un-documented simply because it's created in the moment and unplanned. This one however was planned and set up ahead of time.

I started with setting up a variety of Christmas themed materials. Bows, green and red paint, glitter, scissors and green and red tissue paper squares.

I placed the materials out for the girls to explore and experiment with. Again, I had no end product in mind. The idea was simply to allow them to use the materials however they wanted. 

They both immediately started painting. 

They experimented with mixing the colors red and green.

 My 4 year old was the first to add the glitter and use the tissue paper to stick on the paper.

 Jillian my 2 year old enjoyed cutting up the tissue into small pieces.

They both used all the materials and explored with different ways to add them to their art work. They were truly engaged and encouraged to take their time! All the while we had Christmas music playing while we made our creations next to the Christmas Tree! 

This is my 4 year olds final product! 

 This is my 2 year olds final product!

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Gearing up for Project 365 2013

Besides early childhood education one of my other very favorite things (if not my favorite) is photography. I may have mentioned I am a member over at Clickinmoms and have been for a few years now. If you want to learn more about photography at any level this is without a doubt the place to be!!  Nearly everything I have learned about photography came from Clickinmoms.

Last year in 2011 I was inspired and encouraged to tackle project 365. A photo a day for one year. I knew it would be hard and difficult to finish. I also knew it would improve my photography and I would never regret having captured 365 little moments of my young family.

As I started documenting 2011 what I didn't know was that this was the year we would find out we were expecting our 3rd baby and our last full year as a family of four. I also didn't know that we would find out my mom had cancer that year. If I hadn't done my 365 there are so many moments I would have missed. Sure I would have had the camera out for big events like Christmas and Birthdays but I was able to capture tiny little moments with my mom and the girls and the everyday memories and details that otherwise may never have made it to our family albums.

So yes I became a better photographer and yes it was hard, even daunting at times but what my 365 really did for me was it served as a reminder that you simply never know what a year can bring.  I have a year of 365 moments that will forever be archived in a tangible collection of our family's year.

That said, I'm gearing up for the challenge again for 2013!  Have you ever considered doing project 365? Have I convinced you yet to try one for yourself? I highly encourage any level of photographers to take part.

I'm going to be documenting my project over at my family blog Scribbles From Tricia and would love to have some friends follow along. Please let me know if you decide to participate and let me know where I can follow you....blog? Flickr? Instagram?  I also hope to join a Flickr group with fellow 365 friends and I will share that info once it becomes available.  Let's support each other!

If you have any questions about the project, How to get started? How to keep the momentum? Where to share the pictures? etc. Please contact me. I'd be happy to answer them!

If you want to check out my complete 365 from 2011 you can find it here on Flickr:  Flickr Project 365

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Friday, December 7, 2012

iPhone photography with the Olloclip

Often I get asked about my photos and photography on here.  While I take the majority of my photos with my Canon 60D occassionally I include an iPhone photo. Recently I upgraded to the iPhone 4 (not a typo-it's indeed the 4 not 5) yes I know I'm a bit behind but I wanted to wait until my carrier allowed for the free upgrade and finally I have it in my hands!

I was beyond ecstatic because after reading many reviews I knew that the iPhone 4 had a MUCH better camera than the iPhone 3 I had been carrying around for the past couple of years. Although I adore my super fancy SLR camera the truth is I don't want to always lug it around.

You probably heard of the saying "The best camera is the one you have with you." Well for me and many others these days that's the smart phone. Ever since the upgrade I have noticed a world of difference in the quality of photos and as a result I have been diving into the world of iphoneography!

I've always LOVED Instagram but now I'm becoming addicted to this fun little app! If you're on instagram I'd love to follow you. Leave your link in the comments.

You can follow me here: http://instagram.com/trishm/

Aside from all the fun photography apps I have been having the most fun with this little gadget I recently purchased called The Olloclip!

Have you heard of this? It's a lens for the iPhone 4 that includes the fish eye, macro, and wide angle lens all in one. The fish eye is one side and you flip it around for use of the macro and wide angle.

Holy smokes have I been having a blast with this!! I have seen some amazing pictures taken with the iPhone coupled with this little gadget. Then throw in some fun photography apps like Instagram and there's a world of fun to be had!

I'm still learning but here are some of my iPhone pics taken with the Olloclip (plus Instagram).

Fish bowl

Wide Angle

Macro (kind of a creepy pic but you get the idea...)

If you or anyone you know love taking pics on the iPhone I highly recommend the Olloclip! Could be a great gift for any iphoneography fan! 

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