Friday, December 13, 2013

Winter Open House...Saturday, December 14th!

Come visit us at Lillstreet's Winter Open House this Saturday from 12-4!

We will be decorating ornaments and cookies!

Lillstreet's building will be packed with activities tomorrow...check out the list here...

Lillstreet's Winter Open House Schedule

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Family Ornament Workshop - November 23rd

For those families who attended the November 23rd Family Ornament Workshop...your ornaments are ready for pick up!

Paint & Stories...Snowmen at Night

Week One's Paint & Stories class read Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner.

Here are some of their painting and collage projects:

What words come to mind seeing these?

We think: Beautiful.  Impressive.  Frameable.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Paint & Stories...Fall Session II Roundup

Paint & Stories is for children, ages 2-4.  Every week focuses on a book which inspires a painting project.  

These were the books covered during Fall Session II:

Ish by Peter H. Reynolds

Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh

Click, Clack, Boo! by Doreen Cronin

Sky Color by Peter H. Reynolds

Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg

Paint & Stories took a Halloween party turn with Click, Clack, Boo!  The students used their hand prints to make spiders and threaded yarn across the piece to create a web.  For this type of project, googly eyes are essential.

Click, Clack, Boo! spider

After reading Sky Colorthe students mixed their own sky colors with tempura paint.  Baking soda was then added to the paint.  Using droppers, the students dropped vinegar onto the the tempura/baking soda mixture. The chemical reaction caused new textures and surprising mixtures.

Project inspired by the book, Sky Color

The book for the final week of class was Beautiful Oops:

They're plastic!  We swear!  Beautiful Oops clean up

The children learned about Gyotaku, a style of Japanese printing utilizing fish.  Yes, fish.  An unexpected bonus of Paint & Stories are some unique conversation starters.  For example, here's "regular life."

"What did you do today?"

"Eh.  The usual."


But learning Gyotaku methods during a Paint & Stories class gives you this:

"So, what did you do today?"

"Painted with my kid using a fish instead of a brush."

"Wait...hoozie...whatsiz?  Did you just say you painted with a fish?" get to tell the person all about it!  Brag about your child's project.  Perhaps, show some pictures on your phone (or tell them about Kidstreet's blog, which we would appreciate very much). 

Play...Spot the Fish!
The children painted fish with a fish and then added some elements for a collage. 

Paint & Stories is a regular class in Kidstreet's rotation, taught by Kimberly Pancoast.  The class starts up again next week with a winter theme.  How many different ways can she think of to create snow for her students' projects?  The pressure's on.  Good luck, Kimberly! 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Warm Winter Knits

A new Winter Class for Kidstreet is Warm Winter Knits, ages 10-14.  Taught by Emily Poole, the class starts with basic knitting instruction.  The end result is a wonderful scarf.  Its a perfect project to learn just in time for winter.

The benefits of teaching children to knit go beyond keeping his or her neck warm.  Here are some of the advantages of teaching a child to knit:

dexterity/hand-eye coordination
memory builder
math/counting skills
relaxation due to the repetitive and rhythmic movements
learning how to move beyond and fix mistakes
knowledge and skills that can be built upon into concrete accomplishments...scarf...hat...mittens...sweaters!

Emily wrote a post about this class on the Lillstreet Textiles it and see some of her other knitting projects...Warm Winter Knits Textiles Blog

Sign up here:
Warm Winter Knits

Articles on teaching kids to knit:
WBEZ article on knitting at the Waldorf School
University of Kentucky...Passing on Needlework Skills to Young People

Monday, November 25, 2013

How Did You Spend Your Weekend?

Kidstreet spent ours with two Family Workshops...Clay Ornaments and Holiday Mugs.  There couldn't be a better way to spend the weekend with both kids and parents creating with us.

Both workshops run one more time, December 7th (ornaments) and 8th (mugs).

The business of ornament building is a messy one

Mother and Son Owl Houses

Sign Up Here:
Kidstreet Family Workshops

The Early Winter Session Starts Next Week...December 2nd!

Our next round of classes starts next week.  Our Winter classes are also on our website, if you interested in January's offerings.

A project from Warm Winter Knits

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Family Menorah Workshop - Fired Menorahs

The work that goes into our family workshops is a mixture of preparation and enthusiasm.

First, the demo must be designed.  In the case of The Family Menorah Workshop, the instructor, Shira Leon, created a menorah even a child with little clay experience could make, but it was still a concept that allowed everyone the freedom to personalize.  

It must be a menorah that won't tip over and hold candles without a problem, which meant monitoring the rate of shrinkage of the clay as the first demo dried to find the correct candle holders.  

Then the day of the workshop arrived, and people amazed us with their creativity and the ideas that came through the door..."I wish I would have thought of that!"..."I can't wait to see how this fires."  (and that's us talking)

The unloading of the kiln.  Word getting around to come take a peak..."Have you seen them?"..."Oh, they look so good."

The pictures.  The packing.  Picked up by their people and gone in a day.

Sigh.  On to the next workshop.

See the more from The Family Menorah Workshop here:

Information about Kidstreet Workshops can be found here:

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Week Five: All Things Messy

The final All Things Messy class for the Fall Session II was Wednesday.

The previous week, the instructor, Emily Poole, brought pumpkins into the class so the students could have the opportunity to sketch from a still life. The students then built upon the sketches with acrylic paint.

This week, the students continued painting by adding more layers and dimension.

What happened to those poor pumpkins, the inspiration for this project?  Forgotten on the table?  Chopped up for pumpkin pie? Dumped in the trash after the above masterpieces were created?

Come on now, pumpkins...the class was called All Things Messy...

Everything was fair game for a paint project.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Family Menorah Workshop

Last Sunday, October 27th, Kidstreet held its annual Family Menorah Workshop.  Every single menorah was unique.

No, that isn't a menorah disguised as a Pacman board.

Its a menorah disguised as a MS. PACMAN board.

Walk in with the idea for a deer?  We will help you make that happen...

Putting aside the fact that unless you have a kiln you can't make these at home, you also can't have the focused experience of creating with family.

No doorbells.  No clothes to take out of the dryer.  No interruptions to do that one thing you should do while its on your mind.

Just two hours spent on creativity in a positive environment with an instructor invested in turning your menorah ideas into reality.

What's next for these wonderful pieces?  They are currently drying...wet clay is no good for firing in a kiln...but will be fired this week.

These pieces are not just individual works of art.  They are also functional.  They have an important job to do in a couple of weeks and will be ready in time for Hanukkah.  We can't wait to post the completed picks before they're off to their homes!

To Be Continued...

Interested in our Holiday Workshops?  Click Below...
Kidstreet Holiday Workshops

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Kidstreet Camp 2013 Flashback: Inspired By Nature

Would you believe we are already in the planning stages for our 2014 camps?  There's little downtime for Kidstreet when it comes to our summer camps.

Periodically, we'll spotlight one of our 2013 camps/projects.  Today, its Inspired By Nature.  

The Inspired By Nature campers spent a day learning about Peruvian pottery, particularly the ceramics pre-dating the Incan Empire. 

In the absence of a written language, ceramics was not only functional, it also carried the stories of the people.  Instead of recreating battles and other events, they painted them on pottery.

Their more interesting pottery, however, were their realistic depictions of animals and people.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

Can you imagine using pottery that looks just like you?
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

After learning and discussing this style of pottery, the campers got to work making their own coiled, Peruvian-inspired pots.  This was an all-day project, and the campers were very diligent and excited about creating their own pieces.  Animals were a popular theme.  Who wouldn't want to take home an adorable bunny, fox or panda?  

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Ghoulish Graveyards...Fired and Ready to Wreak Havoc in Time for Halloween!

The graveyards are worked up.  This rambunctious group wants to be taken home!

Let's take a...more sedate look at these pieces:

That's better.  

We had a variety of ages and skill levels in this workshop, but there wasn't one graveyard that didn't turn out great.  Let's look at some reasons why:

Coming In With An Idea

This is a 3 piece continuous project: the cat goes through the gate, menaces the graveyard and takes a rest in the pumpkin patch.  This was a three generational family project.  

We'd like to think that the time spent in a creative pursuit with family and friends is worthwhile all on its own and will hopefully, be a happy memory for everyone involved.  Even if they're making spooky...creepy...fantastical graveyards!  These are family clay form.

Creating Dynamic Pieces

There's a nice sense of movement in all the graveyards.  These are active scenes.  No one would ask these creatures..."Are you bored, zombie?  Don't you have something productive to do, mummy?" 

 We also like how the pieces look side-by-side.  They work with each other.

One of the fun things for us was putting all the pieces together in a mishmash...that worked too.  Looks like a bunch of trouble to us!  Oh, the stories these graveyards could tell.  We should probably double-check the Kidstreet rooms to make sure no ghoulish surprises await us!  Clearly, these creatures need to be separated before they hatch some sort of devious plan...

Maximizing Their Space

Another mark of successful projects is maximizing the space.  There's no dead space...oops, poor word choice!  There's no empty space, and more importantly, the space is well thought out.  Something fascinating to see from all angles.  Turn the graveyards this way and that and a new angle gives a new perspective.

Oh...Did We Forget to Mention...FUN?!?

We love it when both kids and parents create something whimsically wonderful and interesting. Ideas we wish we would have thought of ourselves.

In fact, we are so inspired by these pieces, we want to make more.  We wonder if we could get away with giving ghoulish graveyards as gifts this holiday season?  Can we bring a graveyard to Thanksgiving dinner rather than pumpkin pie (or with the pie, Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? No way!)?  How about mixing them with more appropriate gifts?  Would friends and family appreciate the graveyards more if paired with a menorah?  Or a holiday mug?  Overall, we think this is a promising start to our holiday workshops and can't wait to see what the rest of the year brings!

See more pics of the finished pieces on our Facebook page

If you missed Part One of our Ghoulish Graveyards experience, click here:
4401 N. Ravenswood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640

Office/Gallery Hours: