Printmaking 101

March 28, 2010

Mishy and I have been hosting an Art Fun exploration series in our backyard this month. We usually plan to do three things during the two-hour class. We seem to get to do two. On this day, we did one of the planned activities. The second activity was fold overs. You drop tempura paint on to folded over cut outs of butterflies and hearts and any other shape you are inspired to create. After you mush the paint, you reveal the creation. Because there were so many cut out shapes, Mishy and I decided to do some fold overs on our own. Because we were liberal with the paint, Mishy decided to place the non painted shapes on top of the painted shapes fully revealed. This is when it became Printmaking 101. Here are a few pictures of her process.

Bergamot Station

March 28, 2010

Mishy and I have been going to Bergamot Station since she was four months old. She would happily nurse in the Ergo, a baby carrier, while I went from gallery to gallery. It has been a while since we’ve visited and now that she is two years old, I had no expectations. Bergamot Station is a large space filled with individual art galleries. My favorite is the Santa Monica Museum of Art. The curator seems to have a spectacular sense of whimsy, fun, and is in tune with her inner child.

Mishy at SMMOA's Gift Shop

Drinking pretend tea with a real porcelain cup.

Mishy touching everything at the SMMOA's gift shop and being carefully, casually watched.

She found Momma, Babba and Mishy posable magnets.

They have a charming tiny parkette where it is the perfect spot to rest, have a snack, and blow bubbles.

Taking a break in the little little park.

Eating edamame at the little little park.

Running around the tree in the little little park.

After our respite, Mishy and I decided to hit some of the other galleries. This time, it was her choice.

At the Patrick Painter East Gallery

Playing with what was left on the floor

Looking at the Shadow and Light exhibit.

Leaving Gallery Luisotti

Taking a peek at the new installation

Taking in some sculptural work

Eating some fruit leather in the back seat as we drive home.

Details: Bergamot Station

For those in the know – they have a wonderful cafe which serves delicious homemade vegetarian soup that is reasonably priced. They are known for their homemade mint lemonade. Mishy thought it was yummy. I did too.

Mishy fishing for good luck.

We joined in a Chinese New Year’s celebration at a local children’s store that recently opened up in Marina Del Ray – Innovative Baby.

Feeding the dragon puppet

There was some light puppet play.

Learning how to make a paper lantern

Then arts and crafts with sparkles which followed us home.

Playing on their in-store horsey

Afterwards, Mishy played with all of the displayed toys. The store has a great selection of beautiful everyday clothes from fantastic designers – Kicky Pants, Tea Collection – to name a few. We picked up a few long sleeve shirts from their sale rack – 70% off! Their toys are beautiful. Mishy wanted to take all of them home. Luckily, she is okay with us playing with them in the store.  The owners are super friendly, warm, and laid back. It is located right by the beach and the Venice Canals. Get a sandwich from Cow’s End or Island Burgers and have a picnic at the beach after your shopping adventure!


Innovative Baby
114 Washington Blvd #B
Marina del Rey, CA 90292

(310) 338-9908

Bonus photo: Mishy hanging out in the car.

Art Fun!

February 13, 2010

Mishy using tissue paper for drip painting

We’ve been researching pre-schools which has been emotionally draining since I love being with Mishy. What is the rush? What has been useful in attending the pre-school tours? Seeing their facilities and what their program offers. Most are centered around creative development primarily through art which lead me to read Bev Bos – thank you, Ninette, a mother of two, for the recommendation! Bev Bos is an educator, grandmother of four and mother of five. She is the director of the Roseville Cooperative Preschool in Roseville, California. She has several books published which all extends her child-centered techniques. Her first book, Don’t Move The Muffin Tins, a hands-off guide to art for the young child.

Mishy exploring tissue paper.

Here are condensed versions of her rules which are in the book.

Rule #1: Don’t interfere. Forget how you intended the art materials to be used. There is no right or wrong in art, just creation.

Rule #2: Try one yourself. Build a trial version in your set up. You’ll be much more at ease with your child’s first attempt.

Rule #3: Put the child first. Each day is special to a child. When a child asks for materials that are alternatives to what you’ve set out, provide those materials.

Rule #4: Avoid models. Never make a model to show to a child. Let them create without the intimidation of a model.

Rule #5: Respect a name. If they want to put their name on their creation, let them find the place and how they want it to look, even if it’s spelled backwards.

Rule #6: Art of young children should be “instant.” A young child wants to see immediate results.

Rule #7: Spread the word. Orient parents to a child-centered approach. Make it clear you don’t want “art” produced for your benefit, but rather a program that is aimed at developing your child’s creativity.

Rule #8: No leaping, please! Adults leap upon a child when something starts to spill, tip over, all from the table, or simply begins to go in a direction different from the one the adult expected. Gently, gently, guide and suggest.

Rule #9: Don’t feel guilt. You may have guilt when applying child-centered art because you may have done crafts to the exclusion of art, guilt because you haven’t nurtured your child’s creativity enough – don’t do it. Start now with your children, grandchildren, adults you know, start with yourself.

Rule #10: discourage “good” clothes. “Go to a thrift shop, buy your child two outfits for school. Then you’ll not be upset when the clothes come home with paint all over them.” To heck with aprons.


Don’t Shake The Muffin Tin by Bev Bos

Mishy's foot print art w/ marker details

Friends over for their own art exploration

Lakeshore Learning

February 6, 2010

It was raining on Friday. Mishy still wanted to go on the swing and after 5 minutes of me pushing her, “Higher Higher,” (she loves the Leslie Patricelli book, Higher Higher) we headed to Lakeshore Learning – the store known for their teacher supplies. I thought it would be fun to expand our range of art supplies at home. With Lakeshore Learning, you can be rest assured everything has been triply tested for their safety. I had previously ordered supplies online. This was the first time we were in the actual store and I was excited. I get excited about these things now.

As soon as we got into the store, we were greeted – it is nice to be greeted! – and quickly directed to what we were looking for – art supplies! They have displays of blocks set up at a child’s eye level so while I shopped, Mishy played with the blocks. That is what I hoped would happened. Instead, she picked out window markers and wanted to draw. I mentioned we need to get her some paper,  she said, “Yes! Paper!”  I grabbed a roll of newsprint and said we would draw in the car, so she carried the markers with her until she noticed the big inflatable globe.

John Dewey, the educator reformer said children learn when they have a need to learn. When we travelled around the world, we carried a small globe with us to show Mishy all the places we had travelled and all the places we were going to travel to. Since then, she loves globes and geography and wants to know where all her loved ones are. She had me point out where Grandma Rachel lives, where Saba Moshe live, where Mama’s Mama lives, and where Kitty stays when we travel. Mishy gravitated to all the globes in the store. (Please note: I do not lead Mishy into mentioning who she wants to mention. If you were not mentioned that day, it does not mean we do not talk about you.)

Mishy trying to find India


Leslie Patricelli’s Higher Higher

Lakeshore Learning

Mishy wondering why the countries are different colors on different globes

Paint Lab

February 6, 2010

Mishy painting

Paint Lab has several days of open free paint time where you pay a flat fee and can paint all day – “paints, brushes, easels, and atmosphere included,” according to their website. It is $10/day for toddlers, for adults $20/day and children 12 and under, $15. You pay for your painting surface. They also have instructed toddler paint time on Friday and Sunday mornings.

Since Mishy likes to explore on her own, we headed over there on a Thursday. When we arrived, we were warmly greeted by Lisa, who showed us around and helped us get started. She asked us which painting surface we would like to paint on. She picked out a large canvas board and said the advantages of using a canvas board is that it is less expensive than canvas and also it can be washed and easily re-painted on. They will be happy to wash it for us and have it ready for our next visit.

She got us a selection of eight high quality non-toxic tempura paints, several brushes and a water container to clean the brushes. Mishy quickly got started. After 30 minutes, she was done and we quickly cleaned ourselves up, ate lunch outside where they have tables – you can also paint outside, and headed straight into a toy store!


Paint Lab, 2912 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405

Looking at the paintings on the wall

This morning we had no plans. I had always been interested in this music class in Venice, CA called Moo Moo Musica since I have heard from friends how fabulous it is. The first class is considered a trial class so it is free – which is something I love. It sure beats spending money on a class you might leave after a few minutes.

Mishy at the perimeter of the class, checking it out

We did leave after a few minutes though Mishy was incredibly curious and wanted to stay in the lounge and then just outside the door. She listened in and sang to some of the songs, but after half an hour, we went back to the car. From what I saw, it was a fabulous class. Mishy found it noisy. She told me she prefers art and yoga classes.

You can find more information on Moo Moo Musica on their website:

Electric Lounge, 1416 Electic Ave., Venice, CA 90291

Drawing in the car

Afterwards, she stayed in the car for 45 minutes while she drew. Then we headed to the beach near Ocean Park in Santa Monica where there are swings. She loves swings. On the way back from being pushed, “Higher Higher!” she came across some strength training equipment and helped roll the ball to a trainer and his client. After his client left, Ruben, the trainer gave Mishy a few fun lessons.

At the park with weights

Mishy being trained

Ruben trains people on the beach near Ocean Park and also at Equinox. You can reach him at: Ruben 323-640-7824,,, or Equinox Gym, 201 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401. His trains adults, not children.