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Monthly Archives: May 2012

  • Arts for Healing

    It’s no surprise to readers of this blog that art has a positive benefit on one’s well being. Whether it’s a piece that uplifts your soul or challenges your mind, art is more than just decoration on the wall. Family Health Centers of San Diego (FHCSD) has taken that belief to a new level with its “Arts for Healing” program in which it brings art into its clinic sites for the benefit of its patients.

    According to Dr. Chad Newell, a pediatrician, the program works wonders for his patients. “We are all just so thankful to have this artwork for our clinic and for our kids! The artwork brightens up the rooms and puts a smile on our patient’s little faces, even when they’re not feeling so great.”

    That's why we, here at Oopsy daisy, are so happy to be able to help out to do so!

    Arts for Healing is a program of FHCSD, a private, non-profit community health center which provides caring, affordable, high quality health care to everyone, with a special commitment to people who are low income, uninsured and under served. For FHCSD, high quality care includes providing care in a welcoming environment that helps put patients at ease.

    As we are strong supporters of this program, we have helped FHCSD acquire hundreds of pieces of art, and encourage all our faithful followers, supporters and customers to do the same. If you are interested in supporting this wonderful program, please contact Amber Zent at (619) 515-2306 or amberz@fhcsd.org. You can also learn more about FHCSD by visiting their website at www.fhcsd.org.

  • A Stake in the Land

    If your kids are anything like ours, they love to plant seeds. Apple seeds, watermelon seeds, orange seeds--pretty much whatever they're snacking on sparks a brainstorm of "Hey, we could plant these in the yard and have an apple/watermelon/orange tree!" Doesn't matter where you live, even if it's an apartment in Antarctica; they want to plant something and watch it grow.

    So if you're planting a garden this season (perhaps a container garden--see our latest blog entry over at greenboxart.com for easy instructions), you'll need labels. Is that an avacado tree you should be expecting or a lemon tree? Perhaps it's more down-to-earth basil or peas. Whatever you've planted in your little corner of the world, here are some fun ways to identify it:

    old forks: you can weave a label between the tines, or just use the seed packet, which will stand up to the elements pretty well. Alternately, recycle wine corks by writing the plant name on them and spearing them onto the end of the fork.

    clothespins: use a permanent felt-tip marker to label a pinch-pin and attach it, horizontally, to a stick. How rustic!

    old spoons: use some imagination and some Modge-Podge to decoupage photos or drawings of your crop right onto the bowl of the spoon.

    craft sticks: decorate a bunch or buy some pre-decorated for the purpose (like these cuties from The Modern Gardener) or just make your own.

    Good luck with the growing, and enjoy whatever comes up!

     

     

  • Tissue Paper Turtle Craft by Melanie Mikecz

    Materials:

    - Tissue paper in an assortment of colors (make sure you have plenty of greens)
    - 2 pieces 8.5” x 11” card stock paper
    - Mod Podge Glue
    - 8” x 8” stretched canvas
    - Brush for glue
    - Scissors
    - Pencil

     

    1. Cut about 30 2” pentagons (five sided shapes) out of tissue paper. I used mostly greens, with an odd color thrown in for fun. Don’t worry too much about making perfect shapes.
    2. Cut about 40 1” squares out of tissue paper.
    3. Apply a thin layer of glue with your brush on one piece of the card stock. Begin layering your pentagons over the glue. Gently brush glue over tissue paper.
    4. Continue this technique until most of the paper is covered.
    5. Repeat this technique on the second sheet with the smaller tissue squares.
    6. Once the glue has dried, trace your shapes on the back of each sheet.
      From sheet #1 you will need a large, kind of oblong, half circle, four smaller rectangles, and a tear drop shape for the head.
      From sheet #2 you will need a long thin strip, four small wing shapes, and a small triangle for the tail.
    7. Cut out your shapes.
    8. Arrange your shapes on the canvas. You may have to do some trimming.
    9. Apply glue on the back of each piece. Layer each piece on your canvas starting with the legs, tail, and head.
      As you lay each piece down you will need to press the edges down firmly.
      You may need to add some glue over each piece to help get the edges to adhere.
    10. The nice thing about using stretched canvas is that your artwork is ready to hang.

    Have fun!
    //Melanie

  • Melanie Mikecz Interview

    Melanie Mikecz is an artist who thinks big—as in big, bold graphics. Her subject matter runs the gamut from animals to architecture, and her subjects are rendered in her immediately identifiable, confident style. Recently, we had the chance to catch up with Melanie and ask her a few questions.

    Oopsy Daisy: Do you have formal art training?

    Melanie Mikecz: I do. I went to Washington University School of Art and earned a BFA in visual communication, which basically means graphic design and illustration.

    OD: Are you a full-time artist?

    MM: Yes! I am about 50/50 graphic design and fine art. My graphic design is things like print design, layouts, and book covers and interiors.

    OD: Your medium isn’t quite painting, but I can’t quite put my finger on what it is.

    MM: I call it digital mixed media. I start with a painting or painted swatches and do a lot of computer scanning. The final project is digital and I use a lot of Photoshop. People always ask me for originals, and I don’t have any! It’s all digital.

    OD: You often depict animals in your work. Have you always been a fan of animals?

    MM: I do like animals—if I wasn’t going to be an artist I was going to be a vet at the zoo. I like architecture, too, often based on where I’ve lived. I lived in London for a year and did some art based on that architecture. Now I’m in San Francisco.

    OD: What are your artistic influences?

    MM: I like a lot of old-school artists, like Klee, Kandinsky, Chagall. There are a lot of great artists working right now, and I admire a lot of the artists working on Oopsy daisy right now. I really like Jennifer Mercede and Jennifer Kostecki-Shaw.

    OD: Do you ever experience “artist’s block?”

    MM: Sure, all the time. Usually I find the best thing to do is to stop. I’ll do something else or take a break. Sometimes I’ll switch to another piece, but a lot of times I’ll take my dog for a walk or quit early.

    OD: What’s the hardest part about being a working artist?

    MM: It takes awhile to get your career going, especially when you’re right out of school. It takes awhile to actually make a living.

    OD: Is there any advice you’d give the you of ten years ago?

    MM: Ten years ago I was in school. When I was in school I was too worried about grades and how I measured up to my classmates. I wish I would have spent a little more time exploring and not worrying so much about those things.

     OD: What’s hanging on your walls?

    MM: A few of my own pieces, but a lot by other artists I admire. And my husband has a lot of band posters.

    OD: Earlier you mentioned you have a dog. Would you want to trade places with your dog if you could?

    MM: I have a Boston Terrier named Peanut. Even though she has an easy life, it seems a little boring! So I probably would say no.

    OD: If you could invent a new ice cream flavor, what would it be?

    MM: Maybe some odd combo of gummi bears and marshmallows and m&m s. Very sweet.

     

    Have a look at Melanie Mikecz's Oopsy daiy art

  • Memorial Day

    Monday, May 28 is Memorial Day. Do your kids know what it used to be called, back when it first started after the Civil War?

    Decoration Day! Personally, we like that name better. Why? Because it's active. Decorate! Decorate veterans' graves with flowers, decorate a parade route with folding chairs and spectators, decorate the sky with flags.

    If there's a cemetery near you, ask the management if it's decorated for Memorial Day. They may let you and your kids join in with the flag-planting, or you and your family may be able to start the tradition.

    it's a lot easier to explain to kids what this holiday means if they are out doing something to celebrate it. After that, when you're having your cookout, you'll know that you've done something memorable.

  • It's the End of the Year as We Know It

    If you're not counting the days until school's out, rest assured; your kids are. You know who else is counting? The teachers.

    So as the days dwindle down, it's time for you to come up with a token of appreciation for all the learning and laughing your child's teacher has faithfully provided since the fall. We asked a few teachers about their favorite end-of-year gifts, and here's what we found out:

    Notes! Yep, elementary-school teachers really are that sweet.  Their overwhelming favorite thing to receive was a hand-written note or hand-drawn picture from a child. They really do keep them, by the way. And it's always a nice touch to send the teacher a note yourself, perhaps outlining some of the ways your child has grown under his/her tutelage.

    Gift Cards. Office-supply store cards are a good bet, since they allow hard-working teachers the chance to enhance their room's supplies. Also popular were gift cards to restaurants or coffee shops, especially ones right near school. Consider pitching in with another famiy or two.

    Photos. A framed of the teacher with your child or with the class makes a nice reminder of past school years. And lots of teachers like to display these reminiscinces on their desks or bookshelves in coming years.

    So there you go: three ideas for teacher gifts they're sure to love. Now get to it--you haven't got many days left. Want to know exactly how many? Ask your kid.

     

  • Time to Get Creative!

    Guess what Oopsy daisy has up their sleeve just for you?! A cute little gift to include in your next retail order! As much as we love art and creativity from our product we love promoting it in your homes, at your schools and in your facility. Keep and eye out in your next retail Oopsy daisy order you will be receiving free fabric wall decals! Get creative and color them or leave them white to stick wherever you wish (don’t worry, our decals are both removable and repositionable!) We are so excited to see what you and your children will do with these cute wall decals. Snap a photo and upload to www.facebook.com/oopsydaisyart!

  • How Does Your Garden Grow?

    Gardens need more than just soil, water and sunshine. They need seed money (in fact, maybe that's where the expresssion came from!). Seed money for things like tools, plants and, yep, seeds.

    And as anyone who has ever gardened can tell you, gardening's good for the soul. And all sorts of other things, like understanding of nutrition, patience, responsibility and self-worth. Which is why, in our opinion, every kid who wants to garden should be able to.

    That's why we're high on KidsGardening.org. It's so many things, from a clearing-house of information and teacher support to a fund-raiser and store. Part of the National Gardening Association, their goal is to promote the connections between people, plants and the environment. Spend some time at their site and see how you can help--from volunteering at local school gardens to donating money to buying a little something for youself or to donate to a school garden. Personally, we like the DIY bench, for which you supply the 2x4s and the labor. Imagine the painting projects that could ensue!

    Next time you're out enjoying your garden, why not think about helping schoolchildren around the country enjoy the experience as well?

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