Thursday, April 10, 2008

doughy creativity.

The boys love making dough, and we haven't made any in awhile. Another cold rainy day and super spunky boys -- play dough here we come!

Play Dough

1 c flour
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 c water
1/2 c salt
2 tsp cream of tartar
Food coloring

Stir all ingredients in a saucepan and heat, stirring the whole time until a ball forms, and then remove from heat. When it is cool enough to handle, knead until smooth.

My boys really really wanted green - so we used a colorant that I had in the cabinet. You can also use juiced veggies for color - replace the water with fresh beet or carrot juice (freshly juiced - not sugary bottled stuff or you will get gunk) for a natural color. I also like to add a few drops of essential oils - green was perfect for peppermint!

With the cold and rain over the past few days, we have been inside reading, playing games, making up plays and stories, and painting. I have been less than motivated to work on any of my sewing or embroidery projects - so while the boys read or paint I have been doodling with watercolors too. My painting medium has always been acrylic, so watercolor is all experimentation for me. I also had a tendency to paint darker things, usually people. So even doodling vegetables, flowers, fish, or hands is enough to help my mind slow down a bit and just paint and mess around with it and not worry about results or realism or composition. I need a lot more practice. I also think I need to stick to people. It has helped me jump start my creative juices this week, though, which was the plan!

G has become very very interested in my watercolors. We have good quality puck watercolor paints for the boys, but he knows that my little case of super pigmented colors are special, so whenever I have opened my notebook to dabble, he has asked to paint too. He quietly sits next to me, swishing, dipping, and then stroking big blobs of color. I think he likes red as much as I do!


RunninL8 said...

I love the radishes! Watercolors are so much fun to play with. I keep vacillating between watercolor and acrylic. To much going on in my head and not enough time to play with it!
There's something almost therapeutic about kneading nice warm playdough! I like to add essentail oils to ours! So calming..

Anonymous said...

i also love the radishes. very pretty.

Maymomvt said...

I love your watercolors. I am terrible at watercoloring and would like to spend more time at it. Maybe I should step back and start with pure color and wet on wet like my girls did.

Lots of crafty goodness going on right now. What fun.

Tara said...

The watercolors are nice-
and the color of that playdough screams Spring!

Lisa Anne said...

Beautiful paintings!

There is something about the color red that just vibrates inside when I paint with it, its like I want to eat it with my eyes and I am starving!

I never was able to find a good dough recipe when my daughter was younger and now I see them often.My poor deprived girl.......

Anet said...

Wow...your watercolors are wonderful.
I love the rich colors!
There is nothing better than fresh playdough or a new box of crayons!

saskia said...

I like your paintings, they'll very natural looking

Lynch Family said...


Michelle said...

Denise, I read on Dawn's blog that you have CTS. My husband was on the surgery waiting list for his. His was one of the worst the doctor had seen in a while. I told him to try the chiropractor and after 3 treatments it was gone. Chiropractor said he can't always fix it but in a lot of cases he can. Worth a try, no?
PS Lovely artwork.

dawn klinge said...

I'm trying to learn how to do watercolors lately and I know it's not easy. Your paintings are so pretty. I like the idea of putting essential oil in the play dough.

Maria said...

Beautiful art, Denise! It's great to see a little of what YOU are doing,too!

live4evermom said...

Excellent is all I can say.

Mama Randa Morning Glory said...

The paintings are beautiful. I personally love to use wax resist under my watercolor, like what you guys did for your watercolor mobiles. All my art is more abstract though. I'll be interested to see your paintings of people. I for one cannot do people at all, no matter what medium (though I've made some fair attempts with wood)
We made some playdough recently and added lavender oil. Either I put too much, or one area just didn't get mixed in good though, because my little guy put some on his forearm and then began crying hysterically that it burned. So make sure to always knead the oils in very well before slathering it on sensitive parts of your body!

tiff said...

this is exactly how we make playdough...and we even put the peppermint or essential oils in our dough times!

as for your watercolors...Wow...I have never been good at paintings are always so primary...yours are beautiful and make me wish it was spring here in Alaska!

World Wide Alternative said...


Kiki said...

Thanks for sharing the play dough recipe, I needed a reminder to make a batch with my little one.

Your paintings look very fresh, especially the radishes! Keep playing and loosening up those muscles!

Hi! said...

Very nice watercolors! Love the green play dough. We use the same recipe. Last time I tried 'purple', it turned out very gray. So we can make the Glurp!

The Unusual Farmchick said...

Love the radish watercolor painting!
Care to do one of me with my chickens and goats for my site? LOL.
I have always wanted to learn how to use water colors..well to paint and draw, with watercolors being my main desire.
Beautiful work!

Kat said...

We're big fans of homemade playdoh.

My little guy is very hands-on, and I find that if I do not give him enough 'handplay' he begins to use his hands in an aggressive way.

We have a container set up with all of our dough-toys. Lots of things to smash, smush, texture, haul around and safely cut our playdoh.
Oliver & I make a new batch of 'pizza' (as he calls playdoh) every week or so, he's become a playdoh kneading champ.

Great idea to add essential oil. I'm always looking for ways to add smellies.

[Oh, and we're reading 'lickety split - Robert Heidbreder' as well.]



Teaching Handwork said...

its art season! LOOK AT THOSE radishes!!!! love it!