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Bottle Cap Pies

If Thanksgiving had an official dessert, it would definitely be pie. Pumpkin, apple, pecan, and so on… most Thanksgiving dessert courses involve more than one option. As you work on finishing up those leftovers, pay homage to this humble hero of the dessert table with this fun bottle cap pie craft. These pint-size pies are easy to make, versatile to display, and best of all… zero calories!


Bottle Cap Pies Image via Flickr

To get started, you have a few different options with materials to use. No matter what, you’ll need bottle caps to serve as the pie tins. As far as filling, you can use polymer clay, beads, felt, paint, glue, or anything else you think will work! Just as there’s an infinite variety of pies, you have many choices in how to create these mini versions.


Felt and Bottle Cap Pies Image Whimsy Love

Start by creating your crust. Press down tan colored clay or glue in felt, then trim the edges. Teeny tiny beads work perfectly as a berry filling (blue for blueberry, red for cherry, etc). If you don’t have beads, you can roll out your own with clay. Using clay is also great if you want to customize shapes for peaches or pecans. For a more solid filling, such as custard or pumpkin pie, use one larger piece of clay. Finally, add some lattice detailing by cutting very thin strips of felt, or again using clay, and any other details you’d like, such as whipped cream or a garnish.


Clay and Bottle Cap Pies Image via Flickr

There are a ton of possibilities, so have fun creating your own crafty recipes. These little desserts make adorable magnets, ornaments, or napkin ring decorations (just glue on magnets, rings, or ribbon to the backs), perfect dollhouse accessories, or just a sweet adornment anywhere you choose!


What was your favorite pie or dessert at this year’s Thanksgiving? What’s your all-time favorite?


Thanksgivikkah Menorah

As you’ve probably heard, this year’s first night of Hanukkah falls right on Thanksgiving. This is an incredibly rare overlap in the Hebrew and Gregorian calendar that will only happen once in a lifetime. In fact, double holiday has unofficially been dubbed Thanksgivikkuh!


For those celebrating both holidays, it can be a lot to prepare for at once. As you get ready for Thanksgiving next week, don’t forget about Hanukkah!


To start things off, why not try making a recycled cardboard menorah?

 Cardboard MenorahImage via Chiro Mommy


You’ll need eight toilet paper tubes and one paper towel tube, paint, glue, decorating materials (stickers, glitter, whatever you want), and yellow tissue paper.


First, paint all of your cardboard tubes. Keep in mind that the taller one will serve as the shamash in the middle (if it’s a little too tall, trim it with scissors). You can paint them traditional Hanukkah colors (blue and white), Thanksgiving colors (brown, red, orange, yellow), a combination, or any colors you desire! Once the paint is dry, attach the tubes together with glue. Glue four tubes on one side of the shamash (paper towel roll) and four on the other. Finally, add decorations to your menorah!

  Wrapped Cardboard Menorah

Image via Making Friends

(Great alternative to paint: cover the tubes in wrapping paper or magazine pages.)


On the first night of Hanukkah, or the only night of Thanksgivikkah, display your creation proudly and use yellow tissue paper to create flames for the shamash and first candle. Add a tissue paper flame to a new candle each night of the Festival of Lights.


 Recycled Menorah

Image via Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish


Are you excited for Thanksgiving and Hanukkah to overlap? What fun ways can you think of to commemorate this unique occurrence?

Colored Pencil Jewelry

Colored pencils aren’t just for drawing anymore! In fact, they make some pretty adorable jewelry. Showcase your love of art and color with these fun colored pencil pieces. Usually, colored pencils are used to create something pretty, but here the pencils get to take center stage. By cutting them into beads, you can make bright and unique necklaces, bracelets, brooches, and earrings.


To make the beads, you will need some basic tools: a junior hacksaw, fine sandpaper, a drill and small drill bit. Then of course you’ll need colored pencils and thread. For specific directions and necessary materials, check out Kate’s fabulous tutorial on Design Mom.


Grown-ups will definitely need to help prepare the beads (there’s a bit of sawing, sanding, and drilling involved), but kids will love stringing the beads and creating their own jewelry. It’s also a great way to play with color; pick a specific scheme, build a pattern, or make a rainbow!

 Colored Pencil Jewelry

Image (and tutorial) via Design Mom

 Colored Pencil Jewelry

Images via Etsy  one and two


This would make a great activity for a birthday party, class project, or just a rainy day.  It would also be a perfect homemade gift (the holidays are right around the corner… hint, hint). Artists, art enthusiasts, crafters, teachers, and kids would all appreciate this simple, yet impressive jewelry!


What other art inspired jewelry would you create?


Posted by Andi Thea, on November 6th, 2013 at 1:09 am. No Comments

Category: adults,Arts & Crafts,classroom,kids Labels: , , , , , ,

Scribble Artist Interview with Chelsea Waite!

Scribble Town (ST):  Every year, Youth Art Month (YAM) has a flag competition for each state.  Students from each grade level (elementary, middle, high school) creates a flag design for YAM in their state.  The design can use the National theme: Art Shapes the World, or you can create your own theme.  A winner will be chosen from the three levels and the winning flags will be represented on the posters and postcards promoting the YAM show at the Capitol in March.  The winning student artist will receive an actual 3’x5’ flag of their winning design.  On the Scribble Blog with us is the winning high school student from Minnesota, Chelsea Waite!

Chelsea Waite's winning NM YAM flag!

Chelsea Waite’s winning NM YAM flag!

Chelsea, what was your first thought when you heard of the YAM project?

Chelsea Waite (CW): When I first heard of the contest, I was excited because I have never been involved in a art contest this big before.

ST: Already you sound like a person who is up for challenges and like to take a chance! How did your idea develop?  What story or idea are you trying to convey with your flag?

CW: I wanted to focus on the idea of diversity. I think diversity is important to New Mexico because of the many different cultures we have here. My first idea of how to represent diversity is in using the Zia symbol. I found that I could manipulate the ends of the symbol to go off into different direction, but then come together in the middle to make one complete symbol. This is how I think the people of New Mexico are, we come from lots of different cultures but live together as one.

ST: Multiculturalism in New Mexico is just one of the things that makes it a special place. :) How did you decide what medium to use?

CW: I decided that I would use Sharpie and color pencils because it is easy to make small thin lines with these mediums.

ST: How do you feel about your final outcome?

CW: I was happy with my final outcome, but I never thought it would win.

ST: And that’s exactly what happened! What do you like most about your YAM flag?

CW: My favorite element in my flag are the yucca flowers. I didn’t choose the yucca flower because it is our state flower, I chose it because it is not very pretty. Compared to the millions of flowers in the world, the yucca flower is ugly but if you look close enough there is beauty there. I think this represents New Mexico because of that very same reason. This state is often overlooked but if people take the time to look close enough they will be able to see beauty.

ST: That’s such an honest approach to depicting your surrounding.  There is beauty everywhere if we just tune our eyes in the right way.  You are so wise and thoughtful!  How did the idea come into your head?

CW: I came up with the idea the moment I heard about the contest. The idea popped into my head very easily and with not much effort.

ST: And just like that we now have a beautiful YAM flag for New Mexico! Thank you Chelsea for your creativity and taking the time to share with the Scribblers!

Stick With Me


When the weather is so gorgeous out, my favorite projects are those that combine art with spending time outdoors. Whether it’s something that can be completed outdoors or something that requires found materials from outside, count me in.


Today’s project falls in the latter category. Painting sticks is a fast, simple, and fun craft… and is a unique, pretty decoration for any room.


So for painted sticks, all you’ll need are… surprise… paint and sticks! A quick trip to the backyard or local park is all you need to get started. On the other hand, some people actually collect neat-looking sticks (for many years, I saved one with a weird eye hole from a hike when I was eight years old). If you already have a good handful of sticks you’d like something to do with, now’s the time to use them! If you don’t have any, just go for a walk and grab some! Look for various lengths and widths and avoid those that are too tiny or brittle to work with.

 Photo: Ginette Lapalme

Once you’ve got your sticks, wipe off any excess dirt with a cloth or damp paper towel (you don’t have to be too thorough). Depending on the look you’re aiming for, you could even sand your sticks down with sandpaper for a smoother surface. Personally, I like the rustic aesthetic. Let your sticks be bumpy—the charm of this project lies in the imperfections.


Now it’s time to start painting! Grab some paintbrushes and acrylic paint and decorate your sticks however you like. You can make your designs as intricate or simple as you choose. You could paint the whole stick or only a part of it. Use tons of bright colors or adhere to a limited color scheme. Have fun trying ideas out.

 Photo: Scandinavian Deko

Once your beautiful new creations have dried, one great way to show them off is to display them in a vase. It’s a bright, unexpected twist where one would normally expect to see flowers. You could also simply lay them on a shelf or mount them on a canvas to hang up.


What do you like to do your painting on? Do you tend to stick to canvas and paper or do you branch out sometimes? Have you tried other natural surfaces like wood or rock?

 Photo: Uploaded by Pinterest User

Posted by Andi Thea, on May 8th, 2013 at 10:34 pm. No Comments

Category: adults,Arts & Crafts,Found Art,kids Labels: , , , , ,

Scribble Artist Interview with Amy Eisenfeld Genser!

Scribble Town (ST): From a distance what looks like a beautiful volcano of color and texture turns out to be an ingenious technique of rolled paper and paint. Amy Eisenfeld Genser has mastered the art of creating an organic effect by using mixed-media. Amy is also a mom of three sons from West Hartford, CT.  She says, “I’m a tad obsessed with paper and paint, color, patterns, and texture.”  You’ll soon see why!

Let’s start with, what does a day look like for you?

Mineral Long Pink by Amy Genser
Mineral Long Pink by Amy Genser

Amy Eisenfeld Genser (AEG): I am usually in my studio, on the third floor of my home. I work about five hours a day while my kids are in school. It is a juggling act. My typical day is to get the kids off to school, hit the gym for an hour, and then come home to work. Because my studio is in my home, it’s sometimes hard not to get “mess-tracted” as I call it (starting to do laundry, clean dishes, etc…) but having the studio on another floor helps. Going up the stairs is like crossing a threshold. I also listen to books on tape while I work. Time flies when I’m working on a piece and into a great story, but when I see the bus coming down my street at 3:45, my work day is over.

ST: I’ve never heard that term “mess-tracted” before, but I like it because I can completely relate to you! When you do get to your work, how would you define your art?  It seems to be a peaceful combination of craft and fine art.  I have never seen anything like it before.

AEG: I refer to it as mixed-media. I’ve been able to live in both the fine art and craft worlds. It’s nice to be welcome in both places.

ST: I can see how your artworks really settled nicely in the two worlds too. How did you discover this artistic process of paper quilling?  Was there somebody that encouraged you?

AEG: Technically, my process is not quilling – I will outline my process below. I first started experimenting with paper during a papermaking class while studying for my MFA in Graphic Design at RISD (Road Island School of Design). My professor Jan Baker encouraged us to test the limits of what paper can be.

River Run by Amy Genser

River Run by Amy Genser

ST: Where do you find yourself feeling really inspired to create? On your website (About page) you mention, “The sources of my work are textures, patterns, and grids. I look for forms that can be repeated to create a pattern when they are joined.”  Please expand on that and if you have a story we’d love to hear it!

AEG: Most of my inspiration comes from nature because it is perfectly imperfect. I love all kinds of organic processes. They are visually intriguing and engaging. We spend a lot of our summers on the beach in Rhode Island. I love watching the water, the rocks, and the light. Our beach has rocks with these really neat barnacles and seaweed. Their colors are always changing. Sometimes there’s a lot of it, and sometimes just a little. It’s neat to watch the progression. One day when the seaweed was purple, brown, yellow and green, my husband made the awesome observation that nature never clashes. I love that.

Mineral Violet by Amy Eisenfeld Genser

Mineral Violet by Amy Eisenfeld Genser

In reference to my latest “mineral series”, I have always been drawn to gem-like colors. My mother is a jeweler who works with a lot of gemstones. I’ve grown up peering into tourmalines, garnet,diamonds, opals, citrine, etc. We always talk about how juicy and “lickable” the colors are. I have recently been looking at a lot of agate and geodes. The colors are simultaneously vibrant and translucent. Pretty amazing. I thought I’d take a stab at my own interpretation of them.

ST: So how do you turn your paper to look like gems, minerals, and other elements of life? What is the process?

AEG: Using Thai Unryu, I treat the paper almost as a pigment, layering colors one on top of the other to create different colors. My pieces are about a foot wide. Then I roll one layer on top of the other in all different thicknesses. I seal the roll with acid-free, archival glue stick, and then cut the long piece into sections with scissors or pruning shears. I have pruning shears of all different sizes to accommodate different widths.

ST: Wow! What a laboratory of processes! What forms of art do you include in your mixed-media paintings? What are some tools you like to use?

AEG: The actual rolling and cutting process is pretty quick. At this point I could pretty much do it in my sleep. It’s the composition/editing process that usually takes the longest. I paint my surface, either canvas or paper first, with acrylic and a lot of gel medium. Then I place my paper pieces on top and manipulate them until I have a satisfactory composition. It’s like putting a puzzle together, only I don’t know the final picture until I see it. I roll my pieces accordingly as I develop and build the piece. It’s a back-and-forth process. The paper and the piece lay on different tables in my studio. I attach the paper onto the canvas with PVA once I have the pieces where I want them.

Tall Tower by Amy Eisenfeld Genser

Tall Tower by Amy Eisenfeld Genser

ST: Is there a song that moves you at the moment?  Perhaps you can place a song with one of your works.

AEG: I can place a piece with a book on tape – one of my favorite- Prince of Tides” by Pat Conroy. I usually listen to books on tape while I work. My head is usually in the story, and my hands are free to do what they need to do.

ST: The titles of your pieces are very revealing and help the viewer guide how they can look your work.  How do you come up with these titles?

AEG: Usually it had to do with the inspiration for the piece. I just look at the work and figure out a title. They always feel a little uncomfortable and arbitrary to me. It’s hard for me to give words to something that is visual.

ST: Amy, what’s a piece of advice you can give our Scribblers?

AEG: Have fun! Do what feels good. Keep your hands busy and the work will follow along. There’s nothing like getting rid of creative energy through using your hands. I was that kid who was always weaving potholders on the plastic loom and making complicated patterns in woven friendship bracelets.

ST: Thanks Amy for sharing so much with us! Amy has shared an activity for us to get started on our own artwork.  Check out Scribble Shop for more details:

Portrait of Amy Eisenfeld Genser

Portrait of Amy Eisenfeld Genser


Who’s ready for another dose of Scribblinspiration (get it?)?! Last time, we looked at some jellyfish to get the creativity flowing. Now for a change of pace, let’s try something a little more open-ended to prove inspiration can truly come from anything! Even something as simple as a pattern or type of fabric. Try brocade for example.


Brocade is a kind of fabric that dates back as far as the Early Middle Ages. It’s woven on a shuttle and is generally made with silk and gold or silver thread (it doesn’t technically have to have gold or silver, but it often does). What’s fun about brocade is it doesn’t always look the same as it’s managed to make its way around the world.  You can trace it all the way back to Byzantium and it was originally worn only by nobility, but many parts of the world put their spin on it, from China and Japan to Greece, France, and Italy.

Gold Brocade

Red Brocade

Black Brocade

Today, brocade is used for upholstery and drapes, formal clothing and costumes. Let your imagination run and see what this pattern inspires for you. Maybe the gorgeous flourishes take you somewhere abstract. Perhaps it brings to mind royalty from another time or a lavish ball with everyone dressed in their finest. Maybe all the silver and gold or rich jewel tones get you going—remember, even just the color scheme can serve as inspiration. I see flowers in many of the designs and that makes me thing of a fabulous garden. Since it’s a fabric, maybe it makes you want design your own costumes or modern outfits or even rooms inspired by brocade. For those of you crafty sewers out there, feel free to take the inspiration literally and try using brocade or something similar like damask or brocatelle to actually create something.


See? There really are a lot of possibilities, even with something as simple as fabric. Give your imagination the royal treatment and see what happens!

Scribble Artist Interview with Pedro Mena!

Scribble Town (ST): Pedro Mena, a person of multiple trades and interests, is here with us in Scribble Town!  Pedro is an artist, teacher and a first time dad. He likes NY Pizza, Spanish Soccer, and the History of Rock and Roll!  Pedro, where are you and what are you up to these days?

Squeegees of Spain by Pedro Mena

Squeegees of Spain by Pedro Mena

Pedro Mena (PM): San Francisco Bay Area. Off on Paternity Leave! Returning to teaching visual art shortly. Donated a piece for the upcoming annual HAPS (Haight Ashbury Psychological Services) Art Auction Benefit.

ST: Congratulations on your new baby! Having a new family member will put a special spin on things :) How has your art practice changed over time and does being an art teacher (and for the future- being a father) have an effect on your own art practice?  Please let us know what ages and where you teach.

PM: It has become more specific in addressing necessity. Yes! It has allowed for more patience and flexibility – and a new outlook on seeking and bridging ideas. Middle School, Burke’s, SF.

A peek into Pedro Mena's classroom

A peek into Pedro Mena's classroom

ST: From the looks of your classroom you definitely encourage all kinds of artistic practice- from visual to musical!  What do you hope to communicate with your art and with your teaching?  Are there any other artistic mediums you work with to help push your idea along?

PM: Excitement and Engagement. Anything and everything! Music, technology, storytelling…

ST: How old were you when you first started making art and who encouraged you to create?

PM: I remember the first time getting recognized for my drawing – it was in 1st grade. A classmate asked for a drawing of Spider-Man after seeing mine. I won 3rd place in a community coloring contest later that year. I bought a toy robot of Twiki from the Buck Rogers series with the $10 toy store gift certificate prize. My family encouraged me. I was surrounded with the paintings, drawings, and prints of my grandfather growing up. He encouraged me as well. 

ST: Who are some of your favorite artists and/or authors?

PM: My grandfather, Bolivar Mena Franco, El Greco, Andrea del Castagno, Velasquez, Max Ernst, Rothko, Forrest Bess, Philip Guston,Jack Kirby, Wes Wilson, ’80s Ashley Bickerton, Jonathan Lasker, Steve Dibenedetto (college professor), Lady Pink, Nate 1…too many to name! They’ve all brought static works to life. As for writers, Peter Guralnick can sure bring a biography to life.

Pedro Mena's Rock Benefit Merchandise

Pedro Mena's Rock Benefit Merchandise

ST: I can see how your favorite artists have inspired you.  Your students are very lucky to have such an enthusiastic and caring teacher.  Thank you for sharing with Scribble Town and keep us posted on your upcoming auction and other benefit programs!

To read more about Pedro Meno’s tips on how to make Sticker Art please go to: 

Magazine Medley

Confession: I love magazines. When planning for a relaxing night in or getting ready to travel, I always run to the newsstand for a glossy or two. The problem is I end up with a stack… nay, a pile, of finished magazines at home that I don’t want to throw out, but probably will never open again. While simply recycling them all is viable option, why not make something creative with the colorful pages?


To create a unique kind of collage, gather your magazines (try 3), a canvas, scissors, and glue. The best part of this nifty project is you don’t have to cut out a million shapes, making a mess of scraps everywhere. Just roll and glue! Grab a colorful page, cut a straight line across so it’s the size you want, roll it up and glue it to the canvas. Once the whole surface is covered, you’ll have a cool, textured work of art.

Magazine Collage photo: Pro Arts

For a cool variation, cut the magazine page into strips and roll them horizontally so they sit stoutly on the canvas, not long-ways. You might lose the color of the page once it’s rolled up, but you can always grab a marker and create your own color scheme.

Recycled Magazine PagesPhoto: Rag & Bone

Fun, right? Now when someone comments on my magazine hoarding, I can say I’m just collecting materials for an art project! Do you have any tips or crafts that involve recycled magazines or newspapers?

Posted by Andi Thea, on January 17th, 2013 at 2:56 am. 1 Comment

Category: adults,Arts & Crafts,Found Art,kids Labels: , , , , , ,

New Years Scribblutions!

Happy New Years everybody! Did you make any resolutions for 2013? I’m not one to make a ton of resolutions, but I do think the beginning of a new year is a great built-in checkpoint in life—a time to ask, “Am I happy?” “Am I living the life I want?” “What can I do to make it better?” For me, I’m usually looking for more ways I can incorporate creativity into my everyday schedule. Below are some ideas to lead a more creative and artistic life this year. They don’t have to be concrete resolutions, but rather some fun goals or guidelines to give a try!

1. Scribble something every day… a doodle, a whole picture, a silly note… anything! This ensures time for a little creativity in your daily routine.

2. Keep an art journal. This could take the place of your daily scribble session.

3. Try a new medium you’ve never worked in before. Always wanted to try pastels or watercolors? Now’s the time!

4. Organize your arts and crafts area. Clear out any dried up or empty markers and containers, separate your supplies into categories… perhaps put them in bins or baskets. This helps keep your space clean and makes it easier to find things.

5. Try to use what you already have. Instead of accumulating tons of half-empty containers of glitter or glue and just buying new ones, see if you can find a way or create a project to use up any leftover craft supplies.

6. Try creating something out of only recycled materials—newspapers, cardboard, cans, bottles, etc.

7. Sign up for an art class in something you’ve wanted to try. Perhaps pottery, oil painting, sewing, or figure drawing. It’s always a good time to learn something new!

8. Instead of buying something for your room or house… see if you can DIY it first! Is your dresser looking shabby or you want a different color? Repaint it!

9. Once a week, take a little time to learn about a new artist. It can even be just a few minutes. Go on the internet or grab a book and learn a bit about the work of someone who interests you. It’ll really add up!

10. See more art! Every so often, go to a museum, local gallery, or crafts fair. It’s great for inspiration.

Are you going to try any of these this year? Do you have your own fun goals for a more creative 2013? Please share them here!

And from the whole Scribble team, we wish you a happy, healthy, and creative new year!

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