Monday, January 31, 2011

Some Frida Post-party things

Her own Frida parrot that I made for her

Our party day was so hectic that after it was over with, I dragged my poor tired Fridita out to take even more pics. I am a pathetic Mama!

Posing for her Frida retablo-like portrait:
Frida post-party 1
Frida post-party 2

And here is the birthday girl modeling one of her presents from us, some super cool Frida necklaces I made just for her:
Some new necklace charms I made for the Frida afficiando

I know I am so behind on domino tile and scrabble tile necklaces, but we just started making them and we are addicted!! I am sure you will be seeing many more gracing these blog pages. Frida collage sheets from here and necklace supplies from here.

R made Grandma W.'s flowers into another crown, so of course we had to take more pics!

Outside post-party pics

A tired mini-Frida

Boy, she looks tired, doesn't she? The week long fiesta has finally caught up with her. Buenos Noches, mi hija!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Frida Kahlo Party Part 5 - The Food

Frida party birthday cupcakes

Yes, on to the food. Of course we were having a fiesta - so a Taco Bar was needed. Unfortunately I don;t have a good photo of the food set-up before the senoritas went through. Trust me, it was yummy! We had taco shells and flour tortillas, beans, ground meat, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, corn, cilantro, onions, olives, chiles, cheese...pretty much all the taco fixins you could think of.... And we had fruit salsa, corn chips, a veggie tray, chile roll-ups and our favorite punch (lime sherbet and 7-Up. Amazingly enough, the girls demolished this pretty fast and I didn't get a good photo before hand.

The Taco Bar for the Frida party

Oh, and a quick mention on the decorations. Unfortunately we didn't have too much, but we tried to spread the Mexican spirit around.

Party decorations left over from Frida party
With some of her birthday party decorations post-party

We made papel picado flags, Ross had strung up some crepe paper and bought some VERY bright flowers to decorate the table.

Bright Flowers

But my favorite decorations were the pretty tissue paper flowers that Grandma W made by hand. I have always loved her paper flowers that she makes. I can never make mine look so good. Each of the girls got to pick one and many of them stuck them in their hair or behind their ears. They also decorated the tables and furniture and the cup cake stand..

Bouquet of mexican party flowers 1
Bouquet of mexican party flowers 1

Ahhh yes, the cupcakes...another lovely delicacy created by Grandma W.

Roses for the Frida cupcakes

She thought Frida would have approved of the bright colored roses that she put on top of each cupcake. R sure enjoyed them. And let me tell you, there was not a crumb of cake left or a frosting rose dumped on any plates. Grandma knows how to make some goooooood cupcakes!

Blowing out her candles on her Frida party

The girls did have some moments of craziness after the punch and cupcakes. They ran around like the were running from the bulls in Pamplona. And for a bit there, we thought we might have to disagree that perhaps 10 girls was NOT easier than 5 boys...but they settled down and were very proud to show off their artwork and party favor bags when their parents showed up.

R's birthday portrait a la Frida Kahlo

I think it's save to say, that our little Frida had a great 8th birthday party.

Frida post-party 1

Adios Frida! I have a feeling we'll still be seeing you around here for a while!

The Frida Kahlo Party Part 4b - The Art Activities

Crocheted roses - party favors for Frida party

Okay, a continuation of the Frida Kahlo Party art activities....are you still with me?

Rose rings - more party favors for Frida party

We had some magazine pages ripped out and some other catalogs spread around for the girls to use for a self-expression collage when they were done painting. I told them they could be like Frida and use other imags to make a collage about themselves or things they love. Scissors and glue sticks started working away.

Collage Frida art activity
Cutting away for Frida collage
Working on the next Frida art activity
Birthday girl's collage

One of the pre-party crafts I made were some oven bake clay pendants. I knew I wanted the girls to make a bright and bold necklace a la Frida. But I couldn't find a pendant or an inexpensive charm that I liked. So I made my own for the girls.

Necklace charms for Frida party
Some of my handmade charms

Very easy to do. Flatten a ball of clay and push something with a nice textured image into the clay - voila - a simple pendant design. I used stamps and buttons that I already had on hand. And I tried, for my first time, to make a few rolled clay roses as well.

Some clay roses

Anyway, after I got all the girls finished painting and collaging we brought out the colored ball chain necklaces, bright, chunky beads and pendants that I had made.

Beads and ball chain necklaces for Frida party

They were appreciatively oohhhhed and ahhhhed at by the girls. And then it was free for all as they dived in and started stringing their chunky Mexican, Frida-inspired necklaces.

More necklace stringing
Creating beautiful necklaces a la Frida
Making their own Frida necklaces
Stringing up some necklaces

My only downfall was that I made very small wire hooks that I pushed in before I baked the pendant and most of them ended up pulling out of the clay when the girls put the necklaces on....so I had some quick gluing to do to fix them while we ate. But overall the necklaces looked beautifully colorful, just like the girls themselves.

The Birthday girl with her Frida necklace

And I got my own awesome necklace made by the birthday girl herself, but modeled by her brother:

The necklace that R made for me.

The Frida Kahlo Party Part 4a - The Art Activities

Girls' Portraits from Frida Kahlo Party

The structure of the party went similar to S's Mad Artist Party. I had three art/craft activities picked out for the girls to do. But first, after everyone arrived, we discussed Frida. I wanted to give them a mini art lesson on Frida but most of the girls didn't even know who she was. So we combined a history/art/self-awareness discussion into a very nice talk about Frida.

Studying Frida before the painting

First off, I had to figure out how to approach Frida's more scary/dark artwork. Thankfully I ran across this wonderful post by Jimmie's Collage. She addressed the issue of Frida's scary/dark artwork and how to explain that to kids very nicely, I thought. So, I explained to the girls who Frida was and how her life unfolded, with her accident, her tumultuous marriage and the pain she constantly lived with....but I made sure to use language that was appropriate and understandable to the girls. I explained that what I most admired about Frida was her ability to keep to her motto - VIVA LA VIDA - (Live Life) while she lived in such physical and emotional pain.

Paint palettes 2 - Frida party

As we looked through some of her more sedate paintings, I explained that I could really appreciate her style of using her paintings and her personal journals as a healthy outlet for her emotions and thoughts, be they good or bad, happy or sad. I thought that was a great skill for us as women and girls to be able to practice. I also told the girls that we can learn to appreciate art and not have to LOVE everything that an artist does. Because frankly, I can appreciate what Frida's dark paintings are saying and what it must have taken for her to let that out of herself, but I don't really like those paintings myself. We also talked about what it must have been like for a woman artist at that time in the world and how brave she must have been to share her very private work even when she was constantly criticized and misunderstood. R picked her favorite Frida paintings and we copied them onto paper to show the girls (obviously we didn't pick anything that was disturbing). We talked a bit about what she included in her portraits and how she painted them and what symbols she used and what role tradition played in her work. Not only did I use R's Frida book for information but I also used some art ideas from my FAVORITE art series by Joyce Raimondo. Oh yeah, and we also had the Art Museum Mad-Lib leftover from S's party. I asked the girls if they wanted to do it and the answer was a resounding "yes". Then they asked to hear what the boys wrote from the first Mad-Lib round. The girls were much grosser than the boys with their nouns and adjectives, if you can believe that!

Paint palettes 7 - Frida party

So our first art project was the main one - a self-portrait of course. We discussed various ways to paint a self-portrait and we placed a few mirrors around. Two girls asked if they had to paint themselves and I said I would love for them to try it, and that they could put whatever spin on it they wanted, but that they could paint something else if they really had to.....both girls ended up painting fabulously unique self-portraits.

The beginning stages of the girls' portraits

Thankfully, two of my close girlfriends stuck around to help and we spread acrylic paints and paint palettes around, paint brushes here and there and the girls got busy. We mixed various skin colors on request.....some girls found the toothbrushes leftover from S's Pollack painting activity and used them very creatively on their paintings....

Paint palettes 5 - Frida party
Frida party portraits 4
Paint palettes 6 - Frida party
Frida party portraits 9


some of the girls whizzed through their portrait....

Frida party portraits 7
Frida party portraits 8
Frida party portraits 5

some of the girls spent quite a while working on their portraits.....

Frida party portraits 3
Frida party portraits 1
Frida party portraits 2

But they all turned out so fabulous...way beyond even my expectations for 10 7-9 year old girls. Their beautiful portraits make me smile...

The girls' self-portraits from the Frida party 3
The girls' self-portraits from the Frida party 2
The girls' self-portraits from the Frida party 1

Phew! This post is getting long. I better continue with the other art activities on the next post.