Home Baked Crayons

This is a project I have been excited to do for awhile. After teaching Art for a couple years, I have a big box of little Crayola stubs that I couldn't part with. So here is a fun way to reuse them. These make great gifts for small children and a fun art club project as well.

All you need is:
  1. Broken, nubby crayons in search of a new home
  2. A muffin pan
  3. Paper muffin pan liners
  4. Oven mitts
  5. An oven
1. Divide your crayons by color scheme and peel off any paper. I like staying with analogous and warm or cool color families, but feel free to go crazy!

2. Place paper liners in a muffin pan and fill the cups up with crayon pieces. Most of the gaps will fill in, instead of overflowing.

3. Put your mitts on and the pan in the oven. I preheated my oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and melt time took about 15 minutes. (Times may vary based on brand, so keep an eye on them!)

4. Once melted, remove the pan and let cool until they have solidified and feel cool to the touch.

5. Remove the crayons from the liners and have fun!

Post project thoughts: When the paper liners are peeled off, it is a good idea to rub down the tops, as the edges have thin, flaky pieces. You could also just leave the liners on the crayons to give them as gifts or even leave them in a cute, thrifted muffin pan that doubles as gift wrap and storage for your home baked crayons. The only downside to that is the tie-die effect isn't revealed until they are taken out of the liners. Side project options could be personalized coloring books/pages...mmmm, another tutorial perhaps?


Collecting Naive Art

I've got beef with Western art. Western art is at once open to everyone and everything and shut off to everyone but a select few. In my 5 years at a top art school, my ideas of what good art was flip flopped on a weekly basis, and I'm not quite sure now if what I've acquired is refined taste or judgmental snobbery. As I have moved away from it in years I am more and more aesthetically drawn to art that has nothing to do with good (ie. trained or educated) art per se.

Maybe I am looking for a sense of purity and unselfconscious moments of brilliance and absurdity. There are great places offering a look into these bodies of art, inc
luding MOBA and AVAM . BUT today I found great inspiration cleaning out the old portfolios left behind in the art storage room at the high school where I teach. Several renderings from teenagers, 1984 - 92, left me amazed with their strangeness, so I am making a little Naive Art collection in my studio space (cough, cough...corner) in my apartment. Whoever these wonderful young people (now adults) are, thank you for the creativity you left behind!

This is so freaky...my cat is actually just sitting on my craft table...staring at it

Pouring a little ketchup on a ...carrot dog? Actually you can get these at the Fairport Farmer's market and their great!

Eighties self portrait attack!!!!

Can you find Chuck Norris?


My Christmas List

The weather outside is frightful, so tonight it's time to hide under a blanket, drink hot cocoa and make an outrageous list of fantasy Christmas presents...for myself:


Practicing Kitschcraft:Bad Romance

So I was on the phone last week, making fun of a science fiction novel that a high school classmate recently published. Soon talk turned to bad writing in general and the ever horrible romance novel. Their single redeeming quality though...the so-bad-it's-just-good cover art. Scenes of shirtless, bearded men and silk slip clad women, swooning in front of a fireplace...you know, the kind of barf that comes up in your throat and admittedly tastes kind of good.

I want to celebrate that! Repeating something over and over, somehow makes you eventually like it, like that one hit wonder that never goes away, and I thought of all those torrid-horrid covers lining my mothers bookshelf and finally found a way to get rid of (unfortunately only some of) them.

DIY Romance Novel Wall Art:

Step 1: You'll need a wall mount (I chose the glass front, frameless, clip style type) Mod Podge, a paint brush and a bunch of romance novels.

Step 2: Enjoy tearing all that bad writing up! But save the covers.

Step 3: Mod Podge the heck out of all those pages. Use straight edges to cover the border, going from whole pages to layering smaller strips.

Step 4: Arrange a balanced number of romance novel covers while the Mod Podge is still wet. Make sure there is a variety of embarrassing scenes and titles to enjoy!

Step 5: Let everything dry. Frame it. Hang it. Love it.