Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pass the Potatoes Please & No Fries Please

What is summer without some creative outlet?
Summers are so full of fun things to do would be a shame not to have something to remind you of those fun times.  
Some of you are experts at keeping a visual journal and I am by no means an expert. In fact, although, I may keep a sketchbook a visual journal is a new thing for me.   I just want to share what the kids and I are doing.  The kids loved working on their pages and are so willing to show them off to anyone who will look.

So look what they have done today.

We have worked in stages on our journal.  One evening we completed the wash of colors and completed potato stamps on a separate page so each child had a color washed page and at least one stamped page .
The second day we cut out stamped designs and photos and began to glue things down. Then the finishing touches came, adding additional stamping with purchased foam or rubber stamps in various colors that blended into the background.  As you finish up the first journal page you can quickly wash in color on a new blank page for tomorrow's journal. 
Preparing the paper with a wash of color:
  • We like to start with a board that has several layers of newspaper covering one side, and then staple or tape our paper on top of the newspaper for absorbing the spill overs.
  • We thin our acrylic paint with water in coordinating colored condiments bottle.   (Ketchup bottle is red paint.  Mustard is yellow paint.)
  • Then we squeeze out color on the paper and allow it to flow together.
  • Set it aside to dry. It can take hours depending on the paper and how much water was used.

Potato Prints
You are going to need a potato for this next part.  And a knife sharp enough to cut into the potato.
  • Cut the potato in half. This will give you two stamps.   
  • With a sharp pencil or a pen that no longer writes draw a shape
  • Carve off the negative space.
  • Remember to reverse or cut the mirror image of your asymmetrical shapes.  Pictured is the letter "P" reversed for printing.
  • Use ink pads or acrylic paint to stamp on paper.Experiment wth colors. 
  • Stamp on a clean sheet of card stock
  • Cut out when dry to glue down on paper

Putting It Together
While everything is drying find a photo to use and print it out in various sizes, cut and glue down on your prepared page. Prepare a week's worth of pages to use and have ink pads, and purchased stamps to add more texture to the surface.

Now you have a surface to start your journal writing.

Pearson's journal page.  (3 1/2 yrs old)

Reese's journal page (5 yrs)

Everybody helped with 19 mo. old Blakely's page.


  1. They were so extremely proud today at coffee! It was so cute!!!
    (My word verification today is "frito". I think it's a sign!)

  2. oh those are too cute! Looks like everyone had fun! I am looking forward to having days like that when I get some gbs...
    I BETTER get some GB's!!!!

  3. Wonderful results, I am sure it was fun for all involved and gives me idea to do with my gb's.

  4. What a great thing to do with kids. Looks like they really enjoyed themselves.

  5. I think it's a great idea to do these things with the children. Great job and it looks like it was a lot of fun. Happy PPF!

  6. Wonderful! what a wonderful time you had. I've always loved potato pritning...any vegetable actually. Celery makes a nice rose.

  7. They all obviously had a fab time. Potato printing brings back so many happy childhood memories. Happy PPF, Annette x

  8. art with children is such a treasure. So fun to see what you have been creating. I remember doing potato stamp art with my mom.

  9. This took me back years. :) I remember my potatoe stamps. :) That was so much fun!

  10. Oh, my goodness - how cute! Your grandkids are so lucky to have you for their grandma! The results are fantastic and will make wonderful memories when they look back :-)

  11. Must do this with the kiddo this summer. Looks like you all had a blast! Happy PPF! Theresap

  12. Now that looks like some serious fun! (When I first saw the condiment bottle I thought you were painting with ketchup and mustard... It seemed perfect for the potatoes! ha!)

    I love your photobooth style photos... how did you do those?

    Please tell the kids I loved their pages :)


  13. Oh, Kristen, those photo booth type photos were just an option like a contact sheet or wallet size photos and then I repeated the same photo for all. When I cut them out I cut them so I got the vertical photos.

    Thanks to all of you well-wishers and gracious people. My summer creativity has been completely aimed at the kids stuff this last month. I have not done all the things I planned but my time alone will be here soon enough and even then I will not do all I plan.

    Rock your grandchildren!
    Grandchildren rock!
    Whatever they are precious!

  14. What a fun day and the images reflect the experience so well. HAPPY PPF!

  15. So creative! What talented kids. I really love Blakely's page. :)

  16. I love how you are helping the kids along on their art journaling fantastic! Happy PPF!

  17. Wonderful summer color for lovely background with loved one's pix. Well Done!

  18. What a great idea! I'll have to try this with the kids. Happy PPF and have a wonderful weekend :)

  19. great idea!! so great to get kids involved in artwork! happy PPF!

  20. I use to do potato prints as a kid and it was one of my very favorite activites.
    I have to admit, when I thought the first picture I thought the kids were painting with ketchup and mustard - ewww! So glad it was just fries without the toppings. haha

  21. Yae! Art time with the family. Magical! I love the stamps. :)

  22. This looks like so much fun!!! Potatoe Stencils are the best!!!