2014
May 16

Music and Art Paper Dolls

by Hannah Holt »

2 comments


Sometimes I’m asked how I made the switch from engineering to writing.

For me, it’s a no brainer. Engineering and writing require the same key trait—persistence.

That doesn’t mean all skills transferred. However, differentiating an equation isn’t that much different than writing a story, or painting a picture if you ask the question WHY. Why is 2x the derivative of x²? What makes a good story? Can the painting be pushed further?

Solving an equation to find the answer isn’t very interesting. The process is the intriguing part. It holds the keys to unlocking more equations and blazing new trails. You’ll never find those paths by flipping to the answer key. The longer way takes persistence.

Writing a picture book might not seem hard. Most only boast 500 words. Anyone can write 500 words. However, filling a word count isn’t any more interesting than looking in an answer key. The trick to writing a good picture book is in creating colorful characters. The character needs a journey with a beginning, middle, and end. This requires stakes, motive, disappointment, and success—all in 500 words or less. That is why I love picture books. It’s why I read over 200 each year and critique more than 100 peer manuscripts and write hundreds of thousands of words…so I can find that perfect  500.

It’s a work in progress. It takes persistence.

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of this work: poring in hours no one will ever see. And that’s a good thing. I don’t need to be out there with all this all of the time

However, that means I haven’t been working on other projects, like my paper doll series. Well, I decided to make time. These dolls aren’t as perfect as I want them to be. They could really use five more hours. But often five more hours leads to five more hours, which leads to a complete overhaul. Somewhere I have to draw the line and be done. Persistence needs a deadline.

These dolls are a nod to the arts, but they’re also a tribute to creativity in all its forms.

I hope you enjoy!

Music paper dolls

Ann and Sarah Get Creative in Color (pdf)

 

Music paper dolls bw

Ann and Sarah Get Creative in Color (pdf)

 


2012
Nov 30

More Career Paper Dolls

by Hannah Holt »

20 comments


I’ve had these dolls mostly finished for about a week, but sometimes the homestretch takes the longest.

Without further delay, here are all the paper dolls I’ve made so far (click the links for the pdf version):

  

 

 

 

 

  

If you don’t see a doll you suggested, I’m still working more. Someone suggested I add a few boys in the mix, and I agree that I should. Maybe I’ll get on that for the next round. Here are the other suggestions I still have in queue:

  • Politician (president or senator)
  • Marine biologist
  • Truck driver/heavy machine operator
  • Astronaut
  • Electrician
  • CEO
  • Army general
  • Navy seal
  • Chef
  • Architect
  • Artist
  • Concert musician
  • Clergy member
  • Farmer

If I somehow missed your suggestion or if you have a new suggestion, please leave it in the comments. You can also leave comments about this project and other projects on my Facebook Page.

I hope you enjoy!


2012
Jan 24

Cardboard Tube Beehive

by Hannah Holt »

4 comments


A dollhouse for fuzzy, faux bees

What you’ll need:

  • one small yellow pom-pom
  • one black pipe-cleaner
  • two wiggly eyes
  • one long cardboard tube, cut into seven pieces or seven empty toilet paper rolls
  • seven pieces of yellow paper (about 7″x 5.5″). The paper should wrap around the roll and extend at least one inch on either side of the cut cardboard tubes.
  • glue

Step 1: Make the bee by wrapping a pipe-cleaner tightly around the center of a pom-pom. Use the excess pipe cleaner to form wings. Glue two wiggly eyes on and set aside to dry.

Step 2: Drizzle glue around the outside of a cardboard tube and place in the middle of a sheet of yellow paper. Wrap the paper around the cardboard tube and push the ends of the paper inside the tube. Repeat for all seven cardboard tubes.

Step 3: Make a stripe of glue down the edge of each card board tube. Press the tubes together in two sets of two and one set of three. Let the glue dry for an hour or so.

Step 4: Glue the stable sets one on top of another into the final beehive shape, like this…

 

Step 5: Make more bees. Consider cutting out a few paper flowers. Let the bee fun begin…

Optional activity: Make it in pink for Valentines day.


2013
Jun 20

DIY Magnetic Whiteboard

by Hannah Holt »

8 comments


music whiteboard

Last week I was giving my older children their piano lesson, and I thought, “I need a dedicated music whiteboard.”

So we all took a trip to the local music store, and I found what I was looking for. Unfortunately they wanted $56 dollars for the musical whiteboard. $56! That just seemed like a ridiculous number to me.

I didn’t buy it. Instead I stopped by a thrift shop on the way home and picked up a cookie sheet to make my own white board. My total cost of materials was around $6.

What you’ll need:

  • a thrift store cookie sheet
  • white contact paper
  • clear cellophane
  • school glue
  • a foam brush
  • a plastic card (like a credit card)

First I cut the contact paper down to the size of my cookie sheet. This was fairly easy as most contact paper has guidelines on the back. Then I placed my contact paper on the cookie sheet and smoothed out any bubbles with the plastic card. (You can also get rid of bubbles by popping the center with a needle).

DIY whiteboard instructions

After I had the contact paper in place, I drew a musical staff with a permanent pen. If you want a regular board, skip this step.

While I let my marker dry, I cut my cellophane to size. I used the left over plastic from the contact paper to match sizes. Then I painted the top of the contact paper with a thin layer of the school glue.

The cellophane went over the top of the glue (again smoothing out any bubbles with the plastic card).

I let the board dry overnight, and it was ready to use by morning.

music whiteboard2

 


2014
Sep 24

20 Kitchen Activities for a Rainy Day

by Hannah Holt »

2 comments


rain

Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day…

We can wish all we want, but it looks like the rain is here to stay. We’re keeping cabin fever at bay on these rainy, rainy days by staying busy. I have two three-year-olds, so we need to stay really busy if I don’t want the laundry dumped all over the house or Vaseline smeared on the walls. Here’s how we create, engineer, grow, and explore in our kitchen.

Part I – Create

Fingerpainting1

1. Grease cake pans and dust with flour. Instant finger painting.

2.  Cut a round oatmeal container in half. Using a strip of thick construction paper of thin cardboard, create a handle for the top. You now have a basket to decorate.

3. Using markers, crayons, and string, make a paper plate mask.

4.  Glue dried beans and pasta to a paper plate to create an artistic mosaic.

5. String penne, macaroni, or rigatoni noodles together to make a necklace. The fatter the noodle hole the easier it will be for little fingers.

Part II – Engineer

marshmallows6

6. Use toothpicks and marshmallows to create shapes, structures, and more.

7. Build a tower out of clean food storage containers.

8. Hand your child a straws and have them blow feathers or small strips of paper across the floor.

9. Race canned foods on an incline. Try different sizes and weighs of containers. Guess which can will win.

10. Turn coffee filters into parachutes. Will the parachute still work if you attach a toy?

Part III – Grow

bean sprouts11

11. Place a handful of dried beans in a ziplock bag with a slightly damp paper towel. Over the next week, watch them sprout.

12. Cut a bunch of celery down to its base. Place it in a bowl of shallow water. It will regrow. This also works with lettuce heads and green onions.

13. Open a bell pepper and plant some of the seeds in cup with potting soil. Keep the seeds moist and place by a window with sunlight.

14. Cut a potato in half and place the cut side down in a mason jar with water (you will need to suspend it part way in the water with tooth picks). Make sure at least one of the potato’s eyes is below the water level. Place in a sunny spot and watch it grow.

15. Place a piece of white bread in a plastic bag with small helping of mud. Watch the mold grow.

Part IV – Explore

cups 16

16. Using a pencil, punch holes in a Styrofoam cup. Let the kids splash in the sink and watch the water drain out the holes.

17. Empty a cupboard, and turn it into a child’s hideout for the day.

18. Give children a cupcake pan and an assortment of colored beads. Have them count, sort, and arrange the beads.

19. Freeze toys in ice. Place the ice blocks in a big storage bin and have children chip away at the ice until the toys are free.

20. Create a masking tape grid on the floor. Have the kids jump from square to square. They can also make their own roads with the tape and design a city.

I hope all your rainy days are happy days!