Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Template Links


I have been getting a lot of emails about links to my templates not working anymore.... a lot of emails.

It's nice to know that you are still out there using the projects on this blog. :) 

Evidently Google Drive made a change on July 21st of this year to with regards to privacy and the unauthrorized use of documents and images.

This changed access to my templates and I wasn't on the ball enough to realize what was going on.

There is no way for me to change it but I can grant you access if you request permission using the screen that shows up when you try to access the template or email me directly with a request at

I know some of you have been trying that but because I wasn't paying attention you were getting no response. I started back tracking thru the requests and have dealt with everything from Sept 30th on.  I will not be going any further back so if you made a request in August or Sept please try again and I will deal with it now.

Please be patient as I didn't realize how many of you are out there. I will try to address them everyday once a day but give me 24hrs. 

I know it's been a long time since I posted anything. Since the pandemic I have not gone back to teaching art and have just been doing my own thing.  

It's pretty amazing to see my old projects still being used.  I know here in Calgary whenever they talk about schools and the pandemic on the news they use file footage from a classroom and one of my Fall projects is up on the bulletin board!

Take care everyone.


Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Easy Easter Projects

I planned on coming up with new projects staying at home but I think like many out there I have been just holding my breath with everything going on.

However I wanted to remind everyone of some old projects of mine that are easy to do at home in preparation for Easter and Spring.

I have been working everyday on my Pysanky, I'll share some photos in a bit but you can decorate eggs easily at home with just a few supplies you already own.

These are eggs decorated by a Kindergarten class.


- eggs, I know these may be hard to come by now but even just 1 per child, if you have old eggs don't throw them out use them for decorating
- oil pastels or wax crayons
- egg dye, food colouring, markers


Take an egg, I use raw eggs as we are not eating them and over time they just dry out inside.

Draw on them with pastels or wax crayons.  Bright colours work best like yellow, orange, light green, light blue, even white which will show up after dying.

Choose 1 colour as the background and dye the egg.  Now most people will not have Easter egg dye but you can use the tabs they sell to dye eggs at the grocery store for this.  You can also use good old food colouring.  Dilute some in water.  Your colours may be pale but the designs will still stand out.
I have also used fabric dye that I had on hand, watercolour paint, acrylic ink and felt markers.

With markers colour a little on the egg then take a paintbrush and water and spread the colour over the egg.  It must be a non permanent marker to do this.  Like a Crayola or ones that most students have.

Some other good Easter projects to try:

Here are some of the eggs my daughter and I have been working on:

I have also found an excellent Pysanky site that we have been using for inspiration.

I hope everyone stays safe and finds time to celebrate Easter in some small way this year.

Take care everyone.


Thursday, February 6, 2020

File Folder Books Revisited

This is just a short post to remind you about this great project.
Grade 1 started their Penguin file folder books yesterday.  It occurred to me that these little books are not utilized enough.

The students were so excited to be creating their own book.

Using disk tempera paint we painted the front, back and pockets of the book, using the ideas I posted earlier the books are just adapted to be about Penguins instead of Polar Bears.

The Grade 1 teacher had stockpiled pre cut bookmarks, tabs, info sheets from previous books.  This made it so easy to create a new one.

This was the original book that started it all.

This post details how to make a file folder book.  With younger grades (K-2) I make the books ahead of time.  Older kids can easily follow along and make the basic book.

Disk tempera paint works quite well to paint these books.  Just decide on a basic palette of colours (4) that relates to the subject matter.

Inside is where the information goes using bookmarks, pictures, tabs, etc.

I use a clothespin to keep them closed when not in use.  They also display quite nicely as they stand up on their own.

This post was about the Aztec file folder book I designed for a summer camp.  It has different options.

and this post ( part 1, part 2) is about a Nature file folder book, again with different options.

In the past I have done a Frog life cycle file folder book, a Wetlands file folder book, an Iroquois file folder book, a butterfly life cycle file folder book, an Acadian culture file folder book, the Provinces and territories of Canada book, get the picture.  These books are extremely versatile and once you start making them if you stockpile your supplies they come together very easily.

They also make use of all the leftover bits of paper you have from other projects.  If you keep a tray box near the paper cutter to collect all 1-3.5 inch wide leftovers you will a stockpile in no time.

So please give these books a try.


Sunday, December 15, 2019

Christmas Tree Truck Ornament

This is my take on the Christmas Tree Truck design that is still quite popular this year.

I came up with this ornament for Christmas Craft Day so it's a fairly easy one to put together.


- pattern template
- corrugated cardboard scrap
- red and grey (black and white) acrylic paint
- red felt
- black felt
- red buttons
- wooden coffee stir stick
- white craft foam
- sticky gem
- grey glitter paper
- garland ties (garland pipe cleaners)
- tacky glue
- fine sharpie pen
- string for hanging


Using the pattern for the truck body cut one out of corrugated cardboard.

Paint both sides of the cardboard with red acrylic paint.

Set aside too dry.

Cut 2 pieces out of your coffee stir stick.

Paint the wood pieces grey.

Let dry.

Cut the wheel well pattern out of the red felt, basically a loonie sized circle, and cut in half.

Cut 2 black circles, about quarter sized, for the tires.

Glue one of the wheel wells on first positioning it just back a bit from front of truck.

The running board is next.  I added a few texture lines on it with a fine sharpie pen.

Glue running board into place.

Glue on the next wheel well.

Glue the tires into place and the truck rear bumper.

Glue 2 red buttons onto the tires for the hubcaps.

I found these great holiday button packs at Dollarama.

For the window I used a grey glitter paper.

I then used that fine Sharpie pen to draw in the lines for the door and the handle.

For the headlight I cut a semi circle out of white craft foam, glued it into place and then added a sticky gem.

The tree is made from these garland ties.

You only need 1/4 of one tie.

Turn truck to back and glue tree into place.

The last step is to add a hanger.  I'm using this gold thread I have.  You can use yarn or string even.

In order to get the truck to hang level attach the string to the back right after the cab of the truck.

I used red duct tape but you can use white or hot glue.

That's it.


Monday, December 2, 2019

Christmas Barn Scenes

I wanted a new Christmas art project for the bulletin board so this is what I came up with.

Grade 1 completed them today.


- white heavier paper for painting background, you also can cheat and just use light blue construction paper
- white sketch paper
- light blue, white, red, and green liquid tempera or acrylic paint
- corrugated cardboard
- white and black oil pastel
- black paper scraps
- white paper strips, I ran mine thru the paper shredder
- white glue
- gold and silver sequins
- red buttons
- golden/or silver stars


Tape down your heavy painting paper.

If you are using light blue construction paper you can skip this step.

Paint light blue.

Paint some sketch paper red. This is for the barn.

Paint some paper green, this for the wreath and Christmas tree.

After the blue paint has dried take a white oil pastel.  Draw out your snow slopes and your trees.

This will be a guide for when we add our white paint.

You want trees on either side and space in middle for your barn.

For the far snow slope I painted with watered down paint.  I used dry brushing and straight paint for the slope in the foreground.

With Grade 1 we just used watery white paint as the dry brush was a bit difficult for them.

Now we are going to add white paint to the trees.

We are going to use a piece of corrugated cardboard, stamping the paint on with the end.

I would do the trunk of the tree first and then the branches.

I made templates for Grade 1 just to get the right size....they all end up looking different which I love.

Cut a barn shape out of the red paper.

With the white paper strips (I put printer paper thru the paper shredder), make the door for your barn.

For grade 1 I had them draw a rectangle in pencil first.

Glue into place.

For the roof, outline it with black pastel and smudge it a bit.

We will add some snow later.

For the wreath I turned over the green paper, I traced the inside of a masking tape to make a circle, this is my guideline.  I then drew a jagged line.  Cut on this jagged line.

To cut the inside, fold it and cut a jagged inner circle.

If you want you can add some texture to your wreath by adding flecks of different green pencil crayons.

Glue the wreath into place. With scraps of black paper cut a couple of windows. Glue into place.

Decorate the wreath.  I used sequins and some stars I punched from silver and gold wrapping paper.

I had some extra trees I punched for another project but you could cut a tree from the green painted paper.

I outlined and smudged with black pastel.  We did not have time for this  with Grade 1.

Add a little snow using the cardboard technique again.

You can then glue into place in the foreground and decorate it with sequins, red buttons and stars.

Add some snow to the roof.

We then smudged a little pastel in front of the barn
like the animals or tractor had trudged thru the snow,

Great work Grade 1.

See you next time.