Party special: Halloween

It is that time of the year again when I begin to get ready for parties. We have a Halloween party coming up, “my little pony” birthday party for my oldest turning 6yrs old, Thanksgiving and then Christmas. All within two months, more or less.

So, I will be presenting my preparations for each as they come.

This year’s Halloween party will be goth. I don’t want to make it bloody or scary. Last year my kids could hardly sleep with a giant spider hanging from the balcony. This year I will concentrate on bats and goth with a touch of whimsy.

This is what the invitation looks like. To save on postage I will hand deliver them. I’m just going to print them at Costco 4×6. Nothing complicated.

halloween party for blogI used old Victorian ornament clip art, same for the bat. For fonts, I used Sabon bold for the regular copy, Shipped Goods (from and Roman Antique for the title.

I have found the following pictures as inspirations for the decor:


15 Cute Halloween Food Ideas

I’ll show you how the decorations progress as I go. The only question is, where do I get candelabras from? Wish me luck!



Arts and Crafts: July 2013

We had a blast during July. We explored the artists Eric Carle and Paul Klee, as well as line and form. The kids were so excited to participate and are very much looking forward to my August class. We will be focusing on Picasso, one of my favorite artists, as well as line and form. There is just so much to learn about it.

Here are a few examples of what we did during our July class:

The little kids created these caterpillars and butterflies using their hands body and wings. We used tempera as medium.

Little painted hands created these cute little guys.
Little painted hands created these cute little guys.
Painted tissue paper
Painted tissue paper
Painted tissue paper
Painted tissue paper
Painted tissue paper

SAM_2567 SAM_2568 SAM_2569 SAM_2570We created our own patterned paper a la Eric Carle. You do this by painting tissue paper and then cutting the paper out to create a picture. It was so much fun. After words, we made either bugs or animals. I have very creative students. SAM_2576 SAM_2577 SAM_2578 SAM_2579 SAM_2580 SAM_2584 SAM_2615SAM_2618  SAM_2620 SAM_2623 SAM_2625 SAM_2626 SAM_2628

Arts and craft classes

Arts and crafts topI decided to open up an arts and crafts class/school for children, so, in my way of just doing things, classes begin the first week of July. I will be teaching children from the ages 3-12 years old. I’ve had a few teenagers interested in my classes as well.

For the month of July, I will be teaching line and form. Since the ages of each one of my classes vary, this is how I will break it up:

We will be reading the book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”.

With this book, we will learn about color, shape and form as well as about the artist behind this book, Eric Carle, during our first two weeks of class.

3-4 and 5-6 class — Will learn about hand painting and cutting with scissors. We will be making the following projects:

7-9 and 10-12 class — Will learn about the process Eric Carle uses in order to make these fabulous illustrations and will be making our own bugs. Here is the process of his genius. we will end up with something like this:
Abdulla's Flying Insect
The last two weeks of class we will learn about line and shape. To this end we will study Mr. Paul Klee. He is famous for his simplistic yet evocative art.
The work I am most interesting in sharing with the students is this one, Du gris de la nuit surgit soudain, 1918:
Based on this work, the children will learn about line, color and negative space.
We will also be working, on the last two weeks of July, with the book The Dot, by Peter H. Raynolds.

The US Constitution and me


I became a citizen of the United States in 2010. I have been in this country since 1993. It took me 10 years to become a legal resident, and 7 more to be a citizen.

I remember, several years ago, I was talking to some friends about how me and my family celebrated Thanks Giving. Being from Chile, I had to learn the meaning of this American holiday and how it was celebrated. Believe it or not, other countries do not care about what holidays the United States celebrates or its history.

I was about to tell my friends that we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving as most Americans do, when a very rude person, completely out of nowhere, just busted out loud “WELL, IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT, THEN GET THE F_ _K OUT OF HERE“.

I was shocked. I would have thought that a country that lets you burn the flag as a sign of political disagreement would let me, little old me, finish a sentence. Life in the USA has been extremely better for me that it ever was back in Chile. Only the rich live the way I do here. And I’m just a middle class person.

In retrospective,  I wish I had had the presence of mind to say something like…. “No. Stop. You are misunderstanding my meaning. While there are several things that I do miss from Chile, food and people, life is better here. Here I can say and do almost whatever I want. Here I can speak freely of any topic I wish. Here I don’t have to be scared for my family. Here I can agree or disagree with everyone and everything. So, as you can see, if YOU don’t like what I have to say, you can get the flip out of here yourself.”

It is not easy to be an immigrant in the United States. I get discriminated all the time. Funny, but terrible really, I get discriminated by regular folks for being Latina, Hispanic, a woman, a mother, my accent, and some ordinary ideas.

Being a citizen makes me feel more secure and sure of myself. I watched a PBS show about the United States Constitution that really helped me understand a few things about my rights.

I wish that “rude person” had let me finish my sentence that day. She would have learned that “we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving like most Americans do. We eat a turkey, which we bake in the oven, butterfly style. This way it takes a lot less time to cook. My dad would spice it up with several condiments of all kinds. We would then have several salads and cooked potatoes. After lunch, we would watch movies ALL DAY LONG, “picking” at every scrap of food left from the feast.”



No (2012 film).jpg

I don’t know if you already knew this about me but I am from Chile. During the time of the Oscars, a movie from Chile was nominated for best international movie. It did not win, but the fact that a movie from my native country was nominated is just awesome. You can watch the movie trailer HERE.

When I was born in Chile, there was an air of uncertainty and despair.
On September 11, 1975, there was a military coup, in which they took power, and 15 years of dictatorship followed. We had to stand in lines to get flour and eggs and rice. There wasn’t enough food but there was enough people disappearing… and found dead.

My dad used to be the secretary for a small group of workers who were under the direction, of the now dead, socialist president. Because of this job, he was taken away by the militia. They made him drive a truck, all around town, picking up other men, some of his same group, to be taken to a near by stadium and be assassinated. My dad disappear for three full days. My mom was desperate not knowing what had happened to him. to the family’s relief, he showed up after the third day. He said that he had been released by pure luck. but that some of his friends did not make it out alive. We moved that very day, leaving everything behind, to another city.

Then, in the late 80’s, the dictator, Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, decided to have a plebiscite to see if the “pueblo” loved him enough for him to stick around. The plebiscite was simple, “si” for him to stay for another eight years, or “no” for him to go away and have the people decide whom to elect in his instead. You must understand that up to that point people where still disappearing and found dead all over Chile. Fear was strong.

A month before the plebiscite took place, ad campaigns about the “SI” and “No” were played on TV. Each section would get 15 minutes of air time. The “NO” was pushed to be played after midnight every night. After you watch the movie you will see what this “NO” campaign did and how the country decided for the “NO”.

I remember well the day this anticipated news came to life. It was amazing chaos combined with the most beautiful happiness we had known until then. We all went out to the streets and celebrated. The militia came off later on to send everyone home, but after that day, a new air of freedom and change was being breathed.

As for Mr. Pinochet. well, he decided to become a high ranked senator vitae in congress. No one could kick him out of power. A few years later, bodies were being found that had been buried up in mass graves. people that had been tortured under the regime, came forward, and so on so forth. For some reason, that I am willing to research in the future, Pinochet could not be touched. Allegations were filed but he could not be blamed. It took England to extradite him for some crimes committed against humanity. no prison for him.

Pinochet went back to Chile and was placed under house arrest. He died, in 2006, with over 300 criminal charges against him. he never paid time in jail.

1973 Coup

Designer spotlight: Alexey Brodovitch

Born in Russia in 1898, Alexey Brodovitch moved to the United States in 1930. In 1934 he began working for Harper’s Bazaar, under the inspiring editor, Carmel Snow. He spent nearly 25 years at the woman’s fashion magazine, ultimately influencing the profession for future generations. Brodovitch’s work at Harper’s Bazaar was more in-depth and all encompassing than what previous art director’s had done; He not only arranged photos, illustrations and text on the page, but he conceived and commissioned all graphic art – including helping start the careers of photographers Richard Avedon and Irving Penn. His role at the magazine is now the model that contemporary profession of Art Direction is based on.

What I have always loved the most about him is how he incorporated movement in the pages he laid out. Photography working with type.

‘Big Japanese Wave’ | Ciara Christensen By Chris Nicholls For Flare Magazine | March 2013

I really love all of these fashion pictures. i love them mostly because of the aesthetics of the photographs and the artistry of the designs.