Tuesday, 13 August 2013


Abstract Squares!

I often get ideas just from looking at magazines.  This idea actually came from a dish I saw and I fell in love with how simple this project can be.  This is great for students of all ages!


15" x 15" piece of BFK Reeves printmaking paper
pencil, ruler
watercolors or acrylic inks
a nice 2" mat (mat board or even paper)

Dish advertised in a magazine


  • Use a pencil for the marking and measuring
  • Measure and mark a 1 1/2" border all around the paper ~ this is to allow for matting of your artwork when done
  • Make a grid using 2" squares
  • Without a ruler, put another square inside each of the 2" squares, don't make them exactly perfect, this will give the art a casual and free feel to go with the flowing watercolors/inks
  • Using your watercolors or inks, paint each of the large and small squares
  • It is OK to view the pencil marks in this work as it sort of adds to the personality of it
  • Create a mat for your work, hang and enjoy!
    Artist:  Sydney, age 7

    Artist:  Mrs. R.

    Artist:  Oliviana, age 9


Collage Mobiles!


  • Pieces of white (or color) card stock cut into rectangles of various sizes ~ 8 1/2" x 2", 8" x 1", 7" x 1/2", etc.
  • Have maybe about 12 pieces, different sizes, can repeat some sizes too
  • A variety of painted and patterned papers ~ could have a theme ~ a season, a holiday, etc.  For our samples we chose red, white and blue for the Fourth of July
  • scissors
  • glue sticks
  • hot glue gun
  • ribbon or yarn like material, about 60" in length ~ you can always shorten or length it depending on how high your place is from which you will be hanging your mobile
  • paper punches ~ we used a star one


Using the glue stick, cover your rectangles with a variety of collage papers ~ mix, match and have fun! 

You can add other craft trims as well if you like ~ we added some stickers and little ribbon foo foos!

Most of us chose to do something to both sides of the rectangles since the mobile moves with air currents and can be viewed from both sides

When finished, hot glue the collage rectangles in place on your ribbon/yarn like material.

Hang up and enjoy!

We enjoyed this project so much that we plan to make some interesting ones for Autumn!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Family Vacation #3 ~ My Journal

Family Vacation #3 ~ My Journal
By:  Cucciolo
On our third family vacation May 18 to May 29, 2013 I kept a journal as we left Ohio and traveled through Indiana, Illinois and Missouri to Topeka, Kansas and back.  I wrote down what all we did and Madre helped me do some sketches.  Here they are, I hope you like them!
"I 70"
"A Field In Illinois"

"A Kansas Storm"
"The Road"
"A Midwestern Farm"
And 80 was my ring number for the week in Topeka
My postcard that I sent to my friends back home!

"A Missouri Farm"


The Nationals 2013 ~ Family Vacation #3




By:  Cucciolo

This time of the year I hear everyone talking about school being out and being on “vacation.”  I like that word, “vacation.” My Madre, Padre and I have had already taken two family vacations together.  It usually means that we travel in the car for a while and stay overnight someplace that is different than our home.  It requires that I be adventurous in finding new “potty spots” and be patient riding in the car.  There are always new people to meet and different routines which are sometimes a little stressful but mostly fun for me.
“Vacation” also means that I go to a place where there are a lot of other dogs and many rings that we all go round and round in, like at where I go to training, only different.  I am not sure why exactly I do this except that Madre and I practice it a lot and sometimes I get a ribbon.  One time I even got a metal water bucket and had my photo taken with the judge! 
So when things started piling up in our hallway recently at our house, and I spotted the suitcases, I knew we were going on another family vacation! 

I 70 all the way to Topeka!
What I ended up finding out is that we would travel about 900 miles, stay in two hotels and take three days to get to our vacation destination, Topeka Kansas! We drove from Ohio, through Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and part of Kansas.  It was the same thing coming home!  We spent seven days at the big hotel in Topeka with the glass elevator and about 279 other keeshonden!  What a trip (pun intended!).  I went round and round in a “sweepstakes,” a “regional” and a “national.”  There were anywhere from 11 to 15 other girls going round with me at one time.  I had to be patient in and out of the ring for longer times than I am used to and I got kind of “antsy” and fidgety.  But Madre and I did it and there are not a lot of keeshond puppies that can claim that fact!

State Capital Building, Topeka, Kansas

State Capital Building, Topeka, Kansas

State Capital Building, Topeka, Kansas
 Highlights of my trip include that when Madre and Padre went to a museum, I got to stay in the motor home of Auntee Ann and Unkle Eddie along with great grandma Tia, my momma Danee, Aunties Mickee and Bliss, Molly Bean, Tinkerbell and my sister Bridget and brother Rudee!  What a blast!  I’m not telling everything we did, but let’s just say I don’t get to do that kind of stuff at home!

Here’s another cool thing ~ Auntee Ann made me and Madre matching pink poodle skirts that we wore on Sunday morning at a companion pet pageant.  Everyone thought that we looked awesome!  I heard comments like:  “Nice legs!”
The Poodle Skirt Girls!
Nice Legs!
 On our first night in the Topeka hotel, I hopped on the big bed and fell asleep.  Madre thought I looked so sweet and she just didn’t have the heart to ask me to move.  So I got to sleep all night in the big bed with Madre and Padre.  Guess what?  I was such a great girl that I got to sleep in the big bed the whole remaining time.  Even better yet ~ when we got home, they moved my crate into their bedroom and I get to sleep in their big bed at home too! (Crate optional!) Yahoo!

 One of my most important dreams came true in Topeka on the last night of our stay.  Just before bedtime, Madre and Padre said:  “Cucciolo, let’s go!  We have a surprise for you!”  We went down the glass elevator and through the hotel as if we were going to the ballroom where the show had been held.  I saw my sister Bridget first, then brother Rudee, and then….and then….my paw Cubit and my grandpaw Ferris right next to him!  OMG!  We three siblings were just in awe as we all lined up to have our photos taken with our famous paw and grandpaw!  I can tell you we all slept good with sweet dreams that night!
My Grandpaw Ferris on the left,
Paw Cubit on the right!

Ferris, Cubit, Bridget and Me!

Now that we are home, we are all still a little tired from our big trip.  Although Madre and I did not come home with any ribbons or prizes, Madre says we have brought home something better that those things ~ new friends and memories.  Like all the nice people we met on the road and at the show.  Like my first ride in a glass elevator and going through a revolving door for the first time in St. Louis.  First time being in the ring with so many keeshond puppies and staying in a very big hotel.
The Arch in St. Louis Mo.

The Arch in St. Louis Mo.

 I am not sure what is next, but I do like that word “vacation” and I hope that we get to take another one again soon.  In the meantime, I am going to spend some time outside now that the weather here is nice, splash around in my blue Little Tykes Pool and play with all the new toys that I got at the Nationals.  If you are in my neighborhood, come on over and join me!  If I don’t greet you at the front door, look for me in the big bed!
The National Dog Museum, St. Loius

The National Dog Museum, St. Louis
About the author:

Chillin in a Drury hotel on the way to Topeka!
On the road
 My name is Cucciolo Maria McHugh Redlefsen and I was born May 3, 2012.  I am the second of two girls ~ Bridget is my older sister.  I have three brothers ~ Rudee, Chase and Kodi.  My mom is Danee (Keekichi’s Klassic Irish Dancer) and my dad is Cubit (Skyline’s Unit of Measure).  I live in Medina, Ohio with my Madre Anitra, and my Padre Dain. (They call him “The Great Dain.”)  My name in Italian means “puppy” and I have it because Madre and Padre say that I will always be their little baby puppy ~ bambino cucciolo piccolo!  You can see and read more about me and my life and adventures on Facebook at:  Cucciolo's Chronicles

Overland Railway Station, Topeka
Padre on his Birthday, May 23, 2013

Padre's Birthday cake, yummmm!
What it looked like when all the kees went in for Best of Breed, over 100 kees!

Best of Breed

Best of Breed

Padre at the History Museum, Topeka!  What a silly paw he is, ha!
Monroe School, Topeka, site of Brown vs. Board of Education



Thursday, 31 January 2013


 It is rare that in the middle of winter I should experience a creative spurt.  But alas, wonders never cease!  A couple of weeks ago I was shoveling through things in the studio and found some Artist Trading Cards (ATC’s) that I had made with my students a few years ago. ATC’s were started in 1997 by the Swiss artist M. Vänçi Stirnemann as a way for artists young and old all over the world to exchange and appreciate each other’s art.  ATC’s are of a standard size, 2.5"x 3.5" and any medium may be used to create them.  My students loved making small little pieces and we enjoyed sharing them on the studio art wall.

My initial attraction to the ATC was its small size.  An artist has to think differently when working on a small surface.  It is sort of a challenge, especially for me as I usually think and paint big. 

I began to look around the studio for materials that I could use for ATC surfaces and selected some 100% cotton printmaking paper and some scrap canvas.  I started painting them with gesso and glass beads and ripping them into 2 ½” x 3 ½” pieces.  I emptied out all my drawers and brought out glass beads, hand painted wood objects, metal pieces, ribbons, wire, hand painted papers, old paintings on paper that never went anywhere, patterned papers, buttons, and other unfinished and unused things that were sleeping deep in the depths of the studio.

I cleared off a table in The Great Dain’s Frame Shop and set up a special creation space. I gathered all my stuff and settled in.  It is here that I began to make small collage and mixed media art, 2 ½” x 3 ½” with the purpose of displaying them with magnets.  Art that could occupy a small place somewhere and be appreciated for it’s tiny-ness.  I began creating one piece works and triptych’s.  I have in two weeks created over 45 small works of art that are all delightfully different. 

Since Valentine's Day is February 14th, I made 14 magnet art pieces to offer for sale for that special day.  They are all $11.50 a piece, plus tax, and a small shipping cost will be incurred if it is to be mailed U.S. Mail.  I also have small 5” easels that can be purchased for $3 if you wish to display the art work that way vs. a magnet.  (See last photo, below.)

All art is titled and signed by me!

PS:  Look next month for the introduction of the 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" triptychs!

Magnet Art creation space

Magnet art materials
"A Trinity Flows"

"Lost In Red"

"Red Trinity"

"Consider All Things Red"
"The Kiss"


"A Balance"

"Pretty In Pink"
"Silver Trinity"

"You Have My Heart"

"Heart Felt"

"A Red Glitter"

"Red Jewel"

"Love Actually"
Artwork displayed on a 5" wood easel