Hand trees (kid's art) and back to school

A couple of weeks ago, the girls and I put this little project together.  A few months before Libby was born I stumbled across the idea from the blog, At Second StreetI saved this project for over three years, waiting for just the right time.  
We began by tracing the girls' hands and forearms on paper and then cut them out to use as patterns to cut them out of a scrap of brown jersey knit. Maia painted the canvas with a wash of yellows and oranges that I chose. Originally, I was just going to use different shades of green fabric for the leaves, but Maia wanted more color. So, I let her dig in my fabric scraps to chose some bright colors. Her addition was perfect! I really love the extra dimension the bright colors add. I placed the hand/arm tree trunks on the canvas and then had the girls glue the leaves on their trees with Fabri-Tac (best fabric glue ever, btw). They used one line of glue down the center on the back of each leaf. This gave the trees a soft and subtle 3-D look. L actually lost interest after she had glued only about a half-dozen leaves on her tree, so Maia and I finished her tree. The poem is one that I ran across some time ago and have always wanted to print it and post it somewhere I would see it daily. Once everything dried, I hung it in our dining room.  

The poem reads:
Oh give me patience when wee hands
Tug at me with their small demands.
And give me gentle and smiling eyes.
Keep my lips from hasty replies.
And let not weariness, confusion, or noise
Obscure my vision from life's fleeting joys.
So when, in years to come my house is still-
No bitter memories its rooms may fill.
-Author Unknown-
Here's one more mini project by Maia -- decorating these neon green Vans.  Before giving her the shoes, I painted the eyelets with nail polish to make them even more fun.
She used fabric markers and went to work.  She still wants to add glitter glue to her shoes.
For now, her shoes were perfect.  She wore them on her first day of the 3rd grade last week.
...And loved showing them off to her new classmates. 
Good luck and best wishes to all of our students and teachers!
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