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San Francisco, CA


Monica Loos

art / design / paper goods

selling original art, art prints and paper goods based on paintings and designs made my monica in san francisco, california.

for commission availability, please contact me directly.



little bits from my studio, my home, my life, and my brain

Filtering by Tag: kids

Kids are Messy & Fun: Roly Poly

Monica Loos

My second grader came home from school last week very excited about a roly poly project, he had read about in a school book. Luckily, it had nothing to do with bugs of any kind, required just five items we had on hand, and did not require supervision, given their ages and the nature of the roly polys. 

Items needed:

  • about a cup of flour
  • some water
  • some food coloring (optional, but useful)
  • an eye dropper (we used a toy syringe)
  • rimmed cookie sheet

The boys angled the cookie sheet by propping one side on a folded kitchen towel, then they laid the flour down on the cookie sheet, patting it down, much like creating a miniature ski run. They colored the water then, using the eye dropper, released a single drop onto the flour slope. Their reaction....try it with your kid and see. The idea is to work like scientists and comment on your observations.

After working carefully drop by drop, things got messy, as evident in the photo. I recommend immediate clean up!

flour and water goo


Enjoy! And if you try it, let me know if you added your own twist.

block printing with little peeps

Monica Loos

this year for valentine's day, my boys made bookmarks for their classmates. i know, i hope they don't get booed out of the class! but, really, they are adorable and with block printing on paper, you can make many things: cards, gift tags, framed art, gift wrap, garland... the beauty of this method is that it's safe for little guys and girls who aren't quite ready for working with a sharp carving tool as used on wood, linoleum, or an easy-carve block. we used a 9 x 12 foam board purchased from a local art supply store, flax. they were 12 for $6.99, which i thought was pretty reasonable. ok, here we go.

supplies: foam board marker small paintbrush or dull pencil block printing ink brayer printing paper wooden spoon / roller / your hand

to make bookmarks or tags, you will also need: paper cutter hole puncher ribbon

block printing

using a marker, my 5-yr old, let's call him mr. j, filled his foam board with heart shapes (1). we knew we'd be cutting these down into our desired bookmark size, so we needed a design that would make sense as pieces, versus a whole. next, we used the end of a fine paintbrush to press down over the lines, more or less (2). we also tried using a dull pencil, which was easier, as it slid more smoothly across the foam. any foam that is pressed down, will not get ink and therefore will be the color of your paper. mr. j only did the outline of each heart.

time for inking! we prepared our ink as described in the earlier post, mr. o makes a block print. once ready, an even-ish layer of ink was spread across the entire board using the brayer (3). i placed the paper, also 9" x 12", over the board and mr. j used a rolling pin to apply pressure (4). the back of a spoon works, as does your hand. then, mr. j hid under the table in nervous excitement for the end result (5). i slowly but steadily removed the paper from the board. so cute! we made enough sheets for all the bookmarks we needed, plus one extra for framing.

the next day, i trimmed the sheet down to bookmark size, which i scientifically concluded was 2" x 6". i used a guillotine cutter. you can use a paper trimmer, scissors, whatever you have available. giving credit where credit is due, it was mr. j that pulled out the 3-whole punch. talk about efficiency (6)!

punching & stamping

in lieu of signing each one by hand, i taped together little letter stamps to form the words "from jack" - now we know his name. this worked well (7). i had on hand, a beautiful cotton ribbon that was used to top off the bookmark and voila!

bookmarks & tags

i think they are adorable! i punched a smaller whole into the scraps and made gift tags using red and white baker's twine. so cute.

happy printing! and happy valentine's day!