We headed to a conservation area just a few miles from our house. Carrying grocery bags, we hoofed the trail and gathered fallen leaves along the way. We chose leaves as they caught our eye—because of their color, shape, or the holes made by bugs.
When we brought them home, Dad showed us how we could to use them to make prints. We used a lot, but there was a whole bucket of leftover leaves in my dad's studio.
Since that hike, we've kept making stuff.
in the studio
We make most of our projects in our dad's basement art studio. He has a few big tables, lots of scrap paper, and a big etching press.
So far, we've made soft-ground etchings, hard-bound sketchbooks, foam prints, wood cuts, and learned how to do chine-colle' (a fancy way of glueing).
We work the etching press together: one of us turns the crank while the other lifts the felt. Dad makes us clean up afterwards, too. It takes lots of wiping to get all the ink off the table.
We explore and go for hikes pretty often, coming home with pockets full of treasures—mostly rocks and sticks.
Other treasures are right in our own back yard where we dig in the garden and play with our small flock of chickens. It's pretty funny to see Timothy, the toddler, pick up a chicken. He grabs it by the tail, and when it starts flapping its wings and squawking he'll pick it up. If it gets away, he'll run after it and do it all again.
Going to shows
We've entered our prints in several exhibitions. Dad drives us, and we deliver the art to the workers.
A few have been in St. Charles right next to the Missouri River. It's a bit of a drive but there are snacks, so it's worth it.
One time we had an exhibition at the Kirkwood Train Station. We hung prints on the walls and set up a table where people could do leaf-rubbings. We invited all of our friends. Everyone looked at the prints, and the adults talked and talked and talked.
Sharing the beauty
When we showed our first prints to our mom, she said they were beautiful and told us we should turn them into greeting cards.
Be careful what you say, Mom! It's become quite a project! We fold and package the cards so we can sell them in our online store and at shops around town. It's neat to think about our feathers and leaves traveling all over the country. Our beloved chickens must be bursting with pride!
We visit with owners of local stores to see if they want to sell our cards. If you have a favorite place to shop, please tell them about us—we're always looking for more people to share with.