Archive of ‘kid crafting’ category


I’m am so honored to be participating in a blog series about being thankful by my friend Jane at Buzzmills.  Her family calls them “thankfuls” and she’s been collecting them from the blogosphere all month.   Check out the post to find out why I’m so thankful for my ugly commute, an unmade bed, upheaval and stress, bad school reviews, a hectic week, my impatient nature, a reprimand from a friend but especially a bottle of Snapple that shattered on the sidewalk when I was in college.

thankfuls collage

In fact, you probably don’t want to miss the whole series!  November is a great time to collect thankfuls.

p.s. Be sure to pop over to Sew Mama Sew today as a part of Handmade Holidays! I’m so excited to be sharing my favorite tutorials for handmade gifts for boys. Have you started thinking about what you will make?

a book project courtesy of C, who is (eep) a first grader {and a book winner!}

I’m a huge fan of the incredible illustrator Oliver Jeffers and so are the boys.  and that made our latest library discovery super fantastic.   the day the crayons quit project from a happy stitch

we discovered the book “The Day The Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt with Mr. Jeffers as illustrator.  it’s so funny and so adored in our house (and sadly returned to its library home now).  the story line is that the crayons all decide to quit one day and they write letters to their owner explaining why.  each page is a letter from a single crayon and most of them are exasperated.  for example, blue crayon writes he is pleased with his work but a bit overused and now stubby and short.  yellow and orange crayon fight over who is the real color of the sun.  at the end of the book the crayon owner uses all of the crayons in an unconventional way, it makes the crayons happy and he is rewarded for his creativity. it’s hilarious, inspiring and sweet.  the whole thing is appealing to adults but still accessible to kids.  (it makes me so sad when picture books seem aimed at making grown-ups laugh.  my kids already feel left out of so much humor, they don’t need books to do that.)

green crayons page from crayons quit

C, who is dead set on being an author-illustrator when he grows up, loved the book and took it upon himself to make his own.  this was completely led by him, I had nothing to do with it.  I do try to keep lots of bare books around (I love them so much, they are well-made empty books with lots of pages.  we discovered them through the amazing soulemama).  C pulled one out of the dining room art cabinet and started getting to work.

his copy is on the right up above and is called, “The Day the Markers Quit” (just in case you needed a translation. *wink*.)

here is a page from his book.  it reads, “Green Marker. I hate getting chased by my drawings.  I mean, give me a break.”

day the crayons quit project

the picture is of an alligator eating the marker.  so fantastic, isn’t it!   his funniest page is red marker: “Red Marker.  Why did you take off my cap? I lost my head.”

oh my goodness, I love this kid! his sense of humor and his willingness to explore a little creative seed.  I love the way that kids aren’t afraid to imitate other artists and are also free to take it in a new direction.  I love seeing creativity come to life like this!

red marker page from crayons quit project

it was so simple and such a great idea and I thought it would make a good gift to give someone, not his book itself but a copy of this book and a few bare books.  or, maybe, hmm, maybe it needs to be the next summer series.

I suppose it’s C’s first contribution to projects on my blog!  that is certainly something to make a mama’s heart swell.  I think the best projects come when he makes them up.  I know this was completely his project but I can’t help but feel proud that he had the tools available to make it happen.  the boys both started school yesterday and are so excited to be back but I know we are heading into the world of homework (yes, in 1st grade!) and learning to sit still and pay attention and follow the rules.  all those things that aren’t always conducive to the inevitable motion and activity and disorder that encourage creativity.  so I’m keeping my eye on my kids and hoping to follow their lead in creative projects at home!

along those lines, I’m awfully glad I’m equipped with backyard ART camp when they need a nudge from me.  speaking of backyard ART camp…we have a book winner!

congratulations to Jessica Herir of Sugar and the Spice   ( a lovely food and family blog) who wrote: “These are such fantastic ideas! I just had to share the link on my page too. Thanks for the great inspiration… we can’t wait to get out our art supplies!

enjoy the book Jessica!

backyard ART camp :: 12 breathtaking artist-inspired projects {and one beautiful giveaway!}

our little family is back from vacation in the woods and I can’t wait to share all about it but first it’s time for the wrap-up of backyard ART camp.  I can hardly beleive it is over!

it has been a spectacular six weeks!  Jane and I are so excited at the incredible collection of artist-inspired projects that have amassed through this collaboration.  so many amazing bloggers came together and generously handed over some of the best artist-inpired projects for kids that I have seen in one place! BAC roundup collage

from top left to bottom right:  found object art with me;  pointillism  with Jane ;  Christo-inspired fabric scrap project with crafting connections;  kiddie kandinsky with my life at playtime ; rousseau-inspired wall installation with the crafty kitty ;  collage art with  Miranda Makes ;  rock sculptures with simple things notebook ;  river rock drawing nne  with  Gypsy Forest ; Gaudi-inspired mosaics with Mon Petit Lyons;  Jackson Pollack-inspired art with  small + friendly;  Rothko-inspired fabric project with feathered nest studio; and Charley Harper birds with tara from girl like the sea

we covered some serious ground, didn’t we?  one of my favorite things about this collection of positively one-of-a-kind projects is that they span such a wide range.  some take little more than one hour and involve a simple rock hunt in the backyard while others take days of preparation and planning.   and yet each one provides a beautiful platform for an open-ended artistic experience for a wee one.  and, if I do say so myself, it seems like quite a few moms have a pretty good time of it, too.  making art is a pretty universal good time and as so many of the projects have illustrated, it’s also such a good way to connect with our kids.

when Jane and I started backyard ART camp we went into it with a shared desire to bring the joy of art and making to our kids but also to, you know, fill up the hours and hours of summertime that suddenly appear when the school bell rings at the end of the year.  and, in a flash that school bell is starting to ring in the start of a whole new year.  it’s hard to believe that summer is over and the school year is gearing up again (I know it’s started for many but we don’t get going until next mondays).  but the art and making doesn’t have to end!  be sure to check out our Pinterest board where we have gathered all the projects and inspiration to save any projects for any other day that needs a boost of inspiration.

and, on top of that,  we are giving away one of my absolute favorite books on kid art…The ART treasury by Rosie Dickins.  every project in this book includes a mini-biography of an artist and an easy but beautiful way for kids to emulate their style.  we’ve used it many times in our house and it’s a spectacular way to introduce artists as well as creativity to kids.

the art treasury book giveaway for Backyard ART Camp

to win the book, leave a comment below or on Jane’s blog telling us YOUR thoughts on backyard ART camp or suggestions for next year’s backyard ART camp.  what would you change? what would you add? what did you like?  for an additional chance to win like either my Facebook page or Jane’s and leave a comment here telling us you did that.  you can even enter a third time if you subscribe by email to our blogs, just be sure to leave a comment telling us you did!  if you already do those things, let us know and we will add you to the pool!

hey, but wait…there’s one more way to enter!   and, this is the most fun way…link up YOUR Backyard ART Camp projects and leave a comment letting us know what you made.  we can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to!

okay, so that’s four ways to enter to win.  the linky and giveaway will be open from now until next monday, September 9 midnight EST.

good luck and happy art making!

‘); // ]]>

backyard ART camp :: rothko-insired art from feathered nest studio

BAC button 2-1welcome to our final week of Backyard ART Camp.  yes, you read that correctly, the last week, it’s a little sad isn’t i?.  there are only two more projects to go!

Jane and I hope that you have been enjoying these creative weeks of summer as much as we have.  the boys and I are on vacation right now (gotta love my team of robots for posting this for me.  good work robots!).   I did, however, pack us a hug bag of supplies so we could undertake as many Backyard ART Camp projects as possible.  I can’t wait to share our results with you!

are you making too?  do share with us, we want to see! use the hashtag
#backyardartcamp if you share anywhere other than flickr. Be sure to follow our Pinterest board where we are gathering all the projects in one place.

but now, let’s get to today’s project…Mark Rothko inspired fabric art from Jennet, of Feathered Nest Studio.
Rothko Inspired Fabric Art

doesn’t it look stunning!?  Jennet is one of those people that is always inspiring; she makes me want to do more crafting with the kids, to focus, to make and to share.  she has a great big heart.

she shares so many beautiful and simple craft and art projects to do with kids on her blog.
Kid crafting with feathered nest studiossuch as her watercolor bird mobiles, stained glass paper birds, watercolor painted wooden birds, and upcycled cardboard kitties.

recently, Jennet started her own art series on her blog, Art School, in which she
showcases different art projects, mediums, and techniques.  she’s already done several beautiful projects and I am sure there will be many more to come.

Aside from kid creating she is also does beautiful embroidery and has some of her works on display in her own art show.
Embroidery by feathered nestJennet, is a graphic designer, with her own spoonflower designs, and an etsy shop where she sells super cute stuffies.  you are sure to swoon over all of it.

thank you so much Jennet for joining us today.  head on over to see her Rothko art project, it’s a beautiful project filled with a variety of fun steps for children to learn, explore and create.

want to see what everyone has been making so far this summer?  it’s quite an inspired list:

be sure to check in on wednesday for our final installment of Backyard ART Camp projects with tara from girl like the sea.

happy making!

backyard art camp :: yummy dessert art from sanae

backyard art camp 2013

we have a scrumptious way to finish up week six of backyard art camp….dessert art inspired by the artist Wayne Theibaud!  coming to us fresh from the wonderful Sanae Ishida.  If you are like me, Theibaud might not be a familiar name but his artwork most likely is.  he is the artist that draws gum ball machines and delectable sweets.  perfect for introducing kids to art, right?  Sanae’s backyard art camp involves making fruit pizzas and then asking her daughter to draw them.  be sure to check it out (and set aside some time to explore her lovely blog while you are at it.  you won’t regret it.) BAC-Thiebaud1

leave it to Sanae to come up with something so perfect, too.  Sanae is seemingly capable of sewing anything and makes the most amazing clothing for herself and her daughter. her blog is a visual feast in the most tasteful and sophisticated way possible.   more than likely, you are already familiar with Sanae and her seamstress talents.  if not, well then, you’re welcome.   if you followed the summer Kids Clothes Week you might have stumbled upon the fantastic collaboration Sanae did with her daughter…her daughter sketched out what she wanted and Sanae created it!  now that is one superstar sewing mama!

lechat1 of course, she doesn’t just sew clothing.  Sanae is interested in all manner of crafts and creativity in many forms.  plus, her tidbits of conversation shared with her daughter are hilarious.


Jane and I are so excited to have Sanae’s project join backyard ART camp! dessert art.  suites me just fine!

hard to believe we have already covered so much ground, isn’t it?  nothing has made me happier than seeing all of these extraordinary projects come together.    are you just finding us?  here is a list of every project so far:

know what is even more amazing than that? there is still more to come from these fantastic bloggers. (yes, indeed, there is more!):

have you been creating with your kids too?  don’t forget to share with us,
we love to see what you’ve been making! use the hashtag #backyardartcamp if you share elsewhere, too. be sure to follow our Pinterest board where we are gathering all the projects in one place. happy art making!

backyard ART camp :: pollack-inspired art project from small + friendly

welcome today to week SIX of Backyard ART Camp!
BAC button 2-1what an amazingly creative summer it has been so far!  right?  each week Jane and I are so impressed by the beauty of each blogger’s Backyard ART Camp projects and feel more and more inspired.

to kickoff week six, we welcome the lovely and amazing Carla of  small + friendly.  Carla is sharing a very fun (and a little bit messy) Jackson Pollack inspired project that I am sure your kids are going to love to try.  and, you won’t mind the mess either! promise. check it out over here.

Backyard art inspired by Jackson Pollock

Carla is one of those bubbly and effervescent personalities that is always wonderful to stumble upon in the world of blogs.  she is a self described modern homemaker, and indeed lives up to the title.  She sews up super stylish duds for her little boy…

6a0133ec490e97970b01901bab599a970b-800wishe knows how to knit, which is something that makes me and Jane both super jealous!  she’s got so many cute, clever and creative tutorials on her blog including super adorable chick lacing cards (with pics of her own baby chicks!) and a no sew crayon wrap
Carla tutorials

speaking of chicks…this past spring she released her first pattern!  called ball buddies, they come as either a bunny or a chick and are so cute!  when she’s not sewing you can find her in the kitchen whipping up some yummy food, like homemade bread or likely, with the late summer season, a few zucchini recipes!

Carla is also a genius at transforming kid friendly art projects featuring her sons artwork into stunning gifts to give. these include heart mother’s day cardstoddler art dishware, and toddler art tees.  amazing, aren’t they?  be sure to peek in on the fantastic crafting space she created for her son Jude, it’s no wonder all of the fun stuff that he has created!
Carla art collage

we are thrilled to have Carla share her Backyard ART Camp project with us today, stop by to check it out!

have you been creating with your kids too?  don’t forget to share with us,
we love to see what you’ve been making! use the hashtag #backyardartcamp if you share elsewhere, too. be sure to follow our Pinterest board where we are gathering all the projects in one place.

want to see what everyone has been making so far this summer? it’s quite a delightful list:

stay tuned!  still to come are projects from these fantastic bloggers. (yes, indeed, there is still more summer left!):

backyard art camp :: gaudi-inspired murals with mon petit lyons

BAC button 2-1
hello again!  today brings our second backyard ART camp project of the week.  and it’s a delight!

We are joined, today, by Courtney of Mon Petit Lyons, she and her boys are making mosaics inspired by the architectural works of Antoni Gaudi. be sure to check it out
Bac2Courtney first caught my eye during one of the Kids Clothes Week challenges where she made awesome things for her boys!  Courtney is one of those multi-talented crafters who can whip up stylish and adorable clothes for her big boys, and her little baby boy, fabric baskets, bags and even amazing quilts.  even a quilt made of Japanese handkerchiefs!


aside from all of that, she is also such an amazing hands-on mama.  she’s been holding mama pajama school for her boys over the summer and recently started a World tour where they explore different parts of the world through food, art, books and more.  it looks like a wonderful way to teach kids about new places.  she’s also filled with loads of fun art ideas to do with her boys.

Art projects

thank you so much for joining us today Courtney!  be sure to  stop by to see her mosaic Backyard ART Camp project, it’s so bright and cheerful!

Have you been creating at home too? Don’t forget to share with us, we love to see the inspiration keep moving forward! Use the hashtag  #backyardartcamp if you share elsewhere, too. Don’t forget to follow along with us on our Pinterest board where we are gathering all the projects in one place.

Here is everything we have done already, it’s quite an inspiring list:

stay tuned! still to come are projects from these fantastic bloggers. (yes, indeed, there is still more summer left!):


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