When my friend Carla from Small + Friendly asked me to join her Mini Maker’s Summer Fun series, she described it as ‘simple projects to combat the inevitable “I’m bored” syndrome’. I jumped on board and immediately started to think of really elaborate projects that required lots of adult assistance. Yep. Somehow missing the simple message. And also forgetting parents want things kids can do on their own, for hours at a time. After running through lots of very-involved ideas (ooh, what about…dried glue and tie-dye on a t-shirt! Or, windsocks made out of fabric scraps, paint and toilet rolls!). I decided to run some of these ideas by C, who happened to be sitting happily on the porch writing a book. He looked up when I asked him, “what kind of activity do you think other kids like you want to do so they don’t get bored?” and before I could regale him with my ideas he said, “write books!” It was so obvious and simple and easy and perfect! So, this post is brought to you by my ever-astoundingly clever son. Here is how to write your own story, provide hours of quiet fun, nurture creativity, build writing skills, drawing skills, and inspire a life-long love of books…all without any parent involvement! Can I get a Woot Woot!? (more…)
Our little family just returned from a most wonderful week-long vacation to Costa Rica. I had, of course, heard people talk about Costa Rica and heard their wondrous stories of vacations. But before we went ourselves I had no idea what a spectacular place it truly is. Nestled on the Central American isthmus between Nicaragua and Panama, Costa Rica has a staggering amount of biodiversity…5% of the worlds biodiversity in fact, the densest of any country. Totally mind-blowing. It’s truly a world of color and life; warmth and vibrancy. We are smitten. Did you know they have no standing army, only a National Guard? Did you know Costa Rica has extremely low crime? That they have strict wildlife protection laws and all hotels must meet specific ecological standards? Did you know I have a background in public policy and it is really shining through right now? Bear with me because I was geeking out about this stuff. (more…)
There are lots of lessons to be learned in life. The lesson I learned most recently is that kids are tacky. They like to take an idea and really kick it into overdrive…make sure everyone “gets” it. And that, my friends, is the takeaway lesson behind these house pillows.
I was so honored when Sara from Radiant Home Studio asked me to join her 2nd anniversary blog tour! It’s really exciting because I like Sara and find her patterns so useful and effortlessly classy. (more…)
I am not normally the kind of crafty-mama that makes Halloween costumes. Everyone assumes that I do because, apparently, most of the crafty mamas in the world are all over Halloween costumes. The truth is, my kids usually change their mind in the lead up to Halloween and they tend to want very specific costumes such as characters from their favorites games or shows. I don’t like sewing drama so I tend to stay out that last minute, this-doesn’t-look-like-Obi-Wan-Ken-Obi mess. This year, however, was very different. J decided months ago that he wanted to be a mailbox. I thought this idea would pass but he was telling everyone we saw “I’m going to be a mailbox for Halloween”. Experience told me, “he still might change his mind, don’t jump into making anything”. Another month passed and he stuck to this idea; getting more and more excited. Thankfully, my husband was a believer and got started painting a blue box in ‘Postal Blue’. There was no denying, this kid wanted to be a mailbox. As it was Kid’s Clothes Week and all, I finally converted to believer. We painted a logo and I got busy sewing an entirely blue outfit with a hood to complete the look. (more…)
I have been bursting with a secret for about a month now but haven’t been able to say anything. So here it is: I have a project in the most recent Mollie Makes magazine! Issue 58 to be specific. Well, sort of. It is an exclusive project, meaning it’s included as an insert, a special gift to subscribers. But, I’m not one to split hairs especially when it comes to something as exciting as this.
(Look! It’s me!) This is the cover of the insert. I’ve been a long-time subscriber to Mollie Makes and just adore this magazine. It’s so good at mixing old crafts like sewing and crochet with a modern aesthetic and pretty much everyone I admire has been featured there (along with new friends I meet all the time).
Way back (ah, decades ago!) when I was in college in Madison, WI, I met a vibrant, adventurous, elegant woman whose bohemian and artistic outlook was a revelation and an inspiration. One of those friends whose free-spirited nature stills shapes me to this day. When she got married this summer I knew I wanted to make her something special as a wedding gift. I decided to make a sunprinted tablecloth and napkin set. (more…)
Today for Backyard Art Camp,The Re-useum Edition it is all about the books and artists that inspire!! Using recycled materials is not only simpler but also hugely inspiring because it’s so fun to work with wacky, wild, unusual supplies! Much more accessible than a blank canvas if you ask me!
So here we go! It’s time for much more Backyard Art Camp,The Re-useum!!
To start with, the always awesome Tara from Girl Like the Sea has gathered a super impressive roundup of books sure to inspire kids (an parents, ahem). Tara is a homeschooling, get-the-kids-outside-and-get-dirty kind of mama. She’s always getting messy with art supplies and dirt and taking it in full creative, honest stride. Her list of books is equally impressive and just as rad as she is. Plus, she and her kids have personally tested out most of these books so she has great feedback about them. (more…)
I am positively thrilled to announce the return of Backyard Art Camp! Remember Backyard Art Camp from two years ago? The inimitable Jane from Buzzmills and I gathered together a group of bloggers who each created art projects for kids centering around famous artists. It was SO MUCH FUN! And, we’ve been meaning to do it again. As the dog days of summer approached we talked about it a little here and a little there. Finally Jane’s brilliant daughter came up with the idea of a Re-useum…that is an art gallery with art made of recycled materials! Genius! So, in a kind of last minute, thrown-together way….I am happy to present Backyard Art Camp 2015, the Re-useum. Along with Tara from Girl Like The Sea, Jane and I are spending this week showing off our projects, philosophies and all things recycled art projects for kids. Be sure to check out Jane’s post from yesterday so you can bask in pure delight…she invited the whole neighborhood over and created a full-on recycled art gallery (a real RE-useum!)
Today, I’m talking about nurturing creativity with child-led art projects. I feel a little bit silly discussing this, to be honest. I mean, it’s not like I am some expert on this stuff. (more…)