waving (and winning) the banner of love -A GIVEAWAY-

I decided to surprise myself last week on the thirteenth of February at ten pm and do some creating.  Lee was at the office, as usual, studying for some quiz or writing a paper (I can never keep track), and I decided to stay up late.  You see, as a rule, I hit the hay at 9:30, at the very latest.  I have no need to reiterate what my nights look like, for I have made it clear and obvious no one does any sleeping for any length of time around here.  So, I broke my precious rule and got to work.

This is what I came up with.  

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I set up a project the boys could make for their beloved daddy-o.  The next day, the boys had a messy yet satisfying time decorating their flags.

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I had a ball picking out sentimental fabrics from this ginormous pile of -to be used for something, someday- stockpile of clothes from the last 7 years of our lives.

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And I found the results of staying up late to be not so bad after all.  Of course everything must be done in moderation.  Don’t think I am going to go out partying anytime soon.  Though, wouldn’t that be nice?  I mean just once?  Sigh….

oh and to show off a bit… this is what my man came up with!  

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a bouquet of vegetables!  how appropriate!

And so to spread the love, I decided to share one with one of you!  And not just any banner.  A banner of your liking.  A custom banner of your choice up to 13 letters long, enough for a happy birthday tradition.  So…. for one drawing give me a comment.  For two, follow my blog  and comment.  For three, share this page somewhere, follow and comment!  In a week or so, I will tally them up, draw one out of a hat (I still don’t know how to do this random number generator bologna) and perhaps you will be adorning your house in a banner of your own.

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remember if you don’t play you can’t win!  

Winner is Beth W.!!!!!

this moment

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{this moment}- inspired by soulemama.com – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

art-ing with kids

Oh the chaos of paint smatterings, sticky stampings, dough squashing, marker markings, glitter dustings and fiber twistings.  There is not denying it.  It is nothing but pure madness most of the time.  None the less, us mama’s and papa’s continue to painstakingly set up these crazy projects in hopes to let our little one’s creativity shine through.

It is hard to see the results right away.  At the youngest ages they tend to just… well… eat the projects.  If you are one of the lucky ones they may realize there is paper in front of them and disengage from stamping/drawing/painting directly onto their skin.  Then they become engrossed in the dipping process.  It occurs to them that dipping the brush into gooey thick color is much more fascinating than actually using the brush to make a stroke (nevermind fill a page).  Some children move on from these stages sooner than others of course.  Others tend to let their creativity linger inside a bit longer.

While tis true that my boys happen to be in the latter category, of the late I have seen a bit of that magic happen.  Little legs and spindly arms have begun to reach across the page, even some hair is sprouting up here and there.  Of course, my youngest babe is still more into body art than anything else, resulting in bath time fun or a hose down depending on the weather.  Which is equally enjoyed for that matter.  Either way, the half hour set up, for the five-minute work time is beginning to appear to be quite worth it.

There are a couple of things I have realized help my boys keep focused and interested in creating.  I see that they work a little longer on their respective piece when I am participating alongside.  On my own masterpiece of course.  Or, they tend to be a bit more steady handed when I allow a mess and say to myself, “sigh… forget it, that table looks better decorated a touch anyways”.  Of course, the materials are of more importance than I once would have imagined.  If the quality is poor, their attention and care is slim.  If it creates something of beauty, than they usually delve in with much more vigor.  (As do I, don’t you?)  Finally, their sense of accomplishment is multiplied when they themselves are the ones to hang or display their art.  Often, Miles picks his own room, which I find to be sweet.

Oh these tidbits of knowledge are by no means advice for others on how to proceed with their little one’s “art-ing”.  These are just things that heave been helping me on my own journey through the perils of my stay at home mama days.  With out fail they always include some sort of project, it is in my nature, and it is glorious to have some ammunition for the imminent battle of paints.  The sopping and scraping of tempera and watercolors vs. your truly.

A battle worth fighting I believe.

Instilling the desire to create is something we value, as do many of you!  Showing my boys that there is a little part of your brain, a little something deep inside that moves us to use our hands and come out bettered and fulfilled is part of our daily life.  I write down in a little book the random ideas that pop up in my chattering brain of wild and simple things to do, I gather supplies (mostly things around the house), and onward we go.

What are you going to make today?

ain’t nothing like the real thing

Arm in arm we stepped into the world of paintbrushes and little colorful glass jars, of stacks and stacks of textured papers, shelves lined with neat packages of earth toned clays, perfectly sharpened pencils in every shade under the sun, sticks of chalk, and jars filled with brushes of all shapes and sizes.  There are not many retail stores that can compare to the magic of an art store and yesterday I got to introduce this vision of beauty to my boy, Miles.  After days of painting on pilly construction paper with barely visible watercolors I decided we both needed a little inspiration.  It was time to splurge.  With that we headed on down to SCAD art supply store.

My little mans eyes lit up like matches when we wandered down the rows of mysterious supplies.  We settled on the proper section for water-color painting and my little jabbermouth fell silent.  I had to agree.  Those miniature glass bottles are so unbelievably appealing.  They are screaming to be handled and examined.  Somehow my little man resisted the urge.  I believe you could see my pride wafting out every single one of my pores (in addition to a touch of fear that remained knowing full well this could end in the blink of an eye).

Not wanting to go too far over the top, and believe me it was difficult, I simply purchased some primary watercolor mixes and a package of loose sheets of water-color paper.  I have long surpassed the title of frugal (perhaps teetering on the edge of cheap skate), so this was quite the purchase.  I don’t mind though, I know it will be enjoyed for months and months to come.  We drove home, had a long afternoon nap and my little man awoke with a renewed love for art.  “Rowan wants to watch us artin’ mama”, he repeated several times.  This was clearly my que to retrieve our new materials and start mixing.  So we did.  And we smiled.  And we had a wonderful time.

Happy Monday!