A good friend of mine recently gave me a treasure chest of fabric. My sewing has been on hiatus for awhile since life has been so extremely busy, but seeing all of the material I now have for creating has reignited my love for my sewing machine.
My first project will be to finish a number of reusable napkins and tote bags for Christmas presents.
Next, I hope to make some fancier wallets and purses with some of the lovely fabric in the box. Also, a table cloth or two for my hideous coffee table.
Then I want to get more ambitious. I am thinking shirts, leggings, skirts...there are so many options!
What does this mean for my blog? Hopefully that things are going to get a lot more interesting soon.
I know I haven't been keeping up my site. Life has been so busy and I have had very little time for any of my creative outlets. However, this doesn't mean I am giving up. It just means that I am going to have to reevaluate my priorities - and maybe spend a little less time watching crime drama.
Lately we have had a lot of rainy days in Vancouver. In fact, nearly every weekend for the past two months has been filled with rain or snow. I know I'm not the only parent looking for some projects to fill the hours without having to turn to television (well, at least without having to turn to it too much!).
For the most part my boys are good at entertaining themselves. The eldest spends most of his spare time creating Lego creations and drawing comic books. He's ten and has already created his own characters (Supa Odin and ThunderFred) and drawn several comic books starring them. The youngest will occupy himself colouring outside the lines, stacking blocks and then knocking them over, and throwing things. He's not quite two.
For the ten year old, we just keep lots of paper, pencils, pens, and notebooks around for him to fill up. He has file folders of old drawings and we have partially wall papered his wall with his artwork. One idea for a future project is allowing him to paint a mural on his walls, based on his comic book characters. First, we will get him to create a rough draft on paper and, once he has shown us that he has the ability to plan a project of that scope, we are going to get him the materials (and help) that he needs to give himself the coolest room of any kid, ever. Has anyone out there done something similar (or has seen a pin on Pinterest that might offer direction)?
For the smallest boy, we recently purchased an easel (great learning and creative tool!) and keep a stack of nontoxic markers handy at all times for his colouring habit. Right now he is working his way through a book of dinosaur colouring pages. $5 of art supplies and he literally has hours and hours of fun.
However, after awhile these things get boring. So what is a parent to do? Get creative!
Below are a few ideas for parents looking to do some fun, easy, cheap, and not-too-messy projects with their kids. Most are adaptable for all age ranges (at least until they are too cool to want to do projects with their parents).
1. Use old, crusty playdough to create a "mini volcano" (I stole this idea from the Creative Parenting group on Facebook, I think it's really quite fabulous!). Put all your crusty playdough together in the shape of a volcano and fill the inside with baking soda. You can paint it, or make a little village for the "lava" to overflow onto, whatever your kiddies desire. Then simply pour some vinegar over the baking soda and watch the magic! I think adding a drop or two of food colouring to the vinegar would add some extra sparkle to the event as well. If you are feeling especially crafty, you can even try making your own playdough (try this recipe here from mommyfootprint.com).
2. Face Painting in the house! Why not? Face paints aren't that expensive, and if you have an older child (that is careful) this could even be a fun way for the older child to gain a new skill! There are also ways to make homemade facepaint (see this easy how-to from growingajeweledrose.com.
3. You know all those cool "fruit bugs" and other fun food ideas that you always see on Pinterest? Why not have a little tea party with your little ones and have them help you make the appetizers? You can make apple ladybugs, spooky spiders, or the old standby, ants on a log (do we really need a recipe for that??).
4. Get a cardboard box. Seriously. My ten year-old can spend hours entertaining himself with just a cardboard box and a pen. But why stop there? Grab paints, stickers, glue, sparkles - you can make a decent sized cardboard box into ANYTHING. It is one of the best examples of what a child can do with their imagination. It is also more tactile than just drawing on a piece of paper - it adds a whole other dimension to their play.
5. FINGER PAINTING. Even better, get a large piece of paper or tape/glue a bunch of scrap together and finger paint a mural with the whole family. Okay, so this is messy, but so what? Finger painting is awesome. Tactile, creative, and it creates memories. So get down and colourful with your kids. And, yes, you can even make your own! Try this recipe from the Imagination Tree.
Let me know about your adventures trying these ideas with your kids at home!
Although, to be honest, I'm kind of hoping for some sun and outdoor play in the weeks ahead...