Wednesday, July 30, 2014

stitch*craft 2014

Creativity Camp has returned to our home with a week of Stitch*Craft! We've been printing, dyeing, and sewing. I have a group of extremely happy 9 year olds- what a competent and creative bunch they are! Sewing machines are out in full force, and I love the constant whirring of the engines that happens when confidence has been achieved. 
There is only one of me, and that means that frequently someone is waiting with a question or turn for one on one instruction. In those moments there is a station for independent making- creating stuffies from Amy's Sewing School. I set up a fabric "store" where the girls can come select materials whenever they want. This invitation to create opens up the inspiration floodgates every time. Also turns my living room into chaos at the end of the day, but it's a beautiful jumble of gorgeous girls and pretty patterns.  A winning combination for sure!



9 tips for sewing with a group of 9 year olds (or there abouts):

  1. Have different stations for sewing machines and hand sewing.
  2. Provide lots of materials and give them open access to it all.
  3. Say YES to any questions that begin with "can I make....?".
  4. Enlist the more confident and skilled ones to assist the others with a specific task.
  5. Teach safety tips at the beginning, but help them remind one another throughout the day.
  6. Keep them well fed.
  7. Make sure to run them outside when energy is waning. Helps balance all the sitting and focused work they do so enthusiastically.
  8. Set up irons out of traffic's way and where you can supervise easily. Lower the height of the ironing board to give them tons of control and leverage. Believe it or not... these girls LOVE to iron! 
  9. Teach them to relax when something turns out differently then they expected. Or how to go back and fix a mistake without it being the end of the world
  10. And one more for good measure- tell them how amazing they are!



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Saturday, July 26, 2014

at the barn

 A week in review (visually) at my Mama's barn... flowers, food, and play for my girl. Lots of writing and photographing for me... and good food too!

Have a great weekend!

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Monday, July 21, 2014

festive




This weekend was filled with good food, music, flowers and birthday celebrations. Who could ask for more?! Pin It

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

diy stables and barns

This is the summer of the craft (popsicle) stick! It began a few weeks ago... my daughter discovered several instructional videos on youtube for diy stables. Her growing toy horse collection definitely needs proper housing. Initially there was a lot of white glue involved, snipping sticks with scissors, and frustration for both of us. She needed a lot of help, and the directions all seemed to be very specific and over involved. Then I introduced my girl to the wonders of a hot glue gun! And the building adventure truly began... independently. I gave her tons of safety rules and tips. But while I sit beside her doing my own work, she creates without any assistance. A great feeling for everyone! What we both love about the process of glue and sticks is the unlimited possibilities. She creates her own rules and learns as she makes. Collaborations with friends were inevitable, so stable making is now a part of every playdate as well as solo time! Below are the most recent horse homes. My daughter's in on the left, her "building associate's" on the right. They both used duct tape for hinges and rainbow loom chains... for chains.
Some supplies for stable making:

  • craft sticks
  • glue sticks
  • glue gun
  • white glue
  • cardboard
  • duct tape
  • yarn
Recently Michael's sent me a very generous gift card. They must have heard that I like to make stuff! On a recent trip to town, I stocked up on summer crafting supplies. Thanks Michael's, what a wonderful surprise that both my daughter and I are putting to good use! Of course, I got more sticks... they come in every size imaginable these days. And a new glue gun! Some cork seemed like a good idea too. I'm going to set it all out this morning as an invitation to keep going!

Tips and thoughts on kids and glue guns:


  • Teaching children to use real tools gives them a sense of pride and fosters independence. 
  • Know your child's abilities and working style. My daughter is a very careful and responsible 91/2 year old... perfect time for this tool.
  • Use a small low temperature glue gun if possible. The size is just right for smaller hands, and the glue is never too hot.
  • Explain the dangers of hot glue, nonetheless, and remind them over and over about not touching the tip.
  • If a little glue touches skin, show them how to run it under cold water. With a low temp gun, this hasn't been necessary, but still a good thing to know.
  • Teach them to ALWAYS unplug when not in use.





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Monday, July 14, 2014

parasol lighting

 My mom has a wonderful collection of vintage parasols. Remember them from years ago when she first moved in... check this post? Well, they've just been waiting for some fun. Suspending them under the living room track lights was just the party they've been waiting for!


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Friday, July 11, 2014

four free favorites



I've been very aware that some of this week's very best activities were quite free. Can you think back to some of the things you enjoyed most this week? Any of them not cost a cent? I'm sure at least one of them did... nice to acknowledge the moments that don't have a price tag, but are worth quite a bit.

1. Picking wildflowers. Who needs a florist when you can go in your own backyard (or country ditches, as is the case for the lovely bouquet above).
2.  Creative pursuits with supplies on hand. I'll share more on popsicle stick stable/barn making soon. It's our summer rage.
3. Foraging for berries in the woods. Blackcaps are having a wonderful year!
4. Freshening spaces by using old favorites in new and unexpected ways. Full post coming on how my mom suspended her parasol collection from the ceiling yesterday.

Have a wonderful weekend filled with priceless moments!

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

barn table lamp

 We are spending a ton of time with my mom at the barn. Once again she is transforming the space and coming up with innovative projects using what she's got on hand from her fascinating collection of  retro and rescued pieces. She had bought several vintage factory molds a while back. She found them visually exciting and wanted to display them or put them to use some how.  And so she did! Two are strung with wire and suspended from the ceiling. Another was retrofitted onto a stool as an end table with benefits.
 step 1: find the perfect stool
 step 2: cut a piece of masonite to size and screw to bottom
Step 3: place mold on top of stool
Note the fabulous cup holders and perfect base for a lamp!
Step 4: Set up a lamp with interesting lighting components like a cage light and an old metal basket.
 
Leave it to my mom!

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July Cucumber Coolers

Nothing quite like a warm summer evening and refreshing drink on my mom's deck. I don't drink many cocktails and by no means am an expert at mixing them- however this was a winner. And has been on repeat mode. It seems to spell J*U*L*Y*!
It's hard to go wrong with cucumbers, mint and lime!
I used this recipe with simple syrup instead of sugar, but stirred (vigorously) instead of using a shaker... 
Salud!



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Monday, June 30, 2014

june into july

June was filled with my children's very full event schedule... busy and wonderful! But even before the calendar page is turned, I feel the sweetness that comes with my favorite month of the year. July is all about slow and easy. This particular summer still holds a lot of plans... but the molasses moments (you know the ones!) are already seeping in. We're drawing in the quiet stillness of evening light, we're eating food picked with our own hands (or Grandma's as it may be!), we're not jumping to get up... but letting ourselves sit. Really sit. Telling stories. Laughing. Until we cry. Eating outside. For every meal.  We're wearing big sunglasses. And walking around with wet "just went swimming" hair. We're watching things grow. And bloom.
 
Farewell June. Hello dog days...

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