My Home

Graduation Day + Summer Sign


Graduation Day + Summer Sign

Yesterday was their last day of school. I celebrated by making a sign. No more making lunches!! No more homework!! The calendar is clear of teacher conferences, recitals, carpooling and tutors for the next eight weeks. Woohoo!!!

graduation day ~ hang artwork through the years

graduation day ~ hang artwork through the years

graduation day ~ hang artwork through the years

graduation day ~ hang artwork through the years

It also happened to by my daughter’s graduation day from 8th grade. I wanted to create a little something special for her. She had some friends over for sandwiches so I made a little art gallery in tribute to her creativity over the years. I chose artwork starting from age four up until this year and hung it on clotheslines with photos of her at about the same age. She loved it! I think it’s a pretty big deal getting through middle school. Every one of those 14yr-olds deserves a medal. I have a new found loved for teens. I know, it’s weird. But their struggles and awkwardness just make them so endearing. (I don’t love them as much as 4-yr olds, though. Still my favorite age.)

Isn’t she so cute? She really is the sweetest, loveliest and wisest person I know. She pretty much has surpassed me on every level. It’s just so fun watching her grow into whoever it is she is going to be. I do see bits of her 4-yr old self that will always be her essence. But I also know how hard she has worked at creating a world for herself where she feels strong, confident and appreciated for who she is. I just love being around her.

Have a great weekend! Next week I’ll share some art from my art camp that I’ve been having for the last two weeks. It rocks!!

xo, Bar

 

Sugar Cookie Making {dairy free}


Sugar Cookie Making {dairy free}

We had our good friends over on New Year’s Eve, making cookies into the night. We then moved on to prosecco while the kids played, snuck out for a quick bite (it’s a good thing I have a 14 year old built-in babysitter), and watched the ball drop in our own beds at midnight. It was a lovely and quite perfect way to start fresh in 2014. Plus, I got to eat cookies all New Year’s day!

http://www.artbarblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/2014_insta_photo.jpg

sugar cookie making {dairy free} | art bar

Making cookies with my kids around the holidays has become my absolute favorite tradition. It’s messy and takes all day, but they are so happy. And I love watching them choose their colors and use their best fine motor skills to create their pirates, penguins, stars and hearts. And hammers.

sugar cookie making {dairy free} | art bar

sugar cookie making {dairy free} | art bar

sugar cookie making {dairy free} | art bar

This year, I made our recipe dairy-free, and used half sugar-half coconut crystals (sap from a coconut that is crystalized and looks and tastes like brown sugar without the processing). I really wanted a cookie that I could eat that didn’t make me feel as guilty. Plus, we are dairy-free in our house. So I replaced the butter with Earth’s Balance. Here’s the recipe I used, but you can use any recipe and replace the butter. The kids did not taste the difference at all, except that the “healthy” cookies were a little darker.

sugar cookie making {dairy free} | art bar

This picture is my favorite. She worked so long and hard on creating these amazing, colorful, sparkly cookies and was so proud to show them to me. LOVE!

Here’s hoping your new year is off to a nice, mellow pace. Let me know if you have any good dairy-free cookie recipes of your own to share!

xo, Bar

 

 

T-Shirt Bunting


T-Shirt Bunting

With three growing kids, we collect a lot of t-shirts. Some of them end up in quilts, others I give to Good Will. I save many, though, because they are un-hand-me-downable. T-shirts from school walk-athons, soccer teams, variety shows…the ones that no one else would wear. The ones I use for projects!

Here’s what you need to make this bunting:

T-shirts {cut into 4 x 5 1/2″ pieces}

Twill tape in two colors {4 yard pieces}

Rotary cutter + board {or good fabric scissors}

Pins

Sewing Machine

For this bunting, I wanted a Spring color theme. I chose blues and light grays. I cut out about 50 pieces, but only ended up using 21. I laid them out on the table and arranged them in a random order. Then I carefully pinned each piece between the two different colored twill tapes. Using a wide zig-zag stitch, I ran the bunting through the sewing machine. Voila! I would say this project was very easy. You need the right supplies (a rotary cutter really helps, and also a sewing machine), but it is not difficult at all.

I love the end result. It is playful and colorful and I bet you will see it in future photos…lurking in the background. Start saving those t-shirts!

 

Gallery Wall // Children’s Art


Gallery Wall // Children’s Art

I have collected lots of my children’s art over the years. I have some in boxes, some framed, some taped up, and some hanging from string. But mostly, I have piles. We use some of the art in the piles for projects and birthday cards. The other stuff I plan on hanging up. However, I am stuck! Do I switch out the stuff in frames, create a new wall, hang it in my living room or maybe in the bathroom? Or their bedrooms? I have been scouring Pinterest for ideas so I thought I would share them with you. If you are type A, look away. I have mostly chosen gallery walls that cluster and mix children’s paintings with other art. I love this look, but it can border on messy (“artistic”) if you’re not careful. Limiting clustered art to one wall is the trick!

Here are four different ways to display your child’s art. {I will try to source the photos, but some of them just float around on Pinterest, sourceless.}

Gallery wall // Hang on a line

Hang on a line with clips or clothespins. Easy and cost effective: {from top left, clockwise} Ikea clips // Amsterdam home // sweet dreams // strip of wood // art room {our home} // work space // inspiration wall

Gallery wall // Art on a ledge

Prop art up on a ledge, mix in photographs and other found objects. A more organized look: {from top left, clockwise} small art // mudroom {our home} // art studio // kitchen // Swedish bedroom

Gallery wall // kids art

Hanging art in a cluster is an art in and of itself! {Click here to see how it’s done}. But it can look so cool that it’s worth the effort: {from top left, clockwise} living room // bedroom {our home} // hallway // den // bathroom // common area

Gallery wall // taped art

Last, but not least, the easiest way to hang your child’s art is to let them hang it themselves! Whether pinning to cork, using magnets or just plain old tape {love the washi tape frames}, it’s a really fun and free way to display talent: {from top left, clockwise} cork wall // craft room // dining room // her own creative space // office

These selections are just a few of many (so many!). To dig deeper, click on some of the links and they will lead you to more photos. Or come see my Pinterest boards where I have pinned oodles of artistic and eclectic ideas!

Good luck! Let me know what you decide (and I’ll do the same).

 

 

Candy Wrapper Halloween Banner


Candy Wrapper Halloween Banner

It’s now 5 days until Halloween, and my kids are at their breaking point with me. I brought the Halloween boxes up two weeks ago but they are still sitting in the living room untouched. Until today that is! I found a ziploc bag full of candy wrappers and remembered that I had meant to make a candy wrapper banner last year. So, despite thoughts of cavities/promoting junk food running through my head, I made the banner. And whadyaknow? It’s pretty sweet.

It’s a multi-step process, but not hard. It took me about two hours from start to finish.

Materials:

String (I used Divine Twine, but black string would be better)

Large Needle

Colored paper (mine is from Staples)

Scissors, pencil, double-sided tape

Candy wrappers (I also threw in a few muffin papers for extra green)

To make the letters, I folded the paper lengthwise into three sections. This way, I knew the letters would be the same height. I drew the letters freehand and cut them out. I used double-sticky tape to attach the letters to the black paper. Next, I laid out the letters and the wrappers. Then I started from the end, and wove my needle in and out of each piece. I made sure to pull the first wrapper (which will actually be the wrapper at the end, to the furthest right) far, far down the thread so I had enough room to add everything.

That’s it! I attached it to my fireplace mantle on the little hooks that I use to hang stockings.

I’m not much of a black + orange girl, so this colorful banner makes me happy. My kids will be so proud!

This banner would also look really cute (ok, cuter actually) if it said “trick-or-treat”.

Happy Candy Day!