Rhode Island Summers


Rhode Island Summers

My husband’s parents have a house in Westerly. We’ve spent every summer there since my oldest daughter was born. I love it there for so many reasons, but the biggest reason of all is the time my kids get to spend with their grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. It’s a week where they don’t fight with each other because they are too busy running into the ocean waves with their cousins, or playing massive games of whiffle ball, or scheming about how to get one more morning of donuts for breakfast. On cloudy days we go to the water slides in Misquamicut, on rainy days we go bowling and out to our fave pizza place. Mystic Seaport is half an hour away…a place where you can go back in time and make candles, or visit the aquarium and see the cutest sea lions.

A walk down the beach brings us to the best climbing rocks, and a walk across the parking lot gets us to the big pond where the water is still like glass, and warm. If the boat is working, we can go tubing, or just park it in the middle of the pond and jump off the sides. Watch Hill is a 15 minute drive. We go here sometimes for a little shopping, to check out the beautiful homes (Taylor Swift’s place is pretty amazing), and to visit their favorite candy shop. The Ocean House just got rated one of the top five hotels in the country. Someday I want to spend a night there!

Rhode Island holds years of memories for all of us. My oldest said to me on this last trip that she loves it so much she never wants to go on any other vacation ever again. Only Rhode Island. It feels like home, she said.

These photos are from my Instagram feed. Follow me and say hello!

xo Bar

 

Paper Bag Crowns


Paper Bag Crowns

I love the way these crowns turned out. I don’t know what my vision was exactly…probably something more refined – ha! But since this was an open-ended project, I just gave the 4-yr olds their plain crowns and their art supplies and they made each their very own. I don’t think I could have imagined them any more beautiful!

make beautiful crowns from recycled paper bags

make beautiful crowns from recycled paper bags

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Here’s what you’ll need:

Paper bag

Watercolors (we used these which are inexpensive and work great in a class setting, but if you want to invest in something nicer buy these!)

Brushes

Glue (any white school glue, and i put some in a bowl with a brush for them to use as well)

Pom-poms (this bag will last you forever and it’s inexpensive)

Glitter

Sequins

Masking tape

make beautiful crowns from recycled paper bags

make beautiful crowns from recycled paper bags

Here’s how we made them:

First, cut your paper bag down the side and cut off the bottom. Lay it flat and zig-zag cut all across the top. Use the whole bag, but trim it down before painting. Do this by just placing the crown around the child’s head, then adding an extra inch.

Next, lay out your watercolors. Paint the crown and let it dry before moving on to the gluing step. I used a hairdryer to dry them quickly.

When they are dry, put out the glue and the rest of the supplies and let them add to their heart’s content! These crowns should dry overnight, flat. You can place them around their heads with a piece of masking take the next day when they are dry. Oh, but don’t forget to shake off the excess glitter!

make beautiful crowns from recycled paper bags

make beautiful crowns from recycled paper bags

make beautiful crowns from recycled paper bags

They wore their crowns all day the next day after they were dry. I was so impressed by their concentration with these, and by how magical they turned out to be. I think i might have to do these again with the next group of campers!

xo, Bar

 

9 Etsy Typography Prints


9 Etsy Typography Prints

I have recently been scouring Etsy for some cool typographical art for my daughters’ rooms. I wanted to share some of the lovely things that I found. Any of them would make a very sweet addition to a small wall space or a gallery wall.

Je T’Aime by Love Sugar, $24, 8 x 10 // I Lurve You by Mike Oncley, starting at $20 for 8 x10 // Today is the Day by Simply Gifts Online, $16 for 8 x 12 // This Girl is on Fire by Live Love Studio, starting at $30 for 11 x 14 // Hello. Also, I love You by The Big Hurumph, $22 for 8 x 10 // You’re my Favorite Work of Art by Love Sugar, $24 for 8.5 x 11 // I Lovely Love my Family by Tuesday Mourning, $24 by 8.5 by 11 // Speak Kindly by Dazey Chic, $20 for 8 x 10

I also love the print that I featured on last month’s Etsy finds.

Have a great weekend!

xo Bar

 

Princess Castles from Shoeboxes


Princess Castles from Shoeboxes

Last week in art camp the 4-yr olds made these beautiful castles. They were totally into it! We made them over a period of three days, with drying time. When they finally took them home, they were completely sturdy and ready for imaginary play!

make these castles from recycled materials

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Here’s what you’ll need:

Two shoeboxes of different sizes (or small shipping boxes)

Scissors and exacto knife (optional, but helps cut windows)

Elmer’s glue

TP rolls, corks, popsicle sticks, other recycled materials

Tempera paints + brushes

String + colored tapes (you can get these from Amazon or Etsy)

use shoeboxes to build a princess castle

Step 1: Take the lids off the boxes and turn them upside down. Cut doors and windows. Glue the smaller box on top of the bigger box. Let dry overnight.

make princess castles from recycled materials

make princess castles from recycled materials

Step 2: Give them each 4 toilet paper rolls to glue on top. Put out recycled materials in baskets or bowls. I put out corks, popsicle sticks and cut little “bricks” from cardboard. You could also use bottle caps, wooden spools, or anything that is small that they can glue. Let the castles dry overnight before painting.

make princess castles from recycled materials

Step 3: (optional) When the glue is dry, or mostly dry, put a coat of white or light gray paint over the boxes. I did this because some of the shoeboxes were orange or black. But if you have cardboard boxes then you can skip this step.

make beautiful princess castles from recycled materials

make beautiful princess castles from recycled materials

make beautiful princess castles from recycled materials

make beautiful princess castles from recycled materials

Step 4: Put out some paints! My campers love, I mean LOVE, pink and purple. So we went with some pastel-ish colors. I like mixing the colors with a little white to make them more opaque. After they’ve finished covering their castles with delicious colors, let them dry overnight.

Step 5: Make the flags. I forgot to photograph this part. But basically, just take a piece of string and fold over little pieces of tape. I stuck the ends in the tubes and used masking tape to tape them down.

make beautiful princess castles from recycled materials

Aren’t they fabulous? I am so proud of all of their hard work.

Have a great week!

xo, Bar

 

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