A Quiet Moment


A Quiet Moment

From the author Katrina Kenison, this passage struck home with me.

“When I come to a stop myself, when I draw a circle of stillness around me, my children are drawn into that peaceful place. They visibly relax, as if my very calmness nourishes them. The impact of just a few minutes of quiet attention can be profound, changing the mood of an entire day, restoring equilibrium to a distressed child, and to a frazzled mother.

We might sit side by side and draw, or gather up a stack of favorite old picture books and read them, make strange creatures out of clay, or just cuddle on the couch and listen to music as darkness falls. These are the moments when my children reveal themselves to me, when conversation spirals up and out, from the here and now into the realm of spirit and imagination. There, in that place Tennyson calls the ‘quiet limit of the world,’ we connect with one another at a very deep soul level. My children know then that they have my full attention and, even more important, that there’s no other place I’d rather be at that moment.”

As my children grow older, it gets harder to find quiet moments (or to even find them). I think my solution is that I have to plan the moments rather than happen upon them. Not quite as spontaneous (which is the way I roll), but maybe even more necessary now than when they were little.

Here’s hoping we all can create a quiet moment with our children this weekend…I know I will try!

xo, Bar

 

Make: Name Garland


Make: Name Garland

make a name garland @artbarblog

craft punch + paint chips ~ make a garland | @artbarblog

I’m loving the way this garland came out. It’s super easy to make and uses all free materials….my favorite kind of craft! To see the full post and tutorial, hop on over to Small for Big.

Happy Monday everybody!!

xo Bar

 

Art For Littles + A Brilliant Pinterest Board


Art For Littles + A Brilliant Pinterest Board

For the past month I’ve really been wanting to write a new series that focuses on art for the toddler/preschool age. Since my youngest is seven, we have grown out of that stage. I remember those days “in the trenches” with such a mix of happiness and weariness. We did explore art, but I wish I had known about the world of blogs because I could have used some fresh ideas!

So here’s the funny thing that happened while I was working on this draft. I was asked by a blogger, whom I really admire, if I wanted to be part of a group of moms who write about art projects for their little kids. How amazing and serendipitous, right?! Of course I said yes!! They call themselves the Rockin’ Art Moms… and now I am one, too. Yee-haw! We have a collaborative Pinterest board that you MUST follow this instant. It is a place where you can find all of the best art projects for your little ones (and bigger ones, too).

The above collage is a mix of some really super creative sensory/play/process art ideas to do with your littlest artists. Included are some Rockin’ Art Mom ideas, but I will also continue to share more of their ideas with you on a monthly basis. I hope this new series will be helpful and inspiring!

From top left: Making sculptures with a wire basket from Stephanie at Two-daloo // Watercolor heart doilies from Jean at The Artful Parent // Scissor exercises from Jackie at Happy Hooligans // People playdough mats {free printable} from Kate at Picklebums // Nature shadow boxes from Deborah at Teach Preschool // Shaving cream bathtub paint from Trisha at momdot // Magazine art from guest blogger Deborah on Classic Play // Marbled milk paper from Ana at Babble Dabble Do // Recycled box community from Meri at Meri Cherry // Paint blot art from Jeanette at Artchoo // Citrus printing from Sarah at Lil Sugar // Marshmallow shooter from Laura at Come Together Kids

12 Rockin' Art Moms unite to create a collaborative board providing you with awesome art projects for kids. We believe in the power of creativity as a necessary part of kids' lives. Rock on!

And now to introduce all of the Rockin’ Art Moms:

Ana from Babble Dabble Do

Meri from Meri Cherry (thank you for inviting me!!)

Jeanette from Artchoo and Tiny Rotten Peanuts

Melissa from Green Owl Art

Suja from Blog Me Mom

Kristen from Art History Mom

Gina from Willowday

Asia from Fun At Home With Kids

Stephanie from Two-daloo

Chelsey from Buggy and Buddy

Leslie from Pink Stripey Socks

I’m very excited to be able to learn from these 11 cool ladies, and to share their projects with you on a monthly basis. Rock on!!

xo, Bar

 

Cardboard Box Animals


Cardboard Box Animals

recycled art ~ animals made from cardboard boxes {free animal templates} | art bar

recycled art ~ animals made from cardboard boxes {free animal templates} | art bar

We have quite a few boxes leftover from our move in December. Like, a hundred or a thousand. A sea of brown boxes. If any of you have moved recently, you know what a downer it can be to have these boxes still sitting in the corners of all your rooms. The recycler in me had to make something out of them. These animals only took two boxes, unfortunately. But I have only just begun! Check out the tutorial on how to make these today over at Small for Big.

Have a happy Monday!

xo Bar

 

Make + Share on Instagram // #makeit2014


Make + Share on Instagram // #makeit2014

Are you on Instagram yet? Well hurry up and get on already! I know you. You’re like, what, another social media thingy? But trust me, it’s bonkers how much fun and easy Instagram is. Here’s why I love it (and why you should join a.s.a.p!!):

1) How often do you have your good camera on you to take photos of everyday life happenings? Not very often, if you’re like anyone with kids. But I will bet that you do have your phone handy at all times. And you probably take photos on it but then say to yourself, well i’ll never see this photo again. You barely download those photos onto your computer (if ever). So they live in a black hole inside your phone. Am I right? Well, with Instagram you can easily share that photo of your husband vacuuming with your friends and family. It is such an enjoyable and simple way to keep up with the people you care about that are spread all over the world. I am a very visual person so I love seeing all the photos on my feed every day. And you don’t have to write anything at all, which is a beautiful thing. Just take the photo, choose a cool filter (or don’t) and hit share. It’s so easy!

2) As if there could be more to love… once you have a dozen or so photos that you have shared, you can make them into prints! Yes, I’m serious. There are several companies that do this, but I love using Printstagram. Their square photos have white borders and are printed on a really heavy, matte paper. Check out this post I did where I used my Printstagram photos and you can see how pretty they are.

3) And still more… Instagram makes you creative. For reals. If you think that you can’t take a good photo, well Instagram makes it so you can’t take a bad one. Also, once you start following others (especially certain bloggers who have beautiful streams of photos) you will learn their artsy ways. Soon, you will feel your creativity oozing out.

4) Lastly (for this post anyway), do you have tweens or teens who are on Instagram? My girls are on Instagram and it’s not only fun having them see my photos and comment on things that I did during the day that I would have only been able to tell them about — or maybe not even tell them about since hanging-out time gets shorter and shorter the older they get — but I get to see their photos, too. I know what they are doing at that sleepover, alright. It keeps me connected to them, but it also keeps my voice in their head without being too controlling. It teaches them to slow down, pause, and think (three virtually impossible things for teens). *See extra note at the bottom.

I will now hold while you grab your phone and download that free Instagram app. Here is a good beginner’s guide

Hmm hm hm, doo da da…..humming and waiting….

Ok, are you on? Go find your friends and start following them.

MAKE!

Ok, so here’s the real reason for this post. The reason I want you on Instagram is because I want to encourage you to MAKE. I adapted the quote above from the screenwriter Joss Whedon (hopefully he won’t be mad that I changed a few words), who summed it up so well. There are infinite ways to create, most of them using your two hands. Whether it’s gardening, writing, cooking, building, painting, knitting…. everyone has something that they like to do that’s creative. Today I am starting a new hashtag: #makeit2014. Use this hashtag on any of your photos where you are making something. My photos above range from making art, to making forts, to making a wall gallery, to making lemonade and smoothies. All of these things require creativity and you have that! I know you do.

So start making…or continue making…and be sure to tag your photos with #makeit2014. (If you really are new to Instagram, once you tag your photo with a hashtag, it gets put in a group with all other photos with that tag. It’s pretty cool! You can just click on the hashtag and it will bring you to a stream of similarly tagged photos, and potential people to follow!).

I will collect my faves and share them with you on Fridays every few weeks. I can’t wait to see what you are making! (Oh, and you can back tag your photos from the beginning of the year).

You can find me at @artbarblog. Make sure to say hello!

xo, Bar

*{A note about teaching social media responsibility: Ideally, I don’t think children should be on Instagram before they are 13. That’s just my personal opinion. Instagram can fuel their insecurity and hurt the feelings of others. They can get too caught up in how many “likes” they get so that it becomes a popularity contest. I forbid my daughters from taking group photos of friends because someone will always feel left out if they weren’t invited and see that photo on Instagram. I encourage my girls to be “artsy” with their photos instead. I like it as a creative tool, and as a way of keeping connected.}

 

Love Letters


Love Letters

This week my daughter and I had the privilege of inviting 20 girls from her class to our house to make Valentine’s Day cards for a very good cause. Here’s the scoop: DoSomething.org, the largest non-profit in the US for young people and social change, has launched a campaign called Love Letters. Love Letters asks kids and teens to create Valentine’s Day cards to lift the spirits of older adults across the country during a peak time of isolation and depression. These letters are then sent to Meals on Wheels all across the United States, and delivered to those seniors who are in need of some love and attention.

Love Letters is a program that asks teens to create handmade Valentine's cards to lift the spirits of older people across the US during a peak time of isolation ~ in partnership with DoSomething.org // Art Bar

We filled the tables with heaps of fun and colorful crafting materials. Some of the girls were using rubber cement for the first time (hard to believe)! They were so excited, their smiles were contagious. The girls fully embraced their task and enjoyed every moment. All the while, being completely aware of how much they would help another person with their thoughtful, handmade cards. I was so proud of them!!

Love Letters is a program that asks teens to create handmade Valentine's cards to lift the spirits of older people across the US during a peak time of isolation ~ in partnership with DoSomething.org // Art Bar

Here’s what we put out on our tables (all found on Amazon):

white card stock (folded in half) // construction paper in valentine colors // heart punches big and small // scissors // glitter glue // rubber cement // pom-poms // markers // chalkboard markers // paper muffin cups // fabric strips (cut from scraps) // washi tape

DoSomething.org asks that you follow these guidelines when making your cards:

~ Outside of the card should say Happy Valentine’s Day.

~ Inside the card, share three facts about yourself in order for the receiver of your beautiful cards to feel more of a connections with you. For example:

What state are you from?

What is your favorite hobby?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

~ You may sign the card, but do not use your last name or any specific details about where you live.

Love Letters is a program that asks teens to create handmade Valentine's cards to lift the spirits of older people across the US during a peak time of isolation ~ in partnership with DoSomething.org // Art Bar

The deadline for sending cards is February 15th. Please, please consider making some cards with your kids this weekend. Click here for directions, guidelines and addresses of Meals on Wheels across the country.

Thank you, thank you! You guys are the best.

xo, Bar

 

Printable Valentine Coloring Pages


Printable Valentine Coloring Pages

Hello! I have been busy cutting and sewing quilts lately so I have been away from my desk. It’s been a while since I posted anything. But hopefully you’ve been busy, too…creating and making amazing things. Today on Art Bar Monday I am sharing these easy and sweet Valentine printables. If you are in the mood to make something with the kids but you don’t want to put in more effort than hitting print and bringing out the crayons, then this is one’s for you! Swing yourself over to Small for Big for the downloads.

Happy Monday!

xo, Bar

 

Valentines Made by Hand {24 ideas}


Valentines Made by Hand {24 ideas}

Moving to America when I was five was memorable for many reasons. Learning a new language for one, although I don’t remember that. What I remember most about my first year here was making Valentines for everyone in my class. It was like Christmas! Sharing what I had made for my friends, and receiving what they had made for me – I felt all warm and fuzzy inside. I miss Kindergarten.

There are infinite ways to make a Valentines card from scratch. Most of these ideas are open-ended, process oriented cards, which are the best kind. Just put out supplies and let your kids explore and create! (And you can, too).

Row 1: cut out heart window and add red heart (you can forgo the printed lettering and write by hand) by Lovely Design // heart punch and paint chips at Juneberry Lane // tissue paper collage heart + glitter at Panther’s Palette // use glue and collage materials to make valentine faces by My Paper Crane

Row 2: minimalist painted valentines by Annily Green // simply paint with reds and pinks then add glitter and cut into heart shape at Many Hats of a Mom // fingerprint valentine by The Gold Jellybean or Paint Cut Paste // liquid watercolor heart postcards at Art Bar

Row 3: layer paper hearts and fold into an envelope by Martha Stewart // draw hearts with pencil then paint in with patterns and cut from our Flickr feed // i heart you accordion cards at BHG // trace your child’s hand for the sweetest valentine by Martha Stewart

Row 4: stickers and washi tape heart pendants at Blank Style // felt heart (sew or glue on) with rubber stamps at Clever Charlotte // liquid watercolors make for beautiful paper, then just cut into hearts at You Are My Fave // newspaper heart bunting at Maya Made

Row 5: use cupcake liners to make a valentine badge by Urban Comfort // ombre heart kit (and other valentine kits) at Paper Source // hand sew or use glue with these simple heart cards at Apartment Therapy and All Buttoned Up // make a heart lei at Homemade Serenity

Row 6: pop-up valentine at Minieco // heart doilies by Martha Stewart // newspaper hearts at Art Bar // melted crayon hearts by Martha Stewart

craft table: handmade valentines | art bar

In my opinion, the best way to make homemade cards is to create a craft table full of all the supplies you will need. Set up the table on the weekend, and leave it out for a day or two. Sit down with your kids if you can, or if they are little, and just enjoy the process. The photo above is from our Valentine craft table from last year. The cards don’t have to be complicated…it’s just so lovely to give something (and receive something) that has been made from the heart. ♡

xo, Bar

{For last minute printables and ideas that include gifts, visit my Pinterest boards “Holiday Ideas” and “Printables”}

 

Olympic Flag Garland


Olympic Flag Garland

Today on Art Bar Monday on Small for Big, find out more about this awesome craft. And I do mean awesome. This one kept my kids busy for days and days. It’s actually still out on our table. But more than that, it sparked so many interesting conversations about the world. It was a way for them to see beyond their own country (and get to use rubber cement at the same time). Seventeen days ’til Sochi 2014!

Happy Martin Luther King Day. Have a great week ♡.

xo, Bar

 

A Love Quote


A Love Quote

I found this quote on Pinterest. Like many images on Pinterest, the source never led me to the original. I really wanted to print it out, so I made my own version. And I made this printable so you can print it out, too!

valentine's printable | art bar

This quote is so perfect because it reminds me to look for the magic in those that I love. We all get so bogged down with the day-to-day grind that we end up yelling, blaming and criticizing those that we adore, which is all wrong. Let’s print this out and hang it in our bathrooms (the place where we will surely read it every day) to help us look for the magic, and turn to love. ♡

Have a happy week!

xo, Bar