LOVE Garland


LOVE Garland

Today on Art Bar Monday over at Small for Big, learn how to make this artsy LOVE garland. It’s a variation on last year’s Valentine’s theme, with the painted newspaper, but you can make it any way you want. Like most of my projects, there is lots of room for variation. Make it your own…and share it with me!

Have a great first week of the New Year!

xo, Bar

 

This Year {resolutions printable}


This Year {resolutions printable}

I have made a printable for you! Fill it out easy or hard, whatever the mood strikes. (Or leave just the words…they are resolutions enough!) My resolutions are more about getting organized and doing the things I’ve been wanting to do for the last few years. I love a new year. All fresh and not behind on anything yet.

resolutions {printable} | art bar

Here’s hoping your dreams come true in 2014!! I’m crossing my fingers for you ♡

xo Bar

 

Siblings + Love This {four}


Siblings + Love This {four}

Spending time with my sister and brother this holiday, and watching my own kids (who have the same birth order as I did growing up) made me realize once again that sibling relationships are like no other. My kids, they fight a lot. All three have strong personalities…there is not one of them who is flexible or easy going. No wallflowers. We need earplugs in this house. But they love each other, too. They hold hands when we go for walks, they snuggle together in the mornings in one of their beds (usually the oldest’s), and they would fight for each other in an instant. I learn from them, and watching their relationships develop makes me appreciate my own siblings that much more. Our love is complicated, but our bond is simple.

Here is my latest edition of Love This:

1. Last summer, we bought the box set of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air for all of our road trips. The kids laughed until they peed. Recently I found this clip from a British talk show featuring Will Smith. If you are a fan of the show, watch this! I love that Will Smith.

2. David Foster Wallace’s commencement address to the Kenyon class of 2005 is an “earth-shatteringly amazing speech that’ll change the way you think about adulthood”. It was made into this stunning video.

3. I will finally be teaching my 7-yr old how to tie his shoes. This is happening today!

4. This time-lapse movie of a homeless Veteran’s transformation opened all of our eyes to the struggles they endure, and how much they need our help. Watch with your kids.

5. My cousin, yoga instructor extraordinaire, sent me this article on why girls need yoga (not judging or comparing is one of many lessons learned).

6. I bought this mini poster for my daughter for Christmas. Love!

7. Read this incredible and inspiring story of a Chinese woman who saved and raised 30 abandoned babies she found while collecting rubbish. Amazing.

8. I love this one Dad’s bedtime story to his young daughter. Sick of having his daughter praised for her looks, he brilliantly began teaching her to love her body in a completely different way.

Enjoy the rest and relaxation of vacation…I’ll see you in the new year!!

xo Bar

{ps: the photo is of me and my brother and sister, winter 1975.}

 

Paper Snowflakes // Table Runner


Paper Snowflakes // Table Runner

Making paper snowflakes can be one of the most frustrating or most satisfying exercises ever. For little hands with dull scissors, it can be tough. Depending on the child, I think age five-to-seven is a good time to start practicing and letting them handle a sharper scissor. At first, make the snowflakes simple with just a few cuts and notches. As they grow and become more dexterous and patient, they will automatically start making their snowflakes more complex. At our house, we finally all LOVE making them. My youngest is seven and he thankfully is not a perfectionist, so anything will do. There are some great patterns on Pinterest…here is a good board for ideas.

Today I am sharing how I made this snowflake table runner (easy!) and how we make our snowflakes on You Are My Fave.

xo, Bar

 

Yarn Star Ornaments


Yarn Star Ornaments

Today on Art Bar Monday on Small for Big….ornaments! I love this idea of wrapping pipe cleaners. It’s not only charming and pretty, but therapeutic. (And yes, more pom-poms.)

xo Bar

 

Pom-pom Napkin Rings


Pom-pom Napkin Rings

Let’s skip the part where I talk about my pom-pom obsession, and get right down to the making of these amazing little things. If you can make a pom-pom, you can make these! They are so easy, and very Anthropologie-esque.

Start with making a pom-pom. There are many ways to do this. I used pom-pom makers, but you could use your fingers, too (here is a good tutorial from Creature Comforts). Trim the pom-pom but leave the strings long. Next, take any old small hair tie and tie the pom-pom on with the strings. Tie two or three pom-poms on for the full effect, or use just one big one!

This project was recently featured in MoPa (stands for modern parent), a blog and online magazine for the holidays that is just lovely and full of great ideas. Check it out for more photos and the full instructions!

xo, Bar

 

Giant Christmas Tree Paintings


Giant Christmas Tree Paintings

While we have the paints out from our teacher gift tags, let’s make big paintings! From small format to big, there’s nothing the kids love better than changing things up.

Read more about how these were made, the supplies you will need, and photos of all three finished products on Melanie’s blog You Are My Fave! And while you’re there, browse around at all her other inspirational posts. Her blog is just lovely.

This weekend is our big move (three streets over…but it might as well be to Mars I feel so ambivalent and unprepared), so send good thoughts!

xo, Bar

 

Painted Teacher Gift Tags


Painted Teacher Gift Tags

Today on Art Bar monday over at Small for Big, download my printable teacher gift tag onto watercolor paper and let the kids create their own little works of art. Fill in the backs with magnificent words of love and praise, and you have yourself a keepsake to give to your child’s teacher that will warm their hearts.

{See more gift tags and handmade stuff for teachers right here.}

Happy Monday!

xo, Bar

 

Repurpose / Reuse / Retrash


Repurpose / Reuse / Retrash

What do all of the above have in common? They are all things that have been brilliantly repurposed! Or upcycled…reused…retrashed. Call it what you will, it is an idea as old as time. Although nowadays, the movement has a fresh face thanks to Pinterest!

As you know, I have a fondness for making things from what we have lying around the house. Many of my art projects on this blog are made from materials that everyone has at hand (click here to see them all). Part of it is that I dislike errands very much. Driving around to get this and that, it literally puts me in a bad mood. The other part is that it makes me feel bad to spend money on supplies when I have so much here. And thirdly, it just makes sense! Using what I have forces me to be creative, and it leaves me with a good feeling that I didn’t add to my garbage pile.

I hadn’t heard of the word “retrash” until recently, when I came across this Kickstarter campaign from Aussie Nathan Devine. He is funding his labor of love, a beautiful coffee table book named RETRASH. The idea spawned from his website. This book will feature artists from around the world who are inspiring change by working to reduce landfill waste and getting creative with what others view as trash. Check out his Kickstarter page and make a pledge if it moves you. I personally can’t wait to get my copy and share it with my kids (our most promising generation of recyclers)!

Above credits: globe pendants / hanger to TP holder / necktie zipper pouch / mouse beds from Altoid tins / yardstick boxes / tin cans for art supplies / egg carton sewing kit / bike sink / work shirt to little dress / tennis racquet mirrors / suitcase speakers / landfill-harmonic (you must click this link and see for yourself)

Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

xo, Bar

 

Kid Made: Thankful Table


Kid Made: Thankful Table

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday because it is all about food, family, and relaxation. The absence of gift-giving takes takes away all pressures, and the long weekend that follows is always lazy and perfect. Sleeping in, family hikes, football games, leftovers, making crafts (of course)…it’s all good for the soul.

Last year we had a mini Thanksgiving before the big day. I’m sure some of you know the drill – having both sides of your family close-by means sharing the “big day”. Our mini Thanksgiving was with my mom, Oma. We decided to roll out some craft paper and draw the place settings (idea from Trula Kids). We dotted the paper with white circle stickers which became spots to write thankful words. My favorite one was “me”, written by my six-year old son. Turns out he was thankful for himself! It’s good to love yourself, I always say. (Hopefully he won’t become a politician. He was also thankful for art, football, food, mom and voices. Phew.)

I left the crayons and markers out all weekend so that by Sunday night, it became a true work of art. I didn’t want to take it off. I wanted to freeze time and remain in the glow of Thanksgiving.

Try this for your next big family gathering (it doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving)!  It’s such a nice way to connect with and honor the people they love, and to show gratitude for the little things in life that we so often overlook. We really do have so much to be thankful for!

xo, Bar