Puffy Hearts {fun for all ages}


Puffy Hearts {fun for all ages}

Yesterday I taught my very first art class! You may have noticed that I have a new heading up top called classes. I am SO excited about this new adventure, it has been a dream of mine for a long, long time (as my friends can attest to). I can’t believe it’s finally come true!

My class of 3 and 4 year olds (mostly 3′s) came over today and we make puffy hearts. I was thinking it might be a bit of a challenge, starting off with a “product” rather than some open-ended creativity, but I was feeling like I needed to take this opportunity to have them make something for mother’s day. I had my 8yr old son make one as a “trial run”, and he did so well! His only painting instructions were to use rainbow colors. He came up with his own pattern, cut, stuffed and stapled all by himself. I was feeling pretty good about this!

rainbow watercolor art

rainbow watercolor art

So my little kids arrived and we talked about rainbows (r.o.y.g.b.i.v.), and I gave them the choice of painting stripes or creating their own patterns. “Just fill the whole heart” was really my only request. I obviously have not been around 3 year olds in a long time. Five years, actually, if you do the math. I forgot that they are babies. First of all, the 3yr olds had never used watercolors, or scissors. (Thank goodness I had a 4yr old who could prove that it was possible.) So we started from scratch. I explained that watercolors need water to work. They all chose brown first, and then black (because those colors are at the end of the palette), and then they moved on to white. Every color went on the same spot on the paper. (Stripes? ha!) But…with a little encouragement and repetition of technique, they got the hang of it in no time, and even began mixing their own amazing colors! Such a smart group.

the littles using their best small motor skills!

Look how cute they are!

strengthening small motor skills while making beautiful art!

strengthening small motor skills while making beautiful art!

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

Here’s a quick tutorial on making puffy hearts:

1) cut out a big heart and use it as a template (heart should be symmetrical), then trace the heart onto two pieces of paper (we used sulphite paper, not watercolor paper which would be too thick)

2) paint both hearts with watercolors, then let them dry (we used inexpensive crayola watercolors)

3) cut out both hearts, then staple together all along the edge, leaving one side open to stuff

4) use tissue paper, or cut up some newspaper or scrap paper, and crumple into little bits to use as stuffing

5) staple the last side closed

strengthening small motor skills while making beautiful art!

I just LOVE the way their hearts turned out so unique and moody and beautiful. I swear, little kids are so uninhibited that they really make the best art.

Have a try at this one, it really does work for all ages.

Happy Mother’s Day!!

xo, Bar

PS: for a good mother’s day quote, click here to see my quote collage from last year….you’ll like it.

 

Mother’s Day Card {printable}


Mother’s Day Card {printable}

Mother’s Day is almost here! I made this card for my mom (who is the epitome of WOW) and I wanted to share it with you. Just download and print on card stock, then trim. Or print on regular paper and glue to cardstock. Fits a 5 x 7 envelope.

You could also give this card to a new mom, or a friend or sister to cheer them on when they’ve had a bad day. Or frame it to remember your mom, or to just celebrate mothering in general…because we are all worthy of a WOW!

xo Bar

ps: {mom…pretend you didn’t see this}

 

A Quilt // In Loving Memory of Grace


A Quilt // In Loving Memory of Grace

Many of you know I have a daughter named Grace. This post is not about her. This story is about another Grace. I was never able to meet this Grace, a beautiful and creative ten year old who was wise and brave beyond her years, but I did get to know her in a very different way…through her clothes.

patchwork memory quilt

I made this quilt for Grace’s mom and dad. They wanted to be able to wrap themselves up with her essence. It was a humbling experience, but so rewarding for me to be able to help (just a little bit) in the healing of a broken heart.

patchwork memory quilt

Here’s what I learned about Grace from her clothes: She had style, she loved American Girl dolls, she had a thing for the color purple, she loved peace signs, she was a cool kid with her striped leggings and her “just peachy” shirt, she loved the beach, she was a Girl Scout, she was loved by many.

Grace Evanko

I reached out to Grace’s mom to see if it was ok for me to write a post about Grace and the quilt. Although we have not met in person (yet), she is one of my heroes. Here is what she wrote about her daughter:

“Our daughter, Grace Marie Evanko, “Amazing Grace”, passed away at the age of 10 on March 2, 2013. She battled an inoperable DIPG brain tumor for two and a half years. She possessed strength, determination and an ability to overcome physical challenges, all with a smile on her face and never a complaint. And she had a lot to complain about…many surgeries, 6 weeks of radiation, a year of chemo, lost her hair and in the end the ability to walk or talk. Our daughter showed a zest for life and a will to live in her short 10 years that most people will spend a lifetime searching for; she inspired so many in such a short time. Grace loved playing with her friends, laughing, dancing, being creative and anything chocolate. She was obsessed with American Girl dolls! She could play school or tea party for hours! Grace adored her older brother Riley and truly looked up to him. As a family we were blessed to have her in our lives and have created many memories that will last a lifetime!”

The Evanko Family

patchwork memory quilt

I believe that children like Grace, the ones that leave us too soon, should be remembered and honored every single day. Whether it’s through prayer, planting a tree, walking for charity, writing a thank-you note, helping a friend in need, or more simply by lighting a candle and paying attention to how lucky we are to be alive. Celebrating those brave and beautiful souls is like sending a balloon up to heaven!

xo, Bar

PS: To reach out to Grace’s mom and dad, Denise and Fred, you can email them at fdevanko@optonline.net.

 

Our Trip to LA LA Land


Our Trip to LA LA Land

I recently took my daughters on a cross-country trip to LA. It was something I had been planning for a long time as a surprise…just us girls. It was such an incredible trip in so many ways!! First of all, LA has the best weather…duh. It’s absolutely perfect. Coolish in the mornings and at night so you can wear a sweater, warm during the day for sandals and shorts. I could seriously live in that temperature every day of my life. Secondly, LA is a city with mountains! We loved taking hikes, especially because there was always a reward at the top. The views were breathtaking. Thirdly, LA has the BEST FOOD! One of my daughters has all these allergies, but it was no problem in LA. They always had vegan options or almond milk. WE LOVE CALIFORNIA!! Here are some of our fave places that we visited.

runyon canyon :: hiking in LA

runyon canyon :: hiking in LA

Runyon Canyon for a hike. Steep climb but so worth it. This was my girls’ favorite hike because you could see the Hollywood sign in the distance. I love this shot of my middle with her phone…sort of epitomizes her phase in life. Those two are attached at the hip. Literally.

novel cafe in westwood :: our trip to LA

Novel Café in Westwood. We loved this spot to eat. We sat upstairs where they have a library and found a book on limericks (which turned out to be useful because making up limericks is a perfect pastime while sitting in LA traffic. Grrr.)

el matador in malibu :: our trip to LA

el_matador1

el matador in malibu :: our trip to LA

El Matador beach in Malibu. Our favorite beach by far, wished the whole time that the boys could be with us.

melrose place :: our trip to LA

Alfred Coffee on Melrose Place. Best iced coffee and blueberry muffins ever! And they sell jam and chocolate made in LA.

universal hollywood tour :: our trip to LA

Universal Studios tour. Seriously cool…especially driving by The Voice sound stage!!

santa monica pier :: our trip to LA

The Santa Monica pier. We loved the view from the ferris wheel, and riding bikes along the pier to Venice Beach was SUPER fun. We stopped and ate at The Figtree Cafe…yummy and great people watching.

urbanic on abbot kinney :: our trip to LA

Urbanic on Abbot Kinney. The hippest shopping area down in Venice, and the most beautiful paper store where we bought our one piece of LA art.

inspiration loop at roy rogers park :: our trip to LA

Inspiration Loop was a really great hike at Roy Rogers State Park. It was a bit cooler and cloudy that day which was actually perfect hiking weather…and nobody was on the trail. It was incredibly peaceful, just the three of us. The view of LA spanned all the way to the Pacific. Even in the haze it was gorgeous.

the getty museum :: our trip to LA

The Getty Museum was just stunning. We napped and ate on the lawn, saw Jackson Pollock and Ansel Adams, and gazed at the beautiful architecture. Worth the drive.

our trip to LA :: visiting @mericherry

our trip to LA :: visiting @mericherry

our trip to LA :: visiting @mericherry

I had a very exciting date with Meri from Meri Cherry and Ana from Babble Dabble Do, two fellow bloggers whom I had never met (but we share a Pinterest board called Rockin’ Art Moms). It was soooo much fun meeting face to face! We gabbed for hours. Insta-friends. Then the next day, our last and most favorite day of all, we went to Meri’s house and met her two beautiful little girls. Our families immediately clicked and it was like being with old friends… so cool when that happens. Meri has art playgroups at her house every Friday. Picture lots of babies and toddlers painting, splashing, licking (Meri’s paint was made from yogurt!), and just generally having the most amazing, messy, tactile experience of their lives. It was ridiculous! We loved every minute.

view from the hotel :: our trip to LA

This last shot is the view from our hotel in Universal City. The  mountains! I wish I could wake up to this view every day.

We left LA with lots of new clothes (thanks to a shopping spree at The Grove), dirt filled sneakers, many miles clocked in the car, three new friends for life, and a profound need to return to California some day. Next time we will go as a whole family.

What’s your favorite spot in LA?

xo Bar

 

Children’s Spaces // A Favorite Book


Children’s Spaces // A Favorite Book

Before Pinterest, I used to collect books. Throughout my childhood, high school and college, my dad would buy me one big art book every Christmas. It started with Norman Rockwell, Paul Klee and Toulouse-Lautrec. As I got older, my tastes changed but my love for beautiful books did not. After marriage and children, I started buying my own big books and that’s when I started my decorating collection. I still covet beautiful books and have a growing wish list, but I must admit that Pinterest fits better with my budget!

This book, Children’s Spaces from Zero to Ten, is one of my favorites. I’ve looked through it countless times and always end up on the same pages, daydreaming of being a child again and living in these cozy, magical rooms.

I love this shared space for a brother and sister. It’s not matchy (a pet-peeve) and it’s got splashes of red (my personal obsession). The big window in between the beds creates a lovely divide, and the little lamps on stools are small and perfect. It has a graphic quality with Babar and the striped rug, but it’s cozy, too, with it’s vintage bed sheets and pillows.

The bed with the red velvet curtains is to die for, isn’t it? Who would think that red velvet could create such a light and airy feeling. But since the red is faded, and the bed is a more grown-up white with just a few splashes of pastels, it creates a warm + serene space that is timeless.

I think that my bunting fetish must have begun with this baby’s room. I love the simplicity, and the colors. It takes discipline to create a room that is so tranquil + calm, and that can grow with baby and her developing taste and style.

This is my favorite bedroom for a boy. The checked bedding with patchwork quilt is charming + homey and makes the antique bed feel quirky instead of old. I love the simple Swiss cross and blowfish clock. I can see a string of art appearing over time. It’s such a sweet and cozy little space.

Add this book to your Mother’s Day wish list!

xo, Bar