Sunburst Paintings


Sunburst Paintings

Today is our first day back to school. I am biting my nails. I don’t know whether to be sad or happy. Both, I guess. To kick off the school year I am sharing a simple “art meets math” project with quite beautiful results. Please click over to Small for Big for my Art Bar Monday post. And let me know if you make these paintings… I’d love to see!

Happy back to school everyone!

xo Bar

 

Martha’s Vineyard {family holiday}


Martha’s Vineyard {family holiday}

This summer we explored the beautiful island of Martha’s Vineyard. Lying just 6 miles off the southern coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, The Vineyard was once inhabited by the Wompanoag tribe and is now known for it’s gorgeous beaches, laid back style, and occasional vacationing president. Here are photos of some of our favorite spots and memories.

We rented a house through VRBO about three weeks before our trip. Since we had just canceled our big, much researched California coastal vacation (no time to explain, but picture a lot of moping) we wanted to stay somewhere “adventurous”. We chose the town of Aquinnah on the southern most tip of the island, a 35 minute drive from the ferry. Aquinnah is the last place on the island where Wompanoag still live. The beaches are untouched and breathtaking. Gayhead beach is known for its dramatic clay cliffs (and nudie bathers…make sure to warn your 7-yr old boy so they don’t point and giggle). Our favorite beach was Moshup, which is a 10-minute walk from the car down a cleared path, and adjoins Gayhead beach. There are rocks of all colors and boulders that look sculpted, along with the softest sand. The waves break further out so the kids could walk on the sandbar and body surf.

We visited all of the Vineyard towns. Some were sleepy places with just a general store and a post office. Others were destination spots with restaurants, inns, shopping and lots and lots of ice cream and candy! My kids were in heaven. Our favorite was the old whaling port of Edgartown. Full of pretty shingle style houses built by whaling captains, a walk down Water Street along the harbor is dazzling. Edgartown is also home to the island’s most popular beach, South Beach. We loved this beach, too (but with it’s crashing surf it is not the best beach for little kids). Our favorite shop was Portobello Road. They sell eclectic paintings, books, signs and all sorts of cool collectibles. Another lucky find was Chilmark Pottery (in Chilmark, of course) which sells the most beautiful hand made wares. Master potter Geoffrey was so nice to let us watch him work. We eat from his bowls every morning now!

Lighthouses abound on The Vineyard. We visited lots of them. Our favorite was the Aquinna lighthouse, probably because it was at our doorstep, but also because they are making a big effort to raise money to move it because it is falling into the ocean as it sits right on top of the red clay cliffs of Gayhead beach. We took a tour and climbed the stairs to the top and looked at some of the old photos of when there used to be a lighthouse keeper. It was pretty cool for the kids to make a connection with the past and also help problem solve for the future. (On a side note, speaking of lighthouse keepers, have your read The Light Between the Oceans? A heartbreaking story, but a good summer read.)

We also found some calm lakes, like that of Long Point Reserve, which was a beautiful day for all of us. It gave the kids a break from the pounding waves and they were able to just swim in the water for hours. The fishing village of Menemsha offered us a casual place to eat at The Galley, and was one of the spots where they filmed Jaws (my kids became a little obsessed with this fact). Menemsha also has a quieter beach where you can climb the rocks, and has the best sunsets on the island.

We loved our vacation on Martha’s Vineyard. We hope some day to go back and explore the island some more on bike (but first we will have to teach 7-yr old mr. stubborn to ride). Sorry for all the photos, I just couldn’t narrow down anymore. There were just too many pretty spots to show you!

xo, Bar

 

 

A Pep Talk for My Friend


A Pep Talk for My Friend

I wasn’t going to post anything today. It’s August, the kids are home, and I want to spend my last few precious days doing summer-y things. But my friend is in need of a pep talk. She is making a big change and is having the normal second thoughts. This is for you, my friend! You are the most courageous, spirited and beautiful person I know. Have faith… it will all turn out alright.

xo Bar

 

Marbleized Paper Quilt


Marbleized Paper Quilt

Today’s Art Bar Monday post on Small for Big is a simple and very cool marbleizing project. We made this quilt in just an afternoon out in the yard. The marbleizing kit is inexpensive and the results are just about fail proof! Please click over to Mari’s blog for all of the details.

Happy Monday!

xo Bar

 

Crayon Holder {pencils, too}


Crayon Holder {pencils, too}

Don’t these look so professional? Believe me when I tell you that they were really simple to make. I promise! As long as you can drill, you can make these crayon holders.

Supplies:

~ Wood slices. I got mine from Etsy. They are maple slices, 2.75” in diameter and an inch thick.

~ Drill. I used a very thick bit, but not sure of the exact size. Just compare it to your crayon (or pencil).

~ Chalk Markers. We tried paint but the wood soaked up the color. The chalk markers worked perfectly because they are opaque!

How to:

Hold your wood piece with one hand, and then drill with the other. We didn’t mark the wood or anything, we just started and worked our way around the edge, then drilled a few in the middle. Then use your markers, or leave them plain. THAT IS IT!! See, I told you it was easy.

These did start out as pencil holders. But we had a little visitor over and she stuck crayons in her pencil holder, which was pure genius. My son now loves them because he can pick out his favorite colors and keep them separated from all of those other colors in the big crayon basket.

These holders make me want to draw with crayons. Hope you try these at home!

xo Bar

 

Sisters + Love This {one}


Sisters + Love This {one}

I’ve been thinking lately about all that interests me…and would you be interested, too? Whether books, articles, quotes, apps, blogs, artists, or places, I am constantly reading and looking for inspiration. I’ve decided to start a new series, Love This. Here are a few things that have caught my attention this month:

Love This {one}

1. I want to make these nautical bracelets very badly.

2. Time mag ran a cover story in May called the “Me, Me, Me Generation”. It was quite fascinating. Here is the link, but unfortunately you have to subscribe to read the whole thing. (Or make a dental cleaning appointment for your kids, stat. Best magazines.) Joel Stein, the writer of the article, tried to be a millennial for a day and made this video. It’s hilarious.

3. I have watched this trailer over and over with my kids… Landfill Harmonic Project. Truly inspirational.

4. If I had to do it all over again, I would move to Switzerland, have babies, and send them to L’écoline.

5. I dream of owning this store in Vancouver. Maybe some day….

6. Discovering a new, simple app is always a cool thing. Do you know Krop Circle? Turns your instagrams into a circle. Yeah!

7. This article by Frank Bruni about siblings is exceptional. He is so good. Confirms my belief that “family closeness is not a happy accident”. It takes work, but worth every bit of effort.

Have a great weekend!

xo Bar

{The sisters image above was created by yours truly.}

 

Bird Paintings


Bird Paintings

Today on Art Bar monday over at Small for Big I am sharing these DIY bird paintings, free printables and all! This was originally a kid craft, but things didn’t go so well. I ended up creating the bird coloring pages for grown-up kids (that would be us). I hope you will try them and create something beautiful for your walls!

Have a great week!

xo Bar

 

Paper Robots


Paper Robots

We recently went on a lovely little summer holiday. (I hope to share some of my photos with you as soon as I can narrow them down!) We always bring some arts + crafts with us when traveling. I usually throw some supplies in an art bag, along with some ideas scribbled on a piece of paper. This time I added some brass fasteners (or brads as they are sometimes called) to the bag so that we could make moveable robots!

make paper robots with brass fasteners | art bar

make paper robots with brass fasteners | art bar

Here’s what you need to make these robots:

paper, markers, colored pencils, washi tape, scissors, and brass fasteners.

I left the supplies on the cool, concrete floor for a couple of days so that they would just gravitate there after a hot day at the beach.

make paper robots with brass fasteners | art bar

The best part about this project is that there is no right or wrong way to make a robot. In fact, the more absurd the better!

I hope you try!

xo Bar

{inspiration from Fox & Owl}

 

The Super Swing


The Super Swing

About 40 feet up in the trees hangs our super swing. When we first tossed that rope around the oak branch it was 13 years ago, and we attached a baby swing. The kids spent years in that swing. Some liked to go high, others were scared. Eventually they all outgrew the baby swing, and so we switched it out for a buoy. Now that they are older (and more daring), they launch themselves off of the swing set and fly so high that their feet touch the house! It’s absolutely frightening to watch. We now make them wear helmets.

At my son’s birthday party last month, after the treasure hunt was over (in record time), the boys automatically formed a line by the super swing. I just love these photos. They capture the experience perfectly. There is a magic about that swing. It’s like a flying trapeze. You wait your turn, you get your running push, and they you fly through the air….weightless and free.

I love the look of joy on their little faces! These photos were snapped (before I remembered to put on their helmets) by my talented friend Alix Martinez. Check out her website and you will be blown away…she is a true artist.

Enjoy your week!

xo Bar

 

 

Kid Postcards {from their art}


Kid Postcards {from their art}

My son loves to draw. He has sketchbooks by his bed and draws at night. Whatever pops into his head, he puts it down on paper: a clock, the sun, a pencil, a hockey puck, sports logos, lots of penguins. I love this about him. But the sad part is, he thinks he’s bad at drawing. He often will rip out pages (garbage full of crumpled paper in the morning), and he is super sensitive about comments. Please don’t ever say anything constructive (his art teachers have learned this over the years). He will cry. It breaks my heart!

So I had this revelation last month. He was about to embark on some heavy thank-you note writing after his birthday bash so he needed some notes. I have a postcard business so all three kids have tons of thank-you notes. But this time, I surprised him by taking his little drawings and creating a postcard with them. I was worried to show him, but guess what…he smiled very big!

We even framed one of his drawings. He felt proud and was happy with his work. Yippee!!

If you want to make some for your own kids, you can go to Late Night Cake and get started. If you don’t have a scanner, you can photograph your child’s art (which is what I did) and email them to me.

My son has been so excited to share his postcards that he is writing to everyone he knows…. how great is that?

xo Bar