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

 

Poppy Art // Make


Poppy Art // Make

Today’s Art Bar Monday project over on Small for Big is quite possibly the coolest thing we’ve done in a while. Can you believe these are coffee filters? The finished piece is 100% framable. Make this with your kids, or perhaps all by yourself! Check out the DIY.

Have a great week!

xo Bar

 

The Painted Staircase


The Painted Staircase

I love painted stairs. They make me think of my summer house (in my dreams…). Here are some stairs that will definitely inspire!

ombre stairs // striped stairs at kate spade london pop-up shop // hot pink stairs // yellow patterned stairs (wow!)

blue painted stair runner

teal painted stairs // blue ombre stairs // rainbow stairs //  robin’s egg stairs (so dreamy)

painted stairs + painted bannister (love the color combo)

There are many more floating around Pinterest, but these are some of my faves.

Someday you might see one of these in my dream house!

xo, Bar

 

Summer List 2013


Summer List 2013

Happy 4th of July! At this moment, we are somewhere exploring the island of Martha’s Vineyard. I will report back later in the month. In the meantime, here our summer list (better late than never I always say):

1. bake giant chocolate chip cookies / 2. make mini storage / 3. sombrilla beach tent / 4. rhode island beaches / 5.  make coconut milk strawberry ice-cream / 6. outdoor movie / 7. find beach cliffs / 8. paint rocks / 9. make paper machè animals / 10. make perler bead bracelets / 11. teach my son to ride a bike / 12. make sponge balls / 13. make the best salsa ever / 14. play pool basketball / 15. visit a farm / 16. paint silhouettes / 17. read aloud to the kids / 18. Martha’s Vineyard lighthouse

Come visit my Pinterest summer list board for more ideas!

xo Bar

 

Stenciled Letter Dress


Stenciled Letter Dress

It’s Art Bar Monday over at Small for Big. Check out this totally cute do-it-yourself with the coolest patterned stencils by Handmade Charlotte.

Have a great week!

xo Bar

 

A Backyard Birthday


A Backyard Birthday

To some, the thought of a backyard birthday party is terrifying. I will agree that it is so much easier taking your child’s party to Pump it Up or Chuck-e-Cheese! If my kids would ask for one of those parties, I would be more than happy to oblige. However, except for the movie theatre party last year, my three kids have always wanted their parties to be at home. I did the math recently and this means that I have planned and executed 29 kid birthday parties at our home. I guess that makes me an expert. But the fact is, you are never really an expert because each party is different. They all have their own vibe depending on the age of the kids, the amount of kids, the weather (of course) and the activities. The only truly predictable part about having a party at home is that things never go as planned. You have to be able to relax and let the party take you where it wants to go. You have to relinquish control and focus on just one thing… the birthday child. As long as they are smiling, your party is a success!

The birthday child rarely, if ever, cares about what your vision is for their party. They (and their friends) would be more than happy to just run around the house and swing on the swing set. Nonetheless, most of us moms are crazy enough that we plan for weeks to make the party as creative and pretty as possible.

You can find my Backyard Party To-do List here.

For party themes, game ideas, and arts + crafts, download this PDF to help you plan.

My free printable Treasure Hunt Party invitations can be found here.

My flubber and playdough recipes are always big hits at a party. Either at a table for those kids who want to be mellow, or as favors.

Speaking of favors, here is my post on the Art Kit party favors I did for this party.

You can hit my Pinterest boards for more kid + party ideas.

I hope these lists help you plan your next outdoor party. Just do it!

xo Bar

{photography by Alix Martinez}

 

 

Mini Rainbow Garland


Mini Rainbow Garland

This simple garland is easy to make and can be used anywhere…anytime. I recently used mine as part of a photo backdrop at my son’s birthday party. I used safety pins to fasten it to the side of a white sheet, and despite gale force winds that day, the garland never ripped or blew away! I like this garland very much.

Here’s what you’ll need and how to get it done:

Supplies: colored paper (I get mine at Staples), twine, double sticky tape, scissors

Step 1: Cut your paper width-wise into 2″ strips. Cut your strips in half so that they are now 2″ x 4.25″.

Step 2: Lay out your string on the floor or a long table, and organize your paper strips into whatever color scheme you like. My string was between 9 – 10 feet long.

Step 3: Put a piece of double-sticky tape on your paper strip, slide it under the string, and then fold it in half.

Step 4: Cut the bottom of your flags. You can cut them the way I did it, or into little triangles (or leave them square).

Voilà. So simple and festive. You could use scrapbook paper, too, for a patterned garland. Or newspaper, recycled art, maps, or fabric strips. So many possibilities!

xo Bar

{party photography by Alix Martinez}

 

 

Art Class Poster for Sale!


Art Class Poster for Sale!

My post on the importance of art programs in school struck a chord with many of you, especially my readers who teach art. Today I am announcing that my poster is finally for sale! This version is new (and improved) with just a few small changes.

Click below to buy the poster in three different sizes. {This link will bring you to Zazzle}.

Art ClassPoster

You can also download the free PDF of this poster to print on your home computer.

Art Class Printable

AND, as if this weren’t enough good news …today I am also announcing my first ever giveaway!! I am so excited!! One lucky reader will receive a free poster (size of their choice, unframed). All you have to do is leave a comment here or on my Facebook or Twitter. You can also follow me on Instagram and comment on my poster image. Enter to win up to four times if you leave a comment at each place! Please include a way to get in touch with you. Contest ends June 27th, 2013 at midnight. The winner will be chosen at random and I will contact the winner directly.

Thank you, as always, for your support and enthusiasm!! And remember to always thank your child’s art teacher whenever you get the chance…it will mean the world to them.

xo Bar

{this giveaway now closed}

 

Washer Necklaces


Washer Necklaces

Today on Art Bar Monday over at Small for Big, how to make these beautiful and simple necklaces from ordinary washers you can find at the hardware store. You won’t believe how professional they look! It’s a great summer project to do with your older kids.

Happy Monday!

xo Bar

 

Donut Cake Awesomeness!


Donut Cake Awesomeness!

How brilliant is this cake? It pains me to say that it was not my idea. I was reading this fabulous blog, A Cup of Jo, and she made a donut cake for her son’s birthday. So I copied her idea.

The donut cake is genius for several reasons: 1) no plates or forks needed, 2) no cutting of cake means all sizes are equal, 3) husband can pick up donuts and even make cake! And last but not least…the look on your child’s face when he sees his cake for the first time will stay with you forever.

xo Bar

{photography by Alix Martinez}