Create

String Art

I have been thinking deeply lately about the notion of creating.  In a world of increasing destruction and devastation, the simple act of creating something, creating anything really, is cathartic.

At our homeschool co-op I teach a writing and an art class.  Looking upon my students yesterday while they wrote, while they constructed, while they created, I was reminded of the deep power that lies within creation.  Bringing something to life that did not exist before is profoundly powerful.  Whether you decide to sit down and color in a coloring book with your toddler, doodle a poem on a cocktail napkin, or intricately knit a quilt, the act of creating holds great magnitude.  I truly believe that in creating we help to spread a bit of positive energy and love into the world.  And honestly, I think we could use a bit of both right now.

So, this weekend I encourage you to create.  Whether it is a gourmet meal for your family, or a cute little stick figure on the back of your grocery list…create something.  Create anything.  Use this as a chance to shrug off just a bit of the negativity that often weighs heavily upon our shoulders.  Create.  Release.  Repeat.

Happy weekend, friends.

Our Crafting Space

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After spending so much time crafting over the holidays, I realized I have never shared our crafting space with all of you.  The previous owners of our home used this space as a dark room because the husband was a hobby photographer.  When we took ownership of the property, this space was perfect to house our crafty endeavors.

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Over the last four years, the walls have grown covered with artwork, making it a cozy little space that perfectly suits our arts and crafts needs.  On many a weekend, you can find us gals down in the basement, nestled into this small space, creating away.

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Fall Felting

If you joined us a few weeks ago, you may remember we visited with a few furry friends in honor of National Alpaca Weekend.  While on this fun adventure, we were lucky enough to receive some small bags of soft, velety alpaca fiber.  After a bit of research and a gander through one of my favorite home-crafting books, I came upon a fun and easy project, perfectly suited for my hard-to-entertain-these-days daughter.

Although a bit wet, the project was such fun on this unseasonably-warm fall afternoon.  I must say my favorite part of the entire process was each time my daughter held the dark brown fiber in her tiny hands and said, “Mommy, this fur is from Bob.  You know Bob.  He was the boy alpaca.”  Oh my, this girl.

We ended our day with quite a few felted balls that we plan to make into petite acorn decorations.  We will see if our planned nature walk today in search of acorn tops proves to be fruitful.

Burlap Placemats

While on our visit to Growing Power in Milwaukee, Wisconsin back in December, we were told that burlap bags worked great as covers for compost bins.  Our tour guide told us that they obtained all of their burlap bags from local coffee roasters for little to no cost at all.

It just so happens that there is a local coffee roaster housed just two store fronts down from my husband’s fitness business, so we decided to investigate and I’ll be darned that they literally had closets full of burlap!  The owner said that there is one local farmer that comes regularly to pick up some of her extra bags, but other than that she was just waiting for someone to take them off her hands because she hated to just throw them out.

Well, my husband walked out of there with a tower of burlap sacks, towering far above his over six foot frame.  While we did use a few of the coffee bags to cover our compost bins, we were left with a lot extra stock.  So, I started to look through my crafting books for different things to do with burlap and I came upon one of my Amanda Blake Soule favorites, The Creative Family.  In this book, Amanda discusses the use of burlap to introduce children to sewing.  The wide spaces in the burlap make for easy needlework for young children.

After feeling inspired, as I so often do after reading Amanda’s books, the girls and I got to work.  The girls each took turns sewing using roughly 1 X 2 foot pieces of burlap (I simply cut up one coffee bag), embroidery floss, an embroidery hoop and a large needle.

After the girls reached a point where they were satisfied with their work, I removed the hoop and used my sewing machine to sew on a bit of fabric to the back of the burlap.

This quick project (It only took about 45 minutes from start to finish…including clean up.) ended up turning out quite well and the girls now have their very own hand crafted snack-time placemats.

Now I just need to come up with some more projects to use up the other twenty burlap bags I have 🙂  If anyone has any crafty ideas, please feel free to leave a comment.  I would love to come up with some more ideas.

Makings

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, the girls and I got to work last night on some cards for the ladies.  Back in December, Santa gave us a great all-natural card making kit by Glob and we had not yet used it. ( I believe the big man in red informed me he purchased this great gift from Nova Natural 🙂

What we loved best about this card kit is that the card stock is seed paper.  So, after all of the mommas are done admiring their creations, they can plant the paper beneath a thin layer of soil and some lovely flowers will sprout…genius…a card and present all in one!

It never ceases to amaze me how beautiful the paintings of children turn out.  They have no set idea in mind, they just create, and the result is breathtaking.  I even tried to just “paint” my own creation last night, but found myself with a flower, leaf, etc. every time.  The mind of a child is one I think we all wish we could emulate.  That wild abandon that turns out to be true beauty so much of the time.  Love.