Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Legal graffiti....

I've always been fascinated with graffiti...on bridges, trains, in back alleys (though I try to stay away from those at night).  The massive 3D letters jumping off the walls as if the artist is screaming out their thoughts. 

Though not legal in many places, I still consider those massive 3D letters and creations to be art. 

I remember creating a mural a long time ago with a graffiti artist and being in awe at the ease in which he transformed a bland old wall into a piece of art.  I decided to give it a shot and let's just say, I stuck to what I know best - a good ol' paint brush (the mural was by request btw). 

Here is my contribution to the graffiti world.  But these little boxes are like blank canvasses waiting to be brought to life....the possibilities are endless.  I'm working on Tristan's and Isabella's, so please, stay tuned...

I've had these dollar store boxes laying around the house and Ethan had been using this one to keep his DS games.

Perfect for pencils and school stuffies...

There's not a lot of time left before school starts and as the sun is shining and the weather is hot, hot, hot, I"ll be taking a break from crafts for a day or two.....;o) 

It's time for the beach, but my mind is always picking crafts from the Craftberry Bush.... 

Monday, August 30, 2010

An old jean pocket....

There is something so comforting about a cloudy Sunday afternoon.  It's like the crook of your love's neck, the sweet smell of homemade cake, the gentle caress of a summer breeze or......your favourite old pair of jeans.

I was doing my usual Monday morning clean up.  Some dusting & mopping and a little of this and that when I came across an old pair of jeans ready to be given to charity.

Holding the jeans in my hand, I thought how much I had liked the jeans when I first bought them, but now, they were...you know...so "2000 and late". 

Then I remembered when my talented sister-in-law had made a cute little jean bag out of old jeans.  Believe it or not, I don't own a sewing machine (though it's on my Christmas list...are you reading this dear hubby, I mean Santa?), but I decided to make a cute little purse for my daughter and of course, have her help me.

I use every opportunity to show Isabella new things, so we got to it and gathered our supplies....

You will need an old pair of jeans (not your faves), some thread, a snappie thingie, a ribbon or an old belt to serve as the strap of the purse (optional) & some shirt transfers (which I found at the dollar store.  I'm not sure they would last a wash but for this purpose, they're great)

Here is the pocket...

1. Isabella sewed a border around it to coordinate with the cutest little elephant ever.
2. I sewed the snappie thingie (I'm sure it has a name) to close the purse .
3. We followed the easy instructions for transferring the image (it's basically like
 a tattoo)

This is the inside of the other pocket.  This one is mine....and that is not candy you see.  It actually fits perfectly inside and I thought it would make it a great way to be discreet. I think we've all had to sneak one of those one time or another (?).  But you can also use for change as I pictured it above.

You can also sew a ribbon and make a cute little purse

So there you have it...another quick craft, fresh from the Craftberry BushHope you enjoy.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pencil Pals....

In the blink of an eye, summer is almost gone.  Yes, the sun was kind to us this year as he lent us his warm blanket day after day, but soon, the leaves on the trees will dress in their glorious orange and red gowns as they dance their goodbye song. 

Soon I will be welcoming the day a little too early for my liking, preparing lunches with little love notes that embarrass my children but are appreciated when no one is looking.  I will set their brand new clothes out, brush their hair, feed them breakfast, drive them to school, kiss them goodbye (they're still young enough that I can do that) and slowly see them disappear into the crowd of eager little children sharing summer time stories. 

I will get into my car and as I drive away from their little world I will cry.  I know many parents look forward to this time a year - when kids go back to school - but I...I  miss my little ones when they are not around.

I miss their running around the house, making mess wherever they go, hearing their laughter, their fights, their cries, their cheers.  I miss their little hand prints on my glass table (thou, at the time I don't have such emotions).  I will miss the time we shared together as a family under the sun making sand castles, picking blueberries, swimming in the lake, roasting giant mellows and just being in love with each other. 

As we prepare to welcome yet another school year, we made a very easy back to school craft. I hope you enjoy making them.

And as the summer comes to an end, I hope you cherish the last few days of little pitter patter from your children (but don't get me wrong, silence and sparkling glass tables are also precious things ;o) ).  

you will need pencils.....

.....craft thread & some wooden beads (I love all these vibrant colours!).....

.....and craft wire and pencil grips .....

Step 1
Loop the string around your palm several times

Step 2
lace the craft wire in the centre of your looped thread and thread it thru the bead 

Step 3
Feed the bead and the wire through the pencil grip and pierce two holes with the wire (this will serve as arms)

Step 4
Thread a couple of beads for the arms and loop the wire to secure the beads

Step 5 
Add details to the face and other cutsie things ( I gave this one a little felt skirt ), place on top of the pencil and there you have it....a cute little pencil pal. 

So quick and easy - enjoy! 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Unwashed dishes....

Ten years ago when my husband and I learned we were going to be parents, we made a collective decision that I would stay home with the children while my husband would "bring home the bacon".

To this day, there is no question in my mind that this was the right choice - I was prepared to be the best mom I could be. 

But what I didn't expect was the pressure that a stay at home mom feels to not only be 'the best mom', but also 'the best housekeeper', 'the best cook', etc, etc.  You know, a Martha Stewart kinda woman (even though she has a team of about 300 people doing this and that for her and all she needs to do is pretend she did it all in 15 mins or so....and then say "It's a good thing").

During one of those crazy 'I need to do dishes, make the beds, wash laundry and make dinner while I let Dora babysit my then 3 and 2 year old sons', I remembered this little poem that was given to me by someone, somewhere, someday. 

I decided to put the words of the poem into action and be free...even if just for a day...and to this day, I'm still trying to not make my bed.

I had printed and posted this poem on my fridge as a reminder and I hope you do the same.  Take your child's hand and follow........

My dishes went unwashed today
I didn’t make my bed
I took his hand and followed
Where his eager footsteps led

Oh, yes, we went a little adventuring
My little child and I
Exploring all the great outdoors
Beneath the sun and sky

We watched a robin feed her young
We climbed a sunlit hill
Saw cloud-sheep scamper through the sky
We plucked a daffodil

That the house was so neglected
That I didn’t brush the stairs
In twenty years, no one on earth
Will know or even care

But that I’ve helped my little child
To noble adulthood grow
In twenty years the whole wide world
May look and see and know


Making Fairies....

Little fairies playfully dancing upon the flowers in the meadow.  Dancing to the sound of the beautiful melody of nature.  With brushes in their hands, they are the caretakers of the forest and touch up little imperfections on the flowers.  They whisper to each other as we walk by and cleverly camouflage against the green canvas.... 

The body is formed with popcicle sticks and a styrofoam ball painted flesh tone

The shirt is a simple rectangle felt.  We cut the edges to look like leaves so when folded and cut, there is a slit in the middle for the fairies' head to go through
We painted the eyes and found some furry yarn for the hair (bad hair day for the fairies)
The finishing touch was a tulip as the skirt and tying ribbons around their ankles.  We really enjoyed making these.  I find that with each craft we form a stronger bond. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pick your own Craftberry....

It wasn't until a month ago that I became familiar with this 'blogger' world.  Sure, I had heard of people blogging and tweeting and facebooking, but I didn't realize how time consuming blogging could become.

After much consideration (and some persuading), I opened my laptop and dove into this world of the 'BLOG', not knowing what route to take or how to get there.  I am not by any means what you would consider a 'perfectionist' (my husband would actually call me the opposite of that), but as an artist, I do understand colours and design and what is appealing to the eye and so trying to convey what is in my 'artistic' brain has been no easy task. 

I am still learning how to navigate around this world and often stay up late after everyone has gone to bed, while my eyes are about to break the toothpicks I've placed between them to keep them open.  And so as I travel along this path, you will see my pages change(probably often) as I am looking for that perfectly imperfect vision that is in my head.

I want this blog to be somewhat of a keepsake, a diary if you may.  I want my children to be able to look back and see all of the wonderful things they said and did and I want to make sure they know that we were right there beside them.  I wanted this blog to be 'private', yet I want to inspire other mothers to tap into that wonderful world of a child by creating with them and letting their imagination guide them and you as well.   

I will be posting many crafts, some new & some not so new...but they all bring a new memory and each one is picked fresh from the craftberry bush. 

Please come along on our journey and pick as many craftberries as you wish....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Weaving nature....

As we looked around with awe at God's creation, we realized that some of the most beautiful things in this world are round.  The sun and its golden shades, the moon and its smiling face, mother earth herself hold us amongst her round loving arms.  A child's eyes that sparkle innocence when they look at you; the fragile bubbles that reflect rainbows within them; the sweet berries that serve as nature's candy.  When we wrap our arms around the people we love, we form a circle around them.  When we give our heart and soul to our spouse, a ring is placed on ones finger to symbolize never ending love.....and so today we weaved a wreath, symbolizing our everlasting love towards nature and each other.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Gardening for the fairies....

We stopped and listened to the sounds of nature.  We listened as the stream sang a lullaby to the fish and the frogs.  We heard the solo of a Blue Jay as he demanded his friends join him in flight.  We heard as the woodpecker drummed a beat on the hollow of a tree and the squirrels chatted with each other about the freshly found acorns.  As we sat and listened, we saw dandelions dancing to the music and grasshoppers jumping to the beat.  We decided to lay on the grass and observe the clouds as they gently graced against each other.  The sun lent us its warm blanket and together we drew elephants and turtles and dolphins in the sky.  "Do you think fairies are real mama?" she asked with spontaneity...."I think that if you want them to be real, they are real" I answered, not wanting to dismantle a little girls innocent thought.  She smiled sweetly at me and together we continued to draw on the sky's vast canvas as nature sang its sweet tune.

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