Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Cure for Colds, Cabin Fever, and More

This morning school was delayed by a couple of hours due to a few inches of stony, glittering snow that fell throughout the night.  By the time the kids returned from school in the late afternoon, the sparkly frost had turned into a layer of slush, not fun for sledding or playing. With one sniffling girl, one coughing dad, one achy but refuses-to-be-sick mom, and one energetic boy in the house, this could have been a tiresome evening.

However, for hours no one bickered or misbehaved or whined about not feeling well.  The kids were the ones who noticed this at bedtime: not a single moment of bad behavior because "we didn't have time."  Our salvation?  It began with a three-pack of distressed ink stains.  I showed the kids what I had done with the inks last night, merely swabbing them onto watercolor paper.  Ho hum, not interesting, looked like any other watercolor brushed onto paper.  Actually, it was worse than that.  Some of the pages were downright ugly and splotchy.  Yep, those were distress stains all right.  That made the kids smile.  I asked: "Does it look bad?"  More smiles, perhaps full of pity and dismay, but no unkind words.  We turned to Youtube to figure out the appeal of these distress stains, and we learned about the magic of adding water and using glossy paper. Voila! what a difference they made.  After experimenting with the dabbers of ink, the kids took out all sorts of acrylic paints and watercolors and their art journals.


Three of Tofu Girl's postcard backgrounds and Mischief Maker's art journal and even a colorful paper towel rag.  We made a big mess, and miraculously, we all felt better after several hours of this mess-making.  For dinner we moved everything aside and ate a chicken and rice casserole from a Weelicious recipe.  Our boy actually ate mushrooms and brown rice!  (I used brown rice, not wild rice.)  Perhaps Old Man Winter brought another round of colds to our house, but during this winter storm, we also rediscovered how creative mess-making can be a happy cure.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Duct Tape Journals

Mail Me Some Art hosted a duct tape journal swap, and the creations were inspirational.  So many beautiful and stunning journals of all sorts of styles.

Here's the journal I sent off (ignore the not-photogenic hands):

The swap was not exchanged between two people, but instead, the coordinator mixed up it for extra fun.  I was the lucky recipient of this gorgeous journal with hand-painted pages and three sewn-in signatures from the talented and color-happy Corinne at Sparkle Days Studios:

Friday, March 8, 2013

Dolls and Dementos

What to do, snow day after snow day?  We found this fun popsicle stick doll idea and, luckily, had everything on hand to make them. (We could not drive anywhere snowy streets.)

Tofu Girl made one and then another and another.

This craft is great for boys as well.  Mischief Maker created a set of his own quirky, demented-cute stick figures.  He thinks that the hypnotic one will be quite useful. 

 The beautiful painted papers in the background of each photo were treats received from the Mail Me Some Art swap.

Kids' ATC Received

A few months ago the kids participated in the Kids' ATC Swap.  We posted our outgoing cards here.  Here are some of the cards that Tofu Girl received from little artists from Oregon to New York:

This next group is from the older children's group that Mischief Maker joined:

We really enjoyed this swap.  Some of the participants generously included stickers and postcards from their state.  Hope the art swap will be held again this year! 

Snow Days

Another snow day today. Wet, gloppy, heavy snow.  Peter says it is good for making snowmen and for skiing.  Not so fun for shoveling or driving.  The kids did not have school today and spent the morning sledding. This storm is named David.  The photos below are from Storm Charlotte which called off school for several days.