Day 28: an artsy day

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs and books written by stay at home moms who are creative and crafty, putting their kids to the grindstone with their flare and crafts. I see photos of moms and their boys doing stuff that my son would balk at, being the active and spirited boy that he is. He may get into cookie cutter art projects that involve pastels and feathers but I’m pretty sure he hates to draw and color so anything that involves making pictures, gluing beans and making stupid bird feeders out of pine cones and peanut butter has always been out with him. Chloe on the other hand will get her face two inches away from the paper just to make the balloon looks precisely the way she wants it to look.

I have this great and open creative side that I’ve wanted to revive now that I’m home more but my dilemma has been tiny hands and fingers dipping into my projects rather than making them with me. Each time I get materials out for sewing or tiny seeds out for planting they all end up on the floor or wrapped around a child (string, thread and ribbon that is). I’ve put any sort of art project on hold until the wee ones go down for a nap over the past six months but lately I’ve been really sad that I’m not able to dip into their creative genius in this specific way. Not that worm catching isn’t creative but it’s not really my thing. I do it out of love for my kids.

So I’ve been reading a book about  being a creative family and incorporating creativity into your everyday life with your kids.  In some ways I wanted to throw the book across the room and scream at the author. “Who does she think she is to write a book about helping your kids develop their art and imagination when she doesn’t even know what it’s like to have the kids I have?” Now that I’m a mom I know for a fact that there is no one size fits all to parenting. People who aren’t yet  parents, or who have easy going kids can think this all they want but they haven’t really understood yet. So I just chuckle at them in their naivety. It’s really been a work out for me being in touch with my children’s cues and following their leads as they grow and I try to help them learn and develop into awesome and wonderful humans. I’ve tried a lot to get them into the artsy groove. Oliver has a groove but he’d rather groove with Legos and rockets than wood fairy’s and cowboys.

However, I went to the thrift store yesterday for a variety of sewing stuff, dress up clothes and picture frames for art work that may be hung up someday. Today was the test drive of our new finds. It’s funny because I took the kids with me to the thrift store to retrieve these items and almost wept at how hard it was to keep them with me. They ran all over the friggin store touching porcelain and glass objects. At one point Chloe took her shoes off in the show aisle to try on heels. We almost lost her girl shoes because she left them in an aisle and someone who worked there must have put them on the shelf with the other girl’s shoes. We seriously almost left Savers with a barefoot two year old .

So today I took the big mirror off the wall and gave them their clothes. They were able to see themselves in these outfits, dance around (which Chloe did; I got her a tutu) and make faces at themselves. They had a blast. We also made spoon people (total random idea I had this morning and it was a huge hit) which they played with for hours. Next we headed to the park in our outfits and sat on the swing which I told them was a pirate ship. Oliver kept saying, “No mom, this is a swing”. Shush, boy! But they went with it. They even grabbed sticks and fished. After Chloe went for a nap I put some of their old art work in frames on the wall and showed Oliver later. He was stoked to see his work on the wall. Now we have a family art wall. He also tried his hand at embroidery for the first time. He got bored fast but liked making his very own napkin.

I’m not going to push creative projects with the kids but it was so refreshing to get them involved in stuff that I actually like to do as well. Most of my days are spent playing duck, duck, goose (a game I’m not particularly fond of) and playing hide and seek (another work out for me). But today was a great day of engaging my kids in their imaginations. We also had a lot less stress and arguments  because Oliver was entertained and happy.

What are you thankful for?

Only two more days to go….

Our spoon people with fuzzy arms. Oliver took this as his 'nap toy' today

Our spoon people with fuzzy arms. Oliver took this as his 'nap toy' today

They played with these weird things for hours today. Wish I would have done this sooner

They played with these weird things for hours today. Wish I would have done this sooner

For some reason he kept looking in the mirror saying, "I'm electric"

For some reason he kept looking in the mirror saying, "I'm electric"

Top left to right: mama's embroidered flower, papa's Calm 7, Oliver's rocket, Chloe's....????

Top left to right: mama's embroidered flower, papa's Calm 7, Oliver's rocket, Chloe's....????

A vintage kitchen towel inside embroidery loops, turned into kitchen flare

A vintage kitchen towel inside embroidery loops, turned into kitchen flare

Oliver's embroidered napkin. It was a lot of loooong lines. Looked a bit 80's

Oliver's embroidered napkin. It was a lot of loooong lines. Looked a bit 80's

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7 thoughts on “Day 28: an artsy day

  1. OH, Soulemama’s blog made me cry one day and call Kirsten for encouragement because I felt so uncreative and blah and UNPRODUCTIVE compared to what she’s doing…and compare is the operative word here. I think we mamas have to remember what my dad so lovingly and encouragingly reprimanded me with the other day when I was feeling (again) disheartened: every kid is different, every family is different, every situation and scenario is different and we have to stop comparing ourselves to everyone else out there or I, at least, will go mad. Not that I’m saying you’ve been doing that, but, seeing the link to Amanda’s book hit a raw nerve. Ryan is also really quick to remind me that all these blogs and facebooks, etc. just provide a snapshot of so and so’s life. Who knows if the next moment after the idyllic shot was taken, a kid dropped a glass of milk that shattered into pieces on the floor, baby starts crying, and someone else is throwing a tantrum cuz they can’t have another cookie.
    Ok, woah, I really got on a soapbox here…sorry to take up so much space…but I think your projects look great and hey, you might not get a book deal out of the whole thing, but you had a great day with your fam!

    • Stephanie, it’s funny you mentioned tears because I got her book from the library, read it and then cried too. I kept getting overwhelmed at how much I ‘wasn’t’ doing. I did like it because of the ideas; I never would have thought of some of that stuff. And also the kids have really got into some of it. But, like you said, I had these moments wondering what their lives are really like. And if these women are human at all they likely have intense moments of freak out while being at home all the time with three or more kids. These women write and blog for money, and they make some serious cash as well, and I feel like they are trying to portray an image of the amazing artist family. That’s just not us. But that has been other posts on the blog. I’m just being me, and trying to live authentically with kids. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Your a great mom tracie, looks like an interesting read! I feel ya on the store thing.. Pretty much takes me an hour in any store i go into with the girls by myself.. trying to look at stuff while keeping the “visual”.. you pretty much just have to laugh at it to get through it haha

    Today Im thankful for our neighbors, love having people so close to rely on for anything.. Forgot what it was like after living in the middle of nowhere for almost 2 years!

  3. Tracie…I am sooo proud….you are a wonderfull mum…I laughed so hard at the “trying moments” of motherhood. Ah it takes me back. I believe you have mastered the fact that kids spell LOVE… with a T…. (TIME)

  4. Chloe looks so much like you, Trace. She is so beautiful.

    Amanda’s book made me feel all sorts of emotions. I’m thinking the creative outlet for my kids should be taxidermy. Creative uses for roadkill. Around Easter it even even has a teachable quality to it. so many pluses…What say you?

    xox

  5. Pingback: More writing ideas « Tea and Chopsticks

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