Archive for the ‘just for kids’ Category
School lunches have started. We’re having a lot of fun with them this year too! (We’re bento boxing for the first time…any of you bento fans? I’m loving it!)
Anyways….my mother was an AMAZING school lunch mom. Looking back, and especially now that I’m packing lunches daily, it amazes me that she packed notes each school day for 20 years in all 5 kids lunches.
Ya. I’m living in a tough shadow:)
So now, I send my kids to school with a note every day too. On their napkin. But it’s always in pictures (which are faster for me than words most often:)
And it’s always rushed. (What? School mornings rushed?)
So I thought I’d start sending some more prepared little notes too. (We might actually get to school EARLY with these printed notes lying around for emergencies!)
Could you use some ?
My kids love the random drawings on napkins, but they’ve both agreed getting a fancy card is just as nice of a surprise.
Feel free to download and use this week! And if you’re liking it, let me know! I think I might make this a regular feature. I need to make them for myself…I might as well share:)
Happy lunch making:)
The result of having a million projects going at once, is that I have a million projects going at once. Translation: I find myself with very little time to illustrate for just “me.” Life has been one deadline after another the past few years…back to back, on top of each other, and always pushed to the max. It’s the nature of any job…but when trying to balance motherhood, marriage and home and garden, it usually means that I choose sleep over doing something for just me. I mean, don’t we all?
But as I am growing as an artist, I know more than anything that taking time out to just illustrate with no agenda keeps the soul in my work.
here’s a doodle I sketched out today that is an extension of another project I’m working on .
It’s called MORA AND HER MAGIC BUNNIES.
I’ve been thinking so much of children and their natural inclination towards imaginary play. It makes me feel like the world is actually doing alright when I see children imagining. Cause the world ain’t doin’ so hot, so I just keep to the children. They’ve got it all figured out.
So here’s what you get to do:
Get your kids on your lap, and make up a little story about Mora. Why does she like bunnies, and what is she going to do with them? Can she really do magic or is it just pretend? No restrictions…just imagine.
I’d love to hear their stories!
We interupt the hustle and bustle of getting a fabric debut and quilt market set ready…..(because frankly, I’m a little slap happy, and need a good play break) and bring to you….
More paper dolls! We love paper dolls at our house. And it’s about high time that there were new ones for you! I have never made magnetic paper dolls before (I know a lot of you do!) and now I’m hooked.
I printed them out onto magnetic printer paper, and voila! I guess you can also use magnetic craft paper and glue the doll down and cut out around the edges. This brings a whole new level to paper doll playing. Seriously. This is high tech.
I have a magnetic board for the kids where we post charts, and notes. But initially, the idea came to use a cookie sheet. Too bad I have the same cookie sheets since my bridal shower, and they are rather beat up and well loved. Not much magnetic stick left!
Magnetic dolls are so great, because they make it really fun and easy to “set” up. This collection has small little cups and treats that are fun to layer up and play with from a cookie sheet, or hanging magnetic board.
And here is a little doll and outfit FREE! The gingham blanket is so fun as a magnet:)
It’s been forever since I’ve grabbed some Children at Play fabric to sew with. It was so nice to grab some of this again. Drawstring bags are a no-fuss sew, and now we can keep them off the floor:)
Have fun playing! I’m off to whirl and twirl and prep for another quilt market show! I’ll be spilling the beans soon…but you know the drill. No peeking until it’s done:)
Last night I got together with some ladies in my neighborhood to make some Easter Surprise balls! This is the kind of thing that is perfect to do in a group. The idea has come from multiple sources, namely this one.
But instead of an empty ball, my friend Stephanie decided to use these darling tie-it-on-your-bum-and-look-like-the-Easter-Bunny-cottontails as the center of the Surprise Ball. Stephanie made these darling cotton tails, and I can’t wait to see my kids with these:)
The idea is that inside every layer of crepe paper, is a new surprise. Place a toy or prize on the ball, and wrap with one long strand of crepe paper. Keeping the prizes small and either compact or moldable is great!
We mostly used sheets of crepe paper, and cute them in strips. They handle better, and don’t rip as easily.
Then comes the filling!
Oh, and I skipped the firecracker:) Could be rather fun for the older ones!
I made these little paper bunnies, with a free download here.
It would be fun to make other shapes too…like a carrot, or a bunny shape. Have fun with it!
Finish is off with a sticker, and it’s ready for the Easter Basket!
Here’s the FREE DOWNLOAD if you want to make some little cut out friends. They are really not very useful except to just play with and decorate with. Simple, Simple!
I’ve been hinting at showing you some fabric peeks, but alas, I made a mistake in telling you too soon. I’ll need to wait till we get closer to May….but I promise it’s coming! Sorry. Please don’t hate me:(
Also, the Children at Play paper line is releasing in May as well! Meh. More waiting…sorry! But I have more fun stuff to fill in the gaps, so no worries.
Back to the art table! xoxo
Guess what I got in the mail on friday! I went to my door step to find one big box of my new fabric collection (more on that later…) and a box full of the book that I illustrated just a few months ago! Talk about good mail days lately:)
I’ve mentioned French Kids Eat Everything before, and now it’s finally time to introduce you to it. It will be your new best friend. Seriously. It’s Karen’s story of moving to her husband’s native France, in a small town, and adapting (albeit unwillingly) to the culture of food in relation to parents teaching children how to eat. It’s amazing. This is really aimed at parents and how to see family eating in an entirely new light. I got a copy of the manuscript for me to review, and I almost had to remind myself to stop reading and start drawing cause I loved it so much.
Here are some pics from the book that are my favorites.
It’s such a charming and witty story Karen has: adapting and learning how to change her parenting based on all the good she sees in children there, and the way they think about food.
Things like no snacking (it spoils your appetite for the main meal!) No upsetting pressures to “eat all your food” at the dinner table. No bribing with food, and how to really enjoy a family meal…most nights of the week.
We’ve implemented most of the rules now for a while. The children are so much more aware of what they eat, how they eat and are so much more respectful of what they eat.
When the design team decided to put this inside illustration onto the back cover, I kinda freaked out. Only because this is exactly how I write things at home…my own list making handwriting. So it was a bit shocking to see my own “undesigned” handwriting on the back cover of a book. I don’t know…kinda like seeing yourself on TV or something….it just feels weird
I hope you enjoy reading it. I’d love to know your thoughts! Karen has a blog, and is very passionate about giving information to parents on how to make changes in the American culture that we live in.
And did I mention that there are recipes in the back?
Um. Yes. There are recipes. Simple, flavorful, perfect for kids, meant to be savored recipes.
(But I have to insert an EDIT HERE: The book very strongly encourages healthy, whole food eating for families. And while this recipe is a dessert, most of the recipes and information in the book suggest that the French eat a wide variety of foods and focus on quality ingredients. This recipe has 3 ingredients: Fresh eggs, semi-sweet chocolate pieces and orange zest. While it’s a treat, it’s served in very small quantities and is meant to represent the idea that even deserts use whole food ingredients, rather than processed and overly sweet. I must add this disclaimer, as I’m not going to review the entire book for you, and don’t want you to think that this is some kind of “eat what you want” book. Rather it’s meant to encourage real cooking and whole, unprocessed foods in schools and at home.)
The book is full of experiences and information about feeding your children “real” ingredients, real food, and how children learn to appreciate food and ingredients. And I have a certain new favorite recipe now.
Kenneth is always coming up with amazing food around here, and I’m rather spoiled. Like, as I’m writing this, he just came down to the studio with a slice of a new bread he tried out: his own variation of the Amish Friendship bread. But honestly…sorry Ken. The Mousse au Chocolate recipe in the book that is honestly my favorite dessert now. Hands down.
The kids agree.
It takes maybe 10 minutes to make, so simple and outright sinful.
Anyways…I was so lucky to illustrate a book that I was completely in support of. I’d be writing about it even if I wasn’t ask to illustrate it…just not this early…cause it comes out next week.
(And I need to say too, that I don’t get a cent more if you buy it. I am just really happy to have come across this book!)
I’m just so grateful to have been part of this experience. I’m not always proud of things I do…I’m really critical of my work, and I take great thought into what I choose to spend my time on. So opening that box of printed pages on friday was a real treat. I really hope that this helps parents find new ways to have genuinely happy eating as a family.
Bon Appetite and Enjoy!!
I think a lot of how children play. I marvel at it. I wonder at it. Getting inside their minds and seeing all the amazing worlds they are creating. I guess it’s a good thing I do what I do: raise children, make things and draw for them. I seriously consider myself lucky every single day. It’s seriously the most beautiful thing to observe a child at play.
Here’s our photo journal of play this past month.
Here’s my ode to childhood imagination, as promised with a sketch for each post.
There is so much going on in those minds. Amazing what goes on in their world.
PS: Shop update coming very soon:) Stay tuned!
Ok. So there are 11 days until Valentines Day. I’m lucky if I have presents for Christmas 11 days before. Valentines day always sneaks up on me, and I’m never prepared. I’m always stuck getting something left over in the grocery store isle, and so this year, I’ve decided to beat the battle.
Printables! I can’t even tell you how much fun I had making these.
So this whole package includes 8 pages of printed goodness: 2 styles of printable envelopes, tags (2×3 inches), and cards (size 4×4 inches) and 2 sheets of printable paper (hearts and gingham) that you can use for extra card making, wrapping, cut outs, etc.
So, just as an FYI….these two friends were the inspiration for me when I started my ETSY shop! Remember this precious image, and this one? Well, I kinda have been busy illustrating other stuff, and they have been bugging me BIG TIME to get out more. So, I hope you enjoy Wellesley & Winslow for your Valentines Festivities!
So, these are PDF printables, and because of the file size, they are ONLY available on the website, not the ETSY shop. On the website, you will get an AUTOMATIC email notice with the download instructions once you purchase.
And….I’m only going to be offering this through Valentines Day!! 11 days only!!
So, hurry and get them now. I’m not sure that I’ll be putting these back up.
So cute! Even my 6 year old boy got excited about these. No joke. This might just inspire me to have a little Valentine Tea Party this year. Ooooh! I can’t wait:)
CLICK HERE for the printables.
Making paper puppets is a wee bit too much fun. Maybe it’s because it’s when I really get to see my art come alive with my kids! That’s also probably why I love illustrating books and fabric so much, because I get to see children handling and playing with the art.
For A Christmas Goodnight, I’ve made some fun coloring pages and paper puppets to go with the story. I think you’ll have fun making up all sorts of uses for these!
A Christmas Goodnight tells the simple story of a little boy saying “Goodnight” to all the characters in the Nativity…
Goodnight to the Baby in the hay
Goodnight to the doves, coo-coo
Goodnight to the sleepy Mother
Goodnight to Joseph too
But you don’t realize it’s the little boy saying goodnight until the very end, and it’s just a charming read.
So, what I did, was create 2 pages of characters and objects from the book, so you can create your own interactions and say “goodnight” as well! Some ideas for you:
1) Color in each character as you read the story
2) Make your own ornaments, and hang on the tree as you read the story to your children
2) Back with felt and make a felt board scene.
3) Make your own Christmas Goodnight scene and glue the pictures to the “Starry Night” backdrop I made for the puppet theater.
4) Play a “Find and Seek” game and while you read, have your child go seek the cut out character from around the room, to place on the tree, or in a scene.
Nativity Puppet Theater
The Puppet Theater is simple, but really fun to set up!
In the book, I designed a very starry sky for that magical Christmas night. We usually imagine that night with the ONE new star in the sky. But while that star is the brightest, I imagined that if I were a star, I’d want to shine the brightest for Baby Jesus too! So, it’s a starry night…full of stars that all want to shine their best!
This little scene is perfect for acting out and can even be added too with the coloring page characters, if you want to add more!
But right now…I really just want to say thank you!!
Thank you for all your sweet email, comments, notes and support. I’ve loved hearing how you have wrapped this up under the tree….or that you’ve already read it to your little children. Creating my very first book around the best story ever told, was such a wonderful challenge! Wonderful because best story ever told, but challenging because it also the most TOLD story ever told. How do you illustrate a story that EVERYONE knows, and loves? It was very daunting and very intimidating for much of the process. But in the end, I just feel honored to have illustrated this story! It’s simple and unassuming…yet warm and magical. All how that night must have been.
And to say Thank You,
I thought we could have a little GIVEAWAY!!
All you need to do, is leave a comment below, and I’ll choose THREE winners to get a signed copy of the book, as well as the “For Unto You” print, unframed. Or, any print of your choice. But I thought these would go well together!
1) Leave one comment below (making sure to leave your email in the comment form)
2) Like this giveaway on Facebook here.
3) Tweet about the giveaway or book using #christmasgoodnight My twitter is here.
4) Comments will be closed Monday night at midnight (EST)
5) USA and International welcome!
6) I’ll total up the number of tweets, comments and facebook likes to randomly select the winner.
7) But in the mean time…print off these coloring pages and have some fun this weekend!
Thanks again! I hope you are all getting into the Christmas Spirit! Love to you all!!