Quarantine Crafty Time! · She's Crafty! · The Plague Times

Crafty Time: Unicorn Mask

This wasn’t part of our Enchanted Forest week, per say but when your daughter asks for a Unicorn mask in the middle of trying to navigate online kindergarten you figure out how to make it for her! This is another craft made out of recycling! I really love being able to show my kids how to take something that is going to get discarded and recycled and turn it into something fun and pretty!

unicorn mask

Uncorrugated cardboard is my favorite! It’s thin enough to cut with scissors but sturdy enough to usually stand up to being played with!

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Making the mask shape was a little challenging because her face is so little but with a few tries we got it close.   The front is covered in recycled white paper–obviously you could paint it if you’d rather. If you use paper I glued the paper on not worrying about the edges and then trimmed around the outside edges and the eye holes. You can see from this picture that we layered the tissue paper from behind to create the mane. You can cut it or tear it. You lay down the shortest layer first, then middle and then tallest. We also had to trim it after we had all the layers in place.

Pretty simple and it is one of Lillian’s favorite dress up items which makes me feel pretty good! You can have your kid involved as much as you want. I had Lillian glue down the white paper and help me with the tissue paper–she of course added the eyeshadow.

This method could also be applied to monster, dragons, fairies and any other creatures you can think of making.

I hope you are all well, and more craftiness will be coming tomorrow!

Prattling · Thoughtful Thoughts

The Artist Way…and a Refocus

I’m not going to blather on about how crazy the world is right now, we all know that and get it. And whatever you need to do to stay sane and keep your family well and healthy but I found out recently EXACTLY how much art/writing and creating is a part of who I am fundamentally.

In an attempt to keep my children occupied to a certain degree (yes, they get screen time but turn into little crazies when they get too much) I let my art and writing go by the way side for awhile. Slowly I felt ME, myself begin to disappear over the weeks–like getting chipped away with every day of monotony and sameness. A co-worker of mine had talked about leading a group through The Artist Way, and if I would join now that they were going to do it online. At first I thought—WOW one more thing to add to my plates in the air, but she kept asking me and finally I said, YES I’m going to try this out and I ordered the book.

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I’m still playing catch up with the reading but I am already LOVING the morning pages, which I already did to a small degree, and making the Artist’s Dates–committing time for myself to be artistic BY MYSELF!

It has been a breath of fresh air. I’ve found a new focus–a re-focus and with that new focus has come a new patience for myself, my girls, my husband and this strange monotony we are in. This is a little bit of brain drain–word vomit but It’s nice to come to these realizations!

I hope you are all well!

Quarantine Crafty Time! · She's Crafty!

Little Alien Creature

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This is another craft from our Outer Space Week! Toilet paper tubes, paper plates, and crayons are the best craft items!  This is the start of our alien project! Clara started hers but never finished–ah well! So here is Lillian’s cute little alien!

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Deciding on the number of eyes was a crucial step! HAHA! As was deciding the shape of the antennas. Heart shaped, of course, for my sweet little empath!

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And voila! Here she is! I’ll have to ask Lillian what her name is–I’ve forgotten already! It’s been a hectic couple of weeks but these little spots of color have made it better!

I Drew This! · Quarantine Crafty Time! · Visual Art

Lots of Robots…

We celebrated my oldest daughter’s birthday on Friday–with LOTS of robots! It’s the theme she picked because she “likes inventing things like robots”. I am a big fan of science and enjoy drawing robots so of course I’m not going to discourage her!

I am also a creature of last minute ideas.

This time that last minute idea included a robot coloring book–however, we don’t have a good printer so I couldn’t print them out and bind them like I normally did. What did that leave? Drawing them of course!cover

Now I had grand plans of drawing 60 robots to halfway fill up a composition book and leaving the other half for her to fill up with her own robots (she loves drawing too!) but with a quick jaunt to the beach and other preparations for the birthday extravaganza I ended up with 32–a respectable number of robots, for sure!

There we have it! A LOT of robots! And she was overjoyed to get the book so I would say it was a success!

Next week is jungle safari week so stay tuned for more crafty-goodness coming up!

 

Stay well!

Journaling

Celebrations in Journaling

I’m on a short trip this week with my family to pick up some table saw parts for my husband so he can get in his shop and work and since we were -this- close to the beach we are taking our daughters for a quick dip in the ocean. We are being careful and washing hands frequently, wearing masks when we go out, and while there is still a little bit of anxiousness it is VERY nice to not be in our house…..

A strange sombrero capped water tower that looked out over a deserted South of the Border Mexican themed…. theme park?

Because we are out of the house we aren’t doing the usual crafts for summer camp–BUT this week is Robot week in celebration of my Lillian’s sixth birthday on Friday so plenty of fun shenanigans will be happening later this week.  Speaking of celebrations, I just realized today, as I sat down to chronicle our adventure in roadtripping starting at 2:30am………yeah…… that I have been consecutively journaling our everyday lives since March 18th…. which is THE LONGEST I have ever journaled, ever! I have been using the journal to both organize my days (for the girls and work things) as well as highlight the good, fun, happy things that have come out of this weird time. I’ve also done my fair share of venting as we are heaped up on top of one another. I think it’s the only way I have survived this thing so far.

It hasn’t gone towards any of my creative projects and I don’t know what I’ll do with it after I’ve filled it up (which is soon!) but it feels nice to accomplish something?

Quarantine Crafty Time! · She's Crafty!

Crafty Time! Galaxy Wreaths

This week is outer space week–one of my favorite themes, not going to lie! I LOVE science fiction (reading and writing), actual space, astrophysics, and all the science that goes with the stars and the great cosmos. I worked hard to not make this week a huge science lesson–although Lillian did become obssessed with seeing a whirpool–not space related but still cool! And this was one of the more productive weeks!

Our first craft was to make galaxy wreaths. I always love crafts that let kids individualize to their own tastes. I got the idea at this website which also has a TON of other great space themed crafts! Here is their version of the craft.

Learn about the planets, galaxies and more with these awesome Outer Space Crafts for Kids! Perfect for Show and Tell or summer STEAM projects!

 

Now in our house we like colors: bright, bold, crazy colors of all kinds so rather than black we decided to make our outer space background a little more colorful.

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Obviously you can use markers and crayons like we did or paint to make it a solid color. My girls had such a fun challenge trying to get inbetween the grooves of those plates–it was funny to watch!

For the planets and stars I basically used cookie and biscuit cutters! Use what you have in these times, eh?

 

The trick to easier coloring for the kiddos is to NOT cut out the circles yet. Let them color the paper and then cut them out so they don’t get wrapped up in not getting marker off the little tiny circles.

This made things a lot easier for my three year old, who does an admirable job of staying in the lines but gets upset when she goes off the page.

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Something fun we did while coloring is I had Lillian name and describe all her planets as she created them: Stormy, Pinky, Yellow Mellow, Zippity Stripety, Grassy, Polky (it had polka dots), Funny and Sleepy Sleepy.  Clara was not as interested in naming her planets–ah well! I also made Lillian cut out the circles to practice with her scissors. It’s always good to keep up with these skills and I think she did a pretty good job!

HERE is the final product! 100689051_2778835265559581_182648157186818048_n

Lillian’s is on the left and Clara’s is on the right. We set them in the window sill to admire but you could hang them from string, tape them on doors, or just play with them. The ideas are as vast as the galaxy itself!

I hope you are all well, and have fun!

Reading Time! · Thoughtful Thoughts

Reading Time!

I love to read.

However, life often makes it hard–well, life and myself. I could have time to sit and read, especially right now, but years of being busy has made it hard to give myself that “free time” well, just as expectations are changing so is my attitude about reading time. If I am feeling that the day is dragging on or frustrated, I am going to take ten minutes to read a little bit. That is my vow! Haha!101232478_596332334335765_8921203229107159040_n

 

In other news, I am really enjoying Dune! After two previous attempts (both when I was much younger) I’ve found I like it this time! It is very different than my usual fare–densely packed with world building, slow action, simple yet odd style of writing–but I am relaly enjoying the characters and learning more about them. I’m 180ish pages in and still hooked so I guess I’ll finally finish it! The only thing that confuses me is what kind of POV it is written in since we seem to jump around to different characters thoughts within the same scene….

Reading has always been escapism for me and apparently I need it now more than ever! If it means I’ll get more books read this year, I guess I’ll take it!

What are you reading these days?

Prattling · Quarantine Crafty Time! · She's Crafty! · Thoughtful Thoughts

Expectations…

It’s hard to escape expectations. We get them from our parents, our peers, teachers, colleagues, and ourselves. Especially ourselves. But it’s how we handle those expectations that means the difference between fun and frustration–and trust me it has taken me a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time to be able to manage my expectations without sinking into a pit of despair when it doesn’t happen the way I’d hoped.

Dealing with remote learning had me adjusting my expecations hourly not just daily and got me thinking about my expectations as an artist and how I could re-adjust them to make life more fun and less frustrating. Another thing that has helped me re-shape my expectations of my own work is working with my daughters. Craft time is meant to be fun. I had to learn quickly that if I stand there and demand they follow every step of the project then we all get frustrated and it still isn’t going to be perfect. I’ve learned to let them have their own input (to an extent) and be comfortable with half done.

One project I was REALLY looking forward to creating was a fairy castle out of recycled boxes and toilet paper tubes, textured in tissue paper and then painted. Well we got steps one and two done, but then we had a week of rain and as of right now they STILL aren’t painted. Ah well! The girls have been playing with them this morning perfectly content with their pink and blue tisue papered boxes and I have let my expectation of a Pinterest-perfect craft happily fly out the window!

 

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We were able to finish our paper crowns! 

I hope to take these lessons about expectations and apply them to myself as a writer and artist and remember that I can create my own definition of artistic success and not be pressured by anyone’s expectations. Especially myself!

I wish you all well and hope you stay dry in this dreary weather! Take care!

The Grand Adventure of Henry Rayne and the Airship Pirates · Writing

Writing Villains: Lord Dragonard

I am switching gears from crafty-goodness to a little bit about writing. I’ve been plugging my way through novelizing my script and it’s given me some interesting insights into the differences and challenges with writing for the stage and writing a novel. It has also led me to realize one of the major weaknesses of my script is my main villain, the gentleman who sets all the cogs in motion for the very story to happen at all.

dragonard
I could totally see Vincent Cassel playing a creepy yet sophisticated Lord Dragonard!

Part of this is due to his relatively late inclusion in the story. I started working on a lot of these character’s development around 2008 but he didn’t really get included till 2014ish*.  Therefore he doesn’t have the same detailed personality and backstory. Partly this was because by then I didn’t feel his kind of villain (the magic wielding crazypants type) need the same detailing as my protagonist and tragic anti-hero…. I would come to find otherwise! The other part of this was, as a script, there is a fine balance between what you provide in the text via dialogue for character development and what the director and actor bring to the character as they put the story onstage. I think I was being a lazy playwright and saying “ah well–they can figure out why he’s a nutjob!” instead of really planning out what led this powerful influential man to make the decisions that lead him to madness.

At three cram packed acts I didn’t feel like I had room to add those details properly without bloating the script. I am hoping as I write this into a novel I can figure out those details to make Dragonard less a flat archetype and more of a rounded out character. Your hero is only as good as your villain, right?

Things to ponder as I dive into translating from script to prose Dragonard’s first scene–hopefully inspiration strikes as I chug away at my 200 words a day!

Stay well, friends!

 

*I’m really guessing because I’m very sleepy this morning and don’t want to go wade through ALL my drafts of this script/story! 🙂

Quarantine Crafty Time!

Pirate Week Shenanigans!

Now that I have decided to share some of our crafty shenanigans with you lovelies I have to play a little catch up. Our first week of “summer camp” kicked off with one of our favorite themes: PIRATES!! (We also have the most dress up items for this theme which helps!) So here are a few of the crafty projects we did this week!

First up here’s a glimpse of the SUPER quick treasure map I put together while the girls napped so that we could have our Big Treasure Hunt on Monday to start off the week! Ihappened to have brown craft paper but an old paper bag will do just as well!

treasuremap

In addition to the treasure map Lillian and I made a treasure box out of a Texas Toast box. We started it on Monday and sort of decorated it on and off throughout the week! I used more brown paper and sealed it with white glue (since oddly enough I was out of Mod Podge–going to have to fix that!). One of the wonderful things about most kids is that they don’t seek perfection like us grownups–it’s a breath of fresh air and definitely takes the “Perfect Mom” pressure off! The materals I used were: a medium size cardboard box, brown paper, white glue, masking tape, stickers and treasure!

 

The next crafty artsty thing we did was one I kind of made up myself. My youngest enjoyes gluing pieces of paper together so I had drew a fierce pirate and she glued on his beard and eyebrows. It was a fun way for her to practice following directions and play with glue and paper. Your drawing skills don’t have to be da Vinci level for the kids to enjoy this activity.  Lillian asked me to draw hers in her sketchbook so she could just color it!

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Another fun drawing activity, if your little one likes to draw, is have them design their own pirate flag for the week. You could even turn this into a cut and paste project or painting project. Lillian had fun and even decided to add in our pirate names!

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Other activities we did during our Pirate Week:

  • Built a “ship” out of huge pieces of cardboard for the girls to act out stories.
  • Watched Tinkerbell and the Pirate Fairy, and Peter Pan
  • a Pegleg race (similar to a three legged race!) where both girls had to hop on one leg but work together!
  • Watched Hercules (not strictly pirate related but one of their favorites!)
  • I got to show them Muppet Treasure Island (one of my favorites!) for the first time
  • Baking time with their Mima.
  • Washed Daddy’s car and played in the sprinkler
  • Lots of fun un-guided playtime
  • Dress up!

It was a great way to kick off our “Summer Camp”. Next post I’ll share what we did for our Enchanted Forest week!

Take care!