Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Crafts for the Soul

a little while back i was doing some soul searching. i found myself always feeling stressed. always feeling like i was working; not only for my job but my wifely and motherly duties as well. i was really asking God what it was that was making me feel like i was drowning. i've had stress in my life before. i've had sports demands and school demands. i've been over-committed and under pressure. but hadn't felt like this too many times before. then it hit me; i had no creativity in my life.

so about two weeks ago i made it a priority to carve out 20 minutes a day to do something creative. it didn't matter what it was, it just had to be fun and require some imagination.

we've been on a pretty limited budget but we've been diligent about setting aside some money for fun things. mike recently built the kids a little wooden playhouse. and i have been wanting to do something but didn't know what. then the holidays came. and i knew what i had to do.

christmas decorations!

so here are a couple of my projects that i've worked on the last two weeks. some of them were completed in one 20-minute creative period...others over a couple days. enjoy!

no sew tree skirt

1 yd red felt ($2.10)
approx. 2 yds gold ribbon ($1.00)
hot glue gun and glue (already had them)

time: 45 minutes (i did this on a weekend, so i went over my allotted 20 minutes)
total cost: $3.10


christmas stockings

materials (for all four):
2 yds red felt ($4.20)
2 squares white felt ($.55)
2 squares brown felt ($.55)
fake greenery (approx. $.10 for all four)
buttons (already had them)
hot glue and glue (already had them)

time: 30 minutes to cut pattern and sew the stockings
10 minutes to glue white felt
30 minutes to make felt flowers/glue greenery
1 hour 10 minutes (did it over 4 days)

total cost: $5.40 for four ($1.35 each)


kids "masterpieces" display

piece of scrap wood (already had it)
paint (already had it)
10 clothes pins (already had them)
hot glue gun and glue (already had them)
screws, anchors and a handy husband :) (already had all of them)

time: 20 minutes to paint the board
20 minutes to paint/glue on the clothespins
5 minutes to hang
45 minutes (did this in one day, 20 minutes in the morning, 25 in the evening)

total cost: FREE!!!!


cinnamon christmas candle

materials: 1 red cinnamon scented candle ($1.85)
cannister of cinnamon sticks ($.50)
fake greenery (maybe $.03)
twine (already had it)

time: 20 minutes
total cost: $2.38


decoration wine bottle
empty wine bottle (already had it)
silver spray paint ($4.50 and used very little)
gold decorative greenery (2.10)
twine (already had it)

time: 20 minutes
total cost: $6.60 (and would have been cheaper if not for SUPER expensive spray paint here)


no sew christmas advent calendar
2 yds green felt ($4.20)
5 squares white felt ($1.37)
5 squares red felt ($1.37)
4 squares light green felt ($1.10)
gold ribbon (already had it)
paint for numbers (already had it)
glue and glue gun (already had them)

time: 4 days x 20 minutes each day = 1 hr. 20 min.
total cost: $8.04

(do you see the little paper man next to the advent calendar? landon made him and he calls him "the christmas boy." love his imagination!)


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

piece of heaven

with our fall schedule slowing down a bit we've made weekends intentional and a priority. we try not to schedule any "work" related stuff. we stay away from our computers more. we play outside a lot. and the most recent activity the kids love...


i have to say i grin a little when the kids say they want to paint. sometimes i groan, thinking about taking out all those paints and using tons of paper for just three brushstrokes. but mostly i get excited at the possibility of my kids being artists.

look how different they each hold the brush

art has played more than a huge role in my life. it has played a ginormous role in my life. i've always said that i didn't care if my kids were ballerinas or ball players. whatever they choose, i'll support them in that. but i definitely wouldn't complain if they chose to be painters. or photographers. or cartoonists. or sidewalk chalk artists.

emi is my careful painter. i know she's not even quite two but she has a delicate hand. she never goes off the page. she always holds a paintbrush like she is touching the most sacred piece of paper. she has this super adorable focus face where she purses her lips together and her eyebrows indent inward. so cute.


landon, although my wild painter, has quite the imagination. he is always mixing pictures with the new letters and numbers he is learning. he also never forgets who the picture is of or what animal he painted. he seems to be painting a lot of caterpillars, spiders and gagas (mike's dad who passed away in 2009) lately.


in parenting, i feel like it brings out the best in me and the worst in me. my ugliness rears its head in heated arguments (yes, those happen even with toddlers) and cuddles and kisses take all of my burdens away. there is just something about watching these little ones create that makes me hope and wonder and stand in awe of these beautiful creations. my beautiful creations. mike and i's beautiful creations.

god's littlest, most beautiful creations.