“I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.” –Frost
…and we have tons more bead crafts to do before lunch … and some group art exhibits I’d like to enter coming up real soon …and stacks of books to dive into this summer …and fall schedules to plan out …and hopefully a nice little beach vacation too.
Busy-busy! But never too busy for kid crafts! When I came across milk-plug seed bead ring crafts on Pinterest, I suddenly inhaled all the air from the room with glee! Sparkly, simple fun. And don’t get me started on plastic lid fridge magnets. I mean come on! It’s just so much fun. Hot glue, beads, creative upcycling — these are a few of my favorite things! I just wanted to share the love.
I have enjoyed sharing, indeed. I started this blog to help organize my thoughts on homeschooling, to help keep family in the loop and to share our homeschooling adventures with them (and to reassure them that I knew what I was doing and that I wasn’t totally insane!) My goal was to write for a few months to help cover some big questions, to share some ideas and focus creative efforts a bit, and then be done.
To my surprise, I have really enjoyed this experiment quite a bit (and surprised by the amount of daily blog traffic! who knew that sharing about homeschooling and creativity could be so fun and personally rewarding?!) I’ve learned so much from this online community and have found plenty of inspiration along the way.
These past few weeks of participating with homeschool conferences, reading-reading-reading and reevaluating has shifted things a bit for me — I’m swimming in choices (in a good way), redesigning our nest, creating new habits, and meeting goals/keeping promises while basically rethinking everything.
As we know, the only constant is change — and I’m someone who loves to constantly move furniture around in my life! Not to mention, there is another fresh stack of blank canvases waiting on the easel, and other projects that need my creative energy. And there’s the fact that it’s summer, and I have three kids, m’kay?
So, yes. This is me unplugging a bit more. Will I stop taking pictures? Stop journaling? Stop documenting? Never! Stop blogging? Um, yes. It has been a fun, creative project that has brought some clarity and plenty of satisfaction. It has certainly brought distraction and/or focus to my lunchtimes/coffee breaks/late night insomnia time, for sure!
I’m pulling the plug in order to help reduce distractions and to be more present throughout the day, to turn down the noise a bit more, to just say no to possibly hijacking a family activity as blog fodder. And to quiet that crazy voice in my head that squeaks, “hey! I should blog this!”
I recently quit Facebook for good too, actually going all the way and deleting, unfriending, purging… the whole nine yards. It was easier than I thought it would be to unplug a bit more. Un- can be a wonderful place to be.
Before I log off for good, I want to share one more artsy-craftsy obsession for the summer. Like everything else, this is nothing new – I’m sure I ran across this at art camp or back in kindergarten. But it’s one of those kid classics that must be shared and re-shared because it is so fun and easy and safe and creative and as inexpensive as you want it to be…
Block printing/stamping from foam meat trays. Hurray!
Confession: we bought some new foam trays because I’m a germ freak (OK, I bought a lot of them!) Just trim away the raised edges of the foam tray so you are left with a flat plate, use a pencil to make your drawing or design, use a brayer to roll out the ink, and then pull some prints!
Just set out the materials and let the creativity flow. We now have a gallery of amazing prints — this is also great for notecards/personal stationery.
The kids can get quite a few prints out of one foam plate before your drawing begins to lose some definition because the foam is so soft. But unlike using linoleum blocks or woodcuts for block printing, this method is super fast and completely safe for little fingers.
When we ran out of the more expensive block printing ink, we inked the plate with thick acrylic paint and it worked OK, with some trial and error. We even experimented with liquid watercolors mixed with some white glue to help thicken it! Whatever works!
It’s so safe even your youngest abstract artist can get in on the action. Three cheers for addictive, easy, satisfying art projects.
To my readers I want to say thank you for visiting with me. It has been a pleasure. And now I’m going to go join the Wii Party game with the kids. Without a camera in hand!
Best wishes for a happy summer — and a hearty Godspeed.