Tuesday, August 3, 2010

When You Need 15 Minutes

Let me stress that this is only good for about fifteen minutes. Work quickly!

Monday, July 26, 2010

We Try to be Artists

I recently scored a bunch of canvases from an art store sale (buy one, get one free ... how cool is that?) and I couldn't resist. I know, I KNOW I already have a bunch of stretcher bars and a big fat roll of canvas in my basement. I KNOW I haven't broken these out in ages (since art school?). I just don't feel like stretching a canvas these days. However, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get a truckload of pre-stretched canvases and figured I'd decide what to paint later. Don't we all do that with our crafting and art supplies? C'mon.

Just as we were trying to figure out what to do with the rest of the blank walls in the children's room, my eyes rested on the still-sitting-in-their-bags canvases. I dug out my old paint box, brushes and other painting accouterments and we headed outside.

As always, I just let my kids choose their colors and go at it, painting whatever they felt like painting and then, painting over that with something else. On the drop cloth, we sat and chatted about summer, swimming, our garden and what they were painting. The afternoon was so lovely!

I'm the type of mom that doesn't control the kids' creative activities. They want to paint on the canvas? Fine. They want to paint on their arms? Okay, but let me take off your shirt first. They want to make the once beautiful purple picture look more like dirt? Okay, then make it the best looking dirt.

I think painting or any craft project, especially with toddlers and preschoolers, is more about the journey than the destination. How does the pink paint look on the stark white canvas? What if I make my brush go this way instead of that? How does it look when I jam the bristles down? What color does green, red and gray make (a question often wondered by my son for some reason).

As a child, I distinctly remember loving the black crayons. My mom probably worried that she had the early stages of a goth kid on her hands and envisioned years of dark clothes, fishnets and L.A.R.P.-ing in the community park. No, that wasn't for me though. I just loved the black crayon because of the way it felt when I swiped it across the paper. It made a bold, dark mark and the texture was nice. I didn't care so much about the color as the experience I had when I colored with it. Do any of you remember a favorite crayon color? I'm sure most of you do and probably for the same reasons: texture, tone, color and feel.

My children didn't want the painting to end, though we had to at some point or the paintings would have taken a week to dry with all the layers of paint on them. Chandler used his favorite colors: red, green and gray. Ava used hers: purple and pink. I personally thought that they were interesting and they will look nice in their room. They are so proud of them.

If you ever see a sale on canvases - grab a few! I encourage you to make some fine art with your children and proudly hang them in a place of prominence in your home. This will brighten up your living space and your child's heart and mind.

Happy creating!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Summer Fun

Well, it's definitely been an interesting summer. That's the time we're all supposed to relax, but for most of us, it's completely jam packed with summer camps, vacations, family get togethers, and lots of travel. For me, it's also packed with lots of work. I have a wonderful job that allows me to work from home, but I also have my busiest time of the year in spring and summer. Oh well.

So please forgive me if my posts this time of year are few and far between. I am still here. I am still creating and I will post things as I get time. Like now, for example.

How have your summers been so far? It looks like it actually might be a warm summer for us so I'm hoping that I will have a LOT of tomatoes this year (none from last year). My herbs are happy and I think my son's beans are growing. We're not quite sure yet what he planted so it will be a surprise.

I finished up two quilts for the little people a few weeks ago. These were started back in November and I quickly realized that I was not going to find the time to work on them. They were not finished for Christmas I can tell you that much. Knowing me, they have lots of appliqué and I tried some hand quilting out which I now love. I will share these lovelies with you when I can get them outside for a photograph.

In July we have some birthdays and two vacations but I will try not to stay away too long. I also have some appliqué patterns in the works so I will be getting those out to you all too.

See you soon!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Alien Boy Goes Dotty

Sounds like a tabloid headline, doesn't it? I really wanted to share these super cute pictures from one of my good friends. This is a onesie she decorated for her boy during our appliqué party.

Hey guys, get out there and download a free pattern! I'd really like to know if anyone's tried it and what your appliqué looked like. Please share!

Also, can you STAND the cuteness level of this post right now? I can't.

Monday, May 17, 2010

What I WAS Going to Do and What I Actually Did

Well, I had so much fun with the commenters and the comments on the last giveaway, that I decided to participate in this giveaway that was supposed to happen this week.

Oh well.

I was busy having fun over the weekend. I hope you all had a great weekend as well.

Maybe soon I'll do another giveaway for the heck of it.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

And the Winner Is...

And that means that the t-shirt duo goes to:

Thanks SO VERY MUCH to everyone who left a comment. It warms my heart that all you ultra-creative people out there enjoy this blog on some level. Margit, I will truly enjoy shipping this package to you! However, I didn't see any email listed on your profile or blogs, could you please send me your mailing address to puddlejumpingdesigns(at)gmail(dot)com?

I love to give things away ... it's so much fun! I don't like that there are so many of you left out, though. I am thinking that I'll participate in this giveaway next week. Are any of you going to join in? I'll be excited to see.

Hey, I was thinking that if any of you have tried any of my patterns, please let me know! I would be happy to hear about any praises or problems you encountered while making them.

- Jen

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Contest is Now Closed

I'm gonna say that the contest is now closed. Thank you so much to everyone who left a comment! I have had lots of fun reading your blogs (if you have them) and profile information. You are an interesting group.

The winner will be revealed in tomorrow's post. Thanks for playing!

- Jen