Jan 20, 2015

Launch of Happy Handmade!

I have some very exciting news for you! The worldwide launch of Happy Handmade is here! 17 international crafters collaborated on this incredible ebook filled with with 115 pages of amazing and colorful projects. It can be yours today (on sale!) for $9.99! The regular price will be $12.99 after today! 

Pick up a copy here by clicking this BUY NOW button: 

Buy Now

And here is a peek inside! My project is the little space rocket you see! It was so much fun to be a part of this amazing collaboration that was the brainchild of the creative craft genius Michelle McInerney of the famous MollyMoo

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Jan 19, 2015

Nurturing Your Child’s Inner Artist

As a creative person who places artistic expression as a high priority, raising children who feel comfortable embracing their "inner artist" is extremely important to me. I am certain (and science supports my belief) that embracing creativity is an essential part of a child's education and overall well-being. Philosophy is great, but what are some practical ways we can help nurture the inner artist in our child?

Use recycled materials to create. 

Teach children to be thoughtful about the materials they use to create. Encourage them to choose materials such as cereal box cardboard, toilet paper rolls, egg cartons and paper bags for art projects. These materials are also very accessible and easy to keep on hand.

Keep it simple. 

When you limit the supplies you have on hand and keep it simple, you encourage greater innovation by asking the children to make something using only what they have available to them. Also, using the most basic materials for art projects encourages creativity more than purchasing a pre-made "asemble-me" kit at the craft store. For example,  if you ask a child to make a robot only using aluminum foil, glue and toilet paper rolls, you will be amazed at the creative magic that will happen!

Keep supplies within reach.

I know the thought of this may seem stressful to some parents, but if you can make a selection of supplies accessible to children (like paper and crayons) you will encourage a more vigorous "do-it-yourself" attitude. This is an essential thing to cultivate in any young artist. Store these specific supplies in a location they can access easily so that when the creative mood strikes them, they can get to it!

Make art together. 

Spending time as a creative unit with our kids really encourages an artistic atmosphere. I often craft an adult version of something the kids are making which makes it fun for me and inspirational for them. Recently, we made necklaces out of egg cartons which we painted and cut into flower shapes. These were a huge hit and this project was a great art activity for a wide range of ages!

Let creative freedom ring!

As a parent, it's a hard thing to let go of the control since it's our job to make sure things run safely and smoothly. When it comes to arts and crafts, however, you really have to just "let it happen". Establish some age-appropriate ground rules (like no intentional paint splattering on the floor) and then back away and let your artist embrace their creative side. Also, giving fewer prompts usually creates a less inhibited environment for little artists. The more freedom of expression you offer in the process, the more inspiration will be discovered.

For more great tips, tools and ideas for parents, head over to the National Education Association website, a great resource for student success!

 “This post reflects a collaboration with the National Education Association’s Raise Your Hand for Student Success campaign. All thoughts and opinions are, of course, my own.”
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Dec 18, 2014

DIY Cotton Swab Snowflakes

Decorate your home for the holidays with these clever Cotton Swab Snowflakes! Watch our latest episode of Crafts for Kids and learn how! 
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Dec 10, 2014

DIY Woodland Creature Ornaments!

In this week's episode of Crafts for Kids turn toilet paper rolls into adorable woodland creatures! Great for holiday gifts and perfect to trim the tree too!
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Dec 4, 2014

Car Tracks Holiday Wrapping Paper

This holiday season, the kids can enjoy a fun painting activity while making wrapping paper! Turn toy car tracks into wrapping paper with this easy and practical craft. Watch this week's episode of Crafts for Kids and learn how!

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Dec 1, 2014

Holiday Guide for the History Lover on eBay

I wrote a Holiday Guide for the History Lover and it's live on eBay! Hope over here and check it out when you have a chance. I asked my historian friends to chime-in and give me some items from their wish-list and my gift guide reflects what they said they loved.
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Make a DIY Snow Globe!

Make a DIY Snow Globe with a glass jar, some glitter and a few other simple items! Watch this week's episode and learn how!

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Nov 26, 2014

A Holiday Gift Guide for the Lumbersexual

I wrote a Holiday Gift Guide for the Lumbersexual man. You know, he's the guy that's replaced the Metrosexual men of the late 1990's and early 2000's. He loves to build things and make his own cider.  He values quality over quantity. Head over and check out my post!
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Nov 25, 2014

A Gift Guide for the Beginner Record Enthusiast on eBay

My blog post was written as part of my collaboration with eBay. This is a sponsored post. 

I wrote a guide for eBay for the Beginner Record Enthusiast. Click over and check it out and share it with all your friends. It has great tips to get you started with buying, playing and storing your vinyl collection.

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