Red Bird Crafts Write-Along

Today's three Write-Along words:

beneath, owls, and tears

See below for details, and remember this all about process, not product.  Feel free to tweak the tense of the word!


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The plan:
1.  I will choose three words from the jar.
2. I'll post the three words here and on the Red Bird Crafts Facebook page where I'll use #redbirdwritealong.
3. The challenge is to use the three randomly chosen words in some kind of short creative piece. It could be a sentence, riddle, poem, haiku, faux advertisement, slogan, blurb, love letter, fortune and more, more, more.  Anything. The words can be tweaked slightly (ie: you can change the tense or make it plural.)
4. We'll make our short pieces public.
5. You are welcome to read the comments on the Write-Along posts to see what others have shared.


I plan to share my writing and I'd love it if you'd share yours as well.  I also encourage you to share on Instagram or Facebook (or Twitter).  If you choose to share on social media, be sure to tag it with #redbirdwritealong, so we can all read.  If you choose to post on Facebook, would you consider posting on the Red Bird Crafts Facebook Page, so we can all read?  Of course, you can keep your creation private -- maybe in your journal or taped to your fridge? You know that is ok too.

Some of the writing might not be kid appropriate, so it is important to screen the content before letting children read directly from the blog.

Anyone is welcome to join: adults, kids, elders, teens, and even children who are pre-writers (you can write their words for them). 

A Summer Kids' Craft: Nature Bundles

While we were away on our vacation, the children invented a Nature Bundles game where they found lots of different tiny bits of nature and packaged them up with gorgeous, natural wrapping.
Each one was unique and interesting, and each had a story to go along with it.  Some were spells, some remedies, and some extremely thought-out gifts.
Like, this one, which had a note explaining what each part of the bundle represented in me:

2 shiny leaves because you are also shiny
Unripened holly because it grows together like our family
Pine because it grows wild like you
Pink flowers because it is unique like you
2 sea shell pieces because they are to make your roads to home
Yellow flowers because they are bright like you
Wheat because it stands tall like you
Four pebbles because YOU ROCK

Did I almost die because of how much I loved it? Yes. 
Why not send your children off into the backyard, woods, wherever in search of bits of nature to wrap up in small packages.  It is just the kind of freestyle play that leads to imaginative storytelling play.

If you take photographs, will you share with me?

Follow Red Bird Crafts on Facebook for lots of posts and creative ideas for art&story.

Have fun!

Home

On Friday night, we arrived home from a week at the ocean. Considering how frightening and worrisome the past month and a half has been for my family,  I was sure we were ready for a happy adventure. A visit to the sea seemed like just the thing to recharge our spirits.  Looking back, I should have known that driving away from my town, the place where my father fell ill and is now recovering, was going to be nearly impossible. Nearly, but I did it!  I was shaky and teary when it was time to leave, but after a few good conversations, I found my place in our stuffed car.  And, I'm so glad I did.
This kind of beauty was so good for my mind.  The thing about the ocean is that it reminds me to just be in the moment because of how quickly everything changes with the tides.  Just when I think we've found the perfect wading spot, it becomes an island, and then dry land.  And, when we want to find the same swimming spot the next day, we'll have to come at a different time of day.  The ever-changing ocean is a lesson in letting go of what is coming next, and being at peace with what is here now.


But, hey, some things are always the same:  the wet skirts, the drippy hats, the splashing in the waves.
The chocolate.  (This was dark chocolate dipped at the Hot Chocolate Sparrow in Orelans, MA. I HIGHLY recommend a trip if you are anywhere nearby)
Here is my oldest, scanning for turtles.
And, my youngest, asleep after a long day.
Sister yoga at the Wellfleet Bird Sanctuary.

There was also fried fish, clams, margaritas, miniature golfing, bicycling, playing in waves, etc. etc.

And, now, onto the next summer adventure: camp for the two oldest and projects in the house for me and the baby.  Onward.

Most photographs are from my Instagram: @redbirdcrafts.


Red Bird Crafts Write-Along


Today's three Write-Along words:

lunch, sparrow, and office supplies

See below for details, and remember this all about process, not product.  Feel free to tweak the tense of the word!

*******************************************************

The plan:
1. Each week, I will choose three words from the jar.
2. I'll post the three words here and on the Red Bird Crafts Facebook page where I'll use #redbirdwritealong.
3. The challenge is to use the three randomly chosen words in some kind of short creative piece. It could be a sentence, riddle, poem, haiku, faux advertisement, slogan, blurb, love letter, fortune and more, more, more.  Anything. The words can be tweaked slightly (ie: you can change the tense or make it plural.)
4. We'll make our short pieces public.
5. You are welcome to read the comments on the Write-Along posts to see what others have shared.



I plan to share my writing and I'd love it if you'd share yours as well.  I also encourage you to share on Instagram or Facebook (or Twitter).  If you choose to share on social media, be sure to tag it with #redbirdwritealong, so we can all read.  If you choose to post on Facebook, would you consider posting on the Red Bird Crafts Facebook Page, so we can all read?  Of course, you can keep your creation private -- maybe in your journal or taped to your fridge? You know that is ok too.

Some of the writing might not be kid appropriate, so it is important to screen the content before letting children read directly from the blog.

This will happen weekly or bi-weekly.  Anyone is welcome to join: adults, kids, elders, teens, and even children who are pre-writers (you can write their words for them).  

Red Bird Crafts Write-Along



Today's three Write-Along words:

flown
loop
celebrate

See below for details, and remember this all about process, not product.  Oh, and feel free to tweak the tense of the word.



My contribution:

Memory: My grandparent’s house in Mattapoisett, MA

It is a blur of Christmas lights, celebration dinners, trundle beds, Aim toothpaste (looks like a rainbow coming out of the tube), driving on crushed sea shells, the Frank Sinatra and Benny Goodman loop, strawberry patch on the side, elbows off the table, honey suckle in the circle at the end of the street. 

Flying in the tree swing: to the clouds.

Baked scrod for dinner. Tiny dish of lemons for squeezing.

A pantry stacked with everything you’d ever need.

Coffee cans turned into code transmitters. 

 *******************************************************

The plan:
1. Each week, I will choose three words from the jar.
2. I'll post the three words here and on the Red Bird Crafts Facebook page where I'll use #redbirdwritealong.
3. The challenge is to use the three randomly chosen words in some kind of short creative piece. It could be a sentence, riddle, poem, haiku, faux advertisement, slogan, blurb, love letter, fortune and more, more, more.  Anything. The words can be tweaked slightly (ie: you can change the tense or make it plural.)
4. We'll make our short pieces public.
5. You are welcome to read the comments on the Write-Along posts to see what others have shared.



I plan to share my writing and I'd love it if you'd share yours as well.  I also encourage you to share on Instagram or Facebook (or Twitter).  If you choose to share on social media, be sure to tag it with #redbirdwritealong, so we can all read.  If you choose to post on Facebook, would you consider posting on the Red Bird Crafts Facebook Page, so we can all read?  Of course, you can keep your creation private -- maybe in your journal or taped to your fridge? You know that is ok too.

Some of the writing might not be kid appropriate, so it is important to screen the content before letting children read directly from the blog.

This will happen weekly or bi-weekly.  Anyone is welcome to join: adults, kids, elders, teens, and even children who are pre-writers (you can write their words for them).  

An update

Thank you for all of the love and support these past weeks.  I'm thrilled to report that my father is slowly recovering from his heart attack.  He has a long road ahead of him, but he is a determined guy with three grandchildren who need him back on the beach, digging in the sand.

Your emails and messages here, on Twitter, and on the Red Bird Crafts Facebook page have been a huge source of comfort. You are so dear.  Thank you!

Onward!


right now


Dear friends,

I will be missing from this place in the days ahead due to a very sad and difficult situation in my family.  Please send my father love and light.  Any bits of strength and love for me and my family are most welcome too. 

Love,
Emily


Red Bird Crafts Write-Along

This is my jar of words.  One of my current big projects has me spending a lot of time with my jar of words, which is a good thing because jars of words are fun.

All of my time spent with the jar made me think that it would be fun if we all spent time together.

The plan:
1. Each week, I will choose three words from the jar.
2. I'll post the three words here and on the Red Bird Crafts Facebook page where I'll use #redbirdwritealong.
3. The challenge is to use the three randomly chosen words in some kind of short creative piece. It could be a sentence, riddle, poem, haiku, faux advertisement, slogan, blurb, love letter, fortune and more, more, more.  Anything. The words can be tweaked slightly (ie: you can change the tense or make it plural.)
4. We'll make our short pieces public.
5. You are welcome to read the comments on the Write-Along posts to see what others have shared.


I plan to share my writing in the comments, and I'd love it if you'd share yours as well.  I also encourage you to share on Instagram or Facebook (or Twitter).  If you choose to share on social media, be sure to tag it with #redbirdwritealong, so we can all read.  If you choose to post on Facebook, would you consider posting on the Red Bird Crafts Facebook Page, so we can all read?  Of course, you can keep your creation private -- maybe in your journal or taped to your fridge? You know that is ok too.

Some of the writing might not be kid appropriate, so it is important to screen the content before letting children read directly from the blog.

This will happen weekly or bi-weekly.  Anyone is welcome to join: kids , elders, teens, and even children who are pre-writers (you can write their words for them).  Hey, family and friends! You too.

Will you join me?


Some thoughts:

1. Hand write or type the three words onto a page.  This will help your brain form ideas.
2. Do some free association writing based on the words (write what comes to mind without any changes)
3. There is no expectation that this is going to be great writing.  This is all about process and delving in.
4. It takes a bit of bravery to be willing to share, but I think it will end up feeling rewarding and fun. I’m especially interested in seeing all of the different ways the three words of the week can be crafted and interpreted.

Today's three random words are:



Oh, and if you are a friend who visits my house, will you please, please add some words to the jar? That would be the best.

Check out the comments to see what others have shared! Will you write-along with me?

-Emily

PS.  If you read my blog in a reader (like Feedly or bloglovin), you might want to pop over to the real deal to see my new logo.  I feel really proud of it.  More blog changes are on the way in the coming weeks/months.


Spring Story Stones


Spring is finally in full force in our Massachusetts valley, which means my family has been in search-for-signs-of spring mode. In the past, we've collected our signs of spring, traced our signs of spring, and made non-dominant drawings of our signs of spring. This year I decided we should make spring Story Stones!

First, find signs of spring! It is easy enough to close your eyes and image some, and this is fine, but I think it really helps if you go out searching.  You'll maybe surprise yourself?  I chose robin's egg (we found one in our yard!), magnolia blossom (my favorite backyard tree), maple keys (or helicopter seeds), and a cherished spring sprout. I don't think I would have remembered the magnolia blossom if I hadn't been outside mindfully observing. Once you've gathered stones and given them a quick rinse, use a pencil to draw spring shapes.


Use acrylic paint to fill in the pencil lines and allow plenty of dry time.


Display your stones in the center of a table or give stones as little token of friendship.  They would make nice end-of-year gifts for teachers and friends!

Story + Art Tip:  Consider using a thin Sharpie marker to write words on the back of each stone.  A poem, haiku, two word pairing, or even one simple word.

Have Fun!

My new website! Hooray, hooray!


Hello friends,

Today is a big day around these parts.  My patient, determined, super talented husband and I have been working on emilyneuburger.com for over a year.  Mostly, we've been working during days off, evenings, weekends, and vacations, which is why it has been slow going.  I'm in charge of design, he's in charge of implementation, together we are in charge of awesomeness -- or, at least we try.

And, here we are -- both of us so thrilled with how it turned out. Big high fives at our house.

Red Bird Crafts is still where all of the blogging will take place, and you can easily get to my blog from the new website. 

Please visit! And, please pass the link on to anyone who might be interested.  I'm especially excited about the workshops I've been running in schools, libraries, head start programs, and museums.  If you know of a program, a school principal, a PTO organization, a museum educator etc. who is interested in art & literacy programming for teachers, parents, or children, would you share my website with her or him?  That would be so helpful and wonderful.  Thank you, dear ones!

xo emily

watercolors and flowers



The older kids and I made these in early September in the midst of balmy breezes, deeply saturated garden hues, and a big round baby belly. Our baby boy was due in two weeks and it seemed as if my body couldn't get any rounder. It was full of what we could only dream of.

It happened on a day when we desperately needed something to do. The children were sprawled like huge beached starfish on the living room rug;  I was a beached something on the couch.  It is always nice to have tiny cards on hand, so we set out to replenish our stock.


{Cut watercolor paper into small squares
Use a Sharpie to draw flowers, shapes, designs
Paint a wash of liquid watercolor over the design
Keep going until you can't go anymore.}


I made flowers.  The girls painted birds and flowers and people and bunnies.  

A happy silence hung over our art table; brushes swirled in rinse cups, the girls admired each other's work.  We framed Leah's flower and hung it in the new baby's room:  "Love, Leah.  Age 8."  

We were on the cusp of such change.  

I just kept painting flowers.  








p i c t u r e d :: february

 View from our back porch.

 A brunchy bit of sunshine.

 Snuggled.

Birthday party treasure hunt clue on the back porch.

 Wrapped!

 Bright eyes.

Warming her furry, little feline toes.

xo emily (Instagram @redbirdcrafts)

oh baby!


I had a baby in September.  I did!


His name is Oliver.  He was born in late September.

He is a beautiful little baby -- sweet, smiley, and engaging.  His eyes dance when he sees his people.

We've been spending lots of our time on the floor cuddling and chatting.  Don't even get me started on his soft little cheek pillows.

The 9 1/2 months of pregnancy was a mix of excitement, house preparations (the girls are sharing a room!), work (I taught ten workshops at the Boston Public Library in four weeks), travel, and a hot, hot, hot summer.  Oh my. It was really, really hot. 

And, now, we have this boy's little face to look at each day. 

I am a lucky mama of three.

xox emily




Sewing School 2 Winner!

My random number generator chose number 15, which is Ruby!

Ruby wrote: I think my almost 7 year old would LOVE this. Thanks for giving a copy away :)

Hooray! I am sure your seven year old will enjoy it for many years to come.  Please send me an email with your address, so Storey Publishing can send a copy of Sewing School 2: Lessons in Machine Sewing your way.


Happy Friday!

xo  e

Sewing School 2: Book Review and Give-away


I was so happy to receive a copy of Amie Petronis Plumley and Andria Lisle's latest book, Sewing School 2  (Storey Publishing) in the mail, but before I could even peek at the pages, Leah (my eight-year-old) rushed off to her bedroom with it where she quickly flopped onto her bed and perused each page and project. Amie and Andria's first book, Sewing School , is one of my girl's favorites, so it came as no surprise that she would be beyond thrilled to lay eyes on the new book with exciting new projects.  Plus, its focus is teaching children to use the sewing machine, which is always an exciting prospect around these parts.

While I knew that Leah would be super excited to dig into this book, I almost forgot that my Hazel (five-years-old) is in a perfect place to begin learning to use a machine.  She loves fabric, prints, wrapping fabric around her dolls, and hand stitching, so when I showed her the book and asked if she'd like to do a project with me, she was bouncing in anticipation.

She chose the Tag Along project where you make a little stuffy with a loop for hanging.


She went right for a piece of punchy daisy fabric!


She was tentative about using the machine, but after some practice stitching, she was fired up and ready to go.  I love how the act of sewing with the machine teaches lessons in self-control and moderation.  There was a part of her that wanted to ZOOM!, but she took it slow because she was invested in her creation.

Stuffing!


Here she is, so proud of her creation!  After much consideration, this beauty will hang in her doll's bedroom.  We already have plans to make more to give away for the holidays -- we're thinking of stuffing them with herbs and flowers!
 
Sewing School 2 is a wonderful way to introduce children to sewing with a machine because it encourages them to be confident in themselves while inspiring them to be creative in ways that feel fun and productive. Plus, the projects pictured in the book are made by other children, which leaves my kids feeling inspired and connected to all of the creative possibilities within.

Visit the Sewing School blog or Storey Publishing for more information about the book and the tour.  


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Storey Publishing has generously offered to give away one copy of Sewing School 2 to a reader.  Just leave a comment on this post by 8/2 at midnight (Eastern Time) and I will announce the winner on 8/4.  Storey has requested that it be US only, please.

xo emily