Heads-up, lovely people! If you haven't stumbled upon Annie Riechmann'sAlphabet Glue yet, I highly recommend spending some time with one (or all) of the volumes! It is a clever downloadable e-magazine filled with projects and activities for children and their families, and it is a wonderful way to thread imaginative exploration into your day.
Annie writes:Alphabet Glue [is] a downloadable magazine for families who love books!
Filled with activities, printables, projects and plenty of
inspiration, Alphabet Glue was created in hopes of helping more
families to incorporate creativity, imagination and all things literary
into their everyday routines.
As a last hurrah for her latest spring volume, Annie has kindly and so generously offered to give away four issues of Volume Six to four lucky ducks. Amazing and wonderful, yes?
To enter: Simply leave a comment on this post by Saturday June 2nd 8 AM EST time. I will choose the four winners, using a random number generator, and announce them on Monday June 4th.
Awesome possum! And, good luck!
The four winners of the Alphabet give-away have been randomly chosen! Congratulations to:
bsmithhill "Heck yeah, I would LOVE to win!"
Gabby "I love all your ideas! Would love to win too!!"
Terri Thompson "Love this! I've been wanting to check out Alphabet Glue!"
kate templeton "Some new project ideas for the kiddos would be great!"
Winners should please contact me for email for further details.
We spent the long weekend swimming and boating at the family lake house in New York. As soon as the children land there, shoes are off, bathing suits are stretched on, sunscreen is caked on, and I really only spend time with them at meals and bed time. It is a true child's extravaganza!
I treated myself to a run around the lake, and found treasure after treasure the whole way around.
Something to celebrate.
A free table! With vintage pillow cases and fabric! Of course, this meant that I looked like a slightly crazy minded person -- running while gripping a large pile of old pillow cases.
The old country store.
These look prehistoric to me. Dinosaurs, yes?
I paused here to think about the people that I love who are gone.
And, then the meadow trail on the dam trail home. This is my favorite part.
This was on our drive home to some very muggy, summery Massachusetts weather.
This past weekend, we had a garden party birthday celebration for my mother. She turned an important number with a five in it, and we decided we needed to infuse some celebration into a year and a half that has been, at times, bumpy.
And, so there we were with the bright sun, family and friends that we adore, plentiful food and drink, and chatter that drifted into the breeze. The day reminded me of one of my favorite books, All in a Day. All you have is this day, this moment, and we can find our way home whenever we wish.
In order to bring color and cheer into the day, I sewed a few paper buntings to string about the yard and porch. It is quite simple and quick to do, and they really did make the day feel extra special.
brown paper bags
paint & brushes
sewing machine (or hole punch and yarn)
Step 1 : Cut the bags open and paint the inside, blank part of the bags. Use a few different colors.
Step 2 : Make a triangle template for tracing using the cardstock.
Step 3 : Use the template to trace triangles onto the printed part of the bag, and cut out.
Step 4 : Using your sewing machine on a straight stitch, gently sew nothing for about 6 inches. This will give you a nice, thin cord for hanging your bunting.
Step 5 : Feed the first triangle under the foot, and sew. Sew nothing again for 2 or so inches (adjust spacing according to your design) and then feed the next triangle under the foot. Continue until you have the completed bunting.
Step 6 : When you are finished sewing triangles, sew nothing again for another 6 inches. This will be the other end of the bunting.
Note : Those of you without sewing machines can use yarn and a hole punch to string your bunting! Don't let the sewing part stop you.
Step 7 : Make loops at both ends for hanging.
This bunting will turn any old day into a fancier day. Sometime we need that kind of transformation, yes?
Was your spring weekend sun filled and glorious? We hosted a backyard party for my mother's 65th (almost wrote 6th. Hmmm. That would have been curious) and the sun poured all over our celebration. I was bursting with gratitude all weekend long (the sunshine was just the tip of the gratitude iceberg). Oh, and look for a party decoration post later in the week.
Speaking of sun and spring celebrations, there are still a few spots left in my Springtime Beginners Hand Printing Workshop for Adults (see below)! Please send me an email if you are interested in joining. And, for those already enrolled, look for an email with details about materials & supplies soon!
I am so looking forward to making art together!
Simple and Satisfying Beginners Hand Printing Workshop for Adults
June 16:: Relief Printing (with found objects and foam) 1:00-4:00 $55/ workshop (There is a materials list for this workshop)
Held at my home studio
Learn to make your own relief prints!
The first part of this workshop will focus on learning to see your
surroundings as a means for collecting printing inspiration. We'll
collect nature, and examine found materials, thumb through vintage
books, and do some quick hand sketches as part of this important
gathering process. After this, I'll teach three distinct and simple
relief printing skills: craft foam blocks printing, nature printing, and
found object printing. You’ll leave with your own relief blocks, hand
printed muslin squares, and/or hand printed note cards. Additionally,
you're welcome to bring your own t-shirts, fabric, and stationary to class, and you’ll learn the
best ways to print and apply your hand printed images. No previous printing experience needed!
I posted this Nest & Eggs building tutorial in March of last year, and I thought I would share it with you again today. I remember that weaving the round, soft nest made me feel like a mama bird for a short while. Tweet! There are new, little beaks in our birdhouse. Let the baby bird season begin!
*The girls have been using the tree stumps, leftover from October's snowstorm, as picnic tables and possible fairy gathering spots.
*Ms. Sophia Loren squeezes in a weekend nap. Look at that kissable forehead!
*Brunch turned to lunch as the children cracked eggs and ate them well into the afternoon.
*Soup, tissues, and honey tea were the rule last week as three of us coped with a head cold. I was so glad to send that one off into the sunset.
*Just prior to coming down with the cold, I went on a super fun get-away with dear friends to Porches Inn in North Adams, MA. A little more than ten years ago, the inn renovated a bunch of row houses, which once housed mill workers, into an "retro-edgy"inn with antiques, heated pool, hot tub, and a hearty and healthy breakfast. My family and I first stayed at Porches during the photo shoot for my book because Storey Publishing lives right across the way.
*The last two photographs are from our visit to MASS MoCA, which is across the street from Porches. We saw one exhibit where an entire room is in the process of being "built" and it is framed in scented soap, which is molded to look like wood. In fact, the soap was molded and shaped to look like all of the things you'd find at a construction site: 2 x 4"'s, nails, shims, ball jars. That exhibit was difficult to capture, though, so I included photos from two other installations.
This week in workshop, we made spring lanterns - the kind meant for garden parties, outside dinners, and damp, cool nights. Thankfully, the rain has come to our valley in Massachusetts, and our ground is now muddy and squishy -- as it should be in early May. With the rain, comes days where the gray settles into the sky in the morning and stays until bedtime. A little bit of candlelight shining through colorful lanterns will make these early spring evenings nice, I think.
The children were encouraged to plan ahead and think of how the light will interact with their color choices. I also gave them yarn to experiment with. They used Mod Podge to adhere the tissue paper and yarn to the jars.
I made one too. I loved snipping and gluing with my students as they chit chatted. One sweet girl paused and said, "This is the best class because we get to do art and talk with our friends." And, I thought, why do we stop doing this as we age?
Mine is a slender pendant lantern, and its cheerful, warm glow was making me happy last night. The wriggly worms on wet pavement are making me happy too.