sick week.

 
My poor daughter has been feverish and coughing since Sunday, which has meant our week has been slow and filled with tea, soup, books, movies, and crafts.  Each morning find her way to my studio and to sit in the sunlight and make art.  These are some of her creations. 

* A jar of confetti
* A stack of painted spools (featured on Everyday Fun -- my blog for Family Fun Magazine)
* A set of craft stick puppets
* A moment where measuring tape was important
* Her workspace (Used padded mailers make great art mats for painting)

Cross your fingers for a cool forehead this evening.

xox emily    

p i c t u r e d :: Boston

A collaborative sculpture made of twigs and colorful masking tape hanging in the Boston Children's Museum studio.
All set up and ready to lead a project in the Boston Children's Museum studio. Those chairs were filled all morning long. 
The evening sky after my event at the Village Toy Shop in Canton.  The sky was streaked with orange. At first I was frustrated with the parking lot lamp posts that stood in my way, but then I quickly fell in love with their vertical contrast.
All in a row at the Brookline Booksmith.  LOVE this store (and the people who work there).
Our dinner in the North End was amazing.  One word: calamari. Oh, and broccoli rabe too. 
The children's creative work made me happy, happy.
Thanks for the inspiring days and crisp, delicious nights, Boston.  You and your zippy green line make me smile.
 
Now, to crack open 5 butternut squashHappy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate (and to those who don't as well)!

xo e

Big news!

I had mentioned big blog news a few days ago, and I'm finally able to share.  I've signed on to be the blogger for Family Fun's new blog Everyday Fun and it went live today! Hooray, hooray, hooray!

My vision for Everyday Fun is for it to be a resource for parents, grandparents, childcare providers and teachers (and anyone who does creative work with children) who are searching for ways to engage in creative experiences with children.  I am so excited to be part such an awesome project and I'd love for you to follow along.  Please visit, comment, and spread the word.  Thank you, dear ones.

xox e

Hey, Boston!


Laundry piles are starting to stack up as I organize, sort, plan, and pack for my three day book tour this weekend in Boston.

Starting Friday, I'll be buzzing around Boston and landing at these three places:

Friday 11/16  -- The Villag Toy Shop in Canton at 3:30 
Saturday 11/17 -- The Boston Children's Museum at 11:00
Sunday 11/18 -- Brookline Booksmith in Brookline at 2:00

The Story Disk project from Show Me a Story is the name of the game in all three venues.  The colorful disks with tiny, meaningful pictures are an engaging way to blend art and literacy. They serve as compact idea generators for children’s storytelling and creative writing and are fun to collect, trade, or gift with friends.

And, um, I was 4 years old the last time I was at The Boston Children's Museum, so this is going to feel amazing!  I'm feeling so thankful and excited.

If you happen to be in the area, I'd love to see you at an event.  And if you have suggestions for Beantown restaurants, bakeries, bars  etc., I'd love to hear!  

Also, I've added a new Programs page on my blog where I offer details about my library and school programs.  I am thrilled to have a bunch of schools and TEN branches of the Boston Public Library lined up for the spring.  Please pass the page on to any teachers and librarians who might be interested.  Thank you, lovelies. 
 
xo e 



 

h o t e l

I have a thing for old foundations.  There is one in particular in Newfield, NY which I've visited year after year since I was a tiny, little girl.  It was once a one room farmhouse with a now boarded-up well, deep, deep in the woods. At one time, the land surrounding it was farmland, but it is now nestled deep in an overgrown forest of trees. After all these years of imagining, I feel like I  know the family who lived there. There was a young girl who fetched water from the well and parents who built the stone foundation while the children played.  And, nights crowded by the fireplace, warming their toes and hands.
This weekend, we visited a 100 year old foundation from a hotel in Goshen, NY, which is set back in the woods across from Tom's grandmother's home.  The hotel took months and months to build only to burn down days before its grand opening.
I've always felt sad looking at the debris of that tiny farm house, knowing it was once a vibrant source of pride and nourishment.  And, yet, it is also comforting to look at while imagining that it served a family well for many years. I like to think that the family moved on to better things, maybe an easier way of life.
This hotel just felt plain sad.  Its arched brick hallways and window wells show the meticulous work of many careful hands.  There were large, stretched out rooms with fireplaces waiting for crowds and travelers (see above photograph).   There was pride and anticipation and excitement, and then nothing.  Fire and regret.  Silence.
Deer sleep there now.  Bricks crack off and tumble, muted onto a bed of leaves.  I walked up the solid gray stones steps to nowhere, turned around, walked back down and whispered, "I'm here."


xox e

birds + watercolor

My youngest loves to paint and draw, but she sometimes feels stuck when it comes to choosing a subject.  It's not that she doesn't love to doodle and experiment with color; she'll do that for hours.  It's just that sometimes, she will tell me that she really wants to draw "somebody cute," but she isn't quite sure how to get where she wants to go.
This is when field guides, picture dictionaries, and picture books (we love vintage Golden Books!) are wonderful resources.  I keep a little shelf of books with interesting, beautiful, or inspiring pictures and photographs for this purpose. (We do also use Peterson's Field Guide to identify our backyard winged friends).

When doing representational drawings with young children, I like to remind them to be creative with their interpretations.  The pictures and books should be guides and all of the quirks and uniqueness in our artwork is what makes it beautiful.
My mouse was so very proud of her friendly, yellow bird who likes to say "HI."

Hi!

xo emily

p.s. I have big, big blog news coming later in the week.  For realz.


A letter to the world (from my daughter)


Dear world.  Hope the vote will not change your world, and you! Your life will be o.k. Much love leah

She plans to toss the letter into the backyard tomorrow morning.
I am letting her optimism and hope be my guide.

xox emily

p i c t u r e d

* A beautiful cake brought to my house by a beautiful friend.

* Before the storm.

* Bird parts

* A love note from the trees.

* Spotted in the library. (the kind librarian offered to lend it to me  even though it is a reference book)

* My little friend sat on my lap as I read about the storm damage.  It helps to have a warm lap when reading sad news.

May this weekend be filled with strength and resilience. 

xox emily