Framed

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Art, Childrearing, Connections, Crafts, Decor, Family, Home, Life, Memories, Parenting | Posted on 08-05-2017

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When I think about our family, I think how different we are as individuals. And how our family is evolving.

We are especially different in how we choose to spend an evening. Not always as one family together. But as one family together, but separate. One wants to go out with friends, one wants to watch YouTube videos, one wants to do anything but watch a movie with Mom and Dad. Then there’s Otis, who is up for anything, including movie night.

But isn’t this supposed to happen? While I am sad to see my children slowly branch away, I am also learning to appreciate their separation as a healthy part of life: thriving as individuals. I appreciate each one. With their own personalities. Their own thoughts. Their own emotions. Their own interests.

But isn’t it also my job as mother to keep our family connected? I try. Family taco night is always a success. Movie night? Not so much anymore. Awhile back, I covered our kitchen table with butcher paper so we could create art together. It started with a white square tile. Add drops of ink. Swirl, mix, design. The blobs of ink expanded. The ink morphed.

Each tile transformed into a unique work of art. No two were alike. Hmmmm…kinda like children…

This art project lasted several weeks. That’s a lot of together-time!

We framed this “family mirror” with the tiles we created. It’s an excellent metaphor of our family: colorful, with individual pieces, unified as one.

It’s a mirror that represents togetherness and separation. It’s hung, appropriately, right above the kitchen table, where many tacos have been consumed together.

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Scratchy Balls

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Art, Attitude, Memories, Mothers and Sons | Posted on 04-03-2016

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It was a day filled with cupcakes, masks, and scratchy balls.

My ten-year-old son and I adventured to the city, just the two of us. We stumbled upon a necklace in one of the shops: a colorful necklace made from scratchy wool balls. How could I say no?

Mom, you would look so pretty in this. Seriously, how could I resist?

Since then, I’ve been wearing that necklace often. It keeps my neck warm. It goes with everything. People compliment it wherever I go. Wow, cool necklace! But mostly, I smile because it reminds me of that colorful day spent with my sweet son.

My new necklace.

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A Single Candle

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Art | Posted on 19-01-2016

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I volunteer at the elementary school. Not a lot, just a little. Enough to make a little impact.

At first I was like: OK, I can help (sigh, eye roll, something else to add to my schedule). Then, I was like: I love this! I help teach or co-teach a monthly art project to 2nd graders, 4th graders, and 5th graders.

Making mosaics out of tiles. Painting masks. Creating a Van Gogh masterpiece out of individual pieces. It’s about teaching the children a thing or two about art history and art techniques. It’s about encouraging the children that everyone is an artist. It’s about creating something that you can be proud of. These interactions have become one of my monthly highlights (instead of being something on my to do list).

The recent project was to create a rendition of a Van Gogh masterpiece in pastels. Each child was to create one little piece of the whole. One child had part of the vase. One child had part of a flower. Separately, the pieces lacked meaning.

At the end of class, we assembled the Sunflowers pieces–much like a puzzle–into a connected masterpiece.

The children stood back in awe. I made that? No. WE made that. Each child contributed. They smiled.

I smiled.

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

— Buddha

Check out what the fifth graders did! Each student created a block to add to the class masterpiece.#vangogh #art

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If You Give A Child A Paintbrush

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Art, Children, Confidence, School | Posted on 20-05-2015

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If you give a child a paintbrush…

I had the pleasure of teaching an art lesson to a fourth grade class. The topic that day was: Impressionism. We learned about Claude Monet and his famous Water Lilies series.

Everyone is an artist! I beamed.

All you need is a paintbrush, five acrylic paints, a blank canvas (paper), an open mind, and a YouTube video.

What transpired that day? Creativity. Magic. Pride.

With paintbrushes in hand, the children made little brush strokes. Just like Monet. First the water, then the trees, then the lily pads, then the water lilies. The classroom was magically transformed into an art studio. The children were buzzing with ooohs and ahhhs, amazed at their creations.

There is no right or wrong way! You’re the artist! I encouraged.

In the end, each painting was different. Each one unique. Each was a masterpiece.

I, too, was bursting with pride. As the children cleaned up and lined up for lunch, I lingered over each painting to soak them all in.

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Do You Like My Hat?

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Art, Attitude, Children, Children's Books, Confidence, Contest, Crafts, Encouragement, Life Lessons, Memories, Mothering, Mothers and Daughters | Posted on 16-10-2014

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It’s OK if you don’t. Because I love it!

Do you remember the children’s book, Go Dog Go!? One dog keeps asking the other dog, “Do you like my hat?” He’s a total dick and always says no, he does not. She continues to try so hard to seek his approval and validation.

Until the last hat, which is over-the-top amazing! And, he likes it. Finally.

My daughter and I made some over-the-top hats. Our plan was to wear them at opening day at the horse races.

We started working on the hats a month ago. On one of our trips to our favorite antique store, we scored my daughter a red hat. And lots of bags of junk treasure. We spent that whole afternoon, with glue guns in hand, decorating. That evening, she told me that she had the best day. Yeah, me too.

She transformed her hat into a half-fall-half-winter scene. It is amazing and joyful! But she already knows this.

Mine was half toys and 100 percent full of memories. I rummaged through my children’s toy bins. Plastic horses with no tails. Gold coins from St. Patrick’s Day. Legos. An army guy from a 4th of July parachute. Fake rotten teeth my youngest son loves to wear. A pink barrette my daughter wore when she was three. A Nerf gun bullet. A rubber frog. An alien prize from no cavities at the dentist. A few stray McDonald’s Happy Meal toys. A refrigerator alphabet magnet. A Polly Pocket. A monkey pencil topper. The wrestler that my oldest son played with when he was two. He’s 15 now. The wrestler lost his legs in a battle, so he now anchors the front of my hat. It’s his medal of honor, I guess.

So many wonderful, funny, happy memories are now all glued to my hat.

On opening day, my daughter and I confidently paraded around the horse races with the biggest grins and giggled the whole time. What silliness! What fun!

We entered the “best hat” contest.

We didn’t win. Not even third place. Not sure why we entered. We certainly don’t need external approval and validation to remind us that we are both winners.

Because we already know this.

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Two ladies wearing hats at the horse races.

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Three Peas

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Art, Crafts, Daughters, Gifts, Kindness, Love, Mothers and Daughters | Posted on 08-10-2014

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Four yards of fabric were required, apparently. Two yards of green fleece, one yard of green satin, and one yard of red satin. And green thread and a package of buttons.

It was to be a big project, she said. My daughter directed me to meet her in the “green section” later, because she knew exactly what she needed. She had a plan to make me a birthday present.

I did as I was instructed. Including letting her determine the amount of fabric required. Including paying $28 for four yards of fabric.

That afternoon, I heard her sewing machine humming away. All I could do was smile.

And then, on my birthday, my daughter presented me with a small package that I carefully unwrapped.

It was a pea pod with three peas smiling back at me. It fit in the palm of my hand. It melted my heart.

My daughter knew that I always likened my three children to three peas. She knew that one of my favorite Christmas ornaments is a pea pod with three smiling peas wearing Santa hats with their names written on them.

It was the sweetest, most thoughtful gift. A big and small project, made with so much love and so little fabric.

Sporty and crafty and sweet. All rolled into one.

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A wonderful present my daughter made me! #symbolism

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Loomalicious

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Art, Childrearing, Children, Crafts | Posted on 26-03-2014

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Those crazy kids! With their rainbow looms and bands!

Despite parents’ eye rolls (and bank rolls), we are loving the creations around here. With the rainbow loom, my daughter is:

  1. creative. She made a coin purse with 2,000 bands!
  2. resourceful. She learns new techniques from how-to YouTube videos.
  3. social. She gets together with her friends, with “loom suitcase” in hand, to loom and laugh.
  4. productive. She makes me all the rings and bracelets I could ever imagine. #childlabor

When I was a child, we had looms. And we wove stupid pot holders that were made out of polyester bands and were so tiny, that when used to hold an actual hot pot, you’d burned the crap out of your hand.

Looms these days are so much more useful. I mean, rings! Bracelets for all of us! Charms for backpacks! Coin purses! A football keychain! A guy with a super large penis!

Loomalicious!

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Whoa! My daughter made this coin purse with her rainbow loom. #2000rubberbands

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My dayghter's latest loom creation! Hahahaha!

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White Paper Gone Wild

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Art, Childhood, Childrearing, Children, Memories, Projects | Posted on 12-03-2014

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If you give a child a crayon and white paper, imagine the possibilities.

But what if it’s a ginormous roll of white butcher paper? The last time I bought a roll of this paper was when my oldest son was six years old and my daughter was two years old. It lasted nine years!

We rolled out the paper for murals, birthday parties, for art projects, for framed masterpieces, even for wrapping paper. We’d haul out the markers, rubber stamps, crayons, finger paints. You name it. We covered that white paper until the white didn’t show.

I recently wandered into the teaching supply store to seek some items my children would enjoy. Hmmmm. They are now too old for lacing shapes, building blocks, alphabet posters. What to buy??

Ah, yes. A roll of white butcher paper! Because you are never too old to be creative. This will last us through high school!

Guess what? The other night, we rolled out the paper–six feet across the dining room table–added markers and Sir Mix-A-Lot and it urned into a “white paper gone wild” night.

As a result, I have a new tablecloth. 🙂

My daughter painted this masterpiece when she was 5. I love it!

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If you give a child a crayon…

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My daughter creating a masterpiece!

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My daughter and I were drawing past bedtime. #midnight

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