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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A Single Candle


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


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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White Paper Gone Wild


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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Sock Puppet Mania


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Crafts, Family, Fun, Kids | Posted on 01-03-2012

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Nothing says fun like sock puppets. And we sure have a lot of lonely socks around here. I wrote about my drawer of unmatched socks here.

Thanks to a rainy day, that drawer has been emptied. With a hot glue gun, buttons, googly eyes, felt, pipe cleaners, and a teensy bit of imagination…pow! Our rainy day was transformed into sock puppet mania!

Turkeys Made From Little Hands…


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Childrearing, Family, Life Lessons, Memories, Thanksgiving | Posted on 24-11-2011

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I just love the little craft projects that come home from school. Such as the paper turkeys traced from my kids’ hands. The paper will forever be cut in the size of their little hands at the age of 5, 6, 7, 8, 9…whatever.

I will treasure these. No need for any other type of presents from my kids EVER. Just little keepsakes and art and notes made from them. With messages from their hearts. That’s all I and and need.

I love the art that adorns my office bulletin board. The colorful hand-drawn family portraits that are framed in our hallway. (For some reason, I am always wearing a dress, pearls, heels, and lipstick. Wowza!) The rotating art exhibit in the kitchen by the fridge that showcases the weekly class art projects. The handmade macaroni necklace that I wore with pride (until it broke). The ring made from a pipe cleaner. The bookmark that says “I love Mom.” Even the words “Mom is #1” written on my car window with a greasy finger. Love them all!

No need to buy myself that “World’s Best Mom” mug. 🙂 Because I am loved. And I am thankful for that.

Here’s wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving. And may all of you Moms/Mums be thankful for those greasy fingerprints and handmade drawings of you with giant, lipsticked smiles. To my peeps across the globe–here’s sending ya happy family wishes (even if ya don’t partake in turkey-and-pie on the 4th Thursday of November).