It’s important to me that my birdies enjoy the process of creating something as much–or perhaps even more–than the end result. This is such a great life lesson that can be applied to almost anything. Slow down, enjoy the process, be here now. This is easier said than done, but having children underfoot helps to keep this in perspective. It also helps that we do a lot of messy things and I don’t shy away from creating messes wherever I go. Chris could easily vouch for that one…

I’ve also been seeking out opportunities to show the birdies the process of making other kinds of things and Wren absolutely loves this: from the peanut (butter) grinder to the coffee bean grinder to the homemade marshmallows we made this summer. Some might ask “why?” because you can just buy marshmallows, peanut butter and coffee and be done with the shopping trip and moving on to other things. Process.


If you’re wondering what this process was all about, it’s marbling using shaving cream and paint. And it is SO fun and SO easy to focus on the process of creativity. You can read more about it over on The Artful Parent.


made by little hands

We had a lot of fun last weekend making these pretty little tissue paper candle holders that we spotted over at The Artful Parent. It was a good project for chubby little hands and a fairly short attention span. And a very limited gift budget! Unlike a lot of toddler-made gifts, these are actually useful and beautiful. And not just beautiful in that awww, Wren made this so it’s beautiful kind of way. But really, truly lovely as the light flows through them during the day and filled with candlelight at night too.

Bonus: you’ve probably got (almost) everything you need to make these. I bought candle holders at the dollar store, but baby food jars or jelly jars would be great too. Tissue paper? Check. Mod Podge? Check. Supposedly watered-down Elmer’s glue would work too, but I love Mod Podge. It dries clear and is water-proof. Glitter? Check. Foam brushes? Check. Go!

Are you enjoying a hand-made Christmas? I had grand plans for a hand-made Christmas, but we’ve just dipped our toes in that proverbial water this season with a few small projects and lots of edibles. But with a long winter stretching out ahead of us, we’ve got ambitions for lots of creative pursuits. I would like to make some art of my own too. Someone asked Wren recently if she watches me paint and she said, “no, Mama doesn’t paint.” Boo hoo! It reminded me that I haven’t painted in way too long and it saddened me that she didn’t see me in my own creative work. Just washing the dishes, which she is proud to declare. Sigh. So there’s a good resolution for the coming year: make time for my own creative work. And a helluva lot more fun than the standard “lose thirty pounds! Work out every day! Stop eating sugar!”

What about you, parents. How do you find time for your own creative work? Is it important to you that your children see you creating as well?