We have a creative sort of household over here, I suppose it’s inevitable when I’m an artist. The children love to draw and paint among other things and my eldest is beginning to enjoy scrapbooking and journalling. I decided that a nice thing to have would be a family journal, where together we could write, draw and collect things from the day to day things we come across that we like to specific things that may be bothering us or places we have been as a family.
Among my stash of spare journals I found an A4 ring bound one that I dedicated as our Family Journal. A couple of pages have been played with so far, my eldest likes to write things that are stressing her in them and it has become a wonderful way to open up communication about issues that either of the children may be shy about talking about from the off. Together we can go through the pages and deface them, add to them and just generally explore creative ideas together.
I’m hoping that this will continue to be something we all do and that, when the kids are older, they can look back on and see that together, as a family, we are strong. Also that playing creatively and having fun with it is an important way to discover new things in all aspects of life and work through any problems they may be having.
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In my last post I mentioned a larger project I had in mind for the me and the kids over summer, today I started making up the board for it, I call it the love board. Much like the blessings board and the dream board I made a few months back this is going to be a fun and visual board for all of us to display the things we love(d) and continue to enjoy them.
There were a couple of triggers to this idea for me. A while back I had been reading a book that spoke quite broadly about feng shui. It’s not something I am particularly interested in however I recognised the set up and areas in my house to be quite accurately intuitively done according to basic feng shui principles such as my ‘work space’ being right by the front centre of the house and that when a certain area of my house gets dis-organised so too does my mind. There was one space however, the love space, which falls in the corner of the house where the dining table is and has been somewhat neglected. Aside from the fact that we eat as a family and share our love there I felt it would be nice to have something relating to the wide subject of love there.
Unfortunately no ideas were forthcoming until last week I found these MDF ‘LOVE’ letters in The Works while I was just aimlessly browsing and then I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I set about making the board out of an old cardboard box and masking tape first, cutting out three hearts as well, one for each of us to paint and write our special things on as there will be things we all love and things more personal to each of us.
Around the edge of each heart and the board I glued down some twine which will give a nice raised edge and some texture and dimension once it has all been covered in glue and old packing paper. Filling it will be the fun bit and something that I hope we will enjoy doing as a family. I intend to hang the hearts from the bottom of the board as dangly fun elements, which, thinking about it now, I could probably use both sides of…we’ll see.
I think it will be nice to have a collective piece of art that we have all contributed to and that means something to each of us to fill that empty wall space by the dining table. It’s also a pretty big nod to my word for the month of August, after all if we’re going to be doing a project like this I may as well focus on it’s basis for the month’s contemplation. There will be more on that, however, when I get to making my tag for August.
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And so it begins, the summer holidays are upon us and I’m already thinking of projects to keep them busy and entertained for the long six week haul. We have a few day trips planned but it’s those days spent at home that can be the difficult ones, particularly once the novelty of the holiday wears off. I have a large family project in mind which I will talk about another time once we start it but for now it’s a reminder of a classic that I’ve blogged about lots of times but I think is always worth revisiting.
I love this recipe and have used it over and over again for the kids since I discovered it. Made up of ingredients we all just have at home in the cupboards it’s quick to make, easy, cheap and has brought hours of fun for the kids over the years. I think the only thing I had to buy for it initially was the cream of tartar because I don’t use the stuff in my store. I bought a tub over seven years ago and am still using the same one for batches of playdough.
You will need:
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup salt
1tbsp cream of tartar
1 cup water
a few drops of food colouring
Both my children like to have different colours so what I usually do is half the mixture and do one colour then make a second half size batch in a different colour. Half the size mix is ample for one child making a decent adult fist size ball.
First measure all the ingredients out and put them in your pan, the more food colouring you add the brighter the colour will be but just bear in mind that by adding more you may find the colour leaks a little from the playdough, especially when it’s warm and can then stain the hands a little. I tend to add a small capful of colouring and some colours take better than others.
Next you want to very gently heat the mixture and stir it continuously. It looks like a big gloopy mess at first but very quickly it will glue up and form a dough like mixture. You will see it getting dryer with the heat, that’s when you want to take it off the heat, gather it up with your hands and just knead it a little into a smooth dough but be careful as the mixture is hot!
I used the same amount of colour for both the green and red but as you can see the green is a much lighter shade than the red. The two balls are about the same size as my fist, perfect for little hands. It will stay soft and useable as long as it is kept in an airtight container when not in use, otherwise it hardens and goes grainy but then it’s so cheap and easy to make creating new batches is not too much of a problem.
And here they are playing with their dough within ten minutes of me making it, an hour later and they’re still going strong and have even decided to share a little of their colours with each other 🙂
I wish a Happy Summer Holidays to all of you out there with kids at home to occupy, I hope that you have a fun and fairly peaceful few weeks!
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