Tag Archives: kids

Out of Hibernation! First Post: Paper Culture

Months ago, I decided that maintaining three blogs (The Big Piece of Cake, Style Key West AND Wishing True) was just too much for me (ya think?!) and I took a break from wishingtrue.com. But I’ve missed my pretty things blog – I really have.

So when I worked with the fabulously talented Mommy Geek to move The Big Piece of Cake over to WordPress, I decided to add a Wishing True page. That way, I could keep the old url and the archived posts AND streamline my personal blogs without the clumsy button links. So voila! Wishing True is back.

And today, I’m taking a look at Paper Culture, a fab (surprise!) paper goods company I discovered at BlogHer in August.

How cute are these:

These are just a few examples of the “bamboo wall art” designs. There are too many to show you ALL of my favorites – so you’ll just have to check it out for yourself. You can also upload your own photos – which is an interesting alternative to framing prints.

I also loved the note cards they had out on display.

These examples are pretty “boysie” as my daughter likes to say (and the second one is obviously for a child) – but there are plenty of other girly options.

And of course, with holiday card and invitation season starting…

I love that there are some custom cards that don’t require a photo (something I may need to consider if I can’t get my act together on the picture taking front). Also, some of the holiday cards have patterned backs – very pretty.

And before signing off on this one (off to pick out my holiday cards, that is…) I have to let you know about some current discounts/promotions:

Blyber Fronday (BLack FRiday and cYBER mONDAY) is a promotion for 10 FREE holiday cards.  No minimum purchase – just shipping and tax. (They also have a free “Mail & Message” service where they stamp, address and mail the cards on your behalf and you only pay for postage).

They’re also running a “Friends and Family for All” promo for two days only. Receive 30% off anything in the store using the code FF30 from 12:01 a.m. PST on Wednesday 11/30 through 11:59 p.m. PST on Thursday 12/1.

Welcome back Wishing True! In a couple of days, I’ll tell you about the coolest new photography gadget I just discovered…

Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way for this post. I received an e-mail about the current promotions and wanted to share the details!

Creative Process

Last week’s homework from my Blogging Your Way e-course (that fantastic one created by Holly Becker from Decor8 and Leslie Shewring from A Creative Mint) was to try something new from a list of ten options. I picked: Document parts of your day in a creative way (photos, podcast, video, hand writing, etc.) and post it on your blog.

I have to be honest – I had pretty much no plan for this assignment until the end of the week when I happened to be outside with my kids, trying to keep them entertained with watercolors.

I didn’t stage the “photo shoot” as is evidenced by the crappy Rose Art paint and Target paper supplies. On our ugly cement front steps no less! Oh – and don’t miss that super cute On The Border plastic kid’s cup that I used for the water.

But there was something about the muddy, messy watercolors that appealed to me. So I pulled out my iphone to take some pictures.

Yes – a camera phone even! Only the fanciest of technology for my creative efforts, let me tell you…

At first only Eleanor was interested in painting so I picked up the other brush and began a little watercolor doodle while watching the boys throw dirt at each other.

I used to take art classes when I was a kid (and even a few in college where I lost track of pretty much all creative spirit I once had), but I have to say, watercolors were never my thing. They were so difficult to work with – always bleeding into each other and refusing to conform to my vision. So “doodles” were pretty much all I could manage.

I noticed Eleanor imitating my fish scale design and loved her loose, colorful take on my prim, repetitive one.

Initially I found my own blue, green, yellow arches rather appealing – but after seeing this less studied and more exuberant creation, I shoved my own paper aside.

Just in time for George to show up and do some of his own painting. I actually love George’s watercolors and save many of them. He has a really interesting way of filling the page with sweeping brush strokes, ranging from thick and saturated to thin and feathery. This is not the best example of his usual style, but I did like the shapes he painted. They look so cheerful – like an assortment of tropical fish. And considering that he spent all of two minutes on it, it’s a pleasing little arrangement. Oh yes – and he is wearing blue nail polish…just in case you were wondering.

When George ran off to scooter or something, Oliver took his place.

Oh Oliver…my very, very artistically apathetic almost six year old… What happened to the toddler who would happily paint all day at daycare?

The truth is, Oliver’s interest in art supplies changed when his special needs began to really surface (around age two). He started missing some small motor milestones – like an age appropriate pencil grip – and was far more interested in the tactile quality of the supplies than how he could actually use them on a piece of paper. Finger paint was wildly popular at our house.

An interesting thing about Oliver’s use of watercolors is his attention to the water itself. He is less focused on the paint going on the page than he is in the clouds of color that diffuse though the water as he dips his brush. And looking through his eyes – I don’t blame him. Next time you have watercolors on hand, grab a clear cup full of water and watch the fireworks display unfold.

The other thing that Oliver likes to do is finger print paintings. It’s far more satisfying for him to have his fingers in the materials that he’s using. As you can see in the images below…

His paintings are always very battered looking. The colors leech into each other and turn brown and gray. You can see that hands have been put to work and that another agenda may have been in play. I think it’s beautiful.

I think they’re all beautiful. Unique and full of personality.

After the kids ran off to whack tree with sticks, I started arranging their paintings and taking more pictures. I now absolutely hated my fish scale doodle.

It was boring. Lifeless.

And I thought I could do better. Doodles can be fun. They can make you happy when you look at them. There is value in experiencing materials and letting them show you what you want them to do. There is beauty in inspiration. Not every effort has to have the goal of fine art….doodles are fine. But when you are looking for beauty and inspiration, you have to let go a little…put some heart into it.

Instead of doodling with paint, why not try scribbling?

I still think my kids blow me out of the water, but these little scribbles do make me smile. The fish scales, on the other hand went into the trash.
And if that little lesson wasn’t enough for me. Eleanor came back and gave me some great new pictures of her own creative process. Her own observation of others’ techniques. I guess she liked Oliver’s fingerprints. She decided to use her toes.

She started out with a small painting that happened to be sitting next to the paints. And I’m fairly certain it’s one of George’s. But after adding a couple of red toe prints, she moved onto a bigger blank page.

I kind of love this one though. In fact, I think it’s my favorite of the day.

My children teach me something new every day. Any parent would say the same. But I think this may be one of my favorite lessons. Open your eyes – look around – don’t force things – see what happens… You can’t force creativity – it’s a process. And a great work of art doesn’t have to be the end game. Sometimes a scribble that makes you smile is just as satisfying. Because the process is half the experience.

Julia Denos and Audrey Hepburn

Have you heard about the children’s book, Just Being Audrey?

I looked up the illustrator, Julia Denos and I LOVE her work. Just those few images really capture the character and spirit of the iconic film star.

Apparently the book follows her life from Nazi-occupied Europe through her years as an Ambassador for UNICEF.

I would love to buy this book for my own little girl (okay – it would really be for me). And I fully intend to keep an eye out for more Julia Denos illustrations. First step? Follow her blog, The Cinnamon Rabbit.

I’m skipping town early for a long weekend in sunny (or apparently rainy) AZ. So I’ll see you next week!

A Bee’s Nursery

I was just perusing the new issue of Nesting Newbies, a cute online magazine, and I found myself doing a double take.

There on pages 142-149 was Melisa’s nursery! Or more accurately, her daughter, Devon’s nursery. Melisa of the lil bee fame, won possibly one of the best giveaway prizes in the history of blog…um…giveaway prizes. Free interior decorating services!

Back in March, she featured some pictures of the final product as well as links to the designer, Michele Krantzow of Lavender & Plum and the photographer, Bentley Waters.

Here are some images from the article (as well as a few from Melisa and Michele’s sites):

Love love love the yellow paint color! But then you’d never guess that by glancing at my blog…

Now maybe I missed something…but I haven’t seen any recent posts about online magazine features on the lil bee… Anyway – it was a fun surprise and I’m so pleased for the lovely and talented Melisa that she won such a fabulous prize AND got some great press for her wonderful websites (the second of course, is her genius creation, Feather Report).

Also – am I the only one who noticed that both designer and client have unusual name spellings in which an “l” is dropped? Weird. Or maybe not weird…maybe just an exaggerated reaction that could be sign that it’s time for me to go to bed already! ‘Night.

Nesting Newbies and The Treehouse Press

A couple of things today…

First, I found a new online magazine last week called Nesting Newbies (also see the website: nestingnewbies.com). It’s all about “homemaking,” really – specifically, cooking, entertaining and decorating.

The layout is well done and the features have something for everyone. My favorites were…

…this series of table set designs (complete with “get the look” suggestions):

…and this great lamp makeover:

Then my adorable IRL friend Christy of A Lil’ Welsh Rarebit sent me a link to an Etsy shop she found on Urban Grace: The Treehouse Press. They make glass decoupage plates using only vintage papers like paper dolls, old maps, wallpaper scraps, children’s books, antique prints, etc. Here are a few of my favorite images:

Pricey – yes. But pretty special (especially that baby plate).

That was quite the big finale Friday for me…two subjects in one post. Nesting Newbies and The Treehouse Press – check them out!

Cutest. Thing. Ever.

How fun is this?

Fashion Playtes contacted me recently about their super cool new design service for girls.

It’s a virtual design studio that helps young girls design and produce their own custom clothing. They can play fashion designer – but for real!

I thought it looked like so much fun that I set up an account and designed myself a t-shirt (oh yes I did!)

Visit me at As Good As Cake to see the full story.