Wednesday, September 16, 2015

An Art Update: Part Two

I shared about our family art time from the summer, but that is not all the art I did. Surprisingly (to me anyway) I didn't do more. The art time that I had, I cherished but I chose to spend more time on family focused time than my art. That's a decent accomplishment for me and I'm proud of it.

I spent some evenings painting and some afternoons lettering. I joined a few new groups on Instagram so that I'd have prompts to practice my lettering. I don't think I'll do it daily, but I do enjoy having some new things to try. The flowers are painted and cut out to use in my Bible, journal and letter writing. The bookmark on the right was by request from a friend. 

The one art that I was most faithful to was my Documented Faith journal. This little book has been a delight to fill. I update weekly on Instagram. (user name: mrsgingras)

I did a fair amount of Bible journaling, too. I love how I'm able "to hide His Word in my heart" through art. By the end of the summer I picked up a new Bible study guide. I find that having something structured to follow helps me with consistency. 

I tried my hand at mixed media and had a lot of fun, but need more practice. I mostly like the results.

I did a little sewing. I have a few custom orders on my plate right now, so it's back to the grind of it tonight. My new table is a dream to sew on - solid and no bounce! Happy sewist right here.

Does playing with her hair count as art? I am counting it as art and focused family time. Win win!

And finally, I shared this on Facebook and Instagram, but I wanted to share here, too. I went on an artistic field trip. This is Nettie and she is one of several volunteer sewists who make quilts for charities worldwide. Nettie and her friends work from the MCC thrift store. They sew and make 1000 quilts per year. They are resourceful, using every piece of useable fabric that's donated. Some quilts are "batted" with light blankets or heavy sheets and then are are hand tied (I helped tie 3 this morning). They use the self binding technique and are finished with a sewing machine. Cutting and quilt top sewing are done in homes and the stacking, tying and finishing is done upstairs in the store. I had such a great morning! Thanks ladies.

This summer was by far my most favourite in years. I am so thankful for the two months of family adventures, simply perfect days and yes, some challenges. It was a great time. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

An Art Update: Part One

Part of the summer fun for me was having lots of art practice time. I was our family "art director" for the summer and I look back with fondness at these times. Although...

family art is something that I have to work hard at. In the end, I'm usually glad that I put in the effort. I am not a fan of messes that I don't make myself and so I have to focus on the fact that it's a family creative initiative and it WILL be messy. If I prepare myself ahead of a time for that reality then it helps me not to mind too much. This summer we did more family art projects than ever.

Sun painting was the first art project we tried. I saved this for our camping trip so that we'd have something fun to look forward to (I'm not a great camper and this helped me to have something to look forward to). The idea is that you paint the fabric with diluted paint, then place leaves etc on it, lay it in the sun to dry. We followed this tutorial here. We didn't have much direct sunlight that day, so only a couple turned out the way we had hoped, but they were all colourful and we had fun doing it.

Tree faces is a family favourite and we've already decided that this will be an annual summer tradition. Tutorial/instructions can be found here. 

Stick painting might have been one of my favourites. (I chose family crafts that I wanted to try and it helped to keep my focus off the mess and onto the creative effort). We had some grumpy-ness during this craft and it was uncomfortably hot, but I loved the results and still have them in a vase in my kitchen.

Paper making was a two day process and the results weren't as satisfying with this method, but I think the children had fun with the process, so I can still feel like it was a success. Tutorial that we used is here.

Bubble painting was another children favourite. The picture above of them blowing the bubbles is before we got the paint to water and soap ratio quite right. The littles were less interested in the art than the bubble blowing, but I got some cute stationary out of the deal. Tutorial/idea from here.

Individual craft time can also reduce the mess. Malachi did a cute printing paint project (similar to this method) at Michael's and the mess stayed at the store - worth the $2! Abby and I had a mini art date one quiet time and we did make a large mess, but with it just being the two of us it was still manageable. Both littles appreciated the focused one-on-one art times.

Some art projects require no mess at all! Shadow play was something we all had fun with this summer.

This wasn't exactly a family craft project, but we all certainly benefit from the result! My favourite art project of the summer, was definitely my table! David, with some help from a student he mentors, built me this gorgeous kitchen table. My David's love for me is all over this table and I'm so thankful!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

August Love

As I predicted, August went way too fast, but it was a great month. This summer had a lot of "perfect" days. I know that perfect isn't possible this side of heaven, but what I mean is that we had a lot of simple outings that everyone enjoyed and days that we'd love to live over and over. That's about as close to perfect as you can come. Here's a mini run down of August...

We tried to do a lot of family crafts. Stick paintings, bubble painting, Abby and I had an art afternoon and we made paper, too.
We continued to date our littles. David took Micah on a date and they had fun at the toy store. 

David and I managed a couple of dates, too. Our anniversary found us in the back of our van at our own personal drive-in and we also managed to read together under our favourite tree in the English Garden at Assiniboine Park for another date.

Sometimes ninjas and super heroes join our outings

Perfect days usually include a drive and a walk and my most perfect days found us on the beach.

We had a lot of perfect days and I will cherish the memories of this summer for a long time.