Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Let's get started.  Today I'd like to introduce you to some small projects that you can use to introduce your child or student to creativity.  Learning and creativity go hand in hand and should become lifelong endeavors.

The first thing you should do, as stated by "7 Ways to Foster Creativity in Your Kids" an article from Greater Good, The Science of a Meaningful Life, is to provide the resources your child needs for creative expression.

Let's examine this.  They don't need to be fancy or expensive, infact, it is suggested that it be time more than things.  Giving kids unencumbered time from rules and structure to just play.  This is so important as it has almost become impossible to let urban kids play outdoors and be kids.  Recently, I let my 1st graders become kings and queens by making hats and knighting them and that went into all sorts of play.  It was fun watching their imaginations come to life.  They began making swords, guarding their castles, making bow and arrows, shields and started chasing each other around the room (I had to stop that however) but they enjoyed themselves with good old-fashioned play.  The key is space and time and a few items that can start their imaginations running.

I always felt that toys from Toys R Us, or any toy manufacturer for that reason, limits real play because it's forcing them to play using someone else's ideas.  When kids are given their own simple items to play with, I believe it allows their imagination to run free.

This video will teach you how to create simple fun for kids.  You will be surprised how creative your child can become when his or her imagination is let loose.  We will visit the other 6 ways in subsequent blogs.

Thank you as usual for being a great sport.  And remember,

"Be always artistically focused and life beautiful"......smooches!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Creating Magic With Your Child

Assorted Crayons
Sometimes parents think it would take a lot of time or even become expensive to expose their child to art and culture.  This is simply not the case.  It is an easy process just to get started.  As they grow, it might become a little more costly but even that is subjective, depending on what you want to expose them to.

One easy project you can do with your child is to keep art materials like crayons, colored pencils, markers, paints and drawing paper around the house.  Let your child first explore what to do with them before offering any suggestions.  Give them paper to write or draw on so they are not tempted to write on the walls.  And if they do, make sure you have a specific wall covered with paper that they can freely write and draw on.  The more they are exposed to these materials, the more likely they are to become innovative with them either by drawing or using them in unusual ways.

Don't be afraid to let your children try something different.  It stifles creativity when we try to manipulate the outcome.  Children learn best by exploring.  Giving them freedom to make mistakes, to do it differently than what you would do or what is already done.

As they grow older, you might allow them to take more formal classes as you are helping them develop in that skill or talent.  At some point, they will become better, especially if they are passionate about it.  Formal education will help direct that process.  But in the meantime, let them be free to explore.  If you don't want to invest lots of money....use free or relatively inexpensive resources such as the Dollar Store, Pinterest and google to gain ideas as well as the free or reduced cost resources in your community.

The library, museums (on free days), events in the community, local travels are all great resources.  In fact, your tax dollars help pay for their use.  Why not take advantage of them?

When I was growing up, the best thing my mom did for me was to allow me to explore my passions and send us to the library weekly. She also introduced me to artistic/cultural events like theater, music summer camp and dance.  This allowed my creativity to flow and flourish while my interests turned into passions.  She also bought me lots of educational toys, books and music.  

Exposing your child to history, culture, art and beauty will help them see a world full of possibilities instead of hopelessness even if they never become "artists."  Their future is at stake and it's in your hands.  Use the links below to help you get started on this exciting opportunity to help your child develop the creative genius he or she already is. 

Art Education Ideas
Free Museum Days Calendar

Until next time, "Be Always Life Beautiful and Artistically Focused".


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Creativity and Art Are Not Luxuries

Creativity is a sacrifice, instead of new shoes--an art book
Teaching children to be creative is a love of mine but creating creative adventures for children is an even greater Love.  In this blog I'm hoping that the importance of creating an atmosphere of creativity for your child or any child comes across.  As well, showing and guiding kids to creativity is even greater. 

Just what is creativity?  Is it the ability to do art?  Well that would weed out a large percentage of people not being creative and I don't believe that to be true.  Is it singing, dancing, acting?  Well yes, each of these things have an element of creativity to them but creativity is much more than one's ability to disseminate the "Arts.". It is the quality of thinking....thinking in ways that are not always traditional... Seeing things in a unique way.  Visit the link below to see what teaching your child creativity can do?  http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/10/22/motivation.kids/

So now that you understand what creativity is, let's explain what it is not.  It's not placing your child in front of Barney episodes all day long, it is not allowing them to be on the internet or cell phone non-stop---but it is reading to them, doing crafts and art with them, exposing them to new ideas and motivating them to learn.  

"Exposure to creative pursuits early in life is key to helping children get motivated to do creative things themselves, said Shelley Carson, a psychologist at Harvard University and author of "Your Creative Brain: Seven Steps to Maximize Imagination, Productivity, and Innovation in Your Life."

I will be including a series of personal videos on a creative project to do with your child and my e-book "10 Simple but Creative Activities to Do With Your Child," as a free download. YouTube videos to watch as well as articles on the topic and toys that promote creativity instead of taking away from it.

Keep looking for my blog as I explore with you ideas to help you and your child to get more out of being creative and to show how important it is for this new century.  

"Be always artistically focused and life beautiful"......smooches!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Eating Pretty on Inventive Tablescaping

Most of us get very stressed during the holidays because we are either competing with ourselves to do better than last year, trying to mimic what's in the pages of all the glossy magazines or just trying to create a beautiful space for your loved ones with all the other things you have to do

I can take away some of that stress.....by helping you learn how to create beautiful centerpieces and table runners that are easy to make and cost effective.  Cost effective meaning you are not spending an arm and a leg to create it.  The only drawback is that it might not be Macy's quality and won't last longer than perhaps the holiday itself, but it will be your creation and your rendition of beauty in your space.

Table runners, placemats and simple centerpieces are not hard in and of themselves to make, but thinking outside the box when making them is a bit of a challenge.  I have listed below a few options for making them that are not normally thought about...."out the box," variety.  They may not be very practical but if you're using them for one day, it might not matter that much.

During these holidays we tend to create traditions that last each year so out comes the same table runner, placemats, etc. from last year.  Nothing wrong with that----really cost efficient but it can be dull and boring.  Let's use the following ideas to whip that table into shape creatively.

1.  Certain fabrics have not normally been used to create a tablescape either because they are too flimsy, not best for placing things on or don't look that great.  However, there are some fabrics we might want to reconsider such as knits or jersey.  Even though they are not practical, they can be beautiful.  You can also think about using fabrics that have low care such as a lame, a silk polyester, burlap or organza to wrap around a centerpiece.

2.  Reuse old items by giving them new life such as jars that can be spray painted in beautiful colors or you can be imaginative and get inspired to use jars and other glass items in inventive ways.  Click on my link to get more ideas.

3.  You can scour the resale shops to find vintage fabrics and use them to create a table cloth/table runner using a no-sew method (making hems with hem tape) and adding dimension by gluing on objects such as fake flowers, fabric flowers and/or paper flowers.  You can embellish with beads, old buttons and jewelry, etc.  Your imagination is the only limit.

4.  Try using nature.  Painting sticks or twigs, bringing in leaves and shrubbery and using paint, glitter, etc. to glam it up or keep them simple, fresh and clean.  Doesn't cost you a dime.  I pick up sticks in my neighborhood all the time to paint and use to decorate with.  You can come up with some ingenious ideas of how to paint, and how to embellish as you begin this process.  Click here to see some ideas.  And follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.  I love new followers and I love sharing......

5.  Finally, you can actually take a old table runner and/or table cloth and spruce it up by adding new elements, deconstructing and changing the fabric or adding new fabric.  You can create new versions for every holiday.  And sense your are reusing items instead of purchasing new, you're saving money and yourself a headache.  Happy crafting!!

In the future, I will be creating more videos of how to make these no-sew items.  In the meantime, get those creative juices flowing by clickin on my Pinterest links to tablescaping ideas to learn more.....and Happy Up and Coming Holidays to ya.  Live life beautifully by being
"artistically focused and life beautiful."