You know those countless pinterest posts with cool (and often impossible) craft ideas? You don’t need to be that overly-crafty parent in order to foster creativity. Just draw with your kids to create the art spark, and leave art supplies (really basic ones like pens and paper!) in an accessible location. Seriously, that’s it. You don’t even have to be artistic.
You, too, can have an artistic two year old…
Thank you. Thank you for giving me a few hours of peace. Away from the Mom-Alarm. Away from the mountains of laundry. Away from my two year old’s wall and body art. Thank you for giving me some uninterrupted time to connect with my husband – away from the ADHD that is parenting three little ones. Even if I only slept for four hours last night, at least I can relax for just a teeny bit.
1. I don’t want to come home to kids who are awake. Not even one still-roused child. It’s not cute. It’s not funny. It’s not “oh well!” It sucks. I want them to all be asleep. I don’t care if their feet are black, their teeth aren’t brushed, or there are small animals in their hair. I just want them horizontal. Because after a few hours of no demands, I don’t want to play mom again until the next morning. I get that you don’t get it. You probably don’t have a 2 year old who constantly draws on every possible surface, including herself, a 5 year old who manages to leave half of every meal on the floor, or a 7 year old who needs to be reminded every 3.5 seconds to do her homework. You probably don’t understand that “good days” mean you got a shower or got to complete two consecutive sentences when speaking with your partner. That’s why I’m giving you this simple rule. Kids. In bed. All of them.
2. If my kids are asleep and you have been watching Bravo for 2 hours, their dinner dishes should not be visible. They should be in the dishwasher and their kitchen mess should be cleaned up. Look, I’m not asking you to clean the house. But putting their dishes in the dishwasher and washing the one pan of mac ‘ cheese (don’t judge) that they get for a treat when we go out isn’t asking for much. And, yes, I’m asking for it.
And here’s my Grumpy Old Man story: when I babysit, for $5/hour, I felt like I needed to earn that money. So, when the kids went to sleep, I did just that. I cleaned the entire kitchen – often consisting of several days’ worth of dishes, put all toys away, and straightened up. Then, I watched TV. I’m not asking you to do all of this. I’m asking you to place, in the dishwasher, three small plates, three cups, assorted silverware, and to complete the washing of one pan. This should comprise approximately 10 minutes of your time at my house and then you can watch Bravo to your heart’s content.
(p.s. I love my children and I love being their mom. And they don’t get mac ‘n cheese that often.)]]>
I have some unique items to offer if your guy is a Red Sox, Bruins, Boston, or Jeep Wrangler fan. I even offer a photo of the fort used in Clint Eastwood’s Hearbreak Ridge, which I shot last February in Vieques, Puerto Rico.
Shop my Fine Art America store, where you can purchase Funky Fenway Park prints, mugs, phone cases, canvases, and many more creative things. Right now, I am offering a 15% off sale on items purchased from Fine Art America. Use coupon code KGYNXX
Now, this year has been exceptionally chaotic for my family and me. We began a major renovation/addition on our house last May. We lived through the majority of the demolition and construction and though the project technically ended in November, every weekend, we tackle the many residual issues, as the contractor we chose was… well… a bad choice. (Wish we had read this: Top 8 Pro Tips on How to Hire a Contractor). At some point, when we’re done fixing the myriad problems our contractor left us with, I will be able to work on the new art studio we added to the basement! Right now, it’s a storage closet, but I’m hoping by the end of this summer, I will actually be able to paint in there.
Adding to the stress were the multiple snow storms that slammed into Boston and left her and her residents crippled, both physically and emotionally. There were mountains of snow everywhere. People were drained from the snow, worried about financial losses from missed work and damaged property, and generally loopy from cabin fever. There was anger. A lot of it.
The light at the end of our tunnel? We were fortunate to have booked a trip to Puerto Rico last fall, and left for said trip in the middle of February. Our kids had no idea. We told them an hour before we left. Needless to say, it was pretty awesome.
The afternoon flight was miraculously on time. That first step out into warm weather, though – when the warmth caresses your skin — skin that has been cocooned in multiple layers for months… you just can’t beat it. And even though we were still semi-plugged in while on vacation, there were several beaches with no network connection, which forced us to disentangle. Combine the pared down two-do list with the lack of a functioning phone and you end up with the perfect formula for enhancing creativity. Vacations have been scientifically proven to benefit one’s health.
And although I didn’t paint while there (just no room!), my brain unwound enough so that I could at least focus on taking some beautiful photos – about 900! I’d love to share a few with you.
In honor of the runners of the Boston Marathon, I decided to make a wreath in the signature yellow & blue colors of the Boston Marathon. I envision that you could make this wreath in many different colors – red, white & blue for July 4th, pastels for Easter, red & green for Christmas – there are so many options!
Hooray! You’re done!
On a side note, I am running a promotion right now – I’m donating $5 from every purchase of an 8×10″ Funky Fenway giclee print or $10 from every pucrhase of an 11×14″ Funky Fenway giclee print to The One Fund Boston, set up help the people most affected by the tragic events that occurred in Boston on April 15, 2013.
I started out by sketching the concept on a 16×24″ canvas, and put down just a little paint.
Added a bit more paint, and started conceptualizing the duck boats in the pond.
I got a bit tired of seeing all the white of the canvas, so I added some sky and some windows on the Prudential Center.
I moved on to TD Bank North Garden, home of the Boston Bruins and worked on the B’s logo.
Stay tuned for more!]]>
My family and I spent 9 gorgeous days in Boqueron, Puerto Rico. We returned, rested, to some dirty snow in Boston last night. Inspired by the colorful casitas, sleepy fishing town, and turquoise waters, I sketched my version of Boqueron, and hope to put to paint at some point.
Also sketched while on vacation, a non-traditional Boston Skyline for an upcoming commission. This will be for a baby’s city-themed nursery. How wonderfully creative!
And finally, a truthful quote, sent from a friend — but I later found it for sale as a print on Etsy.]]>
Pay special attention to the fence — you can really see the snow’s progression!
Friday, February 8:
Saturday, February 9:]]>
Buy this Print!http://www.etsy.com/shop/MelissasWhimsy ]]>
Like this print? It’s for sale in my Etsy Shop!
I’ve been able to spend more time painting the past month than I have in the past six months combined.
I’m guessing this is pretty normal for a working mom of three kiddos under six, one of whom isn’t that fond of sleeping through the night. Anyway, mommy issues aside, it’s pretty miraculous that I was actually able to finish a painting! (Hopefully, you’ve checked out my Conway Covered Bridge painting, complete with progress.)
So, the other night, while I was putting the finishing touches on Conway Covered Bridge, I thought to myself, “Creating art makes me a better person.” And probably healthier, too. I’m one of the most Type A people ever – definitely not your typical artist. I have to fight myself to be Zen (an oxymoron, I know). But, when I have time to regularly paint, I’m less bothered by the little things, less aggravated with my husband, and I’m a WAY better mom.
During my six month old’s 2 a.m. feeding that night, I wondered what else made me a better person… coffee, definitely. Working out? Check! Losing 5 lb? Double check! There are so many things that make us feel better on multiple levels. I thought I would branch out of painting and make a digital print of what makes me a better person.
I would love to hear your comments about what makes *you* a better person!
Maybe it’s a long run, a hot bath, or even People magazine. Please share!]]>