Monday, April 8, 2019

Spring in rural community


Spring in a rural community means new life in a way I never felt it when I lived an urban life.
We are connected here to the cycles of the earth and the animals in an intimate way.




Since I'm testing milk for a goat dairy now, I feel even more tied in to rural life and am continually amazed at the rough and humble beauty of farm life.








In April more than any other month, I truly want to live outdoors
in my garden or on my neighbor's farm or in the vast bulb fields just down the road.




Monday, March 25, 2019

Crafting Happy Relationships


My new group of crafting dies (click here to see the "Happy"collection) is out from Spellbinders and it's perfect for experienced crafters or even better with children. 

Because making stuff together builds happy relationships and priceless memories.


Here's a birthday crown project I made with my favorite 6 year old using some of the "Happy" dies I designed.




This spontaneous video will convince you how wonderful crafting with kids can be.
And crafting with die cuts is so easy a 6 year old can make something fantastic without stress.


When crafting with children it's important to abandon adult ideas of how things should be done.

Gather a generous smorgasbord of supplies so everything's at hand and encourage the child to choose the die cuts first, then assemble and finally add embellishments like glitter, rhinestones and ribbon.


Audrey picked her favorites from across the collection of dies, combining them in ways adults never would. As adults we might be tempted to direct them too much, but when we simply enjoy what they do, it's far more fun and builds them up.




In this case I had basic crowns ready, along with loads of die cut decorations which she quickly put together, adding her own words and coloring to the crown celebrating our puppy's 4 month birthday. Then we added pipe cleaners, glitter, rhinestones, ribbon and more.


She dreamed up the puppy's crown and wanted to make it " by myself." I did much of the crown she's wearing at her direction ("here, put this puppy on the top!" and "look! We just made a pattern!")

Want to grab the die cutting supplies? It's so easy- just click here!


Children love creative detours. Today we used toilet paper rolls, glitter, washi tape and die cuts to make "spy glasses" and a puppet as well as what I'd planned.
We were both thrilled. Who cared that it didn't look perfect to grown up eyes? Not us!


The important thing is how we all feel about our time making stuff together.
We both felt absolutely WONDERFUL as I took her home. 


The photos show how perfectly imperfect it all was, and how much love we have for each other (which is, after all, the real point anyway, isn't it?)


Thank you, Spellbinders, for making my art into dies sophisticated enough for adults but easy enough for children. I absolutely love the way these crafting dies build relationships.

For more great ideas, hop along to another blog to see more ideas for using Spellbinders dies here at Cards and Coffee Time.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Winter beauty


So winter is fading and I'm bundling up for long walks to enjoy it while I can.






Winter skies are so subtle in their beauty
and the reflections in a farm ditch seemed like liquid silver.



I walked several miles with my faithful old pal admiring delights that often pass unnoticed, 






Then home to a new love waiting to greet us with wagging tail.





Spring will soon be here with splendid joys but for now the winter hangs on beautifully.


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Slowing down in winter



Winter feels like a permission slip. 
We are allowed to slow down a little, to sit by the fire or go to bed early. 


Or to get the cutest puppy you can find and spend hours simply playing.
Because life is short and why not?



My neighbors' barns sit sleepy in fields of snow.
The bulbs rest under chilly blankets, waiting for the coming spring.



I've been busy cutting paper, lettering, and carving linoleum blocks. 
But at a slower pace, sipping mugs of tea and laying back dreaming of what to make next.


Winter, with its short days, reminds us how good balance feels.
Spring will be here before we know it.


But for now, a nice hot mug of tea after a chilly romp is just right.
And making art in robe and slippers.


Thank God for winter, the season of candle light, long nights and time for rest.