Categories
Art Kids

This week’s little fires

Art projects are like little fires: https://getonwithit.blog/tag/art-projects/

The fires were alive and burning this week.

Morning note

Vivi made a morning note for Sam. Just saying he’s the best, that’s all.


Polar Bear Story Mini-Zine

Continuing on the them of making mini-zines, made this one using some magazing cut outs. Here’s the inspiration: https://austinkleon.com/2020/03/04/how-to-make-a-zine-from-a-single-sheet-of-paper/


Sam lines

I liked the way this turned out in a strange way.

Sam lines

Crazy sketch

A collaboration between Kav and Sam.


The new normal


Birthday cards

It was Kav’s birthday last week which was another excuse for making things.

Categories
Art Kids Parenting

Four little fires

I like to think of art projects like little fires. First you gather your wood (the materials), you built it (get everything set-up) and then you light it. When inspiration strikes, you get burning.

I love the process of gathering the materials from the store (art, craft, book, hardware, etc) and have them all ready, meaning out and in view, so we can work when the mood strikes. Until I have a dedicated studio space this means transforming our dining table over the weekend, but here’s proof that it’s worth it: four projects done over the past four roughly four weeks that just sort of happened because the fire was ready to be lit.


The mini-zine

I got this idea from Austin Kleon. I never knew how to fold and tear a piece of paper like this until now, and it’s a little detail that makes it super easy to transform any piece of paper into a mini-zine. No idea where the story came from either.


Mixing by hand

Me: “Sam you want to do some painting?”
Sam: “Yes daddy!”
Slide out some large sheets of card stock. Squeeze tubes of different color paints on. Watch him mix. Repeat!


The paper laptop

Vivian created this paper model of a laptop complete with fold out keyboard, sitckers on the case, kick stand, and laptop sleeve with handles. It’s just like what her parents use, and she even drew a browser on the screen showing “Google: Unicorns” on it with the search result.

No one helped her, no one even knew she was working on it. We were just going about doing chores while she was busy doing something at the dining-table-turned-studio.


The box critters

Kav made these with the kids, starting with some cutouts from a magazine and expanding into homemade hands and eyes and tails of all sorts. Reusing materials from around the house is a bonus, as it the fact that this art gets named and played with after. This genre of art project (box critter-making?) is an underrated wellspring that we’ll be sure to tap into more often.


I love art projects. Keep burning those fires!

Categories
Kids Parenting

Get a helmet

I got Sam this race car helmet from the gift shop at the Glasgow Museum of Transport recently (an awesome place to go by the way). Museum gift shops are a guilty pleasure, I always find something I want that’s usually overpriced, and the kids always seem to as well. However, this helmet was only £4! It must have been a mistake, as I’ve seen all manner of plastic items with much fewer parts priced three times as much, so I considered it a purchase worthy of the few hours of fun that we would have with it.

The thing is, Sam barely took it off once over the course of the next couple of days. I think I actually had to tell him that he couldn’t sleep while wearing it on the first night.

That £4 purchase has now given us days and days worth of fun.

But the best part of the helmet purchase is seeing how Sam behaves differently with it on. He’s a race car driver! A superhero! He’s invincible! He pretends that the visor gives him an extra shield to protect him against the sun (which is actually kind of true) and against Grandpa’s robot laser beams and careens about shouting and sliding with wild abandon.

Aside from the huge smiles that we all get and how much fun it is to play with Sam and his helmet, it’s gotten me thinking about the connection between the playing dress-up and pretending to be something versus actually being it. What’s the difference? We all start as pretenders and we all feel like fakes at first. What you wear (and how it fits) can make you feel invincible or invisible. You have to start somewhere.

One of the best pieces of advice I have been given was from a former mentor who would tell people that really wanted to switch what they were doing professionally (i.e. take on a new role doing different work than they are currently doing) to simply find a way to start doing the work now, regardless of whether they had permission. In other words, get a helmet and start pretending.

A £4 helmet gives Sam permission to be something that he might not think he is, but that’s exactly where the path to being a race car driver starts.

Categories
Kids

Lighthouse

Early morning before anyone was up, Vivi showed me how she learned to draw a lighthouse.

Later, Sam and Kav were waiting for me after my run, full of goofball faces.

Feeling more than grateful.

The night before I read this:

Studies have confirmed what’s pretty obvious – having children makes people even unhappier. But what people want, above all else, is not to be happy; they want to devote themselves to something, to give themselves away. Some parents had told me that you couldn’t understand what it meant to truly love someone until you’d had a child, which had always seemed to me like not a very impressive advertisement for human altruism – most people only ever experienced selfless love toward people who were genetic extensions of themselves? But now here it was, a force as matter-of-fact and implacable as the gravity of the planet, the deceptively gentle pull of six thousand sextillion tons.

(Tim Kreider, We Learn Nothing)