kids make art

My girls love painting together. They get in the zone and there’s no fighting! It’s fun to see the way they work and make room for each other. I called Ben upstairs when they were working on this piece, and he was awe at how they were cohesively working together. I’m the color monitor and pass out the colors to them, but what they create is all them.

This piece was made for my parents for Christmas and was inspired by a photo one of them took in Sedona during our family vacation. My parents loved it so much and it’s proudly hanging in their family room. We’ve continued with our small daily art pieces, but I might have them work on another big canvas this weekend. (I am still wanting more oversized art work throughout our home.)

See their other recent group painting here.

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kid sewing: wide leg denim pants

Last year, I didn’t do as much sewing as previous years (I never even made myself a dress last year, altered, yes, but nothing from scratch), but I’m rectifying that this year. And this year, I’m focusing on getting the girls to sew more. The two older ones know how to do some basic things, but this is the year for them to get a little fancy, and start making and altering their own clothes. So guess who was up today? Glow! And this is her first time sewing!

She’s not a fan of regular jeans (I think she finds them confining), there’s only one pair she has that she likes, so it was time to make her more pants. I used my shorts pattern in my book as the base, but widened the leg a bit (and made it longer because it’s pants). I had Glow study a pair of pants I made before, and I had her identify the shape, then draw it out. Her drawing totally nailed the shape! Next, I cut out the pieces from a large denim dress we picked up at the thrift store. Then, I showed her how the front and back pant pieces are similar, but slightly different. She had to identify how they were different. When I look at clothes, I see shapes, so I want to train my girls to be able to identify shapes and patterns in clothing too. If you can recognize the shapes, making clothes becomes a simple task of connecting shapes and lines together. Anyway, once all the “shapes” (fabric pieces) were cut out, it was time to “connect” (sew) them together. Breaking sewing down into shapes and connecting lines really helped her understand what it was we were doing.

Now, came the time to connect the pieces together. I had her look at some pants she had and tell me what lines needed to connect. First, she said the top lines, but then I showed her if we closed it, she wouldn’t be able to put it on. I saw the “aha!” light come on and she understood what I was talking about. She knew we had 4 shapes to connect and we started with the middle of the front and back shapes, so we played connect the lines.

I had the machine set at the slowest speed, placed the fabric together, pinned along the edge, showed her the lines and how the edges of the fabric need to follow the lines, hand placement, and how to step on the presser foot. Then, she was off (with me right next to her guiding her). She was really good at guiding the fabric, and keeping her hands away from the needle, but still keeping the fabric in place. She sewed all the side and middle seams. Then, I came in to do the top casing with the elastic (she pulled the elastic through) and hem the length. She probably could have sewn the top and bottom if I had folded and pressed it, but we were running out of time (and she really wanted to wear them to go do errands), so I just did it, but she was the one pressing the presser foot. Lastly, she cut off all the excess thread and I ironed it! She was very excited about her first sewing project and proudly wore her pants the rest of the day. I have a feeling she’ll be wearing it every day for a week.

We still have plenty fabric leftover from the dress, so maybe we will make a top, and she can have a Canadian tuxedo. Though, one of the girls are probably wanting to claim the leftover for themselves.

Here’s a pair of sailor-inspired pants we’ve made in the past, or check out these sailor shorts from a really old posts.

on glow: top, thrifted. pants, handmade. shoes, keen footwear. beret, christmas gift from here (she wanted her own after Soul got a yellow one).

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rope baskets

I love rope baskets and made a couple for Christmas presents. I got a little jealous and decided to make myself a small circular pouch/clutch. I was in need of a new make-up bag, so this little circle pouch was exactly what I needed. I think I’m going to make a few more to go with some WOVENFOLK orders.

Wanna see past rope basket projects? Check out this large tassel rope basket, this small fringe basket, as well as these pom pom ones.

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make art everyday

One of my goals for the new year is to make art everyday with the girls (at least 4 times a week). We’re lumping in as part of our homeschooling and art study and will change up the mediums each day. Art is the language my girls speak well, so I know this is something that will be fun and challenging for them.

To start, we did self portraits with oil pastel. We started by drawing our face shape first, and I gave them a rule… you weren’t allowed to pick up the “pencil” to draw your face. Thus, each face was created by one single line. Then, we color blocked our face with various colors. Each girl was definitely in the zone working away and we all loved our colorful results.

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back to the brown paper packages with painted on string

We did the brown paper packages last year, but we changed it up with some patterned brown paper for this year. It’s a simple way to wrap and add a bow, and we especially love the less waste factor. We also did some wrapped in black with a painted gold bow.  If you want to reduce even more, check out this video tutorial by Alli Cherry on how to wrap gifts without tape! I would have loved to have done that, but I’m in survival mode right now, and didn’t remember about the tutorial until after the fact. So… I’m filing that idea away for next year or the next time I have to wrap a gift.

Again, no need to mom guilt (or just guilt, if you’re not a mom yet) if you didn’t think about this less waste stuff right now, it’s a busy and stressful season. I’m sure all we want to do is spend time with our loved ones and remember what this season is really about, so that’s what should be on the tippy top of our minds. Plus, we can continue learning together how we can be mindful of things to make a difference, no matter what season it is.

And instead of tags, I wrote straight on the wrapping and put my newly learned brush lettering skills to work. How do you wrap all your gifts?

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minimalist modern wreath

Made with decorative wire and felt, we have this simple wreath hanging on our front door. Learn how to make this minimalist, modern wreath over here on the Velveteen blog. This would be cute hanging next to the felt pom pom garland Christmas tree.

on true: marlene top and elodie overalls, velveteen clothing.

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