RAINBOW MOBILE

March 23, 2020


In an article I read last week, children were making rainbows and putting them in their front windows of their home to spread joy and hope during this Covid-19 pandemic. Children all over the world seem to be participating because we really are all in this together.

Supplies:
Rainbow template
Cardboard
Scissors
Paint
Paintbrushes
Paper clip
12″ strand of yarn

Directions:
1. Draw your rainbow or use the rainbow template as a guide.
2. Cut out your rainbow. There should be 3 pieces.
3. Paint your rainbow. Allow paint to dry completely before painting the other side.
4. Using a paper clip, straighten the wire and then fold in half and twist together to make your “needle”.
5. Tie a knot on one end of your yarn. May want to triple knot so it won’t go through the cardboard.
6. Thread your yarn through the “eye of the needle” and insert into the center cardboard of the bottom portion of the rainbow, working your way up into the top portion of the rainbow.
7. Knot your yarn to create a loop on top for hanging. Cut any excess yarn.
8. Hang in your window for all those who pass by to see!

The project is also shared on instagram (see here). And as always, love when you share it, simply tag and credit please (@rubyellenbratcher and #easyartaday). Thank you! 


BOOKS ON SHAPES

March 20, 2020


I’ll be working on getting all the #easyartaday projects on the blog, but to go with today’s Polygon Sculptures, here is a list of books that would go well with the art project:

The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns

If You Were a Quadrilateral by Molly Cece Barlow Blaisell

If You Were a Polygon by Marcie Aboff and Sarah Dillard

Tangled: A Story About Shapes by Anne Miranda

Triangle by Mac Barnett

Square by Mac Barnett

Circle by Mac Barnett

If you have any other favorite shape books to share, do so in the comments below! And don’t forget to read a book and accompany it with the Polygon Sculptures #easyartaday project. It’s reading, math, and art all rolled into one!


WORDS WEDNESDAY

March 18, 2020


I’ve started an #easyartaday series on instagram (follow me here) to spark some creativity during this stressful time and to give ideas to parents who suddenly find themselves joining us in the homeschooling world.

Today’s WORDS WEDNESDAY is a coloring page for “KEEP CALM AND (fill in the blank)” or “KEEP CALM AND WASH YOUR HANDS.” It’s kind of the mantra I’ve been reminding myself with when this whole thing started, along with “KEEP CALM AND TRUST GOD.”

Fill it in, color it, decorate it, and share it with the rest of us on Instagram! Let’s send some words of encouragement to each other today! I know we must all need it right now.

To color and make your own little poster, just download and print the documents below…

KEEP CALM color sheet

KEEP CALM black and white sheet

KEEP CALM blank sheet

If you don’t have access to a printer, feel free to make your own and share it with the rest of us! Always happy to have you share the project, just don’t forget to tag and credit please.

When you’re done with your sign, take a photo and share it on social media and tag me because I’d love to share all the encouraging messages back out into the world. And tag it #easyartaday, so we can keep all the artwork together and get inspired by one another. Then, put the sign up somewhere in your home for all to see during this turbulent season.

KEEP CALM AND WASH YOUR HANDS, friends! And I’ll also be (prayerfully trying) to KEEP CALM AND TRUST IN GOD.


PANTRY ORGANIZATION

March 16, 2020


Big family. Homeschooling. That means home all the time, especially right now, and we eat 3 meals a day at home, so the pantry gets in disarray quite easily. Then, throw in 4 girls who love to bake, things get to be quite upside down in an instant. Working with The Container Store on this month’s organization challenge, I was happy to be given the chance to tackle our kitchen pantry.

The last few years, we only buy exactly what we need when grocery shopping, so it helps eliminate a lot of things that get wasted or forgotten in our pantry. Also, we spent a few months eating through whatever was taking up space in there, which was a lot of legumes and beans, so even though we’ve always wanted a big walk-in pantry, we probably wouldn’t even be able to fill it!

Some pantry game changers are the Hyacinth Baskets. It helps us group some similar items together. We have cookies and chips at the very top (out of reach), baskets with baking stuff that’s in a spot that easily accessible, as well as pasta. At the bottom, our rice, vinegar, and brown paper bags are neatly put away in the baskets.

I also didn’t know how much a Lazy Susan can create more space. It makes it easier to keep bottles organized. Instead of moving things around to get something at the back, I just spin it around to access what I need.

The Prokeepers Baker Storage Set was perfect for organizing some of our baking supplies. I love seeing the clear containers labeled; it look so pretty. The iDesign Linus Pantry Bins also keep some smaller items grouped together, and we can see what’s inside. My favorite organizational tool of all of them are the Black Bin Clip Labels on the baskets. I love labeling things and this is such a pretty way to identify the contents of each basket. Makes the pantry feel a little bit more fancy.

The Container Store had just the things we needed to help maximize our pantry space and get the things in our kitchen much more efficient. Items are much easier to access and put away now. Yes to more space and clean spaces! Take advantage of the Kitchen and Pantry sale is running from now through April 5th.

This post is in partnership with The Container Store as one of their Brand Ambassadors. The opinions and text are all mine. I appreciate the time you spend in this space, the support you give me, and the brands I partner with.


SPARKLY DISTRACTION

March 15, 2020


Online distractions are nice little breaks in the craziness of the last few days. One of the things I like to look for are jewelry to admire online… from indie brands to antique pieces. I love seeing all the new designs and styles, and old designs and styles, popping up.

Before Ben and I got engaged, unbeknownst to me, he was visiting various antique jewelers looking for the perfect antique ring to give to me. Internet wasn’t as fancy as it is now, so he was using the phonebook (remember those?!) to find places, and there weren’t a plethora of antique sellers online just yet. He said it wasn’t easy to find rings, though he did come close to purchasing an antique Tiffany ring, but ultimately decided his mom’s wedding ring would be the perfect ring to pass down. And it certainly was! When he proposed, and I found out where the ring was from, all I said was, “Awwwwww…” in completely melt my heart sweet way. Angelina (his mom) trumps Tiffany’s for sure.

Fast forward to almost 15 years later, you can find all sorts of rings online… sustainable brands, indie designers, sometimes both mixed together, and of course, antique and vintage. If you’ve been visiting this site for awhile, you know rings are just my thing. If you’ve ever met me, you can usually tell rings are my thing as I wear multiple, and even multiple on one finger. So when I need a distraction, I head online or on IG to see what beauties I can admire. And cause we can all use some fun little distraction, I like sharing them with you.  

I’ve recently been searching for chain link rings, when I came across this Love Me Knot Ring in the Aurate rings collections. I’ve really been into big link-chain looking pieces recently, so this was exactly what I had in mind. I’d like to stack it with some of my daintier rings. 

Citrine is a stone I’ve been keeping an eye on too. I saw this antique early Victorian citrine ring, but with a foil back, it’s much too temperamental for everyday wear. Antique pieces, when made with foil back, can’t get wet. Thus, can cause the stone to lose its luster and damage it. So as much as I’ve always wanted a Georgian or Early Victorian piece, if it’s not wearable, it’s not worth it. 

I love the birth stone ring from Mociun. It would be fun to have one for each of my girls and then give it to them one day when they’re older and prepared to take care of jewelry. 

Lastly, my searches also lead me looking for modernist sterling pieces, and De la Fuente Vintage always has such good things. This sultry ring is the perfect blend of minimalist and modern. 

With the craziness of the last few days, and being homebound more in the forseeable future, I’ll be here sharing more things that add a little fun distraction to these days. Rings is one area… and searching for vintage jumpsuits is another! Those can keep me entertained for days. LOL

Oh! And shoes of course. How about you?


KEEP CALM & WASH YOUR HANDS

March 14, 2020


It all feels sort of apocalyptic. And with the California sunshine being replaced with cold and rain, it feels especially glum. All my expectations of what was gonna happen this weekend, suddenly changed in one email, and then it was domino effect. It’s like all of life was cancelled. A girls trip in a few months, has changed. The workshops I was supposed to teach got changed to a date that I’m unsure I’m able to do. Everything feels up in the air. 

I see different views on this online… some say the media is making it a bigger deal than it is, and others sharing the wisdom to all the drastic closures. Someone I know was already avoiding taking her kids out in public in January because of the coronavirus (and flu), and I kind of internally laughed because never would have I imagined this. Ben and I are pretty OCD as they come, and we are on the extreme of cautiousness (we take hand sanitizer everywhere we go!), but for sure did not expect the drastic measures currently being taken be our reality.

And with all my workshops cancelled this weekend, and other events cancelled, I know me and my freelance artist/business owner friends are feeling a bit of the strain. I know I was hoping to work this weekend to help pay for some big upcoming (and unexpected) medical bills. So while I’m glad everyone is safe, and I think all the cancellations were the right call to make, I know the result is a ripple effect of anxiety in other areas. Though I am very thankful that I can still run my vintage shop and that can go on (so thank you to everyone who’s supported by commenting, liking, or ordering from @wovenfolk). 

But as a Christian, I know God is still in control, none of this was a surprise to Him, and even all this will play out just as He planned. Sure, things won’t always make sense, but I know God is trustworthy, even amidst suffering, and that He continues to be my hope (again, even in suffering or uncomfortable trials). With all the unknowns and anxiety, I will keep trusting and resting in Christ alone for protection and provision (even if someone gets sick and we lose income). 

One blessing from this is that it’s sort of forced an opportunity to pause a bit. A reminder to “be still” and trust in God. I feel like life was going full steam ahead and then boom… we put on the brakes. Suddenly. And now, I get to rest a bit more with girls, I get to try out some creative ideas that have been swirling in my brain, and now I get to work on taxes. All of us Bratchers are homebodies by nature, we’ve got a garden with food, and we can eat through our pantry and fridge because we never eat out anyway (well, rarely as a family), so we good with being stuck at home.

The number one priority is to love our neighbors and we can do so by washing our hands, being mindful of our hygiene, and staying home to protect those who are vulnerable. Even our church gathering will be done online this Sunday (and maybe the next), so we are taking all precautions seriously, so that we give our community an an opportunity to get ahead of this virus before it just takes off with us. Sickness sucks. Death sucks. This virus sucks, but it definitely keeps reminding me that my hope is in Christ alone.

Sin left this world marred and broken. God in His holiness created everything abundantly and overwhelmingly good, but man’s sin separated us from God, and introduce death into this world. We broke it. BUT GOD! Demonstrated His love for us, and through Christ, who lived the perfect life we could never life, went to the cross to die in our place. Jesus received the punishment for sin deserved for me. All my good will never be good enough. For those who repent and trust in Jesus, we are given the righteousness of Christ. We are restored back to God. We are given that hope. So repent and believe!

I look forward to that day where there will be no more pain and brokenness, no more novel coronavirus around, just glory and joy… glory joy-filled days for all eternity! Just as God had intended for us to enjoy Him freely forever for those in Christ Jesus.

In the meantime… keep calm and wash your hands, friends!

P.S. Aren’t the posters Brave made cute?!! We wanted to make this important reminder in a bright, cheery color. And she’s way into lettering, so any chance she gets to write on something, she’s all about it.


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