I like to think of an art guide or eBook like a cooking recipe. Sometimes you follow them word, for word, ingredient for ingredient and other times you flick through, find inspiration through the photos and make your own magical concoction.
Last week was pretty exciting for me because I finally launched Sunflower and Ivy’s first eBook called Nurture. One of the reasons I launched an eBook is because I wanted family’s to be able to create at home. I grew up in regional Australia in a family of four children and although I went to art classes, the cost of us all going, in addition to any sports we were doing would have been too much. Access to art classes and workshops can also be limited in regional places. I also know that a lot of people following Sunflower and Ivy on Instagram don’t live in the same place as me so they can’t attend our range of workshops.
My first eBook is for all of these people; people who know me on Instagram but can’t get to a workshop, people that live in the many regional and rugged places of Australia, for the bigger families and also the people who don’t have a lot of cash to spare. I want quality art activities to be accessible to all of these people and also the art addicts; the creative families that happily create every day. Nurture includes 20+ art activities that of course have my signature therapeutic twist. Besides all the activities being fun, easy and helpful in getting creative juices flowing they also promote discussion and learning around emotional resilience and identity. I purposely included add-on’s so each activity can be kept simple or modified for challenge and further depth.
From dream catchers, to time machines and safety hands I have made sure my eBook has plenty of activities to keep creative hands, hearts and minds busy. I always love feedback, so if you buy the Nurture eBook, get in touch. You can also share your creations by e-mailing me or tagging me on Instagram; I would love to see them.
So with celebrations still running hot, since I released the my first eBook and with several more in the pipeline, I thought I would take a some time to write 5 things that can help you in getting creative at home.
Having a dedicated space is paramount to being creative at home. When I was little we had a huge wooden extendable table that is where all the magic took place from play dough rolling, drawing, puzzles and homework, it was definitely the hearth of the home. It also featured nightly dinners and seasonal family meetings. I know of other people who have a fold out table for craft in their laundry, and others who use the outside patio. Some people like to use a play or games room. Knowing where creativity happens helps reign the potential chaos in. For people or parents who don’t see themselves as creative, they often get anxious about the mess and this can be a real barrier to creating. Choosing a location helps children to know the boundaries; it establishes a routine and prevents the dreaded paint being dragged into carpeted areas. It goes without saying that tiled or hard floors are the best kind of spaces as they are easy to keep clean and it is easy to mop up any spillages. If you only have carpets try and Invest in a good solid tarp or drop sheet. Or perhaps you can plan art dates at a friends or relatives house or at the park.
Next on the list are the materials. Just like space, organisation is key. I love a good art-box or crate that can be tucked away in a cupboard and brought out as needed. Pencils and paper can still make an everyday appearance, but paints, glue’s, crayons etc can all be tucked into a box, along with aprons or art clothes. I also like to have an extra box that stores found or recycled materials. You will notice in our eBook that toilet rolls, cardboard boxes and ribbon come in handy. Simply add these materials as you find them and you will soon have a stock waiting when your ready to get creative. If you already have a well established but messy stock of art materials, you can read my tips here on how to organise them.
One of the main pay-offs to getting organised with space and materials is that you can get creative when you’re in the mood. While it seems attractive to have an all-round access to creative materials, a child spilling paint just as the dog is barking for its walk and dinner is over cooking on the stove is a less than desirable scenario. Paper and pencils will tie the family over spontaneous creativity and you can save the messy and the diverse so those crafternoon’s. If you find your never quite getting to do art and craft despite scrolling all the blogs and Instagram pages, try scheduling it in to a regular time-slot. Some families find joining forces easier, so grab a buddy and alternate having art time at each others houses. Art and play isn’t all for the kids, so get involved; have a go yourself. There are no rules!
- Activity Guides
If you are in the mood but stuck at what to do, having some guidance can be so useful. I like to think of an ebook or art guide like a cooking recipe. Sometimes you follow them word, for word, ingredient for ingredient and other times you flick through, find inspiration through the photos and make your own magical concoction. Whether you want to make something, invite exploration and learning or just have a sensory experience there are hundreds of art guides. Ebook’s and paper books in the world. Try Google, the library or Instagram. Some of my favorites places to explore are The Imagination Tree, Meri Cherry and Raising Kinley and of course if your looking for ideas you can buy my eBook here.
It’s odd that when we get all grown up the idea of un-contained mess gets our nerves twitching. Once where we would have participated with reckless abandon, we now cringe and wonder whether the paint will stain the white wall or how we will unpick the play-dough from the tile grout. I guess it is because it is us doing the cleaning now. To make creating at home so much more attractive, you need to get your cleaning game up to scratch. No one has time for hours of clean-up post art activity. Firstly choose your space wisely. Secondly a warm bucket of soapy water on hand will be your friend as will a container for sweeping all the cuttings and bits and pieces off the table. Lastly make cleaning up a part of your routine so your children come to expect that they will be helping. Many hands make less work! You can find some ideas for making cleaning up fun using games through the Inner Child Fun blog.
So there you go, 5 ways to get prepared for home creativity. It really is worth it. Creative expression will bring so much joy and learning to your home.