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9 Family Art Activities; How creativity can help you connect

“The family Canvas  trend is not new but is easily one of my favourites. I prefer it as an ongoing project over a period of time where layers can be built up and added to. Start with a super sized bit of paper, a canvas or even a pin board if you would like to go collage style”

Family activities have long included picnic adventures, helmet donning and leg tiring bike-rides and long never ending games of monopoly. But there are other ways to connect and nurture family relationships and making art together is certainly one of them. I am sure many of you have allowed the children to run freely with the craft box or have trucked yourselves off to the shops to find fresh supplies for the latest blog craze recipe (like unicorn dough) but have you ever created an artwork together? Family art activities are messy in more ways than one but worth the courage. And if you get through this article with enthusiasm but still too much trepidation to try it at home, you can always book into a family session at the Sunflower and Ivy Studio here.

First let’s talk connecting with kids creatively. I often see families in my art therapy practice who report  two kinds of challenges. The first and common challenge is that they have a creative child but do not feel confident or artistic enough to join them. The second is that they would like to connect more often as a family but find their children repeat the same requests for food, toys or gaming and that they aren’t into art as much anymore. Whilst there can be much to unpack for both of these struggles, being armed with a little understanding of something called bidding and some ideas for family art activites can be helpful in boosting your resources. Continue reading 9 Family Art Activities; How creativity can help you connect

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eBook’s and Getting Creative at Home

 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. Continue reading eBook’s and Getting Creative at Home

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Mandala: Natural Art Therapy

The Mandala creates a clear visual boundary which can be grounding and soothing for a restless mind.

So I took a break and have come back a little more process orientated, a little more humbled by materials and a little more motivated to match my environmental consciousness with my art business. I have spent this week posting about Mandala’s on my instagram and thought they were worth a little more limelight. Before I get started on the many ways to create Mandala’s minus the plastic fantastic art materials, I thought I would give a brief description of where Mandala’s come from. The traditional mandala originates from Tibetan Buddhism and is a sand ritual that symbolises the interconnections of the universe; it also acts as a reminder of impermanence as the mandala’s are swept up at the end of the ceremony and ritual. Within each intricate design are different lessons, symbols and meanings. The complexity of the design can be outstanding.  There is a strong connection between Mandala’s and healing. Read more on the process of Tibetan Buddhist Mandala in this BBC article. You can also see Tibetan monks on youtube creating Mandala’s. They are pretty special.

Continue reading Mandala: Natural Art Therapy

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The New Year and a Memory Jar

This time of year I must admit is a bit of a mixed bag for me and probably, in reality, it is the same for most people. It is a time filled with hope, anticipation and gritty determination.

Hello 2018! It is nice to meet you.

This time of year I must admit is a bit of a mixed bag for me and probably, in reality, it is the same for most people. It is a time filled with hope, anticipation and gritty determination. And depending on the state of your previous year the new one can be met with anything from welcome to relief to trepidation. Last year was a personally tough one for me so I was happy to see the New Year in and say goodbye to 2017. I am a dreamer and love that in January the whole year stretches ahead with stoic potential. While some are relieved the festivities are over by mid-month, that the loneliness or stress of an empty or chaotic Christmas is tucked neatly behind them, I am always fortunate enough to be a little sad. I travel to my hometown for Christmas each year and I always find it hard to swallow the inevitable ‘goodbye till next time’ when I leave. 10 years on and I find the town and the coastline still has my heart as do my dear family members that still live there. The aqua waters, white sand, lazy sleep ins and family board games have been replaced with the urban sprawl and oven like temperatures of Perth. So as I settle back in to city life, I Continue reading The New Year and a Memory Jar