Let’s Make Art

About a month ago, I joined the Let’s Make Art community by purchasing a subscription to the Kids Box. This is a small business based out of Missouri. They offer free art tutorials online and sell art supplies. They have several different subscription boxes. We got the Kid’s Box which comes with four watercolor projects, along with a few extras. We will get a new box each month.

While the tutorials are free, the subscription box sends you the supplies each month to complete the projects. One thing that drew me to it, was that the supplies are enough to do each project three times! That was perfect for our family of three. We have done each project together as a family fun time. At the start of each video, the artist Nicole leads us in a mantra.

I am brave. I am kind. I am creative. Let’s do this.

The first painting we did was a leprechaun hat. One thing I noticed while doing these projects is that I am much more likely to follow the tutorial instructions exactly, while my husband and daughter are more likely to put their own spin on each project.

The next project we did was a horse. Two of the pieces of watercolor paper that came in the kit had the outline of the horse sketched on it for us. My husband sketched his horse himself. If you don’t have the kit, you can download outlines from the website.

During the next project, we had a bit of a hiccup. We had a 7 year old with a full-blown tantrum when her painting did not go exactly as she planned. She got frustrated, but eventually was able to finish both hers and her daddy’s paintings. Nicole is very flexible in her instructions. She encourages free thinking and positivity while painting. We just had one bad day.

One of the extra projects in the box were two papers that had this Color Your Life rainbow drawn on them. After the meltdown, my daughter and I colored these papers. I didn’t realize until later that there was actually a tutorial with Keenan for these. Keenan is the camera guy who talks to Nicole throughout the tutorial videos.

The last watercolor project we did out of this box was the lighthouse scene. When you order the subscription box, you get all of the tutorial videos at once, so we did them in the order that my daughter selected. If you are just painting along at home with your own supplies, a new tutorial releases each Friday.

The last part of the box was this small postcard which came addressed and stamped. All of the postcards will go to one family. We received information about the set of sisters who would receive this month’s postcards. There was a mini-tutorial. We will put the card in the mail tomorrow!

Overall, it has been a fun way to spend time together as a family being creative. I ordered a special edition Spring box with acrylic projects and our April box should be arriving soon. We will have plenty of art projects to keep us busy. The other subscription boxes include watercolor projects for adults and art journaling. I highly recommend checking out Let’s Make Art!

Quarantine Activities and Lists

I love lists.  I love categorizing things and working my way through a list.  I spend more time planning a trip than going on it.  I spend time adding to my to be read book list, sometimes, before reading the several hundred books that are already on it.  I can’t help it.  It’s who I am.

During this time of social distancing at home, I’ve come up with a few ways to have fun with lists.  The first one has been very popular on my social media.  My daughter and I have been Disneybounding from home every day with clothes in our closets.  I first Disneybounded on our most recent trip to WDW earlier this year.  (There is a blog post on it, if you want to check it out.)  For those outfits, I purchased some clothes and accessories to go along with things I already had in my closet to make the perfect outfits for the park. 

For this challenge, we have just been working with the things we already have.  Working our way through lists of Disney characters has been both a delight and a challenge, as we see what we can come up with.  Once we are done, I’m going to put all of our pictures together in a Shutterfly book to remember all of the fun we had.

A long time ago, way before my daughter was born, I worked my way through watching each of the top 100 movies as listed by the American Film Institute.  We’ve been having family movie nights each day.  Usually, we sit around forever trying to agree on a movie to watch together.  So, I came up with a fun challenge to mix it up.  

I wrote down a list of movie genres on small slips of paper and put them in a bag.  Every few days, we draw a new genre out of the bag.  Then each family member is challenged with coming up with a movie for us to watch that meets that category.  So far, we’ve done sports movies, action/adventure movies, animated movies, classic movies, and we are currently on superhero movies.  Once we are done with the genres in the bag, I’ve got even more ideas up my sleeve to keep it going as long as we want.  It’s fun, and each family member gets a turn to pick the movie, so no arguing about the best choice.

Another list that my daughter and I have been working our way through comes from the Usborne book, Step-By-Step Drawing Animals.  My daughter and I are drawing each animal in the book, following the simple instructions.  Together, we sit down and draw the animal.  Then we decorate the background and add them to our stack.  When we have worked our way through the entire book, I plan to connect our drawings somehow into some kind of book for our memories.  It’s a fun activity to do together, and we can see the different interpretations we each have of the same animal.

The list that I have been working my way through since the very beginning of this quarantine is watching the Cincinnati Zoo’s daily home safaris.  It started as a family activity that we did together.  The three of us would sit down to learn about a new animal at the zoo each day.  My family eventually started to lose interest, so we got behind schedule.  I’ve started watching them again on my own, but I am still catching up for time away.  Learning about all the animals is fascinating to me and makes me wish that I was a zookeeper.

a grainy pic of my TV

What kind of fun, new activities have you been doing during quarantine?  Is anybody else working their way through a list?

One Week In ….

It has been one week since I posted my “how I’m going to spend my time during quarantine” post. Let’s just say, that I am not always the person I hope to be.

I have no schedule. I know a lot of people have been touting the importance of a schedule, especially in regards to homeschooling, but also just for life. I’m not really a schedule person. Too much pressure. Instead, my goal has just been variety. I don’t want to do the same thing for hours at a time. I try to make sure that I switch it up often enough.

That doesn’t mean I am filling my time with noble and productive pursuits. It just means I want variety in whatever it is I decide to do. Read a book to my daughter – switch to workout – scroll through facebook – draw – take a nap – go for a walk outside – eat a snack – watch an animal video from the zoo – read the news – watch a show – play a board game – and so on and so on.

I have not cleaned my entire house or done any elaborate art or implemented a strict homeschooling curriculum. But so far, we are surviving and trying to prevent too much boredom. How has your time on the inside been going?

Quarantine – How will I use my time?

Today is the first day of our coronavirus quarantine.  My husband told me this was going to happen back in January when news of the virus first came out.  I didn’t believe him and thought he was always assuming the worst will happen. I’ve had to admit that he was right (although I still think he is a negative Nelly).

I am an introvert.  I enjoy time to myself immensely.  But I also know from experience that I can get antsy after too much time at home.  As of right now, schools are closed for at least the next month. I am trying to be proactive and make sure my family doesn’t go crazy during this quarantine.  It actually has the potential to be a great time of togetherness and quality time.

Even on a regular day, I spend waaaaay too much time on my phone and Facebook.  My goal during this quarantine is to fill as much of my time with things of value and not waste it away.  Don’t get me wrong, I do find value in social media. On it, we share information, humor, our lives, ideas, and more.  I do value it as a way to remain connected to others. Collectively finding joy and humor in the coronavirus memes is great.  I just want to make sure that I don’t become consumed (like I have the tendency to do).

So my goal is going to be to look for things to do that bring value to my life during this time of uncertainty.  Yoga, art projects, reading, prayer, walks outside, organization and decluttering, etc. These are things that I always try to focus on, as I’m big on self-care.  With all of this extra time, what more will I be able to accomplish?

And it isn’t just about me.  Unlike me, my daughter is a very social creature.  She gets great joy out of attending school each day and seeing her friends.  My time will be filled with making sure that her learning and fun continue. That means I can’t be on my phone, but directly engaging with her for as much of the day as possible.  Just like I can get sucked into the social media hole, she can easily get sucked into the watching TV hole.

For some reason, I woke up at 4:30 this morning.  I never get up this early, and yet here I am, up early with nowhere to go and nothing to do.  I know it is anxiety keeping me up, but I’m sure I will fit in a nap later today in my busy quarantine schedule.  Look at me, already making good use of my time by writing a blog post for my sadly neglected blog!

My husband and I will still be working from home, but I know that our next month is going to look very different.  My goal is to use my time as wisely as possible. What are you doing to make the best of your quarantine time?