I am the parent who stays home, while my husband’s income supports the five of us. He travels for work, sometimes frequently; I like to think my steady presence at home has contributed to our family’s overall financial health, even if I’m not earning anything myself. Meanwhile, while most of his trips are routine, many have been to some amazing places in various countries. I am (mostly) happy that he receives these perks, since, as I said, his hard work supports us all. But I work hard too, and thus far, nobody has organized a fully subsidized conference for stay-at-home parents in, say, Rome.
author page: Amy Hood
Amy Hood lives in South County with her husband and three children. A lifelong Rhode Islander, she puts up with the snowy, dark, cold months because she lives a ten-minute drive from the beach. Right now her main gig is hanging out with her youngest all day, and she thinks she has the best job around. She blogs about her artistic adventures with her children at Kids in the Studio and her own creative pursuits at Salamander Dreams.
One of the most versatile craft supplies isn’t found in any specialty store—it’s on the shelf in your local supermarket, next to the aluminum foil and plastic bags. Freezer paper! It’s almost magical, it can do so much. If you haven’t been introduced to the crafty side of freezer paper, please, allow me to take you on a little tour…
Use it to screen print your own T-shirts!
I like to make things; I always have. Through the years, my skills have grown, which certainly makes giving a handmade gift easier. But I sought to give handmade gifts long before I could sew or knit. I think back to student Christmases, or the years I worked for a non-profit, when my budget fell far short of my gift-giving list. I framed my own photographs to give to family. I baked homemade bread and packaged it with delicious organic butter. I made fudge. I worked, in other words, with the talents I had.
Now that it’s finally summer, I want to be outside as much as possible, as long as the weather cooperates. Although I have a list of rainy-day art activities in mind, and although our outside adventures aren’t necessarily art-focused (beach! nature walks! day trips!), I do have some ideas on how to take art outside during the season most suited for it. They fall into two general categories: bringing messy activities outside, and activities that depend upon being outside.
I love the look of batik fabric and thought it would be pretty cool to do with my kids, except, of course, for the burning hot wax bit. So last summer, after being inspired by a post on a (now-deleted) blog about reworking the glue batik project on That Artist Woman for t-shirts, I consulted with my kids and we decided to give it a try. (At the time, they were eight, six, and one; if we do this again this year, I’ll let my toddler do much more on her own.) I like this project because it allows complete creativity on the part of the artist and also results in some pretty cool wearable art.
I admit, I was a bit taken by surprise the first Mother’s Day after I became a mother myself. Standing in the card aisle at CVS, I realized my shopping duties had just increased exponentially. I not only had my own mother and grandmother and mother-in-law, but I’d created grandmothers and great-grandmothers as well. Yikes! Being the type of person who isn’t thrilled with knick-knacky things that require frequent dusting, I wanted to come up with gift ideas that were both meaningful and useful in some way, and my favorites are the kind that my children participate in making.
I first did this project for my boys’ grandmothers six years ago with my then-three-year-old’s handprints on one side and his one-year-old brother’s footprints on the other. This time, my two-year-old daughter ran the show. (She went so far as to inform me that this was her bag, but she’d share it with me.)
T.S. Eliot may have thought “April is the cruellest month,” but it’s also National Poetry Month, which makes me thrum with happiness. I could almost (along with Mark Strand) eat poetry. If poetry isn’t already a part of your family’s life, National Poetry Month is an excellent excuse to change that. Their website is full [...]
Transform your cute kid photos into a set of handmade bottle cap magnets. Follow these easy steps. MATERIALS: • Digital photo(s) of your kids: Faces should be head-on, but this doesn’t need to be a close-up, since you’ll be using a 1” diameter circle. I used one photo in which all three of my children [...]
I try to encourage my kids’ creativity in a variety of ways. I’m always on the lookout for interesting activities, especially ones that I can do with all three of my kids, who range in age from two to nine. So when I saw the article Creating Art: A Child’s Work at Rhythm of the Home magazine, my first thought was, “That’s exactly how I feel about it!” and my second was, “Hmm, when can we do that project?!”
Supplies: Prestretched canvas, painter’s tape, liquid acrylic paints, paintbrushes, hanging hardware (optional; I found ours three for a dollar in the general hardware aisle at Home Depot)