Tomorrow is The Artful Parent's six month blog anniversary! I started it on January 21st, winging it, as I seem to doÂ with so many thingsÂ these days. I barely knew what a blog was at that point, but knew that I wanted to write about and share my passion for art and kids. Now, almost 200 posts, and many friends later, I feel like this blog is changing me and my life in a wonderfully positive way. Thank you everyone for reading, commenting, sharing, caring. I really appreciate it.
Now, just for fun, here's a bit of a recap of the past 6 months:
Here's my hello world postÂ from day 1.
On day 2, I posted my Top 10 Art Materials for Toddlers, all of which I still love. I'll have to make up my top 20 list though soon, because I have so many good ones to add, including liquid watercolors which I recently discovered thanks to MaryAnn F. Kohl and Julie Liddle.
And here'sÂ an earlyÂ post on How to Make a Trip to the Art Museum FUN for Your Child – as you can see, I hadn't broken out ofÂ my writing-a-magazine-article style yet.
In February, I started interviewing otherÂ artfulÂ mamas and art educators. First,Â I interviewed Susan Striker, author of Young at Art, on the developmental stages of children's drawing. Then, I interviewed SouleMama,Â everyone's favoriteÂ blogger mama, and author of The Creative Family. And MaryAnn F. Kohl, author of Scribble Art and Preschool Art.
February was a list month. IÂ posted My February Ten, a list of things that made me happy during a long and dreary month,Â includingÂ a heart appliqued onto a shirt for Maia–the first time I got out my sewing machine in a couple of years.Â AlsoÂ 7 Tips for Making Art with Young ChildrenÂ and 101 Resources for Art and Parenting.
We were all sick in February with the flu, croup, etc. and I found outÂ I had skinÂ cancer (and got it removed)Â but amidst the sickness, we celebrated Maia's half birthday with half a birthday cake. Maia and I had an artful dayÂ somewhere in there, and I alsoÂ shared some of my childhood art. Oh, and cherry pie. Well worth it's own blog post. We did fabric transfers with the Toddler Art Group, but think we met just the once that month.
In March, I interviewed Barbara Zaborowski, preschool teacher,Â on authentic art for children. I also interviewed artist Laurel Frankstone on her art and on raising two creative daughters,Â Kristen Marra on unschooling the arts, Montessori Mama on Making and Teaching Art, and Dana Lee on her artful life.
I wrote a post about art vs. craft Â and one called Do You Need an Easel?, both of whichÂ generated a lot of great comments. My spring organizing continued into March with hanging Maia's art, and re-organizing the studio.
Some fun artful activities from the month: I first did sculpey nature prints, which I loved and raved about. We also made rainbows in a bag (a fun color mixing experiment), played with puffy paint, dyed easter eggs, andÂ dyed playsilks with Kool-Aid.
I revisited the easel question with 6 Ways to Encourage Continued Interest in Your Children's Easel, and then posted How to Start a Children's Art Group in response to several e-mails I had received.
Some April artfulness included an artfulÂ day (!),Â making more sculpey prints and thenÂ using them as molds for playdough fun, a papier mache egg,Â making popovers from Pretend Soup,Â a musical evening, some shirts for Rocky Bear and Mama Bear, and some Birds and Beads for a New Baby.
I interviewed Lori Pickert of Camp Creek Press on art the Reggio way andÂ Ginger Carlson on Nurturing Creativity and Curiosity (here's part II of Ginger's interview).
I also first tried freezer paper stenciling! And again. Then started an etsy shop to justify continued freezer paper stenciling. I asked you all for help in choosing a name, and received so many great suggestions (thank you!), but in the end decided to stick with The Artful Parent. I also started mixing stencils and appliques, something I've continued and enjoyed.
With the Toddler Art Group, we had a messy party, made plaster of paris sculptures, then painted them, and did the watercolors and saran wrap project again. We also said farewell (temporarily) to one of our founding members.
In June,Â I had a bit of a "where's the art?" crisis, andÂ you responded withÂ a bunch of ideas. I also talked about howÂ my blogÂ depicts just a narrow slice of our life. And I started teaching a toddler art class.
Okay, so I started this post intending to list just two or three favorite posts from each month, but itÂ ended up getting way out of hand. I know IÂ should edit it down more, but we're on our way out the door for a weekend of camping and biking.
Have a great weekend! And thanks again for joining me on this blog journey.