May 28, 2023

Kitchen Table Crafts: Summer Boredom Bag

One of the fun things about being an art eduction student was scrounging around for interesting and free things to use for art making. Sometimes I'd find things online, like worksheets and origami patterns, and in dumpsters--I kid you not! I actually have taken art supplies like wood, and once, an unused 18'x24" drawing pad, from a trash bin. It helps living in a college town filled with art students who have no respect for the environment.

All these goodies need a home, and frankly, I'd be embarrassed if you saw my attic. There are so many items up there, branded with the "possible art project" tag. Mr. Geek doesn't go up there much, since he prefers being in a happy mood. By the way, does anyone need a box of cast-off spools of embroidery thread from a defunct t-shirt embroidery company?
Or better yet, an idea for how to use them?

As usual, I'm off topic. What I want to share are some ideas for making a boredom bag or box for your kids to use this summer. It's essentially a go-to resource for worksheets and self-guided arts/crafts projects. It can save your sanity!

I created one back in college to be used as an art teacher resource to have on hand for those kids who always finish their projects early and are looking for something to do. I took a scrapbook paper organizer bag
and devoted each pocket to some sort of art theme, like puppetmaking, animation, drawing, etc.Then I stocked this baby full of coloring pages and worksheets. This would be a great item to tote along to places like the doctor's office (am I being naive here?), long car trips and soccer games to occupy sideline siblings. I keep some scissors, tape, a glue stick, and markers/crayons in the boredom bag, along with other items, as detailed below:1. Paper dolls, puppets, cut outs.
Many of the items in this area were taken from museums and nature preserves, which often have free worksheets for kids. I save them and include them in the bag, since you'd rather visit the exhibits at those places instead of sitting around coloring.
2. Paper bags, for impromptu puppet-making, blank cardstock for impromptu card-making.
3. Postcards which I save from mailings or collect when out and about and you stumble upon a place with free ones. They're great for cutting up for collage or playing sorting games (people, places, things).
4. Coloring pages of famous paintings
5. Mad Libs books! So fun!
6. More art worksheets found online. and The Incredible Art Department have some good ones. I also have a few of the Anti-Coloring books, which I love.

They have a partial drawing that your kids can complete. The porthole sheet in the photo below is from one of those books. You fill it in by drawing the fish that might be in there.
I also love this sheet below, where you can design a floor plan for a house.
I was, and still am, dorky about these things. I love designing rooms, both on paper and in real life. You can also have some big sheets of paper to have kids draw treasure maps or fantasy maps. And of course, a stack of origami paper fits wonderfully into the bag.

There are so many more things to add to a boredom bag or box. Dollar Store Crafts has an cute and cheap idea for a Boredom Buster Art Box one that you can set up for summer. Create and enjoy!

May 27, 2023

Where Am I?

Guess what? You have NOT walked into a Dr. Seuss blog. This is my blog's newest look. Mr. Geek presented me with a graphics tablet for my birthday/Mother's Day and it allows me to draw in Photoshop with the stylus/pen. It's so great!
I'm still honing my skills with it, so the new banner and buttons look a little choppy. So you might be seeing a few more tweaks here and there in the next week or so. I tend to change out my design every summer and winter, so I'm starting a little early this summer. I wanted something a little more lively and fun but also imperfect and handmade-looking, if that makes sense.

We ask that you please bear with us.

Wordful Wednesday: Swingin' Summer

When I say Swingin' please don't picture Mr. Geek and I swapping partners {we once knew a swinger who, for his wife's 40th birthday, bought her a threesome...tee hee, yuck!}.

Ok, now that our minds are officially in the gutter, I'll show you what my Swingin' Summer is all about.
This is my favorite place in my house at the moment. Too bad the wi-fi doesn't really work out there, or else I'd be there with the laptop too. We have a sleeping porch off of our bedroom, part of which we converted into a much needed closet (a fabulous walk-in, mind you). Many of the homes in our area have sleeping porches, which I find utterly charming.

This outdoor space needs some work, like a new floor since paint is always peeling off the current tin one and there's also a hole in it where there used to be an exhaust fan. I won't explain why we haven't patched that up yet. That recycled soda bottle rug from Mad Mats does wonders for hiding underfoot ugliness.
Looking out onto the porch from our closet

We recently got a swing for our porch, and it's so relaxing to sit there and watch the world go by. In August, it will give us a perfect view of the fireworks at the park, which celebrate our town's founding.
I tend to put a few potted plants and some lanterns out here for summer ambiance. I just love it!
I found these cool recycled tin ones at TJ Maxx. They're made from food tins, and have taken on a rusty patina.
And don't laugh at those infomercial watering globes. They actually work, and that's the only thing I've ever bought that I saw on an infomercial. They were really cheap at a local store.
We get morning sun, so by evening it's one of the cooler areas of our home. It's a perfect way to end the day, swinging out on the porch in your pjs and then heading to bed. If only I could bypass that computer on the way, maybe then I could get some sleep.

The view from the bed (sans my swinging threesome--me, Mr. Geek, and SoJo, what did YOU think I meant?)
For more Wordful Wednesday, visit Angie at

May 20, 2023

Wordful Wednesday: The Garden

I spent most of this past weekend tidying up the garden and planting, which I was so excited about since it's really been 2 years since I've focused on it due to being tiredly pregnant in '07 and preoccupied with an infant in '08.
May and June are by far my favorite gardening months, because so many of my favorite perennials are in bloom (peonies, irises, hydrangeas, columbine), and the plants aren't looking so spent and straggly like they do in August.

I need to get some mulch to neaten things a bit more, but all in all, it's lookin' good.
It's funny how much purple I have in way of flowers in our back flower bed. Lots of lavender, like in the above photo, because it's drought and heat resistant, and also purple salvia. I can't wait for my foxglove to bloom in the next few weeks. Did you know it's used for heart medication?
On the front porch, I have some pots that I fill with coleus and impatients for the shady spot near the door
and geraniums, sweet potato vine, and grasses for the sunnier side. You can't beat geraniums for a classic feel on a porch. Plus they're so easy to care for and last into the fall.
I also add them into the hanging baskets, along with purple sweet potato vine, which will be cascading out of the baskets in a month or so.
And the best part of the garden? Well having fun in the grass of course, even if the lawn is only the size of an envelope (ha, you thought I was going to say postage stamp!).
Finally, the kind of photo that I've been trying to take! And no, we don't usually dress SoJo in Polo was a gift!

For more Wordful Wednesday, visit

May 13, 2023

Wordful Wednesday: Laundry Day

Finally! Ideal weather for hanging out the clothes. The sun is shining, a light fragrant breeze is in the air, and SoJo is busy playing with my jar of clothespins.
And man, that kid was busy with those for all of 10 minutes! A record of concentration for him.I couldn't decide on my favorite photo, so I just added them all. Indulge a doting mother, would you?Ok mama, are we done now?
For more Wordful Wednesday, visit Angie at

And have you voted for me? If not PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take a few seconds and click on over to vote for #5 Katydid and Kid in the poll! It's for a BlogHer scholarship, and the vote requires no commenting or registering. Thank you!!!

May 11, 2023

Monday Musing: Blog Envy

Tailing a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday which was spent sleeping in, having a picnic at a gorgeous local park (and no cooking!), walking along the water, and having a nap, I've been thinking about how completely blessed I am. And of course, here I am, about to ruin it with a blog post.

But don't worry, I'm not complaining. When remembering that I forgot (is that an oxymoron?) to photograph some of that wonderful day yesterday, I started thinking about all of those bloggers who photograph all of the beauty and efforts of their lives, particularly those of children and craftiness. This is a long way of saying I have blog envy. A lot.

As I've mentioned many times here, I have grander plans for this blog, but somehow life gets in the way. I admire and am quite jealous of blogs like Soule Mama (which my friend Shana turned me on to), Vanilla Joy, NieNie, and so many others because they really celebrate the beauty of motherhood and life, and especially through gorgeous photography. I wish I was more motivated to whip out the camera for an exquisite shot. I adore my camera, but because it's a big, bulky, an amazing piece of equipment, I fear breaking it if I'm too quick and casual. While lying on a sunny, grassy hill yesterday, I silently cursed not having the camera, since the day was just ripe for photography. But I tell myself that I'm living the moment, rather than being caught up trying to capture it.

Anyway, back to those blogs. It's weird how they are both inspiring and defeating. Soule Mama is especially crushing, because the uber-talented and motivated Amanda Blake Soule has 4 kids whom she homeschools and feeds local organic food, makes wonderful home-sewn crafts and clothes, AND has a book, called The Creative Family (and another coming out in August). Mr. Geek had actually suggested buying me this book before I even knew about the blog connection.
It's enough to to make me want to just give up. Well, not really. These blogs encourage me to keep working at it, and hope that one day I can uncork some of my creativity and share it via blog posts.

So back to Mother's Day. Here's what I was treated to:
An old fashioned screen door! Mr. Geek is still in the process of putting the molding back on around the frame and adding a latch and handle, but it's fabulous.
He slaved away literally all day on Saturday in the heat. I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful husband! I'm thinking of painting the door, but can't decide on the color. Should it match the back door (a pea green), or be painted white to match the siding, or black? I'll probably let it weather a bit until I decide. And maybe then I'll like the weathered look.

I can't wait to feel the cross breeze through the house and smell the neighbor's barbecue wafting inside on the weekends. I hope you all enjoyed your Mother's Day. It was great!

May 10, 2023

Happy Mother's Day!

As I sit here typing and picking bits of dried split pea off my shirt, I'm reflecting on my feelings about motherhood from this past year. Although it is officially my second Mother's Day, I think that this past year was full of more personal growth than I could have imagined. I've been frustrated and short-tempered through a lot of it, which has surprised me since I would have called myself a patient person prior to giving birth. But I've been thinking about my mom a lot and wondering how the hell she did this with 5 little beings running around.

My time seems to vanish quicker and quicker, and SoJo keeps getting bigger and bigger! We'll be spending tomorrow at the park, having a little picnic or something. I just hope I don't have to cook anything! Mostly because cooking=washing dishes, and I can certainly do without that part on Mother's Day.

To all of you mothers out there, including my friend Shana, who will be celebrating her first Mother's Day tomorrow, I hope you are spending lots of time with or thinking about your children, no matter where they may be. I feel so blessed and complete having taken the plunge into motherhood.
The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new. ~Rajneesh
Related Posts with Thumbnails