A friend recently laughed at me upon hearing the news that I was loving Soulemama's new book, A Handmade Home. "But you don't sew." Right. "And you can't seem to grow things." True. "And you aren't exactly crafty." Craft impaired I like to call it.
But that's why her books rock! Because even craft-impaired mamas like me can savor the inspiration and beauty and purposeful living she so carefully documents and shares.
It's not about the sewing, or the knitting, or the thrifting (no space on a boat for that little habit), or the canning food for a winter feast. It's about deciding to create and being mindful of how you spend your time... rather than mindless.
As a fellow tv-free, homeschooling, Waldorf-inspired, nature loving family there are many things we were already doing like keeping a Nature Table and open ended play things.
But I wanted to share two of my favorite Soulemama tips that I gleaned from her first book The Creative Family that have really opened up the creative spirit in our little family of seriously un-crafty people.
First, family drawing night. We tried it for the first time about a year ago and now Zach is hooked! Not only does he ask for drawing nights many evenings, but we all initiate them.
Zach usually picks the theme. I usually pick the mood music. And daddy usually picks the snack. Or at least has to make the snack :) And I found out something NEW about my dear husband who I have known for 14 years... he can draw! My pictures usually look about the same as Zach's, but D can do a decent sketch when he has the time and concentration.
The theme recently was The Jabberwock. Zach is obsessed with that poem lately and decided we all needed to draw our interpretations. Mine is the goofy red faced one in the back. Zach's is the leggy one up front. And Zach declared that daddy's green faced one "looked too much like Gollum (they finished reading The Hobbit not long ago).
And we put our own twist on things by expanding in to family story telling nights, ghost story nights, music nights, talk like a pirate nights --anything with a theme and there's unplugged fun to be had.
Another creative tip from the book was making a little "inspiration wire" for Zach to hang bit and pieces of things that he's in to at the moment.
I asked him about what was up there when I snapped this picture about a week ago. There's two photos of junk rigged ships "because those are the coolest monohulls and I want a ship like that one day but I want to design a catamaran one." And there is a photo of a Buckminster Fuller design "because I like that he made houses not be boring and I like that his name sounds like the dog." (we have a neighbor who's dog is named Buckley) And then there's the stamp we carved recently which he's just proud of. And a painting he made of a purple leaf "because fall is coming and we never seem to find any purple leaves."
What a simple, beautiful, crazy fun way to start a conversation with your child and get some insight to their amazing minds. Thanks Amanda!
So this week is the week of Inspiration for the Craft Impaired. I am going to post some of the fun projects we've been doing as summer winds down. And if I can do them with my boy, truly anyone can.