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Motherhood + Creativity – They Must Coexist …

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Welcome to Week One of the month-long Carnival of Creative Mothers to celebrate the launch of The Rainbow Way: Cultivating Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood

by Lucy H. Pearce



Today’s topic is Nurturing a Culture of Creativity at Home. Be sure to read to the end of this post to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

Join the Carnival and be in with a chance to win a free e-copy of The Rainbow Way!

November 27th: Creative Heroines.

December 4th: Creative Inheritance.

December 11th: The Creative Process.



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Motherhood + Creativity – They Must Coexist … for my sanity!!! Yes I said it, it keeps me sane to keep creativity alive and well at home. Being a stay-at-home Mom has it’s rewards, annoyances and sometimes the desires to go out and find a job. I have days when I ask myself if I’d be happier outside of the home and the little voice inside my head says this is what your kids need, this will keep a healthy home, this is the best thing and this is the stage of life where they need me the most. I know there are women in the working world who would envy life at home and I’m not saying I’m not grateful, I just lose my sanity for a bit and then wake up.

Being creative at the beach last Memorial Day.

Being creative at the beach last Memorial Day.

One thing that keeps me sane and loving being home is that as an artist I have the time to create during nap time or when my oldest is in school, I have that freedom. When my oldest daughter was younger we would do lots of crafts at home, the messier the better! We had freedom with our creativity. I loved bringing her into my art world and it gave me the art fix I needed for the day as well as bonding time as mother and daughter. That was a luxury because she was the only child then. Fast forward 5 years later and along comes daughter number 2, most creativity together has stopped because of the age difference. I just went away to a fabulous art retreat for my 40th birthday and came away with the desire to start creating again with my oldest. She desires it as much as I do. I always feel guilty when she says that she wants to do art with me (while I’m cooking dinner, or some other mundane household chore). This year I am working my way back into the creative world with her. We are going to collaborate on some pieces. One challenge is going to be creating with the youngest as well, I may start with finger painting.

Lo at 2 years old helping me paint her rocker.

Lo at 2 years old helping me paint her rocker.

A memory I won’t forget. We still have this little rocker minus the ball on top that our Lily-Bean is now using.

Finished product. She primed it and painted the blue with a little help.

Finished product. She primed it and painted the blue with a little help.

One thing that drives me nuts when working with kids is the short attention span, you have to constantly be changing things up. They move on quicker than you can get your area set up to start. One way to combat this challenge I believe is having a box of kid-safe goodies to touch, learn from and figure out. When they move on to the next thing they can reach in the box and see if that object inspires them or just fascinates them, turn it into a lesson some how. Kids are very tactile.

Some ideas to try with the kids at home:

  • finger painting

  • water-color

  • making simple ornaments

  • playing with stamps and ink

  • paper clay

  • simple collage

  • drawing

  • playing with found objects and creating something out of it

  • make your own play doh

  • coloring

A great place for inspiration is Pinterest! Make a board of crafts you’d like to try with your kids and work your way through that board. Not only are you all bonding but you’re keeping your sanity and keeping your boredom at bay. I’m preaching to myself here! Another great place for little crafts for kids is your local craft store, there are usually dollar bins with little activities for your kiddos. Keep it simple and fun. Keep your sanity with your creativity! Now go out and create something with your kids!! Make some new traditions and memories!

xoxo

Aimée

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and grab your free extras (first 200 orders only!):

– exclusive access to a private Facebook group for creative mothers

– a vibrant greetings card and book-mark of one of the author’s paintings.

Kindle and paperback editions from Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Book Depository, Barnes and Noble

or order it from your local bookshop!

Carnival host and author of The Rainbow Way, Lucy at Dreaming Aloud shares an extract from the chapter Nurturing a Family Culture of Creativity.



Lilly Higgins is a passionate food writer. Now a mother of two boys, she’s discovered a new calling: to instil in them a love of food and creativity in the kitchen.

DeAnna L’am shares how visioning the New Year with your child is an invitation to be inspired: use creativity and resolutions to create a fun road map for the year ahead.

Molly at Talk Birth on Releasing Our Butterflies – balancing motherhood with creativity.

Laura shares some of the creativity happening at Nestled Under Rainbows and a few thoughts about creativity.

Georgie at Visual Toast celebrates her own unique culture of creativity at home.

Esther at Nurtureworkshop spreads the love of the ordinary, the delights of everyday things that can be an adventure of the imagination.

For Dawn at The Barefoot Home creativity is always a free form expression to be shared by all in a supportive environment where anything can be an art material.

Naomi at Poetic Aperture is a mother, artist and photographer who tries to keep her daughter away from the expensive pens and paints.

Aimee at Creativeflutters writes about keeping your sanity and creativity intact with small kids in the house in her post: Mother + Creativity – They Must Coexist.

Amelia at My Grandest Adventure embarks on a 30 Days of Creativity challenge…you can too!

Becky at Raising Loveliness explores creating with her smaller family members.

Jennifer at Let Your Soul Shine reveals how children help us connect to our souls, through music and movement.

Mary at The Turquoise Paintbrush shares her experiences of creating with kids.

Brooke at violicious spent too much time worrying and trying to be creative instead of letting it flow.

Joanna at Musings of a Hostage Mother explains why creativity at home is important to her in her post “I nurture a creative culture.”

On womansart blog this week – nurturing a creative culture at home.

Creative woman at Creator’s Corner loves color and uses it to paint, draw and decorate to inspire herself and her family.

It took until Amy at Mama Dynamite was pregnant aged 35 to discover her dormant creative
streak – she has found lovely ways of tuning into it every since.

Anna of ArtBuds is a trained educator and art therapist. She has been creating all her life and nurturing her daughter’s creativity at home is a priority.

Deb at Debalicious shares how her family enjoy creativity at home.

Emily at The Nest explores how creativity runs through her family’s life together.

Jennifer at OurMuddyBoots sees that encouraging creativity in children is as simple as appreciating them for who they are: it just means overriding everything we know!

Lisa from Mama.ie has discovered that a combination of writing and traditional crafts can provide a creative outlet during those busy early years of new motherhood.

Anna at Biromums shares what nurturing a culture of creativity means to her.

Zoie at TouchstoneZ argues that the less they are interfered with, the more creative children become as they grow up.

Darcel at The Mahogany Way celebrates creating with her kids.

Molly at MollyLollyLoo explores her family’s shared creative times.

Liz at Reckless Knitting shares how she celebrates creativity with her family.

Sally (aka The Ginger Ninja) of The Ginger Chronicles is continually inspired by her own mum and grandmother.

Just being creative is enough, says Nicki at Just Like Play, as she ponders her journey of nurturing a creative family.

Allurynn shares her creative family’s musings in her post “Creativity… at the Heart of it” on Moonlight Muse.

Laura at Authentic Parenting explores how being creative saves her sanity.



Mama is Inspired talks about how she puts an emphasis on the handmade in her home, especially in the holiday season.

Kirstin at Listen to the Squeak shares with you several easy ways for busy mamas and dads to encourage their children to be creative every day.



Chiswick Mum believes that a healthy dose of chaos is the secret to nurturing creativity at home.

Mila at Art Play Day always lived in her dreams, sleepwalking through life … now she is finding out what creativity is all about…. her inner child!

Sadhbh at Where Wishes Come From describes how picture books can nurture creativity in young children.

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A Mother’s Apothecary

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A Mother's Apothecary

I wanted to share with you what I created about a month after my Mom passed this year. This piece just came to me one day and I feel like she inspired it. I was tearing up making it, part of my grieving process. This is an altered cigar box that I had for years but never knew what I wanted to do with it. I knew it was a special box and I didn’t want to mess it up. The thing I liked about this box was the sliding cover to close an open this piece. This has become a treasured piece in my home that I just can’t part with. It’s in my studio on a shelf and I know that I can look at it and grab whatever I need for that day.

Mom and my youngest Lily Bean a few months before our world changed. I get my creativity from her. <3

Mom and my youngest Lily Bean a few months before our world changed. I get my creativity from her. ❤

I knew even though my mom is gone she is still with me in spirit, heart, how I raise my own daughters and I know she would want me to have all of these special things in my life. A mother’s love is never truly gone even when she is. She will always be a part of me and I will see her again one day in Heaven. This is my little medicine cabinet. These special things are: Love, Joy, Faith, Wisdom, Courage and a dash of Luck. This piece has a lot of heart and soul.

I altered this piece to look very vintage, I put the date 1908 just because. I’ve included bits of paper, canvas, paint, buttons, stickers, bottles, jewelry, micro beads, pearls as well as a broken piece from a pair of vintage reading glasses to see things closer. I hope you enjoy this piece as much as I do. Feel free to ask or comment on it.

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xoxo

Aimée

Robin Nest Logo

Not sure I’m ready for this post but here goes.

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My blog has been silent for a long time due to personal reasons. I’ve been living in a fog since September 18th, 2012, the day my Mom was diagnosed with stage 4 uterine cancer. To say I was shocked was an understatement as this came from out of the blue. My Mom was one of the healthiest people I knew, she took supplements, stopped using a microwave years ago, took a holistic approach to everything how could this diagnosis be true?  How could this be happening to my family, especially my Mom? What seemed like years dragged out into only 5 more months with her, it was a constant roller coaster ride. We were believing for a complete healing, quoting scripture, prayers and whatever we felt would make her better. God is a healer but He has ultimate say when our time is up. We all wrestled with this as a family and looked to my Dad for wisdom and strength. Dad was her caretaker 24/7 for those 5 months as they were able to do home hospice at my brother’s house. I learned how strong my father really is. They were high school sweethearts and would have been celebrating their 43rd anniversary in May. They had 47 wonderful years together, raised 4 kids (they weren’t supposed to have any) and got to meet 6 grandkids. Mom was there for the birth of both of my daughters and for that I’m grateful. She was there for my wedding and one of my biggest supporters for my art. I got my creativity from my Mom who encouraged me at the age of 3 to start painting rocks and bottles. I am slowly emerging from this fog, this week its been hitting me that she’s really gone. I take each moment of grief and go with it. I’m crying as I write this. I miss her but I’m at peace with it all. She didn’t complain once during her struggle to live. She didn’t have an attitude or feel sorry for herself, if she did she didn’t show it. She was amazingly strong. I don’t know if I could do that. I remember visiting her one day and it was too much emotionally for me as I saw her deteriorating and she offered to pray for me. I’m the one who should have prayed for her in the moment but I couldn’t. I tried to be strong around her and for my Dad. She was an amazing woman of God, friend, encourager to anyone she met. The world was a better place with her in it. My world was a better place. Finding out how to move on without her is hard. I am dreading Mother’s day. She’s been gone for a little over a month now and it is slowly getting easier, I’m usually good if I stay busy. If there is one thing I learned from all of this is that things can change in an instant! IT’s TIME to live now! It’s time to live in the moment, love in the moment. Don’t put off doing what you want to do any longer, the time is NOW! Be present with your family, your friends, your loved ones. Just BE in the moment every day, all day. Take time for you, pursue your dreams, mend those fences, forgive those that have hurt you and move on. I don’t know what life is going to look like a year from now but I do know that I’m not going to waste time on worry, regrets and bad things. Love on your family, call your parents if you’re lucky enough to have them both. Life is short and fleeting so please don’t take that for granted. There are so many things I wish I got to do with my Mom that I’ll never get the chance to do now. Don’t waste time. The time is now. I just hope she’s proud of me and all I will accomplish. I do have one thing to look forward to which is seeing her in Heaven one day. I will see her again. She is reunited with her brother Mike and her Mom, my dear Nana who passed 4 years ago. Through all this it’s easy to get mad at God but I can’t, I thought I would be but I’m not. He carried me through this entire situation and I felt it. His grace was there to keep me going. I’m so happy I have my faith to hold onto during hardships. I never thought I’d have to face such a horrible one but I’m emerging and I’m OK. If there is one thing I miss now it’s my Mom’s distinctive laugh, you could hear it from a mile away. She was such a clown and so much fun. I love you Mom.

Mom is in the middle.

Mom is in the middle.