Tag Archives: painting

Hobbies for Mommies

Before our kids were born, we had interests:  Hobbies that didn’t involve collecting monkey stickers or plugging a stuffed animal into our laptop to download a one-year-old’s favorite tunes.  And then we had a baby.  And then another.  And then maybe we’re even thinking about another.  And we sort of forgot about keeping up our own interests.  Right?  Or maybe we didn’t forget, but we just plain ran out of time.  And energy.

But lately we’ve been inspired to renew our own interests, even if just in the tiny bursts of time we have between one child falling asleep for a nap and another coming home from school.

And we thought we’d share the inspiration.  Some of us used to love running and we’ve found a lot of mamas online who do, too.  We love hearing how they carve out time to get a run in (even when it involves getting up before the sun – and kids – to get it done.)

Photography is quite an easy hobby to have in short bits of time and is OBVIOUSLY handy when it comes time to whip up a Mother’s Day or Father’s Day gift for a grandparent.  (We’re sure they aren’t sick of the annual gifts of both serious and hilarious portraits of our little tweedles…)  We like taking a walk by ourselves when Daddy’s handling the kiddos or even taking them with us to the nature preserve to get great shots of wildlife.

Sewing, we’ve decided, is a hard hobby to maintain with little ones running about.  We make time for it anyway because we adore it so much.  But the next time the baby lays down on the foot pedal and nearly makes a zig-zag through our pointer finger, we may retire for a while.  Still, there are an endless amount of inspiring blogs online filled with ideas and tutorials and so many amazing things for our closet and our home and especially our kiddos.

It’s probably because of the lack of a motor-driven appliance that we have been excited to pick up knitting and crocheting with our little rugrats around.  Sure, pointy metal sticks come with their own hazardous effects, but it sure is a much easier item to haul out when the kiddos are occupied or put away quickly when they suddenly need a peanut-butter sandwich.

We’ve always been into gardening but during the years the babes were being born we let our landscape slip a bit.  Now that they’re old enough to “help” we’ve put in a new vegetable garden and added some new perennials to the front yard.  It all looks gorgeous, we feel invigorated after a morning spent working in the sunshine, and our kiddos appreciate the dinner-time vegetables they helped grow.  Whether you’ve gardened before or this is your first time, the inspiration found online is simply stunning.

One of our mama-friends is a painter and we’re always admiring the gorgeous pieces she creates in just a few strung-together naptimes.  We like to think of it as the perfect marriage of photography and sewing.  But we only say that because we can’t even paint the side of the house without making some sort of disaster.  Maybe we could follow tutorials like this to hone a new craft?

What sorts of hobbies do you have, mamas?  What did you do before you had kids?  Have you let all your hobbies disappear?  What would you like to learn or take back up?  Let’s inspire each other!

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It’s a Brick House

As we were typing the headline, “Brick House” was playing in our heads. Now it won’t leave. Who doesn’t love a little Commodores every once in a while?!

But we digress…

You’ve probably seen the photo of the wonderful castle that our friend Jennifer McCollum painted. Sometimes it’s a little intimidating to try to emulate such awesome-ness (is that really a word?). But really, creating a brick or stone playhouse is easy. So we thought we share a few tips on how to do it.

First, buy a Color Me House playhouse. :^)

Next, gather your tools – paint, paper plate, household sponge, newspaper or drop cloth, and maybe a paintbrush for mixing colors.

If you are painting the playhouse inside, be sure to put either newspaper or a drop cloth under the house to avoid getting paint on the floor. If it’s a lovely day out, just set the playhouse up outside on the lawn. No worries about getting paint on the lawn as long as you use a water-based paint.

Mix your paint on a paper plate. We used red with a touch of black mixed in for the bricks and black with a touch of white for the stones.

Time to paint. Dip your sponge in the paint and gently apply to the side of the playhouse. Be sure not to press the sponge too hard or the paint will appear too solid – nice to have a more mottled brick look.

For a stone look, round the corners of a couple sponges so they have a more natural shape. It’s that easy!

Do you have any easy decorating ideas for your Color Me House playhouse or rocket? Leave a comment, and we’ll feature your tip on the blog and on Facebook!

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Give a Kid a Canvas

Encouraging your children to paint and express their creativity has never been easier. We’ve found millions (OK, that might be a slight exaggeration, but you know what we mean!) of websites and blogs that have wonderful ideas beyond a paintbrush and paper.

Here are a few of our latest finds…

Young at Art by Christine Olson Gedye

6 Fun Ways to Play with Paint at Parenting.com

Laugh, Paint, Create!

Laugh, Paint, Create!

The Creative Child: Painting on Canvas on isis

How to Create a Winter Splatter Painting on Natural Moms

make and takes

Play While You Paint by make and takes

And then, of course, there’s the Color Me House playhouses and rockets. They are huge “canvases” for little ones. Don’t be afraid to let your kids get a little messy – that’s what makes it so fun!

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