Tuesday, May 8, 2012


My kids come from a good line of crafty and creative people.  My great grandfather was a carpenter.  My great grandmother sewed her own clothes, crocheted, quilted, and painted.  My grandmother knits, cross-stitches, and quilts.  My mother has a degree in fashion design, sews, and crochets.

Thankfully for a person as focus-challenged as me, this gave me the resources and foundation to be able to be crafty and creative later myself.  And though, as a kid, I often lost interest in a hobby shortly after I learned the basics, I still learned the basics.  And my family's encouragement of my creative pursuits allowed me to dabble in drawing, painting, jewelry making, et cetera.  

In college, after starting out as an environmental science major, I gravitated back to the arts only to decide I did not have the talent to take my show on the road, so to speak.  So I took my love for art and history and combined them to result in the bachelor's in art history I have today.  Sometimes I wonder if I should have tried harder, since working with my hands fills me with joy, and am exhilarated merely stepping into a studio or a workshop... or the Home Depot for that matter.  (Is that normal?)  But I have found a new outlet and purpose for my artsy background and have begun to notice bits of creativity on the parts of my kids that I'd like to encourage.  

It's not just the gluing, painting, drawing, play-doh sculpting, beading, lego building stuff I'm talking about when I get their supplies out.  Though the stuff they make, I think, is pretty rad.  Rather it's the things that they do when they have other options.

The twins have it, too, but since Rose and Leif are older, and I see it in them more.  And I'm surely not going to count two-year-old Ivy's pen drawing on my wallet.  Mostly because I really like that wallet and am not completely pleased with the finished product. 

When playing outside, this is the kind of stuff they do.  

Rose has a mathematical, methodical, and legalistic mind.  I don't.  So I like to see the kinds of things she comes up with just having goofing around on her own.  I think she got the idea of plant collages on the driveway from Lief, though.  She likes to hijack good ideas.  That's kinda smart, too, I think.

This is Leif's bed -- the upper bunk.  You may also see a lemur hanging from the tail and a blanket tied under as well.  You can't see the rest, because today, I thought Woody was the most interesting part.  None of it is accidental.  He spends about half and hour or so working on making his bed.  No two days' creations are ever the same.  He actually has the mind of a sculptor I've found.  He arranges things in ways that remind me of artists I admired in school, only with his own three-year-old flare.

Exciting stuff, I think.  Subtle, but exciting.  I'm definitely going to praise this kind of stuff when I see it barring any involvement of destruction of property.  (Ahem... Ivy.)  Because even if this is just the uninhibited natural creativity of preschoolers, I don't want it to fade away.  Ever.  

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