Thursday, October 9, 2014

Easy Sharpie Craft

Now that northern Indiana is in the 50's most days, the kids I scarcely saw for days on end are magically back in my face at all times. "It's too cold outside!" she whines. I mostly agree. Ruby and I are like two snakes wanting to spend our entire lives baking on a big, hot stone.

(And willfully ignoring the fact that things will get so much worse from here.)

Regardless of the weather, our afternoons usually err on the nutty side.

We get home at 3 and do snacks then homework (they usually have it 3x/week). A couple days a week they get computer time. I'm always running around cooking dinner. Sometimes, we play music way up loud. When we're lucky, Robert stops by.

There's an extreme amount of toyroom-playing these days. Right now the entire room has been transformed into a giant fort, the likes of which I have never seen and don't actually care to see now. (Read: Disaster Area. Read: I can't even walk in there. Read: I really need to get to the closet, but it's physically impossible at this time.)

Ruby and Silas have entered into newish BFF territory and it geeks me out. You know a friendship is serious when a 6-year old presents to an 8-year old, with a flourish, the Olaf poster he won at school for having that most "fancy trash". Whatever that means.

Sometimes they read. Sometimes they watch cartoons.

 Every single day of their lives, they wish they could craft.

Here's the thing, lest anyone believe for a single hot second that I'm a perpetual kid-crafter, I am not. They always ask if they can paint. I usually say no. Then I see another mom crafting with her kids and I feel mom guilt. I should do it more. I will regret it when they're gone someday. Blah, blah, blah. (Are any of us immune to this sort of thing? Please tell me I'm not alone.)

Now and then, WE CRAFT.
When we do, I always craft with them. It's fun and relaxing. It forces all of us to slow down a notice and feel.

I recently splurged on a 50% off set of Sharpie markers.
16 pens for $7. WHAT.

I cut some rando cardboard into pieces, wrapped them in foil, and we all got down to it.
(We drew on the dull side of the foil.)

I don't know why it was fun. It just was.
It felt oddly retro, yet oddly rebellious. 

There wasn't the pressure to do things a certain way or make good use of paints or whatnot. It's markers, people! And foil! We can't possibly wonk this up!

It was oddly therapeutic (the definition of art!) and addictive.

An unforeseen benefit was the texture the cardboard added.
When I started my piece, they groaned, "Mom! You always do flowers!"

They're right.

What could possibly be better than flowers?
Other than tacos and salsa.
But those don't seem as fun to draw...

They were clearly trying to butter me up with all their flowery art. And their cute faces and gummy smiles.

This was so low-key and chill and fun. Very quick to pull together yet we wanted to linger and keep
working. No clean-up required. A perfect "Calvin-has-tae-kwan-do-at-5" sort of craft.

Give it a shot! Be the Mom who says yes to art now and then. It always feels good. (They don't have to know how easy it was to say yes to this. My lips are sealed!)

PS - I just helped out in Siley's class for an hour and his thumb is still bright blue.
PSS - I haven't forgotten about my Secondhand Challenge surprise. In fact, I just had some important questions answered and will be rolling it out early next week! But you've heard that before... But this time, I mean it.




  1. this looks like fun. there are no sharpies in this house because of 2 tiny monsters who draw on the walls. also this is my SOS about the secondhand challenge. i want to quit. there are 2 shirts i want to buy. so badly. help me. i can't go on.


      There are probably 3,000 shirts I want to buy. Badly.
      However, I do not know about them! I'm blissfully unaware!

      If you want to see this through, you must be committed to being retail blind for a while.

      ps - Silas drew on the walls/furniture for years. YEARS. I still keep the Sharpies under lock and key, because of his latent tendencies. That's probably what made this craft so much fun and rebellious feeling for them. :)

    2. I would literally have to delete my Instagram to stop window shopping. it's not my fault people buy pretty things! insert crying emoji here.

    3. Ha! I feel you. My bad.
      I sort of forget that the pretty stuff people show is stuff I *could* actually track down and buy.
      Please don't quit IG!!!

  2. I love craft time...and still wish my mom woulda crafted w/ me daily as a gold star for you!!

  3. This requires the perfect amount of investment in a craft, not much. I definitely get guilted into doing crafts with my little ones when I see pictures of what other moms are doing. Low key is the best. Thanks for the idea!

  4. Love that shot of Ruby and busted up at your snake comparison. Xoxo

  5. I used to craft with my kids. I loved it! They are older now but I still color with my girls (17 & 19) and my mom (73). We totally enjoy that time together. Sometimes my boys join in but it's very rare. Cherish those moments of foil and markers ☺️.

  6. Slowing down and enjoying our kidnicks...nothing better!

  7. How fun is that ! I must try this with my lil grandson. Thx

  8. My kids are grown and no, I do not feel guilty that we did not paint more. :)

    My daughter has a degree in art and she bought her toddler a real and expensive sketchbook. When he draws he gets out the sketchbook and he cannot keep starting on a fresh page. My daughter prompts him work on his previous drawings and finish or add to them. This is teaching him to really do art. I think it is a great idea that any parent can use, art degree or not.

    I like the foil idea!

  9. Totally did this with the kids today (4 and 2.5). They LOVED it! Thanks for the idea....