Holiday Bingo

This year my eldest daughter wanted to try her hand at some holiday crafts.  I figured it would be fun to try some more creative and challenging crafts so we looked at pinterest and I let her choose what to do.  She ended up wanting to make a holiday bingo game as a gift for her 2-year old cousin.  It was very sweet, although explaining to a 5-year old why bingo may not be an age appropriate gift seemed beyond her.  She just looked at me with wide eyes and said “It’s okay mommy, she can just use it when she’s older!”  (Shrug and sigh).

Most DIY bingo sets were printed from a computer,  but since I don’t own a printer I figured we could draw them by hand. My daughter got to choose all the icons and colors.  She actually drew each one for me and colored them so I knew what she wanted,  then I transcribed them to each board in random orders. The bingo pieces ended up being pennies we painted with nail polish and the dice we made were little wooden craft blocks that we drew the icons onto and colored.

I think this set is really cute and thoughtful, and it was a lot of fun for my daughter and me to put together. Hopefully her cousin will really enjoy the set when she gets older! Did you make anything special for yhe holidays?  Happy holidays to all! 


Zentangle Bowls

I have these legacy bowls from college that are perfectly serviceable and durable, but they are definitely not my style and I am desperately waiting for them to “break” (they never will, they’re indestructible….. ) so that I can finally have an excuse to buy some fun new table settings.  I have been coveting sets of bowls that have mis-matched prints in bold colors or bold patterns.  Some that I especially liked are below:

Aren’t these just adorable?  I want some so badly, but I cannot bring myself to dispose of perfectly practical (and unbreakable) bowls.  Well, fortunately (or not) my husband accidentally broke a bowl, which, unfortunately, happened NOT to be one of the oh-so-despised bowls that I would rather it have been.  However, this did give me an excuse to get a new bowl.  I thought it may be fun to test out an idea that I had while planning the craft for my eldest daughter’s birthday party.  Why couldn’t I make something?  I have all these glazed sharpie pens.

I was prompted to find something to do when my daughter suddenly got sick and had to stay at home for three days.  In desperation, I went to Target with her and got two bowls for us to decorate.  For my bowl, I thought it would be fun to do a Zentangle-inspired, or Mandala-inspired design.  For those of you not familiar with Zentangle or Mandala art, it’s some images are below:


I learned from the party craft that I should try to avoid the actual eating surface because the washing would eventually cause the pattern to wear over time.  So, I had a plan, kind of.  This is what happened:


My daughter helped with some of the simpler patterns, such as the large yellow dots.  She was really impressed with how long this took me to draw (it wasn’t that long, but to a 5-year old, it was “FOREVER”).  I’m looking forward to getting a couple more bowls to complete a set – all different patterns of course!  What do you think?



When my first daughter was just becoming interested in learning to color, I would sit with her each day and draw. I would draw things like her stuffed animals, house and most of all, I loved to draw her. I would often stare at her, mesmerized that she was created inside of me; this perfect, innocent little being full of life and wonder. I memorized her features,  each nuance of her face,  and I loved to express it in drawings of her with her stuffed dolls.  I had posted something a while ago here.

With my second,  I find less time to sit with my daughters to draw and pass the time.  While I have spent no less time gazing at my youngest and memorizing her every feature,  I fear I have not been as up to the task of drawing with her and for her. I wanted to try my hand at and see if I could represent her the way I had her eldest sister,  so I decided I would draw a portrait of her. I thought it would be a good little exercise to get me back into this habit.

I admit I cheated a little by taking a photo of her while she was napping. My eldest has always had a great propensity for solo activities such as reading,  drawing,  or playing make- believe.  My youngest, on the other hand,  doesn’t have the capacity to sit still longer than one minute.

I used regular drawing paper and a princess pencil I took from my daughter’s art bin. Here is the result:



To Infinity… And Beyond!

My eldest nephew recently turned four. While I wasn’t able to be there to celebrate with him, I wanted to make something very special for him. He has been a great lover of the Toy Story movies and especially Buzz Lightyear. He has everything Buzz: blanket, pajamas, action figures, you name it!

In one of my previous posts I had illustrated my daughter with some of her friends in the vein of A.A. Milne and I thought that it would be nice if I could do something memorable and meaningful like that for my nephew. I thought that an illustration that built on his affinity for Buzz as more of a friendship as opposed to Buzz being a toy would be a really interesting study. I thought of the Calvin and Hobbes comics and the idea solidified in my mind on what I wanted to do.

untitledThis gift actually took me a while to complete. I had mocked up the image right when I had the thought, but it took time find time to gather all the materials (paper, frame) since I had a very particular idea in my mind. I used regular art sketch pad paper from my large spiral sketch pad and an Ikea Ribba frame. I love these frames because the are affordable and are a great design. They are simple, frame items beautifully, and I like that the depth of the frame seems to elevate the design of even the simplest piece of art that it is framing.  What do you think?

Capturing “Best Friend” Moments

I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving Holiday!  It’s unbelievable that another year has flown by and the holidays are upon us once again.  This post is a very special one, dedicated to my daughter.

I have always loved illustrations such as the classic Winnie-the-Pooh images associated w/ the A.A. Milne storybooks. I thought that the the images of Christopher Robin with all of his friends, Pooh and company, are so timeless and sweet.

My daughter has recently been showing a lot of interest in some of her stuffed animals. She’s very attached to them and will want to say goodnight to them, or bring them to daycare, or tuck them in, feed them her milk, all the sorts of things that you want to do to show you care for someone or something. It’s really quite adorable. At the moment, she is particularly attached to a stuffed Hippopotamus that her Uncle gave to her.

She loves to color and draw, and loves for people to join her at her little table to draw things with her.  She especially loves to sit her stuffed animals at the table with her and have them “draw” (translation, I hold the hippo and put a crayon on his “hand” and make him color all over the paper). One day, on a whim, I did a quick sketch of her hippo and she was very excited, pointing and asking me to draw him again and again in all the different crayon colors. I tried drawing some of her other friends too and she call them each by name as she saw them emerge on the page.

As I was sitting there drawing with my daughter, it struck me that this was one of those priceless moments that should be captured. I decided to illustrate her and her stuffed animal friends, inspired by the very illustrations I fell in love with as a child.  There is something about the innocent quality of these illustrations that I feel is so appropriate to describe children and their imaginations.  The resulting image is what you see above, but framed and hanging on our wall.

Here is a photo of her with her friends.  This actually happened all on its own.  She came into her room and saw all her friends lined up against her bed, and decided to join them for a turn. I hope that when she grows older, she will love this illustration as much as I do.