Thursday, January 19, 2017

How To Inspire Your Kids To Be Creative

Are we born creative? I think we are. I think most children seem to have a natural knack for creativity. Isn't it funny then, that when we grow up and become adults, we often turn to children for our own inspiration to be creative? I also think that sometimes children look to adults for some reassurance when exploring their creativity. 

What a great opportunity to teach and show your child how much fun it is to explore their imaginations and be creative. After all, it's not just nature that determines creativity, but nurture too. Think of it as being born with a spark that if nurtured, turns into a flame.

Why encourage your child to be creative? 
We know that creativity can be healing. It can be a soft place to fall when needed. And on a side-note, when I talk about creativity - from the standpoint of this blog in general - I'm usually referring to creativity in the arts, but creativity can be manifested across any discipline whether it be science, engineering, math, cooking, etc. For the sake of this article I'm not talking about creativity as pertaining to any specific discipline, but simply as the ability and the drive to think outside the box, use our imagination, and experiment with being innovative.

Here are just a few ways that you can help your child's creativity blossom.

1. Provide your child with art supplies and give them time to use them. They don't have to be expensive or fancy, or come from any special art store. Crayons, colored pencils, inexpensive watercolor paints and paint brushes, and some drawing pads are all great examples. As well as the supplies, make sure your child has some relaxing time set aside to explore these supplies. 

2. Offer encouragement and praise. Sometimes these two things can be just the thing that your child needs to boost his or her confidence level so that they are comfortable enough to show the world their talents.

3. Set an example. Show your child that it's fun to explore the world around them. If they see you doing something, they will most often want to join in. Remember, children are great imitators, so give them something great to imitate! You don't have to be especially talented in any one area - it's your enthusiasm towards doing something interesting or new that you want them to witness.

4. Read to your child. Reading opens the imagination. Explore a wide variety of different types of books, making sure to try out new things and not always stick to the same theme.             

5. Spend time in nature. There's nothing more inspiring than the beauty of nature. 

6. Ease up. It's hard to create when you're under pressure. Give your kids space to be creative, and give them the freedom to create things the way they want to. Give your kids the freedom they need to be creative!

7. Offer your child age-appropriate colorful picture books by talented illustrators. Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Animals and Richard Scary's What Do People Do All Day are two of my very favorites. Both were a huge inspiration to me when I was little. Most libraries have these books. 

8. Take your kids to age-appropriate museums. Most museums have free or discount days, and many also have activities for kids. While museums may be a bit too much for small children (lots of walking, no touching, quiet environment) they're perfect for older kids.

There so many ways that you can inspire your kids to be creative. Expose them to different types of art, books, music, try different types of food, explore different cultures, and watch their imaginations bloom. 

Give your children the freedom to explore and create on their own. Most importantly, encourage them without being pushy, and praise them without being overly critical. Best of luck in your creative adventures!

How do you help inspire your kids to be creative? In what ways do your kids inspire you to be creative?  Please leave a comment below!

Have a great week!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

New Broken China Jewelry In My Etsy Shop & Goals For 2017

Hello friends! I hope 2017 has been off to a great start for each of you! I started my year off with a dose of creative inspiration with a visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and if you missed my blog post about it, be sure to check it out here! 

I am so grateful for the opportunities and challenges I've had in 2016, and it really has been a year of creative transformation! I am once again deciding what I am going to do for 2017. As I did last year, I am still considering the possibility of a third book, putting some ideas together for a few more jewelry or craft DVDs, and once again jumping head first into creating new designs for 2017! 

I love exploring different areas of design, and in 2016 became absolutely engrossed with illustrating for fun. I was thrilled to find that my original designs that I created from pen and ink illustrations have been selling well as a variety of home decor products on Society6, so I will certainly be doing more drawing and painting in 2017!

On the flipside, I am making a few small personal goals for 2017 that are things like trying to eat more vegetables, make sure I get more sleep (I absolutely love working late into the night but unfortunately it just doesn't mesh well with having to get up at 6:30 in the morning!), and of course, staying more organized in my workshop.

Here are the latest pieces of jewelry that I have listed in my Etsy shop. I know some of you like to see these enlarged photos, so I try to get them up here on the blog every now and again. 

A word about the piece above - I am in LOVE with this necklace - it is a larger sized statement necklace that I made from an antique Art Nouveau Flow Blue plate that was broken to pieces. (2 & 2/3" by 2 & 3/8", sterling silver chain.) 

Oh, wait! I thought of another goal for 2017. I am determined to get my sewing machine out and sew lots of stuff. :) Not sure exactly what yet, but I really could use new kitchen curtains so I think I am going to start there. Maybe after that I will think of something fantastical and creative to create!

Click each image to be taken to my shop for more details and purchasing information. 

Valentine's Day is coming soon! All items shown below are available for purchase at

What are your goals for 2017?  

Have a great week!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

My Visit To the Philadelphia Museum of Art - Part 3

In my last two blog posts I shared some photos of my trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and showed you the outside of the museum and some antique historical china plates and other goodies. Here are a few more photos of some things that I thought were very special... 

I'm forever amazed at art, fine craftsmanship, antiquities and historical items. The spoons below are from around 1680-1710. And you thought your mom's spoons from the 70's were old!

There was a small collection of fine silver jewelry and other small objects in the American Art section (one of my favorite areas of the museum!) I thought this Boatswain's Whistle was particularly cool.

I couldn't not include a photo or two of the fabulous miniature painted eye jewelry...these are romantic tiny portraits of lovers eyes...sigh...

I didn't take many photos of the paintings in the museum. With lots of folks milling around the masters like the Van Goghs, Rembrants, Monets and Matisses, I reserved my photos for things that struck me as unusual...(I have to add though that I almost died when the 8 or 9 year old girl with her dad in front me at Sunflowers asked her dad if she could touch it!! Gah!! Seriously?! Thank goodness he said NO and thank goodness it was behind glass!)

Then I came across these guys...things that make you go...hmmm...

Hi I'm a lion. Hi I'm a leopard.

I also have a thing for really old woodwork, and doors. Reeeeeely old 1518 old....


After visiting the European Art we took a break and had a great lunch in the cafeteria (there is a restaurant too, if you want to spend $$$, or the cafeteria if you want to spend $$.) After lunch we checked out the museum gift shop (pricey at $$$) and then made our way upstairs...

Another of my very very favorite sections of the museum is the armor. Wow just wow. This mail shirt was HUGE! And of course it was from Transylvania! Gah!

My daughter's face when she discovered the armor for toddlers...what?! whoa!

I hope you enjoyed this very small peek into the enormous Philadelphia Museum of Art! This is a museum that you need to spend more than one day at. There is just so much to see and do. I hope to go back again one day soon and spend more time in the Asian Art section, which we only got a glimpse of before we left. We had strolled about three miles through the museum and had our fill after a full day of looking at the amazing art. I hope one day you can see it too. 

(Read part 1 - Visit to Philly Museum of Art)
(Read part 2 - Visit to Philly Museum of Art)

Have a great week!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

My Visit To the Philadelphia Museum of Art - Part 2

Yesterday I wrote about my visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. (read Part 1 here) Today I'll share a few of the china pieces I saw at the museum that I thought were interesting. I photographed the museum labels for most of the pieces and included those below the images. 

I didn't get a photo of the museum cards for the two eagle plates above and the items pictured below, but I wanted to include them because they're so unique.  They are all from the museum's American Art collection.

The pieces below are from the museum's European collection...

It's so amazing seeing all of these antique pieces, and realizing how old they are and the beautiful condition they are in - it's really just awesome when you think about it! 

The Martha Washington plate and the Diana plates were my favorites. 

That's it for today, but I'll continue this tomorrow with part three, where I'll share a few more images of some interesting things from the rest of my visit, so be sure to check back! 

(Read part 1 - Visit to Philly Museum of Art)
(Read part 2 - Visit to Philly Museum of Art)
(Read part 3 - Visit to Philly Museum of Art)

Have a great week!