Spending Quality Time With My 14 Year Old This Summer

Emma wasn’t old enough this past summer to to be a junior leader at summer camp, which means she had to spend a LIT-TLE more time at home…. with her boring family.
We had time on our hands.
And mom didn’t want phones and ipods in our hands all summer.
I convinced her to do some crafting with me. A little nudge was all it took, we found our rhythm pretty quick, on a creative high that lasted through most of the summer. I have Creativebug to thank. Each day home, with not much to do, we were in the studio, being shown how to make all kinds of things from the Creativebug instructors.
Can I even begin to tell you the sheer pleasure I felt at being told how to make something after writing how to instructions for the 60 projects in my book? Bliss, I tell you!
The mushroom above, designed by Tamar Mogendorff and was part of the makerie series on Creativebug this summer. I have been in awe of her work for years, and to have her instruct me on how to make that mushroom was such a thrill. It lives in my studio now.

Emma and I made Courtney Cerruti’s paper bird project, pictured above. Masking tape, toilet paper rolls, old book pages, and wire, are all it took to create these amazing creatures. Momma and little one.
What really sent us off on a creative tangent was Melanie Falick’s beaded bracelet project. I was stunned at how easy these are. We have made literally dozens of these, complete with several trips to our favorite local bead store.
On my own, I made Cathy Callahan’s paper lantern project when I was sprucing up my studio. This is the large paper lantern hanging above my tall table.
And I also made more rope bowls.


Another one of our favorite projects was actually on another online learning site we discovered, The Amazings, and this one really captivated us for several sessions of making. Emma and I took the Altered Book class, and learned from an expert in this form of art, an Amazing or Elder. (And I believe they are having a 50% off your first class special right now). The format of these classes is great fun. Instead of instructing to the camera, there is an Amazing (the teacher, an elder) instructing a crafty younger generation. They work, laugh, stop for tea, troubleshoot, and in the end have a beautiful project. We have glued our blocks (pages), and begun working on a few of the pages. These books will be something we can pick up when we are inspired or need something to sketch on. The one pictured above is mine. Because the title of the book I found was The Four Feathers, I decided to play on the idea of feathers and birds. The “you are loved” banner is made by my friend Shanna Murray, and the birds illustrations were in a recent Martha Stewart Living. I used Courtney’s image transfer techniques to transfer the bird images onto packing tape.
When the kids were little, crafting time was all about managing the mess, keeping everyone safe and engaged. How it’s all changed. There is a real mood that is created when we are making things together. A calmness. Our eyes are not locked, and our hands are busy, and conversation happen…jokes are told…memories are discussed (and, if I want to be sappy, memories are made). This is good stuff, really good.
This is not a compensated endorsement for Creativebug, but I did receive a complementary class to preview for The Amazings. All opinions expressed are my own and I am completely hooked on online classes like this!
  • Molly

    October 16, 2013 at 7:16 am

    oh, those birds!!!
    and a side note: having visited this space since your children WERE small, since mess was a major issue, since hands were still small, it is such a joy to watch and listen and learn as you negotiate the years, the ages and stages, and whatever comes next. better yet, since you have (a squeaky-tiny) lead on me, at least in the girl dept — talk to me about 13 y.o. boys! — i feel like i get a combined cliff’s notes/travel guide to what comes next. creativebug? pinned.
    thanks, blair.

  • Erin | house on hill road

    October 17, 2013 at 5:11 am

    i think creativebug is worth every penny – i use it all the time. that said, i should try to get the girls making with me. i’m going to keep that idea in my back pocket for winter break.

  • Cyndi

    October 17, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Oh! I love all these projects, especially the bracelets and the mushroom and really everything. 🙂

  • kim

    October 17, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Junior Leader – sounds like a YMCA camp! Ah, memories…

Follow Wise Craft Handmade