(I just noticed that it’s October 5th and I’m just now creating an October photos folder, and I only have 15 pictures to put in it, four of which aren’t even for me. I’m slacking here! ;) )

I had a realization recently (again) that our afternoons go more smoothly when I have something planned. Not necessarily an outing, but a plan. Some days we go out but many days we all want to be home. I’ve started trying to be a bit more proactive, or intentional as the mommy-blog world talks about, with my afternoons. As a result of this decision, we’ve done several fun craft projects recently.

Family Tree
I found this idea from a blog I read, written by a local mom. It’s fun to see her pictures and sometimes recognize where they were taken. She has lots of fun little kid ideas. I modified the project, of course. For our afternoon I got out big sheets of paper and all of our stamps and ink. We haven’t used the stamps in quite awhile. The kids were super excited to come home and find this project setup.


Everyone loves stamping.

While they stamped away I drew a tree branch on my piece of paper.

bare branch

My bare branch. I am always so nervous to create. I marvel at how fast and easy the kids put ink to paper, while I hem and haw and hesitate, fearing it might come out different from what I see in my head.

Then I asked them to use green ink and make fingerprint “leaves” all over the branches.

eve finger printing

Little green finger print leaves.

lex finger printing

Lex wanted to put his whole hand down, but I had to stop him. The ink isn’t washable (they had colorful fingers for awhile!) and I really wanted my project to turn be nice. :)

Then I had them each pick a color and put one thumb print on the big branch. The idea being to make little birdies sitting on the branch. One for each of us. I had Alan do his thumbprint when he got home from work.

After awhile Lex and I moved on, but Eve persisted with the stamping, turning out several sheets that look a lot like this one. All full of detailed, intricate stories.

eve stamping

She has no hesitation in creating!

The next day I got out the paints and paint markers and we did more creating.


This is Eve’s painting. A bunny in a field with white flowers.

While they painted and thought and deliberated on how to finish my Family Tree. How to make it look “right.” I didn’t have right size googly eyes, like the sample I was following, and we didn’t do the paint smudge and I was afraid to do anything for fear of wrecking it. Finally I put pen to paper and finished it, putting the sample out of my mind and coming up with a few idea of my own. I was super excited about how it came out!

family tree p1

Our Family Tree!

family tree p2

Perfect, right? Wrong!

The kids were oohing and aahing as I showed them the finished product. Then Eve made a comment about her little blue bird and Lex made a comment about his big blue bird and I suppressed a bit of very strong language as I realized I had written the names wrong!!! ARGH!

More heming and hawing. I pointed out the mistake to the kids, who would have noticed momentarily anyway, and told them how frustrated I was about the mistake. They were both so sweet and kind and came up with lots of idea. I tried one fix that didn’t work then I tried Lex’s suggestion of just making the branch bigger. That worked. If you look really close you can see the pen names through the branch, but only if you know to look for them….. hmm… disregard that last sentence and take a look at my finished PERFECT Family Tree!

family tree p3

Finished! The first step to my downstairs bathroom remodeling. :) (I know decorating the walls should be the final step to a remodeling project, but I do things a bit differently over here.)

Then the kids finished their paintings.

lex painting

Lex made a deep sea picture. I think I like the lantern fish best. :)

When we were all done Eve took the job of cleaning up the paint. It took her almost an hour. Can you guess why? :)

eve cleaning

Eve “cleaning” the paints. Seriously though, when she was done things were pretty clean!

I have to go get the kids off the bus now. I’ll save my other recent craft project, a bit of Halloween fun, for anther post!

One thought on “Craftiness

  1. Once again, great story Tessa! Continued heartfelt thanks for sharing, on behalf of all of us who can’t come over and have a seat at the kitchen table any old day….<3
    hugs, mema

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