Tuesday, 5 September 2017

arts and crafts and waste

It's been a little quiet here lately, sorry. But I was researching something (and still am): 

As some of you might know, I have two wonderful children. Small children aged 2 and 5. And I like arts and crafts. And I would like to share this with them in a way that is fun for all of us. 

So I was looking for a book about arts and crafts with young children  - and I have to admit, i was a bit disappointed by what i found.

Some of the books were like "you can make something from EVERYTHING". As in "use food for fun". Or a lot of expensive material was required. Or it was really mostly pre-manufactured. No real skills necessary.

I didn't like that. I also didn't like the fact that some things just looked really ... erm... not nice.
Ok, not all of the things my children make are masterpieces (incredible, I know), but I thought we could at least TRY to make something to put up on the wall and in the house. Something tasteful. Or useful. Where they learn something new and enjoy it. Don't need to buy an awful lot of expensive or wasteful material.

I again started appreciating the internet an awful lot. I can access blogs from all around the world about things to do with children on rainy days. I can access books from all around the world. Brilliant. 

So I started making a folder with things to do for rainy days throughout the seasons and "always". 

And: We now have a wall with frames to put the children's artwork (and also ours or from the family) in, which I will post about in the future, too. 

And I will also post the things we've made. It will be quite random, but such is life. :) 

You will be able to access all the ideas from the label "Ideas for rainy days with children". 

I hope you'll enjoy it as much as we do!


PS: If you have ideas or links to blog from creative people - let me know!!


Now, arts and crafts and waste also is a big topic in all things DIY. The amount of fabrics I have sitting in the cellar, that are waiting to be made into something, is ridiculous. Sometimes I can't even remember, why I wanted them in the first place and what I intended to make from them... and I have also lots of other arts and crafts "stuff" that I can't possibly use all at once. But it's a tricky one - if I would throw away or give away all of those materials, I wouldn't be able to revisit the project (e.g. hatmaking or silk flowers). Even if it takes years. It is also great to just be able to go downstairs for some coloured paper for the kids... But strictly speaking these are all leftovers from a time of vast overconsumption. Which makes me feel a little sad. And now... what do I do with them?

I am more careful now with getting materials and equipment. Unless I know when I need the material and want to make something from it, I am not buying it. Even if the price is wonderful and sometimes it is SO tempting.
Instead, I am using what we have stored and I am also taking pride in reusing material that we already own. E.g. old clothes. Sometimes it can be quite tricky to be a crafter and at the same time you don't want to have all the things you make - e.g. I've seen a book on making baskets out of old newspapers - brilliant idea... only... what would I do with all those baskets?
So I am trying to combine the idea of making something that we can use in the house or maybe give away as presents PLUS taking the material from what we've got at home. It doesn't always work (which is a good sign... more and more material is being used up!) but we are turning more and more to resources readily available around us instead of going shopping for arts and crafts supplies first. The amount of things you can make from leaves is incredible!

So, my aim for the rest of my "Make and Mend II" year is also, to use material that we have around us and/or in the house and make things that are of certain use. Let's see, how that works out. :) 

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