Little Prairie Picassos

This past week, the boys were squabbling with each other.  “Mom, he took my toy”, “Mom, he kicked me”, “Mom, get him out of my room.”  Ah! It’s so frustrating to always be a referee.  On that day, we needed a calming activity that all of us would enjoy, and we needed it fast.  So I brought our art easel outside for the kiddos to make collage paintings. Since the fighting had begun before 8:30am, mid morning was still a nice time to get outside before the hot sun would put a halt to our outdoor prairie painting fun.  For a basic way of explaining what a collage is to a five and three year old, I took pieces of paper and taped them in different directions.  I told the boys they could paint whatever they wanted to with their watercolors.  They could make individual pictures on each page or paint a big picture on all of the different colored/directional paper. It was great to see them have fun doing this activity. From time to time, they would actually stop painting and check each other’s work and give complements. What is it about painting that promotes tranquility and peacefulness? I do know this: I love the quietness it brings. Halleluiah for painting!

Yard /Rummage/Estate Sale Fun…But With kids? Not So Much.

I like a good deal. Sure I like great finds from fantastic stores such as Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, and IKEA, but I don’t always enjoy paying a hefty amount for items if the quality doesn’t match the price. I need justification as to why the price point is what it is. This is required for me and especially that wonderful man I call my husband. So when it comes to kids craft decorations and projects for example, I do not like depleting unnecessary funds in order for my kids to have fun. These are kids who had just as much fun playing with the cardboard boxes their Christmas presents came in than the actual toys. This is a true story.

So here we are in the time of year of garage/yard sale mania. A few months ago, when the weather was just becoming really nice outside, we started to see sale signs pop up everywhere every Thursday. The first sale that caught my eye was about three miles away from our home. Sounds perfect, right? I didn’t need to drive very far, I could get there right when the sale was starting, and the online photos looked like there were some quirky and unusual things which I adore. Bring the kids or not to bring the kids? With no babysitter available and my excitement increasing, I tried bringing them with me.

We arrived to find the outbuilding was filled with beautiful antiques which do not mix well with two little boys. Once I saw this, I quickly tried making our way out of the building, but not before our youngest son attempted to climb a very ornately carved early 1900’s hutch. Oh my goodness, I think my heart skipped twelve beats. I got him off the furniture piece and proceeded outside. No harm to anything except my own health and lifespan. On the way out, I saw the owner who had a slightly nervous smile on his face. I said to him, “I don’t know what I was thinking bringing the boys.” He responded, “Looks like you’ve got your hands full.” How many times have I heard that? Billions. Coming from him though, it didn’t sound as sweet as how elderly ladies say it in grocery stores. I think he really wanted to say ‘Crazy lady, it’s time for you to leave now.’ The sale started at 3pm, and we were home about 3:20pm. Enough said.

I do not go to sales as often as I would like (thank goodness for ebay and etsy shopping). When I have gone, it’s been when the kids stay at home with my husband. Sometimes when my mom is visiting from out of state, we will take turns staying in the vehicle with the boys while they watch a movie. It works much better and my heart beats at a regular pace.

Here are some great items I’ve come across:

Dr. Seuss paintings: At a yard sale, a relative of ours purchased these items solely for the frames and gave us the paintings. Someone had made these scenes with acrylic paint, and I applaud and appreciate the artist’s work. This was a fantastic find, and those who know me realize I love mixing new and used things as I think it can bring wonderful interest and harmony to a space. Our oldest son’s room is in a Dr. Seuss theme (After a trip to IKEA in July, I hope to finish decorating his room and post photos). With the frames, the grand total for all was $14.00.

Wooden art easel: Originally, this was an expensive easel, but I bought it for a whopping $5.00.  It was in great condition, therefore I could not pass up the deal. Sure it has had knocks, scuffs, and spills from the boys but is still going strong. I love this easel for our little painters and their masterpieces.

Cake pans:  We use these for kids craft projects and playtime. For .50 cents each at a garage sale, this was a bargain. The pans have helped to contain messes while we make certain crafts or serves as pretend baking/cooking which I love to see our boys demonstrate. Shown below was a ‘birthday cake’ the boys recently made for me with ‘yummy’ sand.

Our Headphone Fix

How important is a vehicle dvd headphone? For us at times, extremely.  My family lives out of state and I’m not sure what I would do without headphones for the boys on those trips.  So when our youngest son’s headphone adjustment piece came off and became missing in action, I attempted a ‘crafty’ fix. I took black craft fuzzy wire and bent it in place where I thought it would work for our son’s head.  Then, I secured it with black electrical tape. Problem solved and on with the show.




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