If you're in the Bay Area this weekend, please visit us at our first ever Art Pantry pop-up shop. Remeber all of our awesome kids art supplies and crafty gifts? They will all be on sale now that we have cleared out the warehouse. Most items will be 50% off retail prices.
Bring your kids! We'll have a crafts table and refreshments both days.
It's a great opportunity to stock up on Back to School items, birthday gifts, holiday gifts, etc.
Our shop has closed its doors...
Closing our online store has been bittersweet. So much hard work and love has gone into our store and it's been tough to let it go. It doesn't mean that we won't source great products and share them with you anymore, we just won't be the ones selling them to you. Through our new blog, we'll be sharing these great finds as well as helpful tips and information for your kids' creative journey. And of course, we'll finally be able to ...
Art Nook E-Design
I'm excited to share my latest e-design project with you! I was recently hired to help a mom of two girls, ages 3 and 7, get their art nook organized. Her goal was to refresh the space with new containers (that fit better aesthetically and spatially), find a solution for accessing supplies in the deep cabinets, and get inspiration for new materials and projects for her kids.
I was able to source some great containers that not only look good in the space, but encourage creativit...
Our Art Pantry
I'm excited to share our art space with you! To celebrate the launch of our new Art Pantry Design Services, you can find me over at Tinkerlab chatting with Rachelle about our art space. If you're inspired to get started with an art space for your kids, I'd love to help! Just check out the Design Services to get started.
Birthday Party Photo Booth!
We recently celebrated Ora’s second birthday with a “lollipop” themed party (she was given a lollipop on Halloween - her very first candy- and has been obsessed ever since!).
We wanted to keep it simple with a few neighborhood friends, some face painting, and lots of food on sticks! We bought a bunch of lollipop sticks from a kitchen supply store and served all of our appetizers lollipop style.
What’s better than cake for a lollipop party? A cake pop!
Meet Rebecca Picker!
Rebecca Picker is a mother of 3, performer, costume designer, and founder of Studio Sprout, a children’s art studio and discovery garden in Santa Cruz, California. Rebecca and I have been friends since first meeting in college at UC Santa Cruz. When we re-connected at a college reunion a few years ago, she was super excited to hear about how I had started a toddler art studio out of my back cottage. This got her thinking…
With a little encouragement from me and a lot of talent and...
Wildflower Seed Bombs
It's almost springtime, my favorite time of year. The sun is lingering around a little longer these days and delicate flower blossoms are popping up along the branches of our bare trees. As we begin to plan for our spring garden projects, I'm also thinking of ways to bring our art activities outdoors. One artful garden project that we love to do is make seed bombs. Seed bombs are small masses of clay, mixed with soil and seeds that will grow in any plot of land with a little water and su...
DIY Valentines from the Heart
Encourage kids to express authentic gratitude and love this Valentines Day, by making something from the heart. Handmade Valentines are easier than you think! Just set up a Valentine crafting station with some fun supplies like blank cards, patterned paper, fancy scissors, glitter glue, markers, washi tape, stamps ,stickers, or whatever else you have around. Invite your children to make their own Valentine cards for friends and family. If they need a little inspiration, you can create a few samp...
What Makes The Best Kid's Gift?
Ever since I was a little girl I have looked forward to the entire month of December. To me, this time of year is about celebration, decadence, warmth, indulgence, creating, giving, and receiving. As I've grown older, I've become much more of a minimalist, but Christmas just doesn't seem right without a pile of presents under the tree.
With Hanukkah coming early this year, my girls have already begun amassing a new collection of toys and it has got me thinking about a better plan f...
Did you participate in our October “invitations to create" challenge? We had a lot of fun with it and hope you did too!
In case you missed it, we launched our first 30-day creative challenge in October. The goal was to set up a daily “invitation to create” for 30 days. This simply means to set up a few thoughfully chosen materials in an interesting way and invite your child to create (click here to learn more about invitations to create).
From my experience with my own...
Invitations to Create- Halloween Style!
Since our 30 day "Invitations to Create" challenge took place in October, we couldn't forget to throw in a few Halloween-themed ideas.
This spider web watercolor resist (inspired by Blog Me Mom) was a really fun way to work together on an invitation, exploring the technique and the shape of the web.
Day 26- Do it Together)
* Photo of a spider web (for reference). If you don’t have a photo, look at an image on your phone with your child
* White crayon or oil pastel
Invitations to Create Challenge
For the month of October, we'll be embarking on a super fun, "Invitations to Create" challenge. This simply means setting up a few art materials in an interesting way and inviting your child to create- easy peasy!
The challenge is to do this daily for 30 days to see how it improves your child's relationship to art materials and to the creative process (and it will!).
The hard part is coming up with variations of art supplies to help your child think out of the box and en...
Painting Among The Redwoods
Our small town of Mill Valley is nestled at the base of Mt. Tamalpais State Park, home to Muir Woods national monument. In addition to being known for its 250 ft. tall old growth redwood trees, Muir Woods is also known for its crowds. Lucky for us, Mill Valley is full of kid friendly trails and lesser-known spots where we can get away from the crowds during the summer.
One of my favorite spots is Cascade Park. It’s a fairly small area with a short trail that loops up a hill and around a ...
Awesome Wall Organizer
Our art pantry sits in a corner of our living room, inviting Karuna to create whenever inspiration strikes. This little area is squeezed between a door and our wall heater and has just enough room for a table and a few narrow wall shelves. I couldn’t find a table that would fit this awkward space, so I made one using a piece of wood and legs from an Ikea stool.
For nearly two years she used this space often, but neither of us could figure out how to keep it organized! With most of her su...
Perler Bead Display
Perler beads (AKA Hama or Fuse beads) are awesome. They are great for fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Karuna would come home with one of these a day from preschool. Her whole class was obsessed! As you can imagine, by the end of the year we had a large bag full of these creations. Rather than stuff them into a drawer, never to be seen again, we found a way to display them!
To make them gallery ready, arrange them onto a nice canvas, then attach them with a glue gun. We used a line...
Meet Tiffany Shlain!
Tiffany Shlain is a mother of two, acclaimed filmmaker, writer, founder of The Webby Awards, and co-founder of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, Ken Goldburg, and her two daughters, Odessa (10) and Blooma (4). Tiffany and her family exude creativity and are always cooking up fun, artful ideas- from cardboard sculptures to wacky house parties! I recently visited Tiffany and her daughters at home to check out their art...
Duct Tape Cell Phone Case For Dad
As the girls work on their Father’s Day art projects, I decided that I wanted to make my own gift for Aaron (my hubby) for Father’s Day. With duct tape being all the rage these days, I wanted to experiment with this fun medium and see what I could come up with. Here’s my recipe for a duct tape cell phone case with a photo holder (a great way to showcase your kid’s artwork too!).
Ages: 8+ (or do it together with ages 5+)
Prep time: 2 minutes Total time: About 20 min...
Collaborative Painting Project
With mother’s day coming up, I thought it would be fun to do a project with my daughter, Karuna. If both of us worked on something together, we could make a special gift for all the moms in our family- for me, my mother, as well as my husband’s mother.
Karuna recently suggested a game where we would work on our own painting and then switch to work on each other’s painting. I thought this would be the perfect way to collaborate on these mother’s day gifts.
Inspired by ...
Homemade Paint For Baby's First Birthday
For Ora's first birthday, we were excited to throw her a baby painting party for her first messy art experience. I was pretty sure that this bunch of crawlers might be more interested in eating the paint than applying it to their canvas, so I knew we had to use a food-grade paint. Although Karuna (my older daughter) used regular tempera paints when she was a baby, I didn't want to freak out the other parents and create any unnecessary stress. I considered using our Clementine natural pai...
Secret Admirer Rock Valentines
Inspired by The Artful Parent's heart rock valentine decorations, I suggested to Karuna the idea of making fabric heart rocks. We talked about what to do with the rocks once we made them. Giving them as Valentines was a definite, but since she already had card valentines that she had made earlier, we came up with the idea to leave them around the neighborhood as secret admirer surprises.
Prep time: 15 minutes Total time: About 30 minutes
Yields: Adorable rock valentines