Crafting and Creating

I loved reading Cindy's post over at Blog Hoppin'. Today is 'Crafting and Creating' on a week of linking up. Cindy and I have become blog friends through the TpT forum, and having a  mutual love and special bond with Kindergarten, but now I realise why we connected so well! She is crafty! And a quilter. Craft is something that was a part of my daily life growing up. I watched my mum do all sorts of crafts and particularly sewing and embroidery. I smiled when I read that Cindy remembers being at the kitchen table with her mother and grandmother. I remember very long days sitting by my mum doing crafts, rolling ribbons, folding fabrics and watching beautiful things be made from simple materials.

I have not 'crafted' for a while and it is something I miss very much. My goal for this year is to at least do one project - surely I can fit that in somewhere. My mum is very good at crochet, and can just look at something and replicate it. I would love for her to teach me the basics - but I am thinking a lot of patience is needed!

The last project I did was these smocked singlets when I was pregnant with my daughter. I made some green ones also, but I was fairly confident I would be blessed with a daughter.

Mum and I worked together on a design for my wedding dress. I drew it and she stitched it! This is a photo of a photo, as digital cameras were not popular or commonly used at the time of my wedding. Another goal for 2014 is to get all the photos digitised!

For the most part, 'kids craft' features more in my life at the moment. Craft is a big part of the relationship I have with my daughter, and hardly a day goes by when we are not doing some sort of craft. We added a few rooms to our house a few years back, and a 'play room' was #1 on my wish list. This is the back corner of the room, which is the designated 'craft corner'. A build in cupboard is adjacent to the table area. I wanted to create a space where my children could be creative with relative freedom.

This is inside. I have most of our supplies organised into boxes. Many of these boxes came straight home with me when I finished teaching full time. I had purchased them myself to sort all my personal belongings in my classroom cupboards. When my kids are older, they will go back to school with me. I chose them because they were lightweight, clear, and only $2 each. I like having things in my classroom sorted into clear plastic boxes. Australian schools tend to have creepy-crawlies visit overnight, so storing all materials in plastic containers with lids, ensures everything is clean and fresh at all times.

I just label the containers with my label maker - the contents of each often changes, depending on how fast we use things, so easily switching out labels is a must. The rules of the craft cupboard are that my daughter must ask me before she gets something from one of the tubs. They are stacked quite high, so it can be dangerous if she tried to get something on her own.

On the lower shelf, I have everything sorted in plastic drawers. She is allowed to access these independently and include some of the staple materials - paper, stickers, paper bags, paper plates etc. 

I also have a tub (no lid) at the bottom of the cupboard that is just a hodge podge mix of everything - perfect for collage, and also for finding something interesting to work with. We enjoy having a look in here to find some inspiration. It is a great place to pop things that are 'left over' from craft sets or other projects, rather than throwing them away - it also makes today-up time easy!

On the lowest shelf, I also have some open tubs of a variety of mediums - pencils, markers, crayons, oil pastel, glitter glue, paint dabbers, chalk etc. 

I created a 'craft table' that is a perfect height for my daughter by chopping the legs of an old hall table that we were not using. It has two big drawers underneath, and we use these for plain white paper. The table top is always wiped down, but kind of messy with paint drips, marker pen, drops of glitter glue etc. I purposely let it stay like this and do not scrub it too hard to clean them off. I like that it reminds us of all the wonderful days we have spent being creative. I think it helps my daughter relax and know that she can be a little bit messy. 

Under the table, I have two large basket for 'odds and ends' that do not fit in the collage tub inside the cupboard. I put big boxes and packets in here that my daughter can use to create 'junk craft'. She loves turning old boxes into cars, monsters, robots etc

We have a bin for rubbish (trash) for anything that really cannot be used again, and we try to recycle as much as we can.

This time last year, I used my Christmas kikki K gift vouchers to purchase three lightweight bulletin boards. We put these up on the wall to create a display area. I think it is so important to display the art that children make as much as you can. It provides so many authentic opportunities to develop language. We had a few Christmas Craft sessions with my nieces and made a Christmas themed display for the room!

One thing that my daughter does struggle with at times, is ideas. I have a big tub where I keep things we have made over the years (and some I have made for school). We get these out when she is stuck, and often it will spark an idea and she is off and creating. I also have a bookshelf close by, and often, we will sit and read a story and by the end of the book, she has an idea of what she can make. 

Thanks so much for stopping by today!