Women Who Work: Amanda Jane Jones

When and how did you know that graphic design was your jam? 

I loved art and knew I wanted to do something commercial with it (because I was determined to support myself and not get married! (Ah… the things you say at 19!)  So I tried being a photographer first and shot weddings for a summer and realized you had be SOCIAL and TALK to people on a regular basis which didn’t / doesn’t  come naturally to me, and being a graphic designer seemed to fit my hermit tendencies much better…best of both worlds I guess? My mom was so sweet and set up a meeting with a designer in our area so I could get a feel for what she did and it just felt right! and I’ve never regretted or looked back. I seriously ADORE my job. I have so much fun at work.

Why is it important to you to create?

It’s just a part of me! I’ve always been a maker. My mom had a big closet full of supplies growing up. We were always allowed to use whatever as along as I didn’t use her FABRIC scissors on PAPER! that was her one rule and I’m embarrassed to say I broke it all the time. They just cut so well! I couldn’t help myself. 😉 Anyway, I’ve just always loved to be creative – in life, in my surroundings, in the way I dress…I read once somewhere that when creative people stop creating, it creates a cloud in their brain that can stifle creativity and I’ve seen that many times in my life.

Was there anyone along the way who helped shape you?

Yes! my grandma had me come to her home every summer and she let me pick out patterns and fabric and we’d sew whatever my heart desired. My mom and dad were so good and cultivating creativity for me with supplies and experiences and then actually, Since marrying Cree, he’s always been a huge supporter of my work and my creativity. He sees how important it is to me and always makes it one of his priorities as much as it is mine which has provided me the space to grow as a designer and try projects I otherwise wouldn’t be able to with three little kids at home.

What’s your advice to women wanting to pursue the same thing?

A couple things!

1) Be an intern or apprentice. I interned FOUR times – once even while I was freelancing full-time and starting Kinfolk! I’m a huge fan of real life experience and learning from artists you admire. Be a sponge! (Click here to find out more about internship opportunities here at Lars!)

2) Put in the time. no one is holding you back but you! If it’s something you really want, go for it. I worked at a small design firm for three years while freelancing nights and weekends before I could freelance full-time. It wasn’t the most enjoyable experience, but I’ll be forever grateful my 20 something self put in all those hours.

3) Fake it till you make it. Honestly, the first time I was hired to design a book, I didn’t know how! everything is online now – take a class, google it, or just ask! I’m always surprised how you can learn things as you go.

4) Be true to yourself and your style. So many times, I’ll be asked to do a logo or brand that just isn’t me. In the beginning I didn’t have the luxury of turning those projects down. But now I know, that if you try to be something you’re not, it’s a waste of your time and the clients money.

You can find Amanda here:

Find Amanda in the House Lars Built Print Shop!

Right now Amanda is donating ALL of her proceeds from her food prints in our shop to No Kid Hungry. Due to COVID-19 many kids are left without meals they normally receive at school every day. No Kid Hungry donates meals directly to those children during this break from school. Your purchase of one of Amanda’s prints found here will help those kids receive meals and will hang in your home as a reminder that there is always hope!

And get these adorable 3D fruit ornaments to match your Amanda Jane Jones pieces!

Author Art Print

Or you can find all of the Women Who Work here!

Make sure to hang up the Author Print in your home to remind you of just how incredible you are at your work!

You can see our previous interviews:

Our Great Artists! Course is live now!

A tool for parents and kids

If you’re like most parents, screen time is both your saving grace and your worst enemy. This Great Artists! Course is the perfect after-school activity that can replace some screen time while still allowing you to get some work done. Or if you are homeschooling, this course can be your art class! I have so much respect for teachers and parents who are homeschooling, and I’m eager to help out in the best way I can: by taking something off your plate. 

This hands-on learning course is full of crafting based projects, videos, printables and more that will simultaneously keep the kids creative and busy. The Great Artists! Course will teach them basic art principles and art history, all while making truly beautiful art for your home. The course program is so in-depth that you can honestly just log your child in and let them learn. All of the teaching components are done in the course itself (featuring a guest teacher, yours truly). You can be as involved as you want! If you’re a working parent, let your child’s Great Artists! Course time be time that you can use however you need to. If you’d like to be more involved, the classes are honestly engaging enough that you’ll learn something new. Honestly, you might even make something you can be proud of!

The Details

When we started out planning the Great Artists! Course, we designed it with kids ages 6-13 in mind. That’s a pretty wide age gap! We are confident that the projects are realistic and simple enough for young kids, but interesting enough to engage the older kids too! All of the projects are customizable. So if you need to tweak things a bit for your classroom, feel free to. It includes instruction on six famous artists, projects, supplies, and so much more. As we were planning this course, we wanted to make this a real resource you can feel good about. Because of this, we designed it with essential Learning Objectives in mind.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

In the Great Artists! Course, your child will:

  • Develop a love of art and history through relatable hands-on projects
  • Learn basic principles of art and design that they can apply to their own artwork/projects
  • Create multiple art pieces that develop fine motor skills, color pairing skills, concentration, and listening
  • Study Art History, including the lives of artists from different cultures, backgrounds and art movements
  • Develop a greater understanding of global cultures 
  • Be encouraged to think introspectively about their own lives, homes, and passions to help them cultivate self-understanding to expand their creative mind
  • Learn to initiate creative play

Art is something I feel really passionately about. Art can be therapeutic, it can train critical thinking skills, and help your child visualize creative solutions to problems they face. Art became real for me in my childhood classes about great artists, and led to my life-long creative projects.  Which is why I feel so passionate about offering this resource to your family! Whether or not you are an art-lover or a professionally trained art teacher, the Great Artists! Course can help your child develop the tools they need to enjoy art and make it.

FAQs about our Great Artists! Course

Click here to find answers to all of your questions, including what the course cost covers, what artists the course includes, and more!

Lars Book Club: The Artist’s Mother printable quote

mother's day quote on The House That Lars Built illustrated by Jordan Sondler Mother's Day quote illustrated by Jordan Sondler for The House That Lars Built

Hey-o! Just popping in to see how you’re doing with this month’s book club book, The Artist’s Mother. It’s more of a visual catalogue of pictures and paintings by some of the most iconic artists, but it goes into some details about their mothers.

From here on out we’ll be featuring a quote that you can print off for free (download here) from each Book Club in the middle of each month as illustrated by a guest illustrator. One of my favorite illustrators, , is kicking it off with this one:

“The eyes of a mother are the first mirror we encounter. A good mother provides a true reflection.”

We’ll be going over the book at the beginning of next month and introducing the book for June then as well.

Get The Artist’s Mother here.
Download the illustrated quote here

Illustrated by |  Photo by Brittany Jepsen

Celebrating Juneteenth

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Juneteenth Resources

Before her pool party, she sat us down and had us watch the Blackish episode that explain it, Hamilton style. Think Schoolhouse Rock meets the Roots. You can watch the full episode on Hulu or ABC but here’s a little snippet of the episode.

The brief history goes, two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, the last enslaved African-Americans in Galveston, Texas, were told they were free. The date was June 19, 1865. Today, people in the United States continue to celebrate the day, Juneteenth.

Where to learn about Juneteenth

I’ve been spotting some short guides on Instagram that explain a bit more. Here’s a few from @spiritofrevelry, @theccnyc, @monicapirani.

And here’s an article that talks about Juneteenth and its association with Utah.

I’m forever grateful for Sheryl for spending her birthday educating us. She’s an educator by profession and teaching flows through her blood. She’s very patient as we (many of her white friends here in Utah) attempt to learn more about what we can do to improve systematic racism.

While we’re talking about Sheryl, and if you follow me on my personal Instagram who know I talk about her a lot. It’s because has done an amazing job of being a clear voice for equality for a LONG time, even before recent events. When she speaks, I listen. I wish she made her Instagram public so we could hear more from her, but I will continue to share what she says because it’s important. I’m her biggest fan.

The other night I attended a panel discussion that she moderated hosted by Kristin and Jeremy Andrus in Salt Lake City. I recorded her introductory speech and I encourage you to all listen to it.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I had the opportunity to attend a panel discussion last night featuring various black people and their experiences in Utah who talked about what we can do together to improve our racist system and mentality. My dear friend @skg_ellsworth moderated and did an excellent job. She kicked it off by saying some words, which left me heart broken, angry, then hopeful. I encourage you to listen to all ten minutes when you get a moment. Grateful for @kristinandrus for hosting and everyone on the panel who participated AND the amazing gospel choir @thebonnerfamilymusic I have come away feeling like this is the beginning of many conversations and action leading to real change. Racism can’t improve until we all decide it’s important to change.

A post shared by Brittany Watson Jepsen (@brittanyjepsen) on

Sheryl organized a peaceful family friendly protest in her community in Salt Lake. You can read more about it here.

This selfie is not my greatest moment, but always happy to share about Sheryl.

You can hear more from Sheryl in an interview on Utah’s Studio 5 with Emily McCormick.

Back to school supplies for every kind of school year

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Resources for whatever the school year is throwing at you

Recently on Instagram, I asked whether you are sending your kids back to school, trying online classes, or making your own homeschool plan for the first time! With all these options and so many pros and cons, I get that this new school year is throwing a lot more at you than just dodgeballs at recess.

All of these options have even affected our priorities here at Lars. At the beginning of the year, we made a sudden turn and started focusing on #QuarantineCreativity and how to keep your hands busy and your mind clear despite the craziness of 2020. Projects like these, and our 78 homeschool activities for social distancing have kept us sane (so far.) And THIS WEEK we will be launching our biggest and most colorful resource yet! Our first ever kid’s course, all about great artists. More info will be dropping on the blog and instagram all week, and our newsletter subscribers will get exclusive early access to the course at a big BIG discount.

Whether you are sending your kids back to school, thanking the heavens for online classes streamed from the teacher, or creating your very own homeschool curriculum this year – WE SEE YOU. You are working so hard, and you are doing amazing! We hope any resources we are working hard to share can lighten the load even if just a little.

Kid’s face masks for back to school

If you are sending your kiddo’s back to school, you might need some help with the mask situation. A fun new kid’s face mask will be much more likely to make it through the school day!

If you are a teacher or parent in need of your own face mask, you can find our list of our favorite adult masks here!

The importance of learning

Starting a new school year is about a lot more than back-to-school shopping. “It’s about learning, obviously!,” said the imaginary reader of this post in my head. One of the most important processes I learned at school is something I hardly think about anymore: reading.

I bet that most of you learned to read in kindergarten or first grade, and haven’t thought much about it since you left elementary school. The act of reading at this point is close to second nature. You do it without even acknowledging it. Street signs, menus, text messages, even microwave messages are presented before my eyes. And through some miracle that started with a kindergarten teacher, I comprehend that a specific combination of twenty six scribbles (letters) means that my microwaved popcorn is done. Just think – sending your kid back-to-school means they could means they could make YOU a snack instead of the other way around.

For a long time I didn’t recognize the importance of being able to read until I became friends with someone with serious undiagnosed learning disabilities. Despite his challenges, he learned to read in high school. His world exploded! I met him a few years after he learned to read, and it was obvious how much this skill changed his life. 

Respect the process

This story is important for a couple of reasons. One reason is to make you consider the importance of something you do without thought, and appreciate it. Another reason is to acknowledge that learning takes time, and everyone goes at their own pace. This super relevant and encouraging as an adult. It feels like there is a socially-appointed time to learn, and once you pass that time, you’ve missed your window. That rhetoric is so not true!!

I had a class in college with a seventy-eight year old woman, and boy oh boy, she was determined to graduate. We studied together for a test once, and I can guarantee she did better on it than I did. If you are going back-to-school yourself, be proud!! If you have a child starting school again, don’t be upset if they didn’t master times tables or if you weren’t the perfect remote-teacher. No one was!

That is actually one reason why the thought of trying out homeschooling this year could feel like an excited new adventure instead of a last-resort you would never consider if it weren’t for a world pandemic.

Homeschool organization supplies

Have fun, duh!

Of course, learning at school is so important. But it also is supposed to be fun! I have a friend who moved states during the middle of lockdown, and her son has been in desperate need of a friend his age. He started school last week and had an incredible time! He was so tired after playing with new friends that he contentedly fell asleep in the car ride home. That is the dream. 

While you can’t exactly follow your child around the playground all day, you can help them feel loved, special, and excited about the new school year. One easy way to do this is to involve them in back-to-school shopping!! I loved it as a kid and love it still. A fresh pack of crayons is therapeutic, I swear. Sometimes we all need a little push to feel excitement. You, my dears, are perfectly situated to help your kids out in that category. Check out our back to school roundup of products we love for kids (and grownups) heading back to class!

Supplies to make learning fun

Books, games, and other colorful supplies to make learning exciting! If you have pre-school age kids to engage too, check out what books I am reading to my toddler right now.

 

“You’re off to great places. Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!” – Dr. Seuss

Other colorful back to school supplies

Backpacks

Notebooks

Lunchtime

 

 

My new advisory board role: Part 1

Nepal

As you might imagine, Internet was spotty, but also crucial for my job, so when the connection went down on the construction site, I hiked with a couple of others to the next mountain (people who know me now are like…what?!??!?!? hiked?!?!?! YES, HIKED!) and plugged in at the phone tower. In order to get up there, I passed a number of small houses complete with mini farms–chickens, goats, luscious hydrangeas. It was so beautiful. It was also typhoon season, which brought on spectacular views AND a constant thread of crazy rain storms. (I wish I could find my hard drive from 10 years ago with all the pictures!)

We must have made a scene because we were soon joined by a few villagers. Through a translator or hand gestures, I can’t remember, we got to talking and they shared their beautiful handiwork with me. Handmade pewter plates and textiles and more. I was floored. Their work was exquisite.

At the time I was super interested in manufacturing so I was trying to come up with ways to work together. But, like I mentioned, I was fresh out of graduate school and had recently gotten married and moved to Copenhagen, Denmark so I wasn’t in a spot where I could feasibly make too much happen, both financially or logistically–I, myself, was trying to navigate a new country, social system, network, not to mention everything that comes with marriage. I couldn’t take on too much more.

Women Makers in Nepal

What I learned in those weeks was how crucial women were to the building and heart of the the village. In fact, these women, young and old, were the ones who traveled up and down the mountain with huge baskets on their backs full of heavy rocks, the building material of the memorial that was being constructed. There was also a community center designed for the women of the village to host their individual business like nails, micro blading, and making these really cool pom pom blankets and I got to spend some time there. They even dressed me up in their traditional clothing and I felt like a super model because my normally average height in the US was now considered very tall. Ha!

The business origins

Oftentimes the origins of their businesses started from places of sorrow. For example, the owner of the micro blading business began her venture after her husband left her and she could no longer fall back on her family because they had disassociated themselves from her, which is common for the culture. They became enterprising because of the need to survive. Witnessing it for myself instilled in me a desire to be involved somehow, someday, but I didn’t know how to do so when I was also at a point in my life when I also needed to be enterprising.

Kathmandu

After the memorial was dedicated, we spent some time in Kathmandu, which was truly an out of this world experience. It was my first time in Asia and everything felt so foreign, but SO exciting–the colors, the pace, the smells. One highlight of the trip was visiting a rug factory where some of the luxury rug companies that you might be familiar with are made. They showed us how they dyed the yarns and how they turned those yarns into the intricate weavings that become full rugs. Women and men sat atop scaffolding that can lift them higher or lower depending on the size of the rug.

Family involvement in factories

What I found most interesting of this factory visit was how the children would gather in the work space after they were done with school. Sometimes they would sit right next to the parent. My memory is now fuzzy, but I want to say that I recall someone nursing their baby while working. As one who currently works from home and nurses her 7 month old baby, it feels like a privilege, but also super complex. But that’s a story I want to dive into at a later date.

10 years later

As you might know, over the years I continued to work on The House That Lars Built, the blog I had started in 2008 for graduate school (you can read more about it here). It has grown into a multi-person company where we encourage people to make things with their hands. We believe that there is a project and a time frame for every person because making something with your hands has the power to transform your well-being. And when you get in touch with your hands you tap into your soul, which is very powerful connector to your identity and culture.

Knowing this, and witnessing first hand how important the handmade economy is around the globe and even more so now than it was 10 years ago, I’ve found an organization that I have invested time and money into and will now be working with as an official advisory board member: Nest, a non-profit that supports women makers in the handmade economy.

Nest and the handmade economy

I became familiar with Nest a couple of years ago when we joined in on their 25 days of Making. Later that year we worked with 18b to donate profits from our shops for Giving Tuesday, which continued to last year. Most recently, we shared how they’ve been involved with helping some of the quilt makers from Gee’s Bend put their beautiful work onto their new Etsy shops.

As an advisory board member, I wholeheartedly support the organization in the fulfillment of its mission, vision, and strategy. I will be sharing more about the organization next week and an exciting project we are working on together. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, you can read more about our partnership and learn how to donate here.

Easter Crafts

Our Favorite Easter Crafts

We have so many Easter crafts that we’re just thrilled to share with you this year. Many of them are brand new, too! Need a new Easter Basket? We’re here for you. How about a fresh spring wreath? We’ve also got you covered in that department. Without further ado, here’s the list of our favorite Easter crafts!

Wreaths

I love a good wreath. And spring wreaths are some of my favorites! They’re a must have when talking about Easter crafts. This year we have a brand new Palm Leaf Wreath you’re sure to love. It’s delicate, colorful, and festive. Just the thing to celebrate Palm Sunday, Easter and spring all in one go! If you’re feeling more into eggs, try our ever popular Easter egg wreath, or this sweet Honeycomb Easter wreath. Both are lovely and sure to put a little spring in your step. Also, you can’t go wrong with a simple floral theme. This Daffodil Wreath is very appropriate for the season, as is this Lemon Wreath!

Easter Baskets

You can’t have Easter crafts without Easter baskets! And we have a brand new one for you to try this year. It’s our DIY Easter Basket, and the best part is that it doesn’t require any sewing. Another clever no-sew Easter basket is this Paper Easter basket. Just download, print, cut and assemble, it’s that easy! If you want to sew an adorable bag that doubles as an Easter basket and will be around for years to come, try this carrot shoulder bag! The bonus is it packs up easily and is equally cute.

If you’re looking for inspiration on what to fill your basket with, look no further than this Easter Basket choose your own adventure. We help guide you through the steps to picking your perfect Easter basket, along with everything to put inside it, like this Paper carrot treat box, or this DIY stuffed bunny. You can also make some of these Danish Easter letters to tuck inside.

Eggs

As it so happens, we have a lot of Easter crafts that have to do with eggs. Are you really that surprised? I mean, what’s Easter without at least one little nod to an egg or two. Just yesterday, we release the most lovely nesting Easter eggs! We love the little twist on original nesting dolls. Also try these Easter egg columns, which are a lovely way to decorate your home this Easter. Don’t forget about these Honeycomb Easter eggs, either! Make them into a wreath or decorate with the individual eggs. Either way they’re lovely!

Another fun variation on decorating Easter eggs are these dried flowers on Easter eggs, as well as our Pysanky Easter eggs (here’s the E-book of the Pysanky eggs, the profits of which will be donated to the Ukrainian relief effort). If you’re into more decorating, try our DIY pom pom Easter eggs! Or if you’re having a party, you’ll definitely want to take a look at our Easter egg name tags, Easter egg cupcake toppers, and Easter egg runner.

For Kids

If you have kids, you’ll love these Easter-themed toys, accessories, and activities. First stop: these fun bunny party hats. Having a new baby this spring? You won’t want to miss these adorable DIY Baby bonnets! Need a craft to do with your kids to keep them busy and happy? You’ll love these Easter Egg coloring pages, the profits of which will be donated to the Ukrainian relief effort. Then there’s our DIY stuffed bunny, which is a sweet little Easter toy. Plop it in your child’s Easter basket and you’re all set!

 

Char-boo-terie Halloween Snack Board

Our char-boo-terie board is a Halloween snack board in the shape of a ghost! It’s perfect for movie nights and Halloween parties, but hey–I’m not going to stop you from eating it for dinner.

Closeup of a ghost shaped Halloween snack board. It includes oreos, yogurt-covered pretzels, merengues, jicama, white chocolate chips, pita slices, ghost-shaped potato crisps, rice puffs, cheese, goat cheese, and crackers.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m really not a fan of cooking. It’s just not my thing. But I do love snacks! So rather than cooking up a meal, I arranged some snacks into a cute ghost-shaped char-boo-terie Halloween snack board!

You can easily make a char-boo-terie board, too!

Closeup of a ghost shaped Halloween snack board. It includes oreos, yogurt-covered pretzels, merengues, jicama, white chocolate chips, pita slices, ghost-shaped potato crisps, rice puffs, cheese, goat cheese, and crackers.

Make Your Own Halloween Snack Board

You’ll need:

A wooden cutting board and an assortment of white snacks. We used yogurt-covered pretzels, merengues, jicama, white chocolate chips, rice cakes, goat cheese, pita wedges, sliced cheese, crackers, and ghost-shaped potato crisps, then Oreos (or a similar cookie) for the eyes and mouth. Trader Joe’s is your friend here.

Closeup of a ghost shaped Halloween snack board. It includes oreos, yogurt-covered pretzels, merengues, jicama, white chocolate chips, pita slices, ghost-shaped potato crisps, rice puffs, cheese, goat cheese, and crackers.

Instructions:

  1. Place a stack of 2-3 oreos where you want each eye. Make a pile of cookies where you want the ghost’s gaping mouth.
  2. Arrange white snacks in a ghost shape around the eyes and mouth.
  3. Consider what flavors you want touching each other. We used neutral-tasting foods like jicama and rice cakes to separate our sweet and savory snacks.

Enjoy your boo-tiful Halloween snack board!

Closeup of a ghost shaped Halloween snack board. It includes oreos, yogurt-covered pretzels, merengues, jicama, white chocolate chips, pita slices, ghost-shaped potato crisps, rice puffs, cheese, goat cheese, and crackers.

More Inspiration

Because charcuterie refers to a specific kind of meat, I’ve started calling my boards “snack-uterie” boards. Do you think it will stick? Either way, you can see my first Kids Charcuterie Board here.

If you’re looking for more Halloween inspiration, you’ll find lots in our Halloween shop! I also recommend these easy Halloween ideas and this post about how to get into the Halloween spirit!

A ghost shaped Halloween snack board. It includes oreos, yogurt-covered pretzels, merengues, jicama, white chocolate chips, pita slices, ghost-shaped potato crisps, rice puffs, cheese, goat cheese, and crackers.

Out Now: A Lars Flower Drawing Course!

Looking for a summer art project for yourself or your kids? Look no further! Learn to Draw: Flowers is a flower drawing course designed to bring floral drawings into your home and into your skillset.

A hand holds a bird of paradise stem and a cutout bird of paradise against a black background. A few red tulips and cutout drawings of tulips against a black background.

Newsletter Perks!

Newsletter subscribers got early access to the course, as well as early bird early bloom pricing for the course. Lucky ducks! Still, if you missed early access don’t fret! Signing up for our newsletter will give you more great deals in the future, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at The House that Lars Built. The Lars team works hard to deliver great newsletters every week, so don’t worry–we promise not to flood your inbox. And signing up is super easy! Scroll to the bottom of the page and find a green box where you can put your email address, and voila! You can also sign up here.

Even if you missed this round of newsletter goodness, you can still get a great deal on Learn to Draw: Flowers. Today only you can get the course for 15% off with code GARDENIAPARTY15, and if you’re one of the first 20 lucky people to buy Learn to Draw: Flowers, you’ll even get a free floral sticker pack thrown in! Don’t miss out!

A hand holds a bouquet of irises with some drawings of irises against a black backdrop.

About Learn to Draw: Flowers

Long-time readers might remember a 31-day flower drawing challenge I hosted several years ago. I taught budding artists (pun intended) how to draw a new flower every day for a month. Then, at the end we all had a gorgeous portfolio full of floral drawings. These artists used their newfound drawing skills to make paper crowns, paintings, repeat patterns, cookie decorations, greeting cards, and more! Check out #LarsFlowerChallenge for some incredible inspiration—I was honestly floored by everyone’s creativity, and I’m so excited to see more of it!

This flower drawing course expands on those tutorials, with lots and lots of added new content. I wrote the course to set you up for flower drawing success. I’m excited to see how you fill your life with lovely flower drawings, and you should be too! Working through this course would be a great way to kickstart your creativity every morning, but you can do the course at whatever pace feels best to you.

A hand reaches into frame holding orange, red, and yellow poppies and some drawings of poppies. The background is black with a white line drawing of a poppy.Floxgloves and drawings of foxgloves against a black backdrop

On top of the instructional videos about how to draw each flower, the course includes historical information about 31 different kinds of flowers, references to the flowers throughout art history, and floral design tips for each bloom. You’ll definitely impress your friends with all your flower knowledge, and I bet you’ll have lots of fun identifying the various flowers in your neighborhood and in arrangements.

Learn to Draw: Flowers also comes with new, never-before seen printable posters, which would look incredible in an art studio, bedroom, kitchen… pretty much anywhere!

Whether you’re 9 or 99 (or even younger!) this course is sure to be great fun for budding floral enthusiasts and artists. I would love to see what you learn with #LarsDrawsFlowers. Share the inspiration!

August Book Club Art: Grace

August Book Club Art Are we midway through August already?? How are you liking Grace’s Coddington’s memoir? It’s been fascinating to get a look at the fashion industry! Think of all those renowned and esteemed people Grace Coddington has worked with. Truly amazing! This month’s book art illustrator is the talented Josefina Schargorodsky! We love her interpretation of Grace and the inspiring words she captures. (Also, stay tuned for an interview with Josefina! We can’t wait to show you more!) Here are a few questions to think about, and then some further reading suggestions. Enjoy the rest of your summer!August Book Club ArtMake sure to join the discussion and print off the book art!

December 2017 Book Club: The Crossroads between Should and Must

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December 2017 Book Club

December 2017 Book Club

The December 2017 Book Club book is a fun, quick, but introspective read. The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion by Elle Luna explores the paths we take – or are too afraid to take – in our lives. What is your passion? What excites you? What calls you, so to speak? Have you always wanted to tap into your true, authentic self, but felt conflicting expectations heaped upon you? “Should” is destructive pressure placed upon us by others, while “Must” is who you are, your non-conforming, deepest desires, what will cultivate your full potential! Luna gives an inspiring pep talk in this beautiful book, and we hope you take some time to enjoy it during the holidays. Follow along @larsbookclub and be sure to stay tuned for a mid-month post with printables featuring our illustrator of the month!

Photo by Clara Sumsion Jones 

DIY Easter Basket

History of Easter Baskets

Easter baskets have become an iconic element of Easter. But did you know they’re not just a fun, modern tradition for kids? It turns out the Easter basket has roots dating back to ancient times. The Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring and fertility, Eostre, was often portrayed holding a woven basked during spring celebrations. Hence, the Easter basket. Early medieval Catholics also used the basket, along with the idea of fertility, in their Easter celebrations. Traditionally, to celebrate the end of Lent (the 40 days leading up to Easter), they would bring baskets filled with symbolic treats to the church where the priests would bless them.

If you weren’t aware, many of the items we put in our Easter baskets are symbols of fertility (bunnies, eggs, and the basket, primarily). Across the world, many different cultures view the egg as associated with rebirth and new life, including Ancient Egyptians, Asians, Greeks, and Christians. Here’s the full article explaining a brief history of Easter baskets.

Our DIY Easter Basket

Our DIY Easter basket references this no-sew Easter basket we made years ago. We thought it could use a little sprucing up, so we decided to make an alternate version. We thought it was a fun twist (ha!) on the original.

How to Make Your Own DIY Easter Basket

Here’s how to make your own DIY Easter basket:

Prepping the Rope

  1. First, cut some long strips of fabric that are roughly 2″-3″ wide. We used pink and white fabric (muslin gauze works well for this if you have it). You’ll need quite a few strips if you plan on making a full sized Easter basket. If you’d like, you can also make a mini version, which requires less fabric.
  2. Next, take one white and one pink piece of fabric and hot glue the two together at the very top. The nice thing is you can use whatever colors you’d like, so have fun! Don’t feel like you have to use the pink and white like we did. This basket is totally customizable.
  3. Then, tape the pieces to the table and begin twisting the two together to make a rope. Use our step photos as a reference for this to make sure you twist them the right direction!
  4. When you get to the end of a strip, overlap a new strip of the same color by an inch or so and twist it in with the rest of the rope strand.
  5. Continue until the rope is as long as you’d like.

Prepping the Handle

The handle is a similar process to the rope, with a few slight differences.

  1. For the handle, cut a piece of thick gauge wire as long as you’d like the handle to be.
  2. Now, nestle one end of the wire in between the two pieces of fabric you’re going to twist into rope. Secure with hot glue, then tape onto a table or other secure surface.
  3. Start twisting the two pieces of fabric together using the same method above, only this time make sure the wire is wrapped into the middle as you go.
  4. Once you reach the end of the wire, secure with some hot glue and cut off the excess fabric.

Assembling the Basket

  1. To assemble your Easter basket, coil the rope around itself, securing with hot glue as you go. Continue until the diameter of the base is as wide as you’d like.
  2. Next, start coiling the rope into a gradual stack to make the sides of the basket.
  3. Continue until it’s as tall as you’d like, then cut off the excess rope and secure the end with hot glue.
  4. To attach the handle, decide where you want the handle to go and secure with a dab of hot glue on each side.
  5. Done!

Now all that’s left to do is fill your Easter basket. We have tons of ideas in our Easter shop, and stay tuned, because tomorrow we’ll be releasing a post where we talk all about what to put in your Easter basket!

More Inspiration

Looking for more Easter crafts? Try this super easy paper Easter basket! Want even more? Check out all of our Easter blog content here. Also see our Easter shop and this post for lots of ideas of things to put in your Easter basket!