Indoor and Outdoor Family Activities During Social Distancing

Outdoor activities for the whole Family

Below you’ll find enough outdoor games to fill plenty of the social distancing hours we all have left. If you are missing some of your normal family activities, think about how you can recreate them yourself! Set up an outdoor movie since the theaters are closed, with this inflatable movie screen. Can’t visit an art museum? Draw the biggest sidewalk chalk mural your neighborhood as ever seen!

Keep your games going by putting an unexpected twist on a classic activity. Every tried paint twister? Put washable paint on the twister circles in corresponding colors, get your kids in clothes they can get messy, and then play the game! It’s hilarious to watch, and the whole family will want to join in by the end!

 

Some of the activities above will look familiar but some may look new! Like this rainbow colored egg and spoon race set. All the fun without any of the cracked egg mess. If you haven’t tried Spikeball yet, now is the time! This sporty game is so fun, and perfect for the older kids and adults in the family. And we cannot talk the Scandinavian yard game Kubb enough! It’s one of those games that everyone in the family can be good at, and it keeps everyone in suspense! Kubb is our favorite outdoor game on the list.

We recently updated our office chairs with this colorful set from Article, and they have already been put to use in ways we didn’t expect! First we set them around the yard and daydreamed of having a “quarantine party” with everyone sitting 6 feet apart. Is that breaking the rules? We didn’t really do it, but it sure is tempting! But even without being able to invite friends over, these have been the perfect chairs to pull up when the family wants to play a game together!

Because these Selvti chairs from Article are water-resistant, they are as good inside as out! We keep them on hand in case someone requests an outdoor game of giant scrabble or an indoor game of Codenames. The timeless mid-century design and updated materials make them stylish enough to use in the dining room or our office conference room, but light enough to pull outside when needed! They are easy to wash, and we are obsessed with the color choices. There is a version with armrests as well!

If you are in need of some bright new chairs to gather the family together, Article offers free ground shipping on orders over $999. For orders under $999, Article offers a flat shipping fee of $49 (or $19 for small shipments). Article even offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee so you can try out your new furniture in your home!

outdoor family activities during social distancing

Now after gathering all of these outdoor games ideas, we are planning a mandatory game of musical chairs with our quarantine team.

Family Crafts and Projects

Since Tie Dye is having it’s time again in the fashion world, get a kit and try it out with the whole family! You can find a white t-shirt here in everyone’s size and have them here in no time thanks to Amazon Prime.

This color-your-own kite set it so clever! And if you’re feeling ambitious you can hold your own family chalk festival.

For more quarantine craft ideas to keep the kids busy, click here!

Indoor Family Games

Indoor Family Activities During Social Distancing

I have been needing some indoor games to get Paul to stop roller skating around the house. Ha! Kidding.

All of the games below are family-friendly and thumbs-up approved by members of our team.

 

Puzzles for all ages

Puzzles have honestly been our life-savers. It’s nice to have an ongoing project you can work on whenever you have a spare second, or need to wind down for a few minutes. Keeping on going on the coffee table has kept the entire family entertained in quarantine. The puzzles below are pretty enough we don’t keeping them out at all times!

 

Other Quarantine Activity Ideas

For our other social distancing resources, check out these links!

78 Creative Quarantine Homeschool Activities For Kids

Creative things to do during your Quarantine

Creative challenge to do with your kids at home

How to make writing in your journal fun and creative

Why should I write in a journal?

Baby prompts journal with promptly

We have all been told the importance of writing in a journal for our posterity’s sake. If this is the reason you write, I admire you for it! Preserving history and making sure your great-grand kids know what it was like during the COVID-19 pandemic and the beginning of tik tok is a noble reason to keep a diary. Though for some of us this motivation wanes from time to time, and we find our personal history missing some pretty major gaps.

For me, I have found I am the most consistent with writing when I make it a creative project. This post is full of tips on how to make your journal writing more fun and creative, and we think it will keep you more motivated than ever! Keeping a diary can be a creative outlet that helps you  get pumped up in the morning or wind down at the end of the day. It can help you learn discipline making good habits.

How writing in a journal can improve your art

I remember reading the book Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron which discusses the importance of “morning pages.” The idea is that, first thing when you wake up, you write at least 3 pages of stream of consciousness in your notebook. No thinking of making sense, just writing whatever (whatever!) comes to your mind. Doing this regularly unlocks your creativity and trains your mind to let ideas flow freely. I love this idea! It takes all of the pressure out of writing daily.

Different types of journals

If you are stuck on page 2, it’s possible you aren’t using the right kind of journal for you! Try out a new kind from the list below:

Writing prompts

My Life In Color a creative and colorful guided journal

Wreck This Journal

(And other journal books you get to color in!)

Photo books

Write one line a day

Travel journals

If writing daily feels like too much right now, stick to travel books instead! Find one that will be sturdy enough to stay nice in your carry-on, reflects the place you are visiting, and fill it with memorabilia and travel stories to tell your friends back home!

how to improve your handwriting for journaling

Different ways to fill in your journal

If you’re the queen of filling up the first few pages of a notebook never to touch it again, I feel you. I see you. No one wants a journal that jumps from 8th grade to Senior prom to their wedding day; so when we find an old (and mostly blank) book it’s hard to find the motivation to start writing in it again. Though there are not many feelings better than starting a fresh crisp new notebook, our hope is that with this complete journal guide we can all start a brand new diary and then actually stick with it! And remember, when you reach the end you can reward yourself once again with another beautiful empty book.

The key to filling an entire journal is remembering this is meant to be a mod podge book filled with your growth, mistakes, good days, and everything in between. No one’s life is free of spilled milk and mascara stains, and your journal shouldn’t be either! As a recovering perfectionist, even I can promise that a full messy journal is a much bigger accomplishment than a half empty perfect looking one.

If you are having trouble overcoming your desire for perfectly dotted i’s and margins free of doodles – try this: abandon your perfectionism in at least one area of your life – your diary. Doodle to your hearts content. Bring your notebook with you to the breakfast table and don’t worry about spilling your coffee. Fill your book full of ticket stubs and anxious scribbles.

If we are overwhelming you, take a deep breath. There is a more structured way you can learn to love a messy journal – this Brave New World journal is filled with prompts to help unleash your inner artist. Baby steps, baby steps.

Try these creative ways to fill your journal

Doodling

While trying to jog your memory of what happened this morning, don’t be afraid to doodle in the margins, or fill the entire page! This snapshots in time say just as much about your current self as your words do. Draw a daily flower in your notebook and use this to keep yourself on track with writing!

Bullet points

Don’t stress over a novel of your day, just write at least a few key bullet points at the end of your day and call it good! If that’s all you can do, it’s a great place to start. Before you know it you’ll find yourself wanting to write more and more!

Collect recipes

If writing or doodling aren’t really your things, figure out what is! One idea is to gather family recipes and write down the memory you have attached to them. Making and writing our the recipe for your mom’s infamous chocolate cake is sure to start a flood of memories you’ll be itching to get down on paper. Try keeping a notebook dedicated to recipe related memories!

Baby boy's first birthday party

For Jasper’s first birthday I filled his baby book with photos, pins, and other paper momentos from his party! I can’t wait to show him when he is older.

Our favorite journals

Hardcover

Simple ruled

Dotted

Bullet

Unruled

This colorblock journal is customizable, comes in multiple color choices and page options!

Customizable

Journals for kids

Stickers

We promised you ways to make writing more fun, so of course we had to include stickers!

These habit forming stickers are such a fun way to keep yourself accountable (for more habits than just writing daily!)

Journal supplies

Hold all of your journaling supplies in this folio! These pastel pens are on sale in our shop now for a limited time!

Craft the Rainbow full set

All of the items in the photo above are on sale right now for Craft the Rainbow month! Click here to see the sale and start your own My Life in Color journal! 

When Life Hands You Lemons care package and tablescape with Spoonflower

My favorite Mother’s Day inspired Spoonflower patterns

I spent a good amount of time going through the Spoonflower Marketplace, which is thousands and thousands of independent artists and great designs. Yes, it took awhile, but I came upon some really beautiful options and had a hard time narrowing it down. I saved my favorites in this collection on their site.

Which ones are your favorites???

There are a lot of good ones, right?! I was going for a springy, floraly vibe that also felt refined and could be used throughout the year. Here were some alternative options I was eyeing:

Citrus fabric tablecloth with Spoonflower

Ultimately, I ended up going for this Multi Citrus Grove Toile by Danika Herrick. It has the right touch of deGournay with its chinoiserie feel. Plus, I always love some good citrus–it makes everything feel instantly refreshing.blue and orange table ideaCustom Home Decor Options

Perhaps you remember when I redid my bedroom in all Spoonflower? Right–so not only can you order fabric by the yard, but you can order things for your home to be made in the fabric of your choice and it’s all sewn right here in the United States. For my bedroom it was the wallpaper, duvet, pillow cases, curtains, and this time around I ordered a tablecloth for the Party-For-Mom that I will be throwing. I paired it with this Indian print inspired marigold print by Andrea Lauren because I loved the contrast of the yellow to the blue in the main selection and decided to use them for the cloth napkins.Indian block print napkins

Visualizing the process

What I find useful in their new home decor option is the ability to see them on a variety of products. You can do that by selecting Home Decor in the “Also available in” section to view all of the different home decor products and then it automatically shows you how it will look.

And the marigold:

Because of that, I was able to visualize what it would really be like. And it was going to be GOOD!

Pattern on pattern advice:

Pairing a pattern on pattern can be tricky, but there are a few ways to make sure it works:

  1. Identify the colors of the palette. The first pattern I worked with has a lot going on but I drew out the main colors: blue, yellow, orange, and green.
  2. Along the same lines, draw out the colors that you’d like to highlight more. If there’s a color in the fabric that you don’t necessarily love, don’t highlight it! On the flipside, if you like a color more than another, bring that color out more.
  3. The two fabrics should be of different scale. The first pattern has a very large scale so I knew I needed to go smaller on the second.blue and orange table idea

Citrus tablescape

To go with our Mother’s Day party, we created a centerpiece of citrus–grapefruit, lemons, and oranges, to sit atop the tablecloth. We matched with with some yellow plates, blue bowls, and goblets to tie it in with our beautiful fabric. Plus the pretty chargers that add some depth. And a dash of flowers to keep it fresh!

Mother’s Day Care Packages

Because we are keeping friends and family at arm’s length right now, we have been brainstorming DIY ideas of how to share uplifting moments with our loved ones near and far. We decided to make a tote from Spoonflower’s Linen Cotton Canvas –it’s the perfect thing to fill up with goodies and send along to someone who needed a dose of joy. A handpicked, handmade gift for someone you love can be the best surprise!oranges table idea

To match the amazing fabric, we made our gift bag lemon themed! You know, the classic, “When life gives you lemons”. With everything life is throwing at us lately, let’s just say we have been making A LOT of metaphorical lemonade. We filled our gift bag with lots of lemon themed hand soap, lotion, candles, and more. Everything our loved ones need to make this extra hand washing fun!

When Life Hands you Lemons Care Package

Additionally, I wanted to create a care package to send along to my mom as Mother’s Day approaches. Social distancing could have interrupted the celebration of such a special holiday, but instead it turned into something that lets us show our love for our mothers in a new way. After turning the beautiful fabric from Spoonflower into a tote (the tutorial is now available in the Lars shop!), I wanted to fill it with goodies that were fun and practical. So, candy was a must (der!), as well as hand sanitizer and other necessities. Paul and Jasper joined in as well to create a tote-turned-gift-basket for Paul’s mom too to send to her in Denmark.

Follow these simple steps to make your own gift tote bag:

DIY Tote bag

(inspired by the famous Baggu tote!))

Materials:

Instructions:

Step 1: Print off our tote bag template found here

Step 2: Cut your bag pieces out of the fabric using the pattern, making sure to note which part of the fabric you want to highlight on your bag and which direction it will face when complete

Step 3: Starting with the main bag piece — face right sides together

Step 4: Sew the sides with a single stitch (and finish off the edges with a zag zag stitch if desired)

Step 5: Pull the edges of the notched part of the cut fabric, on the bottom of the bag, together to form the flat bottom of the bag. Sew a single stitch straight across these edges you have pulled together

Step 6: Turn your main bag piece right side out to prep for future steps. Now to move on to the handle straps!

Step 7: Take one of the cut handle strap pieces and fold the long edges in a quarter of an inch. Use your fingernail to crease the canvas fabric fold well.

Step 8: Once both long sides are creased, fold the entire strap in half so both folded edges meet

Step 9: Pin and sew a single stitch down both long sides of the strap. This will flatten the strap and make both edges look the same.

Step 10: Repeat steps 7-9 for the second handle strap. Next for the shoulder strap!

Step 11: Repeat steps 7-9 for the shoulder strap — to repeat, crease in the long sides a quarter of an inch, then fold the entire strap in half so both folded edges meet. Sew a single stitch down both long edges of the shoulder strap.

Step 12: Now you will attach all straps to the main bag piece — to do this, make sure your bag piece turned right side out

Step 13: Position the handle straps in the center on the bag opening, on either side, facing down towards the bottom of the bag with the short edges aligned with the top opening edge of the bag. Pin them in place and sew them on.

Step 14: Attach an end of the shoulder strap piece to both edges of the bag, with the strap facing down just like you did with the handle straps, and sew them in place.

Step 15: All straps should now be sewn on the outside of the bag, facing downwards, so they when folded up inside the bag to face up the seam will not show. You are almost done!

Step 16: Take your facing pieces, on both pieces, crease one long edge in a quarter of an inch.

Step 17:  Face both pieces right side together and sew both short edges

Step 18: Place the sewn facing pieces around the opening of the bag, over the edge of all the straps. Make sure the creased edge is facing down and the un-creased edge is aligned with the top opening edge of the bag.

Step 19: Sew a single stitch around the top opening edge of the bag, attached the facing pieces to the bag

Step 20: Turn the facing piece to the inside of the bag, making the straps fold upwards and the seams will all be hidden inside

Step 21: Turn the bag back inside out for the final step – Sew around the bottom creased edge of the facing pieces to keep that inside edge from fraying.

Step 22: Your bag is finished! Turn it back right side out to admire your work!

Send a Mother’s Day care package

What a wonderful way to send love when you can’t visit in person! Plus, who doesn’t love surprise presents in the mail? We think that, in lieu of a visit, sending gifts for Mother’s Day can be the next best thing! orange and yellow tableorange tablescape

Mother's Day table ideaDIY Baggu bag templatehow to sew a baggu toteWe’d love to see your Mother’s Day party-for-ones or care packages. Tag us with #LarsLovesMamas so we can see them! 

Discount for Lars readers

Lars readers can get 15% off with code LARSTABLE15 for all Table Linens and Tea Towels.

This post is sponsored by Spoonflower, who we love for their many home decor and fabric options. We love working with sponsors who allow us to create awesome new content for you!

50 Creative and Inspiring Movies To Watch During Social Distancing

All of these movies we love have been linked for you to rent to watch on Amazon! If you scroll down you will also find our favorite movies on Netflix right now.

Movies with amazing colors

Of course we are obsessed with any movie with an unexpected color scheme. The new rendition of Emma was released early for streaming on Amazon since movie theaters are now closed. We live the Gywneth Paltrow version, but this new movie is packed full of color and humor. The shade of yellow above is a prominent color throughout the film and matches Emma’s personality perfectly. We are talking too much, just go! Watch it!

The color in films can be an important part of the story line and experience. Teach your kids to pay attention to how colors change throughout the movie and how it affects their emotions. A great movie to watch as an example of this is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (an all time favorite for some of our team members!) It is subtle, and you may have already watched this one multiple times without noticing, but this time pay attention to how the tones in the film gradually change from blue to red as Ben Stiller’s character progresses.

Here is our full list of movies with stunning colors:

Fantastic Mr Fox
Ponyo
The Help
Emma
La La Land
Coco
The Farewell
Moonrise Kingdom
Alice in Wonderland
Crazy Rich Asians
Photo sources: 1 | 2

Movies around the world

Watch all of these films which take place in different countries, and consider today’s homeschool geography and cultures lesson crossed off your to-do list!

Roman Holiday
The Hundred-Foot Journey
Jojo Rabbit
Heidi
Brooklyn
Mary Poppins – the original version | the new version

Classic movies everyone should see

We recently watched the Imagineering Story on Disney+ and it was so interesting to learn more about the original animators of classic Disney movies. Mary Blair was the creator of concept art for Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and more. Her use of bold hues and surprising color combos became the basis of Disney animation style, and lead her to design one of Disney’s most iconic rides – It’s A Small World. Learning about Mary made watching classic Disney movies an entirely new experience! Learning about the artists behind movies makes the watching experience even better, plus then you can call it homeschooling! 😉

Here is some of Mary Blair’s amazing art!

Mary Blair Alice in Wonderland concept art

Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Click here for an online class about Mary Blair and to paint a whimsical castle in her iconic style! And here, and here for fun kids books all about Mary!

Classic Movies

Secret Garden
The Little Princess
Little Women – The new version | the Christian Bale version
Pride & Prejudice – the newest version | The BBC version since you have time!
Ever After
The Tale of Despereaux
Beauty and the Beast
Spirited Away
The Sound of Music
Alice in Wonderland
Life of Pi
August Rush
The Original Parent Trap
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Matilda 
Annie
Anne of Green Gables

Movies that will inspire you to learn a new hobby

Julie and Julia
Loving Vincent
The Hundred-Foot Journey

Movies that will make you want to be a better person

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
My Fair Lady
Wonder
Ruby Bridges
Secret World of Arrietty
We Bought a Zoo
Hidden Figures
It’s a Wonderful Life
Pollyanna
Dead Poets Society

Our favorite shows on Netflix right now

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society 
Anne with an E
Julie & Julia
The Hundred-Foot Journey
Hook

Movies based off books we love

Madeline
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society 
The Help
Secret Garden
The Little Princess
Emma
Little Women
Pride and Prejudice
Anne of Green Gables
Matilda 
The Little Prince
Finding Neverland
Sarah, Plain and Tall

We would love to hear more movies you would add to this list! Please comment below any creative movies we could watch!

Creative things to do during your Quarantine and SALE

Crafts Ideas During Social Distancing

While you are practicing social distancing or quarantine, crafting can help you and your kids use your hands, quiet the stress, and explore your creativity in a way you may not always have time to! In addition to our 40% sale and free coloring page downloads, we want to make all of our tutorials as accessible as possible for your during this time.

Below we have organized some of our favorite projects by age group. You may already have the supplies on hand to complete many of these crafts, and if not we linked basic craft supplies you can have at your door in no time. We promise, having craft supplies on hand will make your quarantine go much smoother! And if that is too overwhelming, some of these projects only need to be printed off and they are ready to go!

Projects by age

We know many of have suddenly found yourself with all of your kids at home, trying to keep up with their schooling while not going crazy. Therefore, many of the projects below are not only fun but educational!

Toddler & Preschool

Start their art history knowledge off early with this DIY Matisse felt board. After that, your kids can even dress up as their favorite picture book, and act it out for the family! With our If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and our Giving Tree costume tutorials.

Elementary School

Even a travel ban can’t keep you from taking a day trip to Paris and back during lunch break! These Paris placemats are the perfect way to turn lunch time into a history and geography lesson. Or dive more than surface deep with your homeschooling and learn all about whales with the help of this stuffed whale template!

Middle School

Did school just get cancelled for 4-6 (or more, ah!) weeks? Sounds like you won’t be using your paper lunch bags for a while. Put them to use and make these colorful lunch bag honeycomb fans!

Did your 8th grader’s biology class get cancelled? No problem, switch them over to the science of horticulture for the next few weeks. This paper template has a great range of plants to get your child excited about using their green thumb. Next, they might even be asking to weed your garden for you, who knows!

Is your daughter’s BFF feeling a little under the weather? Use our friendship bracelet tutorial above to have her make a special gift, add our downloadable friendship cards and her her doorbell ditch a gift to cheer her buddy up!

High School

Your Sophomore might be feeling a little on edge with the news about prom being cancelled. However, projects like this rope necklace or clay hair clips will cheer them up and keep them busy.

For you!

You also deserve some creative time during all of this craziness. Setting aside even an hour to use your hands and make something new is sure to cure cabin fever. Now if only it could cure the virus!

Can’t get out to the grocery story for some fresh flowers? But you’re longing for something fresh and pretty to look at? Our paper flower tutorials are the perfect project to tackle with all this new-found time on your hands.

Projects for the whole family to do together

Learn about the presidents (and learn new embroidery skills) with our Heirloom E-book doll project. After that, Send some love postcards to grandparents you can’t visit right now.

Basic Craft Supplies

Click here for our favorite basic craft supplies on Amazon!

Other creative resources during quarantine

It’s amazing to see the creative community going all out for those who have to stay in. In addition to ours, here are some resources from other creatives doing great things.

Know of any others? Send them over! Would love to add to the list!

Why I feel called to craft: Part 2

Why I feel called to craft

The stories my mom would tell me about my grandparents and great grandparents, etc, shaped my narrative and formed my identity. My great-grandmother, Marilla Zatelle, painted porcelain, sewed her own clothes, and was truly a force of nature–it probably helped that she was 6′ tall. I remember visiting her in the hospital before she passed away at age 97 and knowing that I was Danish stock like she was.

From left to right: Dorothy, me, Carl, Zatelle, my mom Kim

Her daughter, Dorothy, my grandmother, even though she has passed on continues to be my artistic muse and great human being icon. She was pretty much an angel on earth with a wicked sewing room in Los Angeles, California. I dedicated my book, Craft the Rainbow, to her and even wrote an entire article about her and Carl, my grandfather, in volume 3 of Kinfolk Magazine about their wellness routine. They are legendary for their subdued natures, gentle kindness, endless generosity, and health regimen (no sugar! though I remember Grape Nuts in all natural apple juice as a real treat).

Dorothy at her piano. This was definitely in the 90s.

This is Dorothy and my sister, Caitlin. 

Going back to the beginning

But let’s get back to that sewing room. Dorothy and Carl built their house in 1951 in Bel-Air. That’s Bel-Air before Fresh Prince, so the houses weren’t Kardashian proportioned or bedazzled. Dorothy was infamous for protecting her newly done hair with a grocery bag when it rained and other such resourceful tricks that come when you’re a product of the Depression. She taught me to sew and whenever we’d come up to visit from Orange County, sometimes for days at a time, I’d churn out all sorts of doll clothes for her Shirley Temple dolls. For one Christmas I sewed her a green drawstring bag with lace tied at the ends and filled it with all sorts of nuts…because that’s what I could get my hands on. She said she loved it, but I still cringe at the thought of nuts from who knows where.

Her sewing room consisted of fabrics that she had collected from all around the world piled in a beautiful yet simple armoire. I remember feeling in awe of her collection. And her ribbons! Gah! And buttons?! They were extraordinary. Thinking about her sewing room now, I can see how it’s MUCH easier to make thing when you have a designated place to create. I’m working on that concept for my own house.

Dorothy sitting on the first platform.

My mother

Now, let’s talk about Dorothy’s daughter, my mom, Kim. She and her two sisters and brother grew up in LA, but the way she describes it seems much more of a quaint village than a major city that happened to make movie magic. For example, Dorothy played the violin for Hollywood music scores, my aunt and uncle were in TV shows and films, and their friends were in this show and that. My mom attended the Academy Awards with a friend. You know, stories like that that I only find out as an adult.

But their real talent was dancing. My mom and her sisters all left home when they were 16 to go dance at the School for American Ballet and the subsequently, in the New York City Ballet. The long story short is that my mom got injured after about a year and moved back to LA where she started a modeling. She says she walked into Seventeen Magazine and walked out on the cover of the January 1969 issue. Again, quaint neighborhood vibe? I don’t know. It’s hard for us to understand that mentality now that everyone and literally their dog aspires for fame.

Fast forward to her career in interior design, calligraphy, music and more to when she becomes a mother of four in five years. I’ve mentioned it before, but this magnet on our fridge growing up really does describe my mom the best: “A creative mess is better than tidy idleness”. And thus, we grew up in constant messes. My mom let us try all the things and would encourage us to think differently. How is everyone else doing something? Then do something else.

My childhood

Our school reports were pretty epic. There wasn’t a three ring binder in sight. We figured out clever ways of binding the books according to what the subject was. For example, for my report on Claude Monet (another artistic hero to this day), I made a cover out of cardboard and cut it out to make it look like a painter’s palette and secured it together with a paintbrush. I mean, it did get to the point where I was jealous of those three ring binders, but I see the magic of it all now.

When I was in kindergarten or first grade, Mom opened a beautiful shop called En Provence on Pacific Coast Highway in Corona del Mar and it was one of my first experiences off all encompassing magic. A true wonderland. Like old houses in Provence, she plastered straw into the walls and hand painted everything! It was a gift and furnishings shop and I think it must have been the most well-curated experience. The furniture was made and painted by my uncle, Dean Bradshaw. You can see a glimpse of it in the picture above of my grandmother. That bed was created by him as well as the paintings. But life became a bit much with four kids and so she closed up shop after 4 years.

My first Craft Club

When I was about 10 or 11 and I started a club called Crafts for Holidays. I’m not so much proud of the name, but what can you do. The club was modeled after my mom’s church group where they would get together monthly and make or do something. So, for Halloween we made can tin pumpkins. We sponged on paint in a variety of oranges and painted on faces. Then for Thanksgiving we appliquéd  turkeys onto corduroy pillows. For Christmas we turned a string of pinecones into reindeer complete with a red pom for Rudolph. I don’t know if my friends were into crafting, well I know they weren’t because the club didn’t last too much longer.

ANYWHO, I tell all this because it makes more sense how I arrived at what I do now knowing who I come from. I mean, I wasn’t aching to start a craft-based business at first. In fact, I never would have entered my brain. I was much more involved in music (I played the cello growing up) and tennis (I was on my high school tennis team) than I was in the arts. I wouldn’t even say that I did it as a hobby at that point because I was really into getting good grades. But because my childhood foundation was laid out in making, just like that industrious lot who came before me, I can see NOW how it happened.

This is my grandfather Harvey Sessions, who I didn’t mention at all here, but the photo is so good I had to include it. 

And because of that I’m very interested in continuing my grandmother’s legacy and carrying out the mission that I’ve identified along the way. I’m compelled to do it and I find a great need to do so, especially since we are more addicted to screens than ever. There is power in handmaking. It connects us to our bodies and souls and for me, my family.

Stay tuned for part 3 next week! 

Documenting our trip to Denmark with Mixbook and giveaway!

Thank goodness for our The House That Lars Built x Mixbook Collection because it’s put the fire in me to get photo books made! I’m so bad at getting stuff printed–you too? All my photos live on my phone! And I literally think every day how much I’d love to see them in a tangible format. Honestly, and not just because we have a collection with them, but they do make it so easy to make and design. Their software is pretty dreamy. AND, their quality is lovely.

With our travel collection, I made a photo book based on our trip to Denmark. I ordered the premium matte lay flat book because it’s great for little hands–think board book. The moment I got it I sat down with Jasper and walked him through the pictures and he ATE IT UP. I mean, he’s predominantly featured in our book because a) he’s adorable and b) you don’t have a baby and not feature them predominantly in your photo books so he LOVED looking at himself. We flipped through every page together and he pointed to mostly himself, but a few “da das” and “mamas” in there. We recreated the moment fo you so you can see how angelically he paid attention (note: although I’m joking, he did actually pay really close attention. Ha! It’s a testament to having pictures of yourself in a book format!)

The House That Lars Built for Mixbook travel book

He couldn’t WAIT to take it out of my perfectly placed vignette! That rascal! Just kidding, I said there was candy on the books to get the shot.