Make Your Toys Tempting


During this packing process, we have downsized our toy bin to a small basket. Woody is kind of wondering where all of his friends went...but as the lone cowboy in the room, he's happy to have Princess Anna's undivided attention. 


This is what it looked like before the downsizing. Yes, that IS a life jacket. Now...I know this is not much compared to a whole toy room of toys, but it was a lot for us. We've never really had a dedicated toy room, so everything just gets tossed in a giant basket.

And it was NOT appealing. Who would look at this big pile of stuff and think...

"Hey!! Let's play!!"

Well, the dogs do. But that's beside the point. The girls would pass it by day after day and go on to something tattooing themselves with Sharpies, or something equally as invigorating.


But the instant we downsized and displayed only a few toys...Emma sat right down and was enthralled! When it wasn't an overwhelming mess, she was drawn to the simplicity of choices. 

I do know all the secrets of toy bin rotation.  But it's never worked for us, mostly because we just don't have that many toys! I prefer to keep only what we are using right at that moment.  The majority of our "toys" are dress-up clothes and accessories...with a few puppets, instruments, baby dolls, a stroller, and the play kitchen.

When we move into our new house, there will be some major purging and re-organization of activity areas. I can't wait to get it all organized and have an AMAZING space that will inspire and bring the girls joy every day. We are planning on creating a dedicated art/sewing/play room right on the main level and I've been pinning some colorful and innovative ideas to get inspired!

Tell me about your art/sewing/toy rooms!
Do you have an organization system that you love?

Morning + Art


Oh the magical morning hours. The sun shining in. Little feet pitter pattering around the house. Fire crackling. Backyard bird watching. Steamy oatmeal on the table. *sigh*

Oh wait. Add screaming little girls, snowy dogs running about & eating food off the juice being spilled everywhere, and a baby peeing on the floor. NOW you've got the picture. As I type this, there is a small monkeychild jumping on my back and pulling my hair. In the midst of this chaos, I try to sit myself down at our little art table by the window.

My Bible waits for me there with encouragement and wisdom for the day. My prayer journal is filled with reminders of God's grace and provision. And so before anything else, I try to fill my heart with the words of Jesus. They are a balm that sustains me through these wild days! That...and coffee. Lots of coffee.


This year, in my quest to find the perfect planner, I came across "The Documented Life". It's a group of people who are creating their own planner, and incorporating art journaling into it as well. I am not following all of the prompts, but I love visiting the Facebook group for inspiration. Many of them were using the Moleskin planner, but that was sold out everywhere I looked. I ended up getting a journal from Target and printing out my own calender pages for free. (Check out the Instagram collage she made using Photoshop! Awesome.)

I chose to have a week at a glance on one side, and a blank page on the other side for my to-do lists, menu planning, etc.  It took me forever to get all the pages washi taped, but I love the effect! I'm slowly getting my thoughts and life organized.

art journal 1.JPG

Bella and Lucy work on their art journals as well and Emma throws it down freestyle. Many of you have asked if I guide them in any way...and I really don't. I provide tools for them to explore and create art on their own.

We don't rely heavily on coloring books or craft they really like to just do their own thing. I like to gather art supplies on a regular is a list of our favorites:

  • Watercolor paints (the highest quality I can find...we like Prang)
  • Acrylics (use a flexible cutting board as a will scrape right off when dry)
  • Magazines for cutting (I get them free or at thrift stores for 25 cents each). We look for words that we like or images that speak to our heart.
  • Gesso
  • Washi tape
  • Gel Sticks (excited to try these out...they are on their way)
  • Sharpies...80's Glam Baby!
  • Paper (I grab lots of my paper at thrift stores. And I stock up on watercolor paper when it's on 50% off at Hobby Lobby/Michael's)
  • Bubble wrap. Paint on it and lay it on your page. Makes an awesome background!
  • Spray bottles full of diluted paint. These work great for  a splatter effect or when using stencils.
  • Old books. Rip pages out and use gesso to bring out your magical secret messages (below). You can even art journal IN an old book.

Sometimes I will walk into the room and the girls will be busily working on creating something together. Makes my mama heart swoon.


Art journaling is extremely therapeutic and meditative. If you've never tried it, but you are curious...DON'T WAIT! Just get started today. I know it's intimidating to get on Pinterest and see all of the amazing artists out there. But this is your OWN journey. Do not compare yourself to anyone else. Use their ideas as a springboard to release your own creative spirit!

To start...

  • Get a journal. Find one with thicker paper. You will appreciate one that lays flat.
  • Get some supplies. They don't need to be fancy. You could totally start with a box of crayons and glue.
  • Get to work. Carve out a tiny piece of your day. Or an entire day. Invite friends over!

I have found that when we have a dedicated art/writing space, we gravitate toward it daily. When it's only temporarily set up on the kitchen table, it becomes a chore to get it all out and it rarely happens. Even if this means that you set up a card table in the corner of your basement with a naked light bulb above it...just do it.

Write prayers. Write dreams. Pour out your heart on the page.

For more inspiration and resources, check out these beauties:

Mandy @ Messy Canvas and another art journal share of Mandy's here
Catina Jane Gray (watch her techniques in this new video!)
Tara shares her journey to art journaling The Art Journaler CommunityArt Journalist (Love these prompts!!)

There are several books that we love:

The Art Journal WorkshopJournal Spilling: Mixed Media Techniques for Free Expression

And lastly, here is a post I wrote a few years ago about creating art spaces. Lots of good links!

**some of the links for products are affiliate links to Amazon. When you click them and buy stuff, you are supporting my blog and my little family :) Thank you.

Art at Clementine

This week we spent a few hours at Clementine Studio in Boulder. They recently offered a Living Social coupon for 5 sessions and I thought it looked like fun!

It's an open space art studio where the kids can pick and choose their creative adventures with all the supplies accessible and everything at their fingertips. They also offer art technique classes for 5-10 year olds...I think Bella would really enjoy that, so next time we'll check out that option.

I loved the paint wall...and so did Lucy.

The printmaking station was also a favorite. I got lots of ideas for our art time at home!

Lucy LOVED to wash her hands in the wash bucket.


Bella was in her element...creating over 10 pieces of art to take home! I loved seeing her so focused on whatever she was creating.

More great!

Little sweetie.

Sisters creating together.

At the end of their session, Lisa read them several stories and handed out pretzels to the hungry artists. A fun way to end our time there! The girls can't wait to go back.