The School Bus or the Monkey?

My son left for preschool this morning clutching two model school buses and a stuffed monkey.

We asked him to leave two toys behind and choose just one to take with him in the car, but he would not do this, because he loves them all equally.
Never mind the fact that he could not play properly with any of them because his hands were too full. Never mind the fact that he could not do anything really with his hands so full. He was not prepared to give any of them up.

I know how he feels.

I just can’t help myself, but I want to do so many things. I have been thinking about streamlining  my little kitchen table-business, but how? On any given day I will be working on at least four different projects, and I love them all equally. Writing this blog is really a way to keep on top of all my projects.

There are the books I am writing and illustrating, the shirts I screen-print and sell at fairs, the summer camps that I am planning to run, the handmade books I am teaching myself to make, to mention just a few. Right now I am in the midst of negotiations to teach at a middle school for a semester .

I just can’t let go of any of my toys!

According to Emily Wapnick, the inspired founder of Puttylike, I am a multipotentialite. This is a person who has diverse interests, and no ‘one true calling’, someone who loves learning new skills, and thrives on change.

Sounds cool, doesn’t it? Much better than ‘jack of all trades, master of none’.

According to my six year old I’m a ‘monkey-toaster’, and I’m happy with that – for now.

However, if I ever find that my hands are so full that I can’t really play, I know I will have to drop a toy or two.

Summer Camp Love Story

I’m going to run a summer camp this year. Scratch that, I’m going to run TWO summer camps this year.

The responses to this statement have ranged from the anxious “won’t that be a bit messy?’ to the slightly surreal “do you have enough tents?” to the cryptic “what about bears?

First of all, to all those well meaning, yet confused friends out there: summer camp does not have to involve actual camping (in the wilderness…with tents…and bears). If it did, I would be a terrible instructor! Don’t send your children to a camping-camp with me, they will get lost or eaten, or both.
My summer camp will be an arts and crafts camp involving elementary school age children making wonderful things with their brains and hands.

Secondly, yes, it will get messy. It will probably get very messy (I can sense my husband groaning at this remark right now). Five to six kids making art, in my home every day- yes, there is a definite possibility of mess.
There will be no glitter though (feeling better, husband?).

I have done this before; I have run numerous camps from home for packs of excited kids. They have blocked my toilet, spilled glitter on my floors, and eaten my snacks, and I still want to teach them. That is what I call love.
I love art, I love kids, and I love teaching.

And of course there is one more perk to running a summer camp …I get to enroll my own kid in a cool camp, and get to spend time with her everyday as well. What’s not to love about that?

Funky Fairy Tales Camp 2009
Funky Fairy Tales Camp 2009


I have just finished spending a most fulfilling couple of hours making books, and I wanted to share the fun with you.

These are really simple instant books made out of one sheet of paper,  no gluing, taping or sewing required. In fact for most of them, I didn’t even use scissors to make the basic form, and just tore the paper instead.

I didn’t really stop to think much while making these, and I didn’t buy any new materials, and that’s what I’m really excited about! These books are green!!!  I used scraps of paper left over from other projects, and pages that had been ripped out of coloring books.

Now I finally have a purpose for all that leftover gift wrapping, and  those old Wholefoods bags!

Right now I’m just experimenting, and having a lot of fun, way too much fun (I got a little carried away when I discovered the bag of googly eyes in my daughter’s craft box – can you tell?). However, my aim is to start making beautiful notebooks and gift books to sell on my fledgling Etsy site.

I’ll continue experimenting with more complex book forms, and for those of you with an interest in hand made books check out the awesome Purgatory Pie Press website.