Craft-actular

Crafting with Small People: an Exercise in Patience

Crafting is something I love. I enjoy being totally immersed in a project, zoning out as I focus on painting, or mixing, or gluing, or whatever. So although crafting and baking with my kids was something I always looked forward to, right now, it’s challenging. Because toddlers don’t let you focus on anything (but them). And I’m a bit of a control freak. You’ll find out just how OCD you are when 1.5 and 3.5 year-olds want to “help” with projects! Whether it’s pouring glue all over the place or dumping flour everywhere. Or getting ink on your (inexplicably) white kitchen table. It. will. test. you.

But you know what? That’s a good thing for me. Doing projects with my little guys is not my idea of a productive craft session where I can get in the “flow,” but I need to adjust my own expectations and make it about their experience. I’m working on it! And while I build up my patience to a saint-like level, I’ve gathered eight easy(ish) and fun craft tutorials to try and listed them all right here on SheKnows.com. No need to scour Pinterest! I already found the best ones. These crafts will bring maximum cuteness for minimal effort, and they’re perfect for spring.

(Our version of a fairy/leprechaun house)

But it does help to prep a bit. One thing that’s reduced my kids + crafting anxiety is organization. I got one of those drawer cart thingies from Michael’s (with a coupon, of course) and sorted all of the kids’ craft supplies. I wish the chrome frame were rose gold-toned or white (I considered spray painting it because I’m crazy) and it would be so much better with cuter knobs, but I enjoy the rainbow drawers. It rolls around and I keep it in my daughter’s closet. We just scoot it out to the kitchen table when we’re ready to work on something. All the crayons have a home, all the stickers are in one spot, and there’s a place for every marker. It’s so calming! So when you work up the nerve to start a messy project with the kiddos, consider organizing first. Get your cart, your materials, your precious little children, and your big ol’ glass of wine. And then start making a mess.

 

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Taco ‘Bout a Party

This weekend we held a taco-themed first birthday party for Gus. It reminded me that birthday parties are so. much. work. But it was so fun, and we’re so glad friends and family came out to celebrate! Everyone ate tacos and cookies and had a blast.

What went well: The amazing local taco cart from Luis Maravilla. This was pretty much the cornerstone of the party so it’s really good this worked out! Nothing got broken (that I know of). That’s good! We didn’t run out of anything, and I think everyone had fun. I know I did. The kids were wrecked after the party, and they had a great time. A huge plus about having a party is that you’re forced to clean your house and get little things done, like hanging things up, fixing up the yard, etc.

What did not go well: I labored over these cookies, y’all. I love making decorated sugar cookies a la Alison’s Cookie Party so overall I’m very happy with how these turned out. BUT I almost cried when I realized I forgot the ‘R’ in “Happy Birthday” after I had baked four batches of cookies and washed and put away all the baking stuff. I was ready to move on with my limited time. Then it got worse. I gave in and made a tiny cookie batch just for the ‘R,’ but the kids distracted me while it was in the oven and it burned. I used it anyway. After all that, I forgot to put the HAPPY BIRTHDAY GUS cookies out at the party! They’re still in a Pyrex on my counter. Ughhhhh. Anyway. The ones that did make it to the desert table were great. I also wish I would have decorated more, and that the Balloon Time helium tank I got would have worked! Taking that sucker back to Michael’s. I forgot to turn on the bubble machine I got nearly three years ago for Ruby’s party. I was finally going to use it at a party. I also just realized we forgot to play music. Oh well.

Without further ado, here are some select pictures from the party:

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Yeah these didn’t make it out. On the plus side, I get to eat them all myself now. Except the burnt ‘R’. (Don’t look at it!)

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Favors: Gus straw cups and maracas.

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I don’t care if the tablecloth is wrinkled; I will never iron a tablecloth.

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I borrowed these! Thanks, Jenny.

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Ru and her beloved cousin Isa

Love these guys! Somehow we coordinated outfits. Ru and I wore vintage dresses and Gus wore a taco shirt from Target. I know at least three little boys with this shirt; it’s great. Nate is wearing… I don’t know.

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Mom/Nana at the drink and side table. The margaritas were very popular… with me.

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The real star of the show: the vintage Corona cooler that Nate’s parents brought us. It was full of Modelo, Corona, Mexican Cokes and Jarritos sodas.

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I didn’t get any pictures of the tacos!! But they were delicious. Thanks, guys!

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Obligatory monthly-photos-with-clothespins setup.

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Showing Gus his cake! Pineapple cake from Ruby Bakery in Eagle Rock.

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Ladies! My aunt, mom, and Nana.

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Cousin Ella, Mom & Sam

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Papa’s side of the family photo!

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No, we’re not at Coachella, but baby parties are cool too, right?

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Taco pinata!

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Allyce and sister-in-law Julia.

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Grandpa and Gus Gus

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Waiting patiently for cake.

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It’s Poukhan! (And Ryan and Ellis.)

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Adorable fiesta invites from Etsy shop CherryBerryDesign.