Archive for the ‘ Inspired ’ Category

The Mayhem Over Mayhem: 4-Year-Old Models Homemade Paper Dresses

Friday, February 28th, 2014

It’s a rare thing when craftiness hits the main-stream media, but this week, Fashion by Mayhem has hit it big time (if Kathie Lee and Hoda are talking about it on the Today Show, then it’s NEWS). Here, fashion refers to homemade paper dresses and Mayhem refers to the 4-year-old cutie making and modeling them on her mom’s Instagram feed

In an interview in the Huff Post, mom Angie says that the ideas are 50/50 and Mayhem (not her real name) has learned over time how many sheets of paper are needed for a top, a bottom, a long dress, a short dress. When asked if there is a dress that Mayhem created on her own, Angie pointed to the green, yellow, and blue number below. Totally believable in it’s ripped construction and pencil-like shape. The yellow crown headpiece is like the icing on the cake for me!

Not only do Angie and Mayhem create original designs, they also recreate red-carpet gowns from award shows like these two below.

I’m certainly no fashion critic, but here’s my craft/mom take. I’m obsessed with the abstract dresses—I even like the ones inspired by Minnie Mouse and a shark that was based on a trip the aquarium. They are inventive, original, collaborative, and just generally amazing. I completely believe that a child of this age can become so focused on an on-going project like this, and can only hope and pray that at least one of mine will do me this honor. 

When it comes to the celeb copies, personally, I’m not so interested. I don’t want to get into the whole childhood-is-so-short-don’t-let-our-daughters-grow-up-too-fast argument, but I’m just way more interested in how Mayhem’s personality changes with her own creations over the parroted poses of the celebs she’s copy-catting. She’s obviously a precocious 4-year-old, one who feels a black stocking cap and harmonica are necessary accessories for a dress made of wrapping paper, and it’s fun to imagine how each dress and pose came to be. As a mom who saves everything from a Pringles can (no I swear I don’t eat Pringles…someone left them here. Really.) to every paper towel tube, I am inspired to see a mom and daughter using what they have around the house and spending time together creatively.

Sure, maybe Mayhem will one day be the next Diane Von Furstenberg. Or Tavi Gevinson (a high school senior fashion critic and founder of Rookie Mag) Or maybe she’ll be the next Frank Gerhy. She’s definitely got some mad construction skills!

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Awesome Dad Alert: Illustrated Lunch Bags

Friday, January 10th, 2014

As if a parent needs anything more to make her/him feel like an under-achiever, graphic designer David LaFerriere comes along with his sandwich bag illustrations. Since 2008, he has drawn on his kids’ lunch bags (there are over 1.100 in total!) and you can browse them all here.

Personally, I’m just proud that I remember to pack my kid’s lunch, much less illustrate it, photograph it, and archive it!

Found via my husband via This is Colossal.

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A Kid With a Heart of Gold

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Sometimes kids present us with the sweetest of gestures, unprompted, like that of Christian Bucks of York, PA. Christian decided that he wanted to help kids who might be feeling lonely on the playground with something called the Buddy Bench, according to this article on the Huffington Post. He had seen one on a trip to Germany and decided that he wanted to give kids a place to find comfort on the playground when they just needed a little company.


When I searched Buddy Bench on Google, I found that it’s actually a thing that people do (who knew?). This square-shaped one is actually a product for sale on Designs for Education, a British website. (I love how the shape of this one promotes conversation.




And this one is also a product for sale on Red Monkey Play, yet another British web store. (I’m noticing a trend here. You?)






And guess where this happy buddy bench is sold? Yep. England, as well.


I don’t know about you, but the UK seems like quite a friendly place! I bet Christian Bucks would agree!


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Tags: | Categories: Everyday Fun, Inspired, kids, Outdoors

Backyard Nature Collecting

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

In our backyard, Magnolias are blooming, Lilacs are bursting, patches of chives are thick and green, and Violets and Dandelions are polka-dotting the grass. Last weekend, my two daughters set to work harvesting some of the beauty — some for spells and magic potions and some for a gorgeous flower garden centerpiece.  Not only was their creation beautiful and a true independent creation, it was a lovely way for them to explore the different textures, colors, shapes, and smells in their backyard.

Encourage  children to pick and collect the flowers, weeds, herbs, and growth in your surroundings (teach them to skip over special, planted flowers like Tulips and Irises). Leaves from trees and sticks and twigs are great additions to a natural collection!  Ask them to share notes about their observations and to draw pictures of their bounty.

Sometimes, it is okay to pick the flowers.


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Make it :: Communal Twig Sculpture

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013


This past fall, I ran a Story Disk workshop at the Boston Children’s Museum and had the honor of spending the day in the art studio with the incredible Arts Program Manager,  Alice Volger.  The studio is gorgeous — inspiring, organized, and filled with most beautiful creative work.  I found myself especially captivated by the communal twig and tape sculpture that dangles from the ceiling, cheerfully greeting visitors.

Alice told me a bit about the process. Children filtered into the studio all day long and used twigs and colorful masking tape to add to the sculpture.  By the end of the day (or perhaps it was a few days), the twigs were intertwined in the grandest of ways.  It is breathtaking, really.

Why not try this at home?  Ask children to gather sticks and twigs (yard clean-up!).  Leave the twigs and multiple roles of colorful masking tape at a craft station for a few days.  Show children photographs of sculptures and encourage them to experiment with making their own unique creation.

If you have small children and are anywhere near Boston, definitely stop by the museum for a visit!


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