circle up the kindness…

June 5, 2011

My kids have been on my nerves lately, even their back rubs and gentle questions of “you okay mom?” are driving me crazy. I know when it gets this bad, I am not only way overdue for a break but also usually need to stop everything, like everything and play, create, do something to connect.

I saw this lovely art project from an old Wondertime article (oh, how I miss that magazine!) and thought it might be just the prescription for us. It’s a mix between tie dye goodness and crazy science, except a lot less work and mess.

All you need are some old white tee shirts, sharpie markers, rubbing alcohol, eye droppers (or an old infant tylenol dropper), rubber bands and drink glasses. We put the shirt over the glass and wrapped the rubber band until it was taut.


The kids then drew their designs. The original directions suggested putting a water bottle cap in the center and drawing around it with dots and lines to give a flower effect, we eventually just made/drew whatever we wanted.

With the rubber band still on, drop about 20-50 drops of alcohol all around your design. The color molecules “move” and mix in the right solvent resulting in really cool art. The kids experimented with the alcohol technique to give different looks. It was super easy, very gratifying and great for a wide range of age levels. When you are all done, throw into the dryer for 20-30 minutes to set. Wash and dry as normal.

Whenever we are really deep into something, with no agenda, I am reminded how delightful it all is…how excited they were, how kind they are to each other, genuinely happy/encouraging of the others art, how relaxed I am in holding the space for them to create, how in every picture they have those big mops of brown hair never brushed…how our desire to pull back and away is actually an invitation to go in and deeper…how the core of it all is where it’s at.

We are definitely doing this one again, please remind me in the height of summer when I am grouchy again of this dreamy day!

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9 Responses to “circle up the kindness…”

  1. Melissa Richards (Lauren's Mum) Says:

    I love this idea, Patience! I am going to try this with the girls this weekend. I know they will both love creating their own unique designs to wear this summer. I can relate . . . when I get overworked and frustrated I often just want to escape to some quiet place by myself. But that is not often easy when you are part of a family. I end up cooking with the girls or reading them a story or just holding Eric for a while and all my frustrations and stress just seem to vanish (or at least take better perspective). I am so thankful that, as a family, we can do this for each other.

    • kindnessgirl Says:

      Oh, I adore your girls Melissa! So looking forward to getting to know your family better! 🙂

  2. shannon Says:

    I am SO doing this with my 3 boys! Thank you, thank you,
    un GROS merci!

  3. Brenda Says:

    My girls are getting “big” so I’m not sure they will do it with me, but I’m going to try! 🙂
    I’m thinking of helping them do school letters like FMS or something….try to make it tweenish. I’m doing something wrong…I LOVE to create, and my kiddos aren’t wild about it. WHAT? truly. I feel like I have to talk them into creating. Maybe I just need to take away the techie junk and they then can focus on fun…uh oh, now I’m getting too serious about fun. Do you ever second guess yourself and your mothering? I’m trying to navigate this new tween phase…I may need to focus on tween kindness! 🙂

    • kindnessgirl Says:

      oh YES!! i feel you…tweendom has been nothing like I expected and I feel like I am stumbling through/screwing up…maybe we should partner on a tween kindness mission on our blogs? let me know if that calls to you!


  4. Oh Patience, I love, love, love this idea! I am definitely going to bookmark this and give it a try!

    I love your honesty… truly. 🙂

    xo
    Kristin

  5. Amber Says:

    I love that idea, and I’m so impressed with the results.

    Thanks for the reminder to let go of the grumpiness and do something, and thanks for the instructions!


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