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Happy Earth Day

I am always amazed at how our earth regenerates itself.  How even after a devastating fire, the green returns the following year.  Or how after a strong storm, the next day will be bright and sunny; bushes that bowed down the day before, now standing tall.  I think, too, of weeds cropping up in sidewalk cracks.   Nothing seems to keep that life force down.  How resilient mother earth is!  How persistent.   This earth day, I’m thinking about ways I can be a little more regenerative, a little more life-giving.   Like, planting an herb garden, so I won’t buy herbs in plastic wraps or throw out half of a large bunch from the farmers’ market that I never seem to finish. In my backyard, I can just snip what I need.   I also think love has a regenerative property, that grows exponentially, like so many things in the natural world.  We humans need love to grow!  So, I’m going to work a little harder at spreading that love around.

Happy Earth Day!

Warm Regards,

Alora C

Sustainability Planner

Can’t Wait For Spring Break Camp!

Time is flying by! It’s already time for Spring Break and that means Camp CReATE’s Spring Break Sampler!
I am really excited to spend the week with community kids and creating. I’ve got a great week planned with a new project each day as well as plenty of time for open ended eco-art, my personal favorite! I cant think of a more fun way to honor Mother Earth than to spend time using our imaginations and expressing our creativity through the reuse of recycled materials! We’ll be painting rocks, making a cardboard T.V, make mason jar terrariums and of course, slime not to mention painting, taping, gluing, building and generally making whatever comes to mind. Let’s create!
No artistic experience is necessary. Click here for a detailed description of each days session.

See you Monday<

Jemma W.
Owner / Founder

Tips for a Greener Easter

Check out these easy eco tips for baskets, fillings and eggs:

  1. For baskets, think reuse!  Take a basket you already have and place a dish towel, large cloth napkin, or piece of fabric, inside; then fill with Easter treats.  Or, invest in a sturdy basket your children will use year after year, preferably made of a recyclable material. You can also make eco-friendly baskets by weaving your own out of paper grocery bags; or make smaller baskets by weaving ribbon through plastic berry baskets. 
  2. The grass — think biodegradable.  Try shredding craft paper or recycled tissue tissue paper.  (Even better if you can re-use scraps of paper or repurpose some of those St. Patricks Day decorations!). Or, line the basket with real wheatgrass — you can grow your own (it takes about 7 -10 days) or purchase it.  You can also place a green cloth in the basket.  Edible easter grass, is another alternative, though I can’t vouch for its taste!
  3. The eggs — please don’t buy more plastic eggs!  I know it can be tempting, but this year, consider hiding more decorated hard boiled eggs than the plastic variety.  If you’re looking for an egg you can fill, opt for paper or wooden eggs.  Or,  hide something else altogether (e.g. clementines) which children can “trade-in” for candy with mom.   If you must use plastic eggs, consider those that are made from recycled plastic.  If you already have plastic eggs — keep reusing them!  And if your kids are aging out of Easter hunts, consider checking with a local church if they will accept donations of your cleaned plastic eggs.

Above all, have a happy Easter!

Warm Regards,

Alora C

Sustainability Planner

For the Love of Egg Dyeing

With Earth Day coming up, I’ve been thinking about how to have a greener Easter.  I keep thinking about all those plastic eggs.  I admit it, I have a bunch too.  Over the years, the hardboiled eggs have been increasingly replaced by those candy filled plastic eggs.  Yet, when I think back, my fondest Easter memories are of the fun we had dying eggs with my mother, grandmother and sister.  How proud we were of our free-form creative exploration.  We learned about color mixing when we dipped it into multiple colors.  We discovered how to make half-n-half or rainbow eggs — and learned who had the steadiest hand (or patience) to hold it there just half dipped in.   As a mom now, my daughter and I love dyeing eggs together.   With clear wax crayons, we’ll write an invisible message on the egg and watch it appear in the dye.   As the kids get older, the hunt is over in a matter of minutes, but egg dyeing, that’s an activity!   

What to do with all those hard boiled eggs?  Below is my go-to egg salad recipe: 

8 large, hard boiled eggs, chopped.

½ cup mayo

3 tabs shallots, finely chopped

1 ½ tabs fresh tarragon, chopped

2 tea white wine vinegar

Salt & Pepper

Finely chop the eggs (you can use an egg slicer, fork, or my favorite: pastry blender).  Add all the other ingredients and stir.  Cover and chill for 30 minutes or so, for the flavors to blend.  You can make a sandwich with any type of bread, but my personal favorite is rye bread for this recipe.  You can also make mini-sandwiches for appetizers/snacks.  

Warm Regards,

Alora C 

Sustainability Planner

A Vision In Wood

As part of my Spotlight on wood I look at what artists are doing with it. Last week I saw a piece at CMATO {California Museum of Art, Thousand Oaks} during our collaborative Family Art Day that really struck me. It was a piece by Charles Arnoldi, a local artist out of Venice Beach, California who among other materials, works with wood on a larger scale. I loved reading about his approach to wood as a material. He works with bulky sheets of wood, veneering pieces together, then paints them and either before or after that process uses a chain-saw to carve into and through the veneered slab to create sturdy, abstract works that wow the eye!

See for yourself! You can see this work now on view at CMATO in The Oaks Mall. A few of his works are on display as part of the Landscapes through the eyes of abstraction exhibit.

-Jemma W.

Thursday, February 17th, is Random Acts of Kindness day. I wish kindness were the norm. I believe kindness towards another begets kindness in turn.  We can start small to make a difference. 

Jonah Larson’s journey began with a fluke.  Faced with a bag of crafting supplies, 5-year-old Jonah found the crochet hook and began to teach himself how to crochet.  A self-proclaimed “rascal” in school; crocheting turned out to be just the thing to calm those disruptive impulses.  

His speed and skill at a young age attracted the attention of the media and before long, he became a sensation.  He has used his fame to give back, by building a school and a science center in Ethiopia, his birth country.  Jonah likes to say “crochet brings the world together one stitch at the time.”

Read more about Jonah on his website here.  Learn more about Random Acts of Kindness Day here.  

The great thing about kindness is, it can be big or small in action, a smile, a home cooked meal, a few words of kindness on a slip of paper for someone else. Maybe, if I look closer, kindness is a norm, just not always noticed.

Alora C.

Sustainability Planner

Get Campy This Spring

I love hosting camps in our community so, I am excited that we are nearing camp season. What better way to get the mood started than with a Spring Break Camp! I’ll be hosting my Spring Break Eco Art Camp In partnership with the city of Agoura Hills, April 18th-22nd from 9am to 12pm.

Stay tuned here for sign-ups or contact the City of Agoura Hills now to hold your spot by contacting them at 818-597-7361.
We’ll work on fun themed projects each day and have a blast with open-ended art time too. You can see all the campy details here.
See you in April!

Jemma W.

Valentine Love

I love the way kids embrace Valentine’s Day!  They immediately “get” the idea of showing love, without judgement.   For me, homemade Valentines are the gold standard.  Plus, making them is a great family craft activity, with lasting memories.  I recall with great affection how my mom would set out the construction paper, doilies, glitter and glue and we would make one-of-a-kind masterpieces to send to grandparents and friends. 

However, when a Valentine is required for every kid in a large class (or grade!), homemade Valentines can seem overwhelming.  Here’s an idea that can be made on a larger scale and still keep Valentines eco-friendly: seed paper!  You can make your own, or you can buy it by the sheet or even already pre-cut into hearts.  Attach your heart-shaped seed paper to a recycled paper card with a clever line like “Love Grows” and instructions to plant the card, and you’re set.  If seed paper seems too daunting, you can attach small seed packets instead. 

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Check out our seasonal inspirations page for more ideas. I hope you have a fun time creating your masterpieces and making lasting family memories.


Alora C. 

Sustainabiliity Planner


January is..

January is a good month for renewing, relaxing, and hanging out at home. Here are a few ideas to keep kids busy and, independant while you do so.

My two favorite go-to’s for kid creating give them the freedom to explore and make with the stuff you have around the house!

Salt dough is a favorite from my childhood that is always fun! Who doesn’t like play dough. It’s fun for the family and for solo kid time. Squish it, cut it, mold it-bake it!
Try the recipe and see what your family can make!

I also love corks for building, stacking, gluing and creating. Making boats is easy and quite possibly the best, with corks being so -floatable. Give your kids a few corks, some rubber bands, and toothpicks to make their own boats that float! they can check out my vide for a quick how-to!

May this January be relaxing, renewing and creative for your family. Happy 2022!


Jemma W.

It’s December!

One of my favorite things to do this time of year is to make gingerbread houses with my daughter. 

It all began with one gingerbread house kit, when she was quite young.  Over the years, we’ve expanded. First, we added more candy (of course!)  Next, we created a snow-covered yard out of frosting and pine trees made out of green frosted ice cream cones.  

One year, we were inspired by a bag of licorice scottie dogs, to add a dog house out of graham crackers.  Soon after, our little house began to grow into a small village, with graham cracker shops.  

It is such a creative, fun project with no end in sight.  It’s the kind of project that can grow with your child as their manual dexterity and creative expression matures.   In the early days, it was probably a 20 minute project.  Just this past weekend, I think we spent 3 hours on the “village” spread out over 3 days — and we’re not even done yet!   

Which brings me to what I cherish most about his project:  the time spent with my daughter.  I love that we are building a tradition — and all that snacking candy sure is a good lure!

Happy Holidays,

Alora C

CReATE STUDIO, Sustainability Planner