Dr. Maria Montessori’s quote “Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening but by experiences in the environment” resonated with me.
I have long thought the home-assigned school project was education’s way of connecting children back to process by providing parameters that kids could explore on their terms in an environment that was outside the school setting-thereby creating space to figure out the task in their time. Now, as a parent it wasn’t always convenient or easy for me and my kids to do the project but it was a vital way, I could see, that my kids could take all the information they had collected in their minds at school and put it together in their own way. I have my daughter, Maisy’s 4th grade mission project hanging on the wall at the studio. It was a shoe box, a sheet of thick paper and a few pieces of moss, drawn out and arranged to look like a diorama. That was a project that taught both of us that value of keeping it simple. We went over the concept of creating a curve in the paper that would serve as a background and by doing so, we created the illusion of a bigger space-just like at the Natural History Museum. We worked together to plan the project but she did all the drawing. Maisy figured out the details of her project in her own process and we had the space to trouble shoot it. I imagine if I asked her she would remember making it. I still do because it was a hands-on experience with various elements to include and parameters to keep. She learned so much more than Missions during that project and I haven’t forgotten it.
Today, we love having kids make their projects at the studio because it adds an element of fun and ease to the “to-do” of a home-assigned project that everyone (parent and child) would love to have check-marked off their to-do list. The time they spend together at CReATE, talking, planning, figuring and creating are rich beyond words. They are deep in learning which is food for the brain, and they always leave feeling a sense of achievement and pride and I like to think, a little bit of connection too. Dr. Montessori had it right, experiences in the environment are golden.
* learn more about our win/win school project program here.
Tis the season!
It’s time to grab one or two of our CReATE STUDIO Eco Craft Kits for your maker, creator, S.T.E.A.M. fan explorer, tinkerer or builder.
Our kits contain a myriad of recycled and crafty materials for days of creating! $20+tax (and shipping if applicable)
Get yours by calling us at 818-575-9566
We’re putting the reuse in creativity because it just makes sense. It’s is our mission.
Reuse is to creativity what peanut butter is to jelly or crackers are to cheese. They belong together and help each other flow.
I’ve shared how reuse was common place in my family, it must have trickled down from the generations before me. I am so glad it did. It’s ultimately how we got CReATE!
In the awesomeness that reuse is there lies unexpected hidden gems that benefit humanity like presence, connection to yourself if creating alone and to others if you are creating together, to mindfulness either way. What could be better than that! It also removes the potential for comparison. As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy”. When we are creating anything we are in our vulnerability. Vulnerability comes as we express ourselves and share who we are through what we make. When we’re all creating the same kind of thing, comparison has a tendency to sneak into our psyche, even at a young age. I saw that process throughout my kids years in school, especially with art because of it’s expressive nature. There we guard our vulnerability. Using recycled materials in it’s one-off and random nature means two creations tend not be alike and when they are I see collaboration. Self expression is comfortable here. Since we each see the world through our own lens we can look at the same kleenex box a different way that leads to very different creations. This is where I see independence being strengthened as creators find themselves trusting their own ideas and process. There is an overwhelming sense of pride when the idea that inspired the creation comes together the way it was planned. Presence, connection, healthy vulnerability, self confidence, self expression and independence make a good foundation for experience.
Creating with recycled materials is like a peanut butter and jelly experience, it goes perfectly together and it’s oh so good.
We’re off to a great start with birthday celebrating and this sleek looking paper plate Wyvern Dragon. One plate cut just the right way makes this ancient creature and sparks resourcefulness in our creators.
We have a creative month in store for you with our Pinspired Project Night on the 7th, Parents Night Out on the 8th, Paint Pouring on the 14th, and our collaborative half day Artys Yoga Camp with @littlefoxyoga to name a few.
Let the creative reuse fun begin!
As a girl I spent a lot of time at my grandparents, Darling and Grandad’s house. My only-child status seemed to trigger my curious nature to explore their house. I was a looky-loo. I could spend hours going through the kitchen junk drawer and any other drawer looking to see what I would find. I was so curious. The more random and everyday the finds were, the better. Those times were magical for me. My grandparents kept all sorts of things that made every drawer feel like a keep sake box. I felt like I was going on little odysseys as I sorted and sifted through notes, jars, trays and the like.
Years later when I’d grown up and my grandparents had both passed away I found myself going through those magical drawers. I came away with a small bag of special treasures from the famed kitchen drawer that I saved for just the right occasion. When my girls were small we got an idea for an art project that the junk drawer bag would be perfect for. As we laid out the contents of the bag and thought of our Beach Birthday Party theme we had the loveliest time sharing in the curiousness of exploring my Darlings kitchen junk drawer things. Most of them made it onto our mixed media collaboration and touch my heart still as I look at the finished creation hanging on a wall at our home today. The things from her drawer that are still most wondrous to me are the handmade candle for her 21st birthday, the $2 bill and the bottom half of a heart shaped china box. They are nothing to look at per say but they carry curious wonderings about their origins and why she kept them for all those years. It’s funny to connect my childhood experiences as an explorer to the studio I have created that I now realize has a touch of her junk drawer magic available for all who create with our recycled this and that selection.
Creating the piece with my girls back in 2004 was a beautiful, presence filled experience. I want that kind of memory for you and the ones you love after you’ve spent time together at CReATE. Keep curiosity with you and I know you will.
When I am posting on social media and hashtagging words, I wind up including lots of words that start with Re. That lead me on a thinking odyssey, I can put a “re” in front of tons of words that connect to creativity and get a descriptive match to our creative reuse sensibilities!
When kids and adults recycle by reusing they are applying these R’s and that’s exactly the things we need to be doing not just in art but in an everyday way!
When it comes to recycling it’s all about the “Re”.
Try applying it to the things you don’t want any more. It’s good food for thought.
This month we put a spotlight on Cardboard at the studio, taking a look at how it’s made, what artists do with it and how we use it.
We get lots of boxes that we cut up for reuse.
Cardboard is a go-to at the studio for getting parties started and for troop visits. In both cases we make these mini cardboard canvases with popsicle stick easels.
Kids love to paint their own mini masterpieces to showcase at home.
Hey kids! Make your own confetti!
This is a fun way to reuse everyday packaging pieces to make a fancy craft embellishment to create with at home.
You can collect the shiny or interestingly printed tear tops from food packaging like coffee, trail mix and chips. I collected the tops from bags that have a zip lock closure (where no food touches).
You can also use wrapping paper or any shiny plastic scraps. Once you’ve gathered a batch of packaging tops or paper, cut them into strips , then stack them on top of one another and cut them into bits between 1/4″ and 1/2″ to make your confetti. Collect your confetti for use with any creating you do at home.
Sometimes it’s the funnest to fill a bottle with all kinds of stuff and that’s all.We’ve been having a blast with diy creating and our projects zone at Reyes Adobe Days. Join us tomorrow for more fun tomorrow from 11am-4pm at Reyes Adobe Park in Agoura Hills.
I have been working on CReATE STUDIO’s mission for quite a while though the process is not so easy. To boil down our beliefs and intentions into a simple paragraph that becomes the beacon for the company for all time. In part it’s been hard to fine tune the mission because the studio, from it’s inception is and has been an organic unfolding of one idea that wove into another, and then another, and on and on.
Today, I had a spark of word inspiration so I made an adjustment to our mini “working” mission statement on our About page. I surprised myself when I wrote the last line “and engaged in an ongoing effort to lighten our carbon footprint along the way.” Not because I didn’t know this was important to me but because I wondered how this is the piece of my intention had been missing from our statement! It has long been my personal mission to recycle, to reuse and to be thoughtful about my use of things and where they go. Now with one simple sentence I have the words to articulate it in the studio’s intention. Isn’t that the whole point of a mission? It’s just as much of not more a beacon for me, for the studio as it is for anyone that might want to know it.
Our mission is in the value of recycling and our way is by reuse. The reuse of materials, the providing of them for others to see potential and possibility in, to be inspired by. That’s our belief in the win/win that recycling is. As author Pam Shoemaker put it, “When you put the whole picture together, recycling is the right thing to do.” Yes, the big picture is the whole thing and that’s our mission.