Tag: future craft collective

Recently I did a 30 minute radio segment with Bonnie Compton of WholeHearted Parenting. The subject of our segment was Creating Family Connection Through Creativity. It’s a subject that has come up for me quite a bit lately – a topic that I originally hit upon in my Future Craft Collective Days working alongside the fun and talented Kathie Sever (now of Ft Lonesome fame which you should totally check out!) Kathie and I created a lot of really fun projects during those years encouraging families to sit down and Make Stuff Together, encouraging kids to find ways to re-use and upcycle and create their own unique style. Heck we even wrote a book about it!

I’m happy to be on this topic again for it is one that is near and dear to my heart – this idea of creating, making, crafting, upcycling, and finding connection through the entire process. If you have 30 minutes to listen in, I encourage you to do so. Bonnie and I hit on some really good points and, perhaps most importantly, we had a really fun time with the process. Which is, really, what it’s all about. No matter what we’re working on.

So, check out our past Future Craft Collective Projects now on Craftzine. Peruse Make Stuff Together for some creative ideas for your family. (FYI, It’s REALLY cheap now used!) Check out Kathie’s current line of artistry at Ft. Lonesome. And have a listen in on my conversation with Bonnie. I guarantee that by the time you’re through, you’ll be MORE than ready to work on some creativity of your own.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Back to school

According to the seasonal calendar we’ve still got over a month left of summer. According to the school calendar though, we’ve got just 6 days left here in Austin, TX. Oh my oh my time does fly too fast sometimes. In some ways our family is ready for the return. In other ways though we are hesitant to leave the late night swims and sometimes lazy days. Even on work days the schedule somehow felt less rushed, less urgent and less wrought with the endless to-dos that feel a part of school.

Time for us to regroup as a family. Time to set some intentions for the upcoming school year. Time to figure out just how we want this school year to look and feel. We’ve got this Sunday slated as a family day – a day for figuring out just how to make this very big transition. How do you do it in your house? If you’ve got a special ritual for heading back to school we’d love to know!

And it’s time too for our 3rd annual back to school clothes swap. Come join us. Bring what you can. Take what you need. We’ll have sewers, silk screeners and sorters too making nice mountains of all kinds of clothes for infants to adults. You can get the details here

Tags: , , , , , ,

Family life in the summertime

Summer’s nearly here. At least according to the school calendar. We’ve got just 6 days left of school and 2 of those are after the Memorial Day holiday so we know they’ll be sort of lackadaisical. We’re ready for school to be over. We’re just not so sure we’re ready for summer to begin. This weekend we’ll have a family meeting in order to make sure we’re all on the same page for starting up this next season of family living.

In a nutshell we’ll have to set some intentions and make some to-do lists. We’ll have to make sure too that we’re all on board for what’s coming up. Being together more for both work and play. And having lots and lots of time for friends and lots and lots of fun.

Oh, and getting some work done will be crucial too.

Last year we used our Family Summer Center that Kathie Sever and I created for Future Craft Collective and Craftzine. With a calendar and a planning center, it was the perfect way to make sure our summer’s reality met our expectations. How do you do it in your house?

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Appreciation banner

On Friday night here in Austin TX, I’ll be hosting a mama’s night out/craft night – the second in a monthly series. It’s a chance for  mamas to get together and hang out, all the while working on some crafty goodness to take home. We’ll be making Appreciation Banners – an idea thought up by me and my Future Craft Collective partner Kathie Sever. It’s a long banner with a pocket sewn on for each family member, a pocket for all the world and a pocket for supplies as well. The idea is that you hang it in a visible spot and fill it with appreciations for each other.The supplies pocket holds a pen and slips of paper so that whenever you have the whim, you can pause, jot down the appreciations and the gratitudes, and put them the pocket of the appreciated. Whether it be another family member, yourself or all the world. One night a week, you can empty the pockets at a family dinner and share all the appreciations of the week.

We have one in our house and admittedly it does flow in and out of use, but when we are using it, everyone sees and feels the difference. To live in a state in which we seek out appreciation for each other, and  take the time to not only notice it but share it with that person, feels way better than the opposite and way better too than just not doing anything at all. It raises the level of appreciation without a doubt and it makes us seek out what we appreciate as opposed to picking on what we don’t. It feels good on both the giving and the receiving end.

And when it’s not in use for a while, and we feel ourselves starting to go to the dark darkness, we reactivate it to get that level of appreciation going once again. And though it sounds kind of corny, or made up, the arguing and neediness really does wane when the appreciation banner is in use.

So if you’re in Austin on Friday, October 3rd and you want to join us, please do. And if you can’t, you can go to our Future Craft Collective tutorial and read more about how to make your own Appreciation banner for your family.

Tags: , , , , , ,

All the World

AllTheWorld jkt final

Our good and incredibly poetic friend Liz Garton Scanlon has a new book which came out out just a week ago. It’s one of the most beautiful picture books I’ve ever read. And as if her lyrical words aren’t enough, the illustrations by Marla Frazee are a perfect match.

If you’re in Austin on Saturday 9/26, Liz is having a big release party for her new book this coming Saturday at Austin’s Book People. Future Craft Collective will be there to honor Liz’ latest and greatest picture book by way of a little Prayer/hope/wish flag making crafting.

So come on out this Saturday for a little  celebration, a little crafting, and a reading and signing of what will surely become a classic. It’s at  Book People at 11:30. We’ll see you there. No library voice necessary.

Tags: , , , , , ,

We’re getting ready for back to school at our house. Sort of. We’re still swimming until dark at Barton Springs and sleeping in late in the morning and taking each day as it comes, but in our heads, we are preparing. Sort of.

Our big nod towards back to school comes this Saturday at Zilker Elementary school in Austin, TX where we’ll be holding our 2nd annual Back to School Don’t Shop;Swap! We’ll have sewers and silk screeners and sorters on hand ready to rad-ify any finds. We’ll have oodles of piles of clothes all sorted by gender and size. And we’ll have hundreds of folks from the school and the community there to swap out what they don’t need and get what they do. It was a huge success last year and a definite example of abundance – enough for EVERYONE!!! And all the kids were back to school in total Green fashion following the Future Craft Collective creed: Reduce, reuse, recraft, UPCYCLE!!! Join us if you can as a sorter, a sewer or a swapper.

Then in September, if you’re a mama looking for a night out and a little crafting fun too, you can join me at our Mama’s Collective Craft night where we’ll be making totally cool postcard and greeting card collage. No muss, no fuss and a totally creatively crafty night out. You can read more about it here…

Back to school means major shifting in our house. We just have to figure out how to make it work for everyone.

Tags: , , , , ,

Consuming Kids

This weekend I participated in a viewing and panel discussion on the documentary Consuming Kids. It was amazing. And frightening. A documentary I think every parent and educator should watch. The way the modern day marketing machine preys on our kids from birth on is mind boggling – literally wanting to steal their imaginations. You can read more here.

While the information is indeed scary, I believe there are things we can do as parents to help combat the messages being sent to our children. We can spend more time together as families talking, playing, working and just being. We can turn off the t.v. and the computer and give our kids time to explore, build, and play with their own imaginations. We can teach our kids to be makers and to create their own beauty thereby lessening the message that fulfillment and beauty comes in the form of a purchase. We can teach our children to dissect the messages they do get thereby diminishing the impact. We can model self appreciation by speaking out loud our own appreciations for ourselves. And we can surround ourselves with a community of people who have our best interests in mind.

There is an organization called Center for Commercial Free Childhood which is helping people organize screenings. http://www.commercialexploitation.org/ Because I believe if we spread the word we can make change and give our kids the childhood they need and deserve to live a happy, satisfying life.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Getting ready for summer

Future Craft Collective has posted the first of its summer long series for Craftzine’s Virtual Summer Camp. This one is all about getting intentional and finding inspiration within the family. Sound like a familiar Slow Family theme? Here’s a teaser below. From there you can go to Craftzine and get the rest of the project…

It’s that time of year, folks, when the classroom parties hit a fever pitch, the volunteer coordinator at school has you on speed dial, and we, as parents, start to spiral into a little bit of a panic about the season that is ending and the season that is about to begin. Don’t get us wrong, we love summer with its opportunities for sleeping in and its carefree nature. It’s just the transition that can be a little tricky. This is our kick-off project for summer “campless” camp and we are totally excited for a summer full of projects. With this project, it is our greatest intention to help ease you and your kids into the transition, while simultaneously helping you get intentional about the open-ended summer months ahead. Read more…

Intentions and Inspirations Banner

Intentions and Inspirations Banner

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Ten women participated in our eight hour mama’s retreat Saturday at Carrie’s house. We wrote and talked and pondered and meditated and sewed and cried and slept and pondered some more. One of the things we did while we sewed was an Appreciation Round. Each time round the circle we offered up a different subject starting with self. An appreciation for self, partner, friends and each child. It was a powerful moment for me as I listened to each one sharing a completely heartfelt appreciation for themselves and the important people in their lives. It felt good too to think about each person in my own family and really identify something we truly appreciated about each one. And as I spoke I realized I could have gone on and on and on. What a great thing to realize and to share in a circle: first that there are so many people to appreciate and second that there are so many things to appreciate about each one.

In our home we have an Appreciation Banner with a pocket for each person. For many months we kept it active, sharing the sentiments each Sunday night around the dinner table. It’s been stagnant for a while now but I think it’s time to reactivate and bring back the air of appreciation that the practice generated in our home.

I highly recommend starting it up in your own home. It just feels good. Both to be appreciated and to appreciate.

Tags: , , , ,

It’s been a good week around here with lots of nice nods about the work we’re doing helping families slow down and connect with each other and with their desire of finding the joy in family life.

In The Boston Globe on Sunday, an article about families finding the hidden benefits of forced slow downs gave a nice mention to Slow Family Living. You can read it here.

Also on Sunday, you can listen to a podcast we did with Craftypod in which Future Craft Collective talks about finding ways to build sustainable connection with your kids through sustainable crafting. You can listen to it here.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
« Previous posts Back to top