Thursday, June 21, 2012

Insta-Friday and the outdoor art station

If the Final Jeopardy answer is ever "Summer", then you'll know the question: What is Leslie's Favorite Season? (Yep, I'm nerdy and wish I was smart enough to be on Jeopardy. Actually, I thought I was for like one second, and then the category Geography came up and those people who know all those answers....well, they have way too much time on their hands.)  

Back to summer. It's soooo my favorite.

And since our school district tortures us by making us the last on the planet to get out, TODAY, yes, June 22nd, is our official FIRST DAY OF SUMMER!

And surprise, surprise. I don't have everything "ready" like I wanted it to be. (If you did, don't tell me.)

I wanted to have a clean house, cleaned out closets, laundry done, new summer decor up, "happy summer" banner hung, the Summer List written and posted, and the new, fabulous highlight - the outdoor art station - all decked out. And zero of these things were accomplished in time for today. Except I did get the supplies for the outdoor station prepped.

We organized and cleaned out ALL our art supplies (And wow, did we have a lot. All I had to buy was paper. You don't realize how much junk you have until it's all gathered up in the same space, pulled out of drawers and backpacks and pencil boxes.) I haven't yet hung the clothesline for watercolor painting drying, nor draped the fabric on the underside of the patio cover to give a little more shade. But we're getting there.

My vision for the outdoor art station is that my kids could have a little autonomy. I direct so much of their little lives, I felt it was time to let go of the reins a little. So I'm setting limits I'm okay with, which include providing watercolors for painting, crayons, markers and oil pastels. Paper, large beads and string. No scissors; I don't want tiny scraps all over the yard. Activity books, tracing paper, and a big work surface. A canvas tarp underneath. Play clothes required. Paper plates and bowls for water and mixing. Help-yourself snacks and disposable cups next to a dispenser full of one of my infused water concoctions I've been making (watermelon mint, lemon cucumber, etc).

It's really exciting, actually, to imagine that they may be able to govern themselves for small windows of time out there. It may be so great that I am able to join them, stress-free. Create together, instead of me spending all my energy wiping up, and saying, "BE CAREFUL!" I've done that for the last ten years, indoors, and I'm really glad for the chance to experiment with a new stage. I'm grateful to Jami for inspiring me; I stole her idea for the outdoor art station.

Here are a few more things I've been up to.

Not finding things in my purse because of all the Legos in it.

Falling in love with peonies again.

Falling in love with Gatsby again.

Making Pam's Cheesecake for Father's Day.

Staring at this picture of my beautiful girl.

Staring at this picture of my girl and my mom. And tripping out about how similar they are.

Playing around with no-heat curls. (And thinking I'm wearing too much eyeliner.)

Learning how to make berry pies in mason jars (I owe you a full post on that one.)

And buying this fancy contraption to go with summer and the recipes found here. I was surprised at how inexpensive it was! My little guy vowed to juice all the lemons necessary for our first batch of sorbet. That will be photo-worthy too.

So that's how we're kicking it off over here. I'll share the Summer List when we actually make it, and more pics of the art station and the rest of our happenings next week!

Now I'm going to go do a little coloring.



  1. Happy SUMMER to you and yours!!!!

  2. Thanks for the ice cream shout out! Can't wait to hear about your churnings! ;-) Oh and thanks for reminding me about the no heat curls. I need to get on that! Happy {almost} weekend! XO

  3. soooo...the outdoor art station? genius! love that!

    i love peonies more than chocolate!

    i just bought that SAME ice cream maker...and it was on major sale...and i had a coupon...soooo, yeah Kohls!

    happy summer, girl!

  4. Sounds like you guys are gonna have a pretty awesome summer :D

  5. Happy Summer!!! Dont worry...the girls and I have been out of school for two weeks now but Eric is STILL in at his school. It stinks because we have to wait to do anything together.
    I got that same ice cream maker from a neighbor's yard sale two years ago for $5 and we've used the heck out of it. We even had a homemade ice cream day during our last (fun) week at school and we used it there. We've got lots of yummy recipes. And its so rock salt or ice. Hallelujah!

  6. that outdoor station sounds amazing!!! tucking that away for when my kids are a little older :)
    ps- your hair looks amazing!! :)

  7. I lovvvve Gatsby. Totally need to re-read again this summer - I just think of it as a "summer" book for some reason! And...I'm super excited about the movie coming out in December! Hope they do it justice.

  8. I LOVE the outdoor art station idea!! What an AWESOME way to keep the kiddos busy and let them make some of their own little decisions. How fUN!! I'm looking forward to reading your summer list and berry pie posts. Take Care!!!

  9. what a great idea... i think i need to let loose a bit and give the girls an outdoor art station.
    love it!!!
    and guess what?
    we're still in school here.
    last day is june 27th!
    beat you!! :)

  10. and girl... you can't even tell you got eyeliner on!
    it needs to be darker! ha ha ha ha ha!

  11. I like too much eyeliner! It looks good on you!!!

  12. yay! for summer!

    that cool art station makes me think i need one for my kiddos, too, but my boys would probably lose all of the markers, etc! :)

    and my friend just made me the MOST AMAZING lemon ginger frozen yogurt in that same was divine!

    happy summer!