Creativity Rundown

Creative projects I’m currently working on:

Preparing for a side hustle as a proofreader. Does this count as creative? I think it does. Entrepreneurship is always creative. I notice typos, misspellings, and grammatical errors all the time, so I might as well get paid for pointing them out. It’s a job I can do on my own schedule and from my own home. What I have to learn is the symbols used in proofreading, the usual practices, how to get gigs, and how much to charge. I’m excited about this.

Knitting the Merlot Alpaca Wrap by Mama In A Stitch. It is absolutely gorgeous, and will probably take me until at least January to finish. I really love the patterns I’ve seen on her website, and can’t wait to do more.

Designing t-shirts and getting a store set up for another side hustle. This is something I’m working on with my husband. It’s been taking a ton of time. There are lots of articles and podcasts that say you can get a t-shirt store up and running in a day or two. Maybe you can, if you know Photoshop; already have a shirt design, a store name, and a logo ready to go; and are fine working with the first t-shirt print-on-demand shop that Google shows you. None of that is the case for me. I’m learning Photoshop as I go, and luckily my first shirt designs are simple bits of text. My son designed our logo. We’ve done a lot of research on print-on-demand businesses. Shockingly, I’ve only found one business that offers plus-size women’s shirts. Unfortunately it’s probably the hardest shop to work with, at least for a beginner. We finally decided to get only the plus-size shirts from there, and use another, simpler, supplier for straight-size shirts. We should be up and running in a week or two.

Learning to code JavaScript with the Grasshopper app. I saw it and figured, why not? It’s fun and easy so far, but I just started.

Creative projects that have fallen by the wayside:

My bullet journal. I’ve been pressed for time and unenthusiastic, and I even went a couple weeks without using a planner at all, which was really difficult. If I don’t have things written down, my ADHD takes over, I feel completely discombobulated, and my anxiety level goes up. I finally bought a preprinted weekly insert for my traveler’s notebook. Much better. I’ll probably go back to bullet journaling at some point; it’s the planning method I keep returning to. But for now, being able to simply write my appointments and tasks down in a planner is what I need.

Inktober. I stuck with it for less than half the month, but it was longer than I’ve ever stuck with any daily prompt drawing project, so I’m considering it a win. Next year, I’ll stick with it longer.

Morning Pages. I have the hardest time keeping up with this habit, even though I know it’s probably the most helpful thing I can do for my writing and for my creativity as a whole. Maybe I can set a reminder on my phone.

Try online arts & crafts classes absolutely free

watercolors, brushes, and a sketchbook open to a blank page, on a wooden surface.
image by Pixabay

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This is not something I usually do, but today I’m writing a quick post to tell my readers about a great freebie from Bluprint. They’re currently running their Get Started event, and it ends Oct. 12. What this means is that ALL their classes and shows are free. Yes, I said all, and yes, I said FREE. Bluprint wants to build their membership, but they wisely realized that many people won’t want to join a service, even for a month, without first checking it out.

Between now and Oct. 12, go to their website (linked below) and register for one or more of their classes. You don’t need a coupon, and you don’t need a credit card. This isn’t one of those “free” deals where they charge your credit card if you forget to cancel within a certain time (don’t you hate those?).

Bluprint has thousands of classes on all kinds of art, craft, and DIY topics, such as sewing, baking, cake decorating, knitting, crocheting, drawing, painting, jewelry making… the list goes on. I registered for a class on metalsmithing, and I cannot wait to get started.

I did join Bluprint, because I know I’ll want to take classes and have access to their resources in the future, and I think their pricing is completely reasonable. But you totally don’t have to. You can just watch as many classes as you can manage before Oct. 12, and not join at all.

Here’s the link! Please let me know what classes you watch, and what you think of them.

Bluprint Get Started Event: Watch All Classes + Shows For Free at myBluprint.com 10/5-10/12/18. No coupon code needed.

Two personality typing books you have to read

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Image by Pixabay

Note: This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you buy something through one of these links, I earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you. You can read more about my advertising policy here.

If, like me, you’re a teeeensy bit obsessed with personality types and quizzes, you have to read Anne Bogel’s Reading People. In this book Bogel goes through the basics of seven different philosophies of personality typing, from simple two-option paradigms such as introvert/extrovert and Highly Sensitive Person, to what is probably the best-known school of personality typing, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which comprises 16 different types. For each paradigm, she introduces readers to a brief history of the typing method, the characteristics of the different types, and how to determine which type you are. Bogel illustrates the types with stores of events in her life and her own personal traits. One caveat: it is obvious that Bogel is coming from a Christian background. She mentions church a lot, and there are Christian books in the bibliography. She is not at all preachy, though, and I would absolutely suggest this book to type geeks of any (or no) religion.

As Bogel notes, the best use of personality typing is not simply to determine your type and leave it at that, but to use this knowledge for personal development. You cannot change your type, and no type is better or worse than any other type. But knowing your type and how it impacts your strengths and weaknesses can help you become the best version of yourself.

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Image by Pixabay

This is the basis of Personality Hacker, by Joel Mark Witt and Antonia Dodge. Witt and Dodge are a married couple who host the Personality Hacker podcast. I listen to their podcast regularly, and was excited to read their book as soon as it came out. While Reading People is a broad view of many typing methods, Personality Hacker is a deep dive into the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and how to use the MBTI for self-improvement.

Not only do Witt and Dodge devote an entire chapter to each of the sixteen MBTI types, they provide a detailed explanation of cognitive functions and how they work. Their “car model” will help you understand how cognitive function stacks operate for each type, which is really the nuts and bolts of the MBTI, and their FIRM model will help you understand why you might fixate on a certain need and get caught in a problematic cognitive function loop. This knowledge is vital in using typology as a tool for self-development.

Throughout the book, there are review questions for you to answer, if you so choose, to make sure you understand the material. That’s not my kind of thing, but I’m sure it’s helpful for many readers.

You can buy these books from Amazon (links below) or from your local independent bookshop, and I’m also adding both books to my Recommended Reading page.

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org
Support Independent Bookstores – Visit IndieBound.org

 

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org
Support Independent Bookstores – Visit IndieBound.org

My Fall Bucket List

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two wooden benches outside with fall leaves on the ground
image by Pixabay

Although it doesn’t feel like it in Charlotte (we’re supposed to hit 90 again next week), fall is here. This year, for the first time, I’ve decided to make a Fall Bucket List. I’m hoping that if I have a written list of things I want to do, the season won’t get away from me before I manage to do more than drink a couple Pumpkin Spiced Lattes. So here it is, in no particular order:

1. Go to to the Carolina Renaissance Festival. We used to go as a family every year, but it got too expensive, so we stopped. Every year the kids beg for it, and every year I really want to go… and every year I sadly give up on it. This year, I’ve decided we’re going no matter what.

2. Participate in Inktober. I’m going to take 31 pages or half-pages of my sketchbook,date them, and write the prompts on top, so I’ll remember to do it every day and I won’t have to stop and look anything up. I’ll be able to just draw, photograph, and post. Keep an eye on my Instagram if you want to see my Inktober drawings!

3. Go apple-picking. We’re so lucky in Charlotte to have farms and orchards close by. Some are even within city limits. So I’m going to go pick some apples, drink some hot cider, and eat cider doughnuts. If I’m lucky, they’ll also have a corn maze.

three apples hanging from a branch
image by Pixabay

4. Go to a pumpkin patch. I can’t just pick my own apples- I have to pick my own pumpkins, too! Or actually, let the kids pick their own pumpkins while I sip coffee and take pictures.

a field of pumpkins and pumpkin vines
image by Pixabay

5. Bake fall treats. If I’m going to pick apples and pumpkins, I’ll have to bake things with apples and pumpkins. Like apple muffins, apple bread, apple crisp, and apple pie. And then of course, there’s pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin pie. Since my husband can’t tolerate gluten, I’ll be making gluten-free versions of all these things. I’m looking forward to cozying up in front of the fire and enjoying some home-baked goodies.

a partially sliced loaf of pumpkin bread
image by Pixabay

6. Go hiking. Once the weather is cool enough that I don’t sweat as soon as I walk out the door, I’m going to start walking. With my husband, with the kids, with the dogs, with friends, and alone. Around the neighborhood, along the greenways, in the woods, and hopefully up some mountains. I want to exercise a lot more than I do currently, and I love being out in nature. Except for the bugs. I could do without the bugs.

7. Knit. I really want to knit a pair of socks this year. And maybe a cowl. And hats for the kids. And a couple of coffee cozies to use instead of those cardboard sleeves. And….

a ball of orange yarn
image by Pixabay

8. Make other fall crafts. As a matter of fact, I’m going to post some fall dollar store crafts soon. You might want to join my mailing list so you don’t miss them!

9. Make my home smell like fall. Pumpkin spice. Hot apple cider. Woodsmoke. Pancakes and maple syrup. Fall candles, fall plug-in oil thingies, fall wax melts, you name it, I’m here for it! My house is going to smell like an autumn wonderland.

10. Watch Halloween movies. Can you believe I have never seen Hocus Pocus?!

animated gif of three witches from the movie Hocus Pocus

 

6 Tips For Cutting Your Own Hair

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After months of hating my fried, dry, breaking, over-bleached
hair, I decided to temporarily give up on growing it long, and gave myself a cute, shaggy, modern mullet.

I’ve been cutting my own hair for at least a decade. I have no formal training. What I have is wavy (and thus forgiving) hair and a “fuck it” attitude. You can cut your own hair, too. I’m not going to teach you how to do that, but what I will do is give you some vital tips.

2013 bob

1. Do your research. Read and watch lots of online tutorials. Look at photos, drawings, and videos. Watch videos of people cutting their own hair as well as people cutting other people’s hair. When you think you’ve seen enough, look at more. While you’re still getting your hair professionally cut, watch your hairdresser and study how they cut your hair.

2. Use decent tools. Don’t cut your hair with the scissors from your desk drawer. Buy haircutting scissors from a beauty supply store such as Sally, or online from Amazon and use them only for hair. Proper tools make a difference.

Image by Jo Johnston

3. There are different schools of though about whether your hair should be wet or dry while being cut. Even professionals vary on this. Personally, I favor dry cutting, especially for beginners, because it’s much easier to see what your hair will ultimately look like when you cut it dry. Whichever you choose, remember that wet hair shrinks when it dries. The curlier it is, the more it shrinks. If you cut curly hair when it’s wet, you might see a difference of inches when it dries.

4. Start slow. Cut off less than you think you want, especially if you’re making a drastic change. To state the obvious, you can always cut more, but you can’t put hair back once you cut it off. Even if you decide to cut more two days later, it’s better than lopping off too much and instantly regretting it.

2016 pixie

5. To cut the back of your hair, you need either a trifold mirror or a patient friend who will hold a hand mirror up so you can see the back of your head while you cut.

6. Remember, it’s only hair. If you give yourself a bad cut, it will grow back.

Dollar Store Crafts for Back to School

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Whew! The first week of school is over, and I’m still alive. Well, my oldest kid, who’s in a dual-enrollment high school-community college program, started in the middle of August, but she doesn’t require much work from me, and definitely doesn’t need me to get up before dawn. My younger two, on the other hand… My middle just started high school, and I’m homeschooling my youngest. This has meant adjusting to early mornings, and a lot more work for me. It’s been so exhausting that my immune system has suffered, and I’m battling a cold.

If you have kids going back to school, or if you yourself are going back to school, you’re probably going through something similar. To make back-to-school time easier, cheaper, and more fun, I decided to show you a couple back-to-school crafts you can do using materials from the dollar store.

Dollar Store Supplies

As you might know, there are dollar stores and there are “dollar stores.” Confused? What I mean is that there are stores like Dollar Tree, where every item is actually one dollar. There are also stores like Dollar General and Family Dollar, where items are inexpensive, but not necessarily just one dollar. And then, of course, there are what people call “dollar bins” or “dollar sections” of regular retail stores, where again, items might be more than a dollar. So, I gave myself a rule to stick to: I would shop in all these types of places, but I would only buy items priced at one or two dollars.

Earbud Holder

Our first project is a super-simple earbud holder made from a pill bottle. Okay, I cheated a little- I didn’t buy the pill bottle at the dollar store. But pill bottles are so easy to get your hands on. I’m sure you have one or can get one from a friend. This cute little container will keep your (or your kid’s) earbuds in easy reach, instead of tangled up and at the bottom of your bag.

This project uses washi tape. Washi tape is basically a decorative masking tape. You can find it at craft stores, discount department stores, drug stores, and dollar stores. I got mine at Michael’s, where they were 3 for a dollar in the dollar bins near the registers. Most of these discounted rolls were leftover Christmas patterns, but with a little digging, I found some non-holiday rolls I liked.

Start by carefully wrapping strips of washi around the bottle, starting at the bottom and working your way up to the top.

Once you’re done, cover the lid with short strips of washi. Because of the round shape of the lid, it will look messy. You want to firmly press down any bits that are sticking up, and carefully trim the excess with a pair of scissors.

Now it’s time to decorate the lid. I found these stick-on jewels at Dollar General, and the colors work perfectly. If bling is not your thing, you can use a sticker instead.


Farmhouse Mason Jar Pencil Holder


I absolutely love the farmhouse aesthetic I’ve been seeing everywhere! This is a super-cute way to store your pencils and pens so your desk stays tidy(ish). I got my Mason jar at Michael’s, but I have also seen them at Dollar Tree. We’re also going to use some wide burlap ribbon, narrow grosgrain ribbon, and glue. I used Tacky Glue, which I found at Dollar General. You can also use a hot glue gun if you have one (you can buy the refill sticks at the dollar store).

First, cut off a length of burlap that will fit around the Mason jar. Using tiny dots of glue along the edges of the burlap, glue the burlap onto the jar.

Let the glue dry for about five minutes. Then cut a lenth of the grosgrain ribbon that will fit around the jar over the burlap. Using tiny dots, glue the ribbon onto the burlap.

Let that dry, and you have your adorable farmhouse-style pencil jar. If your jar has an old-fashioned two-piece lid, you can screw the outer ring onto the jar if you’d like.

Farmhouse Desk Organizer
This is a matching piece that I made with a small wooden box from the Michael’s dollar bin. You could make something similar with just about any box, bowl, or dish you can find. Even a cardboard box could work. Be creative!

First, measure a length of burlap that will fit on one side of the box. Since this box is wider at the top than at the bottom, you’ll have to carefully cut the edges at the correct angle. Using your first piece as a template, cut three more lengths of burlap for the other three sides.

Using tiny dots of tacky glue (or hot glue), glue the burlap onto the sides of the box. Do one side at a time, and let it dry before moving on to the next side.

Once all sides are dry, cut lengths of grosgrain ribbon to fit along the top edge of each side of the box. Using tiny dots of glue, glue the ribbon onto the burlap. Again, let each side dry before moving on to the next. Trim any sloppy edges with a sharp pair of scissors.

You can use this box to hold tape, paper clips, sticky notes, thumb drives, or anything else. I love the look so much, I think I’m going to decorate another dish or maybe a paper tray with the burlap and grosgrain ribbon. Maybe even my bulletin board. It’ll be such a pretty refresh for my desk!

I hope these crafts make the stressful back-to-school adjustment a little more bearable for you!

Why Crafting is Good For Your Health

Image from Pixabay

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If you knit, scrapbook, or do any kind of craft, you know that crafting is a lot of fun and a great way to spend time (and maybe a little too much money). But did you know that crafting also has health benefits? It’s true!

Photo by Kristina Balić on Unsplash

In fact, knitting, basketweaving, and other crafts have been used for their therapeutic effects for at least a century. They were part of the occupational therapy given during and after World War I to servicemen suffering from PTSD, or “shell shock,” as it was called then. In a more contemporary example, craft stores in the US noted an uptick in sales during the weeks after September 11, 2001. What is it about crafting that makes people turn to it in times of stress?

Famed psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihaly, who studies creativity and happiness, and invented the concept of flow
, believes that crafts enable people to enter a state of total absorption, which he states is the secret to happiness. Proponents of mindfulness also praise the repetitive, almost meditative nature of many crafts, which quiets the mind and helps to relieve anxiety. I’ve definitely felt this sensation when involved in knitting or sewing, and I know that engaging in creative work noticeably lessens my anxiety and depression. When I go too long without this form of self-care, my mental health suffers.

Crafting is something we can do both alone and with other people. We can cozy up and crochet in front of the TV with a cup of cocoa at our side when we need that perfect introvert evening. But if we want to get some tips, learn new skills, or show off our work to people who “get it,” hanging out with other crafters is a must. This provides meaningful social interaction, especially if you want something other than a noisy club or party.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

In addition to the relaxation and mood-boosting effects of the crafting process, there is the satisfaction of the product. There’s nothing like eating a home-baked dessert, putting on a home-sewn skirt or hand-knit hat, or looking at a piece of art on the wall, and being able to say “I made that!” Making something beautiful and/or usable is an accomplishment to be proud of, and psychologists say that a feeling of self-efficacy is important to mental health.

You might have heard that crossword puzzles and brain-teasers can slow cognitive decline as people age. Neuroscientists are now studying whether crafting has a similar effect, and the results so far look promising.

Of course, you don’t need to know or care about the health benefits of crafting to enjoy it. So go ahead and learn a new craft, or spend some time on an old favorite, and have fun!

 

Makers’ Black Friday - Shop Our Biggest Sale Of The Year & Save Up To 70% On Supplies at Craftsy.com 8/3-8/6/18. No coupon code needed.

Crafting a Calling

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How do you know who you are, what you’re all about, what your talents are, your passions, your purpose? Some people can answer these questions easily, with barely a moment’s thought. Others, like myself, have a harder time. Over the past few weeks I’ve been thinking about these questions a lot. I don’t think we have one single grand Life Purpose, but we do have smaller purposes or callings. Things we feel we are meant to do. Things that just feel right. They don’t have to be huge, world-changing things. They just have to be meaningful to us. They also don’t have to be a lifelong endeavor. We can have multiple callings, multiple passions, throughout our lives.

Maybe your calling is to be a doula, or a school teacher. Maybe it’s to open a coffee bar. If we’re lucky, we can turn our passion into a career, but that’s not the case for many of us. We need to pay the rent, and often that means that we follow our passions outside of working hours. Maybe you volunteer at a non-profit on the weekends, helping a cause you believe in. Maybe you get up early to write fiction, or do yoga, or go for a run before hitting the office. Me, I don’t know what my passion is. I’m finding that after almost eighteen years as a stay-at-home-mom, I’m not even sure what my talents or interests are outside of parenting. I’ve heard the advice to ask myself questions such as “What do people ask me for advice on?” and “What could I give a 30-minute talk on without preparation?” My answers to those questions are all parenting-related. For years, people have asked me about breastfeeding and homeschooling. I could talk about either of those at length. I’m the friend that people tag on Facebook when they post an article about breastfeeding or homeschooling. I’m also often asked about babywearing, discipline, and other things relating to being a mom. For a while, I even ran an online forum for local, non-mainstream parents. That was rewarding and fun at the time, but now I’m trying to get back to who I am as an individual, as myself, not as someone’s mom. I love to read, do crosswords, and drink coffee, but I wouldn’t call any of those a passion for me. They’re definitely not something I want to blog about or turn into a job or career.

I do love to do crafts and DIY projects. I don’t have a whole lot of talent in this area, but I have heaps of interest. I just need to learn, to try new things, to practice. I love being creative. It’s fulfilling and a fantastic stress reliever. Maybe, if I try enough things, I’ll find an area that captivates me, and I’ll want to pursue it more deeply. Maybe I’ll be able to turn it into a career. In any case, I’ll have fun, I’ll learn new skills, I’ll make stuff. And maybe I’ll learn something about myself.

Follow along on the blog as I try new things. Right now I’m in the middle of knitting a dishcloth. I’ve been knitting for years, but sporadically, and I’m somewhere between a beginner and an intermediate. I’m committing right now to knitting much more often. I’m also currently taking an online course from Sketchbook Skool called Drawing Without Talent. It’s taught by Danny Gregory, who is disarming and encouraging and makes me believe I can actually become an artist. I’ve also started listening to his new podcast, Art For All, and I’m going to check out some of his books. I have been voraciously consuming books, websites, and podcasts that discuss creativity, especially in terms of how to find and nurture the creativity within you, how to make time for creativity, and how to stop listening to and believing those voices that say “You’re no good! Who the hell do you think you are, calling yourself creative?” So these books seem right up my alley.

I’ve been wanting to learn cross-stitch or embroidery for a while, so I think that will be my next endeavor. There are several Etsy shops that sell kits for beginners. I’m going to buy one of those and get started.

Cutting Myself Some Slack

Today I was going to get up at nine, start writing at ten, work on reading with Luz at around eleven-thirty, and then make some very overdue phone calls. I’ve been having trouble keeping up with everyday life tasks such as paying bills, making various appointments, homeschooling my daughter, keeping the house semi-clean… you know, the kind of things that everyone else seems to do without even thinking about it. I decided my problem was that I didn’t have a specific time set aside each day for any of these tasks. When I set up my planner for this week (yesterday, because that’s another thing I have trouble keeping up with), I scheduled these tasks, and last night I made sure to set my alarm.

After waking repeatedly through the night, I pressed snooze for a whole hour this morning and woke up at ten. Sometime after eleven, I realized I desperately needed to grocery shop, but I knew there was no way I was going to make it to the store. I ordered groceries online for Publix to deliver. By the time I was done, it was past noon and I hadn’t eaten anything. I started making some food, which of course prompted two of my kids to ask me to make food for them, too. Finally, after a brief stint as a short-order cook, I ate my first meal of the day. This happens much more often than it should. I actually have a reminder set on my phone for 1pm every day to tell me to eat, because I tend to get busy and forget to eat until mid-afternoon.

After I ate, I did manage to make one phone call before realizing how much pain I was in. I mean absolutely severe physical pain. And that’s when I had to remind myself that sure, scheduling time for certain tasks would probably be helpful, but my trouble goes deeper than that.

See, I suffer from chronic pain and exhaustion that I’m pretty sure are due to fibromyalgia. I haven’t yet gotten a diagnosis (remember those appointments that I still have to make?), but I tick off most of the red flags and my primary care doctor thinks it’s likely. I also suffer from depression and anxiety, and over the past month or so I’ve weaned off one antidepressant and started another. Not only has this been absolute hell psychologically, but my physical pain has increased immensely. So today, my entire body is aching and my head is about to explode. You know how you feel when you have the flu? That achiness you feel throughout your bones and even your skin? Add a strained lower back, and that’s how I feel now.

I was feeling guilty for not sticking to my schedule, for not doing the things that appear to be so easy for everyone else. I had to stop and consciously adjust my thinking. I had to remind myself that I actually did accomplish things today. I bought groceries (they were delivered as I wrote this post). I made lunch for two of the kids. I made an appointment for my daughter to get a haircut. I took care of myself: I showered, dressed, ate, and took my medication. This is important; it’s not something I can always do. And now I’m lying in bed. I have my coffee, my sketchbook, and my knitting next to my bed on my Räskog cart. I took some ibuprofen. And I’m not going to feel guilty for having reached my limit.

Rock Painting

Two things Luz, my ten-year-old, absolutely adores are art and nature, so I’m trying to fill our summer days with lots of both. A few weeks ago I was in a Hallmark store, and I saw a selection of painted stones for sale. What a great project idea, I thought. This was an art activity that would incorporate nature, and would be more exciting than Luz’s everyday pencil or pen drawings on paper.

Luz couldn’t wait to get started rock painting. She immediately ran outside and gathered a few rocks from the backyard, trying to stick to ones with a smoother surface. She washed them with soap and water and let them dry, which really didn’t take long. We didn’t have a great selection of paints, and I thought a paintbrush would be tricky to use on rocks, so we used some Bic permanent markers I had on hand. These are similar to Sharpies, and I think the quality is comparable.

She colored a few rocks, and was surprised and impressed when I showed her that one of them looked very similar to paintings by Joan Miró.

Meanwhile, I’d been frantically googling rock painting, and I read over and over again that the best paints to use were UniPosca paint markers. I told Luz that I was going to buy those, and she decided to hold off on painting more rocks until we had them.

The UniPosca markers arrived the other day, and they are fantastic. Not that the permanent markers weren’t great; they were. But using paint instead of ink gave us more vibrant colors, and allowed us to use light colors, even on darker colored rocks.

My 14-year-old, Zeke, joined in, and he and Luz spent hours painting all kinds of pictures and designs on rocks of all sizes. Llani, my 17-year-old, joined them for a bit, and turned a large rock into some sort of reptilian creature. I even got in on the fun and painted a little rainbow against a blue sky.

We still have over a dozen rocks left to paint, and the kids keep coming up with ideas. I’m going to spray a sealer onto our finished rocks so they’ll last longer and be weatherproof, and then we’ll have to decide what to do with them all!