artsy fartsy,  Bug,  na blow me,  Tis the Season

Day Twenty-four: Craft Day!

sticking the stickers

We made Christmas cards today. You’re thinking, “How proactive SAJ is…” but you would be wrong. Usually I put things off to the last minute because I work better under a little bit of stress. But in the case of these Christmas cards, we started them early because I wanted something fun to do with Baby Bug.

I’m not sure I would recommend this project for all mothers of nearly-two-year-olds. You can definitely do it but it did involve a lot of clean-up throughout the whole process. Of course I didn’t plan very well so I was carving the potato stamps while Baby Bug was awake and scrambling up on a chair so she could climb on the counter and try to grab the knife and “cut like mommy.” I definitely don’t recommend doing that.

my experiment with vegetable stamping

My initial idea was to use a head of cabbage, cut in half, to stamp. I had this vision of a highly detailed red tree on cream colored paper… not unlike the coral designs that have been showing up on so many pillows these days. That idea failed miserably. I’m sure it would work but not with washable kid paint. The paint was too thick and it just glomped on the paper like a soggy wet dog nose. It was fun to play with but not very tree-like at all.

a bok choy rose

The only vegetable that really worked was the baby bok choy. Chopped near the base, it made a very pretty rose. Not a tree… but still nice. I love bok choy. Not only is it tasty but it makes a pretty stamp! I know you all think it tastes like some kind of green cardboard or kale or something but you would be wrong. It’s like lettuce but with a hint of spice. Chop it up and put in your next stir fry and you will thank me for how healthy you feel.

a bird stamp

But we weren’t talking about dinner; we were talking about a Christmas card project! We were talking about a messy project. I finally gave up on the vegetables and decided to use the potatoes I had left over from Thanksgiving and make good old-fashioned potato stamps. I know everyone has done this and it’s so not original BUT cut me some slack because I am doing an art project with a nearly-two-year-old!

the artist wears black

A nearly-two-year-old who likes to make big messes! She didn’t want to stamp. She wanted to paint. She painted the cards, she painted the table, she painted the potato stamp (the side you need to hold when you are stamping, of course). She painted some brussels sprouts and some rocks and even the pumpkins I still have left over from halloween but just don’t the heart to throw out. She even painted her feet! Give that girl a paint brush and she will paint the town red, literally.

not for the faint of heart

I was bellyaching to Toby about how messy she is and how I don’t know why I do these things (this was after she threw the star potato stamp off the balcony and gouged a hole in the snowman stamp with her fingernail), and he chuckled and said, “Admit it. You love this. You’ve been waiting your whole life to make messes like this.”

I had to admit he was right. I do love this sort of thing. The hours in the day flew by while we were in the thick of it. I’ve been doing these sorts of projects for years with borrowed kids—kids I babysit, nieces, kids that people brought to work and then sent to my office so they could get some work done… It’s about time I finally got to do this sort of thing with my own kid.

stack o' christmas cheer

I can’t wait to send them out and brag about her.

If you noticed this post was not riddled with as many errors as usual, it is because Bethany Actually edited it for me.


  • bluejaye

    Can’t wait to get ours and display it proudly.

    Most of our craft days didn’t turn out the way I expected. Now they can do it on their own.

    They always make these projects look so easy on Carol Duval.

  • jo's mom

    I am surprized she was not using green and painting the town green. Is she out growing green?

    SAJ says: That is because this was a “controlled” art project. I was going to just do red (for my trendy coral idea) but that went out the window with the soggy cabbage.

  • margalit

    Oh, I’m so jealous. When my kids were little we did all sorts of crafts projects like that. Now they are old and sophisticated and don’t even want to give me a glance. Sob.

    Nice mess, bug!

    SAJ says: You know when she becomes a teenager, I’ll be emailing you for support.

  • reddirtroad

    I think they are great! Will you be sending any to Canada, namely to the province of BC? …

    SAJ says: Of course I will! And to anybody else who really wants one and emails me their address.

  • Beth

    she will always remember these fun times with mom! Keep making messes Bug! What a great idea, maybe when my garndchildren start coming, LOL, I’ll try something like this! Untill then, only myself to blame messes on!
    Keep up the good work mom, your a terrific lady SAJ!

  • Gretchen

    Very nice! Be sure and save one for yourself and date it…

    I have so many wonderful projects my kids have done, but I’m already starting to forget who did what when.

    Keep up the great work!

  • Carrie

    You are one brave woman. I’ve been inspired by you and trying to do art projects with Erik. I am too much of a perfectionist. I get too frustrated when he makes a mess, and it’s all mess (of course! He’s two!). I did sign us up for an art class that starts in January so maybe that will help. I have to admit he loves it, so I need to reign in my inner perfectionist and just realize it’s all about the children.

  • witchypoo

    Awesome project! I made a lot of stamps from wine corks, and had stamp pads on hand. It cuts down on the mess, and the corks are reusable.
    I gave the supplies away this year because I have no littles at home to help me.

  • Michelle

    BB is the luckiest kiddo EVER! You are such a neat mommy! She looked like she was very into her work :o) We would love a Christmas card!! I’ll email you our address and we’ll send you one from us too!

  • Gramma

    Too bad I wasn’t artistic…BUT…I was always ready to leave the dishes in the sink and toddle off to the beach with my gang. It was only through the school yard and down the lane away.