artsy fartsy,  Bug,  Shop Talk,  Tis the Season

little notes

super close up of tie

Bug and I worked on a fun craft project today. I call it “recycling art”. I got the idea from Bethany Actually’s super pretty Valentine cards. I didn’t use tin foil and tissue paper but I did re-purpose Baby Bug’s art into hearts on cards. It was really fun for both of us.

stamp! stamp! stamp!

The day before I let Baby Bug “water color” some pieces of paper in her high chair. For some reason she hasn’t quite figured out that you put the paint brush in the water, then in the paint and then on the paper. She likes to put the brush in the paint, mix it around in the water to make soup and then put it on the paper. Sadly she makes a soppy mess of everything and there is no changing her mind about it.

Instead of throwing her art out, like I do so many times, I set it on the counter to dry. Amazingly, the soggy wet paper dried into these really pretty watery pieces of art. I liked the colors. There is nothing prettier than turquoise melting into blue and purple. As long as I keep her away from the black, she creates beautiful watery masterpieces.

the artist at work

So today I let her play with my stamp collection and stamp the now dry water-colored paper. That was a kick in the pants. I forgot how much kids like stamps. Or stamp pads I should say. She tried a number of tricks, including but not limited to stamping her fingers and face in the stamp pad. The only problem is the stamp pads are not made with washable ink like all the other art supplies I let her use. And of course she’s wearing her brand new birthday shirt from Grandma. What was I thinking?!!

Pounce takes over when the Baby loses interest

While I cleaned Baby Bug up (I think the shirt will be okay) and put her down for a nap, Pounce took over. He did a very nice job don’t you think?

craft day repose

Just kidding. I cut out all those hearts.

little hearts!

I was going to cut out fish shapes to go with the under water colors but I guess the Eiffel Tower stamps and Valentines being around the corner got the best of me. I’m a hopeless romantic. Plus my fish shapes looked horrible. I’ll have to save that idea for another day.


Then I made a bunch of them because everything is a production with me. I can’t help myself. I have a lot of thank you notes to write (oh yeah, that’s what these are for. I forgot to mention that earlier) but I’m sort of hoping a few will be left over so I can sell them in my etsy shop. Forget hopeless romantic. I’m just a hopeless entrepreneur/show-off (there has got to be a better word for that but I cannot think of it).

coffee and notes

close up

Naturally, we had to have a proper photo shoot. And then Baby Bug woke up and that was the end of that.


  • alli

    Sweet! I have let F fingerpaint blank cards before, but this is a really cool idea too! A little more “finished.” And Bug is a sweet painter. Keep up the good work!

  • Michelle

    I just checked out your blog and love it! I am going to do this project with my 2 kids for Valentines. After reading, I searched my house for past art projects that I could recycle. Now I don’t have to sneak my son’s art into the trash can anymore. He will be very happy and probably less damaged since his momma won’t be tossing his beautiful penguin/robot/snowflake.

    SAJ says: Oh cool! Michelle has the best etsy shop ever everybody! I’ve bought several very snazzy and practical bibs from her. I keep meaning to blog about them. I’m sure one of these days I will. Thanks for stopping by Michelle!

  • Queeny

    That is toooooo cool! I’m totally stealing that idea. Hope you don’t mind. My kids did something similar for Christmas and their grandparents loved it.

    SAJ says: I don’t mind at all! :)

  • andrea

    What a great way to repurpose art that otherwise would have ended up in the waste bin. I may just have to steal this idea and make valentines for the grandparents, they’ll love them.
    Thanks SAJ!

  • Katie

    I agree with Angella…you have got to be the most creative person I know! Those are lovely!

    SAJ says: Shucks. Thanks, you guys. I’ve been feeling like everyone else in blogosphere is way more creative than I am but that won’t stop me! There are soooo many neat blogs on crafting out now. I am a-mazed. Long live craft blogging!

  • Beth B.

    Those are pretty darned cute and you just gave me an amazing idea for my son’s Valentines (for his classmates) – he’s 4 1/2 and we have plenty of his artistic creations that he brings home from preschool; i can repurpose them and THRILL his grandparents and classmates. well, the classmates might not be too impressed but i know the grandparents would be. have a super day!

    Beth B. (mommy to a 4.5 year old dynamo)

  • BeachMama

    I love those SAJ!! I saw Bethany’s too and thought that J and I could make his cards for school this year. We did make some last year, but they were just for family. The creativity just never ends.

  • august

    As always, I’m inspired by your ideas with your baby. My 3 year old is sitting here with me admiring pictures of baby bug and her creations and we’re going to have to “steal” the idea. I love the cards. Such a cute idea. Thanks

  • Oopsy Daisy

    Was one of those rubber stamps your cute gumball kitty? Did you have your own rubber stamps made? I ask because I used to have my own made. You can have rubber stamp sheets made out of any pictures you like (noncopyrited of course). You put as may pics as you like on a 8×11 sheet of paper and “Image Transfer” makes a rubber stamp sheet of it. Then you cut them out and glue them on blocks of wood. Just wondered if you did that. If so, I wish you would sell them on your storefront. I’d love to buy some rubber stamps of your artwork like gumball kitty, etc. Let us know!

    SAJ says: Yes! Good eyes. One of those was my cat design from BB’s first birthday. I actually just uploaded my design to some internet company and they mailed me the stamp.

    I’m totally intrigued by what you are talking about though, What do you mean “Image Transfer” makes a rubber stamp sheet of it. Is this a company? A kind of paper that I can run through my ink jet printer? No, that can’t be. Please explain. I soooo want to do this!

    And if I do this, I will totally sell them on Etsy!!! :)

  • Michelle in Cincinnati

    I love the stamp of the Eiffel Tower! Such a cute project! **Just an aside – I love how you changed the “Via Twitter Baby Bug is:” with her current hair style :o) She is the cutest!

  • familymclean

    Love em!!! We were going to do a similar craft but now I feel like I am stealing the idea….we will have to put a twist on it. ;)
    I love crafty days…..for the kids and me, and as they get older the crafts just get funner…is that even a word?

  • Starryprincess

    Thanks SAJ and Bethany actually, between you you have given me an excellent idea for my toddler group’s valentine craft this year. I was beginning to panic that I was devoid of inspiration for the 6mos to 3 yr olds to make. Go you crafty girls