artsy fartsy,  Bad Mom,  Bug,  Life Lessons,  painting,  Tis the Season

Zen and the Art of Painting a Cardboard Snowy Village

lurking hand foot monster

Yesterday Bug took a nap early and woke up about 3pm with nothing particularly special planned by me to keep her busy. (Did I just write a sentence backwards? I do that all the time. But I can’t re-order it for the life of me so I guess it will just have to stay that way.) So you know what that means. It’s not time to cook dinner yet, we have no business to take care of (i.e., errands, grocery-shopping, etc.) and it’s a bit chilly for the park or the beach so it must be CRAFT TIME! Break it down!

Except 3 o’clock is a bit late to be starting on a craft project in the wintertime. Winter days are so short! Man! It seems like summer lasted forever and we were sweating constantly and now FINALLY it’s winter and we can do stuff and there’s next-to-no daylight time to get anything done. Short days are cramping my style. Moan, complain, bitch, whine…

Halfway in we were already losing daylight and getting paint on our coat sleeves because it was chilly and for some stupid reason we do not have painting coats. And there is no way I’m moving a painting craft indoors no matter how polluted my carpet already is. I have some standards.

coloring on the backside

We worked fast and furious and unfortunately it showed. Good thing I’m not a perfectionist!

painting snow

It’s good not to be a perfectionist when you have a constant helper like I do. Sometimes I have to go to my zen happy place so I don’t lose it when she paints something the wrong way and mucks up my grand vision. She is so patient with me though.


I do lose it sometimes. I mean, I don’t yell or anything terrible but I get a bit irritated and sharp with her when she paints the house color on top of where I just painted the roof color. So when she says something like, “Mommy, you make me afraid I’m going to paint it wrong,” it just slaps me in the face because why am I doing this craft anyway? Aren’t these activities for her? There should be no fear in crafting.

painting together

I have a long way to go in the patience department. I’m just glad God gave me a such patient kid. She’s way more patient with me than I am with her.

done painting

In the end her every-which-way strokes did not really mess anything up. It was me hurrying that messed it up. I tried to add some shading to the snowy slopes and used a dark color instead of a light color which is completely backwards to what it would be in real life. I had a vision of painting some round shady hills like this painting (that I love so much) but with snow instead of meadows but I rushed through it and was sloppy.

all done!

You guys don’t really need to know all this behind the scenes stuff…it was a fun project and who cares where my expectations were right?

let it snow, let it snow, let it snowWe buy glitter in bulk.

We added some “snow” and that made everything better. I’m so glad I stocked up on the industrial-size bottle of glitter. It’s totally been worth whatever I paid for it.

lugging my craft box upstairs

I like this photo Bug took of me lugging my giant craft box up the stairs. She put a nice big fingerprint on the lens (which is why I have a waterproof/kidproof camera) which worked as a nice softening filter. You should try it sometime. I feel like I’m back in the seventies instead of just some dork wearing a hat that is not all that flattering.

little did the sleeping villagers know that a giant pink bear was about to smash them to blithereens

So that’s that. A craft and a lesson (for me, hah!). Now what am I going to do with this awful thing? Anybody want me to mail it to you? I’m kidding. Sort of. I’m keeping the kid.


  • Gramma

    I remember making little houses and animals to put under the tree whether my little brother wanted them cluttering up his fields around which his train ran.

  • Kim

    I absolutely love your new masthead! And you have way more patience than I. I *wish* I didn’t yell when I lose mine (It’s something I hate more than anything and try so hard to work on it). I keep telling myself “someday I’ll be a good mom.”

    It is great when we realize we’re putting our own expectations out there ON them and can back it up a bit. It makes it a little more enjoyable that way. (Coming from a pathetic perfectionist) ;)

    What a FUN project. Your craft projects with Bug make me dream of having the patience to even think about attempting them with my monster!

  • BeachMama

    I was going to say, ship her along we would have lots of fun with her here. I love your winter scene, makes me think I should do it with the kids for their rooms, will have to see what I have in the supply dept. first, it would sure be fun.

  • Sarah

    As soon as I saw these photos on Flickr I started wondering if I could do some sort of silhouette for my window. But (a) I’m not that clever and (b) I have a feeling it wouldn’t last long with the morning condensation.
    Perhaps I’ll just hire you to come and paint my window.

  • ioi

    (sigh). Yes, patience – it’s so hard to come by and so easily spent. Looking back later it seems like it wouldn’t have taken that much to be a little more gracious, but it definitely is difficult to remember that at the time. Thanks for this post.

  • KA

    I really, really love the new banner – to the extent that I had to comment! It’s fairytale perfect.

    …and those moments where your child gives you a version of yourself that doesn’t make you feel very good – I had one of those the other night too… All day at work, and I pick her up; when she starts acting up later on, I suddenly realise that I’ve spent the time focusing on the routine (dishes, snack, bath, etc, etc, etc) and haven’t really spoken to her at all. Ouch. So I can empathise – tho’ mine is worse.

  • bethany actually

    Bring it to my house! We’re trashy and homemade like that. ;-) Plus I already have the SAJ gallery going on.

    (I just realized that anyone reading this, not having been privy to our earlier conversation, will think that I am calling you or your craft trashy and homemade. Oops and oh well.)

    Granola bars are in the oven now, and they smell delicious! I’ll let you know how this recipe turns out.

  • a chris

    You may not notice it, being so crafty and all, but for the two of you to work together and make something that looks like that is pretty impressive. I think Bug is going to grow up knowing that she has the power to make things.

  • Pam

    i actually like it a lot! i think you should put it in your window like you did with the halloween cardboard cutouts, i’d totally decorate with it! lol

  • Shannon

    I think it’s adorable! And Bug is too, of course. I love your teamwork and the things you do together. It makes me very hopeful that I might someday have kids of my own and be able to do fun things with them too!

  • Meemo

    I like to wear my red sparkly shoes when I do crafts too, haha. Bug is adorable! Maybe you guys should get some craftin snuggies so that you don’t get paint on your white coat. You are a brave woman.

  • Jen

    Love the craft project, the lesson Bug taught you about patience, and the photo she took of you on the stairs. *A fingerprint as a softening filter – brilliant! You’re an awesome Mom to Bug! You’re both lucky and blessed to have each other!

  • Ana

    IT’S ME AGAIN!!!!

    First of all I LOVE THIS CRAFT! – and I don’t recall telling you how much I love that header so even if I did already I LOVE THAT HEADER!!!!!! LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!!!! OK the end…

  • Danna

    Oh I love this craft and I love the “sloppyness” of the whole thing. I also love Bug’s sparkly craft shoes!
    I think this would look cute on the baseboard or around the bottom of the tree.

    I might try this one with my kids. Thanks for sharing!

  • Colleen

    You come up with one amazing thing after another, have you considered putting all these great ideas together and writing a book?