When I had my first daughter I had just finished a uni degree in painting and found it increasingly difficult to paint with a baby in the house. For one thing babies are unpredictable and some days
they stick to the 'routine' and some days they don't . This doesn't leave a lot of room for planned long periods in which to paint and its also quite difficult if you are covered in paint and the baby cries (not to mention some paints and paint products being non-baby friendly). I was also in a house which did not have enough space to really set up my paints and leave them there.
My solution to this at the time was to change mediums and I started to play around with polymer clay. I figured I would pick up painting again when things were better set up. That was almost four years ago now and I'm still playing with clay.
Now that I have a one year old things are back to square one. As my first daughter grew older she was able to understand more about 'don't touch' but having a second baby means you are starting again. We also moved house just before baby number two and our new house has even less room, in fact there is no spare room that I can use at all in which I can shut the door.
Its now that my cravings to paint are increasing once again so I am at the point of trying to work through solutions for this. When I use my clay I tend to get it out at night and spread across the kitchen table and then pack it up again before bed (important as I use a metal skewer and a blade for my work) but I did discover one day that I need to get the clay out during the day as well.
I had an order that I really needed to fill and so I had been trying to clay while my daughter was off with her grandfather. They arrived home early and while we were chatting my daughter went over to my clay table and proceeded to pick up the clay and squish it (including some of the little shaped apples I had made for the order). Of course I quickly took the clay off her and packed it all up.
The next day she had her playdough out and I noticed that she was rolling out the clay (she was only 2 and a bit) instead of just smooshing it. It was then that I realised that she was copying what she had seen me doing when she came home early the day before. She told me to get out 'Mummy's playdough', so I did and we had a good time playing together. She learnt very quickly how to roll and shape the dough through copying.
Since then I have been a lot more flexible with sharing my creativity with her, whether it be clay or paint. I have included her in a few things and let her see what I'm doing and she learns so much faster.
Crafting with kids around is always tricky but I do think that if you are a creative person you need to allow them to become involved from as early as is safe. Let them see what you are doing and allow them to play with your scraps (paper, fabric etc...) or even give them their own safe version of what you are doing. Include your kids and you will be rewarded in the long run.
Happy crafting everyone and thanks for reading my blog posts for the last couple of weeks.