creativity and taking the piss of your sister

Hey, anyone notice the new banner? The blog is now named 'blueprints' where I hope to debrief bits of my life and map out activites and techniques with tutorials for creative people (I mean you). At least that's the hope. I will try not to spend all your time alternately worshipping and bitching about my children and stay on the creative side of things.

Hey, speaking of children!

Yesterday the children and I went on a little picnic to our friendly neighborhood green space. Well, by 'picnic' I mean I chopped some fruit and smoked tofu into baby size pieces, threw them into an old butter container and made sure I had a hand left to carry a large coffee.

Why am I telling you this? Here's how it works in with creativity. I spend stupid amounts of time thinking about creativity. Now just how to do or achieve it, but the actual defintion. It's almost a hobby. What makes an act/thought/relationship creative? Have you wondered about this?

This is what I think.

Creativity is a process. Creative efforts do not necessarily yield a product or end result.

Creativity is universal. The creative medium need not be what is traditionally thought of when you think of creative expression – paints, canvas, the handmade. There are creative thoughts, creative acts, creative solutions, creative relationships. Creativity is not intrinsically beneficial. It can be used with equal finesse by good and evil.

Creativity is purposeful. It is making something with intent. You can not be accidentally creative.

Creativity is desire. To achieve a desired effect. The bringing about of new beings, pregnancy, birth, creation, is not creative in and of itself. But when a pregnant woman thinks ahead of her baby, imagines it’s face and the smiles it will bring with, then there is creativity.

Creativity is original. Though it seems that history repeats itself and that the same idea can crop in many parts of the world all at the same time, this repetition doesn't erase the creativity a person has when they have a thought or an action that is completely to new to them. We all invent the wheel.

With this, admittedly suspect, definition in mind, I come back to our picnic in the green space. I am blown away by the creative lengths my son will go to harrass his big sister.

Here he is in action, with the goopy fork poke:

Awww, lookit the little smile! Stabbing his sister and making her scream, what a happy little fellow!

Have I mention he pulls hair, bites, pinches, kicks, and whines with aggression. These are fairly standard tactics, sure, but he also turns off the tv, goes after his sister's lovey (to chew on it's ear), and stuffs her shoes full of toys. All to get her attention. Because he loves her.

I would say that Birdie Boy puts a lot of thought into how to get his sister's attention and that he is displaying creativity.

Okay, now I need some creativity to be used for good. My goal is to take this desire Birdie Boy has to be with his sister and turn it into an activity that they both enjoy. Does anybody please have some ideas or games that the two can play together. We have a 8 hour car trip next week to, so you can understand that I'm feeling the need to have my children behave peacefully towards each other with urgency.

I would be most grateful for any ideas!


  1. Well I have to say, I do not like the new direction of this blog. I thought you had a blog where you put personal stuff. It was great that there was a place with just tutorials. I don't want to have to flip through stories about your kids and family to get the tutorials. On that same note, your other blog that has more pictures of your work and little personal stories is fun to read on occasion too.
    What I am trying to say is, there are a million blogs that have both personal and tute posts, I liked yours because they used to be separate.

    That's just one readers opinion though.

  2. I like the new blog. :) Having kids that bicker and fight during road trips, the most MOST useful thing is a dvd player. I resisted getting one because I figure kids get plenty of tv anyways, but... it really makes a nine hour car trip feel like a 2 hour trip. And you can say, "two more movies and we'll be done!"

  3. Yes the DVD thing works(we don't have a player YET but we are losers and borrow a friends. lol) Also, cheetos work AMAZING. but messy and really not so healthy, but I'm just sayin. . . your desperation levels by the END of the trip leave you not caring so much about healthy and messy(very blurred vision and morals by then) A bag of fun stuf for each. But I don't know, need more info, like how old are they? email me if you are interested. I have 5 ages 12 down to 4 and we have made MANY trips. our two youngers were adopted 7 hrs away, and the trips were actully about 12 hrs (1 way) lol. And we made trips for business when the youngest was only a few weeks and her "big "brother was 14 months(and the others were 4,6,and 8) we have lots of practise. hezra_at_home@yahoo.com

  4. I have to second (third?) the DVD player vote. It is the only thing that makes a drive across Texas to see the grandparents even possible for us. I'm not generally in favor of TV as babysitter, but desperate times...
    I love the "new" blog. I like the personality it is developing, and hey, all the 'tutes are on the sidebar for those who don't want to hear about Smootch and Birdie Boy.

  5. faithsmama (kris)June 11, 2009 at 10:55 AM

    i love the new blog direction, especially since it makes more sense for *you* and since you're the one doing all of us a favor by posting your tutorials! and i think it's awesome to get to know the blogger and her fam a little better.

    just another reader's two cents ;)

  6. First, it's your blog, however you want to go with it is up to you...let the chips fall where they may.

    Second: dvd's are nice,but they aren't activities. Back in the day we made sure to pack an box with jump ropes, slinkies, frizbies etc. We used them often. We'd stop about every two hours for 15 minutes and run the kids ragged as possible for those 15 min. then back on the road. Crab walking, relay races, chasing bubbles, whatever it took to RUN them. Us the frizbies, inverted as snack trays. Prepack ziplocs with frozen grapes, oranges, granola and cheese cubes. I have more ideas, so I will just write you.

  7. I remember a road trip where my mom gave us a ball of string and a roll of masking tape. Somehow we managed to pass it back and forth, taping it here and there and entertaining ourselves for hours. Your little boy might not be quite old enough for that though. I also remember getting Wicki Stiks to play with in the car...those wax coated bendy string-type things. They are endless entertainment!

  8. You should check out this site - http://www.melissaanddoug.com/dyn_prodlist.php?k=88555
    These wooden flip toys are great for car rides. Even for babies, even though the games themselves are too advanced for babies they still have color, pictures and wooden pieces to flip and twist and are attached so they don't get lost! I have found them to be great!

  9. I love the new direction of your blog. I think it's wonderful how your rolling all aspects of your life into one space. That's why people put a category list on the sidebar to help navigate through what they want.

    The banner is absolutely beautiful! I love how you got a few different shots of your daughter all in one.

    Definetly DVD's are always awesome (helps them sometimes fall asleep as well). As well as Ipod's and the license plate bingo game.

    I was wondering, if you have had time of course, would you be willing to do a tutorial to make a sunhat (similar to the one your daughter is wearing). I've searched the web and keep coming up with nothing and I surely don't trust my math skills. Thanks!

  10. I'm a huge fan - as long as you keep posting tutorials I'm "in!" :)

    I like that you're adding more personal bits and pieces! I'm gonna go back to my blog and post your new name. Good luck with the new direction!

  11. I'm a lurker but I do like the new direction of your blog. Hahaha...at least I'm only lurking around one website instead of 3...

    I enjoy reading about how you integrate your family life and your crafting pursuits. Many times I'm overwhelmed by how much I think I can do versus how much time I really have and it helps to see how other mothers balance their needs for creativity with their family. More often than not, you inspire me to try better tomorrow.

    Thanks for letting us sneak a peek into your world!

  12. So I have done several long car trips with the kiddos. And its really tough to entertain those really small ones, especially if they still ride backwards. I was given a book called '365 Unplugged Family Fun Activities' by Steve and Ruth Bennet (perhaps at your local library?). It has a chapter on road trip activities although they are probably more appropriate for your older one. Don't get me wrong, we have done the DVD thing before. But I fully agree with S'mee that kids HAVE to get out of the car and run a bit, even though it can make the drive longer. And good snacks are a must (perhaps something that they don't normally get?). Good luck!

  13. I agree with S'mee. Stopping every two hours or so is ideal. If you can even map out your trip so you stop where there are parks or interesting places to visit that is great, too. Of course, during nap times if you can get them to sleep drive like the wind and forget stopping until they wake up! :)

    I know my kiddos 3 and almost 1, really like music in the car - us singing especially. My 3 year old loves stickers and a roll of tape. and my baby is still pretty happy with something to chew on and the occasional bell shake in her direction.

    Good luck with it! And bravo for you on the "giving with both hands". I wish more people would follow your lead.

  14. I have a hard time with this. I have 2 older step daughters and an 19 month old. They're better at helping keep her okay than entertaining her. I have to do a lot of turning around to make silly faces. I don't think I could do it for 8 hours, so all I have on that is a big good luck!

    Rock on with your new blog, it's all good with your loving and loyal readers. :)

  15. i love the new blog with all the bits of pieces included. i think you have a fabulous gift for writing and for one reason or another, i never saw your other blogs and so now i am tuned in! thanks for the amazing tutorials as well.

  16. I'm another reader who loves the new direction of your blog. As a new mother you trying to get to grips with everything that has to be done as well as wishing I was crafting, you inspire me that it can be done. And done with grace, charm and humour.

    I've given you the "One Lovely Blog" award. You can pick it up at my blog http://pendlestitches.wordpress.com/

  17. Thank you everyone for your suggestions and encouraging comments! There's lots of good suggestions here - and dh is all for the dvd player :D

  18. Birdie Boy may be a bit too young, but my sister and I could entertain ourselves for hours on car rides with a simple game of "Gotcha Last." If you are not familiar with the principle, it is basically "Tag" for close quarters. I'd tap her arm and say "Gotcha Last" and then she'd do the same. It would alternate between lightning fast pokes back and forth to the dreaded, "oh I'm bored let me stare out the window for a while and then..."GOTCHA LAST," at which point we would both erupt into giggles.

    For those of you familiar with the game, I can only thank Plus and Minus of Nickelodeon's Pinwheel for the hours of entertainment they provided!

  19. I love your new blogging direction! I also love birdie boys hat! Did you make it or buy it?

  20. Hey, I recognize your grocery list in your picnic menu! :)

    What dress pattern is that, that Smootch is wearing in the header pic?

  21. Rachel R, it's my pattern, Revolutions Frock, avaliable at my etsy for a very reasonable price :D

  22. I guess I'm a "lurker" too...;-). I like the new look and the photostitched banner of your daughter is beautiful. As for Birdie Boy... aaahhh, the joys of boys (sigh and smile)....all I can say is that he must truly adore his big sister to be doing all of that just to get her attention. I have twin 7 yr old girls (as of today- it's their b'day... and our anniversary :-)) and a 3 1/2 yr old boy who has done the same to his sisters as Birdie Boy does. But I knew from the moment the three of them layed eyes on eachother when he was born they fell head over heels in "sibling love." Although they constantly bicker these days (since he can now speak all too well) there is still this undeniable bond that is very obvious. It's in the way he looks at them when they've been seperated for several hours in a day because of different activities.... that look of unadulterated excitement and at the same time familiar relief. Ironically we just came back Tues morn from a 7 day (6/9-16/09)family trip driving to NY from FL and back.... although it was ETERNALLY long, it was beautiful to see them bond even more (and of course bicker as usual...lol). We used the DVDs on our trip but surprisingly not as much as I thought I would have to(our car dvd player died on us so I figured out a way to rig and strap up my hubby's laptop in the car and used it as a "big screen"). They ended up just watching the scenery at some points, looking at license plates and highway signs or coloring in their coloring books. One of my girls is an avid reader and spent a long part of the waking hours of the trip reading. As for snacks, I bought all the healthy (organic) snacks they normally have and esp fruits and baby carrots (etc.) and ziploc'ed like a mad woman the night before the trip, lol. Never had to stop once for food going up and only made one meal stop for breakfast on the way back home (needed something hot in our bellies :-)). Anyhow, sorry for the long messg.... have to go anyway to work on the girls patchwork circle dress for their b'day today. :-)
    Hope it all works out for you.

  23. it's a really nice blog thanks for add my comment...

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