2h mer_mag
Normal Merrilee Liddiard
mer_mag He's not sure how he feels about having a matchy matchy mommy, but for now he's got one. Blondies. #hadtogiveitago Thanks @aubreynelson_ for playing hair coloring yesterday! #for10hours #nowmaybepeoplewillactuallythinkimtheirmother 2h

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mer_mag Exploring the Swedish kids craft book Pyssla Med Mig! by Karin Schaefer of @pysselbolaget and learning how to make THE CUTEST knight helmets (which would go so great with our #playfulknights smocks!). My kids and I ️ this book! Great job Karin! #pysslamedmig #pysselbolaget #thebanisterhouse 4h

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mer_mag I think it's safe to say that the cardboard brownstone doll houses just might be your favorite project from my book Playful! (It's def. one of mine!) Just look at all the fun dwellings you guys have been creating from it!! Hours of fun creating, decorating and playing house (in its miniature form) #playfulbrownstones #playfultoysandcrafts 1d

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mer_mag Lots of new dolls ready for wardrobes (my fav part) #mermagdolls 2d

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mer_mag Princess Miette made her very own #playfultwigcrown (with the help of mom @apriljboyer) from dried rosemary and lavender twigs. I'm smitten with the dusty lavender color they picked . (Instrux on how to make your own in my book Playful.) #playfultoysandcrafts #Playfulbook #mermagcrowns #playfullymade 3d

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4d mer_mag
Normal Merrilee Liddiard
mer_mag YES r No? Tub in front of the fireplace? We're going to be renovating #thebanisterhousebathroom the month of July. We've sketched up so many different plans and we keep going back to the tub in front of the fireplace. (It's a pretty big room but we do have to share it with the laundry). What do you think? Would you do it? #yeserno found on @thedesignfiles 4d
  •   mamanotieneblog Maybe under the window????? 4d
  •   smallhandsbigart It would make for the ultimate experience while bathing but from a design perspective the tub blocks the view of the fireplace so presumably you couldn't enjoy it from the commode :-) I could envision a comfy chair / ottoman set up in front of the fireplace - very spa like. Beautiful space! 3d
  •   smallhandsbigart Oh wait that's the commode NEXT to the fireplace! 3d
  •   circusbeerblog Wauw! Under the window would be perfect! But this is also pretty! 3d
  •   crystalsouter A+ for focal point! 3d
  •   sarahbyooler Don't mind me while I stalk your insta. Little did I know a style icon moved into my ward! I have loved that house for three years and was so sad when my husband said "hmmm... Probably not" when I asked if we could buy it. But now that I see what you're doing with it, I am SO glad it's in your hands! Looking so great. I would say not to block the fireplace, also that tub is phenomenal. 3d
  •   heathermeljean I vote in front of/under the window 3d
  •   carachace I think it is too intrusive into the fireplace space. Beautiful tub! 3d

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mer_mag She found the doll from my BFA illustration project years ago and has been treating her like a baby doll ever since. I created Molly the Ballerina as a puppet to go along with her children's book. I've always been obsessed with toys & I see them as an extension of art/illustration. (i've also always been obsessed with dolls. I'm afraid I might be the creepy old doll lady with a room just full of dolls. Just between me and you - I'm kind of almost partially there ). #thebanisterhouse #mermagpuppets #mermagdolls 4d
  •   theroar6 I love your creativity with illustration! The toys bring it to life. Sometimes I forget that illustrating doesn't have to be all realistic. 4d
  •   rhonda_crabtree Cute picture! 4d
  •   schallon ️you are so talented and such an inspiration!!! 4d
  •   thebonniedays Found your profile by "accident", so many beautiful things to look at. 4d
  •   mer_mag Hee hee! @courtneysnowden Its true, I don't have and porcelain ones (well except two tiny ones but that doesn't count right?) 4d
  •   mer_mag Thanks! @theroar6 I'm so glad you found me here! We want to commission your husband to make something for #thebanisterhouse sometime. 4d
  •   theroar6 He would love that! @dearl44 4d

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mer_mag Little Jane completed @kidscraftcamp with flying colors! And celebrated with a piñata lolli. She even painted her very own #playfulpencilholders by herself - I am not kidding you.
Coming from the background that I have in my own art education I firmly believe that instruction is okay for children. So long as you leave the door wide open for & encourage their own creative thinking in the process - but let me tell you younger children usually do that anyway. So my goal is to give them instruction with the aim that they will be equipped with abilities to open new creative doors for themselves in the future. Of course process art and just doodling and freestyle painting and drawing is a BIG & important part of creativity for kids which we also did a lot of in the camp - please don't think I'm trying to say that the only way kids should create is from one specific pattern because that's NOT what I'm trying to say. But I don't think we need to be so afraid of actually instructing kids from a young age. I showed the kids how to rest their hand on the edge of the block to have a steady hand to paint with more precision. Jane (age 4 - our youngest camper) wanted to do the face from the pencil holder in the demo so I helped her through the steps and briefly talked about why the steps help you get what you want. But she was the only one who touched the paintbrush to her wood. It's all about giving kids the skills now so that they can create what they want in the way that they want later. Kids often give up on art at an older age because they feel like they don't have the capacity to create what they have in their imaginations. So I think it's important to expose them to skills & techniques can get them from A to Z in their future projects. And let's face it, we all know it's more fun to break the rules once you know them What's your take on this?
#kidscraftcamp
5d
  •   redlicorice I love this. I don't have the experience to teach the skills that you are teaching, but I'm passionate about teaching kids (and adults) how to exercise creativity with short and sweet exercises. So many people (kids included) get to point where they falsely believe they are just not creative. To which I say: IMPOSSIBLE. If you are human, you were born to create. 5d
  •   schallon I wish you were teaching a class in the Napa Valley! This all sounds so amazing!!! @mer_mag 5d
  •   pojoandbel I agree with you, but they also give up at an older age due to peer pressure of not being good enough despite having amazing imaginations :( I use tools with kids, they therefore need super instuction, what they create with that knowledge is then up to them and I adore seeing the results ;) 5d
  •   mer_mag Agreed! @redlicorice "if you are human, you were born to create." Couldn't love that more!! 4d
  •   redlicorice I've been meaning to ask: will you be doing any art classes or workshops further north? Springville is a bit far for us but I am working to find a good class for my nine year old son to be a part of. I'd love him to take a class from you, but if not, I'd love any recommendations you have. I'm in north Utah County, but so far I've just found the Rec Center art class which has not excited me. 4d
  •   mer_mag Oh I wish! @redlicorice I'd have to find a space. But I have been wanting to do weekend workshops all around, starting with Utah so that might be a fun thing for you and your son. I know - it can be hard to find good creative camps everywhere. 4d
  •   milk_thistle Agree! I think you need to give kids examples and ideas to show how others have applied certain skills, then they can take the ball and run in any which direction they feel like! I am a secondary school art teacher (not teaching currently though), and I found that 'freestyling' didn't suit everyone. Some just needed some instruction to give them a jumping off point, then the creativity came thick and fast! 12h

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mer_mag Each kid helped to paint stripes for the mane of our lion piñata for the last day of @kidscraftcamp party ! We adapted the tiger piñata from #playfultoysandcrsfts for this. #kidscraftcamp #playfulpinata 6d

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mer_mag Today was our last day of @kidscraftcamp for Jume (we're holding one more the last week in July) and we had our painting unit. We did glue resist painting as well as spin art, simple printmaking and decorated a lion piñata for an end of class party! Phew! That was one crazy fun crafty and busy week! And I'm beat. 😴 #kidscraftcamp #hinterlandworkshop #kidscraft #kidpainting #yoobi 6d
  •   flashbugsstudio @mer_mag I hear you! Tomorrow is my last day for June art camp... I can't believe how many projects we've done! Hopefully you'll get to enjoy some of the summer before your next camp. 6d
  •   jennabarbee @anniecolquitt this girl reminds me of you when you were little. Also, all this crafting is right up your alley! 6d
  •   anniecolquitt @jennabarbee love it!! 6d
  •   hillarycr It was a maical week! Thanks again @mer_mag 6d
  •   mer_mag Oh I'm so glad! @hillarycr your girls were such a welcome and lovely addition. I'm soooo impressed with their drawing skills. Addie seems to be especially taken with it. Hope your other little ones feels better soon. 6d
  •   mer_mag Thanks @flashbugsstudio I've learned a lot from this 1st camp. We crammed so much in but I think it was successful and the kids really seemed to have a great time. I feel like we finally got our grove one camp ended. Ha! 6d
  •   flashbugsstudio @mer_mag lol... So glad it was a success! 5d

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1w mer_mag
Normal Merrilee Liddiard
mer_mag Portrait unit in @kidscraftcamp today! We learned how everything can be broken down into shapes including faces. The kids had a lot of fun with this one. They composed cardboard faces and then turned them into puppets and had a little puppet show. They also drew portraits of each other and painted #playfulpencilholders. So much fun! #kidscraftcamp #mermagcardboard #mermagpuppets #cardboardfaces 1w
  •   mer_mag I love what Jane said about her puppet being her friend forever @mipjane 6d
  •   mer_mag Oh do! This might have been the kids favorite @mahasitha 6d
  •   mer_mag Ha! @dsherps you're sweet 6d
  •   mer_mag Oh thank you! @jennystanger Sometimes the best ideas come at 1 am while watching a show with your husband as he stays up late drilling holes into blocks for the kids to paint the next day. Seriously these faces came from not having enough time or resources for what I originally planned and I think the kids liked these much better than what I was going to do! 6d
  •   mer_mag Oh man, thanks! @smarterparenting I think I had just as much fun making faces as the kids did. 😀 6d
  •   jennystanger I think you're amazing. 5d
  •   smarterparenting I'd have fun making these too. 5d

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mer_mag We had our nature unit today at @kidscraftcamp where we made twig & leaf crowns. The kids then decorated nature cloaks by spraying pigment around various leafs to create a negative leaf print. (The kids went nuts for that part!). They then proceeded to dance around the room playing nature queen/king and holding a great debate as to whether these were capes or cloaks. It was about a 50/50 split. #kidscraftcamp #mermagcrowns 1w

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mer_mag "Playful is a really charming and well designed book but also quite a helpful one because there are several projects inside to keep little hands busy that are affordable, educational, fun and great for building stronger bonds between parents and their little ones." Thanks @decor8 for the sweet words on Playful today! I love the building stronger bonds part . She's composed a lovely post with lots of #playfultoysandcrafts photos today. I also like how she mentions a lot of projects you can simplify and make some of them out of paper or cardboard instead of wood - not worrying about being so precious. This is exactly what I was hoping people would take from it - looking at making these in a wide variety of ways. You can simplify for an afternoon craft or delve in a bit deeper for a special one-of-a-kind gift for your little ones. Many are great team projects like these little zipper pouches. Have your little one paint simple stars or a bear face and you can turn it into their favorite pencil bag. Older kids could even help sew it. #playfulbook #kidscraft #kidssewing #mermag @nicolegerulat 1w

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mer_mag Each time little Jane finished one project she would look at me and eagerly ask "when's the next craft?" #sooooocute #kidscraftcamp #mermagaprons 1w

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mer_mag The kids sewed sashes out of felt and then created badges to pin onto their sashes. Today's @kidscraftcamp unit was all about camping so they colored in tents for their badges. We have a nature unit, a portrait unit and a printmaking unit still to come! #kidscraftcamp #kidscraft #mermagbadges 1w

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mer_mag First day of @kidscraftcamp was a success! These campers made little campground dioramas, ate popcorn, sang "going on a bear hunt" sewed sashes and created badges for their first camping unit. So fun! #andnowitstimeforanap #kidscraftcamp #hinterlandworkshop 1w

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1w mer_mag
Normal Merrilee Liddiard
mer_mag The #playfulbrownstones shoot was one of my favorites from my book #playfultoysandcrafts. And so many great shots never made the book so I'm sharing a few on the blog today! Didn't @metacoleman_ outdo herself on this one?! - finding the bed, painting it and creating an entire little girls room right in the middle of her living room. I'm smitten. And the clothing styling by @houselarsbuilt - I want those tights for myself!!! #playfulbook #mermagcardboard #mermagducttape by the talented @nicolegerulat 1w

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mer_mag We are sure lucky to have this guy in our lives. Happy Father's Day Jon! #mermagfathersday #jordwatch 1w

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mer_mag New rugs for #thebanisterhouse came today!! including this one for the boys. My 6 yr old squealed when he saw it so I'm guessing that's a good sign. He's the most visually sensitive to our home design and tells us when he hates something - like our unfinished living room walls. #betterpatchthoseupsoon. (We ordered these from esalerugs.com btw and they're having a killer Father's Day sale this weekend - half off! This isn't a sponsored post or anything - I just wanted to let you know because it's kind of an awesome deal) #mermagcardboard #mermagstable #mermagducttape #mermag #ponycollection 2w

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mer_mag She'll make patterns with these over and over again. There are so many different ways to paint your #playfultiles. I love leaving some natural wood but this black background approach is really fun too. I'm thinking a pastel version is in order too. #playfultoysandcrafts #kidscraftcamp #kidscrafts 2w

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