Discovering the Vibrant Streets of San Francisco

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You never know what could happen when you hit the streets of San Francisco! San Francisco is simply overflowing with artists – painters, sculptors, dancers, musicians!

Nothing says that better than this video. Walking around I ran into Wayne, local celebrity and musician who claims to be able to play any instrument! He let me join in as he sang his song for us in front of this beautiful mural.

He is really amazing, wonderful voice, wonderful personality!  And what about that mural –   badass artwork right there, right?

I really love my leisurely walks around my neighborhood – to be quite frankly, it has become some sort of therapy for me.  I’m finding balance in me whenever I spend time with nature, walking along the beach.

Or I’m reconnecting to my passion in arts whenever I bump into artists like Wayne here or see artworks like these amazing murals.

This is the beauty of having the freedom to live life the way you want it.  You don’t miss the good stuff, the really beautiful things and amazing people that surround you.

It is indeed a beautiful world, sometimes we’re just too caught up with making a living that we have forgotten how to really live.

So, this life I have now?  This is my dream life, having the freedom to empower myself without being restricted by ‘lack’ of time or opportunity.

How to Introduce Arts and Crafts Projects to Children

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One way to keep your kids busy and ensure that you’re nurturing their overall developments at the same time is to engage them into arts and crafts project.  Keeping them occupied with activities that promote creativity as well as physical movements will aid in reinforcing positive attitudes as well as confidence.

Although a lot of people would love to take on an arts and crafts project with their children, most do not have the slightest idea on where to begin. If you happen to be one of these people, read on and learn arts and crafts tips that will help you get started.

For the little ones, you can make use of q-tips for miniature paint brushes that will fit perfectly with their little hands.  Big paint brushes tend to make big messes as well when used by small children. Using q-tip in place of a real paint brush will help them have better control, not to mention that it’s cheap and functional as well when drawing because the cotton ends pretty much acts like a pencil.

Make it a point not to come down on kids when they’re doing crafts, we’d like to inspire individuality through projects like these and not discourage or embarrass them for showing their own take at creating arts.

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Arts and crafts projects with kids are always messy; readily expect that even before starting this activity.  Using a drop cloth on your working surface and or area could help minimize the mess.  Using washable markers, adhesives and other art materials can also make cleaning up a lot easier.

You can always turn to the internet when researching for inspirations for arts and crafts or other diy projects.  There are a lot of websites offering ideas and tips for arts and crafts projects that is suitable for your kids’ age group.

Make use of the Sunday circulars if you are into arts and crafts.  Look for stores offering great deals on art supplies to get you going with your crafts project.  Stay updated with the latest sales event that will save you tremendously on arts and crafts materials.

Make it a habit to wash your brushes thoroughly when you’re done painting for the day.  Leaving your brushes with paint on will cause the bristles to harden when the paint dries up.  This will then make it harder for you to make subtle strokes that could in turn affect your painting.  Using a brush that is not cleaned thoroughly can also affect the color ranges and may leave you with a slightly (or heavily) different shades of color than what you would actually intend.

Opt for high quality arts and crafts materials whenever you can.  It may cost you more initially, but in the long run it’ll pay itself and you’ll be glad that you invested properly in the right art materials.  You definitely don’t want your artwork to start falling apart due to cheap materials even before you can show it off.

These are just some of the arts and crafts simple tips that you could consider before starting your own DIY projects with your children.  Remember that creating arts and crafts can significantly affect your child’s development, not just by honing any dormant talent but both mentally and emotionally as well.

Green Art from Upcycling

Not only do you contribute in the conservation and preservation of our natural resources by upcycling but you also create amazing work of art.

Upcycling can be both green and artsy at the same time.  You’ll be amazed at the artistry in products that are being born out materials or items that are once deemed worthless or trash already.

 

You can start living green by upcycling!  Yes, upcycling!  How it differs from recycling?

Upcycling vs. Recycling

In recycling, items such as paper, plastic and glass are broken down into base materials that can be use to make a new product.  That’s why there are items such as recycled napkin, recycled paper, Blue Marbles Project’s blue marbles are made from recycled glass, and so on.

In upcycling, you’re not exactly breaking down the materials, you’re only re-fashioning it to shape or to fit another purpose.  For instance, you cut and sew certain parts of an old pair of jeans to make a sling bag out of it.  The new product is still made of the original material, still in the form of denim only now it’s a bag and no longer a pair of jeans.

Who will benefit from upcycling?

Both the environment and us humans will benefit from it.  Well, suffice to say, upcyling benefits the environment it benefits us as well.  But even with aspects of finance, say your family’s budget, you’ll be saving a considerable amount with your expenses if you’ll adapt the habit of upcyling.

For example, you you can upcyle an old tv cabinet into a coffee table or console table.  Or you can use plastic gallons as plant containers.  There are tons of things you can turn these ‘trash’ into and you’ll be amazed at how it can turned out to be most of the time even better than what they are originally!

Exceptionally great work of arts can be created by up-cycling as well.  Even artists are starting to create green art to express themselves and create awareness.

Channeling My Passion for Art

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I’m very passionate about art; I have a degree in Fine Arts and even completed a Masters Program around the same time that I starting my own family.  It was quite a challenge, and I can honestly say that it wasn’t easy – but it’s all worth it!

Being able to be there for my kids on their formative years while keeping in touch with my passion for arts is undeniably one of the best decisions I made ever.

I was an art teacher for more than 20 years and also do glass arts – so basically my life revolved around arts.  It’s very much a part of who I am really, I breathe art. I love art!

A burning passion.

I’m a strong believer that keeping your passions in life alive makes you a better person.  It brings out the best in you.  You become this person that can affect other people positively.  You become a source of joy and hope.

Probably you’re thinking that keeping in touch with life’s passion is the last thing we can afford to think of considering that we’re all so caught up with our jobs, making a living and other mundane things that have taken control over our life completely.

But I truly believe that anchoring everything else in your life with your passion will ultimately bring focus and balance.  When you’re passionate about something you make things happen – even things you probably thought you won’t be able to do now feels you can easily accomplish.   Problems or trials or challenges become bearable if not easy.  You see things more clearly.  You make things happen.

For me, channeling my passion for art brings my life in focus and in balance.  It actually paves the way towards freedom for me.  I can honestly say that I’ve regained control of my life living it the way I have always wanted to – spending quality time with my family, traveling to different places, nurturing meaningful relationships, creating a sustainable life and of course creating arts!

When I decided that I’m going to empower myself and break free from whatever it is that is dragging me down to unhappiness – I found my inner strength, the superwoman in me – and started making changes in my life.

These are not easy changes and I even faced harder choices along the way.  I kept going anyway because it was clear to me that arts will always be (and have always been) a part of my life. That I know for sure.  I muster the strength to delve into the business world, a world that is foreign for me, but it didn’t discourage me – I persevered instead!

Now, I’m enjoying my freedom and still channeling my passion for art to continue on making changes to even better my life and to affect other people as well – all while creating a sustainable life for my family!

Green Art from Scrap

Creating art benefits not just your well being but even your physical body as well.  Through writing, music, dancing or visual arts, you can express yourself – your emotions, your visions.

It gives you the freedom and peace from within that radiate into your physical being – hence, art is important in our life.

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Having said that, not everybody is given the opportunity to be provided with the materials they need to express their creativity.  It can be due to financial constraints or inaccessibility.

In San Francisco alone, not all schools have the funding to support art education for the children.  And I cannot stress enough the importance of providing art education to our youths today.

With all the distraction from electronic gadgets that is monopolizing their waking hours, they do need art to let them discover their other potentials outside of their virtual world.

Artists, like myself, need to have a way to express ourselves, to channel out all the creativity that is inherent in us.  Being the creative person that we are, we simply cannot contain that without causing imbalance in our life.

Creating art from scrap

Arts supplies stores may not always be an option to a lot of people because of financial constraints and it’ll be a shame to hinder your creativity development just because you’re lacking the materials.

It’s a good thing though that art is everywhere!

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It does need a little extra creativity to see that there are arts in scrap, yes, in trash.  It’s physically there, waiting to be pick up and collected and waiting to be piece together.

SCRAP: the place to go

To create art from scrap found in your house is cool, to find all sort of scraps in one place is even cooler!

Anne Marie Theilen saw the need for resources to make art education possible for the students and for other artists as well in San Francisco, California.  This gave birth to SCRAP in 1976.

This non-profit creative reuse center, material depot and workshop space made creating art from scrap possible!  Low-cost materials and supplies are now more accessible to artists, teachers, parents and organizations.

SCRAP provided the community not just the resources but the opportunity to learn and pass on the value of creative reuse.

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 Now a days, so many things have become easily replaceable that people oftentimes just throw it away and replace it with something new – from household items to home furniture to office supplies.  Before we even knew it we have successfully participated in further polluting our planet earth.

We can make a change; let’s make it a habit to upcycle – to upcycle is to create art.

It takes imagination and creativity to re-shape or re-fashion an item to fit its new purpose.  Workings from scraps not only give you the opportunity to challenge yourself to give it a new life but you’re also contributing in saving the environment as well.

Green art from scrap!

By finding a new purpose to these scraps means less trash are polluting the earth!  SCRAP is literally saving landfills of additional tons of trash by taking the responsibility to make use of these scrap for the benefit of the community.

Suffice to say that art from scrap is definitely green art!

Check me out at the San Francisco Contemporary Art Market

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Arts and Crafts and Your Child’s Development

arts and crafts for childrenImage courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It is normal for developing babies and toddlers to be curious about their environment, especially the little things that are within their reach and which they can grab with their tiny hands, oftentimes even straight into their mouths.

They are plain curious about what these things can do (or taste – for the younger ones) and what they can do with these things in return.  This is why they are naturally drawn to colorful pens, crayons, paints, shinny glitters, soft strings, papers, clays and basically anything they can ‘create’ things with.

For children this age, babies and toddlers, arts and crafts is an important activity that can aid in their development.  It’s for the children’s best interest to expose them into these kinds of activities rather than allowing them to watch TV for hours on end or play computer games or game consoles.

While the latter seems the ‘easier’ choice since firstly you don’t have to bother ‘cleaning up’ after the mess, and secondly, you also don’t have to ‘sit’ there with them – we have to keep in mind as well that this is a very crucial stage in their development.  This is when you would want to give them the best support and encouragement as possible.

Why arts and crafts?

Arts and crafts are not just fun and entertaining (and it’s not just for kids, you can also enjoy it, too.), it also helps the child’s basic skills development.  Allowing children to explore and experiment through arts and crafts will help them to develop skills that will affect their lives in the long run.

arts and crafts for kids developmentImage courtesy of Supertrooper / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Communication skills

The child learns to communicate in non-verbal ways.  Oftentimes, since they are not able to put their thoughts in cohesive sentences, young children tend to get frustrated when the adults couldn’t understand what they’re trying to communicate.  Arts and crafts activities will show them that there are other ways in which they can express themselves.  These activities can also be a way for them to release their frustrations, children displaying episodes of temper tantrums are noticeably better, and in some cases the habit is even entirely eliminated.

Problem solving skills

As children engaged in arts and crafts activities, they are expose to the ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions as they experiment on creating artworks.  This in turn will later help them to be prepared in overcoming real life challenges as they grow up.

Social skills

Children learn to become sociable – even if your arts and crafts activities are limited with family members – it still teaches the kids the concept of sharing, patience, taking turns and being appreciative of other people’s work.  More so when you start to engage them with arts and crafts projects with playmates or neighbors.

Fine motor skills

They are being trained to take control of their finer movements – scribbling with pen or painting with a paint brush or connecting little objects – all these aid in developing their hand-eye coordination and motor skills which will later benefit them as they go and try other activities.

It’s undeniable that arts and crafts do not only help the children to develop confidence by allowing self-expression but also aid in the development of other important skills that will benefit them in their later life.  It is therefore very important to expose our children into arts and crafts in any way we can.

After all, arts and crafts can be a fun family activity!