Something to look forward to.

by jennifer

This book came in the mail today and it’s lovely. While I enjoyed reading a digital copy of Amanda Blake Soule’s “The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections” before I interviewed her for CraftSanity episode 60, it was really great to flip through the print version this evening while sipping peppermint tea.

If you like Amanda’s “Soule Mama” blog, you’ll love this book because her voice comes through on every page. She has successfully written a wonderful guide for living the most creative life possible and experiencing creative time as a family. This book is important because the activities described in it have the power to enrich daily life experiences and elevate these seemingly fleeting moments from mundane to mini-celebrations.

The book is divided into four parts – gathering, playing, living, and connecting – and includes several projects to try with your kids. This book has given me added motivation to donate the abundant toys in my home, and really make and effort to simplify my life (a personal goal for 2008) and spend more time creating with my kids.

Just enough time has passed since I read the book on my computer screen for the content to seem new again. And now I have big plans to page through it with Abby and mark the projects we’d like to do together with sticky notes. (This is one of the creative routines we go through to prep for our mini craft sessions.)

If we lived in a world without consequences, I’d skip work tomorrow and put up an “inspiration wire” to clip found objects to along with fabric swatches and my daughters’ artwork. And then I’d get out my embroidery floss because I’ve always wanted to stitch a child’s drawing onto fabric like Amanda shows on page 86. (Is it Friday yet?)

Some of my Craft Club friends will be pleased when I show them the instructions for making stenciled T-shirts with freezer paper on page 74. Those instructions will come in very handy since we’re planning to do that during an upcoming craft session.

“The Creative Family” will be available in bookstores this spring, but here is an excerpt from Amanda’s introduction on p. 7 to tide you over:

“My great hope in writing this book is that something you read here will spark a project in your family–and that fun will be had, connections will be made, and creative spirits of all ages will soar. The most important lesson I think we can learn is simply to create. Let your children see you creating. Create for yourself and for them. And create with them. When you do this with love and intent, I promise you there will always be beautiful results.”

Pretty inspiring stuff, eh? The whole book is like that. Seriously.

I’m glad to share the planet with people like Amanda and so grateful for the inspiration. This book gets five out of four stars from me.

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