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Adventures in Art, Design, Education and Parenting

Awesome Art Books From Summer Camp

September 14, 2015



I was supposed to write this post three weeks ago, this is late, even for me. It was supposed to be written straight after Summer camp, it was meant to be the cherry on my summer camp cupcake but I overestimated myself,  just a little, once again.

After working very physical eleven hour days for six months (hey, those kids needed someone to laugh at during football/soccer/basketball/freeze tag games), being exposed to a higher than normal decibel rate 24/7, and still managing to behave like a vaguely functional mom, my body decided it needed a break. Unfortunately, it couldn’t take one straight away; first there was the packing-up-after-camp period, then there was the pack-for-New-York period, which made me sob a little. New York itself was a delight, but it also involved a lot of walking and climbing, I started to wear a glazed expression and fit in perfectly with the New Yorkers.
Last Tuesday, my kids went back to school and I finally crashed. It was a BIG crash that lasted a few days, followed by a few days of frenzied, nervous organizing of my house/workspace; I call it Back to Work nesting, but I’m back now!!! I am very excited to share some of the awesome books that I used during my summer camp with you. There are way too many books, websites, and bits and bobs that I referenced during my camps, so I’m narrowing the list down to a choice few, a very tough thing to do but here goes:

How to Talk To Children About Art – Francoise Barbe-Gall
Very useful little book full of interesting facts and starting points for conversations about well known works of art.

Picture This – Molly Bang
My favorite book for teaching kids about illustration, and visual language (color, shape, space, movement etc). 

Harvesting Dreams – Hundertwasser for Kids – Barbara Stieff
A wonderful guide to the Artist, that makes his personality pop off the page, and makes him so easy for kids to relate to. Also contains the word poo, which is always a bonus with 4th graders.

A Kidds Guide To Graphic Design – Chip Kidd
A great introduction to graphic design, and the role design plays in our every day lives.
Amazing website full of activities, ideas and lesson plans about Keith Haring.

Alexander Calder -Patricia Geis
Full of flaps, tabs and other interactive elements, this would be a really good gift. I used it to talk about using found objects to make art. Also, Galimoto by Karen Lynn Williams, is a great story book about making toys out of found objects.

Dreamtime: Aboriginal stories – Oodgeroo-Bancroft
This book has big, colorful illustrations, that go with it’s stories. A local library find!

Children’s Book of Mythical Beasts and Magical Monsters – Dorling Kindersley
Enough said really, Dorling Kindersley makes great guides, I’m still reading this one.

Fabulous Monsters – Marcia Williams
This book’s comic strip style was very popular with students who were not avid readers, they loved it.

The Ocean of Story – Ness, Mair
There is a great version of the Princess and the Pea from India in here.
Noga Ravin is a designer that the kids loved looking at, her shadow puppets are amazing. This is her website.

A Mango Shaped Space – Wendy Mass
I love this book. The main character has synesthesia, a condition that Wassily Kandinsky may have had. It leads to conversations about the connections between the senses, and multi-sensory art.

Lois Lowry – Number The Stars
The Bauhaus project led to a discussion about world war two, and the flight of many artists from Germany due to persecution. My daughter brought this book in, it is suitable for third graders to read, and is beautiful.

Okay, I don’t think the list should get any longer, I’ll save some for later. Happy reading!

Kids, Stories, And The End Of Camp

August 23, 2015


The theme of the last two weeks of camp was Myths and Legends, it was a popular choice.

The moment I introduced the theme to the kids there was a LOT of squealing and jumping up and down, which then turned into a discussion about Greek myths, which then turned into a heated discussion about Percy Jackson….and Harry Potter…and Hogwarts, and we all know how that ended. It was the ultimate geek-off, and we enjoyed every minute of it.

Yes, I can solidly state that Myths and Legends week was a very good theme to pick.

We looked at creation myths from all over the world and the origins of fairy tales. We had great discussions about similarities between different myths, and how stories have been passed down through generations, and migrations. Of course, this meant I got to read the kids lots of stories, and they got to impress me with their own stories. I realized that this particular age group love to work around, and tell stories. Indeed, for a lot of kids it made a nice break from the many abstract projects and concepts we have been working on so far.

So we learned about the aboriginal dream time, and the rainbow serpent, and painted our own dreamings. We read about Minotaurs, Gorgons and the ancient Greek pantheon; we studied different mosaic techniques and made bean and lentil mosaics, all while listening to Percy Jackson on audio book. Then we made very unsuccessful jelly bean mosaics, because somehow the jelly beans kept mysteriously disappearing. We also read Native American, and Siberian myths about trickster Ravens and the creation of the sky, and made sky boxes and raven collages. We made illustrations, and books, talked about minimalism, and made a huge, upsetting mess during a Marc Chagall project.
The kids threw me a party at the end of the last week, complete with cards, chocolate, and a HUGE banner, and my heart swelled to ten times it’s size.

And now I’m left with a large banner, a lot of boxes to unpack, and an urge to read as many Percy Jackson books as I can get my hands on. Also, I keep throwing balls to other adults, in the hope that they will play with me. Yep, I miss recess badly.


Some more things I learned at camp

  • Saying “don’t shoot” to a kid with a water gun is a surefire way to get drenched.
  • The introduction of any kind of metallic paint/pen/pencil will make kids instantly more excited about a project.
  • Playing audio books in the class room is an excellent idea; everyone was so much more focused.
  • The most successful projects were the ones where kids learned about another time or culture. Putting art against a historical/cultural context always makes learning and understanding stronger.
  • Saying the word “poop” will always lighten any situation.
  • It’s good to have very different techniques and projects in each camp. Kids have different strengths and weaknesses, and you need to build success into everyone’s week.
  • Drop back during lunch times. Kids need their own space without a teacher around.
  • Never leave clean up until the last day of camp, get most of it done the day before. No one wants to spend the last day cleaning – it’s party time!!!
  • Wear outfits with pockets. Trust me, this is very important.
  • Pack extra silverware. Someone always forgets a spoon or fork.
  • Kids don’t care whether your throat is hoarse, if you started reading a story, you had better finish it (with all the voices).
  • Let the kids teach you something from time to time, they are amazing at it.
  • Go with the flow. If everyone looks tired stop the project, after all it’s not school.
  • When making jelly bean mosaics, buy twice as many jelly beans as you think you may need.

The Kids Need To Play More!

August 16, 2015


Okay, I’m back! It took a bit of recovering after the last two (very physical) weeks of summer camp, and a lot of chocolate and BBC consumption, and now I’m ready to share.

In the beginning…

I don’t know about you, but growing up in England in the 80’s I had a lot of free time. I spent a lot of time playing school yard games, and making up new games with friends and random kids that I bumped into everywhere I went (there were a lot more of those hanging around back then). Recesses were longer, my parents were too busy to hover over me, and I didn’t have many extra curricular activities apart from my dance classes (unless you count reading Indian comic books obsessively, and annoying the next door neighbor’s dog).
One thing I wish my nine year old and her friends had more of is this kind of unstructured time. Her recesses at school are pitifully short, and when she does have time to spare, she often can’t find other kids who are also free, I guess Fairfax County likes ’em busy.
So…. four years ago, I decided to run a summer art camp that has big chunks of unstructured play time built in, and lots of time outdoors. This has worked very well, the kids in my camps really bond and play together the way kids are supposed to, and their creativity outdoors pours into their art projects and vice versa.

However, this did not happen immediately.

At first, faced with longer breaks, and less adult intervention, many kids seemed confused and anxious. They kept coming up to me saying things like “Can you tell me what to do?” and “I’m bored” and even “when can we go back indoors?” after just ten minutes of being outside. They sat around looking miserable, and argued and complained a lot. I panicked internally, thinking that parents would start calling me up with complaints, but I stuck it out, nonetheless. I have noticed that after two days, a change takes place and the kids start playing together, organizing themselves into teams, and inventing new games and new rules for old games. Many of my kids return year after year, and it is very satisfying to see the way they play with each other.

Games Week

I took things a bit further a couple of weeks ago, and made Games the theme of the week. The kids played art games with dice that they made, created their own board games. They also made articulated shadow puppets, and put on their own show. During recess, I showed them games that I had played as a child, and they taught me some new games as well. The game everyone seemed to love the most was played with an old loop of elastic, and jumping contests were all the rage.

Some Games We Played And Made Up:

Red rover
Marco Polo
Cherry Bomb
Limbo/jumping contests
Sponge tag
Obstacle courses
Sack races
Touch football
The Orange Line
Torture Run
Wall Ball
Apples to Apples
Simon Says
Target Practice
Sharks and Minnows/Octopus
Froggy Murder
Sticky Sticky Grapes

Of course, I played a lot of games with them (perks of the job), but I learned to leave them alone as well , because that is when the real magic happens!

Please, please, make the kids play more, and see their creativity, teamwork, negotiation, problem solving, focus, and motor skills improve!

What I learned at Summer Camp – Part 2

August 2, 2015


Last week was my favorite week of Summer Camp so far. This is because the theme was Bauhaus.  I am obsessively in love with the Bauhaus art movement; it’s influences can be seen everywhere today, from IKEA furniture to the abc tv logo, and even Apple computers. Bauhaus stripped art down to it’s basic principles and focused on formal elements such as color, pattern and shape. Look, I’m starting to ramble already, see how much I love Bauhaus?? The kids also seemed to really get into the projects, and the theory behind them.

The big (and unsurprising) take away from all of this is…

The more passionate you are about a theme, the more excited the kids are going to be about it.
You may look a bit crazed, and they might play it cool and pretend to not be buying into your frenzied enthusiasm, but they are (well most of them are, some of them just think you are crazy), and the proof is in their work.

One obstacle that we hit on, is that so many of the Bauhaus projects relied on being able to paint/cut/draw ‘clean’ shapes. Motor skills vary greatly with elementary school age kids, and some kids found the painting tasks a little too challenging, so we took a step back and learnt some painting and drawing techniques for a while. The nice thing about summer camp is you can go at your own pace.

I tend to concentrate on process more than outcomes in my camps, which means that sometimes projects can change direction and take on a life of their own. The printmaking project was one of those projects that had more juice in it than expected, so we kept developing it further. I think that the two artists that the kids seemed to like the most were Josef Albers and Freidensreich Hundertwasser. Why?? Here is my big lesson of the week:

…Art Gossip!
Elementary students like to hear stories. They like to hear juicy little morsels of information about artists, that make them more human in their eyes (click on the links for cool kids’ books about the artists). They were delighted to hear that Hundertwasser, changed his name to mean ‘Free Kingdom Hundred Waters’ and recycled his own poop, and that Joseph Albers was a primary school teacher, and his father was a house painter. Tell them stories, put the art in context, laugh about it a bit, and make it more reachable and fun.

Next week is going to be all about Games. Art games, board games, shadow puppets, and old school yard games. I’ll let you know how it all goes!

What I Learned At Summer Camp – Part 1

July 26, 2015


Week 1 and 2 of my little art camp have flown by, and I’ve been meaning to blog about the experience, but to be honest, it has just been one task too much for me.

My days have started at 6.00am and involved getting myself ready, getting my kids ready, getting four sets of lunches and snacks packed for the day (while dealing with cries of “Eww! I don’t like that yoghurt” and “SHE likes blueberries and bananas, I ONLY like apples!!”), gulping down a cold breakfast, and then limping to my car with a five year old holding onto my leg wailing, because his sister is leaving with me.
My action packed day with the campers ends around 5.00pm, and then my attention shifts to my kids, their swim practice, dinner, hiding the fart gun, and bedtime.I have been a little tired.

Having said that, I think I am building up some resistance to my increased levels of activity, and should be back blogging regularly by next week.

I was thinking of writing about what the kids did over the last weeks, but then I thought I would switch things around a bit and tell you about…

…WHAT I LEARNT AT CAMP (important lessons, my friends)!! :

  1. Never, NEVER forget the Band Aids when you go outside. Don’t even think about it, just don’t.
  2. When playing Apples to Apples, be literal. Irony doesn’t work for 4th graders.
  3. Vintage Sesame Street animation did not impress this generation at all. They found it too simple, and complained about the poor screen resolution (philistines).
  4. The older kids will insist that they are too old for it, but the moment I start reading aloud to the campers, there is a pin drop silence, and intense concentration on their faces. They love being read to (awww).
  5. Printmaking, any type of printmaking makes kids super happy.
  6. Cleaning up after print-making has the opposite effect on them.
  7. The calmest moment of all was when I gave the kids a pack of cards and asked them to build a house of cards. I have never seen them so focused and determined for so long – definitely doing that again.
  8. A couple of spray bottles of water and a box of sidewalk chalk are great things to have during outdoor breaks.
  9. Kids love to teach, and they are good at it. I learnt to throw a football the correct way, pitch a baseball, hold a cricket bat better, play Capture the Flag and Wall ball. Next week they are going to teach me about Minecraft and paper airplanes.
  10. If you start a conversation with a 3rd/4th grader about Percy Jackson, you had better be ready to give up about an hour of your time, and don’t even think about glazing over – they’ll catch you at it.
  11. Vigilance is key during lunch times. Elementary school kids will eat their lunch and all their snacks at once, then cry because their stomach hurts, then spend the rest of the day saying “I’m staaarving, my mom/dad didn’t pack me enough food!” 
  12. Bodily functions – that is what humor is all about for these kids. The fart gun keeps them laughing uncontrollably for long periods of time, and who am I to complain?

Now for the (very amateur) pictures:

More next week!

Four More Days Until Camp!!!

July 8, 2015


I tremble ever so slightly as I write this.

I don’t know why I get so nervous leading up to camps, I mean, I’m experienced, I’m prepared: I’ve written the curriculum, I have the materials and I know what I’m doing – what’s the big deal???

It’s just me.
To be honest, I get nervous about pretty much any new endeavor, even driving to a place I’ve never driven to before freaks me out a little! The weird thing is, I can’t survive without those freak out moments. I like change, even change that scares me, so I often find myself out of my comfort zone, swearing to myself silently, and promising that ‘I’ll never do this again’ – but I do, I always do!

My kids are like this as well, I think most kids are. In fact, I think one of the reasons that I get along with kids so well, is that certain aspects of my ten-year-old persona have stuck with me permanently. I find it very easy to empathize with kids about a lot of things.

Last Week
Last week, we drove up to the beach for my birthday. We ate snacks very messily (my son in particular) and listened to many audio books on the way. One audio book that we love listening to is Roald Dahl’s The Twits. It is so very, very silly and disgustingly funny, and my stomach ached from laughing at it uncontrollably. Later on, my nine year old daughter and I kept retelling all the yuckiest bits of the story over and over again, guffawing to ourselves, while my husband listened to us with a fixed expression of polite patience on his face.
When we got to the beach, we played in the water and sand, I spotted a shark and had a ‘minor’ panic attack, my son built many sand castles, and I built a sand dinosaur that my daughter walked all over by mistake (how do you not notice a sand dinosaur?). On July the 4th, it literally rained on our parade, the fireworks and carnival were cancelled, everything was closed, so the kids spent the evening in our hotel room watching a movie and eating microwave popcorn. We lived through it, and many other tiny disappointments, and awesomely fun moments, and came back happy and exhausted.

The vacation made me remember another, very important, fact about kids: they are much more forgiving than adults. Children are still learning the ropes, when it comes to life, and are the best people to be around when you make a mistake, or an idiot of yourself. Fall off your bike, snort juice out of your nose while laughing, forget to pack tennis balls with your racket, or sit on paint (as I did in the Great Noctiluna Camp of ’13) and it’s okay, as long as you can take a bit of mild teasing.
Every time I remember this fact, I feel much less nervous about the next six weeks, because I know I’m going to be with my most favorite people, and it’s going to be awesome!!

Hitting Refresh

June 27, 2015


It has been waaaay too long since I last blogged, and here’s why:

1: I really haven’t felt like I have much to write about, and I just don’t do that whole ‘writing for the sake of writing’ stuff. It would bore you to death.

2: School is out, my delicious munchkins are home, and when I hang out with the kids, I do it wholeheartedly.

3: Summer camp starts in just sixteen days (aaargh!), and every spare second I have is taken up with ordering materials, collating materials, emailing interns, tweaking lesson plans, visiting the school, and all the other little things that have to be done before the fun begins.

To be honest, I have found the past week refreshing. It has been nice hanging out with the kids and not worrying about schedules, homework, or school events. This is my time to recharge before the storm, where my brain hits refresh, and gets ready to handle the mighty Summer camp experience.

Summer Camp

Summer camp is really a beautiful thing for me. I love teaching, and kids, and art, and being a goof ball, and silly jokes, and making a mess, and freeze tag, and frisbee contests, and, well you get the idea, I’m a big kid. This year I’m even more ridiculously excited than usual because I reeeally like my curriculum. In fact, I am patting myself on the back about my curriculum, and I’m really bad at holding excitement in, so here are some things the kids are going to explore this summer:

Street art, Keith Haring, Sesame Street animations, Basquiat, Warhol, screen printing, the Day of the Dead, Poetry, Banksy, typography, Alexander Calder, mobiles and Stabiles, drawing with wires, sculpture with found objects, Galimotos, Miro, Mondrian, architecture, Bauhaus, graphic design, modernism, painting, Joseph Albers, optical illusions, Hundertwasser, board games, Nogaravin puppets, Enid Blyton, gestural painting, cardboard trees, creation myths, Native American legends, Pandora’s box, mosaic, collage, weaving, fractured fairy tales, Arthur Rackham, Kara Walker, illustration, dreams, fantasy art, Chagall, the principles of design, printmaking… and more.

Do you see why I’m excited? Do you? Stay tuned, I’m going to post pictures every week, but first, Independence day, popsicles and the beach beckon. Happy July 4th to everyone!

List of Awesome Art Resources for Kids (and You!)

June 12, 2015


Felt Mosaic fun

In the process of planning out the Noctiluna Art camps for this summer, I have been discovering a lot of cool resources for kids (and, well, anyone who is into art). These are mostly cool books (I love my books, I love them so much it’s not right), with a few other things thrown in. I want to share these finds with you (whoever you are), because I’m feeling extra excited about using them this Summer, and I want to spread all the love and excitement around.

1.Harvesting Dreams; Hundertwasser for Kids – Barbara Stieff
This book teaches about the fascinating artist, Freidensreich Hundertwasser, (try saying that fast three times in a row) in a really kid friendly way. It is full of questions and quotes for them to mull over, and has great ideas for games, activities, and art that they can make.

2. Draw Me A House – Thibaud Herem
A lovely, lovely book. Full of graphic, visual examples of, well, everything to do with different kinds of architecture. I have used pages of this book for kids to draw on, to get their ideas flowing during my architecture camp. 

3. I Wish I didn’t have to Sleep – Keith Haring
This book has so many great starting points for discussions about Haring’s work, it is filled with comments and observations that children have made about Haring’s work, some are hilarious. I’m sure that it will help to loosen up tongues during discussions and critiques.

4. Go, A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design – Chip Kidd
Some of this book is a little bit complicated for my 6-10 year olds to navigate, but it’s a must for anyone attempting to teach anything about graphic design/typography to kids. Also it is written by someone called Chip Kidd- enough said.

5. Children’s Book of Mythical Beasts and Magical Monsters – Dorling Kindersley
My nine year old loves this book. I plan on reading a lot of myths to my campers, and exploring many ancient and classical cultures. This book has it all – monsters, gods, demons, heroes, magic. Once you pick it up you can’t put it down again for a very long time.

6. Meet The Artist, Alexander Calder – Patricia Geis
A spectacular book that makes you sigh at each page turn. Very interactive, lots of things to lift, pull, and play with. Lots of information.

7. Kid Made Modern (book and products) – Todd Oldham
There is a cool Mid century vibe to this book. The projects are all based on different artists/designers that I love, and have beautiful outcomes. In fact, I have fallen in love with the Kid Made Modern aisle at my local Target; so many drool-worthy art materials, kits and how-to pamphlets for kids.Go check it out.

8. The Art of Eric Carle – Philomel Books
I got this at a used book fair, and it is perfect for older elementary school kids to read to themselves. Eric Carle writes about his life and inspirations in a simple, clear way, and the color prints in the book are big, bright and beautiful. Perfect for a classroom.

9. This is…. Series – M.Sasek
I included this series because it is just so, so beautiful. The illustrations are gorgeous, and any book that teaches my kids  about other parts of the world, and gets them excited about traveling is a good book. I have the This is London, and the This is Paris, and they are both superb.

10. Felt Mosaic by eeBoo
Okay, this isn’t a book, it’s a game. It is a cheaper, and simpler version of the awesome Color Forms game, therefore, it is also a great way to teach kids about Bauhaus design. Also, it is a wonderful tool for developing hand-eye coordination and spatial intelligence. A little difficult for my five year old to do alone, but I think he will get into it next year. The nine year old loves it.

11. Crayola ‘my color is…’ set
Also discovered at Target. These little mixed media packs of drawing materials sorted by color are my daughter’s favorite thing right now. I’m thinking of making my own mixed media packs sorted by color for the kids to use this Summer. A great way to explore texture and line.

That’s it. Hope you found that list useful/entertaining/fun/a better alternative to a nap. The pictures below are in a very weird order. My computer is in a bad mood today, but at least I got this post out. Enjoy!

10 Tips for Running a Summer Camp

June 3, 2015


Photo Apr 16, 1 39 24 PM

I have been running camps for four years. I’m no veteran, and four years may not seem a very long time, however, in those four years I have learnt a lot, and my camps have grown a lot.
This list of tips addresses issues big and small, and I hope it helps any individuals out there thinking of running a Summer camp. I can think of a lot more advice, but I thought I’d keep things short and sweet, and 10 seemed like a nice round number. If you want more tips, you’re just going to have to come over and have a cup of tea with me.

  1. Start planning early.
    Trust me on this. If your camp is scheduled for July, you need to start sending out emails and printing up flyers in January. A lot of the big camps start enrollment in March for the Summer (I know, it’s a crazy world out there), so you need to get the word out in advance. Also, the sooner you start planning out lessons the better.
  2. Send out a survey!
    Otherwise, you are basically stabbing in the dark when you plan out dates, times, and content for your camp. For heaven’s sake keep the survey short and relevant, no parent wants to spend ages answering essay questions on ‘your child’s strengths and weaknesses’.
  3. Stick to your strengths.
    Obvious really. If you are an art teacher, teach a Visual Arts camp, not a Math camp (unless you are an ex-Mathlete). I don’t teach kids younger than six years old, because I know that I am not an early childhood educator.
    In the same vein, don’t teach an age group, unless you genuinely like being around them, just don’t. Kids are smart, they can tell what you are thinking, and they will make your life hell if they sniff out that you are faking it.
  4. Quality not quantity
    If you are a one person business, don’t get greedy. Keep your camps small, or hire some help, otherwise chaos will ensue.
  5. Shout your philosophy to the world
    What is it you are passionate about? What makes your camp unique? Be honest and use Social Media to spread the word, and hopefully, like minded people will find you. Also, if you are clear about your philosophies from the beginning, you avoid misunderstandings with non-like minded people down the line.
  6. Ask every question possible
    I am not very business savvy, I’m learning things the hard way. This is something really important that I have learned. When you rent a space, make sure you know everything there is to know about it, no question is too stupid. Where are the restrooms? When will I get my keys? Where do I park? Can we eat in this room? Is it okay to make a lot of noise? Can we run up this hallway?Can we use that playground? Do you have WiFi? Who else will be here? Who are you? Where does that door lead? What is that stain? Ask all the questions, take their number, and then ask more.
  7. Camp is not school
    This is very important. Kids need to decompress too, so be flexible. Let them have long outdoor breaks, let them finish a project the next day if they are looking tired, or change the direction a project is going. Play things by ear,  goof around a little, keep things a little less structured than school, and everybody is happy.
  8. Wear Comfortable Shoes
    If you are teaching elementary school kids, trust me, you WILL end up playing Tag, or Soccer, or Ghosts in the Graveyard. Roll with it, enjoy the opportunity. Younger kids are very forgiving about lack of sport skills, and even the least athletic teacher can come out of this situation feeling good.
  9. Have Boundaries
    Despite all of the above exhortations to get in on the fun and games, you will also need your personal space from time to time. Make this clear when an eight year old asks you to play Boggle while you are eagerly opening up your lunch box. Also, do NOT give them your lunch, no matter how hungry they say they are.
  10. Word of Mouth matters
    If you run your camp well, and teach good lessons, and care about your kids, and believe in your own philosophy, and everybody has a great experience, well that’s really all the marketing you need. Good luck.

Viva Summer!

June 1, 2015



Welcome June.

I take a deep long breath as I write this. May was one hell of a month – craft festivals, birthdays, school events all clubbed together and squeezing me so tight that I could barely breathe, let alone blog about them. I’d like to move on, but first let me quickly tell you about ViVa Vienna…

On Memorial Day weekend, I sold my wares at ViVa Vienna, which is my absolute favorite fair of the year; not because I sell so well at it, but because it is such a happy event. It’s in my ‘hood’, which makes a huge difference – shorter commute, known territory, happier kids etc. I’ve blogged a lot about Vienna in the past, such as in this post, and this post, and I don’t want to keep repeating myself, but it can be a pretty cool place.
At ViVa Vienna, I’m always reminded of how many people actually care about me. People constantly drop by to see how I’m doing; friends help me set up and break down my booth, and sometimes bring me drinks and baked goods to keep me alert and upright. These small acts of kindness make all the work of selling at a fair seem so much easier. I also love all the familiar faces that pass by. Kids that go to school with my kids gape at me, and then smile as they walk by, kids who go to my camps stop by to make sure I’m not slacking, the barber from down the street scowls at me. I love ViVA Vienna.

Straight after ViVa Vienna, I got to work on planning my five year old’s birthday party. That happened on Saturday, Sunday was recovery day. Time to move on.

I have been totally ignoring my blogger duties, and hobbling through a lovely week of birthday celebrations and school events (standing at fairs can make your feet hurt for a really long time!). But enough is enough, the birthdays are over, my summer camp is looming large on the horizon, and I need to start writing again on a regular basis, so that I don’t totally lose it like a melted Popsicle.

This week I shall be ordering materials for my camps, and revising my lesson plans again, and writing another post, and getting ridiculously excited about all of the above in a way that only I could.

Of course there will still be end of school performances to attend, thank you cards to write, dentist appointments to keep, gym classes to attend, and bedtimes to enforce, but as my favorite literary cat, who got me through last week says “it’s all good”. ;)


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