Attention Brooklyn and New York City friends: We’ve got your back for the second year in a row!!! Mother’s Day is approaching and we don’t want you to be scrambling around Sunday morning trying to make a card for the mom in your life!!
Come to Die StammKneipe (aka DSK) the Sunday before Mother’s Day (May 7th) from 11am to 1pm and we will help your little one make the cutest card for mom!! We will provide all the supplies and inspiration, you just need to show up with your little one and enjoy an afternoon lunch at DSK.
Admission is $20 per child and includes the card, an additional piece of artwork, $8 towards food and beverage, and $2 to tip the staff!! You can secure your spot here.
Moms, use this as an excuse to get some well deserved “me time.” Send your child with their dad, grandparent, or favorite “aunt”, while you do something just for yourself. Then on actual Mother’s Day you can fully enjoy sharing the entire day with the little one(s) who made you a mom!
And in all honesty, if you’d like to come spend May 7th with you child while they make you a card, you are more than welcome to come and enjoy a crafternoon together!! Trust me, you will still cherish this card forever even if it’s not a surprise.
We had an amazing time last year hosting this event. We look forward to meeting you and spending the afternoon making art!! Don’t forget to secure your spot by registering ahead of time. If you have any questions feel free to send me an email.
Sunday May 7 // 11am – 1pm // DSK Die StammKneipe // 710 Fulton Street (at South Oxford) // Brooklyn, NY 11217
For other things mom related...check out the review of last years event, another fun card to make with hand prints, and our favorite baby SMASHbook filled with all those memories from the first two years of our daughters life (here's a YouTube flip through video)
We are so excited to announce our latest project: Love Jac Mail: The Workshop!
It is a year-long online workshop that will help make it easier for all of us to send more mail and stay a little more connected with the people we love.
Here’s how it works:
Click here to join our workshop…Love Jac Mail: A Year of Staying Connected! Right away you can get started. We’ve created five short videos breaking down what it takes to actually get your letters in the mail. Watch them when you can and follow the instructions to start getting organized. You can do it all at once or little by little.
A week before each month begins you will receive an email from us giving you access to that month’s worksheet. It will include a calendar listing popular holidays, fun facts, and some quirky holidays that will put a smile on your face!
The worksheet will also provide to you with a place to list your monthly letter writing goals, schedule in your time, and be realistic about what you can accomplish.
3 MONTHLY VIDEOS
In addition to the worksheet, each month you will have access to three short videos.
- An outline of the month, which will help us all get ready for what’s to come.
- A creative challenge to help you fit in some extra craft time for yourself. We will also give you some go-to tricks to make your card sending a little more fun.
- A recap of what we accomplished the previous month, so you can see what worked and what didn’t work for us.
Once you have entered the workshop you will receive an invitation to our private Facebook Group where you can share your progress and get other tips from fellow workshop members. It will be a place where you can be inspired and also confess your struggles so you can get help from your new friends.
Each month we will offer discounts on our products, as well as other stationery companies that we have partnered with. Over the years, we’ve gotten to know many extremely talented artists that create beautiful, sophisticated, and funny greeting cards. We are excited to introduce them to you, if you don’t know them already.
If you want to be the person who sends good old-fashioned snail mail, this workshop is for you. If you want to become more organized and have an easy system to getting those letters in the mail, join us. If you’d like to become friends with other people who have a love for written correspondence, we look forward to meeting you!
The workshop is open now and will go until the end of 2017. It only costs $39 for the entire year. If you join before December 25th, you can use the code “FRIENDS” to save 25%. If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to seeing you in the workshop!!
We are so excited December is here. As we begin the last month of 2016, I am revisiting my One Little Word, documenting the month through my December Daily scrapbook album, and enjoying everything holiday as much as possible.
We wanted to let you know we will be selling our cards this Sunday, December 4th at The ICS Winter Fair. It will be take place at St. Joseph's High School at 80 Willoughby Street in Downtown Brooklyn from 10am - 4pm.
We hope you can stop by, say hi, and get some of your holiday shopping done. The day will be filled with performances and crafts for the kids. If you are around on Sunday, we hope you pop in!
We have also designed a special card inspired by the amazing teachers at The International Charter School. If you've been following along, you know that last year I toured what feels like every elementary school in Brooklyn. After the long - more emotional than necessary - process we ended up at ICS. We couldn't be happier. Every day Georgia comes home happy and often she exclaims "Best Day Ever!" She's been teaching us new songs and dances, telling us all about Ray Charles, and explaining how to sound out words. The experiences she has been having at school have been creating new fun experiences at home. From finding out how our whole family Ziggalows, to having a dance party to "Shake It Off", and my favorite - watching my mom A Tooty Ta. She's loving school and sharing the things she loves with us. I'm guessing this happens at most schools. I'm sure it just feels extra special because it's our first time having a kindergartener.
As a way to say "thank you", I designed a card to let the teachers know the direct impact that are making on our lives. Simply fill it out when something touching happens at home and send it into school the next day. This is just a little way to make sure the teachers know what they are doing at school is making our children's lives better even beyond school hours. We hope getting this card makes the their day a little brighter. All of the proceeds of this card will go to the Parent Organization at The International Charter School. We've printed a limited run of these cards, so if you'd like to buy a pack, stop by on Sunday!
I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about The Little Gym for years now. If you follow us on Instagram you know we refer to it as Our Happy Place. Our family is now at the point where we have phased out of the parent-child classes and I wanted to finally share with you exactly why we love The Little Gym – Brooklyn Heights. If you are already a Little Gym fan I think you will relate to some of our experiences. If you are on the fence about joining, I hope this will give you a little insight to what it can offer you and your child. Because we had such an exceptional experience, I decided to sit down with Little Gym teacher, Ms. Marika, to find out just how they have built such a fun environment that is routed in early childhood development and teaches skills way beyond the balance beam.
I can still remember when we first started at The Little Gym – Brooklyn Heights. The weather had just turned cold again and my daughter was about to turn one. We desperately needed an indoor option that would get us out of the house. The Little Gym seemed like the answer. At first glance – it was extremely clean, the staff seemed friendly, and everything was padded so we didn’t have to worry about her falling and getting hurt. But then, I found out how much it cost. I was slightly in shock since this was our first real dive into year-long classes. I remember thinking “maybe this is why people say kids are expensive.” The woman on the phone kindly invited us to attend a trial class. I happily went with no real intention to sign up. I mean, we had definitely not factored this into our budget. As we sat together in a small circle on the big red mat, Ms. Jodi sang the welcome song and Georgia happily began shaking the beans. Within five minutes I knew this place was for us. I remember emailing my friends to see if anyone else wanted to join and joking that they should get used to my wardrobe because I wouldn’t be buying any new clothes for the next several years. Nearly five years later I can easily say The Little Gym has been the best investment (and readjusting of our budget) we have made since having children.
The Little Gym has provided us a safe place for our children to learn valuable skills far superior than a somersault. In small ways - such as waiting their turn in line, pushing themselves to try something new, and cheering on their friends – they are fostering significant character traits. They are building the foundation for key values, such as respect, friendship, and teamwork – all within the fun and friendly environment of play.
We knew all of this didn’t just happen so we sat down with Ms. Marika to find out just how The Little Gym – Brooklyn Heights seemed to know exactly what my children needed at each stage of their young life. We hope this information and our experience helps you make a decision if you are considering The Little Gym.
IT ALL STARTS AT THE MAIN HEADQUARTERS
The Little Gym is a franchise, so the majority of their philosophies and overall approach to early childhood education starts at The Little Gym’s main headquarters. They establish the structure and provide each branch with a class template. All of their core beliefs are routed in fun and usually come with a cute slogan. “’We take Fun Seriously”, “Be a Citizen Kid”, and “We are a Springboard for Life” are just a few. Ms. Marika has been to Little Gym Conferences and expressed very strongly the importance The Little Gym Corporate puts on looking at each child holistically. It’s not just about physical skills, it’s about the child as a whole….physical, emotional, mental, and social. She also really appreciates the way Corporate sets up the classes. First they do things as an entire group, then they break it down into smaller groups, and finally there’s open play. She has seen first hand how this really benefits the child’s experience.
THE AMAZING TEACHERS
The Little Gym – Brooklyn Heights is managed by Charles Kim. He also oversees the branch located in Tribeca. When I asked Marika just how they ensure the framework from Corporate made it to the children of New York City she spoke very highly of Charles and his hiring process. This didn’t come as a surprise to me because we often see Mr. Charles. He’s always holding the door for us or helping move strollers. You can tell he is in charge without micromanaging. Marika said when he hires new staff he looks for a background in child development. Whether it is past child care experience, college classes, or a major or minor in child development, all of the staff that is hired has an interest in children and helping them learn. He almost always hires college graduates, which I personally think makes a big difference compared to a high school student looking for a side job.
Once hired, the staff does in-house training. They are given instruction on what to expect at each age. Ms. Marika said it’s a continual learning experience. First an employee starts in drop off classes with the older children and then goes down to parent/child classes. The senior staff goes to workshops and trainings organized by The Little Gym Corporate.
Ms. Marika talked about how they hire many different types of personalities and backgrounds when it comes to their teachers. There are outgoing teachers, quieter teachers, silly teachers, teachers with dance backgrounds, teachers with gymnastic experience, and teachers that just love children. After The Little Gym many teachers go on to get their Masters or continue to work in child education. Different children click with different teachers.
Ms. Marika believes each child is different so it’s good to have different teachers to choose from. I could see that just in my two kids. Conroy loves to pretend that he’s a super hero, or an adventurer, or an animal. He gets in that world and he wants you to come along for the ride. When we were doing summer camp classes it was the first time he went to The Little Gym without me. At first he was a little sad, but as soon as Ms. Jocelyn realized he was “Gekko” and Conroy realized she was excited to play along, he was immediately ready for me to leave. His imagination continued into the regular year and Mr. Liam happily plays the part of “Cat Boy” while he teaches class. If that doesn’t demonstrate how focused these teachers are on each individual child, I don’t know what does.
Georgia was also up for an adventure, just not as talkative. I still remember the day that she said her name out loud in front of the entire class. For some reason she would get so shy during that part of opening circle. She had no trouble hanging from the high bar or balancing on the beam, but when it was her turn to say her name she would refuse. I truly believe Ms. Kim was equally as proud the day she said it loud and clear. I basically burst into tears.
KNOWING THE NEEDS OF THE COMMUNITY
For us, one of the biggest benefits that I hadn’t previously thought of before joining The Little Gym - Brookyln Heights was the instant community. Knowing the needs of this community is another reason The Little Gym is so successful.
Warning: I’m about to get a little sappy here. For us, The Little Gym was like a safe-zone…a worry-free zone. Yes, it starts with all the padding and the fact there isn’t much the kids could get hurt on, but in continues with the music they play. Especially when we started, it was often music from the 50’s - when life seemed less complicated. On hot days it was the cool air conditioning we needed and on cold days it was the warmth. There was no pressure to be returning emails or cleaning the house because it wasn’t accessible. It was 45 minutes of not checking my phone, not thinking about traffic or bicycles flying by, not concerning myself with anything or anyone else besides my daughter (and later my son).
The Little Gym recognizes that for city kids this space is our “space.” Most of our apartments are small and when it’s too cold (or too hot) for the park this is where kids can be free. This is where the open play is extremely beneficial. In addition to your weekly class, you also gain access to the open play sessions. The Little Gym knows how important this is to families and has even added additional times when there was enough interest.
In our early days at The Little Gym, it was the base of our schedule. I was determined to get my money’s worth, so we would go to our class + one open play per week. I remember one specific time when I was having a horrible day…we had spent the entire morning at the Verizon store trying to figure out some problem. When we left I was spent…and probably on the verge of tears…. we popped into the open play and it fixed everything. I was immediately in the best mood.
Being a stay-at-home (and sometimes work-at-home) mom, The Little Gym provided an escape from home and from work. It was a moment in our day to refocus and remember why I decided to spend my entire day with my child. I would fill with pride when they tried something new. There were constantly little moments of pure happiness…their excitement when the bubbles come out or when they figured out “slap and clap” on their own. I remember seeing older kids climb up to the high bar while their parents would stand by proudly. As I spotted my daughter as through I was an extension of her body, I thought, “how do those parents have so much confidence?”. Then just weeks later, it was me standing back, video taping Georgia as she swung like a monkey without any hesitation. I can easily say The Little Gym helped me grow as a parent as much as it helped Georgia and Conroy grow as kids.
The Little Gym has built a community. Charles stresses the importance of being friendly, caring, and always helping with strollers. This is a huge help for us city dwellers, because our stroller is basically our car – and many times it’s difficult to maneuver. All the staffers are there for us if we need something. There were days I forgot wipes and even one time I forgot a diaper! The Little Gym never hesitates to help a parent or nanny in need. Their bathrooms are extremely clean. Living in Brooklyn, that in itself is a luxury.
THE LITTLE GYM IS FOR EVERYONE
Marika emphasized that The Little Gym is for all children. The focus isn’t to become an Olympian or do everything right. It’s about taking one step at a time, trying new things, and having fun. It’s very easy to switch classes if something’s not working or if your child’s nap schedule changes. They want you and your child to have the best experience possible and it is truly felt.
As a parent, I want to emphasize that The Little Gym is for all types of families. My experience is from the stay-at-home mom’s perspective because that’s my life, but I can say from observation that children who come with nannies, babysitters, and other relatives get to experience it all the same. When we’re in class we are all one. Everyone is on the same page. I’ve found that it’s the perfect place to emphasize the importance of waiting your turn and sharing. This can sometimes be difficult at the playground, but at The Little Gym the rules are set from the beginning and everyone follows them. The Little Gym also makes it easier for working parents to experience class. They have many class options on the weekend and the early classes are perfect for parents who can go in to work a little late. I’ve watched parents start their day beaming with happiness and pride because of the wonderful experience they got to have with their child. One week towards the end of each session Little Gym has “Show Week” where the children get to show off their skills. Everyone is invited to come to class and it’s usually packed with parents, grandparents, and friends there to support their little one.
The Little Gym understands as parents, we are busy. So they have figured out how to be a part of our schedule and our lives without getting in the way. The occasional email about your child is a welcome in your inbox and the option to have a birthday party there is a weight off of some parents’ shoulders.
WE LOVE THE LITTLE GYM
In conclusion, if it’s not obvious already, we love The Little Gym – Brooklyn Heights. It has over delivered on the added joy it has provided to our lives. I’m so happy I was able to sit down with Ms. Marika and find out a little of the behind-the-scenes operations. Knowing all of this now makes it clear just why The Little Gym feels like home to us. The kindness, knowledge, and understanding of the staff are exceptional. When you pair that with the structure and fundamental philosophies for The Little Gym Corporate, you have a winning combination.
I have to thank all of our family and friends who have given gift cards and money to go towards our Little Gym tuition, especially Auntie Rachael. Without those gifts, I really wouldn’t have been able to buy new clothing over the last several years! If you are like us and were concerned about the expense, we highly recommend asking for gift cards towards The Little Gym in lieu of birthday and holiday gifts that will take up space in your small apartment. Even a small amount towards class is helpful. It adds up and can make a true difference in your child’s life.
I hope sharing our experience has helped some of you decide to join The Little Gym and watch your child have a wonderful time. If you see us there, be sure to say hi!!
After you’ve made it through the winter in New York City, something magical happens. The weather starts brightening up, you feel the warmth on your skin, flowers start to bloom, and everything seems possible. Long are the days of cursing the snow and navigating through slushy intersections and, all of a sudden, you are pushing that stroller with a skip in your step.
There was about a week when the weather was beyond nice but I hadn’t switched out my clothes and a whole new hatred towards my winter wardrobe developed. I couldn’t close my drawers and everything was too hot. When the frustration became too much to handle, I finally took an evening to sort my clothes on the bed. I purged some of them immediately and then put my summer clothes in the drawers so I could get to them. Once I didn’t feel like throwing everything out the window, I could function again.
My main goal of my summer capsule wardrobe was to focus on the number. After living with a capsule wardrobe for the fall and winter, it was obvious to me that I really only wear a limited number of clothes regardless of how many I have in my closet. I decided to go with my age as my goal number: 34! (I ended up with 35)
Once I had my clothes whittled down, I knew I had to get some new pieces. I wanted to have some comfortable dresses that could replace my “mom uniform” of last summer: a t-shirt and jean shorts. One morning I walked past a great sale at Banana Republic Factory Outlet and decided it was a sign!!! I gave myself a budget and tried on almost everything in the store. I came out of there with 11 new pieces – which I knew meant more editing at home, but I was happy about it.
My goals of this summer’s wardrobe is to:
#1: Substitute a more put-together dress for my standard “uniform.”
After reading many different mom blogs I knew this was possible even though it didn’t feel like it. No longer having to worry about needing to be breastfeeding-accessible also made this 100 times easier. So when the cute, stylish Banana Republic associate said that she thought my skirt was a little long, I smiled and said “It’s ok, I’m a mom, I need to be able to bend over and squat without having to worry about anything showing.” I walked away with four new dresses that were beyond comfortable and looked way more “put-together” than my cutoffs. I also bought two pairs of nicer shorts to help in this department. Don’t get me wrong, you will see me in jean shorts often this summer, but I’m hoping my black & white geometric pattern and the colorful bamboo leaf design make me feel a little more stylish.
#2: Take a Selfie Everyday so I know what I actually wore for later evaluation.
Alright, I’m finally posting this blog and the summer is behind us. I would say I failed at this goal. I tried. Sometimes I remembered, but it wasn’t a part of my world. In order to have succeeded at this, it had to be a habit and it just wasn’t. I’m not that upset about it. Here’s a little highlight of the times I did remember.
#3: Not worry if it feels like I’m wearing the same thing over and over again.
This is another area where I’m unsure if I’m succeeded. There have been a couple times when I thought, “Didn’t I just wear this dress two days ago?!?”, but I’m trying to not focus on that and enjoy the ease of getting dressed in the morning and the compliments I receive when people like my dress. If we get to the point where people start saying, “Did you wear that dress yesterday,” I will have to reevaluate!!
And now, I happily present you the clothes that have been helping me have a relaxed, comfortable, and enjoyable summer: My Summer Capsule Wardrobe.
BOTTOMS: 12 (6 SHORTS, 1 JUMPER, 1 LONG SHORTS, 1 OVERALLS + 3 PAIRS OF JEANS)
I’d say overall it was a good summer. Although, there are a couple outfits I don’t think I ever wore, for example, those fun black pants. That being said, I continue to learn more about my own style. Thanks for indulging me and checking out my wardrobe. Please, let me know if you have any tips that have worked for you!!
Last fall after thinking about a capsule wardrobe for months, I decided to finally take action and just do it. I knew it wouldn’t be perfect, but I had to start somewhere…and I’m so glad I did. If you aren’t familiar with a capsule wardrobe, you can read more about it here and check out my first capsule wardrobe here.
WHAT I LEARNED FROM HAVING A CAPSULE WARDROBE
I have to say I love the concept, and I loved living it even more. This fall was my first capsule wardrobe. I went into it with the goal of stepping up my wardrobe game after falling into a strictly functional “mom wardrobe”. I was ready to put more effort into my appearance and, in turn, feel better about myself. In that area I absolutely succeeded. It’s true, when you put something on that you feel good in, you have an overall better day.
Shortly after I built my capsule wardrobe, I took Jess Lively’s “Life With Intention Online” course and we identified my values in four areas of my life. For possessions (i.e., my capsule wardrobe), I knew I wanted it to be comfortable, livable, and put-together. Just saying those words makes me feel good – wearing those clothes made me feel even better. For me in the wardrobe department, I already had the comfortable and livable down. It was the put-together I needed to work on. The days when I wore my red dress or my white top and jeans I felt better about myself.
Overall, I loved having a capsule wardrobe in the fall. It was one less thing I had to think about in the morning and I loved feeling better about my appearance. I learned what I enjoyed wearing (bright colors, comfortable dresses) and what my go-to outfit was (a nice shirt and good jeans).
And then came the winter and with it my winter capsule wardrobe. It came and went and I’m perfectly ok with that. Oh man….the winter in Brooklyn is brutal. This winter wasn’t nearly as bad as last winter but, mentally, it’s challenging. It’s hard to dress cute when you know you’ll have to layer up constantly. Combine those factors with wanting to save some money and you get my winter capsule wardrobe: a sea of black and gray ho-hum. It was so blah I never posted the photos. However, I feel that this blog has helped me grow on so many levels, that I am going to share my wardrobe with you today. (I know you’re on the edge of your seat!)
So without further ado and to put it all behind us….here’s my WINTER CAPSULE WARDROBE.
DRESSES: 5 + 1 pair of overalls
I am so happy I started a capsule wardrobe and I feel there’s many areas to improve upon - that also makes me excited. Looking at my four goals of my fall wardrobe, I am going to rate them for both my fall and winter wardrobes.
My four goals…
#1. I want to be proud of how I look. I want to put in the effort and not have to apologize for my appearance.
On my Tuesdays and Thursdays I definitely succeeded when it came to this goal. Both my kids were in school so I had more time to dress myself (and put on make-up). I’d also often have meetings on these days, so that gave me another reason to look my best. Even on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays I felt good about the outfit I had on at The Little Gym or teaching Artists & Crafts. Many times I got compliments on my outfit and that would make my day and showed me that a little effort did go a long way! The reason my grade went down for the Winter Wardrobe is because I didn’t feel excited about any of my outfits. I didn’t go shopping to amp up my wardrobe – mainly because I wanted to save some money, but also because the winter tends to bring me down a little bit. In Brooklyn – especially when you spend most of your day pushing a stroller outside – you really need to layer up!! It makes it seem a little pointless. Although – on that same note, it’s probably the exact reason I should be putting on clothes that make me feel great. To help battle that winter blah head on! I will work on this next year.
#2. I want to get out of the “mom clothes” funk!
I think the moral of the story here is that the time I took to curate my fall wardrobe and really think about the pieces that built my outfits made all the difference. It’s what made this capsule feel “put-together” for me. In the winter, I simply edited down the clothes I already had. Many of my pieces were black, gray, or loose fitting. Let this blog be my reminder to put in a little effort next December.
#3. I want to put in the prep-work to curate a collection of clothing that makes me feel great.
This explanation is pretty much the same as #2, but I will give myself credit for editing my clothes down so that I could easily open my drawers. Plus, making the time to take the photos made me feel slightly better about my outfits. I mean, they are kinda cute when you look at them cropped and edited together on the computer!!
#4. I want to make it public & hold myself accountable.
The winter came and went and I never even blogged about my wardrobe. I did take photos so that is at least a step in the right direction. And I did eventually share them, so that next winter I can really make some progress. My goal of this summer wardrobe it to take a selfie every day so that it’s documented what I wore every day. Don’t worry I won’t be posting it every day, but I will share it on the blog to hold myself accountable. I recently read Getchen Rubin’s book, Better Than Before, and identifying myself as an obligor has given myself permission to use what I need to in order to follow through.
Fall Wardrobe Retrospective:
My favorite outfit was definitely the red dress, especially when I paired it with my jean jacket. The bright color instantly cheered me up and it was comfortable.
Of the shirts, I could have easily edited it down a little more. I think there were four shirts I never even wore once. The same goes for the dresses. There were about three I never wore, or I’d put them on, not feel good about how I looked, and then change.
I’m not sure what’s with me and jeans this year! By the time the fall was over only one of those pairs of jeans were still wearable.
My overalls were and continue to be well worn! However, I think I only wore the black and white pantsuit once.
My shoes worked out pretty good, but it quickly became too cold for open toed sandals, so I just brought my boots out of the closet.
The biggest challenge of my fall wardrobe was the quick temperature change. I had many short dresses that I soon couldn’t wear because the temperatures got cold quickly.
Winter Wardrobe Retrospective:
My biggest takeaway is that I need to add color to next winter’s wardrobe. The rest is all a blur!
I hope this look into my closet has helped you decide if you also want to create a capsule wardrobe of your own. I highly recommend it. I never once missed the clothes that I donated and I really enjoyed the ease of picking out something to wear every morning!! I’d love to hear about your capsule wardrobe and any tips you have for me, so feel free to leave a comment below.
Artists & Crafts (ages 5+) was a success!! We want to thank everyone who came out to our first installment of this class for kids ages 5 & up. It was wonderful to see familiar, now slightly more mature, faces from past classes.
Randi, the owner of DSK, originally approached us about teaching this class after we made art with her daughter at Habana Outpost’s Earth Day!! We loved the idea, but weren’t exactly sure how to fit it into our schedule. After a little thought and maneuvering, we decided to squeeze in four classes this spring as a limited run to see how it would work for everyone. We are happy to report that it was an ideal Monday afternoon!! From the creativity, to the company, to the food, to the quality time with Georgia…it was perfect!
Tucked to the side of the restaurant we set up our work area in the window seat, which provided the perfect natural light. At one long table we were able to have a great conversation, as well as assist all of the artists. We started class with a brief info sheet that featured a coloring maze of Starry Night!
Next, we played Van Gogh Bingo – which was honestly one of my favorite parts. Everyone learned a little bit about many of Van Gogh’s famous paintings, while having fun finding that image on their bingo board!! It was fun to hear what the students saw out their own window or what it would look like if they drew their bedroom!!
Our first art project was The Starry Night post card. If you are a long time reader of our blog, you might remember this tutorial. If not, we hope you can find the time to do this project with your little one soon!! It’s honestly one of my favorites. Watching these “older” children make their version of Van Gogh’s famous painting was very inspiring. No matter the age, watching an artist’s mind work and seeing them experience the creative process always fills my heart with happiness!
While their little canvases dried, we began creating our take on Van Gogh’s Sunflowers. This was a multi-textured project and we did it in steps, presenting the techniques and then allowing each student the freedom to use the supplies however they wanted. It was so fun to see their creations…painted flowers, cupcake liner flowers – white side out, yellow side out, smooshed down flat, toilet paper roll flowers, and coffee beans & sunflower seed as the final touch!!
While we got creative the parents enjoyed some refreshments and chatted at a table close by. The younger siblings hung out, made a little art as well, and enjoyed the food. Going forward I will be providing a special sheet just for them!!
After the art was complete, everyone celebrated with a free Bretzel (and Nutella!!!) thanks to DSK.
There are still three sessions this spring if you’d like to come make art with us. You can sign up for each week here: Monday May 23 – Henri Matisse, Monday June 13 – Romare Bearden, and Monday June 20 – Georgia O’Keeffe. If you’d like to add multiple weeks, just add the first one to your cart, then click continue shopping and choose the next week you’d like.
If you have any questions feel free to email me.
We wanted to thank everyone who came out to this past Saturday to the Brooklyn Public Library Skill Share! We taught a class on letter writing and decorating your envelopes.
The room sat eight, but we squeezed in nine, and the conversation about connecting through snail mail began. We loved hearing what people saved and how often they wrote letters…a beautiful box that held all Rae’s paper treasures to the countless postcards Susan sent that filled her with joy. There was Alex and Lori who told us about the love letters* they wrote each other before they were married. (*note: “love letters” were my words, but judging by the smile on both of their faces, I’d say I guessed accurately.)
Rita was there because she loved expressing her creativity and her envelopes were some of our favorites. I had previously met Tazhiana at the Planner’s Night Out hosted by Michaels and she shared some of her beautiful “flip books” with us!! The general excitement everyone had about this topic was contagious!
Kasimira was our youngest letter lover and it was so refreshing to see her take on it. Influenced by her mom Rae, but completely fueled by her own passion to write, she sent letters to her friends in Texas.
Ella popped in after teaching her Skill Share on weaving and was equally as talented at creating paper art. Rosalyn was our ninth friend and I’m so glad she stayed despite using a stool as her work station.
Everyone added something to the class and while I did provide the structure plus several tips and techniques, the real wealth was being in the room with other creatives making art.
We plan to teach more classes like this in the future. We loved setting up the table and providing everyone with a gift bag – including one of our greeting cards! Plus, who doesn’t love free washi tape? If you’re interested in a class like this, please sign up for our mailing list to be the first to know the next time we host a class.
A final BIG thank you to the Brooklyn Public Library for all their support in our business!!!
It was truly a pleasure to meet all the lovely creatives who came out on Saturday!! We know that your friends will be filled with happiness when they receive your beautiful envelopes!! We look forward to seeing your again soon!
We are excited to be back at the Brooklyn Public Library!! This coming Saturday, May 14th, we will be participating in their annual Skill Share. We will be teaching you how to decorate your envelopes beyond calligraphy.
At Love Jac, we believe in making envelopes fun so that your friend is immediately excited to open their mail. Come learn new techniques for turning an ordinary envelope into a work of art. We use stamps, washi tape, stickers, and watercolors to make our stationery interesting. You can see some of our examples in our YouTube series: Love Jac Mail and our Write_On Campaign Videos. We believe everyone is an artist and you don't have to have perfect handwriting to make your envelopes interesting!!
The event is free. Each attendee will receive a special gift. There are only 8 spots available and it's first come, first serve!!
Hope to see you there!!
Saturday, May 14th
Brooklyn Public Library - Central Branch
10 Grand Army Plaza
11:15am - 12:15pm
April just ended and with it the Write_On Campaign, the daily challenge of writing one letter per day for the entire month. I couldn’t be happier that I participated in this campaign. The act and practice of writing a note per day motivated me to continue the momentum as the month went on. It was fulfilling on every level - from figuring out my address organization, to getting creative with decorating the envelopes, to feeling the mutual love as I sent my messages out into the world. It was all positive and made my life a little bit sweeter!!
We have loved sharing our process with you on our YouTube channel and are excited to continue. You can watch the first 10 days of cards right now and we will be adding one video per day until we have shared the entire month.
We’d love for you to subscribe to our channel and comment on the videos. Let us know what you like and what you can relate to. We have enjoyed this entire process – including the video production – and plan to continue this as a large part of Love Jac. So, we want to know what you like and what you want to see more.
Even though April is over, we are continuing to send more cards – including birthday cards. We would love to hear your tips on how you get your letters in the mail. We love this community of letter writers and look forward to connecting with you even more.
You can subscribe to our YouTube Channel here. Feel free to comment there and definitely let us know if you also have a YouTube Channel so we can check it out.
We hope you enjoy the videos and are inspired to send a friend a card today!!