My blogging adventure has opened up so many doors to explore. There are some wonderful blogs out there chalk full of inspriation. Whatever your niche, whether it is cooking, crafting, homeschooling, trading, writing there is inspiration and support to be found in Blog land! I have been inspired lately to start creating something. Anything, really, I just needed to create. I have projects set aside, patterns selected, and pages marked all awaiting the proper materials. I decided fooey! Yes, fooey, I am going to just use what I have. The materials may not be ideal but the process has been rewarding. I am a thrifty person, one who trys to reuse what I have and that has been part of my inspiration. Most of the projects have been with or for my son. That has been its own reward. I think there is great value in allowing children to openingly explore their environment. I try and offer him the opportunity to color (crayon, paint, chalk, etc) everyday if he has not already asked for it. Sometimes he would prefer a different project like dough or beads and that works for me too. Some days it is a quick mark here and there and other days it is hour of creating with my son. We have reused large sheets of packing paper and smaller rectangles cut out of used printer paper. Some days he knows exactly what color he wants and his hand races across the page. Other days we doodle all over the paper per his request. Cow, W, dinosaur, 17, tree. He draws right over the top of mine and goes on to make another picture or request. Here is my make-shift easel complete with multiple sheets of paper that can flipped over. I proped a folding table up against the back of the kitchen counter for the easel. I reused packing paper and taped it across the top of the table. This allowed my son to paint/color on both sides of the paper with a flip of the easel. I left the paper up for awhile so we he felt the need he could color with whatever medium we had. For painting I am using acrylic paints that I had water down a bit and add a drop or two of dish soap. I try and put the paint in a clear container so he can see the depth and the brush dipping in. I have also used a pie pan. Most days I just offer one color unless he insists on more. I mix colors to give him variation on the hues. I also already had chucky handled round paint brushes for preschoolers that I had found at a garage sale. Sometimes I put down a tablecloth on the ground but with the added soap and water clean up of any spills is a breeze. I almost always strip Clay down to his diaper when painting. No worries, no fear! I look forward to using water colors and wet on wet painting technique with him in the future, but for now I am happy utilizing what I have. By the way, this is an elephant!