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Welcome to another post about our Montessori-inspired parenting philosophy, why we chose cloth diapers, a paid & free cloth diaper pattern roundup, and why we’re loving cloth.

Cloth diaper pattern roundup

I’d already researched cloth diapering and decided I wanted to give it a go when a friend offered me her cloth diaper stash just a few days after I “announced” to friends on FaceBook. A few months later another friend who I know a completely different way and hadn’t mentioned cloth diapers to asked if I wanted a stash of cloth diapers she’d been given previously. I guess I seem like the ‘type’ to use cloth diapers and I’m totally okay with that! I did wonder, however if this perception came from my fondness for upcylcing and if folks assumed I wanted reusable diapers mostly for environmental reasons. Mainstream disposable are notoriously horrible for the environment. They’re believed to comprise 30% of non-biodegradable waste and account for an estimated 7.6 billion pounds of trash each year in the US alone. And then there’s the ridiculous quantity of oil used…the list goes on and on. {{I suggest you check out this post from Small Footprint Family for a full accounting with a thorough list of sources at the end if you want to know more.}}

However, I have to confess: large-scale environmental reasons are actually not my primary motivation for choose cloth diapers. [click to continue…]

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DIY Shabby Embellished Clothes Hangers

I’ve been doing a lot of closet and drawer cleaning lately while preparing for our upcoming move. It really got me thinking about clothes hangers and how they’re something that tends to be cheap and unattractive – a ‘necessity’ that we literally hide away in the closet! When you think about it, it feels a little silly to put your favorite and important clothing on some icky piece of wire that you got for free or a flimsy piece of plastic. A couple years ago I bought a handful of wood hangers and spruced up a few of them in this post, but never got around to fancying up more them. Today I’m sharing another way to beautify your clothes hangers with this DIY shabby embellished clothes hangers tutorial! They’re great for displaying a special piece, for photos, or just for making your closet feel a little more special.

DIY Shabby Hangers Tutorial

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It’s been a little while since I shared a free printable for Wellbeing Wednesday, so I thought it was time to post another! Today’s printable features a geometric pattern on a hand painted watercolor background and reads “You are the universe.” If you’re familiar with Eckhart Tolle, you may have seen this as part of a longer quotation, but I chose to keep it short because it’s actually part of at least three different Tolle quotations!

I’ve read:

“You are the universe expressing itself as human for a little while” (probably the best known version of the quotation)

“You are not IN the universe, you ARE the universe”

and “You are the Universe becoming conscious of itself”

That’s why I kept the printable’s version short – you can mentally fill in the rest with whichever version speaks you most loudly. Here’s what the printable might look like if you had a cool looking space to hang it in:

you are the universe free printable

Or, closer up:

you are the universe free printable preview

If you’ve never read any Eckhart Tolle (or maybe even are wondering who he is!), I think The Power of Now is a good place to start. There’s also an official Eckhart Tolle website with articles, discussion boards, etc. where you can read about his philosophy.

As usual, this “you are the universe” free printable resides in the printables for subscribers area of the blog. Not a member? You can enroll using the box at the bottom of this post! Between Baby, moving, transitioning from active duty, etc. I actually haven’t sent a newsletter in ages (oops!), so you’re definitely not signing up for spam or a sales funnel – just plenty of great free printables!

Do you have any favorite inspirational quotations you’d like to see turned into a printable? Please let me know!

Natasha of The Artisan Life-01

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I have wanted to do another video for a tutorial for ages! It’s been very tricky to find the opportunity due to a combination of having a baby, loud construction, and unfavorable weather. Our apartment is super duper loud and there has been construction outside basically every single week day since our girl was born! Sunny days, which are a helpful for me to make a video, have also been incredibly scarce. And, of course, I really need for my husband to be home so he can play with LG while I record. I was ready and waiting with a project in mind so I could jump on the opportunity if the stars ever aligned and the right set of conditions for filming happened along. They did this past weekend, so today I’m thrilled to share a colorful watercolor pineapple tutorial!

colorful watercolor pineapple tutorial

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I’ve had to throw away or donate many items as we prepare to move. Some of them were easy to part with and I felt great about sending them on their way so other people could enjoy them. Some items were much more difficult to get rid of, particularly things that I actually use but that couldn’t be reasonably donated. Donating a half full container of craft paint just doesn’t make sense! Prior to disposing of them, I’ve tried to use up as many of these consumables as possible, and that’s how the idea for this mini galaxy painting tutorial was born!

mini galaxy art tutorial with craft paints

A while ago I shared a wood slice galaxy painting, but today’s painting is a little easier to display because it’s on a mini canvas. The small canvas size makes this project unintimidating and perfect for people who aren’t sure if they “can” paint! (Spoiler alert, the answer is yes, you can paint this). [click to continue…]

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I’ve struggled a bit about whether or not to post about our Montessori-inspired parenting style and things we’re doing with LG. Ultimately, I’ve decided to go ahead and add some posts about LG, our Montessori-inspired parenting style, and a bit about why we’ve made the choices we have. I am very thankful for the ‘big’ Montessori parenting blogs out there and all their helpful resources and guidance, so I hope that one day my posts may help someone else out, in turn. Additionally, I think these posts will help my baby-oriented tutorials make a little more sense by giving them a framework. Today I’m starting with a post on why we love natural materials and simple toys for LG, which is something I know plenty of parents, not just those interested in Maria Montessori’s philosophy, care about.

As I’ve mentioned before, we’re decidedly Montessori-inspired parents. We’re not strict Montessori to the letter of the proverbial law, but we definitely agree with and try to implement many Montessori ideals with LG. One of the big things for us is using natural materials for toys (technically called “materials” in Montessori lingo) and making sure they provide meaningful development instead of entertainment. I’ve previously mentioned our penchant for natural materials in this wood bead clutching toy tutorial, but I didn’t discuss the importance (to us) of carefully selecting toys for their function, not just their composition.

Montessori-inspired parenting - why we love natural materials and simple toys for our baby

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Recently (and by that I mean kind of, sort of recently but more like early February because it takes me a while to get posts up these days!) our LG started to get distracted and grabby while nursing. And, of course, like all babies she loves putting things on her mouth. I decided I wanted a silicone nursing/”teething” necklace, but realized that I could get the materials to make several for the price of buying one already assembled necklace. Since making a simple necklace from large silicone beads is basically the easiest thing in the world, I went ahead and got the supplies to make a few necklaces! I was really proud when our pediatrician pointed to my necklace as a great thing to keep on hand for chompy four month olds during our last appointment. Score!

Most teething necklaces I’ve seen are simply beads on a string, so I wanted to make something a little more interesting. This post started out as a “currently crafting” idea and ended up a tutorial with necklace design ideas and tips for stringing difficult beads, so I hope you enjoy! Even if you don’t have a baby eager to gnaw on your everything, you can use the same process to make a large statement necklace and use some of the tips for other beading purposes.

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Free Blog Planner Printables for April 2018

I’m a little more organized this week so I’m actually posting the free blog planner printables for April ‘on time!’ It’s hard for me to believe that April is just around the corner. It will be our last full month in Hawaii, and a very busy month, too, between packing, checking out of our apartment, LG’s 6 month appointment, and more. In South Carolina, the azaleas should be blooming, but we’ll be arriving right in time for May’s hot weather and will probably miss the blossoms this year. Banks covered in blooming azaleas are so gorgeous and I look forward to seeing them again next year!

Alright, let’s get to the printables! As always, for your April printables I have a blog stats tracker sheet for you:

April blog stats tracker free printable

If you need the post planner/calendar sheets for April, please stop by this post to learn more about the complete 2018 scheduler printables. Planning ahead remains very important to me. For the fourth summer in a row, I’m trying to schedule most of my posts ahead of time. It’s a challenge with LG, but I’m doing the best I can and giving myself permission to have whatever I get done be enough.

If you’re working on feeling like you are enough, or on any other mental blocks/emotional hangups, make sure to grab the goals and intentions sheets for April!

goals and intentions worksheets for April 2018

I was not even a little bit surprised when I read that a recent study found acknowledging negative feelings is key to letting go of them. I think that sometimes bringing yourself to being openly acknowledging and naming your negative emotions is actually more difficult of letting go of them once you do!

As usual, these planner printables are available in the “printables for subscribers” portion of the blog. If you’re not a member yet, you can subscribe using the box below this post. To be honest, I haven’t actually sent out a newsletter in ages. 🙊 At this point subscribing will basically get you access to free printables and nothing extra in your inbox. One day I hope to have the opportunity to write extra, exclusive content for email subscribers as a special bonus/thank you to all the folks who’ve become blog followers, but for now that project has to take a back seat. Like back of the trans-oceanic jet kind of back seat when compared to a lot of other things.

How’s your April looking? I understand that ‘spring’ so far for most people on the Mainland has been pretty chilly! Is it starting to look and feel like spring for you yet?

Natasha of The Artisan Life-01

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The Book Was Better Free Printable

I guess this printable is kind of ‘out of series’ for me. It certainly isn’t a “Wellbeing Wednesday”-type post, but it’s a printable I really felt compelled to make and share because, let’s be honest, the book was better.

What book was better? Virtually all of them.

Almost every time I watch a movie or TV adaptation of a book I’m frustrated and confused by all the changes. Some changes I am totally okay with because I understand that the screen is different from a book and you can put a lot more into a book than a movie. For example, I know a lot of people were upset that Tom Bombadil wasn’t in the Lord of the Rings movies. Yes, he’s a cool character and I like the scenes in the book, but I can see why including him in the movie would have just lengthened it (even more!). Other changes, like placing Eowyn at Helm’s Deep, irked me a little more. (I get that they wanted to have more female screen time, but I think her staying at Edoras and keeping everything in perfect running order while the men were away better demonstrates her awesomeness. Oh well). But I’m getting off topic a bit – this post isn’t about LotR! It’s about screen adaptations in general.

the book was better free printable

With very little exception, the book was better. Off the top of my head, I can only think of two exceptions. I think The Princess Bride movie is more enjoyable than the book. Additionally, whoever read the early Dexter books and then created the TV show was a genius because I found the first book (all I could manage to read) pretty horrible. Oh, and add a third one – although there are plenty of changes to the show that a die-hard fan could be irritated with, I think the True Blood books are pretty poorly written. {{In the case of both TV shows, I can only say that the first few seasons are better than the books – I’ve never “finished” either one.}} This doesn’t mean that all screen adaptations are poor – I love the LotR movies and the Harry Potter movies, for example, I just usually still think the book was at least a little bit better. 😉

If you’re a book lover, too, you can grab this “the book was better” printable free from Google Drive right here! Print it out, post it up, and let everyone know how you feel.

What do you think? Was the book better? What’s your biggest screen adaptation pet peeve? Are there any shows or movies that you liked better than their book version?

Natasha of The Artisan Life logo

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As Pablo Picaso famously said, “All children are born artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” As a general rule, children don’t believe they’re poor at doing something until someone tells them they are. I’ve heard it time and again in childhood development classes and seen it in real life. I’ve cited my husband’s example of believing he wasn’t creative or artistic for years after a disparaging comment from a family member several times (most recently in my post on teaching the value of handmade). I’ve also experienced it first-hand. It’s difficult to keep creating when your efforts have been met with criticism or even just disinterest. Today’s printable is to help encourage you whenever you’re feeling afraid to create or to take a chance:

follow your inner moonlight watercolor printable

The full quotation is “Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness” and it’s attributed to poet Allen Ginsberg. If you want to know the full story behind the quotation and where it came from, The Allen Ginsberg Project did some great investigative journalism, as it were, that you can find right here along with an even more full version of the quotation. As always, this free printable is available in the ‘printables for subscribers‘ portion of the blog. Not a member yet? Just sign up using the post below this post! And if you really like this design, you can find it on a variety of items in my Society6 store.

I hope that today, and every day, you chose to let your inner moonlight shine. Because, as Dr. Seuss said (and because today is apparently the day for lots of quotations!) “There is no one alive who is youer than you.”

 Natasha of The Artisan Life-01

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