Hello there, I'm so excited to be joining the Petit a Petit Family!  What a thrill to be working with Celina and the other amazingly talented ladies in the family!  I'm Jane, mom of two and when I'm not here you can find me blogging over at Buzzmills.  I grew up in rural Pennsylvania, moved to NYC and now we are giving the DC suburbs a go.  In my "previous life" I was a scientist, but have always been a creator.  As a child I made tiny pillows for my dolls, in high school I was making beaded jewelry to sell, and after moving into my first apartment I began to find ways to create for it!  I've been sewing for a while now, but after my son was born nearly six years ago, I dove inand began to sew a bit nearly everyday.  I really enjoy being able to make clothes for our entire family.  It's not all sewing though, there are other creative endeavors as well...

When my kids were younger and not in school I enjoyed crafting with them.  It gave them a chance to get messy and me a chance to stretch my creative mind...while also playing with them.  As they get older though, I find it difficult to make time for the crafting that we used to do together.  Between school, homework and other activities free time is sometimes hard to come by, which is sad because we seem to be raising a couple of creative minded kids. 

The crafts of our past were often made of toilet paper rolls and pipe cleaners, sometimes they still are.  While these are surely excellent crafting supplies, the end result isn't always ready for home display.  As children get older and become more and more like "budding artists" though their makes too become more like works of art.  With different supplies and a steer in the "right" direction you might be pleasantly surprised at the outcome...

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I can tell that my children miss the planned creating too.  It's easy to let older children (mine are 5 and 7) go off on their own and make their own fun.  It's part of the fun of being a child and of being a parent of children that can do things on their own.  But, the act of doing something together is so meaningful to them and the results make them beam with pride.  

While I'm here with the Petit a Petit family I hope to bring you some pretty things that you can make together with your kids, things that you'd love to have up on display!  And, for the first project, seeing that it's the first day of February I thought we would take some Valentine inspiration to make heart bowls (and "plates").

To start, you will need:  air dry clay, a rolling pin, craft knife, small bowl for shaping, acryllic paints, and paint brushes...

Roll clay into a ball and then roll out to ~1/8" thickness with a rolling pin...

Next, using your craft knife, cut out a heart shape...

For younger kids , have them lay their hands onto the clay in a "heart shape" and carefully trace around their hands with the craft knife. 

For older children, let them do the cutting on their own...

Once your heart is cut out, carefully peel it up, and flip it onto an upside down bowl for shaping.  Place the center of your heart close to the center of the bottom of the bowl and carefully mold it onto the bowl.

Set bowl aside for about 24 hours, or until dry and hardened.  After a few hours, very carefully peel the heart off of the back of the bowl and place it gently inside the bowl so that it doesn't stick to the bowl and so that both sides have a chance to dry out.  When the bowl is dry, it's time to paint!

Paint the inside first, then flip over and paint the bottom.  After the paint is dries you've got a beautiful handcrafted, heart shaped bowl...

Perfect for sweets...

or jewelry...

or for heart shaped stacking...

Of course, you can also simply leave your hearts unformed to make a little snack "plate" instead...

Whatever you make the outcome is sure to bring a smile.  They are perfect for Valentine's day to gift or to keep...just beware of those sneaking candy stealing hands...

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Enjoy!

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