Tuesday, July 23

Behind the Scenes: just like mama

crystalstine.me Behind the Scenes is a weekly linkup with Crystal Stine... in her words: 
Social media and online relationships can make us feel like everyone else has it all together. We're edited, proof-read, Pinterest-perfect versions of ourselves  (or so some might think!) when - in reality? There is an unfinished pile of laundry around the corner. That cute toddler smiling for the camera just had a massive meltdown seconds ago. That yummy breakfast-for-dinner you just showed us on Instagram? It's because the cat licked the chicken that was supposed to be for dinner. 

"Behind the Scenes" is a fun link up where we show those photos - but tell the real story behind them. The sneak peek behind the scenes, a look past the edges of the photo to the real life behind it.  

 I'm a paper crafter--I love to make cards. I get much satisfaction over a card well done (maybe a little too much). When I am working on cards that I am hoping and praying might sell (whether in an online shop or at a craft fair), I want to be all alone--no kids, no distractions, no "help," no interruptions.

But you see, God gave me some girls ... and my eight year old, she has a little bit of that crafty gene, plus the fact that even though I'm a less-than-perfect mommy, she still thinks I'm the "Best Mommy in the World" and wants to spend as much time with me as possible. 

So, when I posted this on Instagram last night, you might have seen a good mommy who loves when her kids make a mess with arts and crafts, and shares all her tools and paper and stamps, and always encourages her kids to follow their dreams...

 photo e58aa5b842f7779a6aac69bea23b04f6_zps28a2d5e6.jpg

what really happened??!?! it looked a little bit like this...

I'm sitting in my craft room (Saturday) happily cutting, stamping, gluing, designing cards. I can hear the happy nosies of kids playing together above me... and then the basement door opens! Oh no, I'm going to be found and she rounds the corner, "Oh, can I help, Mommy? What can I do on your cards?"

My answer is always, "No, honey, these cards need to be 'perfect' --or at least obviously crafted by an adult." The answer this time was still "no," but I was able to show her a box I had been working on of craft supplies for the kids--older ink pads, a box of various stickers so old that I'm not even sure they will stick, miscellaneous paper, and stamps that have seen better days.

She immediately wanted to dig in and make cards, but I put her off...
... not right now, it's almost dinner
... and then it's bath time
... and then it's bed time

... and then it's time for church
... and then we are having company
ooh and now they are watching daddy play video games and I sneak away again 
...till bedtime and she's begging again... and I say "tomorrow"

In the morning I say...
... after I read my Bible,
... after breakfast,
... after my shower,
... then go outside and play for a little bit--
"but, Mommy, you said..."

I know, I know... after lunch when the younger two take naps.

and then, Finally she digs out her stuff and creates a card... fit for an eight year old.

This is getting way too long, so I will wrap it up by saying, She wants to sell her cards... just like Mommy.  I tell her she needs to practice more (and we obviously have to work on spelling, too).

We talk a little bit about the difference between her cards and mine. You need a design plan and a card theme, and sometimes it's helpful to make multiples of the same card... and she gets to work, but I still won't let her use my scissors, my tape runner, my paper cutter, etc.

I make dinner, daddy comes home, I sneak back down to my craft area, again! ... and at bedtime she comes to say good night and she brings me some of the cards she made earlier and I'm amazed!

She has a theme for her cards and a design (even if it's not what I would choose), she's making multiples, she watched how I make cards and tried to replicate it... with the pathetic supplies I gave her.

She wants to be just like me...

Community Conversation: Would YOU buy these cards at a craft fair? :) Any readers with a handmade-at-home business, how do you involve your kids without affecting quality?


  1. Love the fact that our kids think we're just the best. Hope you sell lots of your cards!

    1. thank you, I just have to get the nerve to set up shop again!

  2. Oh man! That's a tough one. It's so great that she looks up to you so much. : )

    1. It's a huge privilige and responsibility!

  3. I don't make crafts to sell, but I can completely relate to my girls wanting to do what I do and be just like me. It's actually kind of humbling, considering the Mom-mistakes I make every day. When I was scrapbooking I ended up giving them their own supplies and pictures so we could sit together but I didn't have them in my "stuff". But I'm conflicted - shouldn't I cherish the time together without being so worried about "stuff"? I think maybe she needs her own supplies so she can create alongside you. And my kids do sometimes get the idea that they want to sell their creations. I try to gently change the subject to save them from the cold harsh world, but I'm not sure I should.

    1. this parenting gig is tough!! :) My craft space is so crowded, she is across the room, which means I don't get anything done while she works, but we will keep trying! :)

  4. I am totally with you in that I like my "alone" time to do my thing, and it often seems like I am constantly being interrupted when I was just like 15 minutes to do something by myself. I have found that intentionally creating balance helps all of us. I make sure that everyday (or almost), I spend at least 15 minutes doing something intentional with my boy that is uninterrupted. Then I can ask for (and mostly get) my 15 minutes of alone time.

    As far as the crafts, I think she might have some luck selling them to peers or to family (e.g., grandma), but probably not adults. It may be time to learn that some things one does for fun and some things for "work", but both require skill and practice.

    Blessings to you!

    1. I am trying to increase my intentional time with my kids... but times four kids, it adds up quickly! I'll keep working at it! as for selling to family, that might be a great place to start! :) thanks for visiting and joining the conversation!

  5. I get that, that wanting to just have time and space, to still do the things that make you You. But I still think its great that she wants to be like you so much! I pray my daughter will want to be like me :) maybe take her to a craft store for her own, not expensive, craft supplies every now and then!

  6. I get that, that wanting to just have time and space, to still do the things that make you You. But I still think its great that she wants to be like you so much! I pray my daughter will want to be like me :) maybe take her to a craft store for her own, not expensive, craft supplies every now and then!


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