Category Archives: announcements

{Art Together} Issue Three: Printmaking Available Now

I am so VERY excited to announce that the third issue of Art Together is now available. This issue focuses on printmaking, which has long been a fascination for me and my kids. It’s so fun and magical. You can read all about (and purchase) the third issue right here. Some giveaways are planned as well, and I’ll be sure to let you know where to look for them.

I’ve added some of the artwork we created while preparing this issue to the {Art Together} Flickr Group. If you’ve been creating art together with your children, I’d love to have you join and share it in the group.

And as always, questions, comments, and feedback are always welcome: amyhood at amyhoodarts.com.

“Sick of Winter” Sale

Truth be told, I was Done with winter a long time ago. We’ve got one last week of February to get through and even though I know March is a heart-breaker…at least it’s not February. So to help make it through, I decided to have a sale. Until the end of February (that’s this week only!), use code THINKSPRING for 25% off in the shop.

Find yourself something springlike. Maybe this spring tree?

green tree 1

Or this daisy-printed notebook?

daisy notebook (1)

Or a cute daisy pouch? Either wallet- (shown) or pencil-sized.

small daisy 3

I know I need a little something to get over that last hump before spring. If you do as well, 25% off is my winter blah-busting gift to you.

Friday Links on Saturday

Taken at Wat Arun by my husband, used here so I have a pretty picture to go with this post.

Taken at Wat Arun by my husband, used here so I have a pretty picture to go with this post.

Between Monday being a holiday and Wednesday being a snow day and tracking delayed and canceled flights, I thought Friday was Thursday, so I’m sharing Friday links on Saturday. Follow?! Anyway, just a few things I saw this week that I thought were interesting:

Take Care of Your Little Notebook by Charles Simic, tweeted by iHanna. I have multitudes of notebooks…a writing one, a project one, sketchbooks, the One With the Grocery List and Meal Plans, one in my bag at all times… (I sell little notebooks, too). I loved this piece. Evernote-on-my-phone may occasionally supplement but will never, ever replace an actual notebook for me.

Debunking the Myth of the 10,000 Hours Rule at Brainpickings. We’ve all heard the idea that 10,000 hours at one activity equals mastery, but this explains that it’s how you use those hours that matter–and that errors are a part of the process.

Related, On Doing the Work on Seth’s Blog is a reminder that you actually have to do the work to learn anything. “Learning is not watching a video, learning is taking action and seeing what happens.”

Speaking of learning, as soon as I saw Sketchbook Skool (and yes, the misuse of “k” is driving me nuts) tweeted by Jodi Wiley and I checked it out, I decided to sign up. I’ve been wanting to take a drawing class, and I was really clicked in to the idea of an in-person class with a live, right-there instructor and classmates that I could talk to in real time. But the figure drawing class I had my eye on is $500 and 45 minutes away for something like 10 weeknights in a row. I wasn’t actively looking for an online substitute, but when I saw this it felt right–I use my sketchbook a lot, but I’d like to be more organized about it, and I really like the aspect of seeing how others approach theirs. This is not the same as a figure drawing class, not at all, but it will scratch my itch for a drawing class and, of course, it’s $400 cheaper and I don’t have to spend 90 minutes in the car every week.

Last but not least, there’s a new homeschool magazine debuting soon, Home / School / Life, and I was approached by the editor, Shelli Pabis, to write an art column. I very excitedly said yes. The magazine will be available in print and digital format, and the first issue will be available this spring.

Have a great weekend!

Happy Holidays!

peaceful holidays + happy new year

My oldest is home from school–hurrah!–until January 2, so I intend to take a bit of a computer break during that time and enjoy having all my kids at home. I wish you all a peaceful remainder to 2013 and a happy beginning to 2014. I’ll still be around if there are any questions about the zine or the shop (discount codes for both expire at the end of this year); I’m just dialing down the online connectivity a bit.

Until then…may your days be merry and bright!

Giveaway Day!

Congratulations to Chiska, whose comment number came up on random.org as the winner of the pouch. Thank you to everyone who commented–I really enjoyed reading about your handmade gifts and memories.

It’s been a long while since the last time I participated in Sew Mama Sew’s Giveaway Day and I’m pleased to be joining up again. I’m offering this hand-embroidered zippered pouch, with a design inspired by those found on Ancient Egyptian faience (such as this bowl).

embroidered zippered pouch 1

Pens and washi tape not included, but it’s certainly roomy enough to hold them!

I wanted the base fabric to match, as well as I could, the blue-green color usually found in faience, although the color of the objects themselves do, of course, vary. I often find inspiration in art and nature, and I’ve always been drawn to the beautiful, ancient pieces created using this process. I’ll never own any, but I can try to create something inspired by it.

embroidered zippered pouch 4

This pouch measures 8.25 x 5.25″ on the outside and approximately 8 x 5” inside. It’s embroidered with cotton embroidery floss on Kona cotton, with a lining of sturdy 100% cotton and an 8” YKK zipper for durability. Spot-cleaning is recommended for best results.

embroidered zippered pouch 2

This particular giveaway is open to US residents only (due to shipping costs) and I’m not asking for anything more than a comment in return (see details below), but I would love if you visited my Etsy shop, where you’ll find many more zippered pouches, including hand-stamped and hand-embroidered ones. Code HOLIDAY13 is good for 10% off your purchase.

I also publish an e-zine, Art Together, full of information and activities designed to inspire confidence in adults to explore open-ended art together with children. Code HOLIDAY gets you 20% off Issue One: Color, Issue Two: Line, or the bundle of both (available on either issue’s page). If you have kids or work with kids, I hope you’ll take a few moments to read about the e-zine.

To enter this giveaway, though, all you need to do is leave a comment with these two pieces of information:

(1)  Your email address! Please make sure you fill in that field. I need to be able to contact you by email.

(2) Tell me a favorite handmade gift you’ve either given or received. It doesn’t matter if it was made by you or the person who gave it, as long as it was handmade by somebody. This is a hard one for me, because I’ve given so many handmade gifts over the years, but one of my favorites is the doll I knit for my daughter a couple of years ago, which you can see (if you’d like) here.

giveaway_2013_Dec9In accordance with Sew Mama Sew’s guidelines, this giveaway will close at 9pm EST on Friday, December 13. I’ll update this post with the winner’s name and email the winner next weekend, and your pouch will be in the mail by December 20–and most likely well before that. Good luck! And be sure to visit Sew Mama Sew’s Giveaway Day posts to see all the wonderful items on offer.

Announcing Art Together Issue Two: Line

Art Together Issue Two: Line at amyhoodarts.com

It’s a great feeling to let this go into the world. All the last-minute edits and fixes crossed off the list, all the tech taken care of (hopefully correctly–I did the bulk of it well into Monday night because I let the kids stay up late to watch a Christmas special). It’s hard to say, finally, done. Setting my own deadlines helps with that, and I aimed to have this ready the first week of December. So I can say…this one is complete and ready to share, and I hope you like it. All the details are on the Issue Two page. The code HOLIDAY is good for 20% off through December 31, 2013, and Issues One and Two are available as a bundle as well. It’s all right here.

I kind of want to throw confetti into the air, and I just might do that before turning my attention towards Christmas…

Counting Down

countdown calendar 2013 at amyhoodarts.com

With Thanksgiving being so late this year, I needed to take down our Thankful banner right after Thanksgiving and replace it with our countdown calendar. I meant to highlight that tutorial much earlier in the month, but November has simply slid right by. Fortunately, this countdown calendar design has open pockets, which is one of the many reasons I love it so much. I can slip in the activity cards as we go. I’ve said before, I know: our countdown activities are things we’d be doing anyway–getting a tree, writing to Santa, sending out cards, and so on–made extra special because each day’s activity, even the simple ones (have hot cocoa + whipped cream, for example), have an element of surprise from the anticipation of seeing what’s in the pocket. Our countdown always starts the same way on December 1–celebrating my firstborn’s birthday. And then we can begin with Christmas in earnest.

I slip some chocolate in there every so often, but overall, this is about doing simple things, together. The kids look forward to it, too, making sure I don’t forget to include their favorites. “Will we be making snowflakes this year?” my oldest wanted to know. “We can’t forget to drive around looking at Christmas lights,” reminds my youngest. I like to think that this element of simple ritual is something they’ll look back upon when they’re older as a beloved part of celebrating the holidays together.

Meanwhile, I’ve been a bit quiet in this space because I’ve been busy getting the second issue of Art Together ready for release the first week of December. This issue focuses on line, and the kids and I have had fun researching it and putting it together. The featured artist is one of my favorites, Piet Mondrian. We have really enjoyed learning more about him. I’m looking forward to sharing this issue with you (and simultaneously quieting that voice that always says, No, not quite ready, not quite yet).

I’m also counting down to Sew Mama Sew’s Giveaway Day on December 9. I’ve decided to participate this year, so there will be something up for grabs here the second week of December. So many things going on here this month! Finally, a little something for the holidays–code HOLIDAY13 will get you 10% off in the shop through December 31.

Phew. I think I’ve caught everything up for the time being. Now, I have a birthday to prepare for before coming back next week to announce the new issue!

Notebooks in the Shop

I’ve added some new items to the shop, including some hand-colored and hand-stamped notebooks, like this one:

daisy moleskine notebook at amyhoodarts.com

And this one:

tree moleskine notebook at amyhoodarts.com

And a couple of others. I also added two new embroidered pouches:

I sewed both of these together this past weekend, and when I was completely finished–turning hole sewn closed by hand, pockets ironed–I regarded them with what can only be described as satisfaction. I am pleased by them, in that quiet way that comes of creating the thing that you envisioned. Sometimes I get that feeling from a piece of writing, too, the sense that it expressed exactly what I was trying to say. That’s a good feeling, a feeling worth slogging through the not-quite-right attempts in order to achieve.

Anyway, I suppose if I ever lose that feeling with these pouches, I’ll have to move onto making something else, because I hope the sense of care and satisfaction hangs around them like an aura, packaged and mailed right along with the pouch.

Announcement: Shop Sale

banner2

Select items in the shop are 20% off now through November 1. There’s no need to enter a code; just click to the sale section and the prices already reflect the discount. This is a great time to do a little early holiday shopping. Do you have an artist or writer on your gift list? A pencil pouch would hold all their drawing or writing tools in one place; both the daisy version and the brightly colored squares version are currently discounted. And these small pouches come in a pink or purple variety:

basic pocket purple 1

Purple version

They make a great teacher’s gift, with a coffee gift card tucked inside.

I haven’t started making my holiday gift list yet (it’s hard for me to shift into that mode until after my daughter’s October birthday and Halloween), but I’ll be thinking about it very soon…and I’m sure I’ll be shopping Etsy for gifts myself. And don’t forget you can also give Etsy gift cards, which is a fantastic present for someone with unique, individual tastes (ie, hard to buy for). I’m kind of hoping I get one myself this year…

Announcing Art Together E-Zine and a Giveaway

I’m really excited to announce and share with you the first issue of the Art Together E-Zine. I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while now and working on this issue over the summer. My plan is to offer a quarterly magazine, each with a focus; Autumn’s issue investigates color. Each issue will include a Featured Material and an Artist Spotlight, as well as plenty of resources, activities, and ideas. The two book lists–one on color and the other on van Gogh, the subject of this issue’s Artist Spotlight–are annotated, which means I give some information on each book to help you decide if it sounds right for you and your children. You’ll also find plenty of encouragement and, hopefully, inspiration within these pages.

You will not, however, find craft projects. The activities within firmly support my belief in the importance of open-ended, process-oriented art. Because there is no right or wrong way to do these activities, you and the children you’re working with can approach them from wherever you are right now. The only necessary quality is a willingness to explore and experiment. My hope is that artists of all ages will find something within these pages.

My 9yo working on an activity from Issue One.

I wrote this for parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, babysitters–anyone looking to explore art with children they care about. The idea of art together–parents and children side by side–is so important to me because, for a long time, that was the only way I could find time in my day for my own creative outlets. If you’ve always thought you couldn’t “do art;” if someone along the way made you feel shamed or less-than when it came to art or creativity; if you’ve always kind of wanted to try something artsy but thought it wasn’t for you; if your child loves art and you’re just not confident in your ability to sit down with him or her–I especially wrote this for you. Playing and experimenting with art is for everybody (yes, you too). Whether or not you buy the zine, I hope you hear me whispering encouragement to you, because I am really passionate about helping people gain confidence in their creativity. (Encouragement is always free of charge. Email me anytime!)

Drawn and painted still life, acrylics, 11-year-old.

You can find all the details about this first issue, including the “buy now” button, here. This issue is 27 pages and $5, but because it’s my birthday on Saturday, you can use the code BIRTHDAY for 20% through the end of September. And because the best way to celebrate is by giving, I’m offering a free copy to a reader. Just leave a comment on this post letting me know you’re interested (make sure to include your email address in that field in the comment form). This giveaway is open to anyone, worldwide–aren’t digital giveaways so easy that way?! Comments will be open until midnight EST on my 40th birthday, Saturday, September 21. And stay tuned–a few other bloggers will be hosting giveaways over the next couple of weeks as well.

I had a great time creating this magazine, and I hope you enjoy it too.

**Drawing results: Random number generator brought up Jen as the winner. Congratulations, Jen!