Living Like a French Painting!

August 20, 2012 by

8-20-12-13
There are two things you should know.

The first is that I have been on a massive decluttering campaign over the last week and a half. One of the great things about living in a teeny house is that we get to live with only what we truly love and need. There is just no room for extraneous stuff (and clutter!) Last week I edited the girls’ toys and donated about half of their toys. Clothes not being worn are in storage, waiting for Violet’s turn or donation. It hasn’t been just kid stuff, of course. I have been evaluating everything that we own, and if it’s not earning its place in our home, it has gone bye-bye. What a liberating feeling it is.

So, you would think that with half the toys rehomed, the girls would be upset. Right?! Well, think again. They do not know that I donated half their toys, despite the fact they were in the van when I took the toys to Goodwill! I am sneaky with double bags. Haha. I am not going to tell them that any of their toys are gone. It’s been almost a week and they have NOT NOTICED. Get that?! Not noticed. What does that say?!

In fact, the beautiful thing has been that they have been playing with their toys more because they are not overwhelmed by clutter. They appreciate what they have more.

And in case you’re wondering, I also instituted a toy rotation program. I put some special toys in storage and I will rotate them back in when we need to freshen the collection a little.

Anyhoo- this all goes to my second point, which is that when a child has the opportunity to be creative, anything can be a launching pad for their imagination. After I cleared out the front closet, Paprika and Ginger found the umbrellas and insisted we take them with us to the park.

We have been studying artists this summer, and the girls were inspired to live out some of their favorite paintings:

p John Singer Sargent (1856 – 1925)_ Madame Roger-Jourdain:

p John Singer Sargent (1856 - 1925)_   Madame Roger-Jourdain
Paprika will tell you that her favorite painter is Vincent Van Gogh. She loves all of his paintings. She has two mini calendars which act as flip-books that she loves to look at and be inspired when she is painting.

The main place (funny enough) that we have been learning about artist history is on the iPad. There are so many amazing apps about art history. A few are for kids, and there are many more for adults. I make sure to to study the ones for adults prior to using with the kids because sometimes you can get surprised! 😉

So, lately Paprika has been really enjoying the work of Monet:

p Claude Monet (1840-1926)_ Woman with a Parasol 1886:

p Claude Monet (1840-1926)_  Woman with a Parasol 1886
The girls were having a hoot at the park playing with their umbrellas (oh, sorry – parasols) and pretending that they were living in Paris in the 1800s.

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And if I hadn’t cleaned out the front closet, it never would have happened! 😉

p Claude Monet (1840-1926)_ The Walk, Woman with a Parasol 1875:

p Claude Monet (1840-1926)_  The Walk, Woman with a Parasol 1875
In case you’re curious, here are our fave iPad Apps we have been using for Art:

Art Catalog by MoKoo
Western Art by Mokoo
Van Gogh by MoKoo
Flowers for Van Gogh by Institut Van Gogh
TJ’s Art Studio
ProCreate
PlayART

I wonder what new treasures I will unearth today to inspire their play! That’s the great thing about letting go, it opens room for new and unexpected joys to fill our lives. 🙂

8-20-12-15
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