Thursday, March 27, 2008

the creative family by Amanda Blake Soule

*edit!: I completely forgot to give you all her blog, she does a pretty much daily blog that you will love...the pictures are incredible: soule mama Title the creative family
Author: Amanda Blake Soule
Pages: 212
Rated: 5/5
Yearly Count: 13

This book is pure, unadulterated creative dynamite! I wanted to review this book knowing that I would enjoy it, but I had no idea to what extent it would challenge my family and I. Amanda and the rest of the Soule family do an excellent job in this book of inspiring creativity, of living artfully and of helping other families reach their creative potential as well. Last night, after reading a little over half of the book throughout the day, I could not sleep for hours (and I usually have no problem) but my mind was stewing, in hard-core overdrive imagining all the fun things we can do together as a family, thinking of all the neat projects that my two little boys are old enough to do now that are in this book!

Some of the exciting projects include little hands learning to felt, sew, make stuffed art, knit, and embroider. Other projects that stood out to me were family drawing time, making traditions, handmade holidays, art placemats, and "craftivisim" . If you have thought about the level of creativity in your house, and desire it to ebb and flow out of all of you and yours, The Creative Family by Amanda Blake will be a sweet dream that can be your new reality, an amazing place that after you have entered you'll know you just gotta stay. The best thing is that kids are drawn to create and it need not be something you are apprehensive about, take it from Soule, she believes that, " as human beings, we are all born with the ability, the desire, the passion, and the drive to be creative. We may become anxious about "teaching" creativity to our children, but there is really no need for us to teach. They know how to be creative. The know it with every ounce of their being- it isn't conscious or rational. It is simply who they are. Until somethings stands in their way [...]they will be creative" (p. 13).

Consider me inspired: Yesterday I set up an inspiration wire (p. 21), and several times I noticed my little one checking out his art on the wall with intense pride. I went out and found some things that our art cabinet (dresser)(p. 25) was in need of, and I was dying to do the projects in the book. Today, after reading the section on letting your kids use good quality things I (must admit reluctantly) let my four-year-old paint with my paint brushes...the results were just beautiful, let me tell you that next time I will not hesitate, he can use my brush! This weekend we are going to do the freezer-paper stenciling (p. 74) after I find the shirts we need, and because our "inspiration wire" is already way too full I am going to put together some sturdy art clips (p. 83) up at some point in the near future. The project that I am incredibly excited about though, and have already been eyeing materials for is the incredible "Banging Wall" (p. 197) I cannot wait to get that up in our backyard! Those are the projects that have inspired me, since yesterday...and there are many more in this book waiting to be used as well.

One of my favourite aspects of this book is the desire to bless others with your art, for whom you want to express love or care for. Here is an especially great quote on just that, Soule says, " Living a creative live is made all the more fulfilling and rewarding when we are creating with, for or because of others. Much creative drive is certainly internally driven, but there is such benefit to creating beyond ourselves, beyond our family, and beyond our homes, for our community and the world around us. Connecting with and creating with others can be a powerful and inspiring act, as well as a wonderful gift for our children, teaching them how to connect and share their own passions with others" (p. 191). It is beautiful to allow art to not only influence your family, but to impact those around you as well. Kids and parents alike learn life lessons from such acts.

This is one of those books that come around very much too infrequently that you would like to buy 100 of and give one to all your friends because you know they would love it too...but then you do the calculations and realize that would not go over too well with family budgeting. No, seriously I will buy this book for several of my close friends who I know will love it just as much as me, and to all the rest of my friends who would also love it just as much I will give it the highest recommendations possible. All I can say, if you believe in creativity, or would like to this book and you will want all your friends to buy it too!

The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule
Available on April 1st


Trish said...

I'll have to pass this one on to my friends with kiddos--sounds like a lot of fun things!!

bethany said...

*trish- oh yes, it is a must.

Linda Jacobs said...

My granddaughter (She just turned two) loves to do crafty things with me. I'd say this book sounds like a must for graddparents as well as parents!

I have a Borders gift card and this will definitely be on my list!

lacer said...

I saw you link to this review on The Sunday Salon and was intrigued. I'd seen this on Amazon and it looked interesting, definitely think it's one to purchase now! I have a 4 year old and a 2 year old and my 2 year old loves drawing and my 4 year old likes to try and copy mummy with her sewing.

Thanks for a great review!

Stephanie said...

I've been reading her Soulemama blog for over a year now and love it - you must check it out

bethany said...

*lacer- yes, it is worth it...i cannot say enough.
*linda jacobs- yes, it would be great for grandmothers too! it is just an incredible book.

*Stephanie-yeah, I have been too. I should have put that in the post, huh!?!? oh, I will edit it. Thanks for reminding me!