Blog Posts by Sarah Lipoff

  • Fine Art for Kids: Boxing with Louise Nevelson

    I'm not going to lie. Louise Nevelson is one of my favorite artists. I remember when my somewhat crazy-lady high-school art teacher shared pictures of her sculptures and I thought they were so interesting but yet so simple. Then she showed us these amazing pictures of her and I was totally hooked. Nevelson's sculptures are really compelling and different and I love the compartmentalization of her work. Her artworks are a total package - a box full of fun. She painted these boxes of stuff one color, which encourages the viewer to look deeper and notice shapes, textures, lines, and balance. And, Louise Nevelson was a bit crazy-lady herself, which makes her art even more cool.

    So, when I came across an empty soap box the other day, Louise Nevelson came to mind. I also KNEW there were lots and lots of random bits hanging around the house that could be re-purposed into a great Nevelson inspired artwork. This is a great art activity for kids of all ages - even the wee tots! All

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  • Meditation and memory

    The other day I wrote an educational article about meditation, memory and the young developing mind, which got me thinking about meditation in general. I totally admit to not buying into the whole "pondering" thing, but have never tried meditating myself. I just don't really have the time to sit in a quiet corner to chant and ring a bell for a couple of hours.

    Yes, as you can see, I'm totally uneducated.

    I love yoga, have spent my wad on acupuncture (when trying to get pregnant), and eat pretty healthy. But, the whole chanting-breathing thing just doesn't bring to mind relaxation, memory building, or weight-loss assistance. It makes me think of feeling silly and time that could have been spent baking cake.

    I do love cake.

    So, imagine my surprise when I found some pretty positive research linking meditation with building healthy memory. I don't know about you, but the idea of not remembering things scares the bejesus out of me. I have a hard enough time getting

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  • Three New Year’s resolutions I won’t be making (and a few I maybe will)

    This time of year seems to be all about what you are not going to do next year and your plans to change those bad, bad ways. Everyone's buzzing about making New Year's resolutions - even my friends over at the Motherboard! After reading their suggestions and checking out what some real ladies are discussing, I got to thinking...

    There are three New Year's resolutions that I will NOT be making this year. Hey, if they happen on their own, that's great. But, I'm not adding them to my list of things I'm up all night obsessing over. Nope. I've got enough to worry about.

    So, here goes.

    1. Losing weight. Yeah, it would be awesome to lose 10-15 pounds, but I'm not going to starve myself getting there. I love food and think I eat pretty well (no junk-food at my house). Cooking is my stress relief and the idea of having someone deliver my daily calorie-reduced food or laboriously counting food points makes my head hurt. I also live with a toddler who loves cheese and a

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  • Handmade Christmas ornaments

    In anticipation of getting our first Christmas-tree-with-child, I totally admit to having some concern that the tree will just be a glowing full-of-lights tree devoid of any ornaments. We have some lovely ornaments from my husband's side of the family and I would hate for this to be the year that they were no longer family heirlooms.

    So, I got to thinking and remembered a crafty project I'd done with students in the past. It's simple, easily accomplished at any age, and you can make lots and lots of them!

    Squishy shiny balls of fun - which would make PERFECT unbreakable Christmas tree ornaments!

    You probably have what you need around the house, and you can get the kids to create an assembly line if you are wanting to make a gazillion of them. Just make sure to cover your work table - this project gets messy! I made a couple with my daughter and gave them a test-run on a tree outside to see how the wee tot would treat them. She spent a good amount of time ooooohing

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  • Recycled plastic bag holiday wreath

    Well, now that Thanksgiving's over, it's time to decorate the house! Because we live in a place that doesn't get snow, I try to find ways to make the place feel festive, but without any of that fake snow stuff. Along with getting a tree and hanging some sparkly lights, I usually create a fun wreath to hang on the door. Sometimes I use branches and things from the yard, but this year, I had a new idea.

    While browsing through some decorating ideas from my friends over at Midwest Living, I was inspired by one of their featured wreaths. It totally motivated my inner winter wreath making diva, but I didn't have a white feather boa hanging about the house. So, it got me thinking. How about doing something with all those white plastic bags hanging out under the sink? I know you've got a stock pile of them, too. So, instead of tossing them in the trash (which is a no-no anyway), why not turn them into a super-cool, recycled, repurposed wreath?!

    I pulled out the bags and got rid

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  • User Post: Fall Leaf Splatter Painting

    I feel like the last days of fall are upon us. As soon as Thanksgiving is over, it's time to get ready for winter. The Christmas ornaments come out, everyone's blaring holiday songs, and the snow starts drifting down (well, not at my house). I figured it was our last chance to do a fun fall art activity. Because, starting Monday, it's all about cooking and cleaning (and not stressing) for turkey day!

    Leaves are really beautiful things. Just like snowflakes, no two are exactly the same. They each have different little bumps, curves, colors or lines, which makes fall leaves so wonderful. The wee tot and I headed outdoors for a fall leaf hunt and selected a few to use for our project.

    I helped her get started by placing some small bits of rolled tape on the back of the leaves so she could press them onto a paper. Older kids could roll the tape and position the leaves themselves, which encourages fine-motor skills and creativity!

    Now, before the babe could pull the

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