Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Atelier


My son, Matteo, is an artist.

He loves to draw, he loves to paint, he loves to make things with his hands. This week, as we have been moving things around the house in preparation for the holidays, I decided to set aside an area to honor his desire to create, thus creating The Atelier :)...

Over the Thanksgiving holidays, I brought home an old rustic cabinet that I had been keeping at my parents house. I have so many fond memories from this bookcase as it was one of the first pieces of furniture I had purchased for my first apartment. A friend and I had gone thrifting in a seedy part of Chicago and this little gem seemed to be calling out to me to take it home. As my career moved me from city to city, this bookcase held all my treasured books. Now, that I believe that I am in the home I will stay in for the rest of my life... my beloved bookshelf is home as well. Though now instead of holding books, it is home to the tools that my son uses to express his imagination.


I hung a few of our playsilks above the work table, a rainbow of colors to provide inspiration

We've always felt that Matteo would let us know when it was time for him to learn his letters and he has shown interest in learning to write his name. I love these beautiful cards which make the alphabet seem like art.


I have to admit that part of the impetus to create the Atelier were these incredible natural crayon caddies handmade by my lovely, creative friend Nicola. She was so incredibly generous in gifting all three of my boys with a set! I decided to use one with the wonderful colored pencils she gifted us with, one with colored markers that Matteo enjoys, and the last one with these twig crayons we had.


I love that Matteo has such a strong love of art and creating and I hope that it is a passion that stays with him for the rest of his life. For now I will rejoice and revel in the beauty that is his childhood and the art that is his gift.

Yours in the love of childhood creation,
Marina

*Nicola is doing a giveaway for one of her amazing natural crayon caddies on her wonderful blog this week! Please do take a moment to check it out!*





36 comments:

Simple Mama said...

This is such a stunningly beautiful artists nook. Who wouldn't be inspired here? Please come to my home and set up my artist area. Matteo is so blessed to have a mama that encourages this talent in him. :)

nicola@which name? said...

marina, you even came up with a lovely name for your art space. i LOVE the cabinet. it is beautifully set up! don't you just love a little person table? so happily used for everything in our home. i am so glad you like those caddies (such an unromantic name for them) and even happier your twig pencils and markers fit. our markers are too fat, as are our twig pencils. (i know...i should just make bigger holes!)
and matteo and lala really ought to spend some more time together. they need an art play date, seriously. (ooohhh, visions of an art party birthday just hatched.) lala can spend HOURS on art. i wish finn the same creative, contented fate, but i am not sure it's there. so far, he prefers to use the walls for his coloring.
thank you for the lovely link love!
nicola
http://whichname.blogspot.com

Unity of 3 said...

You are such an amazing and creative mother. I am so proud of all you do to bring out the best in your children and the people around you with your creative spirit. I am so happy to have you apart of my life and I thank God everyday for the beautiful boys that you have added to my life!

Jessica said...

I LOVE this space! What a nice way to organize an area that reflects your respect for Matteo as an artist and as your child. This is lovely!

Jaime said...

This is a simply beautiful artists nook. I want to make one for myself. I am in the process of re-imagining my son's play areas and this is the perfect inspiration.
Thank you

Joy said...

What a beautiful art space! I love the name. :) All of my kids love art and our art shelf, a small bookshelf made by my father when I was a girl, serves right beside our kitchen table. Hooray for art being an accessible part of our children's lives! Aren't Nicola's caddies just adorable!

Stephanie said...

It's a beautiful cupboard! It would be one of my favorite things, I'm sure. :)
I love the idea of setting the cards before him... Maddie has been writing and writing lately, I don't know why it didn't occur to me to set out letters of her name.
I'll have to get out some today, and have them handy for her.
This also makes me want to take her table and chairs and set it in the den near the art supplies...
have to ask her about that, too.
I got lots of great ideas, today. :)

Naturalearthfarm said...

You have a such a beautiful space for your children - what a blessing for them to express their creativity in such a space.
Thank you for sharing as this is inspiring.
Warm wishes.

6p0120a535880b970b said...

Marina, I am SO excited to have discovered your blog! The images of your art space are so warm and inviting...I'd like to sit and draw there all day too. We have the same alphabet cards that are just now getting discovered by my middle born. As Matteo gets more and more interested in his letters, you can begin to play with all sorts of teaching tools...I wrote about a few of our favorite ways to gently introduce letters here: http://www.theblankiechronicles.com/blog/2009/10/learning-our-abcs-.html
warmly,
Kate

Kelly and Kelly said...

what a beautiful way to encourage creating - love!

cat said...

oh what an inspiration!! i love the atelier and the colors surrounding it. i've been longing for a case to hold all our arts and crafts, i found an odd shape cabinet that my darling dh just can't stand..haha so it has been banished to the studio out back, but i need to find a small case similar to your's and organize all their crafts...you have once again inspired me to move forward...i love it, and i love the tone of your words that you type...i just love you my dear friend..

xoxox

healinghillary said...

wow...that atelier is very inspiring indeed.

Amy said...

Very lovely. Where do the alphabet cards come from?

Trinity Mommy said...

Your home looks lovely! Where did you find those cards??? I am new to waldorf but already we have seen what a blessing it is!

Nicole said...

Great. Now you've got my scoping our living room area wondering how I could possibly copy this idea. Thanks A LOT Marina! ;)

Annie@Imagination said...

wowowowowowowowo. wow.
I want to come over :)

How old is Matteo?

Elizabeth (3) also loves all things artistic like this -- I can't wait to have a space for my children similar to this...

I loved loved loved creating when I was little -- and I always said "i'm going to be an artist" and I did become an artist -- and my mom would remind me through my teenage years (the end of them mostly) that I always said I'd become an artist... I hope to allow that kind of space for my children to grow as well...

This kind of thing is for sure a highlight in parenting :)

Thank you for sharing!

petithappiness said...

Oh Wow Marina
This is just exquisite. I adore this place you created, it is just perfect, and calling to be used! How can you NOT want to go there and create whatever idea you have in mind. Beautiful

renee ~ heirloom seasons said...

What a wonderful space! I love your cabinet, with everything so beautifully organized inside!

Marina said...

Thank you all so much for your very kind and generous comments! I think all your children are fortunate to have mamas who want to encourage their creativity :)..

I loved the name Atelier as well... why use English when French words make it sound things so fancy and romantic :)

The alphabet cards are available at Nova Naturals

http://www.novanatural.com/s.nl/sc.7/.f?search=alphabet+cards

Apologies for the few quick responses for now...

Nicola- tell me when and where! I've been dying to have a playdate with Lala... ummm, I meant Matteo to have a playdate with her ;}...

Joy- I love that the love of art is passed down through your family and that bookshelf made with your fathers hands houses the objects your children create with!

Annie, Matteo is 4... I've been meaning to email you about your amazing photos, you inspire me so much!

Traumkraut said...

Marina! That's so beautiful! Can we - my daughter and me - move to your house and live with you? ;-)

Wow!
Very inspiring!


Love,
Maike

lovestitches said...

What a gorgeous, warm and inspiring space!! And oh the cupboard is exactly what I hope to find one day!! ANd filled with a childs art supplies? My idea of heaven!!

RunninL8 said...

I LOVE that what you have turned your beloved cabinet into! I SO wish that I had certain peices of furniture from my past...my grandmas things. There may be a peice or 2 of hers at my moms, but she lives in NJ. It would be so hard to get it out here! What wonderful use you've put it to!
I just ordered those very same alphabet cards!

Frontier Dreams (Nicole) said...

Oh my dear friend, you know how much I love this!! I'm serious, some day you guys needto come fix up my house and help me find furniture!

less than three,
Nicole

Lisa said...

what a beautiful environment you have created for him! it is such a gift to watch our kids create!!!!
lisa

Lisa said...

Beautiful and the perfect place for creativity!
lisa

TheSingingBird said...

What a beautiful gift for your son to honor who he is at such an early point in his life.

Thank you for sharing this, it is so beautiful and makes me happy every time I come back to gaze at your photos(and the love that truly glows through them)♥

Christine said...

so lovely and inspirational. you have me thinking of some new changes to our play area:)

renee ~ heirloom seasons said...

Hi again Marina... Please look out for an email from me (not from the address you last wrote to me on). I sent you a special winter poem, but forgot to sign my name! It's from me ;)

ohabbyreally said...

Wow,this is so beautiful and inspiring! Just wonderful!

*erin* said...

such I beautiful space! I have been rearranging our small house trying to create more inspiring play spaces.

taimarie said...

This is breathtaking. Incredible. I am in awe of the beauty you create for your children.

micha said...

What a wonderful inspiring space for your little artist!

mamauk said...

Wow, what a lucky boy to have such a wonderful art cupboard. The play silks look simply stunning hung up like that.

molly said...

such an inspiring space. i'd love to know where you got the wooden holder that is holding the alphabet cards.

luke and pamela said...

i was introduced to your blog today by a post on displaying playsilks on a natural parenting forum in michigan. what a beautiful, open and inspiring area you've created! i am looking forward to learning more about your blog. ps. i've also got a mateo, but with just one t. :)

RusticOkie said...

I realize this is an older thread but I've seen this picture around the web and just this moment found the source. I love what you have created for your son, beautiful. It looks like you have a flower press on one of your shelves. Do you mind sharing where it came from? I have been looking for a beautiful one for my girls.