OMGartist Pink & Green Mama Interview: The “Craftivity” Expert

This week we were lucky enough to get an interview from expert craftswoman Pink & Green Mama- a current crafty mama of 2 and former elementary art teacher of 500+ kids! This mom and OMGmother caught our attention for being a super OMGartist AND OMGgreen guru.  Not only are we dying to copy her art projects but she’s also showing us how to be more eco-friendly and responsible. You’ll find over 600 activities and projects on her blog to do with your OMGkids…. bring a smock!

My First Name: MaryLea (aka Pink and Green Mama)

My Last Name: Harris

My Job: Mom, Artist, Blogger

My OMGchildren (Those are the children that matter the most in your life besides your children): My two daughters, my niece, and my nephew-to-be!

My OMGfirst craft with my kids was… I made a tiny handprint of my firstborn daughter, “E”, the day after we brought her home. I remember trying to roll out white Model Magic clay at our kitchen counter with my husband’s assistance. We tried to press her hand into the clay to make a first handprint impression. She was squirmy and her tiny hand was so small we were worried we were going to break all of the bones in her hand if we pressed to hard!

My OMGfavorite materials to work with are…Watercolors and salt, Crayola Twistables, markers, Elmer’s glue, cornstarch driveway paint, homemade play dough, cardstock, popsicle sticks, and making dioramas out of mixed materials.

My OMGinspiration comes from…Art lessons I taught when I was an Elementary school teacher, things my mom used to do with me when I was little, and Pinterest!

What OMGbenefits are there in arts & crafts for kids? Pablo Picasso said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” Arts and crafts allow children to naturally explore different emotions, have sensory experiences, and develop fine motor skills. Doing arts and crafts with the children in your life creates lifelong memories and models for them the importance of art, creative thinking, and making something with your hands. It’s all about the process not the product. We spend so much of our lives coloring inside the lines, not making messes, and cleaning up. Making messes and getting messy with your favorite kids shows them it’s fun to let loose, get creative, and explore.

On your blog you talk about Freecycling. What does that mean, and how did you get interested in it? How do you apply those principles to your art? Freecycling is also known as Free Recycling. It is the act of giving away usable, unwanted items to others instead of dumping them in your trash. It keeps usable stuff out of landfills. The Freecycle network is all over the US, they have 4,987 different groups with 8,764,425 members. You can visit to find a group in your area. It goes with the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

For my own art, I up-cycle and re-use materials whenever possible.  I try to use what is already in my art studio rather than running out to store to buy more stuff. My kids and I save things like toilet paper tubes, bubble wrap, and plastic lids to use for our crafting.

What advice would you give to uncles, aunts, godparents, adults out there who don’t have a lot of experience with arts & crafts but want to try with their OMGchildren? Keep a small stash of simple, kid-friendly art supplies at your house (crayons, paper, glue, kid scissors, washable markers, stickers, watercolors) or bring it with you when you visit your OMGchildren.

Kids LOVE office supplies like: copy paper, tape (all kinds: clear, masking, painter’s), post-it notes, paper clips (make chains if they’re not in the oral stage), stapler (with supervision), and highlighters.  Browse blogs like mine or Pinterest for fun ideas and have an activity or project planned to surprise your favorite OMGkid.

All kids want is your undivided attention.

Don’t be afraid to fail in front of kids.

Don’t be afraid to make a mess or get messy.

Go outside to craft or put down some newspaper if you’re worried about messes.

Remember that it is the process- not the final product- that matters.

Most importantly, have fun!

Thank you so much for your OMGparenting spirit!

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