The Artful Year • A Book Review

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When Jean from The Artful Parent decided it would be permissible for me to take a peek at her book and be a part of the official blog tour to help launch the book, I was super excited. I have been admiring Jean and her blog from afar for some time, but I finally got the chance to meet her last October and she is every bit as sweet and creative and wonderful as you would imagine.

This new book, The Artful Year (found here), is a follow up to her first highly acclaimed book, The Artful Parent. This woman is a powerhouse of creative ideas- both books are perfect resources to have on hand if you have kids. I know the internet is a fabulous resource for kids’ activities, but you can’t beat having a group of perfectly curated ideas (physically) at your fingertips.

Brilliantly, this book is sectioned into seasonal activities- and some recipes! I think that’s such a great approach as you can explore what’s going on in the world outside and tie it into some creative activities.

I sat down with the book, armed with post-its, and bookmarked some of my favorite parts, plus things we haven’t done yet that I think my kids might like. I’m always surprised at what Beckett likes to try, and it’s usually not what I’d expect.


For instance, he’ll most likely end up enjoying embroidery even though I’ve cut out a giant kraft paper tree for decorating.


If I was choosing for myself, though? Here’s my list:

  • Blueberry Hand Pies
  • Lighted Cardboard Dollhouse
  • Foil Snowflakes
  • Leaf-print Cloth Napkins
  • German Apple Pancakes
  • Melted Bead Suncatchers
  • Garden Loom
  • Marshmallow Sculptures
  • Leaf Stickers
  • Tissue Paper Nests.

And there are over 150 MORE ideas in there…

Here’s the one I tried, because I saw it and had to do it immediately. It was every bit as cool as it sounded and looked. I won’t give away how exactly to do it (you have to buy the book for that!) But it’s basically a glue/salt/paint method of making the coolest piece of art ever in the world. I’m totally hooked.

Salt Glue Painting


THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! Thanks to everyone who entered.

OH HEY GUESS WHAT!?!?!! I’m giving away a copy to one of you lucky folks! Raise your hand if you want one! In fact, all you have to do to win a copy is leave a comment with a perfectly-crafted Haiku. Then send me a video of you doing 20 pushups, paint a self-portrait in Jello, and we’ll see about picking you to win.

No? OKAY. Just leave a comment. It can be anything- if you don’t want to think of anything to say, just copy and paste this: “hand raised!”

I’ll choose a winner via in exactly 1 week. Don’t forget to plug your email inso I can reach you- Note: this giveaway is open to residents of the US, UK, Australia, and Canada.  This giveaway will end at midnight EST on Friday February 13, 2014. Winners will be chosen by, and notified via the email attached to the comment. Thanks and good luck!

Can’t wait for your copy of the book? Order it from Amazon and you’ll be crafting away in no time.

salt glue art project



  1. Jennifer
    02/06/2015 / 8:47 am

    Id love a copy of this book! I could use all of the motivation I can get. And Jean’s books are very motivational!! Thanks for the opportunity!

  2. Amanda Robins
    02/06/2015 / 9:53 am

    Hand Raised!! & Fingers Crossed!!!

  3. Miet
    02/06/2015 / 10:08 am

    What a lovely book! Would love to add this to our library.

  4. Kirsten
    02/06/2015 / 11:16 am

    Hand raised!!!

  5. MicHelle Canavan
    02/06/2015 / 11:21 am

    handraised- it just looks like sooooo much fun

  6. Amanda
    02/06/2015 / 11:23 am

    Hand raised. Thanks.

  7. kelli
    02/06/2015 / 11:34 am

    hand raised!

  8. Meri
    02/06/2015 / 11:48 am

    I would love a copy of this book! We’re always trying to come up with ideas for creative play.

  9. 02/06/2015 / 12:16 pm

    Hand raised. Great book, borrowed from.library and would love my own copy.

  10. Carole McClary
    02/06/2015 / 12:29 pm

    I use your ideas all the time . My grandchildren of all ages love to try your cooking and all the crafts. I wAnt to get your books. I even suggested your ideas to our library children’s director.

  11. Sally Schach
    02/06/2015 / 12:36 pm

    Hand raised! She is an inspiration for young and old alike!

  12. Niki
    02/06/2015 / 2:24 pm

    Hand raised!

  13. Anna
    02/06/2015 / 3:16 pm

    hands up love it!

  14. Barbara Robey
    02/06/2015 / 3:34 pm

    hand raised!” Awesome art projects!

  15. Sus Williams
    02/06/2015 / 3:35 pm

    Hand raised!

  16. Kavita
    02/06/2015 / 3:35 pm

    ThAnks for helping me rediscovering myself and what I can do. One of the amazing thing for me to do all ur projects with my lil ones

  17. Yasmin
    02/06/2015 / 3:49 pm

    Hand raised 🙂
    Great review, would love a copy of this book for my family!!

  18. Lori Morrison-Contreras
    02/06/2015 / 4:04 pm

    I would love to win a copy of the book!

  19. Shelly Montoya
    02/06/2015 / 5:54 pm

    I would love a free copy of this book. As a new art teacher for toddlers – 4 yr olds,I am finding a lot of great ideas.

  20. Rebecca Pennington
    02/06/2015 / 6:57 pm

    “hand raised!”

  21. Six
    02/06/2015 / 9:17 pm

    Hand raised! 🙂

  22. Denise
    02/06/2015 / 10:25 pm

    Hand raised! Pick me…please! 😉

  23. Sarah Fornea
    02/07/2015 / 1:12 am

    Would be so great to win!

  24. Tanya
    02/07/2015 / 1:58 am

    We would really love a copy of this wonderful book.
    Thank you so much for the giveaway.

  25. Katy
    02/07/2015 / 3:59 am

    Thank you! Hand raised!

  26. Regan
    02/07/2015 / 7:08 am

    Hand Raised!! Our Family loves new art projects. So for the rest of the family Hand Raised!!, Hand Raised!!, Hand Raised!!

  27. 02/07/2015 / 7:19 am

    Hand raised! I love her first book. It’s well-worn and filled with post it notes. Can’t wait to read her second.

  28. Michelle
    02/07/2015 / 7:32 am

    Five seven five, yes?
    Or, seven five seven?! Darn.
    I tried. Please pick me!

  29. Sabrina
    02/07/2015 / 7:45 am

    Hands raised to the top
    So excited, I might pop
    Now I watch the clock

  30. Cindy W.
    02/07/2015 / 8:07 am

    Hand Raised! Would love to win a copy of her book. Thanks for the giveaway!

  31. 02/07/2015 / 8:24 am

    Wait, I was totally jazzed about the haiku! Oh well–hand raised and thank you!

  32. Chiska
    02/07/2015 / 8:26 am

    I would love to win a copy of this book. I love her projects!

  33. Kirsten A
    02/07/2015 / 9:00 am

    Definitely need this!

  34. 02/07/2015 / 9:13 am

    Hand raised!!!! I love Jean!!!

  35. Gillian
    02/07/2015 / 9:28 am

    Hand raised with fingers crosse!

  36. 02/07/2015 / 9:41 am

    Pick me, pick me! My little Picasso and I would this book.

  37. Rebecca
    02/07/2015 / 11:33 am

    Thanks for the giveaway chance! I’m always looking for more creative ideas.

  38. Emily
    02/07/2015 / 3:30 pm

    Yes, hand raised, pick me, pick me!

  39. 02/07/2015 / 3:45 pm

    I LOVE The Artful Parent–such great tips for creating a home that nurtures creativity. 🙂

  40. 02/07/2015 / 3:48 pm

    I love, love, love The Artful Parent. We had the e-book version that this book was inspired by. I can’t wait to get my hands on a hard copy!

  41. grace
    02/07/2015 / 4:10 pm

    this is fun … and ““hand raised!” 🙂

  42. Amy
    02/07/2015 / 5:37 pm

    Raising my hand and crossing my eyes for luck 😉

    laprochaine at gmail dot com

  43. Jenn
    02/07/2015 / 9:04 pm

    Hand raised, fingers crossed and thanks for the giveaway! This book looks awesome!

  44. mia
    02/08/2015 / 1:33 am

    Both Handsup!

  45. Paula
    02/08/2015 / 4:06 am

    I have been inspired by many of Jean’s art ideas on her website and have tried out a number with my kids – Our fave being the hot rocks! I would be over-the-moon to be able to flip through a book of Jean’s! Fingers crossed.

  46. 02/08/2015 / 4:59 am

    great give away, I love the look of this book!

  47. 02/08/2015 / 6:34 am

    Hand raised, fingers crossed!

  48. Valentine
    02/08/2015 / 8:48 am

    I love art projects
    But we do not do enough
    This would be helpful

    Thanks for the chance to win and for the chance to think in haiku

  49. Savannah
    02/08/2015 / 9:14 am

    I use her website to get suggestions on resources to use as well as how to set up open ended experiences:) What a great resource!

  50. heidi Anderson
    02/08/2015 / 9:27 am

    Thanks for the giveaway and your sense of humor. If only I had the artistic abilities to recreate myself through jello!

  51. Wendy
    02/08/2015 / 9:57 am

    This would be a great GRANDMA book! I would love some ideas to do with my grandkids!

  52. Heather R-V
    02/08/2015 / 10:39 am

    Ooh, ooh, ooh *hand waving wildly*

  53. Elise Katz
    02/08/2015 / 10:53 am

    HI, I would love a copy of this book. I follow Jean’s blog and get FB posts, and have actually done her projects with my 3-6 year olds in Storytime Craft Programs at the public library. She uses great photos, clear instructions, doable projects, that inspire you to try them out!

  54. Cathleen
    02/08/2015 / 10:54 am

    Such a great blog…I’d love the book!

  55. Sarah
    02/08/2015 / 11:21 am

    This book would be a great resource for my classroom!

  56. Karen Mitchell
    02/08/2015 / 11:36 am

    Hands an feet raised in the air!

  57. Linda
    02/08/2015 / 1:35 pm

    Save yourself some time and just send the copy to me! 🙂

  58. EG1972
    02/08/2015 / 3:44 pm

    Looks great – thanks for chance to win!

  59. kaci
    02/08/2015 / 6:00 pm

    We would love a copy of the book. It would be awsome to have a book of beautiful ideas at our finger tips.

  60. Laura Z
    02/08/2015 / 6:04 pm

    I would love a copy of this book. Sounds like so much fun!

  61. Jenifer
    02/08/2015 / 8:30 pm

    Yes, please! Also, this is my first time visiting your blog. It looks great, and I’m excited to explore it more.

  62. diana
    02/08/2015 / 9:09 pm

    Oooh! Oooh! Me! Pick me!

  63. TheLibLiz
    02/09/2015 / 9:54 am

    Hand raised up so high
    Like reaching for a cookie
    Way on top of the fridge

    (so much fun!)

  64. Irena
    02/09/2015 / 4:31 pm

    I like this book. I think it would be lots of fun for me and my kids. We do art very often and wish to try and learn something new!

  65. Amulya
    02/10/2015 / 7:43 am

    Hand Raised ! Thanks..

  66. Marisa Pharr
    02/10/2015 / 9:57 am

    Happened upon your blog….thanks for the happy distraction.

  67. Kate
    02/10/2015 / 11:32 pm

    I’d love to win one for my art n craft loving daughter! And myself! Thanks for the opportunity 🙂

  68. 02/11/2015 / 11:55 am

    hey I would love one for myself, it looks like a great book!

  69. Amanda
    02/11/2015 / 10:19 pm

    I’m so excited about this book!

  70. Maria Raaff
    02/13/2015 / 1:12 pm

    I would love a copy of this book – I love Jean’s work. x

  71. 01/24/2018 / 9:56 pm

    I hope the giveaway isn’t really closed – it says it is, but it also says it closed in 2014! While I look forward to trying activities and projects from her book, I also hope to soon try your watercolor collage project for you to just freaking make right now – it looks awesome, and I love that there are multiple steps to it, ways for the kids (and for me!) to make it their own after the painting’s done. Thanks!

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