The Artful Year • A Book Review

salt glue art project

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

What do you think?

Written by Joanne Gonzales

Joanne Gonzales has a passion for getting creative. Whether she is making personalized DIY gifts or taking part in larger arts and crafts projects, she puts her all into making new and beautiful things.

She lives with a group of close friends and believes in the natural way of life. Joanne has built an outdoor arts and crafts gallery that overlooks the countryside in her hometown, which is where all of her creations come to life.

Art started off as a hobby, but over time Joanne has mastered her skills and sold some of her favorite pieces. She works full time as a florist and has done for many years. It helps keep her creative juices flowing and she hopes to one day open her own florist shop with a twist.


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  1. 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. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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!

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

  10. 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!

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

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

  13. 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!

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