product review: chalkola chalk markers

the artsy ants were lucky enough to receive some free product a couple of weeks ago from Chalkola: a lovely set of 10 chalk ink markers and a pack of blackboard labels. the look of chalks and blackboards has left schools and classrooms a long time ago and has made its way into diy products, crafts, home decor and more. being a teacher myself, i know what actual chalk feels like, how dusty it is and how it dries out the skin. not so with the Chalkola chalk ink markers. they are easy to use, easy to clean up. they are non-toxic and due to the ink-y nature you won't have problems with dust.

i quickly unpacked the set and tried them out right away. the bright, neon colours look great espcially on a dark background. i like having seasonal welcome signs on a blackboard in the hallway and will surely use them for that. i also tried out two of the blackboard labels on kitchen jars. when using these jars i need to be careful not to touch the writing though, as the ink does rub off a little.

i tried out a small design on our living room window and really like the result. look at that dreary weather out there! i might just add a few more flowers to remind myself spring is around the corner!

i think kids will need a little help with getting the ink flowing, but once this is done i would say the chalk markers are perfect for kids craft projects. i am planning on letting my kids draw on their bedroom windows with them to welcome spring.

you can get the Chalkola chalk markers on Amazon US and Amazon UK.
if you would like to give the chalk pens a try you are welcome to use the discount code CHALK20A to get 20% off on Amazon.

happy crafting!

recent pen sketches and paintings

while life has kept me busy, i have taken at least a few minutes each day to do some sketching. as a teenager i had a phase in which i really loved to draw with a ballpoint pen. it's a bit messy, especially if you have one of those leaky pens which put out too much ink which comes out in blobs, and it ends up smearing all over the paper and your hands. but i still thought it was fun. and i think it's fun again, but i try to select better quality pens now to reduce the mess.

even though i was able to take a few minutes each day for sketching, i just can't find the time to finish the painting i began weeks ago. it seems as if i just don't find a considerable amount of time to get out all the paints, and mix them, get into the right mindset, and all that good stuff.

also, it seems like this paint project needs to be placed on the back-burner anyway, simply because it's just for me and it's not a commission. so working on it feels really good, but thinking about taking time out of my schedule for it comes with a slight feeling of guilt. but i really can't wait to finish and hang it!

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old and new autumn crafts

(i had written this post and taken the photos about 4 weeks ago, when we were still thick in autumn. but i couldn't find my cardreader, so the post remained a draft. just a few days ago i found the cardreader, tucked behind some sketchbooks in the shelf. so even though we are now actually in a whole different season, i thought i will still share what we did in fall!)

fall and crafting - two words that just belong to each other, don't they? without thinking much about it, we collect leaves and chestnuts and acorns. without much research this year, i made a fresh new glow jar with colorful leaves, and i stuck dried leaves onto one of our windows with self-adhesive sheets just like last year. i dipped leaves into beeswax just like i have for so many years already. sometimes the kids joined me for a moment, sometimes they didn't. just a regular crafting routine around here, inspired by my favorite season. and the comfort of somehow knowing what to do, and knowing how things will turn out and how it will look. building traditions.

i tried one new thing with the junebug one morning: we made these cute little spaghetti hedgehogs. just the right craft project for 3-year-old hands and attention span. one by her, one by me. both sitting on our mantlepiece together with our other treasures. 

snow day

long time readers of this blog will know that i am a big winter and snow lover, but unfortunately live in a region in germany that is not known for great snow winters (due to it's proximity to the ocean, which, i admit, is certainly a bonus we take advantage of!)

there so many other winter delights we indulge in (frost!, ice!, the fireplace!, gingerbread!) but when the snow does make it to our neck of the woods (it's always a surprise, isn't it?), we make sure to CELEBRATE it! so our first snow day this winter involved everything from a snowball fight, building a snowman, going sledding, clearing the driveway and just letting the snowflakes fall on our faces and listening to the crunch crunch beneath our feet.

coming inside and watching the snowflakes dance, drying mittens and hats infront of the fire, having hot chocolate and clementines and pulling out all our winter books - i think that was my favourite part of the day!

and i never give up hope that we might have a few more snowfilled days (or, dare i say, weeks?) this winter. it is just so much fun!!
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