Foundation and Form is a creative collaboration by Christian & Emily Soulliere.  We have four beautiful, and talented children together and live in Kansas City, Missouri.

 

 

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Wednesday
Mar132013

Refreshing Rearrange

 

 

I have had a bit of a rearranging bug lately. I roped Christian into helping me with the kitchen. We even moved the fridge and bought a second shelving unit. I loved the difference it made. The kitchen now feels like an entirely new room and only cost $50 (for the shelving).

 

I knew something had to be done with the boys room. I still haven't been able to decided on a paint color or theme so I decided to just rearrange! This time I roped my mother (who is a furniture moving extraordinaire! My dad jokes about putting up "Danger! Moving Furniture!" signs around the house.) into helping get the job done.

This is the before:

 

 

Everything was just thrown in there when we did our last room swap. It all felt disjointed and sloppy to me.

And here is the after:

 

 

 

 

I am very happy with the way this turned out. Still nothing you would find in a home living magazine, but I feel like it is put together better than it was before. The boys love the change so much that they have actually been trying to keep it clean!

 

 

Wednesday
Mar132013

Quick and Easy Flower Pots

One of our favorite shopping spots in Kansas City is the Artist & Craftsman store. Ever since it opened we have tried to make a monthly trip if for nothing else but to meander the aisles. Sometimes we leave with nothing but a couple colored pencils...other times we leave with our bands filled with water colors, water color paper, pallets (once we even left with oil paints for our 5yr old...yes, we might be slightly insane!)

Anyway on one of our shopping trips, I bought Christian a handful of these amazing Montana Markers for Christmas. These things are really amazing. They come filled with acrylic paint, have replaceable tips, and get this, when you run out of paint...you can refill them! With whatever you like!

 


 

I decided to give these markers a try on a couple of terra cotta pots I picked up at the thrift store and was really happy with the results!

All you need...

 


  • Flower pots (if you are using these specific markers you can use plastic, terra cotta, or ceramic

  • Montana Markers in desired color and tip size (I used the extra fine tip) 

  • Potting soil

  • Plants

 

Once you choose the pots you are going to use think of a design and lightly pencil said design onto the pots.

 

Look over your pencil marks and make any changes you desire.

Simply draw over your pencil markings with the Montana Markers! Its as simple as that! Now you have some lovely one of a kind pots.

Plant whatever you like in your pots and enjoy the quick satisfaction from this little DIY project!

 

 

 

Wednesday
Mar132013

Switching Things Up...

In September we made one of the hardest choices we have had to make in a long while...

 

After hearing about a new school opening in Downtown Kansas City we decided to take the plunge and put the kids in school. Some of the things we were drawn to about the school were:

 

  • Small class sizes
  • Principals who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty (on one of our visits I saw the principal taking out the trash)
  • A focus on creating community, rather than a typical class room. All the kids eat together in the class room, divide up jobs, and work together to accomplish goals.
  • Walking! The students walk to a nearby library to have their weekly library time. Also, instead of a playground, students walk to a near by city park to play.
  • No soda! As silly as it sounds, this was a selling point for us. Soda is not allowed to come in lunches and there are no soda machines in the school.
  • Students have easy access to various performing arts outlets located downtown.
  • Healthy catered lunches.
  • Rigorous academic work (hello! My kindergarten is reading books to me!)
  • A diverse learning environment.

After making the final decision to switch the kids over from homeschooling to a traditional school setting we found out that there were only spots for two of our three school aged children. Our oldest is still on the waiting list, and wants more than anything to get the call that a spot has opened up for her. 

Having the two boys at school and only our third grader and pre K son at home has been a struggle. Constantly feeling like we are two separate families on two separate schedules is a stressor for sure, but I think it will all be easier next year, when all four kids are in school. 

I am so, so happy though. Happy that we kept an open mind. Happy that we found a school that we feel comfortable leaving with the responsibility of educating our kids. Happy that my kids are so happy there (they cried about having snow days because they love school so much!). 

Through all these changes I have been reminding myself about the fact that our teaching responsibilities are not over, in fact, they never will be. It is our my responsibility to teach our kids to be strong individuals, to treat others with respect, and to learn to be happy and positive with whatever life throws you. 

 

Wednesday
Jun132012

Windows, curtains, and cranes

 

We have needed to make curtains for our living room ever sense we moved into our house. I wont lie, the massive windows are quite daunting though. I am cheap, (my grandma always corrects me and says "frugal, frugal is a more polite word") and had it set in my mind that I would be able to find a suitable fabric in a thrift store. I was just starting to come to terms with the fact that you don't often find 9(ish) yards of fabric in thrift stores. Who throws out 9 yards of fabric? Sure, I know it can happen. Some of you may have tails of such finds. But the chances of finding that amount in a suitable color...not likely. 

Fortunately for us, our lovely neighbor was cleaning out some clutter and called me over to take it off her hands (as I filled the back of our van I told her of my dreams of being a hoarder one day). One of the items she passed to us was a neatly folded piece of fabric (about 9ish yards to be exact) that she had purchased to make curtains for her massive windows. HI! I couldn't have been happier! 

The next day I serged up the raw edges of the fabric to make some simple (there was just enough to cover the windows, not enough to get fancy) curtains for the living room. I added button holes along the top and then tied the curtains to the curtain rod with twine.

 

 

I was so happy to get them done and hung up. I stepped away to look at them and realized how incredibly bland the window looked. TOO MUCH WHITE! 

Then I thought about Starbucks. I do love an unsweetened green tea, but that is not where my mind was. The Starbucks I have a weekly tea date at with a friend has a tree branch hanging from the ceiling. The branch has lines of strung paper cranes hanging off of it. I really love it! In fact, I love it so much that my sister gave me a bag full of paper cranes for Christmas last year. 

Seeing this huge blank space the curtains made behind the couch, I decided this would be the perfect spot to try my hand at recreating the hanging crane look. I grabbed a branch that fit the window (yes, I do in fact have a closet full of fallen tree branches in the basement, thank you very much) and started stringing the paper cranes. 

 

I am quite happy with the way it all turned out. As it is now, it breaks up the white curtains just enough! Though I think I will try to talk my sister into making me some more cranes. I think it would look even better with more! As it is now, it breaks up the white curtains just enough though! All in all it was a simple project. The most challenging part was finding a place to set up the branch while I was stringing the cranes. It took me around an hour and a half from start to finish. Well worth it! 

Wednesday
Jun132012

Library Love

 

Anyone who follows me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook know that the kids and I spend a lot of time at our library. Honestly, though, its hard not too. The Kansas City Public Library offers so much programming for kids. During the school year the events (aside from weekly story times) are sporadic, but during the summer, there is so much going on its hard to choose what to do! 

Our kids really enjoy all things arts and crafts so we gravitate more towards those events. Today we got to make glow in the dark goo! I wish I had taken a video. The kids were all screaming with delight as their goo took form. The weekly art time is run by Miss Jasmine, such a creative and patient lady! The kids really love her!

As homeschoolers the library can be an invaluable resource for your family. I often am given a chance to regroup while we are at the library. The kids enjoy computer time and I can enjoy a good book or get some planning done. We can attend programming and pick up needed course materials at the same time. The kids make new friends every time we are there, and I enjoy watching them interact with the librarians. 

Find the library that fits best for your family.

Pick one that is close so going often isn't a hassel.

Befriend librarians and library staff.

Watch as learning opportunities arise!