Double Page Spread: Create Some Distance


“Distance and difference are the secret tonic of creativity. When we get home, home is still the same. But something in our mind has been changed, and that changes everything.”  -Jonah Lehrer

Hey there. Yesterday was the bi-monthly Creative Challenge, so I’m a day late with my Double Page Spread (DPS) sketchbook challenge prompts and whatnot. If you’re new to this, click here or on the DPS tab in the navigation bar (above). Click on any of the links up there for all the background information you’ll need.

Can I tell you how much I’m enjoying the DPS Challenge? It’s inspired me to get back on the creativity horse and I love the community that’s building around this project. Those of you who are participating are so creative. And different from each other. And brave. Here, I’ll show you what I mean…

This Week in Review. A Sampling.

Anna from The Imagination Tree created this DPS in honor of the Jubilee.

Chelsey and her daughter always create their DPS’s together, and designed princess castles.

Angaleta created this DPS with post-its and washi tape

This is Jalarah’s first DPS, made with white crayons and water color


If you’re not already on Instagram, please consider joining. First of all, it’s totally free. I love free. And it’s one of my very favorite aps and social media outlets, and I cannot recommend it enough. Once you’re on board, you can tag your DPS with #tinkersketch and you’ll see a beautiful stream of images from all the tinkersketchers. Woah, inspiration!

If you want to take a peak inside the Instagram/tinkersketch machine, you can click onto Followgram and see the whole stream.

Related to this, I just added my Tinkerlab stream to the sidebar over there on the right side of the page. Not only can you follow my creative kookiness and pursuits, but you can see what my kids look like when they’re napping and catch what I’m eating for lunch. Now if that’s not gonna pull you in, I’m not sure what will!

I wanted to pull in the whole #tinkersketch stream but it would only pull in my DPS images. If you have any advice for me, I’m all ears.


You can also add your DPS images to Facebook. Just add them to my wall or tag me @tinkerlab


I started a DPS pin board, chock full of all kinds of DPS goodies like drawing prompts, sketchbook inspiration, doodling ideas, and examples of your tinkersketches. Oh, if you write a post about a DPS, let me know and I’ll add it to the board.

Prompts: Distance

And finally, here are this week’s prompts. This week I’d like to encourage you to create some space, distance, or movement in your life. Get out of your comfort zone (whatever that means to you) and look for inspiration in places you wouldn’t normally look.

  • Collect paper from random places and use it in your DPS (junk mail, magazines, kids’ drawings, etc.)
  • Leave home. Go for a walk, sketch in the post office while you’re waiting in line, doodle while your kids are at soccer practice. Inspiration often strikes when our minds get distance from our comfort zone.
  • Just doodle. Doodle for two minutes. Copy that doodle and change one thing about it: doodle for two more minutes. Keep this going until the pages are filled.
  • Write your favorite words in gigantic letters. Experiment with fonts.
  • Pour a bit of watercolor paint on a wet rag and experiment with blotting, rubbing, dabbing your papChoer. Use this as an underpainting, or stop with the watercolor.
  • Go to the library and pick out three books with illustrations that you love (fine artists, kids’ books, etc….it’s up to you). Copy elements from these illustrations.
  • Glue a page from a book or magazine into your sketchbook. With a black Sharpie or paint, block out words that you don’t care for. What remains uncovered is what matters the most.
  • Make a list of things that make you happy. Decorate the list with doodles.
  • Make a list of things you would never do. Circle two that you might try. Add some color to it. Try it on for size.

Look forward to seeing your #tinkersketches this week. And see you next week for more prompts and such.

Creative Challenge: Flowers


It’s time for another round of CREATIVE CHALLENGE MADNESS. Okay, so this isn’t exactly a madness hot spot, but the creative challenges always bring out the best in bloggers and generate a lot of enthusiasm. Oh, and this is the TENTH Creative Challenge. Dang.

creative challenge flowers

I like them because I get a thrill from watching creative people reinvent and play with the same material in numerous ways. In April, little ones got busy creating and inventing with egg cartons, and this month our creative challenge material is flowers.

The challenges are open-ended in order to leave room for multiple interpretations. Projects can include fresh flowers, dried flowers, fake flowers, flower stickers, etc. The only requirement is that the post should document an activity that’s child-centered, child directed, and/or process-oriented. Adults can join in, but they shouldn’t lead the activity.

Why is this important?

The idea behind these challenges is to support creative thinking by encouraging children to initiate and follow through on their own ideas. Children who learn how to think for themselves, pose problems that they can solve, and explore ideas that interest them will be better prepared to deal with the challenges of an unforeseeable future.

I’ll give you a sampling of the projects in this challenge, and then you can scroll through ALL of them in the link round-up below.

Flower Stencil Spray Painting: Make stencils from fake (or real) flowers and spray them with paint. From Deborah at Learn with Play.

fine motor skills flower plucking

Fine Motor Flower Fun: Deborah from Teach Preschool shows us how to build fine motor skills and encourage close looking with magnifying glasses.

outdoor nature collage

Outdoor Nature Collage: Melissa from The Chocolate Muffin Tree writes about her daughter’s self-initiated nature collages with flowers and leaves. In Melissa’s words, “This was my daughter’s idea.  I gave her some scrap matte board and white glue and she went to town! Busy for about 1/2 hour.  Lately it has been difficult to get C into making things and this definitely sparked her interest. If it is “her idea” she is more likely to create…maybe it is just those 5 1/2 year olds?”

For my contribution, my daughter collected flowers petals and leaves from the garden and pressed them between two sheets of clear contact paper. We have a ginormous roll of contact paper that comes out a lot, and she created a contact paper collage winter scene a few months ago and she must have remembered the process.

For this fabulous installment, I bring you twenty-five dedicated and talented kid bloggers whose children have taken the challenge to create something with or from flowers.

Rainy Day Mum *  Learn with Play *  Hands On: As We Grow  * Creative Playhouse  * Smiling Like Sunshine *  Growing a Jeweled Rose *  A Mom with a Lesson Plan  * Carrots Are Orange  *  Montessori Tidbits  *  The Educators’ Spin On It  *  Nurture Store  *  Kitchen Counter Chronicles    Experimenting Mom  *  Imagination Soup  *  Glittering Muffins  *  Famiglia and Seoul    Inspiration Laboratories  * The Golden Gleam *   The Good Long Road *  The Chocolate Muffin Tree  *  The Outlaw Mom *  Play Dr. Mom  *  Familylicious  *  Mum Paints Lives  *  Royal Baloo  * For the Children  *  Share and Remember  *  Red Ted Art

You can see check out each of their thoughtful contributions in this linky: