simply inspiring

in an era of trimming down my google reader in a vain attempt to spend less time on the computer, it is only a very exceptional blog that gets added to my list these days.  yesterday, i followed a link from somewhere and “discovered” made by joel.  granted, this is not the first time i’ve seen his blog.  i think i’d seen at least three of his projects posted elsewhere on the blogosphere before, but for some reason, yesterday i finally took the time to stop and look around on his site and i was totally blown away.  over the course of the day, i read the entire blog, all the way back to his first post (it’s not thaaaaaat long-standing).  he’s got so many great crafts for kids.  they are all elegantly simple, beautifully designed, made from inexpensive (usually free) materials, and best of all–often offered with downloadable freebies to print and make with your own kids (or, ahem, the kids at your library).

here are a few of my favorites (all photos by joel henriques):

wall hanging box aquarium–the buttons and slots on top allow the user to move the sea creatures back and forth across the aquarium.  so many possibilities for variations on this theme!

paper city–he also keeps adding more pieces for the paper city in subsequent posts, all available for free download!

small cardboard cutouts–so simple and i love that he shows how his kids actually use the toys he creates with them.

play squares for baby–you’ll have to click through to learn how this one works!  but i think i might have to make a set for the happy baby.

okay, you get the idea.  go check it out.  oh, he also posted a latch hook rug that he’s working on that inspired me to accept a serendipitous gift at church last night of a partially finished latch hook play rug.  if i ever finish it (or get around to working on it) i’ll post pictures of that.  good grief.  the man not only got me to add him to my google reader, he got me to pick up a long-lost (and very time-consuming!) craft again!

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