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The Creative Family: S...
Amanda Blake Soule
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The Creative Family: Simple Projects and Activities for You and Your Children That Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connection

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  2,408 Ratings  ·  349 Reviews

When you learn to awaken your family’s creativity, wonderful things will happen: you’ll make meaningful connections with your children in large and small ways; your children will more often engage in their own creative discoveries; and your family will embrace new ways to relax, play, and grow together. With just the simple tools around you—your imagination, basic art supp

ebook, 0 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Shambhala Publications, Inc.
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Apr 04, 2008 Lain rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to love this book, I really did. But I didn't. In fact, it made me want to grab a big bag of partially hydrogenated Cheetos and an aspartame-laced Diet Coke and revive myself.

The writing is fine, the projects included are fine (though I would have liked to see more). And the photography is okay (in my opinion, I prefer more professional shots rather than the do-it-yourself ones that were included).

While I appreciate and applaud Soule's ideas and perspective, what bothered me was the per
Apr 03, 2008 Kristen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids, creativity
I struggled with this book. I wanted to love it. I love the "ideas" that are in the book, but I couldn't love the book. All of the ideas are Waldorf inspired, but I feel like the book was lacking a bit in execution. If Good Reads gave half stars it would be a 3.5 star book. 5 for ideas and a 2.5 for practicality.

As with many Waldorf type books leading an art based and nature centric life is wonderful, but it is very difficult for those of us who either have to or chose to work full time to incor
Jul 08, 2008 Darby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
i loved this book at first, then got to wondering if amanda blake soule ever does anything other than sew bunting, throw birthday parties for her kids' imaginary friends, and breathlessly encourage them to pick up sticks and leaves. does she ever do laundry, for example?
Aug 16, 2009 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I find myself making the same complaints about every instructional book I read: sentence fragments, typos, too much preaching-to-the-choir type filler material, too many annoyingly repeated words and turns-of-phrase (for example, "each and every", and the word "gift" used as a verb). And yeah, this book wasn't really different. Well, there were only a couple of sentence fragments.
But I still enjoyed it, snobbishness aside. It's full of really interesting ideas, and I think I'll refer to it more
Jun 08, 2008 Henrik rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people wanting inspiration for creativity with kids & in a family with kids
Recommended to Henrik by: Christina Stind Rosendahl
This was a mixed experience for me. I'd like to be all positive about it, and I support the essence of what is said in it... But... hm...

Here's the thing. There's great ideas and suggestions in this little book to inspire creativity within a family, with a focus on children. However, the author's tone of voice too often grated in my ears:-/


The author's "I-am-saved"-like tone of voice. That's a turn-off for me, although others might not mind it so much. She comes across--too often--as on
Sinta Nisfuanna
Salah satu timbunan yang rasanya nyesel baru di baca sekarang. Banyak inspirasi dari buku ini terutama hal tentang 'kesiapan' menampung, mendorong dan menghargai kreativitas anak. Satu lagi, buku ini membangkitkan keinginan lama saya, yaitu belajar merajut.

Ulasan selengkapnya di The Creative Family
Leila T.
Mar 05, 2010 Leila T. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Families, teachers
Recommended to Leila by: The internet
Shelves: parenting
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 17, 2009 Janessa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book, I was so incredibly inspired by Soule and her parenting philosophy. Soule’s basic idea is that as parents we need to foster imagination and creativity in our children’s lives. We need to do it because the ability to be creative is innate in every child, and it is through the use of this creativity, or their imaginations, that they learn to express themselves, to communicate with the world and with each other, and to become both confident and nurturing.

When Soule speaks of our
Jul 13, 2008 Trix rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Soulemama's blog. I like the devotion to her family and her craft. Her book felt like her blog. I like how passionate and creative she is about her home and family and how she incorporates nature into the craft projects she organizes with her kids. It made me happy to read that a mom, inspired by the birth of her children and the growth of her family, was encouraged to make art for and with them. I know lots of women who push their creative sides way down to the bottom of the priority lis ...more
Mar 04, 2009 Suzy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful book, full of wonderful ideas for incorporating creativity into our own and our children's everyday lives. I found many great ideas I'm already using in my home, and it's really inspired me to consider the SPACE we play in and how to make it more beautiful AND useful (I always was a William Morris fan ;0) I put up an art wire (from which are dangling many of the kids' projects, to their great pride and joy), boxed up a bunch of toys to rotate so that the shelves are unclutter ...more
Jun 10, 2008 Algernon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
You might not have time to brew purple dye from cabbage leaves or cook glue, you might not be lucky enough to find or afford a beautiful cabinet for storing art supplies, or to implement all of the author's other solutions, but this book is full of good serving suggestions for surrounding children with lovely things to play with, alternatives to buying mass-produced and packaged "fun" if you are looking for inspiration.

The book may have benefited from an extra dimension, as noted in a review be
Apr 17, 2008 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally got my copy in the mail, and am enjoying it tremendously. Since discovering Amanda's Soule Mama blog several years ago and being a devoted daily reader of her blog, I feel like I'm buying a book written by a good friend. The pictures are worth the price of the book alone. There are a wealth of great of ideas as well.
I got this book from the library because I've recently discovered the author's blog (Soule Mama) which is generally focused on crafts, sewing, motherhood, family, etc. I'm actually not a very "crafty" type person, but I still enjoy the blog and thought I would check out her book.

That said, the book was OK but nothing really amazing. I really like the premise of encouraging your children's imagination and creativity in various ways, as well as finding small things to really bring your family clo
Jun 26, 2009 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Soule’s perspective that a child’s imagination is something to be nurtured and not simply left to nature. I whole-heartedly agree. I agree with her premise that children need to see the adults in their lives engaged in regular creative pursuits as an example that a large part of a healthy life centers on continuing to feed our creative selves. I appreciate that she sees creativity less as a paint-by-numbers project here and there and more as a way of life, or of seeing the world. What I d ...more
Jan 26, 2014 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Although I agree with a lot of the reviews regarding how the author presents an all-too-perfect idea of how life, family and creativity should be woven together into a perfect tapestry made from wool freshly shorn from a local sheep and dyed with organic berries grown in one's own backyard, I came away with the message that our lives would be just a little bit better if we stopped to take a collective breath with the people we love, recognize simple beauties around us, and feel gratitude for the ...more
I liked it, BUT...I have to agree with other reviewers that were a little put-off by the slightly smug tone. I don't think Amanda Blake Soule set out to say that her family is perfect and everyone else is doing it wrong, but frankly I felt like if she brought her kids over to my son's birthday party, I would worry about her raising her eyebrow over some of his plastic toys. I think some of her ideas are great (I've been looking into reconstructing cast-off clothes to make into clothing for my so ...more
Dec 31, 2008 Travis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading about Ms. Soule's family was in some ways like opening the door of a close friend's home. Her style and her values were familiar and comfortable. She gave me a language to talk about my own family's value of creativity and I picked up some clever ideas for incorporating creative endeavor into our lives.

The book suffered in my opinion from too preachy a style. In fact, I would have much preferred that she skip the "how to" genre all together and opted to tell us about her family through m
Elke Ursin
OMG, what an amazing life this woman leads! There are so many nuggets that I am taking out of this and applying to my life. Many many practical and low cost suggestions on how to lead an amazing creative life with your family. Well, to be honest I can't see my husband participating in every aspect, but at least little one will have a blast with mama! :) I highly recommend this book to any mother of youngish children who has the smallest desire to be crafty and creative. One of the biggest bits o ...more
Mar 31, 2008 Jill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
How do I say this? For starters, let's clarify that I really love Amanda's blog. It is probably one of my three favorite craft blogs out there.

That said, I think the editor was a little too present in this book. It promises Amanda's same warm tone as on her blog - I didn't find this to be true. There are times when you do hear Amanda but often it is muffled by editorial organization and phrasing.

What did I love about the book? The ideas, the details of family routines and traditions, advice for
Jan 08, 2009 Sahara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a great inspiration and resource for families looking to connect with each other through creative endeavors. I also found it refreshing to not read about fitting the projects in school schedules, matching the art to a curriculum etc. (which is a breath of fresh air when school is not part of your family's lifestyle) The author makes the case for a homespun and nature-based aesthetic in the home. I am enjoying the ideas and images and am already implementing some with our 7 year old. ...more
May 25, 2010 Kellie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has a lot of great ideas for organizing your home and for creating routines that nurture creativity and connectedness within the family. There are a handful of crafting ideas I think I will do and a few more that I'd like to think I can/will do but probably won't. Mostly though I think it is worth reading for the simpler stuff - like modified parlor games that little ones can do (already a huge hit at our house), collecting objects in a large craft cabinet - particularly found objects ...more
Jun 30, 2009 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I liked best about this book is how excited it got me about being a mother. Soule gives a lot of great suggestions about how to really enjoy family life with small kids. I especially like her suggestions about how to use and display childrens' creations.

I'm not so big into the hippy-like elements of her book. Not all of us can live in the Maine countryside either. Then there was the part about all holding hands as a family before meal time and taking a deep collective breath together. I'm s
Dec 16, 2009 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was going to give this book three stars, but that was only because I felt guilty while reading it that we don't do more crafty stuff around here. It really does offer some great ideas for spending creative time with your kids, indoors and out, and encourages families to live more simply. I am going to attempt some of the projects with my kids, although some of her other "living" advice we'll probably skip. I just don't see us ringing the meditation bell as we gather around the solstice table. ...more
Nov 04, 2008 Mandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's filled with great photos and patterns, not to mention LOTS of practical and inexpensive creative ideas to implement with family. She is showing me how it is possible to be a mom and an artist simultaneously by getting more creative with my parenting. I just can't say enough good about this book right now.
Apr 23, 2008 Kerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crafting, parenting
I just finished this book and was very inspired by many of the ideas in it. So many things just make sense to me and I wonder why I haven't been doing more of it already. I did try the freezer paper stencil already and it is soooo much better than a traditional method on clothing!!!!
Rebecca Walker
Really enjoying this. A little too Waldorfy at times--wistful, earth centered, fairy-driven--but calming and helpful just the same.
Apr 22, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just got this after perusing a copy on a neighbor's porch. Some great ideas and projects on how to inspire creativity.
Jess Gill
I'd been looking forward to reading this book since Amanda first mentioned it on her blog. It was as genuine, heartfelt, and inspiring as I'd anticipated.
Jun 26, 2009 Danika rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure you can say I READ this book. Skimmed is more like it. I enjoy her blog and I like the concept of crafting with your family. It's just not my thing, though.
You know how there are crafty blogs that make you feel like you'll never get half the stuff done in a year that the blogger does in a week?

And you know how some of those blogs are written by moms and their kids are always adorable and well-behaved and whimsical and only CUTELY mischievous and the blogger does all these lovely creative projects and has the PERFECT organizational system (held in a gorgeous "found" piece of furniture, of course) for craft supplies and whips up princess or pirate o
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I'm Amanda, and I live in beautiful Portland, Maine with my husband, Steve, and our three young adventure-seekers — Calvin, Ezra, and Adelaide. Our days are spent making things, exploring our coastal Maine surroundings, and growing together as a family.

I've always had a love of textiles and crafting, but it wasn't until the birth of my first child that creating became an essential part of my daily
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