Ariella is the soulful mama of two behind the beautiful blog, Childhood Magic. Here she shares her parenting inspiration, her favorite projects, and a few photography tips.
***Note: Readers will have a chance to win two of her beautiful handcrafted star lanterns at the end of this interview.***
JEAN: I’d love to hear a bit about your journey to motherhood and your ideal of motherhood. Was your childhood like this?
ARIELLA: My childhood
was very similar, except my parents were even more eccentric than me! They were
wild free spirits and taught me to break every rule in the book! Seriously,
they are amazing people who instilled so many powerful and beautiful things in
my brother and me—I try to model my parenting on everything they did, just a
bit more organized and refined.
I want to raise my children outside the box as my parents did, but I also want them to be able to follow the rules and function in the box if need be! My ideal of mothering is to raise healthy, thriving children and to always search for that middle ground between artist/rebel/rule follower.
JEAN: Your family homeschools and I understand that you were yourself homeschooled, also in the Waldorf style. Was homeschooling or not homeschooling ever a question for you? Or was it always a given that you would homeschool your children?
ARIELLA: It certainly was not always a given. I question it all of the time. Before I had children, I pretty much figured that I would never homeschool because I thought I wasn't organized enough. Then after I became a mom, I started to feel this deep urge to homeschool and I was so torn about it! I was literally sleepless for months, agonizing over what to do about school. Then it hit me, if I wanted to homeschool and do cool, fun, magical things all day long, then what was stopping me? Did I somehow think there was something wrong with me? That I wasn't up for the task of following my own dreams? From that point on I made the choice to stop thinking I wasn't "good enough" or "organized enough" to be a homeschooling mom. I dove in with two feet and at least six days out of the week, I am totally thrilled and passionate about my choice. The other one day of the week I feel like packing up and running for the hills! I figure feeling like that one day out of the week is a fine enough ratio for me.
ARIELLA: The crafts we do here at home are mostly Waldorf inspired. My fondest memories of my own homeschooling are of the times that my mom really focused on Waldorf style education—so I feel that may be why I feel so connected to the crafts and philosophy now that I am an adult.
When trying to come up with ideas for projects I have found that the internet is the most amazing resource. I love the melting pot of the crafty blog world. Parents and crafters from all over the world freely sharing their ideas and inspirations! Resources and ideas were so much more difficult to come across when I was growing up as a homeschooler. These days, with the internet you can connect with like-minded people from all over the world and exchange ideas and stories on a daily basis. I would have to say that is my favorite thing about blogging, the connecting with kindred spirits across the globe!
are some of your favorite projects?
ARIELLA: I am a lantern addict. I love making anything that glows—we have a mantle at home full of every kind of lantern possible. Paper stars, tin cans, jar lanterns, balloon lanterns, watercolor lanterns. I love them all! I also love working with beeswax and making candles.
JEAN: Your photos are amazing! Can you give us (me!) a photography lesson!? What are your top tips for taking great pics of children?
ARIELLA: Thank you! My number one suggestion for taking good pictures of kids is to LOVE your subjects. My kids are my muses and I think that love translates through the lens and then into the photographs! I have to admit that I am not trained in any way, and technically speaking I don't always know what I am doing. I just tinker away with the settings, and when the photo looks like how I want it to then I am happy! Of course it helps to have a fairly decent camera, I have a Canon Rebel xsi, and only one lens, the standard 18-55. I always shoot on the manual setting and use natural light. I tend to over expose the pictures a little bit, so they always look very bright and then I saturate the colors even more on my MAC iphoto program.
JEAN: Thank you so much for sharing, Ariella! The world you are creating with your children seems truly magical!
Readers who leave a comment by Monday, June 21st at 12 midnight will be entered into a random drawing to win these two star lanterns, handcrafted by Ariella.
The random number generator picked #121, so congratulations go to Kendra for winning the star lanterns!
it's great to learn more about ariella and how she came to
homeschooling! i love the rainbows she weaves, and i'm happy to have
found your blog too!