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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Smarty Mom: Joy Blaser



By Rachel H

You are in for a treat today as you will read all about a local Smarty Mom, Joy Blaser. Joy has dabbled in nearly every art and craft imaginable, including crocheting, knitting, needlefelting, wet-felting, glassblowing, fused glass, pottery, embroidery, needlepoint, basket weaving and photography. Best of all, she shares all of these skills with her children! She is an extremely hands-on parent. Joy and her children craft, read, cook, study art, travel and experience as much nature as possible. Joy contributed craft ideas to one of our Fox 8 Morning News Segments as well.

Joy and her husband, Paul, have two children Elizabeth (9) and Finnegan (3). Joy is also step-mom to two "bonus children," as she calls them, Paulie (10) and Philip(7). She has lived in the Triad off and on for 17 years and has lived in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Kernersville, Thomasville and Yadkinville during that time.

Joy works full-time for Wachovia (now Wells Fargo) mostly from home where she utilizes every lunch break with laundry and dinner preparations. She recently resigned from her position at TriadMommies where she was the Natural Living/Attachment Parenting Moderator for almost 2 years.

Here is the great news - Joy has all of her fun documented through her blog, http://www.anartfamily.com/. She also just started a new blog, The Book Children. Be sure to check them both out after you finish reading this profile!

My first question is an obvious one - how are you able to juggle so many things while working full-time?
Some days I am better with the juggling than others, but I try to keep focused on what's important. Is it important that we always have every stitch of laundry washed, folded and put away at any given moment? Not really. But it is very important that I read to my kids every night, even though most of them can read to themselves now, because it gives us a few minutes to connect on an imaginative plane outside of our own little world. Also, enlist your kids' help! Mine participate in everything from setting the table and sweeping the floor to folding laundry. They know that the quicker the household chores are done, the sooner we can move on to crafting and playing outside.

What are the pros and cons of working from home?
The pros are that I'm able to multi-task quite a bit, with housekeeping, cooking, etc. The cons are that I'm always staring at whatever needs to be done, even if I don't have time to get to it right now. And telemarketers, that's a con too. :)

What is your favorite type of craft to do with your children and why?
That's hard to pin down because my goal is to help them experiment with as many mediums and types of art as possible. We all really enjoy making breads and candles quite a bit.

What tips do you have for moms who want to be more crafty with their children and just don't know where to start?
Start with an art night. Put all your supplies, from crayons to watercolors, in the middle of the table, keep a stack of paper in the middle with it and just be creative together. Crafting together doesn't have to have a specific goal or product outcome. It's the creativity that you want to foster.

What inspired you to start a blog?
Honestly, I was most inspired by the fact that my oldest child had lots of baby/toddler pictures and my last had very, very few. I enjoy taking photos, but with four kids it can be a challenge to make time for things that I enjoy. Starting a blog was a way for me to chronicle our life and force myself to take more pictures of our daily happenings. Now we don't just have photos of Christmas and birthdays, we have plenty of pictures of our daily lives, and I like that.

What is your favorite thing to do as a family?
Family game night is probably our favorite. About a half hour before our kids normal bedtime, we bring out 8-10 games and stack them by our kitchen table, turn out all the lights in our house, light about 15-20 candles in our kitchen and on our game table, then play games in small groups, or occasionally all together, for about an hour.

What is your favorite me-time?
My favorite me-time activity would probably be taking an art class at Sawtooth. I've done a number of workshops and longer classes there on both mediums I'm experienced with and ones I've never worked with before. On a smaller scale, I enjoy sitting with a glass of wine working on my knitting.

Where is your favorite date night spot?
My husband and I are both huge fans of Indian food so our frequent date spot is Nawab. We also love to head over to the First Friday Gallery Hop in the WS downtown arts district without the kids when we can, although we do enjoy taking them there on occasion as well.

Where is your favorite place to eat out as a family?
Honestly, one of my kids' favorite places to eat out is Whole Foods. It's a huge treat for them since they know we'll essentially let them pick whatever they want. We keep tight reins on our entire family's food intake in order to keep us all as healthy as possible but everyone loves the options in the deli section at Whole Foods.

Favorite park in the Triad?
Oh, that's so hard to pick! We really enjoy Miller Park in WS and Bur-Mil in Gso, but we most frequently head to Triad Park, which is so close, to walk the trails and such.

Favorite way to spend a weekend?
My favorite would probably be some combination of crafting and cooking with the kids and hanging out with friends outside at a park.

Best birthday party you have attended?
My favorite birthday party was probably Elizabeth's 8th birthday party. She planned the entire thing from the silk scarves the kids dyed at the beginning of the party to the American Art Bingo game they played, while I washed and dried the scarves, to the Celtic music they danced to, with their scarves, at the end of the party. She and her friends really seemed to enjoy the unique fun of that party.

Best kept secret in the Triad?
I don't know how much of a secret it is, but the Krankies farmer's market on Tuesdays is amazing. All local, sustainable produce. We *heart* Krankies anyway. (Just try their Ethiopian coffee and tell me you don't agree!)

I could not live without my...
As a person, I couldn't live without my amazing and supportive (and kitchen-cleaning) husband. He truly enables me to be the mother I strive to be.
As a mom, I couldn't live without a backyard and some high quality art supplies...and a blender for smoothies. :)

Thank you, Joy! It was truly inspiring to read about you and your family! You truly know how to enjoy life and have fun!

Readers, if you have a mom or dad to nominate, email us at triadsmartypants@gmail.com. Or if you would like to honor your husband on Father's Day, click here to find out how!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congrats, Joy! You are super talented and such a smarty mom! What a great family.

emily said...

Just checked out both your blogs and they are super cute and informative, too! Enjoyed this profile today.

emily

Amy said...

You've inspired me! We are having an art night right now - all the crafty things in the house (which aren't many) are out!!!!

Becky said...

YEAH JOY!!!! You're a great mom and you were a great mod on TriadMommies for so long!

Gremlina said...

she is most inspiring!

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