My mom was an entrepreneur

My mom was an entrepreneur.  Now I didn't understand it at that time growing up, but my mom enveloped everything that an entrepreneur is supposed to be - visionary, creative, determined, resourceful, and above all was the hardest working person I knew.  My mom spent her life finding places where there was a need, and filling the gap with a project, a new initiative, or a product.  Back then, we didn't think of it as entrepreneurial, we just thought of it as "being mom." If only my mom had social media, I can imagine that she would absolutely be trending right now!  As I reflect on this past year starting my own business with my husband, and working to juggle motherhood, teaching as a university faculty member, and getting my doctorate,  I think to how my mom truly set the standard for me in how to use your talents to make a difference and to make your way in this world.  

Ok, mom's first invention - "Juice Jugs".  What do you do when you have two growing boys who are drinking pitchers of juice themselves before the day has even begun?  That's right, you find an easy and fun way to ration it.  My mom, always resourceful and environmentally conscious, took old Jiff peanut butter jars, washed them out, drilled a hole in the lid, add a straw, and voila! She made them into our custom juice jugs for my three siblings and myself.  They were a staple in our house growing up, and I swear I saw these on the market recently.  If only there was Etsy back then, my mom would have made a killing! 

My mom had her own rubber stamp business.  Yes back then, before Park Lane jewelry, Rubbermaid parties,  and Rodan and Fields consultants, rubber stamps were all the rage!  My mother's business, Sealed With A Stamp, allowed her to showcase her creativity and artistic talents, and we even used the stamps to emboss the images on my wedding favors. 

Mom could have also made a living as a jingle writer!  She always made up songs for the family to sing at birthdays or special occasions.   We will never forget the classics she created sung to Sinatra's "That's Amore'" and Billy Joel's, "We Didn't Start the Fire."   At the time of creation, did we think it was cheesy, of course.  Years from now, will we look back on the memories with smiles, laughter, and tears  - of course we will. 

My mom started up my church's youth group and was the church's Director of Religious Education.  She started her own dinner party club when she and my dad were first married, called "The Gourmet Club".   Before there was Pinterest, she scoured magazines for craft and cooking ideas and each week in the summer my cousins, my sister, and I would create and bake together, and make some of the best memories I can remember.  

On top of all this, she was the most wonderful mother anyone could ask for.  From making homemade Halloween costumes, to reading to us, taking us to the pool, park, countless dance lessons, piano lessons, sports games and practices, plays, and always helping us with homework, thinking back, my mom was a superwomen who wore an invisible cape.  Even today, she still is always thinking of her children and doing everything she can to make sure we are safe, happy, and healthy.  She has helped make me into the wife and mother I am today and I would not be able to do what I am doing without her inspiration and support. 

Did my mom set out to be all these things - nope.  She just did them inherently.  Far too often we take the job of mom for granted, and see it as something less than a professional title.  In reality, it is the highest, most challenging, and greatest role anyone could take on.  

On this Mother's Day, I thank my mother, Linda Heiss, for all that she has done for myself and my family.  We would not be where we are today without her.  Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Till next time,


Top of the Mornin' to You!

Top of the Morning!

St. Patrick’s Day Fine Motor Fun!

      We hope you enjoyed your St. Patrick’s Day! The Effortless Art clan has been busy making crayons as well as doing some great fine motor craft projects to celebrate.  Even though Crayon Kid is only a little Irish, St. Patrick’s Day is a great holiday for some hands-on fine motor fun.

       Our first fine motor activity is Shamrock Shading pictures.  We are using shamrocks as our shape, of course.  You simply cut out a thick shape of your choosing, for example, shamrocks, and you can do this for any season or holiday. You place the shape under the paper.  Then you take your crayons and you begin to shade over top of the shape.  We are using Effortless Art Crayons because their flat sides are perfect for shading.   Soon your hidden shape will appear on your paper and you have a really neat effect.  Try this with different colors, or overlapping the images for a different effect



      Our second activity is what I call “rainbow rows”.  You have probably seen variations of this before, but this activity is a nice tie in for St. Patrick’s Day.  Now earlier today, Crayon Kid and I were playing with play dough, (he loves to make play dough pies).  By the way, play dough is another great fine motor activity for your toddler.  Now, you have your child make balls of play dough in different colors.  Then you stick a matching colored pipe cleaner into each play dough ball.  Next you begin to thread rainbow cereal onto each pipe cleaner tower.  It’s great because it works on that pincher grasp, and it also helps kids practice their color sorting and matching.  A fun extension to this is to make two play dough balls and connect the pipe cleaner to both, to make double rainbows.  Your children are sure to love this colorful fine motor activity!  If you don’t have the rainbow cereal, pasta also works great.

Effortless Art making rainbow rowsEffortless Art making rainbow rowsEffortless Art making rainbow rows

We hope you enjoyed your St. Patrick's Day! Don't forget to like and follow us on social media - Effortless Art Products, or drop us a line sometime, we'd love to hear from you! 

We Make More Than Just Crayons!

As two entrepreneurs embarking on a new journey, my husband and I are faced with dozens of new decisions and experiences completely out of our comfort zone.  Marketing plans, making sales calls, social media marketing and advertising are just a few of the learning curves we have encountered.  Why start your own business if it's so challenging?  The answer typically is to make more money, to provide additional stability, make your own decisions, be your own boss, make a future for your children.  When people find out you own your business they naturally ask, "What do you make?"

We started thinking about this question and began seeing it as something bigger than a simple answer.  At Two Sparrows Learning Systems we believe that 

"We make more than just crayons!"

We make memories for children.
We make art and coloring possible for many children who struggle.
We make the world cleaner by recycling used crayons into our Effortless  Art Crayons.
We make educational products that provide a solution for individuals and empower them to be independent.
We make inclusive and environmentally friendly products for all ages and ability levels.

We want you to learn who we are and why we started Two Sparrows Learning Systems.  Please enjoy watching this video and learning about the Two Sparrows Family!

 Thank you for your support and for continuing to help us make art effortless.  Check out the color our world page on the website for the most up to date Color Warrior list!  Again, we could not do this without you.  

Till next time,