Marie LeBaron, Crafter Extraordinaire
In my mind, anyone who teaches elementary school, especially kindergarten, is amazing. It takes a talented, patient, smart, and crafty person to take those very young minds and teach them how to read, do math, and function in a school environment. Marie LeBaron is one such person. She taught kindergarten for 4 years. When her own kids came along and she stopped teaching in the classroom, she re-applied her skills and craftiness to them, now ages 8, 5, and 2. They were the blessed recipients of the knowledge she had gained from her own schooling and from teaching, as she taught them and did crafts with them.
So, about four years ago, she started a blog as a sort of repository for her ideas. It was a natural thing to do. Initially, she thought that everyone else was as crafty as she was, that the reach of her blog would not extend far. It has garnered attention, though, and as it has grown, it has broadened somewhat in scope to include recipes, adult craft ideas, and other DIY projects. Today, her blog, MakeandTakes.com, is an amazing resource for many women seeking craft ideas, recipes, kids' craft ideas, and more. And with the recent addition of her Spotlight section, which provides links to unique recipes, craft ideas, DIY decor, and Christmas projects from other crafty people, it's a virtual cornucopia of ideas.
Does she consider herself crafty? Yes. A writer? No. She is educated well enough to articulate instructions for and post pictures of her pictures. But she hopes that as the site continues to grow, she can stay closely involved in its content, in hopes of writing a kids craft book in the coming year. Her own passion is kids' crafts. She is encouraged by the many comments she has received from mothers who, because of the ideas she's provided, have been able to engage more with their children. "That's what my site is all about," she says. "There are all different kinds of ways to be a parent," but in the end, it comes down to spending time with them, constructively involved.
So I look up to Marie, though I've never met her, not only for her ability to teach young children, but for her ability to conceive and collect so many different ideas. She is a mom who is making a difference for those moms who can spend that time with their children, but who need a resource to draw upon for ideas.