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Handmade makes a comeback

Fun Fall Activities Kids & Babies... rooms to grow

modern handmade child

Editors Gretchen Jakub Fabre Shannon Hanley Tyann Marcink Cover Photo courtesy of Shannon Hanley Layout and Design by Chichiboulie The Clever Kitty Advertising Coordinator Linda Phrakhansa Treasurer Ahmelie Skistad

contents autumn 09

WELCOME 4 ..... meet the editors 5 ..... letter from the editors WEAR - fashion trends 6 ..... raglan revival 9 ..... back to school shopping the handmade way DWELL - home décor 16 ... getting ready for baby 20 ... homework haven PLAY - toys and activities 24 ... creative art with fall flair 27 ... autumn activities CREATE - crafty tutorials 30 ... drawstring backpack tutorial

Please send all article submissions and ideas to:

Note that submissions are welcome but are not guaranteed inclusion in the magazine. Copyright© modern handmade child 2009. All rights reserved. Reproduction or redistribution in whole or in parts without prior written permission is strictly prohibited.

TASTE - cooking fun 56 ... marshmallow pumpkin pops 58 ... breaking the lunchbox monotony CARE - growing up green 60 ... environmentally friendly lunchbox 62 ... green bottle safety SHARE - mothers ask 64 ... fresh fundraising for fall EXPLORE - the outdoors & travel 68 ... family treasures uncovered VIEW - from a kid’s eye view 78 ... photos taken by kids

MEET - interviews 38 ... angela elamm - bella mia baby 40 ... renee eggleston - candy stick lane CELEBRATE - holidays and parties 46 ... party planning 101 51 ... hauntingly handmade

For information regarding advertising in modern handmade child, please contact


meet the editors

gretchen jakub fabre, shannon hanley and tyann marcink

Gretchen Jakub Fabre is an illustrator living in northern France. Her work focuses around the world and whimsies of children and the young at heart. Gretchen‘s illustrations have been sold worldwide to both large companies and individuals alike. Her work can be seen online at and Shannon Hanley lives on the coast of southern Maine with her husband and daughter. She is an artisan dabbling in many mediums, and loves creating things that are both fun and functional. In addition to her creative work, she is the leader of the EtsyKids Team, which she founded in 2006. You can find out more about Shannon and view her work online at Tyann Marcink is an artist, photographer, and writer living west of St. Louis, Missouri. She precariously balances her family and work while keeping clean clothes and fresh food ready for her husband and three boys. Her quilt clips and other nursery decor have been sent worldwide, and her photography is carried at a local art store. Her children's items can be seen online at and her photography at

letter from the editors by gretchen jakub fabre, shannon hanley and tyann marcink

Welcome to the premier issue of modern handmade child. We‘re excited to be sharing this publication with you. What could definitely be classified as a labour of love, this magazine is a means of sharing our passion for all things handmade. Over the past few years, the handmade market has exploded, and the children‘s market in particular offers a variety today that was unheard of only a few years ago. Small companies and individual artisans are popping up all over to offer a new variety that can‘t be found in the mall shops or on the modern High Street. And handmade isn‘t just limited to clothes. Toys, accessories, home décor, to name just a few, are also available handmade. Today‘s handmade isn‘t our grandmothers‘ or even our mothers‘ handmade. It‘s so much more! The variety has increased and the quality as well. More often than not it surpasses the standards of quality set by large sellers and manufacturers and offers a

product that is sure to last through several children, if not generations. Today‘s handmade is also environmentally friendly, as many artisans have adopted attitudes that place earth-friendly supplies and products in the forefront. By using organic resources and upcycling old materials, modern handmade offers an alternative and often makes eco-friendly living an easier option. Through modern handmade child, we hope to share the backstage and inner workings of the new handmade way of living with you. Inside you will not only find ideas for shopping, but also ways to incorporate the entire ―handmade life‖ into your life. You will enjoy recipes and activities to share with your children, ideas on adopting an ecofriendly lifestyle, as well as ways to balance work and play for an overall healthy life. So come and have a peek. We‘re sure you‘ll be pleased.


raglan revival

by shannon hanley - the clever kitty


ee shirts: Cotton. Classic. Comfortable.

let go of it. I know I have a couple like that myself.

The tee shirt is a staple for every child‘s wardrobe. It is hard to imagine a time when tee shirts were only worn as kangaroo tee by little and big k undergarments. Now they are widely worn as simple, classic articles of clothing that never go out of style.

Being a child of the late 70s and early 80s, I have fond memories of the raglan baseball style tee shirts that were popular then. Now there are some trends from that time period that I would be perfectly content to never see return. Big hair and spandex? No thank you! But I‘m happy to see that the raglan tee is making a comeback, updated with fresh new designs and color combinations. It is a new generation of raglans that is simply adorable and just perfect for our new generation of toddlers and pre-schoolers.

There‘s just something about the soft cotton of a well worn tee shirt that makes it comforting, like a good friend who is always there for you. And like a good friend, when you find a perfect match, you want to keep it for life. I would be willing to bet you still have a tee shirt hidden away in your closet somewhere. Maybe it‘s stained or has a hole or two, but you just cannot bring yourself to

And of course, handmade is there, added to the mix of new tees. Artisans and small companies are popping up all over, offering more variety to the already abundant choice of styles. Whether screen-printed with a cute animal friend or appliquéd with designs from vintage fabrics, there is a wonderful handmade raglan tee shirt to fit every child‘s style.

clockwise from top left: to the moon tee from small threads, green polka dot tree tee from plum tree studio, fish tee from kinchi, nacho and pepe tee from mafe maria

back-to-school shopping the handmade way by gretchen jakub fabre - chichiboulie


ack to school shopping is in full swing in many places at this time of year. Mothers and their children are packing into cars and heading off to shopping malls to find the latest fashions and fads. Just as when we were young, kids these days still want to fit in and dress like their peers. But unlike when we were in their shoes, fitting in today doesn‘t necessarily mean wearing the same brands and styles as your friends. Kids are more aware of being an individual and want to express their own personal style. Fitting in today, in fact, can often mean standing out. But how to find a unique item of clothing while shopping at the traditional chain stores? Certainly it may look different when you pick it off the rack, but wait until the school bell rings and you will surely see more than one child in the school halls wearing the same t-shirt or skirt, sweatshirt or shoes. There is a way around this, though, and the

handmade trend is one of the answers. A peek on any of the number of handmade selling sites that exist today will show a large variety of items, none of which will be found in a shopping mall. From dresses to trousers, shoes to backpacks, hairbows to cardigans, you will find everything you need to complete your shopping list. And all this from newborn to adult. Many of the items are one-of-a-kind, or OOAK as well. How‘s that for strutting some individuality? And because the handmade trend is being led by small companies and individual artisans, more often than not, the customer service is fantastic. Love the item, but want it in a different size? Why not just contact the maker directly and ask if it is possible. Found the perfect scarf to go with your new autumn coat, but need it in a different color? A quick email will often get you your response. So while making out your back-to-school necessities list, why not keep handmade in mind. You‘re sure to be impressed!

back to


left: groovy guitar bratsack backpack from bratsacks baby, top right: busy little kitty backpack from busy little hands, bottom right: pale yellow backpack from bubblegirl knits

clockwise from top left: flower pencil pouch from green pear blossoms, personalized school money envelopes from sunny day tags, retro mushrooms pencil pouch from simbiosis by julie, puzzle pieces roll.n.go crayons from lil b designs, school bus bag tags from modern classics kids

left: trick sunhat from worthygoods, top right: blue and chocolate brown gingham hair bow from lilibug boutique, bottom right: horse no.6 from penguin and fish

left: scrumptiously plaid wool dress from sunnybrook farm designs, top right: preppy plaid snap clips from red32 designs, middle right: burberry scottie clippies from sweet bitty bows, bottom right: black duotoned houndstooth frayed-canvas surfer baby shoes from head 2 toes

While the weather is getting cool and brisk in the Northern Hemisphere, everyone is gearing up for warm weather and sunshine in the Southern Hemisphere. Linen is perfect for the warmer temps, and with these bright colors and bold patterns, who can resist?

lavish linen

leopard linen skirt from little girl pearl, linen and batik daisy dress from ogekko, little forest tote from fly mama, the penelope dress in natural linen with black daisies from sew original, big juicy oranges purse from wild olive kids, pure linen tuesday play dress with hand printed hemp / organic cotton birch forest panel from kid a collective


getting ready for baby by kristi duchon - zuzu girl handmade


all me crazy, but I believe that decorating a nursery is one of the most exciting things in the world for an expectant mother. A completed nursery gives her a first opportunity to visualize her little bundle of joy, sleeping quietly in his crib, surrounded by the smell of just laundered linens, never been chewed on toys and perfectly folded clothes. However, decorating a nursery with only baby in mind can lead to unnecessary frustration and expense later. The trick is to simplify and focus the nursery dĂŠcor to create a room that will grow with your child. Crib manufacturers are well aware of the need to maximize the furniture and most have created convertible cribs that transform easily into toddler beds as your child grows. The challenge now is to have the same perspective on the rest of the room. Here are just a few ways to prepare the nursery for the inevitable toddler that will inhabit it sooner than any new mother wants to imagine.

Wall Art This is probably the best way to transition your child‘s room frequently without breaking the bank. Traditional murals are lovely but timeconsuming, expensive, and permanent. Instead, why not opt for simple painted walls that you can dress up with fabulous art. Most artists will sell their work unframed, so start by investing in a few good frames that coordinate with your furniture. Now you can begin looking for artwork. One excellent place to find one-of-a-kind and affordable art is Etsy where you can pick up designs appropriate for baby, like this sweet Sock Monkey by Chichiboulie. Other options range from printed images to letterpress and mixed media to original acrylics and watercolors. If fancy walls are a must, think about temporary wall decals instead of a mural. Wall decals are a quickly growing trend, and new vendors are entering the market all the time. They are available in many shapes and sizes, as well as colors and designs.

1. dragonfly silhouette by lemon drop studio 2. sock monkey by chichiboulie 3. letterpress alphabet by sweetbeets 4. sweet little piggy by sugar village 5. candies and butterflies by tiny bazaar 6. elephant having tea by sugar village 7. letterpress counting by sweetbeets 8. ballet recital by chichiboulie 9. elephant silhouette by lemon drop studio

Mobiles A necessity in any nursery, mobiles are easy to remove as you transition your nursery into a toddler room. If you opt for an abstract version like the Constellation by The Wonderland Studio or Pinwheels by Dosta Beba, they might even be able to hang out a few more years.

1. safari quest by gifts define 2. constellation by the wonderland studio 3. pinwheels by dosta beba 4. birds by bla bla kids

Soft Furnishings Sheets and blankets are a great place to work those zoo animals or baby themed designs in to your nursery. They allow you to add a theme at a reasonable cost that can be easily changed. Bedding is also the best way to add color to the room while keeping things like the walls and rugs simple and neutral. Rugs are a big investment, and most growing toddlers will quickly outgrow a rug with baby patterns on it. Opting for a solid color rug will allow it to transition with the bedding. Keep in mind when choosing your rug that certain colors minimize wear better than others. 1. charlotte by dwell studio 2. celestial parade by roxy 3. gio by dwell studio 4. lovelines by pixel organics 5. meadow by amenity 6. lions, tigers & kitties by pixel organics 7. gio by dwell studio 8. celestial parade by roxy 9. butterfly by argington

Plushies All children (and even some adults) love a happy plush toy. Place them in the crib (while not in use), rock with them on the glider or prop them within reach on bookshelves. For a minimal investment, plushies can really brighten up a room and create hours of imaginary playtime for your child. Look for handmade dolls made with only natural fibers for your child to snuggle with like bla bla kids boogaloos and classic bla blas that look contemporary but feel like old friends.

1. green bear by murdock design 2. kitty pitty by mariken 3. mini berry lee by bla bla kids 4. carina by pipoca handmade 5. bubbles by bla bla kids 6. mimosa by pipoca handmade 7. peeko by bla bla kids 8. bunny boo by mariken 9. orange spotty by murdock designs

Accessories Just a few special little lovelies placed strategically can define a room. Look for room dĂŠcor items that focus on quality, form and function. Items like Vroom Cars by Wee Wood Natural Toys or an Elephant Rowboat by Willow Baus provide darling dĂŠcor and hours of creative play at the same time. Stacking boxes like those from Frippelous allow your little princess to stash all her goodies in the most glamorous way.

1. bowl of stars by wee wood natural toys 2. custom letters by little elephant co. 3. blocks by bumble and berry 4. pocket pets suitcase by gifts define 5. ceramic owl bank by fruit fly pie 6. felt houses by the drying rack 7. vroom cars by wee wood natural toys 8. paper mache boxes by frippelous 9. rowboat by willow baus

homework haven by michelle nicholson - flirty bird


ne of the most important areas that you will ever decorate in your child‘s room is the area where your child is going to complete her homework. Creating this space is important so your child can establish a homework routine. A dedicated area allows your child to leave homework and come back to it without the homework being disturbed. The area also avoids having to negotiate another space within the house. It is simple to set up a great area for your child. The first thing is to find an adequate

desk that has great storage and is big enough for your child to spread their work out. The area should not be cluttered, as an organized space is likely to help your child to be structured and efficient with her work. Your child should be able to start work immediately once sitting at the desk. We all know starting can sometimes be the hardest hurdle, and cleaning clutter might be the welcomed excuse that your child is looking for. A comfortable and supportive chair is also needed, as there is no point in creating a beautiful work area if it is uncomfortable to use. Keep distractions such as electronic games and phones at a distance and instead ensure that things they will need are close at hand. Pencils, erasers, paper, glue, scissors, dictionaries, a thesaurus and maps are just some of the items that will help ensure that your child has everything needed to assist in her studies. You don‘t want time that should be spent working to be used up hunting for supplies.

The area should be well lit, so if the natural lighting or ceiling fixture is not bright enough, replace the bulb or buy a desk lamp that can be moved to suit the situation. Once all of the basic steps above are complete, the fun can begin. This is where your child can be included and should have a say in how the area looks. After all, it is her workspace. Your aim is to make the desk and surrounding area enticing to your child so

that young children in particular don‘t relate homework to chores. Ask your child what she would like to see in the space. Hang personal artwork and buy colourful pencil holders. Add wall decals, pictures and placemats to create a homework haven that can be enjoyed for many years to come.

my little orchard pencil case from swiedebie, desktop organizer from fondue. photo opposite page: playcase from limabean kids

Not your average child’s toy. Not just another wool cardie. You’ll find plenty of organically made and upcycled toys and clothes for your little ones on the market today. Why blend in when you can stand out and help the environment at the same time?



Upcycled. Recycled. Organic. Eco-Friendly.

clockwise from top left: little hoot baby blue from on a whimm, organic cotton toddler sweater from natrual fiber crochet, rainbow sweater ball from handmade pretties, organic cotton plush teething toy from tie dye diva, frieda felted baby sweater from heartfelt baby. left: green and fabulous waddle ducky plush from ecoleeko.

play creative art with fall flair by kimberly gachnang - tootsies bear


utumn is rich with colors, and creative art is a great way to pass time indoors when the weather gets cool and wet. The following are two fun activities that don‘t rely as much on the outcome as they do the process of creating them, making for great art experiences.

Lovely Leaves

Materials: Leaf pattern (below) Yellow cardstock or construction paper shallow box small ball or marble red and orange tempera paint

Directions: Enlarge leaf pattern to desired size, either copying directly onto yellow cardstock, or onto plain paper to be cut out then traced onto yellow construction paper. Place paper into bottom of shallow box.

Dip a small ball or marble into red paint and place gently into the box. Tilt the box back and forth to make the ball roll across the paper and spread streaks of color over the leaf. Repeat the process with the orange paint, or choose any fall color. Once paint is dry, cut out leaf shape.

Extend the activity: Obtain a tree branch and place it into a large vase filled with beans or rice. Make several Lovely Leaves and attach to branches for your own indoor fall foliage. Make a game of removing one or more leaves each day, counting how many are left, until the last leaf ―falls.‖

Fall Napkin Rings Little ones will beam with pride when these beautiful napkin rings are used at your Thanksgiving table or used simply to dress up the dinner table any fall evening.

Materials: Empty cardboard toilet paper tube Tissue paper in fall colors White glue (diluted) Paint brush Glitter (optional)

Directions: Working in sections, paint cardboard tube with diluted white glue, then overlap pieces of tissue paper. After covering the entire tube in tissue, paint over it with more diluted white glue. Sprinkle with glitter if desired. Once glue is dry, carefully cut the tube into four equal rings.

When you try out these activities with your kids, be sure to take photos and send them with your stories to, and you could be featured in our next issue.

autumn activities by kimberly gachnang - tootsies bear


utumn offers opportunities for many different activities, both indoors and out. Crisp cool sunny days make for great day trips, while colder rainy days beg for indoor fun. Be prepared this fall with ideas to entertain the whole family no matter what the weather brings. When the leaves start to turn, and the heat of summer cools into crisp fall mornings it‘s the perfect time to take another trip to the zoo. Without the sometimes stifling heat, you can take more time to meander through the different exhibits. The animals may be more inclined to move around as well, instead of lazing about in the afternoon heat. Some zoos also offer terrific fall activities which makes the zoo the perfect autumn day trip. Of course there is always the pumpkin patch or apple orchard. Many pumpkin patches offer hay rides, craft activities, yummy snacks and rows and rows of pumpkins ripe for the picking. Some even include

Halloween festivities or pumpkin carving contests. Apple orchards are a favorite destination in the autumn. Kids love an afternoon of apple picking (they‘ll fill up a bushel basket or two long before their interest gives out), and who doesn‘t savor apple cider or apple crisp with ice cream? Parents can work in learning activities on the sly by counting apples and pumpkins, comparing and contrasting sizes and colors, and discussing the growing cycle. The fun doesn‘t stop there, as there‘s still all the activities involving apples and pumpkins at home besides the obvious pumpkin carving and applesauce making. How about bowling with pumpkins? Or practicing juggling with apples? The possibilities are endless. Don‘t forget about your own neighborhood when planning fall outdoor activities. Throw

on a sweater, grab a bag or basket, and head out. Check out all the colors, or the changes in gardens as the weather turns and look for animals readying themselves for winter. Collect leaves of many different colors, nuts, or anything that says ―fall‖ to you and your child, for making an autumn collage when you get home. Cold windy days don‘t have to mean hours in front of the television. How about bowling, packing sardines, or playing shuffle board all in the comfort of your home. Hallway Bowling If you brought home a plethora of pumpkins, set up a little hallway bowling party. Collect empty 2 liter bottles and cute autumn pictures to color and cut out Velcro sticky dots. Attach a picture to each bottle with Velcro (makes it easy to adapt the game to any season) and arrange like bowling pins at the end of a hallway. Find your perfect bowling pumpkin and start bowling! Scoring isn‘t necessary for little bowlers, as they are quite entertained just knocking down and setting up the pins. For older children, help them score the game to work in a little math in the midst of the fun.

Sardines This game is a reversal of the classic hide and seek. One player is chosen to be ―It.‖ The rest of the players (the search party) count to 100 while ―It‖ hides. The search party then breaks up to look. As each person finds ―It,‖ he squeezes into the hiding place until the spot is jammed with players. The last person to find the hiding spot becomes ―It.‖ Shuffle Caps A version better suited to inside family fun than the country club version, this game of shuffleboard can be set up on a table top to make it perfect for little or big players. Using painters‘ tape, create a scoring triangle on a smooth tabletop. The tip is worth 50 points, the middle 25 points and the base 10 points. Create a push-off point on the other end of the table with another piece of tape. Using 8 plastic bottle or milk caps (individually marked to represent two teams or in two different colors) take turns sliding the caps from the push-off point toward the triangle. More than half the cap must be in the space to count as in. Be careful though, if you shoot your cap off the table, you lose 25 points. If you knock off your opponent‘s cap, he loses 25 points! The first player to reach 100 points wins the game.

Find a pumpkin patch near you:


simple drawstring backpack rozzi hamilton - rozzi’s sweet peas

skill level: beginner to intermediate shopping list: 1 yard outer fabric 1 yard lining fabric 1/4 yard interfacing 12 1/2 feet rope thread embellishments of your choice


ags are an important staple for any school bound child. It is an American icon‌ the school bell, school bus and the school backpack. But bags can hold their pencils, and bags can hold their books. With this simple drawstring backpack, utilitarian meets stylish. Below is the basic pattern and design to make this bag, and with your own creative touch, you can fashion a stylish bag for your little students at a fraction of retail cost. Materials: Fabric : One yard makes the backpack, with a bit left over for another small project. Heavy weight cottons like denim, sail cloth, duck cloth, or home decor upholstery weight will work best. You can also use designer cottons and quilting cottons but will need to add interfacing for added strength. For the lining fabric, cottons are perfect. Alternately, you can use fat quarters for this project (you will need two fat quarters for the backpack and additional fabric for the lining). Interfacing: 1/4 yard medium weight iron-on interfacing to reinforce the buttonholes, bottom and sides of backpack. Rope: Two 74 inch lengths of clothes-line rope for the backpack. This comes in neon colors and can be purchased at a local hardware store.

Equipment: Rotary Cutter: this makes for perfect squares, rectangles and strips. You can use scissors, but will need to take a little extra time to make straight cuts Cutting Mat: to avoid marking up the kitchen counter with your rotary cutter Sewing machine: any home machine will do Needles: denim or any heavy duty needle works best I have included some sewing hints to assist you in making a sturdy quality bag. These hints are not necessary to finish the bag, but will help you. They are in the pink boxes and marked with an asterisk.

Safety caution: you should never put more in the backpack than the child can comfortably carry. The larger size of the rope helps to distribute the weight, but parents need to supervise the use of any backpack to prevent possible injury.

Sewing the bag Bag 1. Using a ¼ inch seam allowance, sew the front and back pieces of your outer fabric along one side, right sides together. Finish edges and press seams open. Sew a seam on the right side for extra strength. 1. Getting Started: fabric cut 2 19‖ x 16‖ rectangles from outer fabric cut 2 19‖ x 16‖ rectangles from lining fabric optional pocket: cut 1 6‖ x 8‖ rectangle from outer fabric cut 1 6‖ x 8‖ rectangle from lining fabric

2. Using a ruler or paper marked with 1 inch

rope: cut 2 74‖ lengths of rope. Fray check the ends by carefully burning with lighter.


To sew this backpack, we will be making two tubes, then sewing one inside of the other. The top will have a casing for the rope. The rope forms the arm straps and closes the backpack at the same time.

as a guide, iron a 1 inch hem at the top to the sewn piece only.

3. Use a pencil and ruler to mark a 1-inch button hole on right side of the fabric, centered crossing over the seam and running along where the hem crease was ironed. With a hot iron, attach a small square of interfacing onto the back of the fabric at this spot to reinforce. Work buttonhole.


4b. Turn right side out and press, folding in seam allowance on open edge to create a clean edge. Your pocket should look like a single small rectangle with two sides. 3. * To reinforce your buttonhole, you can use two threads in the needle and just one thread in the bobbin. Optional Pocket 4a. Right sides together, sew the outer fabric to lining fabric across the top and sides using a Âź inch seam allowance. Leave a small opening to pull the pocket right side out when finished. Finish the edge and press flat.


4c. Top stitch across the top of your pocket using your pressure foot edge as a guide.


* To reinforce the pocket sides at the top, overlap your running stitch several times back and forth as you are stitching down the pocket.

4f. Pin pocket in place and stitch around the two sides and bottom.

4f. 4d. Press the bag front in half with the top edge touching the bottom edge. This crease will serve as a guide when attaching the pocket to the front of the bag.

4e. 4e. Center your finished pocket on the backpack body, placing the top edge of the pocket flush with your ironed crease on the body.

You now have the front of the backpack with one pocket sewn in place and can resume making the backpack. * Iron squares of interfacing on the wrong side of your outer fabric for added stability, especially at the corners.

5. Sew the other long side of the backpack


using the same technique as in step 1, forming a long tube, with a pocket on one side.

8. Slide the backpack body into the lining so 6.

6. Using a ruler and pencil, mark a second 1 -inch long buttonhole, centered crossing over the seam and running along where the hem crease was ironed. Fuse interfacing and create buttonhole as in step 3. Lining 7. Using a Âź seam allowance, sew the front and back pieces of lining fabric along the long edges, right sides together. Finish edges, press seams open, and top stitch on the outside over seam for increased strength. You should now have a long tube of lining.

that the right sides of the body fabric and lining fabric are facing. Pin along the top edge, and stitch together using a Âź inch seam allowance.


* Clip all threads and either tie them off or use reverse stitch for several stitches at the beginning and ending of all seams to keep your them from unraveling.

10. Press, then using your hands, make sure the lining inside is flat and smooth. Trim off the extra 1 inch of the lining at the bottom.



Turn bag right-side out so that the right side of the backpack body is out, and fold down along the hem crease so that 1 inch of the body fabric and the lining are inside. About 1 inch of the lining will show at the bottom of the backpack. This is OK. Sew twice around the top where the body meets the lining, making sure you have a 1 inch casing for the rope to slide inside.

10. 11. Sew the bottom of the bag body together, right sides facing. Sew the bottom of the lining, right sides together, leaving an opening to pull the bag through.


11. Now pull the bag through your lining opening completely through until the right side of the bag is facing you.

Attaching the rope:

12. Make two buttonholes ½ inch long at the bottom sides of your backpack. Position the button holes ½ inch from the sides and 1 inch from the bottom. You will be sewing through the lining and the outer fabric at the same time.

13. Using a safety pin, pull one piece of the rope through the left bottom corner buttonhole (from back to front), then up to the top left buttonhole, around the top through the casing, and back through the left bottom buttonhole again. Tie the two ends together in a knot, and add a dab of fabric glue to secure. The knot will be on the back of your backpack.



13. 14. Repeat step 13 for the right side. Now you can customize your new backpack even further by embellishing with fabric paints, iron on letters, fabric spray paints, or iron on embroideries. Congratulations! You have made a boutique quality backpack for your sweet pea!

meet angela elam - bellamiababy by shannon hanley - the clever kitty

We recently met up with Angela Elam of Bella Mia Baby. Click here to watch the video. "passion." She also wanted to be able to stay home with her children. Her dad Joe, a selftaught cabinet maker, spent days on end with her, talking about what her passion could be. He would often tell her, "Life is too short to not do what you love and be your own boss. Don't go working for someone else!"

"Creating is what I love to do, and I believe that's what God put me on this earth to do." After working in the financial industry for over 16 years, Angela was desperately trying to find what everyone talks about, their

On July 25th, 2005, Angela‘s dad, her inspiration, her mentor, her best friend, landed in the hospital, having seizures. He was diagnosed with Glioblastoma, the most aggressive type of brain cancer, and in 83 days he was gone. His death made her realize that life is too short not to do what you love and that she should find her passion.

Angela is offering $10 off any blanket & $25 off any throw at her shop Bella Mia Baby Just mention this article at the time of purchase.

"I think for those people who are creative, to try to describe what a creative process’s almost impossible." She started creating bibs, burp cloths and cuddle blankets. Making these scrumptious creations for babies is something she loves, and it also enables her to give back to help find a cure for the disease that her dad and so many others are dying from. A portion of every purchase goes to the Chris Elliott fund for Glioblastoma research, in memory of her dad Joe.

video produced by zoom productions, las vegas, nevada.

meet renee eggleston - candy stick lane by shannon hanley - the clever kitty

mhc: Aside from creating things, what do you love to do? Renee: I am a total magazine-a-holic. If I'm not sewing, I want to be laying at the pool all day reading magazines and listening to the ipod. mhc: How did you get started making things? What is the first thing you remember creating?

mhc: Tell us a little about yourself. Renee: My name is Renee Eggleston and I am a single mother of 3 FAB Kiddos! Krystal 16, Sterling 10 and Roman 9. I'm also mommy to my 2 year old rescue Pitt 'Hope.' We live overlooking the French Broad River in the beautiful mountains of Asheville, North Carolina.

Renee: When I was a kid, I used to play on my mom's singer sewing machine and make terribly ugly clothing for my Barbies. My mom tried to teach me to sew for real when I was a teenager, but I thought it was too time consuming and tedious. So after about the age of 10 I didn't sew anymore. I have always loved fashion and loved to draw. In elementary school I took empty soda cans, wrapped colorful brochures around them and sold them as ashtrays. I also sold bookmarks that I made from kids clothing tags and yarn. I guess I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit!

When my daughter was born, I decided to teach myself to sew. So I bought a simple pattern and made a jumper that didn't fit and was ravelling apart like mad. Of course Krystal wore it anyway, but it came apart after the 2nd wearing. Over the next year, I made over 300 garments, documenting what I learned each time...and here I am more than 10 years later, sewing away! mhc: When did you decide to start selling your work? Renee: When Krystal decided she was too old to wear hand made clothes! I still wanted to sew, and the only logical step for me was to continue making clothes and sell them online.

mhc: What is the name of your shop, and is there a story behind it? Renee: Candy Stick Lane - I saw it on a street sign in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and I could just imagine a gingerbread house store front jam packed with little girls‘ clothes, games, candy, bean bags and books. I imagined it smelling like sugar as soon as you opened the door....before that my business was called Especially for you. mhc: That sounds lovely! Ever think about opening that gingerbread house store front, or would you rather keep the focus to your shop online? Renee: I would love to open a 'brick and mortar' store. And honey boo, it would be totally ginger bread - I want faux candy canes and gum drops lining the walkway all the way to the door. I would also like to use the retail space to host birthday parties, tea parties, baking classes and sewing classes for little girls! It is on my 10 year goals list. mhc: What's your favorite item to make and why? Renee: I have and always will love dresses. Every style and type. To me nothing

says little girl like a dress. I have been making jumpers so long that they are super quick and easy for me. So I guess that's my favorite. They are just so versatile - you can wear them at any time of year with the right items paired with them! mhc: What's your most popular item? Renee: Jumpers, hands down - and specifically the Mod Jumper in brown and teal. mhc: Where does your inspiration come from?

Renee: Everywhere. I know that's clichĂŠ, but its true. A plant, a painting, a book, food, and especially all the gorgeous fabric that designers are creating these days - it's amazing! mhc: What is your creative process? Renee: I'm a complete unorganized and spur of the moment type of gal. If I'm at work and see something in my mind, I sketch it out and hang it on my design wall. I do that all week. I also add things from magazines that I like, colors, bedding, vintage, etc. Then on the weekends I sit down and look at my design wall and usually I get tons of ideas all at once. So I grab fabric and scissors and I'm off to the races. On a typical weekend I can make between 5 and 10 dresses. I did make almost 40 dresses a few weekends ago for a large wholesale order going to New Jersey, but that was too stressful. I will solicit help next time! mhc: What's the best part about earning a living making things? Renee: The best thing for me is a stress relief. I work full time for a genetics center at our local hospital, and my brain is so fried when I come home. It's very nice to sit down

9 hours a day doing paper work when every fiber of my being wants to be doing something creative - to me, that is miserable! And I am working feverishly to make it possible to at least cut back to part time in the very near future. As far as my kids go, they are used to me sewing. When they were babies, they would crawl around under my feet while I was sewing, hitting the pedals and making me break a needle or take a 2" mishap on a seam. They pretty much do their own things while I'm sewing now-a-days. mhc: Any tips for other crafty moms out there who have or want to start a business? and create something from beautiful fabric; just unwind while listening to the hum of the sewing machine. It also gives me hope that one day I'll be able to work from home full time! mhc: Do you find it difficult to juggle a full time job, your shop, and being a mom? Renee: It is extremely difficult - but not in the way you might expect! I think as moms (especially of more than one kiddo) we run in high gear all the time anyway, so the feeling that I'm pressed for time or running around like my hair is on fire is not the hard part. For me, the frustrating part is sitting at a desk for

Renee: My advice to any mom who does any craft or service and finds themselves on the cusp - just do it! The world wide web has made it possible for us gals to turn hobbies into cottage industries with very little investment, and Etsy has made it incredibly easy to set up shop. Everyone I know who sells online or in a physical store is more than happy to help someone get started - we love to see other moms take the plunge. I think the most important thing for a beginner or a veteran is 'being an expert in your field.' Read, watch shows, subscribe to relevant publications. In my case, I'm always looking for tutorials on new techniques or projects. I subscribe to every magazine on fashion, children, maternity, you name it... I get it in the mail! And I share the information that I find via my blog, myspace and facebook. When you share pictures or videos of your processes and teach customers bits and pieces about your talent, they know that you are on top of your game and they understand the care you take. It also presents a feeling that you trust them with your information so they, in turn, trust you and your opinion. mhc: What handmade item do you cherish?

Renee: For this one I'll have to get a bit of history: I am African-American, and I was adopted by a white family who wouldn't let me have anything black, especially dolls...SO up until a few months ago I had never had a black baby doll. Anna from ImogensGarden on Etsy made me one named Annelise, and I truly cherish her - she is sitting here watching me type right now :) mhc: What to you is the importance of buying handmade? Renee: When you buy handmade, you are supporting a person - not a corporation. A person who cares about what they make - not just about the bottom line. It makes me feel that the money I spend is not only making me happy but it is making a real difference in an individual‘s life.

Renee is offering $10 off of any dress from her shop

Candy Stick Lane Just mention this article at the time of purchase.

celebrate party planning 101 by kristen davis - mary had a little party

paper flower cupcake toppers from millalove


Theme: The most important part of a celebration, in a child‘s mind, is the party theme, next to the presents, that is. Many children‘s birthday fantasies center on a theme, and children map out the themes years in advance, with many modifications along the way. When choosing a theme, focus on the interests of the child. Whether it is princess, construction trucks, Disney, dogs, or a favorite character, a theme makes the party.

arties are created to be exciting and fun for children, but for parents, parties are many times more of a headache and filled with stress. Following a party plan will help parents to stay organized and to keep the stress levels down so they can enjoy the party along with the children.

Budget: Celebrations can be thrown on any type of budget, from the nearly free, to the overly extravagant and within a reasonable amount. Once the budget is decided, the party planning is much easier to follow.

Following are some of the most important tips to keep in mind that are a tremendous help in the planning of any great celebration:

Location: Nothing beats the convenience of hosting a party at home – decorations can be hung as

desired, and there is no travel involved for setting the celebration up. However, many parents prefer the ease in using an alternate venue. An alternate location limits the amount of traffic in the home, which can be important if there are quite a few little ones coming or if there is limited space. For locations like children‘s museums, kid-oriented restaurants and game

places, clean up is a snap, as many venues offer this service as part of the package. Also, a city park is a great option, as nothing beats the instant entertainment of the playground, and an outdoor event is a ton of fun on a day with gorgeous weather. Many towns will allow you to reserve a pavilion space or tables at parks in order to host your event. Just remember to book early and allow at least an hour beforehand to set up.

left: pool party print your own pack from chichiboulie, right: custom number cake topper from mary had a little party

clockwise from top left: bright flowers party hat from and jane, princess party pack of ribbon wands from zuzu girl handmade, lil’ scribblers redesigned crayons from lil boo and co, custom super hero capes from babypop

When choosing the venue, keep in mind any limitations for decorations or activities. If the birthday boy has his heart set on a large piĂąata, then steer clear of a crowded location like a restaurant. If indulging the birthday girl with a 7 foot tall Cinderella castle and a visit from a Disney princess, then choose a venue that will allow the castle to be set up.

memorable and great fun for everyone. Also keep in mind the location of the event and how many persons the location can accommodate when creating a guest list.

Time: This is especially important to keep in mind since little ones may still have naps and short attention spans. The time of the celebration will also dictate, to a degree, what foods will be served, as well as possible activities, especially if the event is held outdoors. A late morning preschool party can be great fun at a local park before the day is too hot, while a lunch hour event will involve more food in the budget.

Refreshments: The time of the event will determine the type of refreshments. If held over the lunch hour, many parents choose to provide a lunch along with cake and ice cream. For a celebration not held during a meal time, then only the cake would be perfectly fine. Many times, additional snacks like ice cream or cookies may be served with the cake. While a party where additional food is involved is greatly appreciated, in particular at the lunch or dinner hour, an afternoon affair with cake and ice cream only can keep the refreshments very simple, and help to keep the budget within reason.

Guest List: One important thing to keep in mind is that the guest list should be manageable. For a big bash, don‘t hesitate to enlist a few relatives or friends beforehand to help the celebrators transition from each activity, party game, present time and the cake and ice cream. With help, it will be much easier for the parents to be able to participate in the activities with the children, making the event

Games and Activities: For preschoolers, one or two simple activities is often the best plan, given their attention spans are less than their older counterparts. An older crowd can get a lot of enjoyment from more elaborate themed activities. While it is important to have activities planned, particularly for the younger crowd, an older group is often quite content to be able to mingle as part of the event.

Bingo is a simple and fun go-to game that can easily be tailored to match the party theme and is a game that is easy to learn. Another idea to consider for a themed event is creating a dress up activity. Imagine a basket of cowboy hats and bandanas for a western affair or tutus and wands for a princess soiree. Many of these items can be purchased quite inexpensively at a local party store or online. Dress up can be great fun for the kids involved and certainly helps inspire the theme of the event. Inexpensive dress up items can also be used as favors to take home as a souvenir of a wonderful event.

custom birthday tees and dresses to birthday banners, cupcake toppers and favor options. Having a checklist for an event makes the planning process considerably smoother, which translates into an event that is both well organized and tremendous fun. With each celebration, families are building fond memories of special times together for years to come.

Favors: A nice take home treat after a fun day together, favors are an excellent thank you for attendance at the event. Favors can be quite simple and inexpensive and provide another opportunity to carry the party theme. From color sheets and crayons depicting the theme, to baked goods or trinkets purchased, favor options are endless. Favors will also range in price, keeping it easy to find something to fit in the budget. A great resource to find fantastic party ware tailored to suit an event is at EtsyKids. Search ―EtsyKids birthday‖ on for an amazing selection of

custom birthday hat from gingham bunny

celebrate hauntingly handmade by shannon hanley - the clever kitty


alloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. Being a lover of costumes, and also having quite the sweet tooth, Halloween is something I always look forward to. As a child, I remember the excitement of waiting until the evening to get all dressed up in my costume and go out trick -or-treating. I‘m not sure which I loved more—the costumes or the candy! Now that I have a daughter, Halloween is even more fun. For her first Halloween, even though she was only four months old, I couldn‘t wait to make her a costume. I wanted to do something practical and comfortable for her, so I decided to make her into a flower. I started by making a footed pyjama style body suit out of green fleece. Then I made leaves that could be

attached to her sleeves, and a bonnet with flower petals all around her face. She was quite the blossom as she helped me greet the trick-or-treaters. Last year we had a party to attend, so I wanted to come up with something that she, my husband, and myself could be together, without having to spend too much money. After much hemming and hawing, we finally decided to be pirates, and she would be our parrot. Again, I wanted convenience and comfort to be at the forefront, so I basically made a parrot poncho that could go over regular clothes. The poncho had rows of felt ―feathers‖ sewn on, and a hood with eyes and a beak. The costume was completed with felt shoe covers to look like bird feet. We were a big hit at the party!

This year she just might be old enough to try trick-or-treating. I know how busy things can get in the fall, so it is definitely not too early to start thinking about a costume. Of course I will be making my daughter‘s costume again this year, but if you don‘t feel crafty enough to make your kids‘ costumes, don‘t fret—you don‘t have to be stuck with another cheaply made mass-produced costume. There are plenty of wonderfully unique handmade options available that your child will love so much they will want to wear them for more than just Halloween.

There are a couple of different approaches you can take when shopping for a costume. Certainly the quickest and simplest approach is to purchase a complete ensemble. Whether you are going for cowboy, super hero, or pixie, you will surely find something completely adorable that is all ready to go. Many costumes can also be customized and personalized, making them even more special. What child wouldn‘t love a super hero cape in their favorite colors with their own initial on it?

left: cowboy/cowgirl costume from it’s a party...let’s wear hats, center: little hero super cape, power cuffs, and mask from discovery denim, garden pixie from world of whimm

Fabulous finds for making your own fairy costume... clockwise from top left: pink velvet hearts unitard from lacey designs, mercedes pink magical pixie wee wings from star dust princess, natural glitter gel for skin and hair from jelly jane by star star, fairy princess halo from zuzu girl, bubblegum pink princess tutu filled with flower petals from tutu cute and moore, pink pixie wand from woodland pixie, fairy slippers from fairy cute

Another approach you can take is to find individual components to build a completely unique costume. I love this option, as you can really customize the outfit and accessories for your child. Or maybe you already have some things around the house that become part of a costume, and you just need a few finishing touches.

Whichever approach you choose, handmade is sure to give you more variety and more options for customizing your kids‘ costumes than you will find in any big box store. Just remember—use your imagination, and have fun!

halloween treats

sweet witch halloween ruffle skirt set from chew chew’s closet, good witch and bad witch halloween hair clippie sets from all things girly, custom halloween trick-or-treat bag from la designs 2, owl key chain from crafty addictions, halloween button hair elastics from cuckoo boo, got candy halloween korker bow headband from and jane

taste marshmallow pumpkin pops jenica carlley - pumpkin’s boutique

Ingredients and Supplies: Marshmallows Orange candy melts (try Wilton brand) 4" lollipop sticks Black decorating gel Directions: 1) Poke lollipop sticks in to the marshmallows and place them in freezer for approximately 15 minutes. 2) Melt candy in the microwave or in a double boiler according to the instructions on the package. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. 3) When candy is melted, remove marshmallows from freezer and dip them into

Baking sheet Wax or parchment paper

candy to completely cover the marshmallow. Place lollipop upside down on parchment paper to cool. 4) Once candy coating is hardened, add faces with decorator gel. Wrap with cellophane or plastic wrap or purchase lollipop bags. Additional ideas: try using green candy melts for goblins or black for bats. Recipe courtesy of:

clockwise from top left: ice cream from buggabugs, apron from sugar chic baby, cupcakes from sugar chic baby, tea party from eikumpel, apron from gagie pagie pudding pie, felt pastries from gourmet play, baking set from ticketty boo. all available on

breaking the lunchbox monotony by nicole pankratz - lil boo and co


ow that summer is winding down and thoughts are returning once again to the start of another school season, the excitement of the last few months is starting to wear off, and the anticipation of what is to come is readily at hand. Whether your children are well versed in the back-to-school jitters or it is your child‘s very first time entering the classroom in primary school, anxiousness, nervousness and excitement are most likely blooming in the house. In between shopping for new clothes and school supplies and registering for classes and activities, you can hear that little voice that whispers in the back of all mothers‘ heads saying, ―Here we go…another year of packing lunches…everyday…for at least nine months straight.‖ As mothers, we know that giving our kids the most nutritional food will help boost their ability to learn and retain the information that their brains gather all day long. The process of packing our children a lunch each and every day shouldn‘t be so

humdrum. If anything, this is our chance to ―be there‖ with our children during the school day even though we may not be physically present. When your children open their lunch boxes, make it one of the highlights of their day - a little piece of home and healthful nutrition from mom. It‘s time to break the lunch box monotony! For some quick ways to add some pizzazz to the same ole‘ lunch box routine, check out these hints:

Allow your child to pick out his or her own lunch box: a favorite color, a favorite character or theme, or even a personalized lunch box would be great. Something that says ―That‘s my lunch!‖ In addition to adding a splash of fun, using a reusable lunch box or tote is a great way to reduce waste – no more paper bags getting tossed into the heaping landfills. Break away from the expected: lunches don‘t always have to include a sandwich using two slices of bread. Try fixing delicious meals with whole grain tortilla wraps, pitas or bagels. Salads and pasta are also easy and great to pack for your children. Add grated veggies to sandwiches, salads or wraps for extra crunch and nutrition, or include small containers of hummus or yogurt for your child to dip his veggies and fruit. Yum! Include a little something extra: fun love notes or silly jokes will keep your child smiling throughout the day. For some great printable lunch notes for kids check out this site: Make bite-sized or mini versions of the regular foods like sandwiches: use cookie cutters to cut the sandwich into fun ―puzzles‖ to eat.

Put something fun in the lunch box for when lunch is over: include a fun ‗I Spy‘ bag or a small activity pad of paper with a writing utensil so they can play tic-tac-toe or hangman with their lunch buddies. Simple little ideas to keep lunch interesting for both mother and child.

care environmentally friendly lunchbox by gretchen jakub fabre - chichiboulie

It would seem as though my mother may have been ahead of the times….


oilcloth lunch bag from art in red wagons

remember going to school with my hot soup in my lunch, neatly packed in my insulated container. My mother had a whole set of containers like it for various uses. At that time, I was one of the few children (if not the only one) to bring hot soup in a packed lunch, and I will admit that more than once I dreamed of carrying a brown paper bag to school, one that I could completely toss at the end of lunch. That, I thought, was what cool kids did.

Fast forward more years than I care to mention, and it is no longer cool to tote a completely throw away lunch. Brown paper bags filled with plastic wrap and aluminium foil are out. Environmentally friendly is in! This year, instead of picking the usual items off the shelf while preparing for this, why not try to incorporate a reusable and recyclable approach to school lunch? There are many ways to do this, and every little bit will help to protect our environment and the future for our children Let‘s start with the packaging. No, I‘m not talking about the contents‘ packaging. I‘m talking about the entire lunch‘s packaging the bag you choose to put it all in. The days of the brown bag lunch are far behind us, and today we have so many more options that offer a much better choice for the environment. Think reusable, but think fun as well! From Bento boxes to Laptop Lunches to the simple and classic reusable

oilcoth bag, these are just a few examples of environmentally friendly lunchboxes on the market today. No more use and toss. These you bring home to use and use again. The choices are countless in terms of design and style, so you are sure to find one to fit your lifestyle and budget. Now that you have picked out a reusable carrier, don‘t stop there. There is more you can do. Think about what is going into that bag and how it is being wrapped. You have made the effort of finding a carrier that will help the planet, so why not take it a step further? Think about what you are packing in your child‘s lunch and how it impacts not only the environment but his wellbeing as

well. Instead of reaching for the plastic wrap, aluminium foil or sandwich bags, why not invest in a set of reusable containers in various sizes to pack all those bits and bobs safely. The initial cost will more than make up for itself through years of use. And just think of how much waste you will be saving the planet. Simple gests like these go a long way in helping to protect our planet and in teaching our children about caring for our environment. Learning to reuse and recycle from an early age instills these values in our children. For those of us of the brown bag lunch generation however, don‘t fret! It‘s never too late to learn a new habit.

Reusable snack and lunch bags are available in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. You‘re sure to find one to suit your needs. from left to right: organic lunch bag by country life naturals, reusable sandwich bag by mamamade, oilcloth lunch sack by chalkydoodles, funky swirls lunch bag by coozyco

green bottle safety by elana gaudette - cocoozy

-A (BPA) has been exposed in all six major baby bottle brands through several studies, and modern parents world-wide are shifting their lifestyles in a more sustainable and ecologically friendly direction. In an effort to reduce the exposure to dangerous toxins, tremendous and exciting changes are currently taking place in the juvenile product industry, and the handcrafters are leading the way by providing high-quality, eco-friendly products, leaving the mainstream industry to play catch up.


n the wake of the discovery of harmful toxins and substances in a wide range of children‘s products, plastic baby bottles have been replaced with non-toxic glass and stainless steel bottles. The presence of the toxic chemical Bisphenol

The baby market has been flooded with green products, and baby bottles are one of the most important items. Baby bottles come in a couple of green varieties, the best being made of glass and stainless steel. Bottles by brands like Born Free and Klean Kanteen simply fly off the shelves. No sooner than the new ―green‖ bottles arrive home, parents realize several new safety issues – glass shatters and stainless steel

dents. Although made of toxin-free materials, both glass and stainless steel bottles may pose a serious danger to the wobbly toddler and her surroundings. As a reliable bottle safety solution, baby bottle covers offer several key benefits. The baby bottle cover will cushion the bottle from a fall to the tile floor helping to avoid dents and breaks. It will also block out light to help keep nutrients in and provide insulation and slip-resistance. It can even make a fashion statement. The simple baby bottle cover accessory is made from various materials, including eco -friendly neoprene, silicone and wool. Thanks to the diverse tastes and talents of designers, baby bottle covers are available in an endless array of choices and personalization. The baby bottle cover is an accessory some parents feel they cannot live without, as it gives something few things do – peace of mind. above: organic bottle covers from peanut tree, left: baby bottle cover from coozyco

share fresh fundraising for fall by tyann marcink - little elephant company


iny thin crust pizzas. Frozen peanut butter cookie dough. Milk chocolate bunnies. Multitudes of magazine subscriptions. The typical fundraising efforts of elementary schools have worn parents down after decades of the additional efforts to improve funding for education. A child‘s education is unarguably one of the top concerns of parents, and here are three fresh ideas to help inject more enthusiasm and dollars into school fundraising. Trivia Night with Teacher Auction An exciting, large scale spin on family games like Trivial Pursuit, a Trivia Night can be a high dollar fundraiser. How it works: Teams are made up of 6 to 8 people, and each participant pays $10 to $20 for entry. Participants usually create their own teams and choose a team name. For additional competition, teams may decorate their tables

according to a theme or to reflect the team name. Before the questions begin, the fundraising volunteers may want to sell side fundraising events. These could be 50/50 raffle tickets and even mulligans. Mulligans are a ―freebie‖ answer to a question. For a 10 round game, mulligans could be sold for $2 each or 10 for $15. Teams may then use a mulligan in place of a correct answer and still receive a point for the question (mulligans may not be used for bonus questions). Many times, there are 10 rounds, with 10 questions each. For additional points, bonus questions may be offered at the end of the rounds. Each round is based on a category. Typically, categories and questions are tailored to the particular group. Some category and question suggestions are the following: Category: Red Questions about: Blood, Comedian Red Skelton, Strawberries

Category: the 80‘s Questions about: Michael Jackson, Smurfs, Atari Category: Disney Questions about: Mickey Mouse, movies, Disney World For a spectacular list of trivia questions, visit The Quiz Directory. To skyrocket the potential fundraising dollars, offer a teacher auction before each round of questions. Choose one teacher proficient in a particular category for each round, and then let the teams bid on the teacher to be a part of the team for the one round. Teachers that participate must know nearly all of the answers to that round, including the bonus question. For a break half way through the rounds, play

Heads or Tails. Each person pays one dollar to join the game. Participants then stand up and choose to place their hands on either their head or their tail. A penny is flipped. The side it lands on is called out, and participants with their hands on the corresponding side keep standing (i.e. if the penny lands on heads, those with their hands on their head are still in the game). All others sit down. Play continues until only one person is left standing and is the winner. Winner usually receives half of the entry money for that game. At the end of all trivia rounds, announce the final totals and the winner. Winning team may win a portion of the entry fees or a predetermined amount.

pocket trivia cards from bits and pieces etc, birds are strange coaster set from mirror girl, mini collage on canvas from carrietown

Custom School Recipe Books Create a school keepsake that every student‘s family will want to purchase. And what better way to involve the entire student body than to include student submitted recipes. Because

cookbooks have a low cost, they can be marked up by 200% to 300% to maximize the fundraiser earnings. There are two ways to create a custom cookbook. One is to customize it completely and produce a PDF file to be printed either at a local publisher or at an online company. The other way is to use specific cookbook software and print it through an online publisher. The specific software is usually available for free through the online publisher. Two different online publishing companies stand out. Morris Press Cookbooks help to create and publish a custom school recipe book that includes several custom pictures, artwork and graphics throughout the book. They offer extras like custom dividers and different binding options.

cozy’s cookie recipe pack from my cozy creations, old fashioned cinnamon bun recipe from tropical candle hut

Cookbook Fundraiser has a more basic cookbook. But what is ideal about their site is the ability for anyone to enter the recipes. So instead of only a handful of volunteers entering recipes after the recipes have been collected from students, the students and their families may enter the recipes directly into the system. The fundraising committee editor then has the capability to edit recipes and make changes as needed.

Holiday Boutique Encouraging thoughtfulness and the joy of giving, the school Holiday Boutique is an immense success with students, parents, teachers and fundraising. The Holiday Boutique is stocked with small items donated by families and businesses. These items can be handmade or purchased, but shouldn‘t be very expensive. Be sure to encourage a variety of items for both men and women. Gifts for the dads, grandpas and uncles may include key rings, bookmarks, socks, handkerchiefs, hats, mugs and hot/cold packs. Then for the moms, grandmas and aunts, gifts could include bath salts, fashion jewelry, vases, candles and ornaments. Anything with candy is always a popular item. Students then visit the Holiday Boutique (set up in a hall or the gym and manned by

volunteer parents) at school during class and purchase a limit of 2 items for $1 each. Parents are asked to send $2 with each student, but even if a student shows up without the money, he may still select two gifts to give. Next, students take the selected gifts to a gift wrapping table manned by more parents to have the presents wrapped. To finish the experience, offer cookies and drinks to the finished shoppers. Because all parts of the Holiday Boutique are donated – the gifts, the wrapping paper and bows, the cookies and the time – the gross cash is all profit. Incorporate these fresh fundraising ideas into this school year and enjoy the extra funds to improve education at your school.

pocket watch and key bookmark set from seasonal delights, fragrance free goats milk soap from nemesis productions, woodland creatures mini note cards from precocious paper

explore family treasures uncovered by tyann marcink - little elephant company


ervously glancing over his shoulder, Marcink methodically searched the most obvious locations first while keeping watch for the green truck belonging to Darth-Cole. The instructions plainly stated that there should be no activity after dark, and Marcink only had a few moments before the final fragments of daylight would vanish into the night. The streetlights had already been on for at least 30 minutes, but Marcink knew how to work quickly. Within just 60 seconds after arriving, Marcink celebrated with a shushed shout. They had been the first to find the newest geocache in town that night, finally beating DarthCole and his son Chip Skywalker. What many geocachers refer to as ―using multi-billion dollar satellites to find Tupperware in the woods,‖ geocaching is a family friendly game of treasure hunting. Containers with at least a logbook, called geocaches, are hidden, and the coordinates for the whereabouts of the container are posted on the internet for others to find the container. The first geocache was hidden on May 3, 2000, in Beaver Creek, Oregon, according to, the official geocaching website. By the time was launched 4 months after the first geocache was hidden, there were 75 known caches hidden around the world. The first geocache container, according to, was a black bucket containing a pencil, logbook, and various prizes, including books, software, videos, and a

Attributes are icons related to a particular geocache to help you determine if the geocache is one you would like to pursue. Following is a complete list of attributes that you may see on a geocache page*: Permissions - Povolenia

Dogs Bicycles Motorcycles Quads Off-road vehicles Snowmobiles Horses Campfires Special Equipment

Access or parking fee Climbing gear Boat Scuba gear Flashlight


Wheelchair accessible Parking available Public transportation Drinking water nearby Public restrooms nearby Telephone nearby Picnic tables nearby Camping available Stroller accessible Hazards

Slip Thorns Poison plants Snakes Ticks Abandoned mines Cliff / falling rocks

slingshot. Cache containers commonly used now include ammo boxes, plastic containers, pill bottles, and magnetic key holders. Containers are usually camouflaged to blend in with the surroundings or cleverly hidden from plain site with ―geocover.‖ For some sneaky and creative hides, cachers use conduit piping, bolts, electrical plates, small magnets, bison tubes, fishing lures, pine cones, mice, birds, bottle caps, and anything else that may look like an ―everyday‖ object, placed in an ―everyday‖ place, except for one thing - a hidden logbook that the ―treasure seekers‖ must sign to prove the find. Geocaching is a simple, lifetime activity for everyone. Appealing to the ―inner child‖ is the quest for treasure, while appealing to the adults by being mentally challenging. Terrain and difficulty for each cache is rated on a scale of 1 (the easiest) to 5 (the most difficult), so that a geocacher knows before the hunt if the cache is one for him to pursue. Each geocache page also gives a short description of the particular cache, as well as attributes (i.e. wheelchair accessible, kid friendly, poison ivy), and possibly a hint. At last check, there were 839, 189 active geocaches hidden around the world. With nearly one million ―treasures‖ concealed from view and 85,355 users finding and hiding them, geocaching is an adventure quietly waiting for you. Visit to discover the geocaches near you.


Recommended for kids Takes less than an hour Scenic view Significant hike Difficult climbing Cave Steep terrain Mud May require wading May require swimming Available at all times Recommended at night Available during winter Stealth required Watch for livestock *Icons and information from

Caches come in all shapes, sizes, and types. Following are the types and sizes that are given on a cache page*: Traditional Cache This is the original cache type consisting, at a bare minimum, a container and a log book. Normally you'll find a tupperware container, ammo box, or bucket filled with goodies, or smaller container ("micro cache") too small to contain items except for a log book. The coordinates listed on the traditional cache page are the exact location for the cache. The general rule of thumb is, "If you take an item, leave an item, and write in the logbook." Some caches are themed, so make sure to read the description before going on a hunt. Mystery or Puzzle Caches The "catch-all" of cache types, this form of cache can involve complicated puzzles you will first need to solve to determine the coordinates. Due to the increasing creativity of geocaching this becomes the staging ground for new and unique challenges.

Name: Joseph Hassel, Jr. Town: Bloomsburg, PA Geocaching ID: Joe & Jeni— sometimes JJJ with the addition of son Jordan How did you find out about geocaching? From Jeni's coworker How long have you been geocaching? 3 years, since April 2006 How many finds do you have? 1,843 How many different areas (states/countries)? 5 states - PA, MD, VA, NY, NJ What do you like about geocaching? It is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and to be with my family. Why do you geocache? It is a lot of fun. We have met so many nice people along the way, at events and on the trail. I have as much fun hiding the caches as finding them. I have over 100 hides and am known for crazy containers in our area. What is your favorite geocache and why? There is no one cache I like over another, as they are all fun in their own way. Betwixt and between 6 and 5 by yowza -pa (GC1TC24) was a neat one we did today. I liked it because it reminded me of something I may do in one of my cache hides. We went to Geowoodstock 7, and that, too, was fun in Tennessee.

Name: Chris Cobb Town: Phoenix, AZ

caches ago.

Geocaching ID: chrisjan - I didn't think this game would catch on for us so I simply used our first names. That was 3 years and 5,000

How did you find out about geocaching? My in-laws read about it in an RV magazine. My wife and I both like tech devices, so a GPS was perfect. How long have you been geocaching? 4 ½ years - since January 2005

Multi-Cache (Offset Cache) A multi-cache ("multiple") involves two or more locations, the final location being a physical container. There are many variations, but most multi-caches have a hint to find the second cache, and the second cache has hints to the third, and so on. An offset cache (where you go to a location and get hints to the actual cache) is considered a multicache.

How many finds do you have? 5,200 How many different areas? 28 states What do you like about geocaching? Finding a different and unique spot to hike, observe or vacation. It's the locals that put these caches out and they know the best trails, the most unique terrain feature, the best places for food. We been led to ice caves (lava tubes), abandoned gold mines, and some spots that were just drop dead gorgeous for the scenery. Why do you geocache? For the above reason and to see what cacher might come up with a different container, or hide. What is your favorite geocache and why? I can't say we have a favorite. Any that brings us to outstanding scenery goes on the list. There is always another “better” one next hunt.

Project A.P.E. Cache In 2001, twelve geocaches were placed in conjunction with 20th Century Fox to support the movie Planet of the Apes. Each cache represented a fictional story in which scientists revealed an Alternative Primate Evolution. These caches were made using specially marked ammo containers. Each cache had an original prop from the movie. Only a few Project A.P.E. caches exist today.

Name: Dave Wherigo™ Cache Wherigo is a toolset for creating and playing GPS-enabled adventures in the real world. By integrating a Wherigo experience, called a cartridge, with finding a cache, the geocaching hunt can be an even richer experience. Among other uses, Wherigo allows geocachers to interact with physical and virtual elements such as objects or characters while still finding a physical geocache container. A Wherigoenabled GPS device is required to play a cartridge. Learn more at

Letterbox Hybrid A letterbox is another form of treasure hunting using clues instead of coordinates. In some cases, however, the owner has made it both a letterbox and a geocache and posted its coordinates on If there is a stamp inside a letterbox hybrid, it is not an item intended for trade; the stamp is meant to remain in the box so that visitors can use it to record their visit.To read more about letterboxing, visit the Letterboxing North America web site.

Town: Canberra, Australia's capital city Geocaching ID: mtbikeroz (short for Mountain biker oz - oz being a colloquial Aussie term for AUStralia) How did you find out about geocaching? A bushwalking friend mentioned it and showed me, lent me his GPS for a couple of weeks, and thereafter I was hooked. How long have you been geocaching? 8 ½ years, since October 2001 How many finds do you have? 3,050 How many different areas? 3 countries and 2 continents - Canada (provinces Ontario and Quebec), New Zealand (Nth and Sth Islands), and Australia (states NSW, VIC, SA, QLD, WA, and territory ACT) What do you like about geocaching? Exploring the great outdoors, going to places hidden in mountains that I never knew were there (but the locals knew), finding caches at locations with fantastic panoramic views, some absolutely amazing mountain bike rides chasing caches where cars can't go (sometimes many kilometers in the snow), solving puzzles (always smile when a solution arrives from much thought and analysis), visiting historic places (that are often not on tourist guides), finding clever little camouflaged hides, an excuse to go for a long bike ride, making many new friends and have got to go

on many walks and rides having a good time with fellow geocachers, and just basically getting out and having a good time. Why do you geocache? Fun, fitness, and exploring What is your favorite geocache and why? Have to mention several, for different reasons: *Flat Out in Caloundra - an audacious hide in plain view of hundreds of people, *Forest Sentinel (West Coast) - New Zealand - a hidden gem near the southern Alps that takes you to a jetty with amazing reflections across the lake of the snow capped mountains and glacier. It was off the main tourist route itinerary, but local tour guides knew about it. *Fireplace - Near Tumut, in NSW, Australia. Challenging bush walk rewarded by amazing views of the Australian Snowy Mountains as well as the amazing rock feature there. *Where Eagles Nest - A magnificent climb up the tallest of the Glasshouse mountains in Qld, Australia - an amazing rock formation (Google, Mt Beerwah, Queensland) *Goat Track NSW - What a mountain bike ride to get here, very challenging, many kilometers, but loved it, and on that note, I end with a big Coooeeeeeeeeeeee.

Event Cache Occasionally, local geocachers and geocaching organizations designate a time and location to meet and discuss geocaching. After the event the caches are archived. Mega-Event Cache A Mega-Event cache is similar to an Event Cache but it is much larger. In order to qualify as a Mega Event, the event cache must be attended by 500+ people. Typically, Mega Events are annual events and attract geocachers from all over the world. Cache In Trash Out Event Cache In Trash Out is an activity intimately tied to geocaching. While out there on a cache hunt, we collect litter along the trails and properly dispose of it. Cache In Trash Out Events are much larger clean-up events that involve and benefit the larger community. GPS Adventures Maze Exhibit A GPS Adventures Exhibit Cache represents attendance at the GPS Adventures Maze Exhibit or a regional variation of this Exhibit. GPS Adventures Mazes are designed to teach people of all ages about GPS technology and geocaching through interactive science experiences.

EarthCache An EarthCache is a special place that people can visit to learn about a unique geoscience feature or aspect of our Earth. EarthCaches include a set of educational notes and the details about where to find the location (latitude and longitude). Visitors to EarthCaches can see how our planet has been shaped by geological processes, how we manage the resources and how scientists gather evidence to learn about the Earth. For more information about EarthCaches, visit

Grandfathered Cache Types These are cache types that are no longer available for creation on Visit the Waymarking web site for other GPS hunting activities. Virtual Cache A virtual cache is a cache that exists in a form of a location. Depending on the cache "hider," a virtual cache could be to answer a question about a location, an interesting spot, a task, etc. The reward for these caches is the location itself and sharing information about your visit. Because of the nature of these geocaches, you must actually visit the location and acquire the coordinates there before you can post. In addition, although many locations are interesting, a virtual cache should be out of the ordinary enough to warrant logging a visit.

*Cache descriptions courtesy of

Name: Mike and Tyann Marcink Town: Union, Missouri Geocaching ID: marcink How did you find out about geocaching? Tyann had read about it somewhere and thought it sounded like fun but immediately dismissed it as we did not have a GPS unit. Then during vacation last year, we were trying to think of an inexpensive activity to do when she remembered geocaching. We had just purchased a Garmin for our travels the previous week, so we tried it out. How long have you been geocaching? 1 year, since August 2008 How many finds do you have? 97 How many different areas? 4 states (MO, IL, IN, and MI) and 2 countries (US and Dominican Republic) What do you like about geocaching? It is a fun and inexpensive activity that we enjoy doing as a family. Why do you geocache? For the adventure of finding a hidden treasure.

What is your favorite geocache and why? On a Clear Day would be one of them. We reached the top of the sand dune right at sunset and enjoyed the view. We then found a bench to set up the camera on self timer and took some fun family pictures. And of course our very first find, Lakeside Forest Wilderness Cache. The thrill of finding one is addicting.

Besides the necessary items to play the game (i.e. GPS unit and coordinates), here are a few items to make the game even more enjoyable.

clockwise from top left: personalized geocaching t-shirt from polydoodle, pouch sling baby carrier from babeagogo, ain’t no bugs on me bug repelling spray from rainwater botanicals, custom water bottle from fresh vintage shop, garvin the explorer stuffed gps from sweet twee lab, custom clothespin magnets from tootsie bear, hand painted skull from zomboooy

view photos from a kid’s eye view

Run Little One, Run

Time Square NYC USA

Photo taken by Sam, age 6 Lawrence, Kansas, USA

Photo taken by Mitchell , age 6 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

―One of our summer traditions is to attend the community band concerts in the park. Sam asked to take pictures with my camera and proceeded to snap pictures of his younger brother running up and down the sidewalk in the park. I love the movement he captured while still managing to keep his little brother somewhat in focus.‖

―My husband and I took my son to NYC. Just him, no little sister. It was his days alone with Mom and Dad. We took him to the museum of natural history, FAO Swartz, and Time Square at night. This was the picture he took of time square at night December 27th.‖

- Kathleen

- Sherry

Birthday Surprise

My Penguini

Photo taken by Olivia, age 11 Spencer, West Virginia, USA

Photo taken by Paige, age 4 Corning, California, USA

―The picture is of Ellie her birthday present. She had begged and begged for a long time for a kitten for her birthday. We had her convinced that she was not going to get one. Imagine her surprise when she opened the wrapped package containing this adorable little kitty! I wonder if she suspected something since the box had holes in it!‖

―My Penguini is one of the stuffed penguins that she got at the zoo in the south of France. She has loved penguins since watching Happy Feet and just this year has started affectionately calling them penguinis. This is the "penguini" that she has carried around with her everywhere we go.‖

- Nancy

- Liz

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Profile for Modern Handmade Child

modernhandmadechild - autumn 09  

Modern Handmade Child is a seasonal online magazine helping families to embrace the handmade way of life. Our autumn '09 premier issue is p...

modernhandmadechild - autumn 09  

Modern Handmade Child is a seasonal online magazine helping families to embrace the handmade way of life. Our autumn '09 premier issue is p...


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