WELCOME 5 ... letter from the editor WEAR - fashion trends 7... tangerine tango: pantone color of the year 10.... tips for shower shopping online
CREATE - crafty tutorials 14 ... knit: simple scarf 18 ... blooming keepsakes 49 ... easy braided friendship bracelet 61 ... no-sew tutu tutorial
DECORATE - home dĂŠcor 16 ... flutter by butterflies TASTE - cooking fun 25 ... create. admire. devour! MEET - interviews 30 ... alison lobasso
52 ... judi music INSPIRE - quotes & illustrations 42 ... friends CARE - growing up green 65 ... adventures in eco-land
Editor in Chief Shannon Hanley
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Copy Editor & Proof Reader Nicole Passeier Layout and Design Shannon Hanley/The Clever Kitty Advertising Coordinator Linda Phrakhansa Treasurer Ahmelie Skistad Contributors WEAR..........Marissa Fischer CREATE.......Linda Phrakhansa TASTE.........Bonnie Thomas Drea Carbone DECORATE...Shannon Hanley MEET...........Taci Zahl INSPIRE.......Shannon Hanley CARE...........Tanja Dâ€™Lyn Guest Contributors CREATE........Michelle Vackar Judi Music Asta CopyrightÂŠ modern handmade child 2012. All rights reserved. Reproduction or redistribution in whole or in parts without prior written permission is strictly prohibited.
Recycled Vintage Tablecloth Dress by Chirp & Bloom
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letter from the editor Hello, Spring! The warmer temperatures, the
sunshine and fresh air, the trees budding and
interviews, and more – only now it’s being
the flowers blooming...it is all so refreshing,
delivered in an updated package. I hope you
isn’t it? I know I always look forward to
like the changes we’ve made. And I hope
Spring, but perhaps this year more than ever.
that they inspire you to make some changes
After spending the winter months moving
of your own. After all:
and getting settled into our new home, my
“If nothing ever changed, there would be no
family is welcoming the Spring with open
butterflies.” – Author Unknown
arms so we can get outside and enjoy our new yard and new neighborhood. Here at MHC, we are also welcoming Spring with open arms, and with a fresh new look, too! Don’t fret – we’re still bringing you the
Shannon Hanley I love to hear from you! Send your comments and letters to email@example.com.
same great handmade fashions for kids, fun Shannon Hanley lives on the coast of southern Maine with her husband and two daughters. She works during the day as a floral designer, and from home at night as an artisan dabbling in many mediums, from knitting and felting to jewelry making. Inspired by the vibrant colors and beauty of nature, she loves creating things that are both fun and functional. You can find out more about Shannon and view her work online at www.thecleverkitty.com and www.thecurlykitty.com, and read her blogs at thekittypad.blogspot.com and fromhousetohomemaine.blogspot.com.
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by Marissa Fischer of Rae Gun
in this photo: hoot hat by freckletree
Spring/Summer 2012 路 MHC 路 7
I am not going to lie. When I learned that Pantone announced the color of the year for 2012
felt flower hair clip by audry & ulri
to be Tangerine Tango, felted scarf a reddish orange, I squealed by karlita with delight. It is one of my favorite colors. I think a crochet spring blouse few years ago people by canselda creative things were a little wary about orange, but now is the time to embrace this orange crush twirl skirt by laken & lila warm energetic hue. It is such a fun color that can play the starring role canvas mary janes in an ensemble or just by personal look add a pop of brightness and cheer as an accent. Jump on board this color trend with some of my favorite handmade picks for your little ones. 8 路 MHC 路 Spring/Summer 2012
crochet fox hat by blueberry junkie kids
black cats t shirt by little lee studios
corduroy trousers by olive & vince
Spring/Summer 2012 路 MHC 路 9
I love to support independent artisans whenever possible, and just a quick glance at Etsy will show an impenetrable selection of goodies for showers. Not only are there crazy amounts of toys, art and mommy gear, but the selection of unique, interesting and downright cool baby clothing and accessories overflows.
sundress and ruffle panty by nana just bananas
seems that every Spring a nice stack of baby shower invites arrive in the mail, and even more photos of far away friends’ bellies, and shortly after, babies start appearing all over facebook. I can’t think of many things that are more fun than shopping for baby clothes for a brand new baby. 10 · MHC · Spring/Summer 2012
This year, I want to encourage you to think handmade when it’s time to shower your loved ones and their new bundles of joy. While you could go into a boutique and find similar handmade wears, you will probably find a better deal and more options if you shop online. Etsy is a great place to start. Plus you know that you’re dealing with the artist directly so you are literally making a difference in his or her life when you purchase an item. I’ve been selling baby clothing for a while – here are some tips for shower shopping online that I’ve gathered over the past few years. Order Early If you’re like most people, while you may get the shower invite in plenty of time, you wait until the last minute to shop for the party. This year make it a point to look for gifts before you even receive an invite. Pregnancy
by Marissa Fischer of Rae Gun takes, ahem, awhile so for most people you’ll know a shower will be due even before the invite arrives. Consider Having a Stash Many of the items will be made to order. Let’s be honest: you don’t always get shower invites that far ahead of time and while you’ll be up to date on the timeline of your best friends’ pregnancies, you may have to go to other showers that are more off your radar. It may be worth it for you to take some time to order a few cute girl and boy items that any one would love. After all, people will keep having babies so you know you’ll have use for them sooner or later. Special Orders One of the great things about working with small shop owners it that they are often open to custom orders. If you have time and are close to the future mama, you may know how she’s planning to decorate the nursery or some fun hobby her hubby has. The creativity on Etsy is endless, you will find mustache onesies, retro style sun suits and even video game inspired get ups. If you think of something that would be fun to give, search for it and if you don’t find exactly what you want, look for something
similar or a shop with a style that you really like and ask the shop owner if he or she is willing to do a custom order. Personalized gifts can be really special – just be sure to discuss all the details before ordering to make sure you’re on the same page. Read All the Shop Information Last but not least, when you find something you want to order, read all the information available. Make sure you read the whole listing (even if it’s very long). When shopping online, reading is the equivalent to turning the item over, feeling it, trying it on and more. There should be information about sizing, shipping timeframes, return policies and more. If the shop has an announcement or policies section, Marissa is a designer living read all the in Salt Lake City, info there, Utah. While she too. If you is supposed to have a be finishing up a PhD in question, philosophy she enjoys cooking, ask it before crafting and creating in all forms. She prides herself in ordering. being an aunty to two little girls And most who are her inspiration for her importantly clothing line found at – have fun! raegun.etsy.com. Learn more about her at raegunwear.com. Spring/Summer 2012 · MHC · 11
1. sunny day snap suit by little ticket 2. joli petal baby shoes by zuzii 3. green monster hat by fashion touch 4. felt flower headband by lou and lee 5. bicycle onesie by happy family 6. greyson houndstooth baby shoes by jolie berrie
As the adventures of spring are calling our little ones to co very simple garter stitch scarf to keep them warm. Even an to know how to produce the basic knit stitch, how to cast o I picked a 50g ecological cotton in a bold beige color (sock, fingering, baby yarn will do best) and a pair of size 3.5mm needles. The dimensions of the finished scarf are 52cm x 10cm. Cast on 30 stitches (sts). Knit every row for 40 rows. Row 41: begin working on the hole: knit 9 sts, cast off 12 sts, knit 9 sts. Row 42: knit 9 sts, cast on 12 sts again, knit 9 sts. Row 43-230: knit. Cast off all sts, weave in ends. Or, for a slightly different design, baste the remaining yarn across the end of the scarf, pull tight to gather, then tie a knot and weave in ends. Repeat for the other end of the scarf. 14 路 MHC 路 Spring/Summer 2012
by Asta of Bug 2 Hug
ome and play outside, bug2hug has created a n absolute beginner can knit it! You only need on and cast off. You can make this scarf even more practical by adding extra rows to both ends of it. Then when it's cool outside, it can be worn twisted around the neck and tied. And when the weather gets sunny, the ends can be inserted through the hole and the scarf will become a stylish accessory. You could also try making it wider and longer and enjoy a matching scarf for mom, too! Asta is a Lithuanian designer and mother to twin boys, who are a constant source of inspiration to her. Previously she worked in HR, but after the birth of her sons, she decided to open her own business designing and knitting clothing and accessories for babies and children. You can view more of her work online at www.bug2hug.com.
Spring/Summer 2012 路 MHC 路 15
16 路 MHC 路 Spring/Summer 2012
clockwise from top left: paper butterf butterfly wall cards by children inspire butterfly growth chart with flowers by decals by love mae
fly mobile by simply chic lily, vintage e design, butterfly wall art by wall duds, y baby chick designs, fabric butterfly wall Spring/Summer 2012 路 MHC 路 17
explore outd flowers are love flowers on our kitch season.
One thing th and working our deck wi sounds of n creating our gravitate tow pressing the pounding. Ye on your fina
by Michelle Vackar of Hi Mamma
summer just around the corner, there is so much to see and doors. The sun is shining in the blue sky, the grass is green and blooming everywhere in a mix of different colors. In our home we s – my daughters love picking them and enjoying the beauty of them hen table or in our sunroom where we spend a lot of time during the
hat is for sure is that during this time of year, we do not stop crafting g with our hands outdoors. There are some days we just sit down on ith the umbrella over our table and do an art project and enjoy the nature, the wind blowing and just having fun mixing paint and r next work of art. There is one thing though that the girls tend to wards and that is flowers. We enjoy working with flowers – either by em to make bookmarks, stationery, and sun catchers, or flower Yes, those are two different extremes but both have a different effect al work of art. Spring/Summer 2012 · MHC · 19
There are a couple of different ways that you can make a flower press at home. Some families purchase a flower press at the hobby store, and they work wonderfully, but you can make your own flower press at home. Here are a couple of different options. One of the simplest ways to make a flower press is to use heavy books to weigh down your flowers. You do not want the colors of the flower to imprint onto the pages of your book, so you will want to tear off a piece of wax paper that is the size of the book you’re using as your press, fold it in half, then lay your flowers down on the right side of the
fold. Make sure that the flowers are laid gently and flat. Then fold over the left side of the wax paper onto the right side of the wax paper. Place the wax paper in the book and close the book on top of the wax paper/ flowers. If you have more flowers that you are wanting to press, do the same for them as well and place them on different pages of the book. When you are done arranging the flowers, place several other heavy books on top of the book that you are using for the press. I suggest you keep the flowers in the press for at least a week. After a week has passed, check within the pages of the book to see how the flowers are pressing. In some cases it may take up to 2 weeks for the flowers to flatten to the desired thickness. A second pressing option that you can create is to make your own press out of cardboard. You will need cardboard, white paper, and rubber bands. To make your press cut two squares of cardboard and two squares of white paper, with all four pieces being the same size. Then lay one piece of cardboard down on the table with
20 · MHC · Spring/Summer 2012
one piece of white paper on top of it. Next lay down your fresh flowers on the white paper. It is important not to have the flowers overlap each other so that they dr y completely and the colors from the flowers do not bleed onto each other. After laying down the flowers, place the second piece of white paper on top of the flowers, and then the other piece of cardboard on top of the white paper. If you have more flowers to press, you can continue the process by repeating the layers of white paper and cardboard, then group and secure them into one stack. Lastly, fasten the stack together with long rubber bands on the top, middle and bottom. Now your flower press is complete. Spring/Summer 2012 路 MHC 路 21
Gather flowers and leaves that you would like to use for your flower pounding. Bright colored flowers work best so that the flower petals come through on your paper really well. I recommend water color paper, a heavy card stock or even cotton or unbleached muslin fabric. First, you will want to select your flowers and lay them face down on your final medium that you have selected (the paper or fabric), starting at the center and moving out towards the edges. If your flower has a large stem right behind the back of the flower, you might want to pinch it off so that you do not have extra liquid that will run onto your paper when you are “pounding” the flowers. I recommend you lay down one flower at a time; this way, if you are wanting to layer some flowers on top of each other (touch petals gently) you are able to do so, and it allows you to arrange your design much more easily.
22 · MHC · Spring/Summer 2012
Good Flowers for Pressing & Pounding
Next lay one to two inch squares of wax paper onto of the flower, and then take your hammer and gently tap the flower petals onto your medium. Be sure to do it gently so that you do not have extra liquid running off and the natural dyes from the flower will blend into the paper or fabric. Go around the flower petals and the face of the flower. As you gently tap, you will begin to notice the change in the flower, where the natural dyes are coming out and onto the paper or fabric. When you are done, gently brush your flower design with a paper towel to remove any extra flower petals from the paper/fabric.
Alyssum Azalea Baby’s Breath Bachelor’s Button Bee Balm Bleeding Heart Bridal Wreath Black-eyed Susan Buttercup Candytuft Celosia Chrysanthemum Clematis Columbine Coral Bells Coreopsis Cosmos Daisy and Rudbeckia
Delphinium Dogwood Fern Forget-me-not Grasses Honeysuckle Hydrangea Larkspur Leaves Lilly of the valley Pansy Phlox Poppy Rhododendron Rose Snapdragon Verbena Zinnia
Spring/Summer 2012 · MHC · 23
Try sandwiching flower petals and leaves between two sheets of clear contact paper to make a fun and naturally beautiful suncatcher!
A native Indiana Hoosier, Michelle Vackar lives with her husband and two daughters. Michelle loves to create handmade projects for the home and with her daughters, where their goal is to do art projects every day. Michelle’s creations can be found at www.himamma.etsy.com and at her blog at www.himamma.com. 24 · MHC · Spring/Summer 2012
by Bonnie Thomas and Drea Carbone Spring/Summer 2012 路 MHC 路 25
to this regular feature where Drea and B
designed AND eaten! These snacks are not hard to make, but they do take a l Drea Carbone is a professional nanny and Bonnie Thomas works full time as a child the owner of two Etsy shops, BunnyBeads and family therapist in Southern Maine. She and BunnyBaubles. She has a passion for has published two books via Jessica Kingsley decorating cakes and cupcakes, making Publishing, titled Creative Coping Skills for jewelry, and spending time Children: Emotional Support with her pets Jack (a dog Through Arts and Crafts who is only too happy to Activities and Creative taste-test), George (a rabbit Expression Activities for with big personality), and Teens: Exploring Identity Delano (a fish who...well Through Art, Craft and he's there). Drea's creative Journaling. In addition to inspirations stem from a these jobs she is an artist love of c o l o r, who shows her work in entertainment, and nature. galleries, sells her artwork As a nanny, Drea is always at various venues (including Drea & Bonnie looking for new ways to PsAndQs on Etsy) and add fun to the day. For a while, she teaches the occasional art class. Bonnie has celebrated "Fun Food Faces" on Fridays, one child, a 12 year old son who took picky which the kids always enjoyed. Recently, eating to a whole new level throughout his however, she realized that Wednesdays were childhood. This was the impetus for creative where the real pick-me-up was needed and food play – Bonnie tried just about anything thus, “Wacky Snack Wednesday” was born! to get him to eat something besides pasta. The kids came home one afternoon to find She even performed a tomato operetta their snacks weren't just the usual sliced-up once, but that's a long and embarrassing fruits with a side of pretzels. Instead, they story. had mice made out of pear halves, with carrot ears and veggie-stick tails. Drea and Drea and Bonnie have worked together in the kids have had as much fun making and other venues, but this is the first time they creating with their foods as they have are joining forces to create crazy food discovering and eating. It's a win-win! creations. Both Drea and Bonnie love 26 · MHC · Spring/Summer 2012
Bonnie will create kid-friendly healthy foods that can be played with, built,
little extra time and preparation that will be well worth the effort. creative challenges. And since many parents feel that getting their kids to eat healthy foods can be a challenge, Bonnie and Drea are going to step up to the plate (hahahaaaa) and get to work coming up with healthy snacks your kids will love to eat. Bonnie will focus on dyefree eats (many will also be gluten free and vegan) and Drea will offer snack ideas that are free of nuts. They might even throw in a haiku about it now and then, because that’s how these chicas roll. Let the food adventures begin!
Get a sneak peek at some of Bonnie’s and Drea’s recent fun food creations on the next page. Recipes and how-to’s starting in the Autumn 2012 issue of MHC later this summer! Spring/Summer 2012 · MHC · 27
Many of us don't put a lot of thought into our day to day clothing. With little kids underfoot, I tend to grab whatever is comfortable and, truthfully, what's on top of the pile. That's an embarrassing admission as a Photography Stylist. I love turning new photography clients onto Etsy for unique styles, and in my search, I realized a long-time passion of mine had infiltrated all of the elements of my sense of style except clothing. I think we have all noticed the current trend: Vintage. Vintage Inspired. Up-cycled and repurposed for all is going strong. I recently stalked Alison LoBasso, my vintage go to gal – take note: she is also a gifted writer and photographer – to get her take on this trend. Why buy vintage? And admittedly, to hear her promise me that Vintage is here to stay. 30 · MHC · Spring/Summer 2012
interview by Taci Zahl of Pish Posh Style
Spring/Summer 2012 路 MHC 路 31
Taci: Hi Alison, thanks for spending some time with us. Can you tell us first of all who you are and where others can stalk you like I do? Alison: I am Alison LoBasso, wife to Mr. LoBasso and mother to 2 precious sweet peas, Alaina and Levi. I can be gladly stalked on my vintage Etsy shop called MyAvonlea (my-ah-von-lee), which means returning to a child-like faith. I also hand-paint naturallyshed deer antler jewelry, which can be found in my Etsy shop MaeLo (Matt + alison elane LoBasso = MaeLo). I love how you shared that you just throw on whatever is available on top of the pile. I am the same way. With babies, I am always on the go.
Alison: Women owned only a handful of clothing back then, unless you were wealthy and by wealthy, I mean paying $700.00 per dress. The quality has changed so drastically over the decades. In the early 1900s, there was such detail in handiwork, beautiful beading, exquisite laces, because all of this work was done by hand, not machines, factories or sweat shops. There was such demand and such a limited amount of hands to create these phenomenal pieces. Once the s e w i n g machine c a m e around it cut the labor so much that dress prices were able to be dropped 10 times lower. Now pieces were more affordable in the 60's but most were still made in the U.S.A. Almost all of my vintage pieces say on the tag: Made in U.S.A. You hardly ever see that on modern tags. As our culture has grown more demanding, wanting quantity over quality, companies have started looking for cheaper ways to mass produce. Now the majority of the most popular brands out there are
Alison LoBasso: MyAvonlea
Taci: You once told me, “I love vintage because it's like wearing artful history. Dresses used to sell for almost $700.00 in the early 1900s, then they went to $70.00 a piece in the 1950s, now in clothing stores they go for $20.00 or under because only 3% of our clothing is sewn here in the States.” Explain the history for us a little bit. $700 is amazing isn't it? 32 · MHC · Spring/Summer 2012
selling clothing that was fashioned together from the sweat of laborers being paid in pennies. So, as you can now see, I have a genuine appreciation for all pieces 1970's and back. I love being a vintage-hound and going on the hunt for timeless pieces that are works of art to me. I so appreciate the beading, lacework, patterns, and above all the quality. These pieces have stood the test of time, whereas most things made nowadays will last a few years. That is the result of wanting quantity over quality.
34 路 MHC 路 Spring/Summer 2012
Taci: Are you willing to share some of the items you won't pass up when thrifting and antiquing? Any secrets you can divulge? Alison: Anything 1970's or under. The 40s50's era is my weakness. Boat neck, a-line, long, wiggle, mod, prairie, etc. dresses are some of my favorites. I love to find those rare pieces that are growing in demand and then having that one buyer love it as much as I do. Also, I love finding that special dress that was sewn for a dance and now could be
worn as a wedding gown, because you can see how much love was sewn in every stitch. I light up like a firefly when I am at a yard/ estate sale and I see that one piece that calls out to me almost like a melodious sonnet. I am even more excited when the owner is able to pass down the piece’s history. In my photography, my main focus is to give each piece an individual identity. I have kept my most precious finds for my daughter Alaina Grace (she’s only 4). My grandmother passed down to me two Gunne Sax (one of my favorite brands) prairie dresses, and I cannot ever part with them since they belonged to her. I can’t wait until I can see my daughter wear them. Taci: I remember your tip of adding a wide belt over a vintage shirt for a nice old/new look? Can you share a few others? Alison: It’s actually pretty funny – most of my models look at the pieces I want them to wear and crunch that forehead in confusion with a bit of disapproval, and I tell them “trust me it’s going to be awesome.” After the shoot they're always amazed how much better vintage looks when it is given some personality. I always say “it’s nothing a belt won’t fix”; whether it’s a dress, shirt, poncho, nightgown – I am all about transforming what was loved into what will be loved all over again. Other great accessory-rescuers we use are thick and thin belts, lace gloves, a thin long necklace,
pulling your long skirt higher up and placing the belt over the top of it, layering, we sometimes use belts in the hair if we want a random extravagant feel. I think it’s better to not over-clutter yourself, but let the clothes speak for themselves. Being comfortable in them is all that matters. It really shows if you hate what you're wearing. That is what really takes away from any outfit. Taci: The photos of your little cutie wearing vintage Hanna Andersson and other vintage pieces was like an epiphany for me. But the sizes are frightening for someone like me who cannot take measurements or really even "eyeball" my kid’s size. Do you have a good rule of thumb for understanding vintage sizing? Alison: It is so important to remember that vintage sizes ARE different, and when shopping online it is best to go by measurements and not by the vintage size or an estimated size. I always include my model measurements so each customer will be able to see how it looks on a specific size model and go by her sizing and my measurements rather than the vintage size. The sizing has changed quite a bit in clothing, but a basic rule of thumb is that vintage sizes are at least four sizes smaller than modern sizes. Marilyn Monroe was a 14 in the 1960s, which would be a size 8 modern-time. Today size 14 is more like size 20 in her day. Best thing to do is know your measurements. Spring/Summer 2012 · MHC · 35
Keep a measuring tape in your purse so when shopping for vintage pieces you can measure them and know what the accurate fit will be. Google has been a dear friend through my vintage adventures. I will find pieces and spend hours researching their cuts, eras, and all about the designers. I feel like a Lady Sherlock Holmes most of the time as I am trying to gather information and solve my vintage clothing mysteries. Taci: What is your favorite era for vintage fashions? What pieces specifically? Alison: Again, 1950s are my weakness! I am a huge fan of Grecian cut dresses as well. I love anything that has that classy feel to it. If I can be labeled as anything I would hope it would be classy. I am a huge advocate for modesty, being refined, being a lady and not in a strict disciplinarian way, but in a way where I can see how the culture has lost sight of the preciousness of a woman’s worth. There is so much provocative and suggestive apparel being worn now, even by
children, it makes my heart hurt. How are young men supposed to understand the difference between lust and love if they're not presented with women of character and honor? Clothing plays a great role in this. All we can do is set the example in our own lives. I pray my own children will grow in the knowledge of their worth and keep themselves reserved and hidden for the one person alone who will see them for their rarity and priceless value. Taci: So is vintage here to stay? Why? Alison: Vintage is completely here to stay. So many are catching on to the countless sweat shops being uncovered, the non-orginality these huge name brands create and the over abundance of waste our country is so guilty of. To reuse is so brilliant. I am so honored to purchase my clothing from yard/estate sales, thrift stores, Goodwill, crisis centers, Plato’s Closet etc... I am still a huge fan of Target along with several other department stores, so don’t get me wrong, shop till you drop, but when I wear their brands it’s usually because I find them used. It’s rare I get anything new, mostly because being a mom they don’t last very long with so many little dirty hands. So I don’t advocate against stores, but if you're willing to search for it used, you will feel so much better about the price and reducing waste.
Where to find Alison online: My Avonlea : vintage shop on Etsy MaeLo : jewelry shop on Etsy Facebook Twitter Blog 38 · MHC · Spring/Summer 2012
Taci: When you a re n 't b u yi n g vintage, what do you wear and where do you shop? Any modern styles you adore? Alison: Being a mommy the past few years has meant weight fluctuation (can I get an amen). One of my all time favorite stores is Plato’s Closet. I can trade my clothing that doesn’t fit for amazing used and in-style pieces. I am not much of a style girl. Getting mascara on for me is quite the accomplishment, but I sure love finding those pieces that have a unique feel and great price. I have so many pieces that have endured with me through moves, pregnancies, passing onto another and getting it back, they have been fantastic. I am a 5’4” Spring/Summer 2012 · MHC · 39
mild-hourglass gal around size 8-10 so I am pretty picky in my personal finds to fit my figure. That is why I love, love, love a-line dresses. I have to say dresses are my best fit. Lately, I have been loving cardigans, mustard yellow, teals, gray, decorated stockings, navy blue & nautical and scarves with an amazing pair of earrings and my new necklace from Under a New Light. I mostly just like being dressed up for my hubby when he gets home, so I can be the beautiful sight to take his mind off the injustices of his workplace.
time in MyAvonlea during these freezing months since only one of my models, Wynter, is willing to lay around in the wet snow. She loves the abuse. I will be focusing a lot of my energy to painting more naturally-shed antler jewelry for MaeLo and opening my 3rd Etsy shop Alison LoBasso Photography where I will be selling some of my model photography along with lots of romantic moments, and years of nature and landscape pictures, where I love to add a scripture for encouragement onto the picture and will be doing so for no extra charge.
Taci: Can you highlight some of the upcoming gorgeousness that will be in your shop in 2012?
Taci: And lastly, just for fun: share 5 of your favorite bookmarks for us pretty please?
Alison: My 2012 Collection will be fabulous indeed. I have a lot of new ideas for my photography style. I have collected several beautiful pieces but will be on the hunt again soon for more. I am planning to invest less
Alison: 1) Shabby Apple 2) A Beautiful Mess 3) Violet Bella 4) You Version 5) Vintage Trends
Exclusive offer for MHC readers! Follow Alison on Facebook & Twitter, along with visiting her two Etsy shops, MyAvonlea & MaeLo, and receive 20% off your entire purchase. Just enter in AlisonLovesYou20 at checkout. offer expires May 30, 2012.
Taci Zahl is a Minnesota Mom of two kids aged 5 and 3. She recently left her long-time career as a Preschool Teacher and currently works as a Client Stylist with custom photographers. She is an Etsy enthusiast and handmade crusader, and you can find her at pishposhstyle.com and her personal blog at www.icelollyloons.com. Spring/Summer 2012 路 MHC 路 41
collection by Shannon Hanley of The Clever Kitty
“Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.” - Aristotle
42 · MHC · Spring/Summer 2012
Friendship is Sharing Cake by Catherine Young - Bumpkin
Two Girls Sharing a Secret by Valerie Bean - Val Draws
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“A hug is like a boomerang – you get it back right away.”
- Bill Keane
44 · MHC · Spring/Summer 2012
Best Buddies Print by Kit Chase - Trafalgar’s Square
Friends by Sarah Jane - Sarah Jane Studios
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46 路 MHC 路 Spring/Summer 2012
Birds and Flowers by Annie Bach - Lulu Froot
“Since there is nothing so well worth having as friends, never lose a chance - Francesco Guicciardini to make them.”
Girl with Fox by Laura Di Francesco - Pesce Rosso
Spring/Summer 2012 · MHC · 47
“A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same.” - Elbert Hubbard
48 · MHC · Spring/Summer 2012
Friendship Print by Luciana Azevedo - la le li lo lu
by Linda Phrakhansa of LindaDearie
Making friendship bracelets with embroidery thread is a rite of passage for many girls and teenagers. What about our younger crafters? Here's a sweet and simple friendship bracelet craft for girls of all ages who know how to braid. Spring/Summer 2012 路 MHC 路 49
Ribbon (three colors) Two ribbon crimps Clasp Jewelry Pliers Scissors Hammer Directions: 1. Choose three colors of ribbon; cut each color to the length of 18 inches. Remember, the ribbon will shorten as it is braided. 2. Line up one end of all the ribbons and place in the center of a ribbon clamp. Hold in place and carefully use a hammer to secure the clamp. 3. Begin braiding the ribbon. Don’t worry if it starts off a bit crooked – you can adjust the braid as you go along.
50 · MHC · Spring/Summer 2012
4. Continue braiding the ribbon until you have a desired bracelet length. Hold the ends together and snip with scissors. Secure the ribbons with the other clamp. 5. Use jewelry pliers to make a clasp and join the clamps together.
use longer ribbon to make necklaces decorate your bracelets with small charms glue embellishments like fabric flowers or bows on the bracelet
Linda Phrakhansa is an East-Coast native currently living in Texas with her future husband Michael and their pug Sophie. Linda enjoys illustrating people and animals, lettering posters, and sewing girls' hair accessories. Her illustrations and merchandise can be seen online at lindadearie.com or lindadearie.etsy.com Spring/Summer 2012 · MHC · 51
interview by Taci Zahl of Pish Posh Style
I'm coming up on 6 years as an Etsy buyer. In those 6 years,
made some good friends. Judi Music is one of them. Judi is the talented shop keeper of “The Carpenter’s Wife”, hilarious and lovable owner of the “Plumtickled” blog, plus Momma to 4 children. She is also studying for a degree in Early and Special Education, and has
pillowcases and tea towels. Keep watch for Judi's newest project: She was asked to create a line of bags for fabric designer Houston Quilt Market using their new fabrics. Spring/Summer 2012 · MHC · 53
Taci: Judi, thank you for taking time out of your incredibly busy schedule to chat with us. First, can you fill in the blanks: I am a: (Judi:) Wife, Mom, student and sewer. I mostly like to: Sew for my girls. I really don't like to: Organize stuff. Makes a bad day bearable: My Magnum P.I. DVD’s & my Bubba Keg with icy Dr. Pepper In my CD player: Right now, August and Everything After by the Counting Crows
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Taci: Tell us about your shops and online presence. Where can we find you? Judi: I have a shop on Etsy called “The Carpenter’s Wife” where I sell my purses and little girls’ dresses, and I will be opening a new shop, "SassyPies" on April 2nd. I will be making my regular dresses, Amelia Halters, Avonlea strapless, Side-ties and perhaps another type of dress that I'm still working on. I also have a blog called “Plumtickled” where I talk about lots of stuff including
things I’ve made, things I’ve bought, things I’ve baked and weird things that happen to me. Taci: How did you get started sewing? Judi: Without a doubt, my Mom is why I sew. I grew up in a house that knew the sound of a sewing machine and the sight of stray threads clinging to our clothes. She made our dresses, our bedding, our curtains, our dolls and even our bathing suits! I remember as a child spending what felt like hours in fabric stores while she looked at patterns and felt every piece of fabric they offered. She always encouraged us to sew
and never denied any of us the chance to pick up a needle and thread. My Mom not only sewed but crocheted, embroidered, trichemed, glued, painted and did needlepoint. There really wasn’t anything she couldn’t do! Taci: One of my favorite things about you is your humor. Your blog is a riot! My other favorite thing is your eye for fabrics and designs. What is your all time favorite fabric? What current designer do you love? Judi: Oh gosh… THAT is a hard question!! There are so many fabrics that I love and have loved! First, I have to mention Urban Chiks’ “Uptown” and “Summer in the Spring/Summer 2012 · MHC · 55
City” – those are two that I absolutely adore and covet. “Lightening Bugs” by Heather Ross is another favorite of mine that I will never tire from…. who can resist the little gnomes, bikes and VW Vans? Current designers that I love are, of course, Amy Butler and Joel Dewberry. I also enjoy Heather Bailey, Sandi Henderson, Michael Miller, Alexander Henry, and Rahsida Coleman-Hale. I like fabrics that are clean with clear lines and bold/fun designs. Taci: Any chance you'll get into designing your own fabrics and patterns someday? Judi: My DREAM is to someday design fabric! That would soooo be better than winning the lottery or even being skinny again!! I think about it 56 · MHC · Spring/Summer 2012
all the time and have even started sketching out some ideas. I can’t decide if I want to do a bold/funky floral with fun colors or a cute and slightly odd children’s fabric. Either way, whatever I design I will make “me”. If I can’t find a manufacturer to pick me up, there is always Spoonflower! As far as patterns are concerned, years and years ago I designed patterns for primitive dolls. My pattern company was called, “Plumtickled” . I did this for years and sold patterns all over the world, and I loved it to pieces. Once I had my first daughter, AmeliaClaire, I could do nothing but sew for her, so I sold my copyrights and never looked back! I’ve thought about starting patterns for little clothes or even purses but have yet to find the time to do that.
shame. Hey….maybe this interview will inspire me to make a pillow for my couch or make those curtains for my bathroom! Yay!! Oh… and I love to browse Etsy! There are tons and tons of very talented people on Etsy that make beautiful items. I am in awe of the knitters, painters and jewelry makers that I see, and many times just looking for something fun can inspire a new color combination for a purse or dress!
Taci: Share your current inspirations. Judi: Oh gosh…current inspirations? First of all, I have to say that anything that has color gives me inspiration! This may sound too basic, but it’s truly, honestly the only way I can answer the question. For instance, I love fabric because of color. A piece of fabric can have a fabulous design and feel, but if there aren’t colors that move me, it’s a no go. Reading blogs is also an inspiration for me. I love blogs that show little sewing projects that have been tackled, as well as blogs that show home improvements. I live vicariously through them as I haven’t done a thing for my house since starting school in 2009. It’s a Spring/Summer 2012 · MHC · 57
Taci: You've stayed loyal to selling on Etsy, do you plan to stick around indefinitely or do you consider moving to some of the other new handmade sites?
Taci: You truly do it all – any tips on how you manage your time and keep everyone happy?
Taci: Can you share your top three favorite projects that help a beginning sewer move more toward proficiency?
Judi: I promise you, I don’t do it all, but I’m super happy I make it look like I do! Har, Har! Right now, I’m a full time Mom, full time college student and full time small business owner. I never see the bottom of the laundry basket, and I rarely see the top of my dining room table. (For reals!) I do, however, have supper made every night, and I have my schoolwork ready for class. I also go to bed many, many nights with full blown Momguilt as I never feel as though I have spent enough time with my kids.
Judi: Let’s see…… 1. I would definitely say a simple, elastic waist skirt. You can find tutorials everywhere for them as well as patterns. It doesn’t take a ton of fabric or expensive supplies either and was the first thing I made.
For me to give tips on time management would be like asking Congress for tips on how to budget! Truly!! My favorite saying is, “If it wasn’t for the last second, I’d get nothing done”! So, with that being said, here’s what I’ve got:
2. Pillows are great for beginners! In fact, my Mom used to buy pretty washcloths and would have my nieces sew them up with a needle and thread. They would then turn them right-side-out and stuff them and close them up. It’s a great little craft project for kids!
1. I stay up very late sewing orders on my dining room table in order to not only sew without interruptions but to also keep from literally pushing my girls away. I’m willing to lose sleep to keep from denying my girls my time.
Judi: I’ve looked around at a few other places, but I really like Etsy. It’s easy to use, well known for being picky about their rules for handmade, and I love the community of people that buy AND sell. I’ve also thought about beginning my own website, but for now, I’m snug as a bug right where I’m at.
3. A purse!! It doesn’t have to have pleats or gathers or a zipper either, just something simple to carry stuff around in. Again, tons and tons of tutorials out there for easy-peasy bags. 58 · MHC · Spring/Summer 2012
2. Plan your meals. I try my best to plan meals for the week and have either a casserole or the crock pot ready for days I when won’t be home from school in time to cook.
3. For someone that is VERY unorganized like me, I do organize my sewing projects. It cuts down on mistakes as well as time lost. I do things like have my fabric out in the open on shelves for easy access, keep my ironing board and iron set up 24 hours a day, and keep all of the tools I use for making purses in a (pink) plastic container with a handle that can easily be closed and be set aside. 4. I try to make time for myself too. The older I get, and the more kids I have, the more I need those few minutes to myself to keep my sanity. Nowadays, with me being in school, I use the time in between classes to get my nails done. It’s a luxury right now that I desperately need to keep myself feeling like a girl. 60 · MHC · Spring/Summer 2012
by Judi Music of The Carpenter’s Wife This tutu is a no sew project that could certainly be done with your little girly person. It should only take about 30 minutes from beginning to end and makes a great last minute birthday present. Use more than one color per tutu if you'd like. I really love how they look when you do this – just alternate the colors! Spring/Summer 2012 · MHC · 61
Two rolls of 6" tulle in any color or color combination you'd like. You could certainly use more if you'd like. (Two rolls takes care of any size up to probably a 4T-6.) If you can’t find the rolls, you could also have it cut from the bolt. It's cheaper but I soooo hate working with tulle for cutting – it's slippery and a pain sometimes. If you get it from a bolt, cut it into 6" widths and then in half lengthwise – you will have less options with length but it still works great.
The first thing you need to do is measure your girl. You need to measure her tummy. I measured Amelia's tummy and then deducted about 3" from it and cut my elastic to this measurement. So, if her tummy was say 20" around then I would cut my elastic to 17". Got it? Good. After it is cut, you want to sew the ends together with a zig zag stitch on your machine to make it a circle. (It can totally be done by hand too). Like this:
1" elastic – enough to go around the girl tummy.
Scissors or rotary blade/ cutting mat.
T.V with playing
Strawberry Crystal Light with lots of ice.
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Next, you need to decide how long you wish your tutu to be. Do you want it short and poofy or long and puffy? Take your measuring tape and measure from her waist to where you want the tutu to end. Double this measurement. For instance, in this tutorial I wanted this tutu to go down to about 15" when it's done. So, I cut the tulle
at 30". I like to lay the two rolls together and cut them at the same time. Like this:
Okay, so this is how I do it (this is just a suggestion – you can figure out your own way if you'd like but so far I’ve found this is the easiest): I like to have a seat on the couch and prop my foot up on the coffee/Dr. Pepper/Tea table. I slip the elastic on my leg and pull it up to my thigh, like a garter. Here's the picture:
Then I pile it up neatly like this: Now the fun. If you can tie a knot, then you can make this part. Take one piece of the cut tulle, and slip it under the elastic. Even up the ends so that each side has equal amounts of tulle. Now tie a double knot. (This is why we Spring/Summer 2012 · MHC · 63
doubled our length earlier before cutting the tulle.) That's all there is to it from here on out. Just take them one by one and tie it on the elastic in a double knot until it fills up. Like this:
Then just keep adding:
Try to aim the knot part towards the bottom so it will lay nicely. Fill it up as much or as little as you wish – it’s all up to you. Your girl could soooo do this for herself or a little friend! Have fun! 64 · MHC · Spring/Summer 2012
by Tanja D’lyn of Inspiring Design Studio
Family adventures are just waiting to be had. As you get ready for planting gardens, pulling weeds and making way for the new projects, think of ways to help reduce, recycle, and reuse in your family. One family at a time! Yes, it is possible. Some of our family favorites are riding bikes, visiting the library, going to a summer playhouse/ outside theater and packing a picnic for a fun day at the park. What do these things all have in common? Living green. I can remember the days of the laughter around my neighborhood as a child. Every summer we would build forts, ride bikes, play “capture the flag”, swing on the tree swing and plan a summer play. Yes, folks, no television. Those where the good ol’ days! My parents wanted us to take a
break from the ties of electric devices. Maybe they were on to something! Riding our bikes more, and therefore driving less, to local areas helps to reduce emissions and also saves money. Reading a previously used book instead of buying a new one all of the time, reduces paper and saves money. And yes, packing a picnic and spending time with family at a park or outside theater show not only is fun, it also helps us use what we have, instead of buying our food out, and feeds the mind without using so much electricity. Teaching our children the simple and fun ways to make a difference in our world will leave them with great positive imprints that will become living green habits in their lives. Spring/Summer 2012 · MHC · 65
Here are some additional ways and new
Reduce your intake of pesticides by growing your own, or buying local, fruits and vegetables. This also supports and maintains our farmlands.
Reduce your use of water, gas, and electricity. You can buy special faucets, set your heat to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, turn off lights when you are not using them and use energy saving bulbs. Chat with your family and make a plan. Could you take 3 showers a week instead of 5? Can you use a reading light instead of the main light? Wear a sweater indoors and add an extra blanket to the beds! How about a weekly night off from TV, cell phones and computers and instead read a family story, create one of your own or play a board game.
Reduce your use of paper (Paper Down) by going paperless and viewing your bills, books and magazines on-line.
Create this cute flower brooch with scraps of fabric and extra buttons, then pin it to a sweater or jacket for some Spring cheer! Cut 1” by 8” strips and a 2 ½” diameter circle from old spring shirts or fabric scraps. Swirl and sew the fabric strips around the circle, starting at the outside and working your way in. You can sew by hand or on your sewing machine. Add a pearl or any fun button to the center of the flower and finish it off by hot gluing a pin to the back.
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w trends to reduce, recycle and reuse.
Reduce your garbage. Learn to compost. Have separate bins for recycling in each room. And think before you buy – can this be recycled? Bring your own reusable bag liners and containers for purchases like vegetables, nuts and lunchmeats or beef/ chicken/pork. Ask for help and ways to save at your market (ie: ask if you can bring your own containers). Learn to can your own foods for winter with your extra fruits, vegetables and dinners. Think of ways to stop waste – make less dinner if you always have extra for the garbage, or use up the leftovers for creative new meals the following day, or simply re-heat when possible
Spring clean your closets and give your no longer worn clothing and outgrown toys to charity, have a garage sale or repurpose them. Think of ways you could give these old items new life, or give them to a local artist that up-cycles. We have tons of legos, and we are selling ours to a local artist.
To make these fun grocery totes, clean out your closets and find several fun t-shirts that you do not wear anymore. Make a few so you have plenty for the trip to the market! Iron your shirt flat and cut off the sleeves and collar. Turn the shirt inside out, and sew the bottom edges together. To prevent the shoulder seams from unraveling, add a few dots of fabric glue along the seam line. Turn the t-shirt right side out and off you go!
Spring/Summer 2012 · MHC · 67
Lillipops Designs 68 路 MHC 路 Spring/Summer 2012
planetgreen.discovery.com mixedgreensblog.com enviromom.com kids-going-green.com
The Art and Craft of Mimi Kirchner Tanja D’lyn is an eco-friendly children’s wear designer in the Northwest Seattle Coast. She has an art degree from FCC Art Institute, and is a full time artist, Etsy shop owner tanjadlyn.etsy.com, sewing and design teacher, and middle school drama director. She has three children, and loves to blog all about her family’s living green lifestyle on her blog savvybabygoodies.blogspot.com. Spring/Summer 2012 · MHC · 69
Spring/Summer 2012 Issue of Modern Handmade Child, a seasonal online magazine helping families to embrace the handmade way of life. In this...