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modern handmade child Editors Gretchen Jakub Fabre Shannon Hanley Tyann Marcink Layout and Design by Chichiboulie The Clever Kitty Advertising Coordinator Linda Phrakhansa Treasurer Ahmelie Skistad

on the cover

contents spring 2010 WELCOME the editors 9......letter from the editors WEAR - fashion trends 10....turquoise: the color of 2010 12....ruffles, ruffles, everywhere! DWELL - home dĂŠcor 17 more monkeys jumping on the bed PLAY - toys and activities 21 ....blooming with kindness tree


CREATE - crafty tutorials 22 ....handmade valentines 30 ....hold me, valentine!

Simply adorable for spring! Custom dress and capri pants with ruffles by Sherbet Baby Photo courtesy of Melissa Maddy Everyday Moments

CELEBRATE - holidays and parties 34 favors SHARE - by moms for moms 38 ....with all the frills upon it 68 ....early parenting and big decisions 72 ....who’s parenting the pet?


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modern handmade child

contents spring 2010

Contributors WEAR........... Marissa Fischer DWELL.......... Michelle Nicholson PLAY............. Nancy Keesling CREATE........ Linda Phrakhansa Kristi Duchon MEET............ Shannon Hanley CELEBRATE... Kristen Davis CARE............ Gretchen Jakub Fabre Lisa Delzer SHARE.......... Rosalie Zingales Tyann Marcink EXPLORE....... Tyann Marcink

MEET - interviews 40 ... holly medell - winklepots 46 ... don & lisa delzer chubbas n’ boop 64 ... catherine beer - la boite a reves TASTE - cooking fun 48 ... spring picnic fare 54 ... sweet treats 57 ... long life noodles


CARE - growing up green 58....creating an eco-friendly nursery 63 ... the learning corner

WORK........... Liz Murphy 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 2010. A l l r i g ht s r e s e r v e d . Reproduction or redistribution in whole or in parts without prior written permission is strictly prohibited.

EXPLORE - the outdoors & travel 76 ... a tour of purina farms WORK - business topics for moms 80 ... daily. weekly. monthly. - an organizational tool for the new year 82 ... top 10 tips for a successful year VIEW - from a kid’s eye view 86 ... photos taken by kids

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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. Gretchenâ€&#x;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 and 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

A softly scented hint of rain freshened air, sweet yellow daffodils poking their heads up through the frozen snow, the lively chatter of young children over the tweeting birds high above. These are a few of the signs of spring we look for as winter draws to a close. As the rains wash away the last vestiges of winter, we watch as the world around us is transformed, its earthy elements becoming new again. We breathe in deeply and admire the scene as colors come to life and we are reminded of all things new – huggable babies, sweet baby chicks, blooming flowers and trees. We stand and appreciate nature as the winter whites flourish into the soft and inspiring colors of spring. With these visual images in mind, we at Modern Handmade Child have been inspired to put together a collection of articles, tutorials, and tips to help you in your transition from the winter whites to the blossoming colors of spring, all the handmade way.

We once again invite you to settle in and flip through the pages of this issue dedicated to all things spring and savor it all. May we suggest you keep a small notebook close by to jot down a few notes as we hope to inspire you to create, dream, and breathe deeply of the fresh season ahead. "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." – Maya Angelou


the color of 2010

by marissa fischer - rae gun


very year Pantone reveals what they believe will be the color of the year, a color that will be extremely popular, whether in fashion, design or other aspects of life. For 2010, Pantone has named turquoise as the hip shade for our lives. They reference its ocean-like hues as an escape from every day troubles, something many people today are looking for. Without even remembering the Pantone prediction, I found myself the other week in a dressing room with 6 articles of clothing to try on, only one of them not turquoise. Turquoise flatters so many skin and hair tones that I have no doubt that Pantoneâ€&#x;s prediction will surely prove true.

left: eye chart organic tee by winklepots, right: thank you tee by happy family

clockwi onesie

ise from left: vespa jumper by joey and aleethea, turquoise lime snap clips by brooks boutique, rainstripe bean by lemon cadet, striped leg warmers by crawler covers and more


by marissa fischer - rae gun


uffles have flooded the fashion scene lately. Whether it‟s on the runways, all over the most droolworthy blogs or on the shelves of our favorite stores, ruffles are definitely in. While I go back and forth on how I feel about adults adorned in ruffles, I know when it comes to the little ones, this is one fashion trend that I absolutely love.

in the smallest details, adding just the right amount of flair. On the littlest ones, I love the ruffled diaper cover look with ruffles across a crawling or waddling bum, or bloomers with just a hint of a ruffle at the leg. For the older girls, ruffles at the cuffs or in layers on skirts are the perfect way to pull off this look.

Whether you prefer to Remember when make a statement with incorporating ruffles running head ain’t school a hoot ruffle skirt by chew chew’s closet ruffles into your children‟s to toe, or simply in closets that ruffles come in all shapes and small bursts of detailing, the handmade world sizes. Look for ruffles to serve as the main has made it easy for us to enjoy this new design feature on items, as well as appearing trend with ruffle selections galore.

clockwise from top left: ruffle pant by sweet designs by maryum, sassy pants diaper cover by sherbet baby, ruffled zip up hoodie by bc children’s wear, ruffle leggings by dolce baci

folk story corduroy jumper by lil elephants, crochet spring flower cloche by little miss frilly, the ben shirt by purple frangipani, spring hairbows by hannah’s bowtique, tie onesie by bella’s sweet boutique, baby daisy sunhat and sandal set by crochele, pinkalicious purse dress by elise hooper designs, tangerine big dot bowtie by me and matilda


by michelle nicholson - flirty bird


ringing home a new born is one of the most exciting events that a new parent can experience. It means that you survived the delivery, got through the hospital stay in one piece and now you can have this new little, cuddly bundle all to yourself (until all your family and friends and their friends arrive)! Many parents feel both excitement and nervousness at the same time. There is so much to learn about your new baby which can be so daunting in the first few weeks.

photograph by debi gomez, life’s images photography baby swing pouch – photo prop use only - by huggabeans

Sleep at this time is so imperative for both parents and baby. Establishing a good sleep routine from day one will help everyone cope a lot better with their new life. Things don‟t seem quite as bad when you are well rested, however, they can look much worse than what they really are when both you and baby are too tired to go about everyday activities.

Learning some simple steps about baby’s sleep pattern can make sleep time easier for you and your baby. Below are a few simple steps from that may help.

There is a vast range of sleeping products available to make baby comfortable and stylish whilst sleeping.

- Learn you child’s ‘tired signs’. Rubbing of the eyes and pulling at her ear are two well known signs that baby may need to have a nap. - From two weeks of age you can teach your baby the difference between day and night. Interacting as much as possible in the day with her, keeping things bright, and allowing the house to have normal everyday noises instead of being quiet are all ways to help your baby learn this difference. - Consider implementing a bedtime routine, which could be as simple as changing her into night clothes, a massage, a song and a kiss goodnight. - If you do not want to have to rock your child to sleep you can try to let her fall asleep on her own from about 6 weeks of age. Placing her in the cot when she is sleepy, but not quite asleep, gives her a chance to learn how to fall asleep on her own. Keep in mind, these are only simple tips. If you are having great difficulty in getting your child to sleep you should seek professional help from your local doctor or a maternity nurse.

red bloom sleep sack, twice as nice boutique

Sleeping bags are a modern alternative to swaddling your baby while in the cot. With a sleeping bag, she is able to remain covered all night without the blankets wiggling up over her head or coming undone like many wraps have been known to do. They have become so popular, now you can even co-ordinate them with your cot bedding for a great modern look.

Modern cot bedding has become a centrepiece of baby‟s room, often the featured item in the nursery.

left to right: rocky top design, sewn natural, holly chic

Mobiles are a lovely accessory for any child‟s room. They can also be a great tool for when baby wakes to entertain her and let her learn that she does not need to cry for mum or dad straight away, very handy in those mornings when you need an extra five minutes of sleep.

left to right: pom love, dosta beba, gifts define

Regardless of which bedding you choose, which mobile you put up, whether you choose baby wraps or sleeping bags, and no matter what your baby‟s routine is, remember to enjoy this time, as children grow up oh so quickly and will be in big beds before you know it.

clockwise from top left: spring blooms hair clippies by lil’ princess bowtique, cherry blossom wooden name letters by little elephant company, daisy’s surprise personalized print by chichiboulie, plain jane aqua and red skirt by noah and lilah, rainy day activity book pattern by harvest moon by hand


by nancy keesling - tutu cute and moore


eing kind to others is an important behavior for children to learn, and it‟s never too early to start teaching this valuable life skill. Watching your children grow and “bloom” into kind, caring individuals is very rewarding as a parent. Encourage kindness in your children by creating a Blooming with Kindness tree together. Materials: Construction paper Scissors Tape

be kind. Ask questions to prompt ideas: What can you say to make someone feel better when they are sad? What jobs could you do for others? What special things can you say? Ask them what acts of kindness they would like to receive and suggest they do this for someone else. At the end of each day, ask your children ways that they have been kind or helpful to others. Watch your Kindness Tree begin to “bloom” by writing each act of kindness on a paper flower and taping it to the tree. To reinforce the kind acts, help your children read each of the flowers that have been added to the tree. Children love seeing pictures of themselves, so if you can keep a camera handy and catch them in the act, be sure to include the photo on the tree as well. Before you know it, your children will be “blooming with kindness” too!

Skill Building: Language and literacy skills Social and emotional development

Setup: Make a tree (trunk, branches, and leaves) out of construction paper and tape to a wall where you and your children can easily access it Make several flowers from brightly colored construction paper. Activity: Talk to your children about what it means to


by kristi duchon - zuzu girl handmade

Fun to make, exciting to give and some even a joy to eat, handmade Valentines are the wave of the future while store-bought Valentines are slipping away to only distant memories.


e have scoured the best blogs and craft sites to find the following sophisticated and absolutely sensational Valentines for you. Chances are that you will have all of the necessary materials just lying around your home to complete at least one of these crafts, and with simple to follow steps, your kids should be able to do most of the work while you just sit back and earn the title of “most creative mom of the season� award!

inspired by Design Mom Materials: MadLibs craft floss or twine

craft or scrapbooking paper scissors

hole punch marker or printer

Simple steps: 1. Trim out a stack of 6” x 9” MadLib sheets from their booklet. 2. Trim spare pieces of craft paper to make 3” x 4” strips. 3. Roll up one MadLib shet and then roll a strip of decorative paper around that. 4. Tie craft floss or any decorative twine about ten times around the roll. 5. Cut and hole punch custom greeting tags and attach to craft floss.

Message Ideas: “I‟m mad about you” or “You have mad skills”

inspired by Family Fun Magazine Materials: craft or scrapbooking paper round lollipops (i.e. dum-dums) Scissors

2” heart punch 1” scallop punch (optional) ribbon (optional)

tape hole punch

Simple steps:

Message Ideas:

1. For each flower, cut 2 leaves and punch three heart-shaped petals and one scalloped center from scrapbooking paper or card stock.

“Our friendship is blooming”

2. Punch a hole in the bottom of each heart and leaves and in the center of the scallop. 3. Crease the petals in half and slide the pieces onto a lollipop stem. 4. Tape the back to secure.

Additional ideas: Tie a festive ribbon around the lollipop stick and even include a personal message on a gift tag.

inspired by Inchmark Materials: empty matchboxes craft floss or ribbon foam mounting tape

stickers (optional) small candies stickers (optional)

markers glue scissors craft of scrapbooking paper

Simple steps: 1. Dump the matches out and save them for your next blackout. 2. Cut a piece of paper approximately 2 1/8” high, and long enough to wrap around your matchbox. Glue down and secure in the back. 3. Let your child get creative now… Use a little heart punch or cut hearts by hand on coordinating paper and glue down or mount with foam squares. 4. Glue on a simple little paper band, wrap with ribbon, tie with string, add a little bling, handwrite a name tag or stick a secret message inside…the possibilities are endless. 4. Fill with candy!

inspired by Family Fun Magazine Materials: heart shaped muffin pan craft or scrapbooking paper markers scissors

crayon pieces ribbon (optional) foam mounting tape 3� scallop punch (optional) lollipop or popsicle sticks (optional)

Simple steps: 1.Heat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (120 degrees Celsius) 2. Fill each mold with crayon pieces and bake until the crayons melt, about 10-20 minutes depending on the depth of the heart. 3. Once they are cool, remove the hearts from the molds and smooth any rough edges by rubbing them on a piece of scrap paper. 4. Use small foam squares to stick each crayon heart to a 3� circle punched from card stock or any hand cut shape. 5. Add your personal message and optional ribbon.

Additional ideas: 1. Tape or glue the scallop to the top of a lollipop stick. Tie a festive ribbon around the stick. Note: Be sure to remind recipients that they are not good enough to eat.

Message Ideas: “You color my world” or “You make my heart melt”

When you try out any of our projects or crafts, be sure to take photos and send them with your stories to, and you could be featured in our next issue.

valentineâ€&#x;s goodies for your dolls, because even they love an excus

left page: valentine twirly skirt set by ring salad, true red beaded purse by doll closet, heart print peasant swing top b lavenderlore, right page bottom: love me hearts and vines skirt by alexis princess wear, crocheted beanie by lily knittin

se to dress up

by doll closet right page top: valentine love pyjamas by mamatwinsee, crocheted 3 piece valentine poncho set by ng, crocheted hat in electric pink by lavenderlore


hold me, valentine! 3 ideas for creating colorfully fun holders for all your valentines this year


by linda phrakhansa - linda dearie

ach year, school children across the United States celebrate Valentine's Day by handing out small cards or little boxes of candy to classmates. At the end of the day, kids hurry home, clutching their valentines in decorated lunch bags, shoeboxes or heart-shaped pouches. Each boy and girl hopes to receive an "I Like Materials: You" from you-know-who. (same needed for all 3 styles of holders) Teachers and parents may spend an Small empty dry goods box (i.e. cereal box, pasta box) hour to a day, depending on the child's age, helping each student to Assorted paper (i.e. construction paper, wrapping paper) create her valentine holder. The holder, whether it is a bag or box, Felt or fabric scraps keeps everything together and safe Markers from spills. Celebrate Assorted stickers Valentine's Day this year with Assorted ribbon three unique holders designed Glue for little kids, big kids and grownSticky Tape ups. Scissors Stapler

(ages 3 to 6) Instructions: 1. Fold the flaps at the top of the box to the inside. Secure with tape. 2. Wrap the box in paper of your choosing. 3. Fold the extra paper inside the box and secure with tape.

4. Cut several hearts out of construction paper. The hearts will become "butterflies." 5. Decorate the hearts using stickers or markers. If you have pipe cleaners, you can even add antennas. 6. Turn butterflies on their backs and squeeze glue along the middle seam. Stick the butterflies on the box.

7. Embellish the box with more butterflies, details or flowers. 8. Create a hanger by cutting a piece of ribbon and stapling the ends to each side of the box.

(ages 7 to 12) Instructions: 1. Fold the flaps at the top of the box to the inside. Secure with tape. 2. Wrap the box in white or brown paper to resemble an envelope.

3. Fold the extra paper inside the box and secure with tape. 4. Decorate the "envelope" with scrapbook stickers or draw your own stamps.

5. Use a marker to complete the "To" and "From" portions. 6. Create a hanger by cutting a piece of ribbon and stapling the ends to each side of the box.

(all ages) Instructions: 1. Fold the flaps at the top of the box to the inside. Secure with tape. 2. Wrap the box in a dark, solid-color paper of your choosing. 3. Fold the extra paper inside the box and secure with tape.

4. Using wax paper, draw a "vase" to fit on the front of the box. Make sure the vase isn't too tall (you will be adding some flowers). Cut the vase out and save for later. 5. Cut thin strips of green paper for the flower stems. You may also use green pipe cleaners. 6. Arrange the "stems" on the box as if they will sit in the vase. Glue the stems.

7. Glue the vase on top of the stems. 8. Using felt or fabric scraps, create the flowers by cutting simple circles (some big, others small). Glue in place. 9. Embellish the box with more flowers or leaves if desired. *Note: Ideally this holder is created from a long and skinny pasta box.



wonderful way to thank your guests for celebrating the special day with you, party favors can be as simple or as elaborate as youâ€&#x;d like. Not only do they show your guests how much you appreciate their presence, but they are also an easy way to help carry the theme of your event. Imagine crayons and mini art pads for a preschool event, a tiny seed plant for a garden party bearing the names of your guests, or even something as simple as a lei for a tropical fare. Great favors need not cost much at all in order to say thanks in a thoughtful way. Homemade cookies are always a hit and are all the more special to guests when care has been taken to personalize the gift with their initials. Favor options are limitless and really only depend upon the degree of complexity you wish to involve as well as your party budget. No matter what you choose, nothing is nicer than a special memento to take home as remembrance of a day well spent! One of the primary considerations to make in planning party favors is the age of guests attending as this itself will dictate what type of item(s) may be provided. Of the simplest yet most charming favors for the younger crowd are colorful balloons. Always the sign of a celebration, helium or mylar balloons tied with

simple tags sporting your guestsâ€&#x; names make fantastic favors for little ones. With the proper planning, other party decorations used during the event can also be purposed as favors. This is exciting to your guests as well as to you, especially when clean up time rolls around!


ribbon wands from zuzu girl, fantastic favor bags

by kristen davis - mary had a little party

ake crayons from lilbooandco:

From flower pots used to decorate a girly affair to placemats made for tables at the event, there are endless options for great take home treats that work double duty as fun decorations for the celebration. As the celebrantâ€&#x;s age increases, so too can the

s from mary had a little party, felt clips from clara clips

involvedness of the favor. A popular option at many events, treat bags can be decorated to coordinate with the theme of the event as well as filled with goodies commemorating the special occasion. Keep in mind though that even the simplest of favors can pack a punch when presented well, and that bulk does not equate to quality. Too often parents fill favor bags to the brim with handfuls of breakable toys and items when a well-planned favor can often cost much less and leave everyone with a smile. An alternative to handing out favor bags is to award prizes after party games that will serve as take home favors. This works especially well with scavenger hunt type activities or even a treasure hunt for a pirate-themed event. Similarly, when a party centers around an activity such as a paint party at a local ceramic store, the item made becomes a take home treat sure to please your special guests. Choosing favors for invited guests need not be stressful and can often be the most fun in party planning. Places such as Etsy (try searching Etsykids Party Favors) offer a wide variety of artisans specialised in unique favors and take the stress out of this planning detail. You will find a myriad of quality handmade choices that will be sure to please your guests. Take as much care in packaging and presenting a favor as you do for a gift, and youâ€&#x;ll leave your guests with a cherished memory of one of the best parties yet.

reversible cotton bonnet by anabelfuzz, sleeping bunny plush by green thread, bunny egg hats by petit and cute design, scallop brim baby bonnet by studio rouge, easter egglets by wee knit, repurposed wool baby rattles by wood pond designs, aqua and rusty rose bonnet by on cottage way


rosalie zingales – studio rouge


or our family, Easter marks the beginning of spring. It may not always be warm just yet, but we don our Easter best complete with bonnets and head toward midtown NYC to join in the renowned Easter Parade. I‟m sure many towns have some kind of spring celebration or Easter parade or egg hunt to mark this celebration of season, and it‟s a wonderful moment to get out and join your community. In our family tradition, before we join in the Easter Parade, there is work to be done and bonnets to be trimmed! To set the tone, my annual breakfast has become a tradition with

the group, expanding with each passing year. Breakfast is prepared, and help is on hand to serve up pancakes, cereal, sausages and eggs along with hot coffee, juice and mimosas. But the food isn‟t the main attraction at this breakfast. Alongside the breakfast buffet is a table full of hat bases and trimmings of all sorts. Most come from The 99¢ Store, which is great for this, allowing me to fill the table without breaking the budget. I gather up bunches of faux flowers, marshmallow peeps, plastic eggs, Easter grass, ribbons, pipe cleaners, feathers, fake fruit, jelly beans and more. More imaginative decorations come from feather dusters picked apart, long foiled party toothpicks, plastic windmills, tissue paper, tinfoil, strands of beads and even real flowers. One year, some inspired soul had the idea to make her hat from a French boule of bread! I shop at different discount stores to find my hat bases ,while others are donated by a close friend‟s company. Long T-pins, toothpicks, large safety pins and a few hot glue guns (adult supervision is necessary for this) are

set out to attach all the fixings to the hats, and we‟re ready to decorate. The kids get so excited, and some very serious, about the design of their bonnets, sometimes forgetting to eat because they are so engrossed in their projects. It is such a joy to watch the children helping each other, and I‟m always amazed to see the varied bonnets that come out of each person‟s imagination. But as fun as this is, time is of the essence. We only have about 2 hours before leaving for the parade, and it‟s a real trick to keep everyone focused to be able to leave on time.

Arriving at the parade, we cannot take two steps without people asking to take our group picture. People from all over the world have photographed us - a great colourful sea of smiles. One year we even got our photo in the Daily News. The kids get so excited from all the attention, and of course at the highlight of the parade for them, meeting the Easter Bunny! As we walk donning our elaborate headwear, we admire the other ingenious bonnet designs and tuck away ideas and inspiration for next year.


interview by shannon hanley - the clever kitty

live in the lovely Pacific Northwest; Oregon, to be exact, and I love it here! It may rain more than most places, but hey, that means lots of foliage. We like to make our own oxygen instead of importing it from Sweden. Those who don't know me think I'm sweet, and those that do, know I'm snarky. But I figure, if you're going to have kids, you'd better have a good sense of humor. After all, you're probably still laughing at yourself for saying, "Yes, let's have a baby! That's a great idea!" I know I am. mhc: Tell us a little about yourself. holly: My given name is Holly, but in my house, I'm referred to as Babe (by my husband), Hey and Mommeeeeeeeeee (most commonly said in a high pitched squealing voice; those are the best, gotta love girls). We

I have two lucky little ladies who get to endure my brand of humor on a daily basis (Peri is my oldest, she's 5, and my youngest is Ryah, who's almost 3), and a loving husband who will just nod and smile, bless his heart. Thank goodness we have a cat, she's the only one who can put me in my place. Boy, can she be ornery!

While staying home with the girls isn't my first career choice, it is definitely the hardest job I've ever had, and hopefully the benefits will be wonderfully well-adjusted children who grow into mature responsible adults. And if I can get a great retirement home/spa package out of the deal, then that's a fabulous bonus. mhc: If you figure out how to get that bonus, Iâ€&#x;m sure there are a lot of stay-athome moms who would love to know how! Do you find it difficult to balance being a stay-at-home mom with running your business? Any tips to share?

holly: You mean there are people who actually succeed in balancing both? I want to meet them! Seriously, it's tough, and I'm still learning. For me, evenings are for painting, and naptime is for korker bows. I find it hard to stay motivated because when I have downtime, the last thing I want to do is work. Once I'm working though, it's more relaxing than work, and I really enjoy it. Being in a routine is probably the most important thing though. Or at the very least, making a list, so that when you do have downtime, you know exactly what to do with it, instead of suffering from Mom Brain. Yeah, that happens more often than I'd like to admit. mhc: Aside from creating things, what do you love to do? holly: I like to dabble in other crafts. I took a jewelry making class and that was fun. I crochet and play with polymer clay on occasion. I also want to write a screenplay,

and I'm currently co-authoring a childrenâ€&#x;s book with a friend of mine. It's a cute story, and it would be really neat to get it published. I like to read when I can, but that usually entails a magazine because it's the only thing I can finish in the time I have to read. I've started too many books and had to restart them because I couldn't get back to them before I forgot the story thus far. Oh, and I love movies. If I can't read the book, I'll see the movie. I also blog with some other moms for The Mama Dramalogues. Sometimes you just need an outlet, you know? mhc: Definitely. How did you get started making things? What is the first thing you remember creating? holly: I bought some pants for Peri but didn't like any of the coordinating shirts and thought I could paint something cuter to match. So I bought a plain white t-shirt and some fabric paints and a hobby was born. I don't remember what I painted for Peri, but the first thing I painted for Ryah was a cherry blossom wrap tee.

mhc: When did you decide to start selling your work? holly: After making a few items for friends, I thought, "Hey, maybe someone will actually pay me to do this!" Then I found Etsy in 2007 and opened a shop. I'm one of those people who feels the need to contribute monetarily to the household, plus if I can enjoy doing it, that's perfect. It's also a wonderful outlet and let's me be something in addition to Mommy, all day long.

mhc: What is the name of your shop? holly: The name of my shop is Winklepots, and it's one of Peri's nicknames. We call her Periwinkle and Winklepots. Yes, I know her nicknames are longer than her actual name, but what can I say, parents are weird. I secretly hope she marries someone with the last name of Winkler. I think that would be a hoot! mhc: What‟s your favorite item to make, and why? holly: I love making the korker hair bows because it's something I can easily stop and start. With two kids running around, there's always something that needs my intervention. Plus, playing around with coordinating colors is a lot of fun. I do love to paint, it's very relaxing, but I usually need a 2 to 3 hour window of uninterrupted time, and that's not easy to come by. mhc: What‟s your most popular item? holly: Probably the korker bows because they're so gosh darn cute, but Going Stag and Cherry Blossoms are the most popular painted items.

mhc: What‟s the best part about earning a living making things? holly: Well what could be better than making a living and doing what you love at the same time?! Okay, yes, a date with Johnny Depp, but since he's taken.... There's something really rewarding about creating something. To be able to say, "Hey, I made that." It's even more gratifying when someone else appreciates the workmanship as much as you do. mhc: Where does your inspiration come from? holly: Everywhere. I've found inspiration going through the Sunday paper, walks through the park and grocery shopping. Nothing is off limits. Even if something is a bad idea, there's almost always a good idea that can come of it. mhc: What is your creative process?

holly: When it comes to painting, once I have an idea, I sketch it out in my notebook first. Then I get my shirt, paints and brushes and get to work. The end result is usually better than I had originally planned. For korker bows, I love finding a cute printed ribbon. Once I have that, I get out the rest of my ribbon stock and start matching colors. Once the ribbon is korked, they're handstitched and attached to ponytail holders or clips. mhc: What handmade item do you cherish? holly: It's not even something I made! My daughter Peri made one of those clay handprint keepsakes in her preschool class last year, and it's been hanging on my wall ever since she brought it home. mhc: I imagine it will remain there for many years to come...handmade gifts from children are often the most treasured. Do your children show signs of creative talent? Are they interested in what you do?

holly: My oldest is bound for the theater! Which makes me proud because I love doing community theater; acting is another passion of mine. She loves acting out her favorite movies, expressions and everything. My youngest loves drawing and getting into trouble. Not sure what her future holds, but I'm willing to bet it'll be interesting. They both have clothing and hair bows from Winklepots, so I guess there's an interest in the final product. If they're lucky, I'll teach them the secrets of the perfect korker bow. mhc: What to you is the importance of buying handmade? holly: It's far more personal than buying from a big box store. Even if you don't make it yourself, but buy handmade for someone else. More time and thought goes into buying something handmade. I also think the quality doesn't even compare. Attention to detail on a much smaller scale usually yields higher quality products. That's been my experience as a handmade buyer, anyway.

Holly is offering 15% off your entire purchase (excluding shipping) to MHC readers. Enter the code WinkleMHC in the "notes to seller" at checkout, and she will refund through Paypal. Expires April 1st, 2010.


by shannon hanley - the clever kitty

We recently met up with Don & Lisa Delzer of Chubbas ‘n Boop. Click on the picture at right to watch the video.

"The kind of toys we make are the kind of toys that people are going to have forever.�

Don and Lisa Delzer are a husband wife team that love to make things. They are living their crafting dreams in sunny Colorado with their two children. You can read more about Don & Lisa on their blog, What Feeds My Soul. Their toys can be found in their Etsy shop,

video produced by Zoom Productions, Las Vegas, NV

"The advice I would give to couples who are working together is to take it one day at a time and to back off when the line is about to be crossed."


The Big Veggie Sandwich (page 242-243, Petit Appetit: Eat, Drink and Be Merry. Easy, Organic Snacks, Beverages, and Party Foods for Kids of All Ages) When I was about eight or nine I remember having a sixfoot-long submarine sandwich at one of my birthday parties. Friends and family came to the park, and we had water balloon tosses and sack races. This sandwich isnâ€&#x;t six feet long, but it is big. The best part is you can layer on your favorite veggie or meat combinations to come up with a single perfect sandwich or multiple tastes for your sack racers and fans. Makes 8 (2-inch-wide) servings, or 16 (squares) 1 (1-pound) ciabatta or pugliese loaf, about 14 Ă— 7 inches 1 organic red bell pepper 1 zucchini 1 summer squash 1 portobello mushroom 3 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme 1 (14-ounce) can water-packed artichoke hearts, chopped 4 ounces goat cheese (rBGH free)

1. Preheat oven to 440 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray a 12 Ă— 9-inch glass baking dish with oil and set aside. 2. Slice vegetables lengthwise into Âź- to 1/3-inch-thick slices and layer in prepared dish. 3. In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons of the oil, the vinegar, and thyme. Brush vegetables with oil mixture. Bake for 25 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Remove from oven and set aside. Leave oven on. 4. Cut the bread lengthwise down the center so you have a top and bottom. Lay pieces, cut sides up, on prepared baking sheet. Spread the artichoke hearts on bottom half and goat cheese on the top half. Drizzle artichokes with 1 teaspoon of the oil. Bake for about 5 minutes, until warm. 5. Layer vegetable slices on bread over artichokes and top with remaining bread, goat cheese side down. Press sandwich together and weigh top of sandwich with a baking dish or heavy plate. Let sit for 5 minutes before cutting. Packing. If taking these for travel, be sure to wrap tightly and place toothpicks in each section to hold together. Remove picks before serving.

Fruit Kebobs (page 94, Petit Appetit: Eat, Drink and Be Merry. Easy, Organic Snacks, Beverages, and Party Foods for Kids of All Ages) It‟s so much fun to go to my kids‟ school and make or bring a snack as the reactions are so fun and unexpected. This recipe was such a hit they were begging for more. You can put a variety of fruit on these sticks. Those that are denser will stay on better. The melon-baller keeps everything the same size with little effort, however, you can cut same-size chunks too. For an added treat, serve with Lemony Snicket sauce (facing page).

Makes 25 4-inch popsicle sticks (4 chunks each) 1 cantaloupe ½ watermelon 1 honeydew ½ pineapple 1. Using a melon-baller create as many balls in cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon as possible. Cut pineapple into 1 inch chunks. 2. Carefully thread each fruit ball on a popsicle stick, making sure each one has all four kinds. TIP! This is a great recipe for kids. Have some make balls with the melon-baller, some count and line up popsicle sticks and some thread them. Go Green! Be sure to wash and recycle wooden sticks for gluing, building and creating all kinds of art projects with your children.

Lemony Snicket Sauce (page 64, Petit Appetit: Eat, Drink and Be Merry. Easy, Organic Snacks, Beverages, and Party Foods for Kids of All Ages) This is a quick snack that you can whip up in lieu of a presweetened yogurt. It is also a simple dip for fresh fruit kebobs or sauce for drizzling over fruit salad. Try this with any type of yogurt to create variety (non-fat, whole milk, Greek or European style). Agave mixes well with the yogurt for sweetness and offers a lower glycemic index than sugar. Another good choice of sweetener is honey which also comes in many varieties.

For 6 ounces of sauce 1 6-ounce plain organic whole milk yogurt ½ teaspoon fresh organic lemon zest 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed organic lemon juice 1 teaspoon agave syrup In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients until blended.

clockwise from top left: pink post office felt toy and food pattern by little crickets, felt cake by one n only, child sugar cookie bake set by ae baby, valentine’s sweets felt food pdf pattern by gulf coast cottage, valentine’s cupcakes pink felt play food by bugbites play food, vintage inspired children’s apron by gagie pagie pudding pie, pink felt tea set by kiddy couture, coco dreams felt cupcake by sugar chic baby


Wondering how to keep the processed ca Make your own treats and sweets suc Fruity Bonbons (page 178-179 Petit Appetit: Eat, Drink and Be Merry. Easy, Organic Snacks, Beverages, and Party Foods for Kids of All Ages) These are classic candies that are made simply by pressing together dried fruits and spices. Known as “sweet meats” by the British, they look lovely and whimsical on a party table, especially when rolled in raw sugar and coconut. Makes 16 to 18 (1-inch-diameter) bonbons 1 cup dried whole apricots 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 Tablespoon organic unfiltered apple juice For rolling (optional) 2 Tablespoons turbinado (raw) sugar 2 Tablespoons unsweetened finely shredded coconut

Kids Korner

1. Line a mini muffin pan with mini muffin or truffle papers and set pan aside. 2. Place dried apricots into a small bowl and cover with about ½ cup hot water. Let soak for 5 minutes to reconstitute. Drain off water and put apricots into a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until apricots are in small bits. Add spices and pulse to combine. Add apple juice while processing to bring mixture together. 3. Spread out sugar and coconut (if using) on separate plates. Using a melon baller or teaspoon, scoop rounded teaspoonfuls of apricot mixture and roll into a ball with wet fingertips. Roll balls into desired coating. Place bonbons in mini muffin cups. Place in the refrigerator to keep firm until serving.

Kids love to line the mini muffin cups with papers and place each bonbon in its own space. Older children can help shape balls and roll in sugar.

andy away from your little one, but want him to feel the Valentine love? ch as these fruit bonbons to share with family and school Valentines. Juice Sparkler (page 127 Petit Appetit: Eat, Drink and Be Merry. Easy, Organic Snacks, Beverages, and Party Foods for Kids of All Ages) This is a fun and healthy way for children to join in a toast with a sparkling drink of their own. This recipe is really simple and can be made with any kind of fresh, organic juice such as orange, pear, or apple. At Valentine‟s, I like pomegranate juice because of the bright and festive color. Pomegranates are a rich source of antioxidants and flavonoids. The juice can be found year round in the fresh refrigerated juice section of most supermarkets. Makes 1 cup ¾ cup sparkling mineral water ¼ cup fresh pomegranate juice Combine water and juice in a glass and serve. Variation If serving a crowd, combine three parts sparkling mineral water with one part fresh pomegranate juice in a pitcher. Serve over ice cubes for older children and adults.

Kids Korner For a really festive drink, add a few cranberry ice cubes and a straw. You’ll be surprised how much those touches will excite your child.

felt sweets and steamer set pdf pattern by fairyfox, year of the tiger tee and pant set by tadpole creations, chinese new year tiger card by still water art studio, d is for dim sum tee by lala lu

Fireworks, lantern festivals, dragon dances, parades and food are all part of this special occasion. Both symbolic and delicious, noodles make a great food for sharing during Chinese New Year. There are many options for noodles besides rice noodles; try Chinese egg noodles, udon or soba for a variation. Peanut butter lends a bit of sweetness your child will enjoy.

Long Life Noodles (page 184 Petit Appetit: Eat, Drink and Be Merry. Easy, Organic Snacks, Beverages, and Party Foods for Kids of All Ages) Makes 8 to 10 (1-cup) servings 8 ounces rice noodles 2 teaspoons expeller-pressed canola oil 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger or ½ teaspoon ground ginger 1 cup julienned organic carrot (1 large) 1 cup julienned organic red bell pepper (1 large or 4 mini) ¼ cup chopped scallions (about 3) 2 Tablespoons gluten-free tamari 1 Tablespoon peanut butter ½ cup organic vegetable broth 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice 1. Prepare the noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant and soft, about 1 minute. Add the carrot and bell pepper and cover. Cook until vegetables are tender but not soft, 5 to 7 minutes. 3. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil, scallions, tamari, peanut butter, broth and lime juice, and bring to a boil. Add the noodles and heat until hot, stirring to combine with vegetables and sauce.


by gretchen jakub fabre - chichiboulie


s a mother of three, I know all too well what happens to women at the first sign of a positive result. We start planning the nursery! Of course, we may take a few minutes out of the daydreaming to inform father-to-be of his change in status, but then it‟s straight back to arranging the necessities that will make our newest addition feel safe and warm. In planning a cosy place for our little ones, taking environmental concerns into consideration isn‟t only good for the planet, it‟s good for your baby‟s well-being as well. Below is a list of ideas that will help make your baby‟s nursery a true safe haven from unwanted chemicals. WALLS One of the first things we all think about when preparing the nursery is what colour it will be. A major part of this colour scheme is the walls. But just using any old paint can expose your loved one to harmful chemicals known as VOCs (Volatile Organic

Compounds) that are released into the air. Luckily, due to changes in consumer thinking, there are now a number of alternatives on the market, and you can find paints made from natural ingredients such as plant oils and resins, plant dyes, essential oils and natural minerals. If you can‟t go completely natural, there is quite a selection of Zero VOC and Low VOC paint available through many large manufacturers which will considerably reduce the levels of harmful chemicals that are released. FLOORS When choosing flooring, natural is best. Carpeting not only often contains harmful chemicals that are released into the air of the bedroom, but also is a haven for dust mites, mold and other allergens. If you have the option, finish those hardwood floors and enjoy a low maintenance and high quality flooring for your baby. Add a bit of cosiness and colour with a natural fiber area rug made from such materials as cotton or wool for example.

If your home hasn‟t been blessed with wood floors, don‟t despair. There are other options. Natural linoleum is one product that is making a comeback. Forget about the imposters that have been around for the past 50 years and are made mainly of vinyl. Instead, look for true Linoleum which is made from wood and cork “flour,” limestone dust, rosin (from pine trees) and pigments with a jute backing. Linoleum comes in vibrant colors and is perfect for nurseries and children‟s rooms.

For even more eco-friendly decorating, scour second-hand shops and yard sales for used furniture that can easily be given a second life through a fresh coat of eco-friendly paint. Do be sure to check any recalls that may have occurred on used furniture. BEDDING Most conventional crib mattresses are made from foam, nylon, polyester and vinyl – all products that are derived from petroleum.

A second option to wood flooring is cork. As a natural insulator of heat and sound, it has the added bonus of being shock absorbent for those unavoidable tumbles. FURNITURE Again, opt for solid wood when you can, as other materials such as plywood, particle board and MDF (medium density fiberboard) can contain harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde in their glues. Check to see where the furniture is manufactured and if the wood comes from sustainably managed forests. You may also want to make sure those lovely finishes are free of potentially harmful chemicals.

Chcolatta baby crib by ecoayris is made of wood from sustainable forests

Additionally, most are treated with antimicrobial and fireproofing chemicals that of course we would want to avoid in our ecofriendly nursery. Consider crib mattresses that are chemical free and made using organic cotton, wool padding and natural rubber. If, however, you do choose to purchase a conventional mattress, don‟t wait until baby‟s arrival to install it. Purchase it well ahead of time in order to let it air out as long as possible before your little bundle will be sleeping on it.

that will grow with him or her while keeping out winter chills. FINISHING TOUCHES Now that you‟ve gotten the big items out of the way, it‟s time to think of those little touches that will make your baby‟s nursery his or her own.

needle felted waldorf inspired toy by fairyfolk

As for what to put on top of that mattress, look for bedding made of natural fibers. Untreated organic cotton flannel or wool pads will create an excellent buffer between baby and mattress. Organic cotton sheets will add a splash of colour while protecting the environment. When baby is a bit older, invest in a wool blanket

Think toys and decorations made of natural materials. Think lasting and heirloom. Toys and decorations made of materials such as wood, silk, cotton, and wool felt will add colour and style to the nursery while offering toys that are both educational and environmentally

friendly. By keeping these simple ideas in mind while planning your nursery, bit by bit and layer by layer, you will be able to create an environment that is comforting both to baby and parents.

4 piece natural wool fill crib set by woolly boo, organic baby quilts by sewn natural, modpod baby blanket by eco modern baby

Concrete ideas for implementing an eco-friendly living plan for your family

Step 1: Reduce Think before you buy and choose products that are made to last. They may cost a bit more to buy, but you will end up spending less in the end. For toys and games requiring batteries, opt for rechargeable ones. Better yet, choose nonelectronic toys when you can. Think before you discard - many seemingly broken items can be easily repaired for less than the cost to replace, and repairing will help ease the waste burden on our environment. Use reusable packaging for your lunches and picnics. Bento boxes are a perfect example of packaging that protects your food as well as our planet. Think how our parents and grandparents did. Donâ€&#x;t opt for disposable when it comes to things such as handkerchiefs and dishcloths. Invest in some nice quality items such as crocheted dishcloths or personalized handkerchiefs and be proud to show off your embroidered hanky the next time you need a tissue. Always remember your shopping bags for trips out to the shops in order to avoid using plastic bags that will end up in the landfill. Shop in places that offer less pre-packaged foods and bring your own reusable packaging to purchase. Scooping out beans and grains into your own reusable carriers is a lot more fun, too!


interview by laura jacquemond of blue terracotta mhc: Tell us a bit about yourself. catherine: I live on the banks of the Marne River, in the Ile-deFrance or Paris region of France, with my husband and two children, aged 9 and 7. After having worked for 6 years as an assistant television programme manager for the overseas French territories, I took a child-rearing leave of absence, and thatâ€&#x;s when I began creating things. mhc: Aside from creating things, what do you love to do? catherine: Creating takes up a large chunk of my time! I love to do lots of things, but my family is a top priority. I try to spend as much time as possible with my two children, who are growing up so fast.

mhc: What is your favorite handmade object? catherine: It‟s a sculpted wooden bird mobile that we brought back from a trip to Asia. mhc: How did you get started making things? What is the first thing you created? catherine: I have always loved making things with my hands, ever since I was a little girl. The birth of my daughter renewed my desire to create. First for her, then for others as well. My first creations were puppets in paper maché. mhc: When and how did you begin selling your work? catherine: I started out as a result of

meeting a friend, a children‟s book illustrator, who asked me to exhibit my work with hers. After that came Christmas craft fairs and other exhibitions. Then I decided to approach a shop in Paris, where my work was very well received. I also put my work for sale in online boutiques. mhc: What is the name of your shop? How did you decide on this name? catherine: My shop is called la boîte à rêves (Dreambox). That‟s what my daughter asked Santa Claus for when she was four. She is older now, but that has remained with me. mhc: What is your favorite item to make? catherine: What I really like is being able to turn an idea into a tangible creation. I am able to realize my ideas best through my

tableaux (diorama-like scenes in 3D) and my mobiles. I tried making necklaces recently, but I wasn‟t satisfied with the results. mhc: Where does your inspiration come from? catherine: I‟m inspired by so many things: first of all, my childhood memories, but also dreams, an atmosphere, in fact everything that I see. When I get back from vacation, my head is buzzing with ideas, and I can‟t wait to make them a reality. mhc: Describe your creative process. catherine: I work on custom orders (based on pieces I‟ve already sold) and at the same time, I create new pieces which I put for sale in shops and on line, after they‟ve been photographed by my husband, (who is a photographer by the way). At times, I have many orders, which leaves me little time to create new objects. Some pieces have sold well, and I‟ve made several of them, but no two are ever exactly alike, since I don‟t use molds. mhc: What to you is the importance of buying handmade? catherine: Handmade objects have a uniqueness that you don‟t find in mass produced objects. Behind an object created by someone,

there‟s a story, and this extra bit of their soul is what makes all the difference to me. I am delighted to discover increasing numbers of internet sites featuring handmade items. Hopefully they will remain true to the spirit of handmade. mhc: What is the best part about earning a living making things? catherine: There are a lot of advantages, first of all, being able to do what you love, something that you never get tired of doing.

It‟s difficult to be involved in creating without being passionate about it! For me, the freedom to work at home without a strict schedule (I work until very late at night) is essential. On the other hand, it‟s hard to make a living at it. I have chosen to create objects that I love, which come from my own personal universe, but that aren‟t necessarily “trendy” or “fashionable.”


tyann marcink - little elephant company

Circumstances. Options. Decisions. These three aspects of life are constant and multiplied with children. New parents find themselves facing unfamiliar situations that come with a myriad of choices yet only one final decision. Each choice unfolds with it more new circumstances, more new options and thus, more decisions. The cycle is seemingly never-ending. Modern Handmade Child has sat down with several moms from across the United States who have shared how they approached a few of early parenting’s common decisions. They talked with MHC about choosing pediatricians, daycare, and preschool and how important to them these decisions are. Over the next few issues, we will be sharing these experiences with you, beginning with the choice of a pediatrician, a choice that is often made before baby is even born.

Choosing a pediatrician An essential choice to make before a baby arrives, a pediatrician is key to the family unit. Our moms shared how and why they chose their pediatricians and what was most important to them when they made the decision. Melanie Chabre, a work-at-home mom from New Ipswich, New Hampshire, decided to go with the pediatrician office that was affiliated with the hospital where her two youngest were born, basing her decision on many factors, but keeping in mind that one of her requirements was that she needed to be sure that “they were good with the kids, as well as with me,” Melanie said. After the birth of her son Matthew, Melanie met several of the pediatricians in the office during their rounds at the hospital. “I did call and ask questions of who did what, who was the best, who had been there the longest and

more,” said Melanie. She has stayed with the same office, but not the same pediatrician, and overall, she has been pleased with the care of her children. Michelle Eubanks, a stay-at-home mom from St. Louis, Missouri, wanted more than medical advice from her pediatrician. “I wanted someone with years of experience, but the most important thing I was looking for is that the doctor had children of her own, both boys and girls.”

beginning her pediatric practice just two weeks after my first son‟s birth. I was excited about my son being one of her very first patients”. She wanted someone fresh out of medical school and residency who in her mind would be “up-to-date with all of the latest in treatments and diagnostic protocols.”

“It is more reassuring to me knowing she has been through situations with both sexes,” Michelle added. “I wanted parental advice that could only come from experience.” Contrary to Michelle, a fresh-out-of-school pediatrician ended up being the doctor of choice for Jennifer Rocha, a high school teacher from Villa Ridge, Missouri. “My friend‟s daughter was

“I wanted advice that could only come from experience.”

Also important to Jennifer was someone who shared her belief that medicine and prayer for healing go hand-in-hand. “I had known my pediatrician since she had started medical school and I had worked with her sisters and mother, so I was well aware of her family‟s excellent work ethic. I felt confident that, as a pediatrician, she would not stop researching a problem until she had an answer.” This determination was an important factor for Jennifer in choosing a doctor, and she felt certain that it was a quality her chosen pediatrician was taking with her into the medical profession.

“I was excited about my son being one of her very first patients.”

Most important to Angelina Shuman, a program administrator from Spartanburg, South Carolina, was that a pediatrician be “friendly to nonvaccinating and pro-breastfeeding,” as well as a good listener. Angela‟s pediatrician is also her OBGyn whom she found through a friend‟s referral. She feels that her pediatrician “really seemed to care about me and my children. She‟s watched them grow up.” One of the first people parents call when their child is unwell, as well as the person who tracks the development - physical, emotional and intellectual a pediatrician is an essential part of a family‟s life. The decision is weighty with many factors to take into consideration. Many more than most parents-to-be realize at first. But ultimately, whether a family chooses a pediatrician based on a friend‟s referral, due to geographic location, or because of any number of diverse reasons, most parents will agree that it is a decision to be made with a lot of thought.


deciding on a

by nancy keesling - tu


aving a pet is a great way to help children learn empathy and responsibility. Adding a pet to your family is a warm and fuzzy experience, but before you take the plunge, keep in mind that inviting an animal into your family brings with it a lot of responsibility. Although your children may enjoy playing with the puppy or kitten or guinea pig or whatever your choice of pet, you are most likely going to end up doing most of the cleaning, feeding and grooming care. So before jumping in with both feet, take some time to ask yourself the real question: Are you ready for a pet? Here is a short list of things to keep in mind when deciding on a family pet: Financial responsibility: Are you willing and able to pay for the upkeep of your chosen pet? Remember that things like food and equipment, injections, spaying and unforeseen illnesses can all add up rather quickly.

a family pet

utu cute and moore

Age of children: If you have young children in your household, it is particularly important to keep this in mind as some pets are more suitable to young children than others. Travel: Do you travel a lot with your family? If so, will the pet be able to travel with you, or do you have a reliable place where the pet can stay while you are away? Work: Do both parents work outside of the house? If so, is there someone at home to take care of the pet during the day, or are you willing to have someone do this for you? Size of pet: What size pet does your house and garden (if necessary) allow for? Although Saint Bernards are lovely dogs, if you live in a three room apartment, it may not be the best choice for you and your family. Remember that having a pet is a long term commitment and one that comes with a lot of responsibility.

crib critters by my mini mocs, handknit dachshund doxie miniature weiner dog by lulahoops, bunny kiss print by trafalgar’s square, corky stuffed guinea pig by zygopysche, lola by erika made, kitty green loves hugs by chet and dot

Think you’re an expert when it comes to pets? Pet lovers are guardians to nearly 100 million dogs and cats in the United States and spend about $35 billion on their furry friends each year. That‟s a lot of lucky pets. Studies show that people with pets live longer, have less stress and fewer health problems. 94% of pet owners say their animal pal makes them smile more than once a day. Max wins as the most popular name for pooches in the US. Other popular dog names are Jake, Buddy, Maggie, Molly, and Bear. 95% of cat owners admit they talk to their cats. In Belgium in 1879, 37 cats were “hired” to carry bundles of letters to villages. The service didn‟t last long because the mail cats just wouldn‟t cooperate! A cat will almost never meow at another cat…that‟s because cats only meow to get our attention. A dog named Laikia became the world's first astronaut in 1957, when she was sent into space by the Russian government. Abraham Lincoln loved cats. In fact, he had four of them while he lived in the White House. His favorite was named Tabby. Tests done by the University of Michigan proved that cats have better memories than dogs. The study shows that while a dog‟s memory lasts no more than 5 minutes, a cat's can last as long as 16 hours. Cats rule, dogs drool. Dogs can hear sounds that are too faint for us to hear. In fact, their hearing is so good they probably rely more on sound than sight, but the common belief that dogs are color blind is false. Dogs can see color, just not as well as we do. They can tell the difference between blue, yellow and gray, but probably don‟t see red and green.


by tyann marcink - little elephant company


estled away from I-44 in the St. Louis area, down a narrow country road, is an amazing educational visitor‟s center for a worldwide leader in the pet care industry – Nestlé‟s Purina Farms. Every year I take my boys and niece on an outing to visit this fantastic site. This spring we will again pile into our vehicle and go exploring to see the familiar animal friends and learn more about them. Join us on our jaunt at the farm:

Painted bright colors and sporting wheels and knobs to turn, flashing buttons to press and compression tubes to watch, the history of making pet food exhibit is quite fascinating.

Just inside the entrance to the barn is several “corn boxes” filled with kernels of corn and outfitted with dump trucks, back hoes, wagons, combines and other farming equipment.

In the next barn area are farm animals, a milking exhibit and two interactive exhibits, one referring to the strength of animals and the other to the weight of animals. Here, the children are standing on a large platform to see how much they weigh. On the wall is a comparison of their combined weight to that of different animals.

Around the corner from the corn are the rope swings and tunnels. Just large enough for a two year old to easily walk through them, the children chase each other into, through and around the tunnels, barking like they are little puppies.

Have fun looking for the canine related words in this pet inspired word search! Y W J Q D D F R L N T N A Y D

















In the Pet Center, the first floor is home to the dogs. There are several breeds, colors and sizes of dogs, and the handlers are available for the children to ask any question they like. The cats live in a 20 foot tall “cat palace� that looks more like a dollhouse, lounging around in their paradise, complete with little cat rocking chairs.

On our way out, at the front door, is a tractor pulling an open sided wagon, waiting for families to hop onboard for a ride around the property. The wagon ride takes us around the different fields that are used for field competitions.

The parking is free, the admission is free, the dog show is free, the cow milking demonstration is free and the wagon ride is free. Total cost of the exploration trip is only the gas for our vehicle, but making memories with my family at a place that I visited as a little girl is priceless. For more information on Purina Farms and the NestlĂŠ Purina PetCare Company, visit their website at To find a working farm to visit in your area, visit and enter your zip code in their farm search.


an organizational tool for the new year by liz murphy - daisy creek designs

the time to refocus and/or revitalize our businesses. You may have heard yourself saying things like “As soon as the holidays are over, I‟m going to…” or “Next year I‟d like to…” and you are not alone. While listing some of my resolutions this year, I realized that there is very little chance that I will remember to do everything that I‟d like to do every day, week or month. That got me to thinking. What if there were a way to visually keep track of everything in one place? And what if it were organized in a way that would be simple to implement and would allow me to keep track of my progress?


t the beginning of each year, you are sure to hear a lot of people discussing resolutions, spending time reflecting on the past, and looking ahead to the future. As small business owners, this often includes taking

With the help of technology, tackling your resolutions is getting easier to do. Cell phones, PDAs and computers can significantly help to get yourself and your business organized. But with so many aspects of a small business to keep track of, sometimes it can be completely overwhelming!

To help you out, I‟ve put together two different charts where you can list your projects for the year. To get started, make a list of all of the tasks you‟d like to accomplish - blogging, tweeting, listing new products, starting a website, developing new products, doing more advertising, joining a

networking team or getting more wholesale accounts – the list can be as long as you want it to be. Then go back through your list and designate how often you‟d like to accomplish it, whether daily, weekly or monthly. All that‟s left is to pick a system – the cards or the chart – enter your goals into each text box and print!

click here to download these task sheets and planning charts from our website


for a successful year by liz murphy - daisy creek designs


s we head into the new year, we are reminded of the importance of staying organized and staying on task. Long gone are the days of the business formula, and with resources such as online marketplaces, blogs and social networking, we need to be constantly updating. And that means….ORGANIZATION! Organization of your thoughts, time, money, materials – they all contribute to a thriving business. So how do all those successful business people manage to do it all? The blogs, twitter, facebook, myspace, Etsy, Ebay, ArtFire, Craigslist, not to mention teams, promotions, exposure, packaging, labeling and let's not forget actually making your product. And what about making something new? Have you left yourself any time to come up with a new and creative product? The key to getting it all done, keeping your sanity and having a happy and healthy home life is embedded in the following tips. Use them all or just a few, but remember, it is all about finding a system that works for you.

Tip #1: Ask Yourself These Questions Where do you see your business going? Do you do it for extra spending money or to pay the bills? Is it just a hobby or would you like to see your products in specialty boutiques across the country? And is it just something that you want to do for fun or would you eventually like to quit your “day job?” If you are anything like me, you have thought about these questions, perhaps even discussed them out loud, but have never quite gotten to really working them out, much less going to the extent of writing a business plan. But sitting down and really planning how far you want to take your business is essential to creating worthwhile goals, and over time, a thriving business.

Tip #2: Make the Most of Your Time Figure out a time of day that works best for you. Is it in the morning before everyone wakes up or in the evening after everyone goes to bed? Or if you must work while

At a Glance: Top Ten Tips for a Successful Year 1. Ask yourself some important questions 2. Make the most of your time 3. Plan Ahead 4. Keep good track of your ideas 5. Be in the moment 6. Reward yourself 7. Set realistic goals 8. Provide yourself with a productive workspace 9. Create time for yourself 10. Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize!

others are at home, could you have a set of special toys for your little ones set aside near your workspace, which are only brought out during your work time? You could do tasks in smaller chunks, never spending more than 15-30 minutes on any one thing. Rather than getting stuck on the computer for long stretches of time, you could limit and/or schedule your time online in smaller, more frequent intervals. Check your email several times during the day and respond to messages quickly or use a timer to avoid getting lost in the infinite internet world. When you are not near your workspace or a computer, minimize your down time by keeping a notepad close by. Simply jot down good ideas when they come to you, and sort through the details at a later, more convenient time.

Tip #3: Plan Ahead Each night before going to sleep, make a to do list for the next day, making sure to prioritize and break down the tasks into parts. That way, you can group similar tasks together and increase your efficiency. Do the same when you have a large order to fill. Take a calendar and start at the date your project needs to be finished, planning backwards to ensure that you are able to get everything done.

Tip #4: Keep Track of Your Good Ideas Inspiration is all around, and there is no better time waster than to be searching and searching for that note you wrote yourself or that paper with the revised measurements. Keep yourself on track and organized by making sure the sources of your ideas and future projects are kept at hand and at the ready. Whether you use a binder, an index card file, a bulletin board or file folders, it is essential to keep your inspirations ready to inspire.

Tip #5: Be in the Moment Have you found yourself at work thinking about your small business, working on your products and thinking about your family, or possibly with your family thinking about all the things that you need to do at work? You are not alone! My best advice here is to use your lists or “to do” system to give yourself a chance to live in the moment. By organizing your thoughts and things that you need to do, you can better devote your attention and focus to each part of your life – and enjoy it so much more.

Tip #6: Reward Yourself With so many things to do in your small business, it is easy to get caught up in all the

“have to's” - completing orders, promoting online, packaging, organizing, the list goes on and on. If you spend all of your time going from “have to” to “have to,” you can burn out faster than the fire originally got started. One suggestion is to organize your list so that each time you complete A, B and C, you give yourself a certain amount of time to explore new materials, experiment with that new sewing technique, or just sit down with a snack and watch your favorite TV show. It really doesn‟t matter what the reward is, just remember to treat yourself for all your hard work.

Tip #7: Set Realistic Goals It is just simply not humanly possible to cut out, sew and finish 30 dresses in 2 days (as much as I wish it were). We are not machines, we are making beautiful, handmade items. Keep track of how long it typically takes you to complete each task so that you can set more realistic goals and make more efficient lists. Don‟t forget to take the time to determine your own standards. People are buying your handcrafted item because it is handmade, and although no one wants to pay money for something that isn't well made, the charm and interest in handmade comes from the fact that someone used their own hands to put it

together. Decide what you can let go of without compromising the quality of your product, and recruit some help.

Tip #8: Provide Yourself with a Productive Workspace Nothing is worse than having a list 10 miles long and not being able to find a suitable workspace to spread out and see what needs to be done. I remember when I first started my small business with two fold up banquet tables in the garage (that had to be continuously taken down to park the car), space on the dining room table (when we weren‟t eating dinner) and a bit of space on the kitchen counter every now and then. Not necessarily conducive to productive work time. Now with some cabinetry in the garage for storage and a table in the playroom for working and sewing, everything has found it‟s place, and I can get to it easily when I need it. And the dining room table? We can actually set the table without clearing it off first.

Tip #9: Create Time for Yourself You've heard it before: “If you don‟t take care of yourself, you won‟t be able to care for anyone (or anything) else.” And isn‟t that the truth! With so many things on your mind that need to get done, it is all too easy to justify

why you cannot spare 30 minutes to workout, go for a walk, or go to the salon for a pedicure. Believe me, I know. But the importance and benefits of taking even just a small amount of time to do something special for yourself is astronomical.

Tip #10: Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize! Because the fact of the matter is that there is always more we would like to get done. Cutting more tags, listing more items, getting another blog entry done, or writing that one last tweet. But most days there just is not enough time. And that wish you have made a million times to make the day just a bit longer? It just hasn‟t come true yet – but make sure to let me know when it does! A special thanks to all the lovely sellers in the Etsy forums for all of your great advice and willingness to share your successes: anniepoo - juliasew - soulfulhues - CottageGardenTherapi bagsbymelanie - ImogensGarden


Ferry Bird

Holden vs. Daddy Army Men

Photo taken by Noah, age 5 Union, Missouri, USA

Photo taken by Holden, age 7 Portland, Oregon, USA

“We were on vacation in Gulf Shores, Alabama, and took the ferry boat across the Mobile Bay. This little bird was catching a ride, too. Noah thought it was quite funny to see the bird riding on the ramp and decided to snap his picture.”

“Camping does not happen without the bucket of army men. For Holden it's about the things found in nature that enhance the camouflage. Holden grabbed this shot on a Labor Day trip to Mt. Hood. The battle aptly took place at Government Camp. ”

- Tyann

- Cheryl

Mom Taking Pictures

Winter Tree

Photo taken by Ryleigh, age 4 Kennesaw, Georgia, USA

Photo taken by Anne-Charlotte, age 10 Lille, France

“While trying to get pics of my kids, my oldest daughter (4) got a hold of my mom's camera and kept taking pics of me..this one cracked me up. I was trying to get them to cooperate while I tried to get some pictures of them and my parents. This was her way of cooperating,…„see, I can take pictures too, Mommy.‟”

“A very poetic photo from our very poetic daughter. Anne-Charlotte has been writing her own poems for several years now so it seems only natural that her photos would reflect this spirit. This is her photo of the walnut tree in our back garden.”

- Maryum

- Gretchen

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contributors & staff

spring 2010 issue of modern handmade child  

Spring 2010 issue of Modern Handmade Child, a seasonal online magazine helping families to embrace the handmade way of life. In this issue:...

spring 2010 issue of modern handmade child  

Spring 2010 issue of Modern Handmade Child, a seasonal online magazine helping families to embrace the handmade way of life. In this issue:...