Spring 2011 Issue

Page 1

modern handmade child Editors Gretchen Jakub Fabre Shannon Hanley Layout and Design Chichiboulie The Clever Kitty Head of PR Michelle Vackar Advertising Coordinator Linda Phrakhansa

contents spring 2011 WELCOME 10 ....meet the editors 11 ....letter from the editors

WEAR - fashion trends 12....it’s all about honeysuckle 16....embracing nature in fashion

Treasurer Ahmelie Skistad

on the cover

DWELL - home dĂŠcor 21 ....right as rainbows 24....something old, something new

CREATE - crafty tutorials 32 ....farewell winter, hello spring! 44 ....homemade sidewalk chalk 56 ....easy-breezy windsock 60 ....have chick, will travel

Little Guy Necktie by Petite Peanut Boutique photography by Melissa Jones at Cherished Memories Photography



TASTE - cooking fun 39 ....breakfast as dinner 40 ....dreamy marshmallows 42 ....berry banana smoothie 43 ....white hot chocolate


Follow modern handmade child on Twitter, and become a fan on Facebook!

modern handmade child Contributors WEAR........... Marissa Fischer DWELL.......... Kristi Duchon CREATE........ Angela Salmon Manni Nicole Passeier Michelle Vackar TASTE........

Margeaux Fincher Jen Dwyer

MEET............ Shannon Hanley Laura Jacquemond CARE............ Tanja D’Lyn SHARE.......... Kristie Piacine

contents spring 2011 MEET - interviews 28 ... kaja designs 48 ... mama may i

LAUGH - the little things in life 55 ... things kids say

48 GROW - child development 66 ... spring cleaning 70 ... dear crafty shrink

GROW...........Julie Hartman WORK........... Liz Murphy

CARE - growing up green 72...for the love of everything green Please send all article submissions and ideas to: editor@modernhandmadechild.com

Note that submissions are welcome but are not guaranteed inclusion in the magazine. CopyrightŠ modern handmade child 2011. 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.


SHARE - by moms for moms 77 ... dinner is served

WORK 80 ... facebook 101


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meet the editors

gretchen jakub fabre and shannon hanley

Gretchen Jakub Fabre is an illustrator living in northern France. A mother of 3 children and one Scottie pup, her days are spent chasing after one small being or another. When not looking after her small brood, she can be found in her studio creating- usually a mess, but at times paintings, prints, felt objects and “fabrications”. A self-taught artist, her work focuses around the world and whimsies of children and the young-at-heart, many inspired by her own daily experiences. Gretchen‟s illustrations have been sold worldwide to both large companies and individuals alike. Her work can be seen online at www.chichiboulie.com and in her portfolio www.gretchenjakubfabre.com. Shannon Hanley lives on the coast of southern Maine with her husband and daughter. 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. 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 www.thecleverkitty.com and www.thecleverkitty.etsy.com, and read her blog at www.thekittypad.blogspot.com.

letter from the editors gretchen jakub fabre and shannon hanley

Winter can sure be cold, dark, and long. Sometimes it seems as though it will never end! While there is lots of fun to be had in the winter – playing in the snow outside, snuggling in cozy blankets and sipping hot cocoa inside – the coming of spring is always a very welcome sight. It‟s always so refreshing to see the days getting a bit longer, the temperatures a bit warmer and the surroundings a bit cheerier with the first signs of spring. New projects abound with the new found energy we get from the lightening of the mood. This spring, Modern Handmade Child is joining in on the new projects theme with the launch of our updated website and blog. Now you can check in daily for fun new projects and crafts, delicious recipes, thought -provoking images, gorgeous handmade products and more.

We‟re still in the early stages and there is inevitably some tweaking that will be done, but come on over and check it out. And while you‟re there leave us a message with your thoughts as we hope to make the blog an easy way for you, our readers, to communicate with us and help us make Modern Handmade Child even more enjoyable for you. Modern Handmade Child the Blog Happy Reading and Happy Spring!

Gretchen Jakub Fabre Shannon Hanley We love to hear from you! Send your comments and letters to editor@mhcmag.com.


by marissa fischer - rae gun

antone‟s selection for the color of 2011 is Honeysuckle. Every year, they select a color which they believe will be influential in fashion and design. They describe this vibrant pink as being “Courageous. Confident. Vital. A brave new color, for a brave new world. Let the bold spirit of Honeysuckle infuse you, lift you and carry you through the year. It‟s a color for every day – with nothing „everyday‟ about it.” Just to get you started, here are some great ways to introduce honeysuckle into your little ones‟ wardrobes. Try it in small doses in prints and accessories or embrace the courageous mood and go for an entire dress or outfit in the shade.

valentine twirl skirt by chew chewâ€&#x;s closet

left: pink and white dots dress by sing me a melody top row: mango tango flower headband by southern baby boutique, pink houndstooth necktie by me and matilda bottom row: bunny appliquĂŠ bodysuit by claire and me, kristina knot dress by 1crown3tiaras


any of us in the Northern Hemisphere, w Watching the life return to the world around u outdoors for more than a quick run to and from found inspiration in nature, I want to share thr

by marissa fischer - rae gun

who have been stuck inside for the last few months, are eagerly awaiting the first signs of Spring. us as ice melts and leaves return to green is revitalizing. As the air warms enough to venture m the car, we are reminded of the beauty all around us. While artists and musicians have always ree ways to embrace nature in fashion for this Spring. Colors While most of us donâ€&#x;t immediately think of browns, tans and greens when we think of clothing for the kids, these are a fabulous alternative to the blues and pinks we so often encounter. The depths of brown and green are wonderful neutrals that work well for both little boys and little girls as they add freshness to any outfit. Plus they are unique without being peculiar.

Images Another way to embrace nature is to bring in the images we find in the outside world. Think of beautiful tree designs or darling bird appliquĂŠs. Look both for plant as well as animal icons. The range of options is endless. These can be as subtle as a small feather print or as bold as a picture of a woodland creature.

woodland top by sunnybrook farm designs, grass fed toddler pants by greenplow, corduroy ruffle pants by the fresh stitch

Material Finally, material is a great way to add a touch of nature without being overly kitschy. Organic everything is hot right now – including fabric. Look for clothing made from textiles of natural fibers. I love the rustic look that a loosely woven linen brings to any outfit. Also look for fabrics with texture that remind you of the outdoors – think fluffy bunny, striped grass or ridged bark. This Spring, I encourage you to take some cues from the nature around you as you introduce new articles of clothing to your little ones‟ closets.

this page: vegan cotton striped hat by babbidge patch, mugglees infant boots by lil bums boutique, all natural wool baby cardigan by sweet memories quilts opposite page: aristotle the owl hoodie by joey and aleethea, herringbone pant and shirt set by butterfly baby place, acorn toddler tee by critter jitters, apple of my eye bodysuit by winklepots

clockwise from top left: hatching hollywood birdie bodysuit by petite fish, a little birdie told me tee shirt by my little legacies, personalized monogrammed shirt and headband set by leave you in stitches, alligator appliquĂŠ bodysuit by round the bend again

decorating with color kristi duchon - zuzu girl handmade


o two words define spring home décor more than color and cleanup. Especially when it comes to a child‟s room. As parents, we are constantly searching for creative ways to organize those piles of toys, books and clothing, while at the same time, seeking subtle and affordable ways to add color to our lives. Not an easy feat with everything else we are juggling. But there is no need to go full tilt. A little color goes a long way and clever storage can also function as defining décor.

Rainbow room photos by Joy Thigpen via Design Sponge

We love what Joy Thigpen did with her daughter‟s room. When she asked her then two-year old daughter what her favorite color was, she was given a rainbow of hues. So she did just that. She hand-painted herself a rainbow room. There is no artwork necessary in this room, but the costume hooks provided both an artistic display and functional storage.

cottage wood shelf by old new again, forever flower garland by emma lamb, rainbow crochet blanket by rocket and bear, desk organiser by less & more, madeleine frame collection by amye123, crochet floor cushion by la casa de coto, personalised toy crate by chunky monkey luv, by order of the management print by john w golden, droplets screen print by summersville

Paint is one approach; product is another. A colorful piece of art here, a fabulous rug there, and a bright pillow or throw on top of the bed can turn a small space into a whole new room. Have your child create his own art with acrylic on canvas or simply frame someone elseâ€&#x;s vibrant work. Some cleverly placed hooks and a decorative toy box can organize a space with style. There is no longer a need to stuff everything away in the closet when you find just the right toy chest or set of hooks. Spend some quality time finding the perfect focal item or make it yourself! Keep it simple and remember that color is the key. Include your child in choosing colors but remember, if you take them too literally, you just might end up on the other side of a rainbow.

kari flrak - little mr moo


s the snow melts and the flowers begin to grow, so does my desire to make some design changes. Do you feel the same? Then start packing up those cozy knit blankets; there are easy ways to update your space and let that sunshine in. Add some “happy” by using light and airy colors, while including some quirky items to keep things fun and interesting. Think Art Put your child‟s artwork to good use! They may have produced a good amount during those cold, indoor only, winter months. Donna Brandt at Outside the Lines Designs will take your child‟s drawings and appliqué them on just about anything, including wall hangings, pillows and clothing. Think Light Lighting that is. It‟s a fun way of bringing added design elements to a room, and there

are more and more fun choices popping up for the nursery. Take the Early Bird from Perch! Available in 7 color options, this mod pendant light is Amy Adam‟s bestseller.

Think Pillows Pillows are a weakness of mine, and they are a relatively inexpensive way to change the whole feel of a room. Donna Wilson‟s Rain Cloud Pillow will bring out the child in anyone. Or personalize your pillow

arrangement with K Studioâ€&#x;s Family Series Pillow and choose from their assortment of family members the ones that most closely replicate your own. Think Mobiles Mobiles add style to your space with the added bonus of being entertainment for your little one. I love the All About Birds Mobile from KLTworks, with original black and white drawings silkscreened on the front and punchy Helen Rawlinson fabric on the back. Or make your baby giggle with the Mr. Moustache Baby Mobile from Jaellundtofta. Think Details Small details can make a big impact. Try switching up your drawer knobs to add that pop of color, like these Dotted Delight Doorknobs from Sweet Mix Creations. Or add some toys as decor like these Zoo Cubes from Cate and Levi. Whatever route you choose, one or all or something in between, dressing up your home for spring will be sure to not only brighten your interior, but also brighten your interior!

left to right: swirl tree with owls vinyl wall art by janey mac, mama and child bird shelf by maple shade kids, personalized name door sign by handmade with love by sesiber, owl bedroom door hanger by heartfelt handmade, wooden bird bookends by the wooden owl

A chat with Swedish designer Eva-Karin, owner of Kaja Design, about her work interview by laura jacquemond - blue terracotta

The house is located only 10 minutes from the city centre, but still we see elks, deer, foxes, owls and falcons visiting our garden. And we love going up into the woods looking at frogs in the pond or climbing the rocks there. mhc: How and when did you start creating clothes for children?

mhc: Tell us a bit about yourself, where you live, your family. kaja: I am 38 years old, and I work as an IT consultant and run my clothing business at night, when the kids are asleep. I live in an old house in Gothenburg, Sweden with my husband and our two kids, son of 7 and daughter of 5.

kaja: It all started when I was expecting our son. We got all the big baby things like a crib and a nursing table from a friend. So during my cocooning phase I was sewing, mainly crib sets, but also some clothes. When my daughter was born it was so easy to make little bonnets and dresses for her, and then people started asking if I could make things for them as well. After a while I started blogging and then an art & design shop found me online and asked me to make a collection of dresses to be sold in the shop. Since then it has just kept on rolling.

mhc: Why did you name your shop Kaja Design? kaja: I couldn't pronounce my name when I first started talking, so I called myself Kaja. Since then no one has ever used that name, but when I started hanging out online I wanted something shorter than Eva-Karin, hence Kaja. I ordered red clothing labels with Kaja in white on them. But, when I wanted to register a domain with Kaja I realised that most domains were occupied, so I decided to go with KajaDesign. After a while, I discovered that there already is a company with that name, so I have used Kaja & lilla krax as brandname, but my shopname is still the same. Kaja is a female name in Scandinavia, but also the Swedish name for the bird jackdaw. So, Kaja & lilla krax is a pun, meaning "Kaja and little caw", where caw is the sound that the jackdaw makes. mhc: Do you create other items besides your children's line? kaja: Oh yes! I am one of those fortunate persons that have more ideas than they have time to carry them out. Someone once said that a true crafter always uses every event in their life to make something new. That is so true for me.

We bought a new kitchen table a while ago, so now I have made three sets of placemats. I make adult clothes for myself, I knit beanies, crochet mittens and shawls, create mushrooms from salt dough, scrap birthday cards, make necklaces and bracelets from beads. Well, pretty much every craft there is. And when I have more ideas than knowledge I let someone else do it for me. Usually, it is my husband that ends up doing some woodwork. mhc: Where do your ideas come from? What's your inspiration? kaja: All over the place! As I make childrenâ€&#x;s clothes I get a lot of ideas from my own children and I also use them for prototype testing. I just ordered some fabric in a print that is made from one of my sonâ€&#x;s drawings.

Right now we are reading about space, planets and stars with the kids. So, then it is only natural for me to start searching for fabric with space motifs, or making a shirt with space appliqués. My daughter likes to pull out all my fabrics and cuddle them. I‟m not fond of having to fold all the fabrics and put them back in place again, but it is definitely a good way to get new ideas. Suddenly, the polka-striped fabrics end up with the night train fabric, and you get a whole new combination for a shirt. I don't use any little books to scribble down my ideas. I keep some files with pictures or links to patterns that I want to remember on my computer. But, apart from that, it's all in my head. I let the ideas swim around and bump into each other, turning into that perfect idea. Sometimes it takes a week, sometimes a year until I actually make that idea into reality. And it still gets changed when I start sewing it. I think I do about 30% of my design when I am sewing. I cut up all fabrics, but then after a while I realize that it doesn't have the right "feeling" to it. Perhaps an appliqué? But, then I realize that the sleeves aren‟t quite right with that particular appliqué, so I save the sleeves for some other project and make a new pair instead. This way, even if I plan on

making say 2 dresses for my daughter, I end up making 5 new dresses. So we keep two and put the rest in the shop. They become like a little mini-collection. mhc: Do you sell exclusively online? If not, where else are your clothes available? kaja: Almost. I do try to attend some fairs and sell a little something to friends every now and then, but I don't have any resellers in a brick-and-mortar shop. I like to keep my customers close to me, as I find that I get some of my best ideas from customers. mhc: What's your favorite item to make?

kaja: Oh… I think I like making things that solve a problem the best. Like things that are impossible to buy anywhere except from me. Tractor pants or matching mother-daughter

outfits. I also love that I am able to sell things with popular childrenâ€&#x;s characters, like Pippi Longstocking, Moomin or Curious George, all made out of vintage fabrics. I've also made items that are suited for a special purpose. A blog friend of mine has a son with a muscular disease that means that his head needs extra support. She wanted something that looked like a regular beanie, but that still could provide that extra support. This beanie has buttons on the side (to be attached to a button elastics and then to the wheel chair) and woven fabric in the front. This is nothing that I could make and sell on a regular basis, but it gives me a lot of pleasure and satisfaction to be able to figure out and then make something that really is helping someone else. mhc: What do you do when you're not creating? kaja: I think I am almost always creating, one way or the other. A simple walk with the kids in the forest behind our house almost always turns into some creative outlet. It could be building a house for a squirrel, or picking mushrooms and putting them on leaf-plates to give as "candy" for the trolls that we are pretty

sure live up there. Working out in the gym is great for making up plans for new designs. Cooking lemon curd gives me the idea of making little crocheted jar-hats (which reminds me, I still haven't made those‌). Even sleeping is not a safe zone as I usually get a lot of ideas when I go to bed. mhc: What are your plans for the future of Kaja Design? kaja: Up until now I have been creating a lot and doing the design as I work with the item. But my next goal is to start selling patterns and eBooks. I am also planning on making free tutorials on how to repurpose things. The theme will be: "You see – I see". I held a workshop a while ago and showed how you can turn an old pair of chinos into "play pants" for kids. Or a pair of old jeans that got turned into a bag. Someone commented: "Well, it's easy for you to make something like that, because you are so creative, but I would never have come up with an idea like that." So, my mission this year will be to show everyone that it is not that hard to be creative.


he winter blues has packed its bags and is waving its last farewell to us to set out on its adventurous journey to the Southern Hemisphere (...well, at least until the next time around!) And just around the corner, our next sweet guest comes strolling along with giant and graceful steps, arms packed full with a bunch of presents for us to enjoy – it carries lightness, the promise of new

nicole passeier - magic rainbow dreaminx

beginnings, fresh starts and lovely flowery scents. The sweet chirping of bird song will be floating through the air again soon, too. Smiles are returning to our faces, and our steps become lighter as we shed our winter clothes layer by layer by layer. Nature dabs its paintbrushes in a myriad of colors and throws a magical, zappy, radiant and happy, light new dress across the Earth, and dear

Grandfather Sun gifts us with its soft warmth and kisses our skin tenderly .... ahhhhh, hello Spring! Welcome back. The one animal representing all of the above – lightness, softness, happiness, transformation, liveliness, colorfulness, airiness, floating – is the butterfly. Therefore, the butterfly presents itself as kind of a natural choice in welcoming spring back into our homes by decorating our doors with a cheery door hanging, begging spring to come in and fill our homes with laughter and happiness.

Basic Materials - 2 pieces of thick recycled cardboard (dry goods food boxes from the supermarket, e.g.) in desired size - cardstock in colors of your choice. Structured & patterned paper or colorful magazine pages will be lovely, too. Anything happy. - scissors and/ or cutter - pencil - ruler - glue stick - school watercolors or acrylic paint - paintbrushes - something to string your butterfly: e.g., jute, string, satin ribbon, wool, raffia - a thin bamboo stick or a fallen twig (please be respectful and only use already fallen off branches you find on the ground. Do not break any off a tree.). - needle or other pointy object Materials to decorate your butterfly & sign – take your pick: - colored cardstock or paper, happy wrapping paper, colorful magazine pages - wooden beads or buttons - ribbon, lace, etc. - craft wire & wire cutter - mini paper punch - colored pencils, felt pens, wax crayons - stapler

Some tips before you begin: - look up pictures of butterflies in books or on the internet to use as templates – be inspired by their vast variety of shapes and colors

Making a template (optional): Draw your butterfly silhouette in the desired size onto a piece of regular paper or thin cardstock and cut out.

- make some rough butterfly sketches on regular paper to design your personal butterfly on a small-scale basis before actually getting to work on the big one and experiment with colors, patterns & shapes

Step 1a: Draw your butterfly silhouette in the desired size onto your piece of cardboard and cut out. If you have opted for a template, place your template onto the cardboard, trace around the template and cut out.

- cut paper templates of any desired shapes you want to embellish your butterfly with – that way you can move them around on your butterfly to get a feel for what it will look like later on

Step 1b: Draw your sign in the desired size and desired shape onto another piece of cardboard and cut out. Step 2 You can now glue a strip of white paper around the edges of your butterfly and your sign to cover any open padding spaces in the cardboard. Step 3 With school watercolors or acrylic paint in the color of your choice, paint around the edges of butterfly and sign as seen in the picture. Ideally, the paint color(s) you choose should match the later main color(s). Let the paint dry.



4 Step 4 Place your butterfly onto a piece of cardstock and trace. Remove the cardboard butterfly. Now re-trace the first line by adding an “allowance� of an extra 1 - 1.5 cm, so your cardstock butterfly will be slightly bigger

4 than your cardboard foundation. Your cardstock butterfly will become the front of your butterfly. Step 5 Repeat step 4 for the sign.


Step 6 Cover the cardboard pieces with glue, align and glue them onto the respective matching pieces of cardstock. Smooth out any air bubbles or folds with the palm of your hand.




7 Step 7 Now the colorful and fun part begins: add color, shapes, patterns to the front of your butterfly. Add any embellishments you like. You can draw, paint, glue ... just let the

butterfly unfold itself under your hands right before your eyes.

like for them to be. Make sure you align them along the center.

If you like, you can add some antennas as well. I used red craft wire. You could also use pipe cleaners. Attach on the back of the butterfly head with tape to hold them in place.

Determine your points of hanging, and mark with tiny pencil dots. Make sure they are evenly spaced and level!

Step 8 Time to choose your wording for the sign: I chose “Hello Spring”, but you could also put “Come on in”, or any other spring greetings you like. You can handwrite the words with paint or with felt pens, or cut letters from wrapping paper or cardstock. You could also pick the letters you need from magazine headings, or cut your letter shapes out of flower pictures – the flowers make for a nice pattern and are springy and colorful. Make it fun, make it unique, make it yours! Add any spring-themed embellishments you can think of. Step 9 Both pieces are now done. Next you‟ll attach them to each other. Place the sign and the butterfly as close or as far apart as you would

You will have 6 points altogether: 2 on the top wings, 2 on the bottom wings, and 2 on the top of the sign. (See pictures for details.) Carefully push a thin needle through your marks so that your cardstock does not rip.



Step 10 Add your string. Make knots to keep in place. Whether you make the knots on the front or on the back is up to you. Step 11 Attach your butterfly to your stick or twig, choose a happy place for it in your home and voilà: you‟ve waved the winter blues good-bye and are welcoming a vibrant Spring in all its color, freshness and happiness. Extra-cute touch: Cut out a simple shaped butterfly silhouette in three different sizes, each size a different color. Place all three on top of each other and staple together in the middle. Make several the same way. Add a bit of glue stick glue (or a tape loop) to the back of the butterflies and stick and place around your butterfly door-hanging for some extra spring-inviting cuteness. Caution: Safety rules. Always. Ensure that any sharp objects such as needles, scissors and cutters are well out of reach of any small children. Be sure to supervise your children‟s use of any crafting material. © Nicole Passeier For personal use only.

Potato, Ham and Egg Casserole

margeaux fincher - mux originals

This savory casserole, rather like a hearty, crust-less quiche, is a perfect breakfast-as-dinner entrée. It‟s easy to make, and any leftovers reheat wonderfully. If you have a small family, halve the recipe (use 7 eggs) and bake it in an 8” x 8” pan. Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 375 F, spray a 9” x 13” pan with cooking spray and prepare all ingredients. Mix the hash browns, onion, green pepper, and garlic in a large bowl.

Serves: 12 Ingredients: 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided 1 bag (2 lb.) frozen hash browns 1 onion, chopped 1 green pepper, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup of cooked ham, diced 15 eggs, beaten 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded Salt and pepper to taste

2. Heat 1 Tbsp of the oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add 1/3 of the hash brown mixture. Cook, without stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until browned (lift the edge of the layer of hash browns to check). Flip hash browns, and cook for about another 5 minutes. Place the cooked hash browns in the prepared 9” x 13” pan. Cook the remaining hash brown mixture in two batches, using 1 Tbsp of oil per batch. Place all hash browns in the prepared pan. 3. Sprinkle ham over hash browns. Pour the beaten eggs on top, stir lightly, and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese. 4. Cover pan with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until the surface of the casserole is firm and crispy, and edges are browned. Cut into squares and serve.

These fluffy marshmallows are full of sweet vanilla flavor. Homemade marshmallows are easier to make than you‟d expect, although the process does take time and can get a little sticky. For a delicious treat, make a sandwich of cinnamon graham crackers, peanut butter, and a homemade marshmallow. margeaux fincher - mux originals Yield: 9” x 13” pan (the total number of marshmallows varies depending on what size or shape you cut them into) Ingredients: Cooking spray 1 ½ cups water, divided 3 cups granulated sugar 1 ¼ cups light corn syrup ¼ teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons + 1 ½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract Confectioner‟s sugar, for coating Directions: 1. Prepare the pan: Lightly spray a 9” x 13” pan with cooking spray. Line it with plastic wrap or foil, leaving an overhang on all sides, and spray the wrap/foil with cooking spray as well. Set aside. 2. Combine ¾ cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a medium saucepan, and attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Place over high heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Cook, without stirring, until mixture reaches 238 degrees (approx. 10 – 15 min.).

3. In the meantime, combine the gelatin and ¾ cup water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. 4. Once the sugar syrup reaches the right temperature, remove the pan from the stove. Turn the electric mixer on low, and pour the sugar syrup over the gelatine mixture. Gradually raise mixer speed, and beat the mixture until it is stiff, white, and cool, approximately 12 – 15 min. Beat in vanilla extract. 5. Pour the mixture into the prepared 9” x 13” pan, using a spatula to move it along. Coat your hands with confectioner‟s sugar and use them to smooth the surface of the mixture. 6. Allow the mixture to solidify, uncovered and untouched, for a minimum of three hours. If necessary, it can be left overnight. 7. When you‟re ready to cut the marshmallows, sprinkle a generous layer of confectioner‟s sugar onto your work surface. Place about a cup of confectioner‟s sugar in a large bowl and set aside. 8. Unmold the marshmallows onto the layer of confectioner‟s sugar, and peel away the plastic wrap/foil. Lightly spray a paring knife with cooking spray, and cut the marshmallows into squares. Alternately, you can used greased cookie cutters. Place the cut marshmallows in the bowl of confectioner‟s sugar and toss to coat them with the sugar. 9. Store the marshmallows in an airtight container for up to a week. They also freeze beautifully and thaw very quickly.

jen dwyer - puntebella

The pineapple chunks give this healthful and refreshing smoothie a bit of a tropical flair. For a sweeter smoothie, make sure the banana is ripe. Ingredients: ⅔ cup non-fat milk ⅔ cup pineapple chunks ¼ cup pineapple juice 1 banana 1 cup frozen mixed berries Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately. Makes 2 eight ounce servings.

The white chocolate makes for a smooth and rich hot cocoa. Using cinnamon sticks instead of powdered cinnamon keeps the spices from floating to the top.

jen dwyer - puntebella

Ingredients: 3 cups of milk 2 cinnamon sticks ½ cup white chocolate chips ½ teaspoon vanilla extract Whipped cream and mini chocolate chips (optional) Heat the milk together with the cinnamon sticks over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Stir frequently until the milk is steaming and bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes to infuse the cinnamon into the milk. Add the chocolate chips and cook and stir until the chocolate is melted. Remove the cinnamon sticks and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour into four 6 oz. mugs and top with whipped cream and mini chocolate chips if desired.

michelle vackar - hi mamma

One of our favorite outside activities at our home is drawing with chalk on the driveway. You can play hopscotch, four-square, and of course draw and create silly stories. One day as we played hopscotch, my daughters and I were talking about how to make chalk, and I thought to myself, let‟s try it! It‟s pretty simple, and ended up being quite a lot of fun. This recipe makes 6 tubes of chalk. Supplies:  6 toilet paper tubes (or 3 paper towel

 small bucket or disposable container to

tubes cut in half)  scissors  duct tape  wax paper

make the recipe  1 ½ cup of warm water  3 cups Plaster of Paris  5-6 tablespoons of tempera paint

Directions: Step 1: Cover one end of each tube with duct tape to hold the contents within. Step 2: Cut 6 pieces of wax paper, roughly 6 inches by 6 inches. Roll the wax paper loosely and insert into the tubes to create a liner (the top of the wax paper will be higher than the tubes). The wax paper liner will keep the chalk mixture from sticking to the cardboard tubes, and will eventually be peeled off. Step 3: Pour the warm water into your bucket. Sprinkle the Plaster of Paris over the water and stir the mixture with a plastic spoon. The Plaster of Paris roughly starts hardening within 2030 minutes, so you need to work fast so that it does not harden too quickly.

Step 4: Next add the tempera paint into the Plaster of Paris mixture and stir until thoroughly mixed. If you would like brighter colors, add more tempera paint into the mixture. We wanted to make a variety of colors of chalk, so we spooned about ½ -3/4 cup of the Plaster of Paris mixture into separate containers and mixed in the different tempera paint colors into each bowl. Step 5: Stand each tube with the tape side down on a cookie sheet/flat baking dish/box lid to make the project easier to transport to a drying location. Pour or spoon the colored Plaster of Paris mixture into the wax paper lined tubes. Lightly tap the sides of the tubes to release the air bubbles (so you do not have holes in your chalk). When done trim the excess wax paper so that it is closer to the cardboard tube. Step 6: It took 3 days for our chalk to dry. On the last day, we peeled off the duct tape so that the underside could dry. When the chalk dries, peel off the paper tubes and wax paper. Your chalk is ready!

meet Jessica Perkins of

interview by shannon hanley - the clever kitty

mhc: Aside from creating things, what do you love to do?

mhc: Tell us a little about yourself. jessica: My name is Jessica. I currently live in the city of Philadelphia with my ambitious, business minded husband and inspiring, tenacious 2 – almost 3 - year old daughter, Layla. We are excited to be welcoming our second little girl sometime in May. I can‟t wait to start designing things from the beginning again – the newborn stage!

jessica: The best part about my job creating things is that I love what I do. There really isn‟t a separation from my “creating things” and my business…they all intermingle and intertwine. I am a creative being – whether I am creating a homemade, rainbow birthday cake, designing a new super chic drool catcher, writing momentos on my blog, playing and learning with my little one, or sketching product ideas just for fun – it is all about life, love, learning. These are the things I love to do. I am just so lucky to be able to share them with other little ones and their families! mhc: How did you get started making things? What is the first thing you remember creating? jessica: I have been interested in creating things for as long as I can remember. I have memories of designing things on paper and

bringing them to my Mom to help me create them into real life objects. I have so many great memories...staying up past my bedtime just so I could finish a project. Even when I was in grade school I would find ways to unleash my creativity. Whether it was with an elaborate book report cover, holiday classroom treats, decorations for my bedroom, gifts for friends and family, or designing a new living room and rearranging my Mom‟s furniture, I found a way to turn my ideas from visions to sketches and then into real life tangibles. I would bake beautiful cupcakes and hand them out in school. I would write poems on extravagant Valentine‟s cards and give them to people I thought deserved a happy note. In my childcare and development class we had to plan a “birthday party”: Mine was an outer space party. I somehow convinced my group to build an actual spaceship playhouse as part of our project. It had a doorway, seats, rocket engines with crepe paper

“fire”, windows, a lighted computer command center with a picture of the universe, keyboard…. We left it assembled in the classroom for the preschool students to use for pretend play for the rest of the year. mhc: When did you decide to start selling your work? jessica: My journey started from childhood. I love designing, pairing, creating, making, doing, seeing my imagination turn in to real things. I have had the good fortune of having a wonderfully supportive network of

people surrounding me who have all contributed to my creative love becoming a “career”. I am always designing, creating, and making things. I have forever given my handmade pieces away as gifts or sold them to friends and family. When I found out about Etsy I was so excited to set up shop. I am honored and grateful to be a part of this wonderful collaboration of artists and crafters. I first opened shop on Etsy in September of 2008. I am constantly trying to come up with new designs, concepts, and toy ideas to debut. mhc: What is the name of your shop?

jessica: Mama May I – When I first opened shop I thought long and hard about the vision I had for my company. I wanted it to be open-ended, changing, growing….just like my little one. When I sat down to create a mission statement these words came to mind and continue to be the core of my business: Mama, Mama, May I explore? May I dance, may I sing, may I cry? May I roam, flap my wings, Pretend to be king May I dream, may I play, may I fly? To me, these words capture the human spirit and the innate curiosity in us all. When I was pregnant, I asked for parent advice from my Grandmother. One of the things she said to me was, “Don‟t say no unless you have to, and when you say “no”, mean it.” As a parent, and a designer, these words guide me. My little one looks up to me all the time for direction, and I want to be able to answer all of these questions with a resounding : “Yes, You May.” When I create, I design with these thoughts and ideas in mind. I want the pieces to engage, encourage, captivate, and fill her and other little learners with confidence.

Design. Create. Explore. Dream. Discover. Learn. Love. mhc: What‟s your favorite item to make? jessica: I don‟t necessarily have a favorite item. I love the process of designing in general. That‟s my favorite part. It‟s the figuring out what Layla needs next, coming up with new ideas, mulling around designs, diagrams, and patterns in my twilight sleep, and actually coming up with something tangible for her and I to explore and learn with. I love how open-ended these products are. My favorite part is watching other little ones engage and interact with my designs. I love to see how different children, of all different ages, abilities, and backgrounds, engage and learn with the things I make. Sometimes different, sometimes the same, but the process and outcome are always unique to each little explorer. It‟s thrilling as a mom and educator to watch, and humbling to be a part of. mhc: What‟s your most popular item? jessica: The soft toys and loveys are very popular with the new learners because they provide a soft, cozy, interactive world. The wooden toys like the Colored Cups and Balls,

Little People Rainbow World, Stack a Spool, Color Sorting Bowls, Blocks, The Family Box, are perfect for little explorers tinkering with and discovering the world around them through open-ended play. My Little Nurture Box, The Sensory Color Sorting Play Set, Nesting a Rainbow, Rainbow Fish Frolic are all great for little scientists interacting with and understanding their worlds. The You Create the Why Story Starters and Make a Match Memory games are perfect for little ones expanding their vocabulary and verbal communications. The Crayon Wallets are wildly popular as a gift item for almost any age (even adults!). Each Learning Lovey has been thoughtfully designed with your little ones‟ developmental needs in mind, so they are all “popular” at different stages of growth and development.

feel there are other little ones out there who would also love them.

mhc: Where does your inspiration come from? jessica: Everything I make, I make because I am inspired by some part of it – the colors, the textures, skill building, and play experiences inspire me to design. I always think: what can I make to help Layla? How can we better learn about this concept? How can we explore? How can we make our lives more interactive? How can this nurture the relationship between us so we are working and learning together – playing, imagining, and creating memories together? The things I create are things I would use, and do use, with the people who are closest to me. Layla is certainly a willing product-tester and we have spent hours experimenting together. If she loves it, I make more of them because I

Play, imagination, and education all inspire my ideas. Really, everything in my life inspires me. I am always finding things in my world I think can be changed, made easier, more fun. More often than not, parenthood is about finding the little experiences and grasping teachable moments. I am inspired by the life I live, the songs we sing together, the silly sounds we make, the new dance moves Layla teaches me, the amazing things we accomplish together every day. I am inspired by the walks we take, the people we meet on the playground, at the park, the zoo, the city, and in books. I am inspired by motherhood and by the child in all of us who can‟t wait to dance to the ice cream truck‟s merry tune. mhc: What is your creative process? jessica: My creative process is in playing and exploring my thoughts and ideas in the same way Layla plays with and explores her world. It starts as a thought and becomes a game – and through laughter, trial and tribulation, an understanding is born. I design it. Sketch it. Create it. We play around with it a little more, and if it gets Layla‟s “Play of Approval”, I take pictures and write up a description.

mhc: What‟s the best part about earning a living making things? jessica: I love how playful my work is. I love that I can see the world through imaginative, exploratory eyes and make something inspired by my own life. Just as your little one is full of spunk and spirit, so are these little handmade pieces. Colors, patterns, textures, and experiences inspire my own imagination, and create a unique end product that takes on a character all its own (a character quite like its owner). An added bonus, children are the most grateful recipients! Children love, cuddle, bite, drag, chew, hold, and hug my handmade pieces. This is what I love most about my products – bringing smiles, imagination, and exploration to little worlds. I love being able to be a part of a child‟s curiosity and growing understanding of the world. mhc: What handmade item do you cherish? jessica: I cherish all handmade items because they each have a story behind them. A thought. An inspiration. They are a gift of time and labor of love. My very first quilt I ever made, I

was going to sell on Etsy. Layla was about 9 months old when I started it. I was inspired by the colors in each fabric swatch I thoughtfully collected. She was awed. She would play with those swatches on the design board – move them around, stack them, chew on them, oogle them. When I completed the quilt, I was ready to take pictures to post the listing. I triumphantly showed it to my husband, unfolding it gently, to find Layla staring up at it, wide eyed. “Ooohhhhh” she said. I knew I could never part with this colorful creation. She was a part of this one‟s one-of-a-kind story. I used this quilt as the inspiration for her Play, Learn, and Grow space (her bedroom). The color palette,

patterns, and warmth provided my inspiration for her entire room. Every time I see this quilt on her bed I think about her little fingers fiddling with the squares and her bright-eyed enthusiasm of Mama‟s project. It makes my heart happy to see her cuddled up under my creation. I cherish it because I cherish the story behind it. I try to share these stories with my customers because I feel they are such an important part of each and every design. mhc: What to you is the importance of buying handmade? jessica: Buying handmade is important because it facilitates a connection between people who may not otherwise be connected. It allows me, a stay-at-home-Mama, the ability to put my little one first. It allows you

the unique ability to see into the design process and perhaps even collaborate on an idea. It gives you an insight into the background of each product – its story. Everything I create has been thoughtfully planned out with my own little one‟s growth and learning in mind – I don‟t sell anything that we don‟t use and love. It is with my enthusiasm for exploring, love of learning, and care in creating that allows this beautiful relationship to manifest naturally. There is something special about having a basket filled with items you have thoughtfully chosen – that were lovingly created and designed by hand, nurturing your own little one‟s mind and cultivating development. There is a connectivity, sense of community, and beauty in this transference of ideas and learning through play.

Jessica is offering 10% off your purchase of $25.00 or more from her shop, Mama May I. Please enter the discount code “MHC10” in the notes to seller box when purchasing. Offer expires February 28th, 2011.

Upon seeing a man smoking on the side of the road, my 5 year old daughter asked her grandmother, "How do you learn to smoke, do you take a class?"

"Nanny, I'm a side-kick! I can read your mind!" - Jen Arledge in Livingston, LA

- Debbie Weinstein in Houston, TX Overheard conversation: "Maya, itâ€&#x;s freedom that we want, not money. It's freedom!" - Ethan - Aaron in Mankato, MN

When we brought our second child, Charlotte, home from the hospital, I was nursing her in the living room. My oldest, Emma, came over and asked "What are you doing, Mommy?" I told her that I was feeding Charlotte, and without missing a beat and with a HORRIFIED look on her face, she exclaimed, "Charlotte eats BOOB?!" - Laura Prascher in Charlottesville, VA

Our 3yr old granddaughter was spending the day with us, and I asked if she would like a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch, of which she answered "yes" to. I then asked Grandpa if he wanted to join us for a grilled cheese sandwich. Before he could answer, Cara started laughing and said, "Grammy, Grandpa's a man, he can't have a grilled cheese sandwich, he has to have a 'boy' cheese sandwich"! - Nancy Keesling in Bella Vista, AR

While returning a broken Christmas toy my son turns to me and asks "How do you even know where Santa got it?" Busted! - Rachel in Mankato, MN


angela salmon manni - angel fish boutique

lmost every day during the spring, we go outside and play. It doesnâ€&#x;t necessarily matter what we play; we are warm, happy and outside. In winter, we spend our mornings unfreezing pipes with hairdryers and afternoons hunkered down with endless games of monopoly. Needless to say, I spend my cold winter days longing for spring.

I look for signs of spring in the most unusual place – the dairy section of my supermarket. Nothing makes me happier than a March expiration date on my milk carton! But really, as we get closer to it, you can almost smell spring in the air – that hint of spring hanging on a cool, mild breeze will put me in the best of moods. So I watch and patiently wait for my March-stamped gallon of milk, and gentle spring breeze. Supplies: White Paper Cup (9 ounce size in photos) Scissors Hole Puncher Paint Paint Brushes Crepe Paper Ribbon or Yarn Tape Glue Stickers / Embellishments (3D Stickers, sequins and Sports Stickers used in projects)

Let‟s get ready for spring with this “EasyBreezy” windsock, using supplies you might even already have on hand. Kids can get creative by using their favorite colors and embellishments, such as sports-themed, floral or insect stickers. It‟s time to say goodbye to the frigid winds of winter and hello to the gentle breezes of spring!







Directions: Step 1: Adults only, use your scissors to poke a hole in the bottom of the cup. Cut out the bottom. If there are any pieces that you canâ€&#x;t quite cut out, simply bend them down into the cup as pictured. Step 2: Using your hole puncher, punch 2 holes, one on each side of the cup, near the bottom (cut) end. Step 3: Paint as desired; let dry. 2 coats might be necessary to cover any design on the cup.

Step 4: Decorate with stickers and embellishments as desired. Step 5: Cut the crepe paper to your desired length and tape it to the inside of the cup, as pictured. You can use as many or as few strips as you like! You can also decorate the crepe paper with sequins and/or stickers if desired. Step 6: Thread the ribbon or yarn through the holes.

Hang your windsock on a tree, hook it to your front porch, or wherever else you like, and get ready to welcome spring!

angela salmon manni - angel fish boutique

Creating a fun (and mishap-free) travelling spring planter “Look mom! We planted marigolds in school!” I look down at my smiling little 5 year old, and his Dixie cup full of soil. “Wow, great!” I say, trying to match his enthusiasm as I glance towards the back seat of my car. I know what lies ahead, he is not the first one to come home with a cup of dirt and a dream. Many times we have in fact had a successful transfer of seedling from school to home, or from home to grandma‟s house. But at other times the poor thing doesn‟t quite make it out of the car. While the finger pointing usually begins at once, the “who-how-and-why” doesn‟t matter. The damage is done and my child‟s dream of a horticultural triumph is reduced to a pile of dirt in his lap. How do we avoid this tiny disaster? Spend an afternoon with your little one, and make a Mini Chick Traveller. It‟s cute, covered, and keeps even the tiniest of passengers secure.

Supplies: 2 Plastic Easter Eggs (though you will only be using the 2 short bottoms, and one tall top) 1 Small Button Hot Glue Gun and Stick White Card Stock and/or Construction Paper in your choice of color Marker or Crayon, your choice of color Scissors Double Sided Tape Soil Flower seeds Directions: 1. Create the Base: (adults only) Hot glue the button to the bottom side of one of the smaller egg piece and let set. Then hot glue second short egg piece to top of button as pictured.

2. Create Chick Features: Eyes: Cut out 2 small circles from your white cardstock. Using your marker or crayon, color small circles to complete the eyes as pictured. Beak: Cut out a small triangle. To ensure that it sits flush against the egg, snip a small slit in the middle of the longer end of your triangle and create a tiny fold where you will attach your double sided tape. Color the beak as desired. You can also cut the beak out of colored construction paper. Wings: Cut 2 triangles out of colored construction paper - have fun using different colors! Tail: Fold your paper in half as pictured (see following page) and cut a triangle-like shape on the fold. Size really doesnâ€&#x;t matter. On the smaller, open end, fold back paper so it will sit flush on the egg as pictured. Cut small slits into the folded end to mimic feathers. Attach your chickâ€&#x;s features using double sided tape.

creating the tail 3. Plant: Add soil, plant a seed and you‟re done! Once your chick makes it safely to its new home, remember to remove the top part of the egg to allow for sunlight and watering. Mini Chick Travellers are a fun spring gift option for kids, so get “cracking” and help your kids bring a creative planter to those you love, safely and easily!

clockwise from top left: easter basket by monograms, markings and more, personalised easter basket by it‟s personal, galvanized pail by brody and ma, kid‟s art bucket by mom n‟ mia quilts

clockwise from top left: blue bird in felted wool by bent cupcake wrappers by papershop, the sheep amigurumi woobies, chick drawstring sewing pattern by winter peac by woolicious.

t whims studio, birds pillow cover by sukan, yellow chicks pattern by irene strange, knit lamb baby hat by luluâ€&#x;s ch, easter chick bodysuit by whimsy tots, felted wool eggs

Child Development Skill of the Season julie hartman - petite fish


hen I pondered what developmental skill to focus on for the Spring issue, a common phrase popped in my mind: Spring Cleaning. In my household growing up, that meant Dad spent the day outside, raking up the mucky dead leaves and stuff around the gardens to make room for new growth. It meant Mom got out the outdoor table cloths, sand box and toys, and planted fresh flowers. There also seemed to be some household cleaning, but nothing major. As kids, that phrase didn‟t mean anything. While I appreciated the pretty flowers and warmer air, it wasn‟t until I was an adult that I recognized it as an opportunity to prepare for growth in other ways: to refresh and renew lots of things that get bogged down during the slower days of winter. As this Crafty Shrink continues her mission to provide tips, using crafts, activities, and

advice on important childhood development skills, I‟ll use this issue to focus on ways to nurture in children the concepts of renewal and growth inside our hearts and minds as we witness these things in the springtime world around us. Springtime is about sunny skies and sunny hearts No matter where you live, Springtime often conjures up images of sunshine, flowers, and fresh air. In some regions, it‟s about melting snow or cleansing rains. For your green thumbs, garden bulbs begin to bloom and for kids, it means summer fun is around the corner. Spring is also a time to conjure up these sensations in your mind and body. All of us experience a sort of hibernation during the winter months. We often exercise less and

gain a few holiday pounds, our skin dries out, and we‟re constantly surrounded by layers of insulating clothes. And less time outdoors means less cleansing fresh air. Spring is the perfect time to teach kids about purposefully „shedding that winter layer” like a snake sheds its skin - and inviting the sunshine into our hearts. Here‟s how: 1. Invite your child to divide a piece of paper in half with a line. One the left side, ask him to draw a picture of himself (you do the same for you!) covered in bundles of clothing for winter and surrounded by everything wintery - snow, leafless trees, cloudy skies. Encourage him to use darker colors, like navy, brown, and gray. On the other half of the paper, ask him to then draw a picture of himself in a t-shirt and shorts, surrounded by all things spring – flowers, clear sky, sunshine, and outdoor games. Encourage him to use lighter colors, like orange, yellow, and green. This contrast helps him welcome the new season into his life and heart. 2. Encourage your child to spend 20 minutes outside every day after school. The purpose is to breathe in the fresh air and absorb the sunshine into our pores as a way to clean-out all the cobwebs of winter. Make it even better and join her! A crafty way to get your child to comply? Spend

some days doing some fun scavenger hunts or physical challenges (i.e. “I dare you to hop on your left foot from that tree to the wall”). End other days by doing a craft outside. Many craft and fabric stores have inexpensive kits that make set-up and clean -up a cinch. 3. Expect your child to lend a helping hand to a neighbor or family friend who lives nearby. Perhaps it‟s pulling weeds, planting veggies, or organizing part of the garage. Springtime is about movement. Plants are constantly moving by creating new branches, leaves, and blooms. Soil is constantly being churned by earthworms and beetles. Birds are making nests. It‟s good to encourage children to borrow the motion of spring and get moving! With spring around the corner, be sure to take advantage by trying these tools with your child(ren), and help make spring a time where they will feel warm and fresh from the inside-out. Crafty Shrink is an article written for Modern Handmade Child Magazine. Authored by Dr. Julie Hartman, a licensed clinical psychologist with a specialty in children. She is also a proud mother and owner of Petite Fish – swimmingly good attire for little fishies.

But make doing them fun for your kids using these adorable chore charts from Joy Charde, organised mother behind creativemamma.com. Download your free kit by logging on to her website where youâ€&#x;ll find all sorts of fun goodies!

julie hartman - petite fish Dear Crafty Shrink is a column where readers ask Modern Handmade Child‟s Grow Editor, Dr. Julie Hartman, for simple advice on creative ways to teach kids various mini-lessons on life.

Dear Crafty Shrink: Our loved ones went crazy this year with Christmas. We also inherited a lot of hand-me-downs. We have accumulated so many toys and clothes, everything is a mess. How can I get my 9 year-old to donate some of it to Goodwill? –Rachel, Oregon

said, organization is a process, so make sure you carve out a designated space for „in process‟ work in order to be able to go back to it until it‟s finished. Sometimes this means covering it with a blanket and making a sign that says “do not touch”.

Springtime is a wonderful opportunity to teach children the important skill of organization. Many of us accumulate so much stuff during the year and especially during the gift season. Whether it‟s old school papers, toys/clothing, or random items in the „junk drawer‟, here are some crafty ways to teach the organizational component of Spring Cleaning:

2. During your Spring Cleaning session, encourage your child to make piles. I suggest 3 piles: (1) a pile of „must keep no matter what‟, either because it‟s a favorite, it‟s a necessity, it‟s new, and/or it‟s sentimental, (2) a pile of „would like to keep‟, but if the pile was „kidnapped‟, you/the child wouldn‟t miss it too much, and (3) a pile of damaged, outdated, or no longer used items.

1. Depending on your child‟s age and temperament, I suggest blocking out “Spring Cleaning Time” or “Organization Time” into 20-minute to 1-hour blocks at a time. If you go much longer than that, the learning lesson tends to diminish due to overload. With that

3. I suggest forcing things into those 3 piles, while letting the child know that you will review when he is done and that he will be allowed pile changes before the „goodbye‟ happens. For instance, if he wants to move something from the „no longer used‟ pile to the

„would like to keep pile‟, then he will have to move something from the „would like to keep pile‟ to the „no longer use pile‟. This keeps progress going toward the goal of „saying goodbye‟, while also providing a system that feels fair. 4. Say goodbye to the „damaged, outdated, or no longer used items‟ first. If you have a child who is particularly attached to everything, say „goodbye‟ to it first by moving it from the house to the garage (or a neighbor‟s garage). Then, after a week, say goodbye to it by placing it in the trunk of the car for a week. Then, the final goodbye goes to goodwill or the dump. Make sure your child is present for each stage initially – this will build the skills needed to part with things more easily in the future. 5. After one pile is gone (a successful goodbye has been accomplished), encourage your child to identify 5 – 10 things from the „would like to keep pile‟ that can move into the „goodbye‟ pile. Repeat as needed during spring. I suggest making this a springtime ritual so your child has a break from this level of detailed organization the rest of the year (although certainly organization is a day-to-day skill). 6. To celebrate the process, invite your child to bring the new into an organized space. There should be more room now in cubbies, bins, closet shelves, etc. I suggest you sit down with your child, markers, stickers, tape, and

construction paper in hand, and make signs to place in areas where certain items should go (i.e. “blocks, cars, dolls, school papers”). A caveat: I can hear what you‟re probably thinking: “my child is attached to all of it. She claims that everything is sentimental or being „used‟ (even if she hasn‟t touched it in months)”. In that case, I suggest bringing out the camera and making a memory book of their pictures to honor those belongings; your child can even write a „tribute‟, such as “this picture of the bunny book is special because I used to read it every day.” For some children, their toys and things feel like extensions of themselves, even their family. I remember wanting to keep this one broken doll because “Aunt Chrissie gave it to me” (even though I didn‟t play with it anymore). The idea is to teach children to honor memories, hold the specialness in their hearts, but that goodbyes are a necessary part of life. A goodbye doesn‟t have to be harsh or rushed, but it does have to happen when it comes to making room for the new.

If you liked this article, please let the Crafty Shrink know! Ask more questions and send in examples of how you implemented the advice. E-mail Julie at craftyshrink@mhcmag.com.


live in the Northwest, but was raised in Southern California. My Grandmother? Well, she‟s from the South. Family history plays a part in our upbringing, mannerisms and our lifestyle, so it comes as no surprise that I glean from my grandmother in this article about living green as a family. My inspiration? Her antique tea towel which reminds me of her cooking, her gardening and her love of everything green. New beginnings are an essential part of living green, and with spring coming, there are many ways to start anew. With the following activities, I will share with you some of my family‟s fun ways to repurpose, up-cycle and create new beginnings. Every spring, we as a family clear out our closets, getting rid of toys and stuff we just do not use. Although this spring cleaning may sound like work or chores, we make it fun! Having an art studio helps us to “think

outside of the box” as we are not just getting rid of our old stuff, but are instead finding things to up-cycle as well. Things we put away from last year are going to be put to use in our first project of creating a small herb garden. Planting and caring for your garden will be a fun new way to encourage new beginnings, family traditions and create a wonderful sense of purpose in a child‟s life! Once you have planted these important seeds, keep this process going. As your garden grows, create some wonderful recipes, and plan out what you will cook with your herbs. This is the part that I remember the most about my grandmother: spending time with her planning and creating wonderfully living green recipes has created such wonderful memories for me. Sadly my grandmother is no longer with us, but the wonderful traditions she helped create for spring live on in our family traditions.

by tanja d’lyn - inspiring design studio

Herb Garden: Got Wheels? We chose our old red wagon, retro-tin vase and an old dump truck toy. Look around for anything fun that you can fill up with potting soil, that can fit on your counter or can roll from your porch to the sun and roll back when it rains, whatever suits your mood really! Have fun and be creative. Instructions: 1) Line your container if needed, then spread a small amount of gravel over the bottom. Materials: -2 to 4 packages of herbs -small pebbles or loose gravel -potting soil - enough to cover half of the bottom of container -water -black liner (particularly for old or rusted items) -green moss (great for adding vintage detail but practical as it helps keep soil moist)

2) Add potting soil to just under the halfway mark then plant your herb seeds in rows 2 inches apart. 3) Cover seeds with remaining potting soil so the container is half full. 4) Water your herb garden following directions on seed packets. 5) For a decorative and practical touch, add moss around sides of your item. Be sure to avoid covering the seeds.

Marker Savvy: Plant Stake Folk Art Materials: -empty seed packets -wooden plant stakes, tongue depressors or popsicle sticks -card stock paper, recycled birthday, holiday or thank you cards or colored construction paper -markers, paint or rubber stamps and ink -ribbons, rick rack or any craft fun decorations that will inspire creativity Now that you have created and planted your garden, you will want to mark your herbs so that you will know what is growing where. We are going to do this in a very green way by recycling the empty seed packets. Use any of your favorite art mediums for this: rubber stamps, markers, paint, crafting scissors, colored paper or old birthday, holiday or thank you cards (we recycle our favorites in a box in the art studio). Let your creativity flow. Instructions: 1) Cut out the picture of the herb from seed packet. 2) Cut out a same size card stock paper and glue or staple the image to the paper. 3) Decorate the front and back. 4) Cut a small straight line at the top and bottom, about ½â€? in (slits for the tongue depressor). 5) Decorate the tongue depressor and insert through the slits. 6) Mark the herbs in your garden with the matching herb stakes.

Upcycled Tea Towels:

Vintage Child Aprons

Instructions: 1) Cut tea towel in half lengthwise or use full towel depending on the size you will need for your child. 2) Pocket: Center the hankie, doily or fabric square about 3 inches from the top of apron (or over a hole or stain ) and sew the “pocketâ€? to the apron 3) Waistband: Fold in and press Âź inch along one long length of band as well as the ends of band. Fold in half and press 4) Place unfinished end of band along the top of apron, right sides together and stitch 5) Fold band over seam and pin in place. Stitch. Materials: -vintage tea towel or your favorite tea towel with a hole or stain -fabric for the band that ties at waist: 4 x 36 to 44 inches depending on length you need -hankie or vintage doilies or fabric for the pocket -trims, ribbons, rick rack or any fun decorations that will inspire creativity -white thread -sewing machine -common pins

by kristie piacine - kind living designs

“Uncle!” Did you hear that, piles of papers that are sitting in my dining room? Hey you, receipts over there. I‟ll find you during tax crunch time – maybe the third week of March. Emails? I‟m not even going to bother. I know you‟re a trap. Work, PTA, New Ideas, Paperwork, Phone Calls, To-do Lists? Goodbye! I‟m going to pretend you don‟t exist. From now on my job is Stay-At-Home Mom and nothing more. Isn‟t that enough? Funny how at one point in my life, it wasn‟t. Coming off of a pretty nice corporate job in retail marketing, being at home with my newborn those first few months was awesome. Living and breathing every moment – sitting with the video camera for hours just making silly faces waiting for something, anything. Nap time was heaven. I loved my glider. It‟s still in the basement. We just can‟t get rid of it. The hours I spent sitting in it doing nothing but soaking in my child, my greatest achievement in life. Usually it was quiet and nothing else was calling my attention. But a few months later, I don‟t know what exactly changed. I

started to think about my job. How I missed it, but I didn‟t. How I missed being involved in projects, brainstorming ideas, being strategically creative. I was so over the 4:00 figure-out-what‟s-for-dinner hour. That‟s when I dove into making my own future, creating my own business. That was seven years ago. It has been a wonderful trip so far. I wouldn‟t give it up for the world. Except now maybe I would. Trying to be at home for your children and work from home for your own business at the same time is a little like trying to ride your bike while you have a full leg cast on one leg. One half of your life is cruising along on target, getting things done. Unfortunately, the other half of your life is dragging along, bits and pieces getting lost along the way. A forgotten phone call to set up that playdate. The extra $10 in library fines because you just couldn‟t actually get to the library over the past 10 days. Three trips to the grocery store in 4 days because you keep forgetting that you signed up to bring snack for school, that you don‟t have bread for lunches and oh yeah, you

were invited to that dinner party tomorrow night. Back to the store for some cheese and crackers. Or maybe it‟s knowing you are three days behind on orders and you keep forgetting to actually stop and tell your customers you are three days behind on orders because (cue drum roll...) you are behind. Or you are in and out of the car so often that by the end of the day the one thing you had to do, you didn‟t, and you‟re still staring at that package that had to go out this morning. Here‟s how my life had been rolling along: Home life „under control” (and less is said in the loosest sense of the word) = Work is a mess. Work sailing smoothly = Life at home is just chaos. Now I don‟t mean that we‟re all being mean to one another and grumpy and unhappy. It‟s more that when I focus on work, I‟m saying things like, “Please, please. Go in your room and play. Please. I have just a few more emails to do.” “No, no. No computer games. Mommy is working today.” I end up being such a „no‟ Mommy when it is all happening under one roof.

It‟s been a struggle really wanting to do any work now that the holidays are over. The chaotic rush of the buying season just left me spinning. I am so grateful for a wonderful 4th quarter, Amen, but I just feel like this year, I missed out.

Just a few weeks ago I was sharing this with a friend, and she mentioned how I founded my business privileged that help us connect wi we were to that help my customer be able to be home talk about making g with our greater purpose than ju children day in Gifts that in some and day reminder of a love, kin out. To between people. And m really raise them, literally. talking about her just Every day, every herself - she’s th hour serving them. Serving them. SERVING them. Click-Click. (That is the sound of the light coming on.) I founded my business on creating items that help us connect with one another and that help my customers spread smiles. I talk about

making gifts that serve a greater purpose than just a material item. Gifts that in some way serve as a reminder of a love, kindness, connection between people. And my friend, she was talking about her just being, her being, herself – she‟s the “product”.

I got really quiet later that night. My hubby asked me if everything was okay s on creating items and I said, “No. No, I don‟t think it ith one another and is.”

rs spread smiles. I gifts that serve a ust a material item. way serve as a ndness, connection my friend, she was t being, her being, he “product.”

Deep in thought am I these days while I sit around doing nothing. For I am Yoda and my four-year-old son is Obi Wan. We are fighting the evil TwoFace and Joker with the help of Raphael and Donatello. Crafty am I when I work these days. Crafty Mom sitting next to Crafty Daughter as we talk about the type of fairy houses we‟re going to build this summer. A new table with two stools, her tools and my tools made her

smile ear to ear. Emails have sat unanswered. Deadlines have passed (you really think I got this article in on time?!). Grocery lists have rocked. Fewer trips to the grocery store have been made. Less random spending has been happening. Fewer orders are coming in, but less time is being spent sitting in front of my computer while my children are hard at play on their own. Date nights are with my husband and not my boyfriend, Mr. Mac. Scrabble has been dusted off, Monopoly has been introduced to my 7-year-old and lazy winter nights by the fire have been the norm. I love my customers. I love owning my own business. I love creating my little objects of joy. It‟s so fun to be a part of a little girl‟s birthday party even when I‟m five states away. I love that trees everywhere this season had gifts with Kind Living Designs somewhere under them. I feel wonderful to know that they were given with the intent to create joy for the recipient. My life will always be on forward. Heaven help us if we go backward, right? But instead of fast-forward, I choose slow motion for now. Dinner is being served and I‟m liking it.

by liz murphy - daisy creek designs


t is said that the secret to a successful business is great marketing. Although that still holds true (including a multitude of other factors), the way in which businesses market themselves looks completely different today than even 10 years ago. One way that is changing the way in which businesses are getting their products into the hands of customers is through the internet. Facebook, which was originally developed for students at Harvard University to help them stay connected and get to know each other, has now become a place for businesses to connect with their customers. But marketing your business on Facebook isn‟t always as straight forward as it may seem. So, I took to the streets, the Etsy streets that is, to ask sellers what strategies and tips they use to promote their businesses and increase sales.

Tip 1: Use Facebook daily! Post pictures of items that you have made, projects and tutorials that you feel your customers would enjoy as well as cool things that you have found online. Make sure to get personal, posting not just about the items you have made, but about yourself or things that interest you to help to make a connection with your customer. - Candy Stick Lane Tip 2: Keep your Facebook business page about business. Although it is important to make a personal connection with your customers, it is not a place to gripe or complain. Make it an interesting and fun place for your fans to visit, and listen to them! Your fans will let you know what they would like to see from you. If you have a new fabric you‟d like to work with, for example, ask for their input – this is a great way to increase what you can offer and ultimately increase sales. The interaction on Facebook is immediate and it‟s a fabulous way for crafters to connect with their customers. - Rozzis Sweet Peas

Tip 3: Tip 4: Facebook has pretty strict guidelines about Need more fans? Start by letting all your contests and giveaways (www.facebook.com/ friends know that you started a Facebook promotions_guidelines.php), but providing page and invite them to follow you. Let special coupon codes only for Facebook fans everyone you come in contact with know that is one way to keep you have a Facebook customers coming page, post links on your back. Posting pictures other sites and frequently that give customers a include things that your sneak peek at what fans can only get on your you‟ve been working on page. Take the time to or offering opportunities become a fan of other to purchase store items pages and comment before other customers frequently. Always will keep your fans welcome a new fan to your interested in what you page, and suggest favorite are doing. Some pages to your friends and examples of fun contests ask those businesses do that require fans to the same for you. - Laken comment are 1) I Spy and Lila and Pink Pickle where fans need to Studios identify an item placed As with any form of in a picture, 2) Photo marketing, consistency, contests where fans passion for your product submit pictures of and making a connection themselves wearing your with your customer are creations and others get key. So, if you haven‟t to vote on their favorite, done so already, it‟s time and 3) Naming contests for you and your business for new creations. And of course, who can resist special thanks to (clockwise from top left) rozzi‟s sweet to join the Facebook and a good giveaway? - The peas, candy stick lane, pink pickle studio, laken and lila, social networking revolution! the trendy tot Trendy Tot and Rozzis Sweet Peas

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