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

on the cover

contents summer 2010 WELCOME 10 the editors 11 ....letter from the editors WEAR - fashion trends 12....runway trends that work white and blue gear for summer fun DWELL - home dĂŠcor 20 ....summerize your inside 22 ....outdoor living CREATE - crafty tutorials 24 ....dandelion crowns 26 ....become a birdwatcher PLAY - toys and activities 30 ....messy kids, happy kids


TASTE - cooking fun 32 ....summer coolers

A sweet hat for summer! Sunny Beanie by Sweet Savannah Baby Photo courtesy of Angela Bergsma

CELEBRATE - holidays and parties 42 decorations EXPLORE - the outdoors & travel 46 for zoo trips 69 ....picking a family tradition


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modern handmade child Contributors WEAR........... Marissa Fischer DWELL.......... Kristi Duchon PLAY............. Tammy Kaminiski CREATE........ Michelle Vackar Julie Hartman MEET............ Shannon Hanley Laura Jacquemond

contents summer 2010 MEET - interviews 34 ... laura serota - mamamade 36 ... sabahnur - petit and cute 38 ... connie jenson - scandeez GROW - child development 52 ... dear crafty shrink 56 ... making friends

CELEBRATE... Kristen Davis CARE............ Gretchen Jakub Fabre GROW.......... Julie Hartman SHARE.......... Kristie Piacine Beth Lemon EXPLORE....... Nancy Keesling WORK........... Linda Phrakhansa Please send all article submissions and ideas to:

Note that submissions are welcome but are not guaranteed inclusion in the magazine. CopyrightŠ 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.

WORK - business topics for moms 60 ... quality summer care for your children CARE - growing up green 62...grow your own - organic gardening 64 ... composting 101 67 ... the learning corner


SHARE - by moms for moms 70 ... memories - past, present and future 74 ... unique ink LISTEN - songs and music 73 ... free song - my child VIEW - from a kid’s eye view 76 ... photos taken by kids

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Have something to contribute? We’d love to hear from you! If you have a story, tutorial, recipe or project that you think our readers would enjoy, we’d love to hear from you. Please send your submission to While we can’t guarantee inclusion, we will certainly have a look!


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 and in her portfolio 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 and, and read her blog at

letter from the editors by gretchen jakub fabre and shannon hanley


elcome to Modern Handmade Child‟s summer issue, an issue that marks a full year of quarterly magazines from us. It‟s a bit of a landmark as we started this project after a lot of brainstorming, but without knowing what would come of it. Since then, it has evolved. Many of our contributors have stayed on and some new ones have joined us. We have added some sections while others have gone by the wayside. It is, as you can see, still very much a work in progress. Our readership too has grown since our first issue when we weren‟t sure if anyone would read it at all! What a pleasant surprise then to see such a positive reaction from you, our readers, who are after all the reason behind our project. Having reached this milestone, we have new projects in mind for the future of Modern Handmade Child. Our goal is to make MHC

a destination for families looking to live locally, buy handmade and find the pleasures in a simple way of life. With this in mind, we invite you to contact us to share your thoughts and ideas with us so that we can make Modern Handmade Child into a true handmade and global community. Thank you for all of your support and enthusiasm over the past months. We look forward to many more to come!

Gretchen Jakub Fabre Shannon Hanley

We love to hear from you! Send your comments and letters to


hile itâ€&#x;s always fun to keep an eye on what highend designers are sending across the runways, when dressing kids most of us canâ€&#x;t even imagine spending the amount of money that comes with those trends. Luckily the handmade marketplace is a fantastic resource for taking advantage of many of the current looks while keeping your pocketbook in check.

by marissa fischer - rae gun

Trend 1:

Multiple Patterns

Patterned fabrics have been making a big splash in designer style on the runways this season. Even though patterns have always been around in varying amounts, the current trend is to pair patterns with other patterns. Now some may be apprehensive about fully embracing this daring trend for their own wardrobe, but it is definitely a style that is easy to pull off for the little ones. The natural fear when thinking about

combining patterns is ending up with a child that looks like a scattered mess. The last thing you want is to have carefully dressed your little one just to have people think you let her assemble her own ensemble because of itâ€&#x;s lack of cohesion. So to make the trend work, be sure to stick to patterns within the same color palette. Next, only use one large print, keeping the additional patterns in a smaller scale. Also consider texture and prints that are monochromatic (think of a slightly lighter print on top of the same color). For the girls, look for dresses and skirts made out of multiple prints. For the boys, try a printed shirt with a contrasting printed tie.

left to right: blue tiles toddler snap shirt by kate emerson designs, playful animals swing dress by rozziâ€&#x;s sweet peas, orange hippo and bird tee shirt by planet pudge, apron strings girls top by sunnybrook farm designs

Trend 2:

Patterned leggings

In my opinion, leggings are one of the best fashion inventions. Their versatility and ability to extend the life of a too short dress, or get more seasons out of warm weather clothing, is wonderful. The current way to wear them is adorned with prints. Look for leggings that go beyond just solid colors or stripes. Look for those with more intricate designs or details. Legwarmers give the same look and feel as leggings, but that can work for baby boys as well.

left to right: little bird tunic and capri leggings set by fresh vintage shop, sky blue plaid leg warmers by crawler covers and more, song bird ruffled leggings by ginger louise clothing

Trend 3:


The last of the runway trends that can be easily worked into a childâ€&#x;s wardrobe is tie-dye. Believe it or not, this groovy carefree patterning is making a come back. Enjoy this trend by incorporating small details like a tie or scarf, or make a bold statement with a full tie-dyed dress or top. Since virtually anything fabric can be tie-dyed this is definitely one of the easiest fads to incorporate into your kiddoâ€&#x;s closet. And as a bonus, if youâ€&#x;re feeling really daring, you can try your hand at tie-dye yourself.

top: tie-dye leggings by another leaf bottom: tie-dye dress and pant set by twirly toes, tie-dye infant bodysuit by pasquali rumpus

by marissa fischer - rae gun


hether youâ€&#x;re an American who celebrates the Fourth of July, a beach lover who embraces all things nautical, or an avid carnival go-er, red, white, and blue scream summer. For those in the Northern Hemisphere now is the time to embrace red, white, blue.

nautical stripe smocked beach dress by laken & lilah

If done in the right way, outfits of red, white, and blue can work all summer long without seeming overly kitschy. When combining all three colors make sure the tone of the shades match. If youâ€&#x;ve got a deep navy, stick with a dark brick. Likewise, keep the bright blue with a fresh red. Next, donâ€&#x;t under estimate the power of small prints, stripes, and plaids. Finally, think retro. Vintage styles have been extremely popular, and nothing suits these classic styles better than red, white and blue. Look for articles of clothing with vintage details like buttons or repurposed fabric, or pieces that have been inspired by retro styles like jumpers that resemble vintage bathing suits or little boy sun suits.

i heart mom tee shirt by small threads, ships ahoy tee by plum tree studio, patchwork twirl capri set by blu moon design

left to right: red lobster tank an monogrammed seersucker longall nautical peasant top and sa

nd short set by june berry boutique, ls by kidâ€&#x;s fashions by linda, crochet ailor hat by angel fish boutique

kristi duchon - zuzugirl handmade

Summer is a wonderful time for parties, play dates and pretty little things. It is also a fun t without redecorating the whole room? Here are a couple of ideas on how to spruce up your spa just don’t have the time to be, there are

Tissue Paper Pom Poms One of the newest trends in quick home decorating, and such a gorgeously cute one at that! These are a beautiful way to fill up a room. We hung six brightly colored pom poms at our daughter‟s third birthday party last year to add a festive feel to the room. They were so beautiful, I couldn‟t bear to dispose of them. Instead, I strung them from beautiful satin ribbon in her bedroom when the party was over. It‟s amazing what a little tissue paper can do to a room!

tissue pompoms: 5 poms from my silly bear, 10 piece pompom kit from blossom lane boutique.

time to spruce up your inside to reflect the changes going on outside. But how do you do this ace without a major overhaul. If you’re crafty, you can do it yourself. If you’re not crafty, or plenty of talented people willing to share.

Flower Garland Light up a room and fill it with flowers, all at the same time. Your space will scream summer with this garden effect. Pick your favorite flower at any craft store and make them yourself, or shop from a variety of on line vendors that will do it for you. These lights are great for weddings, back yard barbeques, or just simply for the garden fairy princess in your home.

silk flower garland from pdkcandles

Take advantage of the longer summer days and warmer summer nights to transform your garden into an outside playroom for your children, full of colour, fun and imagination. But donâ€&#x;t forget the insect repellent! by gretchen jakub fabre - chichiboulie

left page: childrenâ€&#x;s indoor/outdoor teepee by calico skies crafts, kidâ€&#x;s play teepee tent by little birds boutique. this page: strawberries and cream bunting by giggleberry, shoo bug all natural insect repellent by kindle & cast, summer picnic tablecloth by bella jean.


michelle vackar - hi mamma

aking dandelion crowns is a fun little outdoor activity you can do with your family while enjoying your back yard on a spring or summer day. They are really easy to make, and donâ€&#x;t cost a penny! A word of warning to neat-freaks: You will have sticky hands from this little project. Step 1: First, pick the dandelions; make sure that you pick the entire stem so that you can later connect them together. The thicker the stem, the easier this will be for bigger hands.

Step 2: Right under the bloom (as also shown in this picture), drive your thumbnails into the center of the stem and pull the stem apart, so as to make a “button hole� down the center.

Step 3: Grab another dandelion and push the stem of the second dandelion through the “button hole” of the first dandelion.

Step 4: Pull the second dandelion through so that it rests right next to the head of the first dandelion. Pinch off any excess length of stem.

Step 5: Repeat steps 2-4 to create a dandelion chain long enough to reach around the wearer‟s head. If you have extra stems hanging, you can break them off so that the dandelion milk does not come out of the stem (if any). Step 6: Loop the loose stem at the end of the chain around the first dandelion head, or simply tie it.


julie hartman - petite fish

efore my little fishie was born, my like the Eagle, to be a symbol of heroism and husband and I traveled to Costa Rica. While courage. Some Asian cultures paint birds, waiting in line for our boat tour, such as the Crane, on porcelain we observed a young family of vases as a sign of freedom. Birds bird-watchers. Adorned with a help control the insect sun hat, hiking boots, and population and spread flowers. binoculars, the 9 year-old But, lots of people, like the daughter pointed family above, go beyond just a enthusiastically toward the trees, simple appreciation. They are “Mom, look…up there toward Bird-watchers. the right, by that big branch. I think it‟s a Turquoise Continga!” Bird-watching, also referred to I asked my husband to stand in as „birding‟, is a peaceful line for us and found myself pastime that involves the intruding on their family fun. I observation and study of birds in stood close to the girl, but far their natural habitat. Avid birders birdie tee by petite fish enough to be stealth, and have been known to spend hours followed her finger line toward the sky. of eager silence watching and recording their Without binoculars, it was hard to spot, but avian friends. there it was. A teal-colored beauty. The little boy stood patiently, gazing above, while the But there‟s no need to go to South America to Dad clicked away feverishly with his camera. enjoy beautiful birds – families can enjoy I fantasized about how someday, I would like bird-watching in their own backyards. Keep that to be my family. your eyes out for Blue Jays, Cardinals, Finches, Sparrows, and Wrens, to name a Up until that fateful sighting, I completely few. Encourage these delightful birds to come underappreciated the role of birds in our to your yard by making a simple bird feeder lives. Native Americans consider many birds, like the one on the following page.

Materials needed: Paper Milk Carton Non-toxic paint Popsicle sticks (can buy at craft store) Wood or craft glue Scissors String or wire Sturdy branch (1â€&#x;) or wooden dowel (from hardware store)

Directions: 1. Clean your carton and allow to dry thoroughly. 2. Poke two holes through the top of your carton. 3. Cut out 2 windows, 1 in front and 1 in back, about 2.5 inches above the bottom, leaving enough for a base to hold the seeds. These will be the holes where the birds can access the food.

4. About an inch below the window, poke a hole straight across through the other side of the carton (you will add the stick or wooden dowel at the end which will function as the perch where the birds stand while they are nibbling the seed). 5. Paint and decorate carton (optional). 6. Glue popsicle sticks together and assemble on the top of the carton in a way that resembles a roof (optional). 7. Thread the string (or wire) through the holes and tie (or twist) together. This will serve as the hanger for your bird feeder. Add the stick or wooden dowel through the bottom hole.

8. Fill with bird seed and hang outside. I suggest hanging the birdfeeder away from pets, so the birds feel safe to eat in peace. Then, sit back and watch. Better yet, check out a book about local birds from your library, have the digital camera near by, and by all means, keep the birdfeeder full so the birds know to come back again and again.

clockwise from top left: black bird messenger bag by happy family, birds on a wire recycled collage print by art and philanthropy, spring swallow infant bodysuit by crowsmack, “lighthearted day dreamer� sweet bird print by lighthearted dreamer

tammy kaminski - monogramming by tammy

As a mother, I have learned that there are two things that kids love: playing outdoors and getting messy. There is no better time than the summer to let your kids do both. Here are a few “messy� craft ideas for you and your children to enjoy this summer.

Smushy-Whooshy Mush (inspired by FUMP) Ages: 18mths and up Supplies: 1 1/2 rolls of 2ply toilet paper 1 bar of ivory soap 6 cups of warm water large plastic tub or plastic swimming pool if your child wants to get really messy Instructions: Unroll the toilet paper and tear into 23square pieces. Put all pieces into the tub. You will need to grate one half of a 3.1oz bar of the ivory soap into the tub. Have your child or a helper start to smash, mix, and smush the mixture as you slowly add the 6 cups of warm water, 1 cup at a time, to the mixture. It should take you about 15mins to get the mixture good and blended. Your mixture will be perfect once it feels completely saturated and creamy. At this point you are ready to build mountains, castles, towers, etc. Once your child is finished playing store the mixture in a covered container, it will last for a few weeks. If you would like to make your mixture colorful, add a few drops of food coloring during the mixing process. Remember food coloring stains clothes and will not wash out so be sure to wear old clothes. Dispose of the mixture in the trash.

Salt Art (inspired by Family Age: 2 yrs and up Supplies: table salt food coloring plastic sandwich bags newspaper lined trays empty dry spice shakers glue stick or glue bottle paper Instructions: For each color, pour 1 cup of salt and 20-25 drops of food coloring in a plastic sandwich bag. Seal each bag, removing as much air as possible. Outside, let your child smash, shake, and squeeze the bag until all the salt is colored. Pour the salt out onto the newspaper lined trays and let dry for 2 hours or until salt is dry to touch. (You can also open the bag and leave out overnight to dry.) Once it is dry, pour into the shaker container. Take your child outside, and have her make a pattern with the glue on a piece of thicker paper. In this case, the messier and more glue the better. Hand the shakers of the dyed salt to your child and show her how to shake it onto the glue. Once the glue has dried, shake off the excess salt. You are now left with a beautiful piece of artwork.

Mud Building Blocks (inspired by Crafts for Kids) Ages: 6mths and up Supplies: plastic ice trays mud (dirt or sand mixed with water) kidâ€&#x;s small shovel or wooden spoon Instructions: Scoop the mud into the ice trays. Be sure not to over fill, as you will want to have individual blocks. Use the back of the shovel or wooden spoon to press the mud into the ice trays nice and firm. Once the ice trays are filled, set in the sun to dry. The drying time depends on how hot it is outside, but is usually at least one hour. After the mud blocks have dried completely, dump them out of the ice tray. Now your child can build a bridge for his race cars or a house for her Barbie.

Courtesy of Petit Appetit: Eat, Dr

Strawberry Banana Shake This is an easy-peasy shake to whip up in no time, perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack on a warm day. The frozen berries provide cold without the need for ice, while the banana gives a smooth and creamy texture. Any leftovers? If so, freeze in ice-pop molds or in a freezer-safe container for a frozen treat later. Makes: 2 Cups Ingredients: 1 cup frozen organic strawberries ½ cup organic whole milk 1 banana, quartered Directions: Put strawberries, milk, and banana into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. You can also use plain yogurt in place of milk for a thicker blend.

Go Green! During non-peak berry season, stock up on frozen organic berries for easy smoothies and shakes anytime. Youâ€&#x;ll also skip the high price, reduced flavor, and pesticides of conventionally grown fresh berries grown and sold out of season.

rink and Be Merry by Lisa Barnes

Any Juice Pops Look beyond the boxed pops in the freezer section of the grocery store. There‟s no telling how many combinations and variations you and your children can make by having an ice pop mold on hand. These are nice and icy on a hot day and can be made with any juice you have in the fridge. Adding water dilutes the juice and sugar a bit and also lends to a more “icy” texture. Makes: 8 (1/4-cup) pops Ingredients: 1 ½ cups fresh organic fruit juice such as unfiltered apple juice ½ cup water Directions: Shake juice container to mix contents before measuring and pour into pitcher. Add water to juice and stir. Pour liquid into ice pop molds and transfer a flat shelf in the freezer until solid, about 1 hour. To remove pops, stand the mold in a bowl of cold water for 1 to 2 minutes until they lift out. Mix it Up! There is no need to stop at one juice for these pops. Ask your child for flavor combinations. Combine orange and apple or pear and pomegranate. Once you get the hang of it, you‟ll be making lots of colors and flavors of frozen treats.


ith a dad doing crafts ranging from creating musical instruments to carving wooden figures, and a mom being an artist and quilter, Laura Serota was destined to be creative. She has been sewing nearly all her life, and shortly after her first son was born in 2006, Laura‟s friends encouraged her to start selling her work. You can find Laura‟s work online in her Etsy shop,

by shannon hanley

We recently met up with Laura Serota of Mama vide

“I'm not bothered by unfinished projects. I have lots of them and I'm OK with that"

“My inspiration for most comes from my bo

Laura is offering $5 off any purchase of $25 or more (before shipping) from her Etsy shop.

y - the clever kitty

Made. Click on the picture below to watch the eo.

video produced by Zoom Productions, Las Vegas, NV

t of the things in my shop oys and my family"

Use code: MHC2010 in comments box at checkout to receive discount. Offer expires September 1st, 2010.

interview by laura jacquemond of blue terracotta

sabahnur: My name is Sabahnur. I was born in Istanbul Turkey and am still living here . I am 28 years old, married and have a daughter. mhc: Aside from creating things, what do you love to do? sabahnur: I love movies. We have family film nights with popcorn, soda and teas. I also love meeting with friends and having fun, and as all other women, I love shopping! mhc: What is your favorite material to work with? sabahnur: Of course yarns, but I also love fabrics very much. mhc: How did you get started making things? What is the first thing you created?

sabahnur: I started to crochet at my daughter‟s birth. My first crocheted item was a grey mouse.

Christmas items and I tried to combine my bird concept with them, and reindeer birds came out!

mhc: When and how did you begin selling your work?

mhc: What is your creative process?

sabahnur: I began selling 3 years ago just in my country, then I met with Etsy .

sabahnur: First I think about an item or animal, then draw it, then decide on the color of the yarn and then I begin to crochet.

mhc: What is the name of your shop and how did you decide on this name?

mhc: What to you is the importance of buying handmade?

sabahnur: My shop name is “Petit and Cute Design” I looked at my crocheted items they were small and cute, and I knew I had found the name.

sabahnur: Feeling the seller‟s passion and effort in that item.

mhc: You create fabulous birds, but also home decoration objects. What is your favorite item to make? sabahnur: Thank you, my favorites are my birds. mhc: Where does your inspiration come from? Where do you get your ideas for all those cute birds? sabahnur: I really do not know, I always want to make something different, maybe weird but totally cute things and then they come out! For example, my reindeer birds were born at Christmas time. Reindeers are

mhc: What is the best part about earning a living making things? sabahnur: You are your own boss!

meet connie jensen by shannon hanley - the clever kitty

mhc: Tell us a little about yourself. connie: My name is Connie Jensen. I was born and raised in Nebraska, but now live in a little town outside of San Antonio. I have two 4 footed children - Sierra, a sweet dog that is a German Shepherd/Cocker Spaniel mix that loves to smile and knows how to work a crowd, and a black cat named Lulu who owns the dog and me. I have a wonderful boyfriend and he has a great kid. I am blessed! mhc: Aside from creating things, what do you love to do? connie: Walk my dog, feed the neighborhood kitties, play my piano and get some beach time - can't do that where I grew up!

mhc: How did you get started making things? What is the first thing you remember creating? connie: I can't say...I don't ever remember starting. I was very, very young when I was watching my mom and trying to do the same things she was doing. My mom was very good at knitting, crocheting, sewing and other crafts. She had me knitting when I was 4 years old. I have since learned that it is very much a Scandinavian tradition to teach your children at that age to knit. She was full Swedish so it makes total sense. I also learned how to sew at age 8, with very little patience. I gave that up until I was older. It was much easier when I came back to it. I guess the first thing I remember creating was drawing a picture when I was 3. I think it was a spider. I have a huge phobia of spiders so I can't imagine why I chose that!

mhc: When did you decide to start selling your work? connie: I really love to make cute clothes for babies and toddlers. I would make outfits for the children I used to babysit as a teen. When I was learning to knit, some of the first things I made were sweaters and mittens for babies. It seems like if you look at what you really enjoyed doing as a child, you will find what you enjoy as an adult.

mhc: What is the name of your shop? connie: My shop is named Scandeez. It's a little name I call my family, since we are Scandinavian. mhc: Whatâ€&#x;s your favorite item to make, and why? connie: I love the moks the best. I have more designs in my head than I have time

to make. It's fun to see the designs come together as I make them. I can really envision a baby looking at the design and cooing at it, or mom and dad talking to them about the character and the sound it may make. mhc: Whatâ€&#x;s your most popular item? connie: The moks. I will custom make the size or design for the customer. mhc: Whatâ€&#x;s the best part about earning a living making things? connie: I get to do what I love. So many people dream about doing that. It's truly the greatest feeling. I always knew as a child that I would be doing something fun and creative for a living when I grew up. I'm still not sure I'm grown up! mhc: Where does your inspiration come from?

connie: I see things everyday that make me think of designs and colors combos. The designs just come to me. If I have to really think about it, then I am better off just working on other items that day. mhc: What is your creative process? connie: I really don't have a set process. As the new designs come to me I will sketch them or just start cutting them out of thin cardboard. When I have them pretty much the way I want them, then I make a pair of moks to see if the details are just right. Sometimes as the moks are being made some of the little details start coming together. mhc: What handmade item do you cherish? connie: I have the most beautiful lace topper for my table made by a sweet elderly lady just for me. My grandma made a quilt top in the crazy quilt pattern for each of her grandchildren. She delighted in how small of a piece of fabric she could get in the corners. I will never forget her showing me

that little piece of fabric and then just smiling. My mom also made me a quilt which is displayed on my rocking chair. My dad made me the most wonderful drafting table out of wood when I was in college. I guess that's 4 items. Since each of the artists are no longer with me, they are each just as special as the other. mhc: What to you is the importance of buying handmade? connie: Handmade is very special. Someone took time to make that item just for you. Much love and care is put into those items, and you are receiving something that no one else will ever have. Even if there are two items that are the same, they are still different in subtle ways.

Connie is offering 15% off any purchase of $50 or more and free shipping worldwide From her Etsy shop. Mention this article in the "notes to seller" at checkout, and she will refund through Paypal. Expires June 30th, 2010.

by kristen davis - mary had a little party


othing adds more excitement to planning a party than deciding on decorations. Once a theme is chosen, decorations are the easiest way to add punch to your theme and get everyone in the party mood. However, they can also be a factor that pushes the budget if you‟re not careful. Fortunately, decorations need not be expensive to have great impact. With many online shops offering great handmade choices, whether they be ready made items or do it yourself décor, great possibilities are endless. Enlisting your little ones‟ help in creating the décor makes for even more fun and added excitement. One of the most important considerations to make in choosing the perfect items is age appropriateness, a factor that should be considered for every element of the planning process. When babies are invited, you want to make sure that there are no small pieces or elements that could pose a potential choking hazard. With the older crowd, the more detail party hats by mary had a little party

the better. A first birthday need not be extravagant to be incredibly special, and decorations can be kept simple so as to not overwhelm little onesâ€&#x; senses. While helium balloons and streamers are always wonderful choices to add color for the joyous occasion, there is no limit to the creative touches possible when carrying a theme, especially for the older crowd. When looking to make great visual impact with your theme, nothing beats a little creativity and DIY efforts to get the party started. Imagine a backdrop of aqua tulle for a mermaid themed soirĂŠe or a painted desert backdrop for a cowboy themed affair. One of the easiest and most cost effective materials to use is tulle fabric, as it is super lightweight, easy to hang and adds a great splash of color and texture to the

event. A roll of butcher paper and some paint makes for a simple backdrop that can be hung upon a wall, creating an instant transformation from home to stage for a wonderful themed affair. Painted backdrops need not be elaborate, and a little goes a long way. A few desert mountains and cacti are easy enough to map out no matter the skill level. Imagine too some simple shapes cut from construction paper and hung from the ceiling, such as stars for a space party, or fish for an under the sea theme. Small details like these add great visual impact.

fairy castle backdrop by bubz desingz

One of the most treasured components of birthday parties we‟ve come to love is the birthday banner itself. A simple search for “birthday banner” on a site such as will provide you with a fantastic selection of custom handmade buntings made to match your event. Many shops also offer kits to piece your own banner together, such a wonderful alternative to the mass produced goods at the local party store. Available for purchase in a wide array of colors and sizes, another popular trend in party décor is the tissue pom. If you're feeling crafty, you can easily make them yourself. Looking for a way to make great impact before guests even walk through the door? Nothing beats a cute lawn sign or a sign hung upon the door to announce the event. Simple touches including coordinating party hats and favors can also add an element of decoration when chosen in the same theme or color scheme. Even the cake and cupcakes can be included with the wonderful toppers available. top: birthday banner by zuzu girl handmade, bottom: tissue poms by orange kisses

But what if you‟re not hosting the party at home? The location undoubtedly determines the amount of decoration possible, which should be discussed with your venue in the early planning stages. Typically the main concern is that the décor be easily placed and removed with no residual adhesive or marring, but don‟t let this limit your creativity. Venues are generally very understanding in this regard, and there are many ways in which decorations can be hung safely – a trip to your local hardware store will yield great product results that will help. While decorations can be as simple or as elaborate as your theme and budget allows, think of them as “setting the stage” for the celebration to come. Nothing sparks the creativity of a child more than a thoughtful backdrop allowing their imagination to run wild!

top: birthday yard stake by wooden whimsie, bottom: cupcake toppers by coconeenies

“bella� original fine art painting by billie tk, zelda zebra art print by chichiboulie, jungle safari animal prints by grace hester designs, elephant batik print by suzanne drown

nancy keesling - tutu cute and moore

If you are one of thousands of families looking forward to visiting a zoo this summer, here are some suggestions for making the outing a memorable day without losing your sanity. Tip 1: Relax and expect the unexpected

Someone is bound to skin a knee, drop their lunch or have a tantrum. Try not to let those unexpected mishaps ruin the day, and remember the big picture. It‟s all about enjoying each and every moment with your family and making memories that will last a lifetime.

Tip 2: Consider a zoo membership

Tip 3: Pick the best time to go

Stick to weekdays and early mornings, or the hours just before closing, to avoid congested visits. Small children and parents alike generally have more stamina for walking during milder temperatures, so early mornings, late afternoons or evenings may be best for you. Also, many schools take fields trips to the zoo in the spring, so be prepared for large crowds during school hours.

It’s all about enjoying each and every moment with your family and making memories that will last a lifetime.

If you visit a zoo more than once a year, you will not only save money on admission charges, but you will also feel less rushed trying to see it all in one day. Typically, various membership packages are available, allowing you to select the best one for the needs of your family. Being a membership holder allows you to avoid standing in long lines, and you will also be contributing to a very worthy cause.

Tip 4: bring a picnic lunch

Unless concession stand food is something you can‟t live without, consider packing a cooler with sandwiches, snacks and drinks with everyone‟s favorites. While refueling in a nice shady picnic area, take time to regroup and prepare for the remainder of the day. This is also a good time for a bathroom break. Restrooms are often conveniently located near the picnic grounds.

Tip 5: Zoo time is learning time

Most zoos have interactive hands-on activities for the kids to get involved in. These may include something about the animals‟ environments, eating habits or characteristics. To better prepare your child for a fun and educational day, go to the zoo‟s website before your trip to check out games or activities they have. Parents, you are the teachers of the day, so ask questions and point out interesting facts to your children. Build a relationship between the animals and your child.

Tip 6: Hit the petting zoo, playground, train or carousel

Instead of dragging uninterested kids from one exhibit to the next, let them blow off some steam at the petting zoo, playground, train or carousel. Depending on their age, boredom sets in quickly when kids are confined to a wagon or stroller, or are looking at exhibits that are designed for adults. Just because you like it, doesn‟t mean they will. Once they‟ve had their fun, they will probably be ready to check out more animals.

And don’t forget... - Hand sanitizer. Most zoos provide hand sanitizer or washing stations near petting areas, so please see that your child uses them after petting those fuzzy little guys. - Sunscreen. Apply before you arrive and again throughout the day. Nothing worse than sunburn on tender skin. - Cash. Although your admission tickets can be purchased with a credit card, cash will be needed to buy tokens for the train, carousel, boat rides, etc. - Wagon or stroller. Although you may rent these at the zoo entrance, save a little money and bring your own. Think of these items as your suitcase and pack it to the fullest. - Camera. Capture those special moments for a lifetime of memories at the zoo. Check the battery life before leaving home so you won‟t be disappointed when the camera dies after the first picture. - Grandma, grandpa, auntie & uncle, cousins, and anyone else you know would love the zoo!

sage zoo bib & burp cloth set by dancing kat designs, natural purple hippopotamus by petit & cute design, henrietta sea turtle plushie pillow by woolies, jungle print shorts by pinna 4 piper

Relaxed schedules, great grilled food, sandcastles on the beach...and but these on-the-go items will help busy moms be

Back Pack Diaper Bags

Reusable Snack Bags

Diaper bag back packs offer convenience and modern style for busy moms on the go. This spectacular example is made in fabulous prints, and it comes with a coordinating changing pad. With three easy access pockets on the outside and seven on the inside, there‟s no more digging in the bottom of the bag for the ointment when your hands are already full. And with it‟s compact size, this pack won‟t have you throwing your back out. many pockets diaper bag by pacha mamma

Reusable snack sacks are great the zoo or even sandwiches in (or even wash them if there wa again, thus saving you money a landfills. Find them in great pri

reusable snack sack by green st

Cell Phone Cases

Bottle Cozies

Getting a fun little case like this will ensure that whether you put your phone in your handbag, your console in the car or your coat pocket, it will always be protected. No more scratches on the screen or dings on the body when you dress your phone in one of these cute covers.

Use them to keep war cold. They‟re also mu while eating. If you u must to avoid chips, n the move. Plus they a fabrics so you can acc padded iphone sleeve by wallaby

lots of running around! Summertime is filled with hustle and bustle, e prepared for the summer and look good doing it.

t for taking crackers to the park, apple slices to lunch boxes. Best of all, you can wipe them out as a PB & J inside) and reuse them over and over and keeping unnecessary garbage out of our ints your kids will love collecting and using.

by ahmelie skistad - ahmelie

Waterproof Wet Bags

wet bag by virtuo-sew

This has got to be one of the best inventions in years! Wet bags are great for holding used treet bags, sandwich and snack bag set by julie meyer swim diapers, wet swimsuits, wet towels or wet clothes. This 12”x12” bag has a zippered top and a Velcro closure on the side handle to hook to a bike, stroller or just to hang on your rm bottles warm or cool bottles wrist. Keep one at daycare for messy items to uch more interesting for baby to look at come home in. Put one in your gym bag for use glass bottles, bottle cozies are a sweaty clothes. Have one in your beach bag nicks or breaks for your tot who‟s on for wet suits and towels. No more plastic bags are often made from gorgeous designer to handle these dirty jobs, carry yours around in cessorize even if you‟re on a budget. bottle cozy by cocoozy this modern looking bag.

julie hartman - petite fish

Bye-Bye Best Friend My son, Davis, and his friend Jack were almost inseparable since they started daycare together at 3 months old. Last year, when they were 2 years-old, his best friend moved away. It was really hard on my son. Any tips of what to do when a friend moves away? - Amy Dear Amy,

memory of something they enjoyed doing together. Bridging honors the importance of the attachment while helping the child tolerate the discomfort of being apart. An extra crafty way to provide bridging: use glue (a way of attaching two separate objects) to adhere things about Jack and things about Davis on a piece of paper. This activity is a way of being together, just like they are still together in their hearts and memories.

Such a loss for such a little guy. We are social creatures and relocation creatures. Those two variables of human nature can make friendships an extra emotionally painful source in our lives sometimes. Jack‟s moving away can be an opportunity to teach Davis an important child development skill, what us shrinks call bridging.

Ode to Transitions

In a nutshell, bridging is the ability to connect while being separated. It is a healthy part of attachment relationships. Examples of bridging might be for Davis to draw a picture for Jack, wonder out loud what Jack might be doing in his new bedroom, or recall a fun

Dear Shannon,

We have been very fortunate to have found a wonderful preschool/daycare for our 2 1/2 year old daughter. The problem? She loves it so much, she doesn’t want to leave! What can I do to get her out the door without the anguish? - Shannon It seems like your daughter is struggling with a developmental skill that is hard for lots of kids: transitions. It can be rough for many kids to transition from one „world‟ to another.

waiting for her in the car, and what song you‟ll sing in the car on the way home. Rehearse and prepare over and over again. You might also consider asking the staff to do the same. Eventually, she will learn how to transition from school to home with more ease.

Gotta Eat Your Lunch How do I convince my 3 year-old son that eating at school twice a week isn't torture? - Gretchen Dear Gretchen,

Hand-puppets like these by sublimations can be useful in role playing difficult situations for children.

A crafty suggestion: have a dress rehearsal every night: do a play whether with dolls or with each being characters (she can be you or a teacher and you be her or a student for example). Act out the desired goodbye process. Have the child character say goodbye to the school toys, teacher, clock, and so forth. While she is pretending to be at school, act out imagining whether mom or she will open the car door, what toy will be

Well, assuming the actual contents of the school lunch are nothing that the child is allergic to, every child needs to learn to eat the food that‟s in front of him. It is a child‟s job to nourish his body, just like it‟s the child‟s job to learn in class, follow the rules, and go to sleep when expected. All kids need to get good at doing their jobs. Just like it‟s important that he focus in class even if the subject is unappealing, he has to eat the school lunch, even if it is unappealing. What‟s a crafty way to help? Do an internet (or library) search on the anatomy of the

body and what the food does to help the body. Then invite your child to draw a picture of his body, specifically the pathway of how the food travels from the mouth, to the stomach, through the intestines, and out. Point out that the mouth (or taste) is just a tiny part of the health process. Just a tiny job to do to get the food in so his body can do the rest. A caveat: research has identified some child temperaments are extra avoidant of certain smells and textures. Since 90% of our „taste‟ is via our nose (think of how dull things taste when you have a head cold) and massproduced school lunches often don‟t smell very good, some children can‟t get passed the gag-reflex of foods that smell unappealing to them. Pair that with a sensitivity to mushy textures, and some kids will never get good at their „job‟ of eating school lunch, no matter how convincing we are that it is „good‟ for

their brain and body. If your child falls into this „sensitive‟ group (and it‟s not simply a power struggle or „snobby‟ attitude about foods), then consider maintaining the expectation that he try to eat the school lunch, but provide a protein bar or other food supplement in his backpack.

Reusable sandwich and snack bags by go eco

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 crafty mother and owner of Petite Fish - swimmingly good attire for little fishies.

Do you have a question for the crafty shrink? Send it along to:

All it takes is a bit of paper, some glue, string and love





Child Development Skill of the Summer


julie hartman - petite fish

h, Summer! When skin smells like the sun and days last forever. For kids, it means no school and lots of playtime. For parents, sunscreen, barbeques, and extra fun with the family. What better time to highlight an important developmental focus for kids during the summer months: friendship. With their time freed up from thinking about academics, kids can enjoy the summer and in doing so shape their interpersonal skills. This is particularly pertinent in the context of day or overnight camp where children experience the internal and external pressure to make new friends, collaborate with peers about what activity to do, and cope with conflict or feeling left-out. Ask any child what camp is about and they usually talk about the activities, like horseback-riding, photography, archery, or swimming. While these are very important for cultivating a range of skills such as handeye coordination, sportsmanship, and

courage, itâ€&#x;s the social experience that is subconsciously taking up most of their learning energy. At camp, the entire day is social whereas the average school day is generally divided into 2 social periods: lunch and recess. As a result, many children experience anticipation anxiety the days before starting day camp and even weeks before leaving for overnight camp. Typical worries for kids in such situations include how they will make new friends, what they will do if everyone knows each other, or if they are lonely, how they will deal with it. To help promote social confidence, I suggest co-creating a comfort kit with your child. A comfort kit is something he or she will bring to camp to ease the discomfort of an awkward social situation. It is a tangible source added to their internal resources that provides them with coping tools like ice breakers, ideas, and self-entertainment.

In the days or weeks before starting camp, here are a few ways you can engage your child in the preparation of their comfort kit: Ice Breakers: invite your child to buy several strips of stickers and explain “everyone likes a cool sticker. Offer a sticker to someone as an “ice breaker.” You can say “want a sticker? And when they say yes, introduce yourself. Ask them a question about what they like to do for fun. Then, invite them to play.” Role-play this scene with your child so they practice. Offer suggestions, and compliment his or her courage. Try temporary tattoos as well. Ideas: get out the art supplies and co-design an index card with ideas of fun things to invite others to do and decorate the list. Then include the supplies in the bag, such as a deck of Uno® cards, Mad Libs®, thumb wars, string for Cat‟s Cradle, or Travel Boggle®. Self-entertainment: suggest to your child that a quality that attracts friends is the ability to be comfortable in being alone. When others see that you have fun by yourself, they think you are interesting and want to get involved. Inside the comfort kit, have a few things that the child can do alone such as a word search, sketchpad with colored pencils, or deck of cards for Solitaire. Often counselors can assist kids with joining into a group and resolving conflicts, but when a child feels equipped to navigate the learning process of friendship, they can often focus more on the social prospects and less on the awkwardness or insecurity of it all. Their summer will be filled with fun and companionship and parents can breathe easier knowing they helped maximize their child‟s social education as well.

Modern Handmade Child has put together a few ideas for you to stock your childâ€&#x;s comfort kit as he or she gets ready for camp or sleepaways this summer. Think about creative supplies for drawing, writing and colouring. Roll playing toys are also a good way to help your child prepare or even break the ice once in the new environment.

above: art bucket by mom n mia quilts, rice crispies recycled journal from a selection by ivy lane designs right page: wood people set by lissa, fishbowl comfort kit by petit fish, bugs finger puppet set by wee knit, dine n doodle by lilbdesigns

by linda phrakhansa - linda dearie


or teachers, the end of the school year brings a huge sigh of relief. We can sleep in, lounge by the neighborhood pool, or even shop during the middle of the day. For parents, summer vacation brings a big question: What will we do with the kids?

classroom, or grounds, you gain insight into the program, staff members, and students. Feel free to ask questions! A good program director will welcome questions.

Large cities and small towns cater to parents during the summer by offering specialty classes, half-day camps, full-day camps, and overnight camps. The businesses or schools may advertise in the local paper, church bulletin, or children‟s magazines. Choosing summer care for your child can be a daunting task-- Here are some helpful tips for you and your family.

How long has your program been in operation?

Ask around. Talk to neighbors, friends, or other family members about programs available in your area. Find out which schools or businesses they liked or disliked. Take a tour. If you‟re interested in a school or program, call and ask if you can tour the facilities. By touring the building,

Sample Questions:

What makes your program unique? Do you offer discounted rates for multiple children? Do you take the children on field trips? Do I need to pack lunch for my child? Are there other fees in addition to tuition? Inquire about ratios. Ratios can be the deciding factor for parents. Each state lists childcare ratios online. Search for “childcare standards” and your state. In Texas, the ages

of children and amount of caregivers in a classroom determines the ratio. For example, if your child is three-years-old, he or she can be in a classroom of fifteen children to one teacher. Remember that low ratios ensure more one-on-one time with the teacher and decrease the number of classroom injuries or incidents. Mixed ages. Some schools or programs will mix children of various ages into a group or classroom. Sometimes you may see an age range of five years or more. Ask your child what he or she prefers-- peers in the same grade, or peers of various ages. For younger children, it can be intimidating to be in a group with older boys and girls. In case of an emergency. Make sure the school or program has a plan in place for emergencies or injuries. A quality program will call you if little Janie got a scrape on her knee or if she feels sick. End of Day Pick-up. Always ask about parent or family pick-up procedures. Your children should only be released to authorized persons. If you have a court order or other legal information related to pick-up, make a copy for the school.

by gretchen jakub fabre - chichiboulie


t‟s finally here after the long wait. Summer has finally arrived! And with it come all sorts of reasons to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, the warming sun, the singing birds and the blossoming plants. This year, why not plant an organic

vegetable garden, and get the kids involved in nature while teaching them to enjoy it from a different perspective. Gardening is a wonderful way to teach children about the world around them. It introduces them to subjects such as weather, ecology, and nutrition while they learn to care for our environment. Getting Started: You don‟t need to have a large garden in order to plant your own organic garden. A small plot or even a few pots will do, but do start in a spot that will get at least a half day of sunshine per day. If you‟re planting your garden directly in the soil, you‟ll need to do a bit of preparation before you start planting. Decide upon the area that will become your garden and teach your children about tilling the soil and removing the weeds in order to prepare it for planting. A small lesson about earthworms as well as a real life demonstration of the little

Felt garden veggie set by pinkerton designs

wrigglers will really help make the point! The kids will love getting their hands in that freshly turned soil, and you‟re guaranteed to need a few baths at the end of the day. As we‟re working on a children‟s learning garden, we‟ll skip all the complicated steps of purifying the soil to assure it is organic. After all, we‟re not going to sell our flowers and veg, just enjoy them for ourselves. However, if you are adding soil and nutrients, choose organic matter that can be purchased at most garden centers as well as home improvement stores. It‟s both safer for the kids and for the environment. For potted gardens, choose a few pots big enough to hold the type of plants you plan on cultivating. I love terra cotta pots for their natural aspect. Fill them with some pebbles at the bottom for better drainage and then organic planting matter.

green beans and zucchini (or courgettes) are a good place to start, as are sunflowers which are always a crowd pleaser. Once you‟re done planting, you may want to cover the soil with organic mulch. Explain to your children that the mulch will help keep moisture in and aid in water conservation. It will also help keep weeds at bay so that you can avoid having to use chemicals that harm the environment. Mulch will break down over a couple of seasons. Take advantage of this to teach your little gardeners about the natural cycle of things as well as the benefits of composting for nutrients. Now that everything is in place, your garden will need care. Make walking your garden a part of your daily routine. As you walk, talk

Planting and Care: Now you‟re ready for a trip to the local garden center to pick out your seed packets or starter plants. Look for plants and seeds from organic sources, and pay attention to pick out plants that have a proven success rate in your climate in order to avoid disappointed children later in the season. Simple plants like cherry tomatoes, children‟s gardening apron by birdy boots

Making your own Compost Composting is easy to do and a great way to get kids of all ages involved in gardening and aware of the environment. Homemade compost bins are easy to make and a good alternative to store bought ones, though both will do the job. Choose your Method Build your own compost bin out of unused shipping palettes or left over pieces of wood for example, purchase a pre-made composting bin, or skip the bin all together and simply have a compost heap. Pick a Spot Find a good spot for your compost, most preferably in an out of the way spot, but maybe not too far from the kitchen and a water source if possible. You‟ll want a spot that has good air circulation, offers partial shade so your compost doesn‟t overheat and is well-drained so it doesn‟t turn into a sloppy mess! Once you‟ve sorted that out, you‟re ready to start composting! Building the Pile You‟ll need both green materials and brown materials. Start by adding a layer of brown materials about 6 inches (15cm) thick on the bottom of the compost heap ( or compost bin) and sprinkle with water. Add some of your green materials on top of that and mix the layers around to get some air in between then sprinkle with water. Now add some soil on top in order to introduce the needed microorganisms that are needed in order to get the composting going. Add more layers in a similar fashion until your bin is full or you are satisfied. Check out Worm World for more composting and decomposing fun!

Composting Tips Water The organisms that will be breaking down your waste and turning it into gardening gold need water for their survival. But gardener beware! Too much will turn your compost into a pile of sludge while too little will kill the organisms that are meant to be doing the work for you. Keep in mind, the more green material you add, the less water you need. In general, your compost should be moist but not soaking wet. Air Oxygen is also needed for happy composting. Make sure the bacteria in your compost have sufficient air by turning your pile often and well. Turning the pile is also helpful to mix up the decaying matter and even things out. Temperature The temperature of a successful compost can be anywhere between 140째F and 160째F (60째 and 70째C). Green Materials: Fresh grass clippings, weeds, green leaves, kitchen vegetable scraps Brown Materials: Dried leaves, pine needles, thin bark, dead plant material

to your children about how your plants are growing. Teach them to look for signs of pests or disease, and then search for natural ways to combat this. The internet is full of wonderful organic gardening sites that will give tips on maintaining healthy plants through natural methods. Some helpful tips include planting sunflowers and scented marigolds, both known for helping in pest control. Others include lavender, petunias, nasturtium, garlic, chives, basil and chrysanthemums. All have the added bonus of adding colour to your garden, and many will add taste to your cooking! Gardening is a wonderful way to connect children to nature and teach them about caring for our environment. Starting early will instil in our children a sense of for our earth, a value they will carry with them, and share around them as they grow.

limited edition baby one piece by rise above graphics, a-z organically book set by wh designs, eat your vegetables print by john w golden, eat your veggies print by english muffin shop

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

Step 2: Reuse Hold your own garage or tag sale and shop at them too. Remember, one manâ€&#x;s trash is another manâ€&#x;s treasure! Switch from disposable to reusable - throw-away lunchboxes, drink containers, sandwich and snack bags are easily replaced with reusable ones. Donate your old items to good causes - old mobile phones and eyeglasses are perfect examples of items that can be put to use again by someone else. Look for collection spots in various places around town and in shopping centers. Make old broken crayons into bright shiny new ones. Be creative - paper store bags and the Sunday comics can be used as wrapping paper. Old wrapping paper makes for colourful collages by children. Create a compost and turn vegetable waste into useful nutrients for your plants. Glass jars and pots, washed and dried, become small containers for storing anything from kitchen supplies like flour and sugar, pasta and rice to various bits and bobs around the house. Learn to Upcycle. Turn and old unworn sweater into a new cushion or hot water bottle cover. Old egg cartons are perfect for launching your spring seedlings and unwanted junk mail can be quickly turned into colourful packaging. Search online for more upcycling ideas.

jimell kahrs - piggy tails boutique

Building a family tradition is important to the family core. Participating together creates and strengthens the family bonds through the years. Here is one of ours:


he “jackspot”, as termed by 8 year old Coby, is a giant cluster of the biggest berries on the berry bush. Whether the family tradition is picking blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, pumpkins or apples, the strategy is to pick and move around the bush, looking for the jackspot. And judging from the amount of berries in Coby‟s bucket, this strategy is reliable. Blueberry picking in July is a yearly family tradition in our family. In Tennessee, the blueberries begin to ripen the first of July and continue through to mid-August, so we have plenty of opportunities to harvest the blueberries. Traveling to the blueberry patch sets the stage for getting into nature. We get up early in the morning to avoid the heat of the sun during our berry harvest and head straight to the patch. Taking several back roads with overgrown trees that frame the road, it almost seems as if we are driving through an artist's painting of the Tennessee landscape.

Upon arrival at the blueberry patch, my boys immediately run to their special bush, the one that they believe is where the biggest blueberries reside. My toddler, Tylie, isn't as interested in picking the berries as she is in eating the berries. I love just watching the excitement of the children, and I am proud of the boys for watching over their baby sister, and of my oldest, Tony, for showing Tylie which berries are the yummiest. Not only is berry picking a very economical activity - we brought home over three pounds of blueberries and a blueberry bush to plant in our backyard for under $18 - but it also creates fantastic memories for my children of spending quality time with mom. After we pick the berries together, we bring them home and make delicious muffins, pancakes and blueberry cobbler together too. That is, of course, if we haven‟t eaten them all first! Special thanks to Carolyn and Eric at Morris Vineyard for letting our family create and share wonderful memories every year while blueberry picking.

kristie piacine - kind living designs


other‟s Day. I have one rule. I want a card and something made by my kids every year. I‟m easy. Just some arts & crafts time celebrating Mommy, and I‟m good. Because, you see, that‟s what I do for everyone else. I usually don‟t have a huge budget, I want to get the kids involved, and I‟m pretty crafty. It all works for me. But I‟ll admit that it‟s also a selfish request because I love keeping my cards and going back and reading them. I can get lost in a pile of cards (and I have piles!) for quite some time. It‟s only natural, then, that I‟ve kept the same parameters of gift giving when it comes to Father‟s Day: keep to a small budget and get the kids involved which ultimately equals being crafty. Doing a lot with a little is the way I look at it. That goes for my husband, as well as my father and my father-in-law. Making gifts is wonderful, but just like buying, every once in awhile I‟d get stumped.

My daughter was four years old, and we had already made a few gifts when I found myself at one of those stuck points. I was sitting going through the pile in the corner near his bed where he had his stack of cards, the random pictures and notes Emmerson had made for him, as well as the stacks and stacks of notes that I saved from the past year when he wrote her a note everyday before leaving for work. Then BANG! It hit me: A memory box - some place for him to stash his now growing collection of sentiments. A coupon to the local craft store in-hand, my daughter and I went and selected a pretty decent sized wooden box with a nice brass hinge and snap closure. We came home and pulled out every paint color imaginable. Sharpie markers, a pencil and a finishing spray were the only other materials I needed. She wanted to incorporate a picture of the two of them, so I got a wooden pre-cut frame and a protective plastic sheet to finish it off.

Before starting, we sat and talked about what her Daddy meant to her. What she loved about him. And of course, we couldn‟t forget the card. That was etched into the underside of the lid of the box – permanent. The card to hold all the other cards. My daughter and I had so much fun creating his memory box. She was so incredibly proud to give it to him, and even happier to help him fill it as they looked through all his sentiments, placing them one by one in his box. He loved it, adored it. Something from her that highlighted her newly found trust in her artistic skills. That memory box was the first of many. Every member of our family has one. Every grandparent has been given one. Want a great idea for Grandpa? Make him a box and then include some postcards with stamps. That way he can write to the kids and begin another wonderful tradition between generations. That year we made a memory box for Daddy. The following Mother‟s Day, they made one for me. Emmerson made her own, and that Summer MomMom (my mom) got hers for her birthday. My father-in-law got his for Father‟s Day and later in autumn, my dad and my mother-in-law got theirs for their birthdays. My son will make his soon, now that we can spread outside in the sunshine with paints surrounding us.

Create your own memory box as Kristie did by picking up basic supplies at your local crafts store and mixing with souvenirs and mementos of your own. Or if you‟re not feeling crafty (or are pressed for time, think about handmade memory boxes that can be purchased like the photo album memory box shown above by liat kires

Every once in awhile we sit and look through the items in the memory boxes. What started as something I do to reconnect with my life has become a tradition for the whole family. What could have been a single random gift on Father‟s Day was returned in kind and many times over. Thank you to my dear husband, for this time it was he who inspired

the tradition and returned the favor of a little art and craft time for Mommy. We may say that men don‟t know what women want, but this is proof that it isn‟t always so. Our memory boxes were created in the present, hold the past, and will be treasured in the future.

Looking for a way to wind down with your little one after a long day? Modern Handmade Child offers you this original song composed and performed by Mike Hanley. Click here for a free download from our website.

my child my child reach up your hands unto the heavens and see starlight for you the moon and all the sun the next day my child for you a sunny day and beautiful blue breezes for you oceans foaming beaches sandy calling my child for you are special in my heart and you are precious you are the jewel in the crown for all the kingdom you are my flowers and my fruits and all my good things and in your eyes I see a future filled with songs to sing sweet child pick up your eyes and look into the coming morning wake up your sleepyhead and time to stop the snoring for you a new day is unfolding full of happy and you will grab it by the handles and go forward music and lyrics by Mike Hanley


by beth lemon - lemon cadet

lthough fatherhood is certainly permanent in its own right, many new dads are proudly displaying this everlasting change in their lives by getting inked to show the love for their offspring. Consider it a sign of our post-postmodern times.

Tattoo portrait by Camilla Candida Donzella, photography by Peter Corrie

If this is your kind of memento, your first step it to stop by your local tattoo shop and get a consult. During a consult the artist will discuss your ideas and give you an estimate for the design and work. If you decide to go ahead, most shops will ask you to pay a deposit at the end of this session. Once the artist has drawn up the design, youâ€&#x;ll meet again to take a second look. If you love it, you can go ahead and make it permanent. If the design is not quite to your liking, feel free to talk with the artist about revisions you would like to make to the design.

It‟s always been popular to put your loved ones name in your skin (yes, in), and the tattoo studio should have some samples for you to see at if you don‟t have anything in mind. You can also pair this with an image that has special meaning for your family. Something a little more current is to have your baby‟s handprint or footprint “stamped” somewhere permanently. You could use the ones made at the hospital or make your own prints for the tattoo. There are many nontoxic inks available to use with your kids. Just remember that after that fresh newborn stage, it‟s nearly impossible to get them to sit still long enough to get a nice impression. If you can find the right artist, you could even have your child‟s portrait made. Because every tattoo artist is going to have a different style, your piece will be Handprint and portrait tattoos by Wild Zero Studios, Morgantown, WV totally unique.


New Sunglasses

Photo taken by Philippa, age 5 Neck Point Park, Nanaimo, BC, Canada

Photo taken by Anya, age 5 Forest of Dean, United Kingdom

“I had just made Philippa her own camera bag so she could use my camera and take care of it. A few weeks ago on a trip to Neck Point Park, she took pictures all along our walk around the park. This was a shot she took while her younger sister, Milly, was throwing rocks into the water.”

“Anya had been asking for sunglasses for weeks and finally got them. And the opportunity to enjoy. You can tell by the look on her face she was very happy!”

- Fiona

- Karen

On the move

Magazines at the Salon

Photo taken by Léopold, age 3 Lille, France

Photo taken by Gretchen, age 2 1/2 Overland Park, Kansas, USA

“This photo was taken by my son while playing with his father‟s iPhone. He‟s pretty savvy with anything mechanical and got the hang of it without explanation. I love this photo as he really (although accidentally) captured the feel of the moment as we were all getting ready for Sunday roast at our friends‟ house in England.”

“I had been growing my hair out to donate it, and this spring, it was finally long enough to cut. Since I was planning such a drastic change, I thought it would be a good idea to have my daughter come along to watch the cut. I gave her the camera to occupy her. She was very excited about photographing the magazines and took several shots of them!”

- Gretchen

- Shannon

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contributors & staff

Summer 2010 Issue of Modern Handmade Child  

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