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modern handmade child

contents summer 2011

Editor Shannon Hanley Layout and Design Shannon Hanley/The Clever Kitty Advertising Coordinator Linda Phrakhansa Treasurer Ahmelie Skistad

on the cover

WELCOME 9......letter from the editor WEAR - fashion trends 11....embrace the overalls 14....dressing for a picnic DWELL - home dĂŠcor 18 ....accessible art 21....off the wall

CREATE - crafty tutorials 28 ....festive picnic napkin rings 52 ....memories of summer 62 ....loopy hair bows

Vintage Flutter Dress by Pretty Me photography by Jennifer Anderson Photography

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TASTE - cooking fun 31 ....tuna & veggie pasta bake 33 ....versatile quinoa salad 36 ....frozen peanut butter sandwich cookies 38 ....stone fruit galette PLAY - fun activities 41 ....what? bored already? 49....backyard camping adventure

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MHC is looking for: View Editor: Do you love seeing the world from a kid's eye view? So do we! MHC is currently looking for someone to bring back and head up our View section. Guest Contributors: Do you have an article or tutorial that you think our readers would love? Want to share a favorite recipe or fabulous handmade finds? We welcome your input! See our website for more info.


modern handmade child Contributors WEAR........... Marissa Fischer DWELL.......... Kristi Duchon Kari Firak CREATE........ Angela Salmon Manni Nicole Passeier Tali Burress TASTE........

Margeaux Fincher Jen Dwyer

MEET............ Taci Zahl Laura Jacquemond PLAY............ Nancy Keesling CARE............ Tanja D’Lyn SHARE.......... Kristie Piacine Hannah Cerynik

contents summer 2011 MEET - interviews 24 ... children inspire design 73 ... adatine: crafting old world style LAUGH - the little things in life 30 ... things kids say

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GROW - child development 58 ... independence CARE - growing up green 45...a summer journey with family

GROW...........Julie Hartman WORK........... Liz Murphy Please send all article submissions and ideas to: editor@modernhandmadechild.com

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

SHARE - by moms for moms 34 ... boys in aprons 78 ... self-serve, please

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WORK 66 ... retail, wholesale, consignment and drop shipping...which is the best choice for me?

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.

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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. 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 thekittypad.blogspot.com.


letter from the editor Ahhhh, summer. Glorious days of warm sun, fluffy white clouds, and gentle breezes. I can almost feel the green grass beneath my feet, smell the fragrant flowers blooming, and hear the bees buzzing by. Whether you fill your days with trips to the beach, backyard barbeques, or picnics in the park, there is no doubt that summer is perfect for spending time outdoors. While spring is typically thought of as the season for new growth, it is summer which brings the fruits of that growth. It seems particularly fitting, then, that the growth I personally (and quite literally!) have been experiencing this spring will bring the best reward possible – a new baby! What more joyous time of year to have a baby than summer. I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of this new addition to our family, which is just

a few short weeks away, and look forward to heading out with our new little one to explore the outdoors. Whether your children are young or old, I hope this issue of MHC provides you with lots of ideas and inspiration for filling your summer days with creative fun.

Shannon Hanley

I love to hear from you! Send your comments and letters to editor@mhcmag.com.


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by marissa fischer - rae gun

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hile I‟m not sure what I think about jumpers on full-grown adults – well, unless you have the body of a teenager or plan on setting out for a day on the farm – I adore them on the little ones. When temperatures get so high that you‟re tempted to let the little ones run around in just their undies, short overalls supply the perfect loose fitting, cool, nononsense ensemble. And when it‟s cooler out, pant length coveralls worn over a tee shirt or turtle neck work great. Here are some of my favorite handmade overalls.

shortall in very berry berries by overall baby


clockwise from top left: red denim shortie overalls by ship shap, retro giraffe jumpsuit by inretrospect, train man sun suit by pink dixie, retro coveralls by red pajamas, retro romper by basils britches, animal trainer jon jon by mamma jane, elephant romper by room to romp


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ummer is one of the best times for picnics. The weather is right, the food is in season and it‟s a super cheap, if not free, way to have good quality family time. Here‟s some tips on dressing the kiddos for a family picnic.

First, if you‟ll be picnicking while it‟s warm outside make sure to pick pieces that are made out of lightweight breathable fabrics. I love Little Star Clothing‟s wide leg style linen pants. Linen is a nice breathable fabric sure to keep your little man cool as he enjoys the outdoors. For the babies a thin onesie with plenty of sunscreen is a fantastic option. I love Too Many Suitors‟ Sly Fox one and Rocking Horse Lane‟s Retro Cars design.


by marissa fischer - rae gun

Second, go for designs that are easy for kids to move in. While skirts and dresses might not be your first idea when it comes to playing, as long as the little ladies wonâ€&#x;t be playing on scorching hot slides, the loose skirts allow a great amount of movement and are usually made of thinner fabrics, keeping them cooler. I also really like overalls which can be worn without shirts underneath on the extra toasty days. Styles like Perry Finaliaâ€&#x;s Mod Shift are perfect for play while being really fashionable at the same time. For the boys I adore Noah and Lilahâ€&#x;s Stealthy Panther Short. opposite page: boys linen pants by little star clothing, sly fox onesie by too many suitors this page: retro cars onesie by rocking horse lane


Finally, remember the hats. Keeping the sun out of the little onesâ€&#x; faces will both cut down on the risk of sunburns as well as keep their temperature down. The Bucket Hat by Blissful Moments is perfect for shielding your little one from the heat as well as keeping their eyes shaded. And something that ties in all of these is Handmade by Jennâ€&#x;s darling pinafore set. Not only is it stunning, itâ€&#x;s lightweight, allows for lots of movement and even comes with an adorable hat.

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left page: mod shift with poppy pocket by perryfinalia, panther shorts by noah and lilah, bucket hat by blissful moments right page: pinafore set with bloomers and bonnet by handmade by jenn


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kristi duchon - zuzu girl handmade

f you have a child in your home chances are you have an overwhelming and constantly growing assortment of art supplies as well, which is a great thing. But organizing and storing art supplies can be a confusing and arduous task. Many people are inclined to pack the art supplies away in a bedroom closet or kitchen drawer to keep things neat and tidy, like this mom initially did. But that‟s just the thing about art – it‟s generally not quite as much fun if it‟s neat and tidy.

photo by kristi duchon

In our home we‟ve moved art supplies from room to room over the years. But hands down, what we‟ve found works best is keeping the art supplies in an accessible and focal part of the house. The very day we moved the art supplies from the bedroom closet to the living room bookcase, the magic began. No longer do I have to suggest that we “do an art project”. The kids just do them. Having everything visible and within easy reach, the kids are naturally drawn to the area.


clockwise from top left: supply jars by raw n repurposed, pencil holder by less and more, desk chairs by jessica johnson, storage bins by freestyle gifts


There are several things to keep in mind when creating an accessible art area in your home. First, where will the kids sit? The seating should be as close as possible to the area that will store the supplies. It‟s really no fun for anyone if they have to carry paint, glitter or beads across a room. We love the child size and colorful handmade chairs and tables from Jessica Johnson‟s Etsy shop. Next, how will you store the supplies? If the art station will be a focal part of a main room, as ours is, how do you keep the supplies displayed attractively and suitable for all of your houseguests to see? We love a combination of clear glass jars. Colored tins or cups are also fun, but the contents are not as easy to see. Raw N Repurposed sells assorted jars with a

variety of tops and chalkboard fronts for labeling. The jars in our home came from a variety of places including our refrigerator, Ikea, and The Container Store. Some type of storage bin or basket will come in handy as well for odd shaped supplies that don‟t fit in jars. You can use shoeboxes covered in pretty paper or simple rattan baskets lined with fabric. We use plastic boxes (which are intended for shoes) from The Container Store. The other exceptional benefit of making an art area is the space it then creates to display your child‟s art as well. You know all those picture frames and painted flowerpots that come home from school? Voilà! Now you have the perfect place to display them!


kari firak - little mr moo

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ions and tigers and bears, oh my! Whatever your favorite animal, color, shape or quote, you can find wall art for your childâ€&#x;s room that suits your style. There are so many creative alternatives that allow your child to connect with his environment without compromising your vision. Some ideas are simpler than you think, and may already be lurking in your home. I love this book wall that Kristin of KLTworks created for her son. Instead of choosing a canvas or framed print, Kristin installed shelves and let the books become the work of art. Not only is it visual and colorful, but functional! photo from klt:works


Missing some letters from your Scrabble game? Your dog ate the Monopoly dice? Follow Meg Rook‟s example: retire these classic board games and use them as playful wall décor. Game boards can be animated and visual for your child and nostalgic for you.

If you already have books covered, consider using toys. Jantine of April & May Studio kept her color story consistent with a few well-placed objects for the shelves in her son‟s room. An added advantage to shelving displays … flexibility! You can adjust the items as you adjust the room around them.


Esther of Babyccino Kids included some of her daughter‟s dresses as wall décor. The patterns are so sweet and, along with the matching wood hangers, contribute to the overall design of the room. The marriage of the hooks and shelf prove once again how design and functionality can coexist.

Wiebke of Line+Liv shows that you don‟t need a large space to make an impact. I love her handmade growth chart. Keep it fabric instead of a vinyl decal to really add more depth to the design of the room. There is an unlimited amount of choices for your bare walls. It‟s time to bring new life to objects you already own, and to be creative when choosing those you don‟t own yet. These examples show that your child‟s room can be well designed and accessible. Your walls will thank you!

left to right: photo from april & may studio, photo from pixiegenné, photo from line+liv, photo from babyccino kids


A chat with Rebecca Peragine, owner of Children Inspire Design, about her work interview by taci zahl

mhc: Tell us a bit about yourself, where you live, your family. rebecca: We are a family of four living in Phoenix, Arizona. There is my husband who is a musician and my 7 and 4 year old sons. mhc: Tell us about your work and how you got started. rebecca: My website is Children Inspire Design, and I have been selling on Etsy in my

shop Art and Philanthropy for about 3 years. At first, I posted a few items and got a great response. I also brought items to local shops, built my own website, and e-mailed to introduce myself and my art locally. My work features recycled scraps and has an environmental as well as multi-cultural appeal. Fresh Words Market is my newest line of products. These products are meant to decorate the spaces in our homes that adults and children share and provide inspiring words and images to everyone who sees them. mhc: Please tell us about the section of your website called CID Responsibility. rebecca: CID Responsibility touches on our mission to find and assist grassroots organizations who, regardless of size, make a


big impact in the lives of children. Organizations like peacemexico.org and others who make it their life work to enrich children‟s lives globally, spiritually and environmentally. Most recently we‟ve launched a program called “Ambassadors Program”. We have taken our efforts to raise money for these children‟s programs a step further by offering our products for fund raising. More information is available on my website and Facebook page, or people can contact me directly to become an ambassador to host pilot events. mhc: What inspires you to create these items for children? rebecca: My own children are the inspiration for what I create, and they are my critics, too. Everything I create is inspired by them. And they have no problem telling me what they do and don‟t like. mhc: If you could decorate a nursery today without limitation, what would it look like? rebecca: I am doing this – my sister is expecting her first, and so far the room is completely Children Inspire Design. I am really into a recycled room, and I love to scour vintage and goodwill shops. It will also be based on a global theme – especially Scandinavian, since dad is Swedish – with lots of bright colors.


mhc: Can you describe what you feel exposure to art does for a child? rebecca: It is totally necessary because it opens up creativity and expression, and expression turns into confidence. Being creative allows you to be a confident person. Art is whatever you make it. Whatever you want it to be. Art and creative expression is absolutely vital to a childâ€&#x;s well being.

mhc: As more and more creative programs are being cut from public schools, where would you direct parents, caregivers and teachers to look if they are interested in sharing supplemental creative experiences with children? rebecca: Cutting those experiences and limiting funds in the school system is something that we are frustrated with in my own family. I


would advice those concerned to look for local enrichment classes. And if there aren‟t ant offers, reach out to the community as an artist, dancer, musician, set aside an hour or whatever you can a week to offer that creativity to the children. Start a creative coop. Reach out to other parents and say “This is what I want for my child, if you want this for your child, let‟s talk”. It doesn‟t have to cost anybody anything. mhc: What is your favorite medium to work with when creating art with children? rebecca: Paper is easy and unintimidating, but lately clay is a hot item in our house. With my boys, I think because of the building and the 3-D aspect, that‟s really what they are into. mhc: What does the upcoming year have in store for you? rebecca: I definitely will be busy with more work with the Fresh Words Market, Ambassadors Program and Women‟s Cooperatives. Up next is finding hosts and supporters of the Ambassadors Program and networking with individuals who support our causes and fight for better, richer lives for children.


angela salmon manni - angel fish boutique

Make your summer picnic extra special with this simple, festive kid-friendly craft! Great for holding napkins and cutlery, these rings can be customized easily, and can reflect patriotic and summer themes. However you choose to decorate them, these little repurposed, recycled paper rolls make a great addition to your picnic table!


Directions:

Supplies:

Step 1: Measure and cut your paper towel rolls approximately 1 to 1½ inches wide.

Toilet Paper Roll or Paper Towel Roll Glitter and/or Sequins Wood Shape or Button Glue Scissors

Step 2: Glue on the embellishments. If you are adding a wood shape, leave a small area of the ring unadorned. Let dry.

Step 3: If youâ€&#x;d like to add a glittered wood shape, decorate your wooden shape by adding glue to its surface and then some glitter. Allow to dry. Using glue, affix the wood shape to your napkin ring in the allotted space. Step 4: Once dry, roll up your napkins, insert them into the rings, and have yourself a cheery picnic!


I asked my boys if they were going to take me out for my birthday. My 3 year old said no. I asked him why. He replied, "Because I can't drive, Mom."

"Girls can't have bubble baths, cuz it's bad for their pajamas." - Erin Hentzel in Corvallis, OR

- Tyann Marcink in St. Louis, MO

"Oh! Don't hug me so tight, you might squeeze Jesus out of my heart!" - Zanna Jones in Mobile, AL

"We went on a trip in the car, shopping. When we got back, I was car sick. I was just sitting in the front seat with the door open. My 2 year old daughter, Gabby, asked, "Whatâ€&#x;s wrong, mommy?" I told her I was car sick and she preceded to kiss my car and said, "There, now your car isn't sick anymore". - Brennen Nelson in Boyceville, WI

In case anyone is looking for a new mealtime prayer, here's Caden's new one, which he is very proud of: "Let's bend our heads, and eat good food, and don't be naughty. Amen". - Kim in Minneapolis, MN

After saying multiple times - "I've lost my mind" my, at the time, 5 year old granddaughter tells me: "Mama, I've been looking for your mind, and I can't find it." - Lynn Palmertree in Saltillo, MS


jen dwyer - puntebella

This updated family favorite is made more nutritious, colorful, and flavorful by adding frozen mixed veggies and tri-color corkscrew pasta to the traditional casserole of tuna and cream of mushroom soup. Tuna is a great light protein to serve for dinner in the summer months and kids love the creamy texture of the cream of mushroom soup. For even more nutritional benefit, try using pasta with added fresh veggies.


Ingredients:

Directions:

6 oz. tri-color Rotini (corkscrew) pasta 1 cup chopped celery ¼ cup chopped onion 1 tablespoon margarine or butter 1 (14 oz) can organic semi-condensed cream of mushroom soup ½ cup low fat milk 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables 1 (7 oz) can tuna, drained and broken into chunks 1 teaspoon curry powder ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon pepper 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese ½ cup crumbled baked potato chips (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside. 3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan cook the celery and onion in margarine or butter until tender. Stir in the soup and milk. Add tuna, frozen mixed vegetables, pasta, curry powder, salt and pepper. 4. Transfer to a 2 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until heated through and lightly browned on top. 5. Sprinkle with crumbled baked potato chips if desired, and serve.

Serves 5.


margeaux fincher - mux originals

Quinoa is an extremely healthy, grain-like seed. It‟s tender, mild, and nutty, making it a wonderful player in summer salads. Here, it‟s paired with fresh veggies, dressing, and other add-ins. If you‟ve never prepared quinoa before, simply search „how to cook quinoa‟ on the internet to find step-by-step instructions with pictures. It‟s very easy to cook and you can find it at most grocery stores. Keep in mind that this is more of a framework than a recipe. Play around and use what you have! Pair your finished salad with grilled meat for the perfect summer meal. Some combination ideas: 

Sesame ginger dressing with multicolor bell peppers, snap peas, scallions, and blanched almonds

Sweet vinaigrette with dried, chopped apricots, dried cranberries, cinnamon, and toasted, chopped pecans

Oil-and-vinegar dressing with tomatoes, green bell peppers, mushrooms, fresh basil, and fresh oregano

Ingredients (all amounts are approximate): 2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled 4 cups diced raw vegetables (ideas: bell peppers, carrots, cauliflower, snap peas, celery, scallions, radishes, peas, mushrooms, tomatoes) ¼ cup oil-based salad dressing Optional add-ins: nuts, dried fruit, fresh herbs Toss all ingredients together and refrigerate until serving. Serves 6.


hannah cerynik - the new lunch lady

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e all live incredibly busy lives. Between work, school, sports, and a million other activities, this often affects how, what, and when we eat. I like to think that, in the midst of all of this busyness, we can slow down and enjoy our food as a family. Cooking together brings our family together. We learn to work as a team, we get things done quicker, and we reap the benefits of delicious home-prepared foods that are healthy and full of ingredients that we can pronounce. My boys are 8, 9, 11, and 13, and they all have a place in my kitchen. They have been helping in the kitchen since they could stand and climb on a stool without falling off. If the boys weren‟t pretending with play food, they were begging for the real stuff. Some days it seems that all they do is eat! My strategy is to get them to help prepare our food. There are many times I stuff my boys into their personalized aprons and finagle

them into helping me prep food for our meals. As a homeschooling mom, I like to think that cooking and baking is a Home Economic class that each of my four boys need to have under their belt, or apron string. We eat a lot of fresh whole foods that require a lot of chopping, dicing, slicing, and seasoning. There‟s no reason that kids can‟t learn how to use a knife carefully, or how to season the chicken sautéing on the stovetop. My youngest likes to help me bake muffins and use the food processor to make pesto. My older boys help with salad preparation and with seasoning meats and sauces. I have found that my children will eat the food that they helped prepare – they want to know what it tastes like after they have helped to make it. Someday, my boys will be living on their own, or they will be husbands and fathers. I like to think that their future wives will be very happy that my boys learned how to man the kitchen. Pun intended.


opposite page: boys apron by dress baby beautiful, this page: wash your hands print by belly babies, oven mitt by abe the punk, personalized cutting board by my cutie tootie, culinary paper keepers by jack and jane boutique


jen dwyer - puntebella

The decadent combination of peanut butter, chocolate, and graham crackers comes together in a cold no-bake treat that is easy for kids to help make on a warm summer day. These fun-to-assemble sandwich cookies have a candy-like filling that you spread onto graham crackers and dip in a bowl of sprinkles. Best of all, they are stored in the freezer so you will always have a delicious cold treat on hand for yourself or as a make ahead dessert for guests. Ingredients: 1 cup powdered sugar 1 (8-ounce) block light cream cheese, softened 1 cup natural-style, creamy peanut butter

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk 1 (12-ounce) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed 1 box graham crackers Chocolate sprinkles


Prepare Filling: Combine the powdered sugar, the cream cheese and the peanut butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add the condensed milk, and beat until combined. Stir in the whipped topping. Refrigerate the filling for at least 30 minutes before assembling the cookies.

Assemble the Cookies: Pour the sprinkles into a shallow bowl. Break a graham cracker sheet in half, and spread the filling on one graham cracker to about ½ inch thickness. Top with the other graham cracker half, smooth and fill in the sides with a knife. Dip all four sides in the sprinkles. Lay the cookies between layers of waxed paper in an airtight container and freeze for one hour before serving. Store cookies in the freezer. Makes 3 dozen sandwich cookies.


margeaux fincher - mux originals

A galette is a flat, free-form pie. It‟s much easier to make than the traditional two-crust fruit pie, and an equally delicious way to enjoy summer‟s succulent stone fruits. This galette consists of a buttery crust, a chunky fruit filling, and a crunchy crumb topping. Any ripe stone fruit you have on hand works here – plums, peaches, apricots, even sweet cherries. I used plums in mine, and for an Asian-inspired touch, added Chinese five-spice powder and chopped almonds to the crumb topping. However, adjust the crumb topping ingredients to suit your fruit. Pecans and nutmeg would be delicious with peaches, or almonds and almond extract with cherries.


Prepare the crust:

Prepare the filling:

1. Measure flour and salt into the bowl of a food processor, and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles large crumbs.

Mix fruit, flour, and sugar in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.

2. Add 1 tablespoon of the water and pulse until combined. Add as much of the remaining water as necessary to form a cohesive dough. 3. Dump the dough into a large bowl and squeeze it into a ball. Transfer the ball to a piece of plastic wrap and flatten into a disk. Wrap the disk tightly in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week.

Prepare the crumb topping: Stir the flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, fivespice powder, and almonds together in a medium bowl. Using your hands or a pastry cutter, mix in the butter until the mixture resembles large crumbs. You can use a food processor for this, but I find that, because the amounts of ingredients are so small, combining it by hand is more effective.

Ingredients: Crust:

Crumb topping:

¾ cup all-purpose flour ¼ teaspoon salt 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks 1-2 tablespoons cold water

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed 1 teaspoon cinnamon ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder (or nutmeg, almond extract, etc.) 3 tablespoons almonds, finely chopped (or pecans, walnuts, etc.) 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks

Filling: 1 ¼ lbs. stone fruit, pitted and cut into small, bite-sized chunks 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed


Assemble the galette: 1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and set aside. 2. On a lightly-floured surface, roll the crust into a â…›â€? thick oval, flouring both the crust and rolling pin as needed to prevent sticking. Donâ€&#x;t worry if your oval is imperfect. Fold it into quarters and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Unfold it and roll the edges in, squeezing lightly to create raised lip around the entire oval. 3. Spread the filling evenly over the crust. 4. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the filling and bake the galette until golden brown, about 25 minutes. 5. Cool galette on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature, with ice-cream or whipped cream if desired. Refrigerate any leftovers.


nancy keesling - tutu cute and moore

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he first week or two after school is out for the summer means staying up late, sleeping in, no alarm clocks ringing, raiding the refrigerator day and night, watching movies, playing electronic games hours on end, and enjoying the freedom of no homework. So what‟s the problem? It‟s hard to imagine that you may have already heard your child say,

handpainted picnic table by vivy‟s closet

“I‟m bored”, but with school being fast paced and filled with challenging activities hour after hour, it can be difficult to find interesting and challenging activities for your children at home. However, with a little thought and planning, parents can help turn this situation around. Here are a few suggestions for fun summer activities to enjoy as a family and break up the boredom. Plan a Picnic You don't have to travel far to have a picnic. In fact, you don't have to travel any farther than your own backyard. The fun isn't only in the picnic, but in the planning as well. It is a perfect way to create some cheap summer fun while enjoying outdoor games, exploring for bugs and four leaf clovers, or identifying birds watching you from the trees waiting to clean up your crumbs.


grow. Have them keep a growth chart by measuring the plant every two days. They can even draw pictures of the plants as they grow. Go to the Library Libraries are wonderful sources of free fun for kids. Children can check out books to take home or read the books while relaxing in the quiet at the library. Most libraries offer free programs for children with readings, crafts, or movies. Check at the front desk for a schedule of events.

animal print apron by c cooper designs

Plant a Garden Kids will love a reason to dig in the dirt and what better excuse to get dirty than planting their own garden. Gardening is a great opportunity for learning about plant life and how to take care of it. Children will enjoy using planting tools and keeping thirsty plants watered. If you start early enough in the season, you can start the garden from seeds. That is the ideal way to start a garden since the kids can watch the garden grow from the very beginning sprouts. However, if you start too late in the season to plant seeds, you can buy a few seedlings from a garden shop – the kids can still watch the plants

i love books wall art by jolinne


Plan a Family Night Families don't need to go on vacations or spend lots of money to enjoy some time together. All they need to do is plan some fun activities that the entire family would enjoy. Among the possibilities are watching movies and having popcorn parties, playing board games or a fun game of kickball, telling silly stories, or having a dance contest. Family nights can be planned any night, but are especially nice on rainy evenings when the kids canâ€&#x;t play outside. Create a Backyard Water Park A water park in the backyard? Absolutely! If you already have a water slide, all you have to do is get a hose (or two) and prop them up to spray water on it. If you don't, this might be the time to invest in one. If you don't want to go with a water slide, get a small backyard pool and set up some hoses to spray either over the pool or around it. You're limited only by your imagination! Plan a Scavenger Hunt You can encourage your children to explore nature with a nature scavenger hunt, which could include items as simple as different shaped stones and leaves. Or you can hide objects of your own around the yard and give your children clues that will help them find them.

diy rhythm box by itag studios

Make Music You can create music with just about anything that makes a sound. You can buy cheap kazoos or make your own by covering a clean comb with wax paper. Pots can serve as drums, and lids can be cymbals. Empty jugs can be used, too, to make "music." It's easy for kids to get carried away with making noise, so be sure to make this activity a musical one. Help your kids learn about music, while having fun.


Have a Yard Sale A yard sale can have several goals: you can get your house cleaned of clutter, give your kids something to do, and make a little money! You can also make this an opportunity to teach your children a little about economics, letting them keep the money they sell their toys for. Donâ€&#x;t forget how much fun children have making and selling lemonade to the shoppers who need a cool drink.

lemonade stand by carrie marie originals

Put on a Play This activity can be as simple or as complex as your children would like it to be. The simplest way to put on a play is to act out a familiar story like The Three Little Pigs, using whatever you can find around the house for costumes. The more complex methods of play production would start with the children making up their own story, writing a script, planning the costumes (with help from mom or dad), rehearsing, creating a flyer, making tickets and inviting friends. pig nose on a stick by whimzy creations Most importantly, make these activities fun for the whole family and remember to sneak in a few educational pointers to keep those little minds challenged. Hopefully, you will be bombarded with questions, and the boredom will soon be forgotten. Have a wonderful summer!


by tanja d’lyn - inspiring design studio

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he taste of watermelon, the sound of laughter, and the smell of the freshly cut grass as we go rolling down the hill to see who will finish first – these are some of my fondest memories of summer with our family. The best part was not just the experience, but the journey. It starts off as just a conversation, in the winter, just before spring is on its way. “Mom, can we go to Canon Beach again?” Just the name alone sparks my senses into a whirl of emotional joy. “Well, let‟s seriously think about it,” I respond. And we gather together and start the summer journey. Family is so important and living it together is the best part. Summer time, well, it‟s one of my favorite times of the year! The boys and I love planning for the summer trips. “What will we bring to eat? Will you bring the watermelon? Can I bring the dog this time? What about tennis – is there a court

near the park?” So, the list goes on. I call it the dreaming process. And we all need to dream a little bit each day. So, we get the summer journal (paper note book) out and start up with all the brainstorming one can do with an adventure on the horizon. Everyone helps with their part. This is very important. These simple tips will spell out success: 1. Take the kids to the grocery store (with the list) and find the best watermelon ever, together. 2. Have the kids help you make the food. 3. Have the kids help you with the laundry (picnic blanket, clothes and towels) and fold it in their bags. 4. Write down games you can play and then put the items you need in a tote. 5. Bring a camera, journey box and a journal with markers, crayons or pencils.


Some years, our budget is small, and other times itâ€&#x;s big enough for an actual overnight or week trip, but what I have found is that how much we spend has nothing to do with how much fun we have. And the most fun of all is putting it all together on a simple sheet of paper. This summer, find the time to take a break with your family. Picnics are the perfect mini-getaway. The best part is the dreaming of it. Creating the journey is as much fun as getting to the destination. So slow down, and encourage your family to create the journey. Here are some fun ideas to start your kids off in a creative way! Make a journey box to hold all of the things your child will collect along the way. And how about sewing up a fun travel art tote? This sewing project is created with scraps from our fabrics that we have in the eco-art area in our art studio. Then, when you are back from your journey, add some of your journey box collection to your eco-art area, and create some fun craft things with your findings.

Sewing Project: Travel Art

Supplies: fabric thread ribbon

you will also need: scissors pins sewing machine


Directions: 1. Cut two 15 x 9 inch rectangles from fabric, one for the outside and one for the inside 2. Cut one 15 x 6 inch rectangle from fabric for the pocket piece 3. Hem the top of the pocket piece by Âź inch, and pin it to the inside piece. 4. Mark the center of the pocket piece. Sew the pocket piece to the inside piece by stitching a straight link down the center. 5. To create the holding area for the crayons, on the right side of the pocket, stitch a straight line down every 1 inch through both layers. 6. Cut two 7-inch strips of ribbon, and sew them at the sides of the tote faced inward. 7. Sew the inside and outside pieces, right sides together, leaving a 1-inch opening to turn the tote right side out. 8. Turn the art tote right side out, and sew the opening closed.


Craft: Journey Box

Tacky Glue

Directions: 1. Measure the box and draw the dimensions onto the paper, or take the box, place on the paper and trace around the box, directly onto the paper.

Paper, maps or magazine pages

2. Cut out the paper and glue to the box.

Markers, crayons or colored pencils

3. Decorate the box with stickers, ribbons, etc. Add name, motto, or title to the box.

Stickers, ribbons, and any fabric or decoration

4. Collect journey finds and souvenirs in it.

Supplies: Re-purposed box that has a lid


Let the excitement begin as the entire family gets involved in planning, organizing and implementing one of the most inexpensive “vacations� you’ll ever have.

nancy keesling - tutu cute and moore


Let’s get geared up Most importantly, pitch a tent, even if it‟s a makeshift tent with stakes and blankets or tarps. If you don‟t own a tent, borrow one or check out yard sales and second-hand stores where many treasures can be found. Even summer nights can be chilly, so, sleeping bags, blankets, and a favorite pillow will make for a comfortable night‟s sleep. Kids will also enjoy canteens, lanterns and camp chairs making it feel like a real camping trip. To avoid battles, each child should have their own flashlight. This makes them more at ease after dark and comes in handy for making trips to the bathroom, for making shadow puppets on tent walls, and for reading before bed.

I’m hungry There is something about the outdoors that makes for a ravenous appetite. All campers should have input as to their favorite food and be included in the preparation. Most importantly, keep it simple. Don‟t forget to recycle the cans and paper goods – a perfect opportunity to explain how recycling helps our earth. Whether you use a grill or a campfire for meat or veggies, don‟t forget to have marshmallows, chocolate bars and graham crackers for the all time camp out treat, S'mores.

previous page: clothes line t left page: quilted first aid case by heart felt c right page: personalized birthday


Flame-free campfire Itâ€&#x;s hard to imagine a camp out without a campfire, but if it just isnâ€&#x;t possible in your backyard, make a pretend one. Let the kids gather small twigs, then stuff red, yellow and orange issue paper or napkins between the sticks to look like flames. A small flash light can be hidden under the paper to make a warm glow. Finally, circle the sticks with rocks. Real or not, this makes the perfect spot for storytelling, singing songs, telling jokes, or playing a favorite game under the soft glow of a lantern or flashlight. Star light, star bright Camping is the perfect time to notice the stars and search the nighttime sky for different constellations. Teach your children to appreciate the beauty and wonder of the great outdoors. Have fun exploring the nighttime sights and sounds. Help younger children identify sounds like crickets chirping, neighborhood dogs barking or insects buzzing. Catch fireflies in a jar. Nothing delights a young camper more than those little lights twinkling and flashing in the night.

tent by imaginative play toys crafts, felt campfire by hopewell creek designs y invitations by magical creations

A backyard camping adventure would make the perfect party for the summer birthday boy or girl. No rental space costs, bake cupcakes instead of buying an expensive decorator cake, play tag or kickball in wide open spaces, roast marshmallows, tell ghost stories, and enjoy the fresh air and fun in a tent. This will surely be enjoyed by the kids, and the parents can privately complain about their stiff back to their friends! No summer birthdays in your family? Consider inviting family members or neighbors to bring a tent and food to share for a night of laughs and memory making. Whatever you decide to do, keep it simple, and remember this is a night for everyone to enjoy the great outdoors in the comfort of your own backyard. Happy camping!


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nicole passeier - magic rainbox dreaminx

hhhh, glorious summer days. The time of blissful days spent outside – outdoor activities, swimming, barbecues, picking of the first fruits & berries, laughter, joy, delicate and rich scents all around, the sun travelling towards its highest point just as everything else in nature is at its highest peak. The earth is soaked with the sun‟s energy and radiating warmth, inviting us to a season of picnics. To actually get into the mood for a summer tutorial (writing this article for you it is still Spring) and to undig my summery craft idea as yet hidden in the depth of my brain, I

search for things that I associate with and that remind me of summer. I close my eyes ... birds are chirping ... the sun is warming my face ... there‟s the soft scent of an early rose ... I can hear the laughter of children playing outside ... picnic ... children ... picnic ... nature ... games played in the picnic grounds ... children excited by the world around them. I keep searching my memory. And I do remember. The memory of one of my own favorite childhood games. That‟s it! That‟s exactly it. Your very own game of matching card pairs.


You can turn this quick and easy craft idea into a happy summer activity involving everyone. It‟ll be especially lovely if you create this game of matching card pairs out in nature – while you‟re out on a picnic maybe? Just prepare your cardstock squares to take with you and pack scissors, glue, pencils and pens, paper, and a camera, as well as a bag to hold any leftover crafting scraps when you‟re done. Observe, explore, discover details, draw, sketch, be curious, find out, show each other, and: memorize. Especially, the wondrous time you spent together outside collecting all these beautiful impressions. Each time you play with your memo cards, you‟ll remember that special summer day – the light, the sun, the joy and fun you had when you created these sweet memories together. And if you do craft in nature, please, also remember to be kind to Mama Earth and to take all of your things with you when you leave so as that your picnic-y spot remains clean – and maybe even a little more beautiful than you found it.

Materials: cardstock in colors of your choice* pictures, pictures, pictures, and ... pictures scissors and/ or cutter ruler glue (stick) pencil felt pens, colored pencils self-adhesive book covering foil *if you prefer sturdier cards, simply use 2 colored cardstock squares and “sandwichglue” a recycled cardboard square of the same size (from dry goods food boxes e.g.) in between the two, then add your image to one side.


Very quick overview of the steps: * collect, take or draw images * cut cardstock squares * glue images onto cardstock squares * cover image side with self-adhesive book covering foil * start playing!


Some ideas:  make identical pairs of cards 

choose different cardstock colors for different categories, e.g.: brown for trees, yellow for flowers, blue for birds, red for four-legged animals, etc.

make pairs of cards with each card showing a different detail of an object: card #1 showing the bark of e.g. a birch tree, card #2 showing the leaves of said birch; card #1 showing the whole tree, card #2 showing the leaves or the fruit this specific tree carries (Ex.: oak – acorns; beech – beechnut)

collect images displaying one item from different perspectives

take your own pictures of nature while out on a picnic with your kids ... explore your local summer “wildlife” with a new eye. Make sure to take your camera, paper and pencils and pens with you!

choose different flowers, trees, animals, grasses, fruits, nuts, berries, acorns, leaves ... and draw them. At home, copy or scan the illustrations, print & color in.

you can always add new cards and new images to your game

Step by Step Instructions: Step 1 Decide which type of card pairs you‟d like to go for. Of course, you can also mix and match the different types. Collect your images. See box at left for some ideas. If you like, make it a fun summer family activity while out on a picnic – it‟ll be gorgeous!

Step 2 Cut your cardstock squares. I found 7cm x 7cm to be quite a handy size. Feel free to vary. Pick different colors for different subjects, or go for one single color. How much cardstock you‟ll need depends on how many pairs of cards you want to make.


Step 3 Cut your images about 6cm x 6cm or, if youâ€&#x;ve opted for a different card size, about 1 cm smaller than your cardstock squares. Glue your images onto the cardstock squares.

Step 4 To make your image cards more durable, and also easier to take along for a day outside, cover the image side with self-adhesive book covering foil. Tip: attach the first few millimeters of the foil to your craft mat or any other smooth surface. Hold the piece of foil while carefully placing the card (image side up) underneath. Now, with an even object (a ruler e.g.), or simply with the side of your hand, slowly press the foil onto your card while at the same time pulling the protective paper off further and further until your card is covered with the foil.

Step 5 Now cut off any excess foil. Itâ€&#x;ll be a lot easier to cut through the self-adhesive foil if you leave the protective paper underneath for the cutting process. Press the foil once again onto the image and smooth out any air bubbles or folds with the palm of your hand or the tip of your finger.


Step 6 Make as many different pairs of cards as you like. The motifs shown at right are: brown card: birch leaves, green card: anemone nemorosa (aka wood anemone, windflower, thimbleweed and smell fox), yellow card: hand-drawn Japanese flowering cherry. Step 7 Grab your new game cards, set out on another picnic, and start playing! A very Happy Summer to you all, dear MHC readers! Would you like to share your own memo card ideas or photos of your card sets? Weâ€&#x;d definitely like to see them. Post a comment on the MHC blog or send us an e-mail to ideas@modernhandmadechild.com. 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 childrenâ€&#x;s use of any crafting material.


Child Development Skill of the Season julie hartman - petite fish

I

have to come clean about something: a big development skill. In this article, let‟s focus bias I have. Compared to any other time of on ways to encourage your child to be the year, summer is the biggest time for independent. education for kids. Sacrilege, given that school is out! While most people think that With so much time on their hands during summer is a time for children to have a break, summer, it‟s developmentally important for I encourage a massive growth youth to have the ability to spurt in learning. Don‟t entertain themselves With so much time on worry, I keep it simple independently, with their hands during summer, and fun in this article. minimal help needed it’s developmentally Yes, summer is a time (and it helps the parents, important for youth to have to play and recuperate too!). When constructive the ability to entertain from school‟s demands. self-entertainment occurs, There‟s plenty of going to children learn to feel themselves independently. camps and the beach, poolcomfortable with themselves time, and playing freely in the and at peace in their world. There sunshine. However, when at home this are plenty of things they need help with that summer, when we often hear the “Mom, I‟m are too „big for their britches‟, so to speak, bored”, I encourage families to practice the like having groceries in the house, paying the important life skills that sometimes get bills, and carpooling to activities. At the same ignored with the focus on academic skills time, there are many, many things that during the rest of the year. Behold, this Crafty children can do without (or with minimal) Shrink is on a mission – to help parents with assistance, and it is those opportunities that simple, easy and fun tips for teaching a child breed the skill of independence.


Here‟s how to cultivate the skill of independence in your children this summer: 1. Create a self-serve activity environment that is easy for them (and you) to clean-up and stay organized 2. Invest in new supplies every month (from places like www.orientaltrading.com and the sale section of craft supply stores) 3. Make a „menu‟ for kids to choose from 4. Consider child labor 1. Create a self-serve and easy-to-clean activity environment A while ago, I learned about the Montessori method of education. My layperson interpretation is that an optimal learning environment for children is one that is not too cluttered, offers „stations‟ or physical areas of focused activity, and provides the ability to self-select what the child wants to invest time in. When children are able to quietly concentrate on something that interests them, the most learning and developing of skills can occur. I often borrow this method in my office when I see my child clients. So, why not use it at home this summer? Here‟s how:

Consider organizing craft supplies by type and color in clear plastic bins, such as ones you can buy at The Container Store or Tupperware in bulk from Costco. For instance, fabric flower petals in one container, self-adhesive gems in another, and the pom-pom balls are not in the same container as the popsicle sticks, etc. If your containers are stackable, your children can bring the containers they need to their project space and return them easily. Make a rule of “only one project at a time” to help children learn the skill of simplicity. As we all know, when we get overwhelmed, we tend to feel less comfortable and at peace with the task at hand.


2. Invest in new supplies every month No need to break the bank on this one. However, children‟s brains thrive on a combination of repetition and novelty. An important and often delicate balance, indeed. So to make it do-able, commit to buying some new supplies to offer in their play space (novelty), as well as some old staples they use frequently (repetition), and organize them in a refreshing way. Here‟s how:

categories and memory storage and retrieval systems as well as the brains of adults are. Thus the summertime focus on skill-building! So, do it for them, in a menu divided similarly like a restaurant‟s menu: Using a 3-ring binder and dividers (with tabs), make sections, such as “arts/crafts”, “games”, “ways to help/make money”, “nature activities”, etc. In each section, write down ideas that you have or that your child brings up in the car or that another mom mentions she did with her kids. Sometimes even ads on TV or some of those do-it-yourself shows will offer ideas, too.

Summer is a joyous Keep in mind the time for children „themes‟ your child is currently into, and buy and families...make some things from within those themes. For it an educational instance, if your child is into making castles in his or her one as well. sandbox or building lego scenes, buy new supplies in those categories, while organizing the older items differently to make them feel new. Consider purchasing craft or activity „kits‟ and place the kits (unopened) onto a shelf in a way that is easily seen and grab-able. 3. Make a ‘menu’ Part of being independent is being able to scan your environment and your brain for ideas of things to do. However, it‟s especially hard for kids to scan their brains for ideas because their brains aren‟t yet developed into

Consider tearing out pictures from magazines (or printing from online ones) that offer ideas or „how-to‟ activities. The pictures in the binder will grab your child‟s attention. I recently saw a cool „how to‟ with great photos for a simple way to make bean bags, and an associated game to use with them, that any kid over age 6 could do independently. I tore out the tutorial, and using a glue stick, adhered it to paper, used a 3-hole punch, and placed it in the „game‟ section of my binder. Or, when you‟re at the park, take a photo of your child kicking the soccer ball, print it (no need to use fancy photo paper, regular will


do) and put it in the binder under „games‟ – next time he‟s bored and looks through the binder, he may just grab the ball and head outside to practice his kicks.

gardening, such as pulling weeds, raking (or picking up) leaves, planting seeds, using child-proof scissors to dead-head flowers or trim plants, etc.

4. Consider child labor A way to highlight independence is the ability to use one‟s own hard-earned money to purchase something of self-interest, whether it be a piece of candy, a toy, or hosting a pizza party with a friend. With so much time often available over summer, it offers a good opportunity to create ways for your child to earn money. Please keep in mind that the goal of the „job‟ is threefold: (1) to earn money, (2) to practice being independent, and (3) to feel comfortable and at peace doing something by themselves. Often, the task may not even be particularly important or helpful, but hey, if it accomplishes the 3 goals, it‟s worth it in my book. The key is to design „jobs‟ that require minimal assistance. So offer tools, simple step-by-step instructions that are easily readable and understandable, as well as short in duration (i.e. 5 minutes for every year of their life). Here are some common ways for kids to earn money, outside of their regular chores:

Baking/cooking preparation, such as peeling the carrots, de-seeding the cucumber with a spoon, tearing old bread into cubes for home-made croutons, spooning the premade cookie dough and placing on cookie sheet, etc. Even if it‟s nowhere near mealtime, they can accomplish this anytime and store it in the fridge for later.

Organizing, like putting the receipts into categories, lining up all the DVDs in alphabetical order, putting the books on the shelf from tallest to shortest.

using a hose, wash down the deck, water the plants, rinse the car, wash the dog, clean the outdoor toys, wash out the trash cans, etc.

Summer is a joyous time for children and families. Consider using these Crafty Shrink tips to make it an educational one as well. Your child‟s independence will pay off in so many ways… and maybe give you some extra peace too. And please email me with any success stories… I‟d love to hear from you! 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.


tali burress - a party studio

In our household, summer means picnics, beach days, and sundresses! Every year, I update my daughter's closet with new outfits, and I love making her hair accessories to match. These loopy hair bows are great for beginners and can be easily customized to match any outfit. Make the bows big or little, use one ribbon color or lots of different colors – play around and enjoy, and watch your daughter's face light up when she puts this in her hair!

Supplies: Grosgrain ribbon - 3/8 inch wide, total length: 64 inches (the 64 inches will be divided into 5 strands that measure 8 inches in length and 4 strands that measure 6 inches.) You can mix and match the ribbon - they can be all one color or lots of colors! Be creative with your ribbons and have fun with it. Fray Check Needle and thread 2x double prong alligator clips, one lined, the other unlined. (One will be used for the bow and the other will be used as a tool.) Hot glue gun Embellishments such as a button or rhinestone for the center of the bow.


Directions: Step 1 Select your ribbon. I have used red saddlestitch, white with red saddlestitch and red with Swiss dots. Step 2 Cut your ribbon and treat all ends with Fray Check to prevent fraying. For a double layer, medium sized loopy bow, you will need 5 strands that measure 8 inches and 4 strands that measure 6 inches. Your finished bow will measure approximately 3½ inches. Step 3 Stack the five strands that measure 8 inches, then fold over in the center. Make sure your Swiss dots are facing towards each other as shown in the photo. Put your needle in the center of the fold. Do not push the needle all the way through! You need to stop when the ribbon is approximately halfway on to the needle. Step 4 Fan the ribbon, taking care to keep the strands evenly spaced out. Take your time with this to get the ribbon exactly where you want it. It helps to hold the bottom of the needle with your dominant hand and then slowly move the strands around. Then, use the unlined double prong alligator clip to keep the strands in place. Keep the needle in place.


Step 5 Start folding each strand. Take the end of each strand and turn it upside down before placing it on the head of the needle. This is called an inside-out fold and will give you nice loops. There are other ways to do the loops – the important thing is to be consistent. Be sure to make each loop the same way. Step 6 Once you have folded all the strands, you‟ll have a pretty flower shape. Use your needle and thread to sew the center securely – I usually have to pull the needle through about 4 to 5 times. Then, cast off. Step 7 Repeat the above steps with the shorter threads of ribbon. You‟ll notice that it is easier to fan out the ribbon when you only use 4 strands. Step 8 You now have two loopy flowers.


Step 9 Sew the smaller top layer onto the larger bottom layer, or alternately, you can use hot glue. I have used both methods and after breaking several needles, I have become a huge fan of the hot glue method! Once the layers are stacked, add the embellishment to the center using hot glue, and attach the bow to a partially lined hair clip using hot glue. I like to put the bow upside down, apply the glue to the top of the clip and then turn the clip upside down and press it onto the bow. Make sure you hold for 10 seconds so that it is secure. I love playing with different colors and using lots of different ribbons. With regards to printed ribbon, I prefer very simple styles – Swiss dots, saddlestitch or stripes – but that is a personal preference. You'll quickly develop your own style! TIP 1: For an even bigger bow, add a third layer created from 6 additional 9-inch strands of ribbon. TIP 2: It is useful to have a mat for the hot glue gun. Special mats are available at the craft store and are found alongside the glue guns and sticks. Alternately, you can use an old ceramic plate but you will need something to rest your gun on to protect your work surface. If youâ€&#x;ve never used a glue gun before then have a small glass of water handy. If you get some glue on your finger then dip it in the water! TIP 3: Lining your own alligator clips is easy to do and enables you to perfectly match your clips to your bows. Hop on over to our blog for a tutorial!


S

elling online and in brick and mortar boutiques can be a very confusing endeavor. How much do I charge? Can I keep up with demand? What terms should I accept? Will it be worthwhile? These questions (and many more) will be twirling around in your mind as you determine which direction you should take your business. Will you make mistakes? Sure. We all do. Should you use each mistake as a learning experience? Absolutely! These mistakes will only help you to continue to focus your business goals and find working relationships that are mutually beneficial. As I take a look at each way to sell, I hope that you will gain a little more understanding of the benefits (and challenges) of each.

by liz murphy - da

Retail Whether you have your own brick and mortar boutique or an online shop, selling to the public offers the most autonomy and also incurs the most risk. You are ultimately responsible for every aspect of the business, from advertising to displaying your products, as well as determining pricing and new inventory. Often when selling this way, you can offer a very personalized or one of a kind product. You have the ability to set your own prices and get payment immediately as customers purchase your products. You also get to interact with your target customers in a more intimate way, getting to know what they like and are willing to spend money on. It can be very exciting and empowering. It can also be quite overwhelming. You are the one who owns the products and the one who is responsible for your inventory when it doesnâ€&#x;t sell. Many times, sellers who want to make a living from their creations use this method of selling along with one or more of


aisy creek designs

the other methods to connect with target customers in other areas. Wholesale Selling wholesale requires sellers to be much more aware of their bottom line. What price can you afford to sell your product for, ensuring that you cover expenses and make a profit, all while staying within the price range of other sellers? You get to make decisions about what types of products you offer, whether it is a standard design or custom work (or both). Typically, you set your price based on cost of materials and time, multiplied by two (for your profit), and that is the price per item that you will be paid by the retailer. Often times, they sell the item for double what they have paid. This is where it is important to be aware of what price you are selling your items for online. Retailers expect that you are offering your items in the same range as they will be. Consumers are smart! If they see an item in a

boutique that they like, they can very easily search online for it. If they can find it somewhere else for a considerable discount, they will side step the retailer. This will eventually be a lose-lose situation when the retailer canâ€&#x;t sell your product and doesnâ€&#x;t want to purchase more. Approaching retailers can be scary. You are putting yourself and your products out there and may come across a few or many retailers who are not interested. Do not be discouraged! Retailers are in the business to sell, and typically, they want a new and unique product that no one else has. Be confident, follow these tips and most importantly, remember that if one retailer


Cost of the brick and mortar space Traditionally, retailer pays 50% of th and/or online website (including fees retail price. Seller sets the wholesa to online market places). Payment price. Payment comes on delivery o happens when customer purchases. on a payment plan. You determine how your items are displayed and placed in your brick and mortar store or online shop.

The retailer determines display and placement of your items. You have little or no control over where the items are located in the store.

You determine price—typically costs You determine price—typically cost multiplied by 4. multiplied by 2.

There are no minimums when you are the seller.

You determine minimums—typicall a certain quantity or dollar amount that makes selling at a discounted price worthwhile.

You are responsible for all marketing and advertising.

Retailer is responsible for all marketing and advertising.

Retailer is responsible for contactin You are responsible for adding new you to get more products into his/he products to sell. store. You are responsible for any products that are lost, stolen or damaged.

The retailer is responsible for any products that are lost, stolen or damaged.


isnâ€&#x;t interested, there will be more that will be.

he Retailers will take a fee of 20-40% ale off the price that you determine. or Payment typically comes once a month.

Online retailer gets a percentage of the price that you determine. Payment comes when each item is sold or once a month.

The consignment shop determines d You have little or no control over display and placement of your items. e where your items are located on the You have little or no control over website or how often they promote where the items are located in the your item. store.

You determine price to ts accommodate your costs and profit plus the percentage you are paying to have your items in the shop.

ly t d

You can determine, along with the consignment shop, a minimum quantity that you would like to have available for sale.

Items can be sold one at a time.

Consignment shop is responsible for Online retailer is responsible for all all marketing and advertising. marketing and advertising.

ng Typically, you are responsible for You are responsible for getting your er checking back and making sure your products photographed and items are well stocked. available for the online retailer.

y

Typically, there is either a percentage of responsibility or the consignee is not paid for lost, stolen or damaged items.

Not applicable.

#1 – Be Prepared. Have samples, order forms, catalogs and/or business cards with you. Know what you are willing to sell at a minimum to consider them as a wholesale customer and how you are willing to let them pay (up front, prior to delivery, at delivery or net 30, which means they have 30 days to pay). #2 – Be Patient. Even if you have an appointment, remember that many retailers are doing all the day to day operations in their store, including selling to customers. Make sure that they realize that you are willing to wait and discuss a possible working relationship in between what they need to do. There is nothing worse than giving the impression that you are in a hurry.


#3 – This might seem obvious, but dress appropriately. Avoid going to new stores in your “run around town doing errands” clothes. You are there to show them your products and although your work may speak for itself, you still need to leave them with a good impression. #4 – And lastly, leave the kiddos at home. Running a business allows us to have a flexible schedule and time for our families, but going out to get a new retailer is work. Children require a lot of our attention and can be a distraction when trying to communicate effectively with others. Consignment Selling your products through consignment is very similar to wholesale with some key differences. In a wholesale situation, the owner of the retail store is paying you for your products and then they own those products. In a consignment situation, you are paying them a fee (typically between 20-40% depending on what you agree upon) to place your products in their store, use their

advertising and connections to get customers in the store and display and maintain your items. You, subsequently, get a higher percentage of the profits, but you are also taking a higher risk. You are still the owner of the products – you are the one responsible for paying for the expenses, as well as, in many cases, keeping track of how often you need to replenish stock. The other main difference is when you will receive payment. Typically, shops specializing in consignment options will pay the consignee once a month, like an employee would get paid. Approaching a consignment shop can be just as nerve racking as approaching a wholesaler. Although many of the tips are the same, when entering into a consignment situation it is important to consider these points: #1 – Does the shop get good traffic? Is it in a good location? #2 – Do your products fit well with what they are already selling?


clockwise from top left: mini hang tags by california craft, japanese masking tape by pretty tape, pillow boxes by lilith evy, custom printed hang tags by junghwa by amy stewart, rainbow candy striped bags by bakerâ€&#x;s bling


#3 – What is the percentage that they expect to be paid and does that fit into your budget? #4 – And lastly, how do they communicate with you when they need new inventory? Do they call or email or do they expect you to check in person? Drop Shipping With the increase of online shops, this type of selling is on the rise and there can be some distinct advantages. Drop shipping is when an online retailer would like to add your products to their website – they take care of getting the customer to their “front door” and you provide them with photographs or samples of your items. Like consignment, they get a percentage of the final sale, anywhere between 20-40%, which is negotiated at the time you start your working relationship. Some online retailers want what is called “blind shipping” where after the customer places the order, the online retailer will send

you a copy of the invoice. You will then package the merchandise as if it were sent by the online retailer. Since the product is not made until the order is placed, the merchandise is still yours until you mail it. Which brings me to the topic of payment. In some cases, online retailers will send payment (typically through a site like PayPal) as each sale is made, which will include the set percentage to you and what they charged the customer for shipping. Other online retailers will negotiate to pay you once a month, similar to a net 30 wholesale arrangement. As you can see, each platform for selling your products has its advantages and disadvantages. Regardless of the one that you choose, you need to feel comfortable with your business relationships and the amount of the profits that you will be retaining. You may decide that one way to sell is the right way for you, or you may find that you enjoy the benefits of doing all four – the choice is yours!


interview by laura jacquemond - blue terracotta

Adatinė was started by two friends and neighbors, Elena & Ieva, working separately but creating together, inspired by Lithuanian textile tradition. Discover their vision of children’s fashion: natural, simple, comfortable and stylish. mhc: Tell us a bit about yourselves, where you live, and how you came to work together. adatinė: My friend Elena and I (Ieva) are from Lithuania (Eastern Europe). We met twelve years ago whilst studying at Vilnius Academy of Arts. We were brought together not only by the same studies, but also our hobbies: growing plants and making crafts. We were sewing, knitting, crocheting, and later also weaving after we got the weaving equipment. It was given by my grandmother who is now ninety years old and still weaves herself every day. After some time we realised that we could create more things than our families or friends needed. Elena was the one who discovered


mhc: Why did you name your shop Adatinė? adatinė: Adatinė means “pincushion” in Lithuanian, our native language. It is a useful thing and also an inspiring partner for the Muses to come. mhc: How do you run a shop together? Do you divide the work such as creation, photos and marketing between you two or do you both work on everything? Who takes your beautiful photos? adatinė: From the start, the two of us worked separately from our own homes, but we had common ideas and fabric that we used. We have chosen linen, which has very long traditions in Lithuania, as the main fabric.

Etsy. Last summer, she became a mother and currently has no spare time, so I now work alone in Adatinė. Elena will be creating for Adatinė again as her child is getting older and she has more time.


mhc: I see that you have clothes for kids, accessories for adults, and deco items. Which product sells the best? Do you each have a favorite product to make? adatinė: In the beginning, we were only sewing clothes for children and accessories for women. After half a year, I tried to introduce my own hand made toys, which turned out to be very successful and at present, this is what I spend most of my time sewing. I‟m not sure why, but at first I created the toys for adults, though children also like to play with some of them. Mostly, I like creating animal figures and people, specifically creating figures of men.

I do not have a favourite character. Possibly the toys I most often create are foxes and hares. The first fox toy I made was for my son nine years ago. I like the double character of foxes; I find them not only very clever and sometimes insidious, but also very intelligent and sensitive animals. The felted hares drown in their melancholy; one can say everything without pronouncing a word, though the last hares that I made have totally different characters. They are so greedy! They keep their trophies in their hands (i.e. tomatoes, apples or a carrot) and do not wish to share with anyone. That‟s how they are…and I cannot do anything at all about that. They dictate the conditions.


mhc: Where do your ideas come from? What‟s your your inspiration? adatinė: My inspiration comes accidently and rather frequently. My head is full of ideas: some of them are followed by new ones, some stay, some leave and so on. Very often, I‟d wish to have four pairs of hands and at least 26 hours in the day to make everything I wish to do.

I make everything myself – from the drawings to sewing to taking pictures of the finished product – and this takes a lot of time. Also, sometimes my work is interrupted by such incidents as injured fingers. As I embroider toys myself, the needle pricks all over my fingers, and I am therefore forced to take a break or do something else. mhc: What do you do when you are not creating?


adatinė: I am very sorry that even though I put a lot of time and energy into my work in Adatinė (I have no free time at all), it is still not possible to make a living from it. So, I also work for a magazine and write articles about contemporary architecture and construction. mhc: Why is handmade important to you? adatinė: Craft work is very important to me. I am one of those people that do not feel good if they are not making something. I knit even while reading a book to my daughter. mhc: What are your plans for the future of Adatinė?

adatinė: You ask about plans…you probably know that the dreams you share with others, often do not come true. Therefore I will only smile and say nothing about them. mhc: Thank You, Ieva!


“The world doesn‟t revolve around you, you know.” <smirk> “If everyone thought that way, then we‟d have a world full of selfish people, wouldn‟t we?” <double smirk> That‟s me, talking to my 8year-old daughter trying to teach her the importance of putting others first. Never mind that I‟m probably bullying her in the worst way into thinking of others. Eek. *Note to self: work on that please!

this page: family rules sign by barn owl primitives opposite page: morning boost herbal tea by spirit horse herbals

As humans, we are innately born with the desire to serve our own needs. As adults we realize that to truly feel a „lightness of being,‟ to indeed serve our soul, we need to think of others in every instance. No doubt about it, in a moody fit, I will get lost in


by kristie piacine - kind living designs

my long list of „life isn‟t fair‟, completely forgetting that I‟ve got little sets of eyes on me. Completely forgetting that I am just one being among many, who are all too aware of life not being fair. An instant redirect: calling a friend who needs a listening ear, pulling my children in close to whisper “do over”, or texting my husband a quick „love you so much‟. Simple small acts like these can make my day turn around. Just imagine how you would feel if your small act was serving the poor in a third world country! I can only imagine the joy in my heart. In my desire to teach my children to always think of their impact on others, I focus intently on always using the double-check system: 1. Are you going to benefit from your decision? 2. Are others going to benefit from your decision? If the answer is yes and yes, then we give it one big thumbs up.

So, let‟s play this game, shall we? Take any parent. Anyone. Get up, take care of all children‟s needs first. Then get yourself together. Oops, throw the dog in there. Or the cat. A turtle, too… Drive to work thinking of the laundry lists of to-do‟s. Make a few phone calls while in the car (sadly, we all do it), park the car – let the other driver have the best spot even though you were there first. Smile, think of how to say everything as nicely as you can to everyone you encounter. Nod your head, fill out your reports, be kind to the guy that cuts in line when you‟ve got 5 minutes to spare for a hot dog before your next meeting… OR let‟s say you stay at home


breathe sign by oh dier,

and run a business at the same time. OR you‟re a schoolteacher. OR you are a nurse. It is all the same, different but the same. All of us are experiencing a life that doesn‟t always seem fair, but are doing our best to smile through it. What happens though when too many of those days pile up and we neglect ourselves?

When we keep pushing back the notion that something that is good for me, and no one else, is not good at all? Of course, we‟re not speaking of my desire to never clean again so I make a rash decision to finally do something for myself – a cleaning lady that I can‟t afford. No, I‟m talking about the little things that cost little to nothing that are truly self-serving only.


This Summer is going to be the „Summer of Self-Serve Please‟. Think of it, that delectable, ribbon perfect vanilla with chocolate sprinkles – pure pleasure for just you. No one else is eating it. But when you‟re done, just that five minutes of pleasure (yes, I devour my ice cream!), brings one back to a place of yes, no problem, how can I help? We‟ve satiated the tiny monster who says, “What about me?” in a very simple way.

home and ask your husband all about his day, while you paint your toes. You‟ll feel better. 4. Grab a piece of paper and a pen. Jot down the first 10 people you can think of who need your love and support. Tackle contacting the first person that day. Follow through with the rest throughout the week. Talk about uplifting!

Some thoughts when you feel that monster appear: 1. Stop, breathe and count to ten. Then whisper, “Do over” out loud. Funny how saying it out loud makes you feel like you can readjust that much easier. 2. Go outside and find the first beautiful flower in your yard that catches your eye. Who cares if it is a fistful of weeds – if they are bright, beautiful sunny yellow dandelions, give them a place to feel special. It is amazing how being nice to a weed can perk up your day. 3. Stop. Look down. How do your toes look? Need a pick me up? Decide then and there that tonight you will hop in the car, play your own music on the radio and sing out loud. Walk right into that store and pick out the first color that makes your heart sing. Come

polka dot vases by owl creek ceramics, personal journal by making this home


5. Braid your hair. You‟ll feel younger. 6. Put on a little reggae. Chop up some fresh fruit. Drop some in a glass of ice cold water. Sit for 5 minutes. Pretend you‟re at the beach. It will melt away faster than you know. 7. Close your eyes and imagine everything being taken away from you. Wow. 8. Stuck in the really thick muck? Take a nap. It‟s ok. 9. Did you get to take a shower today? Brush your teeth? Comb your hair? Sounds silly, but if you ask stay-at-home Moms that question they‟ll tell you ten times over that they are lucky to do that once a day. If you get to do it without little thought – then think on it now. Lucky Ducky! 10. Lastly, and this one is one of my favorites: promise that you will buy yourself one indulgence the next time you go grocery shopping. Hide it. Go to it when that monster appears.

flower bobby pins by black cat mima

Summer is a time for laughing, playing, being together and not having to do anything to enjoy it. Find out what brings you the simplest of joys and practice it. Be it. Just be sure to do the double-check rule – two thumbs up? Yes!


let the sun shine in print by slide sideways


Summer 2011 Issue  

Summer 2011 Issue of Modern Handmade Child, a seasonal online magazine helping families to embrace the handmade way of life. In this issue:...

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