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

on the cover

contents winter 2010 WELCOME 12 the editors 13 ....letter from the editors WEAR - fashion trends 14....not a bedbug in sight 16....coats best


DWELL - home dĂŠcor 22 ....the wonder of wool 24....thanksgiving ideas 26 ....beautiful bunting & darling decor CREATE - crafty tutorials 34 ....dreamy & magical winter forest 40 ....3D snowflakes 60 that pretty paper magnet clippies 64 ....pinecone birdfeeder

reversible swing coat and boys tie by My Sweet Sunshine photography by Amy Boring


TASTE - cooking fun 42 ....time out for mom 44 twist on a classic 46 ....mexican inspiration GROW - child development 66 ....gratitude 70 ....dear crafty shrink


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Dwell Love to decorate and design? Want to share your passion with others? Modern Handmade Child would love to hear from you! MHC is currently seeking Dwell Editors to head up our home dĂŠcor department. For more information, please contact us a

Play Are you great at organizing kids parties? Do you love picking out the newest toys and playthings? Do kids love your picks? Want to share your fun secrets with others? Modern Handmade Child is currently seeking 1 - 2 Editors for our Play section. If you’d like to share your passion with others, we want to hear from you. Contact us at

modern handmade child


Contributors WEAR........... Marissa Fischer

winter 2010

DWELL.......... Michelle Vackar

MEET - interviews 28 ... anne-marie cunier - des merveilles 54 ... veena burry - burry babies

PLAY............. Nancy Keesling CREATE........ Angela Salmon Manni Nicole Passeier TASTE........

Margeaux Fincher Jen Dwyer

MEET............ Shannon Hanley Laura Jacquemond CELEBRATE... Kristen Davis CARE............ Tanja D’Lyn SHARE.......... Kristie Piacine Linda Phrakhansa GROW...........Julie Hartman

LAUGH - the little things in life 48 ... things kids say 52 ... the night before christmas


CELEBRATE - holidays & parties 49 ... season of sharing 82 ... holidays around the world SHARE - by moms for moms 79 ... how macauley saved my holi

WORK........... Liz Murphy Please send all article submissions and ideas to:

Note that submissions are welcome but are not guaranteed inclusion in the magazine. Copyright© modern handmade child 2010. A l l r i g ht s r e s e r v e d . Reproduction or redistribution in whole or in parts without prior written permission is strictly prohibited.


WORK 84 ... tis the season to be prepared CARE - growing up green 74...wrapped in green 77...creating your own (recycled) art studio VIEW - from a kid’s eye view 86 ... photos taken by kids


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Modern Handmade Child is currently looking for help in the following areas: Dwell section Play section Proofreaders PR - Twitter & Facebook For more information on any of these positions, please contact us at Please specify the position of interest in the subject box.

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meet the editors

gretchen jakub fabre and shannon hanley

Gretchen Jakub Fabre is an illustrator living in northern France. A mother of 3 children and one Scottie pup, her days are spent chasing after one small being or another. When not looking after her small brood, she can be found in her studio creating- usually a mess, but at times paintings, prints, felt objects and “fabricationsâ€?. 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. Gretchenâ€&#x;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

letter from the editors gretchen jakub fabre and shannon hanley


he past few months have been exciting for Modern Handmade Child. Not only have we been diligently working on reorganizing our set up in order to prepare for future issues and projects, but we were also finalists in the Specialist Magazine of the Year category of the Digital Magazine Awards. While sadly, we did not win, we are still honored to have made it to the finalists, and would like to extend a huge thank you to all our readers and supporters for helping us get this far. We are also so very proud of all of our contributors for enabling us to make Modern Handmade Child magazine what it is today. And once again our contributors have shown their talents in putting together this issue. As the temperatures drop and the last bits of color fall from the trees, we are reminded that winter will soon be here. From the beauty of that first snowfall to all of the holidays and celebrations, winter is surely the most magical season of the year. It is also a time when children will spend less time outdoors

and perhaps be on extended breaks from school. As any parent knows, this is the time of year when indoor activities are necessary in order to keep children busy and engaged. With this in mind, weâ€&#x;ve packed this issue full of fun crafts you can do with your children - from outdoor inspired projects to enjoy indoors to those created indoors for use outdoors - youâ€&#x;ll surely find something to keep the young minds and hands in your home busy while waiting for the first warm rays of spring.

Gretchen Jakub Fabre Shannon Hanley We love to hear from you! Send your comments and letters to

My college roommate received a pair of pyjamas every Christmas growing up, and after meeting convinced that this is a tradition I want to introduce to my family. Whether pyjama giving is a you’re thinking of trying out this year, here are some of my favorite handmade PJs for the little o

sleepwear: wild things wolf pyjamas by the lb gallery, organic cotton pyja baby kimono set by by letoâ€&#x;s baby, birdie lounger bodysuit by petite fish. s lala shoes, upcycled lambswool slippers by wooly baby, corduroy baby sli

by marissa fischer - rae gun

more and more people who share warm memories of similar holiday practice, I am completely long-standing custom that has been through the generations in your family, or it’s something ones - and a few slipper ideas too, for keeping little tootsies warm!

amas by fredaco, strawberries and cream leggings by merino me, handknit slippers: organic crocheted booties by she knits, wool felt baby shoes by ppers by soul baby, wool baby shoe by pink 2 blue

by marissa fischer - rae gun

Hounds Tooth Cape This adorable cape is made out of wool plaid hounds tooth and is fully lined. To top that, it comes complete with the matching hat, separate from the actual cape so you won‟t have to fight with a flapping hood as you strap your little one into her car seat in the freezing weather. Plus how cute is that ruffle in the front, really. wool houndstooth capelet by maryjane‟s heirlooms

Punk Rock Hoodie In my opinion, hoodies are one of the best inventions. They can be worn as jackets or when it gets too cold they can be worn as an extra layer under a heavier coat. This navy hoodie is topped with a fun tattoo fabric star appliqué. Adorable for little boys or even for edgier little ladies. punk rock baby hoodie by rocker bye baby


have to admit I have a serious problem with coats - I love them. The moment stores start stocking coats it takes me almost twice as long as normal to leave, having to inspect every one. And this love doesn‟t stop at ladies‟ department because though I thoroughly enjoy buying outerwear for myself, I love oohing and ahhing over jackets for the little ones just as much. A great jacket can add the perfect finishing touch to any outfit. In the colder months where kids are wearing coats every day, we end up seeing their coats almost more than most of the clothes underneath. It just makes sense to invest in one you love. Here are a few of the hippest handmade jackets, coats and capes for this season.

Bear Vest Don‟t worry about having to yank shirt sleeves down with this adorable bear vest. The contrasting pink ears and buttons add just the right amount of fancy without being too outlandish. While I think the chocolate brown polar fleece and hot pink is absolutely darling, the vest is also available in light pink for those with more delicate sensibilities, or with blue ears and buttons for the little men.

bear vest in chocolate by elise hooper designs

Peacoats Such a great style to begin with, but mini sized peacoats, I‟m not sure it gets much cuter than that. I am in love with the olive and the contrasting red detailed wool. The extra long sleeves look darling turned to reveal the red lining. The collar adds a perfect classic touch while giving you the option to add fun hats or scarves without having to fight with a hood. winter peacoat in olive by lucy's place

Aviator earflap hat by reimagined treasures, cashmere newborn hat by the june bride, childrenâ€&#x;s awesome earflap hat by knittles, pure cashmere wrap by coast mountain crafts, stripey pom scarf by la la loop

Hand-Knit Wool Hooded Jacket This lush coat is hand-knit out of non-allergenic new wool and comes in a variety of colours. I love this classic blue for this time of year. The wooden buttons add the cutest detail to this timeless silhouette, as does the wee belt on the back. Plus I just adore those little pockets - perfect for carrying all those little treasures your son or daughter may pick up along the way. moss stitch jacket with collar by pilland

Little Red Owl Poncho Throw this darling red fleece poncho over whatever mismatched outfit your daughter has picked out for herself and no more worrying about how she looks - sheâ€&#x;ll always be adorable in this little number. Better yet, have her put it on herself. Without having to deal with armholes, even the littler ones can manage. And the fleece will keep her perfectly toasty on cooler days. little red owl poncho by the trendy tot

Kite Flying Coat A cozy wool topper for the chilly afternoons, but oh so elegant and stylish. Double-breasted (you choose the side for boy or girl) and lined with a Tyrolean inspired print, this coat is sure to become an heirloom as you simply wonâ€&#x;t want to part with it!

Kite flying coat by little goodall

left to right: black and grey polka dot bow tie by baby by stevie, babyâ€&#x;s first christmas dress by miji, 4 piece boys suit by kiddie closet, fabric rosette headband by ambreyâ€&#x;s accessories, brown polka dot neck tie by baby by stevie, red corduroy ruffle pants by curious georgia

michelle vackar - hi mamma

Wool is one of the most versatile natural fibers and has been used for thousands of years. It is one of the most complex and breathable fibers on earth. Historically, because it is so breathable, it has been used in even the most opposite of climates: from the cold of the arctic to the heat of the desert. It has natural antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties and it contains lanolin which makes it naturally waterproof. It retains its warmth capacities whether wet or dry. On top of all these wonderful properties, wool can also be felted and formed into all sorts of shapes. It is a fiber to be loved and to show your love to all members of the family.

from left to right: tuscany boiled wool womanâ€&#x;s jacket by denovo style, felted wool slippers by grazim, upcycled felted wool mittens by for my darling

clockwise from top left: custom owl mobile by oh sweet petunia, brown wool soaker by taryn stuff, handmade waldorf doll by orit dotan dolls, pixie hat by big little , wool owl pillow by deid goods

clockwise from left: felted wool rug by home woolens, wool and cotton schnauzer cushion by henry and rupert, wool felted coasters by fuzzy logic felt, squirrel pin cushion by lucy's locket

thanksgiving place cards by the paper menager organic napkin set by sage and kai, falling leav place card holders by raw bone studio, wee nee

rie, oak leaf spoon by lacewood, maple leaves ves yarn wreath by anna hailey, autumn leaf edle felted pumpkins by moon dog farm

this page clockwise from top left: homespun cotton ragged bunting by ragged home, be merry garland by crazy husky crafts, handcut garland by paisley handmade, red and white bunting by kaja designs. right page clockwise from top left: gingerbread mixed media collage by sushipot, mini mittens ornament by red raven nest, santa bird first christmas charm by gifts define, transparent ornaments by i wanna be.

Meet Anne-Marie, the creator behind the newly launched French shopping site for handmade goods, A world of wonders (merveilles in French) for children and mothers. laura jaquemond - blue terracotta

specializing in Marketing and Communications, I worked for 15 years in various positions. I've held jobs at Photo Station and La Poste (the French Post Office) among others in internet nurture marketing. My experience and the wealth of skills I've acquired have prompted me to become an entrepreneur and start my own business. This year, I've decided to change perspectives and go out on my own by creating mhc: Tell us a bit about yourself, what

you've done so far, about your life in general.

I'd like to use my know-how and creativity to help artists market and sell their work online.

anne-marie: Hello, my name is Anne-

mhc: How did you become interested in

Marie. I'm 40 and I'm the founder of Let me tell you briefly about my background. After obtaining an advanced degree in economics,

handmade objects, independent crafters, and artists? anne-marie: I'm a crafter at heart, making

dresses for my daughter as well as bracelets and home deco items, but more broadly a creative person in my career, having been head of communications for years. I love strolling through craft markets or searching the web for wonderful new things. I noticed that crafters and artists lack the means and the time to promote their work and consequently have a hard time being seen. They find it difficult to get their work out there and sell it. Some put their items for sale on online craft venues, but they soon find that they are lost in the crowd, unable to stand out. And that's such a shame!

even an international clientele.

So I got the idea of creating a site to promote all those marvelous creations, one that is both a shop and a marketing tool for the artists. A site that would present talented artists and the latest trends for kids.

for sale on your site?

mhc: Why do you think online is a good

way to reach potential buyers? anne-marie: Today, consumers are

used to buying online and the latest statistics on online buying confirm this: as for the French, 4 people out of 10 purchase online and the internet is the most popular means of buying for home shoppers, with 55% of orders. Thanks to the internet, we can reach a national or

mhc: What is your target market? anne-marie: is

for customers who are looking for unique, original and customizable gifts for children and moms. I think the site will interest mothers who want unique items, different from what's been worn by everyone else, and also those who are looking for quality handmade items made in France or items produced in a limited series. mhc: What types of products do you offer

anne-marie: We will offer a range of

unique items. All of the artists on the site will adhere to the quality charter, which means they commit to: making the items themselves or having them made in a small-scale production, creating original items, making items in limited series or one-of-a-kind items, using organic or natural materials, recycled or recyclable materials in items labeled as such, producing their items in France or using fair trade production. You'll be able to find organic infant bodysuits, clothing by independent designers for both boys and girls, paintings or prints that can be customized with your child's initials, unique fabric dolls, plush animals, mobiles to decorate your child's room, unique and cozy pillows, jewelry for kids, and so much more! mhc: Talk about a few of your favorite

creators that (are) will be featured on your site and how you found them. anne-marie: I spend a lot of time on the

web looking for creators. Many artists also contact me. When I love an artist's work, I contact her and ask her to join desMerveilles. Currently, there are about 30 artists and craftspeople on the site to offer a diverse and

unique choice of products. I can't say I have any favorites since I've fallen in love with the work of each and every artist represented on the site. It would be difficult to name a few without leaving someone out. The best thing to do is to discover them for yourself at mhc: Handmade is gaining ground all over

the world, for example in the USA, in Australia, in Canada, etc. What about in France? Is there a “handmade revolution� going on? How are handmade objects perceived by the general public? anne-marie: Yes, I think there is a

handmade revolution going on in France, people looking for more authenticity, originality, made by the artist. Customers also like to buy directly from the creator with whom they can converse and create a relationship. We can see more and more websites that sell handmade products, but there is a mix of professionals and hobbyists. I think it's a shame because these sites don't really showcase the products to their greatest advantage. That's why only showcases the work of professionals.

mhc: Do you buy handmade articles

mhc: What kind of future do you see for

yourself? If so, what type of things do you purchase?

independent crafters and artists, in France, in Europe, worldwide? Will the handmade movement be able to change the buying habits of many people, used to buying cheap throw-away products?

anne-marie: When I go to a craft fair, I

easily buy on impulse, there are so many lovely items available. My latest purchase is a little fabric doll, retro style, that hangs on the doorknob of my office. mhc: Do you

create yourself, if so what techniques do you use? anne-marie: Yes,

I learned to sew as a little girl with my mother. I made dresses for my dolls. Today I create clothes for my 7-year-old daughter: tunics, dresses, hairbands, Liberty fabric bracelets for her and her friends...she loves it! Often, she'll pick out a fabric and say “Mom, will you make me a dress from this?� The clothes I make are inspired by Japanese patterns. I adore their simple lines. I also do digital scrapbooking on my computer.


Attitudes are changing little by little, but it takes time. You have to give creators the means to promote their work so that clients can discover the wonderful creations available. And that's how handmade will become more and more often an alternative to mass produced goods sold by big box stores. That's why I've opened, to help creators reach a wide audience and sell their work, to showcase their creations, made with love and passion.

A magical new approach to early learning at the computer Designed with an early years professor, The Land of Me turns your PC or Mac into a new kind of learning adventure – full of creative activities, lovable characters and enchanting landscapes. Follow three friends - Eric the Raccoon, Buddy Boo the bear and Willow the Owl - as they journey through The Land of Me. There are six chapters to explore, each covering a different creative theme. Children create monsters, environments, music, dances, stories and much more. Inspired by the magic of classic children‟s

picture books, The Land of Me has been created by a team of animators and visual effects artists who have worked on films such as The Chronicles of Narnia and Batman. It‟s the first time that this level of visual quality has been combined with activities designed around early years research. Every activity is founded on the most effective techniques for developing language and creativity in young children, thanks to a collaboration with Professor John Siraj– Blatchford from Swansea University‟s Centre for Child Research.

mhc advertisement

Each chapter helps children think ahead and explore their imagination and creativity. At the same time, a window gives parents ideas and questions to spark early conversations with their children. These questions encourage children to communicate about what they‟re seeing, hearing, thinking and feeling. James Huggins, Managing Director of Made in Me, explains the inspiration behind The Land of Me: “When we had children I struggled to find things for us to do together at the computer that I felt were both beautifully engaging and educationally credible. Far from replacing important activities like playing in the garden and reading together, what we wanted to do was create a computer-based experience that was in the same way, shared and valuable.

Children are drawn to technology in much the same way we are as adults. It‟s magical. This creates a wonderful opportunity for them to experiment with their imagination and curiosity.” Made in Me are releasing each chapter of The Land of Me as soon as it is ready. Chapters 1 through 4 can be bought and downloaded today from the Made in Me website Each one costs just £6.95 (approximately $11US). Chapters 5 & 6 will be released during 2010. Alternatively you can pre-order a CD of all six chapters for £29.95 (approximately $47US) that will ship in December. Volume pricing is available for larger nurseries and primary schools on request.

The first chapter of The Land of Me is free! As a special offer to our readers, Made In Me would like to offer 50% off the purchase of any chapter of The Land of Me. To take advantage of this promotion, simply use the discount code handmadechild at checkout at Remember - the first chapter is free! To collect it as well as discover the others, simply head over to


he Circle of Life‟s big slow down has begun. After a vibrant spring, a high-peak summer and a colorful and harvest-rich fall, the cozy winter season is sneaking in. Nature is calming down. Animals withdraw and retreat into hibernation and as our outdoor chores are done and dusted, we turn indoors and adjust to Nature‟s slower winter rhythm. Homes are made cozier and the calendars tell us that holidays are approaching and festive decorations are brought out. This easy-to-make paper tree forest will create a beautiful winter scenery in your home. It looks gorgeous on windowsills or anywhere you choose to place it: between books on a shelf or displayed as a centerpiece on your table. In the daytime enjoy the colors and embellishments of the individual trees and then, when the lights go down, light some votive candles among the trees and enjoy the soft light and cozy calm of your magical winter forest. Wouldn‟t you like to know if maybe, just maybe, there‟s an adventure or a secret treasure to be found there among the trees? This sweet project is easy, quick and kid friendly. Children can be involved in and assist with a lot of stages, from drawing to cutting, from sticking to decorating.

nicole passeier - magic rainbox dreaminx

Materials: for the trees:  cardstock in different colors. Structured or patterned paper works very well  scissors  pencil (optional: white colored pencil for darker cardstock)  Ruler glue (stick)  compass or any round object (a circle template of 20-24 cm will make for a tree of about coffee mug height)  knitting needle or similar object, thin and long enough to press glue tab down on the inside of the tree 

for the snow landscape:  cotton wool, cotton balls or a piece of white fabric or a white towel to decorate your trees:  colored cardstock or paper, colorful wrapping paper, glossy foil (craft foil, aluminum foil)

 star

stickers  any glittery and sparkly embellishments such as glitter glue, sequins, beads,  ribbon, lace, etc.  buttons  wool scraps  needle, thread or embroidery floss  cotton wool/cotton balls  craft wire & wire cutter  mini paper punch  colored pencils, felt pens, watercolors, acrylic paint, paintbrushes Tip: This project is a great way to use up any craft scraps from previous projects. Let your imagination out. Be colorful. Be playful. Be inventive.

Directions: Creating your Trees:

slimmer tree, a slimmer glue tab a broader tree base.

1) Choose a cardstock color and use your compass or round object to draw a semicircle with a diameter of ca. 20 cm (8 inches) onto your cardstock. Cut out your semi-circle along the line.

3) Add some glue to the glue tab and roll the paper into a conical shape. Hold down the cardstock close to the glue tab, glued side facing up.

2) With a quick pencil line, indicate a glue tab with an angular degree of ca. 20° from the center point to your outer circle line.

4) With the other hand, take the other edge of the semi-circle and carefully bend it over until the straight edges overlap and the top flap is in alignment with the pencil line indicating the glue tab.

Itâ€&#x;s okay to judge the degree by eye. Experiment and vary the width of the glue tab. Keep in mind - a wider glue tab will make a

5) Carefully press down the two layers from the inside - gently yet firmly - and allow the

glue to set. Use your knitting needle (or similar object) to press together the flaps at the top of the tree from the inside. Your tree cone is finished! 6) Repeat Steps 1 - 5 for as many trees as you like. Vary the sizes, shapes and colors for interest. The radius will give you your later tree height. For example a circle with a diameter of 20cm (8 inches) will create a tree of about coffee mug height.

5) Wrap and glue wool scrap garlands around your trees. Place your bed of cotton wool or fabric on your chosen windowsill. Of course, any even surface will work. You can decorate a cupboard, a shelf or your table with your winter wonderland. Add some dimension and height to your snow blanket by pushing in some folds. Arrange your trees on the snowy landscape scenery. Enjoy your Magical Winter Forest and Happy Winter Season!

Ideas for Decorating Your Trees: 1) Roll tiny cotton balls and glue some “snowflakes” onto your trees 2) Add stickers. 3) Sew seed beads onto your tree. Thread your floss and tie a knot into one end, push your needle through the paper from the inside out, gather a seed bead onto your needle and push your needle back through the paper close to the first needle hole. Pull tight gently. Repeat until tree is covered with beads. Secure your thread with a knot. 4) Using your mini paper punch, punch winter or holiday themed motifs and glue onto tree.

More dreamy tips & wintery ideas: Cardstock is slightly easier to handle than the heavier cardboard as it rolls more smoothly into a cone. You can work with any circle sectors you like: a ½ circle will turn into a compact tree with a broader base, a ¼ circle will turn into a high, slim tree. Play around and experiment some with the different sizes and shapes. Choose colors according to your favorite color scheme: go all white for an elegant feel, white & greens for a natural effect or use rainbow colors for fun.

Draw some illustrations onto the trees, wrap beaded wire garlands around them or glue colorful cut-outs to them. Since the trees are bottomless, turn your forest into an advent calendar. Simply add numbers 1 – 24 (write or glue them) to the trees and place some small candies, a sweet message, a picture, puzzle pieces in wild order underneath. Make a treasure hunt out of it. Take some empty jam jars, fill with a bit of sand and add a tea light. Light your candles and place the jars between your trees. The white forest and the lit candles will look beautiful against the dark night flowing in through the window. Caution: Safety rules. Ensure that the candles are placed safely between and at a safe distance to the paper trees, as well as from curious little hands. Stack several different green trees on top of each other or make a snow-covered green tree by stacking a white tree on top of a green one. Add miniature animals or small nuts to your forest. Gather some tiny fallen twigs and add a wood stack to your scenery. Place little paper cubes among the trees (to represent parcels) Surprise your children with this crisp and bright winter forest. Leave some spaces so they can add their own hand-made trees too. Keep some plain trees at hand and invite any guest that pays a visit to create and add his or her unique tree to add to your forest. Š Nicole Passeier For personal use only.

ahmelie - ahmelie as shown. The ones shown here are about ½” (ca. 1,25 cm) apart. You could also choose to either add more cuts – in that case a larger square is recommended - or to bring the cuts closer to each other. Either way, the cuts on either side should run parallel to each other. Make sure though to not cut all the way – you still want the individual pieces to stay attached to the main body of the square. 3) Open folded triangle. Bring edges of smallest square together and tape.

Materials: 2 Paper Squares (I chose 8.5” x 8.5” (ca. 21 x 21cm) for this tutorial) Scissors Tape Wire or staples How To: 1) Fold paper corner to corner to make a triangle. 2) Open folded triangle and fold outside corner to center. Make 2 cuts along each edge

4) Flip the square over and pull next smallest square edges together, tape. Repeat steps 2 – 4 for each corner. 5) After all four corners are done your paper should look like this. Repeat steps 1 – 4 for your second paper square. 6) Lay one square on top of the other and twist so that all 8 3-D spindles are showing. Secure in the center with a staple or wire. I used wire and kept it long so I‟d have a way to hang it. Now decorate!

Serves: 9 Preparation: Appr. 3 hours, 30 min. active. Ingredients: For Cappucino Swirl: 2 tbsp granulated sugar 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tbsp powdered cappuccino beverage mix 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg 1/2 tsp instant espresso granules 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips, chopped finely For Cake: 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour 3/4 cup milk 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar 2 eggs 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 1 stick plus 2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled For Frosting: 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled 1 ½ cups confectioner‟s sugar 3 tbsp cocoa powder

Cappuccino Swirl Cake

What‟s better than cappuccino on a cold day? Capp created by swirling chocolate, instant espresso, and with the sweet chocolate frosting. It‟s appealing to b respectively, for a cozy afternoon treat. 1) Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat an 8”square baking pan with butter or nonstick oil spray. Line the bottom with an 8” square of parchment paper. 2) Combine all cappuccino swirl ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside. 3) For the cake: whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Whisk milk, eggs, and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry, switch to a spoon, and stir mixture until combined. Add melted butter and stir until batter is uniform and glossy. 4) Pour ½ of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle Cappuccino Swirl mixture evenly over the batter, then cover with the remaining batter.

with Chocolate Frosting

puccino cake! The rich mocha flavor of this cake, d spices into a vanilla batter, contrasts wonderfully both parents and kids. Add a cup of coffee or milk, 5) Bake cake for 35 to 40 min., or until a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place cake, in pan, on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting. 6) Make the frosting: stir together all frosting ingredients in a large bowl. Beat frosting with a handheld electric mixer on low speed until frosting is smooth, glossy, and slightly lighter in color (about 1 min.). 7) Slide a knife around the edges of the cooled cake and invert it onto a plate. Flip it onto another plate so itâ€&#x;s right side up. Scoop frosting onto cake and spread evenly over top of cake with a butter knife. Slice into squares. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving (I think it tastes better cold, after the chocolate has a chance to set up and the spices to get thoroughly acquainted with the cake).

margeaux fincher - mux originals

Put a new twist on a well-loved classic by using canning jars to prepare individual pies for your having their own in

Individual Appl 1) Peel and thinly slice apples and place in a large bowl.

Ingredients and Materials: Pie crust (for a 2-crust pie) at room temperature 5 Golden Delicious apples ½ cup granulated sugar ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons flour (divided) 1 Tablespoon cornstarch ¾ teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar ½ cup oatmeal ½ cup butter at room temperature 8 half pint wide-mouth canning jars or ramekins

2) Combine granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Mix with apples. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least four hours to allow some juice to settle in the bottom of the bowl so pies won‟t get too soggy. 3) Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit. To prepare streusel topping, combine brown sugar, ½ cup flour, oatmeal, and butter with a pastry blender in a medium bowl. 4) Use non-stick spray or butter to coat the inside of each jar. Roll out pie crust on a lightly floured surface and cut into eight 4-inch squares. Use each square to line the individual jars, pressing the crust into

next family gathering. Children will love to help with the pie crust and enjoy the special treat of ndividual dessert.

le Streusel Pies the corners and sides. 5) Stir apple mixture and use about 1/3 cup to fill each jar (leave juice in the bottom of the bowl). Top each pie with two heaping tablespoons of streusel. Use leftover pie crust to make lattice tops. 6) Place jars in a 13 x 9 inch baking dish to make it easier to place them in and take them out of the oven. Bake for 45 minutes, covering with foil for the last 15 minutes if needed to prevent the crust from getting too brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving. Caution: jars will be very hot! Yield: 8 individual pies

jen dwyer - puntebella

This family favorite is made lighter with the use of chicken instead of ground beef. You can prepare the dish ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator or freezer until it‟s time to bake. Simply defrost it in the refrigerator overnight and bake as directed. Serve with Spanish rice and sour cream. jen dwyer - puntebella Chicken Mexican Lasagna Ingredients: 7-8 chicken tenders ½ teaspoon each, salt and pepper ½ yellow onion, chopped 1 teaspoon minced garlic 2 cups diced tomatoes 1 cup tomato sauce ½ cup sliced olives 2 tablespoons chili powder 2 cups shredded Cheddar or Colby jack cheese 6 white corn tortillas Directions: 1) Sprinkle chicken tenders with salt and pepper and cook in a skillet over medium heat for about five minutes on one side. 2) Turn chicken over and add onion and garlic to the pan. Continue cooking for about five minutes or until onion is tender and chicken is cooked throughout.

3) Remove chicken from pan and shred into small chunks. 4) Return chicken to pan and add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, olives, and chili powder. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. 5) Place two tortillas side-by-side in the bottom of a two quart baking dish. Top with 1/3 chicken mixture and 1/3 of the cheese. Spread evenly and repeat this layer two more times. 6) Bake at 350F for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

My 10-year-old sister made up a song about this soup because she likes it so much. It‟s a cinch to make and kids love to help out. A comforting slice of cornbread is the perfect side. If your jars and cans of soup ingredients are different that those listed by a few ounces, don‟t worry – the beauty of soup is that it isn‟t too precise. Add a romaine salad with diced red pepper and your family will hug you! margeaux fincher - mux originals Chicken Chili with Sweet Cornbread Ingredients: For Chili: 1 13oz. can chunk chicken breast in water, drained or 1 1/2 c. diced cooked chicken 2 15.8oz. cans Great Northern beans, drained 1/2 of a 16 oz. jar salsa (any kind) 1 32oz. box chicken broth Grated Cheddar or Pepperjack cheese, for serving For Cornbread: 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup whole wheat flour 1 cup yellow ground cornmeal 2/3 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon salt 3 ½ teaspoons baking powder 1 egg 1 cup milk 1/3 cup vegetable oil Directions: 1) Start by making the cornbread. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9” round cake pan with nonstick oil spray.

2) Whisk together flours, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Add egg, milk, and oil and stir with a spoon until batter is homogeneous – be careful not to over-mix. 3) Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until golden brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes and slice into pie wedges. 4) While cornbread is baking, combine all chili ingredients (excluding cheese) in a large saucepan. Cover and place over low heat. Allow to heat until cornbread is ready. 5) Serve soup with cheese and cornbread wedges with butter and honey.

My 5 year old, Ellen talking about how she decides to like a boy: "I line them up at school and do eeny, meany, miny, mo!"

When our son was about 3, he wore a skeleton shirt for Halloween with the bones on the chest & arms...when I asked him what he was dressed as, he looked at his shirt and said, "A doggie treat?"

- Debbie in Houston, Texas

- Jaimee in Glenside, PA Lyssie: "look mom! there's a pack of birds!" Robbie: "a group of birds is called a flock" Lyssie: "oh, okay. look mom! there's a pack of flocks!" - Kayce in Everett, Washington

I was doing an alphabet puzzle with a two-year old preschool student. I was handing him the letters, to put in the appropriate place, telling him the color and letter, and he was repeating them back to me. "Red F", "Yellow B", etc...When we got to the letter "U", I said, "Red U." He replied, "Red ME?!" - Crystal in Bristol, VA

My almost 2 year old son likes to open the refrigerator himself (this takes all his might). When he finally flings it open, he says, "Watch your head, honey!" This cracks me up every time, because I'm pretty sure he is talking to himself! - Regina

At church today little Gretta came up to my husband who intentionally shaves his head then patted him gently on that shining dome and sympathized," Aww...your hair hasn't started growing in yet." - Penney in Mankato, MN


here is something special about the winter season. It's a season like none other, made for celebrating and warming hearts, despite the dropping temperatures all around. And while the celebrations are plenty, they differ from region to region, steeped in the greatest traditions and sentiment from continent to continent. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, the Winter Solstice to Kwanzaa, as well as Hanukkah and the New Year, it is indeed a time to celebrate.

by kristen davis - mary had a little party

your own home! What a wonderful way to connect, usher in the joy of the coming season, and share traditions that the winter festivities are cherished for. Many online party planning and invitation services make the task a snap. From online invites to signup sheets for a shared meal, party planning in your own area has never been easier. There are many popular sites that offer a variety of styles to choose from for online planning.

If in Canada at the start pear ornaments by middleburg folk art studio Nothing provides a of the month of better way to meet and December, be sure to set your clock for 6:55 greet new neighbors (or introduce yourself if the very first Thursday as the annual that's you!) than a planned get together to countrywide lighting for the holidays begin the season's festivities. Sharing favorite commences throughout the parks and public holiday memories between neighbors and spaces. Imagine organizing a neighborhoodfriends is a great way to break the ice and get wide lighting ceremony and get-together near to know each other, and can also provide a

wonderful lesson in the histories and traditions other than our own. Such a gathering need not be expensive – consider asking guests to share a special family recipe or holiday dish. Elsewhere across the globe, other celebrations are taking place. In parts of Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Austria, celebrations start a bit earlier with Saint Martinâ€&#x;s Day on the 11th of November and the Saint Nicholas on the 5th of December. They also end a bit later, often on the 6th of January with the Feast of the Epiphany. Saint Martinâ€&#x;s Day and Saint Nicholas in particular are especially for children. Show the spirit of the season to your children with daily celebration. From giving gifts to those less fortunate, to special visits to neighborhood nursing centers and shelters, the need is always great and the cause for celebration plenty when giving hearts abound. Consider adding a festive touch to a common area that might otherwise go bare, such as an association bulletin space or even the room of an elder in nursing care. With a few simple craft supplies at hand (scissors, colored paper, pencils and glue), the most memorable ornaments and decorations can be crafted, those made with two hands and an imagination, inspired by the celebration at hand. topiary tree by o christmas tree

You'll always find that some of the best stories and memories of a season rich with tradition are not based on an expense or gift bought, rather often something created by hand, a gesture of love in the season of sharing. From handmade cards and ornaments to baked goods and crafts, popcorn and cranberry chains, salt dough ornaments, and gingerbread men, the opportunities are endless for adding that handmade touch and sharing in creating with the little ones in your life. The internet is an invaluable tool for crafts well suited for the occasion at hand. Most important of all is the time spent together – nothing builds holiday memories better than time shared. Whether it be reaching out in your community or beginning family traditions and celebrations of your own, children will forever cherish the time allowed to create with their own hands, and will contribute to making this the best season of celebration yet!

peace on earth print by jeanne winters

Popcorn garlands are a great, simple craft for elderly or the disabled, as well as kids with supervision, and are ideal for decorating large trees. Using a needle, thread fishing line through each piece of popcorn. Continue until you have a garland long enough to decorate a tree or room then tie a knot to secure. Use colored pop corn for a festive look by adding food coloring to the oil prior to popping, giving a very faint color finish, or by adding powdered food coloring (found at cake supply stores) to popped corn for a more intense color.

holly medell

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house Every creature was stirring, except for my spouse Who'd fallen asleep by the warm cozy fire Leaving me with the kids who never seemed to tire. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care With repeats of "Don't touch that, just leave them there" The kids run this way and that, trying to flee And nearly knock over the festooned Christmas tree. Exhausted from chasing, I flop down in a chair And remind the children that Santa soon will be there; That they shouldn't be up, he might be sad or perhaps miffed And that coal was a perfectly acceptable gift. They stop in their tracks, eyes open wide Then hightail it upstairs, trying not to collide They leap into bed with their covers pulled tight And I give them a hug and a quick kiss goodnight. Finally the children are nestled all snug in their beds While visions of Barbie dolls dance in their heads With me in my lounge pants and hubby with his tea We revel in this quiet holiday moment, kid free.

“silent night� print by

- winklepots

y Renie Britenbucher

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter We draw straws to see who will check on the matter I giggle softly, hubby drew the short stick, And jest he'd better check to see if it's St. Nick. As he bundles up, dons his boots and his jacket I gather up gifts while he checks on the racket I place each one beneath the big Christmas tree And notice a gift I didn't put there, just for me. The wrapping is perfect and topped with a bow Suddenly hubby bursts in, all covered with snow He's speechless as he shakes the ice from his boots We reach for each other when we hear sounds on the roof. "What was that?" I ask, almost afraid to hear, "Don't tell me you saw a sleigh and eight reindeer?" He's not sure what he saw but knew it would be tragic If this one Christmas night we didn't believe in the magic. No longer afraid, we snuggle close to overhear And each of us a feel a bit more Christmas cheer The sounds overhead become softer and more faint Perhaps tonight we were visited by a certain saint. Now giddy as children, I feel obliged to recite "A Happy Christmas to all and to all a good-night!"

interview by shannon hanley - the clever kitty

mhc: Aside from creating things, what do you love to do? veena: I love to read, travel, garden, go to classical music concerts, operas and the theater, take long walks in NYC (always stimulating) and go to museums. Unfortunately, being an active seller on the internet cuts into these activities somewhat. mhc: How did you get started making things? What is the first thing you remember creating?

mhc: Tell us a little about yourself. veena: My name is Veena Burry, and I'm a native New Yorker. Except for five years in graduate school, I've always lived in NYC. I have three grown children who were raised here.

veena: My mother taught me to knit and crochet when I was four years old. The first thing I remember knitting was a series of squares in different stitches that were supposed to become a doll's blanket, but never did. However, it taught me the importance of swatching! The first things I

veena: The first things I ever sold that I made were matching wool skirts for a college friend and her sister. They kept asking for changes so by the time they got them they had gained weight. This was not the most auspicious beginning! I soon began selling my hand-woven clothing and accessories, as well as my knitwear and crochet, and the rest is history! mhc: What is the name of your shop?

remember crocheting were doll outfits for 8 inch costume dolls based on stories I'd read. My favorite was a Little Bo Peep costume complete with pantaloons crocheted in fine cotton thread. I designed all of these myself with no patterns. I still make all my own patterns. mhc: When did you decide to start selling your work?

veena: My baby shop is BurryBabies. Before there was an Etsy, I had my own website, I still have it. The derivation of the name is clear -- if you're lucky enough to have Burry as your last name and you love to make baby knitwear, Burry Babies is a nobrainer! When I started the shop two of my children asked me to knit them sweaters that said "I'm a Burry Baby" on the front. The back had my URL. I did the writing in duplicate stitch. They still have these sweaters though I don't know how much wear they get now! My next website was (and is), and I quickly started an Etsy shop by that name too. It's actually a larger shop than Burry Babies.

mhc: Whatâ€&#x;s your favorite item to make? veena: I love making baby sweaters, but because of the CSPIA, I've done mostly baby hats and other photo props lately. Booties are also extremely appealing to me. Of course, my adult knitwear is my major focus now. mhc: Whatâ€&#x;s your most popular item? veena: My most popular items at Burry Babies are my Baby Pixie Hats and my Newborn Baby Pixie Hats. I've made them in so many colors, but the Red and White Christmas Hats always sell hugely during the holiday season. Photographers love them too. mhc: Where does your inspiration come from?

veena: I'm inspired by the natural world, colors, textures, travel, literature, designs and paintings in museums, architecture, and just walking around NYC with open eyes. Of course, originally and always, my inspiration for Burry Babies is the babies themselves. mhc: What is your creative process? veena: My creative process varies. Sometimes a skein of yarn will just

evolve into a design. Sometimes I'll think up the shape of a garment first. Sometimes a texture, stitch, or object will begin the process. I make sketches, use computer assisted design programs, and experiment a lot. I firmly believe in making swatches before beginning a project. I knit and crochet quickly since they're so second nature to me. I'm meticulous about finishing, always block my work and

frequently pre-wash it if the yarn seems like that will make it bloom.

mhc: What handmade item do you cherish?

mhc: What‟s the best part about earning a living making things?

veena: I love all my handmade things and have terrible trouble getting rid of anything I ever made. I still have the first sweater I ever knitted when I was 16 years old. I'm happy to say it still fits too!

veena: I spent many years as an educator – English teacher, staff developer, program director – all in the NYC school system except for a couple of years during graduate school. I did well, sometimes loved it, sometimes hated it, but it was really a default career. I always wanted to spend my time and energy knitting, crocheting, sewing, hand weaving, etc. I'm delighted to be doing just that now.

mhc: What to you is the importance of buying handmade? veena: We live in such an impersonal, conformist and materialistic world. Handmade objects are an antidote to this. I consider my shops to be the "anti-Gap" – places where customers can get one of a kind pieces, or have me custom make things for

them. The things I knit and crochet are for posterity. They will last for generations and are made of natural fibers that are kind to our planet as well as being comfortable to wear. When my first son was born I knitted him an Aran Isle cable sweater and hat, then his brother inherited it, and then his sister. It was ultimately given to a friend's baby and I lost track of where it went then. That's what handmade means to me – things that have longevity and lasting value. Veena is offering 10% off your entire purchase from Burry Babies or Knitting Guru! Please contact her with the discount code “MHC� to receive your discount. Offer expires January 1, 2011.

angela salmon manni - angel fish boutique


‟ve always had a weakness for paper. Wrapping paper, scrapbooking paper, tissue paper, even construction paper – if it‟s cute, it‟s “mine.” What is great about paper is it is inexpensive, easy to find, and easy to hide! When I see a gift wrapped in festive, happy paper, my gathering instinct takes over – “save that pretty paper!” I think to myself. What better way to recycle and repurpose, than to reuse that wrapping paper in a craft that both kids and adults can enjoy? Not only is this Magnet Clippie activity pretty and practical, fun and functional, but it also makes a great gift, too. So set aside an afternoon with the kiddies, and get gluing! Supplies: Wooden Shapes (available in craft stores) Stars and Hearts shown Wooden Clothespins ½ Inch Magnet Discs Mod Podge (or regular School Glue) Hot Glue Gun with Glue Stick (for adults to use, only!) Scissors Scrap Wrapping Paper, Scrapbooking Paper, or Tissue Paper Small Photograph or Special Drawing (optional) Small Rhinestones (optional) Paper Plate (for mod podge/glue puddle) Paint Brush

Directions: 1. Begin by cutting papers into small squares, strips or shapes. You can also cut out the motifs in the wrapping or scrapbook paper if you like. 2. Pour your mod podge / glue into a small puddle on the plate. Using your paint brush, “paint” mod podge or glue on the wood where you‟d like to begin. Place your piece of paper over the glued section. 3. Continue for the rest of wooden shape, layering and piecing as desired, using the paper and/or pictures. (It‟s all up to you – this is an anything goes kind of craft, so your imagination is the limit!) If your paper overlaps the edge, you can either add a small amount of glue to the back and fold it over, or cut it to fit.

4. Once you are done, and it is dry, use your paint brush to paint glue over the entire shape. This seals and protects your work. If you are adding rhinestones you can place them on now – they will stick to the glue. 5. Allow to dry completely, then use the glue gun (parents / adult only) to secure the magnet to the clothespin. Next, secure clothespin to the shape, so that the pinch part is at the top. Allow to dry. You‟re done! Add it to a wrapped present as a gift topper, clip it to a gift bag filled with homemade sweets, or simply attach the clip to your refrigerator, and use it to remind the whole family to “pick up milk,” that “soccer‟s at 5,” and to always “Save That Pretty Paper!”


ids love to learn about nature, and a fun way to encourage them to help care for wild birds is to make a simple bird feeder. Bird watching and feeding is a great way to teach your little ones about the many varieties of birds and their habits. Watching the birds bring their friends to this fresh tasty treat is a Materials pinecones string bird seed

vegetable shortening oatmeal or corn meal

have on hand: measuring cups a bowl and spoon for mixing a pie tin, paper plate, or cookie sheet

by nancy keesling -

reward for both the kids and the birds alike. Explain to your child that supplementing the food supply of our feathery friends is very important, especially during harsh winter conditions, to help guarantee their survival. Also, please remember that once birds start coming to your home to eat, they get used to the food being there so itâ€&#x;s important to keep feeding them throughout the winter months. An easy-to-make pinecone feeder is a simple project that even young children can help create. All you need is a pine cone, string, and the food items you will use.

tutu cute and moore

Step 1 Tie a string around the wider, stem end of the pinecone. Be sure the string is tied tightly so it doesn‟t fall when the birds arrive.

Step 2 Mix ½ cup vegetable shortening (or alternative) with ½ cup oatmeal or corn meal in a mixing bowl until well blended. This amount should cover one large pinecone or two or three smaller ones.

Step 3 Thoroughly spread the mixture over the pinecone with a child friendly knife/spreader or use the back side of a spoon. This is rather messy, so have paper towels handy for hand clean-up.

Step 4 Pour the birdseed into a pie tin, paper plate or cookie sheet. Roll the pinecone in the birdseed until well covered.

Step 5 Suspend the feeder from a tree branch where it can be easily seen from a window. Last, but not least, all you need to do is watch for your feathered friends to come and enjoy the meal you lovingly prepared for them!

Child Development Skill of the Season julie hartman - petite fish


he holiday season is often a time for family, faith, and food. Loved ones near and far send cards, travel to visit, congregate around spiritual rituals, and gorge on tasty treats.

want (“not clothes again!”) or fail to receive the gift they wanted (“but I wanted an iPod!”). Such epithets are hardly the holiday spirit that we want for our precious youth.

But let‟s not kid ourselves – Alas, the Crafty Shrink is „tis also the season for on a mission again – to presents! The advertisements provide tips, using crafts, on television, in store activities, and advice on windows, and even at school important childhood are constant reminders to development skills. In this children that gifts are an issue, we‟re focusing on obsession this time of year. ways to nurture the good While giving and receiving values of thankfulness and gifts often creates warm help kids to tolerate the fuzzies among loved ones, we pastel princess greeting card collection from glad dog frustration and are all far too familiar with the standard whines, complaints, and even tears disappointment that the gift-giving season can sometimes create. when children either receive gifts they don‟t

Gratitude is more than saying thank you The Positive Psychology movement has been one of the leading sources of research on happiness. What do happy people have in common? They share the ability to feel a sense of gratitude on a regular basis. Whether it‟s being thankful for the hot tea that is warming your wintery day, being grateful that you finally found a parking spot after circling over 10 times at the over-packed mall, or feeling the abundance of having a roof over your head, a sense of gratitude is a common source of happiness. One way to increase this skill in children is to make it a part of their daily or weekly routine. Some families choose to go around the table - before, after, or instead of prayer and have each person list 3 things they are thankful for that day or week. Others make it part of the bedtime routine whereas some parents use it as an activity in the car. Some hints to make this skill development activity a success: - When it is the parent‟s turn to list the 3 things they are grateful for, keep it simple. For example, “I am grateful for this food, the warm bed I get to sleep in, and that my cold is finally over.” This gratitude exercise is about the little things.

- When it‟s the child‟s turn, it is okay in the beginning for him to copy what you say. While it may seem like a short-cut so they don‟t have to think about it or because they want to get the activity over with, the purpose is to get the ritual started. Repetition is a form of learning. Once you have a week or two of this new ritual accomplished, you can then encourage (and assist) your child in coming up with his own specific sources of gratitude for that day. - When your child (or even a grown-up) is drawing a „blank‟ on what she is thankful about, no need to fret. Consider prompting with categories, such as “thankful about anything having to do with your home? Your school environment? Something your teacher did today? Something about one of your friends?” If she continues to freeze, you may want to take it a step further by saying, “in the car, you sure sounded grateful that your science test is over” or “at your soccer practice, you seemed thankful that you stopped the ball for your team”. If she agrees, ask her if she would like to use that as one of the things she is grateful for today. Hint: If you get resistance, you can say something like “people who are the happiest in the world do this all the time. It‟s a skill that we all need to have in order to be happy. This is something we think is important for everyone‟s health, like brushing your teeth or getting a good night‟s sleep.”

Manners associated with gift-giving We have all been mortified when our child opens a gift only to shout “I don‟t want this!” It is very common too that we immediately jump in to the rescue and command, “Say thank you to Grandma” whereby our child (maybe) grunts a thank you. In this article, I am encouraging the psychological and physical benefits of true, authentic gratitude, even when we don‟t receive a gift we particularly like or want. Here‟s a fun activity to help your children learn and practice gratitude in the toughest of gift-receiving scenarios: Materials:  Left over boxes (i.e. cereal, Kleenex, toilet paper tube, etc.)  Left over wrapping paper  Used gift bag/tissue  Random, non-breakable objects from around the house as „pretend‟ gift  Occasional „real‟ gift that is handmade, like a drawing or painted popsicle stick

Activity: Use the following script with your children to begin: “You know how manners are important? Like saying please and thank you, sneezing into your arm or tissue, and if you have to pick your nose, do so in private? Well, another important manner is receiving gifts with gratitude. That means that no matter what the gift is, whether it‟s something you already own, don‟t want, or even a dirty sock, you express thanks that someone thought of you and took the time to give you something from the heart. We are going to play a game to give everyone practice with this very important manner. Remember, the object of the game is to truly feel thankful that someone thought of you and took the time to give you something from their heart. You‟ll learn a few things to say and do to show honest gratitude.” Things to say:  “Thank you for thinking of me.”  “It makes me feel good that this came from YOU.”  “Thank you! How about a hug?” Things to do:  Smile to show you are happy they thought of you.  Offer a hug to show you feel good by receiving their gift.

 Give

the gift a hug as a way to show you feel warm and fuzzy that they gave you a gift.

The game: We are each going to pick something in the house. Anything that won‟t break. It can be a sock, a cup, a toy, a dog biscuit, anything. Could also be a handmade gift, but nothing fancy – maybe a painted popsicle stick or heart written on the back of a receipt. Take the time to wrap it. Then give it to one of us, proudly. The one who receives the gift has to practice the good manner of gratitude. Ready? I‟ll go first. The idea for parents is to role model how to experience and express gratitude as well as to praise and offer gentle correction to children when they practice the nuance of gratitude. Before guests arrive and gifts are exchanged, rehearse the purpose of gratitude and play the game one more time, including the „things to say and do‟. These fun and crafty ways to teach this important development skill will surely help enhance the holiday spirit year after year. 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. left page: folk art print by allison strine designs. this page: origami kitty thank you card by kitty kat kards, teacher thank you charm by jjb studio

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

“My daughter, Bree, only 10 years-old, begs me on a daily basis for a cell phone. I continue to tell her no and that she is too young, but many of her friends have one. I am on the cusp of giving in just to stop the battle. Any advice is welcome. Thanks.” Anna, California Dear Anna: You are not alone. At one point or another, parents are confronted with their child begging for something that is „too old‟ for their age, whether it be a cell phone, access to a social networking site, like Facebook, or the dreaded first date. It‟s a normal urge of growing up. I like to suggest approaching each of these situations much in the same way through a 5 step process: validation, values education, „proving‟ values, parameters, and defining age and variables for when it will be permitted (whether it is granted now, when they want it, or later). I will go through each step now, with your particular cell phone example.

Validation - When children (and adults) feel that their issue is truly heard, they often don‟t feel the urge to „yell‟ as loud. Often parents are so busy adjusting to their child‟s sudden growth spurt and defending why the answer is „no‟, the child doesn‟t feel heard. Step 1 is to validate your child‟s wishes. For example, “Bree – I totally get it. Of course you want a new cell phone… your friends have one, it‟s fun, you are growing up and wanted to be treated as such, and you deserve more privileges.” No buts, no parent agenda, just pure validation. Values Education - After sufficient validation, most kids say “good , you got it. Now let‟s do it.” This is the time to make a values collage. You‟ll need age-typical magazines (hopefully old ones on hand or you get from friends), glue stick, markers, and a poster. Tell Bree, “this is a big deal and we want to do it right. We are in

charge of teaching our child(ren) about certain values to guide them in life and now is one of those teachable moments. In order for us to consider a cell phone, you have to participate in values education and some talks about responsibility. If you boycott this, it tells us you are not mature enough to have a cell phone. So, let‟s hang-out, make a bowl of popcorn, get out the magazines… and make this values collage together. What do you think I mean by values?” Discuss your family values, such as honesty, health, respect, personal accountability, privacy, healthy money management, etc. Cut out the words from the magazines and select corresponding images. With each value, explain how having (or waiting for) a cell phone relates to that value. For instance, with healthy money management, how does she think it will get paid for? How much does she think a cell phone plan, minutes, texting, etc costs? (If she doesn‟t know, do the research

together.) As for the value of privacy, what is a reasonable amount of privacy she can expect with the cell phone and what is a reasonable amount of time for parents to be present when she talks to a friend, supervising topics of discussion with peers? When talking about the value of personal responsibility, how will she care for the cell phone? Where will it be stored? What if it gets lost or stolen? When she complains about how much you are making her work on this, you can refer to the value of „with certain privileges in life, comes certain efforts to Knitted hippy case by estie diva earn and maintain them‟, and what everyone has to do to earn and maintain cell phone use. Proving Values - Before a child gets another privilege, I suggest a trial period where she has to „prove‟ she is living by the family values as a guide. Essentially, go through the motions, a trial run, as if Bree had a cell phone. For two weeks, expect that level of maturity and

clockwise from top left: olive bird cell phone charm by cupcake bomb, phone booth gadget case by cbsew, hello kitty cell phone case by dvr down, comic book inspired gadget case by nokomomo, teaparty cellphone sleeve by house of tnt

responsibility from her. You‟ll get more examples of this in the next section, Parameters. Parameters - Outline what parameters must be followed in order for Bree to earn and keep a cell phone. For instance, I suggest her other „jobs‟ must be maintained at the expected level, so chores, homework, punctuality, and so on must be done as expected with no complaints.

Kids usually can not tolerate an additional privilege if they are not able to maintain their current privileges and jobs in a functional manner. So, if Bree frequently talks back, does not get off the video game when asked, can‟t get out the door to school on time, doesn‟t do her math homework, etc, then she is not ready to manage the extra attention that a cell phone privilege provides. So, now is a great time to clarify and tighten up her current jobs. A crafty way to do this? Make a list and weekday chart of „jobs‟. Have her decorate it with markers and stickers while you discuss it. After two weeks of consistently maintaining her current jobs well, add the „cell phone trial‟, pretending she has a cell phone or actually using a disposable one. If she handles all parameters well for two weeks, she very well may be ready to have her own. Defining age and variables for when it will be permitted - Most 10 year-olds have a lot to work on before they are able to reasonably „prove‟ they are living their family values and are ready to manage the responsibility of a cell phone. After you go through all of the above steps, it is likely she will bump up against this harsh reality. To keep her spirits alive, select an age when you will review this again, when you will go through the steps again (including trials). For instance, I suggest birthdays or New Year‟s

Day as good markers. In Bree‟s case, after she demonstrates via the above steps that she still has some things she needs to work on before being able to manage the extra attention of a cell phone privilege, say something like “I foresee that by New Year‟s Day, you will have improved your everyday use of our family values and tighten up how you do your current „jobs‟. I believe it is possible that when we run through these steps again then, you will demonstrate you are ready to have a cell phone. Then write this down for everyone to sign as a show of everyone‟s commitment to the Team Bree „Getting A Cell Phone‟ Effort. Note: You are not promising to give it to her then. You are simply showing optimism that if she works on these goals, she MAY be ready then. If by then, she is still struggling to manage her current expectations, then reset the evaluation period to a summer date or her birthday, whichever comes first. Growing up is exciting. Lots of new urges, wishes, and dreams. Kids deserve to have privileges added to their life. With adequate preparation, with a crafty twist, the trial-anderror learning of growing up can yield the pleasure and success everyone desires. If you liked this article, please let the Crafty Shrink know! Ask more questions or send in examples of how you implemented the advice. Email to


he holiday season means different things to different people. To my family, this season means peace, faith, love and family – all things we promote as our holiday „mission statement‟. As we move into the season, we choose activities that promote these ideas such as crafting up fun ways to gift to others. Letting your kids create things not only occupies them at this busy time of year, but also inspires them to care for others and teaches them to live green. There are many fun ideas, projects and gifts you can make. To best prepare and stay organized, we have an art center in our home where we collect items throughout the year for recycling, repurposing and releasing at any given time. Part of living green also means planning and anticipating what lies ahead: birthdays, teacher gifts, holidays you get the drift. For more organization, I suggest creating a calendar of annual events that will allow you collect purposefully, keeping down the clutter and allowing for more creativity. Why not create your own art corner and decide which items to recycle,

which to repurpose and which to release? This year we collected corks for card placement decor, containers for gifting, cards to make gift tags. The following are a few of our favorite projects and activities:

Creative Entertaining: Making fun place-card holders with corks, nature finds, scraps of fabric, colored thumb tacks, some glue and last year‟s gifted decorations, brings a warm and cozy feeling to the table.

by tanja d’lyn - inspiring design studio

Holiday Enveloping: Collect magazines, holiday cards of all types, wrapping paper and colored stock paper for backing. Trace an envelope that you may have on hand (we found one that fits our holiday cards). Cut out with regular scissors or use fun shaped curvy scissors. Fold and glue sides together and youâ€&#x;re done. Think about ways to color block paper for a fun, thicker look. Your envelopes will look very personal, handmade and festive! Note: To reinforce thin wrapping papers, combine them with stronger colored papers, layering together as you trace and then cut.

Tag it Green: Throughout the year, there are all sorts of events that are made more special by personalized gift tags. Keep plain tags on hand and sew your favorite scraps of fabric to them, finishing off by stamping or hand writing a sweet message. Or use a plain tag as a template and cut out colorful and festive tags from salvaged gift bags. Gift it Green: Collect all sorts of containers to decorate and wrap gifts that will be given. Once the gift is opened, the container can be used for other things - no packaging to toss.

Wrap it up: Think of ways to wrap your gifts with things you can make, like a pillow case or a tea towel. Wrapped in warmth - a project: These sweet latte covers are a clever gift you can make with your scrap fabrics, a favorite sweater that can no longer be worn, or tube sock tops (dyed in your choice of colour). They make great gifts for tea and coffee lovers!

3) Starting at the top of the round edge, sew all the way around, leaving a 1 inch opening to turn your coffee sleeve. 4) Turn the coffee sleeve right-side out and iron flat. Slipstitch opening closed. 5) Sew hook and loop (Velcro) closures to either side of the coffee sleeve at opposite ends. Hint: have a paper coffee cup on hand to use for sizing

Directions: 1) Lay fabrics like sides together. Take a paper coffee sleeve and trace it over the fabric adding a Âź inch seam allowance all around. 2) Pin fabrics together and cut out the coffee sleeve.

6) Wrap the coffee sleeve up on a fresh latte for a friend! We wish you and yours a wonderful holiday and encourage you to get wrapped in green! Remember - Living green is all about the three Râ€&#x;s: recycle, repurpose and release (give away to others).

Ideas of things to have on hand, save and recycle to create your own art studio, ready and waiting for whenever the inspiration hits!

Used Wrapping Paper Tissue Paper Used Gift Bags Scraps of Fabric Nature Finds Greeting Cards Yarn, Thread, Ribbon Corks, Cartons, that is. It‟s that time again. Time to start dreaming up new homemade goodies for my kiddos to make for family and friends. You too? I tend to be spontaneous with my ideas which is great for the kids. They love the surprise of “guess what we‟re going to do today!” We get our lists, we get the supplies and abracadabra it‟s done! The downside? It‟s usually t-minus not so many days before the holidays and the projects tend to be created with a “Hurry up! We need to have time for that to dry before the next step and we‟ve got to finish this tomorrow so we can have it wrapped for the party the next day.” I feel like sometimes I hurry them through it all. It‟s like the Craft-Mafia. So this year, I‟m determined to make it different. I comb through the magazines that come through the mail slot. Take a spin through the book aisle at the local craft stores… Oops there go the kids playing with the automatic sliding door! Five minutes of looking – still no ideas. Every year we do

by kristie piacine - kind living designs

something different - we do something new but at times it still feels like the same old thing. How many ways can you craft with a handprint after all? Then enter stage right – Macaulay Culkin. What? Huh? Seriously. Macaulay. He has saved my holidays. Thanks be to Macaulay!! It all started one random Saturday a few weeks ago. It was raining and the kids were bickering. Oh yes, the feuds and invisible „this-side-is-mine‟ lines have begun in my house. Ever since my little guy turned four he‟s gained a new sense self. My seven-yearold can no longer tell him to go get this or that and expect him to bound off like a happy little yellow lab. This year he‟s got lightsabers that swing and karate chops that hit the mark. He‟s got the power of Batman and has his own villains to chase down. Guess who gets to be the villains – a not so happy wanna-be rock star. These days, getting them to “play together” takes some creative gusto. I‟m like the director of a really bad movie.

Me: “Ok guys. E‟s the big new rock star. She‟s on stage singing and doing her moves. There‟s gonna be…” E: “I have my silver sequin mini-dress and big boots on right?” Me: “Yes, yes. Back to the plot. So... “ K: “I‟ve got my bat-a-rang in my utility belt.” Me: “Ok. Good. You‟re gonna need it. So, back to the story. E‟s singing and there‟s a bad guy trying to get her.” E: “Noooo. I don‟t want bad guys to be getting me. I want to sing two songs and then have everyone cheer and need to do an encore.” K: “But I need to save youuuuuu…” Cue crying, whining, arguing. Back to my savior Macaulay. I get my little guy settled with his own thing. E wants TV. Nothing is on but Home Alone 2. I‟m not sure about this one. I check the info on the guide. Rated PG. Okay. Before I know it I‟ve gotten quite comfy on the couch watching with my daughter, explaining all the little bits here and there in the correct context. There‟s the scene where little Macaulay Culkin is hiding out in Central Park. A big scary bird woman comes out from behind a rock and of course, he‟s scared and runs away with his

„slap-my-face scream face‟. Later he finds that out that like the bird woman in Mary Poppins, she‟s really a very lovely homeless lady who just likes to take care of the birds. Fast forward a few scenes and he‟s in a magical toy shop talking with the lovely gentleman behind the counter, who we understand him to be the owner. Mr. Culkin, of course, has no idea. This is where my aha! moment happens. Culkin‟s character gives his last few dollars towards the holiday gift collection for lessfortunate children and families and as a thank you gesture, the man gives Culkin turtle dove ornaments. Mr. E.F. Duncan, Owner of Duncan’s Toy Chest: You see that tree there? Well to show our appreciation for your generosity, I'm gonna let you select an object from that tree that you can take home with you. Kevin McCallister: For free? Mr. E.F. Duncan: Oh yes. May I make a suggestion? Take the turtle doves. Kevin: I can have two? Mr. E.F. Duncan: Well, yes, two turtle doves. I'll tell you what you do: you keep one, and you give the other one to a very special person. You see, turtle doves are a symbol of friendship and

love. And as long as each of you has your turtle dove, you'll be friends forever. Kevin: Wow. I never knew that. I thought they were just part of a song. So what does this little boy do? He takes the ornaments and keeps one for himself. Who gets the other? Yes, the bird lady. Now this is not some spectacular big-news item. The holidays are about family, love, friendship, sharing, giving. We all know that. We all try to live it. And we try to give it. But do we? We give gifts, but (and this is where the light bulb started going on) do we give gifts that keep on giving? Could we give a gift to a loved-one that they in turn could turn around and give to make someone else feel special? Yes! I found the answer. Oh…what kind of craft is that? Hmpf. Have I found the exact homemade goodie that will be the gift that keeps on giving? I‟m still working that one out. But it is the theme this year. Being kind, being gracious, humble, empathetic – these are all important. Teaching my children to not only be these things, but to encourage their friends to do the same - that is huge.

To download your free Paper Robin Ornament from Chichiboulie, go to The Boulie Blog, and look in the right hand column under “Bits and Bobs”. You‟ll need glue, scissors, ribbon, and metal tacks for the wings.

linda phrakhansa - linda dearie


n December, my kindergarten students and I travel around the world. We prepare for the trip by packing suitcases, getting passports, and bringing plenty of pencils and crayons. During departure, we fasten our invisible seatbelts, close our eyes, and begin to fly across the continents, searching for Santa Claus. If you want to embark on the trip with your children, don't forget to visit some of our favorite destinations below. INDIA We fly to India where millions of people just finished celebrating Diwali. Diwali is an Indian holiday sometimes nicknamed the Festival of Lights. During Diwali, people across India hang lanterns and light candles or lamps with oil to celebrate goodness in the world. The holiday stems from Hindu culture. SOUTH AFRICA We fly to South Africa and learn about a holiday called Kwanzaa. Although Kwanzaa is an American holiday, we learn that centuries ago, slaves were brought from coastal cities in

Africa to work in America. Slavery no longer exists, but many AfricanAmerican families celebrate Kwanzaa in addition to Christmas. We study the seven days of Kwanzaa and the lighting of brightly colored candles. SWEDEN After leaving South Africa, we bundle up in winter clothes and fly north to Europe. We learn that children in Sweden look forward to seeing a girl named Saint Lucia. She dresses in white and wears a wreath, lit with candles, in her curly hair. Children receive candy and delicious golden buns from Saint Lucia before Christmas.

ITALY While visiting Sweden, we receive a letter from an old witch named Befana. She invites us to Italy and we help her make presents for boys and girls. She is a good witch and travels around Italy on her rickety broomstick. In Italy, the children usually receive their Christmas gifts in January because Befana is very busy. She will use the chimney just like someone else we know!

MEXICO After leaving Italy, we fly across the Atlantic Ocean to Mexico. We learn about a little boy who brought a plain green plant to church during Christmas. When he laid the plant near the manger, beautiful red petals began to bloom. In Mexico, the poinsettia is important during Christmas. We help the boy by making more poinsettias out of colored paper and glitter. After all this travelling, we feel homesick and fly home to the United States where we decorate our classroom tree with handmade ornaments. On the last day of school before the winter break, I place small presents under the tree for my students. When the first bell rings, they bustle into the room, and one of them will notice the boxes. The boys and girls rush toward the tree, and as an adult, I believe in Santa Claus, too, if only for a fleeting moment. Authorâ€&#x;s Note: There are many other countries to visit such as Israel, England, and France.

Linda Phrakhansa is a kindergarten teacher in San Antonio, Texas.

by liz murphy - daisy creek designs


he holidays are quickly approaching and with so many sellers competing for the attention of each online shopper, it is essential to be prepared. Often times, getting ready for this busy time of year, with the increased traffic, questions and sales, is as overwhelming as getting the orders completed and on their way. Not to mention that this is all occurring amidst your own holiday events, shopping excursions and even your “day job�. How will you get it all done and keep your sanity, you ask? Take a look at these helpful hints and tips I gathered from the Etsy forums, and cruise through the holidays, sanity and all! daily to do list by hach

A big thanks to the following Etsy sellers for sharing their wisdom: crochet gal tesoro del sol

allies minis kreated by karina

Look Closely Take an objective look at your shop or website. Are your policies clear and well written? Are your tags holiday related? Are you clear about your shipping times? Make sure that you answer any questions that a customer might have in your description or policies to avoid time spent sending messages back and forth. Feature! Feature your holiday items at the top of your shop or on the front page of your website. Do you have a special section for holiday related items so that customers can find them more quickly? Do you have special or seasonal items that are in limited quantity or only for this time of year? Do you offer free gift wrapping or free shipping? Don‟t forget to highlight what sets you apart from other sellers. Plan Ahead Avoid any wait time for your customers by purchasing any inventory that you might need ahead of time. Are there supplies that you can order early and still use after the holiday season is over? Have you contacted your suppliers to find out what their lead time is so you can accurately communicate that to your customer? Any materials that you can have

on hand will speed up your production time and ensure the end product gets to its final destination before the holidays are over. Think Production Chain Break your tasks into smaller parts. Are you a list maker? Does it give you a sense of accomplishment when you cross off tasks on your “To Do List”? Dividing bigger projects, like “make 15 princess wands”, into the steps it takes to complete it will make the job seem more manageable and enable you to do similar steps at the same time. Then, doing the “wrap dowel with ribbon” at the same time you “wrap clips with ribbon” will make it easier to get more done in a shorter amount of time. Advertise And last, but certainly not least, advertise! Do you have a blog or newsletter? Are you on Facebook or Twitter? Now is the time to shout from the online rooftops about what you have to offer and why someone should shop from you. The competition is tough and you are your greatest advocate. Use all your resources to point people in your direction. Good luck this holiday season, and happy selling!

When Mom isn‟t Watching

Path to Disney World

Photo taken by Sam, age 4 Southern Indiana, USA

Photo taken by Ella , age 5 Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA

“Sam took this photo of his sister Etta, age 6. This is the kind of picture a mom gets when she leaves her iPhone alone with her kids for even a second without close adult supervision. You should see the accompanying video!”

“She loves to take pictures, and I usually delete them, but some I keep because they are so fun. This one is the sidewalk at Disney's Music Resort. She took it as we were walking to catch our bus to the park. I love the wave affect.”

- Jaime

- Regina

is your child a budding photographer? send the

Capital Building

Oregon Swallowtail

Photo taken by Carter, age 3 Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

Photo taken by Holden, age 7 Milo McIver Campground, Oregon, USA

“This is a picture of the Nebraska Capital Building my 3 year old nephew Carter took in Lincoln. I love how it is taken from such a low viewpoint.”

“He took this photo when out on a nature walk with the Oregon Jr. Ranger program. The kids needed to find and identify two unfamiliar flora and fauna. This is an Oregon Swallowtail. Jr. Ranger badge attained!”

- Stacy

- Cheryl

eir photos to

contributors & staff

Winter 2010 Issue  

Winter 2010 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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