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modern handmade child Editor in Chief Shannon Hanley Copy Editor & Proof Reader Nicole Passeier

contents winter 2011 WELCOME 7 ....letter from the editor

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

on the cover

WEAR - fashion trends 9... layering 14.... little rocker 16.... editor’s picks: cozy caps and toasty toes

DWELL - home décor 18 ....celebrate...decorate! 34.... editor’s picks: deck the halls

SHOP 23 ....holiday gift guide: handmade gifts for every budget

Little Woodsman Long Sleeved Nostalgic Graphic Sleep Gown by Nostalgic Graphic Tees Elizabeth Horton Design

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Holiday Gift Guide 23

CREATE - crafty tutorials 36 ....snowed-in apples 72 ....christmas pillow covers 74 ....lost mitten snowman

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modern handmade child Contributors

contents winter 2011

WEAR........... Marissa Fischer DWELL.......... Kari Firak CREATE........ Nicole Passeier Tanja D’Lyn

MEET - interviews 40 ... lemon tree studio 59 ... hailey bugs closet

TASTE.......... Jen Dwyer EXPLORE...... Rachael Ashman MEET........... Taci Zahl

EXPLORE - the outdoors & travel 46 ... travelling with children, part 1: planning your trip

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CARE........... Tanja D’Lyn GROW.......... Julie Hartman

Please send all article submissions and ideas to:

TASTE - cooking fun 53 ... hearty carrot & potato stew 54 ... weeknight lasagna 56 ... brownie pudding cake 58 ... overnight steel cut oats with apples and cheese

editor@modernhandmadechild.com

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

GROW - child development 65 ... good deeds

Copyright© 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.

CARE - growing up green 70 ... warm and fuzzy all over

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64 For information regarding advertising in modern handmade child, please contact advertising@modernhandmadechild.com

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Shannon Hanley lives on the coast of southern Maine with her husband and two daughters. 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 The day before Halloween, as we peered out the window to see a thick coating of freshly fallen snow, I could see the excitement sparkling in my 4-year-old daughter’s eyes. ―It’s winter!‖ she exclaimed. My first instinct was to explain that no, it was not yet winter, and was indeed still fall, but then it dawned on me…while she was very enthusiastically looking forward to winter, I was not. As adults, when we think of winter, all too often we think of the stress this season can bring, whether it be our heating bills, extra social obligations for the holidays, or simply all that extra time spent shoveling snow and scraping frost off windows. But children, well, they think of all the fun things to do in winter, like building snowmen and sledding, snuggling together and sipping hot cocoa to stay warm, and all of the special celebrations throughout the season.

So, this winter, I encourage you all to let go of the stress and chaos that tend to come this time of year, and instead, try to view the season through a child’s eyes: full of excitement and wonder. Though this may sound simple, I know that for many of us, it is easier said than done. But if you can do it, you will find the season filled with so much more joy.

Shannon Hanley

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


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by marissa fischer of rae gun

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ven though most people would think winter was no time for thinking about sun dresses (unless it is to pine after warmer weather or prepare for a tropical getaway), winter is actually my favorite time to wear cute little dresses. For me, a lot of the current dress styles for adults are a little too short for my comfort level, but with a pair of dark tights or leggings, Iâ€&#x;m more than happily to don a cute little dress. Then, all I need is to top it off with a cardigan. What I am talking about is layering. When it comes to dressing kiddos, layering can be a mamaâ€&#x;s best friend. If you just think a little outside of the box, layering can really help you stretch out the lifetime of

dragon classic short sleeve tee by kasia bear


some of your favorite articles of clothing. Whether you are reluctant about retiring your daughter‟s favorite skirt that threatens to reveal her little tush, or you just want to cut down on the clothing budget, layering is for you. It is no secret that kids grow. Sometimes they grow so fast that it can be frustrating as well as wearing on the wallet to keep up. As you go through your little one‟s closet I want to challenge you to re-evaluate the items as potential layering garments. Whether the problem is that it seems obviously too small or that it‟s a thin little garment in the cold of winter, looking at them as components to a layered outfit may give them a second life.

girls legwarmer leggings by lillipops designs

Bottoms If it‟s a matter about length, girls can easily throw a pair of dark or thick tights or leggings under shorter dresses, skirts and even shorts. Items that may seem a little inappropriate take on a completely different look when the legs are completely covered


up. Winter is the best time to do this since, if something is tempting to be too short, by the time the warmer weather rolls back around, you are almost guaranteed it will be un-wearable. Don‟t think you can only stretch the life of bottoms with girls. Even little boys can get away with layering. If their pants are up around their calves but fit everywhere else, consider throwing them over a pair of long johns or tall socks. With the layer underneath, the look will have a purposeful euro flair. With both girls and boys, just because something seems too short or is out of season doesn‟t mean you have to pack it away. Look at the shorts, skirts or whatever pair of bottoms you‟re considering and think of what you can put under it to make it work in winter or stretch the use a little longer. Tops The most common way kids grow is up. Most of them can fit the width of their clothing long after the length stops being appropriate.

organic cotton soy jersey shirt by soul role


When shirts get too short a quick layering fix perfect for cooler weather is to throw it over a longer sleeve top. As long as the shirt underneath is tighter fitting than the outside garment, this can work for regular tees, tanks and even shirts with interesting sleeves.

Short shirts can also help you make more of those cute summer dresses that your little one may outgrow before the weather warms up again. While it‟s natural to layer the shorter shirt under the dress you should also consider throwing a cute shirt on top. When thrown on top, funky tees or cute solids can make a simple dress look like an interesting skirt. Whether the top goes under or over, with a pair of leggings or tights you‟re able to stretch the life of these dresses just a little further. Tweaks Sometimes, even with layering, things are just too small. Some articles of clothing that seem done for may receive a second chance from a little tweaking. If you don‟t plan on saving it for a younger sibling or passing it on to another family, and if you are willing to take a little risk, you may be able to get a little more wear out of that favorite garment of yours. One option for those with basic sewing skills would be to sew a small panel to the bottom of pants or skirts that are too short. You don‟t need to do much more than sew a straight stitch in most cases. For the little girls, a small panel or ruffle of cheap cotton can be added to the bottom of your favorite tops to either make them into dresses or just longer shirts.


Finally, even if you don‟t sew, onesies that are just too short can have the bottom part cut off to leave you with cute shirts that will last a little longer. You can also try this trick with tights, just chop off the foot part and you will have some cute leggings. When cutting garments, though, keep in mind that different fabrics stretch differently with a raw edge. Because of this, the first time you try it with a new type of fabric, make sure you use a garment that you won‟t be too upset if it doesn‟t turn out. Also if you sew at all, you can always stitch the edge to minimize fraying (if it is a stretch fabric, zig zag stitches will probably be your best bet). I hope that I have given you some ideas to help you stretch the life of your little one‟s favorite wearables.

opposite page: funky lime zebra pillowcase dress by lil lainey bug this page, top: green floral onesie dress by lilypotamus (erikafaz) this page, bottom: nautical hand-dyed infant creeper by eight baby legs


Winter is the perfect ti dark colors, blacks an months, and it works sleeves under tees). Plu hair messy or wear thei child-like, throw in bu


by marissa fischer of rae gun

ime to try out the rocker look. It’s more about nd grays, that are easier to find in the colder perfectly with layering (think leggings, long us it gives you an excuse to let them keep their ir tutus out of the house. To keep it playful and ursts of colors like hot pink, green or orange.

clockwise from top right: royalty hand printed tee shirt by ultra ripe, codie cowboy shirt by escargot kids, appliquéd guitar hoodie by posh tot designs, pirate tutu costume by kirra’s boutique, wild child onesie by babies rawk, upcycled guitar tee shirt by dandelion dream (tinytwistcreative), argyle legwarmers by knotty baby wear


caps, clockwise from top left: ribbed pixie bonnet by sweet km, the flower hat by my kids lids (katiesegel), knitted pixie hat with snowflake by kiddo designs, cloche hat with eco felt flower by teeny bunny, winter wonderland baby wool hat by soria moria toes, clockwise from top right: grey cord birdy boots by pogi babies handmade, ibex long hand knitted socks by rg socks, heirloom hand knit alpaca baby booties by morning light farm, felted wool slippers by wild rose herbs

picks by shannon hanley of the clever kitty


by kari firak of little mr moo


D

o you find it difficult to choose a theme for your child‟s room? Are you happy with your vintage theme, but you just cannot forget that jungle wallpaper you fell in love with? Don‟t worry! You have a chance once every year to put those other themes to good use. Turn your backyard into a circus, your living room into a train station, or your dining room into a tea party. I‟m talking about birthday parties! Opportunities to bring those old themes back to life in a way your child will never forget. A camp out birthday party can be really fun for you and for your child. You can throw a camping party indoors or out, with a real tent or a makeshift one out of blankets. These A-frame tents are so inviting, and even include stakes differentiating each campsite. Hang lanterns from the ceiling or tree branches.

Get out some of your comfiest quilts and make s‟mores…I can almost smell the campfire! If you are not in to the great outdoors, perhaps a tea party theme would be more to your taste. From sewing your own napkins and tablecloth to using grandma‟s china set, there are so many ways to create a sweet environment for your guests. And don‟t forget the wide brimmed hats! Let the party goers design their own with your scrap fabric. It is also a great excuse to bring some flowers inside, placing a bud vase on the table.

photo credits: opposite page: crave photography , this page: gina lee photography


There are some decorations that you can use for any theme. Making a fabric bunting is just as easy as sewing your own curtains. They are so pretty you might want to keep them up year round. I love the vintage look of this bunting from Dottie Angel, using fabric remnants. If you donâ€&#x;t have fabric lying around, try to make your own tissue garland as Jesyka of Visual Vocabulary did. Inspired by Confetti System, these tassels will surely add glamour indoors or out. It can also be fun to concentrate on a color scheme alone. Rainbow parties are so popular right now. Annie Kershisnik Blake of Annilygreen had the fabulous idea of using food to decorate the table. It

photo credits this page, left to right: visual vocabulary, dottie angel. opposite page: annily green


is convenient and delicious, too! And come on, those boxes? Simple, but oh so effective. If you aren‟t into the rainbow look, there are some super creative themes using a single color. How about „Pretty in Pink‟? Or try yellow for a „You are my Sunshine‟ theme.

Whether it involves animals, colors, song titles or just the time of year, there are endless possibilities to create an unforgettable birthday party. Each event is a chance to create an environment that you weren‟t able to in the nursery. And if you don‟t like it? It can all come down at the end of the day. Party On!


We love to see the world from a "kid's eye view" and are excited to announce that the View section, which showcases photos by children, will return to Modern Handmade Child in Spring 2012. In addition to photographs taken by children, we now also welcome pictures of artwork (in any medium) created by kids for our new and improved View section. If you have a photo taken by your child or a picture of your child's artwork to submit, please contact our View Editor, Catherine Way, at view@mhcmag.com. Please submit all images as jpegs, and be sure to include the artist's name, age and a title with a few lines about their work. The View theme for the Spring issue will be GREEN.


Holiday Gift Guide


clockwise from top left: paper spin tops by nanisimpresa, dino crayons by posh paper creations, nature inspired yoyo by simple loving family, crayon roll by my little reverie, lavender scented play clay by mama k’s, wooden ribbon ring by blackbeary mountain, felt tic tac toe set by page by page 2, gnome finger puppets by love a little, japanese braiding friendship bracelet kit by cool tag


clockwise from top left: doll quilt by quietude quilts, felt sandwich set by tate’s tastees, stripey snake wooden pull toy by armadillo dreams, upcycled wool toy sleeping bag by pogo shop, felt finger puppets by cheryl a smith, board bus by board games, ramses cat plushie by janie xy


clockwise from top left: dax macro creature by mr. s diapers, custom photo i spy bag by those greathouse sapling toys, super hero bunny doll by murdock desi mushroom wooden bowling set by mud hollow (mud


sogs, baby doll cloth diapers by baby doll e women, transportation matching game by little ign, wooden xylophone toy by smiling tree toys, ddyfeet)


clockwise from top left: wooden workbench with tools by a summer afternoon, manzanita classic building set by manzanita kids, my dolly molly rag doll by bits of me, custom wooden fairy market by the enchanted cupboard, rainbow playsilks by bright life toys, doll bed with bedding by girl doll beds, teddy bear by fifi stitch


clockwise from top left: springtime playscape by asher jasper, cherry wood trike by jules tatum, zooguu fugu plush by zooguu, wooden play kitchen and fridge by heartwood natural toys, pet shop card table play house by miss pretty pretty, modular wooden doll house deluxe kit by mod playhouse


left to right: mini embroidery hoop wall art by butterfly alley, hanging paper christmas decorations by bookity, joyeux noel pillow by jennifer lyons, wood ornament christmas decorations by event design shop, snowflake wall and window decals by musterladen, believe mantle banner by any occasion banners, little village advent calendar by marabara design


picks by shannon hanley of the clever kitty


by nicole passeier of magic rainbow dreaminx

Here’s a sweet, easy and quick winter & Christmas decoration for you –―snowed-in" Christmas apples showing a sparkly red or bright green motif of your choice. I have made these apples two times already in the past few years, however I don't recall where I first got the idea from ... Still, these sugar-coated apples look so adorable as table decoration and are super easy & quick for kids, too, that I definitely wanted to share this with you. Hope you will enjoy them just as much! Materials:  Apples (sparkly deep red or bright green ones for an extra-lovely effect)  1 egg white (should do for at least a handful of apples)  Icing sugar  Grease-proof or baking paper  Pastry brush  small sifter (optional)


Directions: Step 1: With a pencil, draw simple winter or Christmas themed shapes onto your grease-proof or baking paper. You will need one template per apple, two if you are going to decorate the apple on two sides. Heart, star, bow, boot, Santa beard, simple Santa shape, candle, tree, candy cane, snowman ... all are great. Play around a bit. Just make sure that your motif size fits nicely onto your apple. Cut out and double-check your motif size by holding it against the apple.

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Step 2: Separate your egg into egg white and egg yolk (keep your yolk to use up later for scrambled eggs, or for any vegetable or pasta bakes). Stir your egg white slightly with a fork until you have a smooth texture. Step 3: Rinse your apples and dry them with a towel. Place your paper motif onto the apple, and apply a thin layer of egg white onto the apple with your pastry brush. Gently, brush over the paper motif, and be sure to hold the paper template down closely at the rims – you donâ€&#x;t want any egg white to sneak underneath your template. Now, carefully remove your finger from the template. The template should now be sticky enough to stay stuck (note: this can be a tricky sticky thing!)

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Step 4: Place the apple onto a plate or onto another piece of grease-proof paper. Let the egg white dry for a few moments (ca. 5 mins). Step 5: Time to cover the apple deep with icing sugar – on top and all around. Use a sifter if you like to distribute your sugar evenly. The egg white works as sort of “natural glue” for the sugar, so the sugar will remain stuck on the egg white. If the egg white still absorbs too much of the sugar (i.e., the sugar dissolves and loses its white color), let the egg white dry a few moments longer. Then try sugaring again. Let the apple sit for another few moments.

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Step 6: Finally, slowly and gently remove the paper shape off the apple. It might be useful to have some flat and pointy object at hand (a small vegetable cutting knife, e.g.) to help you lift off the paper as you want to keep the sugar coating intact and in place. Et voilà: your “snowed-in” Christmas apple! Let the apple dry completely before placing it on your table, plate or window sill for decoration, or before giving it away as a little gift.

A Very Merry & Happy Christmas and a Radiant Win

Step 7: Repeat for as many apples as you wish.

Would you like to share your photos of your Christma the MHC blog or Facebook page, or send us an e-ma

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Some Ideas & Notes:  place your apples on a dry & smooth surface, e.g. a plate or a saucer

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nter (Summer) Solstice to you all, dear MHC readers!

as apples? We’d love to see them. Post a comment on ail to editor@modernhandmadechild.com.

glue a name tag around the apple‟s stem and use apple as a place card

cut letter shapes out of the paper and have the apples display someone‟s initial(s)

if you would like to decorate several apples with the same motif, it might be helpful to first make a motif template out of card-stock or cardboard, and then trace your shape onto the grease-proof/ baking paper

if you want to eat the apples later on into the season (or after the holidays): go ahead and do. Just rinse them thoroughly under warm water before taking a bite to scrub off not only the sugar, but most importantly the egg white. Of course, you can still peel the apples after having rinsed them!

Caution: Safety rules. Always. Ensure that any sharp objects such as needles, scissors, cutters and knives are well out of reach of any small children. Be sure to supervise your children‟s use of any crafting material.


interview by taci zahl of pish posh style


Every project is better with a little something from Lemon Tree Studio! Whether embellishing a hair bow or bag with one of the Fresh Picked Fabric Flowers, or adding a bright burst of lemony, vintagey POP to your scrapbook with digital elements, every project is cuter with something special from Lemon Tree Studio. Mommy to a princess, Shelly knows pretty and special...Enjoy! mhc: Hi and thank you for welcoming us into your shop! Please tell us all about you, your family, hobbies, and of course your work. shelly: Hi, my name is Shelly and I am a wife to a fabulous man, a mama to two little peanuts and a friend to many! I run a wee little *handmade goods* shop on Etsy, Lemon Tree Studio, that brings me much crafty satisfaction. My creative side loves sewing, jewelry making, digital scrapbooking, and thrifting. My girly side loves to SHOP, and my mama side loves to snuggle with my little ones and travel to fun places with my family.

mhc: When did you open your shop and what did you have in mind? shelly: I opened my shop on the morning of Valentine's Day in 2008. I had no solid plans ... just started out making a few paper goods, but I was too nervous to list anything! So, I waited until the following month before I really gained some confidence in selling my items. I think I made my first sale within a week or so of starting ... then there was no looking back! mhc: Please tell us about the items you currently sell.


shelly: I really have a huge mixture of things that I have previously sold and currently sell at Lemon Tree. I have made everything from shower curtains and handbags to scrapbooking embellishments

and hair adornments -- I really like to switch it up and create a variety. Really, the only thing that has had a huge following and longevity in my shop, are my *Fresh Picked Fabric and Felt Flowers* and the *Digital Clip art*.


mhc: Do you follow a work schedule or do you create when the urge strikes? shelly: I so WISH I could follow a schedule! But being a stay-at-home mom comes first, and most days are filled with a semi-routine – nothing is ever set in stone. I am a "create-when-the-urge-strikes-and-thekids-are-tucked-in-bed" kinda gal. That means lots of cramming at naptimes and sewing until the wee hours of the morning. I have 4 spiral notebooks that are scattered around the house --- when an idea strikes, I make sure to jot it down as a future ―to create". Of course, there will always be bigger "to create" lists than time. Can someone please add 8 more hours in a day? mhc: Everything is so happy and bright. The first time I visited your shop I was struck by the lovely digital flower collections. Can you tell us about how that came about? shelly: I originally created the digital art so that I could make holiday cards for family and friends. I started by reproducing my original mixed media art into prints. They started to sell, and then there were many requests for more of a variety and, as they say, the rest is history! mhc: What types of things can you tell us (sellers and buyers) about selling with Etsy?

shelly: I get asked this a lot, and I am super flattered that people think I have some great and magical answers to selling on Etsy, but ... it really has been trial and error for me. I think that the most successful sellers follow these simple "must do's": 

  

must treat your customers like real people: be kind, courteous and professional must be ready to spend a LOT of time and energy in your shop (creating, taking pictures, editing, listing, answering convos, shipping, etc.) must have AWESOME pictures of your listed items must have a variety of items in your shop to appeal to many different buyers must be continually re-inventing yourself and staying up-to-date on the latest and greatest must treat your loyal and repeat customers like GOLD

mhc: I'm totally curious to know what your own house looks like. Can you describe it for us? shelly: Our home looks so formal on the outside: bricks, stone and lots of pavement. BUT, on the inside ... be ready for color, color, color. Almost every room is touched with bright and cheerful tones. We even


turned our formal dining room into a playroom for the kids - and it's the furthest thing from formal now! I love to buy vintage furniture and home dĂŠcor and give it a fresh new look or upcycle things into something fresh and unconventional. I adore turquoise, it is by far my most favorite color ... so there are oodles of turquoise spots in our house. mhc: What are some things that inspire you? shelly: I am really inspired by lots of things ... vintage textiles, the outdoors, books, magazines, online surfing ... my 4 year old. She is a constant source of a sparkling imagination and will often tell me outlandish ideas that really strike a creative cord with me. Sometimes, she loves to *work* right along side me ... and, I love her fresh and innocent view of the world. mhc: Can you share a favorite quote with us?

shelly: I love the quote, "Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep". I even painted this quote on one of my old studio walls. It totally resonates with me because there have been many times that I have wanted to stop making something because of a little "mess up" ... but, I kept going and it always turned out ok. Some of those pieces have even been some of my most favorite! mhc: What are your future plans? And which sites can we find you on, blogs, Pinterest, etc.? shelly: I just want to try to continue to keep Lemon Tree Studio a place where people want to visit and shop. I love, love, LOVE doing what I do. So, I hope to help keep the handmade revolution alive! I do not currently have a blog or participate in any networking sites, but I do have a few boards over at Pinterest (come follow along): http://pinterest.com/shellibelli/.


Special offer for MHC Readers! All digital art in Shelly’s Etsy shop is Buy 2 Get 1 (of equal or lesser value) Free! Simply purchase any 2 clip arts, then enter your choice for the freebie along with the code “MCHREADER” in the notes to seller box at checkout. offer expires February 29, 2012


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lanning an overseas holiday as a single or a couple is easy. Choose a country, list all the places you want to see, factor in lots of lunches, dinners and drinking and then squeeze it all in, some days at a frantic pace. Or other days you can sleep late, spend hours sipping coffee in a Parisian cafe or sit in the sun, the waves gently lapping at your beach bungalow door. Travelling with children is a whole different ball game. Children are not so good at letting you spend hours wandering around an art gallery or at letting you drink half the night away in a new and exciting city. However, it is not all bad, and exploring the world with your little people can make a holiday a truly memorable experience. With some careful planning, you may even get the chance to enjoy it! Plan Your Destination – the 10 hour flight rule:

When we planned our overseas holidays, we started by looking at where we can get within a 10 hour flight time (the „10 hour flight rule‟). We have set this flight time limit while our kids are small (currently 1 and 5 years old) and will extend it as they get older and as I am able to cope with the idea of more time stuck on a plane with them. Although we had wanted to travel to Europe from Australia, we decided that with a 21-month-old, a 9 hour flight to Hong Kong was a much better option than 22 hours of potential terror.


by rachael ashman fritsche of grandy and baa

In Australia we are lucky as our 10 hour flight rule puts a whole lot of Asian countries within easy reach, but sadly it means that Europe and the US donâ€&#x;t make the cut. Asia may not be an easy destination when travelling out of the US, but consider all the amazing options closer to home before setting your heart on a trip to Bhutan. From the East Coast of the US, Europe and North Africa are easy flight times and some wonderful cities fit into the 10 hour rule (New York to Berlin, Germany is about 8 hours). European cities are great for kids, and countries like Spain are set up for little ones with the much loved afternoon siesta perfect for a napping toddler. If you have older children, or are prepared to give it a go with the little ones, of course you can ignore the 10 hour flight rule, go crazy and choose an exotic far off destination.


Personalised Laundry or Storage bags by Kesaia Things – great for packing colouring books, picture books, small toys and snacks for entertaining your kids during flights.

Anyone fancy New York via Sydney to Timbuktu? If you have children in the „danger-zone age‟ (12 months to 3 years), and you are taking a long flight, they may need a break (and most likely so will you). Friends of ours recently flew from Sydney to London, and their 2 ½ year old spent practically all of the 22 hour flight walking the aisles of the plane (with a parent), refusing to sit down unless it was done forcibly at take-off and landing. My friend says it was the worst experience of her life so far. Just something to consider if your heart is set on destination Bhutan… Of course, there are a lot of factors other than flight times to consider when choosing your destination. Are you looking for an adventure

holiday, a resort holiday, a „visiting family and friends‟ holiday or a bit-of-everythingholiday? Grab some brochures of possible destinations and guide books from the library or book store, and get reading. Involve the children in your decisions, weighing up the pros and cons of each destination. Or you can start by checking out current airline sales and let that inform your decision. We recently travelled to Japan after seeing some greatly discounted airfares on sale. Although Japan was already on our list of places to go, being able to save thousands on airfares meant it jumped to the top of the list. Book your Flights – the early bird…:

Making advanced bookings can save you lots of money, so keep an eye out for early bird fares for long distance flights. On the flip side, short haul flights are sometimes heavily discounted closer to the departure dates. When tickets are a great price there can be catches, so make sure you look out for things like the number, and the duration, of stopovers. I have had some bargain flights before that have left me with layovers in multiple cities, blowing a 22 hour journey out to about 40 hours. Twelve hours at Vancouver airport is not a lot of fun with small children in tow…. Booking a slightly more expensive direct flight that does not have multiple stopovers may be a much wiser decision, especially if your children are young.


Make sure you shop around for your flights. Check the big, reputable websites specializing in discount flights, but make sure you check those prices against those advertised on the airline websites – sometimes the airlines are cheaper or they can be if you call them. Also, call travel agents or visit their offices and get quotes from them. Some airlines let you hold seats without paying – a good idea if they are great prices but you just need to check a few more options. Keep in mind that children younger than 2 years old fly free but you do pay all the taxes, so make sure you factor that in as they can be $300-$400 depending on your destination. Consider traveling during non-peak times and the shoulder periods. Travelling during the

Nappy/Diaper Bag by Billy Button Creations – a great sized bag for long flights with plenty of room for all the bits you will need.

Playtime Purse by Pocket Carnival - a lovely purse for your small people to keep their foreign coins. Original Pocket Carnival illustration printed on organic cotton.

summer is generally very expensive (for flights and hotels) so you may want to consider the benefits of travelling in Spring or Autumn (Fall), which weather wise are generally much more pleasant than summer. Of course, winter can be great, too, especially in milder climates. Consider Northern Australia where the day time winter averages are over 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to book a cot if you are travelling with a baby under 12 months (most airlines will not supply a cot if the infant is over 12 months). At peak travel periods, you need to book early if you want one of these seats. You will also want to ensure that babies‟ and children‟s meals are available and noted on your booking, and pack plenty of snacks. We


Zipped Purse with Red Retro Screenprint Design by Podnip – lovely little zip make-up bags that have a million uses when travelling, from keeping foreign change, to first aid kits to holding a little cars and bits for small people.

have requested an infant meal in the past only to be told that they have forgotten. If I had not packed an enormous „picnic‟ our long flight would have become a nightmare with one very hungry toddler. For a long flight (Australia to New York), consider adding a stop-over half way. Our friends that recently flew from Sydney to London with a 3 and a 5 year old stopped over in Hong Kong to give everyone a break. On the return from London to Sydney, they again stopped in Hong Kong, this time giving the kids the much anticipated treat of a visit to Disneyland. If you are very lucky and can swing it, Business Class cabins are generally very

child friendly, although cot facilities may not be available. I must admit that Business Class, with its wide, comfortable seats, is a far more pleasant way to spend 10 hours with a baby on your lap than cramped into the ever shrinking Economy seats. Saving frequent flyer miles and upgrade points and moving into Business Class (First Class in US domestic travel) can really make the journey pleasurable. But if, like us, most of your trips are spent down the back of the plane, don‟t fear – it is not all that bad. Plan your Hotels:

Forward planning here is highly recommended, as this can be an area of huge savings. When choosing a hotel, keep in

Rainy Day Nappy Wallet by Chickadoo Lane – every world travelling baby needs a stylish nappy wallet just like this one! For changes on the go, this compact nappy wallet will fit easily in a handbag or day pack.


gives you an idea of the variety of hotels and what their discounted prices are like. Wotif and other similar sites now allow you to book months in advance. Read some hotel reviews to get a sense of what people are saying, keeping in mind, though, that some reviewwriting addicts are a little crazy. Visit more reputable sites like Lonely Planet or Frommer's for up-to-date reviews of hotels. Vinyl Passport Covers by Sparrow Bee – passport covers for the whole family! Makes it easy to find them in your bag when you are on the move.

mind what you want it for. Is it a resort style holiday? Is it an action-packed get-away where you simply collapse at the end of a long day, or do you plan on spending a lot of time hanging out at the hotel? Make a list of the facilities and services you want in a hotel.

Armed with a short list, including the prices noted on sites like Wotif, I visit the individual hotel websites to see what prices they are quoting. I then contact the hotels directly (most large hotels have an email address and English speaking staff). If you are looking to book a cheaper local hotel, you many need to

Location is important here so make sure you have a good map of the city or town you are visiting. Some hotels may look out of the way, but if they are on top of a subway station, it makes it close to everything. Or if the hotel is right in the middle of the hotel strip, it may not have many dining options other than expensive in-hotel restaurants. When you have narrowed down your requirements, your location and your price range, visit sites like www.wotif.com to see what is on offer at your destination. This

Custom Laptop Bag by Bobishi – a gorgeous laptop bag for taking on the road.


Dachshund Tissue Holder by Edward and Lily – everyone needs tissues and why not take this little friend with you?

arrange this via a hotel booking site or a friend or contact in the country, as you may not find staff that speak English well enough to understand your email or telephone requests.

breakfast and evening canapĂŠs/light supper. Some Club or Executive Lounges do not permit children but the staff will happily assist you in preparing trays of food and drinks to take back to your room. We have found that booking a more expensive Club or Executive Room works out cheaper than the non-Club rooms when you add in the breakfasts, free wireless broadband, health club access and the drinks and snacks at the end of the day. I personally recommend the Intercontinental Hotel group here, as they provide very competitive room rates, excellent service and some have fantastic Club Lounges. This group includes Holiday Inns, Crowne Plaza, and Intercontinental Hotels (visit www.ichotelsgroup.com for more information).

For our recent holiday I contacted a number of 4 and 5 star hotels directly and was offered some excellent discounts, up to 45% off the rack rate and around 25% cheaper than www.wotif.com. Keep in mind that these really good deals are often non-refundable, and you are not able to change the dates. (Your Travel Insurance will be able to assist if your holiday is cancelled or postponed due to a claimable reason.) If you are looking at 4 or 5 star hotels, consider booking a more expensive Club or Executive Room as it generally includes

Coming in our next issue: Part 2: Planning Your Itinerary and Packing


by jen dwyer of puntebella

It just isn’t fall until you have had a crisp cool day with a warm stew waiting for you when you come home at dinnertime. Serve this nutritious dish with cornbread topped with honey butter. For the honey butter, simply place 3 tablespoons of butter in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of honey. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, and stir before serving. Save yourself some time — leave the skin on the red potatoes for extra flavor and nutrients. Serves six. Ingredients:  1 pound stew meat  4 carrots, peeled and chopped  8 red potatoes, cubed  3 green onions, chopped

   

1 cup chopped yellow onions ½ envelop Lipton onion soup mix 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes

Directions: Add all ingredients to Crock Pot and stir well. Heat on high for 6 hours or until meat separates easily with a fork and potatoes are tender.


by jen dwyer of puntebella

Have you discovered no boil lasagna noodles? They are right there on the shelf next to the regular ones. They are not more expensive, they taste just as good (I actually prefer them) and they turn the task of making lasagna into a joy. You just layer and go. No more fussing with boiling water and breaking soggy noodles. This recipe is also lighter than your average lasagna because it calls for ground turkey instead of ground beef and uses low fat cottage cheese instead of ricotta. Add a fresh green salad and some crusty garlic bread to make a weeknight feel like a special occasion. This recipe makes a large 13 x 9 inch pan, but for small families you can divide it into two 8 x 8 inch pans and put one in the freezer or share one with a friend.


Directions: 1. Crumble and brown the ground turkey, cooking completely. 2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 3. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, and half the mozzarella. 4. Spray the bottom of a 13” x 9” baking dish with cooking spray. Spread some sauce in the bottom of the pan. 5.*Place a layer of noodles; you may have to break some so that they fit across the bottom of the pan. Layer half of the cooked turkey and half of the cheese mixture; spread evenly. Add some more sauce and sprinkle some mozzarella. 6. Repeat step 5 from the * for a second layer. Top with a final layer of noodles, the rest of the sauce and sprinkle some mozzarella on top. 5. Spray some foil with cooking spray, and cover the lasagna. Bake for 50 minutes or until bubbly. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Ingredients:       

1 box no boil lasagna noodles 1 pound ground turkey 2 eggs 1 (15 ounce) container low fat cottage cheese 4 cups shredded mozzarella ½ cup grated parmesan 2 jars marinara sauce


by jen dwyer of puntebella

This simple recipe makes the whole house smell so wonderful; it’s perfect for a winter evening at home. Kids will be intrigued by the way it is made. The boiling water mixture is poured over the cake batter and the baked cake comes out on top of the pudding, making for an interesting study in kitchen chemistry. Of course, only adults should handle the boiling water mixture. Make it festive: serve with peppermint or mint chocolate chip ice cream. Makes 8 servings.


Ingredients: 

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups granulated sugar, divided

½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder, divided

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cups milk

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla, divided

1 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 ¾ cups boiling water

Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, ¾ cup granulated sugar, ¼ cup cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Add milk, melted butter and ½ teaspoon vanilla; stir until smooth. Stir in chocolate morsels. Spread evenly in an 8” X 10” baking dish. 3. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ¾ cup granulated sugar and ¼ cup cocoa powder. Gradually stir in boiling water and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla. Carefully pour mixture over batter in the baking dish. 4. Bake for 40 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!


by jen dwyer of puntebella

Steel cut oats have a bit of a nutty taste to them and a wonderful chewy texture, not mushy like instant oatmeal. To achieve this great texture, you start with a coarser grain, so it takes a while to cook. That is why I love this recipe – all the waiting is done while you sleep. Before you go to bed, boil the oats and water, add the apple chunks Ingredients: and let it all soften overnight. The next morning, just reheat and sweeten to taste.  1 cup steel cut oats In this recipe a little protein is added with sharp  3 cups water cheddar cheese, which tastes great with apples and  1 Granny Smith apple, peeled gives even more staying power to this light yet hearty and cubed breakfast.  2 cinnamon sticks  3 tablespoons brown sugar This recipe makes about four servings. It can also be  1 tablespoon honey stored in the fridge for up to three days and divided  Sharp cheddar cheese, sliced or into single servings, heated one at a time. shredded

Directions: Place oats and water in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil. Boil for one minute; remove from heat. Add apples and cinnamon sticks, then cover. Leave to rest overnight. The next morning, remove cover and heat on low, stirring frequently until warm. Add brown sugar and honey, adjusting amounts according to taste. Place in serving bowls and top with a tablespoon of shredded or a couple slices of sharp cheddar cheese.


interview by taci zahl of pish posh style

Sweet sassy style is what you'll find when you take a cyber step into Hailey Bugs Closet. Etsy boutique owner Stacey Mann combines fantastic fabric and professional sewing skills to dress up her cutie-pies and yours! Read on to find out what inspires all the adorableness in her shop, and be prepared to cross a lot of items off your Christmas list! mhc: Hi Stacey, thanks for agreeing to be featured in our Meet Section – we are so happy to have you! Please tell us about yourself. stacey: I am a stay-at-home mom with three amazing kids. I love to sew and cook and occasionally bake, though my baking skills are lacking a bit, and I prefer to make it only if it comes from a box. I have recently moved into


stacey: About 3 years ago my husband lost his job, and with his new position, my boutique spending income went WAY down. My mother-in-law had purchased a beautiful Janome for me several years before that which had been collecting dust. So I went online one day and read tutorial after tutorial on how to make a skirt. I bought some fabric and whipped it up. I saw how happy my little girl was with her skirt and was proud that I had made it for her. Though I was very much afraid of the stigma of ―handmade‖ – when people would ask where she got it and she told them, I blushed. To my surprise women at church began asking if I could make them pillowcase dresses like the ones my daughter was wearing, and I agreed. This helped push me to start advertising on Craigslist and then eventually I moved to Etsy. I was VERY nervous at first to have my items out there, but the response I got was amazing and strangers encouraged me to keep selling. pattern designing as well, which I have found that I really enjoy and has given me the ability to reach out and meet new people. I also dabble in photography, mainly of just my own kids, but I have found it to be quite enjoyable. mhc: How did you start selling?

mhc: Handmade children's clothing and products are so trendy. With so many shops specializing in boutique clothing, is that at all discouraging? And if so, how do you handle that? stacey: I haven’t found it to be discouraging at all to be honest. I have


become online friends with several other boutique owners on Etsy, most of whom sell children’s clothing, and have even begun an online sewing circle with 22 amazing women! We encourage one another and bounce off ideas, as well as talk about home life and raising children and husbands, lol. mhc: Tell us how much time you spend working on items for your business? How do you balance it all? stacey: It really depends on the week. With holidays approaching I will spend a little more time with orders. I probably put about 15-20 hours a week sewing and another 4-6 with promoting, packing, listing items etc. I have 3 kids, one in High School, one who started Kindergarten and one who is home with me, so depending on their schedules and homework, some days I get more done. I try to focus on working when I just have my youngest home, that way when the others get home we can do homework, have meals, read and play together before bed. If I need to work in the evenings my husband will watch the kids so that I can sew.

mhc: I noticed you have been selling patterns for a while now and are also collaborating with other shops. Both are signs of a very busy shop – congrats! What can you tell us about these changes? stacey: I have so many ideas for clothing running around in my head, and when I couldn’t find patterns for some of the things I wanted to make, I sat down and started sketching and checked out some books at my local library....LOVE the library! The first pattern I ever made was for my pillowcase dresses when I first started. I didn’t even know about PDF's back then, and I HATE paper patterns with a passion. I made the decision to sell the patterns when I


fabric, etc. I am a fabric hoarder and decided since a lot of women only need a 1/2 yard of one print and 1/4 yard of something else, that it wasn’t very cost effective for them to order full or half yardage from multiple sellers. So when I purchase my fabric for a certain garment, I buy enough to make 4 to 6 others, and I sell both the finished product and the fabric so people can make it themselves. I began working with a few other shops – several of them liked my pictures and asked if we could do some stuff together. Now I am working with other pattern designers as well by adding some of their stuff to my pictures and adding links to their shop. It has been a great way to meet wonderful sellers out there! mhc: In your words, what are some of the benefits and rewards of sewing for your children? realized I wasn’t going to be able to sew as much as usual with school starting this fall for two children and several other big life changes. This way, other people who wanted to make something in that style could. I also began offering DIY kits. This came about because I would post pictures of finished items, and people would ask where I got the

stacey: My kids help pick out a lot of the fabric I use to make their clothing. I buy it and put it up on my shelf, and when the time comes to whip up something, I let my daughter show me what she likes. It gives me that time with her, and she is always so pleased and happy that she was a part of the process.


I also do embroidery for my kids and they are always so proud to say that their mommy made it for them. I love the idea of being able to make something really special that is just for them and no one else. My daughter has several OOAK dresses that have been made especially for her, and I don’t resell those styles. It is also funny to watch her as she plays ―sewing‖ with her dolls! mhc: You have told me before that you are a fabric hoarder, and with so many amazing fabrics out there, who can blame you? Tell us some of your favorite designers and prints. stacey: Oh, this is tough. There are SO many out there which I just absolutely adore for various reasons. One of my faves is Moda – they typically have a vintage feel to them. For novelty prints, it is hands down Michael Miller. He has so many great prints and also makes some that are great for boys. I also love Henry Glass and Tanya Whelan – anything floral really catches my eye! Oh, and Joel Dewberry – I have been known to purchase his fabric and sit on it, NOT wanting to cut into it. I have been doing that with the Aviary 2 line he came out with earlier this year!

mhc: Do you have a favorite color combination, fabric, trend, etc. that you are really into at the moment?


stacey: I LOVE pink, and right now I am really into anything with pinks, lacey white and pony or zebra print – I like to mix in something a bit fun and funky. I also love red with aqua and find that my fabric stashes have a lot of these colors in them.

I also want to really expand into the DIY and pattern portion of my shop, continue to help the women I have become close with in my sewing circle (who use my patterns and make finished products) with their shops and directing traffic to them.

mhc: Can you talk about some of your upcoming plans, goals, etc. for your shop? stacey: I have several new patterns in the works, one is a skirt using scraps or those adorable charm packs I am always drawn to but since I don’t quilt, I buy them and try to figure out what to do with them later, lol.

I will continue to have finished items in my shop, but just not as many. I am enjoying the creative side of coming out with new designs, and I love seeing what others make with something I started. I am planning on making something simple so that young girls wanting to learn to sew can, with the help of their moms, too. Maybe a little bag or something. I did this with my own oldest daughter, and it was a lot of fun.

Stacey is offering 10% off of your purchase from her Etsy shop! Use coupon code MAGAZINE at checkout to receive the discount. offer expires December 15th, 2011.


Child Development Skill of the Season by julie hartman of petite fish candy than usual, more „sick days‟ than usual... and lots of giving. So, behold, this Crafty Shrink is on a mission – to help parents with simple, easy and fun tips for teaching a child development skill. In this article, let‟s focus on ways to encourage your child to give not a present, but an action... the gift of a good deed. In last year‟s Winter Issue (2010), I wrote about ways to foster the skills of Gratitude in our children. Moved by the lesson, several readers wrote heartfelt emails, offering words of gratitude in return. I sought to honor another inspiring skill that correlated with the season of giving. kindness matters hand painted wooden block by beth’s craft room Well, last week, my family enjoyed a brief trip to Lake Tahoe, nestled in the High reetings to my favorite mug of hot Sierras. Patches of snow had already formed, cocoa! I‟m dusting off my woolly hat and that sweet smell of pine was in the air. In our preparing for chapped lips. As the days get hotel room, my toddler was boorishly shorter and the temperatures drop lower, we insisting that he have the Tyrannosaurus Rex are reminded that „tis the season for more that my nephew, Lars, was coveting.

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So, let‟s get started on a crafty way to teach good deeds to our kids this season. Examples of common good deeds that children do:      cuff bracelet by crow steals fire

My sister and I could foresee the meltdowns, when all of a sudden, Lars gave it to my son... and smiled. My sister announced proudly, “Lars, you did a Mitzvah!” After seeing the sense of pride in my nephew, I inquired about such a curious word. Without knowing much about the cultural roots per se, the Hebrew word Mitzvah means „good deed‟. And the topic for this year‟s Winter issue was born! What is a good deed? A good deed is a form of giving. The gift is an action as opposed to an object. And a good deed is unique because the giver experiences an instant gift in return – a sense of pride, satisfaction and community. Ranging from the good deed of sharing your toys to volunteering at a homeless shelter, mitzvahs are free, timeless and can be done by anyone.

   

Share toys Offer a bite of their food Hold the door open when your arms are full Offer a hug when someone is upset Pick up your hat when it falls to the ground Make you laugh Put away toys, even when they don‟t want to Say sorry Trade crayons because a friend wanted a different color

scatter kindness wall decal by vinyl phrase craze


How to teach the skill of good deeds: This activity is borrowed from Lars‟ preschool. I am embellishing it with my own spin. Consider engaging all members of the household to create a Good Deed Chain. Materials: Paper & Pen Stickers Tape Large bowl (or equivalent container) To facilitate the activity, catch the first few good deeds your child does naturally. For instance, let‟s pretend your child just gave you a hug. Make a big deal about it by remarking, “You just did a good deed.” After a while, ask, “What do you think is a good deed?” Depending on your child‟s age, he or she may be able to guess, but either way, define it for them. “A good deed is doing something nice. It makes you feel good when you do it. It is like giving a present with something you DO for someone else.” Then, recall the few good deeds your child just did and ask, “Did it make you feel good to do it? That was a good deed.” Next, tell your child that every time a family member does a good deed, you are going to

write it on a piece of paper and put it in a bowl. At the end of the day, you will link each piece of paper together and make a chain. You will then hang that chain up on the wall to show all the good deeds everyone has done. The chain also shows how one good deed creates more good deeds (a symbolic representation).


learn and practice being an entrepreneur. Suggest a model that is similar to a walk-athon fundraiser at school in which participants raise money by collecting donations for walking a predetermined distance or course. Your youngster can solicit „pledges‟ from loved ones and donate his or her earnings toward a family outing, such as pizza night or the movies. For example, Aunt Lisa might offer $5 for 10 good deeds while Nana might offer $10 for an additional 20 good For ages 4 - 11: You can also make deeds. This goal can it a bit of a family be achieved in a competition. One day. A „fundraiser‟ day the chain may model will require be 14 links (which your child to be kindness begins with me print by the staker store is 14 good deeds), assertive, creative in like the one initiating fresh good pictured here. The next day, aim to „out-do‟ deeds, as well as a sense of pride for raising yourselves and make 20 links. money through actions that feel satisfying to do. For more sophisticated teenagers, suggest that his or her earnings go into a savings For Adolescents: Consider adding an opportunity for them to account for college. Crafty Shrink Variations: For ages 2 - 4: Keep it simple. Developmentally, it can be difficult for this age group to think outside of themselves for very long. They are more in the egocentric cognitive stage. So give „credit‟ to even the smallest things, like giving the dog a treat (which you supply) or putting the pillow back on the couch (that he or she just threw on the floor).


This season, as we huddle inside the warm indoors, celebrate the warmth generated from random acts of kindness. The act of mitzvah will bring much cheer. 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.

mixed media print by june pfaff daley


T

he cold air whipped through my face as my scarf blew up from the puff of wind mixed with rain. Hugging myself, I squeezed my arms around my shoulders, breathing in the cold air around me. I could feel the tips of my fingers starting to pinch like tiny needles pricking my skin. My eyelids, heavy, barely blink as I try to look happy forcing yet another smile that seems frozen to my face. Ok, so this does not paint a warm and fuzzy picture yet. However, I know without a doubt that what we are doing will make a difference to other families in need. Every Christmas, through our Church, our family takes turns in supporting our community by ringing the bell and collecting donations for the Salvation Army. Each year we try to see if we can collect more than the last. Although we are only out in the cold for 20 to 30 minutes (we live in the North West), we are certain to feel the discomforts of the elements of winter. “I wonder how it would feel to live out here every day”, my son said. “That is a good question”, I replied. “I think it would be hard

by tanja d’lyn of inspiring design studio

and cold and not at all very fun,” I said as I smiled and looked at him. I took a deep breath, gathered my children around the bell, and prayed for the families living on the street in the cold. Wiping my face and rubbing my hands together in the warmth of my mittens a smile arose from my face, more real now than before – it had a glow of appreciation and shined a little brighter. „My family got it!‟, I thought to myself. And it inspired me and reminded me of why we truly were here. The purpose of understanding human needs – giving each other support and help. Not for beating our last year‟s fund total. It is a funny thing when you realize that what you have is pretty good. Maybe standing in the cold winter weather is tough to do for 30 minutes, but, it will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy all over knowing you helped someone in need. Building true warm fuzzies in your family‟s heart will be the best gift received this year.


This year instead of the all too often hectic, ―Bah Humbug‖, and stress filled celebrations, find ways to reach out to others, create fun projects at home, and learn to live within your means. Whether your family has been hit by the economic hard times or not, many others have, and it is time to gather together and share the true meaning of ―Holiday Giving‖ and being thankful for what we have. Sharing a ―living green‖ lifestyle with others is as simple as sharing our green! Here are some creative ways to share the spirit of holiday with your neighborhood or community. Participate with your family in community service:  Bake cookies for a retired home in your area.  Ring the Bell as a family for The Salvation Army.  Donate food to your local food bank.  Make stockings and fill them with candy and fruit for a local family shelter  Invite a neighbor or family in need to dinner or church.  Collect blankets and jackets from your local area and participate with a local church, school or shelter to share these with families living on the street. Create a budget for spending on holiday gifts:  Make your holiday cards this year.  Sew and create and bake home made gifts.  Write a story or poem or music to share with others.  Buy used gifts instead of new. I found a wonderful drum set for my son last year through our local church.  Trade services or barter for things you might need for the holiday.  Buy or make gifts that are creatively up-cycled and totally green.


into If your favorite Christmas sweater has outlived its life as a garment, let it live on as home dĂŠcor! Your sweaters of Christmas past can become pillow covers for Christmas yet to come with this easy tutorial.

by tanja d’lyn of inspiring design studio


Materials:  old Christmas sweaters  iron-on interfacing  thread  ½ yard of coordinating fabric (for the back of pillow cover) Directions: Step 1: Cut a 17-inch square from the sweater front.

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Step 2: Cut a 17-inch square of the interfacing, and iron onto the back of the sweater piece. Step 3: Cut out two 17-inch by 10-inch pieces from the coordinating fabric. Step 4: Fold over and stitch a ¼ inch hem along the edge of both back pieces where they will overlap.

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Step 5: Pin the back pieces to the sweater piece, right sides facing. Your hemmed edges of the back pieces should be overlapping in the center. Step 6: Stitch around all 4 sides with a ½ inch seam allowance. Turn inside out and insert your pillow form.

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by tanja d’lyn of inspiring design studio

Anyone who has children, and lives in a snowy climate, knows that there are always lost mittens. No matter how careful you are, and how much you try to keep the pairs together, inevitably, you end up with a box full of random single mittens. But don’t throw those mittens out...upcycle them into these fun snowman ornaments!


Basic Supplies:  single mitten  fiberfill  thread  hot glue or fabric glue Supplies to decorate your snowman, choose any you like:  rickrack  ribbon  cording  scrap fabric  buttons  beads  craft googley eyes  puffy paint

Directions: Step 1: Cut a 5” length of ribbon, rickrack, or cording. Form into a loop and sew to top of mitten. TIP: turn mitten inside out and cut a tiny opening at top, then insert ribbon loop into the opening and sew it down. Step 2: Using buttons, googley eyes, puffy paint, etc., decorate your snowman or monster-doll, as you like, to create a unique ornament. Step 3: Tuck the thumb inside, then stuff the mitten with fiberfill. Sew the bottom opening closed. Step 4: Tie a ribbon scarf around the middle of your snowman (tightly to create two sections), then stitch or glue down to secure. TIP: you can use a rubber band to cinch in the middle, then tie the scarf on over the rubber band. Now hang your snowman (on the tree, on a door, etc) and enjoy!

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Winter 2011 Issue  

Winter 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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