EtsyKids Design Challenge: We have a Winner!

Posted Saturday, August 28, 2010

Congratulations to the winner of this month's challenge 2. Paisley by georgiablue!

Georgia Blue is an elegant store filled with adorable hair accessories for little girls. Frayed fabric rosettes, classy headbands, clips and bows in delightful selection of patterns and colors, all hand made by a talented stay at home mother of four. Check it out here!

EtsyKids Design Challenge: It's time to VOTE!

Posted Saturday, August 21, 2010

It's time to vote for your favorite item! Voting will be open through midnight EST on Friday, August 27th. This month, EtsyKids members were challenged to create an exciting new item based on a theme "Paisley". We received a lot of fantastic entries from some talented designers and crafters. Each designer was assigned a unique random number. Please note your favorite from the list below and place your vote. You can also view each entry in detail by clicking on links provided at the bottom of this post or HERE.

(If you can't view the voting poll above, please follow HERE to vote.)

1. Halter Summer Dress Size 4T in Blue and Cream by MacyJs
2. Paisley by georgiablue
3. Toddler Jumper Set - Pure Paisley - Size 18-24 Months by JoyfullySewnDesigns
4. Pink paisley fabric wall flower by leilasflowergarden
5. PAISLEY Fabric Organizer Basket Bin Reversible by ladesigns2
6. Paisley and polka dots bag by Dottymonkey
7. Courduroy Owl T-shirt by thesassyseamstress
8. Reusable Snack Bag (Paisley) by fabricblooms
9. I Can Rock Paisley Custom Onesie or Tshirt by ccangel331
11. Pink Paisley Girls Boutique Style Pillowcase Dress 6mos to 4T by HotLavaClothing
13. ST. CROIX Twirl Skirt for Toddlers and Girls by babe-a-gogo by babeagogo
14. Pink Paisley Tunic Dress, Fully Lined, Size 3 by HotFudge
15. Paisley Vintage Pillowcase Dress, Size 4 - RissaBella by Rissabella
16. Aqua Blue Seersucker Whale Baby Gift Set by CottageOnTheCoast
17. Mermaid Paper Doll 11 - Patterned Petals and Paisleys by rockpapertekla
18. Paisley Pineapple Perfection - Organic Cotton T Shirt by BoutiqueLuckyStars
19. Paisley Tie s/s Gerber Onesie - 12 months by bellassweetboutique
21. Lily Pond Dress by fluffygirlboutique
22. Summer and Red Bandana Bean Bag / Lavender Sachet by prettydreamer
23. Laney's Emergency Hat - Purple Paisley by TawnyBee
24. Trick or Treat Bag- Haunted House by TheSewingLoft
25. CSL Boutique Lil Derby Girl in Paisley Pink OOAK Size 2/3 by CandyStickLane
26. Princess Godiva Ruffle Fascinator Headband Set - Handmade Flower by FruitsOFtheBLooM
27. Butterflies- Neat 'n Tidy Playmat Bag... NO DRAWSTRING CONCERNS by Design4Generations
28. BRAND NEW PATTERN.....Headband Holder by megisenberg
29. EARTH Colors PAISLEY DOTS Cream Blue BOUTIQUE Custom Pillowcase Dress by lilsweetieboutique
30. Beautiful Butterfly Buga Buga Shoes (0-12 months) by bugabugaboutique
31. Pink and Brown Paisley Print Halter Top and Capri Pants - 2 Toddler by BabySewPretty
32. Savannah White Outfit ONE MORE LEFT OOAK 2T/3T by lillollipop

Making Fairy Houses

Posted Friday, August 20, 2010

Whether on the outskirts of woods or deep in the woods, under a lone bush or the only tree in your yard, every Fairy needs a home!

I began making fairy houses a few years ago after my girls began attending a near by Montessori school. In the pine grove, the children were encouraged to use fallen twigs and branches, leaves and bark to make little fairy houses up against the base of the nearby trees during their outside playtime. I would get a tour at the end of the day at pick up time and thought they were the cutest things. We've been making them ever since.

Recently I took my family up to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay Harbor, where they have a special area designated for making your very own Fairy House. I took quite a few pictures of the ones we made and some others to give you some inspiration! Before you begin, there are some rules about these Fairy Houses I'd like to share, especially if you'd really like a fairy to live inside yours.

First - anything you use can't be living. You can use bark, leaves, pine needles, pine cones, broken branches, acorn tops, etc. only if it has already fallen off a tree. Moss or Lichen should not be used if it's still green and still thriving. Once it's fallen off and dried up, it is considered "non-living" then it's ok to use! Second, you can't use anything that you wouldn't normally find in the woods. No plastic, metal, rubber, paper, etc. (the only exception here being - you can also use feathers and shells and that sort of thing - because they are non-living and biodegradable). Third (and most important) don't go into the woods alone or even with an adult if you suspect there is poison ivy, poison sumac or poison oak - because that's just no fun at all!

Other than those 3 rules - there are no rules! You can make it big or small. You can make one house or an entire village. It can take on any shape, a teepee, barn, cottage, mansion, you name it, you can make it!

Now all you have to do is gather your supplies, find just the right spot to build, and invite the fairies to move in. Here are some photos to give you some ideas to get you started:

For your reading pleasure check out Tracy Kane's Fairy Houses book from your nearby library. It will bring the magic of your Fairy House into your heart! Have fun!

today's post by:
Kerry - Kid Giddy

Tags and Twine - Tutorial with free download!

Posted Monday, August 16, 2010

Have you noticed that presentation, the all important finishing touches, can take the plain and turn them into something so much more than plain. These finishing touches aren't big and expensive, all too often they are simple things we have on hand that when thought of, used, can turn a simple house plant, a candy bar, a plate of cookies, into a gift that is so much more than a thoughtful gesture ... a basket, a ribbon, a little tissue paper, cellophane, or a simple piece of twine and a tag. It's just a matter of taking the extra minute or two to do it.

Grace Hester of gracehesterdesigns has a knack for presentation. One look at her Etsy shop and a quick pa-rouse of her blog and you know, nothing leaves her hands without it looking like it stepped away from a photo shoot.

Grace recently created some beautiful tags for a friend and is now sharing them with us on her blog so we can make our own set to dress up our brown paper packages! Thankfully she's also provided a quick how-to to insure our tags look as crisp and professional as her's do.

You can find the tutorial and the freebie download on her blog, here. See the lovely teal and white bakers twine - that little something extra that makes those little tags sing? Well she's even got a little giveaway going on ('til Wednesday 8/18/10) for some, so be sure to check that out as well!

Thanks to Grace for granting us permission to use her photographs and share these tags with you.

Have Serger will Travel....well, Will Ruffle anyway

Posted Saturday, August 14, 2010

OK - so the buck stops here!
Here's where Renee tells EVERYONE how to gather in ONE (not 10) steps if you have serger. Set your 1st thread to the highest number (tightest tension). That's it! Nothing else - you DO NOT have to change another thing. With that one adjustment you get ruffles that gather the fabric 3x's smaller than the fabric length. The example in the pic was 37" long and the finished piece was 12". took me 2 minutes. You can use this technique to make pettiskirts, gathered skirts, ruffles and fancy trims for projects - you name it - you CAN do it! If you want less of a ruffle just drop the tension down a notch or two...experiment and see what you need! Quick and Easy! If you need help drop me a line!!!

EtsyKids Design Challenge for August: Paisley

Each month EtsyKids Team members are challenged to create a unique item within a chosen theme. This month's challenge, "Paisley", was picked by last month's winner fluffygirlboutique. EtsyKids members will have until August 19th to submit their entries, and voting will be open to everybody from Saturday, August 21st to Friday, August 27th. So, be sure to come back to the EtsyKids blog for a new post on the 21st to see all of the entries and VOTE! In the meantime, please click here to get a sneak peek at some exciting entries so far!

Refresher Course...

Posted Saturday, August 07, 2010

This weekend is a magazine weekend for me...I have tons to catch up on. While reading Parents, I came across a quick reference guide for fixing boo boos - I thought it appropriate to share with the onset of back to school and all :)

Cut or Scrape:: If there's bleeding, apply pressure to the site until the bleeding stops. Then clean it under luke warm water and gently pat dry. Bandage if needed.

Burn:: Immediately hold under cool running water or apply a cold, wet towel until the pain subsides. Cover any small blisters with a loose bandage or gauze and tape. Call a doctor as soon as possible if burns are on the face, hands or genitals or it they're larger than a quarter inch.

Nosebleed:: Have your child sit upright, but don't tilt their head back. Loosen any tight clothing around the neck. Pinch the lower end of the nose close to the nostrils and have them lean forward while you apply pressure for five to ten minutes.

Splinter or Glass:: Use soap and water to wash around the splinter. Take clean tweezers and remove. When a splinter is hard to remove - leave it alone for a day or two and see if it comes out on its own. If your child steps on a piece of glass that isn't a single shard you can easily remove...gently wrap with a clean cloth and head to the ER. Even the smallest shards can lead to infection if not removed.

Eye Trauma:: If your child has severe pain, constant tearing, light sensitivity or blurry vision after being poked or hit in the eye - hold a cold wet cloth over it and head to the ER, they may have scratched the eye's surface and will need to be treated.

Bite or Sting:: If the stinger is still in - scrape with your nail or credit card to remove. Tweezers can squeeze more venom into the skin. If your child has trouble breathing, is coughing or develops a hoarse voice, hives or swollen lips or tongue - call 911.

Indoor Water Fun for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Posted Thursday, August 05, 2010

Have you seen the water tables some preschools have? It's basically a table with a deep basin they can fill with water, sand, oatmeal or an assortment of beans to serve as a tactile station. At every station like this, kids typically have to be pried away and told to do something else, or they get squeeze out by other kids who want to play too.

I participate in a little mom's preschool co-op for my three year-old. On the day I talked about rain, snow, wind and water, our free play activity was my own "mom" version of a water table. Because the outside weather wasn't conducive to outdoor water fun, our fun had to be inside. Whether your looking for inside fun because the heat index is over 100, or it's pouring rain, or their is a foot of snow outside, tuck this little activity away to keep your little ones active and engaged.

I used two under bed storage bins, filled them 1/3 full with warm tap water, had a plastic watering can for each child, plastic cups in different sizes and measuring cups. If your kitchen isn't fully tiled like mine, consider setting this up in another location with a tile, cement or linoleum floor that can withstand getting wet. Even the garage would work in some climates. Just be sure you choose a safe location and monitor the amount of water on the floor so children can safely move around without getting hurt.

Since I was doing this a preschool activity, I needed the kids to make it home somewhat dry, I used plastic store bags to make 'smocks' for each of them. I flattened out the bag and cut out a shallow C shape from the middle of the bottom 'seam' of the bag to make an neck opening. Leave 3 inches of the seam on both ends, these will be the shoulders of the smock. Next cut open both sides of the plastic bag all the way to the bottom seam. Snip the handles apart to create ties. This should resemble something like a scrimmage jersey.

Slip their head through the opening in the bottom of the bag, and tie the handles securely at their hips.

If you're doing this at home with your own kids, swimming suits would make it extra fun, especially in winter!

Keep a stack of towels on hand, because try as they might, water will get on the floor and you'll want to wipe it up periodically so your feet don't get cold and wet and to keep it safe for them.

These kids played with this set up for a 30-45 minutes, with no sign of getting bored.

To do this activity outside, prop the storage bins up on buckets or set up two folding chairs facing each other, using the seats to set the water bin on, making it accessible from both sides and would allow up to four kids to participate.

* * This activity requires constant adult supervision! Do not ever leave a child playing with water unattended. A child can easily drowned in just a few inches of water.

Another HOORAY!

Posted Sunday, August 01, 2010

Be the first to read the Autumn Edition of Modern Handmade Child ~ day over for me, I love it!

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