May 2014 archive

Foto-Finish Friday: Photo Lacing Cards

| Everyday Crafts

skunk boy lacing cards

When I was working on Project Kid, lacing cards were on the list of things to make. I had a binder where each page was a separate project. I would stare at the blank page titled LACING CARDS in the Playtime chapter and just couldn’t figure out a new way to craft them. So I kindly abandoned those for projects that I felt more confident about.

kid lacing cardsAnd then I saw these photo lacing cards from Skunk Boy, and now I see what I was actually going for. Cute. Modern. Different. I adore the idea of lacing a heart around someone you love, punching holes to create an initial, or making eyeglasses. A bow in the hair could be a cute one too!

Head over to Skunk Boy for the full tutorial! [Project found via Whimsey Box.]

I’m testing out some regular column ideas, and I’m thinking of featuring a photo craft every Friday. I like that photo-finish + Friday = the last day of the week.  The alliteration is nice too. And photo crafts are big-time fun. 

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Cutest Stencil Kits Ever

| Decor, DIY Home, Everyday Crafts, Gifts


I fell in love with the work of Yellow Owl Workshop about four years ago when Christine Schmidt, the creative genius behind the line, crafted this printmaking Valentine story for me at Parents Magazine. I had learned about her through a Potter Craft event when her first book, Print Workshop, was being released. I follow her on every platform possible because I’m kinda obsessed with everything she does. (If you don’t already follow her on Instagram, you should start. Right now. She’s not just crafty, but she’s clever too. Plus she has a super-cute kid.)

yellow-owl-workshop-stencilsStamps sets? Love em. Pendants? Canning jar charm, please. And now the tea towel and tote bag stencil kits. There are three designs to choose from: Cat Love, Sweet, and Market. Once you’ve decorated the goods, you can take to the WALLS! Or greeting cards, T-shirts, wrapping paper…your options are endless, folks.

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This Mom Wants … A Love Note in a Tiny Package

| Everyday Crafts, Gifts, Holidays, Mother's Day

Good things come in small packages. It’s the small things. Size doesn’t matter. All very true sayings, and all apply to gifts from your kids for Mother’s Day. In fact, the smaller the better if you ask me—there’s no room in this house of ours for any more stuff!

small mother's day gift packages

My kids are still of pre-letter-writing age, but I know that when they can write, I will always and forever be thrilled with a love letter from them above and beyond an I Heart Mom pendant. Plus if they craft the gift box, major bonus points.

1 A walnut shell? Is there any more of an unexpected gift box ever? Made by Girl. Inspired.

2 These little Altoid suitcases are actually from my book, Project Kid.

3 I can always find an occasion for felt fortune cookies (I made a version of these in the book too). These happen to be from one of my favorite store’s blog, Land of Nod. (Well, the blog is called Honest to Nod.)

4 Match boxes are already perfectly suited as the tiny gift box of the century. I love how Bare Wunderbar decorated these.

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This Mom Wants … Bracelets That Are DIY’ed but Look Store-Bought

| Everyday Crafts, Gifts, Jewelry and Fashion, Mother's Day

diy bracelets that look store boughtI constantly peruse fashion jewelry online and in stores and say “I’m not going to buy that because I can make it.” I’ve been saying it for years, but how many pieces of jewelry do you think I’ve made for myself? Yep. Zero.

Bracelets are my accessory of choice lately (mine and my 2-year-old daughter’s), so I thought I’d give my husband some hints as to what he, Oliver, and Sommer can craft for me this week in their spare time.

1 I’ve always loved the nautical rope bracelet, and Love Meagan shows us how to give it an ombre makeover.

2 Honestly WTF is the frontrunner in homemade jewelry that doesn’t actually look it. I thought these woven chain bracelets were easy enough for Michael and the kids to tackle. (I’m so subtle.)

3 The easiest of the bunch, these bracelets are made from wooden craft sticks and scrapbook paper. If you soak the sticks in water and then curve them in a glass, they can bend like rubber. Anticipation Cards shows you everything you need. (Michael, the popsicle sticks are in the top right corner of the cabinet by the door.)

4 We can’t talk about homemade jewelry and forget the ever-popular bead! Playful Learning shows you how to string the beads on colorful stretch cord. Love this because they are big enough for little hands to handle.

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This Mom Wants … A Clever Family Portait

| DIY Home, Everyday Crafts, Gifts, Holidays, Mother's Day

creative family portrait gifts

I’m on a mission this Mother’s Day. I want to steer all gift givers—husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, children—to what we, as moms, really want for Mother’s Day. I’d never scoff at flowers, breakfast in bed, or a massage, but I love the idea of getting something that is specific to my family, but shakes up the traditional family photo a bit.

Check out these 4 very creative ways to commemorate your family as they are now. (For the procrastinators reading this 6 days before Mother’s Day, you’ll have to give mom an IOU if you want most of these by Sunday.)

1 Dandelyne will create a custom-embroidered family portrait of your family either in an embroidery hoop or on a pendant.

2 Last year, I commissioned Alessandra Olanow to illustrate a portrait of my family. It hangs in our foyer—one of the first things people see when they enter our apartment.

3 Get a little crafty and make your family portrait out of perler beads (you can now buy them on!). Found via Sweet Potatoes.

4 How cute would these little wooden people look sitting on a bookshelf or windowsill? Zime will hand-paint them to match your family.

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A Doll You Can Feel Good About

| Everyday Crafts, Toys

lottie doll superhero drawings

When I really start to think about Barbie, her impossible proportions, and her obsession with beauty, I’m quite disturbed. As I’m scrolling through the selection of shows with my kids on Netflix and they see the Barbie icon, I always hear “that one, that one.” And I’m talking about a 3.5 year old boy and a 2 year old girl. The first time they asked for it, I thought it was cute so I said okay. And then I watched the thing. The entire episode was about flirting and shopping and bragging and over-consumption in general. In that moment, I actually felt I’d rather let Oliver watch Transformers (which he’s been dying to watch) over this.

And then yesterday I saw this awesome contest for the Lottie doll on Cool Mom Picks. As CMP put it, Lottie is all about girls being girls and having a positive body image. She looks like a girl, bends like a girl, is a great size for little hands, and can stand on her own two feet — a pretty useful function. No stilettos for her.


And here’s why we over at Project Kid got excited…the makers of the doll are having a contest for Lottie’s superhero outfit, and they are calling for submissions from kids 10 and under to design this costume. Check out the app on the Lottie Facebook page for instructions. How cool would it be for your child’s design to get manufactured for Lottie dolls everywhere? It’s like Project (Mini) Runway. I love the drawings at the top that I found on Facebook.

You only have until May 7th, so download the template and design away!

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Craft-astic Project Kid Weekend in Atlanta!

| Everyday Crafts

CBS46 News

It was a whirlwind 3 days, but totally worth it! I travelled (with husband and 2 kids in tow) to our hometown of Atlanta, GA for 3 Project Kid craft events and book signings. Along with that came 2 local morning shows where I got to show off some crafts from the book! On Better Mornings, I made the Bottle Rocket craft from the cover of the book with Jennifer Valez, and on Atlanta & Co, Christine Pullara and I made the paper flowers that I crafted with the kids at the local venues.

Here are some pics of the cute kids making flowers all over the metro Atlanta area. Many thanks to Little Shop of Stories, Seed Factory, and the Children’s Museum of Atlanta for hosting me and supporting the book!

seed-factory-atlanta-project-kidWhen I first told the publicity team at Artisan about Seed Factory, they said their website looked like a page from my book. A bigger compliment could not have been paid. Rachel styles that store like nobody’s business, and I spent 2 of the most relaxing hours greeting, crafting, signing, and visiting with old and new friends.

childrens-museum-atlanta-project-kidAfter seeing the amazingly creative facility at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta, I couldn’t imagine that any kid would stop whatever awesome activity they were doing to come and craft. But we had a nice little crowd over at the red tables, making flowers on a rainy Sunday afternoon.


Picture this…Friday afternoon, 75 degrees, sunny, 4:30pm at a bookstore. Sleepytown you might think? But no! Little Shop of Stories brought a packed house of young crafters to make flowers as a pre-weekend treat. The books sold like hotcakes! One of the employees of the store spent quite a bit of time making a crafty window display from the book. I was super-impressed (and glad to see that my directions were clear!).


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