7/10/11

Fairy Garden Clips




I recently whipped up these cute hairclips based on some doodles which my Little Berry drew of our fairy garden (a large flower pot loaded with moss, feathery carrot tops, blossoms, rocks, found items,bird feathers, etc)
You can find the clips in my Etsy shop. What sorts of ways do you find to bring your children's artwork to life?


4/8/11

Beaufulah Giveaway


If you like my ridiculously cute reversible kids clothes, then you'll love this super easy-to-enter giveaway that Kitchenwitch is hosting this week: $20 worth of credit to my Etsy shop for one winner. That's a skirt or pair of shorts of your chosing! This giveaway is just in time for spring.
Hop over and enter!

3/22/11

Play with your food!


I know, it does seem contrary. But we've always allowed Little Berry to make her own food choices, and as an almost three year old, I can tell you it has payed off. If she's hungry, she tells us what she wants. If it's mealtime, we serve whatever we are having, and she eats what she wants, (and this girl EATS). So, today while I was cooking her some corn and prepping dinner, she was finger painting, I handed her a piece of corn cobb to play with and this is what she did with it.

It was genuinely one of the best times she's had in ages.


The mushroom was definitely her favorite, and the carrot she used like a pencil or to roll. I love the prints that resulted and would love to do something like a piece of paper pizza, print on tee shirts or cards for friends. They're fun and pretty, too.

It doesn't hurt that it kept her busy for a full thirty minutes while I prepped dinner, either :)




What veggies would your kids enjoy painting with?

*no vegetables were harmed in the making of this blog post. **by harmed I mean we didn't eat them after they were covered in paint.

3/20/11

little boxlings



So you've no doubt heard of the cuteness that is seed bombs, but this is for those of us with a wee bit more patience and some recycling on our hands. I find that these are a bit more gratifying to receive but much less inconspicuous to plant.

You will need:
plant seeds- I chose carrot, bell pepper and wildflower seeds.
a paper bag or newspaper or just old office paper for folding
Dirt, water& a sunny spot

I used a Trader Joe's paper bag because it was handy and because they say "recycle this bag!"

The bag will compost eventually when you drop your little seedling off in the wild wild world, or when you carefully transplant it into your garden space.

Step one: make a box. You will need a square of paper about 4.5x4.5inches.
It doesn't need to be perfect because you're just filling it with dirt :)


Fold your square in half each way, then unfold and fold in half the other way.

Repeat this diagonally. It will look like this:

Then, Fold the corners in to the center so they touch, unfold.

Fold the tips of the corners in this way:

and now fold each edge into itself and across diagonally:

unfold again, and then repeat all the way around of course.
Next, unfold completely, find a corner, point it away from you, and label it with what seeds you will be planting, like this:
(be as fancy as you like!)

Now fold two corners in towards the center,

Fold up their edges,

and then fold the ends up to close!

Finish the other side
(yay! a box!)
fill with dirt,sprinkle seeds in, water gently and set in a nice sunny spot until you're ready to drop it off somewhere lovely...and repeat!


These would make sweet gifts for your small friends, neighbors, or left in a pretty line at the park

3/15/11

Easy Peasy Kid-Friendly Marbling

One of my favorite things to do with little berry is get creative. From day-to-day this takes on different meanings, but today it was a simple water and coconut oil marbling craft.
I've done this before with baby oil but I don't own that anymore so coconut oil is what I used. You will need:
Paint (we used watercolors, which were very light and food coloring which gave darker colors but less variations)


*Oil (again, we used coconut oil which I melted to a liquid)
*a pan you don't mind getting oily (filled a third full of cool water)
*Paper scraps or pretty paper for making cards and tags
*a place to put your finished papers on to dry
*and of course, an energetic and joyful toddler.

To make pretty paper like ours, fill your pan a third full of cool water. Add a few drops of your oil and allow it to spread out and ball up across the water.


Then add about a teaspoon of different paints and shake the pan slightly so the oil separates and begins to roll through the paint across the pan.


Next, dip a piece of paper in the mixture and let it settle beneath the oil so the paint sticks around the spaces where the oil didn't hit, like this:



Then, lift, allow to drip a little, and place on a plate to dry.



VĂ³ila! You've made marbled paper.



Enjoy, and please make sure your whirlychild is wearing art project friendly clothes :)

3/14/11

Nature home



Around the time of the winter solstice this year, I began a small nature space inside for little berry to enjoy. It was very small at first, a few pebbles, a leaf. Now that spring has slipped around to our part of the world, we are outside more and therefore when we are inside, we tend to bring the outdoors with us.

Besides the nearly constant open doors that allow the outside and inside to merge, we have a beautiful little collection of touch-and-feel nature items where little berry can stop&touch, pat, smell, admire, be creative and even sometimes, sing.


I was hesitant at first because I assumed it would be pretty messy, but I've enjoyed it. It tend to calm her down when she's acting wired or anxious and has her looking at her world closet when we're out and about, thinking about things that she can bring to the little space.


I also love that it tends to present an opportunity to learn about seasons, animals, plants, insects and weather all at once. We're also not a religious family so our table conversation is always science-based, but nature is a very important part of our life and lifestyle.




Does your family do a nature table? What items generally find their way inside in your little one's scrunched up fist or pockets?

2/25/11

Tales of a superhero kitty (raccoon) rescuer

Yesterday as Little Berry and I were heading out the door with the dog to take an early afternoon run, I saw a small shadow move under the door of our neighbor’s apartment. I *felt* something-someone? There, and at the same time I hadn’t seen our neighbor come home nor did I hear footsteps as I was listening. I made a big noisy show of locking the apartment (alright Little berry! I’ve got the keys here and let me lock the deadbolt so we can go!!) up tightly in case it was an intruder and then I took off, because I’m chicken brave like that.

As soon as I started jogging though, I realized it was just their cat. I’ve noticed kitty litter boxes stacked outside their door with their recycling a few weeks now and it made purrfect sense. I think she adopted a cat around Christmas. So in the end my fear of the axe bearing intruder was pretty far off.
But the whole thing reminded me of this time when I was a kid, probably about ten, when I thought I saw a cat in a tree on our property one early evening and set out to ‘rescue’ the thing. I grabbed a length of nylon rope and my pet hero rescuer face, and started up the tree. I was a great tree climber, but, come on, it was a big tree, and I wasn’t really as brave as I looked; so by about the time I realized It was a BLOODY RACCOON not a cat, I also realized I was BLOODY STUCK.

Of course, I was not only freaking out about it being a RACCOON I was also now panicking because I was stuck, and too proud to call for help because, let’s face it, that would be quite embarrassing. So I tried to tie the rope off on a branch so I could lower myself down, fashionably at least, but mostly I just used the rope to wave violently at the poor, shivering raccoon and warn it that I was not only ten, but I had fierce extendable wavy rope! So don’t jump on my please, BLOODY RACCOON.
Mostly I just fell out of the tree. There was very little lowering of myself down and pretty much zero fashionable about it, but at the end of the day there was no BLOODY RACCOON attacking me and so I was pretty pleased with my determination to live dangerously and bonus, I got to wear my pet hero rescuer face for an hour. Of course another bonus was a dozen bruises and not being able to ride my bike for a week.

My mom (hi mom!) asked for months why there was rope tied in that tree, but everyone denied having anything to do with it. We never did figure that mystery out :)

2/17/11

Overrun


Because little berry is an only child, she is pretty spoiled. I've always tried to keep her toys and books and belongings from overrunning the whole home, and I have had a few rules that help me keep the peace: no licensed character toys, because they usually dont inspire any imagination and are just noisemakers,
no toys that require batteries, though she has two of the latter, they get kept on top of the refridgerator for those times I need a real trick to distract her,
And that art supplies/books will be within her reach to play with whenever she wants.
And for a while, it worked. We have a great storage system in place for her toys and she knows how to clean them up because things go in the same place every time-and everyone was happy.
Then I started getting a nagging feeling. Looking around our living room, I thought: 'Wow. She really has a lot of toys.' And I would gently encourage her to clean up, and order was restored again. Then, small toys began wandering away, to this corner and that, a train here, a small marble there and there and there! And one night we brought home one more toy-a small broom& dustpan set for the girl who is ever copying mama's routines-and suddenly our space was TOO full. There seemed to be toys everywhere. I couldn't round them up, I couldn't corrall her things fast enough! I felt crowded and exasperated and she wasn't playing with things I knew she loved.
What I've done to change it:
I picked a big plastic basket and filled it with those tiny plastic animals, people, and other wonky toys. The ones that never get played with or were broken got tossed (which was a lot, actually). That basket goes in the bathroom-for bathtoys, and suddenly it seemed so much less daunting. I culled a few more toys, a few outgrown books, broken art supplies, sorted through each basket of toys she owns to clean/toss/ and make sure things were in their proper places, and voila! Peace again. Those toys are NOT the boss around here any more :)
What do you do to keep your child/ren's toys from owning your whole home? Or do you find them simply endearing?