Monday, April 29, 2013

For Parents of a different nature!

Somebody sent me this link this morning and it was too good not to share.  It's Monday morning and I'm feeling a little like the stars of this snippet...yaaaaawn!

So for all you animal parents out there, here's something for you...check out these sleepy animals from Modern Mom.

Friday, April 26, 2013

My Favourite Mother's Day items on Etsy

I've been searching on Etsy and have come across some wonderful Mother's Day gift ideas and this time I've actually done it far enough in advance for you to buy them in time (if you wish to do so).

Just in case you are wondering Mother's Day is May 12th in the U.S.

So in no particular order here are some of my favourite items....

These unique, adorable pottery pears from Skye Art will remind Mom on a daily basis of your love.  I'm sure they would be a welcome addition to any home.
Mothers Day gift  for mom ... love you mom ...Three handmade decorative polymer clay pears ... 3 Word Pears, green

Love this hand embroidered card from Back Stitch Alley, I think it's a perfect card for Mom's with young children
Mother's Day card, embroidered elephant mom and baby, mom's birthday

Love Letters Up-Cycled created this wonderful little up cycled, stamped spoon.  What a great way to remind Mom that she is loved.
Vintage ornate tea spoon magnet - "there is no measure of a mothers love" - mothers day gift - hand stamped silver plate

I think I must be into the hand embroidery at the moment I seem to be very drawn to items like this embroidered shirt from Oh Melisa
Mother's Day I Love Mom Onesie or Tee Custom for Baby Or Toddler Etc

How about this awesome burlap art with a sentimental twist from Burlap By Ever After.  The map of the U.S. is personalized with hearts to let Mom know she is loved even if her children are not in the same state.
Mothers Day Burlap Print - Gift for Mom or Grandma Map with hearts in locations

These adorable Mother's Day Cookies from Say It With Heart are in limited supply so I would suggest putting your order in ASAP if you like these....and who wouldn't?
Purple and Yellow Flower cookie favors decorated for Mother's Day/Birthday etc. , 1 dozen

I'm in love with these hessian (burlap for all you Americans) bags from Berry Nice Cushions.  Two of my favourite things burlap and bunting....adorable.
Large Hessian Shopper Tote Bag with Bunting and Button Trim Funky Shopping Bag Mothers Day

I wish I had the time to learn wood crafting but for people like me who don't have the time or the skill luckily there are shops like Red Cedar Woodcraft.  Check out these wonderful planters.  I love how they look with the cacti.
Flower planter, garden flower pot, wood, Mother's Day Gift, tabletop size, 4 compartments for various plants and flowers: "Jewel"

What a wonderful print from Kari Machal.  It can be ordered in any colour to fit your decor. How many birds do you have in your family?  Kari will customize this to fit your brood.  Simplicity at it's finest.
Mother's Day Gift - Personalized Custom Love Birds Family Tree - Housewarming/Anniversary Gift - 11"x14" (Red/Taupe)

Pine and Parcel produce these wonderful wooden cards, check the shop for other cards and custom invitations.  Simply beautiful.
Mother's Day Card - Maple wood. Free shipping. 

And of course I have to throw in my own Mother's Day goodies.  Here's a small selection of what Textile Trolley has to offer.
Mothers Day Card and Bookmark Gift Set

Mother's Day Card

Customize your own Happy Mother's Day Card/ Matryoshka Card (Mothers Day U.K. March 10th)

Thank you to all the wonderful artists who let me borrow their pictures and links for the post.  I hope you all have very successful Mother's Day sales.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Visitng NYC with children?

Visiting NYC with children?
Live in NYC and never taken a boat ride on the rivers?

Here's a great discount from Groupon...73% off a regular priced ticket.

Just imagine, a lovely sunny day spent traveling on the water taking in one of the greatest cities.  You will have a while new perspective of the city.

Act quickly....this expires soon.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day

Today is Earth Day.  If you haven't already had a conversation with your children about what this entails.....I suggest you do so.

Not sure what to do to celebrate Earth Day?  No are a few suggestions

Plant a tree (and don't forget to protect it with fencing if you live in a deer infested area)

Scatter some wildflower seeds

Plant some organic seeds in a can do this anywhere...check out this link for a how to

Walk/bike less

Recycle everything in your may take a bit more time but it's worth it

Recycle your clothing.....go through your closets and pull out everything you don't wear and donate them to the local charity shop

Aim for a more organic lifestyle - the less chemicals used to create items/foods the less chemicals in the atmosphere

Unplug - turn off lights, instead of T.V. computer, video games get outside and breath in some air or stay inside and read a book together, do an art project

In South Korea  an Economic group remade the Gangnam Style video and replaced the wording to "Eco Style"...I have watched this on youtube and will spare you the link.....the song was bad enough the first time round LOL

It's basic stuff we all know.....Earth Day just helps to give us an extra push ...make an something different.  Ask your child what they did at school today for Earth Day....they can maybe educate you!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Inspiration from the movie 'Ramona and Beezus'

Well it was a bit of a dreary day yesterday here in N.J. and Ms. I is off school this week so we treated ourselves to a movie afternoon.

Anyone seen Ramona and Beezus?  It was a surprisingly good movie, I actually quite enjoyed it (the fact that it had John Corbett and Josh Duhamel in it probably helped a good chunk).

 That's just given me a thought...I should probably write a post on all the children's movies that I actually could tolerate to watch and sometimes enjoy (note to self 'The Wizards of Waverly Place' will NOT make the cut).

Anyhoooo one of the scenes in the movie gave Ms. I and myself an idea.  Ramona and her Dad draw 'the longest picture in the world' and Ramona takes it in for a class presentation.  It's technically not the longest picture in the world but it's a great scene and idea nonetheless.

We rolled out the paper as long as the table (you can buy rolls at most Art supply stores) and got to work.  We decided on a farm are Ms. I's pics.....I'll spare myself the embarrassment of showing the farmhouse (that was my project).

It's quite difficult to take a photo of a long picture!

Check out Ms. I's scarecrow guarding the fields of corn

She was very proud of how her pigs came out.....

......until she drew her cows.....

......and ducks and frog......and then they became her new favourites

We are currently in the process of colouring it all in

I have to say it was a pretty cool way of spending the afternoon.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A conversation in the park

It was a gorgeous day today (don't worry all of you in the U.K.....we're getting rain the next 3 days no need to be jealous)....anyway back to our gorgeous day.....the sun was out, blue skies not a cloud to be seen - a perfect day to spend some time in the park.

There weren't too many children playing...I think most are back at school in our area so it was quite nice not to have the play equipment over crowded.
The little girl I take care of (I'm going to start calling her Ms. I) just turned 7 and is a huge fan of the monkey bars I think it is her proudest accomplishment at the park, followed closely by the fire man's pole.  She was always afraid of both and struggled to pluck up courage to attempt them but at the same time showed great determination and never gave up trying.  I am proud to say she is an absolute pro now.  Pro monkey swinger (with calluses).

There was a very cute little girl at the park who was playing alone and befriended us.  She saw how great Ms. I was at the monkey bars and really wanted to have a go herself.  The little girls name was Olivia, she was 4 years old and she was at the park with her nanny (who was across the other side of the playground on the phone).  She asked so politely if I could lift her up to let her do the monkey bars, I tried to explain to her that because I wasn't the parent in charge of her I couldn't help her but if she asked her nanny I was sure she would lift her up and hold her while she had a go.

"No she won't" was what I heard back.  I tried to encourage her to go and ask her Nanny but again she replied
"She'll say no.....she always says no"

The poor little thing....all she wanted was to have a little go on the monkey bars.....I used to do that to Ms. I when she was small and hold her round the waist while she made her away across, far from dangerous.

Maybe I am judging the nanny badly....maybe she had a bad back and couldn't lift pip squeak little girls ummmm I mean heavy weights, it just broke my heart to see this cute little girl so sad at something that could have been fixed so easily.

I did think about lifting her up but I'm always a little wary handling other people's children without never know who's going to flip out and I know I wouldn't feel like I was doing my job properly if someone lifted Ms. I up for me.

 What would you have done?  Would you have lifted her up and let her have a go? I'm interested to hear other people's opinions on this.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Textile Trolley at it's first Craft Fair

Well I did it!  I popped my craft show cherry!

I completed my first craft show and I have to say that I don't think I have worked so hard leading up to this day in all my life.  I am officially exhausted!  I plan to take it easy for the next week and recoup and reorganize (my studio looks like a bomb went off with all the last minute details I did).

I will say that it was successful, it was a huge accomplishment for me.  I was nervous to sign up, and I put it off for quite a while.  Then I was worried I wouldn't have enough items to fill my space (I actually didn't have enough room on the table for everything) so I sewed and crafted frantically for weeks and weeks.

Setting up the table downstairs in the basement gave me a good feel of how I wanted everything laid out....tall things at the back, small at the front, layering items etc  And then the day before the show was frantic, tagging some items, making price labels for others, ironing the table cloth, making sure I had all the extra's packed. Here is a link to a great list of what to bring to craft shows I found
and here's another

So without any more waffling on (for now) here are the pics I took.  Enjoy!

7.15 a.m. putting on the table cloth a.k.a. queen size flat sheet (or was it king)

Moving as fast as I possibly could we only had 1 hr and 45 mins and I knew it would fly by

We just finished set up as the first people walked through the door PHEW!

You just can't find the staff these days!

My home made bib hanger....can you guess what I made it out of?

A close up of my bibs....this was a great way to display them, people could really look through the selection  easily....and no refolding necessary.

A selection of burp cloths

Made just for the show.....Matryoshka doll key chains (which sold quite well), yo-yo pins and lavender sachets.

I think these will be going on Etsy....great colours for Spring and Summer

Two tone bibs personal favourite

A selection of bookmarks some with ribbons, some with yo-yo's

The pillows looked great all stuffed in a basket with the extra pillow covers in a row in front.

The button hair ties were a good seller....I'll have to make some more of these

Cheap and cheerful, these tags will be going on to the Etsy site and down to the Women's Exchange in Little Silver.

Large and small wooden tags....also a nice seller


Burp cloths all packaged up

My selection of XL baby bibs.....great for self feeding toddlers because they are so big

A selection of blankets

And of course the link above is where you will be able to buy most of the above goodies....I'll be increasing my inventory there over the next couple of weeks so keep check back.

I got a couple of compliments on my signs from other vendors.....they are frames from IKEA.  I printed my prices on them and slotted the print out in....I printed both sides so that I could see what the prices were from behind the table (if I needed a little reminder).

So there you have it....all in pictures.  I loved how the table looked and flowed but there are a few things I would do differently next time.  And yes people...there will be a next time  :o)

A HUGE thank you to my ever wonderful, wing woman, Angela who I couldn't have done without!
Every girl needs a side kick.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Craft Show Mania

Hi all....won't be posting too much this week as I'm crazy busy.....and of all things I'm off to a show tonight (bad timing) still it should be interesting....'Reverend Horton Heat'......rockabilly!  Think 'Stray Cats' and 'Johnny Cash' blended together!  Well at least that's what I think of.

Anyhoooo  I took a pic of the start of my table set up in my basement....excuuuuuuuse the mess.  It's definitely a work in progress but at least I have started.  I'll post more pics of my table at the show sometime next's going to be a colourful table no doubt about it.

Patchwork blankets that will be for sale at the Craft Fair

If anyone lives near central N.J. and is interested in going to the Craft Fair here's the's in Flemington.

That's all for now folks....back to the grindstone!!! 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Preparing for the craft fair

Well it's been a crazy busy week this week and I'm thinking that next week is not going to be any more calm.  I'm scurrying around trying to finish up items for the craft fair next weekend.  Last night I made a list of all the items I've made and all the items I want to still make......the latter was the longest list of the two!!!!

I thought I'd post a couple of picks of items that I've been making....a little sampler of what will be at the fair and then what will be for sale at the Etsy shop afterwards if they don't sell LOL

Modern patchwork pillows.  Some may call them Zakka?!?!?!?

Small hair elastics made with self cover buttons and hair elastic

A few of the blankets I've made

Stay tuned....I'll show you more stuff next week.  It's going to be a busy w/e, tomorrow I'm attempting to make a portable washing line with buckets of cement and PVC piping.....then I gotta pretty it up so you can't tell it's all builders equipment!   :o)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A book review: Mossy by Jan Brett

It's hard not to love Jan Brett, 'The Hat' and 'The Mitten' are two of my favourites.  She is such a talented story teller and artist.....hard to find both qualities in one person.

Today I'm reviewing her book Mossy, a story about a turtle.  I chose this book because the story begins in the early spring so I thought it was quite appropriate. 

Mossy is a turtle that lives in Lilypad Pond.  She is a very special turtle because growing on her carapace (her shell) are the most amazing plants and flowers.

 Jan does an amazing job with the illustrations, so much to look at and notice, you could probably read this book ten times and see things you hadn't seen in the last readings.

One day Mossy notices a handsome male turtle poking out from the pond and just as the two turtles were admiring each other along comes Dr. Carolina and swoops Mossy up.

Dr. Carolina owns a museum and thought that Mossy was such a splendid specimen of nature that she wanted to be able to display her for people to come and admire.

So Dr. Carolina built Mossy her own viewing pavilion complete with plants, a reflecting pool and everything she thought a turtle would need.

But Mossy wasn't happy, she missed her new friend and her old home at Lilypad Pond.

Dr. Carolina had an idea to preserve the wonder of Mossy and her amazing carapace that also allowed Mossy to be happy.  You'll have to read the book to find out.  But she does return home to Lilpad Pond.

 And is also reunited with her handsome friend.

Jab Brett has an amazing need to go and check it out.  It has wonderful drawings for children to colour, Alphabets to print out, games to play and features all her creatures from her wonderful stories.

The little girl I take care of is home sick today so I'm going to print a couple of drawings for us to colour in.