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Monthly Archives: November 2011

  • The Countdown Begins

    "How many more days till Santa comes?"

    If you have answered that question oh, a million times already, then perhaps it's time to invest in an advent calendar. Luckily, there seems to be an explosion of adorable choices out there. My personal favorite right now is the abacus advent calendar, which is a brilliant mash-up of child's bead toy, a Christmas tree, and, yes, that stone-age calculator, the abacus. The result is part calendar, part toy, part sculptural art.

    For book lovers, Eric Carle's beloved Dream Snow has been adapted into a pop-up calendar that lets kids decorate a 3D tree day by day. And over on etsy, there are all sorts of interesting ways to count the days: I like the washline feel of ticking-stripe pouches or the retro look of hand-covered boxes.

    How do you plan on making the days fly by?

  • Chef’s Special

    With Thanksgiving behind us and the rest of the winter holidays on its feathered tail, I've been spending some serious time in the kitchen.  Santa’s elves have nothing on my little kitchen sprites, who love to help mix and frost (even if cleaning up isn’t their strong suit).

    Complementing their kitchen cuteness is the trend toward adorable cooking utensils, like humanoid measuring cups and frosting spreaders,  and a finger-shaped spatula for wiping up what’s left. And who could resist a bubble-wand scrub brush? Now that’s something to be thankful for, especially if it encourages my baking buddies to give washing-up a try.

     

  • Home Sweet Home

    There's something sweet happening in Cleveland, Ohio. Between Friday, November 25 and Saturday, December 31, the Cleveland Botanical Garden's WinterShow offers a dazzling display of gingerbread structures of all sorts. Notice we didn't say "houses," though there will be plenty of those.

    But you're also sure to see everything from tidy, tasty homes to sweet sandcastles. It's a judged competition with divisions including Children's, Professional, and Family, with the main rule being that everything must be edible--no supporting structures allowed.

    WinterFest also includes decorated trees galore, but it's the gingerbread that will whet your appetite for the holidays.

  • Creative Thursday by Marisa on Criminal Minds

    We are so excited to see more artwork by Marisa Haedike on television! She now has one of her uber-adorable pieces Zoo Babies in a young lady's bedroom on the hit series "Criminal Minds". Be sure to check it out!

  • Merry Little Mischief by Anthropologie

    As if we needed another reason to visit Anthropologie, there's a fun reason  to bring the kiddies there, too! Throughout December, bring your little one in for crafting and reading hours in Anthropologie stores throughout the country. Check here for an event near you!

  • Cut a Rug

    No more monkeys jumping on the bed, once there’s an interactive rug on the floor. We’ve been seeing hopscotch rugs for a few years now, and as genius as that struck us then, there are newer ones available that are equally clever.

    If you’ve pined for a return to days when kids played marbles (and really, now, who hasn’t?), you’re in luck with this game-grid rug. Perfect for reviving an old (old!) favorite. Vehicle-loving kids can zoom around a tufted town, and even dollhouse-devotees can get in on the act.

    “Go to your room!” never sounded so good.

     

  • Domo Arigato

    Looking for ways to get your tiny turkeys involved in the big feast? Try putting them in charge of the thankfulness.  As each guest enters on the big day, have the kids ask them to write down one or two things they're most thankful for.  I love using patterned, 3" origami paper. Once the blank side has been inscribed, it's up to the kids to roll each piece and tie on a ribbon, so we end up with a bowl full of mini-scrolls.

    Then during the meal, the bowl is passed around and every guest opens one (or two) and reads what's written on it.

    No origami paper handy? There's always the old standby Thanksgiving Hand Tree. Have the kids trace and cut out their hands beforehand, and ask each guest to use one or two "leaves" to record what he or she is thankful for. Tape or glue the leaves to a painted tree trunk for a meaningful and handsome (sorry!) decoration.

  • Same, Same But Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw

    Remember wanting a pen pal with whom you could exchange hand-written letters through the mail from somewhere exotic and unknown? Jenny Kostecki-Shaw's new book Same, Same But Different explores the eye-opening experience two young boys have as their friendship grows via letters that are written oceans apart. This book helps your child recognize the similarities of all people everywhere and how exciting some of our differences can be! Be sure to check out this gorgeous book that will expand your child's worldly view and put fine art right in their hands.

  • Tough Art at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

    At the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, “child-proof” doesn’t mean kids can’t get into it (it’s a kids’ museum, not a bottle of Grandma’s blood-pressure pills). Between now and January 16, 2012, the museum presents its fifth annual Tough Art exhibition, interactive artwork that’s “tough enough to withstand kid handling.” Here’s what you’ll find:

    • The Invisible Wall by Felipe Castelblanco (connect in real time with folks in Bogota, Colombia)
    • The Honorable and Bewhiskered Herman Hibel by Zach Dorn, puppeteer (enter a tent to discover Hibel, the fascinating chimp turned performer)
    • Queen Simon & The Sommeloth by Daniel Luchman and Jennifer Myers (book and pictures of ancient travels, with ride-on Sommeloth)
    • Giant Interactive Kaleidoscope by Christina Zaris (select slides and objects to change what’s projected on the wall)

    Open up this hands-on bottle of art and tell us what you think.

     

  • We love the "Balloon Adventurer" artwork- a lot!!

    Thank you SO much for your help in us purchasing the "Balloon Adventurer" canvas art for our daughter Kailyn.  It just arrived, and we LOVE it!  It looks absolutely perfect in her bedroom!  It did indeed look lavender, which is perfect with the wall colour we painted two weeks ago, and the script of "Kailyn" is really cute.

    Thank you so very, very much.

    Completely happy up here in Burlington, Ontario, Canada...

    Sincerely,

    Shannon

    p.s. my mother-in-law (interior decorator) came over last night and loves the painting too... and how well it went with the paint! :-)

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