Team Finds: Special Finds for Mother's Day

Broccoli Dreams: Printing with Veggies

In search of a fun baby shower gift, I rummaged through my refrigerator and found some veggies to print baby onesies. So here it goes:

Materials

  • Onesies (or anything else you want to print)
  • Fabric Paint
  • Veggies and fruit (broccoli, lemons, apples, celery, mushrooms)
  • Cardstock 

Steps

1. Brush the print side of the vegetable with a thin layer of paint. 

2. On a piece of scrap paper practice printing with your vegetable to get a feel for what it will look like and how much paint you want to use. Here I printed with broccoli, lemons, mushrooms and celery.

3. Once you feel ready to commit to fabric, lay out the onesie and slide a piece of cardstock between the front and the back of the t-shirt to prevent the paint from leaking through the fabric. Brush the paint on your veggie and go for it.

Here are some examples:

Lemon Sun

Celery Smile (The hair was printed with the celery ribs)

Apple Buttons (slice the apple in half to expose the star shaped seed center)

Broccoli Trees (slice the broccoli lengthwise to get a flat surface)

Lemon Boat

4. Lay out your onesies to dry. Once dry, heat set the paint in a hot dryer for about 30 min.

That's it, a really simple OOAK baby shower gift. You could also print paper, diapers, napkins, table clothes, dish towels. . . I'm sure you can come up with a huge list of things. Have fun,

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What was the best holiday gift you have received?

When we’re kids the gifts we ask for are largely influenced by television. I can still recite all the words to My Buddy and feel the sense of loss at never having had one despite the fact that, thinking back, I always thought he was kind of creepy. It sure was a catchy tune though! Aside from the occasional She-Ra Cloud Castle or Popple that we dragged around everywhere (much to our parents dismay) a lot of the gifts from those early years are forgettable.

As time goes on we stop seeing our parents as bringers of stuff and things and begin to see them more the way we see Grandma…as a dispenser of cash. It’s not because we’re greedy. It’s because that’s what we need most at that time in our lives. How will you get through college if you can’t buy coffee and burritos?

This is generally followed by a brief, well-meaning, but delusional stage when we inform our friends and family that all we want for the holidays is their Love. This is a confusing time for many and, while you do mean it, you’re not doing anyone any favors. Your loved ones are going to get you something regardless and now they have no idea where to start. While you run the risk that everyone will take you seriously and you’ll get nothing but Love. That’s great and all but, let’s face it people, Love doesn’t keep the snow from getting under your coat collar and trickling freezing torture liquid down to the small of your back. That’s SCARVES! Scarves do that.

Now that I’m an adult I think I finally get how this whole thing works and, after interviewing some of the awesome vendors from the upcoming Holiday Cavalcade I think I can safely say that all great gifts fit into one of three catagories…

1. Gifts that help us find our way - Jean of Fiber Dance Weaving Studio tells us about the 35mm camera she got in high school, "Having such a great camera allowed me to explore my creativity in a way I never had before. I went on to make photography my career. (...) Eventually, I found my way to weaving, a craft which I believe has many similarities to photography.  Not only is weaving a wonderful collaboration between man and machine (looms do have a mind and a personality of their own) but also, because I never really know what I've got until I pull a woven piece off the loom, there's a good bit of mystery and anticipation involved, as well. So now, instead of envisioning things in black and white and using different papers and chemical processes to achieve my objective, I am working with colors and fibers, and adding a whole new dimension (literally) to my creative process, while continuing a way of life that all started with the gift of a camera."

2. Gifts that make our lives easier - Karina makes tons of cool toys and coloring books for kids in her shop Windows Of Agate, but with all the work she puts into her creations it's got to be hard to find time for anything else. That's why this gift was so spot on, "When I received a standing mixer from my husband the Christmas after my second child was born, I was elated! I was sleep-deprived and overwhelmed, and getting the standing mixer did wonders to my lofty goal of baking cookies for all my neighbors." 

Besides being incredibly thoughtful, and making the lives of the recipients better in some way these gifts share one more thing in common. The third and, what I consider to be, the most important category...

3. Gifts that show us we are loved - Sayo from Sarustar Jewelry says, "my favorite holiday gift to date is a marshmallow robot from my boyfriend. He presented it to me at dinner on our second date, a few days before Christmas and a few days after I had mentioned in passing that I would like to own a marshmallow robot. (I don't remember why I wanted one) Anyway, my marshmallow robot has red eyes that light up while he spins around and around... and he is made out of a marshmallow, and he is awesome."

Find your special holiday gift at the upcoming Holiday Handmade Cavalcade.

Jessica Alpern

Handmade Gifts for Teachers

Only a couple more weeks before the 3rd Annual Holiday Handmade Cavalcade, and as you put together your shopping lists don't forget some of the most important people in your child's life... teachers! My daughter just started preschool this year, so I'm searching for some handmade gifts that will show her teachers how wonderful I think they are. Here are some things that I am eyeing...

Jody's beautiful lamp work creates wonderful swirls of color that is sure to please the most cheerful preschool teacher.


Teachers are experts at making something incredible out of recycled materials. How better to acknowledge their resourcefulness than this beautiful handbag made out of a tie?

Colony Collapse Read Bee Necklace by JTopolski
Science teachers are sure to love this colony collapse necklace, not only stylish but educational.

Vintage 1960s Dress Pattern by luckx4
This fun dress pattern is a perfect gift for that fashionable teacher.

We Move Mountains Print by VirginiaKraljevic
Remind your teacher of just how valuable they are with this original print.
Eco Friendly Hemp Blend and Leather Handle Tote Bag by SansMap
Give your teacher the gift of a sophisticated and practical bag! Perfect for toting around graded papers and lessons in style.

The gift ideas don't end there. For more ideas before the big shopping day, check out the vendor page of the Holiday Handmade Cavalcade website. You'll be inspired!



Karina

Gift Giving from 2010

I'm not one to brag. It has been ingrained in my brain from my Chinese ancestry that bragging is off limits. But in this case, I just can't help myself.

My one bragging allowance is that I am an excellent gift giver. And this Christmas, I gave some awesome gifts. Thankfully, the gift giving was particularly easy this year given that the {NewNew} was in fine form, providing me with a great variety of amazing handmade goods to choose from.

The first gift I gave this season was a pair of beautifully made gold key cutout earrings from Lingua Nigra, which I gave to my best friend. You can see them peeking through as she snuggles with my daughter.

Every year I pick up a pack of notecards from Blue Stitch Books, which are great when writing thank you notes!

My dear friend from high school is now currently working on her dissertation at U.C. Berkeley, so I picked out this sweet print from Virginia Kraljevic, framed it, and mailed it off to her. It's now sitting on her desk so she can see it when she writes.

And for my dissertation-writing-friend's mom, I've been sending her these seasonal tea towels from Claudia Pearson all year and "winter" was the last one to complete her collection.

I sent a couple of these lavender soaps from Nordea Soaperie to my godmother, who absolutely loves this scent!

And for a few of my friends and my sister-in-law, I picked out an assortment of lovely earrings from Wish By Felicity.
And lastly, I always reward myself with a couple of gifts for myself for surviving the busy selling season. Every year at the Holiday Handmade Cavalcade I treat myself to one of Better Than Jam's gorgeous dresses.

And to top it off, I purchased a beautifully sewn hat from Rocks and Salt. (And my daughter is wearing a Rocks and Salt hat that I purchased from them about five years ago! She loves it!)

I'm looking forward to 2011 as I become acquainted with new designers and their products, so I can get ideas for the next holiday season!



Karina

{NewNew} Valentine's Gift Ideas for Infants/Toddlers That Don't Involve Sugar


Valentine's gifts for infants and toddlers can't really be a box of chocolates or a bouquet of flowers. However, Valentine's Day gifts for the little ones don't have to just be worn or seen for one day of the year either. {NewNew} team members have created a wide variety of gifts that are appropriate for boys or girls, baby or toddler that are adorable, lovable, and will be cherished by child and parent. The above items from Smallest Friend, Lenny Mud, Burry Babies, Copa Bananas, Felt It, Panda with Cookie, Curious Urchin, Windows of Agate, NY Crochet, and Overall Baby are just some examples of the fabulous items to be found from the
{NewNew} team on etsy.com.



Anne

Felt It
www.muppetloon.etsy.com

Give the Gift of Luxurious Zzzs


Silk pillow cases are a unique gift. Not only are they indulgent, but they literally aid your beauty sleep. They make you feel luxurious while preventing your hair from breaking and alleviating wrinkles. Here are some instructions to make a basic silk pillow case:

Materials
  • Sample pillow case
  • 1¼ yard silk/satin fabric- basic lining silks cost $6-$8 per yard, while the more ideal heavier satin silks cost $12-$14
  • Matching thread
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Tape measure

Making a Silk Pillow

Measure the sample pillow case by placing the tape measure seam to seam and adding a seam allowance of 5/8" to 1" to all edges. Silk will shrink in the wash, so it is better to measure out the body a little larger (you can eyeball this).

Cut out 2 pieces of the fabric to the chosen size. In laying out your pattern, consider that the selvage (the finished edge of the fabric) will become the opening side of the pillow case.

Now place the fabric with right sides together, pin, and stitch around 3 sides. The pillow opening side, which has the selvage, stays open.

Turn the pillow case right-side-out, iron, and it's done!

For a more feminine look, add a matching, contrasting, or coordinating frill to a simple pillow. Alternative Windows has instructions on adding frills to cushions.

For an additional flair, I included a store-bought pouch and stuffed it with fresh lavender. DIY Life has a more sophisticated lavender sachet recipe. Or you might add other lavender products that incorporate the R&R theme such as scented bath salts prepared according to Nordea's recipe. The NewNew spa products also help pamper the body and soul.

I made a silk pillow case for myself and found my husband clamoring for his own… leading me to believe this is also a great metro-sexual Father’s Day gift!

-Fairywallah