How Old Do You Have to Be to Be a Maker?

My buddy Petey Rojas is four years old, and he is already a maker. He goes to a school where they bake every week and over time he has become something of a pint-sized celebrity baker on his mom's site, Inhabitots. This is his video on how to make vegan red velvet cupcakes. His family is vegan, so that's how he cooks.

You may think from watching the video that Petey is getting coached. Not really. He gets some help with the order of things since he is not yet a reader, but the hosting job and mastering the actual process, that's all him. He does look off camera to his mom to make sure he's doing a good job, or just to be sure his audience is with him.

How old do you have to be to be a maker? Kids have a natural creativity that flourishes if we cultivate it, or just make room for it to flourish. Who knows how it aids them as they get older? A maker is a creator, but also a problem-solver, an imaginer, someone who can think up a few ways to get around an obstacle, valuable skills to have all through life.

Bread in the shape of an "S" for Susan. The dough was made by Inhabitots Patissier, four-year old Petey Rojas.

I was recently at Petey's house when he was baking bread. He had a little trouble understanding the concept of why yeast takes time to make the dough rise, but saw how it worked and got it in the end. While his mom molded her bread into the first letter of the recipient's name, Petey made all  his pieces into "goggles," which he later referred to as glasses. Not sure why he thought bread in the shape of eyewear was the thing to do, but I'm still not entirely clear why Duchamp argued that a toilet bowl was art. That's the prerogative of the maker, or artist. The picture above is the piece of S bread I took home; we ate Petey's goggles while they were still warm, with honey or olive oil, straight from the oven.




Video How-To: Melt & Pour Wedding Favors

With the economy the way it is, it's important to be thrifty when planning your wedding. Melt and pour soap making is a great idea for wedding favors-- it's very easy to work with, while also cost effective, and easy to get creative with!

The great thing about melt and pour soap making is that it's just melt and pour the soap base and end up with some cute little soaps! Because it is so easy to work with, you can pretty much do anything with it.. make it any color(s), fragrance, put any additives in it (you can stick just about anything in this soap base!), use an assortment of molds (things you may have lying around the house, to a soap/candy mold)and lastly, package it so that it goes with the theme of your wedding.

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The following is the first NewNew video How-to, by Ilana of YoursTrulyxoxo and Michelle of Dirty Loves Clean. To make the favors pictured in the video you will need:

-Soap Base (We used a natural shea butter base, and natural clear base)
-A Mold (we used a few different things including a cookie tray and silicone cupcake mold)
-Something to heat the soap in (glass measuring cup works great)
-Something to stir the soap with (we used a chopstick)
-Additives such as fragrance, color, dried flowers (we used dried calendula)
-A Knife to cut the soap (we also used heart shaped cookie cutters)

More Ideas:

Soapmaking: Try not to move the soap as it's drying or you'll end up with a wrinkled texture (as seen on our tray soaps). For air bubbles-- try putting some rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and spray on the soap before it dries. You can also use this between layers of soap to help it adhere better. And as we mention in the video, putting the soap in a freezer will help to harden it quicker- but don't leave it in too long or it will be quite wet when it comes out and starts to dry. Leave the soap out to air dry in a non humid environment.

Additives: Think.. dried herbs/flowers/tea, oatmeal, soap inside of soap, toys, anything plastic/waterproof.. even a note(laminated).

Molds/Soap Character: You can use anything laying around your home as a mold, just add wax paper and it will easily peel off. You can also find molds (soap or candy) in just about any shape so that it fits your wedding theme. If you want an elegant, polished soap, you can use a beveled mold. If you want something cute and simple, try a flower or heart mold. If you want to save money, line a pizza box with wax paper, and when it dries, use a ruler and make scores with a knife before cutting so that all soaps are even. Or if you want a more raw, organic look, you can cut the soap with a knife and not worry if it’s uneven.

Packaging: The simplest thing to use with melt and pour soap is a plastic bag because melt and pour has a high glycerin content and will "sweat" in humid conditions. You can decorate the bag with an assortment of ribbons and even make a simple label. You can also try using small jewelry boxes for packaging which you can buy online in bulk, or wrapping/tissue/scrap booking paper (best for non humid conditions)

Labels: Consider attaching labels to your soaps with your names and wedding date. You can buy scrapbook paper and print on this or even hand write to give your labels more character. You may also want to consider including the ingredients incase one of your guests is allergic.

Even Simpler: You can buy soap making kits specific to occasion such as wedding- if you want to buy everything together, a simple google search will bring up a few different options.

Our day at Brooklyn Indie Market - video diary

On November 16, The {NewNew} organized a date at Brooklyn Indie Market - urging consumers to shop local. It was a great day full of constant people, great music, lots of chatting, and a raffle to end it all off! For some photos, check out our flickr pool.