Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Word Cloud for My little One

Here's a word cloud I created using all the words that came to mind about my little one. I realize I forgot "willful" but I had to hurry as she was trying to shut the computer on me while I typed. I guess some "Mommy and Me time" is in order. So I better run, but you can create a word cloud based on your own little one at Wordle.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Sew Cute

The adorable dress patterns available at Oliver + S may have provided the final inspiration I need to get my sewing machine fixed. I'm in love with the Birthday Party Dress and variations there of. You can see a bunch of versions on the Oliver + S flickr group. Pictured above is the dress pattern completed by Brooke Reynolds of Inchmark.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Gone Fishing with More Good Wood

One thing I really like about this magnetic fishing set by Jae Keun Song is that no worms are hurt! I used to love fishing as a kid but never really got over having to use worms for our catch and release activities. My brother used to have to bait my line for me and come to think of it, remove the sunfish and catfish I'd reel in. Perhaps, I was never cut out for real fishing.

The set is available at the MoMAstore.

Good Wood by Miller Goodman

This gorgeous set of puzzle blocks prove wooden toys don't have to be boring and that great toys are ageless. I personally don't think wooden toys are boring in the first place and hate when people say they are. My nephew has outgrown plenty of his plastic toys but one thing he still plays with is a set of wooden blocks. I'm adding these beauties by Miller Goodman to my wish list for my daughter.

The photo above is a promotional photo for the blocks, but may be even more amazing are the images people have created with the blocks and posted on this flickr stream!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tiny Dancer Tulle Skirts

These tiered tulle skirts from Gap's Tiny Dancer Collection made me want to dance when I saw them on a recent run through my local Gap. The peep like colors are so happy and sure to suit the color aesthetic of any true toddler. Why do kids get to have all the fun?

Meet Jelly and Wink

These two tiny bunnies Jelly and Wink and ten tiny bunny friends are waiting at Danielleorama's Etsy shop to find their way into some lucky kids' Easter baskets. I say hurry up while supplies last!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sweetest Toadstool Tea Set

This Toadstool Tea Set by Giana Eden reminds me why childhood is so magical. What a lovely centerpiece this set would be for a make believe or real tea party. The set is available exclusively through Mahar Drygoods.

I still have my childhood china tea set with tiny yellow roses and a little white china cabinet to hold it. They were my mother's and she passed them on to me. In a couple of years it will be time for me to pass them down another generation. What a lovely way to give up a possession.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Leprechaun Traps

I hardly know what we would do with a leprechaun if we caught one, but today is the perfect day to try. Leprechauns are really just naughty little things, more likely to make a mess of your house than to show you where they keep their pot of gold. If however you think you are smart enough to trick one, here's some inspiration for making a leprechaun trap.

The traps pictured were devised by first graders at the Holy Trinity School in Georgetown. The bottom trap has a sticky glue strip next to the gold necklace. A leprechaun glue trap! How diabolical are the minds of first graders.

For further inspiration visit which has instructions for making three great traps including the Rainbow Cage Drop. That sounds like a sure fire bet.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Home Sewn Goodness From Smallville

I wish I had the time to sew clothing for my daughter. Sadly, even if I did set aside the time, I have hopelessly messed up my sewing machine. Sewing machines and art projects have a way of ruining the tension on your machine forever. So, until I have the extra cash to buy a new machine, I'm pretty much limited to sewing buttons on shirts.

Luckily that doesn't mean we can't enjoy some home sewn goodness in our lives. I have my eye on several adorable hand sewn items from the etsy shop Smallville. The pieces are cool and sweet at the same time and have lovely little details. To find out more about the designer Jimin Mannick check out this interview and house tour at BloesemKids.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Italian Lace Hairband by Le Bouton

I found this photograph from Le Bouton's etsy shop so charming. The combination of the little girl's pose, the lighting and the dove colored lace hairband remind me of a Vermeer painting. The stretch lace hairbands are also available in charcoal and black. The black looks perfect for keeping a little ballerina's hair back during class.

You can find more lovely Le Bouton designs at Le Bouton Catalog.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

While everybody loves a snow day, I'm sure my niece is a little upset about missing school today . She was supposed to be celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday with her entire school. Her grade was assigned to bring in one of their Dr. Seuss books. They were hoping be able to come up with at least one copy of each of his books. The younger kids were getting to wear hats in honor of "The Cat in the Hat".

Speaking of which, my mother bought my daughter "The Cat in the Hat" yesterday for our own little Dr. Seuss celebration. She wanted to get her "Oh, The Places You'll Go", unfortunately they only had the game. Too bad, I loved the hope for her future that choice represented. Maybe Grandma can give it to her for her birthday.

In the meantime, "The Cat in the Hat" is perhaps the perfect introduction to Dr. Seuss since she calls every animal a kitty cat. Oddly enough, if I ask her to bring me her froggy or her duck she does, so some distinction is being made. Who knows, maybe in her world it is species: kitty cat, subspecies: froggy.

The image above is today's Google's masthead in honor of Dr. Seuss.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Real Life Skills For Your Toddler

Sick of friends bragging about their precocious offspring's foreign language abilities or advanced yoga training? (Guilty yourself?) How about fighting back with some real life skills. Lisa Brown's hysterical Baby Be Useful series includes titles that will have your little one making your breakfast, cleaning the car, doing your banking, and best of all mixing your cocktails! So next time someone brags "My toddler can speak French, Spanish and Mandarin", simply respond, "Great, but can he mix a dirty martini?"

The series is published by McSweeney's and available at The McSweeney's Store and Candy Store Collective.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

More Loveliness from Rob Ryan

Oh, I wish this tile had been available when I was pregnant with my little one! Alas, I'm now gearing up for the terrible twos (I'm already getting a preview at 17 months) and this work by Mr. Ryan is definitely more appropriate for my current situation.

I think this would make a lovely gift for some expectant couple. I wish someone I knew would hurry and get pregnant, so I'd have an excuse to buy one. For those of you who do, the tile is available here.

Legos Make Me Happy

These sweet Lego cakes made me smile today and I needed it. It's nice to see fun stuff for kids that doesn't cost a fortune to buy or make for that matter.

Found via the inspiration packed Lolita. The recipe is available here at Betty Crocker. Thanks Lolita! Thanks Betty!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Perfect Little Skirt

Yesterday was my birthday so it seems perfectly logical that I ended up buying a gift for my daughter, right? Well, I couldn't resist when I saw this vintage looking watercolor skirt at Janie and Jack. (The barrettes also proved irresistible.) I was at the local mall for the sole purpose of exchanging a too small outfit for my niece at Justice and had every intention of just getting in and out as fast as possible. Justice is the kind of store that makes me glad I am the mother of an 17 month old and not a nine year old!

So, when I saw the Janie and Jack store, I happily strayed. I was introduced to the brand by my friend Caryn who bought my daughter a gorgeous coat and beret for her birthday. The quality of everything from the design, to the construction, to the wrapping is lovely. And no logos spelled out in rhinestones. How refreshing!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Signs of Spring

I'm finding the displays of seed packets in the stores a much needed sign of Spring and uplifting. I'm a sucker for them and can never resist buying a few packets despite my bad luck with raising plants from seed. Last summer I tried in vain to create a sunflower garden for my daughter, only to have my local chipmunk dig up all the seeds and eat them. My second attempt of planting tiny sunflower sprouts, that I had raised in little mini plastic greenhouses, only confirmed that chipmunks like sunflower sprouts as much as they like sunflower seeds.

Now I am looking at a bunch of beautiful seed packets, sunflowers included, and plotting my anti-chipmunk strategies. I know all to well that I'll end up buying ready-to-plant flats at the local nursery, but one can still plant seeds and dream too!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Playhouse of One's Own

Wow, talk about any little girl's dream! This rose covered playhouse looks as if it is right out of a fairy tale. My Grandmother had a little playhouse in her back yard that sadly, she used as a shed to store the push lawn mower, etc. It always seemed like such a waste to me.

On my list of things to do for my daughter is to create a real playhouse (no plastic or primary colors) and little garden for her. I'm sure I will need to buy the playhouse (so expensive!) but this photo makes me think that I could take a fairly simple hose and transform it with roses.

There are more wonderful rose covered cottages here.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

For the Love of Hedgehogs, Otters and Owls ...

Hedgehogs kept popping up during my internet travels yesterday. Funny how themes sometimes emerge. I was delighted to find this little hedgehog and his felt animal brooch pals by Kate Broughton. I love how they are more realistic than cute. There's a full menagerie at her Etsy shop.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Punxsutawney Phil vs. the Hedgehogs

Well it looks as if Punxsutawney Phil was correct in his prediction of six more weeks of winter. It must be nice to put in just one good day of work a year and enjoy job security! However, it turns out this cushy job was not always held by Phil or even a groundhog, but his wee little cousin the hedgehog. According to Hedgehog Central, February 2nd was originally Hedgehog Day, if you go back to Roman Times that is. I'm not sure who to believe, the Hedgehog Day page on Wikipedia has been deleted and now resides on deletionpedia. So while hedgehogs may win in a battle of cuteness, it would appear that Punxsutawney Phil is at no risk of losing his job any time soon.

Friday, January 30, 2009

I Heart TED

Any parent knows that while their little ones are bundles of joy, they are also the most time consuming things ever invented. A free evening is a rare thing when it comes along and most likely to be spent on catching up with friends or the long list of movies that never get seen. So what about higher culture? I was thinking when was the last time I had time to see a talk or go to a conference? I literally drew a blank. Maybe while I was pregnant.

I actually can't remember which is why I love the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) website. I don't think I'll be traveling to a TED Conference anytime soon, but I'm still able to engage my thinking brain with their video archive of talks. There is a wonderful selection of topics and speakers all published under a Creative Commons License so they can be reposted and shared at will. TED lives up to its slogan Ideas Worth Spreading.

Best of all, a lot of the videos run about 15 - 20 minutes which means you can squeeze some higher thinking into your day. Thanks TED!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Little Privacy Please

Anyone who has every spent any time in the children's section of an IKEA store knows that kids love the PS Lömsk chair. It's almost as popular as the Ball Room. There is always a line of little ones waiting to take their turn in this peek-a-boo enabled seat. I'm looking for some tot sized furniture for my own little one and this is definitely a contender. I might take it personally though if she spent too much time with the hood down.

V is for Vintage Valentines

I've been looking for some sweet Valentines Day cards to send to friends from me and my daughter and am horrified at the selection in stores. Who thinks Hannah Montana and Spiderman are appropriate symbols for a holiday that centers around the expression of love and friendship? Argh! I miss the cute and yes corny cards from my childhood.

If you prefer vintage cards too, here's a couple of links you'll enjoy.

Add a Vintage Valentine to your web page with cut and paste code from Zwani.

Take a walk down memory lane with the great sampling of vintage cards at 7deadlysinners.

I found the cards above via Curly Wurly.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama Nation

If Shepard Fairey's iconic Hope poster epitomized perfectly the tone of the Obama campaign, then I think Lance Wyman's poster captures the sheer joy and energy surrounding his election. Unfortunately both poster's are sold out. Too bad, I think this one would look great in any kids room.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Martin Luther King, Jr. Through the Eyes of Children

Here's a charming slideshow of children's drawings of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Poughkeepsie Journal. Priceless!

The drawing above is from Charlie Gower's flickr stream. Visit it to see other terrific portraits of MLK.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Kokeshi Doll Dos

I love the hairdos on these little Kokeshi Dolls from Japanese Zakka. Wouldn't life be more fun if everyone at the office had a hairdo like one of these? I think I'd opt for the two little buns. Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sweet Reads #2

I bought Stranger in the Woods for my niece two Christmases ago. When I get a chance I'm going to pick up a copy to add to my daughter's little library. It may be a bit beyond her 15 months, so I'll set it aside for later. I'll add it to the stash of books I would like to survive. Let's face it toddlers are not kind to their books.

The book tells the story of a special snowman who provides the woodland creatures with a little extra sustenance through the coldest days. I love the subtle message of living in harmony with nature and giving a tiny bit in the process. We've been putting out some carrots and apples for the deer in our backyard. Now, I'm hoping for a really good snow so I can build my little one a true snowman.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Little Space for Imagination

I'm so taken by this tiny felted playscape by asherjasper. I love the little animal pals, the hedgehog is especially sweet. I could see a lot of great make believe being sparked by this wee world. I think this is a brilliant use of felting.

The asherjasper Etsy shop also has a wonderful menagerie of felted animal balls. I can feel the beginning of an obsession starting and maybe a new collection too!

No Time to Knit Baby Booties and Mitts

Any one who is hopelessly behind on their knitting projects will appreciate these lovely lambswool booties and mitts from Papa Stour. They would would make a lovely present for the winter babies on you gift list. Baby it's cold outside!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fun is as Simple as a Ball

It's easy to forget in the frenzy to find the coolest toys that sometimes the simplest things are the best. This Christmas at my brother's, after the kids had opened their gifts, we ended up in the basement which already houses a considerable toy collection. To my surprise the thing that captured my 15 month olds' attention was a giant pink ball. Giant in that it was almost as big as she is. My niece informed me she has seen a truly "giant" ball at Disney World, so there!

Anyway, I suddenly realized that my daughter with all the toys she's amassed to date, also a considerable collection, does not have a bouncy ball. So much for making a list and checking it twice. It's back to the store and back to basics.

The sweet dotted bouncers pictured above are made in Germany by Togu and available at

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Je T'aime Brooklyn

Yes, I love Brooklyn, French, sweat shirts, shopping and my little one. So buying this cute little top from Atsuyo et Akiko should be a no-brainer. (Damn this recession!) I spotted it at Sweet William, a super sweet kids store in Williamsburg, just before Christmas. Sweet William has a great selection of mostly organic clothing made by designers who use ethical manufacturing standards. That's the good news. The bad, the prices are as the French would say "une peu cher".

I did end up buying an adorable hat by Entertaining Elephants. The hat proved irresistible because it had little ears and tied under the chin. Now she looks too cute for words and can't rip her hat off two seconds after I put it on! I conveniently justified the expense thinking it would keep her own little ears warm. When I'm feeling a bit more flush maybe I can justify the sweat shirt on the grounds she'll learn French.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

For the Birds

This sleek bird feeder is sure to be a hit with your feathered friends. I could see the pale blue color would be particularly popular with the local robins. It's available from J Schatz in 7 additional colors including bright orange. If you're on a budget there are less expensive options available in most grocery stores including simple suet block feeders. It may take a day or two for your neighborhood birds to discover your offering, but once they do you'll be amazed how many different species are living right in your yard. It may not be television but it's sure to engross the kids.