Tag: art

Move over adult coloring books: Make way for 1000 Dot-to-Dot books

While we still have a lot of love for all the cool adult coloring books we featured this year — and saw everywhere this holiday season — I realized there was another relaxing drawing option for us big kids, when my teen daughter unwrapped a copy of 1000 Dot-to-Dot Cities from her aunt. This is not your preschooler’s dot-to-dot book. 1000 Dot-to-Dot Cities is one in a series of “extreme” dot-to-dot books by Australian graphic designer Thomas Pavitte, whose books also include 1000 Dot-to-Dot Icons, 1000 Dot-to-Dot Masterpieces, and 1000 Dot-to-Dot Animals. And when I say extreme, I mean, whoa. Each sturdy page in...

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14 of the coolest art toys and gifts for kids of all ages: 2015 Holiday Toy Gift Guide

If there is one gift we always hope our kids get unwrap this holiday, it’s an art toy or craft kit, or something that encourages and help develops their artistic sides. For us, toys that build on children’s natural creativity are as important to feeding their brains as educational toys that teach proficiency in reading, math and science. If you’re looking for a terrific selection of art toys for kids, one of the first places we always look online is Fat Brain Toys, our amazing sponsor for this third and final post in our Holiday Toy Gift Guide series. Fat Brain Toys has so more than...

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Raising kids in a world that’s obsessed with beauty and image

Okay so yeah. The Starbucks red cup controversy. We just couldn’t help but weigh in on whether we approve of Satan’s own minimalist design on this week’s Spawned with Kristen and Liz. Then we talk about raising kids in a world that’s so obsessed with beauty and image. How do we talk to them about makeup, retouching school photos, Instagram trickery, self-esteem and other tough questions? Plus, we’ve got two very cool, and very different, cool picks of the week.   You can listen via SoundCloud right now (why wait?), or just subscribe to Spawned on iTunes and listen in the...

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Custom Star Wars family portraits: The ultimate holiday gift from a galaxy far, far away. Or you know, Etsy.

Since Star Wars is back this year in full force (ha, get it?) we bet a whole lot of you will be thrilled to see your families done up as your favorite characters in these custom Star Wars family portraits. (Update: The shop is sadly no longer operating. For a similar option, be sure to check out the custom Star Wars family portrait from Henry James Paper Goods, another fave Etsy shop!) Illustrator and designer Thomas Brush of the Modern Brush has a really charming, modern style that I’d say makes the result more playful and fun than intensely realistic. In other...

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The Originals: KnotNot knot pillows by Umemi

I’ve seen all these DIY tutorials around the web lately for handmade knot pillows and if you have as well, these images may look familiar. Only after a whole lot of searching and secret sourcing, turns out the original photos are not from loads of brilliant crafters who all remarkably had the exact same idea (and photography styling), but from a wonderful little shop called Umemi from Icelandic product designer Ragnheidur Osp Sigurdardottir. Thus begins a new series we’re launching called The Originals, in which we attempt to track down the original makers who have invented products so wonderful, they quickly become copied and passed off...

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An artist transforms Bratz dolls into real female role models and the results are amazing.

When we first discovered Tree Change dolls, our readers went wild and with good reason — mom Sonja Singh is taking one of the most polarizing children’s toys (Bratz) and refashioning them into some of the most beloved children’s toys (wholesome little girl dolls). So now we’re so excited to see that artist Wendy Tsao has found inspiration in Sonja’s own work, and credited her as the impetus for her Mighty Dolls project, an art project in which she upcycles the same Bratz dolls, turning them into a powerful and diverse collection of female role models. Take a look at her site and you’ll recognize author JK Rowling, Nobel...

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Everything you need to know about Handmade at Amazon: Is it the Etsy competitor everyone says it is?

We started Cool Mom Picks shortly after Etsy launched, and we’ve been big fans ever since, discovering and happily sharing some of the coolest indie artisans and their handmade goods here on our site for nearly ten years now. So as huge supporters of the handmade movement and indie artist in general, it’s probably no surprise that our interest was piqued when Handmade at Amazon launched last week. So, we took a closer look to understand what it’s all about, and whether we think it’s something you’ll want to have on your radar, as a consumer, and for those...

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Crazy fun socks for women: Hot trend alert

I was so in love with Kristen’s photo of her super stylish daughter on Instagram sporting some cool knee socks, and she admitted to me that her daughter stole them from her own sock drawer! That’s when I realized, this is one of those few times that a fashion trend started with kids then jumped to the adults. It’s a fact — fun socks for women are everywhere you look, peeking out of pumps, booties, knee-boots, layered over fishnets…you name it. And I’m loving it. Especially because it’s such an affordable way to punch up your wardrobe ,and even show off your...

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Our favorite cool tech picks this week

Here are 5 of our favorite tech picks this week from Cool Mom Tech. Look what you might have missed!   1. You guys, this car charger is genius! 2. A fantastic new educational website for kids you’ll want to bookmark. 3. Our new favorite app for kids, especially if yours love animals! 4. We’re loving this app that curates your digital photos and turns them into beautiful monthly magazines. 5. A sneak peek at the new emoji, coming soon. Whoo!...

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Alphabet posters for the non-couch potato generation

If you’re the type who hears news about kids needing to get outdoors more and wonder just who the heck they’re talking about, have we got an awesome pick for you. My Outdoor Alphabet is a series of beautifully designed posters, baby onesies and tees that bring to life the language of cyclists, backpackers, alpinists, skiers, and paddlers of all kinds. For example, the cyclist’s alphabet takes you from aero bars to Team Z, with J for jersey, K for kickstand, and M for Musette. There’s a small description at the bottom to fill you in on each one in...

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9 beautifully designed inspirational quote art prints for when you need a pep talk. From yourself.

I’d like to preface this post by saying that I know inspiration quote art prints aren’t everybody’s jam. Kristen, for example, prefers funny inspirational quotes for her walls. Her picks are hysterical, but I admit that when I’m in the middle of a total fail day, I often need more than just a laugh. I need words that motivate, inspire, or encourage me to get through whatever’s getting me down. What can I say, sometimes just seeing a quote that strikes the right chord can have an impact on me. Luckily, motivational posters have come a long way since the days of...

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My Big Art Show: the fun family card game that might turn your kids into art history whizzes.

Two of my kids have now outgrown some of my own favorite childhood board games like Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders — classic versions only, please. (And yes, I admit I do like Candy Land. Don’t ask why.) My kids are now into the kind of strategy board games that take 30 minutes to explain the rules and another 30 minutes to set up the board. They can be a lot of fun, but I don’t always have the time or inclination. So I like to have a few games on hand that we can all play quickly and easily. This week we’ve been binging on My Big Art Show by Susie Hodge....

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We’ve got 21 of the coolest coloring books for adults. Pass those markers over, kids.

It’s so easy to find yourself on-the-go all the time as a parent, but having downtime is important. In fact, I think it’s vital to being a good mom or dad. Of course, a few hours alone to get a manicure or go for a walk is so nice, but I like to find ways to unwind with my kids too. That’s why I’ve been absolutely thrilled to see adult coloring books blow up, and I’m fascinated by research I’ve seen lately saying that coloring happens to be a really effective way for adults to relax. So if you need a break from crosswords or Netflix or...

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Simple tips for getting kids to brush their teeth more independently. You know, beyond begging.

With four kids running around my house, that’s a whole lot of teeth to keep up with, and as much as I’d like to say my kids are always excited and enthusiastic about brushing their teeth on their own for those seemingly endless two minutes that’s recommended by our dentist, it’s just not true. Don’t even get me started about flossing. We’re thrilled to welcome our newest sponsor Reassurance Dental, which offers a dental discount plan that covers your entire family. It’s not dental insurance, but rather, a really affordable alternative; in fact, even if you have dental insurance, it can also act as a...

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Fight boredom with the huge, and hugely fun, coloring poster from Pirasta

I’ve been fighting boredom this summer with a bunch of magic markers and one really huge (like, seriously huge) and cleverly illustrated coloring poster for kids from a new company called Pirasta. And the beauty of these posters is that there’s room for everyone to get in on the action. The recycled-content paper is sturdy enough to let it take over the dining room table for a while, spread it out at a birthday party, or hang it on the wall. And at a whopping 63″ x 36″there is plenty of room for multiple people to color together. We’ve even rolled up...

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11 beautiful pop-up books to bring reading to life in 3D, no technology required

Now that my kids are finally all old enough to know better than to rip out the cut-art from a pop-up book as I flip the pages for them, I’ve been looking around to find some new pop-up books to read to them. And wow, there are some really, really beautiful pop-up books for kids that have been published in the last year, along with some classics I still adore. These are books that I’m enjoying as much as the kids are, even as they give my children a glimpse into another world, teach them a wider appreciation for art, or are just super fun. One will...

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The classic world map gets an arty twist

If you have a thing for maps and globes and geography in general, then you might love this as much as I do: a paintsplatter world map spotted at The Fancy. It would be so beautiful over a desk or in a kitchen, but I imagine my kids would love it in their room as well. It’s actually a repositionable sticker in three different sizes, starting at just $19 for a 15″ x 10″.  Not only are the colors vibrant and inviting, but there’s something about seeing the land masses of this planet depicted without borders that represents the interconnectivity of our world beautifully....

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From Apricity to Zephyr: Posters that teach vocabulary, one SAT word at a time

I admit I was pretty proud of my fourth-grader when she helped me finish the New York Time’s Monday crossword, but then she was employing words like llama and Naples. Then I saw British designer Mark Watson’s graphic dictionary poster series that he created for his own nine-year old and I thought, whoa. Maybe we could be working towards the Saturday puzzle after all? Related: 13 Words to add to your child’s bookshelf thanks to Lemony Snicket According to Slate, the graphic artist behind Modern Giant first created a minimalist depiction of the word contrarian after, well, his daughter was acting like one one. The...

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Web Coolness: What parenting really looks like, teacher appreciation gifts, and a Hallmark ad that will make you cry

Here are some of our favorite links from around the web this week. We hope you enjoy them!     Minecraft Rice Krispy Treats! [h/t Pop Sugar Moms] Have you checked out our #UnguiltyPleasures video yet? Share your own binge watching confessions for a chance to win a Kindle Fire. Making fun of our My Little Pony hats is optional. Respite during a tough week: Bono shares 8 Ted Talks to give you hope. Lessons from To Kill a Mockingbird (Liz’s favorite book) that still hold true today. Why moms can’t (and shouldn’t) do it on their own. Congrats...

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Bugaboo + Van Gogh: Two Dutch masters in one amazing collaboration.

I just laid my eyes on the new Bugaboo Van Gogh special edition stroller, featuring Vincent Van Gogh’s iconic Almond Blossom design on the Bugaboo Bee³ stroller, and I’m drooling. Or swooning. Or both, maybe. What a perfect collaboration between the iconic Dutch stroller brand and the country’s Van Gogh Museum. It is, hands down, perhaps most stunningly gorgeous stroller I’ve ever seen, should you be the type who would even see a stroller that way. But you know, a great impressionist master can do that to a piece of baby gear. I love that Bugaboo didn’t do a stylized representation...

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