Tag: handmade

Courtney Courtney: Now one more way to get your hands on our favorite girls’ dresses. If you’re quick.

At a time we’re seeing some of our favorite small artists abandon Etsy for their own storefronts, we’re thrilled to see one of our all-time favorite makers, Courtney Courtney, back there again, giving us one more place to shop in addition to the Courtney Courtney shop on Big Cartel. Kristen and I may each own more of her amazing handmade dresses for our kids than anyone else in the world, and every day our kids put them on it gives us joy. While other artists have tried the whole upcycled t-shirts turned into dresses thing, no one we’ve ever seen does it quite...

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It’s here! Our first big Ultimate Birthday Party Gift Guide!

We are so excited to launch our brand new, first ever Ultimate Birthday Party Gift Guide, featuring more than 100 of the coolest birthday gifts for kids of all ages. Whoo! Over the years, we’ve been asked a zillion times (not even exaggerating there) for kids’ birthday gift ideas so we decided, hey, why not put them all together in one big, awesome guide for you all, featuring the coolest gifts of the year? You’ll find so many of the best birthday gift ideas to suit any budget, from those special first birthday gifts  to developmental toys for toddlers, all the way through those hard-to-shop-for tweens...

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VIDA scarves by Karen Walrond: Gorgeous photos brought to life around your neck

We always love sharing awesome style collaborations between artists and cool companies, but even better when it’s a friend, like the amazing author and photographer Karen Walrond, who’s launched a line of VIDA scarves. We’ve known Karen and her outstanding work for we-won’t-say-how-many years, so how exciting that she’s collaborating to bring her beautiful photographs to life and with such a wonderful company that brings the vision designers, artists, and creatives alive with the help of artisans in Pakistan, who are paid a fair wage and provided with literacy programs to help them further their own lives.   The scarves,...

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The hipster ABC matching tile game, for parents who value reading proficiency and irony.

Most preschoolers can tell you that M is for Monkey and N is for Nut, but a hip preschooler may know that those letters also stand for Moustache and Narwhal. Since I’m pretty sure my three year old doesn’t, I’ve got my eye on this Hipster ABC matching tile set that should increase his cool cred faster than he can say, “The glasses-wearing narwhal played ping pong in a log cabin.” Mostly because he’ll first want to know what the heck a narwhal is. Related: A cool counting book for your hipster-in-training. I love children’s toys that speak to my own design sensibilities and I get a a...

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Unicorns: They exist. On awesome scarves by Snoozer Loser

One of the fun things about curating our own indie shop is the ability to discover and showcase really cool artists and makers that you probably wouldn’t come across unless you’re spending your free weekends browsing funky boutiques in New Paltz or Portland. And yeah, I don’t have too many of those weekends anymore. Our newest addition for you: The hip Brooklyn label Snoozer Loser, which is known for sophisticated prints that are more offbeat than you’d expect on closer inspection. My top pick is the folk unicorn scarf, which features everyone’s favorite mythological creature, block printed in silver on a generously sized viscose-silk blend black scarf. My only...

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8 of the coolest Year of the Sheep baby gifts for your little lamb

I’ve always loved the Chinese Zodiac and not just because I’m a Chinese American. I am fascinated by the history of the signs and their meanings. So with the Chinese New Year just a couple of days away, we thought it would be fun to round-up cool Year of the Sheep baby gifts. If you happen to be expecting a little baby lamb (we’ll go with the lamb instead of the ram) in 2015 or know someone who is, here are some wonderful Year of the Sheep baby gifts to help celebrate. Kung Hei Fat Choi!   The beautiful knit dolls from BlaBla Kids have...

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A rainbow of handmade sorting games bringing beautiful, old-school play to kids

Ever in search for more colorful playthings to brighten up the dreary northeast weather, I am so happy to discover Laughing Crickets, an Etsy shop creating the most beautiful, bright, happy-making handmade toys for kids, with a focus on handmade sorting games. The shop overs brightly beautiful natural  sorting games featuring the likes of giraffes, hearts, birds, lady bugs, and rainbow clad peg dolls in their own little wooden beds. Plus, Easter eggs which should be a big hit in the coming weeks.I love that they’re painted with non-toxic paints and finished with natural beeswax and olive oil, by makers who clearly...

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Last minute Valentine’s Day help: Printables, crafts, gifts, and recipes. We have you covered.

If somehow Valentine’s Day snuck up on you–or oh, say, you’ve spent the last month tracking down cool Valentine’s picks for your readers and totally forgot to do anything about it yourself (ahem)–fear not! We have hundreds of resources, recipes, gift ideas, DIY projects, crafts for kids and more to help you out. Go forth and be romantic!  [at top: DIY heart crayon craft from 100 layer cakelet]    VALENTINES CARDS AND PRINTABLES     19 of the best printable Valentines for kids from around the web 15 more of our favorite printable Valentine’s cards for kids (Above: Heart printables from The...

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3 adorable free Valentine’s printables that let kids make their own Valentine’s gifts.

I’ve noticed that old school “Cootie Catchers” have been making a comeback lately, but I particularly like the rebranding of them as Chatterboxes. After all, that’s a little more palatable than the idea of picking bugs off of your friends, right? (Ew.) If your kids adore them them like mine, check out the sweet new printable just out from our talented friend Lonela of Tiny Me, who’s always whipping up something adorably crafty and cool and generously offering it up for free download.   The free printable Chatterboxes are perfect for Valentine’s Day, with fortunes like You have a heart of...

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12 of the most fun, easy Valentine’s crafts for kids that we’d like doing too.

With Valentine’s Day less than a week away, I’m going to take advantage of this weekend with the kids to finish up their printable Valentine’s Day cards and make a few yummy Valentine’s food gifts to hand out to all our favorite people. We’re also going to keep our hands busy and out of the bowl of candy hearts by doing some of these awesomely unique, fun, and easy Valentine’s crafts for kids. I hope you’ll agree they’re all pretty simple, and definitely kid-friendly, with supplies you already own or are fairly easy to find. No need for buzz saws. Yet.   Recycled Valentine’s treat bag...

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15 romantic Valentine’s gifts for her under 50: Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

For the next post in our Valentine’s Day Gift Guide, we decided to do things a little differently this year, and find some of the coolest Valentine’s Day gifts for her — your wife, your girlfriend, your relationship that defies mere titles — all under $50. Because the truth is, there are so many fantastic Valentine’s Day gift ideas that can show your love without maxing out your credit cards whether it’s a great deal on some gorgeous jewelry, or something so thoughtful, she can’t resist. We’re so happy that our Valentine’s Day gift guide is sponsored by Kindle Love Stories, a vibrant Amazon community that...

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Happy Handmade: The super-fun, super doable new craft e-book for kids.

Sometimes I see the same crafts in crafting books for kids over and over again, but the ideas in the new e-book Happy Handmade, are fresh and fun, with diverse perspectives from 17 creative contributors. We’re talking respected craft and DIY bloggers like Mari Richards at Small for Big, Eva Monleón at Misako Mimoko, and Ana at Babble Dabble Do. From scented orange-peel candles to a braided belt to sock puppets and doll houses made from shoe boxes, there’s something for every crafty kid here.  And fear not crafting newbies; these are mostly simple, 101-level craft projects you can make with materials you likely already have at home, like toilet...

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10 easy Valentine’s Day crafts that make cool DIY gifts: Valentines Day Gift Guide

We love homemade gifts, and have always had a heart for Valentine’s Day crafts that make truly thoughtful gifts. But then we look around, and…eek! Unless you have your own woodworking shop and an MFA in jewelry design, not all the ideas floating around will come looking like those gorgeous Pinterest photos. (You know what we mean.) So we searched high and low, and put together some of our favorite Valentine’s Day crafts that look amazing, but that regular people can reasonably do. We hope one of them is just right for your kids, your sweetheart, your BFF, or anyone else who needs to feel the...

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A fun tissue holder to get kids smiling through the phlegm.

Kids will always have runny noses. Always. So I’m all for adding a little fun to the dreaded Parental Nose Wipe with this adorable Whale Tissue Holder we spotted at Etsy shop ShopSparklyPony. We think that kids’ tissue holders can be a little corny at times,  but this little whale is a charming work of art. Lovingly hand crafted and–get this– “individually tested for proper tissue-release,” each whale is stamped, dated, signed and numbered so you know your Moby Dick is an original. Because you know that’s just the kind of thing that kids care about when they’re home with a miserable cold....

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Personalized Valentines cards with extra heart

I know that for some couples out there, when it comes to Valentine’s Day, it’s the card that counts. So I’m always searching for really special V-Day cards that could make special gifts all on their own. I recently spotted these lovely, made-to-order personalized Valentine’s cards from EKRA, on Etsy and I’m really taken with them. The heavy cut cardstock cover features your two names on front, and a red or pink heart behind. It’s totally the kind of thing I could see saving on a shelf in the bedroom for a good long time, or if you’re sentimental, framing.  Don’t forget to write a...

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The Mini Life: When you feel like you’ve seen every baby and kid gift out there, here’s where to go.

I’m always happy to introduce you to beautifully-curated independent web boutiques and here’s one more  new one that’s caught my attention since its launch just a few weeks ago. Mini Life is an exquisite children’s lifestyle boutique packed full of gorgeous toys, decor, home items and more, all cultivated from around the world. It’s definitely not the kinds of gifts you see in every shop in the mall. Founder Athena Rotolo has a modern sensibility I just love, and if you’ve got little ones to shop for–or maybe, splurge on–then you must look around this exquisite site. Here are just...

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Tree Change Dolls: Turning trash (i.e. Bratz Dolls) into treasure.

Like many parents I know, I have never been a fan of the pouty-lipped, heavy-lidded, overly-made-up Bratz line of dolls. But after I saw what this mother-daughter team has been doing to “rescue” the discarded toys, I was totally charmed by the sweet little dolls who it turns out were were hiding behind all those false eyelashes and lip injections. Renamed Tree Change Dolls, from an Australian phrase that refers to a move from urban glitz to a more down-to-earth style, these repurposed dolls aren’t even recognizable as their formerly wide-eyed selves. Their eyebrows are repainted to be more natural, their lips look less injected, and even their hair is reconditioned...

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Mavenhaus Collective: Limited edition women’s fashion that you will want. Warning you now.

I’m not surprised that Mavenhaus Collective instantly turned me into a fan before I was even off the homepage, especially considering it was created in part by our friend, Pinterest tastemaker extraordinaire Traci French of Blissful Blog, along with equally desing-passionate sister, Tara Schlosser. The site features limited-edition designs from amazing designers who specialize in women’s fashion. In other words, if you see something you love, grab it now or forever hold your peace. I could link to my favorite items, but with no more than 50 of each–and often fewer–who knows if they will still be there by the time you get to...

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The Valentines gift for the romantic with a naughty streak

A little secret about me: I am a serious romantic. I’d always rather get a heartfelt card for Valentine’s Day–or any day, really–than even a box of fancy chocolates or some sexy lingerie. But if you’re looking for a cool Valentine’s gift for a special lady that offers two out of three, you’ll find it with the clever, brand new, Hidden Love Letter Panties from lingerie company Naja. You specify some sweet (or racy) words of love, and provided your special message is 35 characters or less, they’ll print the note on the inside of a pair of navy or red-hot red panties. And...

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Don’t know much about geometry

With the Etsy artists starting to see a decline in visits since the homepage redesign (we have trouble with it too, sigh) you can expect to see a lot more of our favorite Etsy finds here, as well as a new, weekly Etsy find of the week delivered right to your inbox if you subscribe to Cool Mom Picks. We’ve always been so pleased to be able to support the kinds of smaller designers who set up shop there, and one of my newest finds is small indeed: Gwyneth Hulse Design, a cool New Zealand jewelry and housewares shop which offers only a few handcrafted items. But...

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