Tag: handmade

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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Because you can never have too many Moleskine journals. Especially cute handmade ones.

As a writer, I’m of the mind that you can never have too many journals or blank books on hand. I stockpile them like a zombie apocalypse conspiracy theorist, hoarding canned goods and ammo. But unlike gunshot, they also happen to make great impromptu gifts. So I love the made-to-order, illustrated, handmade Moleskine journals from Elena Mazzali of Etsy shop La Douceur du Miel (“The sweetness of honey”). This plain, unlined journal is just made for recipes, honey-based or otherwise. But the other journals–which the artist cleverly calls “Mieleskins”–are pretty great too. Like a bear rocking out to a Beatles cassette....

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Handcrafted toy chests you’ll love to look at. Not just because they’re hiding all those toys.

It’s that time of year, so I was looking back at our post on colorful toy storage options, and came across the toy chests from Drift Studio. (Thanks, Christina!) So I clicked over to see what was new, and wow. As much as this Brooklyn mama loves the Brooklyn maps toy chest that we originally featured, I really dig the other toy chest designs from this Wisconsin based studio, too. From geometric patterns and graphic jungle animals to retro-toy designs like paper airplanes or jacks, there’s definitely something for any decor. Or hey, maybe it will inspire the decor theme to begin with.   Each chest is gorgeously handcrafted–with a...

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Dream a little dream of dragons, bats, and narwhals.

Now you can put your baby to sleep with visions of fantasy dragons, hedgehogs, and even adorable bats (yes, they’re a thing) in her head. The handmade baby mobiles from Bee Janie Baby Mobiles feature all these creatures and more. You guys, they even have a mythical beasts mobile—you know, in case you have a Game of Thrones nursery in the works. Each mobile is handmade from felt, and most have somewhat unexpected creatures for a baby’s room. I mean, have you ever seen a mobile with bats before—the sleeping-in-caves kind, not the baseball kind? Me either, but I want one now. The...

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What’s our angle? These cool origami-inspired stained glass necklaces.

We’re big fans of unconventional jewelry that will get noticed when we wear it. And I have to admit, I’m a little jealous of our editor Kristen’s amazing necklaces. That’s why I’m geeking out about these bold stained glass necklaces from Here and Now Shop on Etsy. They’re so very modern with an industrial vibe, but simple and pretty enough to go with most any outfit, which is an important selling point for me. There’s something special about having handmade jewelry made just for me, but the things I find are usually at a price point I can’t afford. That’s another thing that’s wowing me about these...

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Beating the winter blahs with a shot of color to your table

Lately, I love the idea of my dinner table feeling coordinated but not entirely matchy-matchy. And then I saw these gorgeous handmade cloth napkins at the Shapes Colors Etsy shop and thought, yes! Just like that! The artist, San Francisco mom Samantha Cisneros, screenprints them each by hand with bright, colorful, eco-friendly ink in colors like fuchsia, milt, and cobalt. And while you can buy them each individually–or a set that matches–I kind of like the idea of having all six that are different. It’s a nice way to brighten the table during the winter blahs (that’s an actual...

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‘Tis the season for snood scarves

Since moving up north after almost ten years enjoying mild southern winters, I have become addicted to chunky scarves, like these snood scarves from IRISMINT on Etsy which I’m pretty sure I’d wear non-stop until spring. Each piece is made completely by hand from natural fibers like merino wool and cashmere (ooh!), in a gorgeous array of colors and patterns. I’m in love with the geometric pattern, which is so on-trend right now, and the herringbone and the ikat are gorgeous, too. All can be worn pulled up, or folded over if you prefer them to be lower on your neck....

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The coolest kids’ clothes and accessories: Editors’ Best of 2014

While we love finding the cutest baby clothes for showers (and our staff members who are going through some sort of group fertility thing this year) as our kids get older, we’re so happy to get to look for more cool clothes for older kids and tweens, who’ve aged out of the 0-6 lines. So we’re thrilled to have lots of both on our site this year, with tons of new brands, plus great new lines from brands we’ve loved for years. While this is always a tough one to narrow down, here are our picks for the coolest kids’...

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16 fantastic last-minute Christmas gift ideas: It’s never too late!

Breaking news: We’ve got two days until Christmas. And I’m guessing I’m not the only one who hasn’t finished holiday shopping yet. Deep breath. Don’t panic. And don’t break your budget on $39 overnight shipping just because you get desperate. Instead, snag one of these easy, last-minute Christmas gift ideas, which can all be pulled together quickly. There’s something here for every price range too. And, just like that, your holidays are saved. The great thing about last-minute gifts is that they can inspire you to think outside the box and shop for things you may not normally think of, which can end up making...

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Adorable, free printable holiday gift tags from illustrators you may already know and love

If you’re like me, you have yet to take all those parcels and toys out of their hiding places and start hunching over the gift wrap and ribbon to get them all gift-ready. One of my plans is to make use of some of the truly gorgeous printable gift tags  that our intrepid writers scope out for you each year.  And then at the last minute, I found one last source for free printable holiday gift tags: The Zutano Blog. Like so many parents, for years we’ve loved Zutano baby clothes in part for their fun original prints. So how perfect that their...

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5 of our favorite Pinterest pins – Holiday help is here!

Obsessed with Pinterest as we are? Follow us for great ideas like these from our site and beyond.   1. One of the easiest, most adorable DIY Christmas gifts from kids. 2.  Nice ideas for gift-wrapping a bottle of wine. 3. If you’re heading out of town, you might need this cool gadget for travelers. 4. Great last minute gift idea for guys. 5. Perfect New Year’s Eve jewelry....

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Great handmade craft gifts that kids can make themselves

We are always pinning DIY projects that kids can actually do (with maybe just a little help here and there, of course) on our Printables+DIY Pinterest board.  When it comes to getting gifts from my kids, I always love the handmade ones the best. It doesn’t matter if it’s imperfect or inexpensive, as long as it comes from their heart. And hey, even our kids’ teachers agree.  So, if your kids are starting to wonder what to get you–or your partner, their siblings, their grandparents, or their coaches–take an hour to hang out and help them make some of these fun handmade gifts designed just...

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Cool craft kits for kids that give back

If you’ve got big kids like mine who love to DIY, then you need to snatch up one of these KidKnits craft kits for kids that help give back to people in need. Founded by 9-year old (yes, 9!) and avid knitter Ellie, KidKnits is a non-profit organization that helps families in Chile and Rwanda through the sale of hat craft kits. Each kit features everything you’ll need to make your own hat, including your color choice of hand-dyed yarn from the artisans in both countries the charity supports, as well as a round loom, hook, needle, and instructions, all...

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Web coolness: Holiday gift help, ideas for kids who don’t need toys, TIME person of the year, and a hilarious takedown of a top gift catalog

Here are our favorite links around the web this week. Hope you like them too.   With less than 2 weeks to Christmas and only a few days to Hanukkah (eek!), check out more than 200 gift ideas on our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide. Plus there’s still time to enter that awesome giveaway filled with luxury goodies for you and the kids. Emoji gifts. Love it. Great ideas for kids who don’t need more toys. (Even if they think they do.) Helpful source for free toy, craft, and stocking stuffer ideas. What happens when boys want princess toys? Must-read post for Etsy sellers and...

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Stunning holiday jewelry gift ideas for under $75? We have tons.

Some women obsessively collect shoes or handbags, but for me it’s jewelry. It always fits (of course), and makes me feel polished no matter how raggedy the rest of me may be. I love giving jewelry as gifts, too, as it just seems to make everyone feel special. Luckily for you we made it easy to find some gorgeous steals in the Cool Mom Picks Indie Shop with a category solely dedicated to killer jewelry gifts all under $75. Update: Regretfully, the great.ly shop is no longer in operation. We hope you’ll find other cool stuff you love throughout our site. From statement cocktails rings and gemstones...

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13 tips for a more sustainable holiday that can save you a ton of money.

These days, there’s no shortage of ways to save money, which is certainly welcome over the holiday season and our growing shopping lists. And it’s not just about coupons, discounts, and deals, which we love, of course. Taking steps to live more sustainably can actually save you money, and not just over the holidays. That’s where our sponsor PUREEnergies comes in. We really admire all they do to save families money and get them to live more sustainably. And their recent trip to the Amazon to learn more about sustainability got us thinking about how we can do the same...

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11 essential cleaning tips before your holiday party. Whether you’re a neat freak or a “hide everything in the closet” kind of person.

It’s that time of year when pretty much everyone is entertaining. And yeah, we all know how to run the vacuum and wield a toilet brush (or hire someone else to do it, if you’re lucky), but as the resident Cool Mom Picks neat freak, I’ve got a few pre-holiday party cleaning tips and tricks that I’ve picked up over the years to help you get the place in even better shape. Don’t worry — they’re simple, and they’ll actually make your job easier. [Editor’s note: We like that because uh, not all of us around here are neat freaks...

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