Although it might be a while before we can plant seeds in the dirt outside. . .
. . . we can still. . .
. . . get ready. . .
. . . for the coming. . .
. . . season.
Hand Stamped Garden Aprons
À la Maria in the Sound of Music, these simple garden aprons came from the scrap of some curtains I shortened a few months ago and the other fabrics are remnants from previous projects as well.
To make these garden aprons (either for an adult or child, or both), measure from your waist to about 4-6" above your knee or your child's knee. Then measure around the waist and divide by 2. The first measurement with be your width, and the second will be your length.
Cut the fabric to these dimensions. Starting on a short side, fold the fabric over by a 1/4" and then once again and sew down. Do this again on the other short side, making sure to fold the fabric in the same direction. Finally, on one long side, do the same.
When you have three sides sewn, take your complete waist measurement and double it. Cut a piece of fabric that is this length by 2" wide. For the adult size you may need to sew two pieces together. place each piece, pattern side down, and fold 1/4" in on each of the long sides. Press with an iron or crease with the side of a ruler or pencil. Fold these two sides towards each other and crease in the center. You should have a "ribbon" with nicely turned edges.
Place the "ribbon" over the un-sewn edge of the apron and pin in place. Sew down the open edge from one end to the other (including over the apron in the center). when you get to each end, fold down twice and sew to finish. Now your apron base is complete!
To add the pocket, I cut one piece of canvas for each apron. I made them about 2-4" shorter on each side than the apron base. After the pieces were cut, I frayed the edges and ran a zig-zag stitch around them to make sure they did not fray any further.
Using the same method we did for our Hand Stamped Garden Banners, I made stamps out of potatoes and stamped them onto the pocket. When the fabric paint was dry, I sewed them onto the aprons along three sides, leaving the top open. To make two pockets, I folded the aprons in half and made a crease. Then I sewed along that crease the separate the pockets. Make sure to iron the fabric paint after it has dried for 24 hours to set the colors.
With the Kids:
*Last time in Crafts and Activities: Spring Catalog!
Whether it's about the journey of a building from idea to pyramid, building a love of nature, fostering creativity, nurturing the soil, or just plain growing up, spring is all about growth! With that in mind we have some great new titles in the store for the growing season we know you will love.
The Tortoise and The Hare: It's an age old tale of slow and steady wins the race. Accompanied by Jerry Pinkney's stunning illustrations, this classic fable is ready for a new generation to fall in love with. If you are a fan of The Lion & The Mouse, this book is a wonderful companion.
The Story of Buildings, From the Pyramids to the Sydney Opera House and Beyond: While the outdoors will always be our favorite place, buildings are an important part of our lives. For most people buildings are where we work, eat, sleep, and go to school. So how does a building come to be? From dreams to reality, journey along with The Story of Buildings to find out just how these structures jump out of imaginations and into the real world. Well written and beautifully illustrated, this is a book aimed at kids, but one parents will love to read as well.
Compost, A Family Guide:Teach your kids that composting is fun with this funky guide that takes you from the nitty-gritty of compost composition. Learn what compost is, how to make it, and how to maintain it, along with games, stickers, and more!
The Artful Parent: Bring out your children's creativity and imagination with more than 60 kids' art activities. Art making is a wonderfully fun way for young children to tap into their imagination, deepen their creativity, and explore new materials, all while strengthening their fine motor skills and developing self-confidence. You'll learn how to set up an art space, how to talk to children about their artwork, how to choose the best art supplies (without breaking the bank), how to repurpose and organize the piles of art created, and even how to use kids' art activities to soften everyday transitions. Great for toddlers all the way through age 8.
Charley Harper's ABC's: The ABCs are one of the first things we learn in any language, so make sure the experience is a good one. With so many ABC books to choose from, it was hard to pick just one, but this is hands down our favorite. The colors are modern and vibrant, the illustrations are to die for, and the content (i.e. what each letter stands for) is dare we say, a bit more original. If you are a fan of the imaginative and lyrical work of Charley Harper, you will love this delightful ABC book.
Seedswap: We just love this illustrated introduction to saving seeds--how to harvest seeds from your own garden, set up a seed library to share with your community, and grow plants from your own seed stash. Includes a dictionary of plants, full instructions, and all the information you need to know about the seed swapping movement.
We Love Nature!: A child's discovery of the outdoors is filled with awe, wonder, and delight. This sweet little book gives parents easy ways to explore the natural world and make lasting memories at the same time. Share in the discovery of nature with your child and preserve his or her sense of wonder in this keepsake journal filled with activities and ideas for children ages two to eight.
The Nature Connection: There is no question that the outdoors is the best place to be, make the most of your adventures with this fun and interactive nature workbook! Lifetime naturalist and artist Clare Walker Leslie has been igniting kids curiosity around nature for decades. Combining directed observational activities with field notes and journaling, her unique approach nurtures for the next generation of nature lovers and environmentalists.
*Last time in Books and Stories: A is for Asparagus?
Thank you all so much for participating in our Countdown To Spring giveaways, what a great week it's been!!
And now, without further ado, the winners of our giveaways (chosen by random number) are...
Jennifer who said:
I love your store! Such a great collection of cool kid stuff.
Rachel who said:
absolutely lovely giveaway!
Star who said:
I have three very eager art students who would be over the moon about this!
Stacey who said:
We are fans of anything that fosters creativity in encouraging and open ways and would love using the Orange Couch in our homeschool house and community.
Thanks again everyone, and happy spring!
After a long. . . oh-so-very-long. . . winter, it's finally SPRING!!! As you can see, we're pretty excited about it around here. So much so that we've been celebrating all week with giveaways and as much spring loveliness as we can possibly pack into each post. Today is no different, but, seeing as it is the honest-to-goodness first day of spring, we just had to step it up a notch. So, without further ado. . . our annual spring catalog release and giveaway!!
This year we are giving away a $150 gift certificate to the shop to one lucky winner!! Don't know what to buy? Take a peek at our new spring catalog below and let us know what you think!
How to enter:
Simply leave a comment on this post by Tuesday 3/25/14 at 4pm. The winner will be chosen by the lovely random number generator and announced later that day!
*Want even more chances? Follow us on Pinterest and/or Facebook (if you already do then share this giveaway on your Pinterest and/or Facebook page). You can also get another link by sharing this giveaway on your blog or twitter. Just make sure, whatever you do, you come back here and leave another comment letting us know you shared.
A few months ago, I received an email from Emily and Ali introducing me to the fantastic goodness that is the Makerie. Situated in the beautiful foothills of Boulder, Colorado this unique retreat combines all of my favorite things: nature, creativity, and play. It's no wonder that when we met for the first time a month later, it seemed like we had known each other forever. I'm so thankful that my publisher Roost Books made the connection and inspired our meeting. I'm even more grateful that I get to be a part of all the wonder. On April 12th, I'll be sharing an evening of Makeshift Magic. I don't want to give too much away, but suffice to say, there will be good food, good company, and great forts. If you're in the area April 10th-13th I strongly encourage you to check out their offerings. Whether you sign up for the entire retreat or a single day, the workshops, round-tables, and all-around fantastic community is not to be missed.
To learn a little more about the retreat, check out the lovely interview below with Makerie founder Ali.
**Oh, and make sure to enter today's Countdown to Spring giveaway at the bottom of this post for a chance to win a goodie bag filled with crafting supplies!**
About the Makerie:
The Makerie is a creative retreat, nestled at the base of the Flatiron Mountains in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. The weekend is designed for the beginning crafter to learn and be inspired to make beautiful things and for the experienced crafter to learn new skills and be inspired in brand new ways. The Makerie team holds a deep belief that each person is creative and their cozy mountain retreat is designed to nurture and encourage your creativity in thoughtful and loving ways. This year's retreat format provides the opportunity to take four different classes throughout the weekend (16 hours of outstanding instruction) to experience a wonderful variety of projects and techniques taught by sensational teachers from around the country. Giant stenciled floor pillows, painting, pattern design, embroidery, pajaki paper chandeliers are just a few of the fabulous classes offered this year. Click here to see the full variety of offerings!
Q:What are some of your favorite projects/classes so far?
A: Well I've truly loved all our classes & it's hard to choose 'favorites,' but a few that come to mind are the fabric birdcages taught my Tamar Mogendorff, (I stalked her ~ in the most gentle way ~ for two years asking her if she'd come teach!), letterpress by Allison Bozeman (i'm a paper lover) & I'm really excited about Helen Dardik's pattern design class, as there are endless possibilities once you learn this skill. What I love about what we're offering is that every class is very approachable for the everyday person who wants to explore & nurture their creativity.
Q: What lessons have you learned through the creative process?
A: Among many things, I love how well creativity & the creative process translates into your personal life & what a beautiful tool it is to learn about yourself. This happens not only through what you make, but the journey it takes to get there. I love how the process slows you down & helps you see the world in new light. I took a fantastic pattern design class & for months, everywhere I went I saw patterns is everything. It was so much fun to look at ordinary things in such a new way. I love how creativity seeps into every aspect of your life when we nurture it, whether it's creative problem solving, the way you present a meal or even just becoming more open minded in general.
Q: Do you need to be an artist to participate in the Makerie?
A: The Makerie is designed for the everyday person, yet we have many artists come who are looking for new inspiration or perhaps even trying a new medium to infuse what they are already doing. I always wished I had gone to art school so this is our answer for a mini version designed for anyone who wants to create more time & space for creative endeavors.
Q: What makes the Makerie different from other crafting classes? What Makes the Makerie unique?
A: The Makerie is an entire experience & the weekend becomes its own little encapsulated world. You can truly step out of your busy, everyday life & let creativity be a priority, while nurturing the whole person too by offering morning yoga & hiking, a cozy lounge filled with the latest inspiring books & magazines & healthy organic meals. Everything is taken care of for you so all you have to do is focus on play.
Q: Favorite moment or experience so far?
A: Well there are many, but one that I treasure was our Closing Ceremony at our very first retreat in 2011. I had been working tirelessly to get our first retreat off the ground & was so buried in the details during the actual weekend, I never stopped to notice what was happening around me. At the end of the event, each person shared one word about what the Makerie meant to them & it was an incredibly moving experience. I knew that creativity fed our souls, but had no idea about the magnitude of it & how powerful the weekend was for everyone who was part of it. I don't think there was a dry eye in the room & it was a moment I will never forget.
Q: What are you most looking forward to in the future for this lovely adventure?
A: Just seeing how it evolves! The extraordinary creative community I have met because of the Makerie has been the most rewarding of all & I trust that the Makerie will evolve organically, as it has all along. It's my greatest hope that the Makerie will continue to inspire others to not only add more creativity to their lives, but to also follow their dreams.
And now for the giveaway!
The Makerie is generously giving away one of their retreat goodie bags ~ filled with special crafting goods & fabulous discounts! Bonus: the actual bag is a bento bag from Amtalia, out of San Francisco!
To enter to win leave a comment on this post by 4pm on 3/25/14. The winner will be chosen by the lovely random number generator and announced the same day.
*Want even more chances? Follow us on Pinterest and/or Facebook (if you already do then you can get an extra entry by sharing this giveaway on your Pinterest and/or Facebook page). You can also give yourself another shot by sharing this giveaway on your blog or twitter. Just make sure, whatever you do, you come back here and leave a comment letting us know how you shared.