Now, I want to inherit a couch, go bold, reupholster and embroider my own pillows.
A Little Hut: Patricia Zapata, author of Home, Scissors, Paper and A Little Hut blog and online store shares her paper crafts with maybe the less crafty via printable PDFs. This bat, witch hat, ghost and pumpkin are perfect for party favors. $4.99 for nearly instant and unlimited printing. Now go get your party started.
(Not particularly into this "spooky" holiday? Maybe these pretty (printable) alphabet flashcards or coloring sheets will speak to your inner paper craft self.)
seen: dot minis, aqua
Sofia Masri: I prefer to make a small statement with jewelry. Big and dangly always throws me off. So I love that this Sofia, a graduate in fashion design originally from Mexico City, is creating just that by working with porcelain, by hand, and finishing her art with lead free, food safe glazes. Colorful, subtle and vintage. And they're fun to gift.
seen: red kimono hoodie
baobab: Almost every single children's clothing company I have bookmarked is from Australia and this one is especially excellent. (See the racer shorts and lobster envelope tee. Or the Kid Chain Dress.) They've mastered "wearable basics" and they do ship internationally if you're zealous.
Dear Australia, I'm envious. You have a lot of things going for you.
seen: Elizabeth Mitchell's You Are My Sunshine
Elizabeth Mitchell (sold at Land of Nod): This is one of my very favorite baby gifts I got 9 months ago, the week Finn was born. We dance to it, we crank up the volume when I'm cooking dinner, the kids fall asleep to it at night and I still don't tire of it. This indie pop singer does children's folk ("tunes pulled from the songbooks of the Carter Family, Leadbelly and Woody Gunthrie") in a hip kind of way.
(Qualifies for free shipping.)
delightfully, Kelli Sullivan
seen: color in placemats, $12 (set of 24), dress up
also available in space designs
Giggle: As a parent of a 3 year old, I believe that coloring, stickers and food are the 3 most trusty helpmeets during the fussy (6:30pm)/ stressful (international flight?)/ making dinner times. These letterpressed color-in placemats made in the USA on 100% recycled paper combine the coloring and eating for some inexpensive relief. Simple but smart.
They could also act as a fun place setting at a themed birthday party.
seen: motorcycle tee ,$30
Fey Handmade: This new "boyfriend" look is somewhat of a relief, I think. Fey Handmade lets those casual/comfy days still be cool with this rugby stripe + vintage motorcycle. Slouchy with a silhouette.
seen: reusable veggie bags, red
Fey Handmade: while the canvas grocery bag movement is clearly in full force, I still find myself with an abundance of produce bags that seem purposeless at home. "Inspired by nature and passionate about design," Fey Handmade solves this problem with recycled cotton muslin bags made with water-based ink. Set of 4 for $20. Also available in blue.
Seen on HeySusy*.
delightfully, Kelli Sullivan
seen: mini coach
Vilac (available at Moolka): these two-dimensional, vintage looking lacquered wooden toys make the perfect decoration + toy for any lonely bookshelf or thoughtful + quality gift within budget. Non-toxic finishes? Of course. "Vilac toys are ageless."
seen: mini pumpkin wreath
Armelle: Caroline Armelle shares last year's tutorial of this clever mini pumpkin wreath. And look: it's modern (no dried flowers and lace), pretty, and black and white (which could work for all of Fall). With only 4 supplies, you could have one too.
seen: mini rhinoceros bank
Bajo (available at Oompa): Maybe if my three year old (Cole) could see how much money was inside his piggy bank, he wouldn't sneakily dump it out every other day. I think this is a bright idea. A see-through bank with childproof access to the coins. And a wooden rhinoceros to boot? Perfect. Made in Poland, $24.99.
seen: baby soy s/s kimono tee in ocean, $12.50
Baby Soy: "is the 1st company in the world to create baby's newborn wardrobe using soybean protein fiber." It's not a new find, but a favorite one. This has been my go-to clothing for my baby boy during every growth spurt. It's comfortable (particularly soft) and looks put together but not so infant. Plus it sticks to my general baby clothes shopping rule of about $10 per piece. [Now available in boys and girls playwear too.]
seen: fishnet market tote in nolita stripe
Built: This is a long standing favorite brand of mine and I love to see their collection expand. Literally. The fishnet tote can grow up to 200% its original size. Insulated, light weight, stain resistant and vinyl & pvc free, of course. And to further set it apart from the canvas breed? Padded shoulder straps and an inside storage pocket. A grab and go, no purse needed product. "Shopping for groceries never looked this good."
delightfully, Kelli Sullivan
seen: green jump rope, $10
Green Toys (available at Giggle): this US made 100% cotton rope with 100% recycled handles means "little jumpers can burn energy and save energy at the same time." It's about time we add this toy to our sports bucket. My little boy has been trying to jump his belt.
(also available in white)
Modern Lola: Perhaps the perfect highchair? Easy to clean (where many highchairs go wrong), foldable, simple, pretty and practical all with a $175 price tag. The tray can be removed to push your child right up to the table. Bold and dotty or stripe-y cushion covers available and sold separately. Brilliant job, Kuster.
seen: egg wall mural
Olli and Lime: The English have mastered fish and chips and now customizable wall murals. "Durable, washable, wallsmart paper." Simply email Olli and Lime with the height of your wall and they'll send back a PDF of your unique mural and the cost: approximately $5/sq ft. Added bonus: they ship that mural within 10 days along with hanging instructions.
seen: short sleeved infant t-shirt, barn babies design
Positively Organic: it's nice to see less traditional layette (beetles, cowboy boots and butterflies), happy colors and simple graphics in a brand that's "positively fun" and "positively friendly to the planet." If organic is a non-issue to you, maybe the generous summer sale (and clearance) sections will be the draw.
post-edit: I ordered two infant shirts from their sale. They're soft, stretchy, thicker and true to size. Good buy.
Cafe Press: Have you heard? You can now personalize your own bottle to make "think(ing) green and drink(ing) clean" that much better. 13 design and size options. $24.99-$27.99. A perfect gift, right?
(True. Not particularly cheap for a water bottle. But sometimes you can't put a price on responsibility. Especially when it's customized.)
seen: kate's notebook lunchbag
design*sponge DIY: This is the perfect do-it-yourself project for September- a personalized notebook lunchbag that Kate promises you'll be able to inexpensively complete in a jiffy. "Much like that pristine first page of a notebook," she says, "the hardest part is deciding what to write on it. Have fun!" Perhaps you could even try your hand at embroidery (you child's name)?
The Pajama Squid: Not all children's boutiques are black and white. This one seems especially quirky and colorful in a very cool, handmade and socially responsible kind of way. Although I haven't read this book yet, books seem to be this store's specialty and I love a trusty recommendation.
delightfully, Kelli Sullivan
Martha Stewart craft-of-the-day: maybe jewelry doesn't need to feel like such a splurge. The natural look best suits me and I love that these step-by-step instructions all make it seem doable for a week's down-time project. Tools and materials needed: 3/8 inch round wooden beads, nylon coated beading wire, metal crimps, needle nose pliers. Thanks again, Martha.
eco heather crew
seen: camp out! embroidery pattern, $5
Sublime Stitching: a "teeny tiny" homegrown business that provides all the know-how for artsy, designer embroidery. It's true- it's back, and it's cool. The new artist series patterns, tools and kits all under one virtual roof make it super easy and inexpensive to create sublime art for your home.
seen: bathmat via Maya*Made
Bathing Beauty: this is Maya*Made's rendition of the bath mat from the new Handmade Home book. Organic fabric + Ikea towel = instant makeover for the room we may use the most (we're bath lovers too). I'm inspired to sew.
Purebaby: simple, stripey, organic cotton wear. "An Austrailian organic label for babies and children." Not particularly easy to come by and especially affordable!