in the garden by true, brave, soul, and glow

Children make the best art. My four girls created this piece for Ben as a birthday gift and we call it “In the Garden.” I shared a bit over here while they were making it and you see it again when they give it to Ben here. Clearly, this was inspired by our garden, and one of our favorite things to do together is to garden together. There’s always a project in the works in either our front or backyard garden, so we spend a lot of time there, though not nearly enough because there’s much to be done. I had an idea of what I wanted them to create, but when I was trying to guide them or tell them what to do, it just wasn’t working and wasn’t coming out like I had thought. It’s when I just let go and told them to go ahead that the whole thing came together. It’s so amazing when you just let kids create; the results are far better than whatever I could come up with.

I did start by having them all draw their heads and body-ish (I drew on my own head). Then, I gave them all different greens and they started bringing the garden to life. They each had different shade of green and worked together to create this. I’d have them interchange colors and brushes here and there, and I’d occasionally help point out spots that were missing something, and they continued to layer and paint. We also brought in some leaves from our garden, so they could recreate some of those shapes in the painting. The pictures here don’t even capture how vibrant this painting really is. They’re so proud of what they created and Ben and I are in complete awe of it too.

Ben loves his gift so much that he keeps bringing it around the house, so he can see it wherever he is. We finally had to give it a home though, so it is currently on display in our entryway. I love seeing it reflected in the mirror; it’s exactly what this spot needed.

It makes us smile to see our walls decorated with art made by our girls. We still have this and this up. I’m going to commission these girls to make another (much larger) painting, or maybe this time a drawing, because we have another plain wall that definitely needs something big. These girls are my favorite artists, and while I’m a tosser and don’t keep all the things they make, this painting is definitely a keeper.


gift guide from treehouse kid and craft

Another creative children shop we love is Treehouse Kid and Craft based out of Athens and Decatur, Georgia. It’s been around for a long time and we’ve picked up some of our favorite toys from there (remember this Rody birthday?). I know when they were very little, I was the primary say so on what toys come into the house, and honestly, much of what has stuck around have been those classic wooden and handmade pieces. Of course, they have plenty of My Little Pony and Star Wars toys too, and those simply get integrated into all their creative play too. Kids are kids, and no matter what toys you give them, play allows them to express their creativity, but I do love toys that are beautiful as they are functional because let’s face it, toys end up everywhere. Here are some popular ones from Treehouse Kid and Craft that fit the beautiful, but functional, and encourages creativity…

Dumye dolls: Made by Sahar, who is a UGA grad (the local college near Treehouse Kid 7 Craft), a doll is donated to children in need for every doll that is sold. These are no doubt heirloom quality and gorgeous to boot! These dolls also have a really sweet little pocket in the back for a little note to whomever you are giving doll to, and later, they can use it for their own tiny keepsakes.

Loog guitars: Professional quality electric guitars for kids. How perfect this would have been for Glow’s Ash costume (see here). These are 3 string guitars and come with an app and cards to help kids learn chords, which makes it really easy to transfer to adult guitars in the future.

Blockitecture blocks: These are made by Areaware. For the little builder, these architecture blocks are amazing to mix in with magnatiles or regular wooden blocks to create kingdoms and cities. One toy you won’t mind being left out on the coffee table.

Snake blocks: The pieces are connected by an elastic band throughout. Make them big and small, these create beautiful sculptures. Perfect for for idle hands and way better than the fidget spinner. Also, perfect for studying sculptures and art.

Technology will save us kits: Fantastic kits that introduce kids to circuits, programing, and coding.The playdough kit is great for young kids and then they can progress to the other kits as time goes on!

Voice Recorders: Just imagine how fun the kids would have recording their voice and leaving messages for each other! There’s also a little knob to alter the sound. They can sing a song, tell a joke, or even beatbox, and then have fun playing it back.

Art supplies: Art supplies never go out of style and children can never have too many. You never know what medium they will take to, so it’s good to give them an array of choices and see which they love best.

Also, if you’re in Atlanta or Athens, you’ll want to check out their Art Carts (creative kits for parties) and Art School classes. My kids personally have snake blocks, art supplies, and the voice recorder on their list, so we will see what they end up unwrapping. What kinds of toys have you purchased this year?


lace clay dish

Lace Clay Dish

Air drying clay
Plastic rolling pin
Carving/cutting clay tool (plastic knife may do)


1. Using a 3″ ball of clay (makes about 6″-8″ clay dishes), roll out to desired size and until about 1/4″ thick.

2. Place your doily/lace on the clay, and roll onto the clay to create the doily/lace impression. Carefully remove the doily/lace. Get creative with the design placement, and put the design on the whole space or part of the space.

3. Cut out the shape of your dish. To smooth out the edges, dip your fingers in some water and rub along the edges to smooth.

4. Place the clay piece in a shallow bowl to dry. This will allow the clay dish to form its shape. Allow clay to dry completely; it takes about 24-48 hours.

5. Paint the edges of the dish. Allow to dry completely.

Children will have fun making this and it makes the perfect grandparent gift or gift for yourself to catch all your baubles. It might be the perfect holiday craft to make once on Christmas break!


favorites from kinoko kids

We love Kinoko Kids, which is the brainchild of Ms. Tips and Mini Pomme, women whose shops I have admired for years. Together, they have a sweet children shop in Minneapolis, and of course, for those of us not local, they have plenty online for our shopping pleasure too. We love toys that encourage creativity, play, and imagination. And of course, we love vintage. Kinoko Kids checks all those boxes, and I’m sharing my top ten faves from the shop here:

1. Little lion plush
2. Mushroom light
3. Chari basket
4. Rabbit bag
5. Monchichi
6. Oil pastels
7. Castle blocks
8. Wooden bus
9. Cash box
10. Play house

Kinoko Kids curates such an excellent variety of quality classics in their shop. There are plenty of wooden toys to choose from. My big girls are 10 and 11 and they still play with many of our block toys. Our wooden toys have never broken, but may have had permanent marker and crayons scribbled on them. They even have Monchichi! Each of my girls have their own Monchichi and their fur is worn out from time and hugging. And I’ve always wanted one of those mushroom lights for their rooms. If you’re in need for some quirky decor, get one! I’m sure it looks so pretty lit up. Also, if you’re a vintage kid clothing lover like me, they have a nice full stock of vintage clothes in all sizes. I also picked up one one of these puzzle faces as a gift for one of the girls. If you’re still looking for beautiful toys for the little ones in your life, Kinoko Kids has got you covered.


felt pom pom garland christmas tree

Felt Pom Pom Garland Christmas Tree

Template for the pin points
Felt pom pom garland (I used 3)
Sewing pins (or can use Command decorating hooks if you don’t want tiny holes in your wall)

Place a pin at the top, from there continue to place your pin points on each side to make the shape of the tree. See template to determine pin points. Once the points have all been created, join the ends of two garlands together and place that at the top pin point of the tree. Continue shaping the tree, draping the garland on the next pin point until your tree is completed.

We used 3 garlands total and our tree is about 4 feet tall. If you want to make a larger tree, use more garland.

Isn’t so cute?! It’s so easy to make and gives such a fun holiday vibe. You could make it with a tinsel garland, tassel garland, or even simple string lights. Better yet, make an even bigger one with more garland attached. Maybe a giant wall one should be our tree this year! We are a bit behind in the Christmas decorating and this is the only thing we have up so far.

Also, I love this pom pom garland because I can use it way past Christmas. I’m all about things that have multiple uses, so you’ll probably see this garland repurposed in other DIYs throughout the coming year. Of course, you could certainly make your own felt ball garland, but with it being $5.99 at Michaels right now, I’d rather buy it than make it. So who’s going to give this festive, simple DIY a whirl?

Supplies provided as part of the Michaels’ Makers SeriesSanta’s MAKEshop is open at Michaels! From holiday décor to trimmings for your tree to DIY necessities, you can find everything you need to make your holiday magical!


fabric shopping

One of the girls has a birthday coming up, which means a birthday dress needs to be made, but I haven’t had time to go to my favorite fabric store (it’s about 40 minutes away with no traffic, and in SoCal, there’s always traffic), so online fabric shopping it is. I got introduced to and I’ve been impressed with the wide array of choices they have. I was looking at their designer apparel fabrics by the yard and there’s so much to choose from. They even have Amy Butler stuff. I went through a big Amy Butler phase when I first started to sew. Typically, with fabric, I like to touch and feel it before I decide, but these days I don’t have time to drive out to my go-to shop, so I’m giving online fabric shopping a whirl.

My go to fabrics are always cotton and linen. I’m eyeing this natural denim and this linen rose blend. I love sewing apparel with denim for myself and the girls (see here and here), and linen is a common fabric I stock up on too. This Anna Maria Horner pattern give me Ace & Jig vibes and would be fun for a dress for one of the girls. For me, I’d love this pinstripe linen for a tie front top. I’m thrilled to see designer apparel fabrics that I’m familiar with. Makes online fabric shopping easier because I already know that designer and its quality are reliable. also has so many more linen choices than my go-to shop and this makes this seamstress super excited. It’s taking some real constraint to not fill my cart with lots of fabric.

Now that I think about it, I haven’t sewed myself anything to wear this year. I’ve altered thrifted things, and I’ve made the girls plenty of things for their wardrobe (I’ve been using fabric from old dresses I no longer wear to make them something), but nothing for myself. I think I have to change that before the end of the year and pick out some fabric to sew myself something. I’m thinking something in a soft indigo denim with a tie front. Although, before I can do that, I need to make Soul’s birthday dress. That’s top on my to-do list.

Do you sew? If so, where’s your go-to place to get fabric? Have you ordered fabric online or are you a must touch and feel fabric shopper?


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