Tuesday, March 29, 2016

DAISY Chain Craft Fair!

Happy (belated) Easter friends!  I'm terribly sorry I've been a bit absent lately, but I've been thinking about catching up every day!  There has been a lot of behind-the-scenes type work going on around our house lately, and I'm so excited to share it with you!  As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm going to be setting up my first craft fair booth at DAISY Chain's 2nd Annual craft fair in just a couple weeks.  Today I want to give you an idea of what I've been working on for my little table! 
Art Print Cards!  From several of my larger pieces, miniaturized, folded, inscribable, and givable.
Baby and Toddler Skirts!  My daughter wants to wear a comfortable "dancing skirt" all the time and these are such a joy to make.  My fabrics and trimmings are often from my multigenerational stash (thanks Mom!) and vintage, upcycled sources, but always thoroughly cleaned beforehand, of course.  

Bandana Bibs!  Little ones can produce an illogical amount of drool, especially while teething, but they can sure look cute at the same time!  I love the look of these little bandana style drool bibs and tried to incorporate more absorbent fabrics into these.  I have both regular and slouchy (shown) styles.


I also have a variety of winter and summer bonnets, candles and magnets. There are also many more styles and designs of each, this is just to give you an idea  And who knows what else I might get a hankering to whip out before the big weekend! ;)

It was so hard to decide what to focus on, but this is the direction I've decided to take for my first show.  I'm a little giddy through all this prep, and I truly hope if you're able to make the trip that I'll see you there!  April 9-10 from 12:00 - 4:00 pm at 1244 Lawrence St. in Eugene.  Look for my sign (it will hopefully be slightly more embellished by then):

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Trail Etiquette: Hiking with Children

Some of my happiest memories all through my life have been on a trail of one sort or another and I'm so thrilled to begin to share that with my children.  For many trails, there are outright laws that direct behavior while exploring, while there are some courtesies that can be applied to all.  Most of them are common sense or perhaps even regional, but I'd like to share my thoughts on trail etiquette, especially with children
Happy!  I will be so goofy for that grin!  Hiking at Chatanika, AK

1. Be friendly!  Greet those you pass!  This is how we used to pick out newbies or "city folk" growing up!  Haha!  (Sorry city folk, I know some of you can be outdoorsy, too! =)  Hiking can be hard.  Be nice.  And don't forget to warn of any dangers (wildlife, path degradation, etc.) ahead.  Or go the extra mile and say something encouraging!  On one of our last bigger hikes, my son was struck by how encouraged he was on our way up by one man who simply told us how much farther we had to go.  So he told every single person we passed on our way down about how far thy had left!  This might be excessive for an adult to do, but it's a nice thought!
I believe this was Fynn's first serious hike (3 mo.  6 miles to Kennecott Mines, AK)  Doesn't he look happy!? =)

2. Yielding the path.  I know the general rule is just for those going down hill to yield to those going uphill, but with very young hikers, we pretty much step aside for everyone.  It's okay to get passed.  We all get to where we're going at our own pace.
Nov 2015, McKenzie River, OR

3.  A group only goes as fast as their slowest hiker.  Basically, stay together.  Of course differing opinions on this, too, but isn't the point of going on a hike together to be together?  There's always a little straggling or speeding, but our general rule is to stay where we can all see each other.  And I find for us it works well to just let the kids pick the pace.  Yes, there's lots of stopping, but that's when I see the most learning happening.  It's not all about the destination. 

Studying a snail.  Sweet Creek Falls, 2015

4. Staying on the trail: most public parks employ this rule, but I would say the best excuse to break that would be to relieve oneself.  Lets face it, with little ones, potty breaks aren't always predictable and usually quite urgent.  Just remember to have them go at least several yards off the trail, 200 feet from water, and to bury anything solid (especially toilet paper!)
Kauai 2013

5. General public trail respect.  Pack your garbage out.  Don't vandalize.  Don't feed the wildlife nor try to get too close to them.  Don't pick the flora, the exception being an emergency.  Though I have also picked edible plants that were growing in abundance along the trail itself for grumpy hungry children.  But in these cases I follow the forager rules of only picking what you need and leaving more than enough for the continuing of the growth.  Interesting article on public land foraging regulations along the Pacific states (and BC) at Wild Harvests.
Valdez, AK 2011

And here's my rule that I've pretty much tossed out the window: be quiet.  Maybe it isn't perfectly courteous, but I have children.  They're outside and excited and wild adventurers.  They're not going to be quiet.  I know people go hiking to get away from the noise, and to them I do apologize.  I know it's going to scare off the wild life.  But right now, they are the wild life!  I can't tell them to use their inside voices.  Right now, being quiet outside is only for hunting. 

Darlingtonia Wayside with my parents, 2015

As you've probably already gathered, I can be a bit of a rule breaker at times, and I feel like so many of the "rules" are situational and dependent on the time and the trail.  Just some things to think about, though.  There are lots of great trail etiquette posts out there like this from Melissa Farage  and another from North Cascade Hiker.  Happy hiking!

Silver Falls, 2015

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Miniature Magnifying Magnets (Plus a Potential Plot)

What a blustery day it has been!  Our huge dog (who regularly drags logs around the yard and helps me haul firewood) thought it was a great game that the trees were raining giant branches down on him!  Like they were bestowing on him gifts of new toys!  Ah, he can be troublesome, but he sure brings a smile from time to time. 

But the shenanigans didn't stop there.  Though we went and played outside a couple times through the day, the little ones seemed to have a little extra mischief also.  Like taking a break in their recently discovered "bumk beds" (aka bookshelf) and playing in my blanket chest. Well, one did while the other promptly shut the lid and sat on top! 

To get to my plans coming up, I'm very excited to have just registered for my very first craft fair!  I haven't even been officially accepted yet, but it's had my head spinning with new creations that need my immediate attention.  My table is currently covered in cuts of cloth and curiosities (ooh, five alliteration points!) even though the date is more than a month off.  I've always loved craft fairs and the unique creations and styles one can find there, and I've toyed with the idea of renting booth space for years, so I'm just giddy about it actually happening now!

I have yet to figure out my niche (see 2 posts ago), but today my oldest and I worked on  a fun project that I believe we'll display on our table.  These Miniature Magnets are quite simple, yet functional and fascinating. 

You'll need:
~small round magnets
~flattened glass marbles (Dollar store!)
~tiny pictures
~hot glue gun and glue sticks

I believe the biggest challenge was finding images small enough.  Even when you shrink images on the computer they become very pixilated in the process.  Magazines worked well.  No two are alike!  Test what your image will look like by placing the marble over it.  The shape of the marble works to magnify the picture. 

The top of the magnets have a sticky side with a sticker backing.  When you remove the backing, place it over your image to trace the diameter of the correct size around your picture.  Cut out and place on sticky side of the magnet.  Then place a pea sized dollop of hot glue on the flat side of your marble and quickly press firmly onto the top of your image.  Any bubbles in the glue will be pushed out to the sides. 

I love how these turned out!  Pretty fun to make, too!  I'm curious, have any of you done a craft fair?  I'm just hungry for any tips and pointers!  Prepare yourselves for lots more crafty posts in the next month! =)