Gracia+Louise is a collaborative duo who produce collages, zines, artists books, postcards and other small paper based projects about the inventive and wonderful worlds they imagine. One loves to collages, the other to use waterpaint but somehow they bring it all together in their magical and narrative based images.
Three of our favorite fancy dress makers also make sure their costumes are sustainably produced and can be worn year round.
Wovenplay creates dress up clothes for imaginative play. Anyone who reads Small knows how much we love their designs. This photo was taken by Christopher Auger-Dominguez for the super hero shoot in the summer issue of Small.
Patouche's fall line is inspired by little-red-riding-hood’s wander through the woods and the classic tale of Treasure Island.
Hand knitted masks and tails from Ouef. A fun and easy dress up idea that you could add to your outfit any day of the year!
Hoot Baby is a line of handmade clothing for girls and boys sizes 12 months to 6 years. In so many ways, Hoot Baby is a different kind of company. The idea of something handmade--something personal--is very important to them. Hoot Baby clothing isn't sewn in a factory. Every item they produce is made by one of their in-home sewers, talented crafts-people who are dedicated to quality production.
Hoot Baby is giving away their Peasant Empire Dress (Millefiore or Pinwheels design) OR a pair of Three-Season Pants--winners choice!
Enter the giveaway by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org noting what Hoot Baby item you would like to win, either the Peasant Empire Dress or Three-Season Pants, and winner will be chosen by random number.
Hoot Baby is also offering 25% off to all Small & Smaller readers. Just enter the code "smalldiscount" and get 25% off your order!
Nosheen Iqbal is the artist behind these colorful embroidered wood veneers and panels. She is a London born; Dallas based designer, illustrator and visual artist. Nosheen’s pieces are wood blocked or accented with acrylic paint. Each one is hand stitched making each artwork one-of-a kind. We can picture these in any child’s room.
Valarie: This costume turned out very sweet. nesting dolls are popular in the craft world, and I felt it'd make such a cute costume. the final product is completely different than my first ideas (and much simpler!). The skirt is basically a bubble skirt made from vintage fabric, stuffed with tulle, with an apron sewn onto it. The stole is the same idea: the piece that hangs from the shoulders bubbles under and is stuffed with tulle as well.
The doll she is holding is made out of the same fabrics as the costume and the faces are embroidered.
I had planned to share how i created the costume in more detail, but as I began writing instructions, I decided to be honest and admit that I'm not a pattern maker. I made this costume and the others featured here and here from scratch, trying to copy the sketches in my notebook. I basically jumped into it and had a blast! I kept an open mind, knowing that as the costumes took form they'd become very different than I had imagined. Many times I just started without even knowing what I had in mind.
Thanks to everyone who has bought the Small Draw Original Art Coloring Book over the last few months. There are still a few left so if you would like to pick one up you still can.
We recently made a donation with the proceeds raised through the sales of the coloring book to the micro loan foundation, Kiva. Kiva is an established online organization that lets you lend to a specific entrepreneur struggling for financial independence. Kiva makes loans all over the world so you can help someone in another country or in your own town. Even a small loan can can make a big difference. You can check out more about what they do here.
Marisa is a young New Yorker from a large Jewish family with a passion for healthy eating and for including as much raw food into your diet as possible while not losing the fun and love that goes into preparing food and sharing a meal. Recently Smaller caught up with her and she told us her about her mission to share raw and healthy foods, and also gave us a raw brownie recipe to try at home. Raw cooking is great to do with kids as it is so immediately delicious. You can find tons of great ideas for healthy or raw foods on her blog- Marisa's Healthy Kitchen
What inspires you and your blog?
The whole world inspires me! I have always been super interested in cooking and culture. For me one of the most special ways of expressing my love is through food. It makes me so happy to feed people with healthy, nutritious and most of all delicious food.
First make the icing so it has time to set in the fridge while you make the brownie bites. Make sure to use a Food Processor and not a Vita-Mix, as much as I love my dear Vita-mix it is not for this dessert :) Blend the cashews till they are a fine texture. Add in the vanilla, agave and 1/4 cup of water. It is best to keep the icing thick, so add in more water as you process but never more than 1/2 a cup. After the icing is well combines fill up a pastry bag or ziplock and set in the fridge.
you have the icing in the fridge you can begin on the yummy brownie
bites. Blend the pecans in the food processor till they are a fine
texture. Add the ut butter, agave, raw cacao powder and salt and
process until the mixture forms a ball around the blades. Transfer to a
bowl and make sure everything is combined with your hands. This is a
really fun part if you want to include your kids. Now form little balls
of dough and flatten them to make the brownie bite rounds. They should
be no more than 1 1/2" wide. Once you have all the bites formed take
your icing out the fridge and top the bites. If you want to dress them
up more you can add cocoa nibs, dried fruit bits or anything else in
These can be eaten immediately or set in the fridge to firm up. They will stay great in the fridge for over a week. ENJOY!
Reported by associate editor Jasmine Astronomo-Berger.
ENK children's club is huge and eclectic mix of kids clothes and products. We always find some new things we love and catch up with old friends. Here are some great designers to look out for in the Spring and Summer of 2010.
Four Funky Flavors Bright play clothes with mixed prints and a seventies feel from the Netherlands
Vincent Shoes- stylish and fun for winter splashing.
Busy Bee “classic kids wear for life at play.”Milk and Honey Relaxed beach inspired styles.
Eyespy baby Contemporary cashmere collection. Gorgeous colors and so soft.
Thank you to Monica and Claire from Corduroy Kid!
Amy: My husband grew up in the North of England. He likes to share British traditions with our family. Conkers is a fabulous British game that children all over the island play with glee in the autumn.
Conkers are horse chestnuts or buckeyes here in the states. Conkers is a playground game of skill that is simple to play and fiercely competitive!
The only items needed are conkers, string, and some determination.
There is a National Conkers Championship each October in England.
It is some serious sport there! We just hope you have fun in the woods and playing a natural game.
Xo The Sharp Family
We always think half the fun of Halloween is making the costumes. If you are looking for a costume you can put together your self Halloween (or just for the dress up box) we have two more fabulous DIY costume from Valarie Mangum and photographed last Fall for Small issue 8 by Nick Prendergast
Valerie: I completely adore the pig/wolf softie designed by Lizette Greco. I used her pattern from the softies book (edited by Therese Laskey of Softies Central) to make the snout on the hat. He has felt eyes and pointy ears. The hands are two pieces of fabric rounded at one end, sewn together with white felt triangles on the round end for claws that aren't too mean. The feet are made of one piece of fabric rounded at the end and elastic that goes underneath. they are meant to go over shoes. I thought the red suspenders made him look more sophisticated and innocent.
Valerie: This is a basic cape with scalloped edges. I sewed a line of vintage mismatched buttons down the front. Her wrap around skirt is white w/ red polka dots and 2 layers of red tulle. I cut some small flowers out of Amy Butler's cherry wallflower fabric and appliqued them to the front. Her fairy tale look is complete with a pointy hat that isn't attached to the cape.
The Wild Things are here!
Grecolaborativo is a family collaboration made up of a couple creating with their young daughter and son. Their plush art is created under the name Lizette Greco,
and is based on their own children's drawings and made using only thrifted and
recycled materials. They also accept commissions for pieces using
drawings from other children. Their aim is to create artwork that
celebrates a child's perspective of the world and will hopefully be
passed from generation to generation. Recently Lizette told us how to make these fun costumes based on 'Where the Wild Things Are' by Maurice Sendak.
Wild Things and Max Suit
This 'Wild Thing' and 'Max' suit is like a large footed fleece pajama with big feet, claws and a tail attached. The head piece is separate and a little more work so make sure your child will be willing to wear one before you invest your time in it. Don't worry if by the time your child goes out the door wearing this costume, the tail and one ear is held by a safety pin here and there. Ours did.
Easy claws: take two rectangles of thin black fabric, put them together and draw zig-zags. These are the claws (four claws are enough). Sew following the lines and then cut the excess fabric that makes the triangles in between the claws. Turn inside out and stuff your claws lightly and sew them shut. Attach them to the end of the "sleeve", but only to one side (top side) of the sleeve so that the hand is free to come from under the claws and reach out for candy. You need to make a total of four sets of claws to attach to both hands and feet.
Big Furry Feet: First, take a comfortable shoe the child will wear to go trick or treating. Place it on top of a two inch thick foam rectangle. The rectangle must be about two inches wider than the shoe all around (hence the big feet). Trace the shoe over the foam, remove shoe and cut the shape you just traced. Insert shoe in this space and make sure the foam is held firm around the shoe. Cover this big foot with fabric making sure you catch the claws at the tip of the foot. Use thick black fabric for the sole which might get dirty and/or wet. You can either attach the foot piece to the leg or just let the leg fall loosely over it.
Head piece (Wild Thing): Start by measuring and cutting a big sack-like-piece that goes widely over and around the head. Sew it as a sack and then trace and cut a wide slit for the mouth. Big teeth are made just like the claws but bigger and in white. Ears are big circles folded in half. Eyes are half covered in fabric, and faux fur for eyebrows. Glue pupil on as well. Once assembled, eyes are sewn to the top of the head . The nose is a loosely stuffed rectangle. Pin the corners without stuffing to make nostrils. Hand sew nose in place just below eyes. Cut, sew and stuff two big horns and attach to head as well. The head piece will be wobbly so the child can wear a baseball cap or any other hat that can be hidden under the head piece. You can pin or hand sew the head piece to the hat to keep it from sliding side ways.
Head piece (Max): After making another Wild Thing suit for our then four-year-old son, we discovered that he didn't want to wear a big head piece. That's how he ended up wearing a Max-like-suit that matches the colors of the Wild Thing. Max's head piece is just a hood with ears attached. Long rectangle folded in half over the head. Sew the back of the hood closed. Sew a button and cut a slit to keep the hood in place (under chin). Cut two circles, fold them in half and sew them in place as ears.
Randy Kaplan has been one of our favorite kids performers for years. We have reviewed his cd in Small before and were really excited to hear of a string of kids shows he has planned. His live shows are great and his cd's have been in heavy rotation at our house for years. Maybe because he makes music for adults as well as kids it is easy for all ages to enjoy.
If you are in New York he has four live shows coming up. We are particularly looking forward to his show with Goat on a Boat Puppet Theater in Sag Harbor on the 17th of October. If you are not in New York you might want to check out his witty and catchy tunes on his website or find out when he is playing a venue near you.
Last Fall one of our favorite art directors Valerie Mangum made a series of amazing DIY costumes for a shoot for Small photographed by Nick Prendergast . We thought it would be great to show them to you again in the run up to Halloween along with the instructions from Valerie that we couldn't fit along side the shoot when we published it in issue 8 of Small.
Valerie: 'The kimono is vintage but you could easily make a simple one by cutting down an old dressing gown. I made the obi out of Amy Butler fabric and put wire in the hem of the obi to help it keep its shape. The model is wearing white tights with traditional Japanese shoes, but flip flops would work just fine. The best part about this costume is her wig, which is made out of strips of white polar fleece. I criss-crossed the strips over each other like lines making an astrix symbol until it looked almost like a circle. it wasn't cut into a bob until we put it on the model to make sure it was the right length.'