We are going away for January to spend some time with friends and family. Please take a look through our archives (right back to 2009) or check out the back issues of Small (all twenty of them!) if you have some time. We look forward to seeing you again in the new year.
take a look at the personalised kiddiboxes by Tiphaine Verdier Mangan
Adolie Day has illustrated for Small several times. Her new book of paper dolls is coming out on the 27th of Novemeber - just in time for the holidays. Find out more here
elk tee from Barley and Birch
pants by esp no 1
campshirt by busy bees
fishing rod at the kids fishing shop
....and when you get hungry you can whip up some Damper: a delicious and quick campfire bread
. . . For campfire cooking place the loaf in your campfire, cover with hot ashes and coals and bake for about 20 to 30 minutes. You can use a dutch oven to bake the bread but it cooks perfectly buried directly in the ashes. Break off the hard black crust and slather the inside with butter and home made jam.
Head on over to Smallable and check out their cool advent calender. Everyday this month you can open a gift box filled with info, free giveaways, discounts and goodies! I am definitely loving the beautiful illustrated cozy room.
Also exclusively at Smallable you will find the Jess brown event in favor of the "Toutes à l'école" association. The idea : create unique dolls in limited edition, all dressed-up by fashion designers : Little Paul and Joe, Noro, Talc, Louis Louise, Simple Kids, Gold, Poppy Rose, and send all the benefits to Toutes à l'école in order to help little Cambodian girls to go to school and become free educated women. A creative and charitable partnership!
Advent Calendars are a great way to answer the "how many more days to Christmas" question. Here are four of our favorites, all reusable year after year. We have copied the stories of how these designs came about from each site - lovely little stories.
Sweet Petunia "Twenty five 2" x 2" boxes have been decorated with Christmas retro feeling paper, then numbered to help you count down the days to Christmas. They are ready to be filled with whatever your heart desires. The boxes are attached to hefty chipboard and hung with a ribbon. The lids are fully removable so if you want to mix up the days for more of a scavenger hunt you can. The last thing we need is more mass produced advent calendars going into landfills after this holiday season. I believe that this will become a lasting part of your families holiday tradition."
Happy Thoughts Pdf Pattern. Emails within 24 hours direct to your inbox! So stylish no one will know you were last minute! Check out their super cool Christmas garlands and reindeer decorations too.
Peppermint Pinwheels "When I was little, my family had a handmade advent calendar in the shape of a Christmas tree with little hooks on the branches and a special little toy that was hung on each hook every day until Christmas morning. I remember how exciting it was hanging up my toy, knowing every day I was one day closer to Christmas. This year, I decided to make a new advent calendar. This calendar is designed to look like festive holiday bunting, but each of the 25 pennant triangles is a fully lined, button enclosed pouch, perfect for small presents or candy."
Nouveau Design "I remember my family having an advent calendar while I was growing up and I was always so excited to open a new window each day in December until Christmas. I have decided to make my own, featuring my digital illustration of some shop fronts, inspired by the quaint little shops in Amsterdam. Windows and doors are numbered 1-25, and reveal a tiny symbol of Christmas behind each one.
This calendar is printed on thick watercolor paper, which gives a nice texture to the print and a substantive quality to the overall piece. The print is then mounted with strong adhesive spray to a white foam core board. I have tried to make this calendar sturdy enough to be used year after year and hopefully it can become an anticipated tradition during the holiday season."
If you are a fabric addict like us, Sew Mama Sew is going to be impossible to resist. Their collection of fabrics, especially their Japanese imports, is perfectly selected to inspire big ideas for future sewing projects. You can justify picking up all that new fabric by also collecting a few patterns by Oliver + S or the many others in their shop to make up some new outfits for yourself or your little ones.
As well as fabric, patterns, tutorials and gifts you can check out their blog for wonderful handmade gift ideas. Each year they do a round up on their blog of the best hand made ideas for the holidays. You can see last years collection here or keep checking in for new great ideas for this year including the hand made fabric wings we featured in our summer issue.
You can find some of our favorite handmade Halloween costumes in the Fall issue of Small. There were so many more we wanted to share with you that we will keep featuring them here over the next month.
First up from Ouef- Halloween costumes with staying power. There woolly hats are cute all winter and its always fun to wear a tail. Pictured above are the 'little devil' tail and hat and the 'wild thing' tail and knitted crown. Team them with a leggings and long sleeved tee, or a one piece suit and you are ready to go. All Oeufs products are eco-friendly and hand made sustainably under fair trade in Bolivia.
Easter is coming early this year so its time to start making eggs already. The talented Robert Mahar of Mahar Dry Goods (who puts together the Small finds page in each issue of Small) has produced a Tie-Dye Easter Egg Kit. Each kit contains materials to create at least 24 eggs: recycled silk ties, fabric wrappers, twist ties and easy to follow instructions. All of the materials are re-usable allowing you to make dozens of decorated eggs. The kit contents are neatly packaged in a clear egg shaped box that’s perfect for displaying your decorated eggs. The results are fantastic but easy to replicate over and over at home. Be sure to check out his other site The Junior Society for tons of other great ideas and tips.
Some simple craft projects for Valentines day...or just for the love!
Love shadow box, heart softie and Valentines day place-mat from Moomah
For a weekly dose of easy creative kids crafts, including valentines day ideas like this heart tree, sign up to Kids Craft Weekly and have it delivered to your inbox.
Jumpin' Juliet party favor from Mahar Dry Goods
Crayon shaving heart decals from Fuzzy Sheep Crafts
Matchbox treats from Jane and the Ducks
Cook a crêpe on one side.
Loosen the crêpe from the pan with your spatula/pancake turner.
Hold the franc/coin in your weakest hand (for example, the left if you are right-handed), when the crêpe is ready to be turned.
Attempt single-handedly to flip the crêpe.
Enjoy good luck for the rest of the year if the crêpe lands perfectly in the pan. Suffer bad luck if the crêpe does not land well - or try again!
Lillibulle is a baby and children’s store in Paris that offers a large selection of handmade clothes, accessories and toys and supports independent French designers. The Christmas window displays has been created by designers Gabrielle Aznar and Les Filantes whose work I especially love, as well as the sewing and knitting kits and the indoor hopscotch which has been a family favorite for years now.
Lillibulle 3, rue de la forge royale 75011 Paris
Photos by Anne-Christelle Beauvois at Lillibulle.
Text by guest editor Irene Nam
20 percent off all Rose De Bois on the 5th and 13th of December (code St Nicholas). The shop is at 6 Rue Messonier, Paris
The wonderful annual sample sale in Dumbo. Kit+ Lili, Nochalant Mom, Bebe Sol swimmers and Lucky Fish. Pick up play clothes at a fraction of the price.
December 10th and 11th (Thursday and Friday) 10 am to 5 pm
55 Washington Street Suite 728 Brooklyn New York 11201
Supervente Crafts Market in Paris on Sunday the 6th and 13th of December. Participants include Anastasiajamin, Annabel, Clothilde, Coloriste en Herbe, Dollymix, Encore Petite, Hibou Caillou Chou, Lala Rose, L'Atelier d'une Fée, Les Ronds'Chapo, Lou Lou & Oscar, Mamzelle Drash, Mupmup.
Wish we could be there!
Pilosale has designed these lovely fabric calendars you could use year after year.
These kind of count down calendars could be a fun thing to use with children looking forward to any exciting event in the future.
From our two favorite designers comes a holiday pop-up shop at the beautiful Erica Tanov store at 204 Elizabeth Street New York. There is an opening party with cocoa and cookies on Saturday Nov. 21st from 3-5. If you are not in New York you can pick up both Jess Brown and Wovenplay goodies online.
Hope to see you there!
Two artist we have featured in Small before are doing specials.
Lorena Siminovich of Petit Collage is giving away a free puppet book that she has illustrated with every bamboo mobile ordered this week. Get in quick- only two days left.
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!
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.
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.
This weekend I spent some time with my two kids at SpaceCraft in Brooklyn. Spacecraft is a unique craft space and supply boutique with daily walk-in crafting projects for adults and kids of every level. We had a great day making some fun Halloween crafts with Esther and Ella two sisters there for a day of fun.
To make the bag we picked a bright orange shirt with a front pocket so the bag could have a little outside pocket. Be as imaginative as you want...a white shirt could become a ghost or skeleton, a green shirt can be a ghoul or monster, and red shirt can be a strawberry....If stenciling seems too complicated you could easily paint on a design with fabric paint.
What you will need:
-fabric ink-could be plain black or not
-cardboard or old towel
-construction paper or old brown paper bag
-fabric pencil or pen
What to do:
1: First lay the shirt flat and cut the bottom hem off.
2: Cut two extra 1" inch strips off as well
3: Take the strips and stretch them until they become long bands
4: Take a piece of paper -construction or old brown paper bag cut up- and draw out a jack o'lantern face or any spooky pattern you like.
5: Cut out to make a stencil
6: Place a piece of cardboard or old towel between the front and back of the shirt and place paper stencil on top of the shirt. Be careful to place it higher on the shirt as more of the bottom will be cut and threaded at the end.
7: With a spray bottle and fabric ink spray cover the holes in the stencils right to the edges. You can use a hair blow dryer to dry the ink faster.
8: Once the ink is dry take off paper stencil from the top and the cardboard from the middle of the shirt.
9: Cut off the arms at the shoulders, the neckband, and round off the bottom by cutting at the left and right bottom corners. Take both the stretched loop strips and cut them so they become long strings.
10: Cut a half inch hole at base of arm hole and thread string through, tie a knot to hold.
11: Keep cutting half inch holes and thread string in an over-under-over-under pattern until you get to the middle of the bottom.
12: Repeat on the other side and when the 2 strings meet up tie them off in the middle with a bow or fancy knot with wooden beads hanging.
Voila! You have a re-usable trick or treat bag!
355 Bedford Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Reported by Small associate-editor Jasmine Astronomo-Berger