Back-To-School Never Looked So Cool!

In the month of August I made, packaged, and shipped 269 items. Most of which were placemats and napkins for back-to-school!

I’ve been seeing pictures of our napkins in lunch boxes going to school (and coming back–yay)!

pen&thimble napkins set

Placemats heading to Montessori classrooms!

pen&thimble Montessori placemat

 

Back-to-school has been SO fun on the business end and on the personal side too!

My oldest starts pre-K at the elementary school on Tuesday and my husband and I were talking about making her first school lunch tomorrow. You know there will be a pen&thimble cloth napkin tucked in her bento box! A special one to make her smile and let her know I am thinking of her. (It’s this one!) She was eyeing it during our photoshoot and she loves dress-up and Halloween! I will be listening for her squeal at lunchtime … I’ll just be a few farm fields down the road!

pen&thimble napkin

What napkin print would make your little one smile at lunchtime? Tell me in the comments below, on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! I’ll pick some of your suggestions to add to the shop next! The more far-out, the better!

Bubbles, Wands, and Magic That Sticks

Last weekend, my four year-old asked if we could make an evil potion. I said what any mom would…

diy bubble wand

“Sure! How about a bubble potion that turns people into frogs!” (An idea I stole from that one episode of Bubble Guppies we have on our DVR.) She thought it was a marvelous idea!

After a quick trip to the market to get corn syrup we made bubble potion and bubble wands. It was sooooooo much fun!

 

Bubble Potion Recipe:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup of dish soap
  • 1/8 cup of corn syrup (this is the ingredient that turns people into frogs)

Bubble Wand Materials:

  • Craft pipe cleaners
  • Beads

Super simple and super fun activity, but here’s what they don’t say on Pinterest that I would have liked to have known:

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1. Corn syrup bubble potion is super sticky and makes for sticky hands and bodies.
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2. Pipe cleaner bubble wands, although the most beautiful in the land, require some practice and patience to make a big bubble.
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3. Super big plastic bubble wands + This bubble potion = Giant Fun Bubbles

Pro Tip: Fill up the paddling pool and have your kids splash all the sticky bubble goo off of themselves after they’ve had their fill of bubbles. Easy peasy!

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Blog Note: No people were harmed in the making of this bubble potion. Except for this person who stumbled through a rather large cluster of bubbles and found himself turned into a frog. Bubble Potion Success! MUAHAHAHAHAA!!!

Do I Look Like Santa? Imagination + Costume Bin = Our Summer

Both of my girls have been BIG into dress-up this summer! And it is getting hilariously whacky and fun! It started off as putting on a princess dress and claiming to be… a princess. But lately, their imaginations and costume bins are taking them to amazing pretend-play places!

July Dress-Up Photo Gallery

Super Hero
My Super J!!
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“Me Moana!”
Poppy from Trolls
“If ever you see Poppy, the funnest troll in Troll Village, it’s just me your daughter, Josephine.”
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My favorite nerd!
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“Do I look like a Viking?” Yes. Yes you do!
honey bee costume
My honeybee!
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“If ever you see a scary monster. Don’t be frightened. It’s just me your daughter Josephine.”
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“Do I look like Santa?” Nailed it!
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If ever you see my family out and about this summer and we’re hanging out with a gnome, don’t be surprised, that’s just our daughter Josephine.

Crowns For All Occasions

Want to enhance your kids’ dress up bins? Well, there are always pen&thimble crowns like these that helped transform Phee into Maui and Jasmine. And the one that helped Ivy…eat a bagel poolside. Find your new favorite bagel-eating accessory HERE!

DIY Costume Accessories

Or if you’re looking for a DIY project to help you cool off on a hot day, check out these pins in my craft and DIY board on Pinterest:

DIY Felt Gnome Hat: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/477240891753427865/

DIY Troll Hair Headbands: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/477240891749938644/

DIY Origami Paper Crown: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/30117891241093479/

DIY Color-Your-Own Paper Glasses: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/477240891753427936/

Summer is For Stitches

Poison Ivy isn’t the only thing I’ve gotten into this summer! I’ve also been sewing my heart out! (See what I’ve been working on at gillianstitches)

But I haven’t been cooped up in the studio! No… I’m out in the backyard, on the deck while the girls splash in the paddling pool, long car rides across 5 states, at the breakfast table, even in bed watching Netflix! This summer, I have taken sewing away from the machine and to… well, everywhere else!

English Paper Piecing

I’m working on a giant English Paper Piecing (EPP) project. For those who don’t know it is a technique of sewing quilts by hand using paper backing to stabilize your fabric and thus making your fabric easier to piece together.

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From this…

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To this…

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Taking papers out..

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Ta Da! One 12″ quilt block done!

Hand Embroidery

We took a long car trip across 5 states and 1100 miles with our two kids under 5 years-old. They had Netflix downloads, my husband had the wheel, and I had hand embroidery (I had the best deal of everyone).

Since I was cooped up in a car, I decided to stitch up some nature with these garden boxes. It was so fun to stitch and when I didn’t know what to do with an empty box, I took suggestions on Instagram! Stuck in a car collaborating with other creatives — it was heaven!

garden box hand embroidery

Do you like to get your craft on in the summer? What do you like to do? Tell me in the comments below!

Want To Stitch With Me?

Have you ever wanted to pick up a portable craft like embroidery or EPP to keep your hands busy while you schlep the little ones here and there? Let’s make a little crafty mom club! I’d love to help you get started! First, follow me on Instagram @gillianstitches and send me a message letting me know that you want to stitch with me!