Same pen&thimble Products, Extra Assurance!

I have always spent extra time searching for the BEST materials to create items–organic cotton, 100% natural cotton, thick waterproof PUL, organic wood rings that have passed safety tests. My priority has always been to make safe and effective products for babies and children; that means selecting and crafting¬†with quality materials.

In addition to using the highest quality materials, pen&thimble products are now officially compliant with Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines (CPSC/CPSIA).

Nothing has actually changed; I’m still using the same quality materials and my same functional designs, but I now have documentation that all materials and products have passed third-party testing requirements and meet federal regulations for child safety–small parts, lead, phthalates, flammability….all compliant.

Yay! What does that mean for you? You can expect the same quality, same baby-safe materials, but now with extra assurances and adorable new tags!

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A pen&thimble Christmas Story

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My 3 year-old daughter told me a Christmas story and I’d like to share it with you all…

I’m going to ask Santa for you, mom, for Christmas. Then my mommy and daddy and my baby are going to say, “What did Santa bring you?” And I’m going to say, “YOOOOOOU!”

So there are two ways my overtired brain can think of to interpret this story:

  1. My daughter thinks that I am the best person in all the land and I’m a gift. She doesn’t need any toys. She has me. (Riiiiight…)
  2. I’m working too much and she is so starved for my attention that she is asking Santa for a more engaged mom.

So to play it safe, I’m taking a little shop break until the New Year. My husband is like, “Cool, so still sewing whenever you can minus the packaging and shipping?” Yes. ūüôā

I’ll be back in 2016 with more inventory, more silliness, and some new products I’ve been dreaming up (and am already working on)!

Have a great end-of-December and a Happy New Year!

Love the pen&thimble team!

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I Heart You, Valentine! DIY Heart-Shaped Crayons

Do you have a toddler? Kid? Then perhaps you have a lot of broken crayons in your house too? Turn those broken crayons into Valentine’s Day gifts with my simple tutorial. This is seriously a no-fail, simple activity. Low on time-investiment and high on super cute outcome!

Supplies:

1. Broken crayons (I used multiple brands and sizes)

2. One silicone heart mould tray

3. Oven

4. Baking tray

To Do:

1. Peel the papers off of your crayons if they still reside there.

Next task: Find a use for these pretties!
Next task: Find a use for these pretties
"Those crayons are nakie!"
“Those crayons are nakie!”

2. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

3. Break crayons down further to fit into the moulds. Great stress relief — snap! snap! crack!

Heart tray + broken crayons
Heart moulds + broken crayons = Meant to be

4. Put broken crayons into moulds. There does not appear to be a right or wrong way to do this. I stacked some vertically, others horizontally, and most were a little of both. I piled them as high as the top of the moulds.

So exciting!
So exciting!

5. Place your heart moulds onto a baking tray and place in oven for 15-18 minutes. We have a baking tray that is too gross to use but have not parted with it yet, so I used that in case there was spillover. There was no spillover.

6. Take tray out of the oven after 18 minutes and put it on the stovetop to cool. The crayons in all but two center hearts had completely melted after 15 minutes. I would not exceed 18 minutes of oven time.

Melted Crayons
Melted Crayons

7. After an hour of cooling, pop those hardened hearts out of the mould.

Look good enough to eat! But don't!
Look good enough to eat! But don’t!
Pop out so cleanly!
Pop out so cleanly!
I'm obsessed with these fun colors!
I’m obsessed with these fun colors!

That’s it! Now you have fantastic gifts! I’m going to give one to Phee’s friends along with a Valentine’s Day sticker sheet! Simple, fun and satisfying to make, and a cute way to share the love with the littles on Valentine’s Day and beyond!

Keeping Watch: The Sequel

So my Keeping Watch post started some neat conversations here, on FB, Twitter, and Instagram too! Thanks for weighing in and sharing your thoughts on selling items with licensed characters. It was so cool to hear from both Etsy shop-owners and customers! And all of your input was so varied! Some shop-owners and customers suggested I go for it while other vendors and shoppers advised me against it.

Ultimately, the response that really resonated with me was that selling items with licensed characters just isn’t what my handmade shop is about. And that is what I was feeling in my heart. It isn’t even about “getting caught” (but let’s be honest, I wouldn’t take that lightly). What it comes down to is what my shop and the pen&thimble brand is all about.

So while this is cuuuuuute…

Super drool fighters!
Super drool fighters!

…it is being sent to my nephew (due in March) as a gift.

And a crayon rollup that I forgot to take a proper picture of, went to my daughter’s friend from gymnastics class, but it won’t be in my Etsy shop.

I’m going to stick to pen&thimble — handmade for babies&children, handmade for function& fun. I’m going to stick to combining my¬†quality and thought-out designs with fun fabric, just not licensed fun fabric.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to weigh in! It helped me more-deeply consider what my shop is all about and where it is going from here.

Plus,¬†I’ll have three nephews and two daughters come March¬†—¬†current and future Marvel fans¬†—¬†so this cool fabric won’t go to waste! ūüôā