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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!

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Do You Work?

“Do you work?”

I get this question all the time but it has never bothered me. In my mind I sarcastically think, “Oh no, not an ounce of work all day. Just lounging poolside with my mojito getting a tan.” Out of my mouth comes, “No, just a mom.” And I’m fine with being “just a mom.” It is my favorite job to date!

I don’t have to say it as others already have–being a mom is tough work. The hardest job ever? No. I bet The President is more stressed out than I am. But being my child’s full-time nanny is stressful, 24/7, ever-changing, joyful, challenging, fun.

But since I’ve opened my Etsy shop and sold a few things, it is starting to feel like I am a tiny business owner too. I sure have been putting in the hours! Lots of hours. Overlapping with toddler-time, family-time, me-time is synonymous with sewing. But basically I now have TWO jobs that aren’t really job-jobs. So what do I say?

Old approach:

Anonymous Person1: Do you work?

Me: No, I’m just a mom. <smile>

Sewww, what do you do approach:

Anonymous Person2: Do you work?

Me: Yes, I sew and opened a shop on Etsy!

S(ew)AHM approach:

Anonymous Person3: Do you work?

Me: Why yes, I am a sew-at-home-mom! By day it is all diapers, snacks, dance-parties, and block-building. At naps it is sewing, shipping, product development, blogging, marketing, copywriting, photoshoots, figuring out how to grow my business.

Something I would actually say approach:

Anonymous Person4: Do you work?

Me: Yes! I’m a mom with an Etsy shop!

 

 

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Seller’s Remorse

Someone recently asked me why I don’t sell Eric Carle items in my Etsy shop. He is kind of a rock star in our town. And Eric Carle fever is present in our home too!

I mean, we love Eric Carle in this house. We have a family membership to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, and use it. We read all of the Eric Carle books we can. We even have a particular favorite, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?,  in both picture book and board book form. The picture book is currently being held together with massive amounts of tape and I’m not sure that the goldfish and teacher will recover from many more toddler kisses and page-turns. She loves that book hard!

"Peacock, peacock, what do you hear?"
“Peacock, peacock, what do you hear?”

I want to share our love of Eric Carle with everyone. Really, I do!

I want to make Very Hungry Caterpillar bibs — how cute, right? Your baby is eating a strawberry and the caterpillar is eating a strawberry!

I’d love to whip up a few Brown Bear matching games — match blue horse to blue horse or purple cat to purple square.

Try my hand at creating costumes that correspond with those in Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?

But, alas, I can’t! To do so would be a trademark violation.

I bought some super cute Eric Carle fabric, ready to make some fab things for the shop, when I read the selvedge: For Personal Use Only. Whaaaaat?

My first thought was, “But this is personal! This couldn’t be more personal. I love this body of work and want to share it…personally!”

My second thought was, “But so many others on Etsy are doing it. Maybe there is an Etsy loophole?” No such luck.

My third thought was to talk with people who would encourage me to break the law. My husband, Mr. Morally Moralson, and sister, a trademark litigation lawyer, did not do that. In hindsight, they were the wrong people to talk to.

I’m tempted to violate trademark law every week when a new idea pops into my head much like a tiny caterpillar popping out of a tiny egg on a large leaf. But I can’t. Because I get it. Eric Carle is an artist and he created these works and gorgeous illustrations (and is still creating, BTW). He should reap the rewards of that effort, genius, and creativity, not me.

So that is the long, and somewhat heartbreaking (for me) tale of why I can’t sell all-things-Eric-Carle and other trademarked goods on my Etsy shop, even though I really, really want to!

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Searching For Insects

On Friday I was commissioned to make a reversible toddler bib with insects and/or arachnids on it. I AM SO EXCITED! My super-fun job parameters:

1. This bib is for a girl. Yes it is.

2. PUL side to be pink, purple, or light blue. This request took many insect fabrics out of the running, not to mention some fabric and craft shops. This was the most fun parameter–helped me weed out so much insect fabric.

3. Cotton side cannot have spiders depicted with 6 legs. You guys, there are a lot of 6-legged spiders hanging out on fabric out there. I thought I had found the perfect insect/arachnid fabric (above), but a 6-legged spider clings to that blade of grass. I’ve never noticed before, but this is a serious problem!

6 legs! Whaaa?
6 legs! Whaaa?

4. I get to surprise the buyer! Squee!! The buyer has a 1-year-old. No one with a 1-year-old has time to comb through insect fabric. You know what I did when my kid was 1? Me neither. It was 6 months ago and my memory does not extend back so far. But I was not sweating over fabric choices…or sleeping.

I already found and ordered two great fabrics featuring insects for this project! It is going to feel like eternity when the fabrics arrive and I have to wait to run them through the washer and dryer. I already know which fabric I’m going to use for this bib, but I learned from this job, that one MUST have insect fabric in her collection! And now you know too!