Kid Made Modern – Craft Kits For All Ages

We’ve had a few snowy days up here in the suburbs of NYC and I for one love it. Snow days force us to slow down and take in the season. The kids are home from school and we spend our snowy days baking and crafting. ( in between the yelling and fit throwing) keepin it real yall!

We’ve been working with Kid Made Modern and testing out a few of their crafty kits and I have to report… we love them.What makes Kid Made Modern stand out from other craft kits is their attention to detail, their modern designs and the sense of unique whimsy.

This Winter WonderLand Kit was my favorite to work on. After the kids were in bed after a long day in the snow and friends coming over, I settled by the fire-place and caught up on my latest Netflix binge while painting away. I stayed fairly true to the shapes and tried my best to paint them in as they look, but Thomas, upon seeing them the next day, wanted to douse all the pieces in glitter! A kid after my own glitter lovin heart. Maybe they need an makeover!

While you are busy running around purchasing your Christmas gifts, I would like to suggest a crafty kit from Kid Made Modern. You can find a great selection at Target. We especially love the massive Arts and Crafts Library that comes with everything your little crafty heart desires! There are also gem shaped crayons, or the Ukulele Kit

Long after the holiday season is over… we still have a few months of winter! Making something fun and creating art is our go to boredom buster! You can swing by KID MADE MODERN to pick up a few sets of your own or swing by your local Target to grab them asap!

Happy Holidays everyone!!

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How to Create a Bullet Journal

 

One of the ways or probably THE way that I keep on top of things is my Bullet Journal. This is basically a journal that’s having an identity crisis and wants to be a journal, sketchbook, calendar, notepad… all in one! And that’s totally fine… we don’t have to be just one thing and neither does your journal.

If you read the last post on – Bullet Journal Essentials – then you have all your supplies.

I’m giving you a very tame version on how to get started because this can be super overwhelming if you just go for the gold right from the beginning. So like most things in life… take it slow and steady.

The first thing you want to do is start an index page – this index page is an ever-changing page as you add pages to your bullet journal. I just have the basics. I like to have a few reference pages right up front so i can access it easily. You can always add-on weekly calendars as you go. Just make sure to write down the page number so you can find it easily. *Note how the gel pen bleeds if you get impatient and don’t let it dry.*

My first page is the Birthday Page – It makes me happy, and reminds me of all these amazing people in my world. You can chart out your birthday page anyway you like… of course I created a dancer holding balloons.. from the looks of it.. my dancer has a little too much to drink the night before. Girl take it easy!

My Birthday Page is followed by an “important dates” page – Again this is your ‘year at a glance’ for important dates like spring break, holidays, travel dates, anniversaries…etc.

Next is a quick glance of the year ahead.

After this… you can go rogue with the way you want to put your journal together. Have a sketch page, idea page… whatever. I have a GOALS PAGE – and add to this anytime I have a new goal that comes to mind.

A MUST is your weekly calendar. This acts as my to-do list, meal planner, agenda and family tracker. Each family member gets a color- Lily is blue, Thomas Pink, I’m green and Matt is orange. This way you stay consistent through the year and don’t have to write names by tasks… etc.

That’s where I’m stopping for today. Let’s revisit this again and see what other pages you have added. There are tons of ideas on organizing and inspiring your life and we can add pages to get you there. The bullet journal is my go-to for everyday sanity!

Ok so here’s what… while my bullet journal looks like gel pens threw up all over the pages… Matt has a bullet journal going too and his has ONLY ONE COLOR!! and NO Doodles!! what!! I’ll share his with you soon so you can get an idea of the practical process as well.

I just love that my doodles and stationary habit has a place to live happily!

I would LOOOVE to see your bullet journals… please share!

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Custom Art for Kids Rooms with Yellow Oak Tree

Yellow Oak Tree

Finding the right artwork for any room is no easy task. I like to have original works, unique prints, pieces that have a story. When Matt and I were first married we decided that all the artwork in our home will always be original and have a meaning. So no store-bought pieces can ever be found on these walls.

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I recently met up with Nuala Mellett  – a New York City mama, artist and entrepreneur. Nuala paints one of a kind pieces to hang in your child’s nursery.  I absolutely fell in love with her NYC series and Thomas has loved having these pieces hanging in his room next to his reading nook.

Yellow Oak Tree

I’s so important to support artists and small businesses, so I thought I would introduce you all to Nuala and her company – Yellow Oak Tree. She’s pretty awesome and can create original commissioned pieces for your child’s room. This way there will be a personal connection to the art work hanging in the galleries of your home. Necessity is the mother of invention. Have you heard that phrase before? And Nuala’s company stemmed from a need for original artwork for her daughter’s room. I had a quick Q&A with this artsy mama and she’s sharing some tips for new entrepreneurs and also a little story about herself.   
Yellow Oak Tree

How did you start the company? What was your ah-ha moment?

I studied history of art in university and then worked in non-profit art organizations and commercial galleries since then, but the big change over to painting full time came after I had my daughter in 2014. I wanted some personal art to hang in her nursery so I painted something for her wall. I was so inspired by my little girl, I couldn’t stop painting different pieces of art for her! And then I started painting for my friend’s kids too and they liked them. I had always loved to paint but never considered doing it as a business venture. I buy lots of gorgeous things on Etsy so I decided to start selling my art through their website, and then I started selling to toy stores and children’s boutiques in the City.

Where do you find inspiration?

My biggest inspiration comes from my daughter. I paint art that I would like to hang in her room and lots of my inspiration comes from my personal experiences. Early on I painted a watercolor painting with the first words I ever said to her and since then I’ve made similar ones for people with a phrase that means a lot to them and their little one. The first custom name painting I painted was for my daughter, and I painted my first Empire State painting as my husband and I went up to their viewing deck to open our baby’s gender reveal envelope when I was pregnant. Since then, my New York paintings have expanded to include the Chrysler building and New York skylines in lots of different colors! Living in the City I’m so inspired by New York; taxis, fire engines, cop cars, they all make it into my art!

The pieces are hand painted. How long did it take you to make one painting? 

It depends on the painting. I think the custom name paintings take the longest, but because I have to leave them to dry for a day in-between layers I’ve never actually timed myself over a few days to see how long I spend on each one. It also depends on the painting, as with all handmade things, some just happen really easy and others take much longer to feel happy with.

How do you balance life, work, parenting?

It is a balancing act, for sure! I’m a stay-at-home mom, so I have to be flexible. I try to get some work done while my daughter is napping, or after she goes to bed at night, though I prefer to paint in the daylight. My husband loves to hang out with her on weekends and I get some time then, which is great. But there’s no denying it, some weeks it’s tough to find the time. I’m the same as everyone else, sometimes there’s just a lot going on in my life, that’s why I have a two week window for all orders, usually I’m able to keep well within that time frame but sometimes I’m really glad of it!

Whats your advice for budding entrepreneurs?

The best advice I can probably give an entrepreneur starting out is to make sure you’re following your passion. There will be lots of late nights, awkward deadlines and setbacks and if you don’t genuinely love what you’re trying to set up then it’ll be way harder than it should be! Apart from that, the best advice I could give is to be disciplined. The easiest way for me to do this is to set myself some weekly/monthly goals. They can be small goals, actually it’s probably better if they are small at the start, that way you get a sense of achievement. Setting up some social media presence, getting your first client/sale, getting some wholesale orders, experimenting with search engine optimization, taking great photos of your products, all of these goals are reachable and your success or failure isn’t measured in monetary gains alone.

What’s coming up with you and your business?

There are so many wonderful things coming up. I’m really excited to be working on some interesting wholesale orders that should see my art being available in lots more children’s boutiques around NYC by the end of the summer. I’ll also be expanding my online store with lots of new paintings that will be available soon and I’m developing my range of greeting cards too, which is so fun! So lots of great things coming up, as well as a summer in NYC with my little girl and my husband, which will be amazing!

Yellow Oak Tree

Nuala Mellett studied history of art at Trinity College Dublin and set up Yellow Oak Tree after her daughter was born in 2014. Inspired to paint personalized art works for her daughter’s nursery she left her career in the contemporary art world and followed her passion to paint art for children’s nurseries, bedrooms and playrooms. Originally from Ireland, she lives in NYC with her husband, Richard, and their daughter, Chloe.

Swing by YELLOW OAK TREE for a peek at Nuala’s great work.

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Make Something Monday – Valentine’s Day Glitter Hearts

 

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It’s the season of all things hearts and love and glitter. I have a super fun and easy craft which you can do with kids. It’s an upcycled craft which are the best ones because you can se things from around the home. Lily helped me with this craft so we have a pretty easy version but you can add all sorts of embellishments to this easy to do craft with kids.

You will need:

  • Glue
  • Glitter
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Thread
  • Pencil
  • Brush
  • Cardboard – cereal box works.
  1. Draw out your hearts. make sure they are big because you have to hole punch it in a second.
  2. Cover the entire surface with glue. Any glue with do, you don’t have to use ModPodge.
  3. Next cover the entire area with glitter. Make sure you have a piece of paper under the glitter to catch the falling glittery wonderness.
  4. Hole punch right in the center of the heart.
  5. Thread the string through. I like to do this loop threading so the heart stays facing front when you wear it.

 

Now gift your glitter heart to your loves!

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Valentines-Craft-for-kids

 

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Make Something Monday – Seashell Art

We just got back from a week on Shelter Island and that means one thing… a whole lotta sea shells!

I decided to make a sweet monogram piece of art for our back stairwell with all the gorgeous shells I found. This is a great way to create a tangible memory of your beautiful beachy vacation. It’s also a wonderful way to get the kids involved in a family project. I did this alone… because mama needed some ‘me’ time! 

This easy craft can take on any form you want. You can spell words out, make a design, color the shells and then glue them onto the canvas… whatever your creative mind chooses.

Seashell DIYMake Something Monday

Alright let’s get started.

You need:

  • A canvas – we always buy ours at Michaels Arts and Crafts when they are on super sale, so there is never a shortage of canvas in this house.
  • Shells you collected at your beach,
  • Modpodge – or any sort of super glue.
  • *** i decided to add color at the last-minute*** pick any acrylic paint you like.
  • Foam brush. Foam brushes are cheap and again stock up on them at Michaels when they have the 25 for $1 sale.

SeaShell DIY

Step 1: Figure out your design. and “map’ it out on the canvas just to give you an idea of how many shells you need and to balance it all out.

Step 2: Paint your canvas. Feel free to add a second coat to get a richer color.

Step 3: After the paint is dry, just lay your design on the canvas and move the shells around to where you want on the canvas, Using modpodge or any glue, glue your shells onto the canvas.

Done! A gorgeous work of art which will also help you remember your fab beach vacation!

I hope you take time this week to MAKE SOMETHING!!! Art is good for the soul mamas!

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Make Something Monday with Lowes

You guys… it’s time to get those pots planted for the summer months. I love having gorgeous overflowing flowers on my front porch. Don’t  you. I mean nothing says – welcome to my green thumb home- quite like blooming flowers!

I sooo don’t have a green thumb but gosh darn it I try!

This year LOWES sent along a sweet DIY kit to snazz up your potted plants!

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Lily and I loved painting this funky design. We taped up the terra cotta pot with painters tape and created a fun design and then painted it all sorts of ways and peeled it to see what the outcome was. And we love it!

It’s such an easy project to do with  your kids or just by yourself for a moment of sanity! < because us mamabear’s need some alone crafting time to get our bearings right>

Here’s a quick DIY to paint your pots!

1. Gather your gear –  a terra cotta pot, Valspar Paint, Martha Stewart Liquid Gold Paint, Painters Tape, Scissors, brushes.

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2. Using the Painters Tape, tape out your designs. I love just coming up with hap- hazzard designs. You never know what  you will end up with.

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3. Start Painting. You can keep some sort of theme or patterns or maybe just go rogue and paint whatever you want!

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4. Leave the paint to dry and then peel off the blue painters tape… the best part!

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5. Plant some greens! And you are done!

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How easy and how fun right! we love painting just about everything so look for more paint projects this summer!

< The New York Mom received all materials from LOWES for purposes of this Make Something Monday project>

 

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Make Something Monday – Initialed charm necklaces for Mothers Day

Hi. So I decided to make my mom a gift for mother’s day. And I liked it so much that I made one for myself and for a few of my gal pals with babes.

These metal stamped necklaces are really easy to make and i mean EAASY. The materials can cost a bit more than you would want to spend on a one time craft but I’m sure you will be making these metal stamped goodies for years to come.

SO if you have ever wanted to know How To Make Metal Stamped Jewelry … here we go!

Here is what you need:

  • chain
  • pendant / charm – the flat ones which are made specifically for metal stamping.
  • metal stamping set
  • hammer
  • pliers – not pictured. ( oops)
  • Metal base square
  • round links – to connect the pendant to the chain.

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Next you pick your pendant of choice. Decide what you want to stamp on it. Place the pendant on the metal block. Make sure your metal block is on a hard surface. I used my dining table and it was fine. Don’t do this on a carpet floor while watching TV. I tell you that from experience!

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Hold  your metal stamp initial in place and with 2-3 short & strong strikes of the hammer. Give it a whack. Make sure you don’t move the metal stamp when you strike.

Add the links and attach to the chain. Now I don’t have the width and sizes of my chains and links, but I like to get a chain with a small link and then i get my round attachment links to go around the entire chain instead of attaching it to the links on the chain. – bonus points if you understood any of that!

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I tried to spell out a word and just couldn’t get the words lined up. Have to work on it for the next tutorial. They are kinda cute though. Visual imagery of the words ‘mamabear’ all crooked and unkept but pretty sweet.

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This little necklace is going to my friend Laura who just had a baby and will be celebrating her very first Mother’s Day!  Don’t tell her I’m sending her one. And Laura if you read this.. pretend you never saw it! IMG_0505

I love handmade gifts and I really hope my mom loves this as much as I like it!

What did you make this weekend? Do share!

 

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Kids Craft – Spike Jewelry from Alex Toys – Review

The DIY movement is taking over the tween set so Lily and I have been working on a few crafting kits which have been a ton of fun. The Alex Toys spike jewelry kit includes all the good you need to make braided bracelets and necklaces with spike charms in them. We had a hard time making the spike bracelets which was totally fine because the kit also offers a simple threaded bracelet DIY option. Lily enjoyed this BUUUT we did make a woven spike bracelet which took forever and kinda fell apart. That was our experience. I made the bracelet on my own and added the spikes and it was great! ( a little bit of patience works everytime) It worked perfectly. and your new-found weaving talent will allow you to also add beads and all sorts of things to your bracelet.

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Alex_Toys_Spike_Jewelry     Alex_Toys_Spike_Jewelry

The final Verdict – this is a great kit for beginner and advanced DIYers. The kit comes with a suction hook, 34 plastic stud beads, 30 plastic spike beads, 8 satin cords, elastic string, beading needle and easy instructions. The suction hook is the best because you can use it with other bracelet making materials outside of this kit.

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I love crafting with Lily. We chat and catch up on the day when we make things. This tangible hands on way of play is so great for the tween set. It keeps kids engaged, there is a finished product in the end, they are learning a craft, they are using their cognitive skills, it’s not a screen or ipad or Television… it’s an awesome way to get the brain cooking!

Alex Toys

The Spike Jewelry kit is made by Alex Toys and is approximately $15.

* I was sent product for purposes of this review. All opinions are my own* 

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Make Something Monday – Eco Crafts with Alex Toys

I have a weekly series called : Make Something Monday. ( it’s been sorta neglected lately).

The purposes of the series is to encourage Lily and I and also YOU… dear reader… to get crafty over the weekends and share your projects with us!

This week we wanted to share a craft kit we received for review.

Lily and I have been enjoying our Eco Craft Kit from Alex Toys. So with tomorrow being Earth Day, we thought this would be a fitting craft kit to share with you.

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Lily and I love our crafts and there is never a shortage of glitter or glue or paint in this house. We usually don’t work with craft kits but rather just make up stuff as we go along. However, this was a fun kit to work with and if you don’t want to follow directions …like us… then that’s totally fine because there are all sorts of templates and cut-outs you can work with to come up with your own concoctions.

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The Eco Craft kit offers direction for  20 projects  and all the materials are made from recycled products and soy based inks. Lily was really excited to see all the goodies when she opened the kit. Her creative little brain was just full of ideas.

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This kit does have a ton of accessories, wooden spatula, button, stickers, ribbons and so much more. Lily  made a spoon lady and a flower pot. The directions are easy to follow but there is a slight learning curve only because the directions are only in illustrations.

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The ECO CRAFTS kit is approximately $20. Lily gives it all thumbs up!

*I was not paid for this. I did receive products for purposes of this review. All opinions are my own. *

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Snow Day activity for kids – How to make ice cream out of snow

Hey you guys! It’s a SNOW DAY here in New York and we are loving it soooo very much!

One of Lily’s favorite things is making ice cream from fresh snow. Matt started doing this with her a few years ago and now that she’s older, she does it all by herself.

A couple of tips – when the snow is falling, leave an empty container outside to catch fresh snow. or … we scoop up the snow from the top of our outdoor table. the fresh stuff. DO NOT EAT THE YELLOW SNOW!

This is the perfect snow day activity. You can make a huge batch and freeze it for later.

My sweet Lilypie decided to share her ice cream making tips with you.. dear readers. So here ya go… Lily’s how-to on making snow ice cream!

HOW TO MAKE ICE CREAM OUT OF SNOW! 

 

 

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