Saturday, April 30, 2011

Lined Alligator Hair Clips

Once you know how to line an alligator clip, you can make hair bows and turn silk flowers into beautiful hair accessories! It is worth practicing this technique because it’ll open the door to making lots of different fun hair bows.

You will need:
Grosgrain ribbon: 3/8 inches wide (4 ½ inches in length)
Fray Check
Hot glue gun and mat
Double prong alligator clip

Prepare your ribbon by cutting it to 4 ½ inches. Make sure your cut is straight across, not at an angle. Treat both ends of the ribbon with Fray Check to ensure it will not fray. Allow the Fray Check 10 minutes to dry.

Spread hot glue along approximately 1¼” of one end of the ribbon.

(Please note: Your ribbon glueing process starts on the inside of the upper part or lever of the clip, runs along the outside, over the grips end and finishes along the outside of the lower, flat half of your alligator clip.)

Now, open your alligator clip (by squeezing the gripper): you have an upper and a lower, flat part (or lever). Take the part of the ribbon that you have just applied the hot glue to and attach it along the inside surface of your alligator clip top half. With your other hand, firmly press the ribbon against the clip as shown in the photo.

Apply some hot glue on the outside surface of the alligator clip top half. Simply run it along from the gripper end to the tips.

Pull your ribbon up and over onto the glue you’ve just applied, covering the outer top half of the alligator clip. Smooth the ribbon over the glue and press firmly for a few seconds while the glue hardens to ensure that the ribbon adheres to the clip.

Hold the clip in one hand, take the lose end piece of ribbon and bend it back. This will make sure the ribbon is not in the way when you apply the hot glue onto the edge of the clip’s grip.

Very carefully apply glue onto the upper clip grip. The glue goes on the edge, as shown in the photograph. Be careful because you can easily apply too much glue. You just need a small amount.

Firmly press the ribbon against this blob of glue. Use your pointer finger to press the ribbon into the notch between the two clip grips. Hold the ribbon against the glue for about 10 seconds to ensure it sticks properly.

Now, bend the ribbon back. Again, you want the ribbon to be out of the way when you apply the next blob of glue. Place a small dollop of glue onto the other clip grip.

Use your finger to firmly press the ribbon against the glue. The ribbon will ‘dip’ in the middle of the clip, between the two grippers.

Place the gripper end of the alligator clip against your glue mat, so that the ribbon is laying flat. Spread hot glue onto this end of the ribbon.

Take this piece of ribbon and attach it to the outside of the lower, flat half of the alligator clip. This completes the ‘lining’ of the clip.  

It is a good idea to now open the clip. You can remove any stray blobs of hot glue using your finger. You want to make sure that there isn’t any hot glue seeping through the gap of the two prongs because this could dry up and stick the clip together. That is why I like to always open the clip once the lining process is done and ensure that there’s no unwanted glue on the inside!

Et voilĂ ! A gorgeous, partially lined alligator clip!

The first few clips you line may not look perfect. That is ok - don’t get rid of them because once you attach a bow or a flower to the clip, it’ll be covered, and no one will see any imperfections.

Lined alligator clips make the basis of any bow but they also look very pretty by themselves, especially if you use a patterned ribbon.

- Tali

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Meet the MHC Team: Liz

mhc:  Tell us about yourself.

liz:  I live on 10 acres in Northern California with my husband, 5 1/2 year old daughter and our 3 dogs.  Although we have to drive 30+ minutes to get to a town that might have some of the things that we need, it is the perfect place to raise a family.  It is quiet and peaceful with lots of space to move and we get beautiful views of Shasta, Lassen and the Cascades.  During the day, I am a kindergarten teacher at a small, rural K-8 school and (I know this sounds crazy, but...) am thrilled that I have my daughter in my class this year.  Although there are days when we both need a break from each other, I feel as if it has given me a lot more insight into how to be a better teacher and for that I am truly thankful. 

My husband just recently quit his position as a coffee salesman so that he wouldn't be traveling and staying away from home anymore.  We are continuing to add more and more to our Daisy Creek Etsy Shop
and our website, as well as interact with friends and customers on facebook, twitter, and our blog.  We are really excited that we have recently opened a second shop, YourPersonaliTee, so that we can offer shirts to boys and girls.  Things are getting really busy and we are loving it!!

mhc:  What made you decide to become involved with MHC?

liz:  At the time that the magazine was getting started, I had just started helping with EtsyKids.  I had seen some of the amazing online magazines that had been published and knowing some of the incredible women that we going to be a part of it, I jumped at the chance. 

mhc:  What is your job with MHC, and what do you hope to give MHC's readers?  What do you get out of it?

liz:  I am the Work Section Editor for MHC.  I write articles about different ways to help your business, and I hope that the readers are able to take a tip or two from each article that will help make running their businesses easier.  Being the Work Editor is definately a win-win.  When thinking of what to write next, I will often choose from the long list of things that I'd like to know more about.  It gives me an excuse to do some research, and the tips that I find are always things that I try to implement myself.   I have always been the type of person that likes to share (maybe it's the teacher in me who believes that we shouldn't all be re-inventing the wheel), so this has been very rewarding for me!

mhc:  What is your favorite section of MHC (other than the one you write for)?

liz:  Oh, goodness, that is a tough one!  I always "open" the magazine and look at all the colorful pictures first, then I read it cover to cover.  I always really enjoy the Dwell section and reading the interviews.  I like reading about others and the types of things that they make - it always inspires me.  And I can't forget the quotes... those are always really cute!!

mhc:  What is your favorite season, and why?

liz:  I'd have to say Spring for several reasons.  I don't like being really cold or really hot (so winter and summer are out!) and I love all the blooming, colorful flowers during the springtime.  Easter is also my favorite holiday with all the pastel colored eggs, little girls in their pretty dresses and boys in their little suits and of course, family time.  The fresh, clean air after a light rain is the best smell ever!!

mhc:  And lastly, why is it that people say they "slept like a baby" when babies wake up every two hours?

liz:  I think the people who say that they slept like a baby haven't had children yet :)  In all seriousness, I think people say that because there is just something so sweet about a sleeping child.   If you are lucky and have a good sleeper, it seems as if nothing will wake them up.  Maybe that's what people think of when they say that!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Get the Look: Eclectic Mix

Let your child sit back and relax in an eclectic mix of modern and old world charm.  Mix handmade items like this stormy ship at sea painting, quirky faux taxidermy fox, and authentic hand woven Kazakh rug with a modern crib and paint color.

Ship at Sea Painting by Austin Bouchard
"Doyle" the Fox by T&A Friendly
Kazakh Carpet by Bukhara Carpets

- Kari
  little mr. moo

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


A twist on traditional pigs-in-a-blanket, these cornbread-wrapped hot dogs make an easy and kid-friendly dinner. I use all-beef hot dogs and whole grains for a delicious, wholesome taste. Makes 8.


8 all-beef hot dogs (my favorite brands are Nathan’s and Hebrew National)

½ cup all-purpose flour
½  cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
⅓ cup canola oil
⅔ cup buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Whisk flours, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl. Add the oil and buttermilk together and stir with a large fork just until combined.

2. Sprinkle your work surface lightly with flour and pat the dough into a square, approximately 3/8” thick.  Cut the dough into quarters, then cut each quarter into two triangles, like so:

3. Wrap each hot dog in one triangle by placing the hot dog at the wide base of the triangle and rolling it up like a crescent roll.

4. Place the hot dogs on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until hot dogs are browned and cornbread is golden brown. Serve hot with ketchup and mustard.

- Margeaux
Mux Originals

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Finds: Green with Envy

Go green and celebrate Earth Day with these great finds!  Inspired by nature, I found these great items for children in honor of earth day.  Whether you are looking for a sweet new baby gifts, birthday gifts, or kids clothing, this Earth Day choose environmentally green Etsy boutiques.  So seriously cool your friends will be green with envy!  Happy Earth Day! 

1. Bunny Rabbit Softie by loop loft
2. Earth Day Baby Onesie by  funky monkey threads
3. Owl Art Clips (hang your child’s art in style) by Maple Shade Kids
4. Recycled Jumbo Puzzle Piece Shaped Crayons -  by Ivy Lane Designs
5. Wooden bowling developmental set by little sapling toys
6. Organic Fleece Hoodie Dress by Lillipops
7. Wood Guitar Natural Teether by little alouette
8. Recycled Monogram coin purse by Chirp And Bloom
9. Eco-Friendly Snack Bag by Mama Made

- Tanja
  Inspiring Design Studio

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Meet the MHC Team: Kristi

mhc:  Tell us about yourself.

kristi:  I am a camera toting, latte sipping, paddle boarding, om chanting, perpetually redecorating, habitually merchandising & pretty-little-thing-loving mom of two. I love vintage & mid century modern decor, stylish kids, clever crafts and coffee. Oh, how I love good coffee. I spent fifteen years in corporate retail buying, selling, merchandising & designing before I settled down to spend some quality time with my babies in our San Francisco Bay Area home and launch my own line, zuzu girl handmade. Recently single and enrolling the youngest in kindergarten (yikes!), I'm currently in the process of closing my Etsy shop to return to corporate retail... but I will continue to write for MHC as well as for my own blog, zuzu girl.

mhc:  What made you decide to become involved with MHC?

kristi:  Pretty much all the other dynamic, brilliant, talented women that were getting on board. And the fact that I am addicted to finding the best children's products & decor and then sharing them with anyone that will listen didn't hurt.

mhc:  What is your job with MHC, and what do you hope to give MHC's readers?  What do you get out of it?

kristi:  I have been a contributing writer on and off since the launch of the magazine. I currently hold the title of Dwell Editor. I am obsessed with children's decor and finding affordable, tasteful products and designs among the onslaught of everything else out there. If we can excite just one reader with every article or blog post and introduce them to something new for their home, then I'm absolutely delighted!

mhc:  What is your favorite section of MHC (other than the one you write for)?

kristi:  Nearly impossible to answer. I love do it yourself crafts so I guess those are my favorites. And fashion. There's not really anything much cuter than kids fashion is there?

mhc:  What is your favorite season, and why?

kristi:  Spring. Despite my darn allergies it's the most colorful, invigorating season for me. I love when the trees start sprouting new leaves, the first rose comes into bloom, we can begin anticipating summer vacations and we finally hit the beach in proper beach attire.

mhc:  And lastly, who took the dogs out?

kristi:  I'm terribly embarrassed but I don't really understand the question!  If I was asked, who "let" the dogs out I'd answer, "who - who" (you have to sing that). But in reality, I take the dog out. She's a two year old French Bulldog named Lucy. And she's fabulous.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Silk Dyed Easter Eggs

What fun we had using silk scarves to dye Easter eggs! I was totally amazed at the result... such stunning patterns on our eggs. These are heirloom Easter eggs for sure! And so easy to make.

All we needed for this craft was:

* egg shells (here is a tutorial on how to blow the eggs out of the shells)
* pretty silk scarves (we found ours at Goodwill. Silk ties also work... but make sure they are silk)
* 2 Table Spoons of Vinegar
* rubber bands
* a heavy rock

Begin by filling a pot with water, adding 2 table spoons of vinegar and setting it on the stove to boil.

While your water is heating, cut a square from your silk scarf (no... you won't be using it as a scarf again!). The square must be big enough for you to wrap around your egg. Each egg gets its own silk square.

Wrap your egg, making sure the silk scarf square is tight (tight is important) around the egg. Fasten with a rubber band.

Once your eggs are wrapped and tied tightly, use another rubber band to connect them all together and attach the heavy stone.

Put them all in the pot of boiling water. The stone is supposed to weigh your eggs down so that they remain submerged in the water. Alas, our stone wasn't heavy enough, hence the improvisation of all the other kitchen utensils in the pot too in an effort to keep the eggs under the water. LOL!

Boil eggs in water for 10 minutes. Take out of boiling water and allow to cool.

Carefully unwrap your eggs and marvel at how lovely they are.

Mr T LOVED this whole process but the unwrapping was his most favorite part. He sang "Happy Birthday" as he unwrapped the eggs and delighted in each newly-colorful design.

Oh, they are so pretty! So colorful and intricate.

Happy Easter crafting.
Blessings and magic,
Donni from The Magic Onions blog

Donni is a mom to two sunbursts of joy - Kitty who is 7 and Teddy who is 4. She writes the blog The Magic Onions, where the magic of nature and the wonder of childhood collide to make each day a special gift, and also has two Esty shops - Fairyfolk and DovieMoon.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Finds: Easter Baskets

Easter is just around the corner...time to get those baskets ready!  If you're looking for an alternative to the cheap throw-away baskets that are often used, try handmade.  From handpainted buckets to fabric totes, there are lots of handmade options for Easter baskets, many of which can be used for other purposes long after the holiday has passed.

- Shannon

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Meet the MHC Team: Ahmelie

Ahmelie with her family
mhc:  Tell us about yourself.

ahmelie:  I live in the frigid North, aka Madison Lake, MN. I have three rowdy boys who love to laugh, rough house, and joke around. I wear a blaze orange cape so my kids can find me when shopping and my husband doesn't accidentally mistake me for a prize buck. In all seriousness, I won't leave home without my heels, lipstick and a sassy pair of sunglasses.

I'm an accountant by day and seamstress by night.  I have a website and Etsy shop where I sell my work.  I love making my hooded towelsburp cloths, and using up my scraps for cute little lovies.  Stop by my facebook page and tell me which your favorite one is!  You can also keep up with me on my blog and on twitter.

mhc:  What made you decide to become involved with MHC?
Ahmelie with an Alien at
her nephew's birthday
party: "He was trying to
suck my brain out,
and he never blinked!"

ahmelie:  MHC was looking for a treasurer and numbers are right up my alley so it was a great fit for me.

 mhc:  What is your job with MHC, and what do you hope to give MHC's readers?  What do you get out of it?

ahmelie:  I am the treasurer and I also provide content for the Kids Quotes section with help from all our loyal readers sharing their personal kids quotes.  I love to laugh, just like the rest of my fam. Laughter is good medicine and I hope to share that with our readers.

mhc:  What is your favorite section of MHC (other than the one you write for)?

ahmelie:  Oh how could I pick just one?  I love how hands on the magazine is, the recipes, the projects  and how great they are to do with kids.  My kids love celebrating the change in seasons and the magazine gives us lots of good ideas to appreciate each new season a long the way.

mhc:  And lastly, pompoms or no pompoms?

ahmelie:  Pompoms all the way!  Go MN Twins!

Ahmelie is offering a discount to MHC readers of 10% off your entire purchase!  Just enter the coupon code MHCBLOG10 at checkout.  Off good at her website and Etsy shop through April 21st.
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