🐸My Etsy Sh🌎p🐸

Monday, August 29, 2016

Monday calls for playdough

We used the recipe found on Pinterest from smart school house. Just yogurt and corn starch. Easy. And it smells heavenly!

Photo credit smart school house

Have a fun and playful day
Mel

I love Blue Hydrangeas

I love Blue Hydrangeas, because she loved Blue Hydrangeas.

Let me tell you a story. It was a Saturday just before Mother's Day and I was in my local Kroger. I saw the most beautiful blue flower. Blue Hydrangeas. I didn't care that they were $29. I just knew I had to get them for Grandma Helen.

I drove the hour trek to get to my hometown to surprise her by going to church with her and giving her the Blue Hydrangeas.

She said, "You find the best things in the city." oh Grandma, I don't really love in the city. But to her 35k people in my town compared to 100 in our hometown, I guess it did seem like the city.

She loved the flowers, told me again and and.

So that was our new tradition. I would buy her Blue Hydrangeas for Mother's Day e.very. year. I love them, because she loved them and because I loved her.

Inspiration comes from all around. When I saw these felt Blue Hydrangeas, I knew I needed to make a play mat with them. I sit now to write this, tears streaming down my face, because I miss her every day. Every. Single. Day.

So I am taking inspiration from many places and turning that into magical places that children's imaginations can flourish.

Have a fun and playful day
Mel

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Inspired by places I want to go

 I have a restless spirit. I want to travel. I want to see all the beautiful places that I see in photographs. But I am also a homebody.
 So I make magical places. This above play mat is based on a photo I saw of Cornwall UK. (I really want to go there!) A sleepy little fishing town. A quiet cove. I would need a bigger camera card to hold ALL the photos that I would take!
 So, as I flip through Pinterest and Instagram, I am inspired to create new play mats and dream of real places I might one day see.
Have a fun and playful day
Mel

Not always a fairytale

When we were little, we read Cinderella. Sometimes, my life feels like that - more on my hands and knees scrubbing the floor than dancing in a ballgown. (you laugh, but you've been there!)

I love my husband. He is a prince most of the time. We both came from not so good precious marriages and I think that makes us appreciate each other more. We are a team - is against the world. But we like each other. Read that again. We LIKE each other. We laugh and joke and have so much in common and encourage each other.

Sometimes, he surprises me. We like to take day trips, just get in the car, pick a direction, and go.

One day, we ended up at this castle. I think we got lost getting there if I remember correctly and it was clear out in the sticks, but we got there. They were only taking guided tours.

As we stood at the back of a small group only half listening to the monotoned man talk about this man's grand gesture to build a castle for his wife having it shipped over from Europe and put it back together stone by stone, I tried to talk him into sneaking off to dance in one of the empty rooms. He smiled like he was thinking about it but said we shouldn't. I do remember him holding my hand though.

It was a Cinderella moment - a good kind of Cinderella moment indeed.

Have a fun and playful day
Mel

Saturday, August 27, 2016

My imagination is a colorful place

 My imagination is a colorful place to visit. I am constantly think of what colors to paint my peg dolls or color combinations of felt.
 Kiddos are attracted to color - especially rainbows! I incorporate that thinking into all the pieces I create.
 As most of you may know, I taught preschool for 12 plus years. I have been working with children since I was 11. I began babysitting at 11. When no one would teach a Sunday school class of 4 year olds, I took it over - I was 12. My whole life has been in the early childhood field.
 Making handmade imaginative play items is both a creative outlet to me and way to share my crafting and love of early childhood education.
 Plus, I am obsessed with small toys! I mean obsessed. The tinier the better. My husband doesn't buy me flowers - because "flowers just die. It's a waste of money." Instead, he buys me toys.
 I am always planning, plotting, thinking of new things to create. If you could visit my imagination, it might be a jumble of colorful chaos. Colorful chaos with lots of little yellow sticky notes. I love little yellow sticky notes!
 I have a new version of a old play mat (that previously sold) to be photographed tomorrow morning. It reminds me of Cornwall in the UK - a place I desperately want to visit. I am saving to hopefully take my mother in law to Europe. There are so many places that I want to see.
For now, I want to see my pillow. It's late. Really late for me. 12:14 am I have been working on Etsy stuff since 8:30 am yesterday. Yikes!

Have a fun and playful day
Mel

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Are you on Instagram?

Are you on Instagram?

Me, too! I love sharing new things on my feed @melanieshanks35. I have always been a visual person, so this is right up my alley! I have made lots of friends on Instagram and love the feeling of community.

If you are looking for an amazing education feed for toddlers through preschoolers, check out @simplylearning. You won't be disappointed!

Have a fun and playful day
 Mel

Are you mermaid dreaming?

 Dreaming of mermaids? Just because Summer is drawing to a close doesn't mean that mermaid dreams have to go into hibernation!
 Imagination is a powerful thing! I have some NEW mermaid themed play ideas in my Etsy shop.
 Check them out at www.mybigworld2015.etsy.com
Have a fun and playful day
Mel