Archive for December, 2010

Thank you to everyone who entered our latest giveaway. We enjoyed all of your thoughtful responses, but one in particular caught our attention. Congratulations go out to Kathy, who has won a personalized blanket from Maine Girl Creations. Kathy wrote in to tell us about her son’s favorite gift—a rocking chair that has been a part of her family for 4 generations:

Our favorite is the little green rocking chair that has been passed down. We have a picture of great-grandfather in it, grandfather, father and now a picture of our son reading a book. Still as sturdy, beautiful and sentimental as ever.

There’s nothing better than a gift passed from one generation to the next. MP still cherishes the child-size table and chairs her grandfather made years ago. Who knows? Maybe the CP kids will pass the set on to their children someday.

We like L.L.Bean’s Keepsake Chair in Natural

If you’re searching for an heirloom chair of your own and don’t mind the investment, try L.L.Bean’s Keepsake Rocker

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While shopping around, MP discovered a little boxwood tree planted in an embellished soup can and thought, “The team can make that!”

This is a simple planting project for little ones, but it does require some cutting and measuring by an adult beforehand. You’ll need:

• Craft paper or cardstock
• A small boxwood tree, evergreen or poinsettia plant (we found our plants at Hannaford, but we’ve spotted them at local nurseries, too)
• Elmer’s glue
• Empty Campbell’s soup can
• Ruler
• Pencil
• Scissors
• Ribbon (optional)
• Paintbrush or Q-Tip (optional)
• Potting soil
• Spoon


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MP met Jessica Herling of Maine Girl Creations at a craft fair, and was taken with all of the lovely handmade items Jessica had for sale—from colorful, appliquéd onesies and stroller blankets to fun yoga bags and birthday banners.

All of Jessica’s onesies are made of super soft cotton

Jessica started Maine Girl Creations only two years ago. The Brunswick-resident fuses her smart design and sewing skills to make the most charming gifts.


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We love making crafts with supplies we have around the house. That’s why this easy snowflake project—originally featured on iVillage—caught our eye. Here’s what you need:

• Toilet paper rolls, cut in 3/4-inch rings (5-6 depending on your preference)
• Acrylic paint
• Glitter
• Glue
• Ribbon
• Clothespins or snack clips (more…)

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While shopping Estabrook’s Christmas with Alpacas event in Yarmouth over the weekend, MP discovered these super cute Peruvian finger puppets. CP#2 immediately fell in love with them and couldn’t wait to get home to put on a show. MP thinks they make fun stocking stuffers for little ones and bought a few more for her nephew.

CP#2 with his two new favorite puppets

Claudia and Ken Raessler, who own the Suri Paco Alpaca Farm in North Yarmouth, also offer hats, throws, socks and natural fiber yarns.

The ram is just one of many fun options… CP#2 liked the bunnies and monkeys, too.

Suri Paco Alpaca Farm
Claudia & Ken Raessler

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While visiting the Rumpus Room in Brunswick, MP came across these wonderfully versatile baskets from Jessica Sullivan. Jessica’s home-based business, Baskets of Hope, helps to raise funds for Bolgatanga—the largest town in Upper East Ghana, Africa—where basket-weaving is the main source of income for many families.

We like the sturdy, leather carrying handle… perfect for little hands

The lovely fair trade baskets are made of grass fibers and colored with natural dyes by the townspeople of Bolgatanga.

A woman from Ghana puts the finishing touches on her basket

The owners of the Rumpus Room use the smallest baskets to hold crayons at their crafting tables and as shopping totes for play food. MP, who is always in search of ways to organize the team’s craft supplies, hopes to use them for beads, stickers and spools of ribbon. And Jessica says her children use the baskets to carry snacks along in the car… smart!

The baskets range in size, so you can use them to store larger items like stuffed animals, dolls and blocks. You can order the baskets directly from Jessica or at http://www.basketafrica.com.

Baskets of Hope
Fair Trade African Baskets
Jessica Sullivan

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