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Archive for March, 2011

After reading Gail Gibbons’ Knights in Shining Armor about 30 times, CP# 2 is suddenly smitten with these brave warriors from the Middle Ages. So you can imagine MP’s delight when she found this wooden sword and shield set from Bella Luna Toys in in South Thomaston.

Photo courtesy of Bella Luna Toys

If you’re not familiar with Bella Luna, this lovely online shop offers toys designed for imaginative play. You can also find many fun items made right here in Maine. MP especially likes this handy, felt crayon holder from Belfast’s Mosey Handmade and this heirloom-quality Maine Dory Rocking Boat.

Owner Sarah Baldwin, who is also an experienced Waldorf school teacher, selects all of Bella Luna’s toys with a discerning eye. In an interview with Portland-based blogger and author Amanda Blake Soule last December, Sarah says, “I’ve steadily been adding new products–choosing only items that I believe have quality and real play value for children.”

Mom Potato admires Sarah’s passion for finding toys that last. And she knows a valiant young knight who will appreciate Sarah’s efforts, too.

Bella Luna Toys
139 Buttermilk Lane
South Thomaston
975.6260

http://www.bellalunatoys.com

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There remains a chill in the air, but that hasn’t stopped the team from enjoying the onset of spring. Not long ago, we visited the Gilsland Farm Audubon Center in Falmouth, first to buy honey from the nature store and then to take a family adventure walk.

The trails at Gilsland Farm are wonderfully manageable for little ones. CP#1 and #2 love running up the bluffs to look at the water below. And they’re especially enamored with Wendy Klemperer’s dramatic, steel wildlife sculptures. Along the trail we met wolves, elk, fox and mountain lions.

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Signs of spring are all around—the lawn has reappeared, the birds are singing and our boots are covered in mud. Recently, CP#1 and #2 celebrated spring’s arrival with good friends. A festive table, chocolate cupcakes and tea with honey were all it took to bring joy to this troupe on a rainy day. Oh and a few fun costumes, too.

A rose fairy princess enjoying her cupcake

Tinkerbell at tea

CP#2 shows off his red cape and a little bit of icing

Friends enjoying time together

 

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Note: Beattie Chicks is closing at the end of November 2012. Look for Leslie and Hannah’s great work at craft fairs and shops throughout New England. 

PS: The Beattie Chicks currently have a cute shop in Brunswick called, Hatch On Maine.

MP and CP#1 enjoyed a girls’ day out on Saturday and visited the Grand Opening of the Beattie Chicks Makery in Brunswick. Owners Leslie and Hannah Beattie are creative sisters-in-law who teach art classes to both kids and adults. The two women originally held classes at their home studios in Topsham and Harpswell, but after outgrowing these spaces, they decided to open a new studio at the Fort Andross Mill. Their goal? To build community through art.

The Makery reminded MP of her high school art classroom—only so much cooler. The generously sized space features student work as well as original art for sale. There are also shelves of rubber stamps, bins of brightly colored craft paper, paints, markers, brushes, fabrics and a sewing station.

Sweet little snowmen made by Hannah Beattie

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Today the team traveled to the Portland Flower Show for a much-needed spring preview. If you’re looking for something to do this weekend with your family, the show is definitely worth the trip. CP#1 and #2 planted Scarlett Runner Beans, pretended to roast marshmallows and met an anonymous, but humorous charcoal artist who quickly sketched their picture. And we loved exploring the show’s imaginative exhibits, which featured everything from sweet fairy houses to cascading waterfalls.

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St. Patrick’s Day is approaching and Irish or not, it’s hard to resist a parade. Homemade floats. Bagpipes. Drums. Dancing. What a great way to celebrate the coming spring!

Here’s where your team can find a parade this weekend:

Bath
Downtown
Saturday, March 11
11 a.m.

What we love: The Bath Middle School Marching Band. And of course, Bath’s parade is the biggest in the state. Plus, more fun throughout the day, including a children’s story hour at The Bath Book Shop plus an Irish soda bread baking contest at Now You’re Cooking (yum).

FMI: http://www.visitbath.com

Portland
Commercial Street
(beginning at the Portland Fish Pier and ending at the Maine State Pier)
Sunday, March 12
Noon

The Stillson Irish Step Dancers

What we love: After the parade, there will be Irish folk music and dancing at the Maine State Pier. Then take the family for a traditional bite to eat and more merriment at Brian Boru, Ri Ra or Bull Feeney’s.

FMI: www.irishofmaine.org

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!

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Determined to get out of the house on a rainy Saturday, the team visited the Brunswick Winter Market. The market, which takes place in the Fort Andross Mill, is one of our favorites. There is so much to choose from here, including organic root vegetables, greens, outstanding cheeses, baked bean dinners and fresh fish.

Beautiful apples from Lakeside Orchards in Manchester

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