My alter ego is as the editor and manager of an exclusive collection of handmade businesses who make kids clothes and gifts. My role in this group, Handmade Cooperative, is to coordinate the release and promotion of our regular blog posts, as well as to lead our community of independent businesses. I offer these business owners the chance to participate in digital and print marketing opportunities, professional photo shoots, creative challenges, business advice and more.
Today is the last day of our annual membership drive, the only time of the year where we accept new members. If you are a small business owner who wants to join a supportive community of like-minded people and really build your handmade store, please do come on over and join me - it's loads of fun!
The great part of being part of Handmade Cooperative is the opportunity to take part in activities that I wouldn't usually do. Over August, we each chose a pattern to sew as part of the Coop pattern challenge. I was trying out the Old Mac Donald Finger Puppet Set by my friend Donna of Ebony Shae Designs.
Now, my inability to follow recipes extends to following patterns, so you will be unsurprised to learn that I took some creative license. The set is meant to look like this:
I used different colours to those specified and added in a pig from one of Donna's other patterns for good measure. I also didn't add the detail on the farmer with textas, but instead added the features with felt and embroidery.
I really love these finger puppets, particularly the pig. You need to be an experienced sewer for these, as Donna is TOTALLY not afraid of using tiny pieces, which I love and makes for the cutest little designs. Miss 4 has been putting on puppet shows with her other finger puppets (as you can see), although she would also like a horse, and Master 1 has been sneaking around with a sheep on his hand saying "Baaaaaah!".
Search the hashtag #hcpatternchallenge on Facebook and Instagram to see the other projects.
Grab your own Old Mac Donald Finger Puppet Set patterns right here.
13 months ago, I took over as editor at Handmade Cooperative, a select group of 70 small independent businesses who handmake gifts and clothing for kids. I have had an incredible year leading this group and have thoroughly enjoyed exploring these awesome businesses and sourcing and negotiating exposure for them. In some ways, my schedule with the Coop has meant less time for my own business ~ as evidenced by the reduction in blog posts, for example ~ however I believe that the professionalism of kaetoo, as well as my skills in blogging and online community management have blossomed.
A big part of Handmade Cooperative is the fun activities with like-minded artisans. Our most recent task, which took place last week, was a tickle tour. We each chose a project from the most recent edition of the creative lifestyle magazine, tickle the imagination, and shared our "real world" interpretations in a loop tour on Facebook.
If you know me, you know that (1) I can't follow a recipe and (2) I'm not brilliant at cooking sweet food. But my husband does love chocolate cake! So, with Miss 4 and Master 1 helping out, I set to work to bake the cake. It's meant to look like this:
It took two days.
My cake turned out to be a triple
chocolate cream nougat cake made with 70% cocoa dark chocolate - it's
chocolate pastry filled with chocolate tart, covered with chocolate ganache, covered with cream nougat. It looks nothing like it was meant to.
But it was SO GOOD! Nougat is better than meringue anyway...
Search the hashtag #tickletour on Facebook and Instagram to see the other projects. Grab the recipe and your own copy of tickle (digital or in print) right here.
And, yeah, if you're missing the blog posts, I will try to do better. You can always stalk me through Facebook and Instagram to see what the kids and I are up to.
Miss 4 and I have been busy this week doing paper craft. We discovered free printable Disney princess paper craft on Pinterest and started crafting.
I had a vision of the two of us doing this craft activity together but it turns out that these patterns are quite difficult, so we switched to Miss 4 cutting out the skirts and me doing the rest. The dolls look great and for vigorous preschooler play I recommend printing on card stock and reinforcing with sticky tape. Because Miss 4 is all about equal opportunity, we also made a Buzz Lightyear, which is the "father" in her games.
Visit the Disney website to find the printables, although I find the site a little hard to navigate, so here is a list of some of the highlights: