Joy of Handmade

On the first day of Christmas, My true love gave to me..
Snuggle cozy things for little boys three..

Cozy Balaclava Knit Hood from RetroJay

I got one for my son, and it is beautiful. I have mine in a cozy brown wool made to fit his head. Will be wonderful for snowy days!

Organic Newsboy Cap by LemonLaneOrganics
 Nice soft organic yarn, stretches nicely and looks super cute on my little man. He has one in green.

Cozy Fleece Heart Slippers by Scire4

These slippers are super adorable. My son started wearing them 2 weeks ago and they have become his day slippers. With a no skid bottom, he can walk with ease while keeping his toesies cozy warm.

All these featured items are items or variations of items I have for my little man!


FREE Snow Bear Finger Puppet with purchase

This Holiday Season, I am offering a little gift to shoppers who purchase $30 or more in my Etsy shop.

It's my new snuggly and cozy snow bear polar finger puppet!

Made with all organic cotton fabrics, snow bear is an all natural nice small gift or stocking stuffer for your little one this season!

Snow bear will automatically show up in your package with minimum purchase. FREE Promotion starts on November 23rd and runs up until December 18th. 

Snow bear is also available for sale in my ETSY shop should you fall in love! He is super cozy!



Artful Musician: Guy Gifts Covered

Wondering what to get your music loving guy this Holiday? 
Well look no further. 

Artful Musician has your answer.

Artfulmusicianny and  Artfulmusicianprtlnd are two shops that started as the brain children of Tom and Justin, two friends living on different coasts; one on the east, one on the west, both musicians, both artists.

Artfulmusicianny features polaroid transfer photography prints of musical equipment and music items created by Tom.

Artfulmusicianprtlnd features collage prints and original altered instruments by Justin.

All work in both shops are gallery quality, signed and stamped, printed on acid free papers and printed with archival inks.

Sometimes it's hard for us ladies to know what to choose for our guys. I asked Tom what we can learn from a him on buying for a guy?  "Purchasing a handmade gift is a great way to find a meaningful present this holiday, while supporting artists. Any guy into music would love to have their own music room or music corner in their house. Having a great piece of art can make that and create a great vibe in any space"

How do you know what to get? "You can go by the genre he is into, like rap, rock n roll, country, etc. You can also go by what instruments he may play, like drums, a bass, a guitar, a microphone for a singer and so forth."

Thanks Tom.

Visit ArtfulmusicianNY and ArtfulmusicianPRTLND on Etsy 
and find your guy a great gift!


4th Annual Salt Market October 20th 2012


This Saturday, come see Ecoleeko and 29 other great artists and artisans at the 4th Annual Salt Market in Syracuse NY. 
This years location is 401 N Salina Street in the Leabury Center.

Come see all the great vendors, eat great food and listen to live music! Support local art and get some great unique gifts off your list early!

For more info visit their facebook page-

Or their website and see what vendors will be attending-

See You there!


Eric Carle DIY Birthday Party Ideas- Doll Party favors

I found this great Eric Carle printed fabric, perfect for cutting into separate animals and making dolls out of. I purchased it on Etsy.com but you can also find his fabrics on the official Eric Carle website.

When I got the fabric, I cut out each individual animal, leaving about a 1/2" of white border for stitching. Each animal was about 5-7" long and 3-4" high, a great size! I then found some bright colored fabrics for the backs and cut them the same size. I stitched around the animals, following the printed animal design and left open a 2" area for stuffing. 

Then each was turned inside out, stuffed and hand sewn up. I made one for each child and a few for my son to play in his crib with, they are a good size for a toddlers hands. 

The fabric was great for both girls and boys. The animals were cats, frogs, ducks, dogs, bears, horses and birds to name a few. (* Please note the Eric Carle fabrics are for personal use only, and cannot be sold commercially) They were a big hit and fun to give! 

That completed the party favors! A balloon, bear mask, chunky crayons and an Eric Carle animal doll for each little one. To finish the bags, I made tags similar to the crayon tags on my computer, thanking everyone for coming and hand wrote everyones name. 

Next..What's a party without party hats and cupcake toppers!! 


Eric Carle DIY Birthday Party Ideas- Crayon Favors

Well, to have a childrens party, you need fun favors! So of course, they need to be inspired by Eric carle style..hmmm!???  

So first, brights colors are a must! All the children are under 3 years old, so something toddler friendly. Of course they each will get a mask that we made previously. So I decided on crayons, a nice natural rubber punching balloon and a sewn stuffed doll with an Eric Care animal print. I purchased the balloons, easy! then I made chunky large crayons. 

This was super easy. All you need is a box of crayons, a muffin tin or some sort of mold, vegetable spray or oil on a napkin to coat the mold and an oven. 

First, you coat the mold lightly with vegetable oil. Next, you tear off the crayon wrappers and break them into pieces, I found an exacto blade works wonders, just slice down the side and it's done. Then you sprinkle the pieces in each mold. I tried to keep like colors together but you can make mixed or rainbow ones too. 

I then preheated an oven to 250 degrees. I placed the muffin tin inside and waited for about 10 minutes, depending on your oven. Mine melted nicely, once totally melted, you take it out and let cool. To rush it, you can place it in the freezer, just be careful, it's hot! After it's set, just turn the tin over and hit, and they will come out super easy. (I did have one stick, and used a knife to help it out.) 

I made a couple for each kid. I then placed them in a cello bag and created tags on my computer with the same hungry caterpillar dot design I used on the invites. each was then tied with a twisty tie. Cute! (For the much younger, use larger molds to create a very chunky crayon as you can see on the right) 

I also had 2 nieces both over 3 years old coming on a later date, so I made them both crayon rolls. I used Eric Carle printed fabric along with organic cotton canvas to create their crayon rolls. (* Please note the Eric Carle fabrics are for personal use only, and cannot be made into items and sold commercially) 

They had velcro closures and a handle for easy carrying. There is also a small pocket for a notebook, stickers or notes to keep with them. You never know what little girls might need! 

Next..Eric Carle Party favor Animals Dolls... 


Eric Carle DIY Birthday Party Ideas- Invites

Since it is an Eric Carle party, I must have a panda or polar bear in the invite! So I chose to go with the panda bear.  

I found an image I liked and scanned it in. My invites were 5.5 x 8.5 with a border, so I sized the image to fit. I tried to find a font close enough to the book font, and used a phrase to start the invite.  

I liked the dot pattern in "The Hungry Caterpillar" book, so used that for accents. To make his name, I used the Erc Carle Alphabet print, cut out each letter and made his name. (I will also use that idea for the banner) I then added all our info and printed them out.  
And Whalla! Super cute personalized DIY invites.  

Next Up..What to do for Eric Carle party favors?? 


Eric Carle DIY Birthday Party Ideas- Masks

 Now that I had my animals made, I set out to make some Eric Carle style masks. 

Since the party was a panda, polar bear theme, I decided to use one of each. I found 2 images I liked and scanned them in my computer. I made them bigger to fit the width of a child's head because I wanted to cut eyes to match up. I then printed them out and cut them out. 

I figured where the eyes needed to be and cut out holes. I laminated (totally optional) the masks, as I want them durable and to last. I poked 2 holes for elastic and tied elastic string to each side. I made it long enough to fit around their heads, but slightly taught to not be loose.(* Please note the Eric Carle imagery is copyrighted and cannot be sold commercially) 

It was super cute to have little pandas and polar bears running around!! Love it!! Each child got to take one home and continue to play and be little bears!!  

Next Up..What to do about invites? 


Eric Carle Birthday DIY Party Ideas - Making Animals

When my son turned one, I knew exactly what party theme to do. He was in love with the books "Polar Bear, Polar Bear what do you hear?" and "Panda Bear, Panda Bear, what do you see?", both written by Eric Carle. I would read them every day and he fell in love with pandas and polar bears. 

Eric Carle is known for his collage style children's books with fun rhymes. The Eric Carle website has his books and lots of other items available for purchase. There is also an Eric Carle museum where you can see his book art.

I decided to try and make everything based on those 2 books.  Unfortunately there weren't a lot of party ideas with those specific themes, but I was able to come up with some easy ideas that I wanted to share in case you have a little boy in love with pandas and polar bears too!

Making Animals

My first idea was to use his books and images to create the animals to place around his party area. I scanned in some images and printed them out. Then laminated them (optional), so they would keep as play things as well. It is such a waste to spend all this time making something and not have it last for another purpose. You could also always pass them on to another friend with a little one. I made 3 large ones so I could stick them on tables, walls, etc.

 (*Eric Carle images are copyrighted, so you can't sell them for commercial purposes)

I also made smaller ones and decided to attach popsicle sticks to them, so I could put them in bowls and such, as well as use them for puppets later!

I just taped the stick to the back.
They would be lots of fun with a little puppet theater!

Next I'll show you how I made masks for the little ones!......


Handmade Organic Childs Tee Pee Playhouse

For my sons 1st Birthday gift I decided to make him something from a new book I received as a gift.

It's called "Growing Up Sew Liberated", making handmade clothes & projects for your creative child, by Meg McMlwee. It's a super cute book that has a lot of great patterns included, like clothes, toys and this great teepee playhouse, or a hideaway play tent.

I found a bunch of organic cotton canvas I had laying around so I figured it would be perfect for this project.  I reviewed the instructions and altered the pattern to add another 2 feet of height to the teepee, I want something he can grow with and play in till his bigger. (The teepee pattern is a set of instructions, so you can alter the size if you want). 

Besides fabric you would need 4 poles that would slide into the teepee channels, so it can stay up. I found some at a local improvement store. You need a lot of room to lay out, so a floor or large table is good to have.

In the back, I enlarged the window and added velcro so it can roll up. He tried to crawl out of it at first, but it can be used when he can walk and look in.

After it was done, we set it up in his soon to be playroom downstairs. It has now become the chill area for some stuffed animals since he's small still, but am sure it will be the place to be when he's bigger! Happy Playing!


My Organic Baby Mattress

I forgot to finish my organic mattress series and explain what I did find in the end of all my searching for a safe and organic mattress. Oops! 
I am not endorsing exclusively any of the following (and have not been paid by any company), but these are the purchases we ended up making when trying to find safe organic alternatives for our baby's crib.

My Organic Baby Mattress

After a long online search for a safe, organic and non chemical mattress, I decided on buying one from Ecobaby. Their mattress is made with a soft organic cotton ticking (outside fabric), lovely! and filled with organic wool batting, which is Naturally fire retardant, no chemicals here!) with spring coils. I also opted for the toddler clip edging, which allows my baby to use it into his toddler to child years, nice! And a bonus is that they are made right here in the U.S.!

This is the exact one I purchased-
The Apollo 260 coil crib with clips

I didn't order directly from them, but now I would encourage anyone to do so, as I had quite a delay from the web company I did order from. The mattresses are shipped directly from the Pure Rest/ Eco Baby company. (They were very nice when I contacted them regarding the other company I dealt with, I won't mention names..)

Waterproof Mattress Covers..I mean Wool Puddle Pads

After we received the mattress I started looking into waterproofing alternatives to those plastic lined covers, yuck! Even some of the companies said organic cotton covers but lined them in plastic, what's the point!? Luckily,  I found a wool puddle pad alternative for waterproofing! Yeah!  It's basically a nice felted piece of wool that you lay on top of the mattress and under the sheet. It works great and no chemicals or plastic coatings!

I purchased one on Etsy, but there are many companies that sell others online, although Etsy had the best price, I'd say (: The one I purchased was the exact size of the mattress. You can also get smaller sizes to use for changing areas, under car seats and other areas you may need them,. They are easily washed with a wool wash that you can find many places online. ( I also use it for his wool diaper covers)

Here are some examples of various wool puddle pads for sale on Etsy.

Organic Cotton Sheets

You can also find organic cotton sheets on many websites, I ended up buying some velour knit (so soft!) and 2 flannel sheets to interchange. I have found I change them more often when he is drool/teething and less when not, so I'd recommend having 3 sheets. That way you can wash and change easily.

I ended up purchasing some on Diapers.com. You can also find handmade ones on Etsy.com.


The search was frustrating but I now feel confident, as my little 10 month old sleeps with his face smushed on the natural mattress every night, that he's not breathing in any chemicals, sucking on flame retardants or laying on plastic. Yes they are more expensive than plastic mattresses and we had to save to get these items, we basically didn't splurge on anything but his mattress. It was a hard decision to do it, but it was definitely worth it.

All of these items are safe and of heirloom quality that can be passed down or reused for a nice daybed after your child is bigger or resold very easily. It's a great purchase for your child's health and well being and we are very happy with our purchase.

I hope my journey can help you in your decision to buy organic for your baby's crib!


What's in your canned goods?

Since I've had a baby, my husband and I have been learning all about what's in everything and we've found some surprising and disturbing issues especially with food. One in particular is with BPA, or Bisphenol A. You may know it from hearing about Baby bottle issues with BPA. Now every bottle is labelled BPA free, and that's a great thing. What you may not know is that BPA is still used and widely in many products.

BPA is controversial because it mimics hormone-like properties when used, affecting the endocrine system. It can also affect neurological, thyroid, heart issues and possibly be linked to cancer . Take a look at the FDAs page on public health effects of BPA.... And some how it is still used in polycarbonate plastics, epoxy resins used in almost all can linings and has been found in some paper products you may use. that's pretty frightening!

Wikipedia has an amazing in depth look into BPA, please take a look to understand the history and a more well rounded idea of what it can cause.

So you figure since it has been shown to cause issues, it shouldn't be used right? Especially if you are a breastfeeding woman eating canned goods, you can transfer it to your infant, who is most at risk for hormonal issues with this chemical. Baby bottles aren't the only container to change...


What is shocking, is that most companies have not tried to stop using BPA in their canned linings..well no one advertising themselves as BPA-free except ONE, who uses a vegetable based enamel material to safely line their cans, Eden Foods! You can read more about how they came to that decision and why on their website. If this concerns you at all, please support them in their thoughtful change and purchase their canned goods instead.

Besides cans, BPA is also found in register receipts or thermal point of sale receipts, carbonless copy paper, and can be found on bills of money, since so many of us save receipts in wallets and the BPA residue can get on the bills. Recycled paper such as toilet paper also have traces of BPA, since receipt paper is used when the recycling process is done. BPA is also being found in wastewater, due to the traces in toilet paper leaching into the water supply.

I don't know what the answer is to the toilet paper issue, unfortunately we all use it and it seems until the recycling of these BPA paper products is dealt with, we will continue to add more of this disrupting chemical into our environment. Atleast as consumers, we can support companies like Eden, like these few other organic companies , and demand change from others who still use BPA lined cans, it seems like it's crazy for a company especially selling organic food to use BPA lined cans!

Thanks for reading my rant..until the next (:


Handmade Nursery- Cicrafts

I absolutely love these handmade crochet balls and frisbee!

They were hand crocheted by Ilene of Cicrafts on Etsy.com. the bright colors are absolutely adorable! I love the bright stripes and super soft yarn. 

The small ball is big enough for my 9 month old to grasp and roll. He loves to squish it and hold. 

The large one is a great size to play catch when he is older, but for now, we roll and snuggle it to his belly during play, which always gets him to giggle. the frisbee is a great small pillow for him to roll over and rest his head on for now. I'm sure we'll be throwing it around soon enough!

Take a look at her shop. Her handmade items are super affordable and very cute. She also makes other items like blankets, dresses and animals. These balls are a definite perfect gift for a new mommy or daddy. I really love them and can see me ordering more for my son!
Support handmade (:


My morning reads

I came across a great website, full of inspiring and interesting posts. Since I've joined their Free subscription, I've been reading them every morning, and I love the stories and lessons they are sharing. It's called The Tiny Buddha.

It's also has become a book..Every day, I am emailed 2 posts, each written by various people talking about various things, but each sharing daily wisdom, like "Less is More", "Letting Go" or "Tips to achieve your Dreams". You can choose to get news feeds daily or weekly when you sign up. The posts are very thought provoking, inspiring and helpful. They can remind us to take time for ourselves and breathe for a moment.

I've shared the site with others close to me and wanted to share with you. It's a great news feed to start your day..Take a look at The Tiny Buddha. It'll cheer up your day,Guaranteed! (:


Doll New Re-Designs

I am happy to say I am now a proud mommy of a sweet little boy! 8 months and counting, I am slowly learning about all things mommy. Since then I've had to learn to streamline and reorganize my time, or lack there of! HA!

And made time to redesign my large plush, something I've been meaning to do for the past year.

The new large plush dolls are the same great size and have the same bright, fun colorations. There is now less stitching on the arms and legs, making them more durable for your little ones!