ChahanoStitch! An Etsy Adventure.

Today, I finally did it and created my Etsy shop, ChahanoStitch! Currently, I have just a bobble beard listed, but soon I’ll add more products. I’m doing custom orders for now, but eventually (after Christmas) I’ll be able to stock up the store.

So please, check out my shop and let me know what you think!

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Thanksgiving Crafts

I mentioned a few times before that I’ve been nannying for a few years now and that I love to do arts and crafts with the kiddos. I love being able to use the holidays and seasons in the projects, and earlier I posted my Halloween Crafts. Of course, I have a Thanksgiving project for kids, too! It’s super cute and really simple.

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The little ones that made these were almost 2, so it took more effort from me to cut the circles and glue the eyes, but they loved painting their hands for feathers. There are plenty of other crafts out there, but this one is just super fun and could make a great name tag for a table setting!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Learning to crochet, again

Starting when I was 10, lasting til about 18, I would spend summers back in Oklahoma (instead of my home in Maine) with my grandma and aunt and her family. It was awesome. During these summers, my grandma (Nanny, as I call her) taught me how to crochet. Unfortunately, I did not keep up with it and had forgotten how to do it, now that I’m 29.

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Even worse, Nanny suffers from early onset Alzheimer’s and can’t teach me how to do it anymore. I’ve always wanted to start back over, but I’d get too ambitious and dive in too far and totally not do it right. Last week, I decided that it was time to start over and to take my time. I watched a youtube video on how to do some single crochets and started working away.

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Almost a week later, and my ball of yarn is almost gone and I’ve got a nice pretty yellow scarf. I also just watched another video on how to double crochet and it looks simple enough. I’d like to make a blanket, as she’s made me several, so fingers crossed I can do it! I hope Nanny is proud of me!

Octobery Kid Crafts

I’ve been a nanny for quite some time and have a huge portfolio of different projects I’ve done with different kiddos along the years. I can even sort them into seasons and into months, almost, as I like to follow themes a lot. I also like to do a lot of hand/foot print pieces of art, because it’s a fun way for everyone to see how much growing is happening throughout the course of a year!

I thought I’d share some cute Octorbery ones with you, in case you would like to try some out!

They’re for toddlers, but you can be the judge on if your kid can sit still long enough to place their hand/foot on the paper without smearing too much. I did a lot of coaching beforehand with the kids before we did anything with paint, so they were angels during the process.

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This was one of my favorites and it’s easy enough to do. Paint a light coat of white paint onto the kiddo’s foot and place gently on the paper. Remove foot and you’ve got ghosts! One the paint dries, you can add the eyes and mouth (I used marker, but googly eyes would work well, too!). I also had a boat load of foam Halloween stickers and I let the kids go to town with them!

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Owls! I let the kids pick the color they wanted their owl to be. I cut out the basic shape of the body and glued it to the paper (with the legs and face as well). Then I lightly painted the hands and let them place onto the body as wings!

2014-09-30 12.14.31Spiders took a little more finesse, but not much more difficult than the others.ย Drawย a spider web with a pencil first. Paint the kid’s hand, minus the thumb. Then place onto the web. You can use both hands or just one hand twice, but overlap them a litte to make one spider body. After everything was dried, I added the eyes. I then used some sparkly puffy paint to go over the web and add the EEK! bubble, but you can use a marker, too.

A good idea that a lot of people I know have put into practice is scanning the art onto a file. Later, you can take all the files and add them to a FlutterShy book or something, which is a cute way to keep the art forever, without having stacks of faded construction paper. It makes a great gift, too!

Learning German

Every now and then, I flirt with learning a language. I get really into it and then it fizzles, usually because I don’t have anyone to practice with. I’ve spent a few years on and off with learning Swedish after spending a month in Stockholm back in 2008. It’s a beautiful language, but difficult to practice it every day (that’s my fault- I do have Swedish speaking friends in Boston, but I didn’t make enough effort to go to them to practice).

Thom speaks German pretty well, especially after spending a semester there in college. I spend a few days there in high school and both of my parents lived there for awhile. My family has always thrown around German words into English sentences (Danke instead of thank you, Schnee instead of snow, etc). German has always interested me, especially since it would make learning other languages that I love (ahem, Swedish) a little easier.

So on Sunday night, I redownloaded the Duolingoย  app onto my phone and got to work. Thom has been helping me along a little and seems to be excited to have me be able to talk to him in German.

I like working on keeping my mind fairly sharp. I have a stack of logic problem books that I also cruise through every day. I do daily crosswords and sodokus, as well as other logic puzzles. Learning German will be fun to add to the mix.

Happy Memories

At the end of 2012, I decided that for 2013, I would try to write down a positive thought every day. This ended up spiraling and becoming something different, but it’s something that I enjoy. At first I thought that I’d get a journal and write something for every day. I then remembered that I’m not always the best at remembering to do something daily, so I thought as often as possible would be fine. Then, while walking through Michael’s, I noticed some bright paper and mason jars. I bought a giant jar and some of the brightest paper I could find.

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Last year went so well, that I bought a photo album to put all my memories of the year in. I put them into chronological order and pasted them in (after ripping out the plastic pieces).

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I really enjoyed making this, so I kept it going into this year. It was fun at the end of the year to read through all the happy memories of the year. Last year was an esepecially great year, including my first time walking on the grass at Fenway, making new friends, my first kiss with Thom, and the Red Sox winning the World Series!