B is for Baby. . .

. . . boy, board books, boat, and box!  This is the crate that I'll be bringing to a baby shower for Jessica this weekend.  She's having a baby boy and his nursery is decorated in an ocean theme.  I've filled the crate w/shredded tissue and a collection of best loved board books to start Baby's library.  Oh yeah, B is also for blanket.  A soft blue blanket is draped over the side so Baby can cuddle up and read!  This is my favorite baby gift to give!  Welcome baby!!!


Mittens for Mom

I love it when kids get excited about gift giving. There's nothing sweeter than a child who wants to surprise a loved one with a gift that has been so carefully chosen. Needless to say, I was touched to learn that Paige, age 9, wanted a Mitten Crate for her mom this Christmas. When it was my turn to drive to dance class we schemed in the car about a way to deliver the package and keep the gift a secret. We'd whisper about it at school functions and Lydia would relay messages home from school and on the phone. It was quite the covert operation! We finally settled on a plan that involved Paige's grandmother and the package was delivered successfully 2 days before Christmas.
Merry Mittens to all!
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A Treasured Tradition

A holiday tradition I started a few years ago has quickly become one of my favorites. Since Christmas morning is full of Kodak moments, I wanted my kids to be photographed in decent pajamas, not like the mismatched ill-fitting attire they wear to bed the rest of the year. (Seriously, I think my 6th grader sometimes wears his T-ball shirt to bed!) So every year on Christmas Eve, the kids get to open one gift before bed -- their new pj's!

At the same time I also wanted to build a library of treasured Christmas stories. For a couple of years I shopped for multiple books for the kids to open during Advent. We had soon amassed a great collection of stories. We display them in a metal sleigh by the fireplace and bring them out only at Christmastime. To keep control of the Christmas library, I now buy one book for each child and wrap it with the pajamas. It's fun to select the perfect book to suit each of the kids. My toddler will love her peek-a-boo board book. My drama princess loves The Nutcracker. And while a picture book may seem too childish for my 6th grader, I think he'll appreciate the environmentally themed When Santa Turned Green.

This treasured tradition of ours was the inspiration behind the Christmas Tree crate. Since our sleigh is overflowing, I may be putting one of these by our fireplace, too!


My Crate Beginning

Her name is Rachel. She's seven years old and with her birth came the birth of my new hobby. Her mom, Anna, and I were college roommates. Anna was a nursing major while I majored in English. So when I learned that Anna was having a baby I knew right away what gift I would give-- BOOKS! I shopped for some great children's books to start Rachel's library. (Next to trying on new shoes, browsing through endless shelves of picture books is my favorite shopping activity!) Finding a cute container for the books was a much harder task. I considered baskets, plastic bins, and tote bags, but nothing I found seemed quite right. When I stumbled across an unfinished wooden crate at a craft store the juices started flowing! Nothing says "baby" more than Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star so off I created from there! I've done some different takes on this design since then, but my original crate remains near and dear to my heart, just like Anna and her baby, Rachel.


Be Back Soon!

So here's my first foray into the blogging world! As I compose this post, my basement is full of crates ready to be showcased at the Fiera di Natale -- the Italian Heritage Center's annual craft fair. My first venture into blogging happens to coincide with my first public sale of these crates. There's just so much to do and so little time! Sorry for the brief and boring post, but I'll be back soon. I hope you'll visit again!