Monthly Archives: March 2013

Love At First Bite – Sweetness Sundays

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Pinaloves Organic Bakery, Cookie Varieties

As a newly born vegan for 2013, I can tell you that the transition to vegan cooking has been a purely pleasurable experience for me. I love getting in the kitchen and being creative. Making hot cereal masterpieces with whole grains and fruits, delicious cold grain salads for lunch with decadent avocados and black beans, discovering a million ways to use my newly stocked spice rack while making slow cooker creations for dinner. It takes me back to all the things that landed me in Culinary School at college, that one year of knowledge has never left me, although I did move on to Nursing, my true passion.

Almond Crescents, Gluten Free, $9.00 USD on Etsy.

The only thing I have yet to attempt is vegan baking. Not because I don’t like baking, or because I lack the equipment. Although I must admit that the top of my wish list is a KitchenAid Stand Mixer and a new Cuisinart, as I have neither. What has stopped me is all the ingredients you need to stock up on, many not found in any regular grocery store, in order to make something that is comparable to other home baked fare. I have stocked up on things like Molasses, Organic Cane Sugar, Flax Seeds, Dates, Dried Fruits and Nuts, and Organic All Purpose Flour. I have hunted down Almond Flour, Brown Rice Flour, and Agave Syrup. I have the Maple Syrup and Vegan Margarine in my fridge. I even got the Egg Replacement Mix and a spice grinder in order to make some of the more tricky ingredients. But for the life of me, I have yet to find a recipe to which I can say, “yes, I have all the ingredients I need, let’s bake this baby up!”

Gluten Free – Chocolate and Floral Cookie Collection, $32.00 USD on Etsy.

My brother, being super thoughtful, came for dinner a few weeks back and came in with a few groceries I had needed, surprised me with a box of vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies. They were in a shelf stable box, looked pretty decent on the package, I read the label just to be sure they were vegan, and dove in to try one. Well, they were pretty good, not great, not like my mother’s baking, which is legend – wait for it – dary. But they were certainly the most treat-like thing I had had since going vegan. The problem, the box contained exactly 12 cookies, no bigger than a dollar Loonie coin, and it cost more than six dollars, with tax included. Twelve tiny cookies, average at best, at that price? It seemed insane to me, I knew that I either needed to find a new source of baked goods, or I had better make them myself.

A Platter of Delicious Cookies from Pinaloves Organic Bakery.

So as I have been collecting up vegan cookbooks, and looking at the list of ingredients I need to have on hand, I have also been spending a lot of time searching the web for a recipe to start out with.  I have been grabbing up the ingredients I find when I shop, and have got a good number of things in the pantry now, but not everything, not yet.

Boxed Love from Pinaloves Organic Bakery.

Now, many of you know I spend way more time on Etsy than is healthy for my pocketbook. I am always on the lookout fabulous items that I then must have in my life. After all, what would Foraging For Fab be without Etsy and all the other handmade sellers of wonderful. So every now and again I have a look for vegan goods, particularly from close locations, and when it comes to edibles, Canadian sellers are a must.  So there I was, searching out vegan sources of yummy, and up popped a new seller. The pictures looked A-M-A-Z-I-N-G to me, and gosh, they were from Montreal, Quebec; right here in Canada. And so I discovered Pinaloves Organic Bakery.

Sunflower Oats British Biscuits – Organic, $9.00 USD on Etsy.

These cookies, or little bites of heaven, as I now refer to them come in a variety of amazing flavors and types, and are made to suit many dietary restrictions or needs, not just vegan.  Pina also bakes up batches of Sugar Free, Gluten Free, and Dairy Free treats, in addition to her Vegan offerings.  The cookies are just like the classic home-made versions you love at Holiday Parties or Special Events, but they are something you can enjoy any day of the week with a cup of coffee or a herbal tea.

Vegan – Fruit & Spice Cookie Collection, $42.00 USD on Etsy.

I ordered up a mixed box of cookies, Vegan Fruit and Spice Mix, which held at least 75 biscuits, and a smaller package of 12 Chocolate Pistachio Squares. I quickly got a message back from Pina saying they would be baked up first thing the next morning and then sent out as soon as possible that day.  I have never ordered bakery products through the mail before, so I promptly forgot when to expect them, and went on with my day.

Irish Coffee Whiskey Sandwich Cookie – Vegan, $11.00 USD on Etsy.

When the package arrived before lunch time, just 3 days after my order was placed, I was doing a little happy dance in my apartment. They looked absolutely lovely, just as they were pictured in the Etsy Listings. There was even a little surprise inside the box, a new sandwich cookie recipe a Vegan Irish Coffee Whiskey delight, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. It was all so perfectly packaged, I even took some pictures with my phone to show my friends and family, or make them drool, either way I was too happy to notice.

Vegan – Chocolate Pistachio Squares, $9.00 USD on Etsy.

I decided to try one of the Chocolate Pistachio Squares right away. I am not very good at delaying gratification when it comes to cookies, or most other things to be honest. I was hooked from the very first bite. These cookies are special, they have that perfectly home made love baked in feel to them. They taste delicious, they look so pretty yet in-perfect, the way homemade cookies do, and they just hit the right spot with all that I was looking for in a vegan treat. I had to read the label again to be sure it was in fact a vegan product, it was just too much like a crumbly buttery chocolate refrigerator cookie from my pre-vegan days.

Love Lemon – Gluten Free Sandwich Cookies, $11.00 USD on Etsy.

I quickly headed to my office so that I could leave feedback for Pinaloves Organic Bakery on Etsy, just too happy to wait a minute longer to tell everyone how very special these cookies are. I also checked out the Pinaloves Organic Bakery Website and Shop, where I got even more thrilled to learn about all the other wonderful things going on at Pinaloves, and got a lot of great information from the shop’s FAQ page. There is very specific information about the ingredients and the different dietary specialty cookies that they bake, among other yummy looking cakes and pastries. There are different package sizes, box combinations, and varieties available to suit any need.

Gluten Free – Chocolate and Floral Cookie Collection, $32.00 USD on Etsy.

I then caught a ride over to the shop’s Etsy Page, and left a little thank-you note with Pina and company, just so appreciative of the speed and professionalism ascribed to my order, and the joy these cookies brought me.

Cholesterol Free, Low Fat Vegan Chocolate Loaves with Chocolate Ganache

I think the best thing about these cookies and treats is that they cater to some very specific dietary needs, but they are so delicious that everyone will love them, and no one has to feel left out. The Diabetic can have their Biscotti with morning coffee. The individuals with  wheat allergies or Celiac Disease, can have their pick of amazing cookies and treats. Those who are Lactose Intolerant or have milk allergies can indulge without fear. The Vegan can have her cookies and love every single cruelty-free and nutritious bite!

Spelt Hazelnut Almond Cookies – Gluten Free, $9.00 USD on Etsy.

Now, before you get all suspicious about the excessive compliments I am sending the Pinaloves people, I will balance things out a little by saying that these cookies are not free, they are priced in my mind accordingly for the quality of the ingredients, and the time and love put into every one.  They are likely not the thing you will be able to have on hand just for nibbling on any old day of the week. They would make perfect hostess gifts, and would be an impressive thing to put out at parties. The smaller packages of a dozen or so cookies are more likely to an indulgent weekday treat for you and a friend or two, the boxes are a brilliant luxury for special occasions. If you happen to live in Montreal and can get access to these cookies without having them delivered, I think you will find yourself making frequent trips to get your cookie fix.

Sugar Free Biscotti by Pinaloves, $14.00 USD on Etsy.

The only other issue is that these cookies are just to good to last for long in your home. While my large order of goodies lasted about a week, shared with company and my sweet-tooth aside,  they are hard to resist or put away, they are just too delicious, and my sweet starved inner vegan-child pretty much dictated how many of these delicious bites I dove into at a sitting. It is best I not mention that, it’s embarrassing how little self-control I have most days.

Gluten Free – Pistachio Cookies, $9.00 USD on Etsy.

Don’t let that stop you from ordering them though, and don’t delay in checking out Pinaloves Organic Bakery’s Website, Etsy Shop, or Facebook page to catch even more pictures of the delicious offerings available freshly baked and directly to your home. I can assure you they will be baked and shipped with all the love and care you could hope for, and they will become fast favorites of anyone who is lucky enough to sample them.

Vegan Rosemary Raisin Sables, $9.00 USD on Etsy.

You can either buy through Etsy, or shop the online store, whichever mode you happen to prefer.  I have every reason to believe that the service and kind customer care that you will receive, even if it is just asking a question, will surpass your expectations. If you have a local vegan or specialty bakery, by all means give them a visit, the point is to support the small bakeries that are working very hard to establish themselves and serve quality goods made with care, conscious, and attention to detail, and stop buying shelf stable and overpriced goods where possible. Going local isn’t just about produce at the farmer’s market, it means buying things that are made close to home to avoid all the damage that can be done to the environment by shipping boxes of boxes from country to country over land and sea.

Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Cookies, $9.00 USD on Etsy.

I am now going to resist temptation and skip ordering another batch of Pinaloves goodies, at least for today, no promises about tomorrow though. Maybe one day, when I have been making my own vegan baked-goods, I can hope to be as good as the crew at Pinaloves Organic Bakery. If not, well, I am going to get very friendly with the mail-person bringing me boxes full of love on a regular basis. Hope you enjoyed your own Sweet Sunday!

Pinaloves Organic Bakery, Logo & Website Address.

Shadow Play – Found On A Friday

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Le Grand Carnival, Shadow Box Diorama Frame by LaBoom, Etsy.

Paper is such a wonderful thing, it can become so many different things in as many different hands. When we are children, we are given paper and crayons or finger-paint, and let loose to make a mess. When we learn to look at books, we can see magical images on the same flat plane of paper. When we begin to read and write, we form letters and numbers with pencils and pens and begin to express ourselves in a non-verbal way that other people can understand. But by far, my favorite use of paper is to alter it from it’s usual one-dimensional form, and to create something entirely different.

3D Pedestal Display – A Day In The Island – by LaBoom, Etsy.

By layering, gluing, scrunching, folding, cutting, painting, and any other number of manipulations, we can turn paper into magic. We see the world in dimensions, though we may not be as aware of it as we are when we sit in a movie theater looking at that flat screen with those goofy 3D glasses on. There is perspective all around us, some things are closer, some things are farther away. When light moves over the land, be it natural or artificial, different things are highlighted. We see shadows, we see new items illuminated that we didn’t notice before, and everything can change in the span of a few hours. Think about your favorite place to be, it looks different based on how much light there is, and where you are in that space.

Handmade 3D Display – Ludella On Stage – by LaBoom, Etsy.

Shadow boxes and dioramas are becoming a lost art, and that is a true shame. Children create their art on a tablet or computer screen, and it never achieves the same quality of a hand made work. If you never play with sizes and shapes of cut out paper arranged closer or farther from your eyes, and with different light sources, you will never fully understand the magic of perspective. No matter what technology comes along, there is nothing that can beat a plain old arts and crafts kit full of scraps of paper, trims and findings, glue, paint, and colour.

3D Shadow Box Frame – The Journey of a Teapot –, With a Light by LaBoom, Etsy.

Today I stumbled upon the most magical of things, a wonderful Shadow Box Diorama created by the very talented hands of Tatiana Kontouli. Tatiana’s Etsy Shop, called LaBoom, contains a bounty of wonderful examples of 3D sculpture, shadow boxes, dioramas, lighted boxes and other magical hand crafted paper creations. Tatiana’s creations vary in price quite a bit, from $12.00 US for smaller shadow boxes, to $55.00 US for her most intricate creations. This makes them affordable for almost anyone to add to a collection of curiosities, or as a perfect gift for that person that is impossible to buy for.

Handmade 3D Frame Display – Miss Nagg’s Kindness Spirit – by LaBoom, Etsy.

Comprised of vintage ephemera, paper cutouts, fabric trims, wire, glitter, cardboard, and illusion, Tatiana’s work is fascinating to look at, and really makes you want to take a closer look inside the box.  From grand multi-figure displays, to simple seeming light boxes, each piece is so very special. You can see the careful combination of elements, the thoughtful placement of text and hidden creatures, and the small touches of magic that make these more than just crafty little items, it makes them something very special indeed.

Handmade Shadow Box Frame – Peachy Wonderland – by LaBoom, Etsy.

A close look at the individual listings I have selected to show you, or any of the dozens of others in the LaBoom shop, will show you different angles and close-up views that will enchant you utterly. Tatiana Kontouli’s “whimsical wonderland” ships all the way from beautiful Antiparos, Cyclades in Greece, one of the most magical and mythical places on the planet. It all just makes the story come together for me, Greece is the seat of a great deal of the historical evolution of sculpture and art.

Light Box Diorama Display – Watch Out Girls – , Light Off by LaBoom, Etsy.
Light Box Diorama Display – Watch Out Girls – , Illuminated by LaBoom, Etsy.

I urge you to take a closer look at LaBoom, and hope you see something so special you simply must bring it’s whimsy and magic into your home. If nothing else, it will have you heading into your old scrap box of bits and bobs, grabbing an old cigar box or cardboard frame, and planning to spend a little time with a glue-stick and some newsprint in the near future. Dioramas should not be on the endangered list of folk arts, too many things have already gone that direction.

3D Shadow Box Frame – Party Dog –  by LaBoom, Etsy.

So hit up the local craft shop or dig into your old stash of findings and create your own shadow box, and include the children in your life in the process, they will be enchanted by the magic that can be found in paper. Don’t let them think of paper as relegated to school work and books alone, as much as I love books – they need to learn to see possibility in all materials, and not just take them for granted. In the time before television, computers, and video games,it is too easy to forget about real creativity.

Shadow Light Box 3D Frame Diorama – Hippolyte – by LaBoom, Etsy.

Where will our future sculptors, crafters, designers and architects be without knowing the magic that can be found in 3D? I am so glad I found Tatiana Kontouli‘s Etsy Shop, LaBoom on a Friday, and now you can be too. Have a great weekend everyone, do something creative with paper and rediscover the magic.

3D Shadow Box Frame – Fox In The Woods – by LaBoom, Etsy.

Keeping Me In Stitches – Wacky & Wonderful Wednesdays

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Can you identify these stitched up quotes and sayings? Are you ready to take a little quiz with me here at the ‘Fab’? Put on your thinking caps, or tinfoil anti-alien helmets, and get a pencil. Each numbered image is a quote from a Television Show, Broadway Spectacular, or Movie. How many can you identify all on your own, no cheating – close that Google tab down!

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Are you a movie buff, a pop-culture vulture, or a chic geek? Do you quote famous lines of dialogue, get all those obscure references and ‘in’ jokes? Do you have a catalog of expressions that comes in handy in almost any situation, giving you instant hipster cred? There are 24 fabulously stitched up quotes in this quiz, so you are bound to know a bunch of these.

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Sometimes the best way to find a kindred spirit in a crowded room, at a party, or on the first day of work or school is to go with an inside joke that only those in the know will appreciate. Some of them are stolen from TV, Movies, or Broadway, but they all have one thing in common. Said in the right place at the right time they are absolutely hysterical and instantly bring to mind the scene of the line, the origin of the speeches, if you will.

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OK, enough with the puns and on with the fun, here are a heap of awesome quotes, all you have to do if figure out where they are from. They come in one of my favorite forms of geekery, crochet and cross-stitch. A very traditional medium with a very modern twist, it is the hipster equivalent of chalk and cheese, at least in my way of thinking.  Two things that are different, particularly two things that are superficially alike but very different in substance, or rather the opposite. Two things superficially different, but somehow alike in a hipster substance kind of way. Never mind, it’s hard to explain. It just works.

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I have numbered the images, the answers to the question “where did this quote come from?” can be found at the very bottom of this post, along with links to the fabulous Etsy shops where you can snap up these little bits of wonderful. Some of these hoop sayings are ready made, some are made-to-order, and others are patterns for you to download or receive and stitch up yourself. So read the individual Etsy listings to find out for sure what form of funny you are checking out.

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Whether hanging in a group on the wall near your entertainment section, or placed on a side table with your favorite family photos, you will surely have room in your home for a little awesome in an embroidery hoop. Now get cracking at my little test, and let me know in the comments just how many of these quotes you identified on first reading.

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Answers and Links To The Etsy Listings:

  1. Suck It, Trebek. [Quote from SNL Skit, Will Ferrell as Sean Connery on Celebrity Jeopardy Parody, 1999] Embroidery Hoop, Blue Fiber Art Home Decor, 4″ Hoop by Stitch Culture on Etsy.
  2.  Tea. Earl Grey. Hot. [Quote from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Captain Jean Luc Pickard] Cross Stitch PDF Pattern by BetaStitch, LadyBeta on Etsy.
  3. Suck It, Nerds. [Quote from Liz Lemon, 30 ROCK] Simple Home Decor, 3″ Art by StitchCulture on Etsy.
  4. Nobody Puts Baby In The Corner [Quote from Dirty Dancing, Johnny Castle played by Patrick Swayze] Beautiful and Charming, Hand Stitched, Ready-To-Hang Dirty Dancing Quote by My Heart & Anchor on Etsy.
  5. I Gave Her My Heart, She Gave Me A Pen. [Quote from Say Anything, by Lloyd Dobler played by Jon Cusack] Embroidery Hoop Art. Embroidered Quote, Ready To Ship by Gracey May on Etsy.
  6. I Saved Latin. What Did You Ever Do? [Quote from Rushmore, Max Fischer played by Jason Schwartzman] Embroidered Wall Art. Movie Quote by Gracey May on Etsy.
  7. There’s No Basement At The Alamo! [Quote from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Movie, voiced by Tina played by Jan Hooks to Pee-Wee played by Paul Reubens] Hand Embroidery Hoop – Pee-Wee by moxiedoll on Etsy.
  8. Does Barry Manilow Know You Raided His Wardrobe? [Quote from The Breakfast Club, John Bender played by Judd Nelson] Quote Framed Cross Stitch Sampler by Snarky Little Stitcher on Etsy.
  9. Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica. [Quote from The Office (US), voiced by Jim Halpert impersonating Dwight Schrute] Pop Culture TV Quote Hand Embroidery Hoop Art, Office Decor Wall Art by Stitch Culture on Etsy.
  10. Stay In The House, Carl. [Quote from The Walking Dead, said by pretty much every other character on the show, but he never stays in the frippen house, does he?] by Stitch Culture on Etsy.
  11. You’ve Got Red On You. [Quote from film Shaun of the Dead] Halloween Hand Embroidery Hoop Art, Zombie Blood Movie Quote Home Decor, 3″ by Stitch Culture on Etsy.
  12. I’m Not Crazy. My Mother Had Me Tested. [Quote from The Big Bang Theory, said by Sheldon Cooper played by Jim Parsons] Hand Embroidery Hoop Art – Television Quote Comedy Hoop by Stitch Culture on Etsy.
  13. I Don’t Have A Square To Spare, I Can’t Spare A Square. [Quote from Television Comedy “Seinfeld”, Episode ‘The Stall’ #76, dialogue between Elaine Benes played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Jane played by Jamie Gertz] Cross Stitch PDF Pattern by BetaStitch, LadyBeta on Etsy.
  14. No Day But Today. [Quote from the Broadway Musical “RENT” by Jonathan Larson] Hand Embroidery Hoop – Another Day by moxiedoll on Etsy.
  15. I Am So Smart. S – M – R – T. [Quote from Television Animated Comedy “The Simpsons”, Homer Simpson voice by Dan Castellaneta] Embroidery Hoop – TV Quote – Funny Television Home Back To School Dorm Decor by Stitch Culture on Etsy.
  16. You’re A Virgin Who Can’t Drive. [Quote from the 1995 film “Clueless”, said by Tai Frasier played by Brittany Murphy to Cher Horowitz, played by Alicia Silverstone] Hand Embroidery Hoop Art – 1990s Teen Movie Bright Pink Home Decor: Hoop Art by Stitch Culture on Etsy.
  17. Clear Alcohols Are For Rich Women On Diets. [Quote from TV Show ‘Parks and Rec.’, uttered by Ron Swanson played by Nick Offerman] Hand Embroidery Hoop Art – Parks and Rec TV Quote: Kitchen Home Decor by Stitch Culture on Etsy.
  18. And I Thought They Smelled Bad On The Outside. [Quote from STAR WARS: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, said by Han Solo played by Harrison Ford] Star Wars Embroidery for Tauntaun Lovers by Water Penny on Etsy.
  19. As You Wish. [Quote from the modern classic movie “The Princess Bride”, uttered repeatedly by Westley played by actor Cary Elwes] Cross Stitch Quote From The Princess Bride by (not so) Modern Millie on Etsy.
  20. There’s Always Money In The Banana Stand. [Quote from TV’s “Arrested Development” yelled by George Bluth at his son Michael Bluth, Season 1, Episode 2.] Cross Stitch Quote From Arrested Development by (not so) Modern Millie on Etsy.
  21. You Stay Classy, San Diego. [Quote from Comedy Film “Anchorman” starring Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy. This is his classic signature sign-off at the end of the News Broadcast.] Personalized Hand Embroidered Hoop Art – Customize to Your State, Home Decor by Stitch Culture on Etsy.
  22. Do Or Do Not. There Is No Try. [Quote from STAR WARS: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, said by Yoda, voiced by Frank Oz, to Luke Skywalker played by Mark Hamill] Hand Embroidered Hoop Art – Yoda Movie Quote/Motivational Embroidery Home Dorm Decor by Stitch Culture on Etsy.
  23. You Rush A Miracle Man, You Get Rotten Miracles. [Quote from “The Princess Bride”, uttered by Miracle Max, played by Billy Crystal] The Princess Bride Embroidery Hoop – Philosophical Movie Quote Home Decor – Made to Order by Stitch Culture on Etsy.
  24. My Name’s Not F#@!ing Warren. [Quote from 1995 Teen Flick “Empire Records”, said by “Warren” played by Brendan Sexton] Embroidery Hoop – Empire Records Movie Quote Home Decor/Mature by Stitch Culture on Etsy.

How did you do kids?  I had to look up five of these classics myself, though one of them was on the tip of my tongue and I was so close to getting it. Meanwhile, looking up all the details for you made this one of my most research dense Blog posts yet. Who loves you? This Gal! Have a fabulous Wacky & Wonderful Wednesday everyone.

Tuck Away Those Treasured Teeth – Teeny Tiny Tuesdays

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Custom Wee Fleecey Tooth Fairy Pillow with Name Embroidery by Hannalah Designs on Etsy.

The summer my nephew was 5, he started to get the ‘wiggles’. No, not those annoyingly happy men that sing a song about pretty much everything, but rather the toothy kind. His middle bottom teeth started to get lose, and with them, all the excitement of the impending visit of the fabled ‘Tooth Fairy’, and all her magical money and gifts. I am not sure when the trend to leave big cash and even gifts in exchange for a child’s milk teeth began, all I remember is that I was thrilled to get a whole twenty-five cents!

The Tooth Monster [Not Too Scary Tooth Collector, SO GREAT!] by Judi B Designs on Etsy.
Tooth Fairy Pillow, Cottage – Children’s Toy, Open the Door, Keepsake, Mint Floral by Apple White Handmade on Etsy.

In any case, as those little teeth got more and more wobbly, his anticipation of the blessed event of their loss became all consuming. Enter after school ‘Timbits’ Soccer League, a spanking cool yellow and black jersey with the lucky number 13 on the back, and a gaggle of hyper five year-olds that would trail after the small soccer balls like a herd. There was no strategy, no keeping score, the boys would orbit the general movement of the ball – some closely, others in wide looping circles. Basically, it was hysterical.

Girl’s Tooth Fairy Pillow, Felt Bird Door Pillow by Baby What Knots on Etsy.
Tooth Fairy Pillow For Girls with Custom Hand Embroidery [So Lovely!] by Dolce Dreams on Etsy.

At one such ‘game’, and I use that term rather loosely – pun intended, my nephew was off circling the herd like a wee buzzard, when all the sudden he collided with one of his best friends [I am still not certain if they were on the same, or opposing teams]. He seemed to recover well, as kids do, and just kept going, until suddenly he stopped, stuck his filthy [I am certain] finger into his mouth, and suddenly burst out in tears.  He ran over to us on the sidelines, sobbing so terribly, we at first had no clue what had happened. Soon things became very clear.

READY TO SHIP — Sale — Sweet Elephant Tooth Fairy Pillow (Blue – Turquoise – Teal) by Sweet Treat by Claraiuribe on Etsy.
Personalized Tooth Fairy Pillow, Lost Tooth by a. e. wilder on Etsy.

I was there with my brother-in-law, filling in for my sister, my little guys ‘Mama’, and ready to tend to snack duty. When my nephew came over, we had to calm him down to get him to speak clearly and explain the problem. It was quickly revealed, much to my nephew’s horror, that he had somehow swallowed his first loose tooth. It was gone, likely never to be seen again, at least I wasn’t going looking for it, if you know what I mean.

Plush Cat Tooth Fairy Pillow – Irma by NERDSICLES on Etsy.
Monogrammed Felt Tooth Fairy Pillow by Little Birdie & Me on Etsy.

My brother-in-law was frantic. He isn’t really great at calming his son, particularly in the face of new uncharted mini-disasters. He tried to tell him it would be okay, and not to worry, but my nephew wasn’t buying it. He was distraught, certain that the tooth fairy would never ‘pay up’ without the treasured tooth, and how would he explain that he had swallowed it? It was definitely a dilemma, but I know my nephew well, I am very close to him, and I know the way his mind works. He needed reassurance, and he needed an explanation that would seem rational.

TOOTH PILLOW Bird Parade – Name Personalization, Perfect Keepsake Pillow by Gifts Define on Etsy.
Tooth Fairy Pillow – Denim & Dots by shawnz on Etsy.

Enter ‘Super Auntie’, I just need the cape. I took his quivering little hand, noting that his coach was looking for his lost player, and I pulled him to stand right in front of me. I was calm, I was smiling, and the answer came to me like magic.  “Honey”, I said reassuringly,”there is nothing to get upset about. People swallow their teeth all the time. Don’t you know that swallowing a tooth is the fastest way to get it to the Tooth Fairy? When you swallow it, it is like a direct deposit!” He got a slightly confused look on his face, so I continued. My brother-in-law hanging on my every word, nodding his agreement. “When you swallow a tooth, it goes right to the Tooth Fairy, it’s magic after all! She just suddenly feels a tug in her pocket, and when she looks inside, your tooth is right there with her, and she knows who it came from, too!”

Personalized Medium Patchwork Owl Pillow Plush Stuffed Toy [with Pocket] – Great Gift, Lilac and Gray by Angie Baby Gifts on Etsy.
Pink Tooth Fairy Pillow for Girl, Pink Chenille with Shabby Chic Yellow Pocket by The Paisley Moon on Etsy.

He looked at me, too smart not to be skeptical, but he seemed to accept my ‘brilliant’ [though I say it myself] explanation. His only concern, “how will she know to bring me my presents.” Yes, he said presents, as in plural, I don’t know who he was talking to, but I opted to let that be his parent’s problem.

Tooth Fairy Red Monster Pocket Pillow by Mitzibell on Etsy.
Girls Tooth Fairy Pillow Tooth Fairy Gift in Woodland Forest Owl Print by The Tooth Fairy Pillow Shop on Etsy.

“She already has your tooth, so she doesn’t need to make a trip to come get it first, she will know to bring you a special treat, you just have to leave her a note to be sure”, I said with authority. And so it was, a scribbled 5 year-old’s note  left under his pillow, no drama, no fuss, and sure enough his parents came through, in spades. Seriously, he actually got cash AND a new game for his Nintendo Wii. What is that all about? I am beginning to think I was low balled when I was his age.

Puppy Tooth Fairy Pillow in Graphite Gray and Light Blue, For A Boy by meme & saysay on Etsy.
Green and White Paisley Tooth Fairy Pillow with Embroidered Saying by A Roo Cha Cha Designs on Etsy.

In the mean time, a suitable tooth fairy pillow was found and placed by his bedside for future reference. However, at this point, he was more than happy to just swallow the teeth, and repeated the ‘Soccer Game Bump’ swallow with the next tooth too.

Denim Jeans Pocket Tooth Fairy Pillow with Hand Stitched  Tooth and Handle [AWESOME CUTE!] by Country By Design on Etsy.
Kitty Tooth Fairy Pillow by The Sterling Cat on Etsy.

Kids are hysterical, people without kids have no idea. I don’t have any of my own, and still I find that they are endlessly entertaining, they all have their pet issues and silly quirks, and they have really unique little minds that have entirely unique ways of processing information. And information comes flying at them at an astounding rate in those early years, far faster than most adults realize and certainly faster than most could accommodate once they hit their early twenties and beyond.

Tooth Fairy Pillow – In Remix Fabric by Anne Kelle for Robert Kaufman, Blue Pink Yellow Daisies by Little Birds Boutique on Etsy.
Log Cabin Pillow, Tooth Fairy Pillow, Balsam Scented – Boy’s Bedroom Decor by Cecil & Clyde on Etsy.

The point of this favorite true tale of mine is that those precious little Teeny Tiny teeth are as rare as pearls, and if by chance you end up with a wee one that does not swallow them all before the Tooth Fairy can arrive, the very best thing you can do is get them a special little pillow or door ornament that has a small pocket where that tooth can be placed in anticipation of the magical visitor in the night.  Now adults will know that most active and healthy kids sleep like logs, they won’t even hear you, must less recognize you sticking your hand under their pillow to *ahem* be certain that the tooth is in position for the night. But for those of you who have light sleepers on your hands, a pillow that hangs from a door knob or hook on the wall is the ticket. The Tooth Fairy can’t possibly miss it, and it is easy for her [or him] to get to as well.

Girl Fairy with Dark Brown Hair – Hand Painted Tooth Fairy Pillow [Personalized Free, MANY VARIATIONS!] by Gracie Mae Designs on Etsy.
Tooth Fairy Pillow Girl’s and Boy’s, Handmade – Custom Made To Order by Coco Mia on Etsy.

Etsy to the rescue once again, with heaps of precious and unique, often personalized pillows especially for the collection and trade of Teeny Tiny teeth.  I remember my mother making one for me back in the 1970s, it was pink gingham, it had eyelet lace around the edges, and the tiny pocket had my initial hand-embroidered upon it. I actually still have it, come to think of it, it stayed inside my bedside table drawer for more than a decade, and when I moved out, I just couldn’t bear to part with it. It held the magic and the memories of being a little girl, of believing in fairies, and of a mother who wanted to make the whole process special, even if it was just a shiny quarter left in the pocket come morning. That was enough for a packet of POP ROCKS, or a Lik-M-Aid, just what ever kid needs to bath those new adult teeth coming in, sugar!

Tooth Fairy Pillow – Star Wars Yoda Pillow with Pocket by Tooth Fairy Works on Etsy.
Tooth Fairy Pillow, Sweet Cupcake and Heart with Pocket, Hand Stitched by Neskatoo on Etsy.

Make memories with your toddler or preschooler that will last them a lifetime, whether they keep the pillow itself, or just a picture of it stuffed with that first prized tooth. The days of believing in magic, be it the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, or Elijah on Passover – those days are gone before you know it, so be prepared by grabbing up the perfect Tooth Fairy pillow before you need it. And remember, swallowing a tooth is ‘Direct Deposit’ and a wonderful feat in itself. Just make sure they know this special circumstance applies only to baby teeth, and no other animal, mineral, vegetable, or plastic do-dad that they can fit in their mouths.

Boy Tooth Fairy Pillow – Red Dump Truck by Creative Mind Boutique on Etsy.
Tooth Fairy Pillows, Your Choice of Colour by Rikapanda Crafts on Etsy.

There are pillows for every bedroom decor, personal taste, and price point – from the $6 to $25 USD range for the most part, but some as dear as $50 USD or more for special touches like personalization. These images all contain links to the Etsy store in the caption, so click on whatever strikes your fancy, and explore these amazing Etsy Stores and many more with equally fabulous Teeny Tiny tooth treasures

Personalized Tooth Fairy Cupcake Pillow [MADE TO ORDER] by KIDDCHELEEN on Etsy.
One CUSTOM Rockin’ Tooth Fairy Pillow [Choose Fabric For Back] Girl Punk Tattoo Guitar by RockerByeBaby on Etsy.

Up [Cycled] With Kids – Motley Mode Mondays

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Children’s Clothing Summer Girls Dress – Upcycled 4-5YR by BlumenKinder on Etsy.

I love dressing little people. I love it so much that the minute I learned that my siblings were expectant parents, I was out in the mall looking for those special little onesies and booties for the new special people coming into my life. As an Obstetrics Nurse, I have handled with care a lot of itty bitty new born babes, and given lots of first baths, and helped with first diaper changes [men are hilarious when faced with their first sticky meconium coated tushie]. I rarely get a chance to choose the clothes that these little ones wear home, so when my siblings had their little bundles, I was adamant that I be in charge of their “I’m going home in this outfit ‘Outifts’.”

Cool Up-Cycled Jumpers for Autumn/Spring by SCRAPPY KIDS on Etsy.
The Kenna Coat – Green Velvet Cocktail Coat w/ Black Satin Lining [Various Sizes, From Drapes!] by gibsonsANCHOR on Etsy.

One of the most wonderful things about having little people is giving them comfortable clothes that have lots of personality, that are made for play or special occasions, that are completely unique and even one-of-a-kind [OOAK]. You have to move fast, before they get into grade school and start demanding specific colours and styles, and before they hit their teens and just want to look like everyone else. It is a very small but special window, that time when you can have fun with your kids wardrobes, and it doesn’t even have to cost a lot of money. You just need to think outside of the ‘brand name’ box, so to speak.

Friends 4 Ever – Archie Super Cool Upcycled Pieced Dress, Size 8 by OKEE DOKEE KIDS Boutique on Etsy.
Recycled T-Shirt Skirt, Shreddies – Size 7 by Tricycle Crafts on Etsy.

One fabulous way to be sure your kids are looking their one-of-a-kind best, is by nabbing some great handmade clothes, or better yet, handmade and Up-cycled clothing. What does that mean? Clothes made special just for your kiddo from what used to be other clothes, scraps of fabric and findings, and re-cycled or re-made into an entirely new and wonderful garment.  Not only are these clothes Eco-Friendly, they are also usually extremely comfortable made soft by previous use, and also unlikely to warp, shrink, or fade.  They can also be hella cute, and very funky, made to fit both personality and body type both.

Poor Pitiful Pearl “Do Not Conform To The Patterns of This World” Bib by Poor Pitiful Pearl on Etsy.
Girl’s Pink Dress, 2T Toddler Clothing, Green Floral Print – Eco Friendly Upcycled ‘KARA’ by My Fair Maiden on Etsy.

This amazing selection of Up-cycled Kids Clothing was all found with a quick search on Etsy, my favorite place to find amazing goodies for one-of-a-kind kids.  There are high-cost brands that try to make their clothing look like it is all mix-and-match Up-cycled gold, I am thinking of brands like Oilily, but they will end up costing you their weight in gold too. Better to buy something that is actually the real deal that you can get for a steal, and have a real person, the seller and creator, that you can speak to about your child’s actual measurements and needs. You can often request custom items, or specify colours that you are looking for, it is like having a personal stylist work with you to make your fashion dreams come true. Almost like a fairy g-d mother, if you will, taking those tattered rags and turning them into Cinderella’s ball gown.

Johnny Cash Upcycled/Recycled ShorTEEs Kung-Fu Pants, 4T by shorTEEs on Etsy.
Upcycled Girl’s Skirt Age 6, Size 6T Recycled Fabrics Patchwork Design by Martisanne Handmade on Etsy.

Make sure you check out these very special “Up-cyclers” on Etsy, many of them make adult clothing as well, and find something just as one-of-a-kind as your adorable, hilarious, and talented kids are.

Reef Spirit Boy T-Shirt, Boy’s Clothing – Australian Art Print Upcycled/Recycled Clothing OOAK, Size 3 Years by ALUMA for KIDS on Etsy.
Quirky Coat Girl’s Size 2-4, Must Like Hand-Me-Downs, Handmade 2nd Life Jacket – Ready To Ship by WiseSewcialTies on Etsy.