Category Archives: Children’s Toys

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.

French Kiss Kiss – Sweetness Sundays

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French Macarons Are A Sweet Trend, 4/6/2010. Photo Credit: Tony Bock/Toronto Star

In recent years, there is one sweet patisserie treat that is not only as beautiful to look at as it is to savor, and is also endlessly suitable to personalization. It synonymous with the luxurious life and real culinary credentials, simultaneously attaining an almost iconic image as well as a modern gustatory revolution. The French Macaron is just such a creation, with a deep rooted history, and a modern enthusiastic following at the same time. As early as 2010, they started popping up in my Toronto area bakeshops as something you could pick up on any given shop day. 

LOVE Ceramic Macaron Sachet – Fragrance Object by Hideminy, Etsy.

Valentine Jewelry Macaron Necklace by Miniature Patisserie, Etsy.

This is no easy feat, particularly for what is, when you come right down to it, a sandwich biscuit.  I somehow can’t imagine an Oreo cookie starting such a revolution on the European Continent as the Macaron has in the United States and Canada both, as of late.

Dreamy Macarons Facial Scrubs [2 Pack] by Mrs. Browns Bath Bakery, Etsy.

French Macaron Hand Soap [2 Pack] by JAKEALA, Etsy.

There is just something so fragile and special about a Macaron that cannot be mass produced. It is this fragility, the candy like colours, and the endless combinations that make up the lure of the Macaron. Movies like Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, starring Kirsten Dunst have given a new spotlight to the over-the-top decadence and girly prettiness of this petite confection.

Blueberry Macarons [Box of 12, Custom Orders Welcome] by Madeline Bake Shop, Etsy.

Parisian Macaron Stand for French Macarons/Cupcakes/Wedding Cake – Peach Cake Stand 16″ by The Roche Studio, Etsy

 
If you look at a well made French Macaron, not to be confused with what North Americans call a Macaroon [a moist coconut based drop cookie], you will see the subtle beauty of the treat.  Put together from two smoothly topped baked round wafers, with a crumbled edge called the foot, these pieces share many of the characteristics of a meringue.  Powdered sugar, egg whites, and ground almonds make up the basic recipe, but endless flavor concentrates and colorings make them absolutely breathtaking to see.

French Macarons – Set Of Three [Felted Merino Wool] by woollyduck, Etsy.

DIY Felt French Macarons [Felt & Instructions For 18 Felt Cookies] by sweet emma jean, Etsy.

 
The exterior wafers of the Macaron have a natural opalescent shimmer over the surface, almost evoking images of fairy wings, and they are soft and moist and melt in the mouth in the most delicate of ways.  I rather predict that the cup-cake craze, while not over, will give way to the pleasures of the Macaron very soon. Similar to cupcakes, the filling, or ‘icing’ between the two wafers can take many forms.  It can be a delicious butter-cream, jam or preserves, or ganache filling.

French Macarons – Pastel Pink 10×10 Size [Home Decor] by Filamento TGS, Etsy.

French Macarons/Macaroons Fine Art Photograph 8×10 Size [Home Decor] by Keri Bevan Photography, Etsy.

While traditional flavors are vanilla, chocolate, and raspberry combinations, cutting edge pastry chefs are busy inventing brilliant alternative flavors from the familiarity of lemons to the sublime Matcha green tea flavorings. Whether flavoring the wafers or the filling, they are served in a sandwich mode, with two rounded smooth ‘caps’ with the foot facing the filling, and a thin but ample layer of filling piped or spread in between. 

Macaroon Cakes Upcycled Tea Towel Cushion/Pillow Cover by Emma Mount, Etsy.

French Macarons – Hemp And Organic Cotton Cushion 12×12 by Sarah Smile Design, Etsy.

The popularity of the French Macaron in North America is blossoming, and confectionery shops have windows full of towers of these jewel like biscuits and special long narrow boxes with ribbons, ready for Valentine’s day sales.  French Macaron are a much sexier and cleaner on the fingers ‘eat’ than an icing covered giant cupcake, with just 88 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, and 11 grams of carbohydrate for each delicate and sweet sandwich.  The average small specialty cupcake has 178 calories, 5.3 grams of fat, and a whopping 32.5 grams of carbohydrate in all that over-sweet sticky goodness.

Raspberry And Pistachio Ganache Macaron – Silver Plated Ring [Polymer Clay] by Pink Island, Etsy.

French Macaron Necklace With Eiffel Tower Charm by Plushable, Etsy.

 Macarons have reached epic popularity in France, being offered on the menu at McDonald’s restaurants in that country.  This new status of the french treat is making waves in the fashion world, as well as art, sculpture, and crafting.  Pastel colours are all over the runways, and the garments seem to look as delicious and light as the cookie itself.  There are heaps of photographs of French Macarons, in wild and enticing colours, as well as ‘fake’ props for your home, soaps, toys, and accessories.

Set of 2 Funny Macarons In A Pretty Box – Tea Party OOAK Art Doll Sculpt by Sandra ArteagaA, Etsy.

Sweet Treats Dessert Hand Embroidery Pattern [PDF] by Wild Olive, Etsy.

So much of what we eat, and crave, has to do with what it looks like.  Seeing the sheer volume of jewelry, trinkets, dollhouse sized treats, and non-edibles inspired by the lovely French Macaron, you can see that people have fallen in love with this iconic ‘cookie’, and though they may be a bit complicated for the baking novice to master, they are actually not impossible to make right at home. It takes a bit of practice with the piping bag to get the exterior meringues to shape up perfectly and match in size, but then you have the fun of eating all your ‘mistakes’, which may be the best part.

French Macaron Trinket Box – Mint Green/Pistachio Polymer Clay [Limoges Style] by The Mermaid Articles, Etsy.

Macaron Mercerie Sewing Accessories PDF Pattern [Pin Cushion, Needle Case, Scissors Fob] by Quilting Gems, Etsy.

So grab a great recipe for a French Macaron from a cookbook or the internet, flavor it any way you like, be it pomegranate and orange, or espresso and match tea, and whip up a batch of sweet French Kisses for your loved ones this Valentine’s Day. Now if I can just sort out a vegan version of this amazing treat. That would be truly fabulous my darlings!

Vanilla Macaron Perfume AMUSE Perfume Oil [Spray or Roll On] by Theme Fragrance, Etsy.

French Macaron Water Transfer Nail Sticker Set by Js Utopia, Etsy.

A Rainbow In A Box – Wacky & Wonderful Wednesdays

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ECO Kids Handmade ll Natural SOY CRAYONS – Love Hearts by Earth Grown Crayons on Etsy.

Think back to when you were a child, do you remember the first time someone placed a chubby wax stick into your little fist and gave you a scrap of paper. Do you remember someone taking your hand, and placing that waxy stick down against the paper, moving your wee arm so that suddenly, like magic, there were marks on that paper, and they seemed to come from the end of that wax stick. Maybe it was red, perhaps blue, or even green. but a crayon was likely the first writing instrument you held in your hand and put to paper. It is a powerful moment, whether you remember it or not, the moment you discover that you can create scribbles and dashes of colour with your own hand.

ECO SOY CRAYONS Farmer’s Market – Handmade, All Natural, Biodegradable, Scent Free (Set of 8) by Earth Grown Crayons on Etsy.
ECO SOY CRAYONS People Skin Color – Handmade, All Natural, Biodegradable, Scent Free (Set of 4) by Earth Grown Crayons on Etsy.
Recycled Rainbow Crayons – Jumbo Heart Rainbow Crayons (Set of 3) by Art 2 The Extreme on Etsy.

Some of us had this experience at home with a family member, maybe it was mom or dad, or an older sibling… perhaps your aunt or uncle, a grandparent. Sometimes, we were given our first wax crayon by a nanny, daycare worker, or teacher.  Whoever gave it to you, gave you a gift, the gift of learning that you could create something that was ‘art’, something that could be hung on the front of the fridge, or framed, or tucked into an album or scrapbook and kept for years to come.  Our crayon creations were the cleanest and fastest way of not only being entertained, but of learning fine motor control and hand eye coordination.

FORTUNE COOKIE CRAYONS – Set of Six with Gift Box by Ivy Lane Designs on Etsy.
Handmade Colorful Autumn Crayons by Central Treehouse Studios on Etsy.
Pastel Hello Kitty Mix – MuckyPup Recycled Crayons, Favors, Eco Friendly by MuckyPup Crayons on Etsy.

Do you remember the joy of getting a new box of crayons? I do, I loved that smell, that clean waxy odor, and the sharp tips ready to go. Not a broken or unwrapped crayon in the box, and they were all mine.  Sure we had plenty of crayons in my house. There were four of us kids born within five years, and all those crayons literally required a plastic dish basin to hold all the broken bits and pieces, the peeled paper bits.   At some point along the way, companies like Crayola introduced toddler sized crayons, larger diameter sticks made for smaller hands.  There was also that mega-box that I adored, it had something like 64 colours in it, and a sharpener built right into the back of the box.  That was joy in a box.

24 Cupcake Crayons (12 Sets) with Personalized Labels and Coloring Sheet or Ribbon Cello Bags or Easter Eggs by Lil Creative Creations on Etsy.
1 KIDS Bling Crayon Ring – ONE Ring – Size 4 by Oh My Lucky Star on Etsy.
LEGO Men Style Crayons Party Favor, Party Bag Filler, 20 Sets of 5 by Ashgate Crafts on Etsy.

Since it is Wacky & Wonderful day, a day for all those geeky fun and fabulous things, the collectables and the vintage childhood fun, I decided to dedicate today’s post to the humble and hardworking crayon, an item I still adore, by the way.  I love sitting with my nieces or nephew and revisiting the fun of colouring books full of cartoon characters or games,  I still colour the same way that I did as an older child, I do a dark line of the colour inside the shape I am about to colour, then I gently shade in the whole area with the same colour. Habits are hard to break.The smell of that wax always brings me right back to being a kid.

Ponytail Holder, Orange with Green Crayons Ends by Fancy Things and Such on Etsy.
Crayon Colors Loopy Hair Bow – Back To School – Primary Colors by Hair Bows by Marsha on Etsy.
7 Embroidered Crayons – Craft Felt Embellishments For Scrapbooking, Hair Bows, Etc. by Lovmy3grlz on Etsy.

I love teaching kids my favorite crayon magic tricks. The one where you fill an entire sheet of paper with random color scribbles, edge to edge, then cover the entire sheet again with thick black crayon.  A random coin in hand, and you can then scratch out a picture, removing the black wax from the page with the coin to produce a really magical effect. Yes I know they sell something similar, and that it is much less labor intensive.

CRAYON BOX RECYCLED NOTEBOOK/Upcycled Journal – Eco Friendly by Ivy Lane Designs on Etsy.
Recycled Crayons – Rainbow Crayon Travel Tube (1 Recycled Crayon Travel Tube) by Art 2 The Extreme on Etsy.
Altered Colors Art Crayons – 100% Non-Toxic Recycled Wax by 6Blue6 on Etsy.

What really is wonderful about crayons these days, is that they are very much the same deal as they always were, they are still the first writing instrument many of us use, they still come in tons of amazing colours, you can still create amazing ‘art’ with them, and they are a cheap anytime activity that is fun for anyone at any age. What is even better about crayons lately, is just how different they can be.

Crayon Art by Clarissa Webb on Etsy.
Monogram Crayon Art – Great Teacher Gift by Handmade by Leah on Etsy.
Vertical Rainbow, 16″ x 20″ by JK Create – Melted Crayon Art on Etsy.

If you are browsing Etsy, you will see just how amazing crayons can be. There are handmade crayons, recycled crayons, crayon art, crayon caddies, crayons in all sorts of wonderful shapes and sizes, and more.  This entire post is full of these lovely rainbow hued items, and there is just so much to love about them.  Even just a photograph of crayons or the image of that old familiar yellow and green box makes for happy memories. Why not grab yourself a box, or bag, or frame full of wonderful rainbow memories today. Share a little time scribbling, you might be surprised how much you have missed it.

Mini Me Owls in Pink – 8 Crayola Crayons Included – Great Gift by Kate Williams Designs on Etsy.
Whispered Dreams – Crayon Apron [Holds 32 Crayons – Included] by Childish Thoughts on Etsy.
Hand-Made Crayon Roll for 24 Crayons with 24 Crayons by Mrs. Dressup on Etsy.

Note: All Images and Products In This Post are the Intellectual Property and Copyright of their respective creators and the Etsy shop in question. No Infringement is intended.  Please follow the links beneath the image for more information, including price, availability, and custom orders if available.

Wooden Crayon Train – Crayon Holder [Holds 38 Crayons] by Grampa’s Workshop on Etsy.
A Digital Photograph of Crayons in All of The Colors of the Rainbow – 5×7 by Tara, A Pocketful Of Photos on Etsy.
Crayon Box Handplied Bulky Yarn by Jennifer, Otter Moon Patterns on Etsy.