I’m finally back from my family reunion, with another Etsy shop to feature. One look at this shop, and I know you’ll fall in love with it, just like I did! Zerumpees offers “unique, handmade plush monsters,” and they’re so cute I wish I could reach through my computer screen and hug them all!

I think these monsters would be a great present for a child who “has everything.” What gift do you think they’ll remember more: another run-of-the-mill teddy bear, or a totally unique, handmade, friendly monster? It’s a no-brainer! I can also envision these monsters as a way to help little ones get over their fear of things that go bump in the night. After all, if you have a cuddly monster to hug and protect you, night time might not seem so scary anymore.

Here are just a few of the great items that Zerumpees has to offer:

Pierre

Pierre

 

Meeshki

Meeshki

 

Gus Gus

Gus Gus

 

Run, don’t walk over to Zerumpees today, to read the terribly cute descriptions of these and other monsters, and to order yours today!

If you have an Etsy shop, or just love Etsy, why don’t you post about it, and link up below?

I discovered korkers a while back, but couldn’t figure out how to make these cute little hair accessories. Finally, I found Korkers and More. This site is a little rough, but it contins great basic directions for making a korker. Using those directions, and adding my own little twists (for example: attaching the bow to a ponytail holder instead of a barrette, according to my girl’s preferences), I have come up with a method that allows me to make korkers fairly easily. They’re a lot cheaper than any korkers you can buy online, and I can make customize them to suit me and my little girl.

Would you like to learn how to make a korker? Well, today is your lucky day! 🙂 Read below for step-by-step instructions.

You’ll Need:

  • Five yards of any fabric ribbon (For me 3/8″ size works best), any combination of colors, or all one color
  • Five wooden dowels, size 1/4″ or 5/16″, 18 inches long
  • Wooden clothes pins (do not use plastic!)
  • Large, flat cookie sheet, or aluminum foil
  • Oven
  • Sharp scissors
  • Fray Check, or as a last resort, a votive candle (unless you’re a pyromaniac or really desperate, spend two bucks for Fray Check, found in the sewing aisle)
  • String, any kind, doesn’t have to match  your ribbon, but it’s nice
  • Srong tape (duct tape or packing tape work nicely)
  • Ruler
  • Ponytail holder (hairband)
  • Optional, fine grain sand paper
  •  

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 275 degrees, Farenheit. (This may vary, according to your oven.)
  • Wind one yard of ribbon around each dowel, securing each end with a clothespin. Wind them as tightly as you can, without overlapping, like so:

  • Once you’ve wrapped all your ribbons around your dowels, stick them on your baking sheet. If you don’t have the right kind of baking sheet, cover your middle rack with aluminum foil. Make sure no ribbons touch the heating element! Here’s what my ribbons look like on the sheet:
  • Stick the ribbons, dowels, clothespins and all into the preheated oven. In my oven, about 30 minutes at 275 degrees is perfect. Check your ribbons at about 25 minutes. Twist and manipulate the ribbon until it slides off the dowel. If it’s springy and curly, not limp and trying to straighten out, you’re done! Here’s what my finished ribbons looked like:
  • Let the ribbons cool, and they’ll hold their curl even better.
  • After they’ve cooled enough, it’s time to cut! Get out your ruler, and cut the ribbons into 2.5″ pieces. Do not strecth the curls when measuring.
  • When your five yards are all cut up, you’ll end up with 25-30 ribbons, looking something like this:
  • Now it’s time to treat the cut ends of your ribbon. You MUST do this, or you will end up with a frayed, ugly mess rather quickly! The easiest, best way is to simply put a little Fray Check on the ends. After 10 minutes, the pieces should be dry and you’ll be ready to make your bow.
  • If you’re desperate (because, like me, your two-year-old discovered how to open the oven, and she stuck your brand-new bottle of Fray Check in there, right before you turned the dang thing on to make pizza!) or if you’re a pyromaniac, you could use a candle to treat the ends. I don’t recommend this method. It’s way more time-consuming, and there’s of course the risk of burning yourself, or your ribbons, or, God forbid, your house down! If you’re crazy like me, and decide to use a candle(BTW, you’ve been warned, so I don’t want to hear about any accidents due to you choosing this dumb method!), just hold the ribbon 1/2″ to 1/4″ from the flame, until the end of the ribbon melts just a tiny bit. Here’s me doing it, barely getting burned at all:
  • Once the ends are treated, it’s time to assemble the bow! It really helps to have something on both sides of your ribbons before you pile them up, to stabilize things. The last two Harry Potter books work quite nicely:
  • Cut your string to about 12″ in length, and place it between the two books, as in the photo above. It helps to use your tape to secure the string to the books. Place the ribbons in layers, centered on top of your string. It works best to do between 8 and 10 ribbons in each row. That means, if you have exactly 30 ribbons, you can do three rows of 10. For this project, I ended up with 27, so I did three rows of nine. Here’s what my first row looked like:
  • If you really want to, you can place your bows in a specific pattern, but if you’re new at making korkers, I don’t recommend it. Save yourself a lot of grief and just focus on getting them in there, centered evenly over the string. It’ll look nice no matter what order the ribbons are in. Here are my finished rows:
  • Now that your ribbons are all lined up, untape your string, and quickly tie it around the ribbons. If you do it too slow, the ribbons will fall out, and you’ll run the risk of dropping the F-bomb in front of the children (just kidding…I know you wouldn’t do that!). Tie the string tightly; a couple of square knots work nicely.  DO NOT cut off the extra string, because you’ll be using that to attach the bow to the ponytail holder! Here’s my tied bow:
  • Lastly, tie the bow securely to the ponytail holder of your choice. Again, a couple of square knots work for me.
  • You’re done! Stand back and admire your work. If you can get your munchkin to try model for you, send me a pic: chocolatefingerprints(at)gmail(dot)com
  • This activity is great to do in small, manageable chunks! They’re also quite addictive. Try it, and you’ll see what I mean!

Check out 5MinutesforMom and Table4Five for more WW.

My kids are finally getting over a lingering cold, just in time for us to go visit their great-grandparents, and probably catch another cold during the trip! 😉

Have you ever tried cough syrup with expectorant? It is N-A-S-T-Y, with a super-mega-capital N! That’s why when my daughter took it yesterday, she said, “That stuff is HORRIFIED!” Although that’s not quite what I would have called it, I have to agree!

For today’s tackle, I made this sweet pink dress for my daughter. She is a pink fanatic, and as I mentioned previously, would even like me to dye her hair pink! This feels like a big tackle for me, because most of the sewing projects I make don’t use patterns. I haven’t used a real, honest-to-goodness, store-bought patterns since high-school. But, I wanted to make her a super-cute dress, and my mom had given me this pattern, so I tried it. I am so surprised by how good it looks! I didn’t even mess up in a way that made it unfixable (had a brain fart and sewed wrong sides together. Thank goodness for seam rippers!)!

My daughter is sleeping right now, or else I’d have action shots of her in the dress. I promise to post those tomorrow! It looks even cuter when she’s wearing it!

Have you seen Sid the Science Kid yet? My son loves it! Sid is the kind of kid who wants to know the who, what, where, why, and how of everything. Sound familiar?? It does to me!! The characters are fun and the plot was engaging enough to keep my six-year-old son interested! In fact, he had to watch the save DVRed episode three times this weekend! We are now recording Sid the Science Kid every day, because it has instantly become my inquisitive boy’s favorite show! Songs and silliness make learning fun. If you haven’t already, I strongly recommend that you take a look at Sid the Science Kid on PBS. (I would say this show would interest kids from ages 5-8 the most.)

As Etsy has a virtually inexhaustible wealth of cool stuff, I have another awesome shop to share with you today. Deadworry (an anagram of artist Edward Gorey’s name) is full of truly fun and funky screen printed items. If you’re looking to add some variety to your wardrobe, look no further! These designs range from cute to slightly creepy, but they’re all fantastically unique, and in my opinion, they all totally rock!

Some of my favorite Deadworry items include this Tentacles Womens Short Sleeve Hoodie:

I covet this Bicycle Built for Two tote:

Bicycle Built For Two Cotton Canvas Tote

Advertise you craftiness with this Crafty Tatoo Style shirt:

Crafty Tattoo Style Organic Tshirt  Sizes Small Thru 4XL

Give your talkkative friend a subtle hint with this Chatterbox Vintage Telephones shirt:

Chatterbox Vintage Telephones Womens Tshirt

And what do you think of this Octo-Owl shirt (I think it’s fantastic!)?:

Octo-Owl Womens Moss Destroyed Tshirt

Sorry, no giveaways today, but hopefully I’ll have another Etsy-related giveaway soon. In the meantime, check out Deadworry today!

Have you recently found something on Etsy that you truly adore? Do you have your own Etsy shop? I’d love to see it! Blog about it, then link up below!

I’d also love it if you’d spread the word about I Love Etsy, my weekly celebration of all things Etsy! Grab my button if you wish!