Camp Wandawega & Nod – Behind the Collaboration

Post by Tereasa of Camp Wandawega

Camp Wandawega & Nod - Behind the Collaboration

At Camp Wandawega, we strive to create a magical place that will be the backdrop for amazing sun-soaked memories. Likewise, Land of Nod has been helping families create magical places in their own homes: intimate, thoughtful environments where imaginations and creativity soar with wild abandon. Together, we were able to take the magic of Camp Wandawega, and enable The Land of Nod fans to bring it into their homes. Our partnership with The Land of Nod is literally a dream – and a place- come true. We are kindred spirits in all the best ways: geeking out on the details, the storytelling behind every little thing, and the value of making memories that last.
Camp Wandawega & Nod - Behind the Collaboration
The designers at The Land of Nod truly appreciated all the little details at Camp, from tiny rustic cottages, to our time-worn canoes, to salvaged tents & teepees, to Charlie’s favorite overstuffed lounge chair, to a magical treehouse and even our first-born child (mutt) Frankie. Not only did these become the inspiration for the collaboration, they also became the literal subject matter of it. As the design process unfolded, it was a labor of love for both of us to stay true to the original details of the camp, while adding even more whimsy, magic and playfulness to the details in ways that only Land of Nod knows how.

On weekends, Tereasa Surratt is the proprietor of Camp Wandawega  – during the week- she is a SVP/Creative Director at ad agency, Ogilvy.  In her spare time, she’s a contributing stylist to a handful of lifestyle mags, just signed her third book with Random House – and lives in Chicago with her husband, 4 year old daughter Charlie and mutt Frankie.

Strawberry Pie Popsicle Recipe

Post by Michelle Sterling of Avery and Augustine

Strawberry Pie Popsicles

Here’s an easy popsicle recipe to make during the last days of summer.  You might already have all of the ingredients at home.

Here’s what you need to make Strawberry Pie Popsicles:

  • Plain yogurt
  • 1 jar of jam (smooth seems to work better than chunky)
  • 12 graham cracker sheets
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • Popsicle molds and sticks

Strawberry Pie Popsicle Ingredients

I used this recipe from Food52 to make a graham cracker crust.  It was simple — I used a blender to grind up 12 graham cracker sheets into fine crumbs.  In addition, I browned the butter on the stove before combining it with the graham cracker crumbs.  I then added 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the crust mixture.

Strawberry Pie Popsicle Recipe

Browning butter takes a little more time but is well worth it—browning intensifies the butter’s beautiful flavor and adds some nuttiness.  After your crust is baked, cool it and crumble it up into a bowl.  Spoon in a thin layer of jam, a thicker layer of yogurt and a thin layer of graham cracker crust crumble into each popsicle mold.  Repeat until you fill up each popsicle mold then insert a flat popsicle stick, freeze until firm, then enjoy!

Strawberry Pie Popsicle Recipe

May these last days of summer be slow and enjoyable for you and your family before the fall rush begins!

Thank you to The Land of Nod for sending the Farmer’s Market duvet cover for this post.

Strawberry Pie Popsicle Recipe

You can see Michelle’s work and read about her two young children and their first forays in cooking, art and everything in between at Avery and Augustine.

DIY Parade Flags

Post by Kim of Beehive Art

Kids Craft: DIY Parade Flags

We love a parade and these happy canvas flags are perfectly perfect for a summer parade, party, of picnic!

Supplies Needed:

  • Canvas
  • Dowels
  • Tissue paper
  • Fabric paint or acrylic paint
  • Paint Brushes
  • Glue + glue brush
  • Glue gun
  • Fun extras – pompoms + ribbons + tassels

How to Create Your DIY Parade Flags:

Kids Craft: DIY Parade Flags Supplies

  1. With fabric scissors, cut out as many flags as you want in varying sizes. We like to mix them up, wide + narrow, short + long.
  2. Paint your flags with bright colors, bold stripes and dots, or fun shapes. I encourage kids to cover the entire surface of the canvas.Kids Craft: DIY Parade Flags
  3. While the flags are drying, cut up the tissue paper into small strips or pieces. If you have one or two flags, cut your dowel in half. We recently used the entire length of the dowel for 7-8 flags and it looked really great.Kids Craft: DIY Parade Flags
  4. Brush white glue onto the dowel and cover it with the tissue pieces. If you’d rather paint your dowel, we’ve had great success with watercolor paint or acrylic paint (recommended for older kids).Kids Craft: DIY Parade Flags
  5. When your dowel and flags are completely dry, add hot glue to the dowel and gently wrap flags around it.Kids Craft: DIY Parade Flags
  6. Now add your pompoms, tassels, and ribbons for fun and extra festive flags!

Kids Craft: DIY Parade Flags

Kim Poler is queen bee of beehive ART. She lives for inspiring visual expression, explosions of colors, forms and exciting combinations of mixed-media art. She creates, designs art projects, teaches children art and blogs at Beehive Art.  

Squirrelly Minds Gender Neutral Nursery

Post by Tan of Squirrelly Minds

Squirrelly Minds Gender Neutral Nursery

When designing our first baby’s nursery (lovingly nicknamed squirrelly baby), I didn’t know what theme I wanted. What I did know was that it had to be gender neutral as we haven’t found out the sex and that I wanted the room to be filled with items from The Land of Nod to make it the perfect oasis for our little baby… and us too, because who am I kidding. I decided on a color scheme of white, gold, grey and mint, and put together our dream nursery from there.

Squirrelly Minds Gender Neutral Nursery

This nursery hails from north of the border, and truth be told our options are kinda limited up here, so I was thrilled when I first realized Land of Nod ships to Canada. It was important to me that the nursery feel cozy and unique rather than filling it with stock items from a big box store. Little touches like the planets poster and the overcast shelf gave the room those special details that help it stand out.Squirrelly Minds Gender Neutral NurserySquirrelly Minds Gender Neutral Nursery

While we started out with just a color scheme, we ended up with a very subtle ‘stars and space’ theme as well, and it all started with the planets banner. This eventually grew into a constellation changing pad and a gold wall hanging saying “I love you to the moon and back”. While not strictly space related, the overcast wall shelf works with the theme, keeping up with an ‘up in the sky’ kind of feel. I’m not one for very obvious themes that occur consistently throughout a room, so these little touches were just perfect.

Squirrelly Minds Gender Neutral NurserySquirrelly Minds Gender Neutral Nursery

I’m loving the practical details too. The flokati rug is SO SOFT both to the touch and visually, bringing in added coziness to the room. We’ve laid down on it quite a few times now, imagining squirrelly baby playing with a bunch of toys or learning to crawl on the soft wool. The yellow knit basket is perfect for storing toys in. It sits right by the entrance within arms reach of the rug, so once squirrelly baby is big enough, he/she can reach over and grab a favorite toy to play with. The stylish grey laundry hamper is fantastic too. No ugly white plastic here! And when it comes time to change baby’s diaper, the hamper will collapse when I walk right up against the dresser, then I can pop it open again to place dirty onesies and other items to be laundered. I envision this item getting a whole lotta use in the coming months.

Squirrelly Minds Gender Neutral Nursery

The nursing/play area is my favorite in the room. Every day I sit and relax in that rocker with my feet up on the gold leather pouf. It’s so comfy as a foot rest and as a chair! It’ll act as great extra seating once squirrelly baby is older and has friends over to play.

Squirrelly Minds Gender Neutral Nursery - Teepee

And of course, what kids aren’t going to want to play in this gold striped teepee? I put a couple sheepskins inside to make it the perfect reading/playing hideaway. Our cat Lucy loves it too and sits in there whenever she can. Sorry kitty, squirrelly baby has first dibs.

I can’t wait to spend a bunch of time in here with our first little babe. I just know he/she will love it too. A huge thank you to Land of Nod for making squirrelly baby’s gender neutral nursery possible!

Meet Tan, during the day she teaches elementary (while downing coffee with coconut milk) and spends evening and weekends with her friends, husband, kitty, and of course, Squirrelly Minds.

DIY Sprinkle Cones

Post by Rebecca of Not So SAHM

DIY Sprinkle Cones

Oh, August. You get us every year. We are tired of summer’s heat, but not yet ready to go back to school (well, I’m kind of ready. The kids are not). We all needed a little pick-me-up and I could think of nothing better to help sprinkle a little happiness around then, well, sprinkles. Inspired by The Land of Nod’s super fabulous Ice Cream Party Collection, we came up with a little sprinkle DIY. Because the only thing better than ice cream is ice cream with sprinkles!

Here’s how to make our fun end-of-the-summer (!) treat. You’ll need:

  • 1 package of sugar cones (this makes 8 cones)
  • 1, 1.45 oz chocolate bar (we prefer dark chocolate!)
  • Candy sprinkles

DIY Sprinkle Cones

DIY Sprinkle ConesDIY Sprinkle Cones

DIY Sprinkle Cones

  1. Break the chocolate bar into pieces and melt it over a double boiler — you don’t need a fancy one, a glass bowl atop a small pot of water does the trick. Just make sure to heat the chocolate slowly and stir constantly to avoid burning it.
  2. Once it’s melted, dip the top of a sugar cone into the chocolate and twirl a bit to coat the top.
  3. Let the chocolate-dipped cone cool for about 30 seconds — you want the chocolate sticky, but not too runny.
  4. Carefully roll the chocolate-dipped cone in candy sprinkles.
  5. Set upright to dry for about 20 minutes.

Scoop your ice cream in and see the end of summer coming your way!

DIY Sprinkle ConesDIY Sprinkle Cones DIY Sprinkle ConesDIY Sprinkle ConesDIY Sprinkle ConesDIY Sprinkle Cones

Rebecca is a mom to two young kiddos and, in her spare time (ha!), likes to pretend she’s a back-up dancer, craft cocktails, and run long distances. A relatively recent SAHM, she blogs family-friendly activities, DIYs and celebration fun at Not-So-SAHM.

 

Back to School Organization Must-Haves

Styleboard by The Land of Nod’s Design Services Team

Back to school season is the perfect time to get organized. To get you prepared for the flood of papers and art projects that will start to flow in soon, we put together a few of our favorite back to school organization must-haves. From art rails for displaying your kiddos art to hooks for those book bags, we’ve got all your organization needs covered.

Back to School Organization Must-Haves

A to Z Wall Art / Gallery Art Rail (Aqua & Black) / Chalk About It Wall Hook (Square, Triangle, Circle) / Touch Tone Wall Hanger / Natural Cargo Desk / Panda Backpack / Navy Sidebar Rug / Blue Floor Bin / Green Color Pop Storage Bin / Red Homeroom Metal Desk Chair / Acrylic Drawers / Acrylic Double Cup

The Land of Nod’s Design Services Team offers free one-on-one design advice, mood boards and space planning. You have a room to decorate? They’d love to hear from you.

DIY Bug Hotels

Post by Kim of Beehive Art

DIY Bug Hotels

What’s a “bug hotel” you ask? A bug hotel is a summer essential when you’re out and about in the garden, meadow or strolling the sidewalk. Beetles, insects and fireflies will have a swell place to visit for your brief observation.

Bug Hotel Supplies needed:

  • paper or cardboard container with a lid
  • paint
  • paint brush
  • window screen
  • masking tape
  • sharpie marker
  • x-acto knife – parents only

1.   Peel off all labels from container before drawing windows and doors. We up-cycled coffee containers for our bug hotels, oatmeal containers work great too.

DIY Bug Hotels - Step 1

2.   Once the outlines for windows and doors are in place, get out your paints and a medium sized brush. Paint the entire surface, painting around each window and door.We applied a second coat of paint AFTER windows and doors were cut out.

DIY Bug Hotels - Step 2

 

3.   This step is for PARENTS: After paint has dried, use an x-acto knife and cut out all windows and doors. Cut a circle out of the lid for roof top ventilation.

DIY Bug Hotels - Step 3

4.   The screen is easier than you’d think. Cut one piece that fits snug inside the container. It easily rolls up and fits into place, a little of the screen might overlap.

DIY Bug Hotels - Step 4

5. Flip the lid over and cover the lid with a piece of screen to fit. We used small pieces of masking tape to secure the screen.

DIY Bug Hotels - Step 5

6. Adding details like window boxes and funny bug drawings are the cherry on top!

DIY Bug Hotels - Step 6 DIY Bug Hotels

Kim Poler is queen bee of beehive ART. She lives for inspiring visual expression, explosions of colors, forms and exciting combinations of mixed-media art. She creates, designs art projects, teaches children art and blogs at Beehive Art

DIY Personalized Pencil Bags

Post by Kacia of Coconut Robot
PErsonalized Pencil Bags

I’m super excited about this project today!  If I’m honest with you, after doing this project, I want to embroider just about everything Harlow writes or draws!  I love how it captures a moment in time: there will be a time when she writes all of her letters the same size, and I’ll miss this sweet season of “creative” letters.

I love when I try to correct her writing of a specific letter, and her response is always, “I’m just writing it fancy and different, mommy!”

Let’s jump right into it!

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Begin by cutting a front piece, back piece and 2 lining pieces.  I made my pouch pieces 11″ by roughly 5″.  Grab a zipper as well – I like using one just a bit longer, so for this, I used a 14″ zipper.  Don’t worry, you’ll trim it down to size. :)

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Using a fabric pen, mark your handwriting page lines.  I made the top and bottom lines 1.5 inches apart with the middle line in the middle (3/4″ from each).

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Next, also using a fabric pen or marker, have your child write their name, draw a picture, or whatever you’d like to embroider on the bag!

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Next, we will start embroidering!  You can get embroidery thread at any hobby shop — grab a needle if you don’t have one handy.

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After the lines and text are written, we will sew the lines using a sewing machine.  You can hand embroider these if you’d like to or don’t have a sewing machine handy, but I would use a single thread, so that the name/drawing stands out the most.

For the top and bottom line, I used a stitch length of 2.  For the center line, to give it a “dotted line” feel, I used a stitch length of 5.

Now comes the fun part!

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There are SO many fun embroidery stitches, but for this project, we’ll do a basic split stitch.

To do this stitch, bring your needle up about 1/8″ from your last stitch.  Bring your needle and thread back down through the previous stitch by splitting the thread down the middle – as seen in the 2 photos below.  Continue doing this, keeping your stitch length as consistent as possible.

I think you’re technically supposed to bring your needle up through the previous stitch, but this is my favorite way to achieve this look.

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Grab a good movie or binge watch your favorite show on Netflix while you continue stitching!

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For the smaller text, I chose to use a simple backstitch.  It’s similar to the split stitch, but bring your thread back down at the end point of the previous stitch, instead of splitting the threads.

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When you’ve finished embroidering, we will create the zipped bag!

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We will create a “zipper sandwich” using the front of your bag and one lining piece.  Zippers are so fun to sew into place — a bit of magic is involved – just watch!

Place the front of your bag right-side-up.

Next place your zipper right-side-down.

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Next, place the lining on top of the zipper.  If there is a right side, place it down. 

Pin in place!

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Next, sew along the edge where you pinned.  Sewing about 1/4″ from the edge will land you in a good spot.

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Press the seams back to reveal the zipper perfectly in place!  For a finished look, top stitch as you see above.  It’ll help the fabric stay away from the zipper teeth, and it just looks nice!

Repeat the previous zipper steps on the other side.

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You’ll be left with something that looks like the above photo.

Next, open your zipper so that it’s about 1.5″-2″ from the edge of your fabric.  You’ll need the zipper open when we finish sewing and turn the bag right-side out, but you don’t want to sew the zipper foot outside of your bag!

I drew some really pretty purple lines for you – haha! – but hopefully these will help you understand where to sew.  Starting at the bottom of your lining, sew around the perimeter of your entire bag, leaving a 2″-3″ gap at the bottom of the lining.  Be sure to backstitch at the start and stop, so you don’t pull your stitches out when we turn the bag right-side out.

When you finish sewing, turn your bag out through that hole in the lining…..and voila!  Load up some school supplies and let the days begin!

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Kacia is a natural blonde, type-A and an artist: proof that God has a sense of humor.  Kacia writes Coconut Robot about her city-living family, motherhood, fashion, DIYs and really anything else that makes her smile.  She is a published quilt designer and loves dreaming up new projects and tutorials to share with her readers.  Addicted to coffee and Instagram. (@CoconutRobot)

Lotta’s Perfect Pair Matching Game

Post by Michelle Sterling of Avery & Augustine

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I remember the first time I walked past Lotta Jansdotter’s storefront in San Francisco over ten years ago.  I was drawn to her beautiful organic patterns and shapes and loved the fresh and effortless qualities they had about them.  Her inspiration is steeped in the ethereal Scandinavian landscape and the beauty of everyday things.

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Today I’m still a big fan of Lotta’s textile designs and art, and am thrilled to be able to share them with my children.  The patterns, animals and plant illustrations in her perfect pair matching game bear her bright and modern aesthetic and are a great introduction to her work for little ones.

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Thanks to The Land of Nod for sending the matching game for this post.

You can see Michelle’s work and read about her two young children and their first forays in cooking, art and everything in between at Avery and Augustine.

Back to School Organization Tips and Tricks

Post by Christina of Christina Williams Blog

School starts here in less than a week; and I’m trying my hardest to get my act together so we’ll be able to handle whatever the new year throws at us. I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve and some must-have items that help organize the whole family and their stuff so mornings aren’t a complete circus.

Take a look at some of my favorite school year organization items:

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  1. Take Five Wall Bin: Perfect for corralling all those permission slips and school calendars. Everyone gets their own pocket so don’t waste time looking for everyone’s stuff.
  2. Wrightwood Toy Box: We don’t have much closet space near the front or back door, so we created our own by using a storage bench to hold backpacks. Everyone comes home, empties their backpacks and puts them in the bench; then we know exactly where they are during the morning scramble. Plus this one is sleek and stylish and looks great in grownup spaces.
  3. Lunchbox Notes: Every year I swear I’m going to do a cute lunchbox note every day. And then I don’t. So here’s an easy shortcut…just buy them pre-made, and all you have to do is throw one in while you’re packing lunch. Plus, my friend MJ made these for Nod, and nobody does lunchbox notes better.
  4. Wall Hooks: This has been one of my favorite organizational tricks ever. Each of my kids has a hook (or two) in their closets that is specifically for their coat/jacket. For some reason, their jackets become invisible when hanging on a hanger with the rest of their clothes. Before the hooks, it went something like this: “Moooom! I can’t find it!” I trudge up the stairs and point out the missing jacket hanging right in front of their face. They look surprised. We repeat the whole scenario every single day. After I installed the hooks, I just say, “grab your jacket. it’s on your hook.” Even my 3-year-old gets this concept; and it saves me multiple trips (and lots of frustration) retrieving “missing” items.
  5. I Could’ve Been An Art Caddy: I keep plenty of freshly-sharpened pencils and a good assortment of unbroken crayons in ours on the kitchen table. Then when homework time rolls around everyday, we don’t have to rummage through our drawers for a sharp pencil or that red crayon. Plus, since it’s a cute container I totally don’t mind having it as a centerpiece on our table.
  6. Storage Bins: This is another one of my better organizational moments. Each kid has a bin for each of their extracurricular activities. All the gear for one activity goes in the same bin. Then we don’t have to turn the house upside-down for one missing cleat; or that non-itchy pair of ballet tights. It took a little practice; but now my kids are pretty good at keeping their stuff together…so worth the effort!
  7. & 8. Homework Desk + Chair: Having a place dedicated to homework makes concentrating a little easier; and it doesn’t hurt when they’re stylish and fun to look at, too!

One lesson I learned the hard way, is LABEL EVERYTHING! We have lost so much stuff over the years; and the only things that consistently make their way home are the ones with labels. To help the labeling process go smoother, I’ve made a printable label for you. Use them as bookplates, or in lunch boxes; just hop over to my blog and download your favorite color. Print them out on a full sheet label, and trim them to size. Then stick them everywhere. I mean EVERYWHERE.

Printable School Labels

My final back-to-school trick: Have a great backpack! Make sure it’s not too big; and the more unique, the better so your kid can easily spot it at school and so it doesn’t get it mixed up with another student’s. This pink unicorn backpack does just the trick! And it’s a great size for my kindergartener.

Unicorn Backpack

Here’s hoping we all adjust to structured days and practicing our times tables quickly and painlessly. Happy School Year!

Christina Williams is a blogger and graphic designer living in Salt Lake City, Utah. She’s a night owl and a bookworm, as well as a mother to three children ranging in age from two to eight. She shares her latest DIY and design projects along with her adventures in parenting on her self-named blog, Christina Williams