Bandit Bib

The Bandit Bib. It might be the next big thing :) I get bored with "regular" bibs so this is a little more exciting.

What you need:- 1 fat quarter for the front- 1 fat quarter for the back (I use flannel, jersey or terrycloth for the backs)- snap kit- TaylorMade Bandit Bib Pattern

Lets get started:Print the pattern for the Bandit Bib HERE (just save it to your computer and print on a full page :) Cut out a front and a back. I like to use an absorbent fabric for the backs of my bibs like terry cloth or flannel. 

Put right sides together, pin and sew. Leave a small opening so you can flip it. 

Don't forget to clip the corners and the round tip. 

Press and top stitch around the bib.

Time for snaps (which I love). If you have never used them, they are very simple and your kit will come with instructions on the back. Each snap has two parts and the fun part is hammering them together :)

Most importantly, make sure your snaps are facing opposite directions so you can snap them together correctly. The first time I did a snap, I made this mistake. 

Admire your new and more exciting Bandit Bib. And make a few.

Look at my cute little Bandit :)

Post by Taylor Urban : www.itstaylormade.com

Arts & Crafts

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I have been a big fan of the Land of Nod company for years.  I love their style and their products. For me they evoke classic childhood. So when I was asked if we'd like to play with some of their fun toys, we jumped at the chance.

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I thought it fitting that we were able to get up close and personal with this adorable Sewing Kit.  That cute little orange suitcase had me at Hello.

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Inside are all the pieces to create 3 cute little felt animals, a drawstring bag and and felt notebook cover, plus reusable notions, floss, etc.  I loved that everything was pre-cut and ready to sew – especially for my short attention-span kids. :)

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We also got to play with the Going Loopy Loom, which was another hit. I love to get my kids involved in hands-on creative projects but they don't always take the bait.

(Mainly because it has to be their idea, not mine.) This time these cute and colorful packages of goodies were instantly attractive to them and they dove right in. I love it! Both items would make adorable gifts and jump-start a whole new crafty generation. You can check out other great gifts in the Gift Guide.

Post by Amy Smart : www.diaryofaquilter.com

The Back Story on the Front Cover

Post by Danielle Kurtz, Creative Director at The Land of Nod
The Back Story on The Land of Nod Front CoverWhen it came time to design the concept for the front cover of our holiday catalog, we really wanted it to match the nostalgia of the classic toys found inside.  We worked through many ideas of what it could be….chalk drawing, cut paper collage, a photograph of a toy.

Problem was, for some reason, it took us a (REALLY) long time to come up with and reject all of those ideas. So, we found ourselves, days before the catalog was scheduled to print, with no cover.  We dug back through our inspiration and really fell in love with the images of vintage german glass glitter that one of our merchants, Jamie, had gathered.

The Back Story on The Land of Nod Front Cover 2We had the idea of taking our logo and turning it into one of these signs. Now there was a new problem. How do we get one of these signs in 2 days, and get it photographed for the book. One of our designers, Tim, had the idea to order up a cut foam-core version of our logo from a signage vendor. While he tackled that, our art director, Cara, tracked down the glitter and had it overnighted.

We wanted to hang it from a door, so we sent our photographer, Nate, to Home Depot to buy a new door, as there just wasn’t time to track down a wonderful old door, but the door we bought was too new. So, while Cara sat on the loading dock of our office gluing glitter to the logo, Nate stained the door with a cup of coffee. (By the way, if you try this at home, please note the glitter is, in fact, made of glass. WEAR GLOVES! It will cut your fingers, Cara learned that the hard way.)

The Back Story on The Land of Nod Front Cover 3Cara wired the letters together and we were prepped to shoot the next day. But, how were we going to hang this thing? I went home and dug out some old hooks that had belonged to my great grandma. I also gathered up lengths of tons of different ribbon (thanks to all my friends for the beautifully wrapped packages that keep my ribbon drawer in constant supply). The next morning, we settled on one of the hooks and some silk ribbon and got it all set. But, we needed natural light for the photo. So, back to the loading dock with the door, camera and computer. We crossed our fingers we’d get a good shot of the ribbon despite the unusually high winds that day. Our copywriter, Tony, put the icing on the cake with a fun headline. And we got the book to the printer just in the nick of time.

In the end, it was a true team effort. And, we hope you enjoyed our nod to holidays past.

Happy Holiday Shopping

Post by Danielle Kurtz. Danielle is the Creative Director at Nod and an over-protective mother of two. She’s also completely obsessed with Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and her Kindle, but not necessarily in that order. Danielle loves to craft, sew and crochet. Her current craft of choice is weaving tiny wall tapestries.

Classic Macaroni Salad

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I was nine years old when I attended my first pot luck picnic that didn’t involve my family’s Italian cooking. My grammar school best friend was on her way to a summer bon fire and picnic, and as an honorary member of her family {which automatically happens when you’re nine and sleep over every weekend}, I was invited to join them.

Unlike our family picnics and reunions that consisted of all-day bocce games and mile-long tables of antipasti, this picnic was real. Real, just like I had seen on The Dukes of Hazard, with the promise of fried chicken, fruit pies, watermelon, corn on the cob, and elbow macaroni salad {whatever that was}.

Growing up we had penne, rigatoni or spaghetti. That’s it. Red gravy or butter. So as a kid, the thought of eating elbow macaroni with mayonnaise, especially if being served alongside a camp fire where I might have the chance to sit next to my friend’s {cute} older brother, was exciting.

As my cousins and I entered high school, our frequent  warm-weather family gatherings became few and far between, with summer jobs taking precedence. But there was one 1985 family reunion I remember well.

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While moving into a new apartment over the winter, my Italian grandmother uncovered a Betty Crocker Cookbook she had been given in the 1950’s. And much like the Julie and Julia story, she cooked her way through that entire book, from December to August. And sitting on the picnic table that summer, in place of the marinated artichokes and fried peppers, was a heaping bowl of Betty's elbow macaroni salad.

While researching recipes, I found the dressing to be similar but the vegetables varied depending on the region. Some recipes called for red and green peppers, while others incorporated green peas, cucumbers or even sweet pickles. The recipe below incorporates my favorites; substitutions and additions are welcomed. What’s your favorite combo?

Classic Macaroni Salad

Yield: Serves 10
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Allergy info: soy-free; contains wheat, gluten, eggs

Ingredients:
1 lb. dry elbow macaroni
1 cup homemade mayonnaise
3/4 cup minced red onion (about 1 medium)
3/4 cup diced carrot, 1/8-inch (about 3 carrots)
3/4 cup diced celery, 1/8-inch (about 2 large stalks)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons organic sugar
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Directions:
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook macaroni 8 minutes. Transfer to a colander, rinse under cool running water 2 minutes. Drain and transfer macaroni to a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup of the mayonnaise, stir to combine. Cover, refrigerate 30 minutes.

Remove macaroni from refrigerator. In the same bowl add remaining mayonnaise, onion, carrot, celery, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Using a large soon, gently mix to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve cold.

Food safety note:
Because this recipe contains mayonnaise, it should be kept cold at all times. If serving outdoors, place the bowl of macaroni salad in a larger bowl of ice, set on ice packs, or keep inside an ice-filled cooler.

Post by Dawn Viola : DawnViola.com