Here's a fun rainy day activity and a lovely gift to make for the holidays! We love that no two necklaces will be the same. This DIY is best done with a grown-up helper or an older sibling as it can get a bit messy.
A few things to note about the supply list:
-We found these wood beads to work best. The bigger the better!
-Nail polish should not be the fast drying kind.
-We'll be offering our velvet ribbon soon!
That's it! Try your hand at making bracelets using the same method. Show us your necklaces by tagging your photos #CraftyOJ on Instagram! We'd love to see them!
As the weather turns delightfully crisp, we are exited to share the story of a very special pick-your-own farm. Sherry and her sweet kiddos have taken the time to answer some questions about life on a pick-your-own farm.
OJ: Sherry let's start off with finding out the names of your children.
Sherry: I have three children named Peter (10), Margaret (9), and Tim (6).
OJ: Tell us a little about your farm.
S: Ours is a family run farm that specializes in the pick-your-own experience. Our farm and orchards are located high on the Eastern slope of the Blue Ridge mountains, and the views really are majestic. We are now open three seasons out of four, Spring through Fall, growing everything from strawberries, to cherries, plums, etc…Right now we are in apple and pumpkin season, and also have available our gourmet cooking squash, dig-your-own peanuts, sweet potatoes and regular potatoes, as well as the organic Fall greens and sunflowers… Our focus is to provide a real farm experience, and we resist the trend of incorporating endless moon bounces, or other entertainment options that would detract from the experience of picking for the fun of it.
Families love coming and letting their kids run about the hills and work with real life farm tools, digging, foraging, gathering their own harvest…There is already so much to enjoy, but special entertainment option would be, feeding our ancient goat (Pierre) some kale and hearing him blow his “tuba”. Imagine that!
OJ: How do you incorporate your children into the daily activities of the farm?
S: Each season has it’s specialties, and since Virginia’s seasons are always changing, we are always gearing up for the next thing…The kids help with seed starting in the greenhouse as early as January each year, and we tend those seedlings along for months. As March rolls around, there is a good bit of excitement over things like, potato planting on Saint Patrick's Day. Potatoes are the first outdoor planting event of the year. Walking on newly plowed furrows and smelling the earthy dampness of cool Virginia clay while the tractor rumbles ahead of you is an invigorating experience! Even as young as two, the kids were walking the lines, dropping the potato quarters into the ground…
Margaret is great with tending to the animals. Feeding the house and barn cats, taking care of the ponies, keeping the burrs out of their tails and manes, spritzing them down with fly spray in the summer…She is also very tidy around the house, and likes to cook and can things.
Peter is Chris’ (hubby) best cattle working helper. He helps with moving the herds, or chasing a stray calf back across the fence from time to time. Peter is also an accomplished hunter. We must have eaten five or six wild turkeys that Peter and his dad hunted on the farm last year.
Tim is my little free spirit. He is also my best little berry picking buddy. His size and those nimble six year old fingers are just right for plucking the berries from the bushes. He also likes to hoe and dig things, and take scraps from various farm projects and build ramps and such for his two-wheeler.
OJ: What would be your ideal way to spend the day with your kids?
S: Going hiking on a sunny Summer day to a nearby swimming hole where there is a beautiful waterfall and crystal clear water, swimming, and having just the right picnic lunch. -Or maybe just staying on the farm, packing up the ponies with a picnic and the kids, and taking a family walk to the orchard to enjoy the scenery. Or, if not nice outside, maybe cooking at home on a rainy day…Making soup and bread, or homemade pizza.. We love cooking and eating together.
OJ: We are in apple season, tell us what your favorite apple varieties are.
S: I love some of the heirloom varieties, such as Esopous Spitzenberg (Thomas Jefferson’s favorite apple!) or Zabergau Reinette. I also really love the Shizuka (super big and juicy), and Nittany apples (although we do not have any Nittany apples in our orchard). I tend to like an apple that has just a bit of spiciness or tartness to balance the sweetness. In the fall especially, I love to bake apple pies, and cook our Heritage pork with apples and homemade sauerkraut.
OJ: Can you explain the importance of planting heirloom seeds?
S: Heirloom seeds are seeds that are from cultivars that were developed more than fifty years ago. We grow some heirloom cultivars of fruits and vegetables, but also use some more modern varietals, often developed by university research programs. Newer varietals have usually been bred for better yield or disease tolerance. The Rutgers tomato is a good example of an heirloom tomato with a university breeding background. Another heirloom tomato that we love around here is, Aunt Ruby’s Green Striped tomato. Even when ripe, it is perfectly green and delicious!
OJ: Thank you Sherry for inviting us into your colorful world! Is there anything else that you would like to add?
S: Any kind of apple can make a good pie!
If you would like to learn more information about visiting pick-your-own farms,
We are celebrating books today as it's International Literacy Day! We've giving away one of our most favorite books called This is Paris by M. Sasek.
The illustrations are delightful and transports the reader to all the famous French landmarks in Paris. It's oo-la-la lovely!
But what we've realized is that one can not read the book without the proper French attire so that is why we are also adding one of our Claire Berets to the giveaway! Mais oui!
We are so excited to launch our latest collaboration post! We'll be featuring moms and dads from around the globe and their oh-so-stylish tots! We love to see how you incorporate our items into your little's closet and we want you to meet some very fun parents along the way.
Our dear friend Ania has a gorgeous blog, The Diplomat's Wife, where she writes about her adventurous family that moves every two years because of her hubby's new assignments as a diplomat. We sent her some items from our Spring 2014 collection and she has shared the way she incorporated them into little Clara's wardrobe. We caught up with her in Barcelona and Mallorca, Spain and asked her a few questions about her on-the-go mum life.
OJ: Tell us where you live.
Ania: My husband is a diplomat so we change where we live about every 2-3 years but for now, we're in Copenhagen, Denmark.
OJ: What would be the perfect way to spend the day with your little one?
Ania: A lazy wake-up to a sunny day...hot chocolate with fresh croissants for dipping....an outing to a pool or one of Denmark's lovely summer beaches...a few inside jokes...sushi for two in the evening outside...topping it off with a watching her favorite movie, Finding Nemo, which she likes to watch in Spanish, on our couch. Maybe an ice cream if we've both been behaving....it's the little things that make the days with kids perfect.
OJ: Describe in a few words her style preference.
Ania: Colorful, charismatic, playful and classic.
OJ: What's her favorite bedtime book?
Ania: Goodnight Moon is still a hit with us, even though my daughter can nearly recite it from memory. Also, as I'm Polish, we have a few Polish books as well. There is one called "Lokomotywa", about a steam train, which she loves to listen to since when you read it aloud it actually sounds like a train coming down the tracks...
OJ: Finish this sentence… My favorite part of being a mom is___
Ania: Being surprised every day. At some point, you get to a stage in life where you think you might never be in awe anymore - we're exposed to so much these days through travel and movies and books and internet...but then the little ones come along and make you discover all these things that you didn't even realize you were missing.
Thank you Ania and petit Clara! We can't wait to see where your next adventure takes you! If you have any questions for Ania, let us know in the comment section.
Clara is wearing the Cosmos Twill skirt in Barcelona and the Ruffle Bib dress in Mallorca. Both are from the Spring 2014 collection.
We are so excited to launch our new campaign Little Heros! We encourage children to volunteer their time in their communities and we would like to cheer them on! We'll be highlighting a Little Hero once a month on our blog so if you have a great kiddo we should know about please email us at email@example.com with the subject line Little Heros. Pass along you your friends and family!
We're loving the hot weather! We've put together three looks that will take your tot from morning to night...
We welcome Ava as our new hair post contributor! Today she's showing us how to do a fun pom pom ponytail do!
For this tutorial you will need a handful of pom pom beads, clear fishing line, two hair bands and a brush.
Start by brushing the hair back and gathering it into a high pony tail.
Once gathered, push the clear fishing line through the band and secure with a knot.
Section the hair into three and with the first pass of the braid add a pom pom.
Braid another section and string the second pom pom.
Continue braiding the hair and adding a pom pom with the start of a new pass.
Once you reach the bottom of the braid, secure it with a band. Tie the fishing line to the bottom band and trim off the excess line.
All finished! Thank you to Ava and her sister Sabrina! Look for more of Ava's tutorials in our upcoming posts.
We found a little friend to teach you how to make a fun tie pin for your Papa!
To make the fox, follow the pattern in the image below. Place the beads in the correct order on your square pegboard.
Place the parchment paper on top of the fox. Place the iron on top of the paper and gently press for about 5- 10 seconds. If you find that the beads have not fused together, iron again for a few more seconds. Be careful, the beads can get very fused and the design may distort.
Once it is fused, you'll find that the design sticks to the paper. Gentle lift it off and flip it over. You will now do the exact same thing on the other side.
Get a grown up to place a little dollop of hot glue on the back of the fox and push the earring post into the glue.
Hurray you are finished! We've even made a card for you to decorate and add your pin to!
Click here for the link to the card PDF. Get creative and make your own designs!
Little Lola is wearing the Liberty Print Annie dress.
Current season and past season!
A perfect transition from cool mornings to warm days.