Prepping for Summer of 2012

Summer is rapidly approaching! And it comes year after year, so why do I always feel like summer catches me with my pants down? This year I refuse to be caught without plans. Of course I’ll be face painting, and I’ve decided to organize the summer by weekly science topics, starting with etymology. I didn’t choose our first topic randomly, it just happens we have a pretty cool bug collection we’ve put together over the years, and its nice to start with something that’s already somewhat prepared for!

My daughter will be entering second grade in the fall, and my middle child kindergarten. I ought to be able to provide science based material for each topic that they can each benefit from, like bug themed coloring pages and mazes they will both enjoy. We will make a paper mache exoskeleton and make small mosaics with bits of broken mirror to represent bug eyes and how they see. My daughter can work on spelling the more advanced words while my son learns to write his name on his coloring pages and worksheets. We’ll buy some big nets and hunt bugs and observe their details from how they move to what color they are to where we found them. They can each keep a journal and draw pictures of the bugs we see and my daughter can write her observations next to the pictures!

So we start with etymology. Then we’ll follow with botany, I think. Botany is a good one for kids, especially in Austin. Austin’s Botanical Gardens are amazing! Austin is also home to some amazing nurseries. Its About Thyme, The Great Outdoors, and The Natural Gardner are awesome places to visit.

Cells are pretty cool, the study of cells is called cytology, and I found a neat microscope at a garage sale with a 5″x5″ screen that shows the organism in a nice big picture vs. having to squint into  little microscope eye pieces.

Then there’s always the animal kingdoms! I’m working with local traveling petting zoo Tiny Tails To You and we’re welcome to visit the animals any time! There are tortoises and turtles, bearded dragons and gecko’s. Chicks, ducklings, rabbits big and small, hedgehogs and guinea pigs… I feel like I’m forgetting something. Well anyway, Tiny Tails does a free monthly petting zoo during story time at Book People each month, and would be an option for other parents wanting to give their kids a chance to see the different animals!

Aside from science themes we’ll of course have swimming lessons, lazy afternoons in the backyard, ice cream making, and decorating the kids’ room! Summer of 2012, I am ready for you!

You Are My Sunshine

Today was just one of those tricky days. The weather was tricky – cold and yuck. The kids were tricky – crabby for lack of exercise. And I was tricky – grumpy because cold, gray days make me want to hole up behind my sewing machine and stay there watching CSI reruns and stitching. I managed to load us into the car and we hit Central Market for muffins. I told the kids they could get what ever they wanted. Central Market has chocolate everything and I assumed a chocolate something is what the kids would choose – except today was tricky and my assumption was wrong. Hazel went for a glazed cinnamon raisin bun, and Walter came unglued in his excitement at getting a blueberry muffin! Armed with a freshly ground bag of coffee and muffins we returned home to watch Peter Pan and clean the kids’ room. Again my assumption that their room would be a nightmare was proved false. We had so much fun cleaning and organizing!!! Definitely the most surprising highlight of my day. I had accepted that I wasn’t going to get anything new made, when again, life surprised me with a little gift of time and I cranked out what I’m going to call the first of My Sunshine series.

Summer Day Felt Child's Crown

The circle in the center can either feature a large summer flower, or the initial of the light of your life. In my case this crown is going to feature the letter “H” for my darling daughter, and I’ll make her a summer scepter and skirt to match. This crown and scepter will be available in my Etsy shop.

Don’t forget to enter to win a mini- Heart Felt Garland from yours truly! Just “like” us on Facebook and visit my Etsy shop. Leave a comment on the link below!

https://woowhokids.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/heart-felt-valentines-garland/

Oh My Stars, Completed Crowns!

They look so great! I used a satin casing for the elastic in the back, and wow, it really makes things pop! Check them out!

 

Felt Crown Pink and Red Queen of Hearts available at Woo Who on Etsy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s another one with the front and side views:

Felt Crown Purple Flower with Lime Green Butterfly Spring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And oh my stars, look at these!

Felt Crown Purple and Lime Green Stars Available at Woo Who on Etsy

 

Felt Crown Gold and Red Stars available at Woo Who on Etsy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The red one has sequins in the smaller hearts to add a bit of bling, the purple crown’s small stars have french knots in the center.

These were a lot of fun to make and I have ideas for about twenty more! I love custom orders, so if you’re in the market for a crown and see something that is ALMOST perfect, message me and lets chat!

Minding My OWN Business

I have been having so much fun playing with my kids, making candles and working on my daughter’s etsy shop I haven’t been getting much work done with my own business! So today I am going to Mind My OWN Business, and get to work on some super cute felt crowns. Now these haven’t been stitched up yet, but I wanted to give you a sense of my direction.

Pink and Red Hearts Felt Crown Available at Woo Who on Etsy

Of course a lovely Valentine’s themed crown with beautiful red and pink hearts secured with buttons.

Purple Flowers, Yellow Centers, Lime Green Butterfly available at Woo Who on Etsy

A spring time crown with beautiful purple flowers and lime green butterflies.

Red and Gold Hearts and Stars Super Hero Crown available at Woo Who on Etsy

This one celebrates the power of love! Red and gold together on a cream background – striking!

Pink and Red Flowerettes Felt Crown available at Woo Who on Etsy

This crown with the pink and red flowers was intense! I hand tied a faux pearl into the center of each flower. I tied them each individually so in the event one came off they wouldn’t all come off! But this meant hand tying twenty something flowers. Its lovely, truly, but I’m going to have to come up with a more time conserving option for my shop!

Since taking these pictures I’ve managed to sew everything down and stitch the crown itself – each crown has a lovely accent thread around the edge – pink, of course, for the hearts crown, lime green thread for the purple flower spring crown, and gold stitching on the Power of Love crown.

Have any thoughts on my crowns? Think they need a little something? I’d love to hear your opinions!

Soon to follow, coordinating star wands!

Don’t forget to enter to win a heart felt garland made by yours truly!

Hazel’s Honey Wax First Product Post

The best part of starting a new craft is the shopping, the discovery of all the delightful accessories that can help turn your plain, rolled beeswax candle into a work of art. My best idea so far has been Wilton Cake Accessories. 🙂 The darling little cookie cutters used for fondant are perfectly sized for cutting shapes out of wax for applique onto the completed beeswax candle. I have to say, I’m rather proud of us! Hazel and I worked on our candles for the first time since getting into business together. We not only had a lot of fun, but we completed a project worth to be put in our shop!. First we experimented with mini candles. These were considerably more intensive than I’d anticipated! And very difficult for little hands.

First we took our Valentine’s Day mini cookie cutter set and cut out a couple of hearts. The idea was to simply press the two layers together, sandwiching wick and stick, to make a mini candle!

Unfortunately one layer of hearts wasn’t enough. With just two slices of wax the shape was weak, wobbly, and transparent. The wick and stick were clearly visible, and it wasn’t particularly attractive. So we cut two more layers, and the problem was solved. Four layers of beeswax was perfect thickness for a lovely mini candle. You can really see the difference:

We really liked our end result and so got to work on the next mini candle. I handed Hazel the cookie cutter and told her, “ok, we need four pieces!” “MOM!” she shouted! Why do they have to shout when they’re sitting right next to you??? “WHAT?” I said. “Mom, cutting four is a lot of work. Look what we can do instead!” Then she folded the wax in half.

Ah! Fantastic. She’s already working on problem solving. “This way,” she explained, “we can cut out two at a time!” This was a nice trick, but made it slightly more difficult at the same time. It takes a gentle hand to mash the two pieces together, otherwise the shape is obliterated.

In order to make the two pieces meld better, we use a heating tool. Many people simply use their hairdryer, but I find this cumbersome. Hairdryers are super loud and even small ones are an awkward shape and take up space. We use a heating tool used for embossing:

It only takes a few seconds! Beeswax is very sensitive and is easy to melt accidentally! Not that we had any problems with melting our shapes, lol.

Hazel was able to do both of the heart shapes for our Valentine’s set, but the X and the O proved to be too difficult. The cookie cutters are quite tiny and the X and O were delicate, so I finished those pieces.

Hazel's Honey Wax Valentine's Cupcake Candle Set

Rather lovely, don’t you think? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think about our adventures in business! Keep coming back as we’ll continue posting about our products and processes, and coming in March we’ll be starting a candle give away! Don’t forget to check out Woo Who! on Etsy while you’re at it! We’re growing imaginations!

Waiting is AGONY!!! – or – Hazel’s Honey Wax

I hate to wait. When I want something I want it and I want it now. My instant gratification setting is on high and has been my whole life. So WHY did I check email to see if the shop set my daughter picked out had been sent??? If I hadn’t checked I wouldn’t know. BUT ITS HERE!!! The adorable shop set we chose from Simply Graphic Design has arrived. I totally want to upload the graphics and set up shop. However I am supposed to be doing this WITH my daughter, and she’s at school till mid afternoon. DRAT. I’m seriously considering picking her up early, lol.

In the meantime, while I wait for the end-of-school bell to ring, I’m excited to share we’ve decided on a name: Hazel’s Honey Wax! Deciding on a name was far easier than I’d anticipated. We ran through a few options and this was the one she liked the most, and it was my favorite, too. We don’t normally come together on decisions this easily! After choosing our name and registering it on Etsy, we perused the thousands of pre-made Etsy shop sets in search of the perfect bee themed outfit for her shop front. Simply Graphic Design had the winning option and we bought it a couple of days ago. Its arrived, as I said, and I can’t wait to put it to work. She did an amazing job, was prompt and very helpful. I would strongly recommend her to anyone in search of a shop set! Of course a shop set is only as good as its product, so we need to get cracking. We made some attempts at cutting out shapes in the wax by hand. Its a LOT harder than you might think! Between Ebay, Amazon and Google we found our solution: fondant cookie cutters. They’re small shapes, perfectly sized for candles, and make a perfect cut every time. Ebay had a small set of stars and butterflies that was very reasonably priced, and we’re anxiously awaiting delivery. Today I also found a woman cleaning out her fondant cutter collection on Craigslist. 🙂 I should be meeting her later this week.

Until next time!

Click here to enter to win a Valentine Heart Felt Garland!

My Kid In Business

For Christmas my daughter received a candle making kit from the Magic Cabin and she LOVES it. She’s six and rolling bees wax candles is a task that her happy little hands can handle.

Hazel's Honey Wax

Watching her ponder the color selection and carefully consider the shapes to apply to the outside of the candle it occurred to me that this might be a great way to introduce her to a crafty business. Its not an expensive craft. It doesn’t require a great deal of precision. It doesn’t require a great deal of time. Before mentioning anything to her I looked into the rules for Etsy and minors, and Etsy had this to say:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age to hold an account on Etsy.
    • If you are under 18, you must have the permission and supervision of a parent or legal guardian who is at least 18 years of age; that adult is responsible for the account.
    • If you are under the age of 18, you may not utilize the community features on Etsy (for example: Forums, Teams, Treasury, the blog, and multimedia Online Labs events), unless otherwise specified by Etsy. When using Etsy, those under 18 must, at all times, have the permission and supervision of a parent or legal guardian who is at least 18 years of age.

Perfect! She definitely has my permission, and I’m happy to take complete responsibility of the account and product. Besides, we’ll be making everything together, and she won’t be looking at anything on Etsy I haven’t researched first. Once I was sure this was something we could do, I asked her if she’d be interested? She loves watching me work and look at my Etsy shop, so I wasn’t surprised when she began to glow. I knew we’d hit on something. This is going to be a lot of fun for me, too, because its a no-pressure shop. When working on my shop and making decisions regarding my shop and product everything I do impacts sales. Starting a shop from the ground up with my kiddo is going to be a lot of fun for both of us as most everything children do is more about the process than the end result.  🙂 Stay tuned as we decide on a name, select our shop setup, and begin making our product! I’m eager to hear her opinions on everything, and I know she will give them to me, lol.

 

Hazel's Honey Wax - First Candle

 

Click here to enter to win a Valentine Heart Felt Garland!