Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Favorite Early Chapter Books

Hey folks! I'm here with more book reviews! Though today I may have to call them recommendations  not reviews, because I picked all books I know I love. :)

Today I have some early chapter books for you instead of picture books. There are many reasons for this. I know some of our readers have bigger kids, so I thought they might like some non-picture-books. I also know that many little ones are ready to start listening to chapter books long before they can read them. Our kids at Tansy Dolls are moving quickly into this category. And finally, I just love these books. I'm a re-reader myself, and all of these have made it back through my rotation many, many times. There has been a recent upswing in acceptance of adults reading Young Adult literature, thanks to great series like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, so feel free to read these yourself; no kid excuse required!

Dealing with Dragons by Patricia Wrede on Amazon
First off, Dealing with Dragons by Patricia Wrede is a personal favorite. It's actually the first in a series called the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. The others are Searching for Dragons, Calling on Dragons, and Talking to Dragons. These books are fabulous. I mean, first of all, they all have dragons in the title and you know how much I love dragons.

Second, the book opens with Princess Cimorene running away to the dragons in order to avoid an unpleasant arranged marriage and traditional boring princess life. The whole book celebrates her wonderful non-conformist spirit and pokes fun at traditional European style fairytales in a kind of sweet and witty way. Cimorene teams up with an equally awesome female dragon named Kazul and they adventure against meddlesome princes and troublesome wizards together.

Seriously, I love these books. Read them with your kids and laugh together, or just enjoy them for yourself; they won't disappoint! They'll also help get you in the mood for our From Fables doll series. We just finished the first one and I'm loving her!

The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron on Amazon
This is another amazing book. I think The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet was one of my first sci-fi books ever. This one is also the beginning of a series, called the Mushroom Planet series, made up of five books total. I can't wait to read this one to Max!

In The Wonderful Flight, Chuck and David are two young boys who build their own rocket ship to go on an interplanetary rescue mission! How cool it that?!? Seriously, these two kids, build a rocket out of spare part and go into space! That's the sort of story that seriously sparks the imagination of any kid reading or hearing it.

First published in 1954, this one's a classic. It has a kind of charming wholesomeness to the whole thing and always makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. I know this is one that my parents read to me at night and I'll do the same for Max soon. <3

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry on Amazon
Ok, this one isn't really a secret. Most people have heard of this classic, though many haven't read it. So here's me saying; read it! It's sweet and charming and beautiful and you won't regret it.

The Little Prince was originally written in French, and often shows up in high school French classes. Don't hold that against the book. In it, the little prince describes his journey to several tiny planets, each inhabited by a single adult. Most of the adults are silly or ridiculous in some way, which helps make this a very kid friendly book. The illustrations just put it over the top; get a version in color.

There have also been a million versions, adaptations, and spin-offs of this one. You can find an abridged picture book version, I know. I also recently spotted an animated show on Netflix that's loosely based on the same character from 2010 called The Little Prince. So, if you decide you love this one there's plenty of material to choose from.

Ok, that's a good set. Go read them! They're amazing! Enjoy!


Sunday, January 27, 2013

From Fables - Little Red is here!!

Happy Monday, everyone!

After weeks of collaborating, planning, and dreaming - Chapter One of our From Fables series is ready to show themselves to the wide wide world. Little Red Riding Hood is complete! WOOO HOOOoooooo!

After working separately on all the extra goodies that she comes with, Cady, Robin, and I met this weekend to put it all together and help Little Red come to life. I am so pleased with the outcome and am reminded again at how lucky I am to be partnered with such talented ladies.

So without further adieu...

Tansy Dolls Red Riding Hood Doll Waldrof Steiner Bamboletta all-natural toys
It's Little Red!
Little Red is a 16" all-natural, earth friendly beauty that was handcrafted with lots o' love, for sure. She has brown hair, bright blue eyes, warm blushed cheekies, and peach skin.

Tansy Dolls Red Riding Hood Doll Waldrof Steiner Bamboletta all-natural toys
A basket of warm bread
She comes with so many extras it makes my heart sing-a-ling-a-ling! Here she is ready to begin her journey to Grandmother's house. Cady crocheted the most adorable basket with a working lid and needle-felted the sweet baguette inside of it! Also in this pic you catch a glimpse of her red hood that I made. It's accented with a wooden button and lined with a gorgeous pattern from the "A Walk in the Wood" fabric series by Aneela Hoey.

Waldorf Doll Steiner Tansy Dolls bamboletta tutorial Little Red Riding Hood
Detail of the Hood lining fabric - so stinkin' cuuuute!

Next, here's a detail of her beautiful dress, handmade by Robin with 'Floral in Aqua' fabric from Riley Blake's The Simple Life series. SWOOooooon!
Waldorf Dolls Tansy Dolls Steiner earth friendly all-natural toys
Riley Blake's design detail

Little Red's fancy dress - and APRON (that comes on & off!)
 I'm seriously hyperventilating from excitement writing this blog post today...hah. Can you tell I love making dolls? ;)
Waldorf Dolls Tansy Dolls Steiner earth friendly all-natural toys
Lovely boots made by the lovely Cady
And lastly, allow me to introduce Wolfgang! Wolfzie is Little Red's best frienemy and enjoys picnicing at the park with his lil' lady. He is a 10" rag doll, hand-stitched from 100% wool by yours truly.
Waldorf Dolls Tansy Dolls Steiner earth friendly all-natural toys
Whew! Well, time to sign off for now. Little Red, with Wolfgang and all of her goodies, will retail in our shoppe, this Thursday, Jan 30th at noon (pst) for $200 US. I can't wait to see who takes them home!

If you are interested in knowing what other storybook characters are in the works for us next month & this year in TansyDolls Land, here's the jump to our official schedule: From Fables by Tansy Dolls

Have a wonderful week, everyone! We're off to Grandmother's house!

Waldorf Dolls Little Red Riding Hood  All-natural toy
Who's that hiding?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Elephants Everywhere!

Well as I'm sure you know by now, its all about elephants over here in my household. Aria is getting more and more excited as people join her team of elephant savers. Jody from Penguin and Owl Acre's Wooly Creations finished up her awesome felted elephant and he is just the sweetest little thing ever!

[Photo by Jody Richards.]  How stinking cute is this baby elephant!?
Becky from Belle + Bee is also joining Aria's team and is designing and making a mini elephant quilt.  I can't wait to see what she whips up; she has brilliant sewing skills and makes the cutest kids' clothing. This weekend I am going to cut out some pattern pieces out of fleece.  I bought a sweet elephant pattern from Bingle Bears.  The pattern uses traditional teddy bear making methods, but I'm going to try it first with fleece and button joints.  I'll let you know how that goes.  Hopefully it won't be a major craft fail.  

In the meantime, I'll leave you with this great kids' book called Endangered Elephants by Bobbie Kalman.  I got this for Aria for Christmas and we finally got around to reading it a few days ago.  The book provides a great overview about African and Asian elephants, outlines what dangers they face, and then ends with uplifting examples of conservation efforts.  Aria and I both enjoyed the book.  Definitely a keeper!  

See you next Friday with some more Elephant Saver Fundraiser updates.  


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Catching Elephant Fever

No, I don't mean I'm sick with something called Elephant Fever. What I mean is that Aria Jae's Elephant Saver Fundraiser is proving to be very inspiring over here. If you haven't heard about it, you can check out the story here.

We've gotten pledges for donations from some amazing artists like Penguin and Owl Acres Wooly Creations and Busted Button. We're also working with Aria at Art ala Carte to host an arty fundraiser at her wonderful shop!

And there's no shortage of elephant excitement over here either! Elephant buttons, elephant fabric, and elephant ideas are flying in Tansy Doll Land!

Here's a sneak peak of one of the little guys:

There will be a crocheted elephant joining the herd too. Eeep! The cuteness! And Aria is doing some wonderful drawings that are destined to be cards (and maybe something else!). Our super-talented artist, Lesley, is even doing a small painting!

But above and beyond the cuteness factor, elephants are pretty amazing. In case you need some inspiration too get excited with us, here's some awesome information about these amazing endangered animals.

  • Elephant moms (called cows) are pregnant for 22 months. I don't know about you, but I think that's damn impressive. 
  • Asian elephants grow up to 10 feet tall, 21 feet long, and weigh over 5 tons! All that heft and they still walk silently! Source: Smithsonian Institute
  • An adult elephant can eat 300 pounds of food a day. 
  • Asian elephants have a finger-like appendage at the end of their trunks that lets them grab small items. Source: National Geographic
  • Elephant groups of 6-7 are led by an adult female and sometimes hang out in larger herds.
  • Elephants need to drink at least once a day, so groups will always stay somewhat near water. Source: World Wildlife Fund
  • Elephants are considered a keystone species, meaning they are so important they effect the well being of their whole environment and the animals who share it with them.
  • Ivory trade, habitat loss, and live elephant capture are all serious threats to Asian elephant survival. Source: Elephant Family

Whoa. Elephants are cool, I think we can agree. :)
So get excited! Spread the word! And keep an eye on all the elephant related goodies that will be going up for auction at fundraiser time by checking in at our Facebook Page

To donate or participate, check out Aria Jae's Elephant Saver Fundraiser page. 

Now, I leave you with this this cutie-pie. 
© Shah / WWF
View at WWF


Monday, January 21, 2013

Meet Kai!

Happy MLK day, friends. Whether you spent your day relaxing, with family or friends, or as a day of service, I hope that it has been a good one so far.

My oldest, though mighty, is still a little lady (a wee bit shy of 5) so we leave out deeper discussions about race and discrimination today and instead focused on heroes. Real life heroes who are just ordinary people working to make the world a better place. We discussed Martin Luther King Jr and watched his I Have a Dream speech here. (seriously, how cool is

After that she spent the day with her friends, blissful in the play of childhood. One day our MLK day will be spent differently, through older eyes, but today was just perfect as it was.

The ladies and I have been busy in Tansyland finishing up Little Red and Wolfgang, and whooooo! am I excited to show and tell - but alas, that will have to wait until next week when they are ready for the shoppe.

But for today I'd like to introduce you to a lil' gentleman named Kai who is all ready to show his support for Aria Jae's Elephant Fundraiser with his cute Ele button:

waldorf doll bamboletta steiner doll all-natural wool doll
10" Kai looking dapper

waldorf doll bamboletta steiner doll all-natural wool doll tansy dolls
close-up of his Elephant button
Kai is a 10" BLOSSOM Tansy Doll with dark brown eyes, black short hair, and peach skin. He comes wearing this sweet outfit (grey sweater with matching grey boots, ele button, brown corduroys, and teeny-tiny little yellow undies). He is earth-friendly, made with the finest imported cotton and stuffed with clean wool. Not a stitch out of place and handmade with love by us, of course.

tansy dolls waldorf doll steiner doll all-natural earth-friendly wool bamboletta
his rosy cheeks

tansy dolls waldorf doll steiner doll all-natural earth-friendly wool bamboletta
and sweet face
Kai will retail for $95 this Thursday at noon. It just feels right to stock up on boy dolls in our shoppe again.

Speaking of feeling right - we sold out of all the 5" Sprout Dolls we uploaded last week! Woo hooo! For those of you that have been following us on our journey to open Tansy Dolls last year, this is a huge success for us (*pats my own back*) ;) So a big THANK YOU to everyone who purchased V-Day Sprouts for your sweeties. We're going to shoot for having more either this week or next, in plenty of time to ship for Valentines Day.

Enjoy the rest of your day!


Friday, January 18, 2013

Aria's Team of Elephant Savers

Last week I revealed Aria's big plans to raise money for Asian elephant and so far its been going very well.  The wonderful Inês Almeida from Toward the Stars and the folks from Elephant Family both shared Aria's fundraiser on their Facebook pages.  The best part was that I never even had to ask either of them to do so.  It was a wonderful surprise and feeling to wake up one day to find a link to Aria's fundraiser in my newsfeed.

If you don't follow Toward the Stars on Facebook, you ought to.  Its an organization and community that focuses on empowering our girls to be true to themselves and live up to their full potential without restrictions. 
Aria has also received her first two donations.  Penguin and Owl Acres is donating a felted elephant.  The owner of Penguin and Owl Acres, Jody Richards, has also been such a force for spreading the word.  Words cannot express my gratitude for her support.  Dot Falcon from Busted Button is donating beautiful button artwork and some earrings.  More locally, Aria (yes, my daughter and she share the same name!) from Art ala Carte PDX has generously offered to host an art party/open studio and donate a percentage of the proceeds to Aria's fundraiser.  Again, I cannot express how much I appreciate these women and their willingness to support Aria's dream.  We don't know really know any of them, have never even met them, and yet they are sending such a powerful message to my daughter about kindness and generosity.  If I could I would hug them and say, "Thank you. Thank you for showing my daughter the good side of humanity.  Thank you for supporting her dream and most of all thank you for teaching my daughter that caring about something bigger than yourself can connect you to not only a purpose but a wider world, a community of compassionate and caring people."

Dot from Busted Button shared this photo of her button artwork.  She is crafting up a similar piece of work for Aria's fundraiser.   She is also donating some cute elephant earrings and offered to make Aria her very own pair as well.

I have also heard from several folks who said they will be participating.  It will be fun to see what these wonderful folks create.  Here in Tansy Doll land, I know that Cady, our yarnie extraordinaire, will be making a crocheted elephant and perhaps a felted one.  Lesley, our resident artist (seriously, she is a brilliant fine artist) is creating an elephant painting.  I have a few ideas for some sweet sewn elephant stuffies.  And Tansy Dolls will be donating a 10" Blossom doll complete with cute little elephant pillowcase dress.

My little artist is already working on her elephant artwork.  This is one of her first pieces.
 So how does the little elephant saver feel about all this? are a few highlights from this week.  When I first showed her Dot's beautiful elephant button artwork, which was the first official donation Aria received, Aria immediately started jumping around and shouting, "People are helping me?!  Momma, people are HELPING me!  I didn't know that people would help me!!"  When I showed her the video that Jody posted of her in the process of making a felted elephant, Aria again expressed gratitude and surprise that people were seriously donating items to her fundraiser.  She pumped her little fist in the air, stroke a superhero pose, and said proudly, "We are going to HELP those elephants!"  And when I told her that Aria from Art ala Carte PDX had offered to have an art party/open studio for her fundraiser, Aria said, "Wow, Momma, she has the same name as me?"  Heh.  What can I say, she's 4, sometimes she gets a bit derailed.  But after she got over the idea that an adult out there has the same name, she was pretty darn excited that a local business and an ART one at was joining her team of elephant savers. 

I enjoyed reading the comments to Aria.  Her little face beamed and her whole body was shaking in excitement.
But the response that I think amused me the most was when she found out that Elephant Family had posted her fundraiser on their Facebook page.  Aria knows that we are donating the money she raises to Elephant Family, she knows of the great work they do, and yet when she found out they had shared her fundraiser, she proudly exclaimed, "Momma, Elephant Family is joining my team of elephant savers...YES!"  Heh.  In and of itself her comment made me chuckle but more importantly it revealed how much Aria truly owns and takes pride in her fundraiser.

Feel free to download and share this picture.  The simplest way to support Aria's dream is to share, share, share.  The more people who know about her fundraiser, the bigger the potential to raise some money for Elephant Family.
If you're reading this, I'd like to ask one more favor.  Please "like" and show some love for the companies and organizations that are supporting Aria's dream.  When I posted about Aria's fundraiser last week, I had no idea what would happen.  I hoped but I did not expect.  Their willingness to help Aria has not only taught my young daughter about the generosity of  the human spirit but has also reminded me that we understand and know our humanity best when we make connections with others to work for something bigger than any one individual.  With that I'll leave you the words of the late Howard Zinn, who inspires me to strive and hope for a better world for all. 

*Cross posted on*

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Binary Knitting

You may have noticed by now that I'm a huge geek. It's ok; I am geeky and proud. Today's post should prove that rather conclusively.

Have you ever noticed how much math there is in knitting and crochet? Seriously, from gauge measurements,  to ratios between hook or needle size and yarn thickness, from stitch patterns, to determining how many increase stitches to add, it's all math. Maybe that's why I like it so much.

I also love puzzles. Math puzzles, logic puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, word puzzles; they're all great. Codes and ciphers too! And computers! And binary! So, what's more natural than trying to put all those things together, right? (I'm also far from the first person to do so. Go Google "knitting" and "binary" together and you'll see what I mean.)

So how do we put math, computers, puzzles and knitting together? Well, here's how I did it:

First, I thought of a nice phrase to encode. In my case it was "This codebreaker is nice and warm! Can you break the code? 42!"
You probably know that your computer breaks everything down to 1's and 0's to process and store information. So to move this code along, we just put the text into the same code your computer uses. Just paste the text into a text-to-binary converter like This will give you your coded message in binary:
01010100 01101000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01100011 01101111 01100100 01100101 01100010 01110010 01100101 01100001 01101011 01100101 01110010 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01101110 01101001 01100011 01100101 00100000 01100001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01110111 01100001 01110010 01101101 00100001 00100000 01000011 01100001 01101110 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01100010 01110010 01100101 01100001 01101011 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01100011 01101111 01100100 01100101 00111111 00100000 00110100 00110010 00100001

Next, I had to decide what to do with all these numbers. Well, in knitting you pretty much have two stitches; knits and purls. So I decided to knit the 1's and purl the 0's. (Cause both p's and 0's are kind of round.)
So I picked some nice thick yarn that would show the stitches and started a scarf by casting on 14 stitches. This way I could have a nice border of garter stitch (knit everything) and an interior set of 8 stitches. You'll notice that the above binary is cut up into blocks of 8; each set of 8 is one text character.
To code the scarf I knit across all the even rows, and knit and purl according to the code on the odd rows.
For example, the above coded scarf pattern looked like this:

Cast on 14
Row 1-4) Knit
Row 5) Knit 3, purl, knit, purl, knit, purl, knit, purl 2, knit 3
Row 6 and all even rows) Knit
7) Knit 3, purl, knit 2, purl, knit, purl 3, knit 3
9) Knit 3, purl, knit 2, purl, knit, purl 2, knit, knit 3

Here's what the beginning looks like:

It's subtle, to be sure. But I'll take another picture when it's all done for you guys. And you can be sure I'll be wearing my coded scarf and laughing on the inside. :D

Any geeky crafts making you giggle right now? And what would you code into your knitting?


Sunday, January 13, 2013


Tansy Dolls new pocket dolls waldorf steiner all-natural, earth-friendly
Sprout conga line

I am so excited to announce our new line of dolls - the SPROUTS! Sprouts are lovely 5" Tansy Doll who are full of snuggles and fit in the palm of your hand. They are just so itty-bitty & I am in love with their littleness! (side note: Wow. "littleness" is actually a word. Did you know this? Obs, I didn't. Hrmmm...I must incorporate this into my daily vocabulary now.)

Anywho - these lil' bundles o' cute stuff are made from soft velor and minky, imported cotton, and are stuffed with clean earth-friendly wool. We were having a lot of fun experimenting with different 'caps' for them. Some have adorable curly afros, some have sweet crochet & knit caps, others will have long hair, and some...some will be a surprise for you down the road with some killer fun new ideas we have!  I want to spill the beans very badly, but alas - the suspense will totally be worth it, I promise. ;)

They'll retail for $20 US in our shoppe and will be available for purchase this Thursday, Jan. 17th, at noon (pst)

Here's a closer look at who will be up for adoption this week:

Tansy Dolls new pocket dolls waldorf steiner all-natural, earth-friendly
Alouette likes to visit the art in Centre Pompidou and bike ride through the Marais.
Tansy Dolls new pocket dolls waldorf steiner all-natural, earth-friendly
Bae's name is Korean for 'inspiration' and she likes to do just that. Inspire!

Tansy Dolls new pocket dolls waldorf steiner all-natural, earth-friendly

Newton enjoys physics, math, astronomy, and even dabbles in alchemy.

Tansy Dolls new pocket dolls waldorf steiner all-natural, earth-friendly
Penelope wants to be a surgeon when she grows up

Tansy Dolls new pocket dolls waldorf steiner all-natural, earth-friendly
Valentine likes snuggles and he is very excited it's almost February.

Have a wonderful week, everyone. Until next Monday...


PS - Also, don't forget about our GIVEAWAY!!! It's for a FREE 10 or 16" Custom made Tansy Doll when we reach 2,000 fb fans - woo hoo!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Aria Jae's Elephant Saver Fundraiser

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
~Mother Theresa

My little elephant crusader
In my last post I hinted that Aria has BIG plans for 2013.  And she does both literally and figuratively.  Aria loves Asian Elephants and has since she was two years old.  I can't remember exactly how the conversation got started...maybe it was a documentary or a book...but when Aria found out that Asian elephants are endangered, she asked what that meant.  As a parent, I am sure there will be many times when I must have a difficult conversation with  my daughter and this was one of them. I reluctantly explained that it meant they were in danger of becoming extinct. As a dinosaur enthusiast, Aria knows what extinct means.  And while she may only be four years old, the weight of nonexistence and forever did not escape her. 

But then an amazing thing happened.  Rather than become overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problem, Aria asked me what we were going to do to help save the elephants.  She did not ask if she could do anything, rather she trusted in herself to be a part of the solution.  And in that simple question, I remembered something that sometimes gets pushed to the dusty corners of my brain in the hustle and bustle of everyday life: each of us has a role to play in making this world a better place for all living creatures.
So what are Aria's BIG plans?  Glad you asked.  Combining her love of art and her love of elephants, she will be designing elephant cards to sell to raise funds for the elephants.  As her mother I am incredibly proud of her and she has inspired me to do more also.  After talking it over with Lesley and Cady, Tansy Dolls has chosen to support Aria’s dream and is hosting an online auction to raise money for Elephant Family, a UK based nonprofit agency working hard to alleviate human/elephant conflict, preserve important wildlife corridors, and educate the world about the plight of the Asian elephant.

Tansy Dolls will donate a 10” doll.  I will be making sweet elephant stuffies.  I hear that Cady is thinking of making crocheted and felted elephants.  The auction will go live on March 13, 2012 in honor of Thailand's National Elephant Day and will end on March 23, 2013 in honor of Aria Jae's 5th birthday. We hope that those in our community, both locally and globally, will also reach out and contribute something for this special auction to support a little girl’s dream to save the elephants.
I have developed a blog dedicated to the auction.  You can find it here. If you are a vendor and interested in donating something for the auction, please read the info for vendors.  On the Elephant Saver Fundraiser blog, you can also find more information about Aria Jae, Elephant Family, and the auction.  Even if you cannot donate an item, bid on or buy items, the one VERY powerful and simple thing you can do is share this post and let others know about Aria Jae's Elephant Saver Fundraiser.  Help Tansy Dolls show Aria Jae what a powerful ripple she can cast on the waters.  <3


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Cooking with Kids

Ok, you guys remember when I talked about canning with Max? Well, he's still at least as fascinated with being in the kitchen as he was then. He even made a chef hat at school which he proudly wears in the kitchen. It's pretty stinkin' adorable watching him cook. Of course, there's a challenge to it too, since his dreams don't quite match up with his abilities.

He has this solid confidence that he can make anything he sees a picture of, or if he can't, then I can. It's very sweet, but also quite a lot to live up to. Fortunately  he's fairly forgiving of when it goes wrong as long as he still gets to be involved. I usually invite him in to stir, measure, sift, count, or something like that. He feels included, the mess is somewhat limited, and the food still comes out like it's supposed to. Baking is usually his favorite (mine too).

However, he recently informed us that he wanted to cook a whole dinner by himself. He was pretty adamant. We were all for it, but this presented a challenge of it's own. What can you have a 4-year-old cook on his own? And then also have him and the adults be willing to eat it?!? We went with a classic stand-by: pigs in blankets. Max studiously wrapped each hot dog in its own crescent roll, then made tater tots and frozen peas to go with it. I was allowed to assist him as far as opening containers and getting things out of the oven, but that's it. He was soooooo proud.

He's repeated this one couple of time since then, as well as made soup and grilled cheese (on the panini maker), and baked potato bar. I hope he stays as interested in cooking as he is now, since it's a great thing for us to do together. We both still love baking best though.

Usually, I love baking from scratch. It really doesn't take much longer and the results are way better. But, when Max wants to do it all himself we do sometimes resort to the mixes. Here's Max, in his chef hat of course, making cupcakes from a mix.

He loves this because he does almost everything himself. He gets to measure, mix, etc without mom's help. Then, of course, comes icing and taste-testing which are the best parts.

We also have 2 favorite kids' cookbooks to recommend!
First, I love Klutz books, and this one is no exception:

Kids Cooking: A Very Slightly Messy Manual 
Max picked is on a trip to Powell's and he totally loves that he now has his own measuring spoons. 

Also, since he loves baking, we use the My First Baking Book a lot:
My First Baking Book
I love how visual this one is. My only complaint with it it that it has a lot of cutesy recipes that look better than they taste and make a way bigger mess that I think they're really worth. But Max loves it!

Do you guys cook with your kids? Any favorite recipes or meals to share? Cause we're always looking for more!


Monday, January 7, 2013

New Year, Big Dreams!

Hi everyone,

A Happy Monday and a Happy (belated) New Years to you!

If some of you noticed there wasn't a blog post last week it was because: man, I was sick. Sooooooo incredibly sick.

It was a rough Dec for my family with illnesses all around. I had caught the flu a few weeks ago, was healthy for 'the big day' (Xmas), and then couldn't-get-out-of-my-bed sick for 4 days. Thank goodness (and good timing) that my hubs was off of work for those few days because the kids weren't gonna watch themselves, ya know? hah.

Well, there's nothing like a good bout of feeling lousy to really make you appreciate feeling good again. So, here I am 2013, back at 100% (or even 110%, I dare say)!

I am so. very. excited. to reveal the plans Cady, Robin, and I have dreamed up for this year in Tansy Dolls Land. Ready? Here goes:

Each month we will be collaborating to bring you a special edition Tansy Doll with bunches of extra goodies as we explore classic and lesser-known tales to bring them to life in our 2013 FROM FABLES series! FUN!!! These special edition beauties will be released on the last Thursday of every month. So...for January 31st we're bringing to life: LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD and her frienemy WOLFGANG. Here are the concept sketches for these two:

little red riding hood waldorf doll special edition doll
Little Red will come with her very own basket for Grandma and, of course, her sweet Red Hood!

plush wolf doll rag doll wolfgang
and introducing: Wolfgang! He'll be a gray Ragdoll and will 'accompany' Miss Red
And that's not ALL...oh no...we'll be offering their sweet costumes and goodies as extras you can add to your custom Doll orders, in both sizes - 10" and 16"!

Here is our list for the 2013 FROM FABLES line:

Jan – Lil’ Red Riding Hood
Feb – Pear Blossom
March – African Folktale (TBA)
April – Hansel & Gretel
May – Dragon Themed (TBA)
June -  Princess and the Pea
July -  Little Mermaid
August - Jack and the Beanstalk
Sept - Alice in Wonderland
Oct -  Mother Goose
Nov - Native American Tale (TBA)
Dec – Jack Frost

A busy and exciting year planned! With a little wiggle-room, of course. :)

Before I go, if you missed it - we are giving away a free Tansy Doll when we reach 2,000 FB fans!
Please join and share the fun! Tansy Dolls BIG Giveaway!

Have a wonderful week, everyone. I hope it is creative, inspiring, and full of big dreams...whatever they may be.


Friday, January 4, 2013

2000 Facebook Fan Giveaway!

Tansy Dolls is taking a little break this week but we'll be up and running next week at full force.  In the meantime, make sure to enter our newest giveaway.  We are quickly approaching the 2000 fan mark on Facebook and want to do something to show our appreciation to our lovely fans for supporting us.  Click HERE for a chance to win a FREE custom doll (your choice of a 16" Tansy Doll or 10" Blossom).  Don't wait to enter as you never know when we might reach that 2000 fan mark.  You don't want to miss this one. 

And in case you weren't on Facebook earlier this week, we introduced our new 5" Sprout dolls.  These are the perfect size for to tote around for on the go cuddles. They are also a very affordable option for families who'd really like a Waldorf-inspired doll but aren't quite ready to purchase a 16" Tansy Doll or 10" blossom.  

The Sprout measures 5" of total cuteness.  We'll be releasing a number of sweet Valentine inspired Sprouts so keep an eye on our Facebook page in the next coming weeks.
We have some big plans in the works for 2013 that we are all excited about, but that's a post for another day.  Let me just say that we're having fun planning for this new year and we hope you'll stick around to see what we have in store.  :)  Big love to you all.