Tag Archives: fragile earth

Why You Always Test the Pinterest Crafts Ahead of Time!

wand 3

 

This is the latest craft we’ve found on Pinterest (originally from Buggy & Buddy) that makes us want to drop everything and MAKE THINGS!! We decided it would  be perfect to do with the kids at Fragile Earth for the 4th of July. But we have learned, from mistakes in the past, to try everything before getting kids involved. Most of the time, it all goes like clockwork but occasionally, instructions need to be tweaked a bit for our age group (read YOUNG!)

Helen set out to make one of these Patriotic Wands by screwing an eye hook into the end of a dowel.

wand

 

Our first dowel was too skinny and split immediately.

wand 1

 

Our second choice was a little thicker and she got the hook all the way in, but the dowel spit in the end.

wand 2

 

Our third choice was the biggest dowel we had before we graduated to what she referred to as Patriotic Clubs rather than wands. Huzzah! This one worked 🙂

Next came the adornments – ribbons and sparkly wire. Helen quickly realized that little hands weren’t going to be able to thread more than one ribbon (if we were lucky) through the tiny hole of the eye hook, let alone work with the wire without poking themselves. So we rethought our craft and decided to attach all the ribbons before the kids arrived. We wanted them to have a hand in the decorating somehow so we added beads to the overall look which they could string on some of the ribbons. Because really, who doesn’t love beads?

Our finished project ….

wand 4

 

As you can see, we’ve added ribbon to the handle as well because it looks pretty! Hopefully we’ll have lots of little ones stopping by this weekend to make their own and we’ll share pictures of those next week.

Crafts to do with Kids – FELT CROWNS

clive

We’ve found one way to get parents’ attention is to have something for the kids to do. Red Bank has a street fair twice a year and this Spring, we had felt crowns available for the kids to decorate. 

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We took two strips of different colored felt, cut the points into the top and sewed them together.

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Then we had buckets of buttons and beads ready for the kids to pick out their “jewels”.  We threaded needles ahead of time so we could sew them where directed.


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We charged $5 a crown and we were the hit of the street fair!

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Children’s Book Day – What Was Your Favorite?

Tuesday, 4/2/13, was Children’s Book Day.  We posted this picture of Clive showing our favorite Childrens Books on our Facebook page (come on over and like us, all the cool kids are), Twitter and Instagram.

clive childrens books

 

Along with the picture of our favorite childrens books, we asked the obviuos question, what is your favorite childrens book?  We loved reading the responses and most made us think “oh, I forgot that one!” but there were also a couple we hadn’t heard of giving us something new to look for the next time we are in the bookstore.

The more popular responses found on all our media outlets were:

A Little Princess by Francis Hodgson Burnett – this links to a used copy of the version we read as kids with illustrations by Tasha Tudor

The Bridge To Terebithia by Katherine Patterson

Are You My Mother? By P D Eastman

Thornton W Burgess Animal Stories –  We are not familiar with these, so we’re looking forward to finding them and trying them out.

Stuart Little by E. B. White

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

So? What was your favorite book to read when you were growing up?

PARENT WORKSHOPS – Organizing Clutter

Mary Beth & Helen from Fragile Earth flanking Jessica from Organize by Design

Mary Beth & Helen from Fragile Earth flanking Jessica from Organize by Design

Last night, we held our first Parent Workshop. Jessica from Organize by Design came in and talked about getting toys (and clutter in general) under control. We had wine and cheese and Helen made cookies and brownies. Clive got very excited about the food!

Clive! Get away from the cookies!!

Clive! Get away from the cookies!!

We had four parents attend which is a modest amount but it worked out well because Jessica could focus on their specific needs. Here are the highlights from her talk:

1.     Minimize what you have

  • Do you have more than one of a toy?
  • Look at the quality of the toys you have. Are the little pieces that come from happy meals worth saving? Hold onto the good quality toys.

2.    Keep your kids from adding to the clutter by using the Buy One Purge One Rule.

  • Every time something new comes in, something old needs to be donated. Have your kids think carefully when they want a new toy – what will they give up in exchange? 
  • If you are cleaning out clutter, donate four or five items and then they can get a new toy or stuffed animal.

3.    Educate your children about how little less fortunate children actually have.

  • If they have a toy that they haven’t played with recently, maybe they would like to donate it to someone who has less. Put a face to those in need by having your children volunteer at a local shelter with you. Make it personal for them
  • Help them want to share what they have.

4.     HOPE CHEST

  • We all want to keep everything our children make and love, however this just promotes clutter. Get a crate/chest/box with a top. Everything you will keep for them over the next 18 years must fit into this box. Evaluate exactly what you want to keep – does it deserve a place in the box?

 If you are near Red Bank and have toys to give away, but don’t know what to do with them, Fragile Earth and Jessica want to help out. On the 15th of each month, Fragile Earth will have a bin available for donations and Jessica has a large network of shelters and schools that welcome gently used toys. We will make sure they get to deserving children. Jessica is also putting together pictures of some of the children who have received her donations in the past that we will have in the store so your children can see just who gets the toys they give away.

Jessica Varian-Carroll from Organize by Design speaking

Jessica Varian-Carroll from Organize by Design speaking

There were some great questions from the parents and ideas exchanged. It was a really fun night. We are planning our next workshop and will let everyone know when we have the details finalized.

Another One Lost to the Cuts

Twice a year, Jellycat comes out with new products. As the time approaches, we check their website religiously, looking for new pictures. And thus begins the texting & gasping & “Oh My God, did you see this?!!!”, and there may be a squeal or two. We take our jobs very seriously here at Fragile Earth!

Working hard!

Working hard!

 

However, since Jellycat refuses to maintain a warehouse the size of Minnesota, as they bring in new lines, they discontinue certain products. We’re not sure how these choices are made since the ones they opt to “put in the vault”  inevitably sell well for us. It is with trepidation that we check the list to see who is being retired every year.

Prior Mascot

Prior Mascot

One of the recent cuts is the Medium Cordy Roy Aardvark, as in CLIVE!

Hey can I borrow this?  It's just my size

Hey can I borrow this? It’s just my size

My heart may have actually skipped a beat when I saw that. We put the word out on Facebook that what we have in stock is the last of his kind for us. “Alas, poor Clive, we knew him well!”

Clive in his Batman gear looking for the Batmobile

Clive in his Batman gear looking for the Batmobile

*Disclosure: For now, Jellcat will continue making the Small Cordy Roy Aardvark, just not the medium size.

My brother felt that Brayden NEEDED a Clive of his own so, since Bray was visiting us for the weekend, he went home with his very own Fragile Earth mascot. Last night, we got these pictures of Clive in his new home 

One of the Clive's has gone to live in Baltimore

One of the Clives has gone to live in Baltimore

with the text “At least I can learn my alphabet.” 

Of course Clive already knows his alphabet, in 4 languages!

Of course Clive already knows his alphabet, in 4 languages!

I informed him that Clive is fluent in both Latin and Greek and conjugates irregular French verbs to clear his mind. He will fit in perfectly. But beware of that child, Clive! He bites!!

Brayden, wearing a dinosaur hat, gnawing on a bowl

Brayden, wearing a dinosaur hat, gnawing on a bowl

If you would like an aardvark of your own, we have three left in stock, and after that, he is gone for good! Of course, we will be keeping our Clive and he will continue to be the mascot of Fragile Earth, going where no aardvark has gone before!

*Clive is a Medium Jellycat Cordy Roy Aardvark and can be purchased online at our website or in our store Fragile Earth in Red Bank, NJ

Clive Takes To Manhattan For The New York International Gift Show (NYIGF)

This week Clive went to the New York International Gift Show.  He spent a great deal of money buying new inventory for Fragile Earth and we cannot wait until it all starts to arrive so we can show it off to all of you.  This trip was also Clive’s introduction to Instagram and we had a blast documenting his trip.

Clive powering up with a bagel for the ride into NYC

Clive powering up with a bagel for the ride into NYC

In the Lincoln Tunnel, is that a leak?

In the Lincoln Tunnel, is that a leak?

First stop to invite friends from Monster Factory to come to Red Bank.  They can't come until May but they are coming!

First stop to invite friends from Monster Factory to come to Red Bank. They can’t come until May but they are coming!

Hey can I borrow this?  It's just my size

Hey can I borrow this? It’s just my size

Vintage games?  They'll be arriving in the next couple of weeks

Vintage games? They’ll be arriving in the next couple of weeks

Clive loved the Gift Tins from Apples & Pears

Clive loved the Gift Tins from Apples & Pears

Dammit Dolls are a must have

Dammit Dolls are a must have

Clive picked out some great learning games from Gryphon Designs

Clive picked out some great learning games from Gryphon Designs

Clive goes to school and takes a class on 50 Shades of Marketing.  Diet Coke is a must have for any student.

Clive goes to school and takes a class on 50 Shades of Marketing. Diet Coke is a must have for any student.

Never one to waste time, Clive catches up in the car on an article about mobile marketing.

Never one to waste time, Clive catches up in the car on an article about mobile marketing.

Stay tuned.  As all the great new items arrive, we’ll be sure to introduce and showcase them here on the blog.

In the mean time, if you would like to keep up with Clive’s comings and goings, why not follow us on Facebook and Instagram?

**Clive is a Jellycat Cordy Roy Aardvark and can be purchased from our online store or in person at our Red Bank, NJ location.

Handmade Bibs. Who Knew They Would Be So Popular

Two years ago I got my first sewing machine and I found a pattern to make baby bibs which looked easy enough for me to try.  Not only was it fairly easy, I found I really enjoyed making them.  So I made up two or three and brought them into Fragile Earth to see if anyone would be interested in buying them.  At this point, my sister in law was pregnant with this guy.

Please note the dashing baseball bib he is modeling!

Please note the dashing baseball bib he is modeling!

So I knew, if worse came to worse, I would send them down to her.

hello kitty valentine's day bib

 

The next day we sold our first bib in the store and, as I am wont to do, I got so excited I ordered a TON of fabric to start my new bib making empire.  While it never turned into an empire, our bibs have turned into one of our best selling items in the store.  The funny thing is we put them on etsy and online and they don’t sell, except one every blue moon.  I wonder why?

 snoopy st patrick's day bib

So we continue to make bibs and now we are adding special holiday bibs.  Stay tuned for our Easter collection coming soon.