Monday, December 17, 2007

Tissue Paper Silhouettes

We've been having fun during the past couple of weeks experimenting with what I call stained glass ornaments but what are really tissue paper silhouettes. I remember making these at school. The tissue paper always got destroyed by that goopy, almost congealed, white glue and plastic applicators we had to use. But now we have Martha Stewart craft supplies from Michaels.

For the first one, my little boy drew a house and I cut out the windows and door and backed it with tissue paper.

Being a mom in a boy's world

For the second one I used the ornament template at and copied a Disneyland silhouette we had made when the kid was about two.

Tissue Paper Silhouettes, part 2

Any tissue paper will do but I've been using some Eric Carle designed tissue from the Klutz book You Can Make a College. It adds a festive touch. Apart from the tissue paper all you need is black construction paper, an exacto knife and craft glue.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Recycled Paper Tube Ornaments

My mom (a kinder and first grade teacher for many many years) put me onto this one.

Slice up a paper towel or similar paper roll into rings about 2 inches wide.

Let the kids decorate! We painted the tubes, brought out the glitter glue and dipped into our stash of pompoms, sequins and googly eyes.

for the tree


paper roll ornament

Ready for the tree - and easy for little fingers to hang themselves. Simply place ring over the end of a branch.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Paper Chains

There's something very evocative about paper chains and I look forward to making them every year. This year we mixed it up a little and made pink and orange ones to match the pink Christmas tree.

Paper chains

There have been some beautiful variations on a theme this year including:

Tiny paper chains over at pixiegenne

Fabric chains over at The Small Object

Knitted chains at Cath Kidston in London spotted by Fredsworld

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Recycled Card Ornaments


I have fond memories of making recycled card ornaments as a kid.
First grade maybe?

found at the goodwill

And then these, that were found over the weekend at the Goodwill. I have serious love for vintage holiday cards and these showcased them perfectly. Who knows, perhaps the ones we made this year will someday be sold for $0.99 to a vintage (2007)card lover !

(More details of how we did ours and a link to a how-to here.)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Homemade Holiday Decoratios

Thanks to everyone who visited us during November for our holiday gift guide. It was a lot of fun to put together. For the next week or so we are going to be featuring homemade holiday decorations, both ones we've made ourselves and ones we've noticed out there in blogland. Enjoy!

I was flipping through Living Etc and got inspired by this photo of edible decorations. So over the weekend we had a go at making some of our own garlands with marshmallows and cranberries.



I'm loving the classic cranberries but the Cheerio garland turned out pretty well too.

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Wooden Wonder Vanity


$48 from The Small Object

The only question I have - is do I need to get one, or two??

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Doll Crib

Handmade, hand-painted little crib.

$79.90 at Kangarooboo

Monday, November 26, 2007

Mr. Village Bunny

Made of white 100% linen fabric (front and ears) and sand brown striped cotton/linen fabric (backside).

$20.00 at

Friday, November 23, 2007

kinchi Vintage Florals children scarf

Made from 7 different vintage fabrics.

$26.00 at

You really can't go wrong with anything from kinchi!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Moose Pair

Preservative-Free Rubberwood, Non-Toxic Water-Based Paint and/or Lacquer.

$5.95 at Planet Happy

It was hard to decide which one to feature. The bears and lions are also pretty special.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Fish and Boat Stacker

Made in Germany using plant dyed wood.

$35.95 at A Toy Garden

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Hand made from cotton.

$60.00 at Wren Handmade

Monday, November 19, 2007

Knitted Pig Kit

Kit includes wool yarn, plant-dyed wool roving for stuffing and detailed instructions.

$9.95 at Willow Tree Toys

Friday, November 16, 2007

Pine Log Truck

Hand made in the USA of smoothly sanded Sugar Pine.

$21.95 at A Toy Garden

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mermaid Shadow Puppet

Perfect for bedtime storytelling

Made of laser-cut matboard.
$10.50 from Owly shadow puppets

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

C is for Cat

Organic cotton wrap dress by Fig Organics
$36 at Black Wagon

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Handmade Baby Doll

One of a kind doll for your one of a kind doll($80 from themayfly)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Baby Shoes

Beautifully made from recycled, vintage fabrics.

$20.00 at tiny happy

The tiny happy shop

Friday, November 9, 2007

Holztiger T. Rex

Handcrafted in Germany from solid hardwood and hand-painted with nontoxic, waterbased paints.


$11.25 at PADiLLY

Other Dragons & Dinosaurs

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Days of the Week Barettes

days_medium $30 at Little Something

Wool Felt Applique Wallet

Made from cotton canvas with wool felt appliqué cat.

For the girls, both big and small, on your list.

$23 at bubbledog

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Organic Teething Mushroom

Made from 100% certified organic Egyptian cotton.

Who wouldn't want to chew on this?

$6 at babystyle

Monday, November 5, 2007

Pom-Pom Cap

Hand made from organic merino wool

$24 at shescrafty

Sunday, November 4, 2007


lunchbags for wee nieces

This was my big gift giving push last holiday. I made lunch bags for each of my neices, nephew,and friends' littles and partnered them with a cute Sigg water bottle ($15 and up at You can find how to make your own, and other lunch bag ideas here along with other great gift ideas as part of Sew, Mama, Sew!'s Handmade Holidays: 30 Days of Gifts to Sew.

Saturday, November 3, 2007



By gochi at chigo

{I first spotted these over at hoping for happy accidents - then a beautiful "did-it-themselves" version at ~~ . they are now on my d.i.y. holiday gift giving list.}

Friday, November 2, 2007

Baby Fish Rattle

I'm not sure you need a baby to enjoy this one.

$35 at The Wooden Wagon

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Gift Giving Ideas for the Season

Through November Two Green Chickens will be posting a gift idea a day for the little people in your life. We'll include eco-friendly, organic, and hand made products we think are just great and will hopefully inspire you to think green this season.


Made from 100% recycled material

$49 at ModernTots

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Greener Stationary

I'm always on the lookout for better choices for stationary and supplies. I recently found these "kinder" pencils at two local shops.

Pencil Love

Forrest Choice is a company based in Stockton, California and they produce pencils from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood. I found mine at my local Whole Foods but they have an online shop. The colored pencils would be great for kids and you can buy 12 boxes for $29 if you wanted to go the party favor route.

The box I have states the pencils are made in Thailand which takes the shine off a little but if you live in the UK you have Remarkable.

They again have colored pencils made out of "good wood" or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood. They also have pencils made from recycled CD cases, video cassettes, plastic cups and boxes and on and on. Best of all they make all kinds of office supplies. It looks like they make the products right there in Worcester in the Remarkable Factory. I can't tell if they ship internationally but again getting these things all the way to California defeats the purpose a little. I found mine at the Reform School in Los Angeles.

Let us know about other green stationary you buy and use.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Los Angeles Green Tour

A couple of weekends ago we were lucky enough to go on a tour connected with the Do it Now: Live Green exhibition at the Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis.

We started at a green home in Malibu owned by Colette Brooks and Eric Cadora. They talked us through figuring out a green remodel and shared some great resources with us including:

The Giam Catalogue
LaundryPure by EcoQuest. You don’t need to use detergent with this.
Trex Decking
Home Depot Eco Options
Mother Earth Magazine
Waterless Urinals by Duravit. Here is Eric in the NY Times with his.

Because of the remodel Eric has become a consultant on green building. His company is Moss Cadora

But best of all they shared their beautiful property with us which overlooks the pacific, oh, and their 5, hugely entertaining dogs!

Second was a tour of a client’s home of architect Roger White. The architect himself gave us a tour and showed us what could be done with a typical residential home. Noah Goldman who consulted on the roof solar panels was also there to talk us through some of the issues.

We then headed over to Living Green in Culver City. This is a great building materials and interior furnishings resource. Although I’ve been before, having the owner show you around adds a whole different dimension to a place like this.

Next was a prefab residence in Venice designed by Living Homes. They have a really great audio tour on their website which is worth checking out.

Finally we visited the residence of David Hertz of Syndesis, Inc.; He is currently building a home out of a 747!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

turn it off!

1 hour tonight los angeles! from 8 - 9. "Fight climate change with the flick of a switch!"

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Reduce Reuse Recycle...

My kids have become obsessed with the 3 r's. Pointing out to me each time we successfully take one on. (Reusing the milk pitcher as a bird seed scoop before putting it into the blue can scores big points!) Yes, we have even been spotted sorting the neighbors trash for them. (With L.A.'s new guidelines we want to make sure that everyone is doing all they can!) And most of their clothes come as hand-me-downs or thrift shop finds. (Lucky girls at the bottom of a line of 11 granddaughters to my mother-in-law!)

In our constant hunt for bargains, and our making a point to reuse, we are going to try and make it to annual LA Kids Consignment Sale this weekend in Van Nuys. Held twice a year, the sale features more than 20,000 new and gently used kid items from babyhood to teens. Admission is free. Hours are 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Sunday. Bargain hunters should note that on Sunday, items are 50 percent off. And pull the piggy bank down off the shelf - all sales are cash only. Seville Hall, 7963 Van Nuys Blvd. in Van Nuys. 818-693-3183.

(thanks Judy!)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Flowers and plants for your home

I'm reading, Apartment Therapy: The Eight Step Home Cure, although not quite fast enough to keep up with the blog. One thing the struck me was recommendation to buy fresh cut flowers every week. I do occasionally buy cut flowers but I'm usually disappointed that within a few days they start wilting and by the end of the week I have a brown smelly mess to deal with. I realize that if I changed the water everyday I might have better luck's to short.

Also there's the issue of the use of pesticides on many cut flowers and the distance some flowers have to travel to get to your local supermarket. Danny Seo did a blog entry about this suggesting buying from organic resources like Organic Bouquet or using garden flowers for those who have gardens.



I like to buy orchids from Trader Joe's here in southern California. I picked up these for $7.99 each and they last for months. All I have to do is water them on the weekends. I got one for Valentine’s Day and it still looked perfect in June. Now, I don't know green these plants are or where they are from. So on my to do list is to start researching house plants and looking for an organic supplier. Perhaps instead of buying cut flowers every week I'll buy a new plant every couple of months.


Here's what I have waiting on my bedside table:
How to Grow House Plants, Sunset Editors
How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office, B. C. Wolverton

Let us know if you know of any other good books or resources.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

ring ring - hello?

shopping for a new phone

sam ended up with this corded phone -


a good green choice (as you don't need to plug it into an electrical outlet you can feel confident it isn't being an energy suck!)

and i am now looking -

unless we went with two telephones - which i really didn't want to do.
we needed cordless. we tried to think we didn't. but we do. (save putting in another jack - which we will look into when we do some other electrical in the bedroom.)

this was touted in a recent magazine article for its shutting down of all extra energy consumption when not in use (stand-by mode so to speak)and came with an extra dock to plug in (which we won't use.) though i can't find mention of this feature anywhere else. hmmmm...

i also am thiking about sony. very impressed with their recent move to recycle their products without charge. (check if you have a drop-off location near you here.)

now to look into a greener telephone service provider. (info on some options over at idea bite.)

what are you dialing?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Nightlights for Kids

I've been looking for a night light for the little one's room. We now have a vintage globe light but I've suddenly started obsessing about the wiring. Some of these are more greener than others but I thought I'd share what I've found and like and ask if anyone has any recommendations.

Candleloo $39 for 2
You all know about this one. Rechargable batteries.

Sun in a Jar $48 (via AT Nursery)
Solar cell inside, along with a rechargeable battery and low energy LED lamps.

Luau Portable Lamp $250
I realy want this! I've seen it at my local DWR and it's beautiful. But at this price - I don't think so. 36-bulb LED pack and rechargeable NiMH batteries.

Shroom Light $79
Shades are manufactured by one of the last remaining millineries in the USA. Compact fluorescent light bulb.

TykeLight $20 (via AT Nursery)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Recycling Wool Sweaters

In the November 2006 issue of Martha Stewart Living there was a beautiful a and inspiring article on woolen gifts made from felted sweaters (page 152). Since then I've been on the lookout for 100% wool sweaters while thrifting. I've acquired a small but satisfying collection of mainly cashmere sweaters usually costing only a couple of dollars each.

thrifted wool sweaters

You only have to feel the softness of these sweaters to immediately think of making stuffed animals. Here's my first attempt.


There are also lots of people on Etsy making excellent use of wool sweaters. Here are some of my favorites:

Lullaboos from Margaret Wyngaard

Little Owl Grey by Chet and Dot

kitty girl 8 from Mimi Kirchner

Thursday, September 13, 2007

"help an octopus find his legs"

and clean up the beach while you are at it.


i know my littles would love this game of "seek the empty bottle" while at the beach...

by yanko design
via swissmiss

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

where do you come from?

if the law dictates that we know where our t-shirt was made by the label inside

why isn't the same standard in place for the food we bring to our table?

(an interesting piece to listen to here.)

by chance i noticed a can of organic black beans - brand of a regular stop on our grocery hunt - had a "product of china" stamp on it. (saw it once then never saw it again on another can... hmmm...)black beans and brown rice are brought to our table on a regular basis. in an attempt to eat more locally i am trying to find out where they came from. (hey, california is the breadbasket of the world they tell me, so shouldn't i be able to find them grown here?) so i am on a search. any ideas where to start?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

fantastic post over at angry chicken this a.m. regarding toys not made in china - and alot more.

thanks amy!

e's 6th bday is less than a month a way and i have been thinking of tactful ways to request no plastic and a plea for locally made. any ideas?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


an exhibition and related public programming at otis

more info here

{thanks for the info sam - it does look great!}

Monday, August 13, 2007

Made in America (Toys)

While channel hoping recently I landed on the Travel Channel's Made in America. For those who don't know this is the show where John Ratzenberger drives around the US in a bus, visiting people who make American goods. The show I saw featured Marble King in West Virginia.

Glass marbles are one of those objects of desire for me. I had no idea this place existed despite their claim to be "The World's Best Known, Best Loved Marbles". But I know where I am going for stocking stuffers for the holidays this year.

I don't know how environmentally responsible King Marble is but I like the idea of not adding to America's trade deficit by buying from home.

Do you have any favorite made in America toys?

Made in America
How to Play Marbles (UK)
How to Play Marbles (