Step into the magical world of PLAYFUL! Fun Projects to Make With + For Kids

I’ve been dying to share so much more of Playful: Fun Projects to Make With + For Kids with all of you and the day has finally come that I can! Yipee!!

Let’s start with this dreamy book trailer, shall we? I’m so enamoured with the magical work of Jenner Brown, videographer behind this Playful book trailer (and videographer for my Kids Craft Camp). This mini film takes me back to my own imaginative childhood – touching on how I saw the world to be and the way I wanted things to feel and sound like. I love how the music builds and when you get to the knights fighting in the field, well let’s just say both Jon and I had to wipe our eyes a bit – yeah it got us good. I hope it inspires you and your little ones as much as it did us!

Playful: Fun Projects to Make With + For Kids

And as for the book itself, where do I start? This has truly been a dream come true. A magical dream laced with a whole lot of figurative blood, real sweat and perhaps even a few tears. But like all creative births it can’t come without a bit of taxing and sleepless nights right? When I set out to make this book over two years ago I had three visions. 1) To bring back the idea that yes we can make toys and create simple magic for our children today, just as our grandparents did. And that endeavor of doing so enriches and enlightens our familial and creative experiences. 2) To make something that would double as an inspirational lifestyle coffee table book of sorts – so the ineteriors and clothing would be just as enticing as the crafts. 3) to introduce simple, easy and loveable toys and crafts that would be fun to make from everyday supplies that would then inspire imagination and playfulness.

The book is divided up into 5 catergories:

Playful Paper Crafts

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PlayfulPuppetsbyMerMag

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PlayfulPaperPlateMasksbyMerMag

Playful Dress Up

PlayfulNightsbyMerMag

PlayfulFairMaidenbyMerMag

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PlayfulTwigCrownbyMerMag

Playful Toys

PlayfulVillage

PlayfulSquiggleTilesbyMerMagPlayfulWoodTiles

Playful Art

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Playful Repurposing

PlayfulDuctTapeShippingTrucksbyMerMag

PlayfulBrownstonesbyMerMagPlayful Brownstones by MerMag

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It was such a privleledge to work with some very talented individuals such as my editor Melanie Falick, Playful’s photographer Nicole Gerulat, designer Brooke Reynolds, stylists Meta Coleman and Brittany Watson Jepsen and more who all worked tirelessly on this book (we had some good late night loony sessions that would have you giggling on the floor!). We went for a Playful French, Scandi Modern vibe going for Playful and I love how everything turned out. I can’t wait to see what YOU come up with based on the toys and crafts in this book. And I do hope you share!! Please tag #playfullymade on any Instagram or Facebook posts, etc. when sharing your creations. I hope to have a well of creative projects made by you and your little ones that will inspire us all! Really any of these can be taken in so may different directions and I can’t wait to see what your touch might be!

Oh and don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY! Ends next week. I’m gifting one trapeze doll and one book to two lucky readers (individually but you could possibly win both)! You can enter on the previous post here or even enter here as well. Pin or repost on Facebook any of these images with the tag #playfultoysandcrafts for an extra entry!

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And if you’re in the Provo Utah area next week on Sept. 23 please do stop in the library for some crafty good fun as we celebrate the launch of Playful! Goodie bags to the first 35 guest, crafting, snacks, an adorable photoboth and more! Crafts and party sponsored by Astrobrights Paper and Photobooth sponsored by Nicole’s Classes. You can register here on Eventbrite if you like so we can get a better headcount (it’s free this is just to anticipate food needs, etc.). Hope to see you there!

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Get your own copy of Playful: Fun Projects to Make With + For Kids today anywhere books are sold online such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, STC Craft and in a bookstore near you.

 

Playful Film Trailer: Behind the Scenes Part 2

PlayfulTrailerFilmingBrownstones

I’m sharing a few more “behind the scenes” shots from our Playful shoot with Jenner Brown, such as these brownstone cardboard dollhouses (inspired by my Brooklyn, NY days with a touch of Danish Row house in for colorful effect).

I pulled Meta in to quickly help style these shots a bit and she brought her darling Maileg mice again (perfect inhabitants for these houses. I know what little M is getting for her birthday, and Christmas, and…). (On Swayzie above: Miszkomaszko skirt, Ju Ju Bunny blouse and Hello Shisho necklace.)

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(On Swayzie: Mabo Kids Mila Apron Sundress in Green Floral, on Lucy: Mabo Kids Wynne Swiss Dot Dress with Playful trapeze doll. Enter to win one of the dolls here!)

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(on Henrik: Winter Water Factory top, Playful knight smock, Mabo Kids Blue Nautical Leggings: On little O: Playful night smock, Mabo Kids Chartruese Leggings)

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When I was a little girl, this was the exact sort of French fair maiden princess I wanted to be (pattern found in Playful)- with the exact shade of pink I loved (not to bright, not too pastel, just a nice coral peachy pink). I love that this version is so simple to make and the perfect dress up to put over everyday clothes. She makes me want to spend hours in a field again dreaming up tea parties and treaties that needed to be signed in order to save our kingdom.

It’s Book Launch Day!!! so that means a GIVEAWAY!!

Playful: Fun Projects to Make With + For Kids

It’s Book launch day!!! No more grumpy faces (unless they are as cute as this one below!) because at long last Playful: Fun Projects to Make With + For Kids is here!!! And available wherever books are sold, online and off. Grab your copy and bring it to our launch party a week from today!

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To celebrate I have a number of fun giveaways going on! First off is this sweet trapeze doll, sister to the one on the cover, seen below! Just comment here to enter to win the doll. Pin or post on your facebook page an image from this post and you’ll also be entered to win a signed copy of Playful for yourself! Giveway goes until the launch party next week on Sept 23rd when I’ll announce the winner of the doll and book. (yes, you could potentially win both!).

PlayfulTrapezeDollGiveaway!

But the love doesn’t stop there I’m also giving away two books on Instagram! Woo hoo!! Follow me there and tag a friend who would like this book as well (this one ends 12 pm PST tonight). (Oh and check out Playful’s dream team @nicolegerulat, @onemoremushroom and @housethatlarsbuilt, as they are giving away copies as well)!!

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I do hope you love Playful as much as I do. It’s been such a special project to work on and I couldn’t have done it without the help of soooo many talented indviduals such as my publisher, Melanie of STC Craft, Playful’s amazing photographer Nicole Gerulat of Nicole’s Classes (who is also sponsoring the photo boot at the launch party! woohoo!!), book designer Brooke Reynolds, kids interior stylist Meta Coleman, stylist with an incredible eye for kids clothing, Brittany Watson Jepsen , hair and makeup by Aubrey Nelsen and Kamra, and the many many extraordinary children who brought all this playful magic to life in these pages. And of course to all of YOU!!! My Mer Mag readers who really make all that I do so so meaningful. I really love seeing what you and your little ones are creating and you insipire me everyday. So thank you!!!!

Make your own cardboard car + Kids 21 instagram contest!

racing car out of cardboard | Mer Mag

It’s Formula 1 racing season and to celebrate with our friends Kids 21 we’ve made some cardboard race cars. We’ve shared our DIY on the Kids 21 facebook page where they are having a really great instagram contest! You could win your very own model Ferrari car. To enter, simply style your kids up in the perfect red outfit (Ferrari red of course a favourite!) and post a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #kids21xferrari. To double your chances of winning, craft a car from the instructions here and similarly post a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #kids21xferrari.

racing car out of cardboard | Mer Mag

Let the races begin!

 

PLAYFUL book launch party! Are you coming?

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Every day gets a little closer to my PLAYFUL: Fun Projects to Make With + For Kids book release (next tuesday, sept. 16th!) and I couldn’t be more excited!! Are you receiving your pre-orders yet? I’ve heard from a number of you that they are trickling in. So exciting. I hope you and your littles love it as much as I do!

To celebrate this exciting book I’m putting together a launch party for Tuesday, Sept. 23 at the Provo, Ut Library. Drop in any time from 6:30-8:30 for a book signing (bring your books or purchase more at the event!) some crafting of course! and some yummy little snacks. So gather the kiddos and come get Playful!

Oh and or some extra fun the first 35 guests will receive a tote bag full of goodies! Many of which are trickling in now and I’m just crazy about what’s in these. Oh this is going to be so much fun!!!

 

xo

Mer

(Party and crafts sponsored by Astrobrights, the best supplier of beautiful bright paper to colorize your crafts! And we have a really fun photobooth in mind that will be sponsored by Nicole’s Classes – of Nicole Gerulat, the one and only amazing photographer of PLAYFUL!)

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PLAYFUL press in Redbook Magazine!

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So fun to see this write up in the Sept. 2014 issue of Redbook Magazine on my book Playful! (which is hitting the shelves on Sept. 16th! Sooo soon!!!) I love how it’s mentioned that the above tigar pinata doubles as both activity and decor for a party. So true!! Are you not not dying over Nicole’s photography and Meta and Brittany’s styling? I mean really. These gals took this from a great DIY craft and toy resource book to a killer coffee table book. Seriously. (This shoot is a personal fav from the book).

And how cute is this spot on my paper plate masks (below)? I love the history of how these came to be in the book. When i was a tween/teen I used to have a babysitting system down where I would take paper plates, colored paper, glue, etc. along with a batch of cookie dough to my appointments. The kids and I would then have a great time making animal masks from the plates, crawl around the living room pretending we were in the jungle and then finish it all of with some milk and cookies before bedtime. I remember it was a ton a fun! So I decided to share a version of this craft in my book Playful for all of you and your little ones to make. Super easy, fun and very affordable!

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PLAYFUL film trailer: Behind the Scenes

Lucy and Doll | Mer Mag Playful film shoot

This weekend we shot the film trailer for my book Playful: Fun Projects to Make With + For Kids with Jenner Brown of Lumineux Films. I really love working with him. He’s so great with kids, has lovely ideas and took us to some amazing locations such as this dreamy field below. We used a lot of amazing clothing from companies such as Mabo Kids (I’m smitten with her clothing such as this Wynn dress above on Lucy with our trapeze doll from the book) and Alfie Children’s Apparel (that hat!!). Oh and I was lucky enough to get some set styling help from friend and children’s design expert Meta. We sort of finish eachother’s sentances so it works out super great.

Mer Mag Playful film shoot

And how cute is this behind the scens shot (below) of all our girls for the shoot? (the boys were off playing on piles of dirt and couldn’t be kept still for more than a few mintutes). This is in a new shared studio space that is in the process of being updated (although I simply had to sneak in an use the weathered industrial aspects of it for my trailer before it got too glossy ;)). I can’t wait to use it more down the road! Will make things so much better and more exciting!

Mer Mag Playful film shoot

I simply can’t wait to see the finished trailer! And when it’s ready to go I’ll be sure to share it will all of you!

 

And mark your calendars for Sept. 16 because that is when Playful hits the shelves. Pre-order online now for a discount! Oh and I’m working on my book launch party. More details on that soon!

 

Make Your Own Duct Tape Pencil Holders – And Back to School Homework Station

Mer Mag | Duct Tape Canisters

There is something special in the air when Back-to-School time runs around. It’s filled with the smell of freshly sharpened pencils, new markers and blank note books begging to be filled. It calls for growth, acheivement, learning and new horizons. And I absolutely LOVE every bit of it. To get set for afterschool homework and crafty afternoons we made these fun and playful duct tape canisters. Head on over to Minted for the full DIY.

Mer Mag | Duct Tape Cans and Homework Center

Little O is in Kindergarten this year and it’s so fun to see him get more “studious”. But to get there we have to  have to make education a whole lot of FUN (which is one of my favorite things about early schooling).

Mer Mag | Crafty Homework SpaceMer Mag | Duct Tape Canisters for plants and supplies

Setting up an exciting environment that encourages learning and creativity is where it’s at for us. For crafting this means a lot of colorful art supplies available and on hand. And some great note taking paper to encourage story telling.

Mer Mag | Crafty Homework Space

And of course books. I’m such a HUGE fan of books so I try to teach my kids that all great stories, characters, etc. start in books. My boys are already obsessed with telling stories and drawing the characters to go with. In fact we’ve been working on our own super hero stories for each kid and just might try to concieve of and make their costumes for the kids Halloween this year. Here’s hoping we can pull it off!

 

Photography by Trisha Zemp

Crafts and Styling by Merrilee Liddiard

For Duct Tape Can DIY visit Minted 

 

Instantly Framed: Little Miss Easter Dress

Mer Mag |instantly framed instagram pic

One of our sponsors for our Midsummer Mingle party was the fabulous company, Instantly Framed. They create really hi end quality framed photos from your instagram photos. And you can do it all from your phone! Too easy. We framed one of our favorite photos if Little Miss in her Easter dress. I’m so happy to have photos of my kids framed and ready to go. Sometimes I sit on things to long and forget to print and frame them so this was nice and easy for me.

Mer Mag Easter 2014

For a limited time, Instantly framed is also offering Mer Mag readers a discount on your own Instantly Framed orders.

$15 off 1 frame $25 off 2 frames and $35 off 4 frames with the code: Mingle15. You have until Aug. 31 to enter this code for the discount so pic out your favorite instagram photos now and get ordering!

Mer Mag Interview on Smart Creative Women

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I had the best time chatting with Monica Lee of Smart Creative Women last week and the interview is now up on her site! We talked about so many things that creatives go through such as finding your voice, juggling you creative, business and personal life (especially as a mamma!). I’d love your thoughts on these subjects and more as I’m always looking for ideas and love to hear we each have “figured it out” (in quotations because seriously we’re always “figuring it out”, right? Hop on over here to see more.

(above pic by my five year old in my very messy but very crafty studio).

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