Meanwhile…at the Banister House


My goodness it’s been a long time since I popped in over here. I’ve been pretty active over on Instagram but I guess I needed a bit of a break from the blog format for a bit. Just long enough for me to be missing it again. I’ve been working on so many projects such as my dolls and the website which I’m working hard to get up this month. Oh man…so much on my plate and sometimes so much of me wants to kick it all to the curb. I’ve loved this journey I’ve been on but I feel a need for a change a bit. Not sure what that is just yet but I’m sort of tired of the social media world. Don’t worry I’m not going anywhere but I am trying to find my place in it all as a mamma of three whose children are growing older and and one who is growing older right along with them (funny how that happens).


Looking at my oldest, seeing him and how he’s been on this journey with me for this whole creative blog journey. It’s been great. Creativity looks different for him today though. He’s always loved patterns, and art with order. Which is translating itself into math and programming. He’s really intersted in video game programming and really wants to be a You Tube gamer (oh boy). He loves reading too and is in the middle of the Harry Potter series with is pretty magical to see. Today he woke me up at 6 AM telling me he needed a Dumbledore costume stat for his fictional character dress up day at school. Thanks for the notice kid ;). So I made a quick beard and sent him off to school with one of my black drapey jacket thingys and Ollie wore his Harry Potter costume from last Halloween.

Well not two hours into school I get a call from his school saying he face planted on the playground after tripping on the Dumbledore robe. He told me he thought he’d look cool with the robe trailing after him as he ran (which no doubt he did) but it backfired on him. He was pretty shook up as he blacked out for a bit and couldn’t get up right away so I checked him out of school and let him rest and play puzzles (another one of those orderly things he loves to do) at home the rest of the afternoon. banhousemay1 banhousemay3 banhousemay5

I had Milla’s little cousin over today as well and the girls were the cutest little dress up crafters. They changes about 5 times and ended up in comfy clothes going nuts at the homework/craft table.banhousemay7 banhousemay9 (more…)

Easter 2016 recap


Easter came fast and furious this year and just at the tail end of some really big deadlines for me. So we grabbed everything from years past and made the best of it. Turned out to be just the lovely serene Sunday we hoped for filled with Easter magic.

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the kids got up early excited for a hunt. And what did we do? well make them all take showers and put on their easter Sunday Dress of course. So after a delicious breakfast of french toast the kids we’re able to dig through their baskets and then hunt for eggs in the yard.


We started a tradition this year of having a large gold egg and each child’s plate filled with one special toy. They loved it.


We also pulled out our pillow case bunny bags, and adaptation of our ever popular bunny pouch, for the kids again this year which they loved.



With Easter arriving so early this year I think we’re all still wondering how it all came and went in a whirlwind. But rest assured there’s still plenty of Easter candy left over to tide us over.

A ’10 Things I Love About You’ Birthday Cake

10 Things I Love About You Cake | Mer Mag

Our oldest celebrated his 10th birthday yesterday (I can’t believe we’ve hit double digits!) and we made him a ’10 Things I Love About You’ ice cream cake. We made the cake by layering several kids of Atticus’ favorite ice cream flavors (mint chip, cotton candy and birthday cake) in-between layers of crushed Oreos drizzled with caramel. We used Oreo cookie crust for the bottom of the cake. Then I pushed in an entire tub of sprinkles into the ice cream after it had been assembled and frozen for a few hours.

As a family we all chose words that made us think of Atticus and why we love him and then put them on little flags attached to skewers. He loved it and I know it made him feel particularly special on this day. The cake was super yummy too and was devoured quite quickly. yummmmmm.

Meanwhile at the Banister House…


I’ve been obsessed with industrial laundry carts not only for their vintage appeal but for their utilitarian aspects as well. This we our Schoolhouse Electric laundry cart arrived and I’m smitten with it. The kids want to race up and down the hall with it but I’m just happy to have a designated place for them to dump all their dirty socks.


Bows and a Bunny

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About a year ago I found the most adorable vintage dress while thrifting in Colorado with my sister. I’ve been waiting for Miss M to fit it and now she finally does! So the other week we had lovely time playing hide and seek, drawing pictures and putting Free Babes adorable bows on Mr Bunny (who I’m hopping to have a few more of in the shop for Easter).

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A Playful and Foodstirs Giveaway on Instagram!

tiger and lion cupcake toppers | mer magFoodstirs + Playful giveawaytiger and lion cupcake toppers | mer mag; Foodstirs + Playful giveaway

Hi friends. I’m excited to share that I’ve partnered with Foodstirs to give away both my book Playful: Fun Projects to Make With and For Kids, and their amazing baking kits to 3 lucky winners! You’re in for a really fun and yummy time! Just follow me @mer_mag and @foodstirs, then tag 2 friends who would want a book and a kit too! All 3 of you may win! Winners will be selected on Friday morning. This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents.  (more…)

DIY Swan Valentine Box


I love celebrating Valentines with toddlers/preschoolers. When we lived in Cali we used to take the boys to a little kids Valentines exchange where the little ones got to make valentines for their friends and pass them out. I’d love to do something like that with Miss M this weekend. Just maybe invite over about 4 friends and make some cookies and give away cards. And the cards are fun but I’ve always been a big fan of the boxes that the Valentines go in (hence our mailbox from a few year ago). And like our mailbox, I love it when they can be used for pretend play or decorative storage later on. So this year we made a black swan from a tissue box. Turned out to be an easy project with a lovely result.


To make this box you’ll need:

  • one tissue box (horizontally oriented)
  • paint
  • black cardstock
  • a large cereal box
  • glue gun and glue (use low temp if a child is helping)


Making the Swan Box:

  1. Paint your tissue box black
  2. Cut out two wing shapes in a sort of oval shape (see drawing above)
  3. Cut out several feather shapes
  4. Glue feather shapes onto wings starting with the back working towards the front of the wings
  5. Glue wings onto each side of box
  6. Cut out swan neck and head shape from cereal box like in drawing above
  7. Paint swan head (or cut out two swan head and neck shapes from paper and glue on to either side of cereal box shape. paint beak and eyes)
  8. Cut slit out of one end of tissue box
  9. Insert head into box.
  10. You swan box is now ready to take to a Valentines Day Party!


Miss M is learning how to cut and it’s fun to see her work. But mostly she loved  being my assist make sure all the conversation hearts were facing the right and then gobbling them all up afterwards.swanbox8swanbox4  swanbox6  swanbox5

Meanwhile at the Banister House…Bonnets and Pony Play

Banister House Horse Collection Banister House Horse Collection

We unintentionally started a pony collecting fever when we made our DIY cardboard and duct tape stable awhile back. We started with three Breyers horses and have since added to the collection with various thrifted finds. Just recently we added a large pony to the mix and we’re all smitten with him. 

Banister House Horse Collection Banister House Horse Collection Banister House Horse Collection

And living a historic home during the winter calls for snuggle blankets, sweater and bonnets indoors (which i Luuvvvv) and this bonnet from Briar Handmade is just the sweetest ever.

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on Miss M: bonnet from Briar Handmade; blouse and tights from Olive Juice Kids; Dress from H&M

Best Buddy Valentines

Best Buddy Valentines | Mer Mag Best Buddy Valentines | Mer Mag

Last year, soon after we had first moved into the Banister House, I made a few goofy and silly best buddy Valentines with my oldest son and I thought I’d share a few more photos from that time with you today.

Best Buddy Valentines | Mer MagBest Buddy Valentines | Mer Mag

I remember the day was especially stressful for some reason and my son and I were butting heads. When we first started making these we were both a bit uptight but as the process kept going we both mellowed out and had a lot of fun together. He made the silliest faces and we giggled, and had an overall great time of it in the end.

Best Buddy Valentines | Mer Mag

I find this to be the magic that happens when creating together. Life is so hectic, we all have things we need to do, want to do and really it can feel hard to carve out meaningful time with each other. But I’ve found that it doesn’t have to be tons of time, just a half hour even if that’s all you’ve got, to really have a memorable moment with you children or those you care about. And it doesn’t have to start out perfect with amazing feelings of togetherness either. If we waited for that, well we might never create together! Craft can have that magical effect that calms us and brings us together (yes it can also be a challenging frustration at times and depending on the project – which is a whole other aspect of crafting that I also think is good, but I’ll save that for another post ;)).

Best Buddy Valentines | Mer Mag

I’m just grateful for this particular Valentines creative memory with my son. He’s already a year older and completely growing up all too fast. But forever he will be my best buddy Valentine.

Best Buddy Valentines | Mer Mag