Fairy dolls and Fairy books!


Friends as you may have heard (if you follow me on instagram) my Fairy Friends books series with Baby Lit books is out this week! woohoo. We’ve got a lot of fun stuff in store including a fairy book signing and scenes from a fairy tea party that I can’t wait to share!!!


The books are divided into 4 primer to help your child learn basic principles in a magical way. So i have Fairy Friends Counting, Seasons, Opposites and Colors. They are all so fun. I can’t pick a fav but I really love Counting and Amelia really loves Opposites (she can nearly “read” the entire book back to me – she pretty much has is memorized). img_8527And of course I had to make a fairy doll to go along with the books! You can pre-order your own fairy doll  in either Blue, Yellow or Mauve, as well in my shopmerrileeliddiarshop.com.img_8514  img_8539

Her First Day of Preschool!


She’s been waiting for this day for a long time. Me…not as much. Today this little lady got her back pack out, insisted on carrying and lunch and toted it all off to her first day of preschool. I just got home from picking her up and she had a great day. I however am still trying to grasp how my baby is old enough for this rite of passage. IMG_8362

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first day of school sign found on remodelaholic

dress from our favorite Nev & Hawk.

shoes from Zuzii Footwear.

Back To School with Kohls


The kids and I had a lot of fun working with Kohls this year to get geared up for back to school. We even put together a pin board with pins to help us get inspired for the transition. The boys are going to a new school this year so we’ve got a lot of changes so anything to get us pumped is good.image01


Miss Amelia just went to her first day of preschool today! I cried. she didn’t. She’s been waiting for this day for a long time!


I’m still in denial that I have a 5th grader. I’m excited about the things he’ll learn this year and he’s already so much fun to talk to.

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This kid is excited to be a 2nd grader and is already reading like a pro.image05 image06  image08   image11 image12 image13 (more…)

A Back-to-School Round Up

Funny Face Pencil Holders

Back-to-School time has always been a favorite time of year for me. I love school supplies and making them even more fun with quirky pencil holders or adding a flower on top is just the ticket.

Here are a few of our favorite ways to spruce up supplies:

Playful Pencil Holder Heads: 

Funny Face Pencil Holders

We made these for my book PLAYFUL and they are so easy and fun. We love having these friends hanging around our art table. Get the DIY here.

Pencil Holder Heads from Mer Mag's book PLAYFUL


DIY Silly Face Supplies Apron: Perfect for having all  your creative supplies at the ready!

silly face apron DIY


School Lunch Notes and Sticker Downloads:  Perfect for just that little bit of encouragement

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Decorate Duct Tape CanistersDuct Tape Pencil Holders

It’s so easy to make the fun supply cans. Just grab a discarded empty container such as a tin can, cover in duct tape and decorate!

Mer Mag | Duct Tape Cans and Homework Center Mer Mag | Duct Tape Canisters Mer Mag | Duct Tape Canisters for plants and supplies

These guys are perfect for plants as well. See more here and here.
Mer Mag | Duct Tape Canisters for plants and supplies


Easy Flower Pencil Toppers: so easy for little ones to make and so fun! so more here.

Mer Mag Flower Pencil Toppers


Round up of Some of Our Favorite Supplies!



DIY Play Clock: 



Host your own Kids Craft Camp!


Hi Friends! I’m over on Studio5 KSL today talking about how to run your own Kids Craft Camp from your very own home!


Last summer I held two Kids Craft Camps and it was a blast! We split things up into units such as Camping, Nature, Portrait, Animals, etc. I learned a lot such as how to set up a classroom, keep kids engaged, and how to start of right so that everyone is on on the same page and things don’t get too out of control 😉 as well as what type of crafts seemed to wokr best and how to get kids to think outside of the box and put their own stamp on things. I put all of this in a little syllabus, on top of the 8 engaging craft DIY videos, badges for each unit and toy downloads, in our online Kids Craft Camp and am sharing it with you this weekend at a 10% discount using code “studio5“.

MerMagsKidsCraftCampNatureUnit5 MerMagsKidsCraftCampNatureUnit2 Kids Craft Camp | Animal Unit Kiddie Made Cat Mask | Mer Mag Kids Craft Camp LionPinataforMerMag'sKidsCraftCamp9 KidsCrafCampBadgesandFaceBlocksviaMerMag

Wooden Bead Puppet | Mer Mag & Kids Craft Camp


If you hold a camp we’d love to see pics and hear how it goes! tag pics with #kidscraftcamp on Instagram and Facebook to share. Can’t wait to see your little Picasso’s at work!

New Doll Site Launched!!


160329_MerMag_Dolls_Shot5_1279Friends I’m so excited to finally share with you my new doll shop, merrileeliddiardshop.com. It’ been a long time in the works and it’s almost surreal to see it finally come to life! Each heirloom doll is one-of-a-kind, handmade with a hand painted face. They are oversized at 26″ long (with the exception of the mini dolls) and are the perfect playmates, star gazers, tea party guests, snuggle buddies and the very best of friends.

160329_MerMag_Dolls_Shot1_071 160329_MerMag_Dolls_Shot7_1705It was such a pleasure to work with photographer Chaunte Vaughn and stylist Meta Coleman as well as so many darling little models for this magical venture. 160329_MerMag_Dolls_Shot3_783b

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I do hope you’ll hop on over and grow to love our little friends as much as we do around here.



Doll Face


We had a fun time playing with some extra cardboard laying around the house (online shopping…you know the drill :0). I decided to make a little doll face mask for Miss M and my little performer loved it. She has her first ballet recital in a couple of weeks and I can’t wait. She’s going to be one of Cinderella’s bunnies. Hop hop.

DollFaceMask  DollFaceMask3

Oh and everyday she insists on wearing tights or leggings (even though I tell her she doesn’t need them in the summer with her dresses). Her current favorite are these ballet ones with the heel holes. Crazy kid.

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.


the kids got up early excited for a hunt. And what did we do? well made them all take showers and put on their easter Sunday Dress of course (mean parents). 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.


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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.