Happy Thanksgiving!


Original Bean Bag Frog

This Fall I decided I wanted to do something special for the children who are suffering illnesses at the Seattle Children’s Hospital.

I wrote to them asking if they needed donations. I could make these beanie bag frogs for them. This is a project my cousin got me into when I would visit her for Thanksigiving when I was a child. We had great fun cutting out patterns, sewing the frogs and choosing different buttons for eyes, putting bird seed in as stuffing and then playing with them.

The volunteer at the hospital wrote back that they would love to have the frogs, but they needed to be modified. No button eyes, my heart sank, because buttons could be a choking hazard — the eyes had to be flat.  Hum.. flat eyes, I could not imagine this.  In addition, no bean bag stuffing, I had to use white stuffing.


Modified Frog Donation

Well, I still wanted to do the frog, but felt the fun of using funny button eyes and bean bag stuffing was being taken out of the project.

STILL – I got to work. You can see my modified frog. With some help from experienced sewers I came up with the felt embroidered eyes idea. Not perfect, but cute and funny looking, like a “superman” frog.

These funny looking frogs reminded me of the movie, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” when Rudolph goes to the Island of “misfit toys!”


I worked really hard last week, so I could deliver my frogs in time for Thanksgiving. When I dropped off my frogs last weekend it was extremely nice. They were very appreciative and said the frogs could be used in the play room.

I was AWARDED this green sticker!  Funny how a sticker can make even an adult feel PROUD, but that is exactly what it did!

It’s the holidays and I encourage everyone to find that special charity where they can make a donation to help others!

I promise you, your heart will grow so big!




Made in America — Maker’s Row

Photo courtesty of Maker's Row.

Photo courtesty of Maker’s Row.

Are you an apparel or home and design entrepreneur? Do you have ideas and now you need to create prototypes, find manufacturers, learn about packaging and more, but you don’t know where to go?

You’re in LUCK!  Maker’s Row has all the answers and contacts you need in one website, so you can create your prodcut “right here” in the U.S.

Maker’s Row was founded by Matthew Burnett (Detroit, MI) and Tanya Menendez (Oakland, CA) to bring manufacturing back to America; they launched in November 2012.

Interesting TV shows like “Project Runway” and “Shark Tank” have shown us that there is a lot of innovation and creativity here in the U.S., but what was lacking was “how” to reach the “right resources” to produce the product.

Burnett and Menendez picked up on this need to link entrepreneurs together with manufacturers and ran with it.

They created an online database/service where you pay by the month. This gives you access to their Project Planning Software, full search of 4,000 manufacturers, ability to message factories, factory matchmaking, dedicated sourcing support, encouragement to create your brand profile to share with others and a list of special events.

Courtersy Maker's Row website.

Courtersy Maker’s Row website.

It gets better.  They have just come out with “The Academy,” where they offer great educational online courses to help you bring your product to market.

Take a look at the factory profile videos they have online. Wonderful to read the owner’s stories and see their factory floors in process.

Their website idea is a combination of The Tech Shop (innovation) LinkedIn (monthly service fee) and Yelp (post reviews).

I am excited about Maker’s Row new manufacturing service.

Made in America — It has become a whole lot easier!

Thanks Maker’s Row!

Good Luck Chef Ian Marcel!

Tune in to Season 4 of MasterChef Junior, which starts on Friday, November 6, 2015. I am super excited to say that Chef Ian Marcel, 9 years old, is from my little beach town in Beverly Shores, Indiana.

Wow — If I was at home, I am sure a group of us would be watching this together on a BIG screen TV routing him on.

Visit The Times Media Company of Northwest Indiana’s website where you can read about Chef Ian’s journey to MasterChef Junior. He comes from a family of trained Chefs, so he has been cooking/prepping food since he was 3-4 years old. This is certainly an adventure.

Congratulations Chef Marcel!  We are all PROUD of you!


REI closes on Black Friday

Courtesy of Recreational Equipment , Inc. (REI)

Courtesy of Recreational Equipment , Inc. (REI)

Finally, a store that is willing to fight back and say, “No, we don’t need to shop on Black Friday, instead let’s enjoy the outdoors with our family and friends!”

What a GREAT move by REI (outdoor retail sports store). I agree with them. I was shocked when, a few years ago, retailers started to have special promotions on Thanksgiving Day… at midnight. Such a frenzy, it was crazy.

I’m sure many of us thought when is “enough–enough?”

REI created a wonderful website (optoutside.rei.com) to promote their closing and encourage others to follow along. I think it would be a great idea for ALL of us who “believe” that a holiday should be a holiday to share an outdoor photo on REI’s website.

I’m sure there are some fantastic photos out there!

Here’s to having some fun in the outdoors this Thanksgiving!!