City Kid: Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Now that August is walking – well, more like running – I’m always looking for new ways to engage both his brain and brawn. And with the weather slowly turning from dry and hot to rainy and cool, I’m also looking for fun indoor spaces where he can burn some energy while engaging his imagination. So where to go? One of my favorite Chicago gems: the Nature museum!

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum has been in their current space since 1999 but has been a part of Chicago’s history for more than a hundred years. An interactive educational space for people of all ages, the museum’s mission is to create a positive relationship between people and nature. Sounds like the perfect place to me!

Just a stone’s throw from the Lincoln Park Zoo, the museum sits north of Fullerton Avenue and is surrounded by a gorgeous (and hilly!) prairie restoration complete with hiking trail. It’s the perfect place to stroll your toddler before entering the museum itself. The fresh grassy smells are enough to make you want to escape the city for good. But we know that’s never going to happen, right?! At least we have a bit of ancient flat lands to explore in our urban backyard! Continue reading

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Featured Design: A Bow On It

headband

It has begun! Our once yearly mega holiday kick-off sale is in full force!

It’s the perfect time to shop for gifts for others or goodies for yourself. With lots of handmade eco-friendly items to choose from, like the adorable and utilitarian “A Bow On It” turban headband, there’s a little bit of something for everyone. Shop in my Etsy shop soon so you get the crem dela crem of my current stock.

Be sure to shop between now and Monday for the Buy One Get One Free event. More details about the event, and how you can also qualify for free shipping, can be found here.

Featured Design: The Dodger

Pierogi Picnic: The Dodger eco-friendly cowl scarf

There’s a chill in the air and the month of November is well underway – which can mean only one thing. It’s bundling season! And for that reason we’ve chosen The Dodger cowl as our featured item.

Whether it’s for keeping yourself or an eco-savvy giftee warm, this elegant and utilitarian accessory is the perfect piece for the chilling season. Available in several color combos, the grey on grey is my personal favorite as it has unisex appeal and a slightly military vibe.

Handmade using recycled sweatshirt fabrics, these uber soft and snuggly cowls are great for day-to-day wear, biking, or spicing up a weekend outfit. And with the holidays just around the bend, they’d make a great stocking stuff too! To check out which color combos are currently available visit my Etsy shop here.

Featured Designs: Cycle Sweatshirts Are Back!

pierogi picnic: sir cycle sweatshirt

They’re here – they’re here! The classic Pierogi Picnic sweatshirt is back!

Variations of the Ms Cycle and Sir Cycle design are now back in stock in my Etsy shop for a limited time only. Featuring soft upcycled fleece, a slim cut, a versatile cowl/hoodie combo and elegant detailing, this is one of my all-time favorite creations, and also a best-seller. It makes for a perfect gift for the holidays or even a treat for yourself.

But don’t delay! This design is only available in limited quantities – so if you see one in a size and color you like – snatch it up before the holiday rush makes them all disappear.

ms cycle

An Indie Biz: The Coming Spring

the coming spring

Today is the first of March – which means we’re just a couple of weeks and a few days from spring!

Winter’s always a difficult time for me to be productive, which seems counter-intuitive, right? With record breaking cold and snow, you’d think that all that time indoors would lead to bursts of creativity and hours upon hours of sewing. But that simply isn’t so. Despite my efforts to remain optimistic, I find that winter brings a malaise and lack of drive, at least when it comes to my creative ventures. Instead of focusing on business plans, product designs and photography, I give in to the temptations of snuggling with my pets, movie marathons and cooking fatty, delicious foods. Eating them too of course!

But in these next few days the clouds will start to part and tiny sprigs of life will begin to burst from the ground. It’s a time when both nature and my creativity begin to bloom. Which is why I’m excited that today marks the nearing of winter’s end and the beginning of a season of artistic bounty.

Happy March!

Designs: A Bow On It

pierogi picnic: turban headband earwarmer

Just when we thought we had a taste of spring another winter storm has whipped through the Chicago area. For that reason, it only seems natural to continue showcasing pieces that will keep you nice and warm through the end of the season. And my “A Bow On It” designs will do just that!

Handmade using vintage knit sweaters – these adorable turbans are headbands and ear-warmers in one. Keeping your noggin toasty, without giving you a case of dreaded hat-head, these practical and cutesy accessories are just what you need to get you through this final stretch of winter. In a variety of colors and prints, they’re a great way to add a pop of style to your cold weather ensembles.

DIY: Handmade Winter Legwarmers

pierogi picnic: diy legwarmers

Just a couple weeks back much of the Midwest was engulfed in what was dubbed the “polar vortex”. With temperatures dipping down as far as negative 19 in Chicago-land, it was more important than ever to layer up to keep warm. And that’s exactly what I had to do along with millions of other folks. Slipping into layer upon layer of tights, leggings and socks, it suddenly hit me – I need some old-fashioned legwarmers! So I grabbed an old sweater and got to crafting. Within twenty minutes I was cozied up and ready to hit the great and frigid outdoors.

If you’ve been battling to keep your legs warm this season – give this easy tutorial a try! All you need is a pair of scissors, needle, thread and a chunky knit sweater. If you have any mismatched buttons lying around  grab those too for added embellishment. In just a half hour or less you’ll be on your way to a toastier, and more eco-chic you!

pierogi picnic: diy legwarmer tutorial

    1. Pick out a vintage or gently used sweater that you’d like to transform.
    2. Cut off both sleeves – leaving the original seams on the torso. Save the extra fabric to make a pillow or skirt.
    3. Roll the raw edge until you have a double fold.
    4. Grab your needle and thread to hem the fold. Start with two regular loop stitches.
    5. After making the second, pull your needle through the stitch’s loop.
    6. Pull taught and move on to the next stitch, repeating the process. This is called the “lock stitch” method.
    7. Grab a handful of mismatched buttons. 
    8. Sew the first button onto the original sleeve hem – not the lock-stitched one you just created.
    9. Add more buttons and repeat on other legwarmer.

And there you have it! In just a handful of minutes you’ll find yourself donning an adorable and toasty pair of hand-crafted legwarmers! Layer them over a pair of leggings and tall boots or transform your favorite flats into winter-ready apparel. Should your one-of-a-kind accessories get dirty, simply hand wash them in the sink with your favorite eco-safe detergent and set them out to dry.

Pierogi Picnic: DIY Eco-Friendly Legwarmers