The Mouse Works Polarfleece hats and clothing are all handmade by Ryan Williamson near Charlottesville, VA. The hats are sized to fit, babies, children, kids and adults. He believes that unique handmade quality is desirable over mass market brand names. On his website, you will find a great selection of fun, fanciful and functional eco hats and clothing handmade from high quality recycled polar fleece.
The Mouse Works started out of his desire for a jester hat in 1994. His father gave him a quick sewing lesson and let him cut up the bottoms of several fleece blankets. When a friend asked to wear it while running, the idea of The Mouse Works was born.
Ryan, artist of The Mouse Works, has had his sewing machine running around the clock making whimsical fleece hats for all ages. I first encountered Ryan at the Bizarre Bazaar Christmas show in Richmond years ago where I purchased several dinosaur hats for little ones on my holiday list. This fall I found his 4 foot Santa hat to be the perfect gift for my fun lovin’ nephew.
Bug has always loved his super heroes, and loved capes from the time he was little. Since we have found Creative Capes it's all he will wear when he has to have a cape on. He uses it to feel powerful on his weak days and as a way to make people smile and not feel uncomfortable about his wheelchair when he's out. Today was no different, we went to the Topsfield Fair and he had to have his Creative Capes outfit on. Nothing like traveling with a superhero everywhere you go!
Excited to share a recent find from the Lititz Rotary Club Craft show which is one of the largest festivals Creative Capes participates in. There are about 700 artists exhibiting so the crowds are guaranteed to find something that makes their heart sing. The show occurs in early August in downtown Lititz, PA so mark your calendar as a show not to be missed in 2019.
I had the pleasure of meeting the artists of On Lilac Lane, Creg and Carly Drake, and fell in love with their work. Creg is a full time teacher of Biology and a Dad of two little ones but somehow this couple finds the time to create custom signage using a variety of reclaimed wood. They design hand-made, customizable wooden rounds out of 100 year old barn wood, reclaimed wood, and material from a local lumber yard.
A Jigsaw is used to delicately carve each design. Creg and Carly do lots of custom work which is ideal for wedding, housewarming and baby gifts. Their combination of reclaimed wood, craftsmanship with the jigsaw and hand painted lettering creates a beautiful piece of home decor sure to be treasured by all.
I purchased a large wooden round for my favorite room in the house. The wording spoke volumes to me as I to wear many hats... mom, wife, artist, entrepreneur. I think we found the perfect spot above the window overlooking the backyard.
If you would like to see more of Creg and Carly's work visit their Etsy shop. They are also active on Facebook and IG @On_Lilac_Lane.
Check Creative Capes blog often to see my next "Creativity Uncovered" feature. I have some wonderful things upcoming for the ideal children's gift. - Holly
Most weekends I can be found at fine art and craft shows up and down the East Coast surrounded by superhero capes and bringing smiles to little ones faces. In addition to that great joy I have the opportunity to see amazing creations from fellow artists. It occurred to me that the Creative Capes' Community might enjoy seeing my discoveries and learn how to obtain them via the internet.
Every month I'll feature a new artist or two that I discovered in my travels at these art festivals. My goal is to bring attention to the many artists that make beautiful things by hand and to give you some great suggestions in your hunt for the perfect gift or home decor.
My first featured artist is Kelly Barth who founded Cabooties in 2014 based on the inspiration of her son, Conley Alexander Barth (the CAB in Cabooties). She began sewing booties in her tiny town-home kitchen, trying to overcome her frustrations with socks that wouldn’t stay on and stiff shoes that didn’t fit over her baby’s chubby feet. She finally found a design that Conley loved to wear, and Cabooties were born. Since that time Kelly has fine-tuned the design and improved the materials, but the result is still the same – handmade, vegan baby shoes that never fall off. Each pair of Cabooties is handmade with love, packaged with care, and ready for adventure!
I myself purchased a pair of Cabooties with a nautical theme for my neighbor who just had a baby boy. Big hit! Visit www.cabooties.com to see more of these cute booties.
As an artist, I am proud to do all my birthday and holiday shopping at art shows and festivals supporting "Handmade in America" and uncovering one-of-a-kind gifts. Hope you enjoy my discoveries as the Cape Mobile travels far and wide transforming kids into their superhero selves one cape at a time. - Holly
Talented young artist, Lexi, fighting cancer for a second time has motivated my daughter and I to raise urgent funds so she can be included in a life saving clinical trial.
Inspired by Lexi's artistic talents and creative expression, we quickly pulled together a silent auction with the generous help of artists and crafters allowing us to offer an amazing range of works of art to you and your friends. All the funds raised will be donated to Lexi’s mounting medical expenses via her GoFundMe page. Our silent auction is live now on Creativity for a Cure until Thursday at 8pm EST.
I am asking the Creative Capes' Community to checkout the wonderful items in our auction such as ultimate hero cape set, terry cloth doggy towel and slippers, Santa sacks, custom pet portrait, jewelry, hair bows and dress, items for your fairy gardens, and much more! One...please consider bidding on your favorite item and Two....share our page with your social network today to build awareness and action so we in the Creative Capes' community can assist Lexi's heroic efforts in defeating cancer one more time.
Read Lexi’s full story here.
Thanks- Holly, Creative Capes
I'd like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to Janice for inspiring and empowering her community. I'm proud to be a small part of that in making several custom capes to support her breast cancer awareness efforts.
ABOVE: Janice and friends get ready for a race.
"I was diagnosed in June 2015. When I heard the words,"you have cancer", I cried then went to exercise. My mother also went through the same fight. I knew I wasn't going to let it win. The night before my surgery, I rappelled the Niagara Casino. Right after surgery, I was walking 5 miles daily. Sit, rest, not me! One week after my double mastectomy, I completed 13 miles of the tough mudder.
My first chemo, I wore boxing gloves. I was going to win this fight. Throughout my chemo infusions, I would pick a theme, then decorate myself and my cubicle. I wore all pink, dressed as "Sally", a pilgrim, Mrs. Incredible and santas elf. The staff and patients enjoyed my decorating and I made them happy. They actually looked forward to me getting my treatment. It was not a time for defeat but rather a new beginning for me. It was time for my marathon in Florida and I bought matching top and bottom with a princess skirt. Holly had made capes for my grandsons and I thought, "why not me?" I wore my cape for the Susan Komen race. I was not only representing me in the fight against breast cancer but also all the women out there. I was shopping in the mall, and people would greet me. I know you!! You're one of us!
When I wear my cape, it is not for me. It is to bring recognition to the disease and to all fighting. I wear it to represent everyone. Even though you had surgery, you can still run. Even though you had chemo, you can run. Even though you had radiation, you can run. You do not have to stop living your normal life because you have cancer. I did not let the disease control me, but rather I controlled it!
I am proud to wear my cape to all my runs and will continue doing so."
ABOVE: Janice met Donnie Wahlberg (actor, producer, and member of New Kids on the Block) and asked him to sign a cape for the artist behind Creative Capes. He wrote "To Holly, Love Donnie. PS - This is Awesome!"
ABOVE: Janice presented the Mayor of Buffalo his own cape!
After developing these capes for Janice, I have been asked a number of times if I would make them available for purchase to everyone. Since breast cancer awareness month is October, I will make these special editions available during the months of September and October. Click here to shop now.
Creativity can be found in any in almost every corner of your home – whether it's a superhero mask and cape or a handful of crayons and paper. As the summer crosses the halfway mark you maybe running out of ideas how to keep the little ones entertained without relying on electronics or costing a fortune.
BUILD A FAIRY GARDEN!
Don't overlook the outdoors which is an ideal place to explore, get exercise and discover items to ignite your imagination. Every spring I look forward to taking nature walks to hunt for treasures for my fairy garden. Pine cones, rocks, shells and moss are the foundation of the magical world I create. Recycling an old birdhouse will add structure and colored glass beads from the craft store will add sparkle to your paths, rivers and lakes.
Building an elf, gnome or fairy home can be a wonderful activity with your kids this summer. No telling what they will create as you help them unleash their imaginations. Post photos of your enchanted gardens, magical caves or mystical cities for Creative Capes fans to enjoy.
Here are some materials that you might want to consider to build your enchanted forest:
Pine cones, Acorns, Moss, Rocks, Shells, Driftwood, Glass beads, Colored pebbles, Fairy/doll house furniture, Locks and keys, Drawer pulls, Birdhouse, Mixture of artificial and real plants, Stepping stones
Mom to 7 year old superhero, Loralai
When my daughter puts on her ensemble from Creative Capes, she is transformed. Not just by the empowering feeling of being a superhero who can do anything, but she allows her imagination to take over and she really takes that can-do-anything to heart and I know that all of this is much much more than just simple child’s play.
Using the imagination is an important part of psychological and physical development for children who eventually become adults that can creatively problem solve. Being able to imagine different endings to situations allows us, as adults, to think through scenarios and decided what is best for our desired outcomes. This is a learned process. If as a child, you grew up only understanding the here and now, there would be no way to understand the different ways the future could be changed and would be hard pressed to cope if a different situation arose than the one they are accustomed to. Developing and using the imagination as child is critical to developing these skills and being a successful adult.
As for physical development, children learn through activity, developing their senses, motor skills and even communication through movement and these all relate to brain development as well. Imaginative play gets children moving and exploring the world around them.
Our children live in a time when screens are more accessible than ever, but those screens are more of a one way street. They present information and here and there they can make choices about where to go in a video game, etc. but screens (and video games) present a very limited way to use imagination that does not help to produce the same developmental physical and neurological results.
British education expert Sir Ken Robinson explains that one of the ways adults can help a child develop an imagination is through the use of various props that “fuel fantasy and motivate them (children) to create their own story.” [See source.] Creative Capes are wonderful props to jump start the imagination. One day my daughter can be a superhero, fighting off the bad guys. The next day she is a regal queen forging peace between her stuffed animals. There is really no limit to who she can be or where she can go, but the cape empowers her to just open her mind and dive into a new adventure.