Joanna Anastasia

hand made

Beautiful quilts for everyday use

Baby quilt

When I was little I had a friend whose mother was making beautiful quilts and patchworks. I remember that I always wanted one, but I was too shy to ask. And although my taste have slightly changed (I remember that the quilt that I really loved back then, was red, green and blue with lots and lots of flowers!), I still find them so beautiful. The thickness of the material, the texture, the notion of someone putting their heart in their work. Can you tell I love handmade things? I do.

And for a long time now I wanted to update my baby’s comforter to something nicer. Being specific, my baby it’s really a baby anymore, she’s a toddler. But at 20 moths she’s rather small, and so I believe she’ll be staying in her baby bed for a year still. And so, for the upcoming winter months I wanted something that I can layer on top of her blanket, that would keep her warm and cozy.


So I started looking for hand-made, good quality quilts on Etsy, and I found the NotSewStrange, with gorgeous hand-made nursery decor. I love her choice of fabric, cheerful, simple and modern. Everything is made from Eco-friendly cotton, printed with water based eco- friendly dyes and made right here in Montreal, Canada. And I don’t know about you, but I love knowing that the items at my home were locally and ethically made!

Baby quilt

I really couldn’t be happier, seeing how warm and cozy my daughter is! And I love how it adds a bright pop of colour to her bed, while not overwhelming the decor!

Baby quilt

Also, we’ve been using it as a play mat in their playroom, since this quilt is nicely thick and resistant, (and between you and me, I might have used it to calm down a tantrum, while serving them snacks on the floor..) perfect for a picnic inside on a rainy day when kids are driving you crazy When everyone is slightly impatient and you need a change 🙂 .


( Somehow sitting on a bright and warm mat makes everything better in a life of a toddler. )


And just when I started to ask myself, do we really need a baby quilt, when there’s no small baby in the house, my four-year old Lili decided that it’s now her favourite blanket for “reading” books! She must have seen me wrapped in a blanket on the sofa, and now she wants to do the same. So I guess that even without a little baby around, we’ll be still using this quilt quite a lot!


Disclosure : I received this product free for review, all opinions remain my own.

Whimsical dolls for imaginative girls

A couple of weeks ago I started to look for a gift for my daughters 4th birthday. Even though she was born in December, this year I decided to give her my gift ahead of time. You see, between Christmas with my family, Christmas with my hubby’s family, her birthday party, and the European tradition of the 6th of December (Santa’s little gifts) it seemes like she doesn’t care anymore about gifts from us.(So actually as a lazy mom that I am, I could not get her anything for birthday at all..but then she would find out as a preteen and feel hurt..then move out too soon and fall out of see where I’m heading..)

The prettiest hand made doll on etsy

So this year I wanted to give her something she’ll remember receiving, a gift that’ll stand a test of time. Something that might be in her room and by her bed, in a couple of years when she’ll grow out of Dora and Elmo. I didn’t want a toy from a toy store, even though we do have lots of these, and I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with them. I just wanted something lovely, made with care and different than her other dolls and toys.

I was looking through different Etsy stores selling hand made dolls, and I found HERsparetime. I literally fallen in love.

Whimsical, colourful, a bit vintage. Very detailed. And lots of choise. Fairies, princesses, sleeping girls, unicorns and serious dolls. And every one is hand made and one of a kind.


And yet, these dolls are made for kids. Easy to dress and undress. Soft and durable..

Whimsical dolls for imaginative kids

I fallen for this one because of the floral fabric, that reminds me of vintage Polish patterns. And because it’s a princess, and my daughter starts to be interested in playing the fairy-tale, princess inspired imaginative play. (And me, I prefer so much more this hand made princess, then any of the plastic, too-thin-to-actually-live, Disney inspired dolls.)

My new etsy find and my daughter favourite doll

We named her Ruby The Fairy princess, and she’s one of my Lili’s favourite. Perfect for imaginative play and for snuggles with a blanket and a book. And such a pretty addition to their bedroom!


And if I’m to be totally honest with you, I think I might get one more for me my younger daughter..


Disclosure: I received this product free for review. All opinions remain my own.

Hand Made Holidays Blog Hop: Lemon & poppyseed soap

Handmade Holidays 2014 Hop Logo

I’m so happy to be a part of this years 4th Annual Handmade Holidays Blog Hop! This amazing idea was brought to life a couple of years ago while looking for hand made gift ideas. So here it is, a resource dedicated JUST to handmade gift ideas. With over 100 amazing, creative bloggers in the craft industry, as well as some cool product manufacturers, this Handmade Holidays Blog Hop is a plethora of inspiring gift ideas! And all of them you can actually make to give to your friends, family, and colleagues.

I invite you to Pin and bookmark these ideas for this holiday season and to use throughout the year! Each day of the hop features approximately 30 gift projects and you can “hop” from one blog to another to check them all out.

So now, let’s start with my handmade gift idea:

lemon & poppyseed goat milk soap !
This all natural, exfoliating, lemon & poppyseed soap bars are so easy to make, and make for a perfect little handmade gift.

Lemon poppyseed soap

All you need are these three ingredients :

Goat milk soap base
Lemon zest

Lemon poppyseed soap

Start by cutting the soap base in to cubes. I used one third of the packaged ( 3 cups of soap base) for the first poppyseed layer, and then I used another one third for the lemon layer.

Lemon poppyseed soap

Melt your soap base in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir it, melt again for 30 seconds and stir again. Repeat until liquid.

Lemon poppyseed soap

Add lemon zest and poppy seeds, stir, and pour in your mould. I used a simple baking dish.

Lemon poppyseed soap

For a second layer repeat all of the above, just forget the poppy seeds, and double the lemon zest. I sprinkled some more poppy seeds on top, just because it’s more pretty like that :).

Lemon poppyseed soap

Give it around an hour to set, and then simply cut the pieces out, like you would a cake !

Lemon poppyseed soap

I think that these rustic, lemon & poppyseed soap bars are so pretty that they don’t need much gift wrap. Just a simple string and a piece of fresh spruce.

Lemon poppyseed soap

So my handmade gift is done, simply wrapped and handed with a hand made Christmas card . And I’m pretty sure that my friends and your friends will love these little lemon & poppyseed soaps, that feel and smell like they came from a very fancy spa!

Lemon soap

Are you ready for lots more creative handmade gift ideas and projects??
Follow along on our blog hop! Simply click on each of the links below to be taken to that post with additional information and photos on how to create a handmade gift project. Have fun and pin away!
Ellison Educational Equipment
Walnut Hollow 
Neat and TangledTherm O Web
Elizabeth Craft Designs
Pink and Main
The Buckle Boutique
Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L
Rowland Technologies
ICE Resin
Hydrangea Hippo
Clearsnap – Suzanne Austin
Stencil1 – Ed Roth 
Graphic 45 -Nadya Lifa
Cupcakes and Crinoline – Mary Beth Sharkey 
Lazy Mom’s – Joanna Grzeszczak
Homemade Ginger – Megan Kapple
Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L – Asia King
Ellison Educational Equipment – Anna-Karin Evaldsson
One Artsy Mama- Amy Latta
Lovely Etc – Carrie Spalding
ICE Resin – Clare Horner
The Buckle Boutique – Stephanie Nericcio
Modern Surrealist – Marisa Pawelko
A Little Craft In Your Day – Tanner Bell 
Artsy Findings – Cheryl Waters
Stampin Mindy – Mindy Baxter
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow our Handmade Holidays Gift Ideas Pinterest board for even more inspiration!

Follow Jennifer Priest of RainMaker Media Works + Hydrangea Hippo’s board Handmade Holidays on Pinterest.

A huge thank you to our sponsors for this hop – please visit their blogs below and follow them. And be sure to come back tomorrow for another 30+ amazing Handmade Gift Ideas!

Handmade Holidays 2014 Hop Logo SPONSORS 300dpi

Clearsnap || Ellison Educational Equipment || Walnut Hollow || Graphic45 || Westcott || ICE Resin || Therm O Web || Rowland Industries || Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L || Pink and Main || Elizabeth Craft Designs || The Buckle Boutique || Neat and Tangled

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Sakura || Fairfield Processing