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Merrilee Liddiard  Play Creatively | encouraging creative and nostalgic play with art, crafts, handmade dolls and a bit of imagination


Enjoying a rainy and moody morning today at #thebanisterhouse. #mermagwings

We recently made house notebooks from @astrobrights pretty papers (loving their blues 💙) and donned our interior decorating hats by adding magazine furniture cutouts inside. Milla loved styling her rooms and adding her own extra touches with pen. See how to make your own on the blog today. Link in profile #mermagpapercrafts

I always find that September is a great time to go back over my New Years goals and see where I'm at, assess and then most likely create new ones depending on how things are going. Seems to fit with the spirit of learning with kids going back to school. I've been doing a lot of reading and am taking a biz class of sorts and something that stood out to me was that successful biz owners Think Big but Start Small. Sounds simple enough right? But it can be tricky, putting some of those BIG ideas on the back burner. (It's so hard for me!) I think this principle applies to all aspects of our lives -not just biz. I'm finding it helpful with parenting, creativity, general health goals and everything really. I feel like sometimes I have so many branches of growth sprouting up in my life and growing at different speeds - it can def be hard to attend to all of them, giving them the care that they need. But I'm trying to step back and assess the essentials and choose what needs most care. (Which can be hard to decipher some times!). Have you read Essentialism by Greg McKeoen? I so appreciate the advice to start early and small on your big ideas. Finding minimal ways to work on bigs goals right now and each day. I have such big goals I can feel overwhelmed at times. Goals for my house, my family, my marriage, my career, my health etc. To beat burnout I'm learning I can do something small for each of these each day. What about you? Do you find this to be true? How do you "create a routine that enshrines the essential?" As McKeoen suggests. Any experiences you can share? (print up in my shop for those interested) #merillustration

Kit, the Kitty Cat Girl loves autumn, dress up, full moons and apple cider. She will paw and purrr her way into your heat (miss Milla is insisting that I make her one for her birthday oct. 1) and is great and playing hide and seek - especially at dusk.
Kit is 18" tall (smaller than life size doll friends), has a kitty tail and removable black mask and ruffle collar sourced in Paris. Her body is made of black linen and her hair and ears from soft faux suede. She is hand sewn with a hand painted face. Available now in @merrileeliddiardshop

New shoes and knee socks for a new preschooler. We love these @mrugala. She asked me every day if it's time to go to school. She can't get enough!

I'm wanting to take our little sail boats out again this weekend to enjoy this warm Sept. weather before things get chilly. | boat DIY a few posts back. #mermag

Your little star might just be starting school but raise your hand if you've been mulling over ideas for their Halloween costume since March? 🙋🏻 OK it's probably no surprise that Halloween is a pretty big deal in our house. But like you we don't have a lot of time to devote to elaborate costume making so we usually end up doing things last minute. Which is why we keep it simple and also why I am so excited to start working on this year's Halloween costume ideas now. To give you some great easy ideas to pull from using what you most likely have lying around the house. What are some costume ideas your little ones have requested or that you've got bouncing around in your head? Maybe we can help you out! Milla has already requested a mermaid, Ella the elephant, and a cowgirl. #mermaghalloween | ⭐️ star costume I made last year from cardboard, glitter and led twinkle lights for the @betterhomesandgardens Halloween issue. Photo by @nicolegerulat

I been absent from Instagram for a bit trying to get things in order with the new back to school schedule and working on holiday dolls, etc. It felt so good to be away for a bit that I indulged and just sunk my teeth into research and trying to learn more about growing a small biz. I feel like I'm just scratching the surface on some things but I also love learning new things. Feels like its back to school for me too! Atticus even loves that mom does her "homework" at the table with him. Anyway during this "pause" I put together a small batch of these hooded bear capes (listed in @merrileeliddiardshop now) to help your doll transition into fall. This mint wool cape pairs perfectly with our latest 'Summer Nostalgia' pinafores.
Margot here plans to take hers on many forrest excursions looking for the perfect sticks and leaves to make a fairy house with. She's bound to feel so cozy! And maybe even spot of bit of magic while out and about. #mermagdolls

Thinking of and praying for all those in Houston and surrounding areas. Please can this rain subside? Hoping all find a spot of shelter and help. My sister is stuck in her home in League City just outside of Houston. She hasn't had to evacuate just yet but I know thousands have. 😥 She can't go anywhere though as all streets are flooded so her family of 8 (six kids) are keeping spirits up playing games and trying to help others. It's time like these that remind us that our humanity is all we have. Stuff can come and go (even stuff we worked a lifetime to acquire 🙁) in an instant. I've been touched seeing people do what they can. Jon and I are already talking about heading down to help with the clean up after all this. | image from my Fairy Friends Seasons book, which talks about how seasons come and go. No matter how tough the season, there is an end in sight. And hopefully we will see that soon 🙏🏻 #hurricaneharvey

Paper dolls and paper puppets forever (childhood favorites that still get me all excited for a weekend of creative play). Oliver finished his first week of Waldorf school (a week before the other kids start, Milla -preschool and Atticus -middle school. So I have three kids in three diff schools 😱) It's so fun to think about what's in store. Their tag line is 'No Child Left Inside' and we couldn't be more thrilled about a hands on, low tech, nature based learning environment for him. Last year was a bit overwhelming for him (he was bogged down with homework and he was starting to hate school and structured learning) so this approach seems much better suited for his creative, daydreamy, fidgety artist personality. We'll see how it goes. Anyone have experience with k-6 Waldorf schooling? And the transition into middle school thereafter?

Printable paper doll we are playing with today. My computer completely crashed on me and might be down for the count. 😩 But we'll be listing this as a download when everything is up and running again. You can color it or leave black and white. Print on magnetic paper and more. See Milla playing in stories. #merillustration

"Every child deserves a champion; an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best they can possibly be." - Rita Pierson
Something I've been thinking about with my kids and the new school year and for all children in this world. Time to be champions friends. Many are depending on us to do so. To teach and to show love. To be better. To provide hope. To tirelessly promote goodness. To truly believe that our children can accomplish amazing things. To make sure they have a safe place to do so. We need it too. We need to see ourselves fighting for good. Teaching and believing in its power. Again and again.

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