OFFSPRiiNG Magazine - A Parenting Magazine for the rest of us.
Our latest inspiration. DIY crafts, projects, seasonal colors, and more.
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82nd St. Academics - Jackson Heights
A Shoe Grows in Brooklyn - Park Slope
Art Farm in the City - Manhattan
Apple Seeds - Upper West Side
Area Kids - Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, Park Slope, Fort Greene
ArtsCetera - Cobble Hill
Baked in Brooklyn - Williamsburg
BAM - Boerum Hill
Barnes and Noble - Forest Hills
Bearburger - Forest Hills
Bird River Studios - Williamsburg
Birth Day Presence - Park Slope
Bklyn Beast - East Williamsburg
Blue Elephant - Forest Hills
Boutique for Children - Forest Hills
Brooklyn Boulders - Gowanus
Btween - Carroll Gardens
Books of Wonder - Manhattan
Brooklyn Arts Museum - Prospect Heights
Brooklyn Beast - Williamsburg
Brooklyn Boulders - Gowanus
Brooklyn Children's Museum - Crown Heights
Brooklyn Guitar School - Park Slope
Btween - Carroll Gardens
Caribou Baby - Greenpoint
Central Park Zoo - Manhattan
Citibabes - Manhattan
City Treehouse - Manhattan
Cranky's Cafe - Long Island City
Creative Academy - Williamsburg
Cumbe: Center for African and Diaspora Dance - Fort Greene
Dean Street Books - Prospect Heights
Eckford Street Studio - Greenpoint
Enopi Eye Level – Greenpoint, Park Slope, Williamsburg
Esaie Couture Design School - Prospect Park South
Fabipops - Boerum Hill
Flying Squirrel Baby - Williamsburg
Frolic - Williamsburg
Greenehill School - Fort Greene
Greenlight Bookstore - Fort Greene
Greenpoint Toys - Greenpoint
Gumbo Brooklyn - Boerum Hill
Gym-Amzing - Astoria
Gymboree - Fort Greene, Bay Ridge
Hank & JoJo - Fort Greene
Heights Kids - Brooklyn Heights
Hiho Batik - Park Slope
International School of Brooklyn - Carroll Gardens
Irondale Ensemble Project - Fort Greene
Jugermos a Cantar - Park Slope
Kids Playhouse - Jackson Heights, Astoria
Klub 4 Kids - WIlliamsburg
Lark Cafe - Flatbush
Level 2 Boutique - Park Slope
Lolly's Early Learning Center - Long Island City
Lullaby Baby - Park Slope
Lulu's Cuts and Toys - Park Slope
LuLu's Then & Now - Park Slope
Madison Rose - Carroll Gardens
Malu - Long Island City
March of Dimes - Manhattan
Martha's Country Bakery - Forest Hills
Mimi for Mi Yoga - Jackson Heights
Mini Jake - Williamsburg
Mini Max Cuts and Toys for Kids - Cobble Hill
Module R - Brooklyn Heights
Museum of the Moving Image - Astoria
Music Together - Bay Ridge, Park Slope
My Brooklyn Baby - Fort Greene
New York Hall of Science - Corona
New York Skateboard Academy - Boerum Hill
Park Slope Kids Dental Care - Park Slope
Pink Olive - Park Slope
Play - Greenpoint
Play Kids - Prospect Park
PM Pediatrics - Brooklyn Heights, Bayside
powerHouse Books - DUMBO
Prospect Park Zoo - Prospect Park
Queens Library - Auburndale, Baisley Park, Broadway, Long Island City, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ozone Park,
Richmond Hill, Rosedale, South Hollis, South Ozone Park, Steinway
Queens Zoo - Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Raising Astoria - Astoria
Seedlings Academic Playschool - Brooklyn Heights
Smoochie Baby - Williamsburg
Strut Institute - Prospect Park South
Sweet William - Williamsburg
Tea Lounge - Park Slope
Textile Arts Center - Carroll Gardens
Thank Heaven - Forest Hills
The Flying Pig - Forest Hills
The Garden School - Jackson Heights
The Gym Park - Greenpoint
The Learning Garden - Prospect Heights, Downtown Brooklyn
The Living Gallery - Bushwick
The Maple Street School - Prospect Park
The Moxie Spot - Cobble Hill
The Noguchi Museum - Astoria
The Painted Cloud - Williamsburg
The Playroom - DUMBO
The Scholastic Store - SoHo
Sweet & Shiny - Bushwick
Tiny You - Sunnyside
Toy Space - Park Slope
Treblemakers - Park Slope
Tribeca Pediatrics - Long Island City
Two Moon Art House & Café - Park Slope
Vanilla Sky - Forest Hills
WeeBabe - Williamsburg
WeeCreateBK - Bedford Stuyvesant
West Side Tennis Club - Forest Hills
Young Chef Academy - Forest Hills
Young Players Theatre - Park Slope
Tell us a little bit about what you make in your own words.
I design and create stuffed animals, baby rattles, and home goods. The stuffed animals are handmade in Brooklyn from recycled sweaters and filled with high quality hypoallergenic polyfil stuffing. My baby rattles are handmade from soft organic cotton French terry knit and filled with all natural sustainable stuffing.
What inspires your designs?
My inspiration comes from vintage toys, whose imperfections add to their character. A well-loved animal has many interesting stories and secrets about places traveled, shared laughter, shared tears.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was a kid, I had visions of becoming an artist, because I spent much of my time drawing and painting and making things. I could never quite picture myself doing anything that would be considered a 'real career', like becoming a doctor, teacher, or lawyer.
If you could only choose one, which of your products would you give as a gift for the holidays?
If I could only choose one of my products to give as a holiday gift, it would be a penguin. My penguins are easy to cuddle with and they have so much personality. The design is very simple but i think that's what makes it one of my cutest animals.
What was the best childhood gift you ever received during the holidays?
The best gift I ever received during the holidays was a stuffed raccoon puppet. When I was 5 years old, I fell in love with a sweet stuffed raccoon while my mom and I were shopping one day. He was so cute and soft and I begged my mom to get him for me. She agreed to buy him for me for Christmas, which was months away. When Christmas finally came, I was so excited to open my present. Throughout my childhood, I was never without my stuffed raccoon. Raccoonie still sleeps on my bed.
Fashioning one's child can be the best part of being a parent. Here you can view some of our picks for the fall season.
My Dad Makes Nightmares
Talking with Special Effects Expert A.S. Hamilton and his Daughter.
Long before the internet and computer animation in films, there was special effects makeup. Special effects artists make us believe the unbelievable, see the un-seeable, and bring to life the characters that live in our nightmares and under our beds. They have been the unsung heroes of film since the beginning of cinematic history. They created the faces for many iconic monsters such as the Mummy, Dracula, Frankenstein and the Werewolf. These skilled craftsmen are a small, select group of people with many talents that range from applying hair to a monster one thread at a time, to sculpting the perfect likeness of a dead president. Their workbenches are covered with the scraps of movies past, layered with fake blood, latex rubber and all manner of paint and pigment. OFFSPRiiNG was able to catch up with the daughter of special effects artist, A.S. Hamilton, to chat about the art, blood, and gore of special effects makeup from her perspective.
What does your dad do for a living?
My dad is a special effects makeup artist for film and television shows. He makes a lot of different things and many of them are too gross to talk about. He works on horror movies that give people nightmares. He can make fake dead bodies, or a make a mould of whatever he envisions, and then make it explode. He can completely distort a model of a person’s face to make them look like they suffered from a car accident, a gunshot wound or starvation.
How did he learn how to do that?
He taught himself by scaring his parents. During high school, he read books on special effects, and once handed my grandma a severed leg, in the kitchen while she was making biscuits. My grandparents didn’t have a problem with being scared by him, so they let him practice by making homemade crime scenes with bloody and dismembered body parts.
Do you think what he does is scary?
I used to. I used to not be able to go into his workshop because I was so afraid of the models he had hanging up in there. But now I don’t think it’s scary, I think it’s really cool. It is very rare to have a father who makes fake corpses for a living. It is really cool when people ask me what my dad does, and I get to tell them about his career. A lot of the stuff that he makes is incredible and I think a special effects makeup artist is a really creative profession.
Do you know how your dad makes all the scary things he creates?
I know how he makes some of it. For example, I know how he starts making something like a dead rat. He first makes it from clay, and then makes a mould of it, and then he fills the mould with materials. He then takes the model of the rat and adds paint and makeup to make it look like something gross.
You dad is a self-taught artist and you are his daughter. Do you teach yourself how to do things too?
Yes, for the most part. I taught myself how to use a sewing machine and how to play the drums. I also taught myself how to use a professional camera and I enjoy taking pictures of my friends.
Has your dad taught you any of his tricks?
He didn’t really teach me, I learned by observing what he did and imitating it. Whenever I was in his shop, I would watch what he was doing or sometimes he would use me as a model, that’s how I learned. I know how to make my skin look like it is peeling off, by using Elmer’s glue and foundation. I also know how to use a welding torch to heat up metal.
Your Dad made a mould your face... what was that like?
He took a casting of my face and both of my hands in the same day. It was scary because you are not able to move or breathe properly. You have to trust that the person covering your face in goop knows what he is doing. I had three thick layers of materials across my face, and I could only breathe through the small holes where my nostrils were. My eyes were covered and I had saran wrap on my hair. The whole thing took about an hour, while I listened to television. It is a cool feeling, and kind of peaceful, but the worst part of the whole thing was trying not to laugh when my dad made jokes.
What do you have to show for it? The mould, that is?
I have a really great casting of my face in my room. I look like I’m sleeping.
Were you the kid with the best Halloween costumes growing up?
Um.... no! I was a panda that my mom made me. I was a witch and I was an angel. The costumes that my dad helped make me were really scary. One year, I was a Titanic victim, we went to thrift shops to find an old vintage dress to wear. Then we used crystalline makeup and made veins on my face to make me look like I had been under the sea and frozen. Another year, I was a zombie cheerleader - my dad came out trick or treating with me in costume. He was the referee to my cheerleader and had a shirt that looked like a ripped open rib cage. We made some people cry, but we had a lot of fun. People who saw us were speechless.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I would love to be a forensic photographer. It would combine the reality behind my father’s job, with a job that I love, which is photography.
Did you ever wish your dad had a normal job?
No! I never wanted my dad to have another job. It is the coolest thing ever to talk about my dad. People seem to accept the weirdness in what he does and I love it.
Recipes and food samples coming soon.
Bronx Made Tutus
Bronx born Kimberly Morales started making creatively inspired tutus
for her daughter and has now turned it into a full flegged Etsy business.
“She is the inspiration for my creativity and of course everything else
I do. For practically every Birthday, holiday or special occasion I was
on a massive hunt to find my daughter a super cute tutu, so I decided
to get in touch with my crafty side and started making tutus myself for
fun on my spare time” When not being a devoted mom and tutu maker,
Kimberly works at Project Achieve recruiting volunteers for ongoing HIV
prevention research studies. Her handmade tutus are for sale from $26-$40 on
Maddy’s Tutu Cute at Etsy.com/shop/MTCCollection
This month, we asked that our friends submit photos of their children during the fall season for inclusion in our magazine. They were so amazing that we just had to put them on the cover. If you would like your child to be featured in our magazine please email high resolution photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is what we are looking for:
Holiday Photos for our December/January issue
Valentine photos and children wearing red - Feb/March Issue
Baby Photos - April/ May Issue
Vanessa Yee-Chan talks about her new indoor Playspace in Williamsburg
Creating an indoor play space is quite an undertaking, how did you think of the idea?
“My family and I have been a part of the Williamsburg community for over 30 years and we wanted to give back to the community in some way. When I had my first son here, I was frustrated with what the local places had to offer because I couldn't get my son to be engaged for more than 20 minutes. My family owned this building in Williamsburg and the ground floor was an empty commercial warehouse, so I thought it would be great to create a unique and innovative play space that would engage children and educate them as well. I proposed the idea to my father, who is a civil engineer, and my sister, who shares my enthusiasm for off-the-wall projects, it was as if the floodgates opened. We sat around a table for hours shouting out dozens of ideas for unique exhibits and experiences for kids. Our family set out to design and build the best play space my kids could imagine. With the overwhelming number of families in the community we thought it was the perfect way to give back.”
What is the inspiration behind Twinkle?
“We wanted to base it off of a children's museum but when we researched them and other children's play space, there wasn't one that encompassed everything we wanted. However, we did learn what elements/concepts were essential to a successful design, such as water, sand, air-flow, and pretend play. But, to keep the children engaged, all the exhibits had to have the most important element - fun! With Twinkle, we wanted to create exhibits that are more fun than a playground and more engaging than a museum. My father, my sister and I wanted to spark the curiosity of kids and adults alike, so we took the exhibits to the next level. At Twinkle we have a water table, but we made it with a water cyclone. Across the way, colorful scarves shoot into the air with air pressure...and dragons! Our kids love digging holes at the beach but hate putting on sunscreen, and that inspired our sandbox, complete with construction gear, a crane and a bulldozer. Kids enjoy pretend play in a life-like fire truck with a climbable extension ladder, real water hoses and working headlights and siren. There's even a secret spot where kids can walk on water, without getting wet!”
Find Twinkle > 144 Frost Street Brooklyn, NY twinkleplayspace.com.