‘And You Can Be the Cat’ – FPK Booklist #10

andyoucanbethecat‘And You Can Be the Cat’ is a lovely little book about good, in-depth, endless imaginative play.  The full, detailed illustrations show the fantastic sprawl of a good imagination-filled day.  Canadian Hazel Hutchins is the author and Toronto’s Ruth Ohi is the illustrator.  I recall that Ruth Ohi did a presentation at my son’s school a couple of years ago and how inspired and excited the kids were when she told them about her career and drew some figures for them.

I especially love that besides being about dress-up play, this story delves into the role of the little sibling and how and where they can shine amongst the older kids.

Big Changes at Fancy Pants Kids in 2013

IMG_1686It’s tough slogging, being a small-scale Canadian-made brand, but I’ve been at it since 2008.  I’ve had triumphs, met some amazing people and learned some incredible lessons along the way.

Heading into 2013, I am making some significant changes in where Fancy Pants Kids is focusing its energies.  I am so excited about the next chapter of Fancy Pants Kids’ story and I want our loyal customers, friends and fans to be the first to know all about it.

IMG_6860 - Version 2This year we will not be producing any new products or new inventory for the retail or wholesale market.  Don’t panic!  We still have plenty of great dress-up in stock and it is available through our website (www.fancypantskids.ca) or direct from us while quantities last. We will also be at the Spring One of a Kind Show (March 27-31, booth N-25), but we will NOT be at the Christmas One of a Kind or some of the other craft shows you may have gotten accustomed to finding us at (keep an eye on our calendar to see where we WILL be).    We will still be supplying the fantastic shops that carry our Classic Super Capes and Adjustable Fleece Crowns at least for the rest of 2013, so no imminent changes there.

IMG_6132So what WILL we be doing?  I am looking for ways to allow my creations to have the kind of profound impact that the few special pieces we made for the Royal Ontario Museum do for the thousands of kids who play with them there each week.  So we will be doing what we do best and love the most – making truly spectacular costumes (instead of simply great ones) and sharing our love of costume DIRECTLY with kids! I will be making fewer, but much more extraordinary new designs for our permanent collections.  Our themed collections are available for rental for birthday parties and events.  We will be growing and improving the collections as well as our suite of party offerings from low-priced DIY costume parties (you rent a collection and take it away for the day) to dress-up extravaganzas where we come and facilitate the fun directly!

IMG_5926[1]We are also in the process of developing a number of workshops for children around our themed costume collections.  These workshops will be available through the Toronto Public Library system and also in the school system in a future year.  The workshops will employ imagination and costume play to explore literacy, drama, history, wildlife, science and other themes.

Finally, we will also be creating a series of hands-on classes, camps and workshops where children can learn to turn their dreams into fantastic projects and costumes, learning basic sewing skills (with sewing machines for the older kids) and how to use many mediums and tools to create functional, wearable items and great dress-up props.  These classes will be offered in our basement studio and at other community spaces TBA.

IMG_7050I warmly thank you for your enthusiasm and support over the past few years.  I hope with all my heart that our new plans inspire you and will see you continue to follow our journey.  Thank you for sharing us with your friends and with the young imaginations in your lives.

We hope that you will continue to visit our website, read our newsletter and our blog and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.  The Fun has only just begun!

We’d love to hear what you think about our plans!  Please do comment or email us directly.