If you’re tight on garden space, consider moving on up and adding plants that grow vertically.

There are lots of advantages to growing vertically, including:

  • Pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, will move from flower to flower with ease. And that means for a happier, healthier garden and ecosystem.
  • Enhanced exposure to sunlight, which is a real bonus for sun-worshipping plants.
  • Increased air circulation, which will keep leaves drier and less apt to develop fungal diseases. But keep in mind that you might need to water plants growing vertically more often.
  • And finally, adding height to the garden adds interest. Think of planning your garden like you might think of a setting a table. You’ll be more pleased with the results when you see a charming and colorful display on multiple levels.

So, if you’re sold on the advantages of vertical gardening—and we certainly are—let us recommend some of our favorite products for vertical growers, as well as suggestions for what can grow on them.

Bird on Ball Trellis

A classic trellis shape made of forged iron with a powder-coated finish and embellished with iron scrolls and a bird. When staked fully into the ground, it measures 38 inches wide and 63 inches tall.

What to grow: This is perfect for vines that you plant directly in the ground. We recommend clematis, black-eyed Susan vine or morning glories.

Garden Stake Collection

Some plants naturally grow up but need just a little extra support. And for that, we like our stakes. All are crafted of sturdy materials, including iron and aluminum. Our Wind Spinner Garden Stake and our Morning Glory Garden Stake have a verdigris finish and unique finial toppers. They range in height from 37 to 43 inches when in the ground. Three others, the Frog on Bird Garden Stake, the Myrtle Garden Stake, and the Fran Garden Stake, are slightly taller at 46 inches in the ground. They’re made of black/brown forged iron and have colorful, hand-painted ceramic finials that are made here in Aurora, New York.

What to grow: Plants that are taller than two feet often need staking and might even fall over from the weight of their blossoms or in heavy rains or winds. Those include delphiniums, foxglove, hollyhocks, lilies, and dinnerplate dahlias.

Mrs. Powers Tuteur

Made of forged iron with an antiqued black/brown patina, this unique piece is accented with scrolling tendrils and the same iconic lady who graces our Mrs. Powers Garden Gate and our Mrs. Powers Dinner & Door Bell.

What to grow: The Tuteur is shaped much like a tomato cage with an open central column, so that makes it ideal in the vegetable garden for growing cherry tomatoes or vining vegetables, including scarlet runner beans and miniature cucumbers.

Strawberry Pot

The classic terra cotta strawberry pot rises above when it’s Aurora Artisanal, meaning it’s handmade and hand-painted by our artisans in Aurora, New York, with our legacy Rose Cottage pattern that mixes florals and lattice.

What to grow: There are six openings in this terra cotta jar, and while strawberries might seem like the obvious choice to plant, there are several other options. We think it makes an idea planter for a mini herb garden, particularly if your gardening space is limited to a few pots and planters on a deck. Try it, too, with succulents or annuals like coleus.

The bottom line with vertical gardening, and we’d like to say this applies to your attitude about life as well: Always look up, and never stop reaching for new heights.

Summer entertaining often demands a moveable feast that travels easily to the site of the fun and frolic—be it the boat launch, the picnic grounds, or the tailgate party. And that’s where our new line of SCOUT for MacKenzie-Childs comes in.

We partnered with SCOUT Bags for this co-branded collection of insulated poly twill fabric coolers. SCOUT, which has been in business since the early 2000s, takes great pride in making a variety of bags—from oversized tote bags perfect for the beach to all kinds of accessory bags to soft-sided coolers—that are functionable and fashionable.

SCOUT for MacKenzie-Childs includes four products in two fun and colorful prints—Ikat Pink (pink, black, and white) and Dotty (black and white). All the pieces feature soft-sided shapes that are lightweight, leak-free, easy to clean, and easy to carry thanks to durable woven check handles. Also, each piece has lots of pockets, some with zipper closures, to offer even more storage.

Here’s a closer look:

The Vineyard Tote

Ideal for family outings, this cooler holds two six-packs or four wine bottles. It’s also just the right size to stack multiple food containers. It has a zippered pocket on the front and an open pocket on the back. It measures 9″ sq. and 12½” tall.

The Hot Date

Perfect for pot luck, this casserole carrier holds a 9″ × 13″ pan and keeps things hot for up to three hours. It has an open pocket inside. It measures 17″ wide, 3.

The Boat Tote

This large cooler has a hard bottom for extra durability and fits an entire 24-pack plus ice, so you can bring the party, literally. It has a zippered pocket on the front and an open pocket on the back. It measures 14¼” wide, 12½” tall, and 9¼” deep.

The Preps Cool

Load this up with everything you’ll need for the picnic table, including the tablecloth, plates, and cups. With four open exterior pockets, there’s also plenty of room for the utensils—and then some. You just might find that it makes the perfect companion for trips to the farmers market, too. It measures 15″ wide, 14″ tall, and 5½” deep.

Now that you have several ways to get your food transported with style, how about a classic summer recipe or two?

Watermelon Cucumber Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 cup sliced red onion, cut lengthwise
  • 15 cups cubed watermelon
  • 3 cups cubed English cucumber or regular cucumber with seeds removed
  • 1 (8-ounce) package feta cheese, crumbled
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • cracked black pepper
  • sea salt

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, pour lime juice over red onions. Allow to marinate while assembling the salad.
  2. Gently combine the watermelon, cucumber, feta cheese, and cilantro in a large bowl. Season with black pepper. Toss watermelon salad with marinated onions and season with sea salt just before serving.

Classic Chewy Brownies

Ingredients

  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9″ × 13″ pan.
  2. Combine the cocoa, melted butter, sugar, eggs, salt , flour, and vanilla. Mix until combined.
  3. Spread mixture (it will be thick) into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

 

Spring is in full swing on our 65-acre estate in Upstate New York. The trees are budding, the tulips and daffodils are blooming, and even our smallest creatures—the butterflies, bees and frogs—are active again, ready to play their roles in our farm ecosystem.

We also find inspiration in the beauty and whimsy of these creatures, which is why you see so many of them on our products. For example, we have the Queen Bee Pillow, the Butterfly Accent Chest, and the Frog Dinner Bell.

Here’s a look at the role that each group plays and some of the products they have inspired:

Frogs

Frogs are so important to our farm that we added about 200 frogs and tadpoles to our pond a few years ago, says Corinne Bowman, our estate manager. The most notable result of this is there’s a virtual symphony of sounds that comes from the pond, something that those who camp out for the opening of our annual Barn Sale often note, Corinne says.

Frogs and toads play a central role in the food chain. They consume insects and are a food source for birds, snakes, and other animals. Frogs can secrete substances through their skin, too, and some secretions are beneficial and have been used to create new antibiotics and painkillers.

And did you know that May 13 is National Frog Jumping Day? An informal holiday celebrated around the country, it was inspired by Mark Twain’s first published short story, Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog. Later, Twain changed the name of the story and published it as The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. The current frog jumping record, by the way, was set in 1986 by Rosie the Ribeter, who jumped 21 feet 5¾ inches.

Frog products

  • Frog Tassel: A handcrafted ceramic finial features a regal polliwog perched atop a signature knob, hung with fringe of black and white, moss-green velvet swags, and a punch-pink ruff.
  • Courtly Check Frog on  Lidded Dish: Capturing all the charm of the prince of the pond, our handcrafted ceramic Courtly Check® Frog  sits atop a blossom-shaped lidded box bedecked in our signature checks.
  • Frog Entrance Mat: Delight your guests the same way our amphibian ambassadors enchant ours. This durable coir mat features our signature checks framing a ribbiting regent with friends all aflutter.

Bees and butterflies

Bees and butterflies are pollinators, seeking pollen and nectar from flowers to power their flight and nourish their offspring. By transferring pollen, a process known as pollination, they also help plants and trees produce seeds and fruit and reproduce.

To ensure an abundance of bees and butterflies in the garden, it’s important to provide a diversity of flowering plants that bloom throughout the growing season, from early spring to late fall. Look, too, for a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Make the garden more attractive to pollinators by clustering species of plants into clumps rather than scattering individual plants throughout a garden. Don’t forget about flowering trees and shrubs, which offer food as well as shelter.

Corinne has got all this covered in our gardens, which, in addition to flowering trees and shrubs, have an abundance of flowers from spring bulbs and annuals (marigolds and impatiens) to summer perennials (monarda and echinacea) and fall favorites (asters and sedum).

Bee and butterfly products

Thistle & Bee Dinnerware Collection: There’s been quite a buzz about our take on formal servingware. Handcrafted in Portugal, the porcelain pieces are trimmed in gold lustre and feature a verdant suite of early-spring wildflowers, bumblebees, and classic MacKenzie-Childs patterns.

Courtly Check Butterfly: Our favorite dinnerware pattern takes a flight of fancy on this exquisitely detailed butterfly, featuring a transfer decoration of our signature checks on its gold-edged wings and more floral transfers on its body, topped with wire antennae. A keyhole hanger on the back allows it to attach securely to the wall. Arrange it solo or in a grouping with our other butterflies.

Honeycomb Footstool: Combine a little French flair with a bold yellow, grey, and black color palette, and you’ve got a piece that’s fit for royalty. Part of our Queen Bee collection, it’s buzzing with details like velvet and silk fabric and hand-painted feet. While the lady of the house might not wear a crown, she’ll enjoy lounging in luxury when she places this piece in a sitting room or home office.

 

Summer isn’t officially here until June 21, but it’s time to get ready to enjoy warmer days in the great outdoors. So, when you aren’t hiking, biking or gardening, sit a spell on your porch or patio, enjoying the additions to our outdoor furniture collections.

Here’s a look at the new options:

Indigo Villa

So much of summer is centered on the water, so it’s only natural that the water around us in Upstate New York’s Finger Lakes region inspired our new Royal Check pattern. The true-blue interpretation of our signature Courtly Check, Royal Check is featured on our new Indigo Villa Outdoor collection that includes the Chair, Ottoman, Loveseat, and Chaise. The frames are rugged-yet-chic white resin, dressed in weather-ready Sunbrella™ fabric cushions in Royal Check and Wild Rose Royal Toile.

We’ve also added complementary pillows and rugs. The Villa Terrace Outdoor Accent Pillow and Villa Garden Outdoor Accent Pillow feature the look of handwoven fabric printed on durable polyester. There’s also the Indigo Villa Outdoor Accent Pillow, which has the same Sunbrella™ fabrics as the furniture cushions, trimmed with soft blue fringe.

Underneath, add the Villa Garden Indoor/Outdoor Rug or the Villa Terrace Indoor/Outdoor Rug. Both are bright and happy, with blue patterns (florals and stripes, respectively), printed with a textured look on polyester. Durable and water-resistant, they can be used indoors or outdoors in a shaded or covered area with limited direct exposure to sunlight.

Wood Iris

Wood Iris is a new pattern that complements our existing Courtyard Outdoor furniture in silhouettes that include the Ottoman, Loveseat, Wing Chair, and Accent Chair. These pieces are fashioned in a timeless geometric pattern of black, cream, and goldenrod plastic wicker woven on iron powder-coated frames. The Wood Iris cushions are made from Sunbrella™ fabrics that feature a woodsy floral print that reverses to a chevron pattern.

Like Indigo Villa, there are new pillows and rugs to complement Wood Iris. The Wood Iris Outdoor Accent Pillow is a generously sized throw pillow done in the same Sunbrella™ fabrics as the Wood Iris cushions. On the floor, there’s the Zanzibar Indoor/Outdoor Rug. Crafted of polyester, it features a blue-on-blue check center, with borders of palm leaves, topped with colorful stripes and a scalloped edge. Durable and water-resistant, it can be used indoors or outdoors in a shaded or covered area with limited direct exposure to sunlight.

Other accents

Finally, take a look at our Zanzibar Fire Pit, made of heavy-gauge, powder-coated hammered steel with a hand-painted oxidized finish. The lattice-style mesh cover is topped with a one-of-kind metal bird that’s cast in a sand mold. Over time, the color of the metal will vary and change with use.

This is the first time we’ve offered a fire pit, and we’re really excited about this unique piece because it celebrates the perfect happy ending to a great day outdoors. The pit’s glow and warmth let you savor time with family and friends a little longer by extending celebrations into the evening and even into the end of the summer season.

 

 

The 145th Kentucky Derby will take place Saturday, May 4, in Louisville, Kentucky. The legendary event, nicknamed “the fastest two minutes in sports,” brings together horses, hats, and history. It’s the first leg of the Triple Crown, a series of spring races for three-year-old Thoroughbreds.

If you can’t make it to Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, in person to see the run for the roses, be there in spirit and host a Derby party. The essential ingredients are fashion and food. Here are some tips on both. 

Fashion

Derby-goers truly dress for the occasion. Women wear spring dresses, men wear suits and bowties, and both embrace the once-common custom of donning a hat.

Ladies, your Derby hat presents the perfect opportunity to embrace your inner Southern belle, so the bigger, the better. Gentlemen, it’s traditional to don a fedora or a straw boater when watching this horse race, trimmed with a ribbon band, or go all out with a snappy bowler or top hat.

We asked Linda Walker, one of our visual designers, to add a touch of MacKenzie-Childs to some Derby hats. She embellished four basic black hats and gave each its own personality, using our wired Courtly Check Ribbon, which pleats and shapes nicely.

Linda added a pair of oversized Pink Courtly Check Peonies and a Queen Bee Pick to an organza woman’s hat. The matching man’s bowler sports Courtly Check Ribbon around the brim. She also created a woman’s fascinator, covering the surface with tiny millinery red roses that surround a miniature horse. The complementary men’s hat is a top hat, decorated with a vintage horse rosette and more Courtly Check ribbon.

Food

Focus on a menu inspired by traditional Southern fare, including glazed ham, pecan pie, pimento cheese dip, and deviled eggs.

And don’t forget the mint julep. Each year, almost 120,000 mint juleps are served over the Kentucky Derby-Kentucky Oaks weekend at Churchill Downs. Here’s a recipe for the classic cocktail.

Mint Julep

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Handful of fresh mint
  • Crushed ice
  • Bourbon whisky
  • Silver julep cups (we used our 10-ounce Courtly Check Enamel Tumblers)

Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint. Let mint steep 15 minutes, remove sprigs and leaves, then refrigerate overnight.

Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding 1 tablespoon of mint syrup and 2 ounces of bourbon whisky. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

One last thing

Last, but certainly not least, don’t mumble your way through My Old Kentucky Home, the Derby’s signature song and the official song for the state of Kentucky. Written by Stephen Foster in 1852, it’s been played nearly every year since 1936 by the University of Louisville Marching Band as the horses make their way from the paddock to the starting gate.

The words are:

The sun shines bright in the old Kentucky home,
’Tis summer, the people are gay;
The corn-top’s ripe and the meadow’s in the bloom
While the birds make music all the day.
The young folks roll on the little cabin floor
All merry, all happy and bright;
By ’n by hard times comes a-knocking at the door
Then my old Kentucky home, good-night!
Weep no more my lady.
Oh! Weep no more today!
We will sing one song for the old Kentucky home
For the old Kentucky home, far away.

Now, sing out loud, and raise your mint julep to toast the Kentucky Derby 2019!

 

Don’t let the name fool you. Our newest furniture collection, Simply MC, is much more than basic.

We start this special group of chairs, sofas, and settees with shapely silhouettes that have a domestic hardwood frame. Some are covered in velvet fabric in solid colors that include  delicious shades like Raspberry, Blueberry, and Green Grape, and others sport chenille fabric in snappy black and cream stripes.

Embellishments include hand-tufting that’s accented with custom buttons in a rainbow of hues or in our familiar black and white checks, finished with either black and white check or solid-color cording. Some pieces also feature antique brass nailhead trim. Every piece in the collection, which is made in the United States, has custom fabric decking featuring our logo either on the bottom of the piece or underneath the loose cushion.

Tammy Dorward, our vice president of product development, say the collection’s bright colors and fun shapes are happy and versatile. Tammy says Simply MC is a great place to begin building your MacKenzie-Childs interior, or it can add a refreshing pause to an existing room. Simply MC mixes harmoniously with other pieces in the collection, as well as with our existing furniture that incorporates our signature mixing of multiple patterns.

“Not everyone can handle an entire room of Boheme, but if they had the chair and then bought a Simply MC solid-color sofa, that would work beautifully,” says Tammy.

You might even think of Simply MC as our version of the little black dress, perfect for every occasion (or setting) and easily accessorized. In fact, that’s where the fun of Simply MC begins, when you personalize each piece with our one-of-a-kind pillows, rugs, lighting, and other decorative accents.

Want to go floral and feminine? Add the White Covent Garden Floral Square Pillow to the Simply MC Violet Macaron Settee and put a Courtly Floret Rug on the floor. Or maybe rich and regal is more your look? Try the Simply MC Marquee Accent Chair, paired with a Queen Bee Pillow and a Black Scroll Rug underneath.

The possibilities are truly endless, which means no two rooms of Simply MC will ever be the same. Simply put, Simply MC will always be simply you.

 

If you’re lucky enough to be in Britain on April 21, you’ll be able to celebrate National Tea Day the way the Brits do—in tea rooms, hotels, pubs, and cafes all over the United Kingdom.

But if you’re on this side of the pond, you can still partake in what we think is a pretty wonderful thing. Any time is a good time to enjoy a “cuppa’’ with your friends, whether it’s a group of your besties or just tea for two with your best buddy.

Here are some tips for hosting a tea party:

Pick a theme
There’s so much to celebrate this time of year in addition to National Tea Day. You can salute spring, observe a baby or bridal shower, honor a birthday, celebrate Mother’s Day, or just acknowledge that it’s a Friday. Another option for a theme is a classic Mad Hatter tea party taken straight from the pages of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Rebecca Proctor, our creative director and chief brand officer,  offers a few thoughts on Carroll and our links to him here.

Whatever the theme, pick decorations that reflect it. Spring is a perfect time for pretty pastels that could be reflected with your choices in table decor and floral arrangements. If it’s a bigger celebration, go all out and put something festive overhead, especially if you’re indoors. Try draping pennant-shaped banners, hanging open umbrellas upside down, or helium balloons that are covered with light and airy tulle fabric, tied with ribbon bows.

Check your equipment
If you’re hosting a tea party for more than two, you’ll need to think about having enough equipment, starting with tables and chairs. Check as well on your supply of teacups, saucers, spoons, serving pieces, and teapots. We’d like to suggest tiered serving pieces, like our sweet stands and cake stands, which let you stylishly present cakes, cookies, and tea sandwiches while saving on display space on the table. We even have pint-sized versions—a Tea Party Sweet Stand, a Tea Party Tea Set, plus a Tea Party Cart—that are perfect for your youngest guests, too.

Making tea
Obviously, hosting a tea party means making tea and offering milk or cream, sugar, and lemon to accompany it. As for teas, classic choices include Earl Grey, Darjeeling, chamomile, and mint. It’s also a good idea to provide herbal or decaf tea for your guests who prefer a caffeine-free version, as well as iced tea or lemonade.

To make a proper cup of tea, fill the tea kettle with cold water, which has more oxygen in it than warm water, resulting in fresher-tasting tea. Bring the water to a boil and then let it rest for a few minutes while you warm your teapot by adding hot water from the tap and swirling it around. Pour that water out and then add the tea. If you are using tea bags, add one bag for each cup of tea to the teapot. With loose tea, add 1 teaspoon per cup and 1 teaspoon for the pot. Pour in the hot water from your kettle, stir, and allow the tea to steep for a few minutes for the fullest flavor. Additional information on tea, including how to store tea bags and loose tea properly, can be found here.

More on the menu
Serve bite-sized treats that are sweet (cookies, scones or cupcakes) or savory (small sandwiches or cucumber hors d’oeuvres). If you’d like to have activities (other than drinking tea), include a classic game of croquet if it is warm enough to be outdoors. Another idea that’s perfect for indoors is decorating hats or having someone read fortunes. Parting gifts for guests could be a selection of teas that are festively wrapped.

Care and keeping
Our final bit of advice for hosting a tea party is to be sure to take care of your tea kettle so you’re ready for the next tea party. You’ll find some tips here.

With all that said, there’s just one last thing to consider: Will you take one lump or two?

 

At MacKenzie-Childs, we love patterns, and one of our favorites is the tartan. That’s probably because of the Scottish heritage of our founders, as well as the fact that the tartan is just a terrific pattern that combines color and tradition.

Since our founding 35 years ago, we’ve incorporated tartans into many of our products, starting with our Eiffel Tuffet in 1994, which featured a Gordonstoun tartan. Currently, tartans are found on our Plaiditudes Table, and they accent other furniture pieces as well, including our Barley Twist Table and our Foxtrot Bar Cabinet. Our legacy collection of Highland furniture, which is on display in the library of our historic Farmhouse in Aurora, New York, features a proprietary MacKenzie-Childs tartan, and even more tartans will be included in our designs for fall and holiday 2019.

In celebration of National Tartan Day, which is April 6, we thought it was a good time to explain more about tartans. They’re often confused with plaids and checks, but, according to to-the-trade fabric resource Greenhouse Fabrics, each pattern is distinct.

They’re all made of horizontal and vertical stripes that intersect at 90-degree angles, creating grid-like patterns. With a tartan, the pattern of stripes running vertically is duplicated horizontally, and where the colors overlap, new colors are created. Unlike tartans, plaids have variations in band width, repeat, and color. Finally, checks usually are two alternating colors that form equal-sized squares.

But there’s more to all this than just patterns. In the case of tartans and plaids, there’s a history that overlaps. Tartans have been around for at least 3,000 years and have been discovered by archeologists in western China. They are most closely associated with Scotland, and many Scottish clans have specific tartans.

In Scotland, a plaid has nothing to do with patterns. Pronounced like the word “played,” it is a traveling cloak and made of tartan. The more common pronunciation of “plaid” and the use of that word to indicate a pattern became common when British and American textile manufacturers created fabrics that looked like tartans but without the exacting dimensions and links to Scottish traditions and history.

You might have seen a plaid draped over the shoulder of a bagpiper wearing a traditional Scottish kilt. Linda Walker, one of our visual designers, wears one when she plays the bagpipes with the Syracuse Scottish Pipe Band. Linda has been playing the bagpipes for 13 years and has marched in many parades, including the annual parade in New York City that ties in with National Tartan Day.

It was the bagpipes, in fact, that brought Linda to our attention a few years ago when she played them in some special footage created by cable shopping channel Evine when it visited our Farm. Since then, Linda, who’s a talented artist and designer, has joined our team and creates displays for us. She also decorated the Christmas tree in our Farmhouse parlor last December.

Linda is the quartermaster for the Syracuse Scottish Pipe Band, which has about 40 members. As such, it’s her job to oversee the care and the appearance of the uniforms, which feature a Modern Douglas tartan. Linda also lends her touch to preparing and presenting meals for the band during the summer competition season.

Her work with the band is a labor of love for Linda, who enjoys the bagpipes because the tunes, which tell of the joys and sorrows of Scottish life, truly touch her heart. It’s also cool, she adds, to teach newcomers how to play the pipes and to be among the growing number of women pipers.

Says Linda, “I am very proud to be a piper and to play an instrument that is so steeped in historical tradition and culture.”

You might say that the Easter basket is the embodiment of Easter. It holds eggs and sweets, of course, but it also has a rich history that follows the traditions of the holiday.

But first, let’s start with the egg, which since ancient times has been celebrated as a symbol of life and rebirth. Christians also believe that the egg represents the resurrection of Jesus.

The Easter basket comes into play because of German traditions, which celebrated Oschter Haws. An egg-laying hare, Oschter Haws was viewed much like Santa Claus and was believed to reward good children by leaving colored eggs that would be placed in “nests” made from baskets and hats that were left out overnight.
Baskets also play a role in other Easter celebrations. In Poland and other Eastern European countries, for instance, it’s still customary to bring baskets of food to church to have them blessed on Holy Saturday or Easter Sunday.

At MacKenzie-Childs, we’ve added to our collection of Easter baskets, including the new Tisket Tasket Basket in pink and in green. Both are decorated with shimmering hand-painted capiz shells. Dimensional flowers made of capiz chips with pearl bead centers embellish the pink basket, while the green basket features transfers of pink roses.

You can fill these baskets with Easter treats for your little bunny, whether they’re young or just young at heart. In fact, who says the tradition of an Easter basket has an expiration date on it?

With that in mind, we’d like to recommend some Easter basket ideas for adults. Our focus is on making them more like a gift basket, although we’re sure the recipient wouldn’t mind if there’s a chocolate bunny or a few jelly beans tucked in there as well.

Gardening basket
Give your favorite green thumb some packets of seeds or a few summer-blooming flower bulbs, plus our Artisan Garden Gloves and our Morning Glory Gardening Tool Set.

Coffee basket
Tell your coffee lover to wake up and smell a new flavor or two. Tuck in a variety of beans and flavorings, plus one of our Travel Mugs or ceramic mugs.

Reader basket
A book lover can never have too many books, right? Tuck in a few new ones, plus a new bookmark, and if your favorite bibliophile likes to sip tea while reading, include our Courtly Check Tea for Me Pot.

Baking basket
Give the baker in your life some new toys to play with in the kitchen. We recommend a whisk, spatula or spoon in our new Royal Check pattern, plus the Royal Check Bistro Apron to keep your baker neat and tidy.

Bath basket
Pamper someone special with a basket filled with indulgences like a facial mask, essential oils, and a loofah or body brush. For relaxing, include our Thistle & Bee Candle, which has an impressive 50-hour burn time and a refreshing floral scent, accented with notes of honey.

Follow along as we welcome spring with Frolic of the Animals, a new holiday from the imagination of MacKenzie-Childs.

Go to our Facebook page to watch our Facebook Live presentation on the Frolic and get a behind-the-scenes look at how it was created.

You can view the products featured in the Frolic here.

Introduction
By the light of winter’s last silvery moon,
and with springtime upon us so very soon.
Our animals gather for a delightful dance,
from meadows and thickets and forests, they prance.
Adorned in their finery, young and old, big and small,
they’re eager to frolic at their springtime ball.
In moonlight they march, two by two,
delighted to introduce themselves to you!

Courtly Check Owl & Olivia Owl
Courtly Check Owl and Olivia Owl sound a hoot or two,
letting all creatures know the promise of spring is true.
“Awake from your homes and come into the moonlight,
spring will be here, and soon longer days will bloom bright!”

Kenzie the Bear & Mack the Bear
From their wintertime slumber, bears begin to rise,
Kenzie the Bear and Mack the Bear wipe sleep from their eyes.
With big yawns and big stretches, they amble their way,
to greet all their friends who have come out to play.

Courtly Check Moose & Milton Moose
The Courtly Check Moose beamingly lends
light to the path for each prancing friend.
In his antlers, Milton Moose places a candle—
ambiance is something he’s eager to handle.

Huck the Raccoon & Savannah the Skunk
Huck the Raccoon and Savannah the Skunk,
awake at midnight, all full of spunk.
They join woodland neighbors in the candles’ glow,
the party has started—it’s time to go!

Funny Bunny & Rosie Rabbit
Our handsome bunnies’ ears go flippity-floppity,
as they bounce to the gathering, hippity-hoppity!
Funny Bunny wears checks from his tail to his nose,
and Rosie Rabbit brings springtime wherever she goes.

Dot Chickens & Rooster Figurine
Meanwhile, the barnyard takes note of the forest glee,
the Dot Chickens, laying eggs, quite giddy at what they see.
While Rooster Figurine sounds a bold cock-a-doodle-doo,
telling all who hear him that winter is finally through.

Polka Dot Pig & Courtly Check Pig
Polka Dot Pig and Courtly Check Pig squeal hog-wild with delight.
They know pretty soon they will see spring’s first light.
After the snowy cold winter, these little piggies say,
“We’re so very grateful and thrilled for this day!”

Harlequin Bird Tassel & Dinger Hummingbird
Music is provided by our sweet feathered friends,
who sing cheerfully along as winter finally ends.
Harlequin Bird Tassel glides on the warm spring breeze,
while Dinger Hummingbird flits among trees with ease.

Sylvie Siamese Catbird & Grant Great Dane
The chattering outside wakes sleeping cats and dogs,
who, in their secret lives, love to play with the chickens and the frogs.
Sylvie Siamese Catbird and Grant Great Dane quickly make their way,
out into the moonlight to the coming of spring’s first day.

Pot Croaker & Frog on Lily Pad
Frogs preside like royalty from lily-pad thrones in the pond,
festivities are something of which they’re quite fond.
They’ve donned their spring crowns—they couldn’t be more glad—
from the mighty Pot Croaker to Frog on Lily Pad!

Queen Bee Pick & Courtly Check Butterfly
As the sun hints at rising, there’s quite a buzz around,
it’s Queen Bee Pick steadily humming, making her gleeful sound.
Courtly Check Butterfly spreads its wings and joins her in flight,
knowing with the coming warmth, spring flowers will soon delight.

Luna Unicorn & Spark Dragon
And from the fanciful back of our mind,
come mythical creatures much harder to find.
Normally cold statues in the veil of the moonlight,
Luna Unicorn and Spark Dragon come alive at the end of the night!

Conclusion
At long last, they all gather in the meadow with a view,
the grass beneath them still wet with early morning dew.
The frolic begins as the day starts to brighten,
inky blue fades to yellow as the skies start to lighten.
There’s dancing and singing—it’s the start of spring!
Winter barely a memory, a now-forgotten thing.
Take note, if you will, from our creatures great and small:
With sunshine in your heart, you can weather it all.

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