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    Punch needling isa textile technique similar to rug hooking, but easier. A special punch needle creates loops of yarn in cloth, which are held in place by the tension of being so densely packed. Make up an abstract design as you go, and display the end result in an embroidery hoop, or sew into a cushion cover, tote bag, an oven mitt, or, on a larger scale, even a rug. The technique takes a little practice, but once you’ve got it down, you’ll be obsessed.

    What You’ll Need

    Plastic snap frame (8" x 8" or larger)*
    6" wood or plastic embroidery hoop (for display)*
    Oxford punch needle #10**
    Monk’s cloth (at least 10" x 10")**
    Yarn (in your chosen colors)
    Black pen 
    Optional: Paper for transferring a pre-planned design

    * Available at major crafting supplies stores

    ** Available on



    1. Assemble plastic frame. Center monk’s cloth (making sure the weave is straight) on top. Secure with clamps, one on each side. Tighten cloth by twisting clamps away from each other, two at a time. A taut surface is crucial! If the cloth goes slack while punching, twist clamps to retighten (A).


    2. Using the pen, lightly outline the inner circle of your embroidery hoop on the front of the cloth (B). (To plan a design, do this step on paper. Draw a simple design inside the circle. Cut the paper so it fits underneath the cloth. Hold the frame up to light and use black pen to lightly trace the design, circle included, on the front of the cloth.)

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    3. The hollow punch needle has one hole at the base of the slotted handle and another hole at the tip of the notched needle; the yarn flows through the handle to the end of the needle. To thread the punch needle, poke the tail of your yarn down into the needle’s hole, pulling a few inches of yarn through. Hold onto the tail with your non-dominant hand, and use your dominant hand to draw the strand of yarn down to the end of the handle along the slot. Pull on the tail until the yarn strand is forced down into the slotted handle (C), then pull on the yarn at the rear end of the handle until there’s just a short tail poking through the needle. 

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    4. Rules for punching: the slotted side of the handle should always be facing up, the needle should move forward in the direction you’re punching, and the yarn must be able to flow freely through the handle slot and out the end.

    5. Punch your design by section/color. Starting along the edge of the circle, push the needle down into the cloth all the way to the base of the handle. Always punch all the way down. Gently pull the needle back up until the tip is barely grazing the top of the cloth. (Lift too high, you’ll pull the stitch out.) Drag the tip of the needle across the cloth about 1/8" and punch your next stitch. Aim to punch 6 to 8 stitches per inch, but don’t worry about only punching the natural holes in the weave—just punch (D). 

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    6. Outline the section/color first, working toward the center. If your design has any hard angles, turn your needle while it’s punched down, so when you pull it up, it’s facing in the right direction.

    7. On the last stitch of your first section/color, leave the needle punched down then flip over the frame so you can see the needle tip poking through on the looped side. Cut the yarn on the underside of the hole to free the punch needle (E).

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    8. Repeat steps 3 through 7 to punch the rest of your design. After your entire design has been punched, use the tip of your needle to poke any loose yarn ends to the underside of the cloth (F). Flip the frame over and trim the yarn ends and any uneven or messy loops to the same height as the rest of the design (G).

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    9. Remove your punch needle piece from the frame, position it inside the embroidery hoop with the looped side facing front, and tighten into place (H). Cut the excess cloth and tuck or tape toward the back of the frame. Hang! 

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    By Amelia McDonell-Parry
    Photographed by Patricia Lopez Ramos
    This article originally appeared in the January/February 2019 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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  • salad ddafc

    Veni, Vidi, Vici Salad


    Winter is almost over, but the urge to carb load isn’t. Meet the onslaught of spring veggies in the middle by digging into a salad of hearty potatoes and chickpeas, spiked with capers, olives, and sugar snap peas and paired with your favorite fresh greens. Layer salad dressings for maximum flavor: dress the greens with a simple vinaigrette, then garnish everything else with a creamy, sunflower-seed based Caesar dressing.

    Snap Peas and Potatoes Spring Salad
    Makes 2 generous entrée salads

    • 1 lb. small red or yellow waxy new potatoes, thoroughly scrubbed
    • 1/2 lb. sugar snap peas, stems trimmed
    • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
    • A few twists of freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 14-oz. can chickpeas, drained and well rinsed
    • 4 to 6 cups mixed spring greens
    • 1 8-oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and sliced into quarters
    • 1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pits removed
    • 1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds
    • 2 heaping Tbsp. capers

    Prepare the Caesar dressing (right) and chill. Dice potatoes into 1-inch chunks. In a large pot, steam potatoes in a steamer basket over boiling water, covered, for 10 to 12 minutes until easily pierced with a fork. With steamer pot still boiling, remove potatoes and rinse with cold water. Then steam sugar snap peas, covered, for only a minute. Rinse with cold water and shake dry.

    In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. In a mixing bowl, gently toss this vinaigrette with chickpeas and mixed greens. Divide among serving plates, then add potatoes, snap peas, and artichoke hearts to each, and garnish with olives, nuts, capers. Drizzle with Caesar dressing, and eat!

    Sun and Sea Sunflower Caesar Dressing
    Makes about 1 cup

    • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked*
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond or cashew milk
    • 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
    • 6 Kalamata olives, pits removed
    • 1 Tbsp. olive brine (from the olive jar)
    • 2 tsp. rice vinegar
    • 2 tsp. white miso
    • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
    • 2 tsp. powdered seaweed 
(arame, kelp, nori, etc.)
    • Big pinch of sea salt
    • Several generous twists of 
black pepper
    • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

    Drain sunflower seeds. In a high-powered blender, blend everything except oil into a smooth cream. Drizzle in oil a little at a time, pulsing until mixture is emulsified. (Keeps for two days in the fridge.)

    *In a bowl, cover seeds with 2 inches of water, cover the bowl, and set aside for 2 hours or overnight.

    Adapted from Show Up For Salad: 100 More Recipes for Salads, Dressing, and All the Fixins You Don’t Have to Be Vegan to Love by Terry Hope Romero (Da Capo Lifelong Books, out June 4, 2019).

    Photographed by Emily Hawkes

    This article originally appeared in the March/April 2019 print edition of BUST Magazine.Subscribe today!



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  • Embroidery KatBorchart 6f037

    Add some magic to your favorite photos by getting a little knotty.

    The often feared but oh-so-fabulous French knot is easier to ace than you might imagine. It’s also the perfect embroidery stitch to transform your fabric-printed photos into wall-ready works of art. Have a yearbook photo that needs a makeover? A group portrait you want to add some extra joy to? Thoughtful placement of a few French knots can highlight trim on an outfit, punctuate the center of a flower, or fill the air with confetti. En masse, they can create new hairdos, fill borders and backgrounds, or even reimagine the family photo album with a little magical realism.


    Photo image on fabric
    Embroidery hoop
    6-strand embroidery floss in your chosen colors
    Embroidery needle


    1. Select a favorite personal photograph or public domain image that can be used without permissions or restrictions, like from The New York Public Library (, check the “public domain materials” box) or the British Library ( Crisp, clear, black-and-white photographs work best, and will provide an eye-popping contrast with colorful embroidery floss.

    2. There are two ways to transfer an image to fabric. Using an inkjet printer, you can print your image yourself onto paper-backed cotton fabric sheets (Jacquard Cotton Inkjet Fabric Sheets, $18.99 for a pack of 10,

    a step 8a70d

    For a higher-quality result, upload your image to a fabric print-on-demand service, like (I recommend choosing “linen cotton canvas”), and wait for your fabric-printed photo to arrive. It’s best to scale your imagery to no smaller than 4" x 6".

    3. Before you begin, consider your overall composition by printing a practice photo on paper and sketching the general placement of your stitches.

    b step 372f4

    If you’re concerned about “ruining” your image, know this: you can practice on scrap fabric until you feel more confident and any rogue knots can be pulled out, allowing you to start again!

    4. Load your fabric into your embroidery hoop so the surface is smooth and taut. Cut a 12" to 16" length of embroidery floss, and split off three strands. Knot one end and thread the other through your embroidery needle leaving a 2" tail. Determine the location of your first French knot and push your threaded needle through the fabric, entering from the underside and pulling the floss through until the knot catches on the back.

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    5. Set your hooped fabric down on your work surface. Hold your needle in your dominant hand and then take the 2" to 3" of the floss closest to your knot, hold it taut with your non-dominant hand, and don’t let go. There’s no need to pull hard, you just want to create a straight line of the floss with gentle tension.

    d step 2481a

    6. Bring the needle towards your body and hold it parallel to the fabric; wrap the taut part of the floss around the needle three times.

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    Position the tip of the needle right next to where the floss initially came up through the surface and then pierce the fabric again—but don’t push the needle all of the way through.

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    Now gently pull the floss with your non-dominant hand and watch the wrapped knot slide down the needle to the surface of the fabric.

    7. Next, slowly push the needle through the fabric, releasing the floss and lifting the hoop up off your work surface, allowing you to pull the floss all the way through.

    g step 5d90b

    The end result is a neat, three-dimensional knot that sits on the surface of your fabric.

    h step 6ae2c

    8. Create as many French knots as you’d like with your length of floss, but leave yourself at least 3" at the end. After completing your final French knot, separate the strands on the underside of the fabric, knot together, and trim.

    i step f958d

    By Robert Mahar
    Visit for more embroidery and diy tutorials.

    Top photo by Kat Borchart
    Crafting photos by Robert Mahar

    This article originally appeared in the Fall 2020 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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  • diyflowernails c9044

    Spring is here, which means it’s time to flaunt florals. This detailed, easier-than-it-looks design by nail artist extraordinaire Miss Pop is made using real (!) dried flowers, perfect for sprucing up your hand sitch while keeping a little plant magic at your fingertips. You’ll need a few specialized items, including a bonding top coat, a wax pencil for petal placement, and, of course, teeny-tiny dried flowers specifically purposed for nail art, which can be found on Amazon (just search “nail art dried flowers”) or at any beauty supply store. Read on for the how-to! 


    1. Gently file your nails into a tapered oval.

    2. Use an exfoliating cuticle treatment (such as Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Remover, $20, to remove dry, dead skin. Use a cuticle pusher to remove the loosened cuticle. 

    flowernails1 35af43. Apply cuticle oil (such as CND Solar Oil Nail & Cuticle Conditioner, $12.59, and paint a base coat of your preferred color. We used Zoya Naked Manicure Pink Perfector ($10, because it picks up natural nail bed tones and gives a nice pink glow. For more control and less fuzz, use a small flat brush (instead of a cotton ball) dipped in nail polish remover to fix mistakes and remove rogue polish.


    flowernails2 6d4cb4. After the base coat dries, it’s time to prep your flowers. Hold the pressed flowers in one hand and use needle-nose tweezers to pluck the buds from the stems. Collect your buds on a surface that is not paper, so they’re easier to pick up later. It is crucial to pluck the buds completely off of the stems—the fewer brittle, pokey stem pieces you have, the easier the application process will be and the better the final result.


    flowernails3 769b75. Daub a rhinestone 
top coat (like Cina Top Coat & Bonder, $4.99, any place you want to add flowers. This type of top coat is a very thin adhesive that takes a long time to dry, which makes it easier to move the flowers around once you’ve placed them on your nail.


    flowernails4 4eba46. With a wax pencil, pick up and press the flower buds onto your nails in a design and color scheme that speaks to you. We created a cascading French tip design with pastel pink, yellow, and purple flowers. 

    flowernails5 20c2f7. Seal your design with a coat of thick, fast-drying Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat ($9.95,


    By Allie Lawrence
    Photographed by Jessica Bloom
    Nail Artist Miss Pop
    Model Idriss Tirado
    This article originally appeared in the March/April 2019 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today! 


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  • makeitwork 7b555

    See the light with a sunny yellow lamp with retro styling, handcrafted in the U.S.

    studiodeskye1 d9a60


    Keep your tech and specs as clean as your hands.

    well kept 9101d


    Vegan leather ear pads and a built-in mic for those endless video calls.

    Headphones cef62


    Walk tall using practical 
step-by-step exercises from former nurse Harriet Griffey.

    71TjIBXEx3L 13dba


    Dream of the wild outdoors with a calming coastal scene, perfect for printing at home.

    ocean dfaed


    Get green-fingered with hand-pinched porcelain planters by 
East Coast artist Elizabeth Benotti.



    Work from anywhere with a cool case for your computer, cables, and cards.

    bag 05636


    Breathe freshness into your space with pure essential oils.

    spray bottle 13615


    Get juice on the go with a gorgeous portable phone charger.

    SNIX 01e66


    Plan ahead in this neat green diary with 
vegan leather cover.

    Planner 234b7


    Wake up and wind down—this clever 
light-up clock, featuring eight color options, 
also includes an old-school FM radio.

    Gear Homelabs credit Amazon de09f


    By Stephanie J.

    This article originally appeared in BUST's Fall 2020 print edition. Subscribe today!

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  • GcH q6HA 5b30f c8053

    Crunchy, chewy, salty,sweet, and customizable—the humble handmade popcorn ball is a festive fall treat that deserves a comeback. These authentic popcorn balls are made with a mix of sugars (including molasses for an old-fashioned cracker jack taste or agave for a neutral sweetness) boiled into a syrup that gives the corn a glossy exterior with a crisp-chewy bite. Wield your candy thermometer like a wand and you’ll be a popcorn ballin’ wizard in one batch flat.

    Candy Popcorn Balls

    Makes 18 to 20 balls

  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • ½ cup popcorn kernels
  • ½ cup light molasses or agave nectar
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. vegan butter or coconut oil, plus additional for greasing bowl and hands
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Generously grease the inside of a big (two-quart) mixing bowl with vegan butter or coconut oil. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 

    In a three-quart Dutch oven or similar large pot, heat vegetable oil over medium high heat, add popcorn, and cover. Use oven-mitted hands to hold the lid and pop the corn (occasionally shaking the pot). Transfer popped corn to the mixing bowl. If using mix-ins (see right), add them now. 

    Clip your candy thermometer to the inside of a large, tall saucepan. Add molasses or agave, sugar, water, vinegar, and salt. Bring mixture to a vigorous boil over medium-high heat. When the mixture hits the candy-making “hard-ball stage” (between 250 and 265 degrees F), turn off heat. Stir in the vegan butter or coconut oil and vanilla with a silicon spatula. Pour immediately over the popcorn and use the spatula to vigorously fold the mixture (wear an oven mitt for protection!) till evenly coated. 

    Let the popcorn mixture cool just enough to handle. Coat your hands with vegan butter or coconut oil and shape the popcorn into 2"– 2½" balls. Place finished balls on the parchment paper. If adding flake salt or sprinkles, sprinkle while still warm. 

    Try the following variations for a tasty twist:

    Chocolate Drizzle: Melt ½ cup dark chocolate chips in a double boiler and stir in 1 Tbsp. coconut oil. For neat and pretty drizzles, scoop mixture into a plastic pastry bag, snip off the tip, and crisscross over popcorn balls. 

    Cracker Jill (make candy with molasses): Add ½ cup roasted peanuts to the popcorn before the syrup. Sprinkle flake salt over still-warm balls.

    Creepy Halloween Balls (make candy with agave): Add ½ cup vegan white chocolate chips, candy-covered chocolate drops, or mini marshmallows to the popcorn before the syrup. Shake ½ cup Halloween sprinkles over still-warm balls.

    By Terry Hope Romero

    Photographed by Emily Hawkes

    This article originally appeared in BUST's October/November 2018 print issue. Subscribe today!

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  • ThanksgivingForTwo 691ad

    All the classics of this holiday meal, scaled down for a socially distanced celebration.

    My mom’s idea of Thanksgiving dinner was a far cry from the traditional turkey, stuffing, and apple pie suppers my school pals were having. Mom opted for Empire Kosher chicken (roasted with no seasoning whatsoever), canned asparagus, and, if we were lucky, an Entenmann’s cake shaped like a turkey. In my adult years, Thanksgiving became what I call an orphan supper. I’d invite my friends over who either had no family or wished they didn’t, and put together a bountiful potluck supper laced with love. (If you don’t get the family you want by blood, get it by choice—this is especially true in my gay community.) Of course, lots of issues come up with T-Day: on the top of my list is how friggin’ horrible its colonial roots are. Plus this year, we’ve also got Corona to contend with! Which means swapping large, glorious gatherings for intimate settings. So I’m cooking a Thanksgiving dinner for two, using it as an occasion to be grateful for my chosen family, the indigenous history of the land I live on, and the foods I find most comfort in. (If you’re decolonizing your diet, take only what works for you!) Then I’m inviting a slew of my favorite people to join me from their own suppers on Zoom.

    Yum Town Turkey Thighs

    I think white meat turkey is an abomination. I’m a thigh girl all the way—the dark meat is so much sexier and more interesting. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Dry two turkey thighs with paper towels. Rub all over with salt, pepper, and paprika. Melt a stick of sweet butter, mix with a few smidgens of chopped fresh rosemary and fresh thyme, and a good plop of mustard (any kind will do). Toss the seasoned turkey thighs in the herb mustard butter, getting it under the skin, too. Slice up two white onions. I like to cut them into half-moon shapes, but float your boat. 

    Drizzle a little olive oil into a baking pan and spread it around. Put the onions in the bottom and lay turkey thighs on top, skin side up. 

    Roast for about one hour, or until your meat thermometer says 170 degrees. I always baste once or twice along the way with drippings. Let the thighs rest for 10 to 15 minutes tented under foil before carving—it makes it way better.

    Simple, Glorious Baked Sweet Potatoes

    I’ve tried all kinds of fancy shmancy Thanksgiving sweet potato dishes, but I always go back to simple, baked spuds. Wash (I mean really scrub) and dry one average-size sweet potato for every person you want to feed (leave that gorgeous skin on, it’s got loads of nutrition). Poke holes with a fork around the potato, a few times on each side. Lay on a baking pan lined with parchment or foil, because it will get messy! Roast at 400 degrees F until a fork stuck into the sweet potato comes out easily, probably 40 to 50 minutes. Cut open that sweet potato and slather with butter or vegan butter, salt, and pepper—it’s pure heaven. 

    Gotta Love the Sprouts

    Buy one bunch or package of fresh Brussels sprouts. Trim hard ends and any funky outer leaves, then cut each sprout in half the long way. Toss sprouts in olive oil, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Lay them on a baking sheet and roast in oven at 400 degrees F until sprouts look brown and feel soft, about 30 minutes. Sprouts may look a bit burnt—that’s fabulous. Eat them plain, or mix a few dashes of Sriracha with a good plop of honey and toss the hot cooked sprouts in it for sweet and spicy glory.

    Basic, Fabulous Cranberry Sauce

    In a saucepan over low heat, mix up a half coffee cup of sugar, a few smidgens of brown sugar, a half coffee cup of orange juice, and a half coffee cup of water. Cook over low heat until sugar dissolves. Dump in a bag of fresh cranberries. Cook until the cranberries are all soft, about 10 minutes. Then turn up the heat a little and cook until the cranberries all burst. Reduce heat to low and cook until everything looks nice and cranberry saucy (another 10 to 15 minutes more). I like to throw in a good pinch of salt to even out the sweetness and a good pinch of fresh ground black pepper for a little zing. I have also been known to toss in a dash of hot sauce. Hey, why not? 

    By Chef Rossi
    Photographed by Ify Yani

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  • mags 1cfe7

    If your day job in the city is keeping you from your dream of living on a farm and filling your days with crafts, cooking, and creativity, let independent magazines Taproot and Making take you there. Both are published in Maine, and you can almost smell the maple syrup boiling down, hear the fire crackling in the woodstove, and feel the warm, hand-knit socks on your feet as you leaf through page after page of gorgeous photography, sweet illustrations, and inspired instructions on things like how to bake wild rose shortbread cookies, build a shelter in the woods, or knit a set of sleepy kittens. Taproot has a slightly more homestead-y vibe, while Making’s emphasis is on needlework, but spending time with either—or both—will awaken you to the limitless amount of joy you can craft with your own two hands. Taproot, $42 for 1 year (6 issues),; Making, $49 for 1 year (2 issues),

    By Debbie Stoller
    This article originally appeared in the October/November 2018 print issue of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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    suf city11 51b38

    Suffragette City is a collective made up of artists, writers, and musicians aiming to break up the cis male-dominated creative scene. Their DIY zine elevates work made by women and genderqueer artists. Suffragette relies heavily on its punk rock ethos, providing a zine that is independently produced by a small team of local artists. But don't let the word "DIY" fool you into thinking that this is some amateurish endeavor! Gwynn Galitzer, founder of Suffragette City, is a self-proclaimed "graphic design nerd" and no newcomer to the world of printmaking. Galitzer has been making zines since high school and studied printmaking at SVA.

    suf city 2ec2aSuffragette City Issue #1 (photo: Alannah Farrell)

    As a native New Yorker, Galitzer works with long-term friends, members of her tight-knit artist community, and even top industry professionals to print a high caliber magazine that is as aesthetically compelling as it looks. The zines, which are produced out of Galitzer’s living room, are all handmade and created with tremendous love and care. To pay for production costs, fundraising parties featuring local bands and artists are thrown regularly. 

    suffff 5edbcSuffragette City Issue #1 (painting: Katelan Foisey)

    Having a professional looking magazine produced at a DIY level provides local underground artists the unique opportunity of getting their work out into the world and being taken seriously. Suffragette aims to bring marginalized voices into the light; bridging the gap between female creators around the world. Galitzer hopes the work will reach young girls who may not have immediate access to this kind of community and inspire them to keep creating. 


    13174005 1069322766423858 5419952796144149452 n 39df3Suffragette City table at 2016 Pioneer Works Zine Exchange

    First photo by (Suffragette City Issue #1 (photo: Alannah Farrell, illustration: Harley Kinberg)

     You can catch Suffragette City at this year's BUST Holiday Craftacular. Attendees will have the opportunity to make their own zine out of a single piece of paper and learn basic zine folding techniques. You can even leave behind your zine at the workshop and Suffragette City will print and distribute it for you!


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  • Screen Shot 2020 11 24 at 1.33.58 PM 19da9

    This doctor mom is making it her mission to educate children on anatomy in a hands-on and fun way. Known as The Breakfasteur, she has over 37 thousand followers on Instagram and almost 5 thousand subscribers on YouTube. In a collection of playdough molds, The Breakfasteur has constructed a series of child-friendly operations, ranging from an ovarian cystectomy, a nail matrix biopsy, a hernia repair, and more. Her most recent mold video, operating a cesarean delivery of a toy spiderman, has sparked controversy, some calling it disturbing, unnecessary, and traumatizing for young children.  

    The Breakfasteur, whose son was born via cesarean, hopes the video will normalize the operation that many women undergo. While some on the internet are appalled by her videos, saying that children shouldn't know about such things, many mothers have expressed gratitude for the video, saying it breaks the secrecy that often shrouds caesarian births while making it an approachable subject for children. The Breakfasteur's colorful and inventive displays of real-life operations shed light on the processes that our bodies live-through and heal from, a beautiful testament to our strength.

    Top photo: The Breakfasteur / Youtube

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