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Natural Kids

Natural Kids: March 2010

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Making Egg Candles for Easter.

Hi, I'm Donni. My shop is called Fairyfolk. My blog is called The Magic Onions.
Making sweet Easter candles has become an Easter tradition in our family. We make a few variations and save them all to put on our Easter table. It is a treat for the kids when they are, at last, allowed to light them... each child taking turns with the taper. The anticipation of having saved them through the Easter season shines from their excited eyes... it's too delightful.
Today, we made colorful Easter Egg candles.
Waldorf Beeswax Easter Egg Candles
We needed:

* empty egg shells (here is a tutorial on how to clean out eggs)
* beeswax
* colored crayons
* candle wick (found at craft stores)
* sticky tape
* an recycled egg cup
* scissors
Prepare the eggshells for the melted wax by sticking a little sticky tape over the small hole on the egg shell. Make sure the tape is stuck fast to seal the shell well.Turn the eggshell upside down and place it in the egg cup so that it is secured.
Cut a length of wick. Tie it around a stick and balance it in the middle of the egg shell. Your shell is now ready for the melted wax.
I use a recycled jar to make a bain-marie to melt the beeswax (here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to safely melt wax).
We adore the wonderful golden color of melted beeswax and breath deeply of the honey aroma. My house always smells so sweet on beeswax craft days.
When I am doing a craft using melted beeswax with the children, we are very careful. Melted wax is extremely hot and would cause a horrid burn. As a precaution, I always work with a bowl of iced water nearby and my children know to put their hand into the cold water if they do get burned.
To color the beeswax, add a little colored crayon to the melted wax and stir until the color blends evenly into the beeswax.

Then carefully pour the melted wax into the eggshell and allow it to cool.
Cut the wick to the desired length and... Voila! Beautifully colored Easter candles.
Blessings and magic for your Easter preparations!

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Listings from the Natural Kids Team

Monday, March 29, 2010

Mini Monday - LaLaShoes

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

Meet Daria of LaLaShoes :

I'm an industrial designer (BDes) with a past in the newspaper and several advertising agencies as an art director - also, during that time I worked on various other things such as set design, paper production, children art education, and many more, big and small. I enjoy working with paper, wood, textiles and all kinds of natural materials.

Here you can find healthy and comfortable soft sole shoes for infants, babies & toddlers and room shoes for girls & women. Designing carefully and then producing something with your own hands is the best feeling in the world!

As pediatricians suggest, babies need to walk in soft-soled footwear for better muscle and balance development. I combined this need with my love for designing and sewing & the love for natural materials and healthy living - I started LaLa! Shoes. I just have a few rules - I work only with 100% wool felt* (all Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified) and 100% linen, I want my shoes to be comfortable and healthy and I want them to look good! In other words, I want to put all my efforts in something I believe in, I'll be proud of and which I enjoy to do.!

(Daria is fluent in Croatian, Italian, English, Slovenian, and reading -loving & learning!- some French )

article by prettydreamer


Friday, March 26, 2010


by Jen of SewnNatural

What are the sources of our inspiration? Where do we, as artists, mothers, fathers, teachers, chefs and community members, find fuel to light the sparks of creativity within us?

image above via Flickr

For one NaturalKids member, Farida (you can visit her magical shop, Alkelda, here) stories and storytelling are closely woven into her artistry, and her life. "I create figures for people to use in nature table displays and in storytelling for folk tales, fairy tales, saints' legends, therapy... wherever the imagination leads."

We are thrilled to announce that starting very soon, Farida (of Alkelda) will be regularly posting interesting and delightful book suggestions on this blog. Our new blog bookshelf will be a fresh new feature for our minds, hearts, and imaginations.

image via Flickr

This week, Farida curated an Etsy Treasury based on the inspiration she found in a wonderful story called Sand Flat Shadows - you can read it here. Here is the collection of handmade pieces she put together, a collection you can also see here for the next few days:

Here is one of the lovely dolls in Alkelda's shop, the Blue Blossom princess, ready for gentle play on your nature table or woven into your stories!

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

make a chocolate nut cake

Today's recipe is by Sue of PolarBearCreations, her shop of Waldorf-inspired dolls, and much more.

Chocolate Nut Cake

250 g sugar

200 g soft unsalted butter (just over 7 oz, or a little less than a cup)

250 g flour (just over 1 cup)

2 tsp baking powder

125 g finely grated (or melted) milk chocolate (baking chocolate) (this is about 1/2 cup)

125 g finely grated hazelnuts (or almonds)(about 1/2 cup)

1 small can of condensed milk (note: Sue has not tried it, but it might just work with yogurt, milk, or even buttermilk)

A bit of icing sugar


Preheat oven to 370°F

Mix butter and sugar in large bowl until smooth.

Stir in eggs, one at the time.

Combine baking powder and flour. Sift into mixture. Mix well, then add chocolate and nuts, a bit at the time. Pour in the milk.

Cake batter should not be too moist.

Grease bundt pan (a tube pan works too)

Fill with chocolate mixture.

Bake at 350°F to 400°F for 40 to 55 minutes.

Let cool and remove from the pan.

Dust with icing sugar & enjoy!

What's in PolarBearCreations' shop? Beautiful Waldorf dolls and much more, including this mini baby, stuffed with wool.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Blossoms for Birds.

Hi, I'm Donni from The Magic Onions Blog. My shop is Fairyfolk.

Here in Southern California, Spring has definitely arrived! Our nights are cool, our mornings are crisp and our days are warm and sunny... it's lovely weather, my favorite time of the year. The squirrels come out, the jasmine blooms and the birds start collecting treasures to build their nests with.

We have a spring tradition that we call 'Blossoms for Birds'. Each year as Spring approaches and we start to notice the birds building their nests, we decorate a bare tree branch with lovely soft wool for them. We find a branch.
Saw it to the right length for little people to reach even the top branches.
And then we put the bare branch in a spot in the garden, just beyond our deck, where we can watch it from our dining room. It's best to put the branch in a visible place, somewhere where you can watch it, undetected by the outside creatures.
Collect a basket of spring-colored wool scraps. I let K choose any color she wanted from my precious stash.
Decorate the bare tree with the wool, winding it around the branches and twigs.
Timone, our squirrel, came to see what we were doing.
She caused great distress by climbing down our Blossoms for Birds tree, nearly knocking it over and making K very angry... "This is for the BIRDS, Timone!" K scolded.
We were able to placate her with a few nuts while we finished decorating our wool tree.
It looks so pretty, covered in colorful tufts of wool, however, a pretty tree is not why we made our Blossoms for Birds Tree... it's for the birds to build their nests with!
All Spring long, we'll watch from our dining room table as the neighborhood birds are attracted to the colorful wool. They'll twitter about in a frenzy of excitement at the lovely soft wool they've found. They'll take a colorful bundle in their beak and fly off with it to build their nests. Just imagine what their nests will look like... pink, blue yellow... so pretty and soft for the sweet little baby birds.For more nature-inspired children's activities, visit my blog The Magic Onions.

Blessings and magic!

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New Listings from the Team

As of this morning!

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Mini Monday - Rumpos

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

Meet Mary Ann of Rumpos:

Mama and partner to a hairy nerd with glasses. I am a writer, reader, sewster, pediatric nurse practitioner student (spring '12 grad). I make playscapes to process the complicated and harrowing puzzles of my life--it's a lovely balm to imagine, create, and work out those tiny little worlds.

At this time, I am creating custom mixed-media fabric playscapes--see the list item description for details. I also have many ready-to-ship pieces in different price points. I work with you within a few constraints (natural materials, natural scene) and send you your completed playscape in two weeks.

article by prettydreamer


Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Feature with knittingmomma

Tell us a little about yourself!
Well, I am a homemaker first. With six children that learn at home, a wonderful husband of nearly 18 years, and a homestead to keep, I am very busy with our daily life. I have always enjoyed working with my hands - sketching, painting, building, knitting and crocheting. All throughout our home can be found my works in progress. A basket with a sewing project, another basket filled with yarn and knitting needles or a half completed project on a counter. I do my best to weave my handwork throughout our day.

Our family’s primary income is our handwork business. My husband, myself and our children all help to create natural fiber toys and rustic décor.

What do you make and how long have you been creating?
I make mostly hand knit toys and I crochet the bags for our branch toys.
With the birth of each of our children, our family gradually began a process of moving towards a more natural lifestyle. I began to read Mothering magazine and the articles I read spoke to me and I realized that there were alternatives to mainstream living which I didn’t feel comfortable with. As I researched natural living, I was drawn to waldorf education and also the amazingly beautiful, yet simple play things associated with a waldorf inspired home or school. During this time, I created a simple knitting gnome pattern and starting knitting lots for my children and for sale.

What inspires you?
I enjoy the magazine, Living Crafts, looking through the natural toy catalogs and simply searching through etsy to get glimpses of the amazing things others are creating. I also love to watch our children play with the simple open-ended toys that we create. It is wonderfully gratifying to see them create all kinds of scenes with simple branch blocks and some hand knit dolls, for example.

What got you started working with wool and wood?
I knew when I began knitting gnomes that I would only use natural fibers. Wool is my fiber of choice and all of our toys are stuffed with wool roving. As our family began the process of working towards a more simple, homesteading lifestyle we incorporated my husband working with branches to create natural toys for children. What is so wonderful about both of these fibers is that they can be composted - they can be returned to the earth if for some reason they are no longer loved.

How long have you been on Etsy and how has it been for you?
I actually began with Etsy shortly after it started in 2005. However, it wasn’t until last year that we began to actually sell in earnest on Etsy and really build our business. It has been amazing for us.

What advice would you have for other Etsians?
Don’t expect to sell out your first week, although you certainly could. But realistically, it takes time and effort to begin selling regularly. List or relist products daily and read as many articles that you can in the community section of Etsy.

What do you hope to learn/gain/contribute from being a part of the Natural Kids group?
I hope that natural fiber toys, clothing and other goods will become mainstream. My wish is that parents will realize the importance of organic cotton touching their baby’s skin and the importance of only buying items that are made of natural fibers in keeping with being mindful of our earth. As a group, we have the ability to reach a wider audience.

Your items can be found where:

We blog at

Interview by Beccijo of The Enchanted Cupboard

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Make a Small Waldorf Doll - Part II

Last week, we featured Part I of fairienest's beautiful small Waldorf doll-making tutorial. Today is the second installment of her beautiful how-to. If you'd like to learn even more about finishing off your small Waldorf doll, please visit her blog, The Fairies' Nest.

Make a Small Waldorf Doll - Part II, by Cyn of fairienest

The first thing you need to do is cover your doll's legs. I usually make tights by tracing around the legs, cutting out this pattern and sewing around it. Notice the tabs on the bottom of the pattern's feet. You sew right over these and then rip off the paper when you're done. This makes these tiny pieces much easier to work with. Then turn your tights right side out and slip them on your doll. (use knits to make tights and save yourself a LOT of frustration.) Now sew the waist of the tights to the doll. I also sew the bottom of the tights to the doll's feet as this helps prevent shoes being pulled off.

Next we need to cover the arms and make hands. Simply sew a tube of fabric, turn it and slip it on. I have a pair of hemostats for turning tiny pieces and they are fabulous! Mine came from one of the many trips to the emergency room for stitches the kids have taken. They were going to throw them away!!! But you can avoid the trauma and get some here. Sew the arms on at the top and then make a wrist and a mitten hand.

If you want, you can give your doll some bloomers like these! Cut out two, sew up the front and back and then sew up one leg and down the other. Turn and after you put them on the doll, sew to the waist. But that's strictly optional.

I like to give most of my storybook dolls a petticoat because it looks so sweet peeking out from under a dress. Just sew up the back on a piece of lace and gather around the dolls waist. Arrange the gathers so that they are mostly in the front and back and less on the sides. This will keep your doll from looking too fat.

Note: I use fray check on the cut edges of my non knit costume pieces (here the pantaloons and the top of the slip) to prevent them from raveling and to reduce bulk in the finished doll...I think it is absolutely essential!
Here's another doll from her shop!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

spring nature + kids = magic

by Jen of SewnNatural shop

Wednesdays on the NaturalKids blog usually feature a wonderful kid-friendly craft. Today, in the midst of shining warm sun, spring tulips peeking out of the ground, and the birth of so many baby insects and animals, we take a short break to consider the simple magic of nature. Children have a deep need to be connected to nature, and learning about plants and animals (experientially) can help to ground them, teach them about themselves & their earth, and bring them lots of joy.

Here are some photos taken last week in Montreal at the Botanical Gardens. Over 1500 butterflies and moths from around the world (50 to 75 butterfly species) are free - flying around to be observed (especially by the wee ones of the world!) Did you know that of the some 1.8 million plant and animal species inventoried to date, two-thirds of them are insects, and close to 175,000 of that number are butterflies?

Please feel free to visit our blog, the SewnNatural studio, for recipes, eco living musings and kids crafts ideas.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mini Monday - Darialvovsky

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

Meet Daria of Darialvovsky :

My name is Daria Lvovsky and I am a mother to my three adorable girls and married to my loving husband, Sasha. My work is a tiny part of an amazing world populated by the little beings I create. My works has become the ultimate toys for my own children and the children of my friends. My way to the needle felting was long and interesting. In attempts to find the most expressive materials, I have tried wood, ceramics and even metal… I discovered this amazing world three years ago through the Waldorf kindergarten which my elder daughter attended. It is hard to pinpoint what is making them so attractive to kids and grown ups alike: the endless scope of imagination, the distinctive texture of the wool, or the unique colors, so different from those that surround us. Moreover, all the materials I use are eco-friendly!

I bring to life the images that inhabit my soul and would be more than happy to bring to life the ones inhabiting yours, so custom orders are always welcome.

article by prettydreamer


Sunday, March 14, 2010

The winner is..

Megan of Congratulations and enjoy your organic bandanna from Ruby's Slippers.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Giveaway from Ruby's Slippers!

Amanda of Ruby's Slippers is excited to offer an organic baby bandana, of the winners choice, as the Friday giveaway from the Natural Kids Team. They fit ages 6 months - 3 years.

Bandana headbands are a great accessory for babies. Baby Bandanas provide sun protection, keep hair in place, and look adorable.

This reversible baby bandana is made from two layers of coordinating organic cotton.

The back has fully cased elastic for a secure, but comfortable fit and is topstitched around the edges so that they will remain crisp, even after many washes.

Amanda is a stay at home mom of a wonderful 20-month old girl. She have been crafting since she was a little girl. She loves to sew, quilt, knit, embroider and screen-print. And her latest obsession is pattern-making born of the need to make soft shoes for her baby. Currently, she is working on making reversible dresses that grow with the girl.

The inspiration for the items in her shop comes from her daughter, and from her experience as a mom. Amanda strives to make unique, high-quality products from natural materials. Everything at Ruby's Slippers is comfortable, cute, and machine-washable.

To enter -
Leave a comment and the lucky winner will be drawn by random number generator Sunday evening at 7:00 pm.

.....comfort for your little one.....