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Natural Kids

Natural Kids: August 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

end of summer greens

Thank you to Farida of Alkelda who chose today's color-themed picks from among the collections of the NaturalKids team.
(above) Holly Berry Fairy Maiden by Nushkie

Pocket dress by GermanDolls

Green elephant applique quilt by SewnNatural

Flowering bushes by The Enchanted Cupboard with dolls by Princess
Nimble Thimble

Sea turtle by Eve's Little Earthlings

Bathrobe with green leaf by PurePixie

Merino wool by Chimera

Forest by Pretty Dreamer

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Autumn's Orange

Autumn is coming in her full array of colors. Mother Nature has one last burst of color before the great sleep under the layers of white. Here are some more wonderful orange items from the NaturalKids Team.

 Autumn Pumpkin by Nushkie 

35 inch Playsilk by BeneathTheRowanTree

pure NZ merino wool wrap hoodie by MerinoMe

 Autumn Forest Playset by TheEnchanted Cupboard

Sweet Acorn Fall Doll Dress by germandolls

 To find out more about the NaturalKids Team Check out or links:

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Winner of the Beautiful Pair of Lavender Dolls Is....

By random number generator, number 15 - Angela from The Country Cellar.

Thanks again to Fairies' Nest for offering this giveway!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday Recipe: Sun Strawberry Jam

Keep the fresh, sweet taste of summer in the 'fridge for a fall tea time with Beccijo's recipe for Sun Strawberry Jam!

When strawberries go on sale, it's time to make sun jam, a delightful taste of summer made with solar energy to enjoy any time of year. A very GREEN thing to do. Although it requires patience to prepare sun jam, it captures the fresh flavor of the strawberries. This is a great recipe to do with kids.

Things You’ll Need:
1 1/2 pounds ripe fruit
1 cup sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
Stainless steel saucepan
cheese cloth
Sterile glass jar (with lid)

How To:
Wash the fruit.
Cut it into thin slices.
Mix all of the ingredients together in a stainless steel saucepan.
Cover and let it sit at room temperature for one hour.
Place the pan on the stove and bring to a boil.
Boil for five minutes without stirring.
Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool for 30 minutes.
Pour the cooled fruit mixture into a glass jar.
Cover with chesse cloth and tie with string to allow the moisture to evaporate.
Set the jar outside in full sunshine or in a very sunny window for three to eight hours.
The jam is ready when it has thickened.
Last seal it tightly. Store the jam in the fridge.

While your Sun Jam is basking on the windowsill, why not help the fairies prepare some of their own with a Fairy Kitchen Play Box? If baking isn't your thing, Beccijo also hand paints wooden dinosaurs, school rooms, remote pirate strongholds and even space themed play sets. There is something to engage every imagination in The Enchanted Cupboard.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mini Wednesday - Boston Beanies

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

Meet Rebecca of Boston Beanies   :

I started knitting in grad school to keep my fingers busy so I could concentrate on the lectures. My friends got sick of me giving them scarves as gifts all the time, and then they started getting married and having babies, so I started making gifts for the next generation.

I love the creative outlet of designing my own hats, and as a children's librarian, I love the connection of wearable art and picture book art. So take a look, and enjoy a bit of whimsy!

You can visit Boston Beanies here too:

article by prettydreamer 


Monday, August 23, 2010

back to school - free books with purchase at NaturalKids shops!

 To celebrate back to school, the NaturalKids team on Etsy is offering anyone who makes a purchase at one of our stores a (beautiful ) and FREE counting or alphabet e-book.

(above) eco reusable bag from PrettyDreamer

To receive yours, just enter either "123 BOOK" or "ABC Book" in your message to seller during Etsy checkout, or send the artisan a message with your choice.

Valid until the end of September.

To shop by category (such as felted toys, dolls and housewares... please head over to the NaturalKids team website here.

Huge thank you to Kelly of MuddyFeet for putting these fabulous books together!

fairiesnest lavendar baby dolls

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

beautiful black

Here are some picks from the NaturalKids Team. Thank you to Kat of katsinthebelfry for these selections!

(above) butterfly fairy queen by Alkelda

kitty no.149 by penguinandfish

cat folk push toy by prettydreamer

apple fruit jacket by fairtradefamily

organic baby hat by curlymonkey

felt bomb geekery by Chimera

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Saturday Giveaway - Lavender Dolls from Fairies Nest

Cynthia Toy, from The Fairies' Nest is offering a beautiful pair of handmade lavender dolls.

She has been a doll maker for about 20 years and her dollmaking developed from an acute fiber addiction that she inherited from her mom; plus an overactive imagination, reading lots of fantasy, 3 sons, and from just loving to play with dolls!

Each of her dolls requires many hours to make as Cynthia designs and creates each doll completely from her own imagination. Many of the dolls are made from the inside out without patterns and each face is carefully drawn and painted by hand using no patterns or stencils. Because of this, no two dolls are EVER exactly alike, they are all one of a kind; like people, each has its own distinct personality.

To win this beautiful pair of lavender dolls from The Fairies' Nest, please visit her shop and then leave a comment here about what you like best.
To be entered a second time blog about the giveaway (leave another comment).
To be entered a third time, facebook or twitter it! (be sure to leave another comment)

The drawing will be held Friday, August 27, at 7:00 pm EST.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thursday Project: It's still Summer Here

Even with the start of school, we're still feeling the summer heat in my neck of the woods. These Branch Suns from Tonya of Plain and Joyful Living perfectly capture the nostalgia of the last days of summer as they wind their way into fall.

We embarked on our own creative process. I encouraged the children to paint their own circles. We used birch slices.

As they painted their branches, my brain was swirling with the possibilities. The very tips of birch branches are these lovely multi-branch pieces. With holes drilled closely together around the slice, maybe a fuller branch wreath might take shape.

Here are the children's finished painted pieces. Today they are going to finish them up and we will screw them on the top of our rustic branch fence that borders a small portion of the pond.

Here is my piece that I left unpainted and applied our homemade beeswax oil finish to the faces. I applied a bit of wood glue to the ends of the each branch before putting in the drilled hole.

Here it is finished and hung on the side of our home (the side you see as you drive up our driveway.

As KnittingMomma on Etsy, Tonya uses natural materials that can be returned to the earth without harm to create gnomes, cars, play silks, matching games and blocks - to name just a few of the products in the Natural Earth Farm and Fiber Studio.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mini Wednsday - The Puppenstube

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

Meet Christine of  Puppenstube :

I was born and raised in Germany, but there must be some gypsy blood running in my veins as I have lived in so many different places by now. Packing and moving on has almost become a habit, although one I do not necessarily enjoy. The good thing is that I can take my work with me wherever I go, and there is a good chance you will see me at a fair or sitting in a meeting or such, with knitting in hand or working on some project.

I always enjoyed handwork in school, but was jealous of the boys when they went off to woodwork and craft class and we girls to "only" handwork. I wanted to do both! I have not always been a "knit whiz" though. I remember my mother's words in first grade, "One could kill somebody with your knitting, it is so tight!" I also remember my stitches not moving on those No. 2 ( now my favorite size) metal knitting needles because of my sweaty fingers.

No nice handmade wooden needles like the children make in Waldorf schools! My mother also was, and still is (at 86 years old), knitting all the time. As a child I was dressed in knits during the weekdays and only my Sunday outfits were sewn by a seamstress. After I had outgrown a hand-me-down from my sister, my mother would unravel it and make something else out of it. Knitting and crocheting has always been a big love of mine, and if things go crazy I will sit down and knit to relax.

Puppenstube: in German Puppe means Doll and Stube Room, so a Puppenstube is a Doll's Room or Doll house. I have created this shop to be exactly that, a home for my handmade dolls before they get to your home.

My dolls are handcrafted in the Waldorf tradition and are suitable for any age, from the very young, to the young at heart. Using natural materials and whenever available or appropriate, recycled fabrics in a variety of textures and colors, I hand make all the dolls with careful attention to detail and craftsmanship. My dolls are filled with 100% new wool, and most can be spot cleaned or carefully bathed if needed.

You can visit with The Puppenstube more here:!/Bienenhaus?ref=ts

article by prettydreamer 


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

a short trip to the Caribbean....

At least in spirit! Here are some turquoise colored, Caribbean-sea inspired handmade pieces from members of the NaturalKids team on Etsy. Thank you to Cyn from (the beautiful cloth art doll shop) fairiesnest for this week's selection!

(above) roly poly gnomie, felt friend by woolies

adopt a robot, one of a kind toy by woodmouse

organic short sleeved bodysuit by curlymonkey

needle felted robin's nest with blue eggs by fairyfolk

organic turquoise burp cloths set by SewnNatural

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Need Some Shade TeePee

You need:
  • an old full or queen sized sheet, cut into equal sized flat top triangles (I guess technically, that's a trapezoid).
  • 4 pieces of bamboo, 5 feet or longer is best. We cut ours down in our yard, but you can buy bamboo at hardware stores and nurseries. Any long straightish sticks will do though.
  • Twine and a little needle and thread
  • and... sunshine on a hot day
Lay your bamboo out in a row, tie a knot around the first piece, and then weave it over and under, back and forth, for about 4 layers. Make it nice and tight. Wait till you stand it up and spread the sticks out in a square to tie it, so you can tighten it after the sticks are in place.

Lay out the pieces of fabric and decorate them. We used some homemade yellow dye (tumeric, water, and vinegar), in a little mustard squirt bottle. You could do anything here, fabric paint, berry smashing, coffee or tea dipping, tie dye, etc. It all depends on the age of the children involved. Mine are young and have short attention spans, so I opted for a quick and easy decorating job.

After the pieces are decorated and dried, it's time to sew them together. If you're not a sewer, fabric glue would work. If your kiddos know how to sew, they can help. The lines are straight and easy on this, so if you want to just have them step on the pedal, mine enjoy that. Sew right sides together, sewing the last side just about 10 inches down from the top. Turn it right side out and put over your standing up frame. Hand sew the top part of the door together around one pole. Line the seams up with the other poles, adjusting poles as needed, and hand sew at the top and bottom of of each pole. Put a little piece of twine through the bottom corner of your door so they can tie it shut if they want. Now have fun.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pickles Tomatoes

I truly believe that there is no such thing as too many tomatoes. However, if you're faced with an Abundance in your garden (or your neighbor's), Amber has a delicious solution.

A great way to use up some tomatoes from the garden!

This vegetarian recipe "pickles" tomatoes with a spice blend and they are ready to eat the next day. We serve them with a loaf of warm crusty bread and cheese for dinner. Great as a side too with grilled food.

1 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 large tomatoes
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
2 jalapeños, sliced into rings and seeded
2 teaspoons salt

Bring vinegar, brown sugar and salt to a boil and then remove from heat and set aside. In a skillet, heat the olive oil, garlic, ginger and all the spices low about two minutes. Pour the hot oil into the vinegar. Put the tomatoes, scallions and jalapenos in a large mason jar and pour the vinegar oil blend on top. Put in the fridge overnight and enjoy over the next few days!

This is one that definitely gets better overnight.

Woodmouse uses ustainably harvested domestic woods and beeswax from a local beekeeper to create her handcrafted wooden toys. The simple details and cheerful washes of non-toxic paint that decorate her toys are sweetly reminiscent of children's book illustrations.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mini Wednesday - Pure Pixie

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

Meet Armelle of  Pure Pixie :

Pure Pixie grew up in Brittany, land of the pixies, a Celtic area in France and learned as a child how to make clothing with her Mom and Grand'ma, both professional seamstresses. She was always happy to be able to make things herself, but she fell deeply in love with sewing when she became a Mom herself. Then she started making fun little outfits for her kids. She was making them only for the fun of it but soon people around her started to place orders and she finally decided to launch her business.

Most items sold here have been originally conceived by Pure Pixie for her own kids. Because she cares as much for the environment as for her children's health, she selects only natural fabrics, organic for the most part and uses just enough color in her designs to make these eco-friendly kids' cloths fun to look at and wear. All bamboo fabrics are made from natural organic bamboo by a high tech process that is non-polluting. These fabrics are OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified.

You can visit with Pure Pixie more here:

article by prettydreamer 


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

r a i n b o w s

NaturalKids team artisans Beccijo (TheEnchantedCupboard) and Erin (imaginationKids) were featured this week on Babble, in their favorite rainbow-themed picks for celebrating the beauty in diversity. Congratulations!

Here are some handmade rainbow pieces from their shops:

large rainbow stacker from imaginationKids

rainbow mushrooms from theenchantedcupboard

And some more rainbow-inspired art from other NaturalKids artisans!

custom star baby pin from fairiesnest

merino hand painted yarn from mamma4earth

alien invasion finger puppet set from babus

birch branch children's necklace from knittingmomma

hand knit stuffed animal horse from woolies

rainbow silk scarf from birchleafdesigns