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Natural Kids

Natural Kids: November 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Recipe: Zucchini Bread

Looking for a way to include more fruits and veggies into your family’s diet? Why not try this delicious recipe from Ann for Zucchini Bread? Her daughters gave it their stamp of approval!

Zucchini Bread
(Kinderhaus Cooks)


3 cups flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. baking powder
2 cups zucchini, shredded
1 cup raisins
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
½ tsp. vanilla


In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking powder, baking soda, zucchini, and raisins. In another bowl, beat eggs, oil, and vanilla. Pour over flour mixture and stir until moist.

Turn into a greased 9” x 13” pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until golden brown. You could make small loaves or muffins also. Sinply adjust your baking time. Freezes well.

This was a new recipe in which I tried to use a zucchini. It was very moist and had a nice cinnamon flavor to it. The raisins puffed up and were soft. I'd definitely make it again. The next time I make it, I may double the cinnamon and nutmeg perhaps…or use apple pie seasoning instead.

Both Sophia and Olivia liked it (Sophia as it was and Olivia prefers it without raisins and picked out each one to give to Sophia or me). Olivia noticed the green bits of zucchini, but when I told her there was no taste and it just made the bread very moist, then she was fine with eating it.

Thank you, Ann! Now for some more wholesome creations, head on over to Ann’s Etsy shop, Harvest Moon by Hand. In Ann’s words: Harvest Moon by Hand helps people enhance their homes by offering beautiful natural products which are calming and uplifting; and inspire creative and imaginative play in children.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Kid Craft: Advent Calendar

It's time to start counting the days! This project is well suited to older kids - especially older kids who want to learn to use a sewing machine! Linda's complete post (more pictures) can be found on her blog, Natural Suburbia.

Today the girls and I decided to make a Christmas Advent calendar for our family that we will use this year and for many years to come.

It was a really fun activity and didn't take long at all. We decided to use pinking shears, they are quick and easy to use and the result is such a pretty edging, and of course no seams!

Two different fabrics
Pinking Shears
Sewing machine

For out bags, we used a 5 x 7 inch cardboard template.

I love this Christmas fabric, I bought it last year and used it as a centrepiece for our Christmas table. Today we just cut a thin slither off the one end to make our little advent bags.

Fold your material double, place the base of your template on the fabric fold and mark out your bag. That's Erin (above), marking our the hemp fabric. Cut out your bags with pinking shears, just around the top and sides.

Jen sewing straight up the sides of each bag on the right side of the fabric. The top the bags have been cut with the pinking shears too so no need for a seam there.

Here are all our little bags, sewn and ironed, 13 in Christmas fabric and 12 in plain hemp.

We hung a ribbon from one end of our fireplace to the other and wrapped the red yarn around the bags and tied them onto the hanging ribbon with a bow. We were going to add pegs but decided not to. We hung the bags alternating the Christmas fabric and the hemp.

Such a sweet project for mama and her girls... I still need to think about what treasures I will be adding to these little bags for Advent, any suggestions? I would love to hear your thoughts...

Linda gives her four children the credit for inspiring her to create the wonderful Waldorf inspired knitted and wooden farm animals, gnomes and other toys that inhabit her Etsy shop. Knitting patterns for toys and finished treasures are all available from Mamma4earth.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday Treasury - Green Gifts for Little Ones!

'*Green* Gifts for Little Ones! Under $40' by NaturalKidsTeam

Natural and Organic items from the NaturalKids team!

Eco-friendly Sleeve...

Bergamot scented pl...

Bunny and Leaf Pouc...

Green and Yellow Su...

Organic Children ...

Pickle Frog Prince ...

Organic Yoga Pants ...

Tree of Peace Colla...

Troll Bridge - Marb...

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Green Elephant Sail...

Custom Mouse Family

Wee Pocketbaby, Bab...

Wooden Leaf Puzzle

Elder Leaf - Upcycl...

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saturday Giveaway GermanDolls

Just in time for Christmas! Don't miss out on this fantastic Giveaway by GermanDolls! The winner will receive one of Ulla's sweet Trademark Pocketdress & Pocketdoll ™ combinations. It's been a hit with children for years. Who doesn't love a sweet little baby to carry around?

About the artist:

Ulla is a modern day German Immigrant who came to the US in 1995. She started making dolls and toys for her kids because she wanted them to grow up with the same quality handmade German toys she had as a child.

Each dress is hand cut and sturdily sewn together by machine. The dolls are stuffed with wool and hand embroidered with lovely details.

You can order your own personalized pocketbaby for a special child in your life for under $10. But hurry, Christmas is almost here! Please, enjoy the images of Ulla's wide range of needle work, which includes larger dress-up dolls and delicate needlefelted items, on the sites listed below.

How to Enter this Giveaway:

Please note, that members of the Naturalkids Team and their families are excluded from this promotion. You must have a US address in order to enter in this giveaway!

If you would like to enter, have fun visiting Ulla's cozy corners on the internet. Just take a tour of one or all of the following sites and leave comments about what you enjoyed. Here are your options:

  1. Add GermanDolls to your Etsy favorites.

  2. Become a Fan of GermanDolls and Natural Kids on Facebook (and/or post this giveaway to your FB page)

  3. Visit GermanDolls’ Blog and become a follower! Don't' forget to leave a comment while there!

  4. Follow GermanDolls and NK_Store on Twitter and Tweet about this giveaway.

  5. Blog about this giveaway with a link back to the post.

    This giveaway closes next Saturday, and the winner will be chosen randomly and notified by email. Good Luck! or Viel Glueck! as they say in German.;)

And the winner is....

Thanks so much for all the comments, follows, and visits to my cozy corners on the internet from you folks! I am planning on having a giveaway on my GermanDolls blog in January that will be ALL-INCLUSIVE and WORLWIDE! So please, don't forget to visit my blog in the new year!

This giveaway is closed now! The Random Number Generator today tells us that the name of the Lucky Winner of this cute GermanDolls Pocketdress is Kerry (see comment # 15) Yippee, Kerry! I will contact you today!


Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Feature with Eve's Little Earthlings

Today's interview is with Eve, of Eve's Little Earthlings. Enjoy!

Tell us little about yourself!
I live in a small Ontario city with my husband, 2 teenage kids, dog, cat and 5 chickens.  We have an ‘urban farm’ in our backyard and are working to become self sufficient year round in vegetables and fruit.  I ran a waldorf inspired daycare for 10 years.  That is when I got interested in making toys from repurposed, natural materials.
What do you make, & how long have you been creating?

I make all kinds of small toy animals, toy animal habitats and playmats.  I’ve been building up my collection gradually over the last 10 years.  I started by making North American woodland animals, but now I also make some African and Australian animals too!

What inspires you?

I am inspired by nature, trees and the sweet intelligence of all creatures.

What got you started working with repurposed sweaters?

I am passionate about not wasting our precious resources.  Old sweaters are soft and warm, they have a beautiful stretch and sew nicely.  It is fun shopping for sweaters.  You never know what you might find and how it might inspire a new item.

How long have you been on Etsy, & how has it been for you so far?

I have been here at Etsy for just over a year.  Things have been gradually getting busier, although there are stretches when it seems that nothing is happening!

What advice would you have for other Etsians?

Learn to take great photos and relist or add new items often.   Don’t be afraid to try making new things and schedule some creative time every week. Keep plugging away and don’t be discouraged if things sell right away.   Read the forums and Etsy’s tips for good advice.

What do you hope to learn/gain/contribute from being part of the Natural Kids group?

I was hoping to make friendships within the group and connect with some people who are doing the same things that I am. The team makes me feel like I’m not alone during the day.

What thoughts do you have for parents on the importance of natural toys for creative play?

Children will cherish their toys if they are beautifully and carefully made with love.  I chose to give  my children and the children I cared for with well made toys that nurtured quiet imaginative play.
They learned to care for their toys and not think of them as disposable junk.  I think this fosters a positive attitude towards the environment and helps them to question our consumer society as they grow up.

Your links:!/EvesLittleEarthlings  (currently, until the end of November)

Thank you Eve!
This interview was by Kat, of kats in the belfry.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Snowy White Peg Angel Tutorial

This weeks How-To is a PEG ANGEL in snowy white colors. Below mine is in a windowsill of icy snow... This easy-to-make angel looks sweet as a table decoration, hung up in a tree or as an advent gift (for those over 3 that still don't mouth toys!). Snow optional!
For this project you will need: peg person 6 cm /2¼” tall, small piece of white flannel, white wool felt, 1.5 m/1.5 yard length of yarn (I had some small looped boucle for this), glue, thread, needle, scissors, pipe-cleaner (mine is a glittery one), and pencils (I used aquarelle, but you can use anything that colors onto wood).
Step 1: Draw on a face. Other options are painting one on or leaving blank.
Step 2: Cut a rectangle of white flannel approx. 6.5 x 12 cm/ 2.5 x 4.75 ". Hem the bottom and 2 short sides either by machine or hand. Once the three sides are hemmed fold the topside down toward the wrong side so that the height of the strip is 4.25 cm/ 1 +5/8". Cut excess off, leaving a small seam allowance on the wrong side. Gather a running stitch along the top edge.
Step 3: Put flannel piece around peg neck with the opening in the back and pull the thread tight. Knot off securely. There will be a fabric opening in the back of the angel.
Step 5: cut the angel wings out of felt (pattern above, just right click & print).
Step 6: Put a dab of glue onto the back middle of the peg and affix the wings.
Step 7: Make lengths of hair approx. 6.5 cm/2.5 " long. If you don't have yarn you can also try using embroidery floss. Stitch together through the middle and gather them a little if need be. Then glue your yarn wig onto the top of the angels head. Trim hair if desired.
Step 8: Cut a length of pipe
cleaner 8 cm/ 2.75" long. Bend into a circle and twist the ends together. Place your angel halo on top of the hair.
Step 9: Enjoy!

This tutorial was brought to you by Natalie, of Woolhalla.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mini Wednesday - Mosey


Meet Jes of Mosey:

Mosey Handmade is inspired by the fabrics from her childhood, calico's and tiny prints, hand dyed felt. Mosey loves working with recycled materials. dyeing them, cutting them up and fashioning them into new lovelies. After graduating from the Museum School in Boston, Mosey dusted off the old sewing machine and got right down to work.

A love of things found in her tiny garden, the ocean or the forest nearby. natural materials have become a mosey favorite and she cannot seem to get enough of wool, linen, and cotton.

Mosey Handmade has been felting recycled sweaters in her washing machine all fall and winter- and there is nothing like the hum of the wash and the smell of lavender soap to get one sewing!
All mosey items are handmade in a wee little studio with a view of the garden and the smell of the ocean.

You can see more of Mosey on her blog:

article by prettydreamer  


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Recipe: Banana Bread

Wondering what to do with all of those over-ripe bananas? Make banana bread of course. This timeless classic from Linda is always a hit!

Today we had so many bananas and because it's Richard's favourite, I decided to bake banana bread. It turned out divine and I am going to share my recipe with you. It has been in our family for quite a few generations:


125 g butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 free range eggs
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
4-6 really ripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla essence
half tsp salt

1. Beat sugar and butter until creamy then add vanilla.
2. Add eggs one at a time and beat.
3. Sift dry ingredients together and add to butter and sugar mix.
4. Mash bananas and add to the mixture.
5. Mix well and put into a small greased loaf pan.

Bake @ 180 degrees celsius for an hour.

Thanks, Linda, we will! And if that recipe doesn't warm your bones on a crisp fall day, Linda's charming etsy shop - Mamma4earth - is sure to warm your heart. Her shop features an array of Waldorf inspired hand-knitted treasures, including knitted farm animals. In Linda’s words: “All my items are knitted with the most beautiful pure Merino sheep wool from the Cape in South Africa and they are filled with pure fleece. The wool I use is very precious to me because it has been handspun and hand dyed.”


Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday: Kid Crafts Galore at Family Fun

I have a favorite magazine. I've been a subscriber for about a thousand years now and have kept every single back issue. It's that good.

That's just a small selection from my stack of back issues from Family Fun Magazine. Every single one is packed with a variety of crafts, recipes, and creative ideas for things to do with kids under 12. I can't tell you how often I've used it as a resource for planning camp activities, art projects for school and for quick crafty ideas for Ellie.

Clear instructions, great pictures, good ideas on every page.

Are you ready for the best part? You don't have to take the magazine to have access to their craft projects! Family Fun has a huge collection of their craft projects available on their website. The craft finder feature makes searching fast and easy. Search by age, holiday, season, materials and even how long it takes to complete!

Give Family Fun Crafts a try this afternoon. The sky just turned Ominous, so I know we will be!

-Emily of Yarn Miracle


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Treasury - Christmas Ideas for Natural Kids