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Natural Kids

Natural Kids: January 2011

Monday, January 31, 2011

What's New, and, Well, Natural from the Natural Kids Team on Etsy

I'm so thrilled to take over the post of highlighting new goodies in the shops of the artists and crafts men and women of the Natural Kids team on Etsy. Please check in here every Monday for recently posted fresh picks from our team members for when what you want for your family comes...naturally!

Here are the first few as we go in alphabetical order....reverse order that is!

Nothin' here but us chickens! Here's a fun patten to delight any knitter in the house by Yarnmiracle. "Yarn Miracle specializes in Companion Animal Placement. Each of my animals, large or small, is hand knit with the structure, durability, good looks and charm required in a stuffed playmate. I choose natural, sustainable, humanely grown fibers and fillings to create conscious, comfortable, eco-friendly companions for all ages..."

Woolies is "home of heirloom quality knitted and sewn stuffed animals and dolls. Using all natural materials, always." Here is Sara's newest: a delightful hand knit horse...a lovely plush toy for any child.
You can find so many delightful hand knit treasures in her shop!

Here's what a recent customer said: "Boutique quality and absolutely adorable. I love the all organic yarn and stuffing. Also I loved being able to custom design such an adorable snuggly for my daughter. Thanks!"

Woolhalla specializes in "heavenly all-natural Waldorf & dollhouse dolls and wool felt animals."

Here's where the name comes from: "With the risk of being struck by a thunderbolt from Thor... the name Woolhalla is a play on the heavenly home of the gods/godesses Valhalla. When I look out my front window across the lake nearby I can see Mt. Loki, named after one of the Norse gods."

Here is her sweet valentine dollhouse doll.

Queen of Etsy's front page...Woodmouse features handcrafted wooden toys and Waldorf toys made to inspire stories. "My toys are made to encourage creative play and their magic is shown best in the hands of children. I love to hear about the stories, personalities and scenarios children invent with my toys!"
Here is Amber's Wee Wooden House Quartet!

More sustainable goodies from... Wood Toy Shop  is now solar powered! Most of the wood comes from mill ends and scrap from cabinet shops...all the trees are left standing for you children to enjoy! "I am pleased to bring a collection of finely crafted wooden heirloom toys. If you are looking for a gift of lasting value, a wood toy is a wonderful choice. " Here's the latest for when your child simply must chat on the phone: a wood toy phone!

Thank you for looking, reading, browsing. I'll be featuring more next Monday as I work my way back down the alphabet.  Til then, stay healthy, joyful and filled with wonder!

Warmly, Rebecca aka Nushkie :)

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday Giveaway: GermanDolls

This week we have a special treat for our Natural Kids readers! Ulla of GermanDolls, our fabulous blog leader is running a giveaway over on her blog to celebrate adding shipping to Canada for her Etsy shop. We would like you to head on over to visit her and find out how to enter. This giveaway is global so be sure to enter wherever you are.

You could win one of her sweet Valentine's Day themed Trademark Pocketdresses plus a wee red Heartshaped Pocketbaby. The winner of this Giveaway will receive a 12 or 14 inch dress, your choice! The dress will be made from chocolate colored Big Hearts flannel fabric pictured below.

Hurry though-- this giveaway closes tonight at midnight!

Good luck & have a very happy weekend!

~this giveaway is now over, congratulations to the lucky winner. Be sure to check back next Saturday for another wonderful Natural Kids giveaway~

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Magic Wand Tutorial

This week's How-To is a Magic Wand Tutorial by Shannon from Rhythm & Rhyme. For the next few weeks I would like to share tutorials on "Valentine" themed crafts as Valentine's Day is just around the corner. The wand tutorial from Rhythm & Rhyme is one of my favourites, and the heart wand is so beautiful...Finally...I present to you my magic

Finally...I present to you my magic wand tutorial

Ingredients -
Colourful bits of felt - just your scraps if they are big enough
embroidery floss
wooden dowel stick
wool (spun for wrapping the stick)
wool fleece (for stuffing)
craft glue
narrow ribbon

pretty things to embelish with - think buttons, beads, shells.

Ok so I'm making a heart one here and I got inspiration, size and shape from wee folk art's curved heart applique block - I used the middle and centre heart patterns and curved the top edges a little more. For the flower and star I just drew the shape free hand roughly the same size as the heart.

So to the making -

First you will need to drill a tiny hole in the of dowel about an inch or so down from one end - check that your usual sewing needle will fit through it - and drill slowly so you don't spilt the wood.

Then get a ball of wool and wrap the stick. Starting at the end WITHOUT the hole squirt a few inches of glue down to the end, place the blunt end piece of the wool on the glue running down the stick toward the end you just glued.

Start wrapping up the stick; you will cover in your blunt end as you go, add more glue every few inches but don't be too generous or it will get messy and set hard and nasty.

When you get near the hole at the top slow down and cut your wool so that it will finish just under the hole - you want the drill hole to stay uncovered - smear a bit of glue on the end of the wool so it is coated and then firmly wind it, holding it down so it stays put.

Now for your top bit. Cut out two pieces of felt in the main shape and one smaller piece either the same shape or something else you fancy.
Take one of the main pieces and attach the the smaller one however you like - make sure that you hide your knots and ends - I have used a blanket stitch here and I alternated the length of stitch to make it a bit more interesting.
After it is secure you can embelish a bit if you want to, or not. If you are making it for a child younger than three I would say not - all the pretty bits are choking hazards; but you could embroider some pretties on.
When you are done sew the two main pieces together; first check where you want your stick to sit and starting just to the side of where it will come out, stitch up and around leaving about an inch or so open at the bottom/side for stuffing.

Using a chopstick, a pencil, knitting needle or just your fingers stuff gently - aim for it to be firm but not fat - you can add a little right at the end before you close it if you need to.
ok - now for ribbons (if you are lucky your baby might wake up just in time to help you with this bit, mine did!)

Cut three, four, five lengths of narrow ribbon in whichever colours you like/have. I made mine all different lengths, some longer than the stick and varying ones between. (cut the ends on a diagonal so they are less likely to fray) then tie them all together in a knot close to one end.

Thread your needle with a new piece of floss (two strands the same colour you used to sew the outside edge) and knot the ends. Sew in and out through your ribbons around the knot til you are sure it is quite secure then poke your needle through the drill hole in the dowel and secure the ribbons to the stick a bit like you are sewing on a button. When you can give it a good strong tug and it doesn't budge move on.
Keeping the thread attached; poke the stick up inside your wand top and give it a wiggle til it sits nicely. Holding it firmly against your beginning stitches begin sewing your hole closed by sewing into both the felt and the wool around the stick - you can stitch all aroudn the stick this way and then blanket stitch the last of the hole closed.

when you are finished it is very important to hold onto your wand,
close your eyes tight and make a wish
- believe with all your heart and hope it comes true.
This tutorial is brought to you by Natalie, of Woolhalla.

Please visit Shannon at: where you can see her original post plus f
ollow "the rhythms of the days and the seasons and making a few things along the way".

A little bio of Shannon: I have two daughters who are 8 years apart (one big, one wee). The absolute beauty and simplicity of crafting with natural fibers and embracing the seasons was first introduced to me through the many families I met as a homebirth midwife. As my daughters grow and learn, so do I. Right now we live in Brisbane, Australia but we have big plans afoot.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mini Wednesday - Beneath The Rowan Tree


Meet  Lori of  Beneath The Rowan Tree:

BTRT is a family team of myself (Lori), my husband Andy and our inspiring, exasperating just-turned 5 year old Rowan. We share our home with two young terrors/ dogs: Archie the Sheltie and Hooligan the aptly named Brittany.

Andy works in our family print shop, Rowan goes to school, I work full time out of the home... and then we all gather back in to where our house is a mess, our dogs are nuts, my hands are dye stained and we are all happy creating, telling stories and doing what we love here in our small town, in our little home by the lake!

At BTRT you will find quality handcrafted items made with natural materials. Our toys are made in the Waldorf tradition of simple, child-led, open-ended toys from nature that inspire imagination.

You can also find Lori's blog: and at her new second shop:

article by prettydreamer  


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nature Inspired Breads

Being a German Immigrant I often get this question: What do you miss most about Germany? Over the years the answer has remained the same. Besides family, of course, the thing I miss most about Germany is bread. After living in the US for over 15 years, I still have a hard time finding decent bread in the grocery store. The first couple of years I was so depressed about the choices here that I tried to bake my own. But living at high altitude, I found it very difficult to bake good bread. I gave up on sourdough breads completely, when one day I managed to produce a loaf that was so hard it resembled a brick, and my husband suggested we try burn it in the fire place...

But never mind my failures. I found one great recipe that works even at high elevations. It is really fun and easy to make. I make it to go along with soups. The whole family loves the flavor, and the kids have been intrigued with the bread's leaf-shape since they were little and started to reach for the bread basket.

I found the recipe in a cooking magazine many years ago. It's been so long I can't even recall where it came from. But it's a French style bread called Fougasse.

Here is what you need to make it:

4 cups of flour (I use 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 3 cups of regular flour)
1.5 cups of lukewarm water
tsp of yeast
1-2 tsp of sea salt ( I use 1 tsp since I try to cut down on sodium)
2 Tsp of Herbs de Provence
2 Tsp of extra Virgin Olive Oil plus some more
corn meal

How to make it:

Put the flour, herbs de Provence, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the lukewarm water in the measuring cup. Let it sit for about 10 minutes. Then add the water with yeast to the flour, add the tablespoons of olive oil and knead everything together. If you have a KitchenAid mixer, you can just stand by and watch as the dough hook does all the work for you. If not, roll up your sleeves and with some elbow grease you can do it. It's not so bad! Once the you have a nice big ball of sticky dough, put a little olive oil into the bowl and coat the outside of your dough ball with it. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place.

After the dough has risen for about an hour split it into two equal parts. Roll out each into a flat roundish disk shape. Use a Pizza wheel and cut slits in the shape of the veins on a leave into your bread. Pull the dough slightly apart to make the holes bigger where you cut it.

Place each loaf on a cookie sheet that you have sprinkled with corn meal. This will keep your bread from sticking to the sheet plus give it a nice crispy bottom crust!

Cover both breads with kitchen towels and let them rise in a warm place. While they are rising, arrange the racks in your oven so that you can bake two loaves at the same time in it! Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rub some olive oil on the loaves of bread right before you put them into the oven! Put loaves in an set the timer for 9 minutes. After 9 minutes switch the two cookie sheets around. The bread that was baking on the top needs to go to the bottom and vice versa. Bake for another 9 minutes or until the bread has a nice color.

Can you smell the beautiful aroma of the Herbs de Provence yet? Yummy! It's so good! And you get two loaves at once. We eat one loaf with our soup. The other I use for fixing school lunch sandwiches.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

New Items from The NaturalKids Team

Team members were busy last week making lots of natural goodies for kids! Take a peek:

A gorgeous love spoon from prettydreamer

An adorable dollhouse girl from Woolhalla

A very useful dolphin marker holder from Dad's Wooden Toys

A "cool" King Winter from The Enchanted Cupboard

A bright little heart fairy from Alkelda

And the sweetest pink kitten from Little Elf's Toyshop

To see more simply search "naturalkids team" on Etsy...or click here!

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Treasury: Cute and Cozy!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Saturday Giveaway: Little Acorn Learning

This Saturday we have a special giveaway from Little Acorn Learning! Eileen of Little Acorn Learning has offered a free February, 5 Day Guide to a lucky winner along with a free Daily Guide valued at $24.99. Natural Kids team leader Beccijo of The Enchanted Cupboard is also contributing a small set of handpainted Winter Trees-this giveaway is a perfect recipe for winter fun!

About Little Acorn Learning:

The Little Acorn Learning Guides are an Affordable and Complete Childcare Program which gently guides the parent or teacher through a healthy rhythm each day. This is a holistic, non-academic, whole life program warming and nurturing both the children as well as the caregiver. Our Five Day Guide provides everything you need to offer your child a month full of seasonal rhythm Monday through Friday in your home or school. Baking, gardening, crafting, songs, circle time questions, blackboard drawing ideas, Caregiver Meditations and much, much more!

How to Enter this Giveaway:

Visit Little Acorn Learning and comment here about what you love & why! How would your family put this great giveaway to use?

Get extra entries by doing any of the following & leaving a separate comment for each (1 comment=1 entry):

1. Become a fan of Little Acorn Learning on Facebook and Natural Kids team on Facebook (if you are already a fan post the giveaway to your page & let us know)

2. Add The Enchanted Cupboard to your Etsy favorites.

3. Follow NK_Store on Twitter and mrsbeccijo &/or Tweet about this giveaway.

4. Blog about this giveaway with a link back to this post.

This giveaway will close next Saturday (January 29). The winner will be chosen randomly and notified by email.

*Please note: Members of the NaturalKids Team and their families are excluded from this promotion.

This giveaway is now closed! The winner is comment #32 from Joy

Thank you to everyone who entered: )

Thursday, January 20, 2011

How to make a Winter Wattle Fairy Doll

This week's How-To is How to make a Winter Wattle Fairy Doll by Amber from Mama Moontime.

Take a pipe cleaner about 10 cm long. (10 cm is approx. 4 inches, ed.)
Thread on a bead for a head and twist pipe cleaner over it to secure.

Take a second pipe cleaner and twist it around the first, just below the bead.
The closer to the bead, the better to later hide the 'neck'.

Trim arms to a natural looking size, plus a few millimetres to
bend over to secure the fleece in the next step.

Take a 1cm wide strip ( half inch, ed.) of natural coloured fleece sliver.
Place it about 1cm (half inch, ed.) from the end.
(Spotlight sells Merino lengths which will be fine for a small project)
Contact me if you have any difficulty sourcing fleece in your area and I'll point you in the right direction.

Wind the fleece towards the tip, trying to keep the sliver as wide
as possible to prevent wiry threads appearing.

At the end, turn over the tip to secure the fleece for long term
longevity of the doll then wind back towards the body.

Any excess fleece can be wound around the body in a diagonal,
either way, as this will be hidden under the dress.

Follow the same instructions to wrap the other arm.
Loop up the bottom pipe cleaner for safe keeping.

Take a long length of green fleece, about 25cm long (that's about 10 inches, ed.)
Split into two, long ways.

Place it over the 'shoulders' of the fairy.

Cross the lengths over, both at the front and the back and
gently pull it down to make the bust of the dress firm, and not puffy.

Take a small sliver of yellow fleece.
Wrap it around body under bust to secure the dress.

Gently shape the 'dress' into a pointed shape.

Give her a 'shampoo' of glue.

Then attach a 8 cm length of gold fleece for her hair. (8 cm is approx. 3 inches, ed.)

Embellish as you wish!
I have used small yellow beads as the wattle flower, and a golden thread for her crown.
I also threaded a fine cotton thread up through the back of the head where the pipe cleaner holds the bead, so she can hang above the nature table.

The actual paper 'invitation' hangs on this thread.
It is a simple 'fire', signifying the light of the winter candle that burns through the dark nights.

Happy Creating!

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

Please visit Amber (pictured above!) at: where you can see her original post plus other tutorials. Amber also teaches workshops and blogs on other natural crafts, eco-living & parenting in Australia.

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