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Natural Kids

Natural Kids: February 2011

Monday, February 28, 2011

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

Welcome! What a great variety I have to share with you this week from the Naturalkids Team on Etsy! Today I'm going to continue my trek backwards through the alphabet to bring the stories of our members and their newest listings. Please enjoy!

The folks at  Seven Acre Toys hail from Providence Rhode Island. As life long creators it was only natural that when their  friends started having kids they skipped the registries, and went straight to the woodshop. After much coaxing from many friends, they now share some of their favorite baby gift creations with the world. They strive for a higher quality toy. "We are committed to environmentally sustainable business practices, and delivering safe imaginative toys to the little ones in your life. For that reason we use no paints, dyes, or film finishes." Here is a lovely example of their work...the Wooden Egg Baby Rattle.  
Rumpos  Is a lovely shop from Columbus Ohio. They describe them selves this way, "Mama, partner to a hairy nerd with glasses, 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."

Their work is sturdily hand and machine sewn with all-natural materials including wool, alpaca, bamboo, linen, cotton, and hemp.They are perfect for gentle play with fingers, small figurines, and imaginations, and create open-ended play opportunities and teache about narrative storytelling and habitats. Here's a wonderful  new work.   Large Playscape for Big Imaginations    

Ruby Slippers , from Bloomington, Indiana, describes herself this way: "Ruby's Slippers is inspired and named after my daughter Ruby. Ten percent of all sales will be put towards her college fund. She's only 2, but I figure it's better to start early! I have been sewing since I was a little child. I have always loved being creative. I enjoy sewing, quilting, knitting, screen printing and embroidery, to name a few. I use natural fibers (cotton, wool, bamboo, etc.) whenever possible. I avoid putting synthetic fabrics on my baby, and assume that many people feel the same way. "

Her  Blue Berries slippers are soft cloth shoes made from a vintage cotton fabric, lined in cotton flannel, and insulated with cotton batting, for extra comfort. The outer fabric is a vintage cotton canvas print. The inside is lined with cozy cotton flannel. The inside seam is cased (with flannel) for extra comfort for baby's feet. The back of the shoe is connected to the top with elastic, which keeps them snug but allows for easy on/off.

Rjabinnik   Rene Kvicala lives on a farm grouped house in Menik, a small Moravian village (Czech Republic, European Union). He and his wife  left university studies and the city life and moved there 6 years ago. Since then, they have been living by their hand-work with respect to crafts, tapping into the traditions and craftsmanship of their country. Their favorite material is wood.

Their 2 FLY AGARIC TOADSTOOL Friends - is the most adorable wooden carved toy...perfect for little hands and big play, the nature table or just because!

From wooden toys to playscapes to slippers and baby toys, this week's selection from the Natural kids Team on Etsy offers you just a taste of the natural creations you can expect to find and make part of your life from our wonderful artists and craftspeople. Look here for a full list of our shops!

Thank you for visiting this week. I'll have more shops to introduce you to next week as I showcase their recent creations. I look forward to seeing you then, in the meantime, our blog has interesting and informative entries each day. Enjoy!

Creatively yours,
Rebecca a.k.a. Nushkie

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday Giveaway: Little Elf's Toyshop

We have the perfect giveaway today for anyone dreaming of Spring! Little Elf's Toyshop is filled with sweet little creatures and woodland friends to brighten your child's day and inspire creativity. Kelley is giving away a cuddly little needle felted kitten similar to the one pictured above for one Natural Kids reader to fall in love with.

About Little Elf's Toyshop

Hello world! ^_^ My name is Kelley and I am the creator of all the cute little animals and dolls you can find in Little Elf’s Toyshop. I live on a nice little Christmas tree farm with my husband in rainy northwest Oregon and enjoy raising my cute little chickens and cats and I love watching all the wildlife that passes by.

I do most of my work in the living room, surrounded by piles of wool, in front of the glass door so I can watch the little squirrels come eat up all the bird seed and see the little birds hop around. I love animals, as you might guess from all the little critters that make their way into my shop, and am always thinking of new ones to make. Gnomes are also something I like a lot, though I don’t know why other than the fact I think they are very cute. ^_^

In my little shop you will find lots of needle felted animals that are great for nature tables, gentle play for older children and decorations for your home. I also make waldorf dolls of many different styles that are double sewn for durability and always ready to be hugged and loved.

Enter to win by:

Visiting Little Elf's Toyshop & leaving a comment below about your favorite items.

For extra entries (1 comment= 1 entry):

-Add Little Elf's Toyshop to your Etsy favorites

-Become a fan of Little Elf's Toyshop on Facebook &/or post this giveaway on your wall

-Become a fan of Natural Kids on Facebook and/or post this giveaway on your wall

-Follow NK_Store on Twitter and/or Tweet about this giveaway.

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

This giveaway will close next Saturday (March 5th). 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! Congratulations to
lexacd with comment #9:


Friday, February 25, 2011

Interview with Tickety Bu

This week we take a close up look at Tickety Bu™ with our talk with owner and fabric artist Kristi. 

Tell us a bit about you.
Hi! I'm Kristi. I am a former marketing executive, become stay at home mom, become fiber artist and photography hobbiest. I live in New York with my husband Michael and our three kids, Lorelai, Magnus and Xander. We love living here as it gives us a chance to visit so much history and this area is so beautiful.

Tell us about Tickety Bu.
I started Tickety Bu based on my prefold design. Specifically made for my heavy wetting son, they are made in the traditional way, a 2x4x2 layer prefold from highly absorbent bamboo cotton blend. Shortly after I opened, my daughter asked me to make her a blanket. She had never taken to a lovey or a comfort object, so her interest in a blanket was surprising, but exciting. She was my first Cuddle Blanket customer and after her first one, she promptly ordered two more! The Cuddle Blanket quickly became the cornerstone of my line and was the spring board for the entire Bu blanket collection.

Tickety Bu products are always designed with the experience with the product in mind. It's the perfect marriage of high function with extreme comfort.

People have asked me, why Tickety Bu? Tickety Bu, also spelled Tickety Boo and Tiggerty Boo, is a phrase that means, "everything's alright". There is argument whether it originated in England, Scotland or India and may have come from a Hindi expression "tickee babu" which means "all alright". It seemed to fit why I love bamboo and why I started the company and honestly, I like the sound of it. It harkens back to a simpler life, just the way things should be.

Tickety Bu is the natural extension of what my life is about right now. Getting back to basics, embracing the simpler, finer things in life and doing what I enjoy.


What do you make and how long have you been creating?
Simply said, I make comfort. Luxurious blankets of all sizes, incredibly soft and absorbent hooded towels, diapers and wipes, all created to comfort you and your little ones.

I've been creating since I can remember. I've always been creating something. Whether it be art, design (I am a design school grad), advertising, or fabrics, I've always been creating. I guess it's in my blood.

What got you started in your craft?
My desire to have something better. I was not happy with the cloth diapers on the market. My son was the heaviest wetter I'd ever seen and nothing held him, but I was in love with prefolds. So, I made my own, the way I wanted them out of the fabrics I wanted to use. It's the same with all my products, they are all born out of need for something better, something softer and something prettier. But really I guess I got started in my craft in college when I dyed fabric for the first time. My work as a dyer is where my heart is, the products I make are my canvas.

What's your favorite thing you have ever made?
It's so hard to pick! And, it changes regularly, although it's always a colorway. I did make a Cuddle Blanket once with my daughter. She picked all the colors herself, she applied the dye, she helped me sew the blanket. It was a labor of love that the both of us thoroughly enjoyed. I am amazed at her enthusiasm for creating things and how she looks at the world. That blanket will always have a special place in my heart.

How long have you been on Etsy and how has it been for you so far?
Since middle of last year. Etsy has been a lot of fun so far. I love the community and the support that Etsy provides.

What advice do you have for other Etsy artisans?
The advice I would have for any artisan, Etsy or other, is to do something unique. Carve out your own niche, your own path, your own take on the world and your work. It will help differentiate you from the crowd and create a brand that can stand for something. And of course, do what you love. Because if you do what you love then you'll love what you do.

What do you hope to gain or contribute to the Natural Kids group?
Being new to Etsy it's great to have support from those who have been here longer and know the ins and outs. I'm not new to business though and having an extensive background in marketing and design, I'm sure I can contribute to the strength of the Natrual Kids brand.

What thoughts do you have for parents on the importance of natural toys for creative play?
For me it's not just about natural toys for creative play, it's about surrounding ourselves and our family with anything and everything we can that is natural. Just as natural foods make for a healthier body, natural toys make for a healthier and happier child. Natural toys inspire the most creative play and creative play is the key to expanding our child's minds.

Find Tickety Bu and Kristi at:

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

How to make Friendship Peg Dolls Tutorial

This week's How-To is How to Make Friendship Peg Dolls by Ulla, from GermanDolls here on the Natural Kids Team. The following post was for a class on Valentine's Day on her blog GermanDolls, but you can use it any day and it would make a great party favour for a child's birthday!

How to make Friendship Peg Dolls

I knew it! The day would come when I would be able to use all those pretty fabric scraps I have collected over the years - even down to the smallest little bitty one. Of course, my husband won’t believe me. But last week I came up with the perfect project!

I was looking for a craft to do in the classroom with Elementary school-age kids on Valentine’s Day. I realized I still had some wooden clothes pins in my supply box. Not sure why I bought them years ago. You all know how that goes. It’s on sale and you throw it in the basket…We are sure it will come in handy some day. And in this case it did!

All you need for this craft is:
-Wooden clothes pins : I used small ones called baby flat clothes pins! If you use larger ones you may have to cut the clothing for your dolls bigger!
-colorful scraps of fabric, blue jean fabric scraps
-chenille stems or pipe cleaners, cut into 2.5 inch pieces
-thin tipped marker or pen
-scraps of wool, if you are doll maker you can just use the clippings from cutting your dolls’ hair

1.Get your husband to drill holes through the pegs where the arms will go. May be a bit of wait here…Or if you know how to work the drill best to do it yourself. LOL
2.Cut squares of fabric for the peg dolls clothing. We made either skirts or blue jeans for our dolls. For the jeans we cut two one –inch squares. For a skirt one rectangle of about 1 inch by 1.75 inches
3. Cut tops/shirts for your dolls. Cut about 1inch by 1.75 inches
4. Glue on the pants by attaching on little blue jean square per peg leg and wrapping it around the legs when you glue it. A toothpick or long pointy tool will come in handy! If you are doing skirts you’ll have a much easier time! =) To avoid frustration my child took it upon herself to make 25 pegs which had the jeans put on already…

5. Glue on the shirt/top making sure you don't cover up the holes for the arms
6. Insert chenille wire pieces through the predrilled hole and shape hands at the ends
7. Draw a face on your dolly with fine tip marker
8.Glue on hair

With the help of my daughter I made 25 kits to take into the classroom today. Looking forward to the kids faces when they finish their Valentine Friendship Dolls!

Sweet! I love this craft because it helps me teach kids to recycle and make beautifull things at the same time. Now I can work on scaling down my mountain of fabric scraps…I may be offering these kits in my shop in the near future! What do you think?

This tutorial is brought to you by Natalie, of Woolhalla

Please visit Ulla at GermanDolls where you can see her original post and read more on her dolls, needle felting, and life. She is an artist, doll-maker, wife and mother of two, originally from Germany and living in the U.S. In addition to all of this she is the Blog Leader here on the Natural Kids Blog!!

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Disappearing Carrot Salad

This delicious varation on a carrot salad was sent in by Eve's Little Earthlings. I can't wait to try it. But watch out! Don't let those carrots get away! They are rather lively...

¼ cup walnuts
1 tablespoon grated coconut
2 cups grated peeled carrots
1 apple, cored, peeled and grated
½ lemon, juiced and zested
½ cup orange juice
½ cup raisins or currants
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons grated gingerroot

Toast walnuts for a few moments in a frying pan on medium heat and add the coconut towards the end of the toasting. Be careful, coconut burns very quickly.

When I am in a hurry, I skip the toasting!

In a large bowl combine carrot, apple, lemon zest, lemon juice, orange juice, raisins, salt and ginger

Top with walnuts and coconut and serve, or chill in fridge until the next meal.

And here are a few carrots that escaped being grated today!

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Monday, February 21, 2011

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

Welcome! We may be past Valentine's day...but we're not finished with the love! In this case, the love of making handmade treasures created with natural materials from...yes! the Naturalkids Team on Etsy! Today I'm going to continue my trek backwards through the alphabet to bring the stories of our members and their newest listings.

The Fairies Nest is the home of OOAK (one of a kind) art dolls, fairies, Waldorf toys, and textile treasures from the Lands of Enchantment. All dolls found there are designed and handmade by Cynthia Toy, using her own patterns and eco-friendly natural fibers and fabrics.

Cynthia's dolls require many hours to make as she 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.

Speaking of personality, here is a new and incredibly adorable rat! This rat is not cute just once...but twice...proving two heads are better than one! Two headed Rat Art Doll

The Enchanted Cupboard: "You enter a quaint gift shop...You see a large old enchanted cupboard with a vast amount of drawers and doors; you walk to it as sweet, whispered words fill your ears, 'Inside you will find your heart's desire!' "

Beccijo of The Enchanted Cupboard is an award-winning artist from the age of eleven, when she picked up some oil pastels and began to draw everything she saw with her eyes and in her imagination. Her parents signed her up for Art Class at a local Art Studio. She received many Gold Key Awards and donated many of her art works to charity for auctions. Beccijo sold her first painting when she was 17. She went off to study Art at college and was awarded The Most Outstanding Student of Art for 1991. Since then, she has let her heart and her art lead her. Beccijo continues to draw and paint but has now found great passion for toy making and personal custom dolls painted to the likeness of her subject...from wedding cake toppers to childrens' toys. You just have to open the cupboard to find them! Here is her Rainbow Wooden Dolls and Mushroom Box

Sunshadow Slippers is a 'from home' business that Tracey runs with her three children. They make indoor shoes for Steiner/Waldorf schools, but they are just as fabulous to be worn as slippers around the house. They are soft and 'snuggly' for baby toes all the way up to older toes in need of some nurture.

All materials are natural fibers. The soles are leather, the tops are made of snug fitting cotton, and inside there is a pure wool felt insole - your feet will never feel more loved!

Each pair of slippers is uniquely created to be as individual as her customers. The motifs are from nature, butterflies and dragonflies, frogs and possums, dolphins and turtles, like ones featured here: Playful Possum Print Slippers - Hand dyed in pure cotton

Sheree, creator of Sheree's Atelier is an MIT trained chemist. Now, instead of mixing up chemicals in the lab, she prefers to spend her days at home with her family mixing up fabrics and yarns and other magical ingredients to create the items in her shop.

Sheree designs and makes all of the lovely dresses, bags and other goodies from the finest natural materials, and wouldn't have it any other way.

Here is Sheree's Aqua Floral and Dots Emma tote for Girls

From wooden toys to woolen stuffed animals, slippers and accessories, this week's selection from the Natural kids Team on Etsy offers you just a taste of the natural creations you can expect to find and make part of your life from our wonderful artists and craftspeople. Look here for a full list of our shops!

Thank you for visiting this week. I'll have more shops to introduce you to next week as I showcase their recent creations. I look forward to seeing you then, in the meantime, our blog has interesting and informative entries each day. Enjoy!

Creatively yours,
Rebecca a.k.a. Nushkie

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Treasury - It's My Party

'It's My Party' by yarnmiracle

Eggplant love paperie a ga...

Redhead Waldorf Doll in Rabb...



Orchid play dress with plum ...

Morning Mist Silk Garland (...

SALE mini birthday bunting -...

Boston Beanies Knit Purplici...

The ORIGINAL Party Time Play...

Hot Chick - 6 Felted Acorns.

WINTER SALE 10 Poms ... Pick...

DEMI Pettiskirt by Cheeky Ch...

100 Lavendar Purple Polka Do...

Clothespin Doll Kit

25 PURPLE Paper Straws and C...

Treasury tool is sponsored by A/B image testing.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Saturday Giveaway: Woolhalla

This Saturday we have a super fun crafty giveaway from Natalie of Woolhalla & Bear Dance Crafts. She is spreading some creative love by offering 5 lucky Natural Kids readers the chance to win their choice of one PDF pattern from her Woolhalla shop! Winners will get to choose from her Bunting Baby Doll, felt Orca, Flannel Baby, felt Horse, (pictured above) or Polar Bear patterns.

How to Enter this giveaway:

Visit Woolhalla on Etsy & comment here about what you love & why

To get extra entries leave a comment for (1 comment=1 entry):

  1. Adding Woolhalla to your Etsy favorites.

  2. Becoming a fan of Woolhalla & Natural Kids on Facebook (and/or post this giveaway to your FB page)

  3. Following Woolhalla & NK_Store on Twitter and/or Tweet about this giveaway.

  4. Blogging about this giveaway with a link back to the post.

This giveaway will close next Saturday (February 26th). 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! Congratulations to our winners & happy crafting...
Comment 11: Heather
Comment 14: Suzie
Comment 25: Ziezo
Comment 5: Rae
Comment 28: Heather (no contact info avail. please email


Friday, February 18, 2011

Nature Table, Let's Begin

Landscape Playsilks & Sky Playsilks by The Enchanted Cupboard

Nature Tables are used to celebrate the seasons and the rhythms of the year. As nature goes through its cycle of birth, growth, harvest, and sleep, so do we on our Nature Tables. Using a nature table is a wonderful way to decorate your home and include your children in the seasons. Spring is on our doorsteps and just around the bend but it is still winter on our Nature Table.

Before we leap into Spring, let's look at some fun ways to celebrate these last few moments of winter. Any table will do as your Nature Table, either beside a wall or in a corner of a room. The size of your table will be determined by the amount of room you have to spare. The table you see here I got for $10 at a Junk Shop. I picked it for its size and that it had a nice shelf underneath to hold extra toys. This table is low for the kids and fits nicely on the second floor landing. Nature tables are a great way to keep a little play place for the kids without having toys cluttering up the grown-up places.

Winter Playset by Muddyfeet

Playsilks are great from ground cover or backdrops. Some soft wool also make a nice snow covering. Adding some winter landscape toys will add to the scene. A lovely collection of winter theme toy like woodland animal, felted toys,and bendy dolls add just the right touch. Having a lovely decorated table will make you get excited for the season.

Bendy Dolls by Princess Nimble Thimble, Snowman by Chimera

If you don't have a Natural Table but would like to start this wonderful tradition in your home, then follow along with me every other week. We will be exploring some traditional and modern ways of sharing the seasons with your family.

Here are a few great items for a Winter Nature Table from The NaturalKids Team:
Snowflake - Winter Fairy

Felted Kitty

Wooden Winter Trees

Winter King

Blue Heart Queen Doll

Article by Beccijo, The Enchanted Cupboard

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