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Natural Kids

Natural Kids: April 2011

Saturday, April 30, 2011

GermanDolls Treehugger Giveaway!

I know Earthday was last week. My Giveaway for one of my beautiful trademark pocketdresses was supposed to happen last weekend. But in my mind every day should be Earthday, and we should always take care of our evironment!

Instead of visiting my various online shops/ sites and professing your love for GermanDolls Natural Dolls and Toys I would rather have you do something good for our planet.

If you would like to enter in the drawing for one of my awesome Treehugger Pocketdresses -  shown in the pictures - please leave a comment on what you have done this week to make our planet greener and better. It can be anything as trivial as picking up trash left behind by someone else at the park, or bringing your cloth grocery bags to the store.

 Tell us about it! Or if you have any great Green tips, please add them to your comment!

For each report of a good action or Green tip that you leave in the comment section this week, you will be entered in the drawing for one of my sweet pocketdresses. Don't forget to leave your email address where I can contact you if you win!

Contest starts today April 30th, 2011 and lasts 7 days. Last day for entering is May 6th!Winner will be announced Saturday May 7th.

Rules: Members of Natural Kids team and their families are not allowed to enter in this drawing. International entries are welcome, but keep in mind that the winner is responsible for taxes and custom fees...

The winner is comment number 63 by CarolynMcIntire! Congrats, to you!

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Nature Table, Keeping it Organized

In the post yesterday I did a craft with kids on how to make these great Seasonal Organizing Storage Boxes

Here are some other great ways that you can store your Handmade items:

Cotton, Knitted Wool, and Organza Bags

Fun Theme Fabric Bags

Today we took some time to organize our Nature Table items. It is important to inspect your handmade items at this time to see if they may need to be repaired or cleaned. Check out this post about how to care for your handmade toys.

Sorting and cleaning felted wool toys.

Cleaning and re-waxing if needed to the wooden toys.

We ended up with some unwelcome guest who thought the fairy could use some company! It is hard to get the kids to focus on our task and they often try to wander away but the dog is harder to get him to work, :).

Not a good helper!

Finally we organized by season! We collected the toys and lined the bottom of the box with that seasons playsilk. Some items were added by themselves, while others we placed in cotton or organza bags.


Labeling was our final step before putting them in their new home under the Nature Table!

Article by Beccijo, The Enchanted Cupboard

Do you have a great tip for organizing your Nature Table toys? Feel free to share with us your ideas and comments!

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Crafty Nature Table Storage Idea

I am always looking for ways to store things that is not only functional but is also beautiful! I came up with a great idea to store my seasonal Nature Table toys and playsilks.

Here is what you will need:
4 wooden photo boxes - $10 each at your local craft store
An assortment of non-toxic paints
Stamps in a variety of seasonal themes

I decided to only paint the lids to keep the colors from not over whelming the whole Nature Table space.

I painted only one coat so as to let the wood grain show. I picked Green for Spring, Yellow for Summer, Brown for Autumn, and Blue for Winter.

Next use the stamps to decorate. Once the lids dry give then a coat of non-toxic finish or simple use a beeswax finish.

Come back tomorrow to see how we organize and store our lovely Nature Table treasures using these great boxes.

...Just a little side note from the farm, we had to take a brake from our crafting cause the kids found their first salamander! I often told them about my days growing up on the farm and looking for salamanders! They were as happy as can be!

Article by Beccijo, The Enchanted Cupboard

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mini Wednesday - Seven Acre Toys


Meet Seven Acre Toys :

As life long makers it was only natural that when our friends started having kids we skipped the registries, and went straight to the wood shop. After much coaxing from friends and friends of friends, we are now sharing some of our favorite baby gift creations with you.

At Seven Acre Toys we 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.

You can visit Seven Acre Toys also on Facebook. 

article by prettydreamer  


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

This lovely recipe was brought to us by Stephanie of Elemental Handcrafts.

Stephanie writes:

These little sweeties were created as an alternative to the traditional candy found at an Easter egg hunt we were attending. With a child who has food allergies, I'm always searching for, finding and changing recipes so they will suit our needs. These were quite the decadent dessert and took no time to make.


  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 5-6 T dark cocoa powder (Hershey's makes one)
  • dash sea salt
  • 3-4 T agave nectar or other liquid sweetener (to taste)
  • almond butter or other nut or seed butter

Melt 1/4 cup coconut oil in a pan for a moment or two to liquefy. Remove from heat. Whisk in half of your cocoa, a dash of salt and a couple tablespoons of agave or other sweetener, until you are happy with the taste. Mixture should be syrupy. Spoon about a teaspoon of the mixture into mini baking cups and place in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Once set, remove from freezer and spoon about 1/2 teaspoon almond butter into each cup.

Make the coconut oil mixture again with the remaining ingredients and spoon over the top of the almond butter to fill the cup almost to the top. Refrigerate until set and serve.

Heaven in a mini cupcake paper!

Please, don't forget to visit Stephanie's lovely Etsystore!

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Monday, April 25, 2011

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

Welcome! I continue my trek backwards through the alphabet to bring to you the most wonderful and imaginative treasures. They are all handmade with natural materials from...yes! the NaturalKids Team on Etsy! This week, we feature wonderful variety of artist from who have one thing in common - they all work with natural materials!

Somewhere in beautiful Monterey, California, hails Imogen's Garden   Here you will find, among other goodies, soft Waldorf-inspired dolls, children's clothes and PDF patterns.

"I began crafting at an early age and come from a long line of potters, carpenters, and, well, crafters...I remember vividly watching my parents, grandparents and uncles create things with their hands and still own many of their pieces. Having ownership of something they made from scratch is very like holding a tangible piece of them...and makes my heart very happy....All of our clothing is made with the comfort of your child in mind. One or more of my children or godchildren has tested each style. If a garment doesn't pass the kid test, I don't sell it. ...Dolls are double or (in some cases) triple stitched for safety and longevity of play. Here is her Anya PDF pattern for Eco-Friendly Rag Matryoshka.

Harvest Moon By Hand  form Scandia, Minnesota, is a stay at home mom who homeschools her two daughters,  both of whom were born in China, and adopted at 11 months and 10 months respectively.

She offers Windor Stars, Natural Toys and Home Decor.   Her aim is to help people enhance their homes by offering beautiful natural products which are calming and uplifting; and inspire creative and imaginative play in children.

Harvest Moon by Hand reaches its mission by creating beautiful handcrafted items made of natural, quality materials, creating imagination-inspired, eco-conscious items from materials that would normally be recycled thereby lessening the impact on the environment and providing each customer with a personalized and memorable shopping experience.Here is Harvest Moon by Hand's latest... Four Color Waldorf Window Star      

Handfull's    Rebecca, hails from Eugene Oregon. She is a self-taught seamstress who  has sold hundreds of her own creations to adults and is now, as she is raising her daughter, focusing on hand full's children's line.  She hand-dyes organic cotton/hemp blends in knit, stretch, and fleece to create fun and comfortable clothes for children newborn through 8 other words... "Free-spirited Eco-wear for Kids." Their sizes are roomy, made to grow into and durable enough to pass on...they also look great layered. Here is the latest from Handfull...Happy Camper Hoodie    

Those are the featured new items for this week-- from matryoshka PDF patterns to window stars to organic children's wear...this is just a small sample of the quality and variety our customers enjoy from the fine crafters and artists of the NaturalKids team.

Thanks for joining us this week and please do return again next Monday as we continue to feature all the wonderful members of the Naturakids team on Etsy! Til then, I invite you to browse all our wonderful shops.

Rebecca  aka Nushkie

Nushkie on Facebook

Friday, April 22, 2011

Natural Kids Giveaway! Happy Earth Day!

From the Natural Kids Team! Fabulous array of gifts to be won - in honor of Earth Day, and because we use all natural materials to create.

Simply go here:

And leave a comment to be entered to win. Winner will be chosen April 25th. If you're not a registered Etsy user, you'll need to register, which just takes a few seconds, really!

Good Luck, and Happy Earth Day!

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Prettiest Easter Eggs Tutorial

This week's How-To is Prettiest Easter Eggs Tutorial is by Donni, from Fairyfolk from the Natural Kids Team. This is a really straight-forward way to decorate eggs and it is so beautiful! You can blow the eggs (link below) for longer lasting eggs or you could do what our family does each year, which is hard boil the eggs and hide them outside in the wee hours of the morning for an Easter Egg Breakfast Hunt (along with chocolate, of course!).

The Prettiest Easter Eggs:

We have been making beautiful heirloom eggs to decorate our home for Easter. This craft makes such pretty eggs... we used transfers to color our eggs beautifully.

All we needed was white blown egg shells (tutorial on how to safely do this is here) and transfers that we found at a craft store... both the rub-on's and the transfers that need to be dampened with a wet cloth will work.
Kitty and Teddy chose which images they wanted for their eggs and cut neatly around the edges.
We used rub-on's and they worked wonderfully, sticking nicely to the naturally porous egg shells
It was a gift to watch the delight on my children's faces as their eggs got prettier and prettier.

Happy Easter crafting!
Blessings and magic,

This tutorial is brought to you by Natalie, of Woolhalla

Please visit Donni at her blog The Magic Onions where you can see the original post, plus other great Easter tutorials and share the "magical journey of childhood with us"

Check out her Etsy shop Fairyfolk where you find beautiful needle felted items, including lots of cute animals, toadstools and acorns.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Gluten Free Sweet Potato Spice Muffins

Six of twelve muffins

When my daughter started a trial gluten-free diet, she was concerned about all the favorite foods that she would miss. Several days later, she told me that she liked being gluten-free. Here's why: I've returned to the kitchen. When it comes to domestic arts and sciences, I prefer working with textiles to food, but there are some foods I make simply because I want them done right without great expense: spanikopita, baba ganouj, stuffed grape leaves, avocado sushi rolls, for example. There are a lot of gluten-free foods available at my local natural foods market, but they are 2-3 times as expensive as their gluten counterparts. (Besides, those bagels are not bagels-- they're rolls with holes.)

I have a number of cookbooks, but thus far I've worked almost exclusively with Gluten Free On a Shoestring, by Nicole Hunn. I've made popovers two days in a row (once with dairy, once with almond milk), bagels, pizza, biscotti, and more. Although I'm new to gluten-free baking, I've begun to experiment with existing recipes. The following Sweet Potato Spice Muffin recipe is one I adapted from the banana bread recipe found on the Bob’s Red Mill package of all-purpose gluten free flour, which in turn was adapted from Special Diet Solutions by Carol Fenster, Ph.D.

For those unfamiliar to gluten free baking, xanthan gum may be a new ingredient. Xanthan gum is crucial to gluten-free baking because of its viscosity (or stickiness) that gluten molecules would normally provide. Edited to add: xanthan gum is GMO corn-based unless specifically noted on the package. Guar gum comes from guar beans, and is sometimes used in place of xanthan gum.

SWEET POTATO SPICE MUFFINS (gluten and dairy free)


1/3 cup oil (you can use vegetable oil, but I use walnut oil)
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon lemon extract (vanilla is also fine)
1 and 3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon cardamom (cinnamon is also fine)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 and 1/2 cups cooked sweet potatoes, mashed
1 cup raisins (optional—use nuts if you prefer, or other dried fruit)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. The dough is enough for approximately 12 medium-sized muffins; either grease appropriate muffin tins or set out 12 silicone muffin cups (my personal favorite).
3. Cream together oil, sugar, eggs, and lemon extract in a large bowl with an electric mixer.
4. Add gluten-free baking flour mix, xanthan gum, baking powder, and spices to egg mixture, alternating with cooked yams. Beat until smooth.
5. Stir in raisins. Batter will be somewhat soft and sticky.
6. Transfer to muffin cups. Bake 30 minutes. Test to see if muffins are done by inserting a clean knife into the center of each muffin.
7. Let them cool at least a little bit before you eat them.

When I make sweet treats, I like to freeze most of the results so that they are available when the family wants them, and we're not compelled to eat a whole batch of muffins in several days.

Written by Farida of Alkelda: Dolls For Storytelling
Facebook Page: Alkelda
Blog: Saints and Spinners

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Treasury: Treasures of the Sea

'Sea Treasures' by Alkelda

Here is a selection of sea-themed treasures, created by Etsy's NaturalKids Team members and other talented artisans. For more treasures and natural goodies, visit: and

Wooden Toy, Sea Serpent - Sc...

Mama and Baby Beluga

Wool Octopus Hat

Felted Mermaid Fairy Mobile-...

Land and Sea Felted Stones -...

Sea Monster Pencil Holder-Or...

Heart of the Ocean (35 inch ...

seahorse wooden toy

Sea Life Playset

CUSTOM Mini Special Edition ...

Goldfish Wooden Sailboat

Anchors, 6-12 Months

wooden mermaid toy Waldorf i...

Very Nautical Sailing Fleet ...

Under the Sea Mermaid Storyt...

One Little Needle Felted Gol...

Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saturday Giveaway: Fairiesnest

This weekend I bring to you an amazing Giveaway by Cynthia from The Fairies Nest. Cynthia has been a long time member of the NaturalKids Team. Her unique dolls with hand painted faces are simply gorgeous. Handmade toys of the finest kind! You can rest assured that no two dolls ever look exactly the same!

Check out this cute set of 3 lavender babies in a flannel bag. In order to be entered in the drawing for it, please leave a comment with your email address where Cynthia can reach you. The winner will be randomly picked from all comments and announced here next week.

How to enter this Giveaway:

You have ONE week to visit Cynthia's shop/online places on the internet and report back here. The more comments - the higher your chance to win this cute set!

Please visit Cynthia's Etsyshop and report back to us what you liked. You can earn additional entries by visiting:

The Fairies Nest

Don't forget to check out Cynthia's DA gallery (the best place for a comprehensive view of her work)

This giveaway will close next Saturday (April 23rd). 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. International winners are responsible for any customs fees or taxes.

This giveaway is now closed! Congratulations to Ani with comment #15!

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