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Artist Hands Series: Wood Toy Maker Beccijo

It’s about high time to “shake hands” with one of the leaders of the NaturalKids Team on Etsy.  Too bad it can only be a virtual handshake. But seriously, we all could learn a lot from this artist. She is a homeschooling mom of 4, owner of a brand new brick-and-mortar store, plus manager of her virtual store The Enchanted Cupboard on Etsy. Nobody knows how she does it. Is it magic? Some people suspect she has more than two hands but in the pictures you can see she is a regular gal who just works really really hard.

Beccijo writes:

In the photo I am working on my Autumn Forest Playset as seen here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/60880032/waldorf-toy-wooden-tree-toy-the-original . This is one of my favorite things to paint as I love to use my blending colors skill. I love the Waldorf style of following the seasons and using it in creative play. I have in the past 2 years been following the season in my toy series, Landscape Play! I enjoy getting to have my creative time each day that is just for me after my household has gone off to bed. I try to keep one day a week to create something new, it keeps me fresh.

Yes,  totally agree with that statement. It is so much fun to create new things for your Etsyshop. We all like to have bestsellers but what keeps the artist excited about creating is making NEW items.

Don’t forget to visit Beccijo’s shop and see the finished products in their glory! Hurry, it’s not too late to get something for your kid’s Christmas stocking…

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Artist Hands Series: Doll Maker Julie

Julie, aka FeeVertelaine,  lives in Canada. Julie is yet another great doll maker on the NaturalKids team on Etsy.  I think one fascinating fact about doll makers is, that each doll maker has so many different types of skills. Besides the obvious craft of sewing, most doll makers know how to knit, crochet, embroider, and make wigs for dolls using all kinds of different techniques. In the Artist Hands pictures from today you can see Julie knitting a small hat for one of her dolls. I have great admiration for people who knit since I am not very good at it. My dad used to refer to me as the “slow-motion knitter” as compared to my mother who could knit as fast as a machine.

Good thing I learned how to sew or my dolls would probably have to go out in the nude…Not so with Julie’s dolls. They have wonderful knitted hats and coats with lots of great detail on them. When her hands are not knitting or making dolls – during the warm summer months – Julie works as a landscaper/gardener. Can you tell how hard these hands work all the time?  Maybe you saw Julie’s  recent post on herbal teas?

 

The second picture shows Julie’s hands attaching some hair to a doll’s head. I know this job too well. About this time of year, the doll makers hands get pretty calloused. Too often I will forget to wear a thimble – unlike Julie – who is obviously much smarter than me…

In order to see one of Julie’s finished dolls or other cool toys please visit her Etsyshop here. If you are lucky one of her dolls may be available for sale at this moment. They go really fast though – so snatch it up quickly!

 

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Artist Hands Series: Ariana’s Hands

Ariana is a needle felt artist who recently joined the NaturalKids team on Etsy. Since I hardly know her I asked for some help with my post for today. I hope you enjoy the write-up she sent me as much as I do. I certainly was intrigued what her hands are busy doing when they are not using a felting needle…
Looks like besides creating art,  her hands are busy packing moving, and if not that writing,  drawing, translating and and and. Sweet! I can totally appreciate that! But for more info keep reading…
32 years-old, married to a wonderful man, Chef Grant Macdonald – he keeps us happy and well-fed! SAHM/WAHM to our 2 lovely children (Alina is 5, Finnlagh is 3). Grew up in New York, but lived in Montreal for 11 years, then Vancouver and now we are moving to Austin, TX at the end of the month. Graduated from McGill University (Montreal) with a BA in English Literature and Political Science. After that I moved to England where I completed my MA in 20th Century Literature at the University of Leeds. How I loved it there!!
By profession, I am a writer, editor and translator. I started Blue Pencil Communications (www.bluepencilcommunications.com) to help filter in and manage contract and freelance work.
My Etsy shop opened back in May and I only began needle felting this past spring, so relatively new to having a shop. I am really enjoying building the business so far. My website for Niko & Nonnie is http://www.nikoandnonnie.com and my blog can be found at http://nikoandnonnie.blogspot.com
Hmm, what else? I love sewing by hand, drawing, reading, taking photographs, beading, writing poetry, walking everywhere and anywhere possible on foot, eating Indian food, the colour purple, Valencia oranges, lottery tickets… We have a menagerie of pets at all times in our house – we love animals dearly!
My husband and I have only ever lived in big cities so trying to be as green as possible and lead a natural lifestyle can be a bit challenging at times. I guess this is why I drink tea and watch so many of those programs about people relocating to the country and living “peaceful” lives … lol.

Ulla Seckler  is a dollmaker who was born and raised in Germany. She lives in beautiful Colorado with her husband and two kids. You can find her Notes by a German Dollmaker on her blog where she shares some great German recipes, pictures of her sweet dolls, and life lessons learned.  Don’t forget to stop by her Etsyshop and take a peek at her wonderful doll creations.

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Artist Hands Series: Daria’s Hands

Daria makes Waldorf style dolls like me. She also writes posts for the NaturalKids Team on this blog,  right here. Maybe you have read her recent post about the importance of doll play. When asked for an image of her hands she sent me a picture of her hands sewing a button on a doll sweater.  Unfortunately the photo was a tad too small, and I couldn’t figure out how to make it bigger. Still I love it so much I wanted to include it in this post.

All of Daria’s dolls are dressed perfectly. She takes great pride in each little detail. I so want a grey sweater like the one she is finishing for a doll  in this picture. It looks warm and comfy and oh so cuddly – just like her dolls…I wish the sweaters came in my size.

Besides her beautiful dolls, Daria makes a whole range of  items for infants. When I was pregnant with my first child I looked desperately for a sleep sack. They sell these in everywhere in my home country in Germany, but they are impossible to find where I live now in the US. Sleeping sacks are perfect for little babies because you don’t have to worry about your child getting cold toesies or suffocating under a heavy blanket. Baby stays warm and you can get rest not worrying… Luckily my family from Germany mailed me a number of sleep sacks. You do need at least two of them in case one gets wet! But since Daria is right here in the US you don’t need a relative in Europe. You can order one of those cool sleeping bags made of organic fibers – right here in the US. Daria’s shop NobbyOrganics is stocked with wonderful organic  sleep sacks, blankets, and of course her sweet dolls. If you are looking to buy a cool gift for the next baby shower, don’t forget to check out her shop first! You can rest assured that each detail is perfect!

In this picture Daria is doing a blanket stitch around an elephant applique.

Ulla Seckler  is a dollmaker who was born and raised in Germany. She lives in beautiful Colorado with her husband and two kids. You can find her Notes by a German Dollmaker on her blog where she shares some great German recipes, pictures of her sweet dolls, and life lessons learned.  Don’t forget to stop by her Etsyshop and take a peek at her wonderful doll creations.

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Artist Hands Series: Farida’s Hands

Today’s Artist Hands Feature was sent in by my friend Farida. Farida makes storytelling dolls that are out of this world when it comes to fine detail on her embroidery work. So make sure to check out her shop Alkelda on Etsy. Her little people are amazing!

This is what Farida said on the subject of her skilled hands:

1. The callouses obtained from playing guitar help buffer the
inevitable jabs of needlework.
2. I slammed my left thumb in a car door right before a musical
storytelling gig. Fortunately, one does not need the left thumb for
guitar. The Show Went On, and so did I. It took 9 months for a new
thumb nail to grow.
3. I learned to embroider with an embroidery book on my lap. I made
dolls for friends and family, and it was only when friends started to
ask for paid custom orders that I started to entertain the thought of
opening an online shop.
4. Favorite embroidery stitch: the twisted lattice-band, which is a
double-herringbone stitch interlaced with a contrasting thread (see
photo of Mrs. Claus).

 

Ulla Seckler  is a dollmaker who was born and raised in Germany. She lives in beautiful Colorado with her husband and two kids. You can find her Notes by a German Dollmaker on her blog where she shares some great German recipes, pictures of her sweet dolls, and life lessons learned.  Don’t forget to stop by her Etsyshop and take a peek at her wonderful doll creations.

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Artist Hands Series: Kelley’s Hands

I discovered the art of needle felting in 2007 when my husband gave me a kit for Christmas. It’s a wonderful craft but you need lots of patience for it. I know a person on the NaturalKids team who seems to have oodles of patience: Kelley. Kelley lives on Christmas Tree farm and her shop is named LittleElfsToyshop. Perfect name for a toyshop where you will find the best stockingstuffers and little surprises ever.

This is what Kelley said to me when asked about her hands:”

I  just adore working with wool, it is so soft and I can make just about anything my mind can imagine. It’s fun to wad the wool into balls and start felting, sometimes even I am surprised at what I find I can make with it. Today I decided to make a little robin. ^_^

I am not going to show the picture of the finished work. You can find Kelley’s wonderful creations at LittleElfsToyshop on Etsy.

 

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Artist Hands Series: Josh’s Hands

Josh makes wooden toys. He is also known as DadsWoodenToys on the Natural Kids Team. On a team that has mostly women, guys stand out quite a bit. All guys on the team happen to be woodworkers. You’ve already met Mojo. But don’t be fooled by it. They all have their very own styles and personalities.

Josh is the team bard. When his hands are not running powerful bandsaws or gently sanding the toys he cut out, he is a poet. He knows how to rhyme and catch a person’s attention with his witty verses. Maybe you saw the one recently published here?

But I will leave you with the images of the woodworker’s hands for now.

 

You can find out what toy Josh is making in this picture  by visiting his great Etsyshop. Make sure you study the texts of his listings since they all rhyme!

Ulla Seckler  is a dollmaker who was born and raised in Germany. She lives in beautiful Colorado with her husband and two kids. You can find her Notes by a German Dollmaker on her blog where she shares some great German recipes, pictures of her sweet dolls, and life lessons learned.  Don’t forget to stop by her Etsyshop and take a peek at her wonderful doll creations.

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Artist Hands Series: Ann’s Hands

Today I want to share with you images of an artist in our group who makes a very different kind of craft. Ann Rinkenberger makes window stars. They are made of multicolored bright transparent papers. I remember this kind of paper from growing up in Germany. We used to make lanterns out of it for the  St. Martin’s festivity.  Transparenzpapier ( as it is called in German) is used for many crafts by German school children.

 

Ann’s stars are made up of many segments that involve even more folds. You may think. Ha, I can do that myself. But don’t kid yourself! If you ever tried your hands at origami you know how hard it is. If the folds are not perfectly straight and even your project will not look good in the end.

Folding the perfect window star is a tedious job. It takes patience and concentration. The artist also needs a sense of design. What color combinations will look good together. Each one of Ann’s stars is unique and amazing. Like the hands that make them.

These are the hands that have cared for an Alzheimer’s patient over many months. Tired hands of a faithful daughter. But hands that never give up because they know there is light at the end of the tunnel…

 


To see Ann’s work please visit her shop  HarvestMoonbyHand. I think they will make a wonderful gift for Christmas season or for someone who needs some light in their life!

 

Ulla Seckler  is a dollmaker who was born and raised in Germany. She lives in beautiful Colorado with her husband and two kids. You can find her Notes by a German Dollmaker on her blog where she shares some great German recipes, pictures of her sweet dolls, and life lessons learned.  Don’t forget to stop by her Etsyshop and take a peek at her wonderful doll creations.

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The Artist’s Hands Series: Dria’s Hands

Dria lives a world away from me.  I am German. Dria is Jewish. We are bound together by the burden of history. Never forget! History lessons about the Nazi regime. The unspeakable things that my forefathers did to Dria’s people. I have never talked to Dria about this. Maybe there is some sort of mutual understanding. We can be at peace now and and share what is good about our culture.

We share recipes. We share ideas about natural simple living. I love to see pictures from her village in Israel.

Worlds away from each other we can be friends on the NaturalKids team. Yet we have a another connection through the work that our hands do. We are both doll makers. We share the love of German style dolls. So I was very excited when she sent me photos of her hands making something. I can relate to it. I know what skill it takes to turn those little corners on a sewing machine.

The lovely little details and the joy we get from seeing a finished doll that has come together just right…

Please visit her lovely shop on Etsy to see her amazing creations! I think she is working on a smiling Star-baby here.

 

Ulla Seckler  is a dollmaker who was born and raised in Germany. She lives in beautiful Colorado with her husband and two kids. You can find her Notes by a German Dollmaker on her blog where she shares some great German recipes, pictures of her sweet dolls, and life lessons learned.  Don’t forget to stop by her Etsyshop and take a peek at her wonderful doll creations.

 

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Artist Hands Series: Julie’s Hands

I think this picture of artist hands is awesome because it tells so much about Julie.  Foremost Julie is a mama. That means her hands multitask all the time…Holding a baby while knitting a scarf. Busy, busy mama hands.

Maybe you know Julie from this blog? This single mama is a hero. Her hands care for 3 little ones. They cook, clean, caress, care, craft, and create all the time.

Please visit Julie’s blog and Etsy shop if you have a moment…

 

Ulla Seckler  is a dollmaker who was born and raised in Germany. She lives in beautiful Colorado with her husband and two kids. You can find her Notes by a German Dollmaker on her blog where she shares some great German recipes, pictures of her sweet dolls, and life lessons learned.  Don’t forget to stop by her Etsyshop and take a peek at her wonderful doll creations.