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maybe not..

“Maybe?” I asked myself as I was sewing yesterday.
I pondered the reason why I put such a statement  on something I love to do so much.
I placed this sticker on my machine, sometime last year. I found it in some awesome junk mail. You know, the kind that gives you stickers?  {{{Stickers}}}
There was a NO sticker, a YES sticker and of course, the MAYBE sticker. I took the stickers and placed them in various areas in our home. I think I meant for it to be a joke at time.
The YES sticker was placed in the dish washing area. Yes was meant as an invitation for anyone whom, would like to nominate themselves for dish washing! {the real joke}
The NO sticker was placed at the bill desk. Bills…ugh…. need I to say more?
And MAYBE was placed on my sewing machine, because MAYBE I will get to have some real fun and sew today. But…maybe not.

Recently, many of my post this month on my blog have been about mindfulness and mortality. I seemingly have been growing in a new light and perspective of my life around me. I have caught a glimpse of what it might look like, when I’m in the last moments of my life, looking back on what I had and what I choose to do with it and feeling regret for not seeing what was really important in life. Be it the dirty laundry piling up sky high or the the little child who needs some help working out an idea.

As I continued to sew, that MAYBE sticker just wasn’t suited for me any longer. The sticker that should have been on all the things I love to do is YES. Always YES.     Saying no or maybe later reminded me of a quote that Marianne Williamson once said:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
― Marianne WilliamsonA Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles

Suddenly, the mundane cleaning and chores just don’t seem important  anymore. Sure, they need to be done here and there. But, seriously…am I going to hang for not doing the laundry today? But will I regret it later when I missed being with my children or filling their lives with as much laughter as I could? My eyes are wide open. It is really that simple. The hard part is to remember it and then practice it.

 In this moment, beauty is before us, when we stop and remember where we are. It is why I love sewing so much. I find that sewing is an exercise in spirituality, a practice of being present in the act of sewing. Some days, I find myself in autopilot, walking around without any real awareness of what I’m doing or just a human-doing rather human-being. The art of sewing and the art of living happily are the same. The common denominator is the mantra.. I am here.

When I am here, I see the sun, the trees and the sky…and I am happy.

I see all the true joy is around us. Our family and connection with loved ones.

Its those pretty little crafting messes that are just so colorful and free and full of life. I inhale these moments into my heart and mind.

Its those little hands that are always busy, reaching and playing. Coloring and painting. Dancing and singing. Thank you to those little hands.

The MAYBE’s in my life are no longer acceptable practices. I will no longer wait to make time to have a life of joy and wonder. I will take all those things I want to do, down from the shelf of my mind today, and do something, anything that rewards my soul and fills my pitcher.

Our moments to be here are right now. I won’t wait a moment longer to love them all! And remember, when you get lost and forget where you are, just look down at your two feet and say to yourself….

“I am here”. And all is okay.

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Creating for Imagination

I started to create for my daughter. She was 1½ year old, and I stumbled upon gorgeous felt fruits and gave it a try. It was addictive and soon I had made any fruits and veggy on my mind, pastries, cakes… you name it! I looked to Etsy listings of awesome mama-made items and replicate some for my little girl’s joy. Some items had “Waldorf inspired” in their listing title. “Waldorf, what is that?” I wondered. That’s how I learned about that awesome pedagogy, and that’s how I knew I wasn’t so insane for wanting my kids to play with natural, handmade, beautiful toys. I truly feel that without beepy, shaking, overwhelming plastic toys, my children are able to create their own worlds.

Needle felted Waldo…


Wee Ladybug Bendy F…


Natural waldorf toy…


Fly Agaric toadstoo…


Sale Today Only – W…


Waldorf Wooden Rain…


Woodland Toadstool …


Lovely Lavender str…


Needle Felted Waldo…


Mushrooms on a log


wool felt playmat -…


poppy the wee felt …


Three Cute Handmade…




Waldorf Toy – Wool …


Carved Wooden Anima…


Creating for Imagination– Etsy treasury created by demilunes

Handmade playthings feel so much more personal and alive. The fact that they are most likely to be unique, and will wear the signs of good use adds to the special feeling of every pieces you make and acquire. When children see you make things, their brain turns into a real creative mode, where anything is possible. “Mommy, can you make my fairies some pillows?”, my daughter asked yesterday. We browsed through bit of scraps and I made her wee tiny little pillows filled with wool. She was ecstatic and played on her own for an half of hour more.  And what a reward, to see your little ones playing with objects you made from scratch!


Article written by;

Andréann Larouche is a stay at home mommy of two little pixies, sharing her life with her my best friend by the St-Laurent River in the province of Québec.  In the middle of nursing and caring for a toddler’s need,  she sew, draw, paint, create toys and take pictures to tell on her blog Aux DemiLunes. She sells her creations at DemiLunes Dolls.

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Waldorf Toys and the the free play fun over the holidays…

I love to see my children use their beautiful imagination while playing with free play toys and games. I enjoy watching the brilliant process of free-thought and spark cross their faces as they learn to think and be creative.
I want my children to be active in their play!
I want my children to learn through play.
I want to feel confidant that they are happy and engaged.

I also love to give these type of toys to other children and introduce the idea of simple and creative toys to others. I find that parents are very receptive to toys that promote independent thought and NO batteries. Give the gift of exploration and creativity this year!

Here are my top five Waldorf Holiday toys to give over the holidays and for birthdays:

Waldorf Dolls: ( simply beautiful and fosters creative play)
Found Here.

Play silks (Gorgeous!Anything! A Cape! A river! A tent! Clothing!)
Found Here.

Waldorf Wood figures (thoughtful and free play fun! Make up stories! Dream!)
Found Here.

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Friday Interview with Beneath the Rowan Tree

Today’s interview is with the NaturalKids team member, Beneath the Rowan Tree. Rowan’s lovely silks and toys are all hand dyed and hand painted and she has a wonderful eye for color. Come meet her….

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how and when did you get started with arts and crafts?
I always felt like the ugly duckling in my family! Thank goodness my grandmother was naturally crafty and saw the spark in me~ this forged a deep relationship between us and strong connection in a family of non-crafty types.
I have always loved to make things with my hands and to give them to others. Over the years I taught myself numerous crafts: knitting, cross stitching, sewing, scrapbooking and quilting to name a few.
With quilting my love of color and texture really began to blossom. For me the best part about quilting was wandering through the fabric store without a plan, just heaping on bolts of fabric until a vision emerged.
After my daughter was born, I dove into dyeing and painting clothing out of frustration about clothing available for kids. It turns out I *could* paint~ which was a real shock! Dyeing satisfies the need for color and adds the element of surprise and chaos which keeps me centered and reminds me that beauty emerges when we don’t try to control every outcome!
Most recently, drawn by the gorgeous colors and textures of fibers, I began needle felting and I am hooked~ it just resonates with me and draws together all of the satisfying and challenging aspects of craft and has pushed me along towards seeing myself as an artist.

What is the main thing you make and sell in your store? What else do you make and/or sell?
My core product has been my hand dyed and painted clothing for babies and toddlers, although with the holidays approaching and my mercurial interests, I am working much more on my natural toy offerings: wood, wool and lots of silk.

Who if anyone has been instrumental in helping you hone your craft?
I tend to be self-taught and a real grazer~ gathering tidbits of information here and there and generally running off half informed to work it out myself. I appreciate the needle felting forums and community for direction, challenge and inspiration.

Where do you get your inspiration?
Everywhere, my child, the skies (every skyline calls out for a flat felted landscape these days!), the seasons. I try to remain open (and keep notes). Since my crafting business is my ‘sideline’ to my full time vocation/ work I allow myself the freedom to follow my whims and do what I like.

What are your favorite materials?
Wool and silk. So pretty, so versatile, so dyeable!

What advice would you give to beginners in your main craft?
If you are dyeing, use quality chemicals, practice safety precautions, keep a clean work space and dye everything and anything you can to learn about color and fabric and results. Expect surprises. Be bold. You can always re-dye something, until you hit black, and then you bleach! Just kidding!

What is your Etsy shop address and name? Where else can we find you?

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Instructions Not Included

I’ll never forget one day at a neighborhood playground about two years ago, when I was sitting on the sidelines watching Eva, now four, play in the sand. Next to me was a woman who was on her hands and knees in the sand telling her two-year-old how to play with his toy. It was a complicated sort of gizmo the use for which, only the mother, evidently could decipher. It begged several questions in my mind; Who’s toy was it, really? How necessary was it to get using it correctly right? Was there really only one way to play with this toy.

I’ve said it before in my blogs, but every time I look around, I see how deep the truth of this idea of Rudolph Steiner’s is…that the child should be able in some way to complete the toy; it needs to be open ended. (Eva, pictured here, dresses herself and two of the needle felted dolls I made for her in silk. She has cast herself and the others in a “puppet” show.) Eva wears her play silk, or “Rainbow” as she refers to them, as a “wedding dress.” But her silks have become baby slings, rainbows, flags, vaccuums, ropes, etc…

There is no correct way to play with these; no end to what this simple square of color can become, such as with Birchleafedesigns‘s play silks shown
here. These are not only beautiful but processed with low-impact dye, making them and most of the other items featured environmentally friendly.

I’d like to explore the ways in which toys can be simple and open ended, using images from my Naturalkids Team colleagues for examples. With Winsomehollow’s endearing gnome play set, there are no rules. There is no “branded” personality for him…or her. The little island can be anywhere the child chooses. His or her story will be new and original.

Although Woolcomesalive’s toy set, pictured here is described on her site as a barn with sheep and bails, all of those pieces can have new identities in the mind of the child. For, they are not so specifically formed and have no back story created by marketing executives.

Oritdotandolls’ fairies are light and ethereal. Literally, faceless, the child can project whatever image they like onto it. Though Orit names this one a “blessing,” perhaps it is a “gifting” or “singing” fairy to the child…or just “Lucy.” Refreshingly, nothing about this fairy disproves any of the child’s notions.

We see that Littleelfstoyshop’s daffodil girl holds a yellow flower…but what is the rest of her story…and can that daffodil be a flag or a horn? Sure. And her expression, like most Waldorf-inspired dolls is enigmatic, leaving her attitude up to the imagination of the child who plays with her. Here is another example of that open expression from Auntboosbabies. One might think that this lack of expression may feel cold to a child. On the contrary it is inviting. When you combine that with natural materials, like recycled cotton and other natural fibers, as many of our Naturalkids Team team members use, the doll is even softer to the touch…even more loveable.

I would like to continue with these examples and feature additional sellers from our team in my next “Part Two of Instructions Not Included” next time. In the meantime, I invite you to click on their links on the blog site and visit the wonderful and creative worlds these folks inspire through their artistry.

I leave off with the image featured at the top of the page from Dosidough. This team member creates a natural version of playdough – a toy which defies all rules and for which instructions are neither included or requested.

By Rebecca Varon-Remstein

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Friday Interview with German Dolls

Today’s interview is with team member Ulla of the shop German Dolls. Her lovely dolls and sweet doll outfits have a wonderful old world feel to them and her shop is full of these simple childhood joys. I really enjoyed getting to know Ulla better and I think you will too!

Tell us a little about yourself…
Guten Tag!
My name is Ulla Seckler. I was born and raised in Germany and moved to the United States in 1996. I am married and live in beautiful Colorado with my husband and two kids.
I have been sewing and making things practically all my life.
Back in good old Germany children are instructed in needlework at a tender age. I still remember the old lady, named Frau Knebel, who came in with two gigantic knitting needles, the size of poles for pole vaulting (it seemed), and taught all the girls and BOYS how to knit in elementary school.
Sewing is in my blood. My great grandmother was the village seamstress and called in whenever somebody got married and needed custom-made, hand embroidered table and bed linens. She taught my grandma and my mother. And I watched my mother sew, crochet, and knit all my life. She did not have to make a living that way, but whenever she had a minute she was doing something. Her hands were never idle, and I grew up in a world where handmade sweaters, mittens, and scarves appeared overnight. All it took was a snowfall. My dolls and I never lacked a new outfit and were dressed appropriately for the season . . .
After I had children of my own in the US; I was worried that they would grow up without the same quality handmade items and toys that I had when I was little. So I started making dolls after my daughter was born. And once I started making the dolls, I began making clothes for them as well. Some of the patterns I use were handed down in my family. But most of the designs are a combination of the old traditional patterns and my own more modern spin on Waldorf.

What is the main thing you make and sell in your store? What else do you make or sell?
The main thing I make and sell in my store is dolls and doll clothing. Once I started making dolls I became a total addict. First I made dolls for my kids, then for all the nieces and nephews, then for friend’s kids. I just could not stop. The dolls began to clutter the house. My husband complained that there was never a place to sit down any more…He said:” Honey, why don’t you sell some on eBay.” I did – and “the rest is history” as they say.
Last Christmas I got a needle felting kit as a present. I instantly fell in love with this craft. I have a few needle felted items in my store and would like to expand in that area..

Who if anyone has been instrumental in helping you hone your craft?
The one person who has been most instrumental when it comes to my craft is my mother. See above. She did not teach me the art of Waldorf Doll making per se, but she taught me all the skills needed to make a beautiful handmade toy.

Where do you get your inspiration?
My daughter’s birth inspired me to make my first doll, and watching her play with all of her dolls every day is my greatest inspiration!
My German heritage is certainly very important and a great inspiration in what and how I do what I do. I miss the dark, green, Fairytale forests of Germany. But at the same time my life as an immigrant has given me a very unique perspective on things. I see many playrooms in the United States filled with gobs and oodles of ugly plastic toys. The main criterion in many households appears to be mass rather than quality. I hope that more people will learn about Waldorf and Natural toys.
If it had not been for coming here I don’t think I’d be a doll maker. I probably would have bought a handmade doll in Germany and let it go at that. I think my work is a great example of how the New World and the Old World come together to inspire wonderful art.

What are your favorite materials?
I still get excited every time a new shipment of supplies arrives at my doorstep, especially when it was mailed from Germany. I love Color! Cotton velour is my favorite material! And it comes in so many bright colors =)! I get sad whenever I run out of a color. I make my Wee Pocketbabies out of this wonderful stuff, but it is also great for doll clothes and other cuddly toys.
I love wool in any shape and color! Wool felt, wool roving, yarn, carded wool fleece. Wool is what my dolls are stuffed with, soft warm springy natural sheep’s wool. Who likes to hug plastic? This is my slogan.

“In an age when everything is made of plastic and synthetics and almost every toy says “Made in China,” my Waldorf Dolls are handmade with pure wool and cotton, natural materials that warm to body temperature as they are held. Have you ever hugged a cold, plastic baby doll on a cold winter morning? My soft, warm dolls are unique, huggable, and as individual as the children who love them.”

What advice would you give other Etsy sellers and those interested in opening up a shop?
Don’t quit your day job! It takes a lot of time and energy to build a small business. We are talking years – not months. Don’t expect to open a store and have a lot of sales right away. When I first started on Eb
ay it was very tough. I often sold my dolls for little more than the price of the materials. I am doing a little better these days but often wonder if it is possible to make a living being an artist. My husband brings home the bacon!
You have to love what you do to make it through the rough spots. My friends on Etsy, particularly the Naturalkids Team, have made my “crafting life” so much happier. I am immensely grateful for the sense of community and friendship I have found there!

7)What advice would you give to beginners in your main craft?
Patience, patience, patience! You cannot expect to make a first doll and for it look great. It took me many years to perfect all the techniques and come up with the perfect doll.

What is your Etsy shop address and name? Where else can we find you?

I recently closed my Ebay shop because of the impossible high fees. I have decided to put all of my energy into my Etsy shop. I hope to have my own website some day…
My Etsy shop address is
I also have a flickr account. If you would like to see pictures of old and new work you can check out my “archive” on flickr;