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Tuesday Treasuries

We had a bonanza of treasuries over the weekend (cashing in on the new, upgraded Treasury system!). Many have expired now, but these sweeties remain. Go click, comment, and stake out your favorites!

First, from mangopeachwalnut (aka Mr. freedomRainbow), a selection called Handmade Kids, naturally.

And speaking of freedomRainbow, she snagged her own treasury featuring the naturalkids team.

WoolComesAlive featured some of her favorite vibrant items in her treasury, Orange you the cutest???

FaerieRebecca is Feelin’ Groovy in her treasury.

And last, but so not least, the most popular NaturalKids treasury ever! This was created by Haddy2Dogs, and it was her first treasury–can you believe it? Here it is–Hangin’ with my gnomeys!

So, there is was, as promised, a veritable cornucopia of NaturalKids Team treasuries. And some had already expired! We had a lot of features this weekend from the Storque Spotlight to having Amber of WoodMouseLovesWood as the Etsy Featured Seller. Things are just going great for our team! Hooray!

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Mini Monday: German Dolls

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade
GermanDolls.etsy.com

This morning’s Mini Monday focusses on one of our dollmakers. You may have seen her doll at the top of the Storque on Saturday being clutched by a shiny, smiling child. Learn more about Ulla!

I was born in Bad Kreuznach, Germany. (Try and pronounce that if you can hahaha). Lived and studied in Berlin (WEST) Germany. Worked in a gallery there. Helped to take the Wall down in 1989!

Moved to Colorado in 1995. Worked in a Gallery and painted in oils for a while. Some print media too.

Started making dolls in 2001 and never stopped…I started making dolls when I had children. I was afraid they would grow up without the same homemade toys that I grew up around. My mother was a great seamstress. Sadly she passed away from cancer in 2004 and my world has not been the same since. I miss her and see sewing as a way to stay connected to her, my homecountry, and German culture.

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Thursday Treasuries

Happy Thursday! Enjoy these gorgeous treasuries curated by our members and featuring our very talented artists!

Click on any hyperlink or image to be taken to that treasury

First, one of our more frequent treasury makers, WoolComesAlive, has found some of the more Subtle Hues offered by our team members.

Next, TheSingingBird‘s eye has landed on some enchantment in The Light of the Forest.

LittleElfsToyshop takes us Over the Rainbow for a glimpse at the beautiful colors and hues of nature.

Finally, Birdie got a chance to snag one more Treasury over at Treasury West and offers us Someone to Love. Go grab one of these cuddly friends today!

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Mini Monday: Bratsacks Baby

This morning’s Mini Monday is a long-time team member, Bratsacks Baby! Here’s a bit more about this creative mama…

Hi, I’m Jessi and I live in the beautiful Northwest Georgia Mountains. I’ve been sewing since I was big enough to sit at my grandma’s sewing machine, but I earned most of my experience sewing clothing so that I could go on Grateful Dead, then Phish tour back in the early 90’s. Besides being a WAHM dog groomer, I sew in my “spare” time. I accidentally stumbled across the back-pack craze when I was stuck at home and needed a gift for a friend’s 2 year old’s birthday. He loved it, and then another mom asked for one, then another, then another. Before I knew it I was on my 50th backpack! I really do enjoy finding vintage and faded clothing to use in my work. I find colors that you wouldn’t otherwise see!

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Friday's Interview with Little Elf's Toyshop


Tell us a little bit about yourself and how and when did you get started with arts and crafts?

Well let’s see, my name is Kelley Zdziarski, though most people call me either Elfie or Elf and I live on a Christmas tree farm in northern Oregon. I have always loved making things for as long as I can remember, whether it was mud pies when I was a really little girl, or building tables and bird houses with my Dad when I was about six. I wanted to become a toymaker after seeing a Christmas cartoon about Santa growing up and making a bunch of toys to give to all the little kids. I saw that when I was little and wanted to make toys like Santa. Hahahaha. On my seventeenth birthday my Mom and Dad got me a Waldorf doll kit from Magic Cabin and that’s how I got started making natural dolls and toys.

What is the main thing you make and sell in your store? What else do you make and/or sell?

My shop is kind of split right now between needle felted items and Waldorf style dolls. The needle felted animals are the main items right now, but I plan on having more dolls done soon. I also have crocheted balls and pouches made of wool yarn and some wood working things as well, it’s really a mix of everything.


Who if anyone has been instrumental in helping you hone your craft?

My Mom and Dad have always been very supportive of me, which has helped a lot. If it wasn’t for Mom showing me how to work the sewing machine, I probably would not be where I am right now. I am mostly self taught, I’ve learned how to make all the dolls and felted critters just from reading books.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Children’s books, old fairy tales, video games and nature are my biggest inspirations. I know, video games and Waldorf doesn’t seem to fit very well, does it? But there are a lot of lovely backgrounds in games and some of the cutest little critters as well. They are very fun to try and make.

What are your favorite materials?

Oh, I love working with wool. There are so many different colors to pick from, it’s just wonderful. I also love cotton velour; it is my favorite material for making dolls. Most of the velour I use is a high cotton content blend as it’s very hard to find it in 100% form, though I do have some of that as well.

What advice would you give other Etsy sellers and those interested in opening up a shop?

If you already have a shop, just keep at it even if sales slow down. Keep making more and more things, have a positive attitude and don’t be afraid to try new things and ask questions. Be willing to take constructive criticism to help you do better, and remember, you can do anything if you put your mind to it.
To those who are interested in opening a shop, I say go for it. Try and take pictures outside in natural light to get the best pictures possible. If you have questions or don’t know something, don’t be afraid to ask. When things sell, try and ship them as soon as possible as customers really like a speedy delivery. Try and package things so they’ll be memorable, using tissue paper and ribbons so it’s like your buyer is getting a present in the mail. It’s more likely you will be remembered if you make the customer feel special, so include a thank you note as well to let them know you appreciate their business. And again, be willing to take constructive criticism to help you do better.

What advice would you give to beginners in your main craft?

Get as many books as possible. That is how I learned and I am still finding more and more things I didn’t know in books. From new techniques to patterns and different ideas, books are a wealth of knowledge and if you put the time into it, you can make so many different things just by reading about how to do it. Also, asking people who make the same things you make or want to make helps. They can give you wonderful pointers on things you may not have thought of or ways to make what you do better. Be willing to ask questions, that’s how we learn. ^_^

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

All of my dolls and toys can be found at Little Elf’s Toyshop at www.LittleElfsToyshop.etsy.com

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Friday’s Interview with Little Elf’s Toyshop


Tell us a little bit about yourself and how and when did you get started with arts and crafts?

Well let’s see, my name is Kelley Zdziarski, though most people call me either Elfie or Elf and I live on a Christmas tree farm in northern Oregon. I have always loved making things for as long as I can remember, whether it was mud pies when I was a really little girl, or building tables and bird houses with my Dad when I was about six. I wanted to become a toymaker after seeing a Christmas cartoon about Santa growing up and making a bunch of toys to give to all the little kids. I saw that when I was little and wanted to make toys like Santa. Hahahaha. On my seventeenth birthday my Mom and Dad got me a Waldorf doll kit from Magic Cabin and that’s how I got started making natural dolls and toys.

What is the main thing you make and sell in your store? What else do you make and/or sell?

My shop is kind of split right now between needle felted items and Waldorf style dolls. The needle felted animals are the main items right now, but I plan on having more dolls done soon. I also have crocheted balls and pouches made of wool yarn and some wood working things as well, it’s really a mix of everything.


Who if anyone has been instrumental in helping you hone your craft?

My Mom and Dad have always been very supportive of me, which has helped a lot. If it wasn’t for Mom showing me how to work the sewing machine, I probably would not be where I am right now. I am mostly self taught, I’ve learned how to make all the dolls and felted critters just from reading books.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Children’s books, old fairy tales, video games and nature are my biggest inspirations. I know, video games and Waldorf doesn’t seem to fit very well, does it? But there are a lot of lovely backgrounds in games and some of the cutest little critters as well. They are very fun to try and make.

What are your favorite materials?

Oh, I love working with wool. There are so many different colors to pick from, it’s just wonderful. I also love cotton velour; it is my favorite material for making dolls. Most of the velour I use is a high cotton content blend as it’s very hard to find it in 100% form, though I do have some of that as well.

What advice would you give other Etsy sellers and those interested in opening up a shop?

If you already have a shop, just keep at it even if sales slow down. Keep making more and more things, have a positive attitude and don’t be afraid to try new things and ask questions. Be willing to take constructive criticism to help you do better, and remember, you can do anything if you put your mind to it.
To those who are interested in opening a shop, I say go for it. Try and take pictures outside in natural light to get the best pictures possible. If you have questions or don’t know something, don’t be afraid to ask. When things sell, try and ship them as soon as possible as customers really like a speedy delivery. Try and package things so they’ll be memorable, using tissue paper and ribbons so it’s like your buyer is getting a present in the mail. It’s more likely you will be remembered if you make the customer feel special, so include a thank you note as well to let them know you appreciate their business. And again, be willing to take constructive criticism to help you do better.

What advice would you give to beginners in your main craft?

Get as many books as possible. That is how I learned and I am still finding more and more things I didn’t know in books. From new techniques to patterns and different ideas, books are a wealth of knowledge and if you put the time into it, you can make so many different things just by reading about how to do it. Also, asking people who make the same things you make or want to make helps. They can give you wonderful pointers on things you may not have thought of or ways to make what you do better. Be willing to ask questions, that’s how we learn. ^_^

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

All of my dolls and toys can be found at Little Elf’s Toyshop at www.LittleElfsToyshop.etsy.com

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Natural Kids Sponsored Contest


Natural Kids paired up with Make Baby Stuff and sponsored the Natural Nursery and Playroom Contest!

Just look at some of the beautiful prizes from the Natural Kids Team!  If you love natural materials for your family, clean up your nursery or playspace, snap a photo and come on over and enter!  
You just might win a prize lot like the one pictured!  Three prize lots and two honorable mention prizes will be awarded.  Contest ends August 15th, 2008.  
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Tuesday Treasuries

We have a plethora of beautiful treasuries today, all made by our hard-working curators! Click and enjoy–some expire today, and others expire later in the week. But all are here for a limited time!

The SingingBird brings us two beautiful treasuries today. First, she’s All A-Flutter for you and showing off birds and flying creatures…

Next she’s gone all soft and squishy on us with her Soft and Subtle treasury.

LittleElfsToyshop is watching to world turn and brings us a collection of The Changing Seasons to enjoy.

Finally, WoolComesAlive is offering a NaturalKids Spectacular!