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Interview with Oast

This week we take a close up look at Oast with owner and artist Rachel.

Tell us about you
Hi, I am Rachel and I am a Canadian living in the UK. I live in a small farmhouse in rural Kent. We don’t work on the farm but benefit from watching the seasons change in the orchards and the beautiful birthing that takes place with the cows and sheep in the spring. The mark of the land in this area is the oast houses, which are the buildings where hops are dried for making beer. We happen to have a group of them that I look at as I craft and others on the rolling hills beyond the farm. My environment is very important to me and my surroundings are the ideal place for my small family to live. I have one husband, one child, and one one on the way. Another child, not another husband… oh you.

Tell us about your business
Oast is a Waldorf Doll shop. I have focused mostly on dolls for children 0 – 3 years old. That is starting to shift and I am enjoying the process of making jointed dolls for older children but they rarely make it as far as the shop.

Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in children. I love to watch how they connect with their toys and what they chose to attach themselves to. It is a powerful thing to observe, and often far out of the rationalization of adults. By this I mean, what we would chose for our children seems to rarely be what they would chose for themselves. Like the idea that children like the box a toy comes in more than the toy itself. I see that with dolls as well. Parents are drawn to the dolls with full heads of hair a bit more detailing while their young children are attracted to the simple faces and soft bodies. This helps me trust my craft and inspires me to see the special qualities in each developmental stage that corresponds to certain doll types.

What got you started in your craft?
As is the story of many Waldorf doll makers, I made my first one for my daughter and have been going strong ever sense. It is addictive to create something that a child will grow and share with. After seeing and hearing how children respond to the dolls themselves, I fell even more in love with the process. There is nothing like watching a child hug one of my dolls for the first time.

What’s your favorite thing you have ever made?
My daughter. Seriously the best craft project ever, and the most consuming.

How long have you been on Etsy and how has it been for you so far?
I have been on Etsy nearly a year and I have found it slow going. I sell a product that has a lot of competition and I am just slowly making my way. I enjoy the process of creating and know that as long as I maintain the standards I have set for myself, the rest the sales will continue to come.

What do you hope to gain or contribute to the Natural Kids group?
I am pretty isolated where I live. The UK has amazing fiber arts and a lot of natural crafts people. I don’t have access to them on a regular basis from where I live. I hope to continue to be inspired by the NK community. I love the process of creating and also the professionalism projected by the team. I work very hard at not only making a high quality doll that is safe for children but one that will make many journeys. The Natural Kids group follow this same ethos. The doll makers on the Natural Kids Team are all amazing and I feel so happy to be amongst them. I am hoping that I will be able to contribute to the team through my enthusiasm and love of community.

Share your links:

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For Love of Dolls

This past weekend I got to spend 3 wonderful days with a fellow team mate, Dayanara from Pin Pon. We spent our time crafting, eating yummy food, and watching crazy reality TV. When the rest of the family was asleep D. and I would spend hours talking and crafting.

Free Form Cutting
An Artist at work

Watching her hands work as she lovingly brought the dolls to life was magical. We shared fabric and collaborated on combination of colors, so much fun! I loved to see her work with just an idea in her head… no pattern just free form cutting. Almost as if the doll had already been in the fabric and she was setting it free.

Finished Doll, Miss Kitty
D. dog guarding the supplies

The following day we had great fun setting up a photo shot with the kids. My daughter had the best day getting to do dress changes, she was in princess heaven! The boys and dogs got in on the action  too and we all had a great time. At the end the we all promised to do it all again!!

D. setting up the shot. Swing Top by Imogen’s Garden
Apron by Pin Pon
Rainbow Playsilk by The EnchantedCupboard

Post by Beccijo of The Enchanted Cupboard

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Interview with Driaa

This week we take a close up look at Driaa in our talk with owner and creator Dria.

Tell us about you!
Hi! My name is Dria. I am a mother of three girls. I live with my husband in a small vegetarian village in the hills of the Galilee, in Israel, where I grew up. My parents and siblings live here too, with their children. I come from a family of crafty people, and we have a small shop together – a whole wheat bakery and vegetarian café (my mother and one of my brothers are bakers) with a small handcrafts Gallery. I sell my dolls and my other brother sells his wooden toys. My father grows the vegetable garden for the bakery and Café and my sister makes sure everything is working properly. My third brother is a stone restoration expert with the Antiquities Authority.

Tell us about your business!
I am a doll maker (I consider plush animals to be dolls, too). I sew all kinds of dolls, trying out new techniques and drafting new patterns all the time. Some of my dolls are Waldorf style dolls, but I also make other types. I sew other things as well, like bags and hats and also knit and crochet.

What do you make and how long have you been creating?
I have been creating since I was a child, crocheting clothes for my dolls since I was six years old. I have been making dolls professionally for seven years.

Where do you find inspiration?
I have three main sources of inspiration:
Nature – recently have been making dolls inspired by beautiful wild flowers. (I haven’t managed to find time to make them all yet, so some of them are still only ideas in my head..)
Fabric – sometimes a piece of fabric will spark a whole new idea for a doll.
Children – many of my designs were first made for a specific child, mostly my nieces and nephews.

Oh, custom orders are a great source of inspiration, too!

What got you started in your craft?
One day, after many years of not creating at all and only studying (life sciences and history of science, if you must know), I found a teddy bear making book in the bargain area of a bookstore. Seeing a new creature come to life from my sewing was thrilling! (Of course I changed the pattern even on my first teddy and gave him my own interpretation.) That was just before my first nephews and nieces were born, and when they appeared into my life I started knitting and sewing for them.

What’s your favorite thing you have ever made?
My favorite thing right now is my new design for a Bee and a Flower that can be opened and closed. I’m very proud of it!

How long have you been on Etsy and how has it been for you so far?
I’ve been on Etsy almost a year and a half. It’s been great! But I still have a long way to go before my Etsy shop is what I want it to be.

What advice do you have for other Etsy artisans?
Find a good team!

What do you hope to gain or contribute to the Natural Kids group?
I joined this team because I think this team has some of the best artisans and crafters on Etsy! I think that as a group we mark the stamp of quality, earth conscious and imaginative toys and items for kids. So I hope to contribute my efforts to the group and together we can get much further.

What thoughts do you have for parents on the importance of natural toys for creative play?
Children that receive mass produced toys these days don’t expect them to last very long. They know from experience that most of their toys will end up in the trash – some of them on the same day they get them. Besides the pollution created by the short lives of these toys, I think it’s sad that children have such low expectations from their belongings. Carefully crafted natural toys that are made lovingly by an artisan can be something that chaperons a child into adulthood. I still have toys that were mine as a child, and they have a deep meaning for me – as a body that holds a piece of my childhood.

Find Driaa at:


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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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Interview with Little Lily

This week we take a close up look at Little Lilly with our talk with owner and artist Jade. 

Tell us a bit about you.
My name is Jade and I live in Northern BC, Canada. I’m 27 years old and have been married to Daniel for 7.5 years. On January 15th of this year, I gave birth to our fourth beautiful daughter, Danica. Our other three are Addison (5.5), Tegan (4), and Myka (18months). I can honestly say that being a mom is my favorite thing in the whole world. Every day I am in awe that God has blessed me with such an amazing family! I recently had a friend joke that when she reads my Facebook status’, she pictures me in a bonnet and apron. I assume it’s because they are all about baking, sewing, gardening, and collecting eggs from my chickens. Unfortunately, I don’t own a bonnet; although I did just buy a really cool apron from etsy! That’s another thing I enjoy…shopping on etsy. There’s so many amazing products out there from really talented people!

Tell us about Little Lily.
I started Little Lily in May of 2009. A friend told me one day how hard it was for her to find good quality baby washcloths. I was planning on making some cloth wipes to use on the baby I was expecting at the time anyway, so when she said that, it was like a light bulb went off in my head! I knew I wanted, soft, good quality, thick wipes, and knew from research that bamboo fabric had these qualities. I ordered a yard and went to work. When I sent her some, she tried them and said, “you should start an etsy business with these!”

Our second daughter’s name is Tegan Lily, and I have called her Little Lily since the day she was born. So when it came time to name the business, it was a no-brainer 🙂

A few weeks into selling the wipes, people were asking if I made other things. I experimented with a few products, but found that I didn’t have time to make tons of different products, so I have kept my favorite three as regular items; bamboo baby wipes, hooded bamboo baby (and toddler) towels, and swaddling blankets! I also make bamboo baby wraps as special orders.

What do you make and how long have you been creating?
I make organic bamboo baby wipes, hooded towels and swaddling blankets. Occasionally I add a new product as a feature, but for my regular stock, I like to keep it simple 🙂 I started sewing them a year and a half ago, when I was pregnant with our third daughter.

Where do you find inspiration?
My girls 🙂 And I look at fabric online more than is probably a “healthy amount” 🙂

What got you started in your craft?
I was talking to a friend one day and she mentioned how she was frustrated with her baby washcloths because they wore out so quickly, and were flimsy and rough. I had heard about how soft bamboo was, so I did some research, ordered a yard of it, and the rest is history!

What’s your favorite thing you have ever made?
The hooded towels. I actually made a hooded towel “poncho” once, and I use it all the time for my toddler when we go swimming. I’ve thought about adding them to my regular line…maybe soon!

How long have you been on Etsy and how has it been for you so far?
I’ve been on etsy for almost a year and a half…about a month after I started making the products! I LOVE etsy and can’t say enough good things about it. I enjoy pretty much everything about etsy and having my own business!

What advice do you have for other Etsy artisans?
Think about products and businesses you love; think about their appearance, products, customer service, etc. Now implement your favorite qualities into your business. Treat each customer like royalty, and set up your shop to look professional as if it was a million dollar a year, professional company. On that note, branding should be a huge priority. I bought my panda avatar from for $20, and it is the best investment I’ve made into my business. It’s on my sew on labels, business cards, and pretty much everything I do on the internet! I’m even going to get a vinyl window decal made for my van using my panda!

What do you hope to gain or contribute to the Natural Kids group?
I love building new relationships, especially with people who share the same interests as me. I am hoping to gain ideas to improve my shop/business, and to encourage others to do the same 🙂

What thoughts do you have for parents on the importance of natural toys for creative play?
I believe that things such as electronic toys, TVs, and video games are completely changing the way kids develop, and not necessarily in a good way. I think it’s very very important for kids to play with simple toys, made of safe, natural materials to develop their creativity. I don’t think it’s healthy for kids to learn to rely on being stimulated by outside sources all the time. Learning to “center” themselves and be able to come up with their own ideas, etc is crucial.

Find Little Lily and Jade at:

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Friday Feature with Meadowsweet Organics

Today’s interview is with a new member! Meet Laura, of Meadowsweet Organics. Enjoy!

Tell us little about yourself!

My name is Laura Harris and I live on the island portion of Newfoundland and Labrador (most easterly province of Canada) with my husband and two children ages 4 and 7.  After studying Visual Arts, French and Education in university I went on to teach full-time in the public school system. Once my husband and I started our family I decided to stay home to be with our children. During this time I have been able to once again nurture my creative side by taking up sewing, designing and crafting for children and by reflecting on and cherishing our home life through my blog,

What do you make and how long have you been creating?

I design and sew toys, accessories and clothing from organic cotton for children and have been doing so for about the past three years.

What inspires you?

My time at home with my children has been a real creative renewal for me. Children are so naturally creative and everything is such a wonder for them that you can’t help but feel inspired. It brings you back to that time when you didn’t feel any inhibitions, you just created for the pleasure that you got from it.

What got you started working with Organic Cotton?

A few years ago when I started to learn about the importance of eating organic and local for the health of our families and environment, I began to think in these terms about our clothing as well. When I
learned that cotton is one of the most heavily sprayed crops in the world, it seemed that going local and organic with our clothing would make a lot of sense as well. When I started to look for local and
organic clothing I became somewhat discouraged as I soon discovered (at that time) it simply did not exist. Then I discovered Harmony Art’s line of organic cotton fabrics. Her colorful and bold
nature-inspired designs immediately appealed to me and opened up the whole world of organic fabrics to me. I was so encouraged that there were people out that shared my concerns that it spurred me on to
finally take that bold step of teaching myself to sew.

How long have you been on Etsy and how has it been for you so far?

I began on Etsy in 2008 with my first shop, Handmade Naturals. Earlier this year I became Meadowsweet Organics. Etsy has been great for me as it has provided me with a creative outlet that fits in well with my stay-at-home lifestyle. I have also found so many artists and designers through Etsy that inspire me as well. I still see myself in development so no, I’m not making a living from my shop yet, but it is helping me to grow creatively and to interact with others about my

What advice would you have for other Etsians?

Well, the good thing about Etsy is that it can fit into your life however you need it to. Honour your hard work by presenting it with beautiful photographs and value your time as well by not underpricing
your work. If you don’t value your time, no one else will either.

What do you hope to learn/gain/contribute from being part of the Natural Kids group?

Meeting and connecting with likeminded people is one of the main reasons I joined Natural Kids. Working from home on your own can at times be a little isolating so I think joining Natural Kids will help open up a new world for me in that way. Perhaps I can provide some insight with the experiences I’ve had, and I hope to gain that from others as well.

What thoughts do you have for parents on the importance of natural toys for creative play?

I think that children are naturally creative, we just have to provide them the time and the space to play that out. Opt for open ended play when you can as opposed to prescribed play. As for the importance of natural toys, they are just so much safer for our children and help to an appreciation of our natural environment. I think this appreciation helps to make us more grounded and happier as people. I
can not think of a better gift to give a child.

Your links?
Thank you, Laura!
Today’s interview was by Kat, of kats in the belfry.
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Friday Feature with Rumpos

Tell us little about yourself!
My name is Mary Ann Hudson. I have been married for over 10 years to a nerd with horn-rimmed glasses and have a funny red-haired little boy named Gus. I have an MFA in poetry and am in school to be a pediatric nurse practitioner. I live for when the mail comes and for stolen time where I can read for pleasure.

What do you make and how long have you been creating?

I make playscapes from a variety of natural materials–wool, linen, cotton, and vintage. The construction is similar to quilts–except with 3D elements. I also make quilts, bags, and housewares (for a “grown-ups” shop, and lots of the stuff we need at home (clothes , housewares, and utility items). We’re the original “make do and mend” family and are highly resistant to buying anything new when we can thrift or make it. I also make poetry, which is necessary to life. I’ve been writing since I could, and I’ve been sewing for a few years (but have always had my hands in some kind of making).

What inspires you?
Nature, and how people and, especially, kids use things.

What got you started working with playscapes?
A friend’s magical daughter got me into playscape making. This little girl has the biggest imagination and sense of narrative play than anyone I’ve ever met (including some famous writers). She and her beautiful family are very inspiring, and my first playscape was created for her and in honor of her ideas for it. I think all the best things start with wanted to do something rad for someone you love.

How long have you been on Etsy and how has it been for you so far?
I became a buyer in early summer 2007, looking for a handmade amber teething necklace for my son, and made my first sale shortly after I opened in February of 2009–so I’m not even a year-old business yet. As a buyer, etsy is the most accessible way possible to get my hands on handmade for gifts and living I can think of–it’s that accessibility that has added a real stone to the foundation of this wonderful handmade movement we’re all a part of. We all part of a long human history of making and the commerce of it, but after mega-industry took over the commercial world and somehow convinced us to adapt disposable lifestyles, making became relegated to county craft fairs and something your great aunt did instead of something you thought to do first before you ran to the closest big box store. Etsy creates ordinary accessibility to both extraordinary and everyday things. Fine art and reusable paper towels are all in the same place for anyone with an internet connection. It’s something big that allows an individual to stay small enough to run an ethical, thoughtful, and sustainable business. I opened on etsy, in part, so I could participate in what it’s trying to do. I’ve met some truly remarkable people, been able to grow a satisfying micro-business, stay busy and creative, and have the kind of freedom to be exactly the kind of business I could never be in a brick and mortar, or even in a stand-alone web business. I can barter and trade, change up my inventory at will, price fairly, and source my materials with other micro-businesses.

What advice would you have for other Etsians?

Be patient with organic business growth. I started with a single, well-thought out listing because I didn’t have any other stock to photograph. When it sold, I had two sets of photographs and so another listing–and so on. Word of mouth (or word of blog) really does work, and often much better, than paid advertising, so treat every customer like they have the ability to communicate with 1,000 other eager buyers. Do only what you love, and would love to do for those who you love. Pay attention to what your people want–I realized, after creating a set of ready-to-ship stock that was slow selling (and so now, very much on sale in the shop), that what my customers really liked about what I offered was that it was so custom and could be created for them at a personal level.
That said, I did open a sister shop of housewares and bags that is all ready stock–but I did it to have fun and from a place and theme very dear to me. That experience is starting slow too, but it doesn’t matter because the process has been so rewarding for me. I know that I have kindred spirits out there and they will find my shop in time. It really does have to be fun or you’ll start thinking like a cigar-smoking, suit-y, business stiff. I don’t think they have fun when they raze farmland, cripple local businesses, and build big box stores.

What do you hope to learn/gain/contribute from being part of the Natural Kids group?
Some of the most loving and creative mentors I’ve ever had are business people in this co-op. I learn something everyday from the forums; I have changed inefficient business practices based on personal communications with partners in the co-op; I have
improved my skills and products based on inspiration I have received looking at partners’ products and trading and buying from partners; and I have, overall, become more professional and focused due to my membership in this group. I think it’s important that like-minded people with similar values in the world of commerce support and network with each other–it’s a kind of personal-level strength. I am always ahead of the curve in terms of practical considerations like labeling, sourcing, and documenting. My membership is utterly invaluable. More, the imaginative, kid-friendly, mama-positive vibe is perfect energy for creating.

What thoughts do you have for parents on the importance of natural toys for creative play?
Putting on my pediatrics hat, remember that when *you* think that a toy must be boring because it is gently colored with “only” the colors that come from nature, that children see a wider and much brighter spectrum of colors than adults. When you’re confused by a toy that doesn’t seem to *do* anything and doesn’t have a place to stick a battery in, understand that children’s sensory system is indescribably more sensitive than your own and that the grain of sanded bees-wax rubbed wood, and fuzz of felted trees, and the enigmatic face of a simple doll is incomprehensibly stimulating to the hands and face and mind of a child, who, after all, hasn’t been here so long and never expected to have to encounter and process hard, stinky plastic that makes loud noises with crazy light shows for no conceivable reason.

We don’t give children the credit and respect they deserve–their narrative understanding is deeply rich when given the barest of tools (a knitted donkey, a wooden boat), and has a greater reign when unconfined by pre-designed, corporate characters and specific uses for play. Natural toys have both breadth and depth–a well-made doll that feels good and warm in the hands is a companion, a co-pilot, a character to work out personal dramas, and a pillow. Honestly, kids don’t really *need* toys when they have daily access to loving people and the outdoors, but toys can be an important tool as they play their way through the lessons that they need to grow. The best tools, we know, are well-made and no more complicated than needed for the job at hand. Toys are not magic, children are magic. Toys are not the source for entertainment and learning, we are, people are. The best toys celebrate the normal, everyday magic of children and are easy tools for play between people. And you know, kids are totally impressed by handmade, love to see and touch things they know someone has made themselves, and are encouraged to make things, too.

Your items can be found where:
“grown-ups” :

Interview by Beccijo of The Enchanted Cupboard

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Friday Feature- The Fairy Ring

Tell us little about yourself!
I am a Toymaker, a Writer, a Dreamer, and an Artist. I am also a devoted, deeply in love wife to a wonderful man and a homeschooling mother of 4. I am a very busy mom who toils away the day in service to my family. I love my life and my family. They are my pride and joy, but sometimes it is hard to find the joy while you clean a toilet after 3 boys. Then at the end of the day I get a few moments to create and bring my little people to life. They make me laugh, down right giggle! We also strive as a family to take care of the Earth and be as GREEN as possible. You could find out more about me here on my blog:

What do you make and how long have you been creating?
I paint wooden dolls and create wonderful playsets and playboxes for them to have a life in. I opened my first shop on Etsy in September of 2008, but it took awhile to list and figure out what I was doing. I struggled with product photos, and it took some time before I got it right.

What inspires you?
My childhood and the imaginary things I dreamed up while living on Sunshine Mountain in PA are my inspiration. Also, my own children and the things they want to play with inspire me. It is so rewarding to be able to create with them. I love to watch them and see how they use the wooden pieces. One of the greatest rewards for them is to be able to go into my studio and get a bunch of unfinished pieces and play things like, Mars Mission and Super heroes with them. My daughter is always running in and stealing the items I am trying to photograph. You see her in the one photo as she sees her chance and grabs a few to play with.

What got you started working with wood?
I really wanted to create this plastic free environment for my daughter. Other people were painting them, but more as a collectors piece with non expressive faces. I bought a few unfinished dolls for my kids cause I really wanted to make something for them for Christmas. After other people started seeing them and telling me I should sell them, I started thinking they were right. I also started using other wooden pieces to make playsets for them. No one was doing that at the time. I then found these boxes that I could change and paint and make into this little peek into the dolls world where the kids could join in the play.

How long have you been on Etsy and how has it been for you so far?
I was a shopper on Etsy way before I was a seller. We had a lot of Etsy items under the tree this past Christmas. Our kids were left a note from Santa telling them how the very best kids get toys made by the elves. Etsy Elves to be exact! This year all our birthday gifts have been all handmade gifts from Etsy sellers! My son Max is next and he will be getting quite a few wonderful creations from fellow members! I didn’t start selling on Etsy until December of last year.
What advice would you have for other Etsians?
First, you have to know what your goals are. Is it a hobby or will it be a source of income? If it will be a hobby, then enjoy and use the money you make to pamper yourself and have some good mommy time. If it is going to be an income and a business, then you need to research, promote and stay positive. Get help when you need it. There is a wonderful free national program called SCORE. They are like a Big Brother/Sister for Small Business. They will meet with you and guide you through the process to make your company be what you want it to be. You will get a mentor who will be your personal guide. I have 3, I call them my Business Grandpas, and they are great! They are retired successful business people who volunteer their time to help others just like you.

What do you hope to learn/gain/contribute from being part of the Natural Kids group?
I am so excited to be in this group. I also belong to other groups, but being with other toymakers makes me feel like I have found kindred spirits! I hope to learn from those that have traveled these roads before me. Knowledge is power! I hope to gain lifelong friends. I hope to support others and to be supported. I hope to be able to contribute to and promote our group in a positive manner.

My items can be found here:

I am also working with a few gift shops on some consignment and wholesale jobs. Additionally, I am working on getting my own
website. These thing as well as my storybooks for my playsets are in the beginning process. I will have more details in the months ahead.

Interview by Ecoleeko
Thank you Fairy Ring!!!

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Friday Interview with Cozy Cottage Creations

Today we’re going to meet Lynne of cozycottagecreations , or as we call her Cozy! And “cozy” perfectly describes her lovely felted wool creations…along with warm, delightful, and fun! See for yourself…

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how and when did you get started with arts and crafts?
My name is Lynne and I’m a stay-at-home Mommy to two little girls, ages almost-8 and almost-6. I have always gravitated towards anything that involves creating something new. I love making stuff! Like a lot of people here on Etsy and on the team, it was my kids who led me toward doing what I’m doing now. My business really began when my oldest was 3 and I enrolled in the parent-tot program at a nearby Waldorf School. A few weeks into the session the teacher passed out yarn and knitting needles to all of the mothers. She told us that with our knitting, we would be doing our work while our children did their work, which was to play. I fell in love with Waldorf Education right then and there. I had learned to knit at some point in my childhood and I was so thrilled to be picking it up again. When I finished my knitting project – a little kitty cat – I couldn’t wait to make other. Pretty soon I had two families of four cats (which, five years later, my girls still play with) and was looking for what else I could make. It didn’t take long to realize I wanted to create a business making things for children.

What is the main thing you make and sell in your store? What else do you make and/or sell?
I make items for children and their families out of wool. All of my items are felted using various techniques. My knitting led me to try felting what I had knit. That inspired me to embellish my items with needle felted designs. From there I began making needle-felted sculptured pieces. And eventually I delved into the exciting process of wet felting. Basically it’s been one big experiment followed by another big experiment. I have found that the more I explore what wool can do, the more there is to explore! I like to try new techniques and create products I think a naturally-minded family would want for their home and for their children.

Who if anyone has been instrumental in helping you hone your craft?
No one person in particular. I feel very inspired by the work of my fellow teammates. Being on the NaturalKids Team makes me always want to do my best work.
Also, I seem to be following in my grandmother’s (my mother’s mother) footsteps. She was incredibly creative and was always making something. One of the first times I had my mother to my house after I had felted something, I apologized for the wet-wool smell. She said, “Oh, I don’t mind it – it reminds me of when my mother used to make hooked rugs out of boiled wool”. I never knew my grandmother had done that.

Where do you get your inspiration?
Mainly from nature, and also from the desire to create a home filled with natural goodness. I remember as a child going to my grandparents (my father’s parents) house. My father would refer to this house as “the museum” because it was filled with treasures no one was allowed to touch. As much as I loved my grandparents, I’m wanting to give my kids more of a “hands on” childhood. And I feel it’s important to honor and nurture their spirits with products that are from or reflect the natural world.

What are your favorite materials?
Wool – I’m obsessed with it. To me it’s a magical material. It can transform into anything you want. It’s so important to me for my girls to know that from this pile of wool, anything can arise as long as you have the vision and patience to bring it to life.

What advice would you give other Etsy sellers and those interested in opening up a shop?
Well, basically to go for it. When I first started I had no idea where it would lead me. I had no idea if I’d have any sales. Now I have a bona fide business and a wonderful camaraderie with like-minded artisans. The experience has been ten-fold what I was looking for. And with that in mind, it does take work. You get out as much as you put in. You can’t expect to open up a shop and be carried along by Etsy. It’s very true here that the more you contribute, the more you get back.

What advice would you give to beginners in your main craft?
Experiment with your materials as much as you can. If you have something in mind you’d like to make, you’ll get there if you allow yourself some mistakes and to learn from them.

What is your Etsy shop address and name? Where else can we find you? You can find me here on Etsy! Thanks for reading my interview!

And thank you Cozy!
Cynthia/ fairiesnest