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Harvest Colors by Jess of broodbaby

This time of year I am as busy in the kitchen as I am the studio.  The bounty of the summer garden becomes a harvest that needs to be processed, packaged, and stored so that it can continue to nurture us through the long winter months here in New England.  Tomatoes are simmered into sauce, cucumbers are pickled, and fruits of all kind are frozen.  The bounty of goodies requires that I spend quite a bit of time chopping and slicing, but the rewards are many.  Not only will we have a taste of summer available to us in the dead of winter, but I’m finding I’m inspired by the colors around me in the kitchen.  The rich reds of the tomatoes and coral lusciousness of the peaches: suddenly I know what to do with the brightly toned stash of cashmere sweaters that I wasn’t quite sure how I’d repurpose yet.  A creative appetite has been satiated, as well now, as I envision a neighborhood of little playful houses growing on my studio shelves.

My Little House Cashmere Pillows have been a delightfully fun community to build.  Each seems to have its own personality, and all have a secret.  The front door to each one is a pocket!  Use it as a tooth pillow or tuck away messages or a favorite charm.  Perhaps a small little snack for later so that the house that was inspired by my kitchen work can repay its creation with afternoon fortifications.


Easy Frozen Peaches:

10 peaches
the juice of 1 lemon
1/8 cup of sugar

Combine the sugar and the lemon juice in a large mixing bowl.
Slice each peach into eighths.
Toss in the lemon and sugar mixture in two or three batches.
Lay the slices out in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze.  Once frozen, bag or pack them in containers of your choosing for storage.

Listing link:
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A Weekend At Baker Creek

Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company pretty much does just one thing – selling traditional heirloom seeds to a worldwide customer base. The seeds are not genetically modified and are not modern hybrid varieties. Instead, they are traditional seeds, passed down from generations of farmers: they’re the kinds of seeds you’d have traded with your neighbors for in less modern times. Because of that singular focus, they are able to take a strong stance against genetically-engineered food. The best way to make a difference is often through consistent, quiet work with an outstanding commitment to quality.

In the fifteen years since the seed store was founded, they have grown to offer almost 1500 varieties of vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Their website can be found at

Pioneer Village

Baker Creek Pioneer Village

Baker Creek is replete with a Pioneer Village. There we found many interesting shops to visit; a seed store filled with heirloom seeds, gardening books and locally made items (the soaps smelled amazing.) There is also a mercantile and an herbal apothecary. And the freshly baked cinnamon buns at the natural bakery were, by far, the best we’ve ever tasted.  The Asian restaurant generously serves free tea and vegetarian lunches. At the outskirts of the village there are different animals to see including historic breeds of poultry. Our boys watched in fascination as the peacocks  showed off their colorful feathers.

Heritage Festivals

The first Sunday of each month, they host Heritage Days Festivals. And the first Sunday and Monday in May is the biggest festival, the Spring Planting Festival. The festival was complete with world-renowned speakers, old-time musicians, and over 40 artisans creating hand-made goods.

baker-creek-table-setupBorn At Home Toys was there, too. The Ozark Mountains of southern Missouri are the perfect backdrop to sell earth-friendly, natural toys.


This is our favorite of festivals, both to attend and at which to be a vendor.


Sand Pit

There is also a kids’ tent with face painting, live music, and other activities. Our boys spent many fun-filled hours in the gigantic mound of play sand.


In nearby Mansfield is the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum. If you’ve ever read the Little House books or watched “Little House on the Prairie”, you might recognize the name. This is where Laura and her husband, Almanzo, spent most of their life and where the Little House books were written. We didn’t have time to go because we were busy selling toys, but hear it’s a fascinating place. More can be found at their website:

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The Wonder and Why of the Willodel Shop

I love any opportunity to reach out to all the wonderful people who share common ideals of embracing what is best for our children, our homes and the planet.  And in the very heart of this matter,  is what my work and the Willodel shop is all about. All my life I have been passionate about the natural world, about art, about self-sufficiency, about creativity and original thought.  What began as “play” as a child when  I asked to build things out of wood and was given my grandfather’s old woodworking hand tools, turned into a life long journey and “work” that helped me raise a family and support myself all along the way. I was also given encouragement and freedom to make art and sew. This kind of path and journey is one that I think all children should have the opportunity to explore, to find things they love doing and that they develop into life long passions.  This is a primary reason that on my blogs I regularly create tutorials for families to learn new things and learn from what I have learned.  I hope to make more learning materials in my shop as well.

This is a learning set of the metamorphosis life cycle. It includes all the stages of the moth, a pouch to put them in and wooden branch hook to hang it  on. Also an information sheet.
This is a learning set of the metamorphosis life cycle. It includes all the stages of the moth, a pouch to put them in and wooden branch hook to hang it on. Also an information sheet.
This piece is made from hand gathered, windfall aspen and hand milled cedar. It is sealed with beeswax and natural oils.
This piece is made from hand gathered, windfall aspen and hand milled cedar. It is sealed with beeswax and natural oils.

I have found that if children are encouraged to develop their natural inclinations through their play, they develop a “can do “ attitude towards life and also take pride in their accomplishments. I think this is just as important for adults, to find creative processes which give them that sense of accomplishment and fulfillment .  I encourage this activity through my blog tutorials.

Wonderful "dishes" can readily be made with handtools out of seed pods such as acorn caps and gum nuts. This is a lovely adventure of gathering, making and using!
Wonderful “dishes” can readily be made with handtools out of seed pods such as acorn caps and gum nuts. This is a lovely adventure of gathering, making and using!


Developing the yard for natural habitat and making it a wondrous play space that children can help with is delightful!
Developing the yard for natural habitat and making it a wondrous play space that children can help with is delightful!

In the Willodel shop you find ususual things, made to inspire, to delight and to learn from and with.  They embody the spirit and beauty of Nature, whimsy to stir the imagination and provoke creative play. They also invite  making things to go with the pieces themselves.  The materials, natural wood and bent twigs, hand made felt and wool naturally dyed wool, lovely artwork and wee folk, create a stage upon which stories and adventure can come to life. Everything you find in my shop are things that I love and have a great desire to share and inspire more of it’s kind.  The colors, the textures and the feel of it all is very important. It is as unique as the each of our souls are unique and as different as the individual story we each have to tell.

The Gypsy Wagon! Stirring romantic notions in us all! The Elves, the Wrens, the Gnomes~ they all want to come!
The Gypsy Wagon! Stirring romantic notions in us all! The Elves, the Wrens, the Gnomes~ they all want to come!

The wonderful people that I have met through my work enriches my life every way. Their joy and thoughts forever inspire and provoke me to make and share more!  Without them this work would not be the same. The interaction with the families that receive my pieces is part of the larger picture of the whole process. It is the great vision of the beautiful network of people embracing similar values and desires , very much strengthening the belief that what is truly good is still very safe in the hearts of many.  This contact inspires more and greater creations, just as each time a piece of my work travels to a new and loving home and spreads happiness and joy, it is a completion of a circle.  This, of course, confirms that I am doing exactly the right thing!  Thank you all and keep busy with all the wonderful things you aspire to do!

I am a great believer in the "play mat". I think it creates a  special space and place for the stirring of the imagination and ones own creative ideas. It also is an opportunity to work with wool and felt, which I love just as much as wood.
I am a great believer in the “play mat”. I think it creates a special space and place for the stirring of the imagination and ones own creative ideas. It also is an opportunity to work with wool and felt, which I love just as much as wood.
This is a project I am working on now, with home dyed natural felt, the inspiration being wild peony flowers, which are felted on the sides and the roof.
This is a project I am working on now, with home dyed natural felt, the inspiration being wild peony flowers, which are felted on the sides and the roof.


The Fairy Garden is our Summer project. It was started in a large rectangular cement mixing tub, so it can theoretically be moved in winter. Adding details  such as a creek and a pond and many small things will be endless fun!
The Fairy Garden is our Summer project. It was started in a large rectangular cement mixing tub, so it can theoretically be moved in winter. Adding details such as a creek and a pond and many small things will be endless fun!

For more inspiration and information, please follow these links and thank you so much!

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Introduction to Outside Everywhere

We’re still fairly new members here in the Natural Kids Team, so I thought I would start off with a little introduction to our family and our shop.

I’m Allison – the designer and one of the makers here at Outside Everywhere. Daniel, my partner, is the wood-cutter and sander. Our nearly 7 year old son, Eden, gives us ideas for toys to make, and sometimes he helps paint toys as well.


Our home is in Asheville, North Carolina. We feel so blessed to live in such a beautiful place surrounded by absolutely breath-taking mountain views in every direction.  I stay home with Eden,and this year we’ve begun homeschooling. We’re having a great time figuring it all out. Daniel works during the days at a local natural foods store. In the afternoons, we are most often found in our backyard outside of our home studio. We spread out blankets, have picnics, sand toys, and take breaks to play with our dogs.

We consider our pets members of our family, so I just had to include them here…and plus, they’re really cute!
We have 3 dogs: Mason, India, and Gemma. We also have 2 cats, Beatrix and Poki.


Here are a few fun little things about us:
I love: cats (I’ve been obsessed since age 5), succulents, and I collect vintage pyrex dishes.
I do not love: onions, snakes with triangle heads, hot hot weather.

Eden loves: cats (he is his mama’s son, for sure!), bird-watching, and nature hikes.
Eden does not love: getting water up his nose, growling dogs, and brushing his hair.

Daniel loves: Harry Potter, reading books about religion, and birds.
Daniel does not love: being cold, impatient drivers, and cheap beer.

For the past few years we have been very fortunate to have an opportunity to take a vacation at the coast with my best friends. We all live so spread apart (Portland, Oregon; Columbus, Ohio; Charleston, South Carolina; and us here in Asheville, NC) that this trip is often the one time a year that we get to see each other. It’s so, so wonderful to be able to be with my closest friends and their families for an entire week. This year I got to meet the new daughter of one of my friends, as well as see another friend’s daughter I haven’t seen since she was 6 months old.




In thinking about our upcoming trip, we were inspired to make a few beach-related animals.

This great white shark is one of them:


We spent our vacation in Folly Beach, which is a turtle nesting site. Here’s our sweet little turtle:


And how could we resist making an animal as adorable as the manatee:


We came home with some new toy ideas -they will be in our shop soon!

You can find our shop, Outside Everywhere here
You can keep up-to-date on our shop stuff on our facebook page here
And here is our very new, still in progress blog here

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Meet Rebecca of Little River Dolls


Hi Natural kids blog readers! My name is Rebecca and I am owner/creator of Little River Dolls! I love making natural soft wool filled dolls for my son and his friends and my shop! It is so pleasurable to see the wee dolls come to life in my hands and each has such unique personalities that are easy to see. I love making them so much and I hope you can feel the love I have put into each and every one!

Recently I have been trying to find the perfect teacher gift for my son’s wonderful teachers at his Waldorf Kindergarten. At first I knitted a couple pairs of socks but then I felt that wasn’t personal enough for his main teacher so I found a pattern for a wonderful doll- but all made of wool and needle felted! I have needle felted a couple small things before for presents like hearts and pumpkins but never such a large one! But it came out just perfect, soft and warm and Waldorf-y, it will hopefully bring a smile to her! What kind of presents are you giving your teachers this year?

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Hello, this is me, Nalina




I’m Pia from Nalina Puppen. We haven’t met yet – not officially at least. So, hello. It’s really nice to meet you. As this is our first time together, I thought I might share a little about Nalina, and I hope that you’ll connect with me, through comments or social media.



 Pia and little presents for customers


Nalina was born in 2008, when I was studying to be a Waldorf teacher. I started crafting little fairies and gnomes just because I enjoyed the handwork. Doing crafts back then wasn’t so popular as it is now. Knitting and crocheting were considered uncool, but for some reason people wanted to buy my little things. I didn’t understand why people would want to buy them, but I was happy they did. Looking back now, I still don’t understand it. Stitching was all off, products weren’t very unique, but they were made with lots of love. I guess that did it back then. In the years that followed I learned to make Waldorf dolls from my art and crafts teacher at Waldorf seminar, Ms. Thiesen. Watching her paint, draw, and create beautiful crafts with such precision and love was like a pinch of fairy dust to my life. To this day, every time I sit down to create a doll, gnome, fairy… I think of her.



Doll maker in making – from the first doll to the real Nalina Puppen doll


This memory helped me go through four years of trial and errors in pursuit of a perfect Nalina Puppen doll. Last year when I create my first doll that could properly sit my world stopped for just a minute. Long enough to know that was it. I came from someone who learned how to make a Waldorf doll to a doll maker – a proper one. I started believing in my work, and my dolls. And getting feedback from happy customers was like a happy pill for my heart.



 Nalina Puppen dolls


Though I can make every doll myself I enjoy that this is actually something I often do with my husband. In our crazy computer infested world (he works as senior developer and I as freelance web designer) we take time to be with each other, to talk, watch movies, and ground ourselves, crafting dolls. We were together at seminar for Waldorf teachers, and we are together after all those years, working and learning how to live simple natural life. If you want to know about my creative process as a crafter click here to read the post about it.



 Nalina Puppen boys


In search of that life we are moving to Germany in a month, hoping to settle, have a family, and enjoy living. We make a very limited number of dolls per month, making sure each is really well made and infused with all the love our family can hold. We are happy to see them finding new homes all over the world, and In our little country.



 Nalina Puppen gnomes


If you want to know more about our stumbling as expats please find me at Joie de vie blog.


Until next time, have fun!





Nalina Puppen on Etsy (


Pinterest  | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


Links to put on the social medial names:






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New Raised Beds

Over spring break our family built new raised beds. It was such a fun project, and the whole family pitched in. Our old raised beds had rotted out after about 5 years of use. They were only 7 inches tall. We decided to make the new beds 10 inches higher. Must be the old woman in me – I really appreciate not having to bend down so far. Raised beds are great in that respect.

Building raised beds is a bit of a time and money commitment. But they are so rewarding when you consider how much more produce you get.  We are hoping that the plants will be able to grow even deeper roots in the taller boxes.


Nk rotted wood


In the photos you can see the boards of our old beds. They rotted because we used plain untreated wood.  I was a bit sad to see my old garden gate getting dismantled. But I am very happy about the new beds.  The new raised beds are made of redwood.

Of course, they are not treated with chemicals either, yet they are supposed to last a lifetime. The wood was a bit more expensive but hopefully we don’t have to rebuild again in five years.

We built a total of four boxes. It cost us about $300 (for planks of redwood, new fenceposts, and screws) and three days of labor. That includes the time it took to take out the old beds.


We covered one of the beds with old storm windows we found in our basement. Now the beds work like a miniature greenhouse. On warm days we take the windows off and let the sunshine warm the bed. During the last 3 winterstorms we closed the bed up to shield our small seedlings from the cold and ice.

Jonah with tools 2

NK raised beds


The children had fun using power tools to help build them. I am looking forward to the spinach, Swiss chard, and Kale already growing. Check out our first little seedlings! I can’t wait to plant more stuff.

garden fairy 2

I am getting ready to be in a local art show. It’s been a while since I exhibited my work at Madison& Main gallery. It’s a wonderful artist coop, and if you are in the vicinity make sure you check it out. I figured my little garden fairy would go nicely with this post. Maybe she can sprinkle some magic fairy dust to make our plants grow faster. If you would like to meet this  sweet Garden Fairy in person you will find her after May 1rst at Madison & Main. Unfortunately I’ll have to miss the grand opening of this show since I’ll be traveling in Germany by then.





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Meet Rebecca of Handmaiden Canada

Let me introduce myself…

Becky and Dolly
My name is Rebecca, and I live with my husband and 9 children in the “back woods” of Eastern Canada. I grew up here, and I love it. I love that I can sit out on my back porch in the early morning and hear silence. I love that I can walk down the road to a sparkling, clean lake to swim. I love the drama of the seasons.

My father and mother instilled in me a deep love for all things handmade. My dad was a Luthier. He built gorgeous one of a kind guitars. My mom was the type of “self- sufficient” woman who would make her own granola, hand-smock each one of us dresses for Easter, always had a knitting project on the go, and wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty in the garden. She had me sewing my first outfit when I was six years old. I’ll never forget it. So many seams sewn and then ripped out….and then sewn again. Did I mention she had the patience of a saint!? Creativity was always encouraged in our home. It was a very “organic” process. We had trunks of fabric scraps, yarn and craft supplies always at our disposal and we were encouraged to just “try stuff”. My mother would teach us the skills necessary, and then give us free reign to design and create. Of course she LOVED every single project even more than the last! A woman can always use another pot holder, right?

What inspired me to start my shop Handmaiden Canada? After six months of my husband being off work with ulcerative colitis and awaiting imminent surgery, I started to rack my brain, trying to think of a way I could make some sort of an income from the home. I have been a stay at home mom for the past 18 years, and though I’m so grateful I’ve had the opportunity to be home with my children during these tender years, I do feel I am a little behind, with very little outside work experience under my belt. I decided to start a business from the home. This was something I could do, even with a nursing baby.  I opened a shop and called it Handmaiden Canada.

Now, what to sell? I started to experiment. I started knitting wool bags and then felting them. I then started making things with recycled, felted sweaters and that was a lot of fun. Then I discovered Waldorf Dolls, and I fell in love. I have always loved dolls. I watched the way my mom was with my seven younger siblings, and I would imitate her. I  would nurse my baby, change her, and carry her around on my hip, just like my mom did with my baby brothers and sisters. Dolls were my first introduction to motherhood, and they still hold a special place in my heart. But there is something about the simple face, the softness and warmth, the natural materials of a Waldorf doll that sets them apart from any other type of doll. Something that makes you just want to snuggle up with them and tell them all your secrets.


I had to try my hand at making one. I made one for my daughter for her first birthday, and what a hit that was! Before too long, I was blissfully caught up in a whirlwind of dolly making creativity! I was kept up many a night with visions of my next dolly dancing through my head! It is a process that I don’t think I could ever tire of.  I have now “joined forces” so to speak with my mother. She makes a lot of the doll clothing, and many of the other items in the shop. We get together often, to work on projects, to keep each other motivated and inspired! It is so amazing to be able to collaborate with her in this way.

Ramie dress 2
My husband and children are also involved in the business. My husband helps me with the shipping. My children (ages 19 down to 3), are my muses, and my helpers. They humour me by modelling things in the shop. Sometimes it is with a promise of a trip to the little candy store, or ice cream shop in town afterwards!

Nadia and her dollies
It truly is a JOY to be able to work from the home, to use my creative abilities to help provide for our family.  I do have to do part-time work outside the home…but I look forward to seeing this handmade business of ours continue to bloom and grow. 

Find these dolls at:

HandMaidenCanada on ETSY


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~ It’s time for a new spring/summer wardrobe !!!

I don’t know if you are like me, but every time spring is near I’m anxious to go to my wardrobe and start wearing my little dress and skirt again ! Not to mention that I love to go shopping for a couple of new sets…I don’t know why but it’s not the same for fall…do you feel the same !? Spring is really a  ”blooming” season, you want everything to look fresh, clean…all new !!  Also it’s that time of the year we, as parents, need to find new clothes for our children…omg they grow so fast ! I think my daughter gained 2 inches more this winter !?? She is going to turn 12 soon, and shopping for her is now a bit of a headhache. She’s not an adult yet, but children’s clothing don’t fit her anymore…boy oh boy..I have to be really creative to find something decent for her ah!ah!

Sometimes I kind of miss the time when she was younger, to dress her up in little colored shorts and skirt sets, with bows and frills…you know what I mean !? I used to work as a fashion designer for children and I’ve always loved clothing…to mix and match them and not to mention to design them. I just loOoove designing clothes…sketching, drawing… it’s another passion of mine!

I’m now the creator behind FeeVertelaine, handmade natural toys and dolls. Lately I did offer myself a treat ! I started a project that I’ve been dreaming about for many years now…Creating my own paper doll !! As a little girl, paper dolls were one of my ABSOLUTE favorite things to play with! So I took my pencil away from the cobwebs, and started to draw Emilÿ…it so reminded me of my time in fashion school. I also loOove watercolor,  so I told myself why not do the coloring this way…so I did ! Every little step of the creation of this project was a pure delight for me.

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After many months of sketching, coloring, editing…she finally came to life. This was pure joy for  my daughter, who was my assigned tester 😉 She and her friend had such a great time playing.. humm sorry testing…all the new spring/summer wardrobe that Emilÿ comes with. It was so sweet to watch them mixing and matching everything together…4 hands on one doll is a true test !! So I knew she was ready for the world to meet her !

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My heart is filled with excitment to introduce her to you today…Emilÿ my first paper doll…all ready for spring with her new wardrobe !! Enjoy !!!

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You can find her here in my Etsy shop.


This lavender dress reminds me of a dress that I sewed recently for one of my winter fairy dolls…a last glimpse of winter just before spring shows up  at our door !

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If you wish to see and read more about my creative process, I invite you to visit my Facebook page where I add pictures of my everyday work and things I cherish…. I will soon offer Emilÿ as a giveaway…keep an eye open !!

Happy spring !!

Warm regards,

~Julie xo

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My Enchanted Life

As the weather gets warmer my days get busier so I need meals to be simple. I run a full time business, The Enchanted Cupboard, while running my household and homeschooling 4 children. I need to keep our meals healthy and nutrition filled! I love this recipe because it is what I make with the last 2 chicken breast when I am doing big batch cooking and it is packed full of yummy veggies. Dicing up the veggies and adding it to chicken salad is a great way to boast your kids diet with lots of color that are full of antioxidants! I serve this for lunch on whole wheat bread and a cup fruit salad. You could easily make this low carb. and gluten free by serving it on big lettuce leaves like a wrap! If you like this easy recipe and want more come checkout my own blog and see what is cooking in my kitchen.

Mama’s Chicken Salad


2 skinless boneless precooked chicken, diced
2 stalk celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 med. size onion dice
1/2 red pepper
1/2 yellow or orange pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 cup prepared or homemade mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste


In a mixing bowl, toss together the chicken, veggies and herbs. Set aside.
Add mayo and mix gently until combined.  Salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.



On my work table I often have much smaller versions of play food just right for Waldorf Style dolls. I work with wood and paper clay to make play food.


This sweet little set is made of wood and is just right for doll house dolls. I so enjoy creating for this miniature world of childhood play. Come on over to the Nature Table and see what is cooking at the Acorn Cafe.


The Acorn Cafe


On the first day of Spring the world was a buzz of activity at the Acorn Cafe.


Everyone was enjoying the wonderful food made by Miss Dandelion.


Grandpa was having his favorite tomato sandwich.


A few fairies stopped in for tea and sweets.


Four forest friends enjoyed an after noon treat.


All were happy on this bright spring day.

Items on the Nature Table:

Wooden toys, playsilks, and dolls can be found at The Enchanted Cupboard.

Felt Woodland Friends can be found at Muddyfeet.

Acorn Cafe  and table & chairs were created by Willodel.