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Felted Wool Cell Phone Case Tutorial

My cell phone is forever getting lost at the bottom of my purse.  I wanted to make a pretty cell phone case that would make it easier to keep track of.

 

First I knit a rectangle with easily felt-able wool yarn.  Knit it larger than you need because it will shrink when felted.  I simply guess-estimated making it about twice the size as I needed on size 8 needles.  I knit 30 stitches across which ended up being too wide. Make sure it’s a wool yarn that can be felted.  Stay away from yarn that says “machine washable” or “superwash” as it will not felt.  You can knit it or you can upcycle an old wool sweater by felting it in a hot wash cycle.

HOW TO FELT OR UPCYCLE WOOL:

To do this, take your knitted wool rectangle or wool sweater and add it to the washer tied in a pillow case.  (this is to save your washer from wool fuzz.) Wash on hot with other sweaters or a few thick towels or pairs of jeans.  These will help agitate the wool.  Add a small amount of detergent.  Wash once or twice in hot water.  Check your sweater or knit piece to see if it’s tightly felted.  If it it’s felted well then dry it on high. Check often to make sure it doesn’t wrinkle while drying.  Once it wrinkles it’s wrinkled for good.  Now, when you cut your wool the stitches won’t pull apart or fray. If it does fray then repeat the felting process.

My felted rectangle ended up a little large so I cut it to size.  Use one long rectangular piece.  The bottom of the case will be the folded edge.

 

Now the decorating begins.  I used some scraps of wool yarn I had on hand.  I needle felted a single strand of green wool to make a leaf design.

 

Needle felt it well so that it does not pull off when rubbing against things in your purse.

 

Next I chose a brighter peach/pink wool for my flower.  I simply started in the center and wrapped it around and around to make a spiral or circle.

 

Then I needle felted the stem.

 

Blanket stitch the sides together.  Begin by hiding the knot inside at the bottom of the case.

 

 

Blanket stitch all the way up on both sides.  You can add a string so you can wear it by finger knitting the string and sewing it on.  Or you can finger knit a latch and button. Mine works well without a button and surprisingly doesn’t slip out in my purse.  I wanted to be able to easily pull it out in a hurry with out having to fumble with a button.  Though if you want to add a strap to wear it a button might be wise.

I think I’m going to have to make another with a strap for when we go on our walks.  How decadent of me!  Enjoy your lovely, new cell phone case!  And if you make this please link back to us here at Natural Kids so we can see.

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Nature Table, The Mess of It All

Everything gets a little messy from time to time even our beloved Nature Table. Sticky hands and messy play can do a little damage but never fear all can be cleaned. With a little care your natural toys will last many lifetimes.


Unfinished Wooden Toys:
Regular care: Clean with a damp sponge, but do not soak unfinished wooden toys as they will absorb water. Alternatively, wipe gently with a cotton ball moistened with rubbing alcohol. Wood needs to have its natural moisture replenished in order to prevent it from drying out, warping or cracking. The best way to keep your wooden toys hydrated and well-nourished is with a natural oil or wax, like plain mineral oil or beeswax polish. Periodically rubbing with oil or beeswax will help refresh the wood and provide some protection.

Stains/Discolorations: Fine-grade sandpaper may be used to remove any discolorations/stains (from food, crayons, markers, etc.).

Water Damage: Fine-grade sandpaper may be used to restore the toy to its desired smoothness if the toy has been exposed to water and become rough.

Finished/Painted Wooden Toys:
Regular Care: Wash gently and quickly with soap and water. Please do not soak them.
Stains/Discolorations: Spray and wipe with a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water.
 Play silks
 Recommended care: Hand or delicate cycle cold wash, hang or air dry.
 Felted toys
Care: Spot clean with a damp sponge do not soak in water.  Best kept indoors.

There are other great items from our team members on the NaturalKids Team website:
http://www.naturalkidsstore.com/cat_tables.html

Please leave a comment and share with us some ways you celebrate spring!

Article by Beccijo, The Enchanted Cupboard

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Tutorial – Needle Felted Toadstool.

This week’s How-To is Tutorial – Needle Felted Toadstoolby Donni, from Fairyfolk here on the Natural Kids Team. If you’ve ever had a chance to check out her blog The Magic Onions then you’ll know you’re in for a treat with a very detailed tutorial that you can follow even if you’ve never needle felted before! Enjoy!!


Needle Felted Toadstool:

I am so excited to share a tutorial on needle felting. So many of you have shown interest in giving it a go and I encourage you to dive right in. Those others of you who are hooked will agree, it is such a fun hobby and you’ll be amazed at the things you can make. When I picked up my first needle three years ago, I was surprised at how quickly I took to it. One of the things I love most about needle felting is that you can finish a project in one sitting. You can sit down with a basket of wool and be holding a delightful bunny in your hands an hour later. Of course, you can make wonderfully elaborate creations that take hours and hours but you can also make something in twenty minutes too. I like that.

This is a tutorial on how to make sweet, needle felted toadstools… a simple and fast project for beginner needle felting.

Equipment – Needle felting requires three tools; wool roving, a felting needle and a protective foam board.

Wool roving looks like cotton candy. When the sheep is sheered, the fleece is washed and dried and then it is ‘carded’ – brushed so that all the knots and clumps are brushed out and the fibers of the wool all run the same way. It is then dyed… any wonderful color under the sun 🙂
This roving can then be spun into yarn (for knitting) or it can be felted.
The protective foam board is not absolutely necessary but it is definitely recommended when you are learning to needle felt. The needle is very sharp and if you don’t have a board upon which to steady your work, you will find yourself painfully stabbed more than once.
The felting needle is about 3 inches long. As I said before, it is very sharp. The tip of the needle has a number of small barbs and it is these barbs that felt the wool. It works because the outer surface of each fiber of wool has tiny, microscopic scales on it. When the fiber is agitated, the scales hook into one another, forming a tighter and tighter mass. The needle works because the barbs of the needle ‘grab’ the fibers as you stab it into the wool, depositing the fibers deeper into the wool. The little scales on the fibers lock together, ensuring that the fibers stay in their new place. By stabbing the wool hundreds of times with your needle, you have control over the form of your wool and can shape it as you wish. You can see the barbs clearly in this next photo…

To make a toadstool, break off a length of red

 

wool roving about the length of your hand.

Roll it between your hands as you would
roll a ball of playdough into a snake.

Roll the wool ‘snake’ into a tight spiral.
The tighter you can get it, the easier it will be to felt.

I find that rolling is key in many of my felting projects… if I can roll the wool
tightly to begin with, I can greatly reduce the time my form takes to felt.

 

When my red wool has been rolled into a tight spiral, I set it down on the felting board and stab it with the needle many times around the outside of the spiral. Be slow and deliberate with your stabbing in the beginning, and concentrate, please… it hurts like getting an injection when you stab yourself… it’s definitely not the end of the world, but it is better avoided 🙂

You will soon see that this stabbing holds the wool in
place and your spiral will not unravel if you let it go.

Now for the underside of the toadstool. Set your spiral upright and
stab the top gently many times so that it becomes a nice flat surface.
When your underside is nice and flat, turn your spiral over to what will be the top side of your toadstool. With your thumb and forefinger, gently pull the outside layer of wool a loose, just a little.

Fold this pulled layer over the spiral shape and needle felt it gently.

Continue needle felting it until it is a smooth round dome.

Now for the white spots. Get a small tuft of
white wool roving about the size of your fingernail.

Roll it in the palms of your hands until it becomes a nice firm ball.

Place the white ball onto the red toadstool and needle felt it into the red wool.

Needle felt as many dots as you’d like onto your toadstool.

Now for the toadstool’s stalk. Take a piece of white wool as long as your finger and roll it in your hands until it becomes a ‘snake’ (as before).

Roll it tightly into a spiral (just like you did with your red wool to start your toadstool).

Put the stalk onto the felting board and felt it around
the outside until it is firmly felted and holds its shape.
Leave one end of the stalk fluffy. Gently needle felt the other end of the stalk until it is round.
Place the fluffy end of the stalk onto the underside of your toadstool (the flat side) and attach it by needle felting it into the red wool of the toadstool.

Gently felt around and around the stalk until it if firmly and neatly secured.

Voila! You have made a darling little toadstool!!

For those of you who want to give this a try, I’ve put together a needle felting toadstool kit and listed it in my shop. In the kit you will get two needle felting needles, a protective foam board and all the red and white wool you will need to make 10 little toadstools (or 4 bigger ones).
I also have beginner’s needle felting kits with lots of gorgeously colored wool if you’d prefer to try your hand at something different now that you know how easy it is. And, I have felted rock kits and felted soap kits available too. And, and, I have also put together a kit for making your child a felted playscape which is a fantastic project. So, no excuse not to try needle felting if you aren’t already hooked 🙂 C’mon… it’ll be fun!

Happy felting,
Blessings and magic,
Donni


This tutorial is brought to you by Natalie, of Woolhalla

Please visit Donni at The Magic Onionswhere you can see her original post and also visit her Etsy shop Fairyfolk.

In Donni’s own words:I am consciously trying to be mindful of each and every moment; embrace life with love, laughter and learning and give freely, knowing that what I have is considerable. I am also trying to show my kids the beauty of nature in our concrete jungle; enter Waldorf, my new-found passion!”

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Nature Table, Let’s Begin

Landscape Playsilks & Sky Playsilks by The Enchanted Cupboard

Nature Tables are used to celebrate the seasons and the rhythms of the year. As nature goes through its cycle of birth, growth, harvest, and sleep, so do we on our Nature Tables. Using a nature table is a wonderful way to decorate your home and include your children in the seasons. Spring is on our doorsteps and just around the bend but it is still winter on our Nature Table.

Before we leap into Spring, let’s look at some fun ways to celebrate these last few moments of winter. Any table will do as your Nature Table, either beside a wall or in a corner of a room. The size of your table will be determined by the amount of room you have to spare. The table you see here I got for $10 at a Junk Shop. I picked it for its size and that it had a nice shelf underneath to hold extra toys. This table is low for the kids and fits nicely on the second floor landing. Nature tables are a great way to keep a little play place for the kids without having toys cluttering up the grown-up places.

Winter Playset by Muddyfeet

Playsilks are great from ground cover or backdrops. Some soft wool also make a nice snow covering. Adding some winter landscape toys will add to the scene. A lovely collection of winter theme toy like woodland animal, felted toys,and bendy dolls add just the right touch. Having a lovely decorated table will make you get excited for the season.

Bendy Dolls by Princess Nimble Thimble, Snowman by Chimera

If you don’t have a Natural Table but would like to start this wonderful tradition in your home, then follow along with me every other week. We will be exploring some traditional and modern ways of sharing the seasons with your family.

Here are a few great items for a Winter Nature Table from The NaturalKids Team:

Snowflake – Winter Fairy
Felted Kitty
Wooden Winter Trees
Winter King
Blue Heart Queen Doll

Article by Beccijo, The Enchanted Cupboard

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Autumn’s Orange

Autumn is coming in her full array of colors. Mother Nature has one last burst of color before the great sleep under the layers of white. Here are some more wonderful orange items from the NaturalKids Team.

 Autumn Pumpkin by Nushkie 
 
35 inch Playsilk by BeneathTheRowanTree

 
pure NZ merino wool wrap hoodie by MerinoMe
 Autumn Forest Playset by TheEnchanted Cupboard
 
Sweet Acorn Fall Doll Dress by germandolls
 To find out more about the NaturalKids Team Check out or links:
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Autumn's Orange

Autumn is coming in her full array of colors. Mother Nature has one last burst of color before the great sleep under the layers of white. Here are some more wonderful orange items from the NaturalKids Team.

 Autumn Pumpkin by Nushkie 
 
35 inch Playsilk by BeneathTheRowanTree

 
pure NZ merino wool wrap hoodie by MerinoMe
 Autumn Forest Playset by TheEnchanted Cupboard
 
Sweet Acorn Fall Doll Dress by germandolls
 To find out more about the NaturalKids Team Check out or links:
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Thursday Treasuries

We have a few new treasuries to share. Be sure to click on the links to find these great items on Etsy!

Natural Star gives us a little taste of Christmas in this Natural treasury…

What is the Natural Kid’s Team?The Singing Bird gives us some lovely examples…

There are also some great examples of Natural Kids Team members included in Felted Fun


This treasury was made by Etsy administrator Daniellexo, after a needle felting tutorial with winsome hollow and little love blue in the virtual labs. You can find the same needle felting tutorial in written form, with pictures as well!

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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?
http://beneaththerowantree.etsy.com
http://beneaththerowantree.com
http://beneaththerowantree.blogspot.com
http://flickr.com/photos/beneaththerowantree



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Friday Interview with Nushkie

If you’ve been keeping up with the blog you’ll know that every other Friday there is a wonderful article on the Waldorf /Natural playroom. (If you haven’t been keeping up go back and read them now ’cause they’re worth your time!) Well today’s interview is with the author of those terrific posts, Nushkie, and I think you’re really going to enjoy getting to know her.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how and when did you get started with arts and crafts?
I suppose it started in the 3rd grade. I made a puppet with a hand-sewn costume and clay head portraying my teacher, Mrs. Briggs. It was as mean and troll-like as Mrs. Briggs herself. (Dickens could not have penned a more wicked character in his pantheon of unforgiving, switch-wielding school masters). At 8 years old, I suppose I felt rather vindicated molding her so
realistically…I am still redeemed: my four-year-old daughter, Eva, likes to bring this ancient, gnarly artifact from Mommy’s past out whenever she needs something truly scary for a puppet show! Loathsome as my memories are of Mrs. Briggs, it was a time when schools still had arts and crafts as part of their every day curriculum. It is a crime that schools today consider arts, music and theatre as curriculum which is a “nice to have,” but not a “must have.” In addition to choirs, cello, piano, and all the school theatrical productions, I was always writing or drawing and painting. Horses and dancers, mostly, but occasionally some really surreal Dali –type explorations, like a volcano with a cigarette-wielding hand plunging from it into the sky …sort of burning the sky.

My family was very musical, with lots of improvisation going on. Occasionally, we would just jam in the “music room” after meals. My brother Sam would play the drums, my other brother, the piano, my dad, the Lowry organ, my mom on tambourine or just dancing, and me playing the claves or singing. Eventually, I pursued much of my performance and writing interests through poetry, short stories, journaling, jazz singing, political theatre, one-woman cabaret, and even stand-up.

Over the years, I also used my creativity in cooking, and have made my own home décor items, including pillows and curtains, small paintings, as well as clothes. But it was last year when Eva enrolled in our local Waldorf nursery and I started mingling with all these fellow moms who live and breathe wool, that I rediscovered my interest in visual arts and my absolute infatuation with wool and felting!

I had seen these beautiful fairies at one of the fairs and tried to figure out how felting worked. I tried smashing wool together between my palms, needle felting with a regular needle (good luck!), throwing hot water around…etc. G-d forbid I should actually take a class. But I have a certain “I can do it myself” attitude that I now share with my toddler, so no classes for me. But
my friend Amy took one. She showed me a needle-felted pumpkin she made…It was beautiful. I said, “How did you do it?” She said she poked the wool with a felting needle. I said, “Yeah, I tried that with a regular needle. What’s the big deal?” Then she held up her needle. “Did your needle feel like this?” I felt the barbs along the side…and had a real “Ah hah!” moment. And that was it. I placed an order for needles, ordered fleece and proceeded to make pumpkins, fairies, playscapes, etc, for Eva, tapestries for her teachers, and dolls for her friends. I even felted a giant pair of butterfly wings for Eva’s Halloween costume last year. This was before I “honed” my craft. I stabbed them into our now fuzzy ottoman. Then, when they weren’t firm enough, I threw them into the bathtub and poured pots of boiling water on them and put on rubber gloves and massaged them with Trader Joes Purple Dish Soap. When all was said and done, they were beautiful but a little hot for wearing on a warm Southern California Halloween… It was the beginning of a beautiful addiction from which no 12-step program can cure me!

What is the main thing you make and sell in your store? What else do you make and/or sell?
It’s funny. When I first opened my shop, I had started to get really interested in wet felting and I bought baby shoe lasts and thought I was going to make baby booties and other wearable felt mostly and home décor… I started with two clutches…the third one; I made off with myself and
wear to parties! I plan to do more of that as we go along, but in the meantime, I have found myself tending toward needle felted tapestries, dolls, gnomes, playscapes, fairies and all things Waldorf. The natural and soft feel of the wool and the ethereal quality of what emerges in form offsets my darker, writing self, and creates not only beauty, but balance in my life.

As I have made non-patterned “Waldorf” dolls for my little one and make practically all her clothes, I may branch out there as well in the future. Perhaps I will also finally make use of those shoe lasts! I think the felt covered diaries are a step in the direction of practical applications of this beautiful art form, as are the earrings I just posted. I also made her a cute felted light switch plate that I’d like to make more of. Speaking of Eva…the toys I make for her, the dresses, doll clothes, scarves and hats… It really all starts and ends with my little one… Her nickname is Nushkie. That’s why I’m Nushkie Design.

Who if anyone has been instrumental in helping you hone your craft?
Ok, I did just take a Eurythmy class (no, I still can not spell that word!), but don’t usually like to take classes. I have found with acting and singing that I lose myself in trying to please a teacher. I tend to try to conform and try to be the “good student,” even when it doesn’t feel right. So, I don’t do it. I learned this with singing, that when I was studying, I was straining. When I practiced on my own I was fine. A few years ago, before Eva was born, someone my dad met had written an opera. He gave her my number. She called. When she asked if I was an opera singer, I said. “Yes.” I had never sung an opera before. I practiced like a crazy woman and auditioned and two months later, I starred as Anais Nin in a two-person opera to wonderful reviews.

You see, I lost my mom several years ago. But her inspiration remains. She sewed and cooked all the time without patterns. Because she never went to college, she did not often give herself enough credit. She would somet
imes complain, “Please don’t look at my seams!” But she was a huge talent. She made beautiful things and was a wonderful cook. She opened up a successful clothing boutique with no business experience, and when she got tired of that, at 55, she decided to become an actress. Again with no formal training, she had quite a prolific career as a television actress until she passed away. It is really from her that I learned not to follow too many rules and to just follow my heart when creating. I guess I never learned to draw between the lines while coloring. Now I know it was a good thing! Thanks mom.


Where do you get your inspiration?
Again, from my mom, but also my dad. He has a “can do” personality that enabled him to start a retail chain of organ (not internal, but keyboard!) and piano stores after convincing the Lowry Organ company to let him keep one organ and sell it on consignment. He rented a store, painted his name out front and that was the beginning of his becoming the national best seller of Lowry organs in the late seventies.

Mostly these days, however, it is my little Eva. Her waking dream life is so joyful, so boundless in its creativity and, thankfully, so, incredibly contagious!

Artistically, I’m inspired by anything beautiful that surrounds me. It can be writing, the more esoteric music of Kurt Weill; a film like “Wings of Desire”; the movement found in a Rodin sculpture; the emotion of a Van Gogh painting; the expression on a friend’s face; a song my daughter has improvised; an idea that pops into my head; the books of Elsa Beskow (what an incredible artist she was!); other Etsy artists whose work I admire, such as fellow Naturalkids team members or felters from Nfest team.


What are your favorite materials?
Let’s see…Wool, wool, wool and when I can get it, organic cotton…oh, and tree branches.

What advice would you give other Etsy sellers and those interested in opening up a shop?
Find something you love, make a few of them and open a shop. I think Etsy is the best deal in town. It would not be as easy or affordable to design and host a site and have the built-in traffic and promotional opportunities available to you that Etsy has to offer. Also there is this from my dad…I think one of the keys to his success was something he said to his sales folks. And it went like this, “When a customer walks in, don’t look at them with dollar signs in your eyes; Look at them and think, ‘how am I going to bring music into their lives.’ ” My goal is to bring my customers natural and heirloom quality creations that will add beauty and harmony to their surroundings.

What advice would you give to beginners in your main craft?
Invest in a felting needle and some fleece. Then experiment, but watch your fingers or, at least confine yourself to a sound proof workshop, as expletives will fly when that needle veers off into your finger during a rogue moment of exultant abandon!

Take a class if you really need to but don’t get schooled out of your natural instincts.

Try not to worry about how much time you have or don’t have. I do everything I do from about 9-11 pm after Eva is in bed and my inner cleaning elf has made some effort to unearth the bottom of our kitchen sink!

Try not to be so verbose when being interviewed…ahem…and lastly and quite seriously, remove “I can’t” or “I’m not creative” from your personal lexicon and just do it. Get an image in your mind and run with it. “Good is the enemy of great.” So forget about having to be good at something and you will allow your greatness to emerge.

What is your Etsy shop address and name? Where else can we find you?
www.nushkie.etsy.com
http://nushkiesmom.blogspot.com/
http://natural-kids.blogspot.com/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nushkie/

The other place you can find me is at home with my little sprite, Eva and my wonderful husband, Bob…

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Instructions Not Included Part 2


Two weeks ago I began this blog topic. It is such a powerful idea to me, that children should be allowed to play without parental direction or instruction, that I decided to do the article in two parts. I am focusing on only one of the ways parents can step back and let their children do what they do best and naturally: play. That is, to provide them with toys they can figure out, which are open-ended, meaning the child can use her or his own imagination to complete the toy. It is difficult for some parents to understand this concept and choose a natural toy when they are bombarded by advertising from so many big “name” brands. In the first part of “Instructions Not Included,” I gave several examples from my fellow artisans from Etsy’s Naturalkids Team. I’d like to invite new readers to start with my last post. In this current post, I will continue to offer suggestions in this area with additional links.

Here’s something to consider:I read somewhere that invention is not necessarily creating something new with a purpose, but giving a new purpose and way of using to an existing item. Take the item pictured above from Fairiesnest. Yes it is a wand…or is it? If so, is it for a wizard, a fairy a princess? The answers to these questions will be completed by the child. What new way of using this timeless toy will be invented, what enchanting scenarios may be created? And since it is not licensed or branded by a multinational corporate identity, the possibilities are truly endless.

“Waldorf dolls, such as those made by Bellawinter,
FaerieRebecca,
Germandolls or
Woodcreations’….convey little expression. Like the “Mona Lisa,” they are enigmatic and allow the child to decide their emotional state.

In imaginary play, this aspect of allowing the child to complete the toy by deciding if the baby is sleepy or awake, sad or exuberant, not only exercises the child’s imagination, but may also be therapeutic, allowing the child to work through emotional struggles. When Eva was 2, she slipped off the step in our pool. One second later, I lifted her out. This upset her nonetheless. The next day, she had her baby in the bathtub and was teaching it to swim. Clearly she was working out her feelings about water. Mommy’s only job was to wring the toy out later and allow it to dry!

Here is a gnome by Oritdotan. Who is he? Where did he come from? Is that a shell really a cauldron with stew? This playset does not offer any solutions to these riddle. Instead, it offers endless possibilities for the child to imagine.

Beneaththerowantree‘s gnome is quite different…almost a beehive…is he friendly or shy, abiding or mischievous? The child can decide what adventures to send him on, what his future in their present will be.



And who are the gnome’s or the doll’s friends?
Perhaps a needle felted bird, by Thesingingbird

…or some tiny hedgehogs…by Purplemoonfibers.

How about a snail from Woodmouse?

 

…or Freedomrainbow’s custom order cat…

Is it a really a cat or a woolly forest creature or someone from another universe. this is for the child to decide.

The conversations and adventures these creatures could have with each other are endless, because they come free of history, branding or any other known fact.

There are so many examples I could give from my colleagues on Etsy.com’s Naturalkids Team. But I hope these few examples will give readers a taste of the endless play their children could delight in with toys made from natural materials as they project their fantasies onto them. Like Cozycottage’s strawberries, the sweetness is there, ready to be enjoyed by all the senses, and it begins with the imagination.

In my next blog, we’ll explore another aspect of the playroom. Til then, be well.

By Rebecca Varon-Remstein
nushkiedesign