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Stitches and Songs: Alkelda Dolls in October

Greetings to all of you from Alkelda Dolls!  My name is Farida. I make wool felt dolls for children’s creative play and storytelling, though teens and grownups have been known to bring my dolls to their desks for quiet inspiration. The dolls can travel in your pocket, too– just be sure to tuck them into a silken bag to prevent the wool from “pilling.” This is my fourth year with the NaturalKids Team. As a little background to my shop’s name,  when I started on Etsy, “Alkelda” was my username. Alkelda (pronounced “al-kell-dah”) is an apocryphal English saint whose name means “sacred spring” or “holy well,” and whose feast day, March 28,  is my birthday.

Here in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, autumn is in full swing.  I ran by Lake Washington for the first time in months, and was happy to see two of my favorite trees with their vibrant array of red and yellow hues. I was inspired to make these yellow and red leaf babies for the shop:

leafbabies sept13

Yellow and Red Leaf Babies

In the realm of academics, the blue math gnome provides some wise counsel to the Ladybug Witch (with removable hat) and Ladybug Child. The counsel may be this: “Regardless of your natural skill levels, the things worth learning require time, patience, focus, and determination. Ask for help and clarification when you need it, and persistence in learning what you need to know. I am here for you, and you are not alone.” Speaking of witches, I have some salamander and bat themed friends who would be most willing to be part of your Halloween Fairy tradition (whereby the Halloween Fairy gets the child’s candy and receives a present in return).

The Blue Math Gnome has a conversation with the Ladybug Witch and Ladybug Child
orange and black2 oct13
Bat and salamander witches













Elsewhere in the shop, the Black Heart Queen (a tribute to rock and roll musician Joan Jett) and the Grey Knight are in the early stages of courtship. The Grey Knight enjoys composing sweet, sentimental songs on his lyre, while the Black Heart Queen’s songs have a bit more edge to them. Regardless, both kinds of songs celebrate love and friendship.

black heart grey knight sept13
The Black Heart Queen (who is a big Joan Jett fan) converses with the Grey Knight.

Speaking of music, I was fortunate enough to attend a week-long guitar camp this summer. I returned home with renewed interest in learning new skills and new songs. I’ve taken up ukulele as well (I wrote a blog post on Saints and Spinners blog post about that new passion), though guitar will always be my first love. Here I am on Orcas Island, as the sun sets, learning on guitar the chords to Lucky Man, by The Verve:

sunset and guitar 1

This week, I’m playing a William Butler Yeats poem set to  12 bar blues by The Waterboys, called The Lake Isle of Innisfree.  If any of this talk makes you feel like you want to take up an instrument, but you’re not quite sure, I recommend watching The Mighty Uke. Making music is indeed within reach!

As the weeks progress, I will be featuring December festival dolls along the lines of angel-fairies, Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus), St. Lucy (Santa Lucia), and more. Please feel welcome to drop by for a visit. My fellow NaturalKids Team members would enjoy saying hello to you, too.

Warm regards, Farida Dowler

burglar nov12 Farida Dowler of Alkelda Dolls is a musical storyteller and dollmaker in Seattle, Washington, USA. She was recently   featured on Jama’s Alphabet Soup Indie Artist Spotlight. Farida is trained as a children’s librarian, and would enjoy talking about children’s and teen books with you if you were so inclined.

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My Desk in December

I’ll let you in on a secret: when asked for photos of our workspace, most of us try to distract you with pictures of nature, finished craft projects, and our cute kids. We try to keep our workspaces neat, but entropy happens. It’s the second law of thermodynamics, and it just happens. I cleaned up my desk three weeks ago, but look at what happened:

You should have seen my desk when it was tidy. Here is a guide to the current chaos:

1. Wool felt mini-nativity set in progress. You may see the completed set here.

2. Sheep atop a circus-themed needlefelted and wet-felted ball (created by Bossy’s Feltworks).

3. My rock’n’roll electric guitar water bottle, usually brought to musical storytelling gigs.

4. I have a jar to which I add 25 cents every time someone asks, “What about socialization?” when that person finds out that my husband and I have started to homeschool our daughter. So far, I’ve deposited $1.75 USD.

5. The brown tissue paper hides a Christmas present I purchased, but haven’t yet wrapped.

6. I have cute mini business cards made by Moo. It’s much easier to promote one’s wares when the business cards inspire exclamations of delight.

7. The “quiet corner of [my] desk” to which I refer in most listings is not a corner at all, but a nook. In it are a couple of dolls I made that I couldn’t bear to put in the shop, as well as a purple-haired doll by Silver Acorn, a felt blue-footed booby an Australian friend made for me, and an Edwardian-era themed Playmobil doll named Roberta. I may make dolls out of natural materials like wool and cotton, but the smile on that Playmobil face is an early inspiration.

8. I keep an envelope filled with the basic patterns I’ve created over the past three years. I’ve traced and scanned all those patterns for my files, rest assured. In the same slot: receipts, note papers, photos, letters I need to answer.

9. Oh heavens. There are the cords to my mp3 player and camera draped over blank cards I’ve collected.

10. If you’re going to sew on a small scale, you need a proper lamp. I’m not kidding. This natural light lamp helps ensure that, after the sun sets, the brown hair color I choose for a doll doesn’t turn out to be purple in the morning light. I like purple hair (see item 7), but not on a sunflower queen!

–Farida Dowler is the shop-owner and doll-maker for Alkelda Dolls. She lives in Seattle, Washington, USA, with her husband and daughter. As of this posting, her desk is much, much tidier than in the photo you see here.


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Breakfast Cookies: Gluten Free/Dairy Free

Think of these breakfast cookies as portable oatmeal.  I’ve experimented with the recipe in a number of different ways. My daughter doesn’t care for oatmeal (even yummy steel-cut oats), but enjoys these cookies because they’re cookies. Still, keep in mind that, even with the dried fruit, these cookies are not as sweet as coffee-shop baked goods. I’ve made this recipe gluten and dairy free, but you can use the milk and flour that appeals to you.

Breakfast Cookies


2 mashed bananas (approximately 226 g)
2 cups/200 g gluten-free rolled oats (not instant)
1/4 cup/23 g almond flour
1/4 cup/55 g almond milk
1/3 cup/77 g apple sauce
1/2 cup/71 g dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, cherries, etc.)
1 tsp/4g vanilla extract
1/2 tsp/2 g cardamom or cinnamon

Optional: 1 tbsp/15 g melted coconut oil

Feel free to experiment and sprinkle in other ingredients like nuts, seeds, shredded coconut, or whatever else appeals to you.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/176 C. Mash bananas with a fork, and then mix all ingredients together. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes to allow the oats to soak.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper and grease with the neutral oil of your choice. I use a cookie scoop that’s 3.6 centimeters across, but 2 spoons you use for eating at the table will do fine. After ladling out the dough, use a fork to press down gently upon each unbaked cookie. The dough has no leavening, so they will not expand.

Bake cookies for 15-20 minutes, and then let them cool on a cooling rack. These cookies freeze well. This recipe makes approximately 3 dozen 1.5 inch/3.8 cm cookies, which are approximately two bites.

Farida Dowler sews for Alkelda Dolls on Etsy, and writes a storytelling and song blog called Saints and Spinners. She likes crystallized ginger in her breakfast cookies.

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Springtime Wanderer in Seattle (Toys on a Walk series)

Among the forget-me-not flowers

I alternate my daily exercise between runs and walks. While I enjoy the high-intensity cardio benefits of running, I really like my walks because I have a chance to observe and appreciate my natural surroundings. I’m fortunate to live in a part of Seattle where so many destination points are located within a 2 mile radius.

One walk day a few Tuesdays ago,  I brought my Springtime Wanderer doll with me. (I made a similar Springtime Wanderer for my shop, but that one is waiting to hitch a ride in someone else’s pocket.) Before we left our front yard, we stopped to admire the shade garden by the front gate. Right now, smith’s fairybells (disporum smithii), toad trillium, bleeding hearts, and violets are growing. There was a time when nothing would grow in this portion of the yard. When I started to garden with intensity, I dug down and found masses of roots from the trees that grew prior to our arrival. Years later, that portion of the yard is one of the most abundant in foliage.

Shade garden


Before heading to the Volunteer Park water tower, we took a detour East to drop off some books at our local library up the hill, the Madrona-Sally Goldmark branch of Seattle Public Library. Outside the branch is a sculpture by Richard Beyer called The Peaceable Kingdom, which depicts a panther and a pig on one side, and a wolf and a sheep on the other. You may read more about the history of this statue and the Madrona neighborhood here.

Peaceable Kingdom statue


After our visit to the library, the Springtime Wanderer and I walked 2 miles to the water tower in Volunteer Park. We ascended the stairs, hoping to see the glorious Mount Rainier out of one of the South windows. Instead, we saw sunny spots of greenery:

Water tower


Before leaving the park, we walked by Isamu Noguchi’s Black Sun sculpture in front of the Asian Art Museum. The Springtime Wanderer hopped up to gaze out toward the Space Needle, painted orange (yes, orange!) for the anniversary of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair:

Black Sun Sculpture

After the Springtime Wanderer and I walked home, I completed various errands, picked up my daughter from school, and took her to choir. My husband and I look forward to Tuesday choir practices because that is one time when we get to enjoy happy hour. We like to go to a restaurant nearby called Poppy. I usually get a glass of wine with an appetizer, but when the Springtime Gnome came along, he cajoled me into trying a cocktail called “Loveless,” made with green chartreuse:

Happy Hour at Poppy

We had a good day.

Farida Dowler lives with her husband and daughter in Seattle, Washington.  She makes Alkelda Dolls for creative play and inspiration. Farida sews, plays guitar, runs, and is learning to swing kettlebells. Nonetheless, walking remains her favorite form of exercise.

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Gluten Free Popovers

When my daughter went on a trial gluten-free diet for three months, I baked more during that time than I had in all the years prior since she was born. The gluten-free diet was a hassle when we traveled, but at home, she thought she had a good deal. I boiled and baked bagels, whipped up muffins to send to school, and spent a lot of time experimenting with various sweet and savory concoctions.

I perused a number of cookbooks, but ended up cooking and baking almost exclusively from a cookbook I found called Gluten Free On a Shoestring, by Nicole Hunn. (The link goes to the blog.) The first recipe I made was for popovers. Contrary to my expectations, they were light, they were puffy… in other words, the recipe worked. Bolstered by that confidence, I went on to work my way through the cookbook, and started visiting Nicole’s blog on a regular basis.

My daughter is no longer gluten-free, but I have a number of friends and family members who are both gluten and dairy free. I want them to enjoy coming to my house, so I continue to cook for them. Disclaimer: These friends and family don’t have celiac disease, and have assured me that I may use my regular utensils. If you wish to cook for gluten-free friends, check with them first to find out the extent of their gluten sensitivities.

Nicole Hunn’s popovers are always a success when I make them (recipe is included with the link). I’ve made them  successfully with diary ingredients as well as dairy alternatives. I bake at sea-level, so those who cook at high altitudes may have to make adjustments. I include this link about  “high altitude popovers” the event it’s of use.

Farida Dowler lives in Seattle, Washington, and sews wool felt dolls for the Etsy shop Alkelda Dolls. While her dinners are typically one-pot meals to accommodate the crafting/writing life, she makes exceptions for sushi rolls and spankopita.


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Staging the Weather

Last Saturday, I walked in heavy rain to meet friends at a local restaurant. By the time we finished our breakfast, huge snowflakes fell. As I walked home, the snow turned into rain, and twenty minutes later, the sun shone. That afternoon, my family and I got into our car as hail cascaded onto the windshield. We arrived at our destination, and the sun shone once more. I felt as if I were on the set of a stage where those in charge of the special-effects were testing out their new weather machines.

Your children can be directors, stage-managers, and special-effects experts with toys and props from Natural Kids Team members. Instead of electricity, these toys run on imagination.

Armadillo Dreams offers sun, wind, rain, and snow wooden toys:

Weather wood toys by Armadillo Dreams

The Enchanted Cupboard has created a new Sunny Day playsilk for backgrounds:

Sunny Day Playsilk by The Enchanted Cupboard


Birchleaf Designs has wooden playclips to attach silks to chairs or stands (plus a host of playsilks as well):

Playclips by Birchleaf Designs

Enjoy your play!

Farida Dowler lives in Seattle, Washington, USA, home of horizontal rain-showers. She embroiders wool felt dolls for the Etsy shop Alkelda Dolls, and sporadically blogs at Saints and Spinners.

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Why I Made It, Part 3: Artisans tell the stories behind their creations

Members of the Natural Kids Team are inspired by their surroundings and interactions with the world. I enjoy learning what sparks their imaginations. I am pleased to present part 3 of “Why I Made It.” For previous posts, read  Part 1 and Part 2.

Andrea Gommans from ziezo Designs:

I make children’s aprons out of traditional Kenyan kikoy and East African kanga fabrics.  I created my first children’s kikoy apron as a gift for a little friend of my son’s as she was leaving Kenya with her family.   It was a practical gift with a lot of symbolism from the place where she was born.  My son liked it and wanted one for himself when he was baking, playing, or crafting.  Next, there were a couple I made as birthday gifts. Eventually people approached me to make some for them.  This let to the final push from an entrepreneurial friend, who insisted that I create a label and sell them. This is how my first ‘ziezo’ product with an East African flair originated.

Kikoy apron by ziezo Designs

Dustin and Amanda Cowell of Armadillo Dreams:

These tulips remind us of the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn, Oregon. We don’t think you could ever see more color in one place! Every year they open their farm up to the public for “Tulip Fest“. This year the festival runs from March 30–April 30, 2012. Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm has 40 acres full of tulips of all different colors! Just the thought of it makes me smile as I write this. Their farm is very child friendly with lot of activities for kids. If you ever visit Oregon in the spring, be sure to check it out!

Spring Tulip Flowers by Armadillo Dreams
Jes Anthonis Stephanie Martz from mosey handmade:
I  first started making forest creature wool hats as a nod to my niece. When my niece was in kindergarten, she loved the book Where the Wild Things Are, so I decided to make her a hat with that in mind. I stitched up one with ears (much simpler than the ones I now make), and even though she liked it and wore it all around, she came back saying it needed something MORE girlie. I added the wool flower with a button center, and the mosey *creature hat* was born. I’ve been making them ever since!  My niece is about to start high school this fall, but she still gives me ideas and inspiration from time to time. She is always the first one to say, “I think it needs a little something more!”
Forest Creature Wool Hat by mosey
Wendy and Mojo from Birchleaf Designs:

BirchLeaf Designs loves festivals, art shows, and farmer’s markets! One important aspect that each of these “shows” has in common is that they all have children and adults that are looking for something to do while they are there. So, we decided to make Poi. Beautiful Poi, made from hand-dyed canvas bags with lovely hand-dyed rainbow silk tails! You may be asking yourself, “What is Poi?” I will give you a hint…you cannot eat them! This hint rules out the traditional food dish from Hawaii. Still don’t know?

Okay, we’ll tell you…It is said that Poi is a traditional form of upper body exercise that originates from the Maori People from New Zealand. Some say they used to take balls of dough suspended from “ropes” and would swing them for an upper body workout. Now, you will find the Maori People spinning fire! Actually, you will see lots of folks spinning Practice Poi and Fire Poi.

We call our poi, “practice poi” as they cannot be lit on fire. They can be used to learn the art of spinning before venturing into the fire spinning world. They are also a great alternative when spinning fire is not an option. One really cool thing about these poi is they can be used with all ages! For the spinner with a large learning curve, simply detach the climbing ropes from the bags and use them as comet balls to toss back and forth to a friend.

Rainbow Poi by Birchleaf Designs

Farida Dowler of Alkelda Dolls lives in Seattle, Washington, USA, with her husband and daughter. She just celebrated seven years of blogging at Saints and Spinners. She likes to hear about what inspires you. Please share your inspiration in the comments section!

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Why I Made It: Artisans tell the stories that inspired their creations (Part 2)

I asked members of the Natural Kids Team if they would share some of the stories and experiences that inspired their creations. Here is the link for the first set of narratives: Why I Made It, Part 1.  Read on for more “behind-the-scenes” glimpses!

Ariana Lyriotakis-Macdonald of Niko and Nonnie:

I wanted to share “Some Bunny to Love” which I have added to my shop for Valentine’s Day. I already have an organic bunny and carrot playset in my shop for spring, so I took my cue from that. My children absolutely adore bunnies and I thought it might be interesting for them to have some playmates made from wool felt with needle felted details. So much of their room is taken over by plush stuffed animals, and I wanted to make something whose “fur” wouldn’t get matted down with excessive play.

"Some Bunny to Love, by Niko and Nonnie

Beccijo Neff of The Enchanted Cupboard:

In Christmas of 2010,  I got an email from a desperate mother who found me on the internet. Her son asked Santa for a box he could play with where inside was Mr. and Mrs. Brown’s kitchen with Amelia Bedelia and the dog [based on the popular books by Peggy Parish]. The mother tried to explain to her son that no toy existed, but he insisted that he was such a good boy this year, and Santa would make it for him.  She said he was a very good boy, and he truly believed that it would be there Christmas morning, so she had to try to find one. She found my listing for my large custom playbox, and I was able to create for him what he was dreaming of! The mother let me know that he was so happy on Christmas morning, and took his playbox with him everywhere! At the time of the request, I didn’t understand the copyright laws and thought if the writer had passed away, it was then public domain. So, I cannot make this same playbox,  but I can create a different custom playbox.

Custom Painted Deluxe Playbox by The Enchanted Cupboard


Ulla Seckler of German Dolls:

My daughter loves babies. She has always been obsessed with them. When she sees a mom with a little one, she will walk up and ask to hold them and pet them (kind of like kids with a cute dog). Sometimes with newborn infants, that’s not such a good idea. So. I thought I make her some little ones to go with her dolls. She can have all the colors in the world, and hug and pet them to her hearts content.  Best thing, though: The dolls carry the babies in the pocketdress. That way they don’t get lost…much!

Custom dress with pocketbabies by German Dolls

Ann Rinkenberger of Harvest Moon By Hand:

I made the zebra because I have always wanted to go to Africa, and see what zebras look like in the wild. Their markings are so beautiful yet simple. The tail of the zebra stuffie is braided because when I look quickly at a zebra’s tail, to me, it looks braided…but it’s all an illusion created by the stripes. Since zebras are part of the horse family, when I was younger I thought it would be fun to have pet zebras – they could enjoy grazing in the pasture, galloping/running… all without lions and other predators. Since I live in Minnesota, that’s not a practical environment for a zebra…so I return to my dream of one day going to Africa.

PDF Pattern Zebra Stuffie by Harvest Moon by Hand


Farida Dowler of Alkelda Dolls lives in Seattle, Washington, USA, with her husband and daughter. Saints and Spinners is her song and storytelling blog. She enjoys finding out what you think and what you like.

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Why I Made It: Artisans tell the stories that inspired their creations (Part 1)

The collective goal of the Natural Kids Team artisans is to create children’s imaginative toys, decor, and clothes from environmentally-friendly materials. Individually, we have different  inspirations and objectives for why we make what we do.  Recently, I asked my fellow Natural Kids Team members to tell me the stories behind some of their creations. I asked, “Why did you make it?” What follows are five artisans’ answers, including my own.

Sara Sacks of Woolies:

I think in another life I may have been a horse. I was born in the Chinese year of the horse. I’ve been in love with horses since the age of 2. Where our backyard ended, a stable began. My mother used to find me hanging on the fence, just watching the horses. I started riding at 4. I started a horse club at the age of 7. We were only allowed to play ‘horses’. I finally was able to purchase my first real horse at the age of 30. We now have 2 horses. They are the most amazing animals. I adore to make horses, in every color of the rainbow. Here is one of my Earth Ponies:

Rainbow Unicorn Earth Pony by Woolies


 Kristi Ashley of Tickety Bu:

Everything I make has been born out of necessity for our family, but the colors I use in my dyes tell the real stories of our lives. Each colorway has been inspired by an experience, most often with the kids. This one was picked straight from our garden. We spend all our time outside when it’s warm and we are lucky to have lots of heirloom hydrangeas in our garden. We dry the blooms every year and my daughter is especially fond of them. I think of her and all our summer adventures outside each time I dye this up:

Bamboo velour teether in dried hydrangea by Tickety Bu


Julie Ouimet of FeéVertelaine

I gave my daughter a little heart a couple of years ago and I still use it frequently as a little love note. When I make her bed, I leave the gnome on the pillow or I leave him with a little “snack.” It’s become a habit, and my daughter always enjoys this little gesture. The Valentine Love Gnomes I make for the shop leave room for your imagination. They’re good anywhere, just to say I love you!

Valentine Love Gnome by FéeVertelaine


Julie Ouimet's original heart for her daughter


Stephinie Miner of Gypsy Forest:

My Spindrift quilts are the most loved handmade item I offer in my shop. The shape of each quilt is hand drawn with a curvy edge that gives it a soft organic feel. The name spindrift is a nautical term meaning spray blown from crests of waves by the wind and was chosen to honor our family’s deep connection with the sea. The quilt however was inspired by a lovely colorful whole cloth quilt gifted to me over 15 years ago when my first baby came into the world. I was given kind but stern instructions that the quilt be used, and not hung upon the wall. It was a cherished gift that in time swaddled 4 babies, became the roof and walls of many blanket forts, and was clothes-pinned under chins as a cape. I always hope the quilts I send out will receive this much use & love.

Octopus in the Sea Spindrift Quilt by Gypsy Forest


Farida Dowler of Alkelda Dolls:

I wish I could have been one of those children who loved math from the beginning and learned to use it as a tool to comprehend the science I wanted to study. I wish I’d had a math gnome nearby to inspire and encourage me to persevere and be patient with myself when I puzzled over (and sometimes cried over) fractions, theorems, and story problems. As a grownup, I  was inspired by the math gnomes used in the Waldorf educational curriculum to make math-themed dolls for children, teens, and adults who would like some company during homework, check-book-balancing, and tax return times. I know I still do!

Math Gnome by Alkelda Dolls

These are just some of the stories my fellow artisans have shared with me. I look forward to bringing you more of their stories.

Farida Dowler of Alkelda Dolls lives in Seattle, Washington, USA, with her husband and daughter.  Saints and Spinners is her song and storytelling blog. Her favorite math songs are “Ten Tiny Turtles” and “Ladybug Picnic” by Don Hadley and Bud Luckey.


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Moomins in the House: a book series recommendation

The Moomins have taken up long-term residence in our house! Moomins and their friends come from the imagination of Finnish author and illustrator Tove Jansson (pronounced “tova yan-sun”).  Moomins look like bi-pedal hippopotamuses with minimal clothing, but they convey a range of personalities: Moominmama is “highly moral but broad-minded,” Moominpapa is a storyteller who imagines himself to have a wild, stormy past, and their son, Moomintroll, is a good-natured, trusting soul whose curiosity provides the momentum for adventures. The Moomins have various friends and acquaintances, too, from the hot-tempered Little My to the sanguine wanderer Snufkin.

A few characters are foreboding and mysterious, too. Hattifatteners are ghost-like figures resembling long white socks with eyes and “jazz hands”, and they are drawn to electrical storms. Most of the characters are frightened of Hattifatteners, but after I came home from errands to find that my daughter had taped paper eyes onto one of her white socks, I cannot help but think of them with affection. The eight chapter-books (of which one is a collection of short-stories) are both dreamy and grounded, melancholic and joyful. My husband reports that the comics, assembled into six collections, are more lighthearted overall.

List of Moomin books

Over the winter holiday break, my husband took our daughter to a coffee-shop, where she brought out her sketchpad to draw Moomins. At the next table over, my husband heard two women talking in Japanese. When they happened to see my daughter’s drawings, my husband heard several exclamations of, “Moomin!” in their conversation. Moomins have inspired loyal devotion from fans worldwide, and in Finland, there is both a Moomin World theme park in Naantali,and a Moomin Museum in Tampere (English translations are available for both sites).

Here are some of the delightful Moomin-inspired creations I’ve found in my internet searches:

Moomin cupcakes  from A Baked Creation

All Small Beasts Should Have Bows in Their Tails” –Snufkin’s favorite mouth-organ/harmonica spring-time song, performed by a band called The Hatifatteners:

A round, blue Moomin home, depicted in cloth, from Domestic Blogess:

A gingerbread Moomin home, by Feltcafe (molds available from the Moomin World gift shop):

A Hattifattener crocheted with glow-in-the-dark yarn, by Snuffykin’s Journal (includes the pattern)

Did you grow up with the Moomin books? Are you curious to try them out? The first Moomin book I read was Stories from Moominvalley, but many people start with A Comet in Moominland.

Farida Dowler makes dolls and tells stories in Seattle, Washington, USA. You may find her dolls on Etsy: Alkelda Dolls.  Farida maintains a storytelling and song blog at Saints and Spinners. While Farida aspires to be like the character of Snufkin, she is actually more like Moominmama.