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Natural Kids Sponsored Contest

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finally, WoolComesAlive is offering a NaturalKids Spectacular!

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Role Play, Dressing Up and Make Believe

The dress-up box is a unique and always changing aspect to the waldorf child playroom. The playsilks, fairy skirts, magic wands and hooded cloaks; the elfin headbands and the knight costumes with swords, shields and bows and arrows all bring about such excitement and imagination. As one item is outgrown and passed down to the next child, new garments must be added for the older children. They want to be an elf this time, not a knight, so new garments must be sewn or obtained.

Five of my six children are old enough to dress-up. They start doing this at a very young age. They interact and play well together. Their love of costumes and role-playing inspired them to write their own play. My oldest daughter (the tall elf  with the bow and arrow in the last picture) is quite a talented writer. She has written a wonderful plot for their story and each child is a different character, with the oldest boy being two characters.

They have included cousins and friends, to play other parts. They have asked me to film their play. They will gladly act it out for anyone interested. They practice daily, dressing up and pretending to sword-fight or running through the hills of our property on a quest. This just goes to show how very creative role-play and dressing up can be. They also want to join in period piece role-play at the local civil war re-enactment. My middle girls love their prairie costumes and bonnets. They also use these outfits in their play for they are village maidens and the costumes work well for that also.

In role-play, the child(ren) can be whomever they choose, making their costumes as elaborate or simple as they prefer. They can be knights in the middle ages or fantasy elves and gnomes. My children often act like they are the characters from the Lord of the Rings novels, with the four year old being the dwarf, since he is indeed rather small.

These are magical times, filled with adventure in the great outdoors. Play silks and play stands become fairy homes or hidden rooms. Ponds become oceans, trees are sectioned off into the Elf Realm here and the Troll Forest there. 

Here are some lovely dress-up things you may consider for your children, from my lovely friends here at the NaturalKids Team:
These boots from FeltedwithFlourish may very well be elf boots! They would fit my ten year old daughter perfectly!

This beautiful rainbow silk cape from DesertDyeworks would make a lovely fairy cape!

This felt crown from mycakies would look beautiful on a little princess!

Every noble knight or dwarf needs one of these, from birchleafdesigns …Three of my children have one (in the photos above) and they are truly beautiful! 

This beautiful hemp child’s dress from consciousclothing would look lovely on a village maiden!

I can really see a little village baby wearing one of these from shelleycaskey ! My children love to dress up their baby sister and carry her around. She is the baby hobbit in our play! :0)

This felted wool cuff from  tizib would look really awesome on an elf-princess, don’t you think? 

And lastly, this beautiful flower bouquet would look sweet held by a little flower girl at a fairy wedding! 

I made this (it’s available in my shop) and have made similar bouquets for my daughters in the past. They are very well-loved and played with for all sorts of different make-believe scenarios.

Throw everything into a big wooden treasure chest toy box or a cedar chest and let their imaginations run wild! Capture what you can on film, for their play is sweet and their time with us fleeting.

~Here’s to heroes and heroines, noble knights and fair princesses, dwarves and elves~

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Super Saturday Treasuries!

I missed getting to the computer on Thursday to post treasuries to the blog, so I’m making it up to you with some terrific Super Saturday Treasuries. These are brand new, just posted treasuries which will be up until Tuesday. Be one of the first to look and make sure you get a chance to comment before all the comment slots are filled!

Red is the color of the day in Orit’s new Kids treasury. It’s not surprising–Orit has a terrific eye for color, as she works with beautiful dyes and creates lovely wool in gorgeous palettes.

Who can resist these sweet faces? CozyCottageCreations has put together the cuddliest treasury of natural dolls, all ready to be taken home and loved.

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Tuesday Treasuries

We have four lovely treasuries on offer today for the NaturalKids Team. Thanks to all of our amazing treasury makers!!

First, it’s time for some NaturalKids Summer FUN, courtesy of Lively at WoolComesAlive!

Next we have Natural Kids from Auntie Boo over at AuntBoosBabies.

Orit from OritDotanDolls is throwing a NaturalKids Festival!

And finally, our favorite Birdie of TheSingingBirdhas created a collection of Dolls to Love for you to enjoy.

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Mini Monday: Winsomehollow

Her treasury made the front page at Etsy, so let’s give Winsomehollow some love for promoting all of us!

A bit about the artist behind Winsomehollow
I am a wool artisan, specializing in needle felting and wool felt applique. Using only all natural, 100% wool and wool roving in my work, I strive to create heirloom quality pieces which may be passed down through the years. I love the idea of creating original, one of a kind works which are equally durable, strong, and yet soft to the touch. This strength of construction and all natural material allows people to enjoy distinctive pieces of art, while reducing their consumption (helping our environment!).

Creating imaginative and magical stories within each piece of work is also very important to me. When creating each unique wall hanging, for example, I spend a great deal of time finding inspiration in the world around me, imagining the story of the piece, and finally constructing the actual work of art.

I hope my work inspires and envelops one into a fanciful world of imagination!!

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Friday Interview with German Dolls

Today’s interview is with team member Ulla of the shop German Dolls. Her lovely dolls and sweet doll outfits have a wonderful old world feel to them and her shop is full of these simple childhood joys. I really enjoyed getting to know Ulla better and I think you will too!

Tell us a little about yourself…
Guten Tag!
My name is Ulla Seckler. I was born and raised in Germany and moved to the United States in 1996. I am married and live in beautiful Colorado with my husband and two kids.
I have been sewing and making things practically all my life.
Back in good old Germany children are instructed in needlework at a tender age. I still remember the old lady, named Frau Knebel, who came in with two gigantic knitting needles, the size of poles for pole vaulting (it seemed), and taught all the girls and BOYS how to knit in elementary school.
Sewing is in my blood. My great grandmother was the village seamstress and called in whenever somebody got married and needed custom-made, hand embroidered table and bed linens. She taught my grandma and my mother. And I watched my mother sew, crochet, and knit all my life. She did not have to make a living that way, but whenever she had a minute she was doing something. Her hands were never idle, and I grew up in a world where handmade sweaters, mittens, and scarves appeared overnight. All it took was a snowfall. My dolls and I never lacked a new outfit and were dressed appropriately for the season . . .
After I had children of my own in the US; I was worried that they would grow up without the same quality handmade items and toys that I had when I was little. So I started making dolls after my daughter was born. And once I started making the dolls, I began making clothes for them as well. Some of the patterns I use were handed down in my family. But most of the designs are a combination of the old traditional patterns and my own more modern spin on Waldorf.

What is the main thing you make and sell in your store? What else do you make or sell?
The main thing I make and sell in my store is dolls and doll clothing. Once I started making dolls I became a total addict. First I made dolls for my kids, then for all the nieces and nephews, then for friend’s kids. I just could not stop. The dolls began to clutter the house. My husband complained that there was never a place to sit down any more…He said:” Honey, why don’t you sell some on eBay.” I did – and “the rest is history” as they say.
Last Christmas I got a needle felting kit as a present. I instantly fell in love with this craft. I have a few needle felted items in my store and would like to expand in that area..

Who if anyone has been instrumental in helping you hone your craft?
The one person who has been most instrumental when it comes to my craft is my mother. See above. She did not teach me the art of Waldorf Doll making per se, but she taught me all the skills needed to make a beautiful handmade toy.

Where do you get your inspiration?
My daughter’s birth inspired me to make my first doll, and watching her play with all of her dolls every day is my greatest inspiration!
My German heritage is certainly very important and a great inspiration in what and how I do what I do. I miss the dark, green, Fairytale forests of Germany. But at the same time my life as an immigrant has given me a very unique perspective on things. I see many playrooms in the United States filled with gobs and oodles of ugly plastic toys. The main criterion in many households appears to be mass rather than quality. I hope that more people will learn about Waldorf and Natural toys.
If it had not been for coming here I don’t think I’d be a doll maker. I probably would have bought a handmade doll in Germany and let it go at that. I think my work is a great example of how the New World and the Old World come together to inspire wonderful art.

What are your favorite materials?
I still get excited every time a new shipment of supplies arrives at my doorstep, especially when it was mailed from Germany. I love Color! Cotton velour is my favorite material! And it comes in so many bright colors =)! I get sad whenever I run out of a color. I make my Wee Pocketbabies out of this wonderful stuff, but it is also great for doll clothes and other cuddly toys.
I love wool in any shape and color! Wool felt, wool roving, yarn, carded wool fleece. Wool is what my dolls are stuffed with, soft warm springy natural sheep’s wool. Who likes to hug plastic? This is my slogan.

“In an age when everything is made of plastic and synthetics and almost every toy says “Made in China,” my Waldorf Dolls are handmade with pure wool and cotton, natural materials that warm to body temperature as they are held. Have you ever hugged a cold, plastic baby doll on a cold winter morning? My soft, warm dolls are unique, huggable, and as individual as the children who love them.”

What advice would you give other Etsy sellers and those interested in opening up a shop?
Don’t quit your day job! It takes a lot of time and energy to build a small business. We are talking years – not months. Don’t expect to open a store and have a lot of sales right away. When I first started on Eb
ay it was very tough. I often sold my dolls for little more than the price of the materials. I am doing a little better these days but often wonder if it is possible to make a living being an artist. My husband brings home the bacon!
You have to love what you do to make it through the rough spots. My friends on Etsy, particularly the Naturalkids Team, have made my “crafting life” so much happier. I am immensely grateful for the sense of community and friendship I have found there!

7)What advice would you give to beginners in your main craft?
Patience, patience, patience! You cannot expect to make a first doll and for it look great. It took me many years to perfect all the techniques and come up with the perfect doll.

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

I recently closed my Ebay shop because of the impossible high fees. I have decided to put all of my energy into my Etsy shop. I hope to have my own website some day…
My Etsy shop address is
I also have a flickr account. If you would like to see pictures of old and new work you can check out my “archive” on flickr;

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Tuesday Treasuries

Happy Tuesday! We have three lovely collection curated by and featuring NaturalKids Team members. All of them expire today, so be sure to go and click on them quickly!

Orit from OritDotanDolls has made her second treasury, this one focusing on needlefelting as a new art form. Enjoy the lovely sculptures and tapestries featured in New Art Horey!

Go have some FUN NaturalKids style! with this enchanting treasury from WoolComesAlive.

New team member Chimera offers this Fantastical! treasury.

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Mini Monday: Nushkie

Today’s Mini Monday is Nushkie! Nushkie makes lovely tapestries and needlefelted creations. A bit more about this talented team member!

I was inspired by the love of my 3 1/2 year old daughter, Eva…aka, Nushkie… to create natural toys and homemade clothes for her. My favorite material for toys and collectibles is wool. I started making little felted sculptures and wall hangings for her and as gifts for others and was so overwhelmingly encouraged by those who received these to sell them, that I thought. Ok. I’ll do it. So, I created Nushkie Design. (Named after my little one’s nickname…) I have been fortunate to sell many pieces, have others hanging at the nearby Waldorf School, and look forward to showing them in a local gallery early next year. Each needle or wet felted item is made with love and care with the recipient in mind. It is my mission to create beautiful one of a kind treasures that are natural, gentle, inspire the imagination and are worthy of passing along to future generations.