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What I’m Loving This Week


SALE TODAY – Tiny W…

$7.88

Flower Box Baby Dol…

$14.00

Playsilks and Playc…

$52.00

Bird Nest & Egg Spr…

$12.00

Easter Sale – Easte…

$21.60

alpine folk cow / f…

$34.00

Waldorf Toy Stuffed…

$65.00

CUSTOM (ship in 48 …

$4.00

Easter waldorf toy …

$24.00

Wool Felt Easter Bu…

$15.00

Waldorf spring Toy-…

$27.00

Handmade Christmas …

$30.00

play silks – hand d…

$7.50

Grape-Hyacinth – F…

$9.90

Waldorf Doll – Jasm…

$63.00

Daffodil Flower Kni…

$3.50

Etsy treasury created by Gypsy Forest

 

Seed paper, these would be sweet Easter gifts for my children to make.

♥We’re trying to cut out sugar this Strawberry Honey Galette looks amazing!

♥I can’t wait to dye our Easter eggs this year with natural dyes from food.

♥Here’s a great article on simplifying Easter baskets.

♥Love these pompom chicks!

♥Great idea for keeping your seed packets organized.

♥An article on celebrating spring and a sweet verse.

 

What spring treasures have you found this week?

 

Julie Hunter is a wife and mama, raising 3 spirited girls, two babydoll sheep, angora rabbits and a gaggle of chickens and ducks in the North Carolina Foothills. She spends her days at home, crafting with her children, homeschooling, taking long gathering walks in the woods and knitting Waldorf-inspired toys. You can find her blogging and keeping shop at This Cosy Life.

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The Natural Home: Spring Cleaning

Not only is the Natural Kids team full of great artist that specialize in items for little ones, we are also mamas and papas. We live our lives as natural as we can, keeping traditions and natural methods alive. We know that many other mamas and papas are striving to live this way too so we thought it would be good for us to share with you a few tips to help you have a natural home too.

Lanolin Soap from The Sitting Tree

Spring is such and important time of renewing. As the world wakes from it sleep so do our natural longing to clean. Spring is a great time to open those windows and let the fresh air in to our homes. Cleaning, organizing, and discarding unwanted items will help your house feel as fresh as a spring day! Here are a few more tips from our members.

 Beccijo of The Enchanted Cupboard

Sanitizing sponges

I love sponges for cleaning, They do a great job and fit nicely in the hand. Here is a great tip for keeping it fresh, clean, and sanitized. The best part, as you are sanitizing the sponge you can get the microwave clean too. This will make even the hardest baked on goop come of easy in the microwave.

What you will need:

1 Dirty Sponge

1 Dirt Microwave

1 (microwave safe) Dish

Water (fill bowl 1/2 full

A few squirts of lemon

Put the sponge in the bowl fill 1/2 full of water and add the lemon juice right on the sponge. Place in microwave and cook for 3-6 minutes depending on you microwave. It is going to get very hot and steamy. Let it sit and door stay closed for 15 -20 minutes. Once things have cooled down to where you can touch the sponge, wipe down the inside of the microwave. Everything will come off easy from the steam bath, and smell fresh from the lemon!

 

Farida of Alkelda Dolls

Scrubbing the Floors

A friend of mine once wrote for her Facebook status, “I would rather be crafting than cleaning.” I empathize. I enjoy the process of creating order out of chaos, but floors become dirty again, forced-air heat coats surfaces with dust, and clutter creeps onto flat surfaces. A wool felt doll I sew stays sewed.

Every week I have to scrub the kitchen floor tiles by hand, and change clothes to do it (knees and socks get damp). I make a notation on the calendar after I complete the 15-20 minute job. Then, I make sure everyone in the house knows I’ve scrubbed the floor. Acknowledgement and documentation of a needful but unglamorous task helps me feel like the job is worth doing, and reminds others that scrubbed floors happen through human effort, not fairy magic.

 

Stephinie of Gypsy Forest

My favorite is a squirt & mop solution. It just makes the whole house smell so clean!

Floor Cleaner:

A repurposed Dish Soap Bottle

2 parts water

1 part vinegar

1/2 tsp dish soap

6-10 drops of essential oil

Pour all ingredients into a repurposed dish soap bottle. Shake before use. I use a hot bucket (or sink) full of water to rinse my mop and squirt this cleaner right onto the floor for mopping. It leaves no film and makes the floor so clean! I love it. I’ve read you can use a little baking soda sprinkled onto the floor for extra dirty spots.
 
 
Beccijo Neff is a toymaker, storyteller, and award winning Artist from Pennsylvania. She homeschools 4 children and is happily married. You can find more about her life and her work at her blog . To see her enchanting toys stop at her shop, it will brighten and delight you eyes to see all the magical things she creates.



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Signs of Spring

I am starting to see signs of spring all around. The sweet green grass is popping up here and there. When I see then it always makes me think of one of the children’s favorite spring song. This is a great song to add to the rhythm of your day or to your circle time. This is a good song to teach to children as it has a part you sing and they a part they sing.

Daffodil Pattern from Mama4Earth

The Green Grass Grows All Around

first published in 1912, with words by William Jerome[2] and melody by Harry Von Tilzer

To hear a variation of the song played go here.

There was a tree

(There was a tree)

All in the wood

(All in the wood)

The prettiest tree

(The prettiest tree)

That you ever did see

(That you ever did see)

The tree in a hole

And the hole in the ground

And the green grass grows all around, all around

The green grass grows all around

And on that tree

(And on that tree)

There was a limb

(There was a limb)

The prettiest limb

(The prettiest limb)

That you ever did see

(That you ever did see)

The limb on the tree,

And the tree in a hole,

And the hole in the ground

And the green grass grows all around, all around

The green grass grows all around.

And on that limb

(And on that limb)

There was a branch

(There was a branch)

The prettiest branch

(The prettiest branch)

That you ever did see

(That you ever did see)

The branch on the limb,

And the limb on the tree,

And the tree in a hole,

And the hole in the ground

And the green grass grows all around, all around

The green grass grows all around.

And on that branch

(And on that branch)

There was a nest

(There was a nest)

The prettiest nest

(The prettiest nest)

That you ever did see

(That you ever did see)

The nest on the branch,

And the branch on the limb,

And the limb on the tree,

And the tree in a hole,

And the hole in the ground

And the green grass grows all around, all around

The green grass grows all around.

And in that nest

(And in that nest)

There was an egg

(There was an egg)

The prettiest egg

(The prettiest egg)

That you ever did see

(That you ever did see)

The egg in the nest,

And the nest on the branch,

And the branch on the limb,

And the limb on the tree,

And the tree in a hole,

And the hole in the ground

And the green grass grows all around, all around

The green grass grows all around.

And in that egg

(And in that egg)

There was a bird

(There was a bird)

The prettiest bird

(The prettiest bird)

That you ever did see

(That you ever did see)

The bird in the egg,

And the egg in the nest,

And the nest on the branch,

And the branch on the limb,

And the limb on the tree,

And the tree in a hole,

And the hole in the ground

And the green grass grows all around, all around

The green grass grows all around.

And on that bird

(And on that bird)

There was a wing

(There was a wing)

The prettiest wing

(The prettiest wing)

That you ever did see

(That you ever did see)

The wing on the bird,

And the bird in the egg,

And the egg in the nest,

And the nest on the branch,

And the branch on the limb,

And the limb on the tree,

And the tree in a hole,

And the hole in the ground

And the green grass grows all around, all around

The green grass grows all around.

And on that wing

(And on that wing)

There was a feather

(There was a feather)

The prettiest feather

(The prettiest feather)

That you ever did see

(That you ever did see)

The feather on the wing,

And the wing on the bird,

And the bird in the egg,

And the egg in the nest,

And the nest on the branch,

And the branch on the limb,

And the limb on the tree,

And the tree in a hole,

And the hole in the ground

And the green grass grows all around, all around

The green grass grows all around.

And on that feather

(And on that feather)

There was a bug

(There was a bug)

The prettiest bug

(The prettiest bug)

That you ever did see

(That you ever did see)

The bug on the feather,

And the feather on the wing,

And the wing on the bird,

And the bird in the egg,

And the egg in the nest,

And the nest on the branch,

And the branch on the limb,

And the limb on the tree,

And the tree in a hole,

And the hole in the ground

And the green grass grows all around, all around

The green grass grows all around.

And on that bug

(And on that bug)

There was a germ

(There was a germ)

The prettiest germ

(The prettiest germ)

That you ever did see

(That you ever did see)

The germ on the bug,

And the bug on the feather,

And the feather on the wing,

And the wing on the bird,

And the bird in the egg,

And the egg in the nest,

And the nest on the branch,

And the branch on the limb,

And the limb on the tree,

And the tree in a hole,

And the hole in the ground

And the green grass grows all around, all around

The green grass grows all around.

Yes, the green grass grows all around, all around

The green grass grows all around!

 


Beccijo Neff is a toymaker, storyteller, and award winning Artist from Pennsylvania. She homeschools 4 children and is happily married. You can find more about her life and her work at her blog . To see her enchanting toys stop at her shop, it will brighten and delight you eyes to see all the magical things she creates.



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What I’m Loving This Week


Wood Teether ABC al…

$20.00

waldorf wood well /…

$43.00

Wooden waldorf toy…

$27.00

Applewood Fairy Hou…

$72.00

Carved Wooden DOE F…

$7.00

Handcrafted by the …

$15.00

Wooden Squirrel Toy…

$13.00

Wooden Toy pull toy…

$27.00

Cherry Tree Village…

$34.00

Organic TEETHER for…

$12.00

Waldorf Toy – Rusti…

$38.00

Wooden Train Locomo…

$35.00

Matryoshka Caravan …

$25.00

Handmade Toy – Pair…

$7.00

Noah’s Ark and …

$115.00

Gimli’s Throwin…

$28.00

Etsy treasury created by Rjabinnik

30 most popular herbs for natural medicine... a ‘to-grow’ list for me.

Here’s a neat way to make wool roving balls using your washing machine.

♥Love these ideas for welcoming spring and the Root Children.

Pattern for very sweet and simple gnomes that can be used as finger puppets.

Innermost House… beauty and serenity in simplicity.♥

♥A tutorial for making girl’s loungy pants from a pillowcase.

 

What are you loving?

 

Julie Hunter is a wife and mama, raising 3 spirited girls, two babydoll sheep, angora rabbits and a gaggle of chickens and ducks in the North Carolina Foothills. She spends her days at home, crafting with her children, homeschooling, taking long gathering walks in the woods and knitting Waldorf-inspired toys. You can find her blogging and keeping shop at This Cosy Life.

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Simplicity at Home: Letting Go of Things

I used to fill my home and life with many useful and lovely things. I felt you could never have too many books or crafting supplies and loved to see many photos of my loved ones sitting and hanging about. Over time I began to feel a strong need to have empty spaces rather than lovely and useful things. So a few years  back I began to clear my home and life of things that weren’t useful or beautiful or that I could just live without. Little by little the contents of our home is dwindling and empty space is appearing. That feel really good to me. Space, clean, unhindered, room to breathe.
Now, mind you, I have never been what you would call a hoarder or pack rat. Well, perhaps I hoarded craft supplies, but everything still managed to have a place. But the question is, does it need to have a place in my home? I was hanging onto things because, oh well, you know the typical list of reasons. I might need that in the future, I have a sentimental attachment, so and so gave it to me, it really is beautiful or fits with my decor so well. Yes, there are many reasons for hanging onto the things we do. But, for myself, life seems lighter if I let them go instead. And, honestly, very rarely do I miss, think about or even remember things I have let go of.

I do know that in the beginning it is difficult to let go of our possessions. Where to start and what if I regret it? Start small, one thing at a time.

•My suggestion to you is begin in an area that you already feel is overcrowded and perhaps you are aware of many things in this area that have overstayed their welcome. Take some time when you can have a few quiet moments to go over this area and consider every object in it. Think, when was the last time I used this? Will I continue to use it? Is it complete, unbroken? Is it beautiful? Do I love it or just like it? And would I miss it if it were gone?

•I keep a grocery bag hanging by the broom and as I come across things I am ready to let go of I place them in the bag and take it to the Salvation Army when it’s full. On some weeks it won’t be a grocery bag but several large trash bags full! But do have some designated bag or box for giveaway items. If you don’t have a place to put it you may end up leaving it where it is. And the nice thing about the bag is that if you change your mind before time to drop it off at the charity shop then it’s still there.

•Take it one area at a time. The temptation may be to declutter the entire house. But this is time consuming and can be very emotionally draining. Take it slow and build up.

•After some time passes go over the same areas. I go back over an area many times before I’m satisfied about what’s in it. Letting go can be difficult but over time you will begin to see that an item is unused or no longer fits your style or perhaps you’re just willing to pass it on now.

•Do not have an ‘off limits’ area or type of item. Maybe you won’t give up anything from a certain area. Perhaps you truly have no desire to let go of any old photos or sentimental objects. But it never hurts to just go over them and give it some thought. You may just change your mind about things.

•Don’t forget about what’s hanging on the walls or waiting to go up on the walls. It’s very clearing to see my walls lighten their load.

 

Letting go of the things that fill our homes can be a long and ongoing process. At times it may be frustrating and a bit emotional. But if you revisit your things often, instead of storing them away and not ever thinking about what you do and do not want in  you home, I believe you will find an energy for it and a peace in your space as a result.

 

 

Julie Hunter is a wife and mama, raising 3 spirited girls, two babydoll sheep, angora rabbits and a gaggle of chickens and ducks in the North Carolina Foothills. She spends her days at home, crafting with her children, homeschooling, taking long gathering walks in the woods and knitting Waldorf-inspired toys. You can find her blogging and keeping shop at This Cosy Life.

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What I’m Loving This Week


Waldorf Wooden Toy …

$14.00

Waldorf Toy – Stuff…

$32.00

Green Elephant Sail…

$20.00

Needle felted Waldo…

$15.00

Baby Rattle and Toy…

$16.00

Wool Felt Crown – Y…

$17.50

Sweetheart Valentin…

$30.00

Sale Today – Wooden…

$28.80

Felted Green and Ye…

$20.00

Sunset Pink Fairy D…

$18.00

Waldorf Doll Yellow…

$38.00

spring sale cleranc…

$5.20

Upcycled Wool Baby …

$23.00

Daffodil Flower Kni…

$3.50

Waldorf Toy- Snowdr…

$15.00

The Happy Yellow Bu…

$25.00

Etsy treasury created by Sesame Seed Designs

♥A recipe for scented play dough… could be a fun relaxation tool for children.

♥This strawberry yogurt cake looks amazing!

♥Love these kitchen window shelves. I could see my own kitchen window full of fresh herbs!

Tutorial to make a rainbow silk blanket… would make a lovely new baby gift.

♥A great article on herb activities with children.

These stainless steel cups would be great for taking along on picnics.

 

Julie Hunter is a wife and mama, raising 3 spirited girls, two babydoll sheep, angora rabbits and a gaggle of chickens and ducks in the North Carolina Foothills. She spends her days at home, crafting with her children, homeschooling, taking long gathering walks in the woods and knitting Waldorf-inspired toys. You can find her blogging and keeping shop at This Cosy Life.

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A New Member

Last month I introduced you to the newest member of the Natural Kids team. You can find their feature here and here. But I have one more member to introduce, the last added. Let me introduce you to Andrea, owner of the Etsy shop Ziezo.
Andrea’s shop is filled with Waldorf inspired goodness! Beautiful silk wings for imaginative play…

felt crowns…

and aprons for children. You can also find sweet teething dolls and a few other handmade treasures.

Andrea is a wife and mother living in Kenya. You can find her on Facebook here.  Be sure to check out all of the Natural Kids shops here.

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What I’m Loving This Week


Carved Wooden HEDGE…

$7.00

Bamboo Velour Baby …

$39.00

Tiny Felt Bear Fami…

$36.00

Butterfly Wings – R…

$20.00

LAVENDER FAIRY 3 – …

$9.90

silk wrapping optio…

$7.00

ant-hill upcycled s…

$40.00

Waldorf Inspired Do…

$24.00

Cutest Gray Wool Ha…

$11.00

Waldorf Doll, Paste…

$33.95

Needle Felted Waldo…

$48.00

Bees Make Polish-Na…

$5.20

Organic I’m one…

$67.00

hand dyed Baby yarn…

$7.00

Upcycled Wool Baby …

$23.00

Cloth Diaper Pull O…

$35.00

Etsy treasury created by This Cosy Life

 

♥Love this article on meaningful work for toddlers.

♥What a great idea for  making seedling pots from newspapers.

♥Here’s a nice tutorial for making needle felted figures.

♥And one for making a simple marionette.

♥A couple of different techniques for dying your play silks. I tried the watercolor painting and it turned out  beautifully.

♥A really helpful article on storytelling.

 

What are your finds for the week?

Julie Hunter is a wife and mama, raising 3 spirited girls, two babydoll sheep, angora rabbits and a gaggle of chickens and ducks in the North Carolina Foothills. She spends her days at home, crafting with her children, homeschooling, taking long gathering walks in the woods and knitting Waldorf-inspired toys. You can find her blogging and keeping shop at This Cosy Life.

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Book Review- Bear Snores On

On this cold and blustery winter day there is only one thing to do, snuggle down with a good book.


One of our favorite winter books is Bears Snores On by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman. The story is written in a poetic form with lovely rhymes that make you feel like part of the story. This story does a lovely job of showing the different kinds of lifestyles of winter animals as some hibernate and others adapt. The illustrations are sweet, warm, and delightful for adults and children alike. As the animals come to the cave for warmth and an expected party the unexpected host says asleep thought it all. The story ends with a fun surprise! This story is sure to be a winter favorite in your family too!
  For homeschooling parents check out this blog post to find great resources to teach about what what animals do in the winter.

To join in the party and have a great snack like badger brought in the story.

Honey Nuts

Ingredients

4 cups nuts – we like peanuts or almonds

1/4 cup honey

2 teaspoons cinnamon

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Toss all the ingredients together.

Transfer nuts to a greased baking sheet.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally.

Cool. Eat or store in an airtight container.

 

Beccijo Neff is a toymaker, storyteller, and award winning Artist from Pennsylvania. She homeschools 4 children and is happily married. You can find more about her life and her work at her blog . To see her enchanting toys stop at her shop, it will brighten and delight you eyes to see all the magical things she creates.



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Making Beeswax Impressions for Valentine’s Day

Beeswax is one of my very favorite materials to work with. There’s so much you can do with it, it’s totally natural and smells like heaven! My girls and I used some to make impressions for Valentine’s day. Perhaps you have seen some of these around. They are so simple to make and even your children can help with the pouring.  There are several options for molds. Here, I’ve  used a ceramic cookie mold from Brown Bag Designs. If you search for ‘cookie mold’ on Etsy or even Ebay you will come up with many beautiful designs. You may even have one hiding in your own stash, that’s where I found mine. I think it was a hand-me-down from my mother. If you’re looking for a less expensive option that can be picked up from most craft stores try plastic candy molds, silicone molds or even shaped metal baking pans. I’ve used the kind with many different shaped compartments that are meant for cookies or cupcakes. They will  need to be poured more shallowly but work great!

The process is quite simple. Begin by melting your beeswax. We use a tiny little crock pot that is reserved only for beeswax. You can also use a double boiler or an empty can or heat proof bowl placed inside a pot of water on the stove (like this). DO NOT place beeswax directly in your pot on the stove.  Also, don’t use anything you are not willing to set aside for beeswax use only.

For ease of pouring you will need to pour the wax into a container with a spout. We use an old plastic milk bottle that I have cut the top spout off of. Any plastic drink bottle can be bent into a pouring spout and is easy for children to handle.

Fill your mold and once it begins to set up (which will happen rather quickly) you can make a hole for hanging with a toothpick. Another option for hanging is to place a loop of ribbon or string in the wax before it sets up.

Now, in my experience, I have found that if you place the mold into the freezer when the edges have firmed up but the middle is still a little ‘soupy’ that it will come come away from the edges beautifully without contracting too much, too soon. You won’t need to keep it in there long at all. From start to finish you should have one completed in less than a half an hour Find what works best for you and remember, the beauty of working with wax is that if it doesn’t come out right, you can always melt it down and try again!

Beeswax impressions look gorgeous hanging in a window where the sun can show off  the design. Wouldn’t this make a beautiful Valentine for your children to make for loved ones?

 

If you’re not up for making your own, two of our Natural Kids team members sell several different designs in their shops, Harvest Moon By Hand and Pretty Dreamer.

 
Julie Hunter is a wife and mama, raising 3 spirited girls, two babydoll sheep, angora rabbits and a gaggle of chickens and ducks in the North Carolina Foothills. She spends her days at home, crafting with her children, homeschooling, taking long gathering walks in the woods and knitting Waldorf-inspired toys. You can find her blogging and keeping shop at This Cosy Life.