🐸My Etsy Sh🌎p🐸

Monday, January 16, 2017

Weathered Forest

Maybe it is something deeply rooted in my childhood, but the forest has always captured my imagination.  In the hills of southeastern Ohio, my bare feet ran on mossy carpet, canopies of tall oak trees shielded me from the sun, and woodland smells tickled my nose.

I think about children who grow up in the city and how they may never know the simple treasure of growing up with a forest in your backyard like I did.  Maybe, just maybe, through my imagination-sparking toys, I can give them those treasure, too.

I live in a fairytale world. I really do.  My husband is part Prince Charming, part Constant Encourager.  I make things with my hands.  I create toys.  That's pretty fairytale like if you ask me.  I have an amazing family and extended family, who all support my craft.

If I dare to dream for more (which sometimes seems selfish), I would dream of travel. I want to see the world and translate it into toys to spark more imaginations.

I love the pins that Pinterest picks for me.  Yesterday, they picked the word Meraki - to do something with soul, creativity, love; to put something of yourself into your work.  I think that word is so fitting for me.  Melanie/Meraki

So, I am going to "put this out in the universe" as they say.  My goal for this year is to create more (not sure when I will sleep!), to open my Amazon Handmade store, to travel. My goals also include encouraging & empowering the women in my life more this year, cooking more (Heaven help us!), and donating to more causes that are special to my heart.

Do you make resolutions? Or do you set goals?

Have a fun and playful day!
Mel

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Looking forward to 2017

Michelangelo said, "I saw an angel in the marble and I carved until I set him free." I am no Michelangelo by any means. But I do see the possibilities in a flat piece of felt or a colorful bauble.

I want to make 2017 more purposeful, more memorable, more than I imagined. I have so many things I want to create, so many places that I want to travel, so many possibilities.

Everything I create is hand sewn or hand painted with the purpose to bring joy to a child. I dream of taking my toys to orphanages around the world and doing good.

Everything that happened yesterday in Berlin makes my heart break. How children cope with and make sense of situations and their world is through play. I have felt for a while that I need to do more.

I want to write another book in 2017. I want to travel. I want to make some really good memories and take some really good photos. I am looking forward to 2017.

Have a fun and playful day
Mel

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Mom and Tot Box

 Mom and Tot Box is a subscription that brings something for the child and something for the mom delivered to your front door each month.
I was happy to be a part of the October box. My large peg doll and boat AND my 3 little red houses & tree were all part of the little treasure box.

I love seeing pictures of children engaged with my toys. My heart is full to the point of bursting at these photos!

Have a fun and playful day
Mel

Water Beads

I took this photo five years ago and it is still one of my favorites. Those little fingers. That belly! The lighting.

I found two acrylic bowls at the Dollar store. One, I flipped upside down and tucked some white Christmas lights  under it. The other, I filled with water beads.

She was mesmerized. The lights. The texture. The simple play.

She was 15 months at the time. But we sat there playing for over an hour. I remember an Elmo toy taking a swim in the water beads at one point.

I love when Facebook gives me memories. I cherish them so much. Now, she is in kindergarten and reading chapter books. Time passes so quickly.

Have a fun and playful day
Mel

Sunday, November 20, 2016

City Zoo

 So, some time ago, I had this idea to make a Zoo Play Mat. I have been rolling it around in my noodle for a while. Then, my husband says, you HAVE to make a Zoo Play Mat. And then, a customer suggested a Zoo Play Mat last week.
This is what I came up with. I made it, photographed it, and listed it this weekend. 20 minutes (that's right two zero!) after I listed it, it SOLD.

Time to make another?

Have a fun and playful day
Mel

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Busy as a bee...no, as busy as a whole huve!

 I am not busy as a bee. I am as busy as the whole hive! I am jamming to Putumayo European Playground - not even kidding you! - and getting a lot done.
 I was in the studio all morning, photographing new items. Actually, I was playing, but I did take a few pictures. So that counts as "working", right?
My to do list is getting longer. Yikes! But it is THAT time of year!

Have a fun and playful day
Mel

Sunday, November 13, 2016

But Peg Dolls Don't DO Anything

 I was at the Mini Market this past weekend with my play mats and peg dolls. One customer said this exact thing - But peg dolls don't DO anything.
No, I said, but they can BE anything.
 I went on to tell him how these simplistic, wood toys can take on any role in a child's imagination.
 Princess, explorer, zoo keeper, doctor, mom, dad, baby, storytelling inspiration, fire man, astronaut and more!

The play possibilities are endless!


 I believe in the power of play, the power of imagination, and the magic of childhood.

Toys do not have to have bells and whistles. In fact, the less bells and whistles, the MORE imagination kiddos use.

I won't bore you with ivy league college studies about the connection between imaginative play and happy, healthy, intelligent children. But it is true!

That customer bought 12 peg dolls. I think my love of imaginative play rubbed off on him!

Have a fun and playful day.
Mel