🐸My Etsy Sh🌎p🐸

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

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

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

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

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.

Open Letter to My 20 Something Self

Dear Me,

I know that you are 20 Something and struggling to find balance and happiness in your roles as wife, mother, teacher. I want you to know that everything turns out better than you ever imagined. God will provide for you in the most surprising ways.

The dream of having four children does not come true. But the two daughters that you do have turn out to be pretty amazing. You also become an influence on many many children through your preschool teaching, your books (yes, you do publish!), through Sunday School and Girl Scouts, and through your strong belief in the power of imagination.

That man who was so unkind to you, he doesn't break your spirit. You find love. True love. They make movies out of this kind of love story kind of love. He is funny and sweet and good to your daughters. He encourages your dreams and empowers you. He is in your corner every.single.day. He is your best adventure, your deepest love, your friend.

You are young and brave. Keep going. Some days are hard. You will know great pain. But you will also find great joy, make friends in expected places, and learn to be an encourager like Grandma Helen.

I am writing this to you to tell you that you are going to love the way your life turns out. I know there are many more ventures and adventures ahead of you. Be brave. Love fiercely. Make lots of memories. Dance in the kitchen barefoot. Your life is a good one. Enjoy it.

44 year old self

To the young moms struggling with toddler tantrums and work and...Life, it will be okay.  Reach out to a friend or family member or spouse. Prioritize. Focus on the important stuff. Kids won't remember that they had toast for dinner, but they will remember the laughter at the dinner table. I pray for you. I pray that you see the good in every day. Be brave.

Friday, November 4, 2016

What mountains can I move today

 I woke up this morning with a thought...what mountains can I move today?

I am preparing for a mini market craft fair next weekend. I have painted 180 peg dolls...
 And 50 plus trees. My goal is 100 trees painted but next weekend.
 I have mountains painted and ready to go and...
I have Castle Playscape Play Mats ready to go as well.

Crossing my fingers AND my toes about this one! I still need to play around with how my table will be set up, but...I am almost ready.

Have a fun and playful day

Loch Ness Monster Found!

 My imagination travels to faraway places. I have had this vision of having a Loch Ness Monster on one of my play mats.

So, I searched.

Just like the real Nessie, Loch Ness Monster toys are hard to find. But finally I found one through the British Natural History Museum (fitting, right? Because I want to visit Great Britain so badly!)
I ordered Nessie. He made it through customs just fine and to Ohio! He is perfect! I was playing ALL morning on my new Large Lake Playscape Play Mat.

Where will your imagination take you today?

Have a fun and playful day

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Motherhood and the Holidays - keep it simple

So when you hear the word Christmas, do you a) break into a smile and dream of gingerbread or b) break into freak out mode and panic?

I do both. (laughing) Christmas time is very busy for me, because I have an Etsy shop and make imagination sparking items that people buy for their kiddos all year long but especially at the holidays.

But before I had a shop, the holidays were always busy. Too busy sometimes to enjoy. Wrapping gorgeous presents became less important. Because, let's face it, that gorgeous wrapping is garbage on December 26th.

My survial guide to the holidays is to keep it simple. Less is more. It's an old saying but still rings true. It's not rocket science. It's sanity. I know, I know. Holidays and sanity in the same sentence.

We buy 1. Something they need, 2. Something they want, 3. Something to wear, and 4. Something to read. It's not a HUGE pile of packages, but the gifts are meaningful and personal.

Play should be the same. Keep it simple. If I have something that requires my attention, I set up a simple invitation to play like above to keep the kiddos creative while I return an email (or 20!)

Have a fun and playful day

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Naturally Curious Kids

 There is a small toy store in Uptown Westerville that I adore. First, I love the space. (I want to move in!)

Second, it's a mother daughter duo that own the shop and carefully curate the selection of toys - not your big box type of store. They know kids. You go in and say I have a three year old boy to shop for and they will give you great suggestions that any three year old boy would love.
There are toys and books and games and puzzles and puppets and art supplies and...you get the idea.

It just has a good small town feel to it. Stop in. You will see what I am talking about, too.