Tag Archives | Christmas shopping

West Coast Natural Toy Magic

My love of Waldorf, naturally handcrafted toys is more than just admiration of a person’s craft. When you see a toy that has tenderness infused into the stitches and wooden seams, you absorb the love that was given to make this special toy. Being a West Coaster that is connected to two of the leaders in the Waldorf play and education fields, I’m super honored to be hosting a contest with Bamboletta Dolls and Natural Pod.

I’ll start with Bamboletta. If you haven’t read their story, please click over and be ready to fall in love. The heart of Bamboletta is the founder Christina who has developed a business model that creates a better world. She has perfected a craft, taught others, and along the many years of hard work, never sold out with how the dolls are manufactured and what materials are used to make them.  Christina and her busy helpers have stayed where the dolls were created – right here on the West Coast making her magic bloom. What is new with Bamboletta since we last checked in? Over to Christina.

We’ve introduced 2 new styles last year that have been extremely popular. They are different then the traditional type of Waldorf doll as they are sewn to have more flexible limbs. Great for having a snuggle or a tea party! We will continue to do what we do, which is to create high quality dolls made with the best ‘ingredients’ we can find. I’m working hard to find more and more local sources my materials and have started working with a mill in Nova Scotia to get our yarn hair from. All our dolls are made right here in the Cowichan Valley by local moms creating a strong community of women working together with a lot of love hand crafting these dolls. They are infused with love in the stitches and will be an item that your child will eventually pass on to their child when they get older.

We are so excited to have our own Little Buddy doll from Bamboletta for this contest (her picture is in the contest box at the bottom of this article). She is so sweet and the beautiful touch at the front of her hair is a handspun yarn made by a local weaver from Cowichan Valley. Details are never left out with the Bamboletta ladies. Here is a picture of the Bamboletta shop. Doesn’t it look like Santa’s Workshop with magic and creativity bursting out the doors?

bamboletta doll shop

Over we go to Natural Pod who I’ve known for many years. They were one of the leaders in the naturally made toy movement 9 years ago and they haven’t slowed down with earth stewardship. With more of a global focus now, Natural Pod has shifted their expertise to help design and build beautiful, sustainable natural play spaces, furniture and open-ended play items that foster different learning environments for children. Their mission to foster how children can develop and learn from their environment when the focus is play is so important. They continue to inspire and ignite passion for teaching with the beautiful environments they create. I invite you to check out their Fan Page and look at the pictures of open-ended play spaces they’ve dreamed and delivered over the years. Very inspiring! More words from owner Bridgitte.

We serve educators and children in childcare, home-day, preschool, kindergarten, elementary and middle schools along with hospice and special needs students around the world. Raw materials for our products are sourced as close as the forests near our office on Vancouver Island and the wood we use is Forestry Stewardship Certified (FSC), supporting responsible forestry practices. Our other products are made of natural wood, wool or silk and finished in plant-based dyes, harmonic beeswax or in some cases are left naturally unfinished. The bulk of our product line is not only recyclable, but even 100% naturally compostable. Since our beginning, we have worked with over 500+ different learning organizations and have successfully delivered more than 27,000 products to our customers.

Check out how lovely this newly created classroom space is from Natural Pod.

newnaturalpod

Now over to the fun part of this feature – a contest!  Can you imagine winning a Bamboletta Little Buddy and Natural Pod Wooden Rocker? You could pretty much call Christmas shopping a wrap if you are the lucky winner! My thanks to Bamboletta and Natural Pod who are waiting to ship the lucky contest winner these two items. The contest runs from November 13, 2013 – November 20, 2013 – closing at midnight. This contest is open to North America. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share
sig

19

Plastic Alternatives For Girly Fun Christmas Morning

My Christmas shopping woes have ended for my girls, as I’ve struggled this year with finding safe and fun (!!) gifts for under the tree Christmas morning. They love dolls so much, but we already have a few plastic ones that I’ve been looking to replace because I don’t want them snuggling with PVC. Well…bring on the Christmas cheer because I’ve not only found handcrafted cloth dolls that are beyond adorable (and affordable), but also felt food that ‘had me at hello’ when I saw the apple slices.  Think I’m exaggerating? Read on and check out the doll pictures and food pictures – I’ve never seen anything like either online or locally…

If you are also looking for cloth alternatives to plastic with dolls before Christmas, keep a close eye on Secelie’s shop this week. She’s posting 14 new dolls next week and like all other custom doll makers, is not accepting custom orders until the New Year.  With the price point and next to nothing shipping cost, her site is amazing!  It’s called Heart Felts and each little cutie is hand-made. My twins are always ‘coded’ by color because one loves blue and the other loves pink.  It works for us so when I saw some of the funky hair selections form Secelie, I knew I found the right place. Here is a picture of what will be under the tree Christmas morning for my girls. Thanks Secelie!

cloth dolls

I’ve also been on a quest to purchase enough felt food that my girls can pretend grocery shop, play kitchen, play restaurant, without breaking my bank account. I want to replace all the plastic food they’ve inherited from my sons. Well as I mentioned above, once I saw the apple slices from MudPie Kids – my quest was over. Especially when you see her well-priced listing called ‘Everything but the kitchen sink’ …what a deal!  The detail is more realistic than you’ll ever find with wooden or plastic pretend food.  Look at the fruit selection!

fruit assort

So cute!  And the bananas actually peel! I purchased everything on this plate, plus

2 pancakes w/ syrup
4 apple slices
2 strawberries
4 carrots

And wait until you see the hot-dog buns with ketchup and mustard.  I just love it!

il_430xN.76491569

2 hotdog w/ bun ketchup, and mustard 
2 fried eggs
2 drumsticks
1 watermelon
4 orange slices
2 bananas

A very reasonable listing and items that are guaranteed to get lots of use.  I also feel great about supporting two ladies that are making incredible, safe, and quality items from the US.  I love dolls and felt food from Europe but there’s something to be said about trying to shop as locally as possible this year.  Thanks for making this year so easy with your creativity!

pancakes

Okay I’m going to stop now, but check out this popcorn!  And when you check out her site, look at the whole chicken dinner, cherry pie, eggs, and sushi!

popcorn

Share
sig

2

PVC & Christmas Toys

Sometimes I struggle remembering the old days of running through Toys R Us blindly picking out all of the plastic toys that my kids would love (if only for 2 minutes before they broke) that light up, shoot things, and were made with cheap plastic. I remember the kind of ignorance I once had and it was a very peaceful ignorance.  I had no idea what PVC plastic, phthalates, plasticizers were and I wasn’t haunted while shopping for my kids. I used to have the bulk of my Christmas shopping finished in August every year, getting great deals because my shopping list was dictated by sales, rather than any sort of eco conscience.

Well, two years later, things have really changed around here with shopping, planning, and budgeting for Christmas. Rather than rushing out to buy toys when they go on sale, I Google toys first to find out where they are manufactured and what materials they are made from. It actually makes impulse buying impossible. I was very excited to start shopping for my girls this year since they are so creative and imaginative at 3 years old. They also have a deep love for Ariel the mermaid, a Disney character, so having an Ariel doll, Prince Eric doll, and the rest of the characters under the tree for my girls was pretty high on their list. Only deep down I know that all of the ‘Disney Princess’ and ‘ Barbie’ type dolls and their accessories are plastic and made with PVC.  I could totally make an exception if they were just made from plastic and not PVC, but I truly don’t believe Mattel or Disney statements about what they use to make their plastic dolls. I also put this question out to The Safe Mama and The Safe Landing and they confirmed my fears.  So for weeks now I’ve been trying to rationalize my fear of having my daughters cuddle brand new PVC dolls and thinking that Santa is the best thing ever or trying to find a Waldorf type looking doll that is made from cloth and filled with safe stuffing and removing the commercialism from Christmas. It may sound silly, but these types of decisions haunt me. I think all parents just love finding that perfect toy that their children will shriek with pure joy when they unwrap Christmas morning.

I am trying to stick to a big goal this Christmas with plastic toys ~ unless it’s been purchased 2nd hand or from a thrift store, it will not be going under the tree. Wish me luck.  Right now, my frustration with the Barbie/Disney type dolls is not their body shape being distorted, but the material in which the doll is made from is toxic. Frustrating still that the only mermaid toys I could find for tubby time for my girls were Barbie mermaids.  And please know, as I do now, that the bendy tail on her mermaid body is filled with phthalates to get it bendy, and the rest of her is created with PVC plastic – the most inexpensive and toxic plastic that exists. And the fact this toy is meant to go into water (a bathtub) with children and the plastic it’s made from has been called a carcinogen. So why am I struggling with this if I know purchasing these toys might lead to cancer causing materials to surround my children? I wish I could answer that.

Forget the fact that Barbie or the Disney dolls cannot be recycled or ever by properly disposed of.  I wait for the day a huge manufacturer of kids toys (like Mattel) to decide to use their billions of dollars and produce ‘plastic’ toys from the natural rubber tree like Plan Toys or the manufactures of Sophie ~ why can the smaller companies do it and the large ones can’t?  I’m really not big on the idea of boycotts or slamming a company via a blog, but all toy companies need to be held accountable for damage caused to human health and environmental health. Starting my mental check-list of Christmas shopping for my kids should not be this hard or require this much research, but in fact, toy companies cannot be trusted with my children’s health. They have proved one too many times that they don’t care enough.  And apparently with the billions of dollars they make, there are not enough parents asking them to change. I hope they experience huge losses in profit this Christmas and that the greener toys manufacturers and small shops that produce toys by hand are the people that truly profit this year. They are the people that are protecting my children with sourcing different ways to produce toys that don’t adversely affect a child’s health. Blech -shopping used to be so much easier and enjoyable.

Share
sig

6

Mommy Footprint News

After spending 5 months of writing daily articles, the Mommy Footprint pace will slow down over the next few weeks.  I need my ‘real’ life organized to gear up for the amazing month of Fall and Halloween activities.  I will be back full force to write about my favorite month (October) and the magic it brings to children.  But before I sign off, there are some topics I need to mention – read on and save money!

A quick mention that our latest contest has wrapped up for the 3-tier stainless steel container and the winner, Jackie, has been contacted.  Thank you for the entries and Healthy Kitchenware for donating the prize.

Over the next few weeks, I will be getting my Christmas shopping completed for my kids.  There are sales happening over the next month that I’ve been waiting all year for!  My boys and I also set a goal of marking all the storm drains with fish decals on our busy street–and it’s a long street!   Besides being on count down mode for the Laity Pumpkin Patch to open, I am excited to start begging a very talented photographer to come out of semi-retirement to photograph my family at the pumpkin patch.  I can’t imagine a better backdrop to capture the wonderful ages of my children.  Her name is Heidi and she is the talent behind my banner photo and any of the black and white photos posted on the Mommy Footprint site.  I can’t believe it’s been 1 year since the last photo session at the beach…it was a wonderful experience and she managed to capture expressions on the faces of my children I could only dream of…not to mention the candid shots.  I promise to post a few after I ‘convince’ her it’s a good idea.  She is talented beyond anything you’ve seen – you can check out her pictures from a beautiful blog she’s created called The Space Between.
Continue Reading →

Share
sig

0

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes