🐸My Etsy Sh🌎p🐸

Monday, February 26, 2018

Jane and Bravery Magazine

I found out about the Bravery Magazine after its successful kickstarter, but I was able to order their first magazine all about Jane Goodall.  The illustrations in this magazine really are works of art.  I loved it so much that I was inspired to create a Jane peg doll and invitation to play.

Big concepts like conservation can be explained through play.  The life work of Jane has helped us understand so much about primates and nature.

In this magazine, there are simple craft ideas, history made simple, and so much more.  I cannot wait until the second one.

Have a fun and playful day!

Little Leaders

Have you seen this book?

Little Leaders Bold Women in Black History

If you haven't, you should. It's a stunning book.  The illustrations are beautiful.  Thee biographies are simple and full of information.

I was inspired to make a few peg dolls based on the book.  Every bookshelf needs to have this book on it.  G is 7 and has read it for school. Roo is 4 and has asked for it to be read to her many times.

Have a fun and playful day!

Countdown to London

 When I married my husband, I gained his amazing and supportive and funny and zany family.  I am so blessed to have found Brian, who fully supports and encourages my little shop of imagination, but also to have his whole family supporting me in their own ways.  One of my brother in laws is good with finance, one with computers.

But it is my mother in law who is perhaps the biggest blessing of all.  She was, like me, a working mom (a librarian for many years in a private Christian school).  She talked me through ways of navigating mommy guilt, home-work balance, and more.

When my father in law was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer three years ago, it was a shock.  It was a time stops kind of thing.  We all banded together and pulled from our talents to help each other.  When he died a short 16 weeks after diagnosis, we knew that my mother in law could not stay on their 8 acre country homestead.

As we were packing up, purging, sorting, we came across items she had saved from her travels abroad with her school.  I am not sure which one of us said it, but we said we should go.  We laughed.  I said sure! if I sell 230 play mats we can go.  Random number.  Just said in the moment.

Well,,,fast forward one year later.  I did sell 230 play mats.  In fact, I sold a whole lot more.  So I said, maybe we should think about it.  My mother in law agreed.  So we started marking plans.
Fast forward a year and a half...and we are a little over 3 weeks from heading to London.  We will see London and Oxford and Avon and...well, it will be an adventure for sure.  We are over the moon excited about our trip.  My husband doesn't fly.  I have begged and pleaded to no avail.  He says, go and have fun!

I am also taking a felting class in Dorking when I go.  I am, perhaps, most excited about that.  I cannot wait to learn this new technique and implement it into my creations.  I will share some pictures from our travels.

Have a fun and playful day!

Monday, January 15, 2018


They say a new year, new start.  I am looking forward to many things in 2018 - like my upcoming trip to Europe - but, also, there are many things that I am NOT looking forward to at all. This year holds a lot of uncertainty for me - new creations in my shop, new job possibly, new beginnings.
 Any time there is a bigger issue, problem, or unknown, I tend to focus on the small stuff.  The details.  The things that make things special.  They say the devil is in the details, but I say God is in the details. He makes the good.
This year, I must decided if I am going to 'make a go' of my shop full time. I am right on the cusp of my little shop of imagination being able to support us financially.  It's a lot of work, but I love creating these play mats, peg dolls, trees, and wooden toys to spark imaginations.

The photos here in this post are creations that I had in my noddle for a while and finally brought them to fruition.  The Happy Camper Play Mat sold and is going to France this week.

I am over the moon happy with the people I have met through my shop and sending my toys all over the world.

Here's go a great 2018! I will take the bad with the good and trust that God has a plan.

Speaking of plans, I will be sharing plans for Space themed play.

Have a fun and playful day!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Faux Snow Playdough or "PlaySnow"

 We cannot get outside to play as it is -3 here in Ohio, so...we are making faux snow playdough or "playsnow".  It's super easy and fun (and kinda messy!)
Faux Snow Playdough:
3 cups baking soda
1 cup white hair conditioner
 I set up a snowy scene with sparkling water (add scrapbook paper), mountains, pine trees, penguin peg dolls, other cold weather animals, rocks etc.
 The story was...it's cold outside. Let's make a cave. Polar bears like caves.  They sleep in caves. Oh, wait, the penguins are cold too.  Maybe they want to come into the cave,
 The imagination takes over in this sensory play activity.
 We made animal tracks in the faux snow, which lead to...what else can make tracks?
 The more the merrier as the saying goes.  Animals from all over came to our winter wonderland.
The play possibilities are endless.

Have a fun and playful day!

DIY Polar Game - Option Two

 Another DIY game to make with your kiddos is a Snowflake themed roll the dice game.  I simply placed the snowflake stickers on in a zigzag path on a piece of 12x12 scrapbook paper.  The kiddos might like helping with this part.
I used my Penguin Peg Dolls as game pieces, but you can use any toys that you have.  Safari Ltd. makes Toobs of animals that are perfect sized for this kind of thing.

Each player takes turns rolling the die and moving that many spaces until someone wins.  You can make these games cheaply and with any theme.  The kids can even make up different rules to go along with their game. The play possibilities are endless.

Have a fun and playful day!

DIY Polar Game - Option One

 It's all fun and games until it's too cold to go outside.  That's what we are experiencing here in Ohio right now.  The thermometer is reading 14 with a windchill of -3. Ouch!  Time to make some new games to keep the kiddos busy.
 Here, I used a piece of 12x12 scrapbook paper, a Sharpie, and some snowflake stickers.  I divided the game board (aka scrapbook paper) in half with the Sharpie marker.  Then, I added one sheet of snowflake stickers to each side of the game board.  Now, you are ready to play.
 This game is for two players.  I have a die and some acrylic "ice" (aquarium rocks) for markers.  You can use cereal, pennies, M&Ms, etc. as markers.
 Each player takes turns rolling the die.  Here, I rolled a 5, so I cover up 5 snowflakes with my "ice".  The first person to cover all their snowflakes wins.
You can make this game with any theme and the kiddos can help make the game.  It's a quick game and can be played again and again.  It teaches counting - the 5 dots on the die means that I cover up 5 snowflakes.  It also teaches patience as they wait for their next turn.

A dear friend of mine and former preschool teacher Miss Cheryl used to say "Oh, Paige is the first winner and let's let Kendel roll again and he is the second winner."  It wasn't a winner/loser situation and feelings didn't get hurt that way.  She is kind of a genius, right?

Have a fun and playful day!