Excuse me, I am being willingly intoxicated by the spring breeze blowing through my sheer curtains at this very moment...it smells of some very real promises of warmer weather, fresh green leaves on the trees, and the sun soaked heads of little of children. You know the smell!!
In honor of Spring and the upcoming merry month of May, the fantastic family of Finns and Flowers is hosting a giveaway here! If you've noticed, I've recently added some small buttons on the top left hand corner of the blog. These are independently owned Etsy stores that I am swapping "advertising" space for a small amount of shop credit per month. I have carefully selected these few shops for their quality craftmanship, beauty, and, of course, dedication to creating natural playthings.
Please enjoy a brief interview with TJ and Melody from the lovely Finns and Flowers!
....They just may inspire you to become a toy craftsman yourself!
*What inspired you to begin creating natural toys?
Well, we started with one inspiration, our daughter Lily. We wanted to provide her with all the finely crafted toys we saw in the catalogs, but just couldn't afford it, so Dad thought "I can make her some toys!" and he did. Now a few years later, we have three sources of inspiration and motivation - Lily and her two brothers, Finn & Sorrel.
We are also continuously motivated by our amazing customers and their children. Seeing a child come into our tent at a fair with their gleaming eyes barely staying in their heads and their smiles so broad we can't tell where their faces stop and their ears begin. It immediately spreads to everyone around. We also love getting feedback and emails from customers just letting us know how much they and their children love their toys. It all just reaffirms to us why we do what we do.
Beautiful! Do either of you have any formal training? (so often, I look at beautiful woodwork or toys, and I think, "that person is probably a professional with years of experience...")
We have always loved making things, but we don't have any training.
What is your advice to families who wish to begin crafting their own toys?
You can do much more with much less than you think possible. TJ crafted Lily's first toys (a large barn and a play kitchen) in the attic, on his hands and knees, with hand tools in the wee hours of the morning! Looking back at them now, they certainly aren't perfect, but that is the beauty of crafting toys of your own for your own. It is a labor of love and your children will see that and those toys will always be cherished.
Very inspirational indeed!!
Here's the giveaway details, friends...
TJ and Melody have graciously offered to gift either a teething rattle or push car/truck to the very lucky winner. You've got 2 chances to win! First, stop by Finns and Flowers and list your favorite item in the comment section of this post. It's a tough choice....my personal pick is the small wood dollhouse. Yes. I'd like to live in it, too. :)
If you're a friendly follower of Bending Birches (blush...), let me know in the comment section for a second chance to win. I am humbled that even one person reads this blog, and I so treasure the friendships, advice, and feedback I have received through writing and sharing. It's coming up on one year, and it's been just so lovely and worthwhile.
Little W will select a winner at random next Friday at noon, EST. Best of luck, and enjoy the sunshine!
*Whoops! It looks like many of you are confused about the photo below...this is a Springtime photo of W and his friend, Nell. I purchased the lyre (or lap harp) from Bella Luna toys, not Finns and Flowers!