Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spring Giveaway!

Mmmmm...
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!

86 comments:

  1. I love the tractor and pull wagon! That is too cute!!

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  2. My W's favorite item is the wooden farm tractor a (mostly because he has decided he loves tractors now)but my personal favorite is the large wooden barn!

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  3. Also I am of course a follower of your blog!!

    Thanks for doing such a wonderful giveaway!

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  4. ooh, I'm already a huge fan of Finns & Flowers! I've been eying the large wooden barn for my boys. I agree with you too, I would love to LIVE in that dollhouse. Such beautiful work! I'm a follower and please count me in!

    Becca

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  5. I love the large barn - because we own it and my boys *love* playing with it. I'm so very pleased to see Finns and Flowers on so many blogs lately! (:

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  6. The large wooden barn is amazing!! My daughter would play for hours and hours!

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  7. And I'm a follower of your lovely blog!

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  8. Oh the doll house is so very sweet!

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  9. what a great idea to swap advertising for shop credit.I love finns and flowers, my favourite beautiful handmade of theirs is the felted veggie mobile, gorgeous:) Im also a folower of your blog

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  10. Oh I love that large barn!!!
    Thank you for your generous giveaway!
    ~ joey ~

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  11. .....and I have been following your blog for a couple of months now and love all of it!
    I SO wanted to step into the photos of the Waldorf classroom that you are at right now, it's so peaceful! Your home is warm and welcoming too!
    Thank you so much for sharing!
    ~ joey ~

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  12. I can't go to sleep until I read your blog :)

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  13. oooh, the barn the barn!! my little one knows we can only have a cat if it's a barn cat - but we have to build a barn 1st!

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  14. and yes, I follow your blog! Than you for sharing your journey. {heart}

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  15. oh, and my favorite is the barn. I can just imagine your little felted animals there!

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  16. Hi, I just found your beautiful blog! You live a blessed life. Thank you for this wonderful giveaway - I just love that wooden dollhouse. Blessings, Nicole

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  17. Wow! What beautiful toys! I am torn between the tree teether and the felted veggie mobile. My soon was named after a tree and is teething so I guess the tree teether wins, but the veggies are too cute!

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  18. I am also a follower of your beautiful blog its hard to find Waldorf info for babies and on a budget, so your blog is of great interest to me. My 15 year old daughter attended the local Waldorf school but due to some economic changes in our lives we are not sure we will be able to send my son. If we cannot make it work we will homeschool Waldorf inspired of course but we have a few years to figure it out.

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  19. The wooden barn is so coll, cheers Marie

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  20. Love to read your blog. Beautifull items and reading. I keep following as I have done for some time now. Please count me in.

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  21. We have been following you since you first came on here. Not sure how we stumbled upon you, but we are sure glad we did. We hang on your every word of wisdom! My little Boy is just a couple of months younger then W, so its lovely to see all the amazing things he is up to too. Thanks for the wonderful opportunity! You are gorgeous!
    Love, Kia and Soul. xo

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  22. p.s. we do very much love trucks in this house! And the ones on Finns and Flowers are definately gorgeous!

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  23. What beautiful toys they make! I think the large wooden barn is my favorite. :)

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  24. Its hard to decide, but I think I like the barns the best. Thanks!

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  25. I have been enjoying your blog for a number of months now. It is very inspirational! I would love to win the beautiful truck for our boys. Thanks for the opportunity!

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  26. oh what a beautiful giveaway! have had my eye on their pieces, esp. their barn for awhile :)

    thanks for the chance!

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  27. Such a great giveaway. I'm smitten with that large barn.

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  28. I follow your sweet blog Rebecca, adore your posts! :-)

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  29. I love the large wooden barn. : ) ANd I'd like to live in THAT, please.

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  30. And I'm a friend (and follower), too. I hope W picks me!

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  31. I have always loved the large wooden barn at Finns & Flowers. So glad to have found this giveaway!

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  32. I am a follower of your blog.

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  33. I am a follower of your blog, and I love the little wooden dollhouse, I know my 14 month old would adore it!

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  34. I love the wooden pocket racer set. I have a 3 year old and 9 year old and it's nice to have something in your purse for those times when your out and about.

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  35. I also follow your blog. You have been very inspirational to my family in our switch to a more natural lifestyle. My youngest was diagnosed with cancer at six months so I new the more natural the better for him. He is 3 1/2 and we just got the call 3 weeks ago he is done with follow ups he is cured! I truly believe natural living played a part in his recovery. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  36. I like the large wooden barn.

    lovelydomesticdiva (at) gmail (dot) com

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  37. I follow on gfc

    lovelydomesticdiva (at) gmail (dot) com

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  38. Such a wonderful family business. I also know my children would love the barn.

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  39. So many lovely things, and it's especially nice that it supports craftspeople. I love the Felted Wands and Natural Wooden Circle Stacker.

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  40. oooh, I love the small doll house as well! <3

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  41. Thanks for the comment on my blog, and for sharing this lovely shop- I've not seen it before and the items are just beautiful! It is hard to choose between the small doll house and the wooden tumbler rattle!

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  42. Love the little cars. I follow your blog and greatly enjoy it :)

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  43. HI, what a beautiful shop...I think I have decided on the barns as my fav....those teethers are so sweet too. All round a great shop, thanks for sharing. I visit your blog on occasion, I think it is lovely and have found much inspiration from it. You are on a magical journey.

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  44. Hi, I have been a fan of Finn and Flowers for a while. I love there large wooden barn and hope to get it for our preschool soon :)

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  45. I am also a follower of your blog and have been blessed with so many of your posts, thank you so much.

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  46. I love the felted magic wand. It's always amazing to watch the natural play that happens with something like a wand. My little ladies go crazy for wands. Personally, I love the mini dollhouse. Happy Spring.

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  47. The shop is filled with so many beautiful things but my favorite is the tractor with the cart behind it. Very Farmer Boy which both of my beautiful children love.

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  48. I love their shop! The wooden barn is sooo cute!
    Thanks!

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  49. I have purchased from this seller before...their ring stacker (which I bought) is SO GORGEOUS. I also love the multicolored blocks, but everything is beautiful.

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  50. Also I follow your blog in my Google Reader feed. As a new mom of a 2.5 month old,, it's been wonderful. :)

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  51. Lovin the farm tractor at Finn and Flowers- but really everything there looks pretty fun! Thanks for a chance to win@

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  52. I am also a faithful follower

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  53. The large wooden barn caught my eyes! My two babies would love it!!
    Caitlin
    caitlynoel1@hotmail.com

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  54. Im a faithful follower since the day I came across your beautiful, inspiring blog!
    Caitlin
    caitlynoel1@hotmail.com

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  55. I love that harp in the last picture. Is that one of theirs? Oh the toy truck is cute too. I'm a follower - I just love your blog. So much wonderful information. Thanks for this giveaway and well done for bartering with your advertisers. That's a great way of doing business.

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  56. Oh the little barn is just darling. I also loved those little pocket cars. i can so imagine my Finn playing with them.

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  57. Lovely give-away! I love the little harp in the photo above, but it isn't in their shop. In their shop, I love the tractor and wagon.
    Nicola

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  58. Oh, and I am a follower. I love how your blog is adjusted so the photos are easier to see now. Looks good!
    Nicola

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  59. beautiful blog!! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    I love the Natural wooden Ring stacker. It looks so beautiful. And the small doll house is lovely, too. I am a real doll house lover


    Love,
    Maike

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  60. I love the small barn. So cute!

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  61. I love the large wooden barn! Thank you for introducing me to Finns and Flowers. What beautiful and quaint toys!

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  62. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway! I am a follower.

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  63. I love you, Friend. :) I adore this shop (as we have discussed!). I especially love the teethers.

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  64. I happily follow your blog. And I feel the same way about my "followers". But I must say, I well understand why folks are following YOU!

    YAY for you & Finns and Flowers!

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  65. Wait. Am I allowed to have 2 favourites? Cuz I do. LOVE the wooden barn and wooden tractor with wagon. Fabulous!

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  66. Your blog is so inspiring, it is beautiful to read, and full of great ideas!
    I had my boys take a look at the lovely toys, and being 14 and 12, they both had very strong ideas about what they like. Both of my boys very much like the blocks (they would be great to build pyramids with of course:). And I have to agree with them. The other toys are so nice, especially the doll house and tractor. But, there is something so simple and lovely about the blocks...they are great for infants and for teenagers too:) I like the blocks the best.

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  67. I really like the natural wooden ring stacker for my soon to be born baby. But really, they are all very lovely and look so well made.

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  68. I'm going to have to agree with you, the doll houses are my favorite too! The cube blocks are a close second. Thanks for the chance to win and you have a beautiful blog!

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  69. What a great giveaway! I too love the dollhouse, but I think my littles would love the pocket racers!

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  70. Love this shop! My favorite item is the large wooden barn.

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  71. oh the barn is beautiful, as are the teething rings. thanks for the chance to win

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  72. I love the barn, but I think the tractor is my favorite!

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  73. I love the veggie mobile, but my favorite is the tractor!

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I love to hear from you! I read and appreciate all feedback.. Thanks for stopping by!