Thursday, August 11, 2011

'Tis the gift to be simple..

Like so many of you, simplifying and minimizing is always on my mind, especially when it comes to our home and our children.
As of late, I've been downsizing even more and attempting to keep only one focal point on each of our toy shelves.

I was very excited to find this awesome arch of tree bark to create a woodland scene on one of our shelves.
If we can use something as commonplace as a piece of bark...or rocks...or seashells... to create a tiny world for children, I think we have taught them a valuable lesson.
We have inspired them to search for beauty and wonder out in the big, big world around them...
It is so attainable and it can be anything we see....

Playstands are a simple plaything; however expensive to purchase and to ship...
I mentioned a few times in the past how well chairs and pieces of cloth can work just as well!
We were lucky enough to receive a set of handmade playstands from my younger brother for W's birthday,
and they are now all the rage during playschool...

Do you know someone who is a talented woodworker?
All they need is the dimensions of the playstands to create a set for you...
I sent my brother the details from Little Colorado, and he created them in less than a week.
There are a few websites who sell detailed plans, but many a woodworker could figure it out on their own...
And they really are worth it.

You surely don't need expensive large silks to accompany a playstand, either.
A beautiful piece of gauze, cotton, or muslin works well, too.
Sure, a bed comforter will work, as well:)

If you're on the simplifying journey, I wish you many blessings and best of luck:)
And, if you haven't already, please, for goodness sake, check out the book
by the marvelous Kim John Payne.
To say it is a worthy read would be a real understatement!!

Dyeing cotton and silk for our playstands...
don't worry, no heat was used:)


  1. I'm glad to see that the kids are enjoying the playstands as well. ;)

  2. Oh how I wish we were neighbours! (you'd have to get used to my funny way of speaking and spelling though! tee hee! ;o)
    I have always admired the playstands as well and have everything to make them but lack of space has been what has kept me from doing so! So we use the dining room chairs, or the couch or the bunkbed or whatever else we can clip to! (do you have some of the Waldorf wood clips?! aren't they great?!)
    And the simplifying...LOVE Kim's book, SO want to take his course, agh you've got me on a roll now, I better close this comment!
    Such a wonderful gift from a special person, I'm so happy for all of you!

  3. Love the playstands and absolutely love simplicity parenting. I reccomend it to everyone I know.

  4. These play stands are very nice. I happen to know a hobby-carpenter who I'm sure could make us one of these soon as he finishes the rocking moose I recently requested. I am always trying to simplify. Sometimes it seems an unending battle. Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. love the use of bark in those first pics - perfect!

  6. I noticed the bark cave in an earlier post, what a great idea! Iv'e just finished saving money to get wood and make playstands, your inspirational photos couldn't have come at a more perfect time:) Have a great weekend

  7. How wonderful! What a fantastic gift! I love the idea of making little scenes like that on've got me thinking now!

  8. I love that the children are having such a wonderful time. Happy smiles cheer my heart

  9. Wow, thanks for the inspiration once again! We are endlessly in simplifying mode as well :)

  10. Such a great blog. Thanks for the inspiration. Book ordered! Play stand dimensions have been sent to my magical woodworking dad. My son's only 3 months old, so I have a little time. Thanks again! I look forward to reading your future blogs.

  11. Hooray! I noticed that you had gotten the play stands that you had been wanting in another post. has a 'stove and sink' for play stands. They are adorable. I'm sure you could easily make something similar. Take care.

  12. That is a very special piece of bark! Playstands are wonderful, for sure. We are super-glad we got some.

  13. Love the last picture, along with the rest! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Your brother made your table and chairs too, didn't he?! So talented. Camille has been asking for a rainbow playstand. A least everytime she looks at Magic Cabin she gawks over them. I think once things start to settle down for my guy, I'll see if he can make them a set. I do so love them. We love dying our own silks too. THere is nothing more satisfying than to see little ones playing with something you made. And speaking of, I was just so happy to see a couple erin made animals with your other wooden lovelies. :-)


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