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Archive for December, 2008

And the winner is……..

The draw to find the winner of our little blog competition was extremely technical I can report. 

I was going to let the youngest member of our family choose it, but I figured he would pull them all out and eat them before I had a chance to rescue one.

Instead, it consisted of printing names on paper and putting them into a giant pelican toy gadget, shaking them all about (no doing the hockey pockey) and drawing one out.  And so the winning name drawn out of that big pelican was……………… drum roll please……………….

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Congratulations Cora’s Mum, an email is on it’s way to you for your details!

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Save Handmde!

 Save Handmade Toys

 If you are a fan of handmade goodies, then you may have been following with interest the current situation occuring in the USA.  I myself try  to shun mass manufactured plastic crap.  I am just so over large, noisy plastic licenced pieces of rubbish for my kids and this bill takes away a consumers choices to avoid this in the USA.

Whilst this issue is not affecting us in Australia, I guess there is every chance that one day we too could be faced with  similar, and those handmade businesses here who do sell to the USA will be affected.

So what is the issue exactly?  Overview taken from Cool Mom Picks:

We’re all for strengthening the safety standards of mass-produced toys, clothes, and accessories made in China, and banning toxins like phthalates and lead. But this year, congress passed the ill-conceived Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act, a law which goes into effect in two months and will absolutely decimate the small toy manufacturers, independent artisans, and crafters who have already earned the public trust. The very same ones that we often feature here and in our yearly special edition gift guides.

With this act going into effect February 10 2009 so many people we love will be affected: Moms who sew beautiful handmade waldorf dolls out of home, artists who have spent decades hand-carving trucks and cars out of natural woods, that guy at the craft show who sold you the cute handmade puzzle–even larger US companies who employ local workers and have not once had any sort of safety issue will no longer be able to sell their goods. Not without investing tens of thousands of dollars into third-party testing and labeling, just to prove that toys that never had a single toxic chemical in them still don’t have a single toxic chemical in them.

This new bill is going to have a massive impact on all those people that create items for kids.   Places like the Kids section on  Etsy will no longer exist, there could even be the potential for Australia sellers on Etsy to no longer be able to do this.

If you are interested in this issue, you can visit Cool Mum Picks where there is plenty of information and lets hope this issue if it goes ahead does not have a large impact on all our fantastic artisians here in Australia.

For more information on making  and selling toys in Australia, you can visit the Australian Toy Association

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No I have not been drooling over the girls rooms on Pottery Barn again, this time I have been looking at Rate my Space for inspiration and ideas for decorating my children’s rooms.   Somehow I am way laid by the nursery section and the cuteness that abounds.

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I came across Happy Canvas, Hip Kid Art recently, I have not had a chance to have a good look yet as they are temporarily closed over the Christmas period, however what I saw on the front page was impressive, and I can’t wait to see the rest of their work.

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Holly Chic are one of the few places I have been able to find gorgeous handmade bedding for children that is not Whinnie the Poo and the likes.  They are a New Zealand brand and have a store on Etsy and their own site www.hollychick.nz.com.  In choices of gorgeous designer fabrics, you are bound to find something you like.

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Almond Tree Frames create this gorgeous keepsakes to celebrate your babies arrival.

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Cot Couture are another amazing place that makes exciting cot sets.  There is a gorgeous eclectic range of designer fabrics to choose from and matching accessories.

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Merry Christmas

Only one more sleep to go………….

  

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Merry Christmas to all the Handmade Kids readers and thank you for your support!

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Visiting the Etsy shop Hello Dollies propelled me straight back to my childhood and a love for Raggedy Anne Dolls.

This absolutely sweet cloth dolls are handcrafted by Dawn on the central coast of Australia and I am sure if you love this style of cloth doll then you will love these ones as well!

Whilst having a look at Hello Dollies, I also recommend you pop over to her 10yr old daughter Kates site, Kate Doodlez.  A young girls site that will definitely bring a smile to your face.

I really don’t know how long I am going to be able to resist not purchasing one of these, surely my boys would love one :).

 

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Many months ago I came across some examples of Japanese Felt Food and was quite amazed.  So amazed I decided I could make my own.  This resulted in buying some felt getting a pattern and attempting a sandwich.  My tomato slice wasn’t too bad, but my lettuce was deformed and I decided it was not quite so easy after all.

I really like felt food.  It is a fantastic alternative to plastic food toys for the kids, so much nicer to give them a lovely handmade set of felt food to encourage imaginative play than some plastic junk for the shop.

Sam McLean is one of those clever people out there who can make felt food, and she has some fantastic items in her Etsy shop, in fact checking them out did make me every hungry.

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Here is my five minutes with Sam:

What inspired you to start your business?
I have always sewn and created, mostly for myself and my girls, and I began with some ladies clothes in the shop. Then last Christmas I made some felt food toys for my nieces and they loved them. I made some for my Etsy shop and they have been so successful that the clothes got moved to a second Etsy shop, Retrology.
What was your first sale?
I sold a ladies Blue Willow pattern skirt last January (the fabric was from a tablecloth).
What is your biggest seller?
I have a few items that sell well. Coming up to Christmas the jar of felt strawberries has been very popular, along with the jar of berries with the pot of cream. The meal sets (taco, burrito, fish dinner etc) also sell well.
What item couldn’t you live without?
That has to be my little old faithful Janome sewing machine. I use it every day and it’s never let me down. This new year I will be treating it to a service!
What is on your christmas wish list this year?
Hmm, I seem to be well set up, but we just bought a 1960’s teak frame lounge suite on Ebay that needs re-covering. That will be a nice Christmas / birthday / New Years gift for me! I also revamped my studio this year, so I guess you could say that Santa came early to me. Just to have a relaxing Christmas day with our families and remembering what Christmas is really about is my wish.

SAM MCLEAN DESIGNS

 

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I think as time is going on more and more people are starting to shun mass produced items for their children and turn to handmade, and it is great to see so many stores and creators out there in Australia.

Aussie Kids Boutique is another  blog showcasing some of the great handmade things that are to be found in Australia.  It is run by Kathryn from All You Need,  so pop over and support some more handmade items and their creators and tell them Handmade Kids sent you 🙂

If you know of any other blogs showcasing handmade, creators etc, especially for kids in Australia , don’t forget to let us know.

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