ohh yeah – it’s holiday time

Thanks to everyone who bought dolls Friday on Etsy – that was a little nutty! They’ve all been sent home – should be there by week’s end =)

I’m finally beginning  to  get into the holiday spirit. It usually comes to me right after I’ve sent off my last doll at the post office. It was snowing today, which helped and my Internet was down for most of the day – helping to focus in on the kids and the gorgeous weather. (Don’t worry Devon and Jenny – yours are happening this week!)

This year I’m having some small playstands made by Mike. You all know Mike, the partner of the lovely Constance – he makes the wonderful little sewing machines (love, love LOVE!).  It means so much to us that our toys  is coming from artisans.  I guess it’s because it’s what I do and I know how much goes into making the dolls and I know its the same for other toymakers who are doing what they love.  I’m excited, they are small arches – kind of like free standing picture frames. You  can throw some pieces cloth over them and turn them into a tunnel, a cave, a boat, a house – whatever really. Ben is   stage where he loves to build forts and caves – so I think these will be perfect for him. I went to the fabric store and bought 10 meters of broadcloth in various colours for him to use with the stands- I just serged the edges for no messy frayed bits.

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I had a midnight shopping spree last night over at Etsy. One of my favorite artisans is now on  – Jalu Toys.  This west coast husband and wife team (he makes the toys and she paints them!) have been around for a long time. I first bought a stacking rainbow from them 3 years ago at the Vancouver Waldorf School’s Christmas fair and we are still playing with it – almost daily actually. Their figures are gorgeous, finished in a waterbased non toxic paint and finished off with beeswax. Amazingly well made. I can’t tell you how happy I am that they are on Etsy and more people will be able to experience their toys. I bought Benjamin this Gnome family and a forest animal set (with a cave.. he’s really into caves lately).

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I also went over to ZooLoo Naturals for a set of Tree Branch blocks. I like these ones because they are smoothed out a bit.  These are similar to the ones at my sons school , which I know he plays with a lot.

Jasper is getting the Learning Tower this year. We totally couldn’t afford this, especially because it does seem like a splurg-y thing -but man alive, I know this is going to get used to pieces. I first saw it when Ben was about 3 – a little old for it but I knew that if I had another child I was going to get this. Ben spent hours at the sink playing with the water with me hovering around worried that he’d slip and fall. So, we took all the grandparents Christmas money and bought it last night.

I’ve got a new doll in the works this week – it’s a new style of baby doll. It’s a design idea that came up while talking about ‘perfect’ baby dolls with little V (Bamboletta model – she’s the little girl you almost always see in my pics) and little V’s mom– it’s coming straight from a 3 1/2 year old – it’s going to be good. I’ll keep you posted!

Also, I’m going to do a ‘Thank You – You are all Awesome Doll Giveaway’ in two weeks – more to follow! I’ll send out a newsletter about it.

Monica - December 14, 2008 - 9:59 pm

Christina~We are kindred spirits…I think our children are going to have similar Christmas mornings. We received our Jalu animals and rainbow arch last week and they are simply delightful. And I just wrapped up our natural blocks….I’m so excited for this Christmas morning.
I seriously want to come up to visit you for the day…our four could play for hours together I think. 😉

Jennifer - December 15, 2008 - 5:56 am

Oh, I’m a huge fan of Jalu toys as well! I made a play mat for the kids and my husband made a barn. We are filling the barnyard and forest with Jalu’s beautiful creations!!

Roseanne Perkins - December 15, 2008 - 6:44 am

I know you won’t regret the Learning Tower purchase. Our 6 year old still uses it to have some autonomy in the kitchen (she can push it around to get it where she wants it) and our 2 year old loves it too. We also got tired of hovering over the kids as they balanced on chairs! Whenever we have other kids here they all climb on it and pretend it is a castle tower or whatever strikes their fancy.
Happy Holidays!

pascaline Legros - December 15, 2008 - 9:09 am

what a fantastic selections of toys … here in France, I also prefer toys french made if possible and in wood most of the time… china made isn t entering my house as much as possible!
have a lovely xmas with your family… I am off to london to celebrate it so will have a though for you there!

take care
pascaline

Ashley - December 15, 2008 - 11:11 am

I think we are all just glad that you are around and creating amazing dolls for our children, do the thought that you want to thank all of us is humbling. We love Bamboletta!! =) That being said I’ll be excited to be one amongst hundreds to sign up for the drawing. Can’t wait to see the new style of baby!

I’m patiently waiting to give our daughter her Bamboletta for Christmas. She is safely wrapped and tucked away waiting for her spot under the tree. I bought the same blocks from ZooLooNaturals and LOVE them. I actually sat and “played” with them for some time before forcing myself to box them back up and wrap them for Christmas. They are super soft and such fun shapes and sizes. Definitely a creative block set.

erin - December 15, 2008 - 11:52 am

YOU are awesome! xx

Amber - December 15, 2008 - 3:11 pm

We got our doll yesterday – on a Sunday, I was shocked! I guess Canada Post pulls out all the stops for the holidays. It arrived just in time because we spontaneously decided to go to a Santa party and here was this beautiful doll already wrapped in cellophane. My 3 1/2 year old loved her even more than the Barbies the other kids got, which is very high praise for a girl her age. She won’t put her down. I just wanted to let you know how much our family appreciates the effort and detail you put in.

And also a big thank you for letting us know about other artisans. I have my eye on one of those sewing machines. I appreciate playthings that I can feel good about, knowing the ethic that I’m supporting with my purchase. :-)

Devin - December 15, 2008 - 3:23 pm

I hope you and Jasper love The Learning Tower! I work on the marketing for the parent company to The Learning Tower (Little Partners) and I came across your blog on a search. Thanks for the mention and have a great holiday!

Alicia - December 15, 2008 - 7:28 pm

Hi there! I’ve been haunting this site and dreaming of the day I can get my daughter one of your dolls. She’s 3 as well and loves babies. I’ll be interested if she and Little V have similiar ideas! I ordered two of Constance’s slings for my kids for x-mas and can’t wait until they open them! I just wanted to offer a word of caution regarding the learning tower, which we own. My daughter was very tiny and when she was able to crawl she actually tried crawling though one of the holes on the bottom of our learning tower, and she did! Her head went through and she got stuck on her belly, it wouldn’t fit through! Needless to say my husband was in shock that she could fit through. He was able to get her out eventually with some tugging and pushing….we put the tower in the basement until she was larger and walking. We still have it and love it, but it almost went on the curb….

admin - December 15, 2008 - 8:40 pm

thanks for the heads up Alicia – Jasper is a little monkey and if there is an area for him to fit into, he’ll find it! he’s about 17 months and pretty big so I think we are okay :) i’m glad that you like it!
you’re welcome devin – i’ll report back on how we like it when we’ve used it a bit
i’m so glad that your daughter likes her doll Amber – and it trumped barbie – who could ask for more? :)
thanks ashley for the kind words :)
no erin – you rock!
happy hoidays pascaline :)
Roseanne-Thanks for writing about your LT purchase – I have a hunch it’ll be one of those things that I’ll wonder what I did without.
What a special Christmas for your little ones with a barn made by daddy! My dad made me a playhouse when I was little – I remember playing with it for HOURS.. and a playmat! I’d love to see some pictures Jennifer.
Monica – you want to be my internet BFF?

Christine - December 16, 2008 - 3:39 am

Those blocks, love them! We’ve been to the open house of daughter’s new school a few times now (also Waldorf) and I saw them there and loved them so. It feels so nice in your hands. The gnomes are also very cute!
Can’t wait to see what you’ve made next, besides all the hard work you already do you even have time for a new design. Superwoman you!
I have no clue what a learning tower is, I have to check your link.
Enjoy the snow! I wish we had some here.

Christine

Holly Clark - December 16, 2008 - 6:16 pm

You’ll love the learning tower. Not a day goes by that my daughter doesn’t do acrobatics on it. I LOVE your dolls and have a wonderful holiday.

admin - December 16, 2008 - 9:29 pm

Hello Christine! Have a great holiday time :)
Thanks Holly – I know I’m going to love it. Just today Jasper almost fell off the chair – again!

Allison - December 31, 2008 - 5:35 am

Christina, the Learning Tower is THE best kids’ furniture purchase I’ve ever made (I didn’t buy a lot since we were co-sleepers in a tiny apartment, but I’d rank it even above the Arm’s Reach bassinet thingy). I also talked my mother-in-law into getting Miriam some of the cooking tools from the Montessori catalog For Small Hands, and now she is an old hand at cooking. Makes up her own recipes! Also handy for art projects, doing dishes, washing hands, and generally being entertained while mama is busy doing other things in the kitchen. She’s almost 4 now and is nowhere near outgrowing it.

I clumsily sewed some clothes for our dollies for a Hanukkah present for Miriam; they’re definitely not as nice as the ones they came with BUT it was nice to have a chance to make something myself! Happy new year to you and your family!!

Dayna - January 1, 2009 - 7:22 am

:) I just love that you put the links in when you find new toys, fabric, etc! I get to discover them too. heehee.

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