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Honour the Child

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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Wednesday, 19 December 2007
This is a list of the facts.
From Rowan (age 27 months), as of the week before Christmas.
  • Santa's reindeer are hooked to the front of his sled. Santa pushes it.
  • Santa brings presents. Inside the presents are... presents (and presents inside those).
  • Santa works at the Post Office, or at least delivers presents there.
  • Santa likes to eat reindeer food, you have to tell him not to do so.
  • Santa's reindeer are lazy (see above) and horses work better. They eat hay.
  • Santa sleeps at the school (last sighting).
  • Santa is in the habit of delivering live animals (along with presents). So far a bear, a pony, a big horse and a cheetah top our list.
  • Santa will put said animals in mommy's office to live.
  • Santa picks his nose ('and laying his finger along side of his nose' looks suspicious to a two year old!)
  • Santa wears snow boots and always puts them on the right feet.
  • Santa comes down the chimney and puts on your socks.
I am sure more will be revealed as the big day approaches.
May you and yours have a blessed holiday, however you celebrate, and may Santa not stretch out your socks and may the animal he leaves in YOUR office be tame.
Saturday, 15 December 2007

Come visit our new website and Gname the Gnome for a chance to win a free tshirt featuring the happy, if careworn, little fellow! Just scroll down the main page (and feel free to take a peek around!) and click the gnome for details and to enter!
Contest ends January 13th. Everyone welcome to enter!
Thursday, 13 December 2007

Yahoo! BTRT is now a dot com!
We have launched our new home site (at this point it is an informational site which points to our various stocking locations and shops). New Gallery, full product information pages... lots of colour... come and see!
We also have a fun contest running, I'll let you find it for yourself until I can blog about it here.
If you see anything that could be improved (or heaven help us, a typo!), please let me know! You can tell me good stuff, too!
So here it is:
Thursday, 6 December 2007
Andy and I have been enjoying collaborating on new projects. About a week ago I followed a request for someone looking for a wooden police car and ended up with two custom orders!
Andy quickly turned out two classic Crown Victorias with light racks and I am in the process of customizing them to represent the cruisers of two dads so their sons can have a car like daddy's for Christmas.
It has been lots of fun (even learning that police in the Southern US have blue lights!) and considering the number of cops in our combined families, I can see some family gifts in the making,too.
Getting straight lines and tiny text on rounded wooden shapes is a real challenge but so far so good. I have added a slideshow of the pics so far.
The cars still need to be sealed and the wheels added.
Wednesday, 28 November 2007
Looking for stocking stuffers? How about a stuffed stocking? Our talented mamas at Take Off Your Shoes have joined forces to create a wonderful collaboration available by auction starting at 9 PM EST tonight (Wed.).
Everything is handmade, safe, natural and suitable for babies and toddlers!
Swing on by and take a peek at what Santa's elves have created!
Wednesday, 21 November 2007
...if you had wheels, that is!
Andy created this very cool Big Rig Roller~ it has been sold and needs to have its wheels put on! It also needs to be customized (we are adding the recipient's name to the trailer and cab doors to make it truly his truck).
I hand painted the vehicle in homage to the cabover truck from tv's BJ & the Bear.
This rig weighs in at over 1 kg and is about 13" long (tractor + trailer) and tough as nails. A great gift for a little boy (or girl! My sister and I both said we wanted to be truckers~ my truck would be named 'Pink Undies') which will last for another generation.
The inspiration for the wooden and painted toys is found in the wooden toys my daughter plays with, which were made for me by my grandfather over 30 years ago.
Wednesday, 14 November 2007
Rowan and I took a walk around the yard yesterday afternoon to bid all of our haunts a peaceful winter's rest. She wished her rowan tree a good sleep. Said good night to Peter Rabbit (yes, rabbits don't hibernate, but...)~ well, his hole, since we have never *seen* the rabbit, but Ro has decided that is where he lives. Walked to the lakeshore and waved at the few remaining ducks and then to our neighbour's beach, where she hugged the tiny trees (now wrapped in burlap)and told them 'see you in the sping!'.

She was quite concerned about the 'nakey' trees and felt strongly that we should put their leaves back on. I tried my best to explain that the leaves have died and will go into the ground, and new ones will come in the spring (we looked at some buds). She seemed to accept this answer until we walked past the towering fir in the churchyard next door when she started to struggle to say something (I thought she was remembering our games of 'Pop Goes the Weasel' around its base)~ sometimes her brain goes faster than her words can form these days~ and she finally blurted 'Look at that tree! Somebody put the leaves back on it!'. Which began another round of explanations about evergreens!

It is wonderful to have a child to lad us back to wonder and the beauty of the simple things like the round of the seasons and the amazing regenerative cycles of nature.
Tuesday, 13 November 2007
She is the new super hero for the average mom! Wherever there is clutter and sticky stuff, wherever there is fatigue and frustration, wherever there is a mom like me (and you), there she will be~ accepting the clutter as part of living with children, crying out "Embrace the clutter! Make it pretty!".
Pin Up Girl knows we barely have time to brush our teeth and that daily chores can become a drudge. So she is offering simple, affordable, pretty and fun solutions for spiffing up your clutter!
Based on the ancient technology of the clothespin, she has created bright and functional art for the everyday tasks.
Not sure what to do with your children's artwork?
Hang a couple frames, an artline and some clips and you have a cool wall, organized art and you feel great for under $20!
Love your laundry again, when you hang it with funky little Pin Up Girl clips!
Refresh your refrigerator with magnetized clips for bills, artwork and other detritus of daily living!
Pin Up girl is a pragmatist. So just make it pretty!
Available at Take Off Your Shoes for a short time, and always at Beneath the Rowan Tree
Sunday, 11 November 2007
After a few days away to visit my mom and sister, Rowan and I are home again and trying to get back into the swing of things! Updated customs etc. will be up soon!
Monday, 5 November 2007
In just over 5 months (opened shop on May 29th) I have hit the 100 sales mark at Etsy.
My first item sold? Dog Collar.
Most Popular item? Definitely the Rainbow Set of 6 Silkies.
100th Sale? Rainbow Set of 6 Silkies.
Saturday, 3 November 2007
This is a sneak peek at a couple of new items stocking at Beneath the Rowan Tree on the Take Off Your Shoes congo on Friday, November 9th at 1 pm.
The first is a plane hand made by Andy (who shall hereby be known as 'Handy Andy').
The second is the first part of a new line of items for helping families with clutter clean up and, well, just a bit of fun!
More details to follow, but for now, I have to go and get supper on the table!
Friday, 2 November 2007

Twenty Five silkies later.... my hands are a wreck (eczema due to all the time in dye and chemicals, gloves or no gloves!)but the silk sure looked lovely in the late autumn sunshine!
Wednesday, 31 October 2007
It had to be said.
Rowan was a wonderful lion this evening~ she laid in her wagon and drowsed, bestirring herself to get out and see the neighbours and then flopping down again. Kind of like when you go to the zoo and the lions never move!
But before that she was a very feisty little lion, galloping (?!) and trying to decide if she was a lion or a monkey that looked like a lion (it looked more like a lion swallowed a monkey...). She enjoyed the Halloween traditions and we got around her food allergies by taking a bag of treats (wool play food and ghost shaped crayons) for the neighbours to give her~ it was odd to have them take a treat from our bag to give back to Rowan!
But she has a nice collection of wool play food (all from Tiffany at Fair Trade Family)~ including a carrot, a couple ice cream cones and a very cute mug of hot cocoa with whip cream on top as well as a small assortment of safe treats like jelly beans to enjoy.
We also took some bookmarks (made by Becky at Becky's Paper Creations) with us to share with our closer neighbours ~ last year we made little pumpkin cards~ to help instill a sense of gratitude and sharing (so Halloween isn't just a big grab and run!) when we are given something. Giving her favourite grown ups something special was fun for Rowan and it was actually the action that overcame her shyness at their doors~ she stepped forward and gave them all their bookmarks (and told them what they were for), even though she wouldn't say 'Trick or Treat'.
Monday, 29 October 2007

Crayons go with childhood like footie jammies and swings! I was working on making some yesterday and Andy came into the kitchen~ "mmm! The smell of crayons!" ~ and you can smell them, too, can't you?
At BTRT we are producing some high quality, fun and usefull little crayons for toddlers and preschoolers. Like lots of our toys, we want them to be durable, portable and safe. All our crayons come in little pouches which work great for keeping them in the diaper bag, a purse or any other place (no crayon marks all over, no dinged up crayons!) and all the crayons are thick, colorful and strong enough for toddler handling.
The rounded ones in particular make great first crayons as they fit in the palm of a toddler's hand for ease of laying down color (while their pincer grip is still developing for holding traditional crayons which gets frustrating and the crayons break!). the other fun shapes are best for 2+ (Rowan loves the turtles and they doubled as alligator food during a long wait at the doctor's today LOL).
Saturday, 27 October 2007
OK, not myself, but my shop to see if the domain is in use, I am pretty much it for the phrase BTRT othert han the oringinal source poem and some other poetry (all quite interesting, in fact!) and lyrics. And I found a very sweet promo on the Etsy TransCanada Team Blog. Cool! :)
Friday, 26 October 2007

I am not very good with keeping our parents up to date with pictures and such. Heck, I am a year behind on getting pictures printed from the digital files!
My mother recently moved close to us and more recently moved much further away (nothing to do with us, honest!) and we are about 400 km away from the closest relatives at this time. We had big plans for sending pictures monthly (see above confession) and I have gotten lax at e-mailing them, too.
So I have resolved to send something to my family once a week (by e-mail) and need to find a way to connect better with Andy's folks (who are in the nursing home), since I don't seem to get pics out (see above confession, again) and they get really baffled by DVDs. Suggestions welcome!
This is the picture my mom got this morning :).
On a side note, when on EARTH did my baby become such a big girl?!?
Oh, and this is for grandma, too! I am a little embarrassed about my singing but Grandma loves to see Rowan do the 'dead bunny song' (so Grandma calls it).

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

My first collaboration in a series: Teeny Treasures for Tiny Hands is up! These sets are geared for toddlers and preschoolers and are chock full of natural, simple toys for quiet times and travel. Everything fits in the hand dyed silk pouch for ease of carrying. A perfect Christmas gift or stocking stuffer!
This first one features a gorgeous wee fairy by the Hillcountry Dollmaker
as well as a fairy scribbler by Becky's Paper Creations, Magic Bath Crayons from Natural Madison and a set of flower crayons and Fairy Silkies from us at BTRT, plus a $5 Gift Certificate for a future purchase at Beneath the Rowan tree.
Other planned collaborations include:
Under the Sea (felted whale, 4 Square Roots sea images, pouch and Fairy Silkies, whale and dolphin giant crayons, Bath crayons, gift certificate...)
Fast & Slow (Mini Roller car, turtle crayons, airplane scribbler, pouch and Fairy Silkies, bath crayons, gift certificate...)
Giddy Up! (Wool horse, matching crayons and scribbler, pouch and silkies, bath crayon, gift certificate...)
Into the Woods (Mini bean bag set ~ gnomes, pouch and silkies, scribbler, giant owl crayons, bath crayon, gift certificate...)
As well as something built around some fabulous hair clips for girls by Jodi at Happy House Quilts.
Here are some pics of the finished set. Whew! That is a lot of tiny detail work, but it was fun to do and I am satisfied with the end result. This set is set to go on sale at Take Off Your Shoes tonight at 9 pm.
Sunday, 21 October 2007
The post about the rowan and jacaranda tree made me realize that my last pictures with Rowan and our rowan tree were over a year ago, so we grabbed a couple pictures late this afternoon!

It was a gorgeous day here and we grabbed the to opportunity to enjoy the sunshine and clean up the yard before the snow flies!
I am working on a very special set of Square Roots(tm) for the holidays.
Generally Square Roots come in sets of pairs, but in this case, there are 12 unique designs in the set~ I am producing a limited edition Nativity Story Tiles set.
When working on Bible literacy with children, play and repetition and action are so important ~ so that they feel and touch and experience the story.
This set of tiles will allow children to tell the Christmas Story~ whether along with a child's version from the scriptures, or from their own imaginations and memories.
Each tile pertains to part of the scriptural account (so they are useful with children who can read and follow the story by organizing the tiles) and appeals to little hands, eyes and even ears with their satisfying 'clink'.
A wonderful resource for the home (when little ones can't play hands on with the Nativity figurines) or the Sunday School classroom. Stocking soon at Beneath the Rowan Tree on the Take Off Your Shoes congo.
This is a picture of a few of the tiles, more to follow soon!
Saturday, 20 October 2007
How cool is this? I recently sent a shirt to a mama in Australia for her little guy (an Etsy purchase). We struck up a light hearted conversation around the difference in our trees between Canada and Australia (she has promised me pictures of a jacaranda tree in bloom!) and she offered to capture some distinctly Australian images for me!
I sent her one of Rowan and the rowan berries:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
And in return she sent me these from a recent trip to Sydney!
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Friday, 19 October 2007
Yay! Come and visit.
I am hoping to have our 'Teeny Treasures for Tiny Hands' collaborations up and running mid week, but the mail has been SO slow and I am waiting on collaboration pieces as well as some basics for my own shop.
Andy has his piece done, and it is the cutest little thing! The pictures show it in Rowan's little 2 year old hand, to give you an idea of size.
Tuesday, 16 October 2007
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The Ugly Fishies have been around for a while.
As far as they are concerned, the turf beneath the rowan tree is theirs.
Then, along come the Silly Fairies, all cute and magical, to take up residence in the boughs.
And they just can't get along. Talks on neutral ground (at the rabbit hole), and breakdance dance offs haven't worked. A rumoured love affair between a fishie and a fairy has only made matters worse.
There is going to be a rumble.
So choose up sides.
Leave me a comment here on this blog post with your chosen side (FISH or FAIRY) and WHY you think they will/should have the turf BTRT (**be sure to leave me a way to reach you!) before NOON (EST) on Friday, October 19th.
On Friday I will tally the votes and choose a response from the winning side.
I will announce the winner at the Grand Opening of Beneath the Rowan Tree on Hyena Cart at noon.
The winner will receive a hand dyed, hand painted bandana/ hair scarf (triangular, cotton, 22 x 22 x 29", THIS is an example) featuring the rumble champs and new turf kings/queens, FREE!

Monday, 15 October 2007
I don't often stop while working to take photos and log my progress, but since I was painting in the computer room today I thought I'd try!
I hauled my old card table~ circa 1960(!) it belonged(s) to Andy's parents and has the date of purchase and their names on the bottom, we 'borrowed' it several years ago (oops!) and paints upstairs for a bit today to escape Miss Grabby Fingers (who was with her sitter, I was keeping my cold home and to myself).
I set up my space with paints, brush holder/rinser, brushes and paints and set to work.

Today I was working on a dress for Simcha's Jewels on Hyena cart (this woman has the most gorgeous family, you must see her shop!). She asked for a toddler dress (my choice of design) to use for her Grand Re-Opening of her shop as part of a set.

I dyed this 4T dress with turquoise and yellow, using the low-water immersion technique a few nights ago. I had visions of mermaids on deep colors, but as usual, the dress had other ideas. What I got was a brilliant and bright blend of blues and yellows and greens reminiscent of an aerial view over wetlands. It begged for dragonflies, although they are not the most seasonal of creatures for the current (cold!) season!

Considering the indistinct blending created by the LWI I wanted whatever I painted to be very sharp and to *pop* from the background with a sense of depth and movement. I generally paint freehand, but in this case I pulled out a stamp for its sharp clean lines, stamped it on very lightly in silver and overpainted the insects in a stained glass type of style.

I hope to complete the back this evening and get the dress cured, heat set and pressed tomorrow evening and ready to send out. The cool thing is that Helen was just considering buying some dragonfly beads, so this should work out wonderfully!
Update: Finished on Tuesday and snapped some shots late afternoon. Helen said she squealed when she saw the work in progress pics, so I will take that as a good sign! LOL

For the holiday season I am part of the Holiday Lane congo on Hyena Cart. Today I listed a new collection of holiday tshirts for the toddlers. Just simple, bright and fun! Perfect for layering over a turtleneck (we live in layers all winter here in the frozen north!) or under a sweater.
Tuesday, 9 October 2007
So, for a while I would read posts on forums about people looking for amber teething necklaces and wonder what good it would do to chew on amber. Now I notice many listings for these items have an explicit statement about the necklace NOT going in baby's mouth. Good thing~ 'cause it means I'm not the only goofball out there LOL
But then I wonder if I am the only one who wondered why you would need to feed wool? (Wool food... maybe a conditioner or something, like plant food?!) *blush*. Thank goodness I figured it out and we have some awesome wool food at our house from Tiffany at Fair Trade Family now!
For a smart girl I am pretty dumb sometimes.
But back to the amber. Folks say it has wonderful properties to help ease the pain of teething, and Rowan takes teething hard. Every one of her teeth have been very disruptive and painful. And these two year molars are doing us all in! So we are thrilled to try our our very pretty new amber teething necklace from Casey at Little Queen Sheba~ she is a delight to work with and does lovely work. This necklace fits Rowan perfectly and the mix of amber and garnet is bang on for her nature and coloring! We made a great trade~ a couple Bruno shirts for her girls and a teething necklace for us!
Monday, 8 October 2007
This is a hand dyed, hand painted two piece set featuring dancing flower fairies. The dress is super short to accommodate the little crawler (size 12 months). It will be stocked at BTRT for my grand opening.

This is a pair of 18 month creepers for a little girl to wear to her gym class.
Saturday, 6 October 2007

I have been busy dyeing and painting this week now that Rowan is responding well to a combo of Melatonin and her new 'Big Girl Bed' about which she is over the moon!
Here are a few of the new pieces I have finished for custom orders:
For BugznBeans 6T Dress
Botched Custom that is very pretty LOL
Ice fairy for collab with Andrea at BaaBaa Naturals
'Joy' Christmas Tee
Dragonflies over the Pond
Halloween Custom

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