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Honour the Child

Blog Archive

BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Sunday, 31 August 2008
My computer is down and will be for the better part of the week, so please send healing vibes! LOL
Our newsletter will be late as a result, too.
Friday, 29 August 2008
It is hard to believe how three years have flown.
And so bittersweet knowing that they will all wing away just as quickly until she is grown.
So for now, I'll cherish the little girl moments and rejoice in the big girl ones!
Wednesday, 27 August 2008
OK, assuming that Cwazy Wabbit is copyrighted (LOL) I need a name for these plush little bunnies.

They are made with organic bamboo velour (obv)~ a fast growing, pesticide free, sustainable resource (yay!) and hand dyed by yours truly. They are machine appliqued and sewn up. They are stuffed with clean carded wool.

Each bunny has a sweet little knotted scarf and heart on his tummy. They stand between 3-5" tall (ears included!).

Since they are made with the same pieces of obv as my new Crazy Babies, the name 'Crazy Bunnies' makes sense. But I am kind of sweet on Scraprabbits (although they aren't technically made with scraps). What say you, gentle readers?
You have got to check this one out~ at the Ardent Sparrow blog there is a giveaway for a package of lovely items ($92 value so far), including one of our Wool Hedgehog Balls (I need a new name for these, it sounds dirty no matter how I phrase it! Wooly Hedgehog Balls? Ick!)!

So pop over, comment to enter and win!
Monday, 25 August 2008
You know that satisfaction of finding *just* what you want or need? Well, I am going to share a secret with you: True Vine Herbs.

Not only is Kelly an absolutely lovely person to work with and a busy mom of many little ones, she makes the most amazing and beautiful natural products.

We first connected with True Vine in my search for handmade soaps, but have enjoyed their healing salve (wonderful post-surgery for my scars!), body lotion and tea, as well. Rowan and I enjoy a cup of Sweet Child Tea (think orange creamsicle) when we get the chance, and not only does this loose tea/ tisane smell divine, but it *looks* gorgeous, too.

Soap. What can I say? It is lovely to look at, richly scented (but not overpowering~ I am very sensitive to scents), hard enough to last, soft enough to lather up. My personal favourite is the Lavender Anise blend but we have enjoyed many others as well.

I also recently purchased Kelly's WAHM samples and they are packaged so well, and very BIG for sample soaps~ they even include a thank you to the customer with *my* shop name and info. I'll have to find those... I just cleaned my workspace and they aren't there... and my husband was pretty keen on the grapefruit peppermint scent..hmmmm.

I have used a lot of superlatives, but True Vine Herbs is the whole package~ great products, excellent customer service. Check it out!
Friday, 22 August 2008
Imagine my shock! Front page again today!
Click to view larger~ so many pretty colours in this one~ my bag of fruit is in the middle of the second row.
Thursday, 21 August 2008
OK, so it was overnight on the 20th but still! The Etsy Front Page *is* the Etsy Front Page and brought lots of views to my little needle felted tree-o (top row, middle).
Wednesday, 20 August 2008
*shakes fist and grumbles vaguely threatening reminders about the mysterious incident of the Barbie doll head found under the dock one summer and Gangrene Ken's green leg*

My daughter is turning three.

So far we have avoided commercial TV and she barely knows who Dora is (we won't mention the incident with her watching TV the other night, finding Go, Diego, Go and loving it, no, we won't). We have a Barbie/Bratz etc. ban in place from birth which has been the cause of much undermining by family members, but we have stayed strong, clean and Barbie free for three years.

For her birthday cake this past weekend, my mother was read the riot act about what images she got on the cake. When asked, Rowan requested a cow. The baker claimed she had never heard of a three year old who wanted a cow instead of Dora or some other character. I was pleased and proud of my little weirdo.

Andy and I made a big purchase, of a Plan Toys dollhouse (eco-conscious, recycled wood, natural etc.), and family were contributing rooms and dollies. I was so excited! I had scrimped and saved for this and couldn't wait to play, er, I mean, have Rowan play with it.

I hadn't counted on Emma. My youngest sister (20) has been dying to get Rowan a Barbie but being the conscientious Auntie that she is, she wouldn't get one before age three because the packaging told her not to do it. So on the day before the big dollhouse reveal, Auntie Em gives Rowan her very first... yes,... Barbie Doll. And Emma even brought along her own so they could play together.

When Rowan first brought Barbie to me, I was shocked that the first thing out of my mouth about her new toy was 'Isn't she so pretty?' Gak! I quickly covered with a 'and I am sure she has a great mind and a savings plan, too!'. What a geek.

Rowan LOVES it. Loves to brush her hair. And when the dollhouse was given, she claimed it as Barbie's, even though Barbie is like a Baby Godzilla tromping through it with her dainty little pointy feet. Sleeping in the wooden dolly's bed. Doubling over in the wee shower. Dancing on the roof.

What's a mother to do? I guess I will have to reveal my secret stash of my mother's Barbie clothes, made by *my* grandmother (and as recently as 3 years ago fought over by my sister and I) so this third generation can play, too. I mean, we all turned out all right and I am sure it will be years before Rowan and her little friends play N@ked Town like my sisters and I used to do with Beauty Secrets, Western Barbie, Gangrene Ken and the whole gang (except the headless doll, we left the rest of her under the dock, too!).
Do you make natural, gentle products for children and families? Are you looking for a new venue to sell your wares? Do you like the creative challenge of working with a team and stocking to a theme?

Take Off Your Shoes has been running, successfully for a year on Hyena Cart. A 'congo' is a conglomeration~ a group of sellers sharing one shop front, ethos and stocking together. If you are not familiar with Hyena Cart, it is driven by stocking times which allow the stalkers (hyenas) to gather and grab! TOYS stocks just once a month, on the 10th of every month at 9 pm.

When you join the congo, you are given access to our private forum where we do our planning. We ask each member to stock 2-12 items (with at least a couple connected to the theme for the month) each month. Fees ($5/month~ that's it! no other costs!) cover congo fees and advertising.

Our upcoming themes include: Under the Big Top, Harvest & Hibernate, Santa's Kitchen...

We strive to have a variety of shops and seek not to repeat skill sets or products to give everyone their space (ie we already have a yarn dyer). We are open to all suggestions and would particularly love to have a bath/body person, children's clothing, more diapers and toys and other unique products that fit our group.

We are seeking folks who will make a minimum 3 month commitment (it takes time to get established), have stellar feedback and high quality products, photos and customer service. All inquiries will be considered by the team.

The TOYS group is a fun, supportive bunch and we always have fun preparing our themes and stockings together. You can email: if you are interested!
Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Congratulation to the mama from Elemental Handcrafts! She is the winner of our summer holiday giveaway and she wins her favourite piece from the BTRT past works~ the rainbow tights.

Thanks to everyone for playing along and taking the time to look at our work and share your faves. This really helps me to get a sense of designs and patterns that people really like so I can get some fall styles on the go.

Watch for our next giveaway, coming early in September.
Monday, 18 August 2008

This is just a quick post in the midst of holiday mode (it takes a while to settle in, but it is here now, and triple trips over 400 km one way and back again in a week have us all wiped out!).

No real point to this other than to say that I am alive and blogging!
So here is a peek at the OBV dollies...
Thursday, 14 August 2008
Now I will dye pretty much anything I can get my hands on (and my hands are generally dye stained, too!). And I just got my hands on some amazing OBV (that is~ organic bamboo velour).

Bamboo grows rapidly, is sustainable and does not require the pesticides and intervention of cotton, making it a wonderful fabric on so many levels. Add that is takes dye like a DREAM and I am deeply in love.

I ordered some OBV mostly because I have been hankering to lay some colour down on some, so I made up a reason to get some~ dollies!

I am currently working on some sweet little dolls of wool and the OBV for babies and toddlers.

This is serious.

This has forced me to break my '"NO sewing machine Rule". When I started this business I made a staunch rule about no sewing (used to have a dog accessory business, and I was chained to my machine) as we have no room and I have no inclination (plus the bad mix of stray pins and toddlers!). But in order to finish my dollies I will have to do a wee bit of machine sewing.

And in case that doesn't impress you as to the awesomeness of this fabric... I also broke my "NO Hand Stitching Rule" which is much older and longer standing than the sewing machine one. I hate hand stitching. And every one of these OBV dollies has hand stitched appliques and the heads and hats will also be hand stitched.

How I suffer for my art.
It really must be love!
Monday, 11 August 2008
Our Summer Holiday Giveaway continues! It is getting a little buried downthread, so this is just an invite to come and play to win~ ends August 17th at 11:59 pm
New Treasury (link only valid while treasury is active) for the Natural Kids Team on Etsy.
To find more wonderful, natural products, search 'naturalkids team'.

This Treasury arose from the realization that so many of our natural goodies are arranged in circles~ which are made up of the individual pieces, something that really resonates with me. Add that I just reached 800 hearts (more circles!) and it seemed right!

I couldn't decide between the naturals and the rainbows so I used them all!
Click the image to view larger.For another place to view photos along the same line (groups of the smae items in various colours) check out the Mixing Colours Flickr Group.
Remember Hope the Travelling Doll? If not, you can read up here.

Hope has finished her visit in the UK and is now on her way to Texas. You can see wonderful photos of her UK travels on Hope's personal blog. Hope is travelling around the world to gather stories and treasures about her journey and her encounters with the children she meets. She will be raffled for children's charity when her journey is completed.

We are looking forward to welcoming Hope to our home in September. Homes are still needed to host, so if you are interested, please contact her creator, Annette, through Hope's blog.
Thursday, 7 August 2008
Introducing the Twirligig!™ All natural active fun for children of all ages.

So what is it?

  • Start with a hand dyed silk streamer (11 x 60"~ that's 5' long!).
  • Coordinate with a hand painted and sealed (water based, non-toxic sealant) wand (approx/ 18" long).
  • Use quality hardware and hand stitch the silk to protect it from snags and to add a nice decorative touch.
  • Put it in the hands of a child.
  • And you have a Twirligig!

Run, jump, dance, spin... this toy calls for action and energy!
Got busy kids?
These won't work unless they move, sneaky, huh?

We use high quality silk with hand rolled hems. We have chosen this length for our streamers as we found that the narrower/ longer streamers tended to trip up children and get tramped on much more often. This size is very easy to untangle when spinning and the hardware cannot be removed by a child. Suitable for all ages. Young children should be supervised as with all long items that can tangle around them.

There is also the option to add more streamers to your wand, in an array of solid colours.
Our first Twirligigs are stocking at Take Off Your Shoes on Sunday at 9 pm.
Wednesday, 6 August 2008
Winner announced here.
Summer holidays are here and we want to celebrate at BTRT!
So here's the deal:
We have randomly chosen one item out of all the clothing items in our Flickr Galleries:

Handpainted ( & Dyed) Gallery
Dyed (only) Gallery

Now we want YOU to pick your favourite~ something that you would buy for your own child or someone you know. If you pick the one we have chosen~ you win that design in the size of your choice!

If more than one person picks the winner, we'll draw randomly from the correct choices. If no one picks it, we'll move on to our backup choice(s) until we have a winner.

To Enter:
Leave a comment on this thread.
Include: A simple description (ie Octopus Hoodie or rainbow spiral, short sleeves) and the link for the item. Your choice of size (between 6M and 6T only) and some way to contact you.
Only complete entries with these four pieces of information will be considered. Other comments are, of course, welcome!

The Fine Print:
This giveaway will run until Sunday, August 17th at 11:59 PM.
The winner will be announced the week of August 18th and contacted to confirm details.
The contest pertains only to clothing items, and only to those in the two Flickr sets listed and linked above.
Everyone is welcome to enter, we can ship anywhere.
Please enter only once by leaving a comment on this thread.
We reserve the right to remove any comments or entries if need arises due to content.
All items are handmade and one of a kind, your finished result may vary from the original.
All clothing is 100% cotton and dyed with procion dyes.
Hand painted images are durable, colorfast and permanent.
Tuesday, 5 August 2008
All finds from the Natural Kids Street Team at Etsy. I was inspired by the ranunculi cuff in the first row and from there it was a piece of cake with so many inspired artists to choose from.
Click the image to see it full sized or click here to view the Treasury for as long as it lasts!
While my hands may be permanently clawed int he shape of my dye bottles, I have lots of rainbow goodness to show for it!

These are 10 (of 16) toddler rainbow skirts for orders and wholesale drying out before they fly off to their new homes!

Three tiered, gauzy cotton with an underskirt, these babies have lots of body and lots of TWIRL!

I have been making them for summer and I am debating about winter... they are heavy enough , although I have a problem. I can't get the 'not wearing linen after Labour Day' idea out of my head!

What do you think? Done up in jewel tones would they be suitable for the holidays? Would your kiddos wear rainbows all year?
Monday, 4 August 2008
Ever since my battle with the Googlebots (scroll down for that one!) I have not been getting my alerts, so just happened to stumble on this tonight!

We are currently a featured artist at Dharma Trading Co. which is pretty cool, huh?
I thought so, too~ and then when I saw our little Ugly Fishies Hoodie on their front page, I was really jazzed! Go fishies!

Sunday, 3 August 2008
The Storque is Etsy's daily magazine ~ it is addictive! Lots of wonderful articles for shoppers and buyers.

Saturday saw the feature of the Natural Kids Team's first article, so well done by Wool Comes Alive.

So if you want to see some adorable finds, cute kids (including ours!) and some more information about natural toys~ check it out!

The photo pictured here is by justynrebecca
showing a happy kiddo and waldorf dolly (germandolls).
OK, Ro isn't 3 for a month. But she is there in spirit and it has two beat by a mile!

You know when you are the parent of a three year old when your conversation goes like this:
"Please don't poke Mommy's eyes"
"I want to"
"It hurts"
"Keep them open!"
"It hurts me when you press your thumbs into my eyes!"
"No it doesn't"
"yes, it does. Please stop"
"It makes you happy."
"What makes me happy?"
"When I press your eyes."
"No, it hurts. Ask me if you want me to open them."
"I can't. OPEN YOUR EYES."

Seriously. I need adult conversation. You can tell me about your toddler... you can tell me you *survived*. Please?
With summer and COLOUR holding sway, we have been featured in a number of treasuries lately (thankyou!) and this one came up today by Ivyplum what lovely colours! Click the image to view larger.
I think they are on to me. And chose to ignore my childish attempt to confuse them. I have not received an alert since I made the post below! Or I really did make their brains misfire! Yikes!
Friday, 1 August 2008
I use Google Alerts for my business. My name is a little unusual, so alerts for 'Beneath the Rowan Tree' or BTRT are not too frequent or plentiful.

There is a band from Down Under called Beneath the Rising Tide which picks up some 'BTRT' alerts. And around the celtic/ pagan festival dates we pick up some more rowans in relation to the tree's role in myth and legend.

Our shop name is actually drawn from an 19th century Scots-Canadian poem.

But lately we have been getting a *lot* of alerts for 'beneath a rowan tree'~ and it turns out it is a haunting, lovely ballad by Emi Fujita, entitled Beneath a Rowan Tree.

So I thought I would post about it and see if it scrambles Google's giant brain to send an alert about an alert, linked to OTHER places it may pick up an alert... Bwahaahahahahaaha
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