I’m not a shopper by nature.  I don’t enjoy the hunt, I don’t enjoy spending money, I don’t enjoy hours of walking.  Nothing about shopping, unless it is in a bookstore, is enjoyable to me….

But, I will say that handmade holds a special place in my heart.  WAHMamas have been a love of mine since 2000 when I sewed my very first cloth diaper.  And the recognization that there are amazingly talented women out there, who choose to stay home and be with their family while they “do what they do” deserves recognition.

Most of these mamas have a sincere passion behind what they do.  The motivation is so much more than just financial, and if you look very carefully, you’ll see what that is in their products.

I will gladly admit my favorite Work at Home Mama is Lori from Beneath the Rowan Tree.  Her toys…..  They’re art, pure, simple, and amazing.  Full of wonder…..  I’ve been blessed to speak with Lori before and I know that Rowan (her daughter) has been a source of inspiration and joy.  And I wonder how someone can translate such beauty to silk, or clothing, or toys.  She did something recently that just absolutely took my breath away.  I didn’t know wool could become, well, this:

Beneath the Rowan Tree Wool Sculpture

Beneath the Rowan Tree Wool Sculpture

BTRT's "Mother & Daughters" Sculpture - Back

BTRT's "Mother & Daughters" Sculpture - Back

I have never in my life seen such a beautiful handmade object.   What Lori did with this….  It’s breathtaking. 

My children are very blessed to own a few things Lori has made for them.  Two of the girls have matching shirts, Sweetest Pea has a handpainted dress that doesn’t fit her anymore, yet she refuses to give it up… It’s more of a smock top now, lol.  She also made us a set of incredibly vibrant playsilks.

Lori's Silks

Lori's Silks

My children don’t own many toys.  The only plastic is some Schleich animals. 😉  In our home, there is no toybox.  There are no shelves of toys.  But there is one very special picnic basket.  It contains a tea set, 7 silks, and crocheted food.  And it can keep three little girls entertained for hours….  Playing, dreaming, imagining.  I was skeptical of play silks.  I bought the first one from EllieBelly when Lizzie was just a baby – 2002.  And it became her lovey.  Now, with more, the girls can make princess dress, sling their babies, have a picnic on them, wear a turban, tie on an apron…  You are only bound by your imagination.  Open ended toys create a sense of wonder, they grow the seed of creativity into a sapling, they inspire.  With natural playthings you’re giving such a gift, so much more than a plastic something….  And moreover, it’s been created by loving hands.

Give more than a gift…. Inspire wonder. 

Two links for you today – one is the one of the finest collaboration of WAHMama artists I’ve ever seen and I’m proud to link to them…  Fresh Congo.

The other is Lori’s store at Etsy… Hours of window shopping enjoyment.  Do look through her past sales.  You’ll go back over and over again.

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Yummah!

Yummah!

My new etsy…  Lentil soup blends, seasonal garden offerings like heirloom seeds, granola cereals and more…

Yes, it’s true.  They didn’t know you could MAKE play-doh.  Sigh.  Briana and CJ were telling the little ones, “We never had boughten play-doh.  Mama always made ours.”  Um, yes, that would be a guilt trip you hear.  So, Tuesday, we made play-doh!

Bless the genius who thought of using Kool-Aid to “scent” the play-doh, because not only did I get points for making the play-doh but it was SCENTED!  Rebecca was absolutely over the moon with this and spent THREE hours yesterday playing with our play-doh.  We only made three colors. (It was supposed to be four, but who knew the “berry” kool-aid in the BLUE packaging would color my play-doh pink?)  But, it didn’t matter.  She was thrilled.  Rebecca really likes to use her hands and just function a little in her own world.  (That’s another post someday.)  But, it was neat to see her busy at work and showing off her creations.  I’ll post pictures sometime today!

The Play-Doh Recipe:

Per Color:

2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of salt
1 tablespoon of oil
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
1 package of kool-aid
Stir well into a large sauce pan.  Add to this:
2 cups of very hot water
Food Coloring if you choose
Stir over med./low heat until it loses it’s stickiness and forms a large ball.

Then go have fun with your little ones!  I give you permission to put off the dishes, ignore the laundry, and let the dust settle!

I’ve been making soap for a good while, but this is our first batch from our own goats!  Made from calendula infused olive oil, shea butter, goatmilk, and more!  No synthetic fragrance oils, just lavender essential oil….

Lavender & Goatmilk Soap

Lavender & Goatmilk Soap

What inspires you?

My children, other mamas, Hyena Cart and the lovely mamas who know how to do handmade right, a passion for natural…….

Inspire Handmade

Inspire Handmade

I finally had time to relist Solace again on Etsy.  It’s an Arnica balm, but this one is tweaked a bit.  I don’t add other items, like cayenne pepper, because I like to use Arnica for bruising for little ones.  Cayenne can be a skin irritant, so great for sore muscles, but not so hot on delicate little folk skin!  The Arnica isn’t infused with heat, but instead this is Arnica with months and months of time…. Quality takes patience.  Enjoy!

Solace Arnica Balm

Solace Arnica Balm

True Vine's Etsy

True Vine's Etsy

Just a little share today.  Kate of Katydid Creations made these for the girls and we love them so much.  She is just incredibly talented.  Her blog definitely shows off her best work.

The girls

The girls

 

And dollies

And dollies

By the way, these are not American Girl dolls as I have a serious thing against Mattel and their little agenda.  Do check out Vision Forum for lovely little girl dolls.