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Archive for 'Good Finds'

Imagine Childhood Giveaway and new Book!

“Childhood is more than just a stage in our path to adulthood, it’s the time in our lives when our imaginations have no limits.  It’s the time when we learn how to be inventors. It’s the time when we watch clouds and butterflies with wonder and admiration.  It’s the time when we fall in love with the world.  Childhood is not just a developmental stage, it’s the development of a perspective, and quite a beautiful one at that.  In 2008 we established to support and nurture the growth of that perspective.  Imagine Childhood is a family owned and operated company offering high quality environmentally conscious toys, activities and stories that encourage exploration, creativity, and open-ended unstructured play.”  Sarah Olmstead, Imagine Childhood

Sarah Olmstead has a new book out (which will be reviewed on our blog soon) with the same name as her store:  IMAGINE CHILDHOOD: Exploring the World Through Nature, Imagination, and Play- 25 Projects that spark curiosity and adventure.  This book is a part of the giveaway on this post, but you can also purchase signed copies on her website.  Here is her blog post on behind the scenes work for the project.



Imagine Childhood is offering a big giveaway to one lucky winner, residing in U.S., which includes all four items below:

1)      One European Sewing and Knitting Kit,

2)      One Set Nature Keepsake Bags,

3)      One Basket Kit of your choice, and

4)      One copy of Imagine Childhood book:  IMAGINE CHILDHOOD: Exploring the World Through Nature, Imagination, and Play- 25 Projects that spark curiosity and adventure.

To enter the drawing for a chance to win all four items above, please leave a comment on this post by Wednesday midnight pacific time, October 24th, 2012.  In addition, Living Crafts readers are offered a 10% discount between 10/20 – 10/24.  The discount code will be “LivingCrafts”.

Posted by Living Crafts on Oct 20, 2012 07:00 AM | 713 Comments

Good Finds: SweetPea Doll

This doll is very soft and plump.  It feels heavier than a regular wool-stuffed doll, so it feels more real when hugging and carrying by your child (and you)!  It is handmade in Northern California and exclusively offered at A Toy Garden. 

The first time I was introduced to A Toy Garden was meeting Sonya Bingaman (owner) at a homeschooling conference offered by Rahima Baldwin Dancy’s Waldorf in the Home.  Then, my daughter was only six years old and I remember purchasing a King Winter for our nature table, which we still bring out every Christmas.  I noticed many of the toys she offers are U.S. made and exclusive.  After that I purchased items online, and absolutely love the moving flag logo next to the U.S. made items.  It makes me feel I’m doing something good, shopping as local as possible!  When talking to other moms, I found out at least two of my friends also shop from her, and their biggest reason was the personal service she gives on the phone.  I highly encourage you to visit the website and take a look at their new arrivals and everything else.



The generous folks at A Toy Garden are offering one lucky customer a Custom SweetPea Doll.  The SweetPea Baby Doll is heavy and huggable and beautifully handmade in California exclusively for A Toy Garden! This custom doll will be created with your choice of color for skin tone, eyes, hair and soft velour cap and suit. Truly a doll that any child (and adult!) will love to care for!

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment on this post by Monday, October 1, 2012 midnight pacific time.  This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

Posted by Living Crafts on Sep 14, 2012 09:52 AM | 876 Comments

Good Finds: Lion Brand Bonbons


Beach color assortment

Bonbons is Lion Brand’s collections of 8 miniature skeins of yarn in one package. Each assortment includes 8 shades, perfect for any project requiring multiple colors, such as frinedship bracelets, amigurumi, colorwork, embroidery, and children’s crafts.  The cotton Bonbons are available in two assortments: mercerized cotton in brights (Beach), and mercerized cotton in spring shades (Nature).  Following is a photo of the Nature shades:

Nature color assortment

They have several patterns on their site, using this yarn, but our favorite is the Friendship Bracelet:

click on photo for free pattern

 Click here for several free patterns using this yarn.



The Winner is Susie H. with following comment:  “Oh wow! I’ve never seen these before, how fun!!!! Those nature shades are fantastic, and the bright colors are great too. Loving this giveaway! Thanks!”

The folks at Lion Brands are offering one lucky winner two sets of each of these cotton Bonbons, a total of four packages!  If you want a chance to win, please leave a comment below by Sunday, July 15th Midnight Pacific Time.  The offer is open to U.S. Residents only.  Thank you!


Posted by Living Crafts on Jul 11, 2012 10:00 AM | 459 Comments

Good Finds: Imagine Childhood

Imagine Childhood

About Imagine Childhood:

… a little nature… a little imagination… a lot of play. Toys, tools and activities for growing minds. Imagine Childhood is a family owned and operated company offering high quality environmentally conscious toys and activities that encourage exploration, creativity, and open-ended unstructured play.


About MOOV Construction Kits:

Possibly the most exciting toy we’ve played with in quite a while, these award winning Dutch construction kits by Berg MOOV are nothing short of awesome!

Made from incredibly sturdy materials that can be configured to the suggestions in the manuals or any other shape you can imagine, they require no tools and can easily be constructed by kids… or adults that just wish they were.

Build anything from a bike to a go-cart to a crane, a scooter and so much more!

Made in Holland for kids age 5 -12


Today the folks at Imagine Childhood are giving away a MOOV 3-in-1 starter kit valued at $249.00! To enter for a chance to win leave a comment by 11:59 p.m. Monday, June 20th, listing your favorite item from the Imagine Childhood Shop.

Posted by Living Crafts on Jun 16, 2011 06:39 PM | 514 Comments

Felted Rings for Baby

When my baby was little I worried about all the plastic toys that came her way. One of the most beloved toys of a baby is the rings made of  - you guessed it – plastic! I wish I had thought to make this gorgeous hand knit and felted wool baby ring! Made by Babus Toys you can find it on their Etsy site.

Posted by Living Crafts on May 29, 2011 10:05 AM | 1 Comment

Good Finds: The Learning Tower

The Learning Tower is an adjustable height multi-level platform step stool which allows children to participate in activities at counter height safely. With the innovative design of the Learning Tower from Little Partners, a child is able to stand at counter height without the risk of the tower tipping over, twisting or collapsing. What was once an unsafe, desired task of a two-year old- for example, washing dishes or making a pizza- now becomes a shared activity that allows the child to participate in adult happenings free from the risk of injury.


The folks at Little Partners are offering a Learning Tower to one lucky Living Crafts post commenter!  To enter go over to Little Partners and check out the Learning Tower as well as their other products and pages of info. Then come back here and tell us something you learned about the Learning Tower or any other product (they have some great ones!), or about the mom who created the company and product. Deadline for leaving a comment to win:  Friday,  May 27th Midnight Pacific Time. Good luck!


And the Winner is…


Brandy Submitted on 2011/05/27 at 11:48 am

I have had my eye on this product for a bit. I love that there is also an easel attachment with a chalkboard for the learning tower. Great use of space! Thank you for this giveaway.



Posted by Living Crafts on May 23, 2011 02:31 PM | 563 Comments

What do doilies have to do with a bookcase?

Looking at a photo of Becca Stadtlander’s bookcase makes me happy. I just absolutely love this idea of doilies tucked in the back of the bookcase. It is the marriage of two things I absolutely cannot live without: books and crafts.

Posted by Living Crafts on Apr 22, 2011 06:27 AM | No Comments

Bluebird Stitch Markers

Got to love these knitted bluebird stitch markers by Lantern Moon, sold at Paradise Fibers. They are SO cute!

Posted by Living Crafts on Apr 2, 2011 07:59 AM | 1 Comment

Good Finds – CHA Tour Part II

And now I visit Potter Craft, and see Log Cabin Quilting book, which is very interesting. There are some nice “modern quilting” books out there and still coming from different publishing houses, that cater to a free spirit style of quilters using non-traditional methods and fabrics. I love this genre of books and Log Cabin is one of them. I can’t wait to sit down with the book one day and go through it thoroughly.

Now I see Print Workshop, a book I’ve been considering for review for awhile now. They had stamps and pads and cards at the booth so visitors could make their own designs, trying the ideas in the book. This book is going to have its own review in a Book Review post with two other books that showcase hand-printing for y’all hand printing enthusiasts.

Although I did not visit many paper product booths, these two lanterns caught my eyes, so I ran to their booth and asked permission to photograph. The idea of using textured paper to make my own lantern sounds so appealing, and I thought you may enjoy these options from Black Ink.

I took photos of all the ones I liked for using as lantern paper, mostly white and neutral options.

These tree cuttings are actually packaged and sold, but I prefer to make my own.

A tree cutting is one of the most beautiful surfaces you can give your child for their art. My daughter likes to do portraits on hers. Here’s a a self-portrait she did with pencils last year.

I took photos of samples at their booth, but have to admit, I love the portrait idea the best!

I really like these doily and paper banners. The photos don’t do justice, but the doily especially looks very pretty.

Fresh flowers are such a great relief at a trade show. I actually had to go near to make sure they were indeed fresh.

That’s all for the 2011 tour. If you want to read up on Part I of this tour click here. Next year I may even have videos for you!


Posted by Living Crafts on Feb 7, 2011 03:26 PM | 4 Comments

Good Finds: CHA Tour Part I

I just came back from the CHA Conference and want to give you a brief tour of what I liked. This is a craft trade show, and includes paper products, sewing, knitting, crochet, fine arts, etc. I enjoy mostly meeting with people at yarn companies, book publishers, and discovering new products.

C & T Publishing has a new award winning product that caught my eyes: Transfer Artist Paper. You can use your inkjet printer to print anything you want on this paper, and then iron it onto fabric. I’ve never been fond of this kind of thing in the past because you end up with an image which feels like plastic, and no matter how beautiful or natural and soft your fabric is, the image part has a cold, synthetic feel to it. With this product, I noticed the t-shirt still stays soft and nice, so it is definitely worth a try. I have requested that they send me a piece so I can try it myself. C & T has even come up with a book on how you can use this method for many different projects. It is called Create with Transfer Artist Paper, by Lesley Riley. Here’s the photo of the product next to the printed t-shirt (please note, the shiny crown and wand are stitched on top of the t-shirt after the image is printed):

Transfer Artist Paper

I also saw a nice new book coming soon by Stash Books, an imprint of C & T, called Countdown Calendars. They had displayed it nicely next to one of the projects in the book, so I snapped these photos for you before the book is available for sale.

Countdown Calendars

crocheted flower trim

This crocheted flower trim was a great find, made with cotton, by Petaloo. They also had little packages of just the flowers in different size and colors. This line was probably the only natural line they had among hundreds of products, but it is a great item to use for many things!

I had a lot of fun looking at these felt projects at the EK Success Brands booth from their Dimensions Needle Crafts line:

felt projects

felt projects

felt projects

felt projects

felt projects

felt projects

felt projects

felt projects

felt projects

felt projects

Vanna White

Here at the Lion Brands Yarn booth, Vanna White is being interviewed by FavCrafts.

loveseat but I find myself more interested in this love seat

loveseat here’s a photo of the front

matching cube and here’s the matching cube chair – never mind the yarn mummy sitting on it

crocheted pillowHere at Patons Yarn booth I am smitten by this crocheted pillow

crocheted dolls

crocheted dolls

crocheted dolls And by these Sugar & Cream crocheted dolls – the girl in Kimono is my favorite.

crocheted sachets with herbs insideHere are some crocheted sachets with herbs inside. What a great idea for shoes.

I found a creative example of how you can use your millions of miles of finger-knitted and cording your children make. It can even be felted after assembling together like this.

pom pomsLove the pom poms.

Vickie Howell’s yarn manufactured by South West Trading Company – she was showing it to retailers and I got a photo of her but it didn’t turn out good. The photo didn’t do justice to her pretty self, so I deleted it. But here are some of the pieces she’s made with her yarn:

Vickie Howell’s yarn

And here’s the sample photo:

And I found some nice photos of her at the event here.

And here’s some silk yarn I discovered from May Arts.

silk ribbon

silk ribbon

Artemis is the only silk ribbon brand I knew of, which is hand-painted and was reviewed in Living Crafts Good Finds section in the last issue, but I also like these silk solids in different widthss from May Arts.

Part II coming to a blog post near you very soon. Most exciting part in it is that I found paper to make lanterns with!


Posted by Living Crafts on Feb 3, 2011 12:21 PM | 3 Comments


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