Happily Ever After, Why These Stories are Important

To tell the truth these dolls I made for me. I loved fairytales! When I was growing up I often recreated them in my playtime. I  did my chores while pretending to be Cinderella. These dolls and playsets are where play can recreate old time Fairytales.

 I hear people say that these stories were not good role models for girls, but I feel it depends on how you tell the story. These were tales told in a time when woman were thought of as less, and they gave our fore-mothers the inspiration to bring change to each generation. All the way up to now to get us to where we are and the rights we now have.

These girls had power in spite of the odds, certain doom, and personal tragedy they suffered. They changed their world in a time when women had no rights. These stories have a powerful message that is still of value to the girls of this and the next generation. These are not just silly stories; they are our past and our future.

These wooden toys and more can be found at http://www.theenchantedcupboard.etsy.com/

No Mattel Needed .... Are you my Dolly

Who needs plastic dolls created in a lab, formed in a mold, and off gassing in you child's environment. Buy a handmade doll made with love out of natural materials. Have a Handmade Holiday! Shop Etsy.com and search naturalkids !

Business Wednesday:Be an Internet Litterbug

Don't think you have money to put ads up all over the internet, not in the budget.Well then start being an internet litterbug  
 ! What if I told you about a way to advertise for free, and it was better then any 125 X 125 ad out there. How? By your words! Everytime you read a blog remember to leave comments and sign with your links!

People love to read comments and if they like what you say they will check out the links you left behind. Make sure you are writting about the subject you are reading, DON'T use the comment area as a place to market yourself or put a commercial. Just let your links do the work. I have been experimenting with this for a while and my Google Analytics service tells me my comments bring in larger amounts of views then any paid ad. I try to go read 5 blogs/ online newsletters a week and leave my comments and links.

Leaving your links around is also good for your Google Analytics (GA). Everytime you leave a link behind it is like "raising your hand" to be seen by the SE (Search Engine), the more times your link is posted the more you move up in the Google search, it is great free advertising for you. Think of the Search Engine as a scene from an old 80's movie where they would show shots of the floor of Wall Street. All those people yelling and holding there hand up. The tallest and loudest trader got the best trades. The same works for the SE, the more your links are seen the higher you will be listed on Google, Yahoo, AOL, etc.

Go see where you are now in a SE, search for you shops or blog name. Where did you come up in the SE listing? First listing, first page or did you have to search many pages? Next search for items you make, or for a blog topic you wrote about. Use this information to know where you are now and as a foundation for where your hard work will take you. Start doing the work and check back in a month to see if you links are moving you up. Follow these tips and you will start to see an increase in your clicks and sales!
Good Luck!

Product Review: Custom Playscapes by Rumpos

Here is another GREAT Etsy find! We just feel in love with this shop, Rumpos. These great playscapes are custom made and you get such a great selection to pick from.

Here is what the seller listed:
A medium 15x15 inch custom playscape with 4-6 natural elements from your imagination, or I can work with you to create the perfect playscape. Look at the photographs for ideas or for remake requests. Your playscape will be made from natural materials and depict a natural environment perfect for imaginative, narrative play with fingers and figurines or for a centerpiece on a dining or nature table. These are also wonderful display items in the home, playroom, or office.
We could not just pick one and bough a few to go with different wooden toys we already had. I gave the seller an idea of what would be played with in the different playscapes and allowed her to be creative. One of the really great parts about Etsy.com is that you get to chat with the sell/designer and find out where they got there inspiration from. This got thumbs up from the kids and one big one from mommy.
If you like what you see and want to know more check out my interview with Mary Ann of Rumpos.

Reflections of the week: The Wrap Up

This week was about a lot of wrapping up. My first year on Etsy had come to a close. I have learned so much and have reached all my goals. We celebrate with a little party and some fun food! I reached out to an old boss to get some business advice. It was just what I needed to hear on the exact topic that I was struggling with. I didn't ask specifics just a general "What do you think?", and it was truly fate in action.

My oldest son  finished reading his Science book, yes school did just start a few weeks ago! Smart kids challenge you in ways you didn't even know existed! We are looking into Library options since our city closed them down. We don't get to use the county Library either because the city did not pay the fees. Our options are to pay the $75.00 fee to become members to one in the next town. At first I thought we would just increase our used book budget but my son finished a book series of 10 books in less then a week.

We have finish the NaturalKids Team website and poor Wade is getting some well deserved rest! It was a week of ups and downs but ended with a great big bang! I have been Nominated for  2009’s Top Eco-Friendly Toys Contest more on this to come!

The NaturalKids Store

My favorite Etsy Team that I belong to is The NaturalKids Team. When I was a buyer on Etsy and planning my new business I really love the feel of this group. I am very goal oriented and I knew it would be my goal to make items that would fit with their point of view. When I got to become a member it was my goal to do what I could to be an active supportive member. I love all these great artist and the wonders that come out of their creative minds. I was recently voted in as Ad Administrator for the group. I have so enjoyed serving these great people and taking them closer to the goal of being able to make good livings from a craft we love to do.

This Holiday Season skip the big box store and come peek in our shops to fill you holiday list. I am not only a member but a shopper too. A great benefit to the team is many of our items compliment and play well together. Here are a few I have bought. Keep checking back to find out more about these Artists.

Pirate Island Playscape Custom made by Rumpos
Small Rainbow Stacker by Imagination Kids
Fairy Silkies by BeneathTheRowanTree
Wooden Dolls and Playsets by The Enchanted Cupboard
Check out more Great Artist on our Members Page

Fun With Food: Making Flat Bread

This summer we made a plan to go with out air conditioning for as long as we could. We made it till the very hot month parts of August and September but still used it sparingly when we did turn it on. The one downside to this plan was, baking bread in the hot days of summer.

I started About 2 years ago I started to grind my own wheat for our bread and baked goods. The benefits of fresh ground wheat are overwhelming and out weigh an extra work it makes. So now I was faced with over heating our house or giving up my baking. I was not prepared to do either and I researched other options.

When I first started my homestead green living lifestyle I was in love with the idea that I could make anything. Our own ketchup, hamburger buns, salad dressing, and laundry soap to name a few of the things we make for ourselves. It was so rewarding to know when we ran out it did not mean a trip to the grocery store but to mix a few ingredients already in my pantry.

I started researching other ways of making bread type items without the oven. I checked out bread makes and bought an inexpensive bread maker that is working out nicely and is great for mixing up dough that I may use for rolls or pizzas! I also found some great recipes that are for making flat breads on the stove top. The kids and I experimented and made a recipe that works for us. It has a good bit of oil in it but in makes a nice dough that is easy for kids to roll out.

Whole Wheat Flat Bread
2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1.5 cups All Purpose Flour
0.5 t Baking powder
7 T Oil
1 cup very hot water

3 minute of kneading
15 minute to rest under wet warm towel
Form into Golf Ball size balls
Roll out and cook on a cast iron grill or non stick pan



What a week this has been, so much done and so much happening.

Read my latest feedback:
I am probably looking more forward to showing these things off at the wedding than anything else! You nailed the way my fiancé looks! We plan on turning them into Christmas ornaments after the big day so we will have a fun way to display them for years and years! Thank you, they are wonderful!!

I just love that she is going to take my craft and make it in to something new and reusing it! My next big surprise was that I have been contacted by The Knot mag. they are going to be featuring my Wooden Wedding Cake Toppers sold in my shop on Etsy! My head has been spinning ever since I heard the news! Interested in a set of custom dolls contact me.

A Princess and a Plumber, Who knew?

As I promised in my blog entry about my Cake Toppers I am letting you see the newest Wooden Cake Topper.This is a very popular pick for the gaming couple. More fun Cake Toppers with themes coming soon to The Enchanted Cupboard! You can also get fun extra pieces to add to the other cake layers. What would be your favorite theme? Mad Hatter Tea Party, Pirates, Mermaids, and a Woodland theme Cake Toppers to come soon! Have an idea? Leave it in the comments and you may see it in my shop soon!

Product Review: Mama K's aromatic Play Clay

Mama K's Aromatic Play Clay is a 100% natural modeling clay made using only certified GF* flours and organic essential oils. No synthetics, no artificial dyes, nothing but natural. Feels great to play with.

This clay uses the power of aromatherapy:
 to soothe (lavender)
uplift (sweet orange)
ease the anxious (bergamot)
inspire (lemongrass)
balance (geranium)
create complete relaxation (chamomile).

We just loved this play clay. It smells wonderful but not in a "foodie" kind of way that makes the little ones want to eat it. It was soft almost silky to the touch and we keep it in the fridge making it a cool treat to you hands on a hot summer day! The dough held it's shape and all the kids gave it a thumbs up! This is definitely going on the gift to give list and will make a nice stocking stuffer!

We also love the green factor in that it is compostable and tubs are re-usable, plus they are recyclable. So it gets a thumbs up from mommy! The packaging was great and felt very professional, I highly recommend this product!

No Mattle Needed...CPSIA may have things stacked against us but Fisher Price don't have Stackers

Wooden toys that spark the imagination!

Our Fairy Garden

Lovely place for the fairies to play (or Pokemon)!

Fairy Ivy Meets a Mermaid! Wooden Dolls sold here.

The Making of The Fairy Garden

A Fairy House made of twigs and Bark