And The Winner is!!!!!

The winner of our Spring Giveaway was picked by my youngest son the old fashion way! All entries were placed in a bowl and a tiny hand drew out..... #1!
The Winner is Jingle!

The Business of Doing Business: Are you a Business or a Hobby?

There has been a lot of talk about pricing. Lots of talk about too high, too low! I think it really comes down to are you a hobby or a business? Having a small business in your home can give you great tax breaks, many great deductions and a loss can be deducted from you other household income.

See these links for more great information:

How do you know if you are a business? There is the "3 of 5" test, need to make a profit 3 out of the 5 years you are in business. A loss more the 2 years in a row can get you flagged for an audit by the IRS. So if you have a loss on year 3 be prepared to prove you are a business.

See these links for more great information:

Pricing is hard to figure out and there are many formulas. The base to all of them is figuring out your cost. Cost - supplies + fees/overhead + Expenses + your time (wage) = Wholesale. Retails is double wholesale. Most Etsy shops that are making real money/"quite your day job" also do wholesale. Make sure you do your math before engaging is consignment and wholesale ventures.

See these links for more great information:

Hope these tips help you see the difference and help you on your way to having success!

Have a pricing formula or great tax tip add it to the comments to share with others!!

Wordless Wednesday: Spring Flowers

Sneak Peek, What's New this Week

Fairy Charm School
 That year we meet Miss Marigold as she move to The Fairy Ring and opened the Charm School.

 The fairy children enjoyed their days filled with learning and play.

 Today they will share show and Tell. Pansy brings her pet Ladybug and Sweetpea bring her favorite leaf from her collection. Miss Marigold brings special cookies from Pytunia's Stand.

  And on a very rare New Year's Blue Moon there was magic all around as new thing sprouted up in The Fairy Ring.

 A playground for the little one. 

What comes next? You will have to wait and see, but here is a hint.... it happens only on a Blue Moon!
You can shop for my The Fairy Ring toys on Etsy and find other magical toys.

Thoughts on the importance of natural toys for creative play

The Fairies' Nest says:
With all the over stimulation that children are exposed to in our modern culture they need the time and the tools to connect with the natural world in a peaceful and harmonious way. This is how we learn to think creatively and critically! Natural toys are a part of this because they allow for open ended play that requires imagination. And just getting kids outside is so important...let them make up their own games, build forts, and find treasures like acorn tea cups and magic stick wands. This is the stuff of magic!

My Family's Story: A Boy and His Dog

My oldest was an early talker, thinker, and doer. From the time he was 2 he would look out the front door and just wait. Sitting there for the longest time. One day I asked him what he was waiting for, he looked up and said, "My dog Gossy". There  it was, words sent out into the universe. The dreams of a child and his faith they would come true.

It did, the day they met was magical. Gossy was a rowdy boy the former owner said, no one wanted him. I think he was just waiting for his real boy to show up. He came over an sat by us and to this day there has never been more of a gentleman of a dog then he.

He loves his family and watches those kids like a good knight! He loves to herd them like a good cattle dog would. He has a sweet face and fits in perfectly to our active house. So if you are debating if a family pet is right for your family follow your heart. Be open to the good things that will come your way, even the 4 legged good things!

 Look at that face! 
Good boy Gossy! Good Boy!

Wordless Wednesday: Spring Showers

Mermaid Tale part 2

The morning waters were cold, and it was hard for the mergirls to leave their warm seaweed beds. First up was Story, ready to face the day and the journey that was ahead of them. She made gentle ripples in the water as she waved her tail in her sisters’ direction, waking them. Their coral home was filled with the song that their mother sang. A song of the tale of the journey to the rainbow valley and the visit to the home of the other magical creatures. The girls were overflowing with joy, and they bounced out of their beds with the realization that this year they would be allowed to go on the journey as well.

After a few bits to eat, their family was off. Father would meet them later in the deep sea and they could not wait to see him. All along the way they saw new sea life and creatures in bright colors. It seemed as though the sea was alive again with spring. A school of dolphins swam by and greeted the family. The girls were having a grand time playing hide the shell and racing the young dolphins . It was as if the whole ocean was their playground. Mother swam ahead and was never very far. As long as they could hear her sing they knew they were safe.

Verse was not as strong a swimmer as her sisters and so mostly stayed with mother. When she felt stronger she would venture out to frolic and play with her sisters. The mermaids found an old ship and decided to take a rest and find some food to eat. Mother Song reminded them not to go to far, but allowed them to explore. The girls decided to play hide and seek since Verse had been longing to play. Reason, ever so thoughtful, decided to take the first turn as seeker, so as she counted her sisters began to hide.

Verse saw Story and Rhyme duck into small spaces and heard them giggle as they went. She wanted to find a great place, but her bright red hair would always give her away. No matter how she tried, it would alway sneak out and be like a big flag waving in the water giving her hiding spot away. Verse decided to go into a hole on the side of the ship and quickly braided her hair to keep it tame. She found a cozy dark spot in a corner, and tucked her tail in behind some old crates and barrels.

Reason was outside and wasted no time finding Story and Rhyme, and they all went off together to find Verse. The girls were starting to get worried just as their mother started to sing to let them know it was time to leave. The three girls looked at each other and all feared the same thing. What if they could not find her, what if mother found out? Would she think them not old enough for the journey and take them all back? They started to softly call her name, but got no reply. They split up and searched more of the area.

Then Rhyme saw the hole in the ship with a dark shadow moving inside. Calling to her sisters to join her, she hurriedly explained what she saw. The mergirls hearts beat a little faster as they knew all too well what it was. A shark, long, grey and fierce looking! Story gave a little cry, and they all became very fearful. Just then the shark saw them too, and now the sisters all knew they were in trouble!

Come back next week to see what happens......

One year ago I introduced my Mermaid Tales. To find out about my inspiration for the mermaids go here.
You can shop for my mermaids on Etsy and find other magical toys.
To Read: Part 1

NaturalKids Eye Candy




Business Solutions : Etsy Finds

Great Office Storage


My Studio

 Dream Board

Okay, so I am using the term  studio very loosely. Like when you are first moving to a big city and look at a  "studio" apartment and find out it means that your closet in your childhood  bedroom is larger then the whole apartment! My room is 5' by 9' and with that  kind of space you need to design upward!
I also had to get better lighting,  and so, I made a spot right by one of my windows to use as my photography area.  I have a shipping and packaging area, display area, idea in progress area, and  lots of storage. I reused what I could, bought items from IKEA and got some from  Freecycle! 
My IKEA storage is great for keeping all my little items organized  and I have two great little helpers that love to do inventory for unfinished  pieces they can paint! Hope you like getting a glimpse into my world.

Next week I will show you my new space as I have taken over the room adjacent to this small room. I have been finding great Etsy Finds for Business Solutions and I can't wait to share them with you. 

Thoughts on the importance of natural toys for creative play

Woolies on Etsy says:
Children's imaginations are incredible things. I love to see a child come alive, with a natural toy in their hands. I think a big set of natural blocks is one of the greatest toys a child can have - let them imagine a city or a fort or a tunnel. One day I'll write a book - Plastic is the death of the human race. (lol).

Twitter 101

Understanding Twitter:
Twitter is best done if you think of it as making connections not friends. Think of what you type as a commercial but add a little personality to it by adding some of you daily thoughts and activities.
How to get Started:
You only see what people you follow type and followers are the only people who see what you type
Now the first step ( after filling out you profile and what you type are you keywords for people to search for you!) is you must go follow people, up on the right hand side click {find people). Now type in keywords: Etsy, Mom, Mother,Crafter, Kids, etc., next click to follow them.
Next Step:
They will then follow you! Then in a few days follow some more people. You will slowly build a following (people who see what you type).
Then go to the Twitter and Facebook Promotion Page and copy and paste text!
Keep an eye on the followers and make sure you follow them back or they will unfollow you! (I do not follow back anyone who has semi - porn text or photo)
All collage art  and decor art can be found on Etsy.
MapleShadeKids is a member of the NaturalKids Team on Etsy. Wanda is a mother of 3 children and says: Many of my works are inspired by nature and the simple things in life: little birds, hugs, the huge maple trees surrounding our New England farmhouse and all the little critters living in them.
Check out some of her links:

Wordless Wednesday: The Princess

Mermaid Tales Part 1

Mermaid Family
Mermaid AccessoriesUnderwater, where the mermaids live, is a magical wonderland full of life. Once in a blue moon the mermaids make the rare journey to Fairyland, and the little mer-girls have a wonderful adventure along the way. Now you can join them with thisMother and Daughter Mermaids wonderful playset.
The Spring thaw is upon us and the creeks, lakes and rivers are all overflowing. The many waters have blended together all the way to the sea. It is at this time of year that the Mermaids make the great trip to visit the other magical creatures.
Rhyme, Reason, Story, and Verse are all old enough and strong enough to make the trip. Come join them on their adventure to see things that were once just bedtime tales to them. These wonderful little girls are ready to swim and play.
Reason is thoughtful. She is the More Mermaid Accessoriesoldest twin and oldest of all the sisters. She thinks through problems and keeps peace between her sisters.
Rhyme is a sweet little Mermaid who loves to play. She is the youngest of Mermaid Setthe twins. She loves to play hide and seek in the coral reef.
Story weaves tales for her sisters. Tales about land dwellers, humans, and fairies alike.
Verse is the youngest; she is whimsical and fiery as her hair. She has a big adventurous side and often gets in trouble for wandering too far.
Song is the mommy, and she loves her little girls. She teaches them and keeps them safe, but they love it most when she sings.

Come back next week to find out what happens next!
One year ago I introduced my Mermaid Tales. To find out about my inspiration for the mermaids go here.
You can shop for my mermaids on Etsy and find other magical toys.

NaturalKids Eye Candy


Thoughts on the importance of natural toys for creative play

HandFull on Etsy says:
  A child's mind is first.  The toys (or clothing) are an extension of the child's essence.  The energy that comes through the child brings a toy to life.  Therefore, keep it simple and natural and hear the sounds of the child.  Nobody want to hear a noisy toy.

Update To Business 2010

As my business has grown it has become a part of the family. My husband helps with the branding, website, and marketing needs. My kids love to sort all the unfinished wooden pieces and help put the pieces together for orders.

I am also very happy and proud to add my parents to our business. This is a wonderful creative outlet for their retirement years.

My mom, Barbara Anne, helps with the prepping and finish work like sanding. She will soon be adding some wonderful sewn items that work with the toys and have been waiting on my "to create" list. Items that will help with storing and carrying the playsets and toys.

My dad, Fred, will be doing the cutting of my wooden creations. We have found a wonderful local "mom and pop" sawmill to get all the wood we need. My father has always loved wood working and I have stocked his work shed with lots of new tools for creating fun play things.

A little Etsy Love Today

Easter/Spring NaturalKids Team Blog-A-Thon

The NaturalKids Team was started by woodmouse in 2007. Early members included faerierebecca, fairiesnest, cozycottage. It was a small group, with a small presence on etsy. Since that time members have come and gone but our mission has stayed the same. To be a group of sellers dedicated to creating natural products for children. We are a diverse group of artisans who make natural toys, utensils, clothing and accessories for kids. Our sellers work with materials from the Earth, such as wool, cotton, silk and wood. Our goal is to support, promote and have fun together while building our businesses. 
One of our 1st Team Blog Post read as below and it is still true today....
We are a diverse bunch from all over the globe who have at least one thing in common:  we all work with natural materials in our products for children.  Oh yeah, and we're all pretty darn crafty & talented too!  Wool, wood, cotton...just simple materials direct from the Earth.


So who are we?  
Some of us are mothers of small children.
Some of us are mothers of grown children.
Some of us make dolls, some of us make hats, some of us make toys.
Some of us have been selling our wares for many years.
Some of us are just starting to discover our talents and start selling.
Some of us work with natural materials for environmental reasons.
Some of us work with natural materials as part of the Waldorf educational philosophy.
Some of us work with natural materials because we believe they are healthier and safer.
Some of us just like working with natural materials.
Some of us sell our wares for a living.
Some of us sell our wares as a hobby.

Since that time, some of us are fathers.

To celebrate Spring I am offering a giveaway something sweet to arrive in time for Easter. 


Magic Mushroom Garden Set

 To enter this giveaway you must:
Be a follower or become a follower of this blog.
You must leave a comment with contact information. 
You may blog about this Giveaway to get an additional entry.
You may Facebook about this Giveaway to get an additional entry.
You may tweet about this Giveaway to get an additional entry.
This Giveaway is open to everyone, everywhere!
Giveaway will end March 26, 2010.

Thank you for reading and now join in the fun to take a trip to see what you may find at these NaturalKids Team Members Blogs! Happy Spring!!!