Posts Tagged ‘babies and children’

And now for a nature documentary…

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Narrator: “The miniature giraffe, here spotted in a family group, is happiest roaming across the savannahs of your child’s bedroom…”

sewitseams blog

 

Adopt a mini giraffe today »

 

Simon and Kate Peterson: crafting traditional toys with a contemporary twist

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Simon and Kate Peterson are a husband and wife maker duo located in the ever-beautiful and sunny Hawkes Bay. Their brand Peterson Woodcraft is all about hand crafted wooden traditional toys with a modern twist. In their spare time they moonlight as parents to four little ones aged 8 and under, drink probably far too much coffee and like to pretend that 7am is a sleep-in.

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What do you make?
We make a variety of hand crafted wooden toys, from trolleys and wooden letters to bespoke wooden dolls houses and castles. Simon (the stay at home parent) does much of the product design and wood working while juggling children and school pick-ups, while Kate (who is a librarian by day) handles all the marketing, social media etc, and hand painting of the products.

How did you get started with your craft?
An appropriate answer would be something along the lines of how Kate was always creative and Simon always wanted to make wooden toys and other beautiful things. However, honestly, it really started out of boredom and a desire to contribute to the household income!

Simon has been the stay at home dad since our eldest was just three months old and then when we moved to Hastings two years ago our moving truck crashed and we lost almost everything we owned. Suddenly we were in this position where everything got evaluated (for insurance purposes, yay) and needs and wants were also really re-evaluated.

With our twin girls blissfully still napping, the older two off at school and Kate off at work, Simon realised his days at home were numbered and he might need to get a real job one day – something neither of us particularly wanted! So, with a bit of space to dream up something, a little insurance money and a loan from our parents, Simon got stuck in creating in his new man cave. Kate, originally just a backer and encourager from the sidelines, quickly got involved in product design and the paint finishing, and it all went from there.

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Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
Besides some 5th and 6th form woodworking and art classes, and a short stint into carpentry – nope! It has been a self taught, research and discovery as we go approach. And really this is partly what makes it more fun.

Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
Wood is the obvious answer. Kate never felt that strongly about it until we started working with it all the time, now she is really into grains and textures too! But dreaming things up on paper and computer screen is also a huge part of it.

Describe your creative process:
It usually starts on a bit of scrap paper the kids have drawn on and then the computer. Someone asks us to create something we haven’t done before, or Kate has spent too much time on the internet, and then a whole lot of research and tinkering on screen goes on. Simon draws it up the idea in a programme on the computer so we can get a good look at it from all angles and can work out materials etc. This design phase and problem solving part is something Simon really enjoys. For Kate, having a good cup of coffee, some music and time out to just go paint is a lovely way to spend a Sunday.

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Describe your workspace:
Currently? There isn’t one! Very excitingly, we have just moved in to our first home. So at the moment the ‘workspace’ is filled with boxes and other miscellaneous children-related paraphernalia (who knew they could have so much stuff). The great news now, though, is we actually have a dedicated wood working space, as well as a connected unit to use as a painting and finishing studio. Before this we were painting on the floor of the sleep-out of a house we rented!

Your favourite feedback from a customer:
Thankfully, we have had a lot of positive feedback and it really is important… especially for a couple of perfectionists who agonise over the details! This bit of feedback recently really made our month though:
“We are absolutely blown away by the quality of workmanship and attention to details, totally exceeded our expectations (from packaging to the product itself)! Thank you Simon!”

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What are you currently listening to?
We have The Rock radio station on almost always! If it is not that then it’s the cricket (which Kate HATES).

What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
The last probably, and one of Kate’s favourite things was a Chocolate Fish keyring made by Kellyvize. It always is a conversation starter! It is amazing how many people think Kate has a half eaten chocolate fish laying around the place.

What’s in store for 2017?
Settling in and setting up our workspace is our first priority, and a really exciting one! After that we have been working on some designs for wooden Rapunzel towers and castles – one off bespoke pieces – and we can’t wait to make these come to life.

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As a special treat for Felt customers Peterson Woodcraft are offering free shipping on all products bought through Felt for the next fortnight – just enter the voucher code FELTMTM17 at checkout. Offer is open until Monday 27 March and is available to New Zealand residents only.

 

Purchase from Peterson Woodcraft here »

 

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Easter eggs that last forever

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Personalised wooden Easter egg by The Elves & the Woodbotherer

Start a new tradition this Easter and commission a special personalised wooden Easter Egg from Woodbotherer. These beautiful keepsakes come in a variety of designs including this lovely hand drawn Peter Rabbit image, and they can be personalised with a name and a small flower on the back.

Be in quick – order for New Zealand Easter delivery by 18 March for standard post or 21 March for delivery by courier.

 

Order your personalised Easter eggs now »

 

Traditional toys made to last for generations

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

Traditional Wooden Train Set by Tekton Toys

Daniel of Tekton Toys handcrafts traditional wooden toys in his Christchurch workshop, following a simple philosophy of no paint and no plastic. His toys are made using good quality hardwoods – walnut, oak, kauri, kwila and ash – and constructed to last for generations, with a natural beeswax finish.

We think Tekton Toys’ pull along toys make a gorgeous gift for a first or second birthday, while the sturdy trains, planes and automobiles make great gifts for toddlers through to school age children, encouraging creative play and feeding young imaginations.

Traditional Wooden Spitfire Plane by Tekton Toys

Traditional Wooden Pull-Along Duck by Tekton Toys

 

See more traditional toys from Tekton Toys »

 

Back to school: brilliant lunchbags

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

We love these practical and eco-friendly lunchbags from Pip Pottage Designs. Made from 100% organic canvas, Pip’s Happy Lunch Bags have a sturdy cotton canvas outer outer and a heavy unbleached organic hemp/cotton blend canvas liner.

They’re double stitched for durability and have a handle and wooden toggle for easy use. The cloth gives you flexibility to take those hard to pack items that just don’t fit in a normal sized lunch box, and extra stitching on the edges help to keep its shape.

Best of all, they’re totally machine washable. Get some for your tribe today!

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Beautiful bonnets

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Warmer days are on the way and everyone, including the little ‘uns, will be needing protection from the sun.

We love these deep-brimmed bonnets, in gorgeous retro prints, for babies and children from Nella. They’re a super-cute and practical way to help your kids stay sun safe!

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See more from Nella here »

 

Simply creative play

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Beautiful, whimsical wooden toys from Dean’s Workshop

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Purchase from Dean’s Workshop here »

 

Baby’s got sole…

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

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Sweet shoes for tiny toes from Baby’s Got Sole »

 

Adorable buddy bunnies from Pink Basket

Sunday, September 4th, 2016

All together now: Awwww! We think these sleeping buddy bunnies from Pink Basket are some of the cutest cuddlies we’ve seen in a while. Pink Basket have a host of engaging critters like these guys looking for homes, so make sure you check them out.

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Purchase from Pink Basket here »

 

Not your regular blocks

Monday, August 29th, 2016

We love these wooden gem blocks from the clever folk at Dean’s Workshop. A wonderful set for imaginative play, and balance and motor skills, they also make a great addition to your existing block sets.

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See more beautiful wooden toys from Dean’s Workshop »