Posts Tagged ‘creative play’

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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Calling future construction workers

Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

At least one of the Felt team (coughJocough) is seriously considering regressing to childhood so that they can own this awesome sandpit digger from Hebe. :-)

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Perfect for sandpits or gardens, this wooden digger has a swivel seat and moving levers for controlling the bucket. All Hebe products are backed by a lifetime structural warranty, so they’re a great gift for active youngsters. Check out Hebe now.

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 »

 

A rainbow of natural play dough!

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Natural Play Dough - Gorgeous Yellow by Dough Queen

Auckland’s Dough Queen Claire Shannon makes her natural non-toxic play dough based on the recipe her mother used to make play dough for her as a child. It’s produced with food grade ingredients you can find in your own kitchen, so if someone takes a nibble, there’s no need to panic.

The best little play dough artists need a varied palette and a good amount to work with, so Dough Queen play dough comes in 500g resealable pouches in a range of gorgeous hues. Great for rainy days, school holidays, and creative play!

Natural Play Dough – Candy Red by Dough Queen
Natural Play Dough – Luxury Grape by Dough Queen
Natural Play Dough - Apple Green by Dough Queen
Natural Play Dough - Cerulean Blue by Dough Queen

 

Buy a rainbow of play dough from Dough Queen »

 

Awesome active play for indoor days

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Here’s a fun, furniture-friendly, indoor activity for the kids on a winter’s day. Created 4 U’s indoor bowling set comes with six colourful pins, made from quality wool blend felt, and a hefty felt ball for knocking ‘em over. Strike!

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Browse more Created 4 U felt toys here »

 

Competition time! Win awesome chalkboard blocks and crazy cool chalk pieces

Monday, May 30th, 2016

Heads up! Two of our fabulous Felt makers have come up with a great giveaway competition of their imagination-friendly play products.

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The Maker of Crazy Crayons & Stuff and Peterson Woodcraft have found the perfect toy match – the Cheeky Chalk three vehicle footpath chalk set (new to the market) and the Chunky Chalkboard Block Set.

Vehicles + chalk + building + drawing = lots of imaginative play!

To enter, just visit each Felt shop, decide which two products you like best (pick one from each shop), and leave comment on this post telling us which ones you like and what appeals to you about them.

You can enter as many times as you like, as long as each comment is unique (no copying and pasting please). The competition ends Sunday 5th June and is open to New Zealand residents only.

 

Peruse Peterson Woodcraft now »

Check out Crazy Crayons and Stuff here »

 

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And don’t forget to like these Facebook pages to keep up with all the news:
facebook.com/iheartfelt
facebook.com/PetersonWoodcraft
facebook.com/CrazyCrayonsNZ