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Sponsor Giveaway from Simply Playing

Today I have a lovely interview and generous giveaway from Ann over at Simply Playing.

Linda: Tell us about the beginnings of your business and how it has  developed and grown.

Ann: I began making toys when my son started preschool at a Waldorf School four years ago. Before then I never really thought of making toys, they were just something you purchased.  But seeing the wonderful array of handmade items, including toys, that the children were surrounded with in the classroom of this school really moved me.  It was like an “ah ha” moment of, this is as it should be; children should be surrounded by warmth, beauty and items which have soul.
My Corner1

So, at first I only made toys for my son.  But after a while Sam had pretty much all he needed, but I didn’t want to stop making these knitted toys.  After inundating friends with gnomes, cats etc. I turned to Etsy as a way to be able to keep creating and sharing my love of wool toys.  My shop has grown over the years with items changing some, but always wool based material.  After a short while I turned to only using plant dyed wool as I felt that even deepened the handmade natural quality I wanted my toys to have.

Linda: Who or what is your inspiration?
Ann: My original inspiration for Simply Playing was definitely my son Sam, but I’ve always had a deep need within me to create.   Now, I’d say my inspiration are the fibres and toys themselves.  I can always see something more – another color, form or size and these changes, albeit small, really keep me moving forward.  After all these years of knitting cats, gnomes and crowns I still truly enjoy making them.  

fiberyarn gnome

Linda: What is your creative process?

Ann: My mood changes very frequently so I like to have many projects going on at once all in different stages.  One day I’ll want to only knit, the next day only sewing and stuffing toys will do.  Sometimes the rhythm of spinning is all I can think of to fill me up.  When I get to creating, it’s very random and really is woven throughout my entire day.  My son is now homeschooled which gives me more freedom and time to sit in my little corner of the living room, pick something from the basket beside my chair and knit, sew, stuff etc.  I will pretty much always end my day with knitting as a release for any worries and stress.

multibluecrown (3)

Linda: What do you enjoy most about your business?

Ann: What I enjoy most about my business is how I feel when I finish making a toy,  a doll blanket or a skein of yarn.  Knowing that each item really began with a bit of wool and then transformed into this warm soulful object filled with love, really makes me happy.  I mean you can’t help but smile when you have a knitted gnome in your hand – it just makes you feel good inside.  


 Linda: Are there any new exciting products you would like to tell us about?

Ann:Coming soon to Simply Playing will be handspun yarn that will either be in it’s natural color or plant dyed.  I’ve always purchased my plant dyed yarn so I am very excited to be taking on this part of the process myself.

Ann’s Social Media Links:



Ann is generously offering this beautiful hand knit bunny, knitted in a luxurious hands-pun wool and angora blend. Isn’t he gorgeous? Here is a link to the listing on her shop for you to read more about this lovely giveaway item:)

Ann is also offering my readers 15% off items in her shop for the month of September with the code NaturalSuburbia15

To enter this lovely giveaway for this beautiful handmade bunny, please leave a comment in this post. To earn extra entries, please share about this giveaway on your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram pages and leave extra comments here each time you share:)

The winner will be chosen on Wednesday the 18th of September and will be announced here.

Congratulations to Kathleen for winning the beautiful bunny.

Ann, thank you so much for sharing about your business with us today and for your lovely giveaway:)

Have a wonderful weekend friends:)

I would be very honoured to promote your handmade business, if you would like to sponsor on Natural Suburbia you can contact me at


Creative Friday and a Giveaway

Farm Animals

Farm Animals PDF E-Book

Hello friends,

Can you believe it’s Friday already? I can’t wait for tomorrow because Richard is arriving home from France, he’s only been gone since Sunday but I miss him and it feels like it’s been ages since I’ve seen him!

Welcome to Creative Friday,

Please feel free to post your links to anything you have created and would like to share, it can be a recipe, sewing tutorial, knitting tutorial, felting, crochet, crafts, art, spinning, weaving, working with fibre, photography, poetry…etc…

I have added a Creative Friday button on the sidebar of my blog, please feel free to add it to your blog for Creative Friday and link it to so others can find this space and share their creativity too:)

1. I have started a Creative Friday Flickr Group where you can post your beautiful photos that you link to each Creative Friday. To join the group, please go here.

2. If you would be so kind as to link back to Natural Suburbia in your blog post that would be lovely or pin, share on Facebook and Twitter


I compiled a little pdf e-book of my knitted animal patterns and I would like to offer one as a giveaway! It consists of the seven patterns featured in the above photo and a finishing tutorial.
To enter please leave a comment and to earn extra entries you can share on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest and remember to let me know here each time you share by leaving an extra comment:)

I’ll announce the winner here on Monday.

Congratulations to:
Gracey! I will email your e-book through to you:)

The E-book can be downloaded on my Etsy shop if you would like to purchase it.



Chickens and a Treehouse





Rhuse Tree Wood








I still really enjoy spending time watching our chickens, they have managed to dig out a large crater in our flower bed right outside our front door. It’s their favourite sand-bathing spot, even Delilah, our cat, loves rolling around in it but it’s usually occupied  by three or four chickens at a time, so she doesn’t really get a chance! They are so very entertaining, the way they contort their feathery bodies, while sand-bathing. The chicken in the top photo is called Brenda, she is the matriarch and the loudest by far! She is particularly fond of the sand-bathing depression in the soil and chases any other chickens that may be occupying it, if she feels inclined to have a bath.

Caiden has been wanting to work on his tree-house with Richard, so they went in search of pallets and found a wonderful company, just down the road that sells them. They returned home with pallets and some wood to repair one of my raised veggie boxes! I am so grateful for that because the boxes are in quite a state. They have been working on their tree-house for the past two weekends and have built a really beautiful house in our Yellow Stinkwwod tree in the front garden. It has been very special father and son time spent together. I climbed up there for a short while yesterday and I must say there is something wonderful about being up in a tree-house! Caiden is very proud of his work and spends a lot of his time up there.

Tomorrow is the start of our second school term and I’m looking forward to it. Jenna held her own First Class scout camp this weekend, she had an amazing time. She had to plan the entire camp herself, apply for a permit for the venue, prepare costings and shop for food to feed ten people for two days and a night. Her planned activities were teaching the group knot tying, CPR and a wide game (a game that is played by all the scouts attending the camp that takes up the entire area where they are camping, in this instance a large field by a lake). She had to cook a stew over a fire and make bread. The rice for the stew was cooked in a hay box! I can’t wait to try this myself! Jen had a very successful camp and an amazing weekend! We are very proud of her for everything she has achieved.

Canopy Silk from Gypsy Forest

PS. If you haven’t entered the gorgeous giveaway from Gypsy Forest for a Large Rainbow Canopy Silk, go here to enter.

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