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Sponsor Giveaway from Gypsy Forest

Today I would like to introduce you to Stephinie, the lovely owner of a beautiful Etsy shop called Gypsy Forest. Stephinie is going to share here about her business and inspiration and is generously offering one of her stunning large rainbow canopy silks as a giveaway.

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Hello there. I am Stephinie, the maker behind Gypsy Forest Handmade. In my shop you will find carefully crafted, beautiful items to nurture and encourage imaginative play in the lives of little ones. I think beauty and usability go hand in hand, and of course everything in my shop is made entirely of natural materials. I am also a mama to four, wife to a sweet guitar playing man and writer of the blog Gypsy Forest.

bees

The spindrift quilt is the heart and soul of Gypsy Forest Handmade. The very first one was sewn up for my youngest child who was born in a small fishing town in coastal Alaska. I hoped to capture the motion of soft rolling waves along the edge of his quilt. Nearly five years later, it is still his most favorite blanket. After sewing several up for new babies, friends and family encouraged me to open my shop. Over the past three years the shop has grown to offer hand-dyed playsilks, reversible aprons, note-cards, and I hope to add some larger quilts this fall. My favorite item to wrap and send out though, are my spindrift quilts. The thought of a little one swaddled in one of these special quilts always warms my mama heart.

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My creative process is a mix of practicality and beauty. I’m a true capricorn girl, and my creative spirit is too. I love choosing beautiful fabrics and coming up with new colorways for playsilks, but equally important to me is the durability and open ended possibility for anything I offer in my shop. Aprons can be used in the kitchen, as dress up play, and are fully reversible. Playsilk colors are inspired by my time spent outdoors, they can be used for anything a little mind can imagine and they take up a tiny bit of space in the play area. The spindrift quilts start out swaddling a new baby, become a favorite nap time blanket, and then a perfect sized travel blanket. My goal is to create something that will be loved and passed along from child to child.

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The newest item in the shop is a set of extra small playsilks. They are 11×11 inches and come in a set of four colors. My own kids use these with their wooden figures. They could also be used to decorate a nature table, play peek-a-boo, doll play, hankies, dress up…. the possibilities are truly limitless. Be sure to keep an eye out for a silk of the month club coming this summer, exclusive colors just for members of the club!

Gypsey Forest Collage

 

Gypsy Forest Social Media Links:

twitter

facebook 

blog 

shop

pinterest

~~~Giveaway~~~

Canopy Playsilk1

Gypsey Forest Large Playsilk1

Giveaway from Stephinie:

I would love to give one of you a large rainbow canopy silk. It’s a soft pastel hued silk that measures 45×108 inches. It works wonderfully as a fort building tool or can be used to create a tent for outdoor play….

This beautiful large rainbow canopy silk is valued at $ 42.00.

To enter this giveaway:

Leave a comment in this post, to earn extra entries, please share about this giveaway on your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest pages or share on Instagram. Remember to post extra comments each time you share:)

This giveaway will close on the 11 of April and the winner will be announced in this post.

This giveaway is open world-wide.

This Giveaway is now Closed

Congratulations to:

Anna April 6, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Fingers crossed that its my lucky day ;)

Coupon Code:

Stephinie is also offering 10% off to Natural Suburbia readers in her shop, please use this coupon code : “naturalsuburbia” in the checkout.

Thank you so much for sharing here today Stephinie and for your generous giveaway:)

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Sponsor Giveaway from Sparkle Stories

Today I bring you a wonderful interview and giveaway from Lisabeth and David of  Sparkle Stories!

Our 7 year old son Kye really enjoys listening to these beautiful audio stories. He loves to draw and often asks me to put a story on for him to listen to while he is drawing. I love that Sparkle Stories is available online and that they have many free stories on their website to for you to listen to. I’m sure many of you have already heard about this wonderful business and if you haven’t, you will be so glad to have discovered them now:)

I give you Lisabeth and David,

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Lisabeth and David

Sparkle Stories produces original audio stories for families around the world.  We have eight original Story Series, and a ninth that features classic tales and verses — all of which follow the seasons of the year.  Families can subscribe and hear fresh stories each week, or they can try our single-purchase stories — with easy downloads right off the Sparkle site.

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

The idea for Sparkle seemed to drop right from the sky, in a lovely flash of realization.  This was almost 3 years ago.  I had been saying quiet prayers for insight into our family’s direction — for a good long time — and then one night, there it was:  the idea for Sparkle!

Here’s what happened:  I was online, hunting for quality audio stories for kids, and I couldn’t find much of what I was looking for.  I wanted stories that reflected the kind of home I was striving to create for my family; stories that inspire and bring joy and, at the same time, offer a picture of childhood that is simple and play-filled and kind.

And I was finding places online where other families were expressing the same thing: a need for high quality audio stories for their own families.

And then I realized: I’m married to the very man who could create those stories!  David has an incredible ability to spin beautiful stories at the drop of the hat.  He developed his talents over the years of classroom teaching and parenting — using stories to teach as well as to manage classroom dynamics and challenges.  I thought: What if I could tap his talent as a resource!

And then I got goosebumps, and promptly ran to tell him my idea.  And so Sparkle was born.

It took us six months of planning, and a several years of good hard work to get it to where it is now.  But as of the last year (almost!), we’ve both been working full time for Sparkle.  Which, for us, is a huge success story!

 

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Who or what is your inspiration?

David gets ideas from all sorts of places — from the experiences our family has in the world, from emails we receive from subscribers, from conversations he has or people he meets. Often the most powerful stories come from what’s going on in our own family.

A good example: one of our most recent stories, “Jack Tar’s Brave Day“, was inspired by one of our boys, who is learning to read.  He is learning more slowly than his peers, which is — in the larger scheme of things — perfectly normal and fine.  However, for him, it is embarrassing, and even shameful.  It was something he wanted to hide.  David created the story to reassure and inspire him.  And it worked beautifully.   And now it lives in the by Thistle by Thimble Sample Audio Book, for other families to enjoy.

martin + sylvia to share

 

What is your creative process?

David starts with the seed of an idea — whether that’s a question from a subscriber, or a conflict our kids are having, or even just a simple image.  Then at bedtime, he spins a story for our two boys — allowing the story to unfold as he tells it.  (He calls this “Intuitive Storytelling”.)  After that, he writes it down and hands it to me.

My part in the creative process is to act as editor — as my gift is being able to craft a tight, satisfying “narrative”.  I make sure that the story feels complete, and clear, and inspiring for the young listener.

And then the story hits our home-based recording studio — where David records and edits the audio version.  It goes through a final “listening” by Anne, who partners with us to make sure it’s just right.  And then we post it to be ready for a future Friday!  (All the new stories come out on Fridays.)

What do you enjoy most about your business?

It’s beautiful to have a business that engages our talents.  I’ve so enjoyed watching David be able to tap all of his incredible creativity, and then have that work support our family fully.

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

We just launched our third “Martin & Sylvia” series – “Martin & Sylvia: More Adventures!”   We had been receiving constant email requests from families:  “more more more please!”   Martin & Sylvia stories are the hands-down favorites among listeners — so it’s been fun to create a third series.

Also worth mentioning: our stories follow the Seasons — which is part of their delight.  But our initial system was totally based in the Northern Hemisphere.  So Australian and New Zealand subscribers would write in and say “This is nice and all, but it’s odd to listen to winter stories in summer!”  This fall we launched two separate Subscription Systems: one for families in the Southern Hemisphere, and one for families in the Northern!

So now subscribers in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa are listening to stories in the Southern Hemisphere order!  Which is super exciting.

Sparkle Stories Social Media Links:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

 

 

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Sparkle Stories Giveaway:

We’re giving away a three-month subscription to any three Subscription Series!  The winner can choose from our eight Subscription Series, and enjoy a season full of stories.  (Best way to learn about the Series is to listen to the Samples on the Subscriptions page.)

For everyone, we have an easy “trial” package!  It’s the Sparkle Stories $1-for-the-first-month of subscription discount.  Pick from one of three Subscription Packages, and enjoy stories for a whole month!  (You’ll end up with 4+ hours of stories!)  If you love it, the subscription will be ongoing — you don’t have to do anything.  If you want to change it, you can simply log in and try a different series, or cancel all-together.  Click here to read all about it.

**How to Enter the Giveaway:**

Please leave a comment. To earn extra entries, please share about this giveaway on your Facebook page, Twitter, pin on Pinterest or share on Instagram. Remember to leave a comment each time you share for extra entries.

The winner will be announced on the 7th of April here in this post.

Congratulations to:

Carle April 3, 2013 at 9:21 am

and Im pinning it!

woo hoo for me!

Thank you so much Lisabeth and David for sharing your story here with us and for this wonderful giveaway!

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Sponsor Giveaway from Ziezo Designs!

It is with great pleasure that I welcome and introduce Andrea to you from Ziezo Designs. Andrea, is also offering a gorgeous giveaway, a red pencil roll filled with 12 coloured pencils!

Rainbow felt crown, Ziezo

Waldorf Birthday Crown

The beginnings of my business

Our move from South Africa to Kenya, five years ago, allowed me to stay at home full-time with my three kids (the last one was born a few months after our arrival).  It was here that I had a chance to re-connect with my creative side, which I had neglected for a good decade while studying and working.

Our choice to choose Waldorf Education for our children was another important contributor to my creative path eventually leading to the magic combination Waldorf and one’s own creativity can become.  An entrepreneurial friend and my husband encouraged me to create a label and sell my goods.  The Ziezo label was the next step and it became my new passion, which I can combine in wonderful ways with being a mum.

Ziezo Pencil Roll

Pencil Roll, Pencil Case

Who or what is your inspiration?

My main inspiration comes from my children and their respectful, wondrous, and innocent view of the world and nature.  Creating something that enhances their imagination and creativity is such fun.  Lately, more functional items have also become part of my creations based on the children’s path to requesting functional items in addition to fantasy items.  The pencil-case roll is one of those most recent functional creations.

ziezo - rainbow wings

Butterfly Wings

What is your creative process?

When I get ideas, I try to work them out in my head and then as I go along.  It’s a hands-on process through trial and error.  The prototype then evolves as I continue to work on the initial idea.

I also prefer to work with natural materials and you will find a lot of East African cottons such as kanga and kikoys in my creations as well as hand-dyed silk and wool-felt.  I further try to re-use pre-loved fabrics such as denim and felted wool jumpers in my creations.  The materials often spark my inspiration.

What do you enjoy most about your business?

I enjoy the crafting time itself.  It’s a time for me to balance and to come to an inner calm.  The business side is a nice side effect where you get to know lovely people all over the world who appreciate your work.  Each time one of my creations is sold, it triggers great excitement and deep gratitude for the trust expressed in my work.

Kanga Apron

Apron

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

My products are developing as my children grow older.  As my daughter is starting to use pencils more and more, my most recent product is the pencil roll.  A simple practical yet colourful and fun way to keep the pencils tidy.

I have also started experimenting with dyeing felt in rainbow colours as my rainbow coloured butterfly wings have been in high demand.  My first felt rainbow products are crowns, but I am certain that other items will also develop once I have more experience in dying the felt.

Ziezo Designs Social Media Links:

Etsy Shop

Facebook Page

Blog

Pinterest

Giveaway:

Pencil roll collage (2)

Giveaway Description:

Ziezo Designs is giving away a red pencil roll filled with 12 coloured pencils.

The pencil roll is made out of traditional East African kikoy fabric and lined with recycled denim.  The roll can be closed easily by little hands through the button and elastic loop system.  The wooden triangular pencils are easy to hold for little hands and are PEFC certified for being made of wood from sustainably managed forests and controlled sources.

To Enter this Giveaway:

Please leave a comment, if you would like to earn extra entries, please share on Facebook, Twitter, Pin on Pinterest or share on Instagram. Remember to leave a comment for each time you share:)

The winner will be chosen on the 4th of April and will be announced in this post.

This giveaway is international.

Congratulations to:) 🙂

Brigette April 1, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Thoroughly enjoyed reading this post! Your pencil roll is beautiful. I have an artistic son that I’d love to give as a gift if I’m chosen. The fabric is lovely. Thank you for sharing :)

Andrea, thank you so much for sharing your story here with us and for offering this beautiful giveaway, I absolutely love your pencil roll, it’s beautiful as well as portable, easy for children to use and can be carried along anywhere.

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