Introducing Armadillo Dreams and An Awesome Giveaway to Boot!

EDIT: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone that entered :)

With all our shop talk recently, it is nice to take a break and "formally" (as formally as anything CAN get around here :) introduce everyone to Amanda and Dustin of Armadillo Dreams. To help you get to know them and their shop a little better, please sit back and enjoy this interview I had with Dustin. I'll see you on the "other side" to tell you all about the terrific giveaway that they are sponsoring :)

Kimara: How would you describe Armadillo Dreams to someone that has never been to your shop?
Dustin: A fun toy shop full of handmade wooden toys that encourage creative play and use of imagination. We offer a mix of natural finish toys and painted toys. You will find things like figures, animals, fantasy themed toys, play sets, baby teething toys and toddler pull toys.
Kimara: How did you get started?
Dustin: During the summer of 2010 I discovered a passion for woodworking while building a backyard chicken coop/run. Once the project was complete I felt disappointed that it was
...Read more

Wooden Acorn Memory Game

Memory games of all types have long been a favorite of children. This version has children matching acorns of the same color. Besides enhancing memory skills, color recognition, counting and sorting abilities, it also encourages agility and dexterity in wee hands. And, because they are beautiful, they add to the warmth and charm to any room!

To make your own you will need:

12 wood bean pots - 1 5/8"
12 wood acorns - 1 3/8"
sandpaper, fine
wood stain (optional)
wood paint
beeswax finish

Note: All materials used should be non toxic and child safe.

IMPORTANT SAFETY WARNING: The acorns are small and considered a choke hazard. Although generally it is recommended that small parts should not be given to children under 3 years of age, we highly recommended you do not give small parts to any child that still puts toys in their mouth, no matter how old they are!

Using fine grit sandpaper, sand wood pieces smooth. Wipe off to remove any saw dust.

Using a non toxic, child safe wood stain, stain the inside and outside of the bean pots and the caps of the acorns. I found it easiest to use a hard bristle paint brush to apply the stain...Read more

Out of the Block | Wooden Kites w/wo Pegs

Continuing with our Out of the Block Series, we are sharing ways in which our Applique Blocks can be used in non-traditional ways. This month, we took our Kite Applique Block

and turned it into a wooden kite with a peg suitable for hanging "stuff" :) Of course, if you just want to use them for decoration, simply leave the peg off, and let a sky full of kites grace your child's room. (BTW... if you'd like to see how we painted the wall behind the kites, check out the post found HERE.)





To make your own Wooden Kites with Pegs you will need:

3/4" pine
shaker pegs (optional)
wood paint
cotton roping for tail
woven fabric
Kite Applique Pattern enlarged 200%


Enlarge Kite Applique Pattern 200% and make a copy. Using packing tape around edges of the kite pattern, cut out the kite. This will be your template used for tracing the kite on the wood.

Using your pattern template you just created, trace the kites on your wood.

...Read more

Out of the Block | Kite Wall Pegs

I remember as a little girl getting nearly giddy when the spring winds began to blow. On the wind there were scents of thawing dirt, decaying vegetation and worms! But, there was also the smell of LIFE. All around there were signs of spring... trees budding, bulbs tentatively pushing up their new leaves and birds returning from places unknown, as gray clouds filled the sky, only to be swept away by the always present spring breezes.

But, by far, one of my favorite things about spring was the ubiquitous plethora of kites that seemed to sprout up anywhere there was a cash register! You could find kites at grocery and drug stores, but they were also available at hardware stores and gas stations. They were the cheap paper kites, but to me, they were all beautiful! I can remember thinking long and hard before I picked out a kite... did I want soft, pastel colors, or something bright and bold? Once we selected our kites, it was deemed a Daddy Thing, to get them put together, while Mom found old sheets to rip up for the tail.

You learned early on not to...Read more

Last, But Not Lest... Pixie's Christmas Gift

Pixie is a sorter. Actually, she was born a sorter. Seems like from the minute she could collect a stash of toys around herself, she was dividing things into piles. Sometimes the categorizations were self evident, other times, we just had to assume their was method to her madness :) To this day, given a chance, she sorts. Just ask Bug. He can leave his Legos for just a bit, and when he returns, Pixie will have sorted the pieces by color! (Not always a welcomed turn of events, I might add!)

So, I have no doubt that Pixie will love her new toys. Like Little Lady, I made Pixie a rainbow drawstring bag. Inside the bag she will find:

Acorns a plenty, to be sorted, used in the kitchen, and I'm sure in various ways with her wee folks. (There are 18... 3 of each color.)

And when she is in the mood to sort her acorns, she'll have matching bowls to hold them. Although I know they will also be used to hold her doll's soup and her bear's porridge.

...Read more