Today’s giveaway is from a crafty mama named Ann. Her etsy shop is called Simply Playing, and you can also find her at her blog, and on Facebook. I asked Ann to share a little about herself and the inspiration behind her small business with all of you:
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.
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 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.
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 is the fibers 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.
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 create is 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 besides 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.
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.
Coming soon to Simply Playing will be handspun yarn that will be either 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 is offering one Small Things reader the above pictured 70 yard skein of worsted weight rainbow handspun yarn along with one of her jewelry making kits (also pictured above.) She is also offering a 15% discount on all purchases from her shop for the month of October. Use the coupon code SMALLTHINGS15.
For your chance to win, simply leave a comment on this post. For a second chance, “like” Simply Playing on Facebook and come back here and leave a second comment letting me know you have done so. Comments are closed and the winners is Alexa “I think most parents want the same warmth, love and soul-filled journey for their children as you do. Thanks for such a wonderful opportunity to relish beautiful, handmade toys.”
Thanks Ann, and Simply Playing!