Time for A Change

Well really, if you follow me here at all you might be asking when has is NOT been a time of change for you, Erika? In the last three years I've had a baby (my third), taught at four different schools (a university, two different grade schools, an art college) been raising my kids, built a studio, and continued to make the toys I love to make. I've planned and schemed and hustled to do the work that is important to me and to carve out a life for me and my family.

Despite my lack of posting here I haven't stopped making toys...not at all. In fact, I'm happier now than ever with the toys I'm creating and I want to present them in a way that feels consistent with my aesthetic sense. I'm moving away from selling toys on Etsy and have begun creating my own website to showcase and sell my toys. The new name of my business is Mini Pomme and in time I hope to be selling stuffed toys, dolls and other children's goods under that name. The name Mini Pomme is a nod to my home town and the place I live and work, Minneapolis (the Mini Apple). Pomme is the French word for Apple and I think it has a delightful round, kind of bouncy sound. I grew up learning French  in school and I suppose I just have a little love for all things française...I named my son François for goodness sakes!

The new shop will soon be stocked with a collection of my favorite toys. I have a few new designs that I'm very excited to make more of, but there will be some toys I've been making for years that I still love there too. I'll still be selling some jointed mohair animals but that will not be my main focus. I haven't been doing very many custom orders as of late but I imagine I'll do even less of that once the new shop is open. I've got some other goods in mind as well...stay tuned for that. My hope is to have the shop open for business sometime this summer. There are some fundamental things about my work that will remain the same: I'm still a one woman operation making each toy from start to finish in my little studio using the highest quality materials. My production will remain fairly small as I am also a teacher and mother to three.

My new website is www.minipomme.net. I also have a new Instagram account: you can follow me at mini_pomme to see updates on what I'm working on in my studio and such as I don't seem to be posting here much anymore. I'll still use Facebook as a means of communication as well.

This blog has meant different things to me at different times over the last many years. It was instrumental in sharing and selling the things I do and make, but more importantly it was a way for me to connect with an amazing group of like minded people from around the world. I hope I can bring you all along with me on this new path and look forward to making new connections too.

I'll just leave this blog here for now. I like it as a record of who I am as a maker and where I started. I'm proud of it and the work I've made. I've made all these toys (so many!) because I love making special things for kids to love and cherish. My kids and yours are my inspiration and my motivation, period.



forest trolls!

My boys and I recently read a great old Norwegian book about trolls we got from their Grandma. One night after reading my son Jude said "Mom! You should make a troll!"

These are an adaptation of my felt dolls mixed with some techniques and materials I use for jointed animals. I was laughing to myself a lot in the studio as they came together. They've passed the ultimate kid test in our house: The trolls are getting tucked into bed with my boys every night :-)


recent work


Holiday Update

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans! 

Just a quick post to let you know I'm adding a very small group of toys to my shop this Saturday (Nov. 29th) at 12:00pm CST. I think I'll have two bears and just a couple other things...that's all I could manage this year with my new job and a baby! I probably won't have time to post pictures ahead of time so just stop by the shop anytime after noon on Saturday.

I'm thankful for your continued interest and support!



elephant pile

Can you tell I like this pattern quite a bit? These have mostly been given away as gifts to some of my favorite kiddos but I'll be making more I'm sure. 


new pattern...an elephant!

I made this elephant for My little baby François. It was inspired by a pink and white plush cat my husband had as a little boy. This toy is made of the most wonderful mohair and stuffed with lambswool. I used some vintage "moving eyes" with metal shanks for this guy but have since made a few more with more kid-friendly safety eyes. The pattern is really great to work with and it is such fun to try out different color combinations.
I think this elephant has a really great vintage feel...like a carnival prize toy...but classier of course ;-)

I'll show you the rest of the herd soon!


a bear for my boy

I made this bear for my son a little while back to celebrate his move up to first grade. I wanted to make something special for Jude that reflected the amazing person he is...so like Jude, this bear loves nature and drawing and collecting little treasures.

I have (yet another) new teaching job this school year but this time it's not temporary or adjunct or dependent on enrollment, it's just mine and I'm thrilled about it. I'm contemplating some changes for Fox and Owl...more on that later but I will say that I love making toys both for my own kids and others so very much...I'm NEVER going to stop doing this work.


about tomorrow's update

Hello! Just a bit of information about tomorrow's update: In many ways it will be the same as other updates I've had in my shop but I'm trying something new too. I will have several toys for sale in my shop that are one of a kind or in one case, an edition of two. Many of these you have seen previewed here in the last few posts or on my facebook page.

In addition to these pieces, I will also be offering up a few of my favorite toys (see images below) on a made-to-order basis. This will be for a limited time; while supplies last and I have the time to make them.

Make sure to stop by my Etsy shop tomorrow at noon CST and check out what I've been working on! 


and a doll

The shop update will be this Sunday at noon (CST) in my Etsy shop!



finishing touches

Things are coming together in the studio for the Summer Shop Update. I'm in my studio every chance I get and I love it! 


summer update announcement

The summer shop update will be on Sunday, July 27th at 12:00 CST...

Stay tuned for some peeks at what I'm working on!


four months later...

Our little baby François is four months old already...how time flies! We've spent the last four months mostly holed up inside due to a terribly long cold winter, just smothering this baby with millions of kisses. Caring for three kiddos and my job take up a good deal of my time but I have had the chance to spend some little bits of time here and there in my studio which is such a treat. The bear is a new pattern I wanted to try out and may end up in my shop at some point. These baby toys are for my own little one and the new baby of a dear friend. My son François likes his so much it inspires me to want to make more.
I've had so many inquiries about my toys lately which is wonderful but also really makes me wish I had more time to make them. I'm planning on doing another update this summer when I have a bit more time so check back here or on my Facebook page for more updates.


He's here! Welcome François!

We welcomed the newest addition to our family not long after my last post (I had a feeling I guess!).  Meet our son, François.  I can't think of a nicer way to start a new year than with a beautiful new little person in my arms!  I'm feeling incredibly happy and fortunate to have these three healthy and beautiful sons of mine. 

Happy New Year to you, dear readers.  I have a feeling 2014 is going to be pretty sweet (and over in the blink of an eye).



a thank you, and happy news

(The shop is open right now but will be closed for a bit sometime soon...)

Thank you all, once again for making my update such a great experience.  It makes me truly happy to create things that people enjoy and appreciate.  This update was especially sweet for me because I have so little time these days for toy making and so I really cherished every moment I had in my studio...and only made the things I really wanted to make as I'm not doing any custom orders at this time.  Many things sold in the first day or so my shop was stocked but I'm happy that there are still a few things available as I'm not sure when I'll be able to make more toys again. 

Teaching this year has kept me busy, but I'm about to get even busier in a totally different (if not familiar) way very soon...I'm due to have our third child pretty much any time now!  So if you see that my shop is closed for a bit, you know why.  If there is something you have been planning on buying for Christmas, sooner is probably better than later!  I hope you all have a very happy holidays with those you love and I'll be back in the new year.  Wish me luck please!