8.28.2011

wild

We had another hawk sighting in our backyard.  Can you see it there on the chair?  Isn't it beautiful?  

We are headed out of town for part of the week for a camping trip in a very wild place.  It's sure to be gorgeous and I'm bringing my camera.  As soon as we get back the whirlwind of a new school year begins.  I am soon to be the mother of two boys in school.  Wild.

8.25.2011

play dog

A sweet little pup for a dog-lover.  I've opened myself up to the possibility of custom orders again, on a limited basis. I liked what Mimi Kirchner, doll maker extraordinaire, had to say on the topic of custom work a while back...basically that she will do it only if it is interesting work for her.  Check out her post and take a look at the amazing commission work she did recently.

8.24.2011

Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim's Daughter Longstocking



We watched the movie Pippi Longstocking with our boys last night-I hadn't seen it for ages.  I think I had thought of it as a movie that would mostly inspire girls but I was so wrong.  My boys were completely taken with her as was I (all over again).  I feel like we all need more Spirit of Pippi around here.  Another thing I learned from watching this movie:  Little boys look amazing in clogs. 

8.22.2011

big in Europe?

This Play Rabbit is about to make it big in Europe, people!  It's been chosen for Etsy press selections in both England and France for the holidays. I also heard from a very kind blog reader that there was a Fox and Owl mention in the Sunday Observer Newspaper in England yesterday!?  I don't know what's going on but I like it!  This kind reader is sending me a copy of the article so I'll show it to you when it arrives.  

Thank you, Bex!

8.18.2011

back to work


It's time.  My fingers are itchy to make something and I have several projects that need to get done.  It's been so nice having the dining room table free of my clutter for the past month or so but I need a place to work and it's the best I have for now.  We have big plans for a new studio space for me that I'm so excited about.  We were hoping to make those plans a reality this summer but now it seems like it wont happen until fall. Now that I know I'll soon have a space of my own it's really hard to keep working in the dining room...suddenly it is almost intolerable even though I've been doing it for a couple of years now! 

p.s.  These beautiful fabrics are all from Superbuzzy.  I am totally in love with these organic Japanese double gauzes which I use for these.

8.15.2011

good day

What a lovely day today is...the kids stayed with my mom last night and will not be back until this evening. We slept in, went for a walk and had a perfect lunch of corn chowder with fresh sweet corn and caprese salad, AND my husband Benji helped me pick a winner for the Tea giveaway!

You are the winner of the $75 gift certificate from Tea!  

Faith, please email me at: foxandowltoys@gmail.com

Thanks to all who left a comment...it's nice to hear from you so don't be so shy all the time okay?

8.14.2011

late summer


I love late summer.  The nights are cooler and so nice for sleeping.  We still have a lot good stuff planned for these last few weeks of summer but the new school year is right around the corner and I'm excited about that too. 

That big spider has been hanging around outside our house lately.  Last night I came home late after a fun night out with friends to find it had made a huge web.  I got to see it in action...springing out from the center to grab moths! 

DON'T FORGET to leave a comment on the Tea review post for a chance to win a $75 gift certificate from Tea!  I'll draw a name and announce it sometime tomorrow. 

8.11.2011

it's here...


My advance copies of New American Paintings came a couple days ago.  I haven't been able to really bring myself to read it yet.  It's so good and so scary at the same time.  They included the dream Quilt image (above) and also this one and this one.  I'm happy.

That's the work of THESE artists (who also happen to be from Minneapolis) on the cover.  I love their paintings.

8.09.2011

tea: a review and a GIVEAWAY!

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to do a review of Tea's boys clothing.  They are a really special company that not only makes beautiful and high quality clothing but also believes in being a good global citizen.  This is reflected in their globally inspired children's clothing lines as well as through their philanthropic efforts for children's causes around the world. You can read more about Tea's values on their website.  I got my box of Tea a week or so ago.  I picked out pieces that would work well for the summer to fall transition and I couldn't be happier with them. Comfy soft shorts with big pockets for little treasures, a perfect hooded linen popover for Jude that quickly became his favorite shirt and a gorgeous cotton sweater for Oscar, just right for cool August nights.  Here are some pictures of them in and around Stockholm (Wisconsin) our favorite little corner of the world.

These clothes are clean and classic, with an earthy but sophisticated palette.  They somehow manage to be highly comfortable without being sloppy.  The materials are very high quality and the craftsmanship is excellent.  I've had several pieces of Tea clothing for my boys in the past and I have found them to be extremely durable...the kind that you can easily expect two kids to be able to wear.  I can honestly say that my kids are really quite fond of these new clothes too. 

A N D    N O W ,  dear readers I have something special for you!  Leave a comment here on this post and you are entered to win a $75 gift certificate from Tea!  Yeah, you heard me right!

(I'll announce a winner on Monday August 15th)

8.08.2011

exciting week!

I have a really big week planned for this little blog.  I'm really excited to have been asked by San Francisco based children's clothing company, Tea to review some of their clothes.  We spent a couple days last week in one of my favorite places in the wold, Stockholm Wisconsin and I took the opportunity to take some pictures of my kids in their new Tea clothes.  I'm just going through the photos today but here is a little preview...one of my favorite shots from the day we spent picking blueberries.

You will definitely want to stay tuned and limber up your comment leaving muscles because there will be a Tea giveaway right here on this blog!  I'm so excited!

8.07.2011

old dog


This is a funny old dog I found at the same sale yesterday.  I love his old sewn in googly eyes with wool felt backing.  He's in really good shape despite his age although it looks like he may have lost his nose at some point!  I think he's stuffed with kapok because he has a nice heavy feel and is soft but dense.  My friend Tammy brought up a valid concern about vintage toys of the plush variety:  bugs.  I'm not even going to name the kind of bugs she mentioned for fear of unleashing something vile (I've been reading Harry Potter- sorry).  Here are some steps I take to help ensure I don't bring anything scary (or evil!) into my house:

1.  The first line of defense:  I don't buy anything that looks suspicious or smells suspicious.  Well loved is okay, but dirty or smelly is not.

2.  Washing:  Some toys are washable.  I've washed vintage toys (and new toys for that matter) to varying degrees of success.  A crochet or knit toy made of wool and stuffed with wool, or kapok would wash up quite well.  Synthetic fur or toys stuffed with foam or rags...maybe not.  I've ruined a few old toys this way but I figured it was worth a shot.  By the way, mohair (my favorite material for toys) washes very very well.

3.  Open it up:  If you are worried about what's inside a toy just have a look.  Find the seam where the toy was sewn up and cut the toy open.  If you poke around and the stuffing looks nice and clean sew it back up.  If not, throw it out or remove the stuffing completely (looking carefully for invaders) and stuff with nice new wool, cotton etc. 

4.  Freeze it:  Because I live in a part of the world where it's freezing cold much of the time I do this one a lot.  I put the toy in a plastic bag and put it on my porch for a couple weeks.  It has to be really cold to work.  If you have room in your freezer that works too.  A very hot dryer for an extended period will work for some pests too.

Do you have any tips to share???

8.06.2011

cute girl




I found this sweet vintage doll at an estate sale today.  I was initially drawn to her just for her beautiful dress but she quickly won me over with her perfect rosy cheeks and slightly wonky eye.  As you can see, she was in need of a little hair help.  This is the method my sister and I always used when our dolls hair got unruly (actually I'm not sure my sister cared about messy doll hair a bit so I probably did her doll's hair too):  brush out the hair, get it nice and wet, brush again and style, then carefully put a sock over the head until the hair is dry.  Now look how cute she is!

My friend Tammy brought up a good point in my last post about vintage toys and (eek!)...vermin.  I'm going to talk about that a bit in my next post!

8.02.2011

family


This family of sock monkeys for sale on Etsy are driving me mad...I want them.  I'm sure they will find a loving home very soon.  I really love making sock monkeys but haven't made one in a while.  As I said before I'm taking the rest of the summer off from working/ making things.  It feels good to take a break from the pressure of producing but when I'm not creating I always feel a little off.  I think it's good for me to take a break and think about my next project(s) though. 

Maybe I could make one little sock monkey, just for fun?

Speaking of handmade toys, there is good news from the Handmade Toy Alliance about the CPSIA today!