Today I have a really lovely and amazing giveaway for you all.
The Giveaway is for a set of beautifully handmade Waldorf Weather Gnomes.
These gnomes are absolutely brilliant. They are made with lovely wooden peg bodies which have been carefully decorated with wood burnt details and then delightfully painted with watercolours which are then sealed with beeswax polish. You can use them as part of your calendar time, for studies on the weather, for story telling or simply for fun pretend play. They are so very versatile and unique!
The hand-stitched head pieces match each weather gnome’s body and can also be removed and used as finger puppets!
We love to use these during circle time for our weather song, and also to play a matching game with the bodies and their little hats. Each gnome has his own unique design on his body to help with that!
These gnomes were made by Karen Dotzel, the owner of Of Wool And Wood, and you can truly feel how much love and work went into creating each of these unique little masterpieces!
Let’s get to know Karen!
Karen, tell us about yourself, how did you get to be where you are today?
I have been on a journey of self awareness the past couple of years. After suffering from an anxiety induced breakdown, I was forced to take a good look at my life. I have learned how to flow with the river of living instead of trying to fight it. Part of my healing was learning to use my creativity in a positive, self fulfilling way. By chance I found a very supportive Waldorf community on facebook and joined a handmade toy swap. My anxious brain is very critical and demeaning but this group was nurturing and encouraging. I felt safe and at home. It was there that I became a toy maker and artist. I enjoy using natural materials that are gentle to the Earth. It makes me feel connected. Hand sewing is meditative for me. Designing challenges give my creativity a workout and often I am surprised by what transpires. I am learning to flow, to learn from mistakes and most importantly not to be afraid to try. I only create what speaks to me; what brings me joy. I believe that this care and love can be recognized and felt by those who play with the toys. I feel like the energy of the materials used and my energy combine into something beautiful. And sharing that with others gives us all a little more love and joy.
Have you always wanted to own your own business or did you previously work in a different job?
The Etsy shop came about almost by accident. I had been toying around with the idea of opening shop and was nervous. One night i accidentally hit the open for business button and well …here I am. When my first sale came I did a little dance!! And I realized I could now buy more crafting supplies without the guilt of taking money from our family budget. Woo Hoo!! I figure as long as I can make enough to support my crafting habit then I am good.
Who or what inspired you?
My inspiration for new ideas comes mostly from nature. Being outside, observing and feeling helps ideas flow. Play is also important for my creativity to flow. Often I will pick up a scrap of wool in an odd shape and just play with it. My Autumn gnome was born in this way. It started with a long strip of wool that I twisted into a cone. I liked the shape and sewed it together that way. While I was doing that I started thinking about Fall leaves swirling around so I added some to the swirling hat. Following the Fall theme I thought of my favorite tree; Birch. I made a birch leaf cape and dressed up a peg doll.
Sometimes my inspiration comes from a Waldorf craft swap I participate in. The weather peg dolls started by me making the lightening cloud/rain peg doll for a swap. After that I was inspired to create other weather dolls. Windy and Frosty were the most challenging. By wood burning a scene on the peg doll’s body I was better able to convey the concept. What I like the best about these dolls is that the headpiece can come off and be used as a finger puppet too. I like that they are multifunctional and different from other weather gnomes.
What is the product in your shop you are most excited about?
One of my very favorite items to make has to be the angler fish. I created it for a swap initially. I just enjoy making him. I have probably made 20 of them by now through doing swaps and selling them. I even made a purple one. And it has led to some wonderful opportunities. The Make-a-Wish foundation saw my angler fish on Etsy and contacted me for a special custom order of a gulper eel. It was going to a 9 yr old gulper eel expert participating in the program. I felt so honored and did my best. The child loved it! What a great feeling.
Tell us about your customers.
I feel like my customers are looking for an unique handmade item that is clearly made with love and care. They strive to lessen their footprint on this planet and enjoy the beauty natural materials provide. I am always honored when someone admires or purchases my work. What a blessing to be able to share a piece of me with so many people. It truly makes me smile.
Thank you, Karen!
Now, on to the Giveaway!
For a chance to win a set of these gorgeous, creative and unique Weather Gnomes just fill in the form below.
You can find Of Wool And Wood on Etsy and on Facebook, too.
This Giveaway is open to absolutely anyone from absolutely anywhere and the winner will be picked at random on Sunday the 17th of August.
What is your favourite item in this stunning and colourful Etsy shop? Mine is probably the Valentine Moose or the Autumn Leaves Peg Doll, but there are so very many truly special things to pick from, I’m just in love!
Good Luck and thank you again, Karen, for such a wonderful prize and for sharing your creative talent with all of us!