We’re a Canadian family of four with a passion for creativity, arts and nature. A long time ago, when dreaming about our ideal family life, we would imagine us with kids, digging in the dirt of our garden, having wooden sword fights, going on boat trips, making flower or insect collections, and simply enjoying the old-fashioned slow kind of lifestyle. When our son was born, we both switched to working at home, so that we could enjoy more time together.
As we spent more time at home, we realized how much we liked making things with our own hands. Bake bread. Grow vegetables. Make jams. Sometimes we did this for the sake of the process more than the result. The wild berry jam was certainly delicious, but it was the walk we took to the meadow that really stood out in our memory. The blog came about to preserve memories of things we made and enjoyed, as well as to share our ideas with other do-it-yourself enthusiasts.
With two kids, it’s no surprise that an increasing number of our projects are toys. We wanted to bring magic and awe into our kids’ childhood with beautiful, imaginative and inspiring toys. Fairy tree houses, puppet theatres, unicorn hobby horses – we have had a lot of fun with those! Now, many of them are available both as tutorials on the blog and as products in our toy shop.
Opened an Etsy toy shop. Opened an armoury. Moved across Canada (to Ontario). Had our son. Very excited!
Started the blog.
Moved back across Canada (to Saskatchewan). Bought a fixer-upper of a house. Had our daughter. So happy!
Mom & Idea Generator
Liska usually has about ten projects on the go with ten more in her head. Only a small portion of them get done, but life is never boring and sketchbooks never stay empty. Her preferred tool of the trade is a pencil since it works well both for writing and sketching – two of her favourite things to do. If she has a spare minute and can’t detect a pencil around, she’ll settle down for an hour of reading with good book and a bar of dark chocolate.
Dad & Builder
Jeffrey has a collection of twenty six hammers and sets a daily goal of making some creative use of them. He built his first wooden toy – a biplane constructed out of a clothespin – at the early age of seven, and has been going steady ever since. His family members think that he can figure out how to build just about anything and often take advantage of it (“Daddy, let’s make a TIE-fighter!”) When not making toys, Jeffrey works as an armourer in his backyard workshop. His other interests include history, hiking, and gardening.
Anselm a.k.a Budster
Adventure Buddy & Senior Tester
What happens when a toy sits in the rain barrel over night, or how does it compare in speed to other toys racing down the stairs? We would probably never know if it weren’t for Anselm’s enthusiastic testing. As he grows, we are also getting more suggestions for future projects from him. Anselm’s interests are as broad as insects, dinosaurs, spaceships, flowers, etc… preferably all with wheels on them.
Sweet Baby & Junior Tester
Born in May 2016, Faye has just joined our crew, but has since become a great inspiration to all of us. Her special skills include sleeping through all of the creative commotion and giving the sweetest encouraging smiles. She is fond of flights in Dad’s arms and cuddly blankets.
Our Favourite Projects
Do you want to make food for your doll house inhabitants? Produce a batch of homemade party favours? Or simply looking for a new crafting challenge to work on together for kids? These miniature pies, made with bottle caps and polymer clay, would be a blast! I have...
Inspired by the Montessori colour tablets, we decided to make our own gradient blocks. At first, I thought that they'd be a sturdier version of paint samples for creating a handmade gradient puzzle, but they actually turned out to be a very open-ended toy! This post...
For our son's first birthday, we built him a toy wooden barn. Since then, it has gone through extensive play testing - indoors and outdoors, on both sides of the country. So we figured it's high time we showed it and offered some guidelines to anyone who feels...
Boats hold a special romantic appeal, for kids as well as grown-ups. Add to this a little scientific experiment, and we have a winner - a balloon-powered boat! In this post, you'll find a tutorial on how we made one. If you want to get one quickly, you can also get it...
If you want to make a simple wooden toy with a minimum of tools or are looking for the first woodworking experience for older kids, try this robot! One morning, while Budster was still sleeping, a surprise guest climbed onto his windowsill... "Wake up, Buddy! Look...
Sadly, I was looking at the row of glasses and cups that once again lined up next to the sink. It seemed like for every plate in the house, I washed at least three glasses. "The problem is that they are all identical. We never know whose glass is whose, so we take new...
In the winter, evenings are longer, so our family shadow puppet theatre opens more frequently. We decided to start the holiday season by staging a familiar fairy-tale - The Gingerbread Man. The Gingerbread Man and Its Modern Interpretation The Gingerbread Man is not...
I have a particular regard for dollhouses. In my childhood, the two shelves in my room that served as a dollhouse held as much drama as the four volumes of War and Peace. When I got older, I was fascinated with the art of building miniature houses and expressing the...
Want to open a puppet theatre at home? Here is our DIY tutorial on how to build a good sturdy theatre from wood! When I was seven, I found the extract of a novel in an old magazine. Four sisters, all in their teens, were rehearsing a play as they planned to put a home...
Looking for a simple, cheap and cute solution for making garden markers? Try painting rocks! The post contains Amazon affiliate links for your convenience. Planting our garden last week, I was pondering the question that arises every spring - how to label my rows? I...
For a quirky Waldorf-inspired uptake on a dollhouse, make a fairy tree doll house for kids from branches, wood and other natural materials! Lately, my son spent a long time, watching birds out of the window, and so he found some little bird figurines in his Easter...