Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Another Natural Life Special!


Well, if you missed out on the Natural Life subscription offer, here's something to make you feel better...

For a limited time, buy a subscription and choose either Bringing It Home or School Free by Wendy Priesnitz, posted to you for FREE!

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Two for One Subscription Offer!


Give the Gift of Natural Life

A gift subscription to Natural Life magazine is a great way to tell your friends and family that you care about them and the environment.

Our gift to you is a special holiday offer: Two subscriptions for the price of one.

Subscribe or renew for yourself and give one gift, or give two gifts (or any multiple of two) and save 50%.

But hurry, this offer is valid only until November 30, 2008

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Spring Shipping Offer


I'm offering free postage on orders within Australia over $80 placed before 30 November 2008. Enter "Spring" into the discount coupon section of Checkout.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Playcloths

One of the most basic products at Spiral Garden are our diverse range of playcloths. They are easily transported, washable, natural and versatile. Silk playcloths are available in four seasonal colour tones. Dyed muslin playcloths come in pink, orange, yellow, blue, purple and green - white muslin cloths are also available. The same colours are available in strong and inexpensive cotton playcloths.
A perfect gift for a baby right through to middle childhood, these quality cloths are all hand-dyed by Rainbow Made Toys in Cairns, Australia. Playcloths are suitable for dress ups, tablecloths, tents, shops, cubby houses, doll's slings, carrying toys and more. They are an essential foundation for our family's nature table.

Spring Shopping

Thank you to those who have been visiting Spiral Garden to do your Christmas shopping already. Please don't forget to tell family and friends about our fantastic range of natural toys, quality art supplies and creative craft kits - all perfect gift ideas for Summer Celebration time.

Spiral Garden also offers great gift ideas for adults too - magazine subscriptions, luxurious natural personal care products such as our new Men's Pamper Pack from Vrindavan, unique jewellery and items for the garden.
Our range of new books are selling well and continues to expand as I discover new titles. If you have any suggestions or requests, don't hestitate to contact me. It's still a great time to stock up on seeds at only $1.50 per packet. The Kids Packs are limited stock and would make great stocking stuffers for Christmas.
I hope you visit Spiral Garden often and click on the New Products link to the left.

You can also email me with your requests for custom made or large orders.

I'm keen to hear from schools, playgroups and any other relevant groups interested in group discounts, vouchers, donations for Fairs or advertising Spiral Garden on your noticeboards and newsletters.

Please forward our email newsletters or a link to this News page to interested family and friends and encourage them to subscribe, or visit the site, for we rely upon word-of-mouth advertising and recommendations to keep the Garden growing.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Spring News



Sow the seeds of new beginnings, and grow together...

What a delightful time of year... We've been busy filling the store in time for all those organised early Christmas shoppers...


There are many New Products to choose from including felt tea party sets, books, seeds, musical instruments and craft packs. All art supplies and Debresk wooden toys have also been restocked.

Books
Recently, I was able to secure a number of beautiful book titles for Spiral Garden customers. In the Book section of the site, you'll find Beyond the Rainbow Bridge, A Child's Seasonal Treasury, Creative Play for Your Baby, Earthwise, Little Yoga, Seven Times the Sun, Chrissy Butler's new title The Wonderful Place and more!

Seeds
As well as fresh stock of our Kids in the Garden Packs, we have expanded our range of vegetable seeds... Varieties available include: broad bean, peas, edible chrysanthemum, golden nugget pumpkin, luffa, mild mesclun mix and purple king beans.
All seeds are old fashioned varieties, open pollinated, and organic where possible. Ready for Spring planting at only $1.50 per individual packet and $7.50 each for the Kids Packs.

For any out-of-stock items or custom orders, don't hesitate to email me with your requests.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Monday, 4 August 2008

Spiral Garden OzeBaby Store!


Spiral Garden has a new
OzeBaby Outlet Store!


Winter Prize Pack

To celebrate these last weeks of Winter, I've put together a prize pack! To enter, you need to order from Spiral Garden or our OzeBaby Store. The order must be over $40.00, not including postage, and received before Monday 1st September, 2008.

The prize pack includes: a stationery set, three varieties of Shady Grove soap, Winter card, white muslin playcloth, Silver Story book, My Brother Jimi Jazz book, Life Learning magazine, beeswax candle, and postage to you (or gift recipient). Prize drawn and posted Monday 1st September, 2008. Total value approximately $80.00.

Terms and Conditions can be found here. Good Luck and happy Winter days!

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Considering the Environment

On the Intuitive Parenting forums, Liz asked, "Should we really be adding to the fuel/carbon impact of goods travelling all around? Shouldn't we be trying to shop locally all the time? And do we really need to help keep Australia Post wealthy?"

And with regard to Spiral Garden, here is my reply:
When buying stock for Spiral Garden I try to choose products made from natural materials by ethical companies - WAHMs (work-at-home Mums) when possible. I stock several fair trade products, and would like to expand as I find more of these. Safety is important to me, so there are few products I stock with any painted finishes, and art supplies are as natural as I can find - almost all Lyra and Stockmar lines, for example. These also last a long, long time. Longer than any art supplies I've bought my children before. So to me, that is a huge environmental plus (the same goes for the toys - I'd sooner buy a Debresk wooden car than 10 Hot Wheels ones for the same price and lifespan). Most of the toys and craft items we stock won't be in landfill at the end of their lifespan. They'll return to the earth from whence they came (compostable dolls - ewww!)

I also use almost all recycled packaging - cardboard, bubble wrap, boxes etc from other home-based businesses: Miessence, Creative Memories and Solarworks. I also recycle packaging from my wholesalers and suppliers as much as possible. I do buy the odd Postpak and some prepaid satchels. I think using recycled stuff is even better than buying specific eco-friendly packaging and so endeavour to obtain as much clean, once-used stuff I can grab! Of course everything would LOOK much nicer in pretty natural-coloured corrugated cardboard and the like, but when the bubble wrap is free, recycled and re-usable, then I choose that. My packing slips have a paragraph explaining this and encouraging my customers to recycle what they can.

We buy green power for our home electricity (the most 'green' available to us). My work computer has a low-energy screen, has the most energy-efficient settings for when I'm distracted from work (standby etc). We also use energy-efficient bulbs for lighting, but rely on natural lighting by day.

I also buy recycled copy paper - the best I can find locally as shipping reams of copy paper across the country via mail because it's slightly more recycled than the stuff I can get here just doesn't make sense to me! And I refill my printer ink cartridges myself, which saves landfill and money.

When posting orders it's a 24km round trip for me so 95% of the time I combine posting orders with another outing - taking the children to an activity, going to the Markets or some other significant errand. I like the comparison of posting mail to public transport!

All of our rubbish is reused and recycled where possible. We have rubbish collection every six weeks and even with the farm, the business, and a large family household we make very little waste. We have our own gravity-fed water supply and process our own waste (no sewerage). All cleaning is done with Enjo and/or simple products like bicarb, vinegar and essential oils. That's a pretty green office space, IMO!

Lunch and herbal tea is often picked from the garden.

I plant trees here on our farm - a couple of hundred last year, and I'm already collecting trees for planting once the summer rain starts. Some of my stock is imported and so I do have some carbon miles to offset!

When I first considered buying Spiral Garden I had to think long and hard about the environmental impact vs benefits of owning such a business. I do believe that I'm aware and accountable, and don't feel guilty about the non-local nature of my business.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Mid-Winter Update


Half of Winter has passed by already... And for most of us it's time for school holidays. Our Art and Craft sections are fully stocked, so why not update your own supplies and spend some time creating this Winter?

It's also a perfect time of year for games. I was excited to source two more Gaia's Garden games from my supplier's studio, when she thought she had sold me the last two in May. So if you were wanting to buy this game and missed out - hurry in for this absolute last chance. From the same studio, I have bought a bulk lot of Living Landscapes, and can therefore offer them to you at a special rate as advertised below.

How does your garden grow? We planted some of Spiral Garden's broad bean and pea seeds and we're enjoying the harvest. We intend to expand the Grow section of Spiral Garden as we head into Spring, so keep an eye out for new products in these newsletters and on the News pages.

For those customers in the Northern Hemisphere, the relevant seasonal columns are on the Spiral Garden site, and we aim to maintain stock of season-appropriate books, playcloths, cards and seasonal dolls for you too!


At last we're able to offer the Collection of Seasonal Dolls as requested by several customers. Rainbow Made Toys have been busy and our supplies of their playcloths and dolls are complete. As these handmade items are of limited availability, don't hesitate in ordering while they're here!

This co-operative permaculture card game is an educational tool for sustainable living and gardening design. Living Landscapes is also fun to play and encourages discussion.


While current stocks last, this unique game has been reduced in price to only $12 - save 25%! Why not stock up on a few sets to put away for gifts?

For anyone who missed out on the last batch of Cradle Dolls, these amazing creations from Miriam Hoedt are back in stock. Again, a limited edition due to being handmade, so hurry! This batch are the last ones at this introductory price.


Reminder, before they all sell - there are three Cuddle Dolls left in stock. A blonde-haired boy, a brown-haired boy and a blonde-haired girl doll. These will be the last ones I stock, and are on sale at cost price of $49 to make way for new stock (the Spiral Garden office is a very small space!) This is fantastic value for a Steiner-style handmade doll.


Love, light & warmth...
Bel

Friday, 13 June 2008

Anamalz signs deal with Russ


Anamalz, the Australian designed recycled and renewable wooden animal range, has continued its amazing success story with the announcement they have signed with Russ Berrie as the exclusive global distributor for the range.

Originating from the beach side town of Torquay, Victoria, this once small company is now taking ethically friendly toys to children around the world with the signing of this major deal.



A recent winner in the Australian International Design Awards, the anamalz range has been a success story from day one for its creators Tim and Louise Scott. “We are absolutely thrilled at this partnership and happy the anamalz have found a great home. We are more than confident that Russ will promote anamalz uniqueness as well as the educational and environmental message that the range stands for.” Comments Louise Scott.

Russ Berrie and Company, Inc are the global leaders in the infant, juvenile, and gift industries, and its wholly-owned subsidiaries design, develop, and distribute a variety of innovative gift, infant, and juvenile products to specialty and mass market retailers worldwide.


Known for its teddy bears and other plush animals, the company’s gift, infant, and juvenile lines are comprised of a diverse range of everyday, seasonal, and occasion-themed products that help people celebrate the milestones in their lives and bring a smile to people’s faces. The company operates offices, showrooms, and distribution centres all over the world and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RUS.

“We are very excited about the recent announcement from Anamalz naming Russ as their new global distribution partner. We look forward to working with the team from Australia to develop a strong retail program that promotes the uniqueness, educational and environmental message the brand stands for”. Jeffrey A. Bialosky, Executive Vice President Sales & Marketing Russ Berrie comments.

Already a local favourite, the anamalz range continues to thrive based on their unique appeal and strong environmental message.

Made from FSC maple wood, water based paints and fabrics made from recycled materials parents are assured their children are playing safely and also caring for the environment.

“Russ Berrie represents a great opportunity for us worldwide. The fact that they subscribe to a strong philanthropic belief also helped make our decision. We have been contributing a percentage of our sales to wildlife organisations around the world and through Russ’ involvement with Anamalz, we can continue to grow this cause.” Louise Scott comments.

With a zoo of fabulous new animal characters being released including a fun prehistoric range, the anamalz story has a life beyond the zoo gates. Licensing and animation are being developed and a WILD CD is selling strongly, featuring professional musician and world champion surfer, Beau Young.
All of these efforts have not gone unnoticed. Last week in Sydney the anamalz story capped off their success by becoming the winners of an Australian International Design Award – the first for this small but thriving company.

It seems there is no stopping the award winning anamalz!

Monday, 9 June 2008

Winter in the Spiral Garden


Winter Greetings!

This month we have all art supplies re-stocked, so anyone waiting on Modelling Wax, Block Crayons, Watercolour Paints or any of our other favourite items from Stockmar, Lyra and Mercurius, now is the time to order!


As always, we have a number of new items to celebrate the change of season. The Winter Dolls have been a popular release, with most stock sold in May.


Silk playcloths are always one of our top sellers - useful for so many applications. The Winter cloth is hand-dyed in beautiful tones of blue. Also suitable for your seasonal table are the new white muslin playcloths, or one of our hand-dyed muslin or cotton cloths.

Susan Whitehead's Silver Stork book is one of a set of four beautiful books (sold seperately). This handmade-style colourful children's picture book includes Winter stories, songs and many suggested activites, with a practical and creative emphasis on puppetry.


Sarah Laidlaw's stunning Winter cards have been released for individual sale through Spiral Garden. Just perfect for a Solstice message on the 22nd June, or for a Winter birthday or other greeting.

We have also expanded our seed range to include Vegetable Seeds. The first varieties on offer are suitable for winter planting - two type of peas and some dwarf broad beans. Tried and tested in our own organic home garden, these seeds are highly recommended - open pollinated, easy to grow and hardy.


And finally, the Winter article has been uploaded, completing the series of four seasonal articles for our first year. These are included on the site to inspire and direct you with bringing a sense of meaning to the year and its natural cycles and rhythms.

If there's ever a product you'd like further information on, or something you're trying to track down that I might be able to supply, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Life Media Magazines


Natural Life magazine has been helping people around the world live a greener lifestyle since 1976. It is an independently owned magazine with an international focus, providing intelligent inspiration and in-depth practical information about topics like healthy cooking and organic gardening, sustainable homes, natural parenting, wellness and natural healing, eco-leisure and eco-travel, sustainable business and green living. The publishers are dedicated to helping readers make a positive difference in their own lives and in the health of the Planet.

Beginning with the July/August 2008 issue, Life Learning and Natural Child magazines are being reintegrated back into Natural Life magazine, where they began over three decades ago. All subscribers to Natural Child and Life Learning will now receive Natural Life (and their payments will be combined so they receive the total number of issues they paid for). To see a preview of this new, integrated version, click here.

Subscription includes 6 issues per year. You start your new subscription with the next available issue. Please allow up to 8 weeks for your first issue to arrive. Price includes postage to Australia from Canada, where this international magazine is produced.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Winner!

Congratulations to Kim S. who won the Baby Prize Pack, pictured below.


Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Cradle Dolls

I have to announce this wonderful new product at Spiral Garden!

A baby within its cradle...


These amazing cradle dolls are created with pure wool, cotton filling and 100% merino fleece. They're handmade in North Queensland with love by Miriam Hoedt. Currently available in deep rose pink, pale pink and lilac. Please contact Spiral Garden for custom orders of other colours.

Pull the plait
Fold open
Discover...

Friday, 23 May 2008

A Fun Way to Design Your Garden

... by guest blogger Lizet Frijters.

I am an avid gardener, always keen to learn more, either from other people or from my own observations.

Starting a garden can bring about many questions, and to be able to fully enjoy it there is usually a lot to consider, especially if we aim for a sustainable garden. Getting the most out of our garden is easier if we design it well.

In such a sustainable garden design, we ask more why, how, how many, what, where, when… questions and than consider the connections between all of them. Or maybe we just have different reasons to take certain actions.

Many times I have immersed myself in projects without thinking profoundly about what I really wanted to achieve, and of course I ended up not getting what I needed. Planning beforehand is so rewarding though, and will diminish the hard work.

There are many different ways of designing your garden. It is helpful to become familiar with the place around you. We can use all our senses; most people however have a preference for one or a few.

Look around, what do you see? Observe what is already there, before you start a big clean up. What resources can you find and use right on the spot? Listen to the noises and smell the fresh air, the plants and flowers. Touch the plants and the leaves. And then smell everything.

Touch, smell and feel the soil. What does it look like? Sit down, close your eyes and visualise your garden the way you wish for it to be. All these observations can bring us creative ideas and are a great help in the design process.

Now you are ready to go into action. Take pencil and paper and jot down all your needs. Let your imagination flow to the full. Think of food sources, materials for clothing or furniture, privacy needs or the beautiful flowers that will spread their fragrance throughout your backyard and make it a paradise for the butterflies of the area.

After that, write down all the possible ways for these needs to be fulfilled. Make sure that you find more than one way to provide for your need. For example, if you need building materials, you can plant timber, bamboo, dig for earth or grow grain and use the straw in your building. If you eat a lot of fruit, plant different species and varieties, this will spread your harvest. Manure, legumes, mulch, compost and many other sources, can provide fertiliser.

You will now probably see the connections between all the elements that you want to put into your garden. Choose the appropriate place for your vegetables, buildings, orchard, and grain crops. Draw your design on a map if you like. You will find that it becomes clearer how your garden will look, and where to start.

Permaculture delves very deeply into every detail of the design and I really like this approach. I started thinking in a whole new way after doing my permaculture design course.

I have developed a tool that can help to make the designing stage more fun. It is a card game and each time I play it with someone, so many ideas come up. It brings about a lot of discussion, different each time, depending on the personalities and desires of the players. You can find out more about the game here.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Autumn offer ends in two weeks


Reminder: Free Postage offer expires 31st May 2008. Offer valid once per customer on any order over $20 (not including postage) to an Australian address. Discount code is 'Autumn' (enter in Checkout process). Thank you all for your continued support.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Winner!


Congratulations to Savannah C. who won the Mother's Day prize pack, pictured above.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Mother's Day Prize Pack





With Mother's Day fast approaching, please get your orders in quickly to ensure items arrive in time. To celebrate motherhood, I am offering a prize pack for all Mother's Day orders. To enter, you need to order something for Mother's Day from Spiral Garden - check out the Parents section for ideas. The order must be over $30.00, not including postage, and received before Monday 5th May, 2008. Good Luck and Happy Mothers Day!



The prize pack includes: stationery set, address book, organic lip balm, hemp washcloth, spiral bracelet, three varieties of vegetable soap, calico bag, card and postage to you (or gift recipient). Prize drawn and posted Tuesday 6th May, 2008. Total value approximately $65.00.




Click for Terms and Conditions.