Wednesday, 30 December 2009

End of Year Sale

End of year sale - 10% off storewide until 1 January 2010. Hurry!

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Colour Circle Paints


Sometimes we're asked why we only stock three colours of Stockmar paints.

They are sold as a set of three 20ml bottles and are ideal for transparent painting. They are produced from gum arabic and the finest light-resistant colour pigments, have a very high yield-value and remain completely water-soluble when dry. The colour tones have been chosen so that they can be mixed to yield all intermediate shades without losing their brilliance and intensity. Mixed with white, the watercolours can be used for non-transparent painting.

The selection of Stockmar watercolours is based on the natural graduation of the twelve-part colour-circle, in accordance with Goethe’s theory of colours. They include the primary colours red, blue and yellow and possess high spectral purity and transparency. With these three colour-circle colours, the complete colour-circle can be created. They can be used in all usual ways and are suitable for all known watercolouring techniques.

For activities using Stockmar products, see their website.

Here are some pdf Tip Sheets on using the Colour Circle Paints:
Introduction and Initial Techniques
Working Materials
Mixing Colours

Related Products:
Colour Circle Watercolour Paints - set of 3

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Santa Claus

I was rapt to receive an email from Roshanne in NSW recently, to show how she created Santa from a 15cm wood and wire doll to go with her Anamalz Christmas Box set.

Roshanne crocheted his whole outfit in a beautiful glossy red yarn left over from her sister's blessingway with fluffy white wool for the trims. His hat has a strap that doubles as a beard!

No Papparazzi!

Please continue to send in photos of your creations from Spiral Garden products, and your loved ones enjoying their gifts from Spiral Garden (if you don't mind them being published, of course)!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Using the Craft Packs


I often hear of projects families have made together using the Seasonal Craft Packs Rainbow Made and Spiral Garden put together...

This week Savannah shared this photo and said, "Here is a tic-tac-toe game we made with the felt, velour and thread from the Summer and Christmas Seasonal craft packs."

Related Products:
White Craft Pack
Spring Craft Pack
Summer Craft Pack
Autumn Craft Pack
Winter Craft Pack
Christmas Craft Pack


Last Call for Christmas Orders

Last Christmas orders still welcome until Friday 18th. We will post Express at no extra cost to you to ensure they arrive before 25th December. Lots of books arrived this week, as well as art & craft supplies and other New Products. And don't forget that Animals and Anamalz are all 10% off until the 24th December.

Thanks again for your support throughout the year. x

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Animals on Sale!


Special Offer - from now until December 24 - 10% off all Animals (Anamalz products, Baby Basics dogs and lambs, Itsy Bitsy dogs and cats and gorgeous hand crafted felt elephants).




Saturday, 5 December 2009

20 Days Till Christmas!


Just a reminder, especially for anyone overseas or far away (like Western Australia) - it's only 20 days until Christmas and because Spiral Garden is located in rural Far North Queensland, you need to order SOON (if you are wanting Solstice or Christmas gifts, that is)!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Featured Stockist - Rainbow Stitches


Karen Yates of Rainbow Stitches creates by hand these adorable and colourful felt food items from Italian wool felt, filled with wool fleece from "Wool on Piper". All stitching is done by hand with pure cotton thread. Each set comes packed in a in sweet pink or blue gingham checked cardboard gift box with matching gift card.


Karen works at home, alongside her young family. Each stitch is made with love and care. Spiral Garden currently stocks three Rainbow Stitches products, starting at only $27.00.

Related Products:
All Purpose Full Apron
Enamel Cup and Saucer
Wooden Spoon
Playcloths

Monday, 30 November 2009

Specials


Don't forget to regularly check our Specials page. Currently there are 18 products on special. Some end December 31st 2009, and others are while current stocks last... Hurry!


Sunday, 29 November 2009

Free Shipping Reminder



November 30th 2009 is the last day to take advantage of our Free Shipping offer...

Applicable to orders over $80 not including postage within Australia.

You must include the code 'Spring' in the discount coupon section of Checkout.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Playdough


Good fun, therapeutic, cheap and easy, a great gift idea... Here's a recipe from the Projects page of the Spiral Garden website.
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • food coloring

Mix all ingredients, adding food coloring last. Stir over medium heat until smooth. Remove from pan and knead until blended smooth. Place in an airtight container when cooled.

Related Products:

Child Sized Aprons

Wooden Spoons

Wooden Rolling Pins

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Geometrical Drawings



This is a kaleidoscopic presentation of geometrical drawings by Waldorf school sixth graders. Eugene Schwartz provides commentary on a vast array of student work. Its beauty and mathematical precision testify to the rigorous curriculum of the Waldorf middle school experience.

Related Products
Stockmar Stick Crayons
Lyra Colour Pencils
Wooden Pencil Box and Lyra Sharpener to suit

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Free Shipping

Free Shipping for all orders over $80 not including postage

Australia only

Code = 'Spring' - enter into Discount Coupon section of Checkout

Offer Expires: 30 November 2009

* For those of you who don't receive our newsletter, here's a voucher that was attached to today's email. If you'd like to join the mailing list, there's a box on the main page of the Spiral Garden site.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Barefoot Magazine Offer


Subscribe to Barefoot before December 24, 2009 and go into the draw to win a fantastic hamper! Subscriptions only $25 until January 1, 2010.

Barefoot Magazine seeks to inform, challenge, support, respect and inspire mothers, fathers, grandparents, carers and communities to live more consciously and value the importance of children and family life.

Barefoot Magazine is designed and produced in Australia.

Subscriptions and back issues both available through Spiral Garden.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

New Products!

There are a number of wonderful new products at Spiral Garden. It's always exciting to find new artists and suppliers who fit with Spiral Garden's ideals.


Recently, some fantastic felt and lotka paper products arrived from My Fair Ladybird. They're already proving to be popular gift ideas. The products include felt elephants, faerie garlands, boxes of faeries, jewelery/trinket boxes, and coin purses. The elephants come in three sizes - 15cm, 10cm and 3cm in pink, purple, red, turquoise and snow white! We're rapt to be able to offer affordable, fair trade goodies in time for Christmas. Starting at $4.50, they're affordable as well!


Sam at Earthslings has been busy creating some oh-so-cute animal tails. They're available in faux fur or cotton flannel and are sure to be a favourite dress-up (or wear every day) item for little ones.


Earthslings' Jumbo Wraps are also available through Spiral Garden now, and are sure to become as popular as Sam's fantastic Kidslings in no time - 100% cotton, bright colours, quality and value.


Due to customer feedback in our recent survey, we're sourcing more gifts for Teens. The new hemp bracelets are gorgeous, and only $7.50 each. Another bargain gift item some teens will love are the rainbow dyed bandanas at only $5.00 each.

And finally, from Busy Bee Handcrafts we have some amazingly soft face and body washcloths and gorgeous cotton dishcloths (which seem too beautiful to wash up with, but are a delight to use and use again). We've used crocheted cotton dishcloths for over a year and highly recommend them.


New stock of our much-loved Cradle Dolls will arrive any day, and this is the last batch before Christmas, so order soon!


Shady Grove Soap is also back in stock - in delightfully subtle rose, lavender and sandalwood fragrances using 100% vegetable oils.

Keep an eye on the New Products pages as we're expecting more new items in the coming weeks.

The last of the Specials items have been further marked down. These are strictly limited stock, so hurry!

Happy Shopping!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Stockmar Products


Do you like Stockmar art supplies? Have you tried them? We love them here, and have had the same ones for years. The block crayons in particular just last and last! They have been well-loved from toddlers to adults, including visitors as they're often in the basket on our table.

I choose to sell Stockmar products because they're created by a well-respected German company of over 80 years who consistently stand for aesthetics, safety and fun. To read more about Stockmar, go here.

Here are the Stockmar products we sell at Spiral Garden. If you'd like us to order any other Stockmar products for you, don't hestiate to contact Bel.






You can go to this page on the Stockmar site and download PDF instructions on different ways to use Stockmar's products. Enjoy!

Friday, 9 October 2009

Gaia's Garden

Out of stock for many months, I'm rapt to be able to offer my customers a brand new print run of Gaia's Garden.


This game is cooperative. With team work, we have more possibilities and we can reach more goals. Play and work together to plant the whole garden and to prevent the pest insects from eating the crops.

Gaia's garden invites the gardeners to plant vegetables in their garden to have food to eat. Unfortunately, pest insects enjoy these yummy vegetables too. Luckily, predator insects are chasing and eating the pest insects, helping the gardeners.

Will the gardeners be quick enough to plant the vegetables in a beneficial companionship or will the pest insects have a chance to attack?

For 2 to 6 players, for ages 4 to adult. Playing time: 30 – 60 minutes. A detailed booklet with examples of how to play is included.

$34.50

Also available is Living Landscapes. Design and create together with your friends, an energy-productive and sustainable system to fulfill your needs.

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.

Currently 25% off! Only $12.00 while current stock lasts.




Monday, 5 October 2009

Watch Brian Wolfe (a Waldorf teacher) in action with some chalk. The music in this clip is by Brian and it was filmed by Erron Evans.



We love to use Lyra Blackboard Chalk and this clip really inspired us!

Related Products:
Blackboard Eraser
Main Lesson Books

Friday, 2 October 2009

Honey Sticks Beeswax Crayons


Honey Sticks beeswax crayons are made from NZ beeswax and non-toxic pigments so they are natural and safe for children.

The beeswax to create Honey Sticks is a natural by-product of honey production. The sustainable process causes minimal impact on the environment and gives the crayons a wonderful scent of honey.

These chunky crayons come in a box of 12 vibrant colours. The unique chubby shape of Honey Sticks makes them easier for small hands to hold but much more difficult for small hands to break!

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

LETS or Local?


Are you local to Spiral Garden (near Malanda, Qld)? You can use the code 'local' in the discount coupon section of Checkout to avoid being charged shipping. Please contact me to arrange pick-up or delivery of your order.

Are you a member of a LETS group who use the Community Exchange System? Contact me about using your local currency for Spiral Garden orders.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

10% off all Art and Craft


For two weeks only we are offering 10% off all Art and Craft products in stock at Spiral Garden.

Offer closes 10th October 2009.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Spiral Garden on Facebook


Spiral Garden has had a group page on Facebook for a year and a half now... If you use Facebook, check out the group page here.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Handmade?

I especially love to stock handmade items. Some of the items are made by me, some by other small at-home businesswomen and other items are made as a hobby by crafty folk I know...

Do you make things? Would you like to sell them through Spiral Garden? Items I'm looking to stock include:

washers and wipes
jewelery - glass, wood, metal, hemp, etc
cards
bags - library, tote, shopping, fold-up, produce, toiletry, drawstring
capes for dressing up
hats, crowns and garlands for dressing up
baby shoes/booties and bibs
craft kits
hand-dyed yarn
hats for summer
hats and scarves for winter
bandanas and headbands
stuffed toys
dolls
wooden toys
musical instruments
puzzles
soap
lotions and potions
packets of viable seeds
baby toys
blocks
card games
fabric tic-tac-toe etc

I'm also open to suggestions!

I need items to be well-made and safe. They need to be produced from natural materials - hemp, cotton, bamboo, timber, wool, silk, etc. We avoid varnishes, paints, toxic dyes, plastic, polyester, etc.

Initially, 2 to 6 or more of each item are required. From then I will re-order once the items are selling. There is no deadline or minimum time to send the orders to me - I'm happy to work around your schedule. I would prefer to stock items which I can re-order once sold, though, than constantly changing the products.

Wholesale rate is negotiated between us and I pay postage to me. I require some form of invoice for tax purposes. For hobbyists, one of those simple invoice books from the newsagents, or something printed from your computer is fine.

If you have creations you'd like to sell through Spiral Garden, please don't hesitate to email me.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Cooking with Kids


Our children have been involved with helping prepare meals for a few years now. Initially it was my husband's idea, and I was hesitant to share my kitchen and deal with the mess! But by working one-on-one with my four older children, they are now capable of making meals by themselves.

Our 15 year old helps with two meals each week, I do two meals alone, and the 13, 12 and 10 year olds each help with one meal per week. First they wash their hands (or have a shower if they're quite grubby from outdoor play) and clear away dishes or anything else cluttering the bench space. We often wear aprons to protect our clothes, which adds to the atmosphere of getting on with something important. The menu is planned ahead, of course, so we always know how much time to allow. Some preparation tasks happen in the morning, also noted on the meal plan/family calendar.

Once the kitchen is ready to go we gather ingredients - they often start peeling vegetables or cutting up salad whilst I duck out to the garden for any home grown produce required. We put other ingredients from pantry and fridge onto the bench so everything is at hand. As we use it, we put the items away. We also rinse and stack utensils used along the way, and wipe up any spills. This is my way of using a kitchen, and I hope to pass the habit on to them so that cooking sessions don't end up with a big clean-up resulting!

Together we share the task of getting things cooking - measuring, adding, using the Thermomix or rice cooker and chatting as we go. Meanwhile, I am calling the other children in from outdoors to have a shower and clear and set the table so that by the time the food is ready, so are we. Our family eats together every evening.

Each week the children pick up a new skill or two in the kitchen, spend some time with Mum and help the family by preparing a meal. I encourage other family members to express gratitude for their efforts. I try to vary the meals they prepare, starting with basics like pasta. I also try to frequently schedule their favourite foods on the nights they're cooking, to keep them enthusiastic about the task. Since we bought our Thermomix a few months ago, they've been a little hesitant with using it, but as they watch and learn and try things for themselves, they appreciate it more.

We have had the odd burnt pan, some interesting herb or spice additions, and occasionally not quite enough to go around (because I wasn't on hand and they didn't peel and cook enough vegies, for example). But there's been nothing we couldn't eat, and a quick dessert of fruit and yoghurt or custard fills hungry tummies! And really, I could count the kitchen mishaps on one hand, so they're all doing really well.

Two of the girls are great bakers - better than me, I think! They bake at least once a week, which is more often than me, that's for sure. I rarely buy any prepared snack foods, biscuits etc, so that encourages them to make yummies for themselves and the family.


My younger two children are now joining me on "my" nights of cooking to peel some vegetables, put clean dishes away, fetch ingredients and just spend a little time together. Hopefully the six children will all know a lot about food and nutrition, cooking and cleanliness by the time they're grown.

Once we've eaten, the tasks of clearing the table, putting leftovers away, changing the tablecloth and doing the dishes are shared among other family members. It's true that many hands make light work and when we're catering for at least eight people each meal, it's more fun when we share the workload.

Happy Cooking!

Great gift ideas to encourage young cooks include:
Wooden Spoon
Rolling Pin
All Purpose Full Apron
All Purpose Half Apron

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Rolka Blocks




Rolka Creative Building Blocks provide hours of fun & challenging activities for all ages from 2 years. This set includes 50 blocks, which is challenging enough for up to approximately 7 years. The blocks are 12 x 2 x 1.5cm.

Virtually unbreakable – will last a lifetime
Environmentally sound
Locally-sourced Natural Plantation Pine
Non-toxic, aesthetically pleasing
Simple, using no glue, attachment or fixation point
Promote interactive play & co-operation
Great for table/floor activities, inside and out
Stimulate imagination & increase concentration
Improve motor skills and balance, develop patience
Magical dimensions, versatile, unlimited applications
Help discover physical laws, geometry & patterns
Australian made and owned manufacturer

Fully illustrated 20-page ideas booklet and calico storage bag included. Only $34.50 plus postage.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Spring is in the Air

Acknowledging seasonal changes is one way for humans to experience the rhythm of life. As our children witness the unfolding of each season, they grow a little and appreciate the wonders of nature. To know each season through walks, observation, activities, and games helps our children to develop a more intense relationship with planet earth. In most of Australia, the seasons are not as marked as in other climes… There may not be snow-capped rooftops or dazzling autumn leaves, but there are many less obvious signs that we are a part of the cycle of nature known as the seasons.

A seasonal table or shelf is one way to reflect the changes we witness through displaying items from nature, art and craft and dioramas. The table can also reflect festivals and other events that mark the cycle of our year. For ideas on creating a seasonal table you can look to books on Steiner or Waldorf education or search the Internet, where educational ideas abound.

Spring is the perfect season to take a nature walk… To witness the wonders of life emerging from the sleepiness of winter is magical for children and adults alike. Look for birds nesting, flowers in bloom, and rainbows. You could create a nature journal for sketches, photos, descriptions, pressed leaves, texture rubbings and other records of your walks.

Springtime is perfect for germinating seeds. Do you have a garden? Even a small plot will help your children to learn about the weather, insects and the life cycle of plants. Children love to grow peas, cherry tomatoes and other “snack foods” to munch on while they play outdoors. Saving seeds from what you grow to be planted next spring will illustrate the cycle of the seasons and help to mark another year passed. If you don’t have a garden, a few seeds of alfalfa or cress will sprout on a piece of wet cloth. Beans can be sprouted in glass jars, and if placed correctly one can witness the root structure growing as well as the soft green leaves emerging toward the sunlight. The miracle of germination and growth is fascinating to any of us who take the time to watch. Gardens assist us in experiencing this season at its fullest.

Snowdrop and Ulba Bulba - by Susan Whitehead

Songs, stories and poetry are pleasing ways for children to welcome a new season. There are many wonderful books of modern and traditional poetry for children. Or write your own! Poetry and songs written together are a lot of fun and you can include your personal observations. Stories to read together in spring include those about caterpillars, insects, frogs, eggs, baby animals and plants. Our family usually gather together all the books from our collection and the local library which we see as pertaining to the emerging season, and keep them near the seasonal table to be enjoyed over the coming weeks. Dolls, toys and puppets can enhance the storytelling experience. You can make your own from natural fibres and items collected on nature walks, or from pipe cleaners and felt.

In the animal kingdom, we can observe many wonders when spring arrives. A simple bird feeder will ensure hours of viewing for humans, and some very grateful birds. Nesting boxes, ponds, worm or ant farms and cocoons or hungry caterpillars in jars allow close study of other creatures. Your pets or backyard wildlife and the living things you encounter on your walks will invariably show different behaviours throughout the year.

Craft is one way in which children can express their seasonal observations. There are many beautiful craft books in libraries and shops, and a plethora of ideas on the Internet.

Some spring crafts include:

  • Pressed flowers and leaves
  • Paper flowers from crepe paper, wrapping paper or tissues
  • Leis of real or paper flowers to wear
  • Shredded paper birds’ nests with papier mache eggs
  • Butterfly paintings – fold paper in half, dollop paint on one side only, fold again and rub – open up and see!
  • Wind socks from lightweight, brightly coloured fabrics
  • Rain sticks using hollow bamboo or cardboard tubes
  • Puppets of birds, frogs, butterflies and caterpillars for your storytelling

Even very young children enjoy craft time. If they are shown how, step-by-step and provided with pre-cut materials and assistance when required, they will delight in creating beautiful and useful items to celebrate the magic of the new season.