Friday, 26 November 2010

Art Makes Sense

A lot of our art supplies are sourced from Mercurius Australia. They stock the quality European brands Stockmar and Lyra which are best sellers at Spiral Garden.

From an educational, developmental perspective, an environment that is rich in sensory experience is essential. Mercurius is committed to providing a complete and thoroughly tested range of products which are designed to:

• nurture the senses
• stimulate and support creativity and the practise of the 7 arts

For more information on the twelve senses and the seven arts, check out this page.


Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Shopping for Artists

Quality art supplies are such a delight to artists of all ages. They improve results and are a pleasure to use. Here are some gift ideas for your arty loved ones...

Stockmar Colour Circle Paints
Set of three colours (red, yellow, blue)
Just $26.00 per set.
Try our glass paint jars for storing them in, $1.65 each.
For more information on techniques
for using Stockmar art products, click here.

Kindergarten Paint Brush from Mercurius.
18mm brush of amazing quality, just $14.00.

I get excited by crayons, after years of enduring the average quality ones available in most department stores. The ones above are Crayon Rocks, soy-based crayons from the USA which are vegan-friendly and help prepare little hands for handwriting. They also look great, don't they? More stock (in two sizes) due from the USA in time for your Christmas orders. Stay tuned. Just $10.00 for the pack of 16 vibrant colours.

The delicious-smelling Honey Sticks are so sturdy and yet they deliver smooth, bright colours when in use. Ingredients include beeswax and non-toxic pigments, and the stubby design means that these crayons will last! Just $13.00.

Stockmar Block Crayons - quality you can trust from Germany. These come in a metal tin, in a set of eight bright colours. Ideas for using Stockmar crayons can be found here. Only $16.50 from Spiral Garden, much less than you'd pay elsewhere!

A perfect addition to any gift of crayons are these fabulous hand-made wool felt pencil cases from a Fair Trade supplier through Mercurius Australia. Available in a variety of colours and only $9.50 each!

Once customers discover Mercurius' Main Lesson Books, they always come back for more. These can be used in classrooms, in homeschooling, as journals, for many different art mediums and methods, or just for fun! They include 32 pages of quality paper with onion skin paper in between to help preserve artwork. Just $4.00 per book.

Lyra Pencils are the longest-lasting pencils which
are a delight to hold and use. From $2.60.

Lyra Sharpener - look, it's not plastic!
$3.20 each, suits most sizes of pencil.

We stock dozens of other quality art products at Spiral Garden. Happy Shopping!

Shopping for Babies

Not another teddy bear...

We have some fantastic gift ideas for babies, check out these best sellers - all natural and top quality!

Knot dolls, all-time best seller available in
pink, orange, green, lavender, blue and yellow.
$13.00 each

21cm wide rainbow window star

Single felt ball $7.00

Garden Flags $65.00

Bamboo Washcloths $10.00

Dyed Muslin Playcloths $10.00
White Muslin, Silk and Cotton Playcloths also available!

Baby wraps available in
Cheesecloth Jumbo
Cheesecloth Newborn
and Flannel Jumbo
... so versatile, from $15.00!

Wooden Teething Ring $16.00
from Drei Blatter in Germany.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Shopping for Boys

Of course, most of our products appeal to both boys and girls, but in my experience, the items below have been especially popular with boys...

Felt Horse, 14cm high and only $18.00

Aussie Anamalz with pouch $34.95.

Debresk Vehicles, from $9.50

Lyra Skin Colour Pencils $18.00 - for painting faces without the mess or skin irritation!

Stockmar Block Crayons - tough but still delightful to use!
$16.50 (pay up to $22 at other Aussie retailers)
Give with a quality blank book!

Solid Wooden Fish Xylophone $27.00

Claves $11.50

Eco Clay $30.00, add a rolling pin.

Animal Tails $12.00.

Juggling Balls - set of 3.
Current stock includes lots of blue, green and brown tones.
Just $20.00 per set.
All-in-one house - a dollhouse and puzzle in one.
Use for little gnomes or other figures.
Made in Germany by Kaefer.
Gnomes in stock include Earth Gnomes, Season Gnomes and Gnome Families.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Christmas Products

for you, or someone else!
$30.00 within Australia

Beguile Lip Balm
Three varieties
$4.00 each
pop one into a...

Wool Felt Pencil Case
which are great for make-up, jewelery, any art supplies and more...
$9.50 each
add a ...

Glass Bead Spiral Bracelet
only $7.50 each
in a variety of colours

Beguile Soap
is $7.00
or only $1.75 for a guest-sized bar
goes perfectly with...

Bamboo Face & Body Washcloths
handmade in two colours
only $10.00
soft, yet hard-wearing

Calico Pencil Cases
$4.00 each

Calico Bags
$3.50 each
go perfectly with...

Get into the spirit of the season with these
Christmas Craft Packs
only $25.00

Festivities Cards
$12.00 for six

or Angels Card
$4.00 each

These are just a sample of the variety of gifts stocked by Spiral Garden. As well as our wide range of toys, books, and art supplies!

Friday, 19 November 2010

It's Christmas at Spiral Garden

The wonderful Melissa Baker has worked her magic again, and transformed Spiral Garden's main page for Christmas 2010. Isn't is such a peaceful image?

Don't forget to keep an eye on our New Products pages, which are being updated daily.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Gaia's Garden

Re-introducing Gaia's Garden, a co-operative game stocked by Spiral Garden for a few years, and played with by our family for a few more.

This game is now packaged in a bag made from certified organic cotton and screen printed with earth pigments - a completely natural process.

Gaia's Garden was produced on 100% recycled paper and 100% recycled cardboard. The game board is printed with vegetable inks and vegetable based varnish. The paper is mounted to the cardboard using homemade flour paste, made with organic wheat flour.

Living Earth Games are doing their best to improve their products to make them more environmentally friendly and more child friendly.

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.

From Dr Hilary Whitehouse (Science and environmental education):

"The companion planting game introduces players to the ecological concept of pest and predator insect species. It is dynamic and replicates how a garden can be created. A balance is eventually created through companion planting. The game is non-competitive which is quite a novel concept to children accustomed to playing competitive games. The children seemed to enjoy the co-operative structure of the game.

This is the real success of the game, that it is able to develop knowledge of ecological concepts with young children in an effective and exciting way.

The children wanted to play the game for over an hour straight, which is a very positive recommendation...

I am sure other teachers would be happy to use it with their classes. Teachers and parents are always looking for attractive and useful materials through which to develop learning with children, and I would assess the game as being such..."

Also available from Living Earth Games through Spiral Garden: Living Landscapes Juggling Balls Single Ball

More about the Moon

Here's Iris, one of the creators of our Moontime Diary 2011, explaining a little more about the significance of the moon's cycles in our lives. Enjoy!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Summer Solstice

On 22nd December 2010, it will be the Summer Solstice in the southern hemisphere. A Solstice is an astronomical event, but is most commonly identified as the longest or shortest day of the year, a mid-season celebration to acknowledge the turning of the wheel.

For some families who don't wish to celebrate a religious holiday in December, Solstice gatherings and gifts are a popular alternative.
Some gift ideas for solstice from Spiral Garden include:

Fire Flower Flamers and The Earthy Men by Susan Whitehead - a book for Under 7s.
Summer Card from Susan Laidlaw
Summer Craft Pack from Rainbow Made & Spiral Garden
Summer Doll from the Seasonal Doll Collection by Rainbow Made
Summer Sunshine Felt by Rainbow Made
A Playcloth in silk, muslin or cotton - in your choice of summer colours
A wood & paper folding fan
An item of jewelery from our hand-selected range
Soap and face cloths
2011 Diary
Window Star
Barefoot Magazine subscription

or just about anything from our unique range of toys, books, art and craft items and more!