Saturday, 27 September 2014

Guest Blogger ~ No Batteries Required

My name is gary I’m 44 years old and I live in Streatham  south London 
I work as a wire man  in my day job
and make and run my shop at night.

cat brooch  wood washing jewellery scroll saw

How did you decide on the name for your shop?
I wanted a name that was easy to remember  
and one that was good for basic toys and gifts 
so no batteries required  seemed appropriate as in this high tech world 
where everything has batteries and a 100 page manual to use it. 
I think it’s good to get back to basic toys and gifts.

wood toy car  kids waldorf

How long has your shop been open and why did you start it? 
I opened my shop on 7 -8- 2011 I started it as a way of selling 
some of my items that I have made  as I was making items  
and not sure what to do with them  
and you can only give away so many as gifts  
but as the sales started to come in I began to take it a bit more seriously 
and has just got better and better but you really do have to put the time 
into setting up and running your shop.  

toy car hot rod wood push toy

What is your favourite item/s in your shop at the moment? 
Can I have 2?
  The zoo safari and the wood truck  
saying that I have to say I like most of the items in my shop
zoo safari wood toy set animal waldorf

wood toy  truck luber lorry  push toy

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I like to think of toys that I had as a kid as back then most toys were simple toys  
but you played  with them for hours.  
I do find that I spend quick a bit of time looking on the inter net at pics of old toys  
and games and some times old time home ware items 
also my nan was a painter and my granddad was always making some for the home 
I remember watching him for hours some times working down the shed. 

toy tank wood  toy  pull toy scroll saw

What other things do you like to do in your spare time?
Ham radio playing around with electronic projects some times they even work 1st time.

dinosaur wood toy triceratops waldorf

What would be the one piece of advice would you give to a person setting up their own shop?
Keep at it it takes a lot of time and hard work to get going 
and to keep it going when you 1st start your shop
 You might not get a sale for weeks it really does take a lot of time so don’t give up and keep at it.

robot fridge magnet wood maple scroll saw

Where can you be found on Social Media?

toy shark wood push toy  animal pull toys

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Guest Blogger ~ Knitted by Steph

Hi, I’m Steph.  

I am a wife, mother and grandmother.

I have been knitting now for nearly 40 years and over that time 
I have started to make up my own patterns to make things the way I wanted them to look.

knittted skeleton

People have asked me on many occasions if I could knit things for them. 
If a pattern wasn’t available I would find a picture of whatever was needed 
and work from there. I have made all sorts of figures small and large.

Santa Christmas Toy

This started off the idea that others might like to try my patterns too.
One of my sons then suggested starting up an Etsy shop 
so that I could make them available to everyone.

Christmas Toy Collection

After many silly names for the shop we decided 
on a simple name just “ knitted by steph” .

It has been almost a year since I opened the shop 
and over that time I have been working constantly trying to add more patterns 
and figures that I think people would like.

15inch high knitted ballerina doll

I think the larger mascot figures are my favourite to design at the moment 
as I can use my imagination to try and come up with 
new ideas even though some are a bit of a challenge!

A lot of the inspiration comes from everyday conversations when I’m asked, 
“can you knit  a fire fighter?” for instance. 
Then my thoughts get going and I’m spending the next few weeks 
trying out different ways of making bits until I am happy with the results.

Knitted fire fighter mascot

I also like to dabble in a bit of embroidery when I get the time 
and long walks, to give me inspiration on what to try to knit next. 

I think if you have something you make well that people are always asking for, 
then it’s worth thinking about starting up your own shop and sharing your skills with the world.

Knit your own Halloween decorations or toys

I used to think my patterns weren’t good enough 
but I’ve since been convinced by others that they are, 
so it’s worth remembering if you don’t try you’ll never know 
and Etsy is a wonderful way of starting up your own shop with the minimum of fuss, 
With the bonus of reaching everywhere across the world.

Policeman, postman and paramedic pdf knitting pattern

I also have a Etsyfacebook page, twitter, blog and pinterest
(thanks to my son, who helps me out on all these things).

So remember, if you have a skill, it’s worth sharing.


Saturday, 20 September 2014

Herotopia ~ Game Review

Have you heard of the new super hero game for kids?
Herotopia is a fantastic way for kids to play and interact in a safe environment.
Hero's also appeal to both girls and boys.
You can create a hero and play for free
or you can join the membership
and play and create with all the extra's.

Even playing free you get to personalise you character,
interact with other players and go on missions to save the world.
In each part of the world there are different games to play
and they have different levels so children of different ages
can play without difficulty.

When you first join you child designs their hero
to their colours and specifications.

If you join as a member you get to:
As you play the game you get different hints and clues
to help you find different items round the world.
You also have to beat the villains when you find them. 
All the other hero's in the world also fight them with you.

In each part of the world you have different games to play
that use different skills.
You play everything from snowball fights to making a fruit drink
by collecting more than 3 fruits together.

Little Red has fished for his first smighty
and we are waiting for the ice to defrost
to see if he collected one and what smighty 
it might be.
He is sooo excited I don't know how he
will wait the 12 hours till it's defrosted :-)

Little Red is looking forward to playing all the different games.
There is sooo much to explore I am sure he'll be playing
it for a long time.
He is also looking forward to making some new
friends from around the world.

I hope you'll go and check the game out.
I know I enjoyed having a go
at the different games ;-)

We received access to the game to review.
However all opinions expressed are my own.
No monies were received for this post.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Wow What a Fantastic Day out at Knowsley Safari Park

For Little Red's birthday we took him and a friend to Knowsley Safari Park.

You start off driving your car round the Safari 
so you can get up close and personal.
Whist in the Safari the kids don't have to wear seat belts 
or sit on their booster seats.
The kids thought this was fantastic as they could then
easily see everything that was going on.
the African Wild Dogs & the Tigers
are behind a fence but everything else is next to your car.
This includes the Lions
They were fast asleep in the morning when we went past.
In the afternoon they decided to wake up
That was right at the side of the car.

The bit the boys loved the best was the Monkey area.
You can either drive round the other side of the fence
or you can go through and risk your car being
destroyed by monkies.
The boys loved the monkies jumping on the car.
Luckily we didn't get any damage.
They did try.
When we went back round in the afternoon the place was littered
with parts of cars.
There were so many animals to see

At the other end we decided to stop for some lunch before going
in the part of the park you can walk around.
Little Red had brought his Snot the Zombie pack
with his lunch in.
It's such good fun!
He loves taking it out everywhere.
He loves seeing peoples faces when he sets it off.

Then it was off round the park to see the other animals:
And of course his Snot pack had to go with him :-)

 They even have fun fair rides & a small train you can buy tickets for:

We had a fantastic day out and Little Red loves being

I would highly recommend a day out at Knowsley Safari Park

It's also a day out you can enjoy in the rain.
Whilst the animals might be getting wet 
you can stay dry in your car.
You can also go round the park as many times as you want.
We went round once in the morning and again in the afternoon.
It was amazing the difference in how the animals behaved
at the different times of day.

We received a WOW pack to review.
We paid for ourselves to visit Knowsley Safari Park.
However all opinions expressed are my own.
No monies were received for this post.
This post was originally posted on