Tuesday, December 30, 2008

a question

30th December, 2008

I've been asked how I got my hands on Buntspechte ('woodpecker') animals. 
Well, firstly let me say that once I've set my mind on something I don't give up easily.

I first made soft animals for little M to play with. They are well loved but a little on the wonky side & as his play developed I wanted pieces which would grow with him. Pieces that would last a lifetime & had the warmth & beauty true of the natural world. 

I searched high & low for the 'right' pieces. 
I found lots that were lovely but none that sung to me. 
Until I found the Woodpecker animals. 
I had tears in my eyes ~ seriously. With the joy & the beauty in each one. And I knew they were the right ones.

I sent out an email to our family. 

Then I placed an order with them through their site. The cost seems high but not once you've seen them. Each one is amazing & large too. The perfect size really. The postage cost was heavy but by spending our money on these we were reminded to wind back the 'excess' that can occur at Christmas. And I think that the balance was achieved.

We are so grateful for all of the love & thoughtful gifts given to our wee one this Christmas. It's wonderful that others were also moved by these animals & the pieces they gifted complement & complete what we gave. We are so thankful.

For prosperity's sake the letter is below.

Dear Family,

Ok.... Straight to the point. 

As you all know we like Miles to play with 'natural' toys as much as possible. Wood, wool, fabric, earth, leaves, water, etc. 

Our reasons are many & varied. The three main ones being that 
(a) by playing with toys 'of nature' he will indeed be connected to the natural world - a rare thing these days. 
(b) He will learn to imagine, create, problem solve & improvise as the 'toys' he uses are, as such, unfinished pieces. They have room to evolve as his play does. A simple basket of shells offers endless play opportunities as money for shopping, food for animals, steps for a building, beds for small dolls... on & on it goes. 
(c) that we reduce our impact on the natural world & where possible improve it. So where & how the item was made, from what materials & how it will be disposed of at the end of it's life cycle are all factors in our shopping habits. For more info check this out http://www.storyofstuff.com/

With these points in mind I began my search for figurines. Small people & animals for play now & long into the future. My search took me all around the globe (not literally, unfortunately). I found many wonderful figures in my travels, several handmade by men & women with a passion & a skill for woodwork & children. 

With an extraordinary amount of excitement & satisfaction I found these -

Handmade with love in Germany. Using locally sourced renewable timber. Painted simply with vegetable dyes. These are truly incredible.

As you can imagine, each piece is a work of art. They are not cheap, by any stretch of the imagination. They are however, heirloom pieces that will be loved & treasured not only by Miles & any other children who may bring joy & laughter into our home. But also the generations of children that may follow. 

So I ask you all so humbly, to please consider one of these figures as a gift to Miles for this Christmas or Birthday or the many that will follow. 

We will place an order in the coming weeks so you can, if you like, add to our order. Prices range from $20 for a 5.5cm duck to $28 for a 10cm goat to $50 for a 16cm horse. Just let me know which animal or person you would like to choose & if the cost is more than you had planned to spend we can top up the difference. 

Of course, each of you offer many & varied gifts to Miles in the way of your company, your passions & your laughter. It is not necessary to purchase gifts for him. He is most happy to spend some time 'hangin out' in the garden with you. If you prefer to share your time with him, that is truly a gift to us all. Or if you have another gift in mind.... These figures are simply a suggestion.

So with much love & peace & we approach the festive season,

x Jules & Paulie

and so I don't forget

from Grammy & Pa ~ the horse
from Aunty Dan & Uncle Shane ~ the rooster & the goat
from Aunty Kath ~ the calf
from us ~ the cow, the broody chicken, the donkey


Amber said...

How lucky this little man is to have these gifts. How lucky your family and friends embrace your choices in toys and how lucky this little man is to have you guys as a mummy and daddy.


karenjane said...

i think this is a fantastic idea! they are truly beautiful toys that im sure will last forever

Alicia said...

I'd love to see a photo of the toys Miles received for Christmas! They are just gorgeous, is it easy to do an international money transfer? I noticed they don't accept credit cards for overseas orders.

Jules said...

Hi Alicia,
i just placed the order through their site & sent an email asking for payment info & postage total. After about 5 days they sent me paypal invoice. Easy.

The postage & bank charges were *ahem* $84. Ouch! But again. Not a single regret. I'm so happy with our decision to buy woodpecker. We'll place another order for M's birthday in June.
They also gave us a slight discount on each piece ~maybe because we ordered several?

Good luck with it. I'll post some pics in the coming week.