halo! welcome to my humble headquarters, here you can see what fun we are getting up to in the studio, kitchen, garden and out and about. You can check out our crafty goods in the toyshop and the crafty-shop - and what we are offering in our edible endeavors over at humble food (recipes and fun ideas for nourishing your own sweet family!). Please enjoy!

Monday, February 24, 2014

tools of the trade

There is something really soothing about handsewing. Also sometimes painful. Like, when you are trying to push the needle through 5 layers of fabric on a weird angles and the blunt side of the needle pokes into your finger. Erg. and then you think of that thimble -- but really - who can actually sew deftly with one on!? Not me.

There is quite a bit of handwork involved in my dolls. Handwork. I even love the word. I use a variety of needles and thread for the hand sewing. I love using bright and contrasting colours - forget trying to hide the stitches. I tried that -- too stressful. So I started opting for bright, obvious stitches. Makes it much more fun! 

I use dowels to stuff the dolls -- and turn the pieces inside out. The pliers help when smaller pieces get stuck. Stuffing is a big part of the process -- it's an art. It can really make the difference of how a piece looks and feels. 

These are my favorite fabric scissors yet -- I have kept them safe from paper for a while now. They do need some sharpening, though.

This is my sewing machine. I need to learn how to take care of it better, but I am improving, slowly. The paintbrush is for dusting out lint on a very regular basis. I find this helps alot! I actually taught myself how to oil it earlier this year. That is a big accomplishment for me. 

I do actually use pins. And an iron. I just love these pearly ones. 

I will share more about how the dolls come together soon. And maybe even share some pictures of some of the crazy messes I make in the process. The above picture is a detail from my box of doll hair. The rainbow collection. 

Starting to stitch the face - that is definitely the most challenging part of making these dolls. Starting - possibly totally messing it. Totally messing it up - or thinking I do - and continuing anyways. Usually it ends up okay!! If not...my girls can always use another doll... 

Okay ... well, hot pink paper isn't really a tool - but the camera certainly is. I bought this paper on Saturday for fun. What do you think? 

I had been wanting to make a glasses girl for a while! She looks so smart.

I am trying to get a little photo studio set up for the dolls so I can take more portrait like pics like these. 

thanks for stopping by! 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

sharing the love, a humble giveaway

halo all!

sooooooooo...thwarted by facebook and leery to try again in case they suspend my page activities i am going to post the rules and regulations of the draw HERE instead... 

also then you can get connected with my blog in case you feel like hearing me ramble on longer than a facebook status update ;) ... I will be posting bits about the processes and what is going on in studio - pictures of messes and other random life events. It might be fun.

Here it goes
humble giveaway 

you can get entered in my little draw to win one of 3 prizes: a handmade dolly (little lu size) with your choice of hair/outfit colours etc.  -- or 20 humble dollars or 15 humble dollars towards your next purchase. Yay! It's easy.

1. Like my fbpage or subscribe to my blog - not totally necessary but awesome
2. pin 2 of your favorite images from www.humblehome.etsy.com or www.humbletoys.etsy.com (or from this blog, too) ... if you can pin them onto suitable boards.
3. uh... DO NOT under any circumstances share this on your timeline on facebook. nudge nudge?
4. LIKE or comment -- either comment here on the blog or LIKE my post on facebook where I shared this so I know you want in and keep track of all the names.

So those are general guidelines, obviously you can see the point of this thing is to spread the word about my new adventure -- and hopefully keep some food on the table and gas in the car ;) (read previous post for details on that). I trust you to spread the love how you see fit - and really only if you feel the need. I try to create things that spark that spark in our hearts - mine and maybe yours too - if you think these kinds of good things are worth sharing, please do! I am grateful! 

The name collecting starts NOW and goes until march 3. I will then take a day or two to write all the names down and pull them out of a big ceramic bowl. (there is probably a great techie way to do that, but i do not know it...) ....

Disclaimer: This promotion is in NO way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. humble and all the participants of the said giveaway hereby release Facebook of any liability. Information collected is NOT collected by Facebook. Information collected by humble(Home/toys) is used with strict confidentiality, is not shared with third parties. The winner is chosen at RANDOM within 48 hours of the end of the Giveaway, this can be delayed slightly on some occasions due to workload. All postage costs are covered by humble no matter where the winner resides (see my shipping policies www.humbletoys.etsy.com)  There are no age/gender or residency restrictions from our end. The participants MUST comply with their local laws & regulations to the best of their knowledge. Sharing this post on one’s timeline or on one’s friends timeline does not provide additional entries and likewise isn’t a prerequisite of an entry in this giveaway. (The same goes for tagging yourself or your friends in the Giveaway post). I will announce the winners on my facebook page. 

Friday, February 21, 2014


How many posts can I start off by saying; oh! I am moving into something new! Again! Aren't we always, aren't we ever? Each day...a new day...a new something we have never seen before; new sounds; new smells; new sunshine, new sensations. Familiar perhaps, but always new.

And so...is this. New.

For real this time, I promise!

When I glance over previous posts (and I really do mean glance - not at all read because that is too annoying to me presently) I definitely see a pattern where I try to commit myself to my craft and *really* trying. It's funny to me, the way life unfolds sometimes. That I tried and tried and strove and strove to make the time to do what I felt I wanted to do...

and then...

over the past year I have had a huge shift. Something about moving, about being in a new place, settling in, loving our home, loving so much being a mom - and really embracing being *just* a mom. Embracing this life; husband busy busy busy at work, me at home with the kids...alone...alot. But, this is the way it is, I thought, and it is good. So lucky, we are, to be able to be here; with abundance and love and kids and home and food. Challenging at times, yes, but overall good.

And so, I thought I would retire my humble ambitions. Let go of the lofty thoughts of selling my goods - maybe making a living at it someday, somehow. What was the point, really? Mostly it caused me to miss out on sleep that if I got would make me a less grumpy mummy - and would also make less mess. I focused more on home life; cooking, cleaning, being creative with the kids, playing music. Frivolous creative endeavors, instead of ones that might offshoot into monetary gain. Downsizing my craft room to a cupboard. Although I do flip flop back and forth I was really realizing that this choice made the most sense for now -- maybe in five or six years I could revisit it - but for now...

It really made more sense to let it all go. Play and be creative if I needed to for myself, but forget trying to make money at it or gain some sense of identity from it. I didn't need to and everyone would be happier, really, if I spent more time keeping the household running smoothly. Not in some old-timey context, but really; I couldn't do it all. I feel like that realization sort of came to me, gently. Also, becoming pregnant again and realizing that another busy four or five years lay ahead - and this was likely the last wee one for us (number four) and I would really like to just enjoy this baby and not stress myself out trying to make a little bit of extra cash.

Not that it is all about the money -- but definitely putting energy into etsy and craft shows etc. is, and I realized that unless I had a certain threshold of input the results would be meager and I was really realizing that in my life, with my abilities, I just couldn't put more into that world without sacrificing things that I really couldn't bear to sacrifice. It wasn't worth it, and we really had no need.

So, in the early winter, after thrashing about in the pre-Christmas madness, making and making, and enjoying it - I conceded to myself that this was likely it. I might keep posting little things on facebook, sharing a bit, selling a few dolls here and there, working on things when I felt like it - but without expectations or pressure - just for the joy of it - but that would be the extent for now - and for the next few years at least. After Christmas I would work on packing up my craft room into bins, stash most away in the attic, nicely labeled so I could bring down what I needed when I needed it - but just keep out the few things I would need to work on small projects over the next few months. For fun.

Alas. The world has plans.

The wonderful, steady and dependable company my husband had been working insane hours for over the past number of years unexpectedly went bankrupt. Two weeks before Christmas we got the news that his amazing job was no more.

When he left for the meeting in the morning - the one where they would tell him the crazy news - we suspected this might be the outcome. But what I certainly DID NOT expect was my husbands' reaction to the news. I thought he would be stressed out - upset - worried - distraught, even. Some incarnation of freak-out, anyways, probably coupled with slight depression and mountains of stress.

But he came home and said: Well, are you ready to start a new chapter in our life?

With ease, and lightness -- and -- elation?

It was a strange kind of freedom, we realized. An uncertain and potentially hazardous kind. But there was suddenly, it seemed, a boundless horizon before us, unmarked and full of potentially awesome potential.

And so...the newness.

An entirely new sort of life.

In which I am put to the test. We decided to try. To try and see what happens. To see, can we make our own living? Can we create and thrive?

This is our newness, now. We are only a couple months in, earnestly seeking and learning and stretching. But we are loving this newness. And a relaxed feeling is settling back into his bones.

Wonder and joy and love are becoming everyday adventures again. Life and meaning and appreciation are a shared experience within the whole family - there is a reconnecting that was sorely needed, but had no time to be had! I am so grateful!

So - this time - for real. I have a need to do the sweet making. And I have the support and the time to do it too - and I feel totally spoiled and grateful and wonderstruck that any and all of this is unfolding. It is early yet - who knows what the years hold - what this year holds. But I am going to try and make the most of it.

We are expecting a new baby in the spring. Another new adventure. It is going to be a busy year. A year of many beginnings.

This is a long rant - after a long absence and with many unshared thoughts in between - but I do hope to use this blog on a regular basis - to share the unfoldings of our humble home - but also the inner workings of the studio, yummy distractions, DIY inspirations, adventures, sales, creations -- all things humble. ;)