Little Alouette Give Away!

by Stefani on 6-March-2009

Thank you all so much for your kind thoughts and well wishes. If you haven't read the comments  on today's earlier post, please do. You will leave feeling ready to climb mountains, sure as certain. 

And I do feel ready to climb. I really do.  As prone as I ordinarily am to a good whine-fest, I am feeling extraordinarily hopeful. I just can't help but feel like we will one day look back on this time, all of us, not just the Blue Yonder gang, and realize that it was a turning point… a change for the better. 

In this moment we all get a chance to be open to new ideas, to take some chances, to return to creativity, frugality and ingenuity – to dig in and lean forward, to help each other out. All good stuff, but that last bit is key.  

I think that one of the real benefits of this recession is that it will force us to draw more closely together as families and as communities. 

I'm going to be on the lookout for ways to do that here… to share good information, to support good work, to trade tips, to rally and to encourage. 

Part of that will be doing my part to help get the word out about people who are turning their passions into ways to provide for their families. If we must spend money, I'd like to do it in a way that will help someone else out too. 

To kick things off tonight, I'd like to introduce you to Amy, and her baby, LIttle Alouette. Amy is crazy cool and Little Alouette is wood for wee ones. Oh but it's so much more… really, it's art, cleverly disguised as teethers and toys for small people. Beyond the beautiful pieces though is an even more beautiful story – two people in love, sharing their talents, inspired by their children, following their dreams, and adding something good to the world. 

Have a look: 

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Lovely in every little way, right? It nearly kills me to visit their shop. I'd like to have one of everything for my new nephew. I'd also like to sneak into their shop and flat out wallow in all that gorgeous woodsyness. 

The best part? I get to share a bit of LIttle Alouette with you! One very lucky Blue Yonder reader will get to wrap their fingers around this amazing Maple Wood Rattle Stick. And also an extra little super secret surprise!

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 It's satin-y smooth and woody and makes noise and I kinda would like to just hold one and stare at it for a while. Wouldn't you? You can even share it with a baby that you like a whole lot if you want to. 

All you have to do is visit Little Alouette, then come back here and tell me all about your favorite toy in the comments section. On Monday morning I will pick a random winner and Amy will send your Rattle Stick right to your door, you lucky dog!

As always, there are also a couple of ways to earn extra entries… 

1) Give me your best "use it up, make do or do without" tip. 

2) Tell me about your favorite online mom and/or pop shop. I'm looking for real people doing real good work. It can be artists, craftspeople, or … well anyone really, so long as it is someone  who is making something wonderful and in turn making ends meet for their family. It can even be YOU!

Also, if you are currently in the market for something to make a little one happy, you're in luck. Amy has offered Blue Yonder readers free shipping on the Harper, Ellie, Triangle and Calla teethers through midnight Saturday. Just enter the code "blueyonderlove" in the "message to seller" section when you make your purchase. 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! We will see ya back here on Monday!

**** This Contest is Now Closed****
TheOrganicSister March 6, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Oh the butterfly teething ring was too cute. But I know DS would love the dueling swords too. 🙂

~Tara

Jonah Lisa March 6, 2009 at 9:12 pm

I like the keys and the egg shaker for my little Jemma. Gorgeous teethers.

Make do: I’ve been patching jeans and cutting old pants that have drawn up a bit too much into cropped pants.

Online Shop: Thinking Mama on Etsy. SHhe makes baby hats and other items from repurposed cashmere and wool sweaters. Adorable stuff.

Stefanie March 6, 2009 at 9:21 pm

Oh hippo goodness. LOVE that teether!

I Wonder Woman March 6, 2009 at 9:24 pm

The “holey” rattle is my favorite- it would be so easy for my daughter to grab on to and GNAW. Kind of how easy I am to grab on to…but with less pain for me :o)

I Wonder Woman March 6, 2009 at 9:26 pm

My favorite shop is my friend’s, JustLovely.etsy.com. She makes wood knitting needles- how cool is that? She’s so thrifty and artistic, and has three of the best kids. I’ll have to think about the thrifty tip…

heather jane March 6, 2009 at 9:53 pm

I love these wooden toys for tots. A favorite? Are you kidding? Well alright then. The Calla B butterfly does make me smile. But I have a little nephew who would adore an elephant. Really, truly. The wavy stick is pretty cool, too, though.

I’ll have to think on the use it up issue. I’m sure I’ve got something good…we’re aiming for zero waste these days. Oh…I did post about our Valentine’s Day tradition a few days back. That’s right here: http://living-senses.blogspot.com/2009/02/tradition.html

jennifer w. March 6, 2009 at 10:02 pm

I’ve had the “Myla Belle” keys on my etsy faves for some time now. But everything is beautiful.

Making do (ok – unfortunate wording in relation to my example 😉 We use plain old flannel cloths and water for baby wipes. You only need one or two cloths to finish the job (versus half a dozen or more disposable wipes), and our son Hank’s bum is diaper rash free for the most part.

Online shop – I wished I had known about studioleroux (and their baby canoes) when I was shopping for used or handmade baby gear. They look so comforting!

julie L. March 6, 2009 at 10:54 pm

The Easter egg would be fun this time of year! Are you going to tell the non-winners what the surprise is?!

Kristi Estes March 7, 2009 at 12:09 am

I am loving the “holey” rattle as much as the stick toy. The sizes are amazing and the prices are so great too. Thanks for sharing.

Kelly March 7, 2009 at 4:32 am

My favorite is the maple waldorf inspired teething oval. It is just gorgeous.

Lisa March 7, 2009 at 4:52 am

Maple wood race is my favorite.
I have a freind due with a boy after three girls.
Nice gift hmmmm.

teesa March 7, 2009 at 5:13 am

I am really digging the “RATTLE Handle Wooden Maple Waldorf Style Wood Rattle Teether.” I am still trying to build up a collection of wonderful items for my adopted daughter who we should get soon…

teesa March 7, 2009 at 5:14 am

A local mom here in the mountains of NC (still snow on the ground!) started an Etsy shop called “Sustainable Homestead” http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6175062. She is a real inspiration to many of the ladies here. There are a lot of Urban Homesteaders in this neck of the woods. Check her out. She was just featured on a local website too (http://www.highcountrymomsquad.com/freebie-friday-reusable-lunch-bags-from-sustainable-homestead/)

Louisa March 7, 2009 at 5:33 am

My favorite use it up tip is to make rags from clothing or bedding that has been stained or worn out beyond usefulness to make rags. I use them instead of paper towels.

Carrie March 7, 2009 at 5:33 am

I absolutely love the wooden swords. Our little guy, loves to wake up to save the day by his nibble feet & strong arm, by his undefeatable skill in fencing. However this same little guy has a hard time finding a sword that will hold up to all of his galliant adventures. This wood one I’m sure would be just what he needs to once again rid the world of bad animals & robots.

Violet March 7, 2009 at 5:52 am

I love the safari set. Just beautiful wood.

My friend doesn’t have an online shop (yet) but instead of spending money on new clothes for my daughter, I go through my fabric stash. My friend makes one-of-a-kind pieces for me and I repay her with more fabric for clothing for her soon-to-be shop.
-violet

golden March 7, 2009 at 5:59 am

Oh that Waldorf oval is gorgeous! I just want to FEEL it in my hand and rub it on my cheek!

As for doing without, we gave up paper towels 9 years ago when I had a newborn. We have an extensive pile of kitchen towels for messes that won’t stain much and a huge pile of rags for those that will. I honestly haven’t missed the paper towels!

Mandy March 7, 2009 at 6:12 am

Everything in the shop is amazing! I would love the Calla butterfly teether for my youngest.

In an effort to reuse/recycle I have been making clothes for my kiddos out of other clothes that we aren’t wearing. In the same vein as your bandana pants, I have made several pairs of ‘pawpaw’ pants for my son (the first shirt we used was from his grandpa…) and from a few of my old t-shirts I have made dresses, shirts, and shoes for my daughter. All my maternity clothes have been earmarked for this in the days to come. We have also given up paper towels and paper napkins and have been using cloth. It is great, too, because dinner seems fancier, which I love.

Allison March 7, 2009 at 6:18 am

I have some babies coming into my life soon (2 friends told me they were pregnant on the same day, and I’m the only non-family person to know!) so I was already thinking about what a great gift a Little Alouette rattle or something would be.

I love the butterfly:
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=21552629

One of my favorite “make do” tips is to use baking soda for everything around the house – mix it with a little Ivory dishsoap to make a cleaning paste, use it to scrub the tub and the stovetop, in the laundry, to keep drains clear, etc. Plain white vinegar also is helpful for mixing with the baking soda, or using on its own as a glass cleaner…. I bought a 10 lb bag of baking soda and a 5 gallon jug of vinegar at Costco for probably not more than $6 and they’ve lasted me months.

Lee March 7, 2009 at 6:26 am

Holey maple teething Batman!

We love wood toys and teethers here!

A use it up idea is we keep empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls and let our little guy play with them– He rolls, stacks, smashes, turns them into binoculars ect. When they are too bent up or smashed to use– into the recycle bin they go.

Marybeth March 7, 2009 at 6:53 am

WOW, just WOW!!! Those are so awesome. And would offer a nice substitute from the crib rail, too! The Maple Wood Oval Rattle Teething Toy is my favorite. My make do or do without story is that I’m making all the little one’s pants these days. They’re so easy and it keeps me from tossing old clothes and fabric away without carefully considering its potential.

Lise March 7, 2009 at 7:02 am

Ooh…the one you’ve chosen for the giveaway is the one I’d chosen as my favorite when I browsed this shop recently! I’d love it for my newborn daughter. Pelae enter my name.

I’ve been making cloth-diaper-cover “longies” out of felted wool sweater arms, and they’re by far our favorite baby clothes. That’s my fav. “make do” tip lately.

My favorite mom-and-pop place to go online is Soulemama. Ok, so her Etsy shop has only her book right now, but her blog inspires me daily and it’s clear that she’s doing what she loves and helping to support her family that way.

Thanks!

Cayce March 7, 2009 at 7:20 am

I LOVE the waldorf teether. Beautiful. I stumbled across her shop a while back and drooled all over the keyboard while browsing.

Nadine March 7, 2009 at 7:21 am

The maple teether/rattle IS brilliant! And I love the shape of the holey teether. I can see how these would be keepsakes a baby could cherish forever.

Cayce March 7, 2009 at 7:21 am

I’ve stopped using toilet paper for myself and instead cut up old flannel receiving blankets and surged the edges. It is sooo much softer. It’s amazing how less tp we go thru now with just this little change!

Cayce March 7, 2009 at 7:23 am

OK, I’ll do another plug for my shop…
http://www.SustainableHomestead.etsy.com
I really wasn’t doing it to support my family at first. I just wanted to reduce waste in the world. But now it seems that others love my products as much as I do! And the items save money in the long run so it’s really a win-win-win. I love making things with my hands for other people. So happy to find your site too!

Amber March 7, 2009 at 8:15 am

Oh, pick me! I have a little teething person right now, and the “Maple Wood Safari 5 piece pretend and teething set” would get a lot of use around these parts.

My current make-do tip is that we don’t buy any wrapping paper anymore. We either re-use gift bags and tissue paper that come into our house via gifts from others, or come up with inventive solutions (who doesn’t want a present wrapped in kid art?). Not only is it cheaper, but I don’t feel as bad about discarding so much gift wrap.

And I have a great ‘pop’ shop – he’s called “WoodClinic”, and you can find him here: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6526525. He makes fabulous toys using reclaimed wood from local lumber mills.

jenny March 7, 2009 at 8:24 am

I like the Safari animals, though I think my girls would have fun with the swords. They are currently using paper towel tubes with foil wrapped around them for swords right now! lol

Here’s a “made-do” tip: Before the days of cordless and wireless phones, we had to use those pesky telephone wires, yes? What’d you do with yours? Ours were all piled up in a box in the basement collecting dust until I needed a new clothesline. I pulled out my longest wire, and voila! a clothesline was born!

Kirsten March 7, 2009 at 8:30 am

I love the hippo teether rattle. Truly swoon-worthy.

Erin Glancy March 7, 2009 at 8:32 am

We Love Little Alouette around here. I gifted my new nephew who is still baking a smooth and satiny teether and my baby boy has an Alouette Race car. Love Love Love Little Alouette!

Kirsten March 7, 2009 at 8:33 am

My use-it-up tip is about scrap fabric. I make toys, and I use the scraps (the ones that are too little to make into something else) to stuff the toys. To make them fluffier, I run them through an old food processor. I also save ALL my scrap yarn from knitting, and use it for stuffing as well.

Kelly March 7, 2009 at 9:12 am

What a great shop! I love the maple rattler! I think one will find it’s way into my youngest boy’s Easter basket this year. And I have so, so many friends having babies in the next few months so I may be ordering quite a few. I do love the eggs too though. And the swords. There’s no shortage of swords in a home with three boys as you know but I love the wooden ones.
My favorite online mommy shop is knittybitties.etsy.com. It’s the store of one of my closest friends. She started selling knitted hats and has evolved into sewn goods. I have a few things there under the Three Monkeys label. We did a Christmas bazaar last year and had so much fun we just signed up for a spot at our local farmer’s market!
I also want to encourage you & your readers to check out the Cora Paige Project at Etsy. You can read the story here – http://www.etsy.com/storque/craftivism/love-is-a-movement-the-cora-project-3450/
It’s not about making ends meet for a family but helping a mommy & daddy leave a legacy for their beautiful daughter.

Jeni March 7, 2009 at 10:12 am

My favorite is the set of teething keys!

Amy @ Muddy Boots March 7, 2009 at 10:20 am

I love the wooden rattle stick you posted above for the baby (9 weeks old today) but my older two boys (5 and 2) would go bonkers over those toy swords.

My favorite frugal tip is nothing new… make everything from scratch. It really is so much cheaper AND healthier. It has the added bonus of making me feel like super mom and a domestic goddess to be able to put fresh bread on the table for my family.

Laura March 7, 2009 at 10:28 am

Ooh, I love the handle one!

Thank you for the giveaway!

Erica March 7, 2009 at 10:36 am

I love the easter egg and hippo is so cute. My little 7 month old loves a wood ball…so i think she’d love the egg. I might just have to get her one.

Laura March 7, 2009 at 10:41 am

Oh – and my best making do tip is taking two (empty, clean) paper milk or juice cartons, cutting off the tops, and fitting one inside the other, open end into open end, so that they make a nicely-sized building block to be used for forts, houses, and whatever else.

Erica March 7, 2009 at 10:59 am

Making do: My husband and I love to cook and have realized our food is so much better, tastier and healthier than most of what we find in restaurants. So we save money, while still eating organic and healthy. As new parents, we only recently learned the magic of meal planning. We mostly cook vegetarian and the meat we cook is deer that my husband hunted in the fall. One deer lasts us a year, plus we get meat sticks made for christmas gifts (my brothers LOVE this as a gift).

Favorite mom&pop shop: I love Anna Marie Horner’s fabrics and now her aprons etc that she sells in her shop. http://store.annamariahorner.com/

Tracey March 7, 2009 at 11:09 am

I love the Calla butterfly teether. The wood is so pretty.

dottyspots March 7, 2009 at 11:21 am

Has to be the butterflies for me, but I’ve a little man who would probably insist on the duelling swords 😉

For making do I tend to recycle clothes. With 4 children this is rather necessary! So, for example, a large woollen cardi, accidentally felted in the wash (thanks to my 14 year old, who when asked to sort out some ‘darks’ to wash, added his lovely brown woollen cardi in with the rest of the washing *sigh*) becomes a felted cardi for my three year old with appliqued felt bugs (I really should take a photo at some point and post on my blog).

Martha March 7, 2009 at 12:53 pm

My favorite is the Wee Hardwood Dueling Wood Swords – wow – I can almost hear the beautiful wooden sound as they hit together.

Kari March 7, 2009 at 1:38 pm

The Easter Egg looks like a great addition to my new baby girl’s Easter basket this year!

Liz March 7, 2009 at 2:51 pm

I think that Ellie the elephant is probably my favorite.

As far as making do…I’m right there with the article’s author: we’ve been buying much less pre-made food and baking and freezing our own. A big part of this was to avoid all mystery ingredients, but it has proven to be less expensive as well. We make muffins by the gallon and freeze the extras (pumpkin, zucchini, morning glory).

I can’t wait to read the rest of the comments and see what other tips everyone else has for reducing consumption.

sherrieg March 7, 2009 at 4:02 pm

The “Modern Nursery Maple Oval Handle Waldorf Style Wood Teether” is beautiful in its simplicity. Everything is gorgeous!
Use it up, make do, or do without: I don’t buy any commercial cleaners, and use baking soda and vinegar like a madwoman. (I just saw that someone else said it already, but it’s SO worth repeating.) I started doing this because it’s so much safer, and it turns out it’s much more economical, too! You can use baking soda for everything from laundry to the kitchen sink to your face as a gentle face scrub. I know! Crazy. And soaking a cup of borax in the toilet overnight is a fantastic solution. Okay, I’ll stop now. 🙂

Kobey March 7, 2009 at 4:35 pm

The Maple Wood Safari is beautiful – so warm and ready to fire up someone’s imagination.

My favorite Mom store is Sue Kennedy’s http://www.suebead.com/ or her etsy store is http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5280159
Her beads are gorgeous! (She is great too!)
She actually named her other etsy store after her daughter.

lex March 7, 2009 at 5:19 pm

i have seen these before on etsy & they are stunning! i could not possibly pick my favorite!!

Margie March 7, 2009 at 5:54 pm

My oh my. Little Alouette has some stunning rattles. I love the Waldorf inspired ones with handles. My brand new nice needs one!

Ansley March 7, 2009 at 5:58 pm

Oh my….I would love to chew on any of them… But really my niece would probably love any of them!

Brittany March 7, 2009 at 6:02 pm

I love the hippo teether! Such cuteness!

Stacy March 7, 2009 at 6:11 pm

I really liked the safari set…so beautiful!

I am praying for a vision of what I could do to help my family…you have inspired me with the book of days and there is so many people in internet-land doing the same thing. Using their talents, what they already do, to make their ends meet. I love it. I am inspired.

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