Monday, 28 April 2014

We have moved!

Hello readers...

We now have a new blog at so come along and see us there to find out what we have been making.

Best wishes


The Elves and the Woodbotherer

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Summer fun

It has been busy summer here at Woodbotherer HQ. After all the Christmas rush we took a few weeks off over the festive season to go camping and enjoy some family time.

Over the Summer we have been taking the giant games to some cool events. The photos below were from a magical summer evening at Pah Homestead in Auckland.
 A giant rabbit discusses the finer rules of croquet with the next generation....

Wall Ball is always a hit....
This weekend seems to be an explosion of events here in Auckland. If you are local and not already busy or want to get out of town a bit then you may want to come to Hobsonville!  You can even catch the ferry there from the city  - I know my kids LOVE getting the ferry.

The Hobsonville Point Farmers Market will be open Sat & Sun 9-3pm a special location launch on the Waterfront.  There will be a yoga session at 8am followed by lots of children's activities including the Woodbotherer's games AND you may even spot these lovely upcycled tables that are fresh from the workshop!
Have a great weekend wherever you are.


Saturday, 7 December 2013

Bow + Arrows

This is our second Christmas of making Woodbotherer toys. It seems that there is a yearly favorite that out sells the rest. Last year it was the sword and shields, this year the bow + arrows. 

Happily, since we make everything ourselves in small batches we are able to make more to meet demand. This along with our careful choice of materials means we tread lightly on the planet. We use local fsc timber for the bows, paper straws, rubber bands and felt for the quiver.

The weather has been pretty changable lately here in Auckland, sending the kids running in from riding their bikes when the rain comes down. So this Sunday I set up a very simple target and gave them each a bow with a quiver of arrows.

ready to go....

Here they are with the simple target made from cardboard.

The bows are easy to re-load for little hands.

and fire!

So there we go - simple good old fashioned fun. Go direct to our shop here.
I wonder what will be the favourite next year?

Best wishes


Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Busy busy

Life is a bit of a blur at the moment. As you can imagine this is a busy time of year for us, well it is for everyone right? 
This Saturday you will find us at the Michael Park Steiner Summer Fair. We stumbled across this fair just after we moved to New Zealand 5 years ago and it was magical - we loved it. So it is extra wonderful for us to be part of it this year.

I think I will let the photos do the talking. If you are local and planning to come to the fair pop over and say hi, I would love to meet you. 

If you can't make it then you don't have to miss out as I will also be filling up the online shop with lots of goodies. Enjoy!

Bow + Arrow Set

Wooden Star Wands
Christmas Gnomes

Some mini dolls that just need some dresses....

a little knight ready for the fair!

Best wishes for a wonderful weekend whatever you find yourself doing.


Thursday, 24 October 2013

How to make a cuddle doll - Part 2

Ok - as promised, here is the next part where we see the doll coming together.

Now we ready to stuff the legs. I use a combination of wool batting and Merino wool knops to get a soft, cuddly stuffing.

The legs are then gathered at the waist and sewn onto the body. Then the feet are made by running a small gathering stitch around the 'ankles'.

The arms are then sewn with neat stitches onto the legs.

Now it is time to make the hands. The hands are sewn on the sewing machine with a stretch stitch and then trimmed to shape.

The hands are now firmly stuffed with more wool and tied with lined thread.

Next the hand is rolled in a length of wool batting and this is used to stuff the arm.

The hand is sewn in place at the sleeve.

We are nearly finished! For this doll I wanted to experiment with some embroidery stitches for sewing on the hat. Here I am using herringbone embroidery stitch. 

Here is the finished doll. I hope you have enjoyed reading about the way the doll is made. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in attending a workshop or have a request for a special doll in mind.

I have one more workshop before Christmas, starting on 6th November.

Best wishes


Thursday, 17 October 2013

How to make a Waldorf Cuddle Doll - Part 1

In this post I am going to explain how to make a Rainbow cuddle doll. I love rainbows and I love cuddle dolls, so putting the two together has been something I have wanted to do for ages.

I will do this post in two parts, as I think it will be rather long. I have tried to take photos as I worked through each process.

The first step in making this rainbow cuddle doll is to dye the fabric. I took a good quality double raised flannel and cut it into strips the correct length to make the hat, arms and legs. 

This shows the fabric during the dying process being dipped into the second colour - blue and yellow into green.

This is the fabric after dyeing, drying on the washing line. It is in the same order as the doll (and a rainbow). Red/orange will be for the hat, yellow green for the arms, dark green, blue purple for the legs.

The next step is to make the head and 'heart' of the doll. The heart is the part the child will hold onto when they cuddle the doll. This needs to be firm but not as firm as the head.

I start by making a tube which is gathered and secured at the top. This tube is then filled with sheep wool. The top is stuffed very firmly to make the head and the bottom, less so to make the heart.

The tube is then secured at the bottom and linen thread is tied around to form the neck.

The face is then shaped with more linen thread.

Now it is time to sew the body. This is made in two parts - the arms and the legs. They are made from a simple rectangle shape. Above I am marking out the feet and getting ready to sew.

I also sew the arms leaving a gap to put the doll's head through (sorry no pictures of this). I also cut the other side of the arms so that the head can fit through.

 Next, I am going to embroider the face. I usually do the eyes first and then the mouth, making sure they form an equilateral triangle.

 Here the face embroidery has been done and I have tried a hat on for size.

Ok  - in the next 'How to make a Waldorf Cuddle Doll" post you can see how it all comes together.

best wishes


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Spring Doll


We have been busy busy Elves and Woodbotherer's lately filling up the shelves in our shop.

I took advantage of a quiet moment today to photograph this sweet Spring doll I have just finished in amongst the Spring flowers in the garden.