I am quite happy to introduce you to one of my sponsors Armadillo Dreams. I love this shop, not only for the beautiful handmade toys but also for the family that runs it. You just can't help but smile supporting such a great business. We have similar interests and a love for Oregon - it makes me feel like we are neighbors. I'll let Dustin take over from here and tell you a bit more about Armadillo Dreams.
Hi Frontier Dreams readers! My name is Dustin. I own/run Armadillo Dreams with my wife Amanda. We have lived in Central Oregon most of our lives. I met Amanda during sophomore year in high school. After graduation we moved to Portland, Oregon for about 3 years and then moved back. We got married in 2004, had our daughter Lucy in 2007 and had our son Lincoln in 2010.
How we started:
Armadillo Dreams started in late 2010. We started the shop after I discovered a passion for woodworking. I completed a backyard chicken coop/run (we have 18 chickens currently) in the summer and was looking for new woodworking projects. We always wanted more wooden toys for our children, but didn’t have a lot of money. Amanda had already been selling on Etsy for about 5 years with her shop (Wild Plums: http://wildplums.etsy.com). We combined Amanda’s artistic skills and knowledge of Etsy with my passion for woodworking and Armadillo Dreams was born.
All of our toys start from a board of poplar lumber. Amanda draws patterns (she is the real artist) that I trace onto the boards. They are then cut and sanded in my wood shop (a large converted shed in our back yard) using my power saw and three different power sanders. Each toy is hand sanded to eliminate any sharp edges and get each toy buttery smooth. Amanda then uses a 1000 degree F wood burning pen to draw details on the toys. The toys that are painted get a wash of AP certified non-toxic water color so that the wood grain can still be seen. From there we seal the wood with a natural baby/kid safe beeswax polish. We both do the painting and polishing. That’s about it! There are some specific trade secret details I have left out, but this gives you an overview.
We are currently in the process of setting up armadillodreams.com with our own full shop and blog, plus some other fun things we are going to do on the website. We will be spending most of the summer and fall promoting it before the holiday season hits. We are also going to be working on getting our catalog up to about 225-250 items by the holidays. Our primary goal for 2012 is to make Armadillo Dreams capable of supporting our family financially on its own.
We are offering Frontier Dreams readers a special discount of 10% off on your entire order! Just use the coupon code “FRONTIERDREAMS” during checkout to receive the discount.
Armadillo Dreams has generously offered to giveaway a weather set to one of you lucky readers. I have been eyeing these sets for awhile now - what a great toy and learning tool all in one!
Sun, rain, clouds, lightning, wind, snow...perfect for teaching children about the weather! Have them look outside each morning and select the piece that represents what it's doing outside! Also great for imaginary play - Is that a raincloud heading towards the gnome's house? Smallest piece (raindrop) measures 1 by 1 3/4 inches and largest piece (cloud) measures 2 by 3 inches. There are 6 pieces in all!
For a chance to win, simply leave a comment on this post!
You can earn up to 6 entries for this giveaway! Here’s how…
1. Leave a comment and tell us what your favorite Armadillo Dreams toy is from their shop (http://armadillodreams.etsy.com).
2. Like Armadillo Dreams on Facebook (http://facebook.com/armadillodreams).
3. Follow Armadillo Dreams on Twitter (http://twitter.com/armadillodreams).
4. Tell others about this giveaway on Facebook.
5. Tell others about this giveaway on Twitter.
6. Blog about this giveaway.
Good luck everyone!