Friday, January 28, 2011

-CLOSED- Pixiekids Toys Review & GC Giveaway!

I was recently contacted by Melisa of Pixiekids Toys wondering if I would be interested in doing a review of her Eco-friendly felt hedgehog! Squeee! I love hedgehogs!

I checked out Melisa's Etsy site and was immediately giddy! Her Eco-felt hedgehog was sooo cute and her other items were just as adorable! Melisa mailed me my very own little Eco-felt hedgie and he is just so darn hugable (and he is Eco-friendly)!

Pixiekids Toys are all handmade out of Eco-felt. Melisa, who is the artist behind Pixiekids Toys, is a stay-at-home mom to a baby boy who gets the fun job of playing with and testing out all of the food and creatures she makes. Melisa's background as a Speech Language Pathologist and her Montessori Teacher Training has shown itself in her skill in creating educational toys that will help to create fun experiences with quality handmade items. All Pixiekids Toys are made to encourage and foster imaginative play and language development.

Melisa has used pretend play as a way to encourage language development when conducting speech therapy with students, and she is inspired by that experience. Imaginative play is also a great way to encourage cooperative play. For example, parents can use Pixiekids Toys play food sets to help their little ones learn names of fruits and vegetables, colors, and can teach them to count as they take them out of the grocery bag. Kids can even use the play food sets with their friends to open a pretend grocery store or farmers market, or have a pretend restaurant! The possibilities are endless!

When I was first perusing Pixiekids Toys, I wanted to learn what Eco-felt was. I learned that Eco-felt is felt that is manufactured from recycled plastic bottles! How awesome and green is that! Now that is definitely a product I can stand behind and want my little man to be able to play with. "Hedgie" measures approx 8" wide and is about 9.5" tall...and is stuffed to perfection! Also, I wanted to note that all of the pieces are appliqued and it is not coming apart folks! I always like to know whether or not something is baby safe, because my little man can go to town chewing on things! This Eco-felt hedgehog is safe for even the youngest baby out there!

I love, love, love my little felt hedgehog! He is so cute that I just want to hug him and squeeze him every time I see him. My little man feels the same way about him. It was so funny, I was taking some pictures the day I got my little Eco-felt hedgie and then, Zoom! Out of nowhere little man swooped in for the steal! He got his little paws on him and carries him around showing him off to daddy (but kept a firm grip on hedgie, lest someone tried to steal him back). I am so happy that little man loves playing with and carrying little hedgie around!
Stuffed full of cute, felt-y, hedgehogy-ness
Wait?!? Where'd you come from?
Hedgie's been swiped!
Can I keep him mom? (How can I say no to that face?)

Melisa of Pixiekids Toys makes more than just adorable little Eco-felt hedgehogs, she also makes a wide variety of Eco-friendly felt play food and quite a few different woodland creatures! You will definitely want to take a look through her Etsy shop for some wonderful toys that will spark the imagination, promote healthy eating habits, and encourage language development through creative and dramatic play! There is something special for child in your life!

Here are some of my favorite food items from Pixiekids Toys:

TEA SET - Eco Friendly Felt Play Food - Princess Tea Party Set on Silver Platter - Pink - Deliciously scented sugar cookies - $39.95 (I would love to play with this with a daughter someday!)

Handmade Eco Friendly Felt Play Food - Grociery Bag with 8 Fruits and Vegetables - banana, apple, tomato, pumpkin, squash, eggplant, orange, carrot -$39.95

Handmade Eco-Friendly Felt Play Food Toy - Sushi, chopsticks, wooden serving box - $26.95

I just can't wait to play "restaurant" and "kitchen" with little man! The play foods that Melissa has created are so adorable and look like so much fun to play with! Just looking at them makes me want to play with them too!
I was able to ask Melisa some questions about how she got started and where her inspiration comes from. I hope that you feel like you can get to know Melisa and Pixiekids Toys a little bit better, just like I did!

What inspired the name, Pixiekids Toys and Gifts, for your Etsy shop?
I used to have a tie-dye business when my nine-year-old was a baby and I named that one Pixiekids Tie Dye.  When I started making toys, it was natural that I keep the name.  I like the name because I think it reminds people of the special whimsical time in childhood when imagination seems so real :)

How long has your Etsy shop been open?
I've had my shop open since October of 2010.

Do you remember the first item you sold in your Etsy shop?
The first item that I sold was one of my Waldorf baby dolls.  It was a birthday gift for the customer's grandson, so I got to gift wrap it and include a birthday card, which was fun!

How long have you been making Eco-felt toys? Did someone teach you or did you pick it up on your own?
I started making eco-felt toys in October when I was beginning to think about Christmas gifts for my two boys and my nieces and nephews.  I really liked that the eco-felt was manufactured from recycled plastic bottles - it added another level of conscientiousness to the toys because not only were they handmade, they were also eco-friendly!  I learned how to sew as a kid, and my mom taught me how to make some of my own clothes when I was still in elementary school.  She is a masterful quilter, so I feel like I couldn't help but learn to sew.  I like looking at Japanese craft books for inspiration for my designs.  I can't read a word of Japanese, but the pictures are great - it's an amazing craft that is very popular in Japan.

What inspired you to start using Eco-felt?
I first saw Eco-felt when I was shopping at Joann's fabric and immediately loved the concept.  We try to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible in our home, so it is only natural that I would want to use eco-friendly products when making toys.

What is your favorite item to make?
This is a hard question!  The short answer is that my favorite item to make is whatever NEW design that I'm working on.  I love thinking of a new creature or felt food play set and working on it until it turns out just right.  I have to say that the sushi is pretty fun as well.  I'm a big fan of sushi, so it always makes me hungry :)

What is the age recommendation for your felt foods?   
Age recommendation - any age for the eco-felt creatures because I applique all pieces so none should be able to come loose, even with chewing.  The grocery and fruits and vegetable sets should also be appropriate for any age.  I am currently working on a version of the breakfast in bed set that would be appropriate for all ages - it will have a banana that peels instead of the strawberries (which might pose a choking hazard for under 3s) and no fabric paint on the cinnamon roll (which could peel off with excessive chewing).  I can also make the cinnamon roll bakery set without the fabric paint frosting so that it is appropriate for all ages.  The sushi set is recommended only for kids age 3 and older who are beyond the risk of a choking hazard - the wasabi and ginger in the set are small enough that they may pose a choking risk.  My husband makes the wooden boxes that come with the sushi sets and he takes extra care to make sure they are sanded well enough that they are smooth and not have any risk for splinters.

What would be the perfect way to spend a day?
It sounds corny, but I just love staying home with my six-month-old.  I couldn't ask for a more perfect way to spend the day!  It's what inspired me to try to turn Pixiekids Toys into a business.  I took the school year off to stay home with him (I'm a speech language pathologist) and decided that I really wanted to find a way to extend my stay for more than just the one year.  Other than that, I'm a really big reader, so spending the day reading a good book with a cup of hot chai is always fun.  We also love to go ice skating as a family, so we'd have to fit that into the "perfect day" as well :)

Now that you know a little bit more about the who, what, when, where and why of Pixiekids Toys, here is a sneek peek into some new designs that Melissa is working on:
  • Eco-felt Creatures: Snowy Owl and Ferret
  • Play food sets - Pizza Bistro Set, Shish-kabob and Grill set, Interactive Gardening Set, Coffee Shop Set  ---> ...Ooooh! I can't wait to see the Coffee Shop Set! I'll have to teach little man how to brew the perfect cup-o-joe for his mommy. ;)

If you happen to be in the area, here are some shops that carry Pixiekids Toys items:
Periwinkle in Toronto
The Paper Crane Gallery and Studio in Bloomington, IN
Vix Emporium in Philadelphia, PA
The Glitter Workshop in Madison, WI
soon to add:
Happy Delusions in Renton (Seattle), WA
All Things Kids in Austin, TX


 
What was your favorite item from her shop? Did you see something that you thought would be perfect for your little one? You can shop Pixiekids Toys Etsy page here. You can also become a fan of her Facebook page! Happy Shopping!
-Or-

You can enter to WIN a a $10 gift certificate to Pixiekids Toys Etsy shop!

  Here's how to enter:
Mandatory Entry:
  • Visit Pixiekids Toys Etsy shop and tell me what you would use the $10 gift certificate on if you won!
*This mandatory entry must be completed for the rest of your entries to be valid. I will be checking/verifying your comments, if you say you signed up for something or did something, you do need to actually do it for it to count as an entry*
 
Extra Entries:
  •  "Like" Pixiekids Toys on Facebook and let them know that The Little Hedgehog sent you. (2 entries)
  •   "Heart"/ Add to Favorites the Pixiekids Toys Etsy shop (include your your Etsy name in your comment) (1 entry)

  • PURCHASE anything from Pixiekids Toys Etsy shop during the duration of this giveaway (Leave Order # or some way for me to confirm) (10 entries!)

  •  Publicly follow my blog (2 entries)
  •  Add my button to your blog and leave me a link (2 entries) 
    • Follow me on Twitter: @lttlehedgehog then, comment here with your Twitter ID to get your entry. (1 entry) 
    • Tweet about this giveaway. Comment with a direct link to your tweet so I can see it to get your entry!  You may use this tweet or make up your own:  Enter to #Win a $10 GC to Pixiekids Toys Etsy shop from @lttlehedgehog http://bit.ly/dMii0H {Ends 2/11} #green #eco #giveaway  (1 entry per day)
    • Sign up to receive the little hedgehog emails via feedburner and have your subscription verified. (2 entries)
    • Blog about this review/giveaway. Be sure to include a link to this review/giveaway. Comment with a link to your blog post to get your entry! (2 entries)

    *Don't forget to put your email address in each comment so I can get a hold of you if you are the lucky winner! If I cannot get a hold of you, I will have to draw another winner! Also, I will check to make sure that the winner filled out the mandatory entry.



    Open Worldwide!



    I'll accept entries until Friday, February 11, 2011 at Midnight PST. I'll select a winner using random.org's random number generator, then email the winner. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email and if I don't get a response, I will have to choose another winner. Again, make sure you leave your email address in your comment!


    *Pixiekids Toys will be sending the winner’s gift certificate item to them directly. 



    Thank you to Melisa of Pixiekids Toys for providing me with the opportunity to host this review and giveaway at no cost to myself. The item was sent to me free of charge for review and has not influenced my opinion of the product. I have sought to give my honest opinions and experiences on this product. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. Thank you again to Pixiekids Toys for sponsoring this review and giveaway!

    66 comments:

    1. I like the snowy owl. so cute!

      lovelydomesticdiva (at) gmail (dot) com

      ReplyDelete
    2. I follow on gfc

      lovelydomesticdiva (at) gmail (dot) com

      ReplyDelete
    3. I love the entire shop! I discovered it a couple of days ago. If I had to pick now, I'd say one of the food sets, probably the one with the shopping bag.

      ali_webitems at hotmail dot com

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    4. I previously "liked" PixieKids on facebook already but I commented there that you sent me back again :)

      ali_webitems at hotmail dot com

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    5. I guess I get two comments for the above since it says 2 entries. So here's my second one :)

      ali_webitems at hotmail dot com

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    6. I LOVE the Eco-felt Turtle!

      yellowred 24 at yahoo com

      ReplyDelete
    7. "Like" Pixiekids Toys on Facebook
      yellowred 24 at yahoo com
      1

      ReplyDelete
    8. "Like" Pixiekids Toys on Facebook
      yellowred 24 at yahoo com
      2

      ReplyDelete
    9. I liked you on fb &shared plus I put ur badge on my blog
      http://knit2sew.blogspot.com
      I love your blog & shop keep up the great work.

      ReplyDelete
    10. I would use the GC for one of the Snowy Owls!!
      equestrian22 at msn dot com

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    11. I would use this toward the teaset. I'm already a fan of Pixiekid toys. jenapril611@yahoo.com

      ReplyDelete
    12. I "Like" Pixiekids Toys on Facebook and posted that I checked them out on your blog (I was already a fan)!

      ReplyDelete
    13. 2nd entry for "liking" Pixiekids toys on FB and posting on their wall : )
      equestrian22 at msn dot com

      ReplyDelete
    14. I "Heart" Pixiekids Toys Etsy shop
      Etsy ID is : horseshoos
      equestrian22 at msn dot com

      ReplyDelete
    15. I publicly follow your blog (equestrian22)
      equestrian22 at msn dot com
      #1

      ReplyDelete
    16. I publicly follow your blog (equestrian22)
      equestrian22 at msn dot com
      #2

      ReplyDelete
    17. I follow you on Twitter
      @horseshoos
      equestrian22 at msn dot com

      ReplyDelete
    18. I tweeted!
      http://twitter.com/#!/horseshoos
      equestrian22 at msn dot com

      ReplyDelete
    19. I signed up to receive the little hedgehog emails
      #1

      ReplyDelete
    20. I signed up to receive the little hedgehog emails
      #2

      ReplyDelete
    21. I tweeted!! http://twitter.com/#!/horseshoos

      equestrian22 at msn dot com

      ReplyDelete
    22. I tweeted!! http://twitter.com/#!/horseshoos

      equestrian22 at msn dot com

      ReplyDelete
    23. I tweeted!! http://twitter.com/#!/horseshoos

      equestrian22 at msn dot com

      ReplyDelete
    24. I tweeted!
      http://twitter.com/#!/horseshoos

      ReplyDelete
    25. I tweeted!
      http://twitter.com/#!/horseshoos

      ReplyDelete
    26. I would get the peeling banana and the Hedgehog. Super cute stuff! etwilkins at gmail dot com

      ReplyDelete
    27. I like PixieKids on FB and thanked for the giveaway. 1
      etwilkins at gmail dot com

      ReplyDelete
    28. I like PixieKids on FB and thanked for the giveaway. 2
      etwilkins at gmail dot com

      ReplyDelete
    29. I added her Etsy shop to my favorites.

      ReplyDelete
    30. I follow you on twitter. IamMrsWilkins

      ReplyDelete
    31. Grabbed your button. 1
      http://charliemama.blogspot.com/
      etwilkins at gmail dot com

      ReplyDelete
    32. Grabbed your button. 2
      http://charliemama.blogspot.com/
      etwilkins at gmail dot com

      ReplyDelete
    33. Tweeted!
      http://twitter.com/#!/IamMrsWilkins/status/34666366397054976

      ReplyDelete
    34. I tweeted!
      http://twitter.com/#!/horseshoos
      equestrian22 at msn dot com

      ReplyDelete
    35. I tweeted!
      http://twitter.com/#!/horseshoos
      equestrian22 at msn dot com

      ReplyDelete
    36. I tweeted!
      http://twitter.com/#!/horseshoos
      equestrian22 at msn dot com

      ReplyDelete
    37. I would buy the felt pizza

      missanneperry at gmail dot com

      ReplyDelete
    38. I "Like" Pixiekids Toys on Facebook
      Anne E. Perry
      missanneperry at gmail dot com

      ReplyDelete
    39. I "Like" Pixiekids Toys on Facebook
      Anne E. Perry
      missanneperry at gmail dot com

      ReplyDelete
    40. I "Heart"/ Pixiekids Toys Etsy shop aeperry
      missanneperry at gmail dot com

      ReplyDelete
    41. tweet
      http://twitter.com/aeperry/status/36183952448290816

      missanneperry at gmail dot com

      ReplyDelete
    42. I follow you on twitter @aeperry

      missanneperry at gmail dot com

      ReplyDelete
    43. I signed up to receive the little hedgehog emails via feedburner

      missanneperry at gmail dot com

      ReplyDelete
    44. I signed up to receive the little hedgehog emails via feedburner

      missanneperry at gmail dot com

      ReplyDelete
    45. button on blog at
      http://modernhippy-aperry.blogspot.com/

      missanneperry at gmail dot com

      ReplyDelete
    46. button on blog at
      http://modernhippy-aperry.blogspot.com/

      missanneperry at gmail dot com

      ReplyDelete
    47. I Publicly follow blog
      Anne Perry
      missanneperry at gmail dot com

      ReplyDelete
    48. I Publicly follow blog
      Anne Perry
      missanneperry at gmail dot com

      ReplyDelete
    49. blogged1
      http://modernhippy-aperry.blogspot.com/2011/02/pixie-kids-toys-giveaway-at-little.html

      ReplyDelete
    50. blogged 2
      http://modernhippy-aperry.blogspot.com/2011/02/pixie-kids-toys-giveaway-at-little.html

      missanneperry at gmail dot com

      ReplyDelete
    51. I love the turtle he is so cute!
      erinita1982@aol.com

      ReplyDelete
    52. liked pixiekid toys and wrote you sent me. entry #1
      erinita1982@aol.com

      ReplyDelete
    53. liked pixiekid toys and wrote you sent me. entry #2
      erinita1982@aol.com

      ReplyDelete
    54. I would use the gift certificate to get one of the animals I think. I love the tea sets, but don't have any girls :( !!

      ReplyDelete
    55. added pixiekids toys to my etsy favorites
      etsy name erinita1982

      erinita1982@aol.com

      ReplyDelete
    56. follow your blog entry #1
      erinita1982@aol.com

      ReplyDelete
    57. follow your blog entry #2
      erinita1982@aol.com

      ReplyDelete
    58. follow you on twitter
      twitter id erinita1982

      erinita1982@aol.com

      ReplyDelete
    59. I really like following your blog as the articles are so simple to read and follow. Excellent. Please keep up the good work. Thanks.

      ReplyDelete