Our Year Of Living (Beautifully) Without WalMart

Sunday, August 16, 2009

toy story..................




i am sure i had toys when i was a kid. there is folklore of epic proportions of a time when my mother was soooooooooo fed up with the mess the twins and i perpetually made in our toy room (see, if we had a toy ROOM we MUST've had toys....?) that she bagged all the toys in trash bags and feigned throwing them away to teach us a lesson...my father came home off the truck for the weekend and thinking they were trash, threw them all away....

which explains in large part, the lack of toy-memory i have. and i do believe that kids just didn't get as much junk back when we were kids as they do now. i could be wrong, i often am.

i remember playing with large spools from paper, that my father either got from the truck or we got from the newspaper printers (?) or somewhere. that was awesome.

i remember barbies. both a few new ones of my very own, but especially the ones from my sisters who are rather older than i am. they had such beautiful, homemade, polyester fashions. really. i would kill to see those again. i once got the country and western barbie (and the horse!!!) from santa. she had an odd button in her back that you pressed and she winked....awesome!

i remember piggy banks. but not pigs, they were "copper" indian head piggy banks from the bank in piqua where my grandma pete must've gotten them for free (?!)...(cousins??!! remember???)

i remember a succession of dolls named penny. a favorite name. this noun thing has been with me all along...;) and dolls named "daphne" which i thought was an exotic form of my name.

i remember squacky bird, and winnie the pooh with the "music box" in it.

i once got a homemade strawberry shortcake doll for christmas...an absolute highlight of my youth. and i also got a wooden cut out of a violin, back in my violin pining for days....oh! and we did get cabbage patch dolls, mine was named Pilar Sandy, which was so great, because my mother's name is sandy....

probably my absolute favorite toy of all time was our "marble game" which was a simple wooden mechanism where you put a marble in a hole on top and it went down sloping wood chamber'type things, and into holes and down in a zig zag. it was my made by my great grandfather (? or HIS dad...)...pretty easy to please...but sooo amazing.

and of course there was THE COWBELL (i was cowbell before cowbell was cool....during the great toy debacle, i grabbed a cowbell and ran...for a while it was my only toy....great story there, huh?) and the HIGHLIGHTS MAGAZINES...i was always more of a reader than a player......

so, there are excellent toy memories, but as i recall, not many about TELEVISION or MEDIA toys....so it makes sense that i pretty much bar those sorts of things in my house.

i really am an unabashed toy nazi. and proud of it.

i know a lot of people don't understand it. and i would LOVE to be coherent enough to explain it to them (hence the writing and the pictures and the trying)...but it gets all twitterpated to try and explain my disdain for current "culture" especially when it comes to television and its influence on the masses. people don't like that you pick on their tee-vee...and they REALLY don't like talking about television in reference to their children, in a negative way. so i won't.

i will just say, that as you may know, we don't have television. we allow some movies, but not the sort where you have to BUY MORE STUFF...no disney princesses, no pokemon, no commercialist, surreal brain eating nonsense. that's for ME...and MINE...what YOU do, you do. and i love you.

so, i have been wanting muchly to "blog the toys"...the past weekish i have been walking around muttering under my breath "wish i knew how to take better pictures so i can "blog the toys"" or..."that will look so cute when i "blog the toys""....so here goes.

i want my children to have as natural and imaginative childhoods as i can provide for them and that they choose. i want to provide for them simple "toys" and objects that help them see the world in colorful, lively, soft, almost dreamish, safe, comfortable, fun, sensitive, imaginative ways.

so i am rather "big" on the "realistic" toy thing. i don't see much reasoning in programming them towards surreal, cartoonish, garish, sexualized for girls/demonic for boys, media driven TOYS....that is not what the real world is like. not the one i want them to inherit from me, anyway.

so we're big on wood, and cloth, and real things (animals, trains, cars, etc) and common objects as toys.

i have an almostphobia about chinese plastics. and with good reason, it has been proven. it's almost bigotry. i have a great love in my heart for the chinese people and their ancient culture, but a huge chip on my shoulder when it comes to sino-american consumerist nightmare phantasmagorias....

and, really, i am trying to keep this one as apolitical as possible, but it is a slippery slope, when one really thinks deeply into the state of toys these days. few of them are made locally. and even fewer don't come from china via television. (and walmart, etc)

when you take the stranglehold of the entertainment industry, china (to the best of your ability), and plastic out of your toy buying/allowing choices, the world of toys becomes slim indeed. think about that a minute. i do.

granted, you will see some plastic in these pictures, i am a human being afterall, an american human being. there are still consumerist traits in me, i confess! but not much.

do i think i am depriving my children? of course not! they have beautiful toys to play with, and trust me, i have watched them a million times, they aren't really in the "playing" stage, at the moment...more the "take everything out and throw it/spread it/drag it" all over the house five times a day (on a good day) stage...

and don't be fooled! i was NUTSOPSYCHO with overabundance of toys when bastian was little....this is my second/third rodeo, folks. i have made my mistakes and foibles and learned from them. i am not blogging "bastian's room" here, or you would see.

and it was a mistake. clearly. the poor boy has HUGE clutter issues. and i feel bad about that. so will do my to avoid that with the littles.

bastian has also had television, in his younger days. poor dear. but he is a big reader now, and does just fine without it, playing legos, playing outdoors with his buddies, all sorts of things without the tee-vee.

ok....now to the demonstration display...(of course, clicking makes em bigger...)

firstly this is what the beautifulness of the MOONSTONE TOY CORNER and WONDERPLACE looks like altogether....(its really just a corner of the living room...really....)


decorating the walls of several whimiscal pictures i have picked up at tagsales or thrift stores...


this one is a paper silhoutte cut out of bastian that was done at a christmas open house when he was little:


this one is a bitty antique picture i thought looked muchly like fred and bella on a rocking horse....(lovely waterstains, i know...)


there are also pictures of cinderella, a little girl (representing me...can't find jonathan yet....) sitting in a comfy chair and reading, and a set of several pictures of fairies....(i thought that would get boring, if i kept taking pictures of pictures, plus i am not very good yet at taking pictures of glasscovered things...

i would say that the main focal points are the "kitchen" and the "toybox" and "the skirfs (scarfs)"....so let's start with "the kitchen", shallwe....

this kitchen was in the magic cabin catalog and i loved it. fred was in a phase just then (before xmas last year) where he was getting into everything in MY kitchen...and bella was a little small for xmas, yet was toddling around, so i decided to ask santa to spring the big bucks for the one gift for both. (most expensive toy i have ever bought, by FAR...) it was euphoric to get something so great for them. they love it. most of the pans and stuff are gone, they have been so loved/used/left out in the rain to rot....ha.


then there's THE FOOD...so fun to buy or find at tag sales and vintage. love love love the food!

this is the wooden food....(that i could find...there is soo much more around here SOMEWHERE....)


then the "other food"....some so "real" it has toothmarks and even bits of bites....


santas elves are busy as we speak making the "ikea tiny metal pots and pans and dishes" and also felt "green eggs and ham" for christmas....;)

on to the toybox....
which really was bastian's toybox for many years. it is an antique footlocker i found somewhere...(i think "the trash"....?)
brought it home and decoupaged pictures of fairytale things, paintings of people from otherlands, and other whimsy that was in my whimsy box...i am very proud that i did that...i like it.


inside the toybox are a few smaller classifications of toys...
the wooden ones....


the plastic hodgepodge...


the vintage tupperware animal body parts that make different animals that are like the ones my aunties had when i was a kid (talk about toy memories! omg, my aunties had all the good stuff...whenver i run across the toys they had at sales, etc my heart just skips!)


and a couple weird old japanese stuffed animals i got them at the five and dime in arcanum....


beside the toy box sits a basket of ANIMALS....a neighborgirl when i was young had a collection of little animal figurines that i coveted. so i found a good twenty or so at a yard sale once for a couple bucks and started there for the littles...


and then the woodbox of the antiquetype wooden blocks....they were from santa to fred last xmas....



then, the favorite of all....the SKIRFS (scarfs....fred calls them the skirfs)...these are INVALUABLE...they LOVE them...i took the waldorf idea of playsilks, and started picking up scarfs at the thrifts and tagsales. fred learned his colors sooooooooo much younger than bastian...or any other kid i have seen....the possibilities of these are endless....i recommend them HIGHLY to all parents of small children.... (the pegboard has decals of mothergoose tales...i think it cost me 79 cents......)











now the miscellaneous toys i could get to...(they have a few things in the bedroom but not many...seriously, maybe three...

the castle... (my DREAM is to get the vintage little people castle, all tricked out with all the stuff...go look at THAT price on ebay...but hey! if anyone has one they aren't using it would be VERY much loved here at casa de moonstone ;) )



the cars....



and the ride-alongs and stuffed animals (lurve the rody horse... another recommend...and the rockin' butterfly just happened to be named Bella Butterfly)


and then i have a spot in the back storage room where i keep the toys that have been gifts that i can't part with but clutter up the living room and/or have too many pieces to just sit out on a normal (ha!) day and get tossed around all over....so, if youhave given my kids a gift, it just might be in here...i promise...(i give a LOT of stuff to charity when i declutter. but i have fessed up to almost everyone, and we even had the guts last christmas to implore each of the grandparents to please send wooden toys and some of our other specifications, and they did a GREAT job, of that we are very very thankful.....)


so, there you have it. i am NOT depriving my children, just parenting them a bit different, that's all...:) just like you are with yours, i bet :)

thanks for reading...hope you enjoyed this peek into the fun corner :)...

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