Introducing Armadillo Dreams and An Awesome Giveaway to Boot!

Introducing Armadillo Dreams and An Awesome Giveaway to Boot!

EDIT: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone that entered πŸ™‚

With all our shop talk recently, it is nice to take a break and “formally” (as formally as anything CAN get around here πŸ™‚ introduce everyone to Amanda and Dustin of Armadillo Dreams. To help you get to know them and their shop a little better, please sit back and enjoy this interview I had with Dustin. I’ll see you on the “other side” to tell you all about the terrific giveaway that they are sponsoring πŸ™‚
 

Kimara: How would you describe Armadillo Dreams to someone that has never been to your shop?
 
Dustin: A fun toy shop full of handmade wooden toys that encourage creative play and use of imagination. We offer a mix of natural finish toys and painted toys. You will find things like figures, animals, fantasy themed toys, play sets, baby teething toys and toddler pull toys.
 
Kimara: How did you get started?
 
Dustin: During the summer of 2010 I discovered a passion for woodworking while building a backyard chicken coop/run. Once the project was complete I felt disappointed that it was over and starting trying to think up new woodworking projects. Then it occurred to my wife and I that we should try making some wooden toys for our children. We loved the wooden toys that we had already purchased but didn’t have as many as we would have liked for them since they tend to be a little more expensive than plastic toys. Once we had the creation of some toys under our belts we thought it would be fun to turn it into a business that we could work on together. Amanda already had three Etsy shops for about 4 years (and still does) so we combined her design skills, knowledge of product presentation and my knowledge of woodworking and customer service. The rest as they say is history.


 

Kimara: Tell us about the creation of your toys and the materials you use.
 
Dustin: 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 using my power saw and three different power sanders. Then 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. Most people don’t realize all the work we put into our toys until they get them in their hands and feel the difference in our toys. It’s hard to capture everything through pictures and descriptions when we do so much.
 
Kimara: You are a husband and wife team. Do you each make your own toys from start to finish or is there a division of labor in each toy?
 
Dustin: Overall Amanda handles most of the artistic side (drawing patterns, wood burning) while I handle most of the manufacturing side (cutting, power/hand sanding, packaging). There is some steps of our process that we both do as well (painting, polishing). It works out really well.

 
Kimara: Where do you think Armadillo Dreams will be in 2-5 years?
 
Dustin: Our goal is to really grow our business and bring our wooden toys to as many families as possible. Over the next month or two we will be launching our own website/blog on http://www.armadillodreams.com/. We are going to be putting a lot of work into the website to make it even larger than our current Etsy shop. In the next few years we would like to get a new home on acreage that has room for a large garden, pasture for some animals and room for a much larger wood shop for Armadillo Dreams. In five years I can see having a small staff of helpers that help in the wood shop and home office, but we always want the business to keep the feel of being personal and selling toys made with love by caring people, not robots/machines.
 
Kimara: Finally, I have to ask… Armadillo Dreams… wonderful name. Who came up with the name and is there any significance to it?
 
Dustin: Great question! Amanda came up with the name. The name does have very big meaning for both of us. It’s a bit of an inside joke that would cheer us up when times got tough. In essence it represents our dream of freedom, both in the sense of financial freedom and freedom to be independent in our lives.

Awesome! I have dreams that some day Tim and I will be able to work together. Perhaps one of those 2nd career, retirement things πŸ™‚ Anyway, I have long been a fan of Armadillo Dreams. When they contacted us about sponsorship, I did a little happy dance πŸ™‚ YAY! I love it when we share things we are so excited about.

Now… on to the giveaway. Armadillo Dreams is giving away this ultra cute, ultra awesome SPACE SET COLLECTION. This fun space play set is sure to provide out of this world adventures for your children! The set includes a robot, alien, rocket, UFO spaceship, a planet and three little stars. The robot measures 5 inches tall, rocket measures 5 inches tall, alien measures 1 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches, spaceship measures 2 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches and the planet measures 3 1/4 inches wide. including a Space Robot, Alien, Rocket and UFO Spaceship Toys. 


Here is Armadillo Dreams‘ statement on their toys and safety: Our wood toys are handmade with lots of love! They are perfect for imaginary play, learning, display, or for adding to your seasonal nature table toy collection. Our wood toys are also great for Montessori education or Waldorf education. We believe it’s important for children to have high quality, natural, simple toys that they can dream, imagine and play with. Please do not give our smaller toys or painted toys to children who are still putting things in their mouths. Our paint is AP certified non-toxic and the wood is sealed, but there is a small chance that the watercolor paint may run when wet. Painted toys are not for use in water.

So, how do you enter to win? Simply visit Armadillo Dreams, wander up and down their virtual aisles, then come back here and tell us what toy catches your fancy the most. While you are doing that, keep in mind, that besides the giveaway, Armadillo Dreams is offering Wee Folk Art readers a 10% discount that will be good through the end of the month. The discount code to use during checkout is “wee0412”. This is a perfect way to purchase your first Armadillo Dreams toy. I guarantee you it won’t be your last! I already know what I plan to use my discount on πŸ™‚

The giveaway runs from today, Wednesday April 18 through Sunday April 22, at 9:00 p.m. EST. A winner will be drawn at random and have 1 week to contact us at weefolkart@yahoo.com or a new winner will be selected. So hurry over, but don’t rush through their site. And, thank you, Amanda and Dustin for your generous giveaway. Good luck all πŸ™‚

Armadillo Dreams will happily ship internationally so everyone is welcome to enter!

BTW… if you’d like to stay connected with Armadillo Dreams, they give you lots of opportunities. Here’s a bunch of their contact info:

Kimara

64 Comments

  1. How exciting. I’ve looked at their toys when you’ve sent us there before. We would definitely like the merimads. My daughter is obsessed with them right now.

  2. I love finding another Waldorf toy company! There aren’t many out there and choices are limited.
    After browsing I think my son would most enjoy the unprinted farm animal set. We visited a farm once last month and he still talks excitedly about it. Though I must say the farm set would be in deep competition with the robot and rocket ship after seeing the shuttle yesterday! I might need to order it to commemorate the event.

  3. I love this shop! The Peter Pan set would be perfect for us right now. We love all things Peter! The mermaids are cute, too.

  4. I love all of the wooden toys. I think the animals are the best. Really cute. I think my favorites are Sass and Frass the hens. I saw the name and it made me think of my father. He was always calling me and my friends things like “Frick and Frack” or “Sass and Frass.” Plus I love birds. Chickens too. My dad loves chickens. Anyway, I love them. Keep up the good work!

  5. Great shop and my son would love the wooden tools.
    Thanks. Catherine

  6. Beautiful site! These toys would be a great addition to a block corner.

  7. What great toys! You really can’t beat beautifully handmade wooden toys can you πŸ™‚ My son and I are rather ‘into’ foxes at the moment, so that would be our favourite.

    Thanks for the chance!

  8. It’s a toss up between the mama and baby toy and the shepherd with his flock of sheep. (:

  9. I’ve been a fan for a while and my daughter has a few of their toys already. I love the fierce but friendly dragon!

    Thanks,
    Fiona

  10. Well, itu00B4s hard to choose. But these are my favorites: Baby’s First Farm Animal Toy Set – Waldorf Wooden Toy, Quintet of Fairies Wood Handmade Toy – Childrens Toy, Gnome Rainbow Cradle Woodland Waldorf Wood Toy and the whale and the pushing rainbow toy…aw, theyu00B4re just soooo cute and nice. Thank you for such a wonderful giveaway.

  11. I really love the spaceship and astronaut. But Peter Pan is pretty fun too.

  12. Everything is beautifully! If I had to choose, I would have to pick the rainbow pull toy because our playroom has a rainbow theme.

  13. I was just looking at the shop yesterday! That dragon caught my eye! He is so darned cute, not to fierce, just right!

  14. Wow, I’ve loved Armadillo Dreams for quite some time. I love the weather blocks, the bees, the gardens, the trees, the fairies…oh wait, you said name one…too hard to choose! Thanks for the interview. I love hearing about home businesses and how it all works. Thanks for the giveaway!

  15. My son would LOVE this set!!!

    I definitely loved the shephard and sheep set! Cute toys!

  16. Completely unoriginal, but I reckon my daughter would be over the moon with the quintet of fairies. I also love the idea of the little garden and watering can- so cute! But there were definitely so many things to choose from. Thankyou for the chance of such a beautiful give-away!

  17. The pirate ship on wheels is probably my favourite, but the fact that they make a triforce is just awesome πŸ™‚

  18. There were a lot of cute things that made me smile. But the two I liked the most were the little makeup set and the mermaid family.

  19. Some many cute things to pick from but I’d have to say the quintet of fairies. They are so cute but sadly out of my price range! I also love the birds especially the robin. And of course the space set is awesome. My kiddos would love them.

  20. love armadillo dreams, I just ordered a fairy for a friend’s daughters birthday. It was beautiful!

  21. I love the Mushroom & Gnomes Woodland Waldorf Wooden Toy!

    satsukirebel AT gmail DOT com

  22. I just love love love their fairies, they are just adorable!

  23. This is the first time I’ve been to this shop. So much to look at. I think our family would really enjoy the circus. Of course the best thing is the Space Set. My son would think it’s out of this world!!!!!!!

  24. Love LOVE the mer-people sets, the bee and hive sets and the pirate set!!! My 6 yo would think the aliens are way cool too πŸ™‚ thanks for introducing me to such a great store with so many treasures!

  25. Thank you for the fun opportunity. My choice would be the Montessori wooden blocks for being timeless and useful at any age. All of the toys are beautiful and timeless. Thank you to Armadillo dreams for excellent craftmanship and attention to details.

  26. Aaaarrrr… We would love the pirate pull toy. My toddler twin boys would love it. (So would their daddy!) Thanks for the chance to win.

  27. What terrific toys! My absolute favorite was Roy (I think) the fish. Thanks so much for the introduction!

  28. So, so cute! I just adore their sho. My favorite thing is the rainbow pull toy.

  29. We are all about space right now. The space set is our favorite. Fingers crossed!

  30. What an awesome shop. We would love the sea serpent I think.

  31. So hard to decide. The dragon, the gnome rainbow cradle, the mermaids……I want them all!

  32. We are in love with the lovingly crafted products from Armadillo Dreams. My heart bursts open with joy that they are being discovered by so many families. Their products fill our seasonal nature table and I had them make a Father Winter and two Princess Winters this winter.

    If you haven’t already purchased GO! Do it! Before the wait becomes too long! You won’t be disappointed, promise!

  33. Jax the Fox would like to keep me company at my desk πŸ™‚ My 3 year old is obsessed with guinea pigs, wow, Armadillo Dreams makes tiny guinea pigs, too cute! I’ve been a fan of theirs for a while, I think the space set is out of this world! πŸ™‚

  34. i love these guys! πŸ™‚ my favorite is the toolbox full of tools or the sheep/shepherd/sheepfold. i like the sets.

  35. I’d have to say my favorites are the tiny sleeping woodland fairies, since I recently ordered two! But I love their whole shop and plan to purchase many more of their toys!

    I’d also like to let everyone know that these guys are an absolute delight to communicate with. πŸ™‚

  36. I love all the creations at Armadillo Dreams, it is so hard to choose a favorite but since I have to I would say right now it is the VW bus teether!

  37. I LOVE Armadillo Dreams! Swoon…I like the quintet of fairies and the wizard the most. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway!

  38. I would actually have to choose the Space Set Collection. My 3 yo is OBSESSED with space. We just returned from the US where we went to the Space Centre in TX and he was in heaven. Just last night he was making the crust of his sandwich go through spaghettiication as it fell into his cup, aka the black hole πŸ™‚

  39. I love everything in their shop. I just I like the fairies the best. My nephew would love the space set. His birthday is coming up soon and he’d be thrilled to receive this.

  40. The wooden shepherd and sheep would be perfect for our Bible study. Thank you so much for the chance to win.

  41. I adore the space set. My daughter picks books on space all the time. I would say that would be our choice from everything on the site right now.

  42. Thank you so much for introducing me to Armadillo Dreams! Love the toys and it was ever so hard to choose. We finally decided on the robot trio πŸ™‚ My middle son is alien/robot/space mad so this giveaway would be a wonderful surprise for him. Thanks for the chance!

  43. I don’t have children but I’d put this away for someday. I love fairies and wizards. I would like all of them.

  44. Everything is so cute, but I’m really into their storybook characters like the fox, the dragon, and the wizard.

    I’d love to win the space set! πŸ™‚

  45. Who doesn’t need a knight in shining armor? Love it. The space set is awesome, too. Thanks for introducing me to this new shop.

  46. I really love the fairies that you have made. My daughter is in to them right now. I would just love to win. It’d be a much loved toy.

  47. I love the elephant! Thanks for the giveaway!

  48. Opps. I entered in the wrong space! So here I go again. Fingers crossed I can win this one. My children love everything that has to do with space. So if I got to pick just one thing this is what I would pick for us. Thanks for a chance to win.

  49. My daughter and I love your beautiful toys. Our favorite is the ocean fairy!

  50. I love the Wooden Shepherd, Sheep & Sheepfold Wood Toy Play Set

  51. Another fantastic site!! I am a grandma who loves to display gnomes/seasonal themes. While I use the same pieces, my themes change. This summer all of my
    special gnomes are going to the beach. However, I could use some of the great
    wooden pieces from Armadillo Dreams. I would love to win the space set – who knows, maybe in the fall the gnomes can go into orbit (if they promise to come home again). Ok, so I may just need to buy the spring cherry tree or any of the Root children to add to my collection.

  52. I am really blown away by all the lovely items here! I think my younger kiddos would really enjoy the bees, hive, honeycomb, and honeypot set :). My oldest would really like this space set so I figured I should enter! Thanks so much for introducing me to another fantastic independent toy shop!

  53. I really like the farmer and animal set!

  54. Wow, these are great! I love the gardening nature table and the sheep and shepherd. Thank you for such a fun giveaway! My children would love these.

  55. Thank you for the lovely giveaway-the space set is adorable! I loved the Fierce but Friendly Dragon. My dad just made a castle playset for our children and they could use a dragon to add to the set.

  56. My grandson loves to going for “rides” on his Daddy’s sailboat, and in fact, anything boat related. He would adore the Peter Pan set!
    Thank you to Wee Folk Art, one of my favorite crafting sites, and to Armidillo Dreams, a new favorite, for this terrific give away contest!

  57. I love to keep wooden toys around so that my children don’t just see the plastic toys that most of the neighborhood children play with. My favorite (since I have to try and pick just one!) would be the dryad woodland toy. It’s just beautiful.

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity. πŸ™‚

  58. A trout!!! How cute. But, my favorite is the rainbow cradle so sweet.

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