little sparrow is run by the completely lovely shelley davies, who has used her crafty knowledge and experience with her own children to build a shop filled with inspiring creations and the materials to inspire you to create something yourself! the combination of toys and handwork (craft) supplies might seem odd, but in the context of little sparrow it makes perfect sense.
inside little sparrow, the majority of store fittings are recycled & built by shelley's husband who is a set builder
through her two children, shelley has been involved in the steiner education philosophy (or waldorf as its known in some countries), that focuses on the importance and quality of play and creation. many of the toys sold in little sparrow are wonderfully crafted and have multiple uses leaving plenty of room for a child's imaginative interpretation.
while little sparrow is steiner inspired, its certainly not dogmatic, i'm not really a follower of any philosophy other than 'do what feels right', but the importance of play in steiner philosophy really speaks to me. i was lucky to have a mum with discerning taste in toys, so rather than have a ton of cheap throw away tat that broke after one use i've been able to pass on cherished toys to my son that i thoroughly enjoyed. what better investment than a child's development?
i think it would be hard to go wrong with any purchase from little sparrow. aside from beautiful one-off handmade softies and felted toys there are wooden trucks and cars, handmade children's clothing, art and drawing supplies, puzzles, books, dolls clothing, hand embroidered mobiles and shelley's own special friends dolls.
from bushfire to blocks
little sparrow is a celebration of good work, and shelley strives for it to be a place that caters to buyers and also the makers who craft her stock. a lot of the store's produce is made by shelley's friends, and hearing the stories behind each object just makes for such a richer shopping experience. i think one of the most moving things was hearing of a man who lost his home in the devastating black saturday bush fires. from the wood salvaged from his property he began making bags of play wood pieces, kind of free form building blocks. each piece is cleaned and rough parts are sanded but mostly the wood is left as natural as possible. its just like the bits of wood kids bring home from the park, but its cleaner and the journey it's taken is very special. the innocence of children at play gives this bushfire survivor a new life. how's that for a feel-good purchase?!
pure wool felt
i also really love the range of handwork supplies stocked at little sparrow, many of which are environmentally responsible. organic wools and yarn, delicious pure wool felt in loads of colors, wooden buttons and notions, hooks and needles of all varieties, pure wool stuffing, trims, ribbons, and kits for all sorts of projects! my next purchase is going to be a flower loom, which i've been dying to try for ages. and if you're after the best wool, check out the range by woolganic yarn available at little sparrow. its such a pleasure to work with, none of that nasty squeaky action i get with acrylic yarn. i'm pretty much a convert and can't wait til the last dregs of acrylic yarn are used up!
all these supplies are all well and good if you know what to do with them, but what if you're a novice or just an in-between crafter? little sparrow is good for that too! throughout the year there are various classes run after hours: you can make your own steiner/waldorf doll, stitch a felt brooch, learn to crochet, or try felting, embroidery, and toy making.
colorful owl softies
to share some little sparrow love, i'm giving away a $50 AUD gift voucher for use in-store or online.
to enter the giveaway, leave a comment answering: what would use your $50 voucher to buy from little sparrow (click to see what's in store)!
this competition is open to everyone in the world! winner will be randomly drawn (using random.org) and announced march 25th! good luck!