Birthdays sure can be special, and they are no doubt wonderful when you are three years old. Even mum is very pleased, when family in Europe choose to celebrate with cute crafty items...
The toadstool moneybox is by a designer called Anne-Claire Petit. It is hand made in Asia, cotton crochet around a plastic core. This is what the designer writes: A warm bond has grown with various communities living in the countryside, where the women have passed on their handiwork techniques for many generations. Thanks to the crochet work they do for anne-claire petit accessories, the women are able to generate an income throughout most of the year - something from which the entire village benefits. The women work from home doing the crochet work for the new collections together with their neighbours. This brings about a feeling of security and working together that is expressed in all of anne-claire petit's accessories.
I have read and heard about similar community based production methods over and over again during the last few months. In one case the designer taught a village how to crochet - craft skills had almost died out. Perhaps crochet was something new and alien; now the craft bonds the women together and provides independence through steady income.
I don't know about the working conditions behind the crochet princess. She was made by Gisela Graham.
Small scale production, with fair pay, is the way to go no doubt. All the better if the work makes a difference in people's lives and when it makes old skills useful, it can play a part in the survival of a marginalized culture.
This lady is the latest addition to my daughter's finger puppet collection. These are made in Peru, as her hat and poncho might suggest. I can't get my head around the price: how can a person knit these, then have them flown/shipped over to New Zealand just to be sold by another person for 2 - two - dollars each. Makes no sense.
Dollars aside: I hope all of these toys have left a chain of happy hands and hearts in their wake. They sure create joy where they have ended up.