Monday, July 23, 2012

Sponsored Giveaway: Armadillo Dreams!

 I am thrilled to be doing another giveaway so soon, this time for another wonderful home-based business,
As I mentioned in a post this past Tuesday, I was fortunate enough to win one of their sweet weather sets in another blog giveaway, and was so pleased with it that I actually approached them and asked if they would like to put their button on my sidebar!  For those of you not already familiar with Armadillo Dreams, let me introduce you to Dustin and Amanda; I asked them a few questions so that you can get to know them:




 Tell us about yourselves!
Armadillo Dreams is run by myself (Dustin) and my wife Amanda. We have lived in Central Oregon most of our lives. We met during sophomore year in high school. After graduation we moved to Portland, Oregon for about 3 years and then moved back. We got married in 2004, had our daughter Lucy in 2007 and had our son Lincoln in 2010.

      Tell us how you came to be doing what you're doing.
Armadillo Dreams started in late 2010. We started the shop after Dustin discovered a passion for woodworking during the summer that year while building a backyard chicken coop. We always wanted more wooden toys for our children, but didn’t have a lot of money. Amanda had already been selling on Etsy for about 5 years with her shop (Wild Plums: http://wildplums.etsy.com). We combined Amanda’s artistic skills and knowledge of Etsy with Dustin's passion for woodworking and Armadillo Dreams was born.  The shop started very small selling only toys that were already made. We later switched to having everything in the shop “made to order”, versus trying to keep a large inventory around. This allowed us to really concentrate efforts on expanding our catalog and grow the shop to where it is now.


No matter how big Armadillo Dreams gets we plan to keep operations small and home based. My woodshop is in our backyard (a large converted shed). We also have a two car garage that was remodeled into a family room that serves as an indoor work area. A lot of work also takes place on our dining room table. We like it that way.

3           Tell us a bit about the process of making your toys.                                                                  
  1.        Our wood toys are handmade out of poplar, sanded very smooth using up to 5 different sanding processes, and are finished with natural beeswax cream to seal the wood. Painted wood toys have a wash of AP certified non-toxic watercolor paint applied. We use a watercolor wash instead of completely coating them so you can still see the wood grain and for a more natural texture. All lines and details are wood burned so they'll never fade away. Edges are hand sanded to round them slightly and make them friendly for little hands. Each wooden toy is made from a different piece of poplar, so grain and slight color variation may occur. Our wooden toys are hand detailed and each has its own personality, but will look very close to the original. All of our designs are hand drawn so you won't find wooden toys like ours anywhere!
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      Where did the name, Armadillo Dreams, come from?
It’s an inside joke between Amanda and I that goes back quite a ways. In essence it’s represents freedom to us, both in the sense of being independent and financial freedom.



What would you like to see yourselves doing in 5 years from now?

      I would like to see Armadillo Dreams continue to grow and eventually become one of the largest toy sellers on Etsy and even one of the largest handmade toy sellers on the Internet in general. We have been taking a lot of steps recently to accomplish this and we still have a lot more planned for the rest of this year and beyond. We will soon be selling through multiple online marketplaces. We just started a shop on ArtFire (http://armadillodreams.artfire.com) and an eBay shop (http://stores.ebay.com/armadillodreams/). Soon we will be selling through our own e-commerce website on http://armadillodreams.com as well. We are also in the process of starting a family blog. Our blog name is Wild Armadillos, which is a play on my wife’s shop Wild Plums (http://wildplums.etsy.com) and our shop Armadillo Dreams.

              Outside of toy-making, what sorts of things do you enjoy? 
When we are not too busy running our 4 Etsy shops we enjoy spending time with our kids, gardening, fishing and other outdoor activities. Living in Central Oregon there is an abundance of outdoor activities and wildlife. Within an hour drive of our house there is many lakes, many rivers, the Cascade Mountains, two national forests and the high desert. With two or three hours there is the valley and the Pacific Ocean. We love it here!


7          What’s the best thing about having your own business?
The thing we love the most is that our businesses can work around our lives, versus our lives having to work around day jobs. Especially with two young kids this is really huge for our family! We often work during nap time or in the evening/night so that we can be with our kids during the day. Having two stay-at-home parents is amazing. We love it and our kids love it!

Well, now that you know a little bit about them, here is what Dustin and Amanda are offering a lucky winner:  this beautiful little chicken family set!  And there are several way to win:
  1. Leave a comment below (maybe stop by their Etsy shop and tell me what you liked best!);
  2. Like Armadillo dreams on Facebook;
  3. Follow Armadillo Dreams on Twitter;
  4. Link to this giveaway on your blog, Facebook page or on Twitter (one entry for each)
  5. Become a follower of Patch O' Dirt Farm (let me know if you already follow!)
So there you go; seven possible ways to enter!  Please be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry.  This giveaway will be open throughout this week and will close Sunday, July 29th, sometime in the evening.  The winner will be announced on Monday the 30th.

In addition, Armadillo Dreams is offering a 10% discount to readers of Patch O' Dirt Farm for the rest of July!  Just use the promo code PATCHODIRTFARM at checkout to receive the discount.

Good luck!

Sorry for all the weird number stuff happening in the post!  I seem to be having issues that don't appear in the edits, but appear when published...I'm trying to work it out, so bear with me!


51 comments:

  1. Oh, I'd pick the chicken family set in a heartbeat. My kids love chickens. :)

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  2. I also liked Armadillo Dreams on Facebook.

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  3. I also followed them on Twitter.

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  4. I share the link on Facebook as well. :)

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  5. Oh! That chicken family is so sweet and would be great fun to win!

    Mary V.

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  6. Hey, Nadja! Of course, I would love to enter. I think your comments might be closed on your "Musings". So, I'm using this post to say prayers for Gemma's doctor visit and continued prayers for Bret!
    +JMJ+

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  7. i wonder if blogger is being naughty again, i've noticed some strangeness too. lovely giveaway, but since i won the last one (yipee! loving twisted thystle!) please don't count me in. beautiful beautiful toys though!

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  8. The chicken set is adorable!
    I love the sheepfold set on the Etsy site; it fits right in with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program.Also enjoy reading your blog; you are a good writer!

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  9. The Mushrooms and Gnomes set would have to be my favorite - after all, my shop name is GnomeCentral, so never enough gnomes!

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  10. love the Kids Pirate Ship Toy - Wooden Toy - Waldorf Toy!

    ykatrina at hotmail dot com

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  11. now a follower of your site by email

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  12. I loved the sets that were for camping (they have 2) and the camper is cute too. but my favorites are the painted frog and lilypad, and the harry potter organic teether set. and the wooden cell phone is a great idea for little ones.

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  13. Hi, I blogged about this and I put it on Facebook as well!! I am a follower!! And I love the Deer family!!

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  14. we just got real chickens this spring and my 2 year old would adore this little family to play with!

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  15. I love the robots they make too!

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  16. I love armadillo dreams! My favorite is the tiny sleeping woodland fairy. Lavender_amanda at yahoo dot com

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  17. I also like them on Facebook!

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  18. I like Armadillo dreams on Facebook

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  19. I linked to this giveaway on Facebook

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  20. I would love the shepherd and sheep set for my son! We love their toys.

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  21. I love this shop! I've drooled over all their things for months now. I really like the pull toys. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  22. I love their little gnome set the most!!

    nieveamor@care2.com

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  23. I already am a fan of their fb

    nieveamor@care2.com

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  24. And I also already follow them on twitter :)

    nieveamor@care2.com

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  25. Now I'm a new follower of your blog!

    nieveamor@care2.com

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  26. The dragon family is adorable but honestly, I love that chicken family the best!! We are crazy about chickens!!!

    www.ourbrokenroad.blogspot.com

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  27. I follow them on facebook! :)

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  28. I follow them on twitter! :)

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  29. I follow your blog now too! :)

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  30. Shared on Facebook!

    https://www.facebook.com/hallie.lindal/posts/135986079875986

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  31. Tweeted!
    https://twitter.com/ourbrokenroad/status/228118376956973057

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  32. I love the pull dragon - but all their things are so cute. Thanks! cokelush at gmail

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  33. Following AD on FB. Robin Phillips-Knotts is my id. Thanks! cokelush at gmail

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  34. Following AD on twitter. cokelush is my id. Thanks! cokelush at gmail

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  35. Following PoDF on GFC. :)cokelush is my id. Thanks! cokelush at gmail

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  36. I absolutely love this!!!

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  37. I actually really love the weather set, too. So neat! It would be a good way to get my daughter to express those too-big-for-words emotions; are you feeling sunny? cloudy? all sorts of stormy?

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  38. I love the little snails! Oh and my girls would love the little fairies.

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  39. I liked Armadillo Dreams on FB

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  40. I am already a follower of your blog

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  41. I actually purchased a Saint Lucia doll from them last year and LOVE it! Thanks for hosting the giveaway! :)

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  42. Oh, and I follower your blog already. :)

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  43. Seriously. These are some of the CUTEST handmade toys I have ever seen!! I know where we will be holiday shopping this year!! Totally Awesome!!

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