Tag Archives: wooden toys

Meet Joel Peterson: The Toy Maker at the Garden City Art Festival this weekend

5 Jun

Joel Peterson is the Toy Maker and he is a 3rd generation woodworker.  His grandfather was a cabinet-maker in Sweden and America, and his father love to make things in wood as a hobby.  Joel began making furniture for his home and toys for his own boys when they were little until eventually his craft became his business.

handmade wooden toys

He participates in craft shows throughout new England, but like his simple wooden cars, tractors, trucks and trains made for little hands, his business is done traditionally (in person) and not over the internet.  He will be at Festival Fete’s Garden City Art Festival this weekend and you definitely want to stop by his booth to  see his unique variety of entertaining games and hand-made wooden toys.

Visitors to my booth at the Garden City Art Festival will see wooden swords and shields colorfully decorated with griffins, lions and dragons or perhaps a magic wand guaranteed to turn any big brother into a toad! They can see a catapult fire a deadly ping-pong ball 12-15 feet or simple games of strategy that parents will enjoy playing with their kids and hard to find ancient games with unique game pieces such as a 2000 year old Viking game called “Hnefatafl” and its Scottish variation, “Ard Ri”. Both thought to be precursors to chess. You can view an even an older game (going back 3400 years) to the Egyptians (great for playing in the car).


He also makes several distinctive items, like the vintage trucks that can be personalized to suit the customer’s specific requests and a tabletop Christmas Advent Tree with colorful hand turned ornaments, handmade stand and a crafted box to store it all – perfect for holiday gift giving.

I have not met The Toymaker yet, but I am looking forward to seeing him this weekend at the festival with my little boy who will love checking out the wooden swords and that catapult!


Many thanks to our sponsor:


Art this Weekend: Meadowbrook Waldorf School Holiday Faire

14 Nov

This weekend is the Meadowbrook Waldorf School Holiday Faire, which is near and dear to Festival Fete founder, Jennifer Neuguth and her family. Jennifer’s two boys have been at the Meadowbrook Waldorf School for the past 6 years and couldn’t be happier with the education and whole family experience that the school community provides. The event kicks off with a Holiday Faire for the adults on Saturday evening from 6-9 pm and on Sunday from 10am – 4pm the kids can enjoy this lovely family event.

This year’s theme is “Guiding Light” as we remember the warmth and light that this season brings to our hearts and homes.  Find beautiful crafts,  activities, performances, and unique gifts that portray this wonderful inspiration.  The beautifully decorated campus will “light” your up your hearts and bring a smile to your faces.

One of the Faire organizers, Monica Rodgers is a Waldorf graduate and Meadowbrook Waldorf School parent. Monica enthusiastically shared her thoughts with me about the Faire:

Each year we try to focus on a celebration that really brings to life the spirit of our community and the things we hold dear. The festivities include music, family crafts, beautiful decoration- it looks simply MAGICAL when you get to the campus.  We try to offer totally unique gifts that people can not usually find anywhere else that reflect the talents of our community such as handmade doll clothing, advent Calendar’s, Ornaments, beautiful handwork on clothing or accessories. Our faire is one of the most unique holiday events in New England !!

In addition to the hand crafted items for sale, there will also be a gently used book section (as well as new titles and gift books) and a *VINTAGE* section of hats, accessories, crafts etc. Visit the Meadowbrook Waldorf School board on Pinterest page to see a visual sampling.

Our school “store” focuses on featuring thoughtful items that offer children and families an opportunity to play together, read together, inspire imagination, creativity, or learning.  You’ll usually never find plastic items in our store – and we bring in many brands from around the globe – European Toys, Dolls from South America and Peru, Gorgeous art supplies from Germany and France.

If you are not familiar with a Waldorf school, click here to learn more about what makes a Waldorf Education special. The MWS is committed to preserving childhood – allowing children to play and explore naturally.  Another MWS Holiday Faire organizer and parent, Beth Riungo says, “Arts and crafts are fundamental in helping children build their imagination so we surround them with beauty and give them natural materials to work with.  Faire is our opportunity to share these values and ideas with our friends and neighbors from the surrounding area. We love to see our visitors eyes light up when they discover the joys of the Faire.”

Several of the artists that will be at Festival Fete’s Holiday Market in Garden City on December 1st and 2nd will also be exhibiting at the Meadowbrook Waldorf School Faire including:

Also this weekend: Saturday, November 17th the Artist and Artisans “Showcase” exhibition and sale continues every Saturday from 9am – 2pm at Psuedio Studio & Gallery at the Lafayette Mills 650 Ten Rod Road, North Kingstown, RI.

What are you doing this weekend? Let us know what other artful events are happening this weekend and if you go to the MWS Holiday Faire please share your feedback with us!

Many thanks to Yelp for their sponsorship of Festival Fete’s Holiday Market in Garden City on December 1st and 2nd. Be sure to look for their booth at the market -they always have something fun to do!

Yelp was founded in 2004 to help people find great local businesses like dentists, hair stylists and mechanics. In the past 7 years, users have written over 18 million reviews to help the community become better acquainted with these different places. Yelp provides a weekly newsletter in 42 different city editions to help provide up-to-date information on the latest business openings and local happenings. With all that they do, Yelp is a dedicated supporter of everything local.