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Featured Shop: Aly Parrott

Aug 28, 2013

by Aly Parrott

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

My name is Aly Parrott and I dream up, design, fabricate and market peaceful, earth-friendly, durable works of interactive art and Montessori toys. I live and work on top of a mountain in a little hamlet in upstate New York.

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Drawing, sewing and spinning tales were simply a part of my life as a child. My mom and I would sit for hours, poring over books on historical fashions for some insanely detailed Halloween costume I wanted, or finding patterns for quilt blocks from the 1850s and trying to make them. I loved what we made, but I loved learning the history just as much, and I would make up stories to go along with whatever I was making. Fast forward 16 or 17 years, and I’m basically doing the same thing and getting to call it my job! I love to think that the things I create might spark that kind of passion in another young soul.

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Every object I create begins with some little pocket of fascination waiting to be shared – a life cycle of some sort, an old tale longing to be brought to life again. Then I do a lot of reading. I try to find as many different images, interpretations and facts about my idea as possible before focusing it into a clear, concise plan that will simultaneously teach and delight. After that, I lose myself in rich paint colors and wool felt shapes, depending on the nature of the lesson I’m planning, and who I’m planning it for. Little hands seem to love the tactility of the wool felt, while the discerning eyes of an 8-year-old tend to crave the details of a meticulously drawn character from a favorite story.

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It’s a great, great feeling when you finally see something through that you have been daydreaming and doodling about for months come together like it was meant to happen. My strawberry Montessori work was like that. My brother and I used to scour the field at our parents’ house for wild strawberries. I have such vivid memories of hunting through tall grass for the little white blossoms, with the early summer sun on the back of my neck and the bright red of the berries against the greens of the field. I wanted to capture that shining little moment of childhood joy in a felt creation, and when I sat back and looked at the first one I made, I was transported back to that place in time.

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Etsy has grown to represent independence for me. I am exceptionally bad at forcing myself to do things if I don’t love doing them, so after college I was determined not be stuck in a job I hate. Working directly with people to meet their unique needs has been the foundation for building my business. Literally half of the items in my shop have started off as custom items for teachers, librarians, homeschooling parents, and other imaginative people who entrust me with their ideas. Etsy has given me that opportunity, but more importantly, it has introduced me to a whole realm of people with endless amounts of talent and knowledge. The idea that we all exist in our own little corners of the world and come here to share and discuss the things we are most passionate about is still so amazing to me.

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I’m trying to think of a way having my own business hasn’t changed me. I suppose, at my core, I am still the same daisy-chain making, barefoot-in-the-dew-frolicking mountain girl I always was. That’s a good thing, I think, considering what my business is all about. But the part of me that isn’t channeled through cloth animals and needle-felted dolls, the behind-the-scenes me that fills out the tax forms and tries to keep a studio under control in a very small space, has seen much more success since I started this little venture. Ultimately, I am more confident in what I do, and my ability to make my own way in the world.

All photographs by Aly Parrott.

Featured Shop Archive

Needlefelted Waldorf Doll. Star Child Series 002. Handmade Penny Doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
Needlefelted Waldorf Doll. Star Child Series 002. Handmade Penny Doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
alyparrott
$52.00 USD
Personalized Memory Map. Customized Handmade Felt Interactive World Map by Aly Parrott on Etsy. CUSTOMIZED ITEM.
Personalized Memory Map. Customized Handmade Felt Interactive World Map by Aly Parrott on Etsy. CUSTOMIZED ITEM.
alyparrott
$350.00 USD
Handmade Montessori Toy. Strawberry Counting and Sorting Toy by Aly Parrott on Etsy. Made to Order.
Handmade Montessori Toy. Strawberry Counting and Sorting Toy by Aly Parrott on Etsy. Made to Order.
alyparrott
$52.00 USD
Wizard of Oz Cloth Doll. The Tin Woodman. Hand-painted embroidered cloth doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
Wizard of Oz Cloth Doll. The Tin Woodman. Hand-painted embroidered cloth doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
alyparrott
$48.00 USD
Wizard of Oz Cloth Dolls. Dorothy and Toto. Hand-painted embroidered cloth dolls by alyparrott on Etsy.
Wizard of Oz Cloth Dolls. Dorothy and Toto. Hand-painted embroidered cloth dolls by alyparrott on Etsy.
alyparrott
$48.00 USD
Anne of Green Gables Art Dolls. Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. Hand-painted embroidered cloth dolls by alyparrott on Etsy.
Anne of Green Gables Art Dolls. Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. Hand-painted embroidered cloth dolls by alyparrott on Etsy.
alyparrott
$80.00 USD
Anne of Green Gables Art Doll. "A Full-Fledged School Ma'am." Hand-painted Interactive doll by AlyParrott on Etsy.
Anne of Green Gables Art Doll. "A Full-Fledged School Ma'am." Hand-painted Interactive doll by AlyParrott on Etsy.
alyparrott
$42.00 USD
Handmade Montessori Work. "Prairie Song." Embroidered Felt Nature Table Work by Aly Parrott on Etsy. MADE TO ORDER
Handmade Montessori Work. "Prairie Song." Embroidered Felt Nature Table Work by Aly Parrott on Etsy. MADE TO ORDER
alyparrott
$52.00 USD
The Kentauride (Centauress). Hand painted Greek Mythology Art Doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
The Kentauride (Centauress). Hand painted Greek Mythology Art Doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
alyparrott
$48.00 USD
Wizard of Oz Cloth Dolls. The Cowardly Lion. Hand-painted embroidered cloth doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
Wizard of Oz Cloth Dolls. The Cowardly Lion. Hand-painted embroidered cloth doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
alyparrott
$48.00 USD
Wizard of Oz Cloth Dolls. The Scarecrow. Hand-painted embroidered cloth doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
Wizard of Oz Cloth Dolls. The Scarecrow. Hand-painted embroidered cloth doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
alyparrott
$48.00 USD
Anne of Green Gables Art Doll. "A Queen's Girl." Handpainted doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
Anne of Green Gables Art Doll. "A Queen's Girl." Handpainted doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
alyparrott
$45.00 USD
Cloth Mythology Doll. Persephone, Goddess of Spring and Queen of the Underworld. Organic Cotton Storytelling Doll. Made to order.
Cloth Mythology Doll. Persephone, Goddess of Spring and Queen of the Underworld. Organic Cotton Storytelling Doll. Made to order.
alyparrott
$52.00 USD
Personalized Worry Dolls. Customizable One of a Kind Needlefelted Dolls - Set of 5
Personalized Worry Dolls. Customizable One of a Kind Needlefelted Dolls - Set of 5
alyparrott
$45.00 USD
Handmade Montessori Magnetic Felt Counting & Sorting Work -- Robin's Nest. Made to order.
Handmade Montessori Magnetic Felt Counting & Sorting Work -- Robin's Nest. Made to order.
alyparrott
$48.00 USD
Handmade Montessori Work. "For the Bees." Nature Table Threader Garland by Aly Parrott on Etsy
Handmade Montessori Work. "For the Bees." Nature Table Threader Garland by Aly Parrott on Etsy
alyparrott
$48.00 USD
Handmade Felt Garland. The Phases of the Moon. Needlefelted Home Decor by AlyParrott on Etsy. Made to Order.
Handmade Felt Garland. The Phases of the Moon. Needlefelted Home Decor by AlyParrott on Etsy. Made to Order.
alyparrott
$48.00 USD
CUSTOM ORDER for WMS
CUSTOM ORDER for WMS
alyparrott
$84.00 USD
Handmade Montessori Toy. Pear Tree. Nature Table Wool Felt Counting and Sorting Work. Made to order.
Handmade Montessori Toy. Pear Tree. Nature Table Wool Felt Counting and Sorting Work. Made to order.
alyparrott
$52.00 USD
Handmade Waldorf Dolls.  Rainbow Waldorf-Inspired Worry Dolls. Made to Order.
Handmade Waldorf Dolls. Rainbow Waldorf-Inspired Worry Dolls. Made to Order.
alyparrott
$54.00 USD
Ethiopian Wolf pillow toy. Hand Drawn Organic Cotton African Animal Toy by AlyParrott on Etsy. Made to order.
Ethiopian Wolf pillow toy. Hand Drawn Organic Cotton African Animal Toy by AlyParrott on Etsy. Made to order.
alyparrott
$42.00 USD
Common Kingfisher Animal Pillow Toy. Hand painted organic cotton Montessori toy by Aly Parrot on Etsy.
Common Kingfisher Animal Pillow Toy. Hand painted organic cotton Montessori toy by Aly Parrot on Etsy.
alyparrott
$42.00 USD
Needlefelted Waldorf Doll. Trouper Series 002. Handmade Penny Doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
Needlefelted Waldorf Doll. Trouper Series 002. Handmade Penny Doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
alyparrott
$60.00 USD
Needlefelted Waldorf Doll. Star Child Series 004. Handmade Penny Doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
Needlefelted Waldorf Doll. Star Child Series 004. Handmade Penny Doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
alyparrott
$52.00 USD
Cloth Guanaco Toy. Hand painted cloth animal toy by alyparrott on Etsy.
Cloth Guanaco Toy. Hand painted cloth animal toy by alyparrott on Etsy.
alyparrott
$45.00 USD
Handmade Felt Garland - Stormy Weather - Wool Felt Embroidered 5-Storm Garland. Made to Order.
Handmade Felt Garland - Stormy Weather - Wool Felt Embroidered 5-Storm Garland. Made to Order.
alyparrott
$60.00 USD
Handmade Montessori Work- Magnetic Wool Felt Counting & Sorting Toy. Apple tree. Made to Order.
Handmade Montessori Work- Magnetic Wool Felt Counting & Sorting Toy. Apple tree. Made to Order.
alyparrott
$52.00 USD
Gray Wolf Pillow Toy. Hand Painted Organic Cotton Soft Scuplture by Aly Parrott. Made to Order.
Gray Wolf Pillow Toy. Hand Painted Organic Cotton Soft Scuplture by Aly Parrott. Made to Order.
alyparrott
$42.00 USD
Fairytale Art Doll. East of the Sun, West of the Moon. Hand painted Organic Cotton Storytelling Figure by Aly Parrott on Etsy.
Fairytale Art Doll. East of the Sun, West of the Moon. Hand painted Organic Cotton Storytelling Figure by Aly Parrott on Etsy.
alyparrott
$42.00 USD
Embroidered Art Doll. Anne of Green Gables. Handmade Cloth Toy by Aly Parrott on Etsy. Made to order.
Embroidered Art Doll. Anne of Green Gables. Handmade Cloth Toy by Aly Parrott on Etsy. Made to order.
alyparrott
$45.00 USD
Medusa the Gorgon. Hand painted Greek Mythology art doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
Medusa the Gorgon. Hand painted Greek Mythology art doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
alyparrott
$42.00 USD
Handmade Montessori Toy - 10 Little apples - Handmade Montessori Magnetic Counting and Sorting Work. Made to order.
Handmade Montessori Toy - 10 Little apples - Handmade Montessori Magnetic Counting and Sorting Work. Made to order.
alyparrott
$60.00 USD
Handmade Montessori Work. "The Lady's Unicorn." Embroidered Play Table Toy by Aly Parrott on Etsy
Handmade Montessori Work. "The Lady's Unicorn." Embroidered Play Table Toy by Aly Parrott on Etsy
alyparrott
$48.00 USD
Giraffe Pillow Toy. Hand Drawn Organic Cotton African Animal by Aly Parrott on Etsy. Made to order.
Giraffe Pillow Toy. Hand Drawn Organic Cotton African Animal by Aly Parrott on Etsy. Made to order.
alyparrott
$48.00 USD
Anne of Green Gables Art Doll. Gilbert Blythe. Hand-painted embroidered cloth doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
Anne of Green Gables Art Doll. Gilbert Blythe. Hand-painted embroidered cloth doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
alyparrott
$42.00 USD
Anne of Green Gables Art Doll. Diana Barry. Hand-painted embroidered cloth doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
Anne of Green Gables Art Doll. Diana Barry. Hand-painted embroidered cloth doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
alyparrott
$45.00 USD
Poseidon. Hand Painted Greek Mythology Art Doll by Aly Parrott on Etsy. Ready to ship.
Poseidon. Hand Painted Greek Mythology Art Doll by Aly Parrott on Etsy. Ready to ship.
alyparrott
$60.00 USD
The Four Seasons. Embroidered Seasons Garland by Aly Parrott on Etsy. Made to order.
The Four Seasons. Embroidered Seasons Garland by Aly Parrott on Etsy. Made to order.
alyparrott
$65.00 USD
Handmade Montessori Toy. How to Make A Rainbow. Made to Order.
Handmade Montessori Toy. How to Make A Rainbow. Made to Order.
alyparrott
$36.00 USD
Custom Hand-Embroidered Animal Companion Trinket.
Custom Hand-Embroidered Animal Companion Trinket.
alyparrott
$24.00 USD
Camel Pillow Toy. Hand-painted Soft Sculpture by AlyParrott on Etsy. Made to Order.
Camel Pillow Toy. Hand-painted Soft Sculpture by AlyParrott on Etsy. Made to Order.
alyparrott
$45.00 USD
Red-Tailed Hawk Pillow Toy. Hand Painted Organic Cotton Nature Table Toy. Ready to Ship.
Red-Tailed Hawk Pillow Toy. Hand Painted Organic Cotton Nature Table Toy. Ready to Ship.
alyparrott
$42.00 USD
Pandora. Handpainted Greek Mythology Art Doll by Aly Parrott on Etsy. Ready to ship.
Pandora. Handpainted Greek Mythology Art Doll by Aly Parrott on Etsy. Ready to ship.
alyparrott
$52.00 USD
Mountain Lion Pillow Toy.  Hand-Painted Organic Stuffed Animal by AlyParrott on Etsy.
Mountain Lion Pillow Toy. Hand-Painted Organic Stuffed Animal by AlyParrott on Etsy.
alyparrott
$42.00 USD
Cloth Mermaid Doll. The Little Mermaid. Hand painted cloth doll by AlyParrott on Etsy.
Cloth Mermaid Doll. The Little Mermaid. Hand painted cloth doll by AlyParrott on Etsy.
alyparrott
$60.00 USD
Moose Pillow Toy. Hand Painted Stuffed Animal Fiber Art by AlyParrott on Etsy.
Moose Pillow Toy. Hand Painted Stuffed Animal Fiber Art by AlyParrott on Etsy.
alyparrott
$45.00 USD
Handmade Toy Caribou. Organic Cotton Animal Pillow by Aly Parrott on Etsy. Made to Order.
Handmade Toy Caribou. Organic Cotton Animal Pillow by Aly Parrott on Etsy. Made to Order.
alyparrott
$45.00 USD
Addax Pillow Toy. Hand Drawn Organic Cotton Addax African Animal by Aly Parrott on Etsy. Made to order.
Addax Pillow Toy. Hand Drawn Organic Cotton Addax African Animal by Aly Parrott on Etsy. Made to order.
alyparrott
$42.00 USD
Montessori Toy--Orange Tree. Magnetic  Counting and Sorting work by AlyParrott on Etsy. Made to Order
Montessori Toy--Orange Tree. Magnetic Counting and Sorting work by AlyParrott on Etsy. Made to Order
alyparrott
$60.00 USD
Handmade Montessori Work - Magnetic Wool Felt Bee and Honeycomb Work. Made to Order.
Handmade Montessori Work - Magnetic Wool Felt Bee and Honeycomb Work. Made to Order.
alyparrott
$48.00 USD
A Day at the Farm.  Printed Cloth Farm Animal Toy Set from AlyParrott on Etsy.
A Day at the Farm. Printed Cloth Farm Animal Toy Set from AlyParrott on Etsy.
alyparrott
$110.00 USD
Needlefelted Waldorf Doll. Mountain Child Series 004. Handmade Penny Doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
Needlefelted Waldorf Doll. Mountain Child Series 004. Handmade Penny Doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
alyparrott
$48.00 USD
Goose Pillow Toy Print. Water-based Printed Pillow Farm Toy by AlyParrott on Etsy. Made to Order.
Goose Pillow Toy Print. Water-based Printed Pillow Farm Toy by AlyParrott on Etsy. Made to Order.
alyparrott
$8.00 USD
Horse Pillow Toys.  Organic Cotton Farm Playset from AlyParrott on Etsy. Made to order.
Horse Pillow Toys. Organic Cotton Farm Playset from AlyParrott on Etsy. Made to order.
alyparrott
$36.00 USD
Embroidered Art Doll. Anne of Green Gables. Handmade Cloth Toy by Aly Parrott on Etsy. Made to order.
Embroidered Art Doll. Anne of Green Gables. Handmade Cloth Toy by Aly Parrott on Etsy. Made to order.
alyparrott
$45.00 USD
Handmade Bear Toys. Hand-painted American Grizzly Bear Family set by Aly Parrott on Etsy. Ready to ship.
Handmade Bear Toys. Hand-painted American Grizzly Bear Family set by Aly Parrott on Etsy. Ready to ship.
alyparrott
$32.00 USD
Handmade Buffalo Toy. American Bison Animal Pillow Soft Sculpture by Aly Parrott on Etsy. Ready to Ship.
Handmade Buffalo Toy. American Bison Animal Pillow Soft Sculpture by Aly Parrott on Etsy. Ready to Ship.
alyparrott
$45.00 USD
Frog Animal Pillow Toy. Handmade Organic Cotton Poison Dart Frog by Aly Parrot on Etsy.
Frog Animal Pillow Toy. Handmade Organic Cotton Poison Dart Frog by Aly Parrot on Etsy.
alyparrott
$40.00 USD
Needlefelted Waldorf Doll. Mountain Child Series 001. Handmade Penny Doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
Needlefelted Waldorf Doll. Mountain Child Series 001. Handmade Penny Doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
alyparrott
$48.00 USD
Needlefelted Waldorf Doll. Wanderer Series 001. Handmade Penny Doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
Needlefelted Waldorf Doll. Wanderer Series 001. Handmade Penny Doll by alyparrott on Etsy.
alyparrott
$60.00 USD

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