Do you remember a list of fun etsy shops I posted before Christmas? One of them was All Stuft Up, a knit monster shop owned by an old friend of mine, Lauren. Well, Lauren’s talents apparently are limitless—together with her husband, she also runs another etsy shop, Chimin’ Time, full of handmade, handheld pipe chimes, instructional DVDs with sing-along style children’s and Christmas music to help you play your chimes like a pro, and even the instructions to make your own set of perfectly tuned handheld chimes.
Lauren sent me a chime set, as well as two instructional DVDs, to take for a test run. I actually received them a few weeks ago, but was waiting to try them out . . . Forrest has had a serious case of the grumples (teething, how I hate thee!), which has left him so deeply grouchy that I thought even a fun chime set wouldn’t be enough to crack it. So I figured I’d wait until he was back to his usual happy self to let him use the new chimes.
Up until I pulled the chimes out, he had spent all day—and I really do mean alllllll day—lying on the couch with his blankie, watching The Incredibles over and over. Sir Grumpy McGee. Apparently, chimes are the cure for teething . . . who knew?
The chime set was so fun to play with—you hold the pipe by the attached string and tap it with the wooden striker to sound the note, and Forrest was laughing up a storm every time he heard the ding of a chime. The chimes have a beautiful sound and are tuned perfectly . . . there are no wonky notes or “off” tones. Each note sounds absolutely perfect, to the point that I was almost tempted to turn the set into a windchime for the days we aren’t playing with it. But as it turns out, they are now being played with every day!
These chimes would make SUCH a fun activity for a church group, a classroom, a music class, a big family . . . or even just a little family like ours, with a child who loved being able to make music all by himself (for the rest of the day, as he started to get grouchy again, we would just say, “Forrest! Ding ding ding!” and he’d race off to grab a chime and mallet).
The instructional DVDs were so helpful, too—they feature popular kids’ songs in a “sing-along” style . . . you’re shown which chimes you’ll need to use for each song, and when each chime should be struck to play your tune. Although some of us were less concerned with following the beat, and just wanted to rock out and jam with the chimes.
Here’s a little more info from Lauren about herself and Chimin’ Time:
“Hey there! I'm Lauren from Chimin'TIme. My husband Kirby and I live up in Vancouver, WA with our two beautiful girls. We met at J-Dawgs (the most amazing hot dog shack in all the world) in Provo, UT while going to school at BYU. A couple days later we played racquetball and a couple lightning fast balls to the skull later, he knew he couldn't live without me. ;)
“Kirby currently works as a business analyst for a laser manufacturer while I stay home with our little mischief makers, taking photography jobs as they come, knitting like a mad-woman, and singing the occasional gig with a classic rock cover band.
“So. The chimes. A couple years ago, we got to play around with a very crude set of handheld chimes and had a blast. We wanted to make ourselves our very own set, and soon learned that it takes a TON of work. That got my husband thinking. How cool would it be to perfect the ‘recipe’ and provide the option to those without time and tools to purchase a set already made and ready to go!? Yup. That's when Chimin'Time was born. Everything from the precise length of the pipe to the placement of the holes for the strings has been tested to provide optimal pitch and clarity of tone. (For those of you wanting the full spiel on the technical aspects of the chimes, you can read more here.)
“Each chime corresponds to a note on the piano, so you can play whatever you like, from Mozart to Gaga. We also created some play-a-long DVDs (similar to the Mickey Mouse sing-a-longs from back in the day) that can be purchased with the chimes. We currently have a DVD with Christmas songs, and a DVD with Children's songs (Bingo, Wheels on the Bus, etc.).”
We are definitely believers in our house—the chimes were so fun to play with, had such a great sound, and were the perfect intro lesson for Forrest on music-making. And I’m sure they’ll keep being fun as he gets older and can actually help play songs with the chimes and learn more about music.