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What can we do to promote world peace?
"Go home and love your family."
-Mother Teresa

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Winter Fun

I am delighted to be studying Waldorf education full-time this year! I am up to my elbows in clay, watercolor and crayons as I learn the intricate beauty of the Waldorf curriculum. My children have been quite inspired by all the drawing I've been doing on the kitchen table, and have taken over the space.

I have become very excited about the possibility for Waldorf methods to grow in the realm of public education. If anyone is interested in reading about-- or even better, setting up your own-- Waldorf-inspired charter school, here is a website you shouldn't miss:http://allianceforpublicwaldorfeducation.org/ Maybe in a few decades I'll start one myself. :)

Amidst the delicious homework assignments I am offered so generously, I steal a few moments for knitting (of course) and for making some special gifts for the little people in my house. Both children wanted full-size dolls for Christmas, so that kept me busy... I'm still sewing the promised doll clothes!

We have been enjoying some spectacular winter weather, beginning with perfectly smooth frozen lakes and leading to several feet of snow. In fact, it is soon time for a sledding break.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

The Best of Spring 2010

Happy Spring! We have moved and are settling into the beautiful new house that we are so fortunate to inhabit. Definitely the very best part of this spring. We are so happy to be outdoors without all our rain or snow gear! Windy days have made perfect kite-flying conditions, and we are lucky to be right next to a large open hillside. We are also lucky to have a baby lamb down the lane (along with about 30 sheep that we get to look at and don't have to tend!)

Monday, December 28, 2009

What to expect when you're expecting and your sister is crafty

I had so much fun making these gifts for my sister's first baby, due near Valentine's Day. We know that she is expecting a girl, so I couldn't resist making a doll out of some exquisitely soft pink velour I've been keeping on hand. (Speaking of hands, the doll did get some eventually, but I forgot to take a photo after she was all done.) The booties got a hat to match, too. I can't wait to see my first niece in her little tiny booties! Finally my knitting skills are up to the challenge of baby knits. Sadly, my children's infancies passed by before my commitment to gauge swatches began.

Friday, November 27, 2009

I've always admired the Christmas Cactus for its ability to create a beautiful flower out of prickly darkness. The challenge is learning to love the prickly darkness. I think I might be ready to own one this year.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Violet Backpack and Blackberry Jam

Here are the last fruits of summer labors: a photo of our pot right before it became raspberry jam (now eaten) and the spontaneous free-style embroidery I did on C's backpack before I sewed it. I used the String Bag pattern from Green Pepper Patterns, and I found it easy to use with a good result; it was ready in time for the first day of school! (Even if I worked on it until 10 PM the night before-- who's counting?) Speaking of school, sewing projects for C's class have been monopolizing all of my sewing time, and then some... Starting to encroach on my knitting time too. The last time we had the privilege of being part of a Waldorf school community, we were only in the early childhood classes. I remember wondering back then how in the world the teachers of the grades found the time to do all that sewing for their students (little bags for crayons, pencils, "jewels", crowns, hats, costumes....) and also plan their lessons and eat their suppers. Now I understand. The teachers definitely do a lot of work, but the moms do (at least some of) the sewing! I will try to photograph some of the little projects before they are swept off to perform their important tasks in the 1st grade.

Friday, July 31, 2009

More Wonders from the Natural Kingdom

We had the honor this summer of witnessing one of the most exciting transformations in the world! We watched a mysterious caterpillar become an even more mysterious (and beautiful) butterfly.
My children love fennel. Not bulb fennel (which they greet with apathy) but the herb fennel, which grows in long hairy stalks. They each have their own plant, and they munched on it happily this spring until we told them to stop or they would kill it. Then they came outside one day to find that they had competition: three caterpillars had eaten more than half of my son's plant. We decided to move two of them to my daughter's plant, and bring one inside to watch it transform. We (logically) fed it fennel-- from my daughter's plant, of course. It ate about six inches of fennel stalk a day for a week and then promptly stopped eating. In about five hours (while I was working, unfortunately) it made itself a chrysalis. Then we waited. For about a week and a half. And suddenly, one morning when we looked in the jar, the chrysalis hung empty and the butterfly was there! We had expected a yellow swallowtail (our best guess based on the appearance of the caterpillar) but we were delighted with what came out instead: an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (I think-- if anyone knows otherwise, leave a comment please!) Whatever it was, it was gorgeous and provided our most exciting entertainment this summer! My son was very pleased at how friendly it was when it came out. He is pictured with his great-aunt.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Birthday Flowers and Doll Dresses

My daughter had her birthday recently, and I had a long bout of tiny sewing to keep me busy. She requested a new doll dress and a Little Red Riding Hood costume to go over top. I sewed the dress out of yellow and blue calico, with a bodice I embroidered by hand (free-form). The cape is made of red cotton velour lined in rose-patterned calico. It was fun to make, but I have to admit I was glad to get back to my knitting. Deadline sewing stresses me out. Who can disappoint a 7-year-old on her birthday?

This year her choice for cake was lemon cheesecake, and we had an enjoyable (if lengthy) time making lemon cheesecake with a lemon curd topping. (Triple Lemon Cheesecake from Luscious Lemon Desserts.) This is a truly delicious cake... The kind you want to eat waaay too much of.

Just want to let you know that this post marks the arrival of my high-speed internet! Thank you, Comcast (and our boss who made the installation possible!) So hopefully, I'll be posting a little more frequently now. I also have begun dividing my crafts for kids (Buttercup Corner) from my own sewing and knitting projects (now at my new blog Threadblossom.blogspot.com.) Feel free to come find me there now too!