Happy Valentines Day to all of you lovely ones out there.
As you read this I'm more than likely bustling excited children off to school to share homemade valentines and some giggles. What other day can you eat heart shaped cookies, enjoy hand-written cards, eat chocolate before breakfast, and wear a shiny red ribbon in your hair?
Well, most days I suppose....but today for sure!
Let's all spread a little love around today shall we?
Love, really is, all we need!
Valentines have officially been started. There are many to be done and little time left to accomplish said task. We will hope for good weekend Mojo and free time to create.
My children are sniffling and snuffling. Not a positive sign. My plan includes a pot of soup and brewing up some tea. Oh, and rest as I believe that would do us all a world of good.
The Big Daddy will be learning about fresh handmade pasta and sauces at chef school this weekend...and yes, we are happy about that.
Various knitting projects are under way.
My brilliant knitting buddy helped on Tuesday to puzzle through the "issue" with the Shimmer Sweater. Yahoo! I say brilliant because most knitters probably wouldn't have even noticed this glitch. So, I will post information on Ravelry for those of you interested. And, I will be giving full credit to my friend who figured it all out. Thanks K!
There will be a Bach Cello performance on Sunday by my twelve year old which I'm sure will be lovely and quite an accomplishment for her. Do you suppose it's normal for the parents to be more nervous than the children? She performs so often in her Waldorf school with plays, music, public speaking, etc. so it nevers seems to bother her in the least. Me? on the other hand? Ner.Vous.
The snow is still lovely yet, cold. I've been a'shivering the last few days. Needed to pull out a few more wool items which is honestly never a problem!
We have the final performance of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight this evening and then all the parents and sixth graders will enjoy a wee party. Ah, I look forward to that.
My wish...a relaxing weekend after what proved to be a "flurry" of a week.
What are your wishes for the weekend?
My girlie had her first handmade market debut two weekends ago. The annual holiday fair at school. She's been determined to do this for over a year. Absolutely set on pursuing this dream.
It happened a few summers ago when we sat side by side in front of my mother's Elna sewing machine teaching her the basics and letting her press the pedal and send the machine whirling through the fabric she had chosen.
The smile on her face and the learning she did in that first summer were immeasurable. I, the teacher, wanted her to know the basics, the stitches, the way the machine worked. How to thread the machine and how to finish it off when done. She bore this beautifully, in fact she seemed to absorb everything I had to teach her about sewing on a machine.
Then, she was on her own. My fabric stash at her fingertips. Yet another opportunity for me to let go. To appreciate the thoughts running through my head. "Oh, I was going to use that fabric" or "That one is supposed to be a...." or "No. That I'm saving for..". To hear those thoughts and struggle to breathe and say, "Yes, you may use whatever you wish".
To recognize the girl in me that loved when my own mother had said those same words to me. To be less concerned about what all the fabric WAS going to be and more interested in what the fabric COULD BE now.
She started slow, tentative. Reluctant to push the machine very fast more comfortable to amble along stitch by stitch. Today? Well, that girl can fly is all I'm saying.
So with the Winter Faire approaching she and another friend spent days together side by side sewing for their stand. One sewing bracelets. One sewing bags. Both happy to be doing something on their own yet willing to ask questions when they were stuck.
For me it was delightful. Freeing. Beautiful. My girl sailing through the fabric stash, ever respectful and helping me breathe and let go...breathe and let go.
My child as my teacher, again.
And so she did. She made 86 bracelets to be exact. There may have been a few days at the end that required some reinforcements. A late night "ribbon stitcher" along with the big daddy as head "button guy".
There were looks across the room at one another with this daughter of ours, head down, sewing in the middle. Smiles were passed and looks of awe. Her tenacity. Her drive to create something and follow through.
Her label---completely her design and idea. Of course, this enchanted mama deemed it just the right name for her.
Then, the big weekend happened. She rose to the occasion. She smiled. She answered questions. She stood on her feet for hours at a time experiencing "retail". A challenge at best.
The weekend flew by and then she packed up her bracelets. Tired but excited about her first foray into the handmade world.
She sold quite a few. She still has some left. She wants to do it again.
I know as her mama that more than anything it was a success. She set the goal, pursued the goal and learned a few things in the process. As much as I would have loved to tell her all about "my retail experience" I tried to let her learn in her own way. Knowing it's better that way.
So I learn to let go of the very children I want to protect and hold so tight. Recognizing that every time I do they are able to fly more freely.
I believe that in the end I will have learned more from my children than I ever could have taught them myself.
For now I will smile at my own bracelet, that was made "just for me", from my girlie and love her even more than I did yesterday.
Quite a Celebration of Rainbows we had here last Friday.
According to my four year old it was, "the best birthday ever!"
I'm going to pretend that the statement had nothing to do with the new silly putty he had just opened. No, I prefer to think it had to do with all the love that went into making it a day just for him.
Full of "loads of rainbows" just like he requested.
Full of handmade lovelies from his brother and sister as well as the pair of mittens his mama barely finished in time.
Full of our wishes for him and his next year.
We celebrated our little one and that was best of all.
Have you ever wanted to send a note but wanted it to be different?
Ever had a pen pal that you enjoyed sending unique things to in the mail?
Or wanted to find a way to share a bit of summer or a vacation with the ones you love?
Well, that is just what we did.
My girl loves to send letters. She loves to have pen pals. She just loves that when she sends letters out she gets letters back. Really who doesn't love to receive fun, whimsical mail?
So, we decided to try something a bit different and yes, more expensive to send, but so worth it. She wrote her note and then we rolled it really tight...like really tight. Twine, in ocean colors of course, was used to wrap up the message.
Then it got really exciting...
I had some old spice jars in the house, with no current job, so we filled them with sand, shells and tucked the note inside. Once the cork was on the top we tucked it into a box with raffia a.k.a. seaweed.
The seaweed served as great padding for the bottle and then the box was addressed, taped, and sent.
voila. A Summer message.
This is such a simple project but was quite a treat for the girl who received it. Next time, we ran out of time this time, we will dip the top in beeswax to seal it. Giving it a very "of the ocean secret message" kind of look, won't that be fun?
Do you have any fun summer time projects you are doing today?
Our children play house, restaurant, garden store and construction guys digging to China while in the sandbox. It's a place that we go to relax in the summer, play in the fall, dig snow out of in the winter, and create cakes made of petals and leaves in the spring.
It's used to calm revved up children and give a mama a break once in awhile.
Sometimes I can sit, watch, knit and enjoy. Other times I'm very involved with eating the "kabazillionth" dessert made of sand, and really enjoying it.
It's a place that I take fussy children to get out in nature and put bare feet in the sand.
It's a good place to be.
We constructed it in true Waldorf form.
We found a place in the yard, under an arbor for shade and surrounded the area with cut logs. I love that the logs are of all sizes and shapes. It makes for fun balancing, great tables and chairs and of course ovens to cook the sand cakes. We used about seventeen logs to make it big enough for multiple children at once.
We had some pavers left from another project and I laid them in a windy path to the entrance. Then we, meaning the big daddy, filled the whole thing with about twenty bags of play sand.
It's rustic at best but that's what I love the most about it. It leaves lots of room for imagination.
I've found in my wanderings old metal buckets, tins, measuring cups and various tools to add to the collection. They get bent, rusted and are used. a lot. This I love.
Here is a recent "cake" made with love and presented with a long candle.
Hmm, I think I love that most of all.
All the rain and cloudy days here in the past couple of weeks delayed the maypole for the younger ones.
But, today the sun shone bright and we packed a picnic and danced around the maypole.
It felt official like Spring and soon Summer are/will finally be here. Just the scent of the lilac on the air seemed proof enough.
My three year old wasn't sure whether he wanted his photograph taken and was a bit grumpy about it. As you can see though, he figured out how to get this mama from attempting any more.
At least that finally got him to smile is all I can say.
As the trees nestle in with new leaves and the flowers bloom everywhere I know that King Winter has finally relinquished his grip and let Lady Spring bring the colors back once again.
I love this time of year.
Happy Friday and best wishes for a delightful weekend.
You know that feeling when your child goes to play and you see them playing but then ten minutes goes by and you realize hmmm, I haven't heard a sound...it's very quiet...what are they doing? The moment when you are sure they are into something they shouldn't be...
Well, that was me about fifteen minutes ago.
My three year old was playing in his brother's room. A regular occurrence these days as he has all "the toys". So he's playing and happy and I go to do the dishes in the kitchen/ fold the laundry...exciting things I tell you, when I realize it's very quiet....too quiet.
I hoof it to the room expecting some hanging from chandelier kind of activity only to find this...
A boy deep in thought about the world he's creating. Tractors for the farmers. Trailers for the boats. Cars and houses. A place for his "guys" to sleep.
What was I to do? Well, grab the camera immediately of course.
The interesting story is how we had gotten to this moment.
Back in 2002 when we found the Waldorf program I entered it with full force. There was what we now affectionately call the "plastic purge of 2002". I cleared out all the plastic toys and kept only the wooden toys. We filled baskets with books, pinecones, dress up silks, and wool and never looked back.
About a year and a half ago our now seven year old was attemting to create things. Tall things. Rolling things. Just lots of things. His own ideas but he wanted wheels. The wooden legos we had were great for buildings but didn't make the best cars.
So, the big daddy and I decided that maybe legos would be a great exception to the "mostly-no-plastic-rule". We both had fond memories creating as children with a pile of legos. My three brothers and I would spend hours on the floor playing together and building towns.
Of course, that was a long time ago and there weren't pirates and Harry Potter legos then. Just plain basic building blocks. Wheels. Things like that.
A search ensued and we finally found plain building pieces, wheels, steering wheels, windshields and green boards to play on. No pictures of other things. No sets, well one motorcycle because it was so cool, that needed to be only one thing. Basics. Leaving it open for his own creative spin.
Since then he has created cars, helicopters, buildings, towns and an ice cream shop. This one toy spans the ages of our children and on weekends such as our last one they could all be found on the floor playing together with legos.
It's a plastic item that I don't feel bad about. An item that, even though I love the feel of wooden toys, items made by someone I know and natural objects warming in their hands, has still provided an opportunity for great imagination to be used.
Something that you don't have to worry about them being "too quiet".