Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Season of Thanks

There is of course so much to be thankful for, not in just one certain season, or on one particular day. I am sure many of you feel the same way, that gratitude is a very important part of our lives every single day. I could go on and on about all that I am grateful for (if I had the time!) but right now I would like to say one thing... Thank you all, dear friends! I think I may have never said that here before. Thanks to all who read, who share in the conversation (or not), thank you for the new friendships, and to my old friends too!

I have been wanting to write this post for several days now, but seem to be lacking time lately. Many of the things on that list in my head of all that I want to do are getting postponed. (Starting a new list... things to get to after the holidays!)

Really though, my sincere thanks to you all! Writing here has become much more than I ever thought it would be... I so look forward to more time for sharing in the next year.

Wishing you all a wonderful day of thanks!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

WIP Wednesday ~ Waldorf Dolls!

Here they are, finished and clothed.

It took me a while to get the dresses done. The little pinafore tops are simple, I love to make them. But I always struggle with how to make the dress underneath. I don't want to have to use velcro, and would prefer not to have a really bunched up elastic neck, but it has to somehow fit over their heads and all that hair! After several days I finally came up with a pattern I like.

These dolls are for two little red-headed sisters. The daughters of a friend from high school. They will be on their way to their new home later this week. I hope they they will be very loved!

Monday, November 16, 2009

some of our days

It was snowing for most of our weekend. Sunday especially was one of those quiet, darkish days, with the snow falling slowly, in a very comfortable feeling way. I spent a lot of time sewing, and that added to the good, comfortable feeling. Nice to be standing at the ironing board, cutting fabric, sewing at the machine.

And today was sunny. Bright blue sky. Very, very cold. But the sun was able to melt some of the snow away...

If you look carefully in this picture you can see the snow on the garden fence through the curtain. This is the nature table that Chloe set up in their bedroom, which is now more often known as "Kindergarten". Chloe has created her own little Waldorf kindergarten, made especially for Chessa. So she of course would be Miss Chloe. They do circle time, story time, wool crafts... This has been going on for many weeks now.

There is an abundance of branches and sticks.. rocks and pine cones.. acorns and cattail leaves...

Some special books...

I love the bench that they made! And on the table is Chloe's lantern.

We went on our lantern walk on Wednesday. The girls did watercolor paintings in the morning while I baked bread, all which we brought with us to Sara's in the afternoon. A fun farm visit with sweet children, lantern making, a bit of wandering in the fields. Good food... pumpkin soup, roasted vegetables, fresh bread. And then bundling up and out into the dark night with our lanterns. It was an almost all girl lantern walk. The boys were too busy working on the skateboard ramp but Jason took a little break and came with us. And one littlest boy crept into bed right after dinner, being much too tired to go out on a walk, or perhaps a little bit too afraid of bears.

This is the only picture I have of the lanterns that night. If I had known that the picture in the dark was really going to turn out then I would have taken more.

I have so much enjoyed reading about everyone's Martinmas celebrations this year! The stories, the beautiful lanterns. We read the Martinmas story from the Festival of Stones, one of our first Tiptoes Lightly books from when Chloe was 5 or so. I love to have these special stories which we can read or tell again and again, year after year.

I would love to make more lanterns now. I have always wanted to do tissue paper jar ones. And I can't believe those beautiful beeswax lanterns! Such wonderful creations... I can just imagine the warmth, the scent, the glow... Perhaps you have seen that my dear friend Rachel (and by dear friend I mean one of the most kind full of love people I have ever known) has posted a beeswax lantern making tutorial.

Speaking of beeswax, we bought some local honey this past week. We had some on homemade bread, and this morning some in our oatmeal. It is thick, it moves slowly, that is nice, we slow down...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

last night and last month...

We had our first home camp fire last night. (Is it still called a campfire if it is just in your backyard?) And Jason started the fire with a bow drill, one of the many amazing skills he learned at Tracker School.

Once he got the coal started in the tinder we all helped gently blow on it to get it going a bit...

and then into the fire circle it went.

Warmth, light, a space for family gathering!

I also wanted to introduce you to my new friend. Ms. Henny Penny. I am seriously in love with her. She sits on the windowsill above the kitchen sink, I say hello to her every day, we spend a lot of time together. (You know, cause of all the time I spend washing dishes.) Ms. Henny came to be with our family at the end of last month. October 25th was our 10th wedding anniversary! Chessa and I went to the antique shops in town to see if we could find a special family treasure as a gift for the day. And so we did! Without realizing it, I found exactly what I was looking for. We had one just like her when I was little. I feel like she was missing from our home. And now here she is. Can you tell I really do love her?

Perhaps I should have been instead talking about how much I love Jason, that most wonderful husband of mine, whom I have now been married to for more than 10 years. My kind, compassionate, handsome soul mate, who is also such an amazing father. We were married at my dad's house in Washington, on Whidby Island. It was a tiny wedding. We couldn't invite everyone so we invited no one. It was also kind of last minute. We had known for several years that we would get married, have children, be together forever. But in September of 1999 we decided that we did not want to wait any longer, for any of it, baby included. We decided we had to get married the next month. We chose a date. My dad and his wife arranged everything. We flew to Washington. We were married on the water. It was a rainy day, but cleared up just in time for our ceremony. The woman that my dad's wife found to marry us was wonderful! She helped make our wedding magical. You know what is so funny.... about 5 years later I was looking around on the internet for festival ideas, I don't remember which festival, but I came across this woman who leads what she calls "a festival life". It was the woman who married us! And she used to be a Waldorf teacher! She even trained in England with Margaret Meyerkort. I always knew she was a special woman, I was so happy to find out more about her. Super neat, I thought. Now, if I was more technically savvy I suppose I could scan some pictures of our wedding day and post them here. But I tried the scanner thing once, about 6 years, didn't work. Hmm, I see people doing it all the time now. Oh well, trust me, it was a beautiful day!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

weekend fun and holiday thoughts

Sometimes I don't post anything because I don't have any good pictures to accompany my words. Then again, sometimes I feel I'm not sharing any words that are all that significant. But I shall write anyhow...

Our weekend was very nice. We have been blessed with absolutely perfect autumn weather. Sun, warmth, blue Colorado sky! We are taking advantage of it by getting as much outside work done as we can. Jason is working on a stone wall and a small fire circle. The girls are busy with mud and clay, and lots of running through the tall golden grasses. We are also trying to complete some additional garden beds. We should have about twice as much growing space next spring!

I tried to get some sewing done, but really much more time was spent in the kitchen. Bread baking this morning, and we had homemade pizza for dinner tonight.

I did do lots of thinking about sewing though... made a list of gift ideas to make for the girls... New dresses of course, something I have done since Chloe's first Christmas. They want long sleeve dresses, and I'm thinking of using some beautiful printed flannels that I have, I'm just trying to figure out a style that won't come out looking like a nightgown. Kind of challenging, but I have some ideas.

I am also going to make them new aprons. Their favorite game to play lately is "Waldorf kindergarten" and Chloe keeps going on and on about her need for a new apron. I have some special embroideries in mind that may find their way onto the aprons.

I would love to knit them some warm wool mittens but I have never knitted mittens before. Would anyone like to recommend a very simple, very easy beginner mitten pattern? I actually spent some time on Ravelry last night looking for one but didn't find anything very appealing. (And speaking of Ravelry, oh my, it's pretty neat. And did you know that you can have "friends" on Ravelry? I had no clue until someone mentioned that she had added me as a friend. Maybe after I'm done here I will have to go find some of you over there...)

I will probably also make new doll dresses and maybe doll quilts and pillows too. (Kind of cheating here cause I already have one little doll quilt from this summer, so I just have to make one more. There, now I have already gotten started on gifts. Yea.)

I may also make them pin cushions or little needle books as stocking stuffers. Felt headbands are another idea. I'm not sure if this is a too big, too ambitious list. Hopefully I can get it all done. We usually do not buy any gifts other than a few special books. Anyone else want to share some of their gift making ideas??

One last thing before I go... did you all see these beautiful crowns? Chloe is so looking forward to St. Lucia day! She has many plans for it, and is very concerned over what she will do for a crown. I haven't mentioned it to her yet, but I thought we could make a felted one, wool candles and everything. Of course I wasn't entirely sure how I intended to go about making them, so I was very excited when I saw these one. And Cadi was kind enough to explain much of the process to me. (Thank you!) If you look in the comments of my last post, or in the comments on her blog, you can get more details.

See you later this week!

p.s I just remembered... I might make knitted sweaters for the dolls. And maybe some felted bowls. I don't know how to make felted bowls, but I would probably just crochet some a little extra big and then put them in a pillowcase in the washing machine. Or maybe that is a totally bad idea and very wrong way. These are just ideas anyways, I would say nothing is definite except for the dresses and aprons. Maybe Jason wants to make them some little baskets....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

WIP Wednesday

(Again on Tuesday evening. I tried to schedule it for Wednesday morning, but for some reason it is insisting on publishing now.)

I finally finished my needle felted autumn woman! This is the first felted figure I have done besides my little gnome, and I am pretty happy with her. She was so much fun to create, and as I went along I kept imagining more and more possibilities.

I kept her pretty simple, adding just one tiny orange flower in the back of her hair.

And although she wasn't yet on our nature table on November 1st, she was sitting there before midnight. She greeted the girls the next morning... they are in love with her.

I also got some more knitting done this past week. I still hadn't finished my wool hat, it sat on the needles for two months, but when I saw a forecasted low of 9 degrees last week I quickly finished it up!

And I am happy to say that I did meet my goal of finishing the two Waldorf dolls by November 1st. Unless you count their clothes, which I am not. I did start their dresses though. I will wait until next week to share some pictures of them.

Now, finally, I can turn my attention to the girls gifts for the holidays. My head is full of ideas!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Orange - part 2

More orange! The back cover of the Wynstones Autumn book...

the last vase of calendula, still brightening our kitchen table...

not quite ripe tomato, so it is orange rather than red. This makes me especially happy. We have three tomato plants in containers which have now been indoors for more than a month. Our tomato plants in the garden froze on the first day of autumn, so this has really extended the harvest for us. The plants are just covered in tomatoes, which I'm sure we will still be eating at Thanksgiving, and maybe even on the first day of winter!!

Pretty pot holder that my sister gave me, which usually sits in my sewing space with pin cushion or scissors on it...

and orange fabric, just a few which happened to be out, I could have gone digging for more...

little wall hanging that I made about 7 years ago... in my mind the orange plaid fabric represents the sunset, cause in my mind plaid is good for everything!

Orange flowers on one of my most treasured possessions, a vintage Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt... you will see and hear more about this another time...

Orange wool braiding made by Chloe...

basket full of yarn...

and a corner of our nature table, so orange and golden it seems to be nearly radiating light!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Orange! (part 1)

Sara posted a color game, passing along the color orange, so I have been taking pictures of some of the orangeness around our home. Very easy to do, because orange is definitely one of my favorite colors! As a matter of fact, I think this will have to be a two part post, I ended up with so many pictures!

Obviously the fact that it was Halloween contributed a lot to the orange.

Chloe is looking quite orange herself. (But if I was doing the color brown I would post this one for those big brown eyes!)

The day after Halloween seemed to revolve around pumpkin seeds. Sorting seeds, rinsing, seeds, toasting seeds, eating seeds, stringing seeds on thread for decorations... more wonderful gifts from those big beautiful pumpkins!

A favorite Halloween story...

And our own pumpkin moonshines. The basket belongs to Little Red Cap (Chloe). She included some pumpkin cookies to be eaten up on the little mountain across the road... we took an evening forest walk as the sky was becoming dark...

Chessa was Little Pink Cap! (Thank goodness the girls are very easy to please as far as costumes go. I made these hooded cloaks several years ago.)

I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween. Ours ended up feeling rather festive, though simple, and really made me excited for this upcoming season of celebration.

I will be back soon with part two...