Thursday, August 25, 2011

to remember...


It passes so quickly, this moment of summer. I want to remember that it was green...

That they climbed into trees...

That they ran in the grass...
(That sure is some well trimmed grass. But they ran through pastures and tall meadows also...)

That they wandered together...

That they wondered together...

That they touched the earth...
(Definitely dirt more often than grass...)

That they had all the time in the world...

And now this month is nearing it's end. Outside it is not only green, there is golden too, more and more everyday.
The sun still blazes during the day, the thunderstorms come in the afternoon, the chill comes late at night and stays to greet us in the morning.
The season is changing. We feel so ready for it, but are going to continue to enjoy these last summer moments while they are here...


Sunday, August 14, 2011

around the house the other day...


Hello friends. I thought I would share some random photos taken while I wandered about the house one day last week...

Bee and honey. This was all Chessa's idea, a craft she thought up for herself. She put yellow wool in jar, drew a little bee on paper and cut it out, attached bee to string and suspended it in the jar by closing the lid on the string. I though it was cute.

Hollyhocks are blooming. And finding their way indoors, usually floating in a bowl or basin of water. The girls have also been making dyes from the petals, which they then use to dye little fabric squares for their dolls.

Little girl dressed up as a knight.

Little girl's playstand fort.

Inside little girl's special space.

Little girl's special friends.

Pasture and stable for the animals.

Little girl's clever wagon for the family.

Another family traveling about.

Building materials of the very best kind.

Chloe's handsewing. Her dolls are opening a little shop. She is making a pinafore :)

Mama's sewing.

Art. Often.

Sometimes it's a castle, sometimes it's a village, or a town...

The beauty of wet-on-wet watercolor painting. Chessa's paintings always feel so alive to me.
(We have still been not at all consistent with our paintings days. I really hope to do more during this coming school year.)

Girl with glue on her face. (If you looked closely you could see...)

Girl loving kitty cat.

And suddenly I realized how it was that I ended up walking around the house taking pictures. Because really I was going to sit down to knit, but then discovered this big orange cat in the chair...

Hope you are all enjoying happy days in your home!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Five Spheres of Waldorf Education


I was so very happy to receive an invitation to participate in a new e-course called the Five Spheres of Waldorf Education. The class is offered by Little Acorn Learning and taught by Dr. Rick Tan. I am spending much of time these days planning out the homeschool year for my children, I think it will be good for me to be continuing my studies as well.

The class begins August 15th and includes 5 full weeks of lessons, videos and assignments.

In their words...

The Five Spheres of Waldorf education encapsulates the sweeping themes of this educational movement: Self, Relationships, Balance, Rhythm, and Course. In the five-week seminar offered at Little Acorn Learning, Dr. Rick Tan will discuss one sphere per week and the relevant topics in anthroposophy and Waldorf that are connected with the sphere.

Dr. Rick Tan is an artist, musician, and graphic designer. He was a homeschooling parent and currently is the seventh grade teacher at Davis Waldorf School.

Week 1 - The Self Sphere:
The topic of Anthroposophy as the human being’s inner striving to understand oneself will be reviewed. Here, the many natures of the Self: ego, astral, etheric, and physical bodies will be discussed.

Week 2 - The Relationships Sphere:
We will touch on the synergy of our connections with each other.

Week 3 - The Balance Sphere:
This week will present us with a foundation for the three fold social order, and the three fold human being as thinker, feeler, doer.

Week 4 - The Rhythm Sphere:
We will cover the four-part main lesson, and the four temperaments: choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic, and melancholic.

Week 5 - The Course Sphere:
This lesson will touch on the curriculum of Waldorf education.

You can visit Little Acorn Learning for details on enrollment.

Goodness, now I am adding studying to the list of home, lesson planning, cardigan knitting, garden, kitchen... Well, I do love it all!

Happy weekend to all, see you in the new week...


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

knitting, homeschool, knitting...


Knitting, reading, and playing along with Ginny and her Yarn Along...

Thinking that maybe this winter I will have time to knit for hours of the day, that sounds very nice. But for now it's mostly just little bits at a time. Sometimes I will try to do nothing but knit and sew for days, (besides the baking, cooking, kitchen stuff), but that can only last for so long, especially during the summer, with garden chores sometimes taking hours of the day.

And then there is all the homeschool planning, which is of course a very happy thing. I always seem to begin thinking about the year ahead in mid-spring, as we finish one year and look ahead towards the next. I then become very consumed with the task of researching and planning out the coming year. Lately I am often thinking about the amazingness of the fact that I now have a 5th grader and a 1st grader, and this will be our first year of all three of us having school days together. Oh my.

(It does make me kind of sad that I didn't write much about our fourth grade year. I would really like to do some homeschool posts soon and keep up with it better throughout the year. After all, it is one of my favorite topics, and I could go on and on...)

So, what I'm reading... lots of homeschool stuff, everything 5th grade Waldorf, old lesson plans from first grade with Chloe, need to decide Chessa's year of main lessons...
I am also reading Rhythms of Learning, selected lectures by Rudolph Steiner. I had been wishing to read this book for so many years and was happy to see it on the shelf at Sara's one day recently. She is very wonderful for having homeschool books to share, I'm lucky like that.

Reading Steiner on educating our children makes me totally inspired to do my best as we continue this Waldorf homeschool journey.
My children totally inspire me to do that too.

Oh yeah, I also have a few random piles of books around the house pictures...

The girls each have their own copy of Tasha Tudor's A Time to Keep, a gift from my sister one year. We consider our books to belong to all of us a family, but with this special book it seemed like it would be nice for them to each have a copy to have in their own homes someday.

Books move around often in our home. These vintage books on top are fairly delicate so I brought them upstairs recently, they sit on the shelf in the hallway now.

We have inadvertently created this little nook for Jason, next to the chair where he sits and reads, we have been keeping his library books there, along with a few others. Also the globe he had when he was little kid.

Now back to knitting, the best for last. Because now she is seven, and in 1st grade, and as she has many times said, it is time for her to learn how to "needle knit".

So I sat next to her on the couch, between the two of them actually, and I taught her how to cast on, and with every stitch added she exclaimed so happily that there was one more. And then she knit her first rows.

And then we all sat there together with our knitting projects.. cardigan, scarf for dad knit by Chloe, and doll blanket knit by Chessa. Such knitting happiness!


Monday, August 1, 2011

for the love of creating


As I am sure it is quite clear, I really like to make things.

So I have put some of the things I really like to make into a little shop on Etsy.

I have considered doing this for several years now. And over the summer I have been doing a bit of creating here and there with ideas of this shop in my mind.

And then summer started passing, and a few weeks ago I decided that I needed to stop putting this off and really commit to it. So I did.

Sewing has been such a big part of my life for so long, and sewing clothing for children has always been my focus. I would love to someday have a shop full of beautiful clothing for children. For now though I had to start smaller. The shop has mostly just little handmade things, but I of course had to include a couple of pinafores :)

This pinafore above is kind of extra special. (I had Chessa try it on for some pictures. She says she loves it too much and that it has to be hers. I feel kind of sad about it. I promised I would be making her one this next week.)
So, why this one is so special... The white floral fabric is a vintage calico that I got just a while back. And about 18 years ago, when I first started sewing, I went to a little vintage fabric shop in northern CA and got another version of this exact same print, just a slightly different colorway, it was a creamier off-white. And with that fabric, combined with some light blue plaid, I made myself my very first dress.
Oh yes, it is kind of hard to be possibly parting with this pinafore.
I will definitely be saving the rest of the fabric for myself, or for my sweet Chessa.

I of course have all kinds of other things I would like to be making for the shop. But this week I will be taking time to create for my children, my most favorite kind of creating of all!