Girls and Dolls

There has been a lot of crafting going on this week, as Ella and I decided to make some dolls.  I took a great introductory dollmaking class last year at the Eugene Waldorf School, and used my notes from that class, and the book Making Waldorf Dolls by Maricristin Sealey to guide us.

Ella was able to stuff, sew, and embroider the face of her doll (the red one) by herself, and the hair style is all her doing!  She also really enjoyed stuffing the body and arms.  I helped out with the rest of the body and all over stitching.

Can you tell how much she loves these dolls!

Dollmaking1 Dollmaking2

What kind of crafting have you been up to this week?

*Joining the fine crafty folks at Frontier Dreams!

A Sweet and Simple Birthday Celebration

My sweet little Everett Alder turned two today.  It’s almost impossible to believe that the mellow baby I birthed two years ago is the same active and talkative little boy!  His sweet spirit has remained constant – underneath his loud voice and big energy is a sensitive soul.  We love him so.

We planned a day of quiet celebration, just our family, and after a big celebration for my (38th!!) birthday just two days ago, it was nice to have a peaceful day.  Ev awoke to a new (used) Brio train set, and after breakfast we biked to the train depot to watch trains.  What fun for a two year old boy to live in a town with an Amtrak station just a few blocks away!

I stitched him up a new wool felt birthday crown.  I’m really pleased with how it is coming along, and plan to add some more embellishments in coming months or years.

In the evening, we honored Everett’s two years by telling his birthday story, and lighting the candles on his birthday ring. (These rituals are taken from the Waldorf tradition and are so beautiful.  Brian made this wooden birthday ring, but they are available in lots of Waldorf-y stores.)  Some gluten-free brownies and a few simple presents and that was that.

(And yes, my birthday was also wonderful.  A picnic lunch at the land, dinner with friends, and afterwards an amazing goat cheese cheesecake, goat milk pudding, and a short somewhat-original musical performance entitled “Missouri!”)

Sweet and simple.


Finger knitting with children

Monday was an adventure day, as the kids and I joined a good friend and her children on a trip to the coast.  The whole day was so much fun – mamas chatting in the front seat, kids piled into the back of her minivan, picnic lunch on the sand, hunting for treasure, climbing sand dunes, and eating ice cream. It was such a necessary recharge for me; a chance to spend hours connecting with another women, another mother, who faces many of the same joys and challenges as I do.

Her 5 year old daughter, C spent much of the car ride finger knitting.  I had been taught a version of finger knitting by one of Ella’s Waldorf school teachers, but it was way too complicated for Ella – wrapping around 4 fingers, going over and under – too much.  But the method that C was using was so simple – just a single chain created on one finger.  Ella and I both wanted to learn!

So I found this Waldorf-inspired video on YouTube, that teaches finger knitting through a story about a fence, sheep jumping over the fence, and slipping a collar on the sheep.  With that story, and this verse:

Finger ring, finger ring
How many stitches can I bring?
Wrap around once, then jump over
Roll around in sweet green clover!

we began.  And within minutes she was finger knitting!  Every few moments she’d say, with amazement in her voice, “Mama, look at how long my finger knitting is now!”  And then she proceeded to finger knit for over two hours.  Parked on the sofa with blankets on our laps, and a few balls of wool, we sat together and finger knit.  And I cannot even tell you how happy this made me, to sit peacefully next to my almost 5-year old daughter, and knit.

Thank you so much to S, C, and C for inspiring us!