Sunday, September 28, 2008
I remember when Reg Down wrote to me to say thank you for saying such nice things about his Tiptoes Lightly books. It is nice when people you admire contact you across the internet. It makes the world seem like such a small and cozy and friendly place.
Now that I'm thinking 2-3 year olds, I'm finding ideas everywhere: The Breathing Circle by Nell Smyth, Suzanne Down's newsletters, even Living Crafts magazine has a good toddler story (the one Suzanne Down contributed with the little felted fish and the large shell). This week we are doing G and the 3 B with texture explorations and I am also beginning my watercolor painting class on Sat. I am supplying the Stockmar paints (the six colors from Nova Natural), painting jars, the 1/2 inch brushes, the sponges, and the bin for soaking the paper. I purchased (spent $72) five tablets of watercolor paper, two big and three small, three different types of sea sponges for texture work, and five tubes of paint. At Nicole's conference I was talking to a woman who said that she gave her students red, yellow, blue, and one other tube of color each session and they had to mix the entire rainbow of colors before they began to paint. The example she gave was burnt sienna. I thought that sounded like fun so we might try that on the second class. We are doing 3 two hour sessions. I am thinking basically to do how to properly care for your materials, soaking paper, color stories, painting the rainbow and color mixing. Then to go outside and paint something from nature. The second class to work more on color mixing and form, adding texture with sponges and watercolor pencils. The third class to add in watercolor resists with beeswax crayons and to do something with salt. I have How to Do Wet on Wet Watercolor Painting (Rauld Russell's book), Painting in Waldorf Education (which gives lots of good exercises) and Watercolor Pencil Magic by Cathy Johnson, so I will begin to work on reading those and get more of a plan formulated. I don't know yet how many students I will have.
Anyway, these are the five colors I picked (Grumbacher)
Chromium Oxide Green
Friday, September 26, 2008
I wish I could go but I'm still trying to see if it would work out. Last year she gave Steve a free tuition in exchange for making some conference recordings and I finally got those CDs from him! I am super excited to listen to them and quilt. Ah, what a dull life. But a happy one.
By the way, I don't think I ever posted my six degrees of separation story for Sharon Lovejoy. She's one of the keynote speakers. Her book Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children is totally awesome! Actually, if you have her older one Sunflower Houses : Inspiration from the Garden - A Book for Children and Their Grown-Ups, there is a really cool recipe for a clock garden with different flowers blooming throughout the day and you plant them in a circle to make a clock face. Anywho, here is my connection with her
1) I went to a conference at Barbara Dewey's house over the summer
2) BD's granddaughter was the chef
3) the granddaughter's boyfriend was also there, and (ta da!)
4) his sister's...
6) mother is Sharon Lovejoy
How funny is that.
My neighbors have horses so I can take a child to the hospital if I need to. Of course, the hospitals will probably be out of power and out of medicine. Thus comes the great Pandemic Flu...
Doomsday Prophesies always seem rather silly. Makes you think, though, about what would happen if all the civilization we take for granted crumbles.
I hope that people stay safe and healthy, whatever happens.
It seems silly to be talking recipes when the world is coming to an end, but I will still share. The food pantry gives us a choice of Corn Flakes or Oatmeal each week and since my kids won't eat the Corn Flakes, I always get the other. You can use them in the regular way as a hot cereal, make oatmeal raisin cookies, oatmeal bread, granola, granola bars, even oatmeal baths. So today I went hunting for a fresh source of Granola Recipes and here is the one I am going to try today: Cinnamon Stovetop Granola. I am intrigued by the stovetop preparation method.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Today's recipe recommendation: Swiss Chard with Raisins and Pine Nuts.
Last year Natalie brought home all this artwork from school and I never could figure out what to do with it. This year I realized, why not just tape it to the walls? My ex wouldn't let me put tape on the walls because I guess it takes off the paint or something but I hate endless drywall painted white (grew up in a knotty pine cabin) and so I have vowed to hang up all the art I want to. I think it will make the house look very cheerful!
This weekend Steve has the kids. I am going to the funeral on Saturday and teaching S.S. on Sunday (this week is the Exodus story of Water from the Rock) but other than that I think I'll just be doing laundry and dishes, cooking and packing, spending time with friends, and hand quilting this whale project. It will be drizzly and overcast all weekend so it's a nice time to settle in and be cozy.
The church was dividing their iris beds so I have a grocery bag full of iris (I think it's corms) which I should get into the ground at some point... I think I'll plant them at the house we're going into not the house we're at now. I poured bulbs into the ground last year and it will make me sad to leave them all behind. It will brighten the Spring for the next family, though! And with the mortgage crisis, who knows how long it will be before the house gets sold and we're evicted. I'm hoping that we don't have to move around Christmas time. I think that would be really hard for the kids.
Last night was the first time I thought, hmmm. I think I'll have to turn on the heat soon. It's getting colder here!
I hope to get my Goldilocks and the Three Bears notes up soon. I have several ideas. After the storytelling we are going to do Texture explorations so I need to brainstorm that. Plus, I have some CDs to recommend (G and the 3 B in French, and in Spanish, and a fun musical version that Gary Rosen did).
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
This weekend is the county fair. I have decided to take the children on Friday even though it is supposed to rain cats and dogs. It is the day when children are free and Tidewater gets out at noon so that the children can go. There is no school at all for the public school kids. So it is packed with families and a really fun day.
Working on a lot of sewing lately. Hmmm. Christmas is fast approaching. The chair covers, then the baby Moses doll. I'm also taking our hand felted Jonah and the Whale piece and making a wall hanging with it. I am sewing the felted piece to a watery background and quilting all around with waves. This way we can hang it on the wall of our classroom. Making the chalkboard is fun but I think it will be expensive once we get all the chalkboard paint that will be required. I will let you know the final price once I know it.
Does anyone out there remember Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel? Leah has been asking me to read it every day at naps. I remember when I was a kid, that the satisfying resolution was NOT that they dug the cellar in a day, NOT that Mary Anne got to stay and be the furnace for the new town hall, but that the mean man finally smiled in a nice way at the end. That for me was the most important part.
One of the farms we drive by on the way to school had a field with donkey, a goat, and a mystery creature. I wasn't sure if it was a llama or an alpaca so I looked it up on the internet (handy thing). Llama for sure! We drive on all the back roads to get to school so we can see the horses, cows, the bunny hutch, and just generally enjoy the scenery. It takes 20 minutes longer but what the heck.
Wash apples. Core apples with a melon baller to make a ¾ inch wide cavity, stopping ½ inch from the bottom. Peel top inch of apples; place in ramekin. Fill with dried cherries and finely chopped walnuts. Sprinkle with ½ packet Splenda no-calorie sweetener and dot with a small piece of butter.
Microwave on High, individually, for four minutes each.
For a delicious sauce, mix 2 tsp. sour cream into liquid from dish, drizzle over apple.
I hope that pleases them!
I did a ton of cooking last night: apple bran muffins, fudge, the baked apples, and a lovely pasta dish which I want to share. It is so simple and the kids loved it. Coarsely chop about a pound and a half of tomatoes. Warm some olive oil in a medium saucepan and throw the tomatoes in with a generous splash of orange juice. Add salt and pepper. Let simmer while the pasta water comes to a boil. Add a box of macaroni noodles to the pasta water, cook until al dente, drain, and add the tomato-orange sauce. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and mix. Delicious. You would think the orange + tomato would be too acidic but it simmers for long enough that the flavors mellow and they complement each other nicely.
Today Leah told me at lunch time that she was going to eat all her pasta to earn her "pudge." I thought that was so cute!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
The Toddler storytime had an attendance of 0, because we did not orchestrate the publicity well, but they are allowing us to try again in October and so I will be prepping Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Went to Clagett Farm to get our CSA pickup. They are past the summer peak but there was still a lot in season: fresh garlic, string beans, radishes, okra, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, and winter squash (butternut, acorn and pumpkin). We loaded up our bags with a double share, since I missed it last weekend, and then came home. On the way back we passed our church which was having Autumnfest (fried chicken and crabcake supper, bake sale, yard sale, and so on) and I felt the girls were up to a little dinner out of the house. So we changed our clothes (Becca had had an accident at the farm) and I put away the produce and we went to church. The girls enjoyed fried chicken, crabcakes, potato salad, green beans, applesauce and a biscuit. And ice cream for dessert. I was grateful because the person in line in front of me anonymously paid for our meal tickets, saving me $17 which I was then able to spend on the produce they were selling out front. For $16.00 I got a basket of tomatoes, 12 ears of corn, a peck of apples, and a peck of sweet potatoes. Then we got a small paperback book at the yard sale for five cents (which Natalie proudly counted out in pennies) and the man there gave us each a free bottle of water which we will save for the next time we go hiking. The bake sale lured me in with a pumpkin pie and a plate of cupcakes with chocolate icing ($6.00). What a lovely day!
Tomorrow is Sunday School and church and then, depending on how the children are feeling, we might go to Artsfest after all. Or we may just stay at home. I was so pleased with how helpful the children were today -- Becca even helped wash silverware -- and they were so kind and considerate and pleasant to be around. The past few days, with everyone sick, have been hard and I was definitely falling behind on all the housework, so a day of catch-up and family time was just the ticket. And I feel ashamed of myself for waking up thinking it was going to be an awful day!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I can't wait for tomorrow! I'm so excited about it.
In family news, Leah is worse (you can hear her whistling when she breathes, she's really laboring) and Rebecca now has a fever. I have to do the storytime tomorrow because the other woman who was going to do it with me is out of town -- her father is very sick. She is the friend I felted the angel for and I hope it is helping her! Anyway, it is all on me so I will pop up the library, entertain some toddlers, and then come back and be with my kids. They'll be with Grandma while I'm at the library. This weekend I had planned all kinds of fun activities but I think we'll just stay at home and rest. Natalie asked me tonight if we could make cookies tomorrow after she gets home from school; I think that's an excellent idea. And it will be nice to spend some special time with her. She's been left in the dust a little with her sisters being sick.
I updated my Infant & Toddler curriculum page on the website with my Toddler Notes: http://www.waldorfcurriculum.com/Curric/inftod.html, including the handout for tomorrow which features a simple bread recipe.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
How did she get to be so practical????
Maybe Santa will bring me a g.p. in my stocking.
I just love animals. I'm still kicking myself because I didn't take the free duck someone was giving away in the Pennysaver. And my heart is telling me to rescue the Tidewater Sheep before they get auctioned off at the county fair at the end of the month and slaughtered... (I do have that shed in the back yard. And I have been trying to figure out how to keep the lawn mowed.)
I have all the supplies on hand -- old sweaters from the salvation army. I can felt them, sew them up nice and thick, put ties on them so I can tie them to the chairs and when someone spills something or throws up on a chair I can pull the felt seat covers off and throw them in the wash in hot water and it won't ruin them! I am so excited about this! My project for today is to work on this & I will let you know how it goes.
Monday, September 15, 2008
This way the little red hen can ask her housemates dog & cat first for help, then finding them to be too lazy she can take a walk in the field and find the other three and ask them for help. Of course, this means that when the aroma of the freshly baked bread comes wafting through the house and out into the yard, all five of them can appear (on the five fingers of my hand) eager for a taste!
For Harvest follow-ups I want us to do some kind of modeling material to imitate making bread, or perhaps even knead some bread dough -- I still need to think this part through. First comes making the puppets and practicing the story. The downside to mixing bread dough is that the flour gets everywhere and the library might not invited us back if they have to vacuum the carpet...
Sunday School is going well -- we sewed beanbags last week and filled them with rice so we can do throwing and catching games while we recite whatever it is that we want to memorize. Storywise we are on Exodus, with last week being the parting of the Red Sea. Next Sunday we will review that story and then move on to Manna and Quail. Also we will do the first Form Drawing lesson: straight line and curve. The children got permission from the trustees to paint an old rolling bulletin board with chalkboard paint so that I can do chalkboard drawings of our stories (a Waldorf-y thing I've always been dying to try) so we will sand it and paint it with chalkboard paint on Sunday. I got a lovely blue. This way I don't have to color the sky, just whatever is going on in the scene.
I also am going to be working on a baby Moses doll. The children and I decided on Black Boucle hair and Mocha skin from Magic Cabin, so I am ordering it now.
This week is my first Toddler Storytime, the story of The Little Red Hen. Next I have to make finger puppets to tell it with. I haven't decided between Suzanne's finger puppet animals book or the patterns in Feltcraft. Or there's needle felting... Yesterday I made a lovely angel for a dear friend. It is so renewing to the spirit to do felt sculpture, I don't know why. The materials are just so warm, if the wool is plant dyed it is so lovely, and the process of sculpture means that you have to pull up a really clear image in your mind of what you are making and you make a very meaningful connection with it. To do an angel calls up in your soul visions of angels, and it is wonderful.
Friday, September 12, 2008
due October 2nd:
- Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton
- F is for Fiesta by Susan Middleton Elya
- The Most Perfect Spot by Diane Goode
- The Hatseller and the Monkeys by Baba Wague Diakite
- You've Got Dragons by Kathryn Cave
- Little Cloud by Eric Carle
- The Storytellers by Ted Lewin
- Nilo and the Tortoise by Ted Lewin
- When Elephant Goes to a Party by Sonia Levitin
- The Rain by Michael Laser
- Violet's Music by Angela Johnson
- Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban
- The King Who Tried to Fry an Egg on His Head by Mirra Ginsburg
- Abraham's Search for God by Jacqueline Jules
- Iktomi and the Boulder by Paul Goble
I also want to check out Word Freak -- for myself -- this weekend. The world of competitive Scrabble...
Monday, September 8, 2008
Cinnamon Ornaments -- these are fun to cut out with cookie cutters and smell delicious!
Painted Flower Pots with apple seeds planted in them -- we can do the story of Johnny Appleseed first
Felted Soaps -- super hands on and messy. Last year we gave some homemade bathtub paint that was a blast to make.
Cookies -- baking is always fun :-)
I'm not sure what to do for Christmas cards, I'd like to do something hand stamped this year. If I start early enough the kids can also help with that. I also like to wrap gifts in plain white paper decorated with crayon drawing or paintings so we'll have to work on some extra art creations.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
"Mama, I want you to put a little more pink on me."
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
I'm also working on my website, some writing projects, a new consulting client...
Life is good.
The Firefly Forest
This kid is sick.
So I'm glad that I don't have a full time job yet and that I can be here for her, resting quietly at home. I'm doing Waldorf Curriculum work this morning and this afternoon I have a conference call with the school about the toddler program and weekend enrichment for the kindy/elem students. Hopefully we'll make some good progress at that meeting! Right now I am writing up a blurb for the state of MD about the curriculum for toddler. I love the Olympia Waldorf School website; they have a nice overview of Waldorf. We plan to base the program quite a bit on Sarah's work in Nurturing Children and Families.