Sunday, March 29, 2015

DIY Lip Balm

Our neighborhood food coop has a nice DIY page and I think I might try the DIY Lip Balm recipe as one last Easter gift.

As a surprise for her sisters, Natalie is making the Magic Tufty Cones from

She started them today. She is using Cat Grass as the grass seed and it should germinate Easter morning! I am making everyone a knitted rabbit. And, hopefully, lip balm!

(Not to take on too many things... It's a lovely windy March day so we have girls making kites -- also from All Year Round -- this afternoon. Adam and I were going to build and then let the children paint the pallet trellises cheery colors today... but that may have to wait. And I was going to make cookies... We bought some duck eggs from a friend and they are supposed to be great for baking. Who knows. I'm trying to remember that being pregnant means it all isn't going to get done. Last weekend we added seed and plant shopping to the weekly grocery trip and it made for a very late Sunday night dinner. But, on the bright side, we discovered our first seeds germinating this morning in little mini greenhouses made of strawberry containers, all the corrugated cardboard is down as our weed block layer, the straw bales are ready to go into place, and we are asking neighbors for their bags of leaves to be part of our compost/soil/nutrient layer in the "lasagna." Seems like everyone is raking leaves right now! Adam built me 3 more pallet compost bins this week so we now have 4. The garden is really happening!)

Anyway, the Lip Balm recipe calls for

  • 1 tablespoon beeswax pearls (or 1 tablespoon grated, unbleached beeswax)
  • 1 tablespoon shea butter
  • 2 tablespoon carrier oil (sunflower, castor, almond or jojoba)
  • 10-15 drops essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional, for those that like it slightly sweet)

I already have almond oil and coconut oil, essential oils, and honey. So I'll only need to get

100% Pure Unrefined Raw SHEA BUTTER

Beeswax Organic Pastilles, Yellow, 100% Pure

Empty Slide Top Tin Containers for Lip Balm (pack of 5)

I like the idea of having each girl collage & decorate the lid of her tin the way she likes. What a fun way to spend Easter morning!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

More Easter Crafts

In searching for my notes on the cute knitted bunny pattern I made once, I found a blog post from 2008 which I thought was really funny: Easter Egg Hunt. One thing I like about blogging is being able to look back at what I did with the children. And I threw a party once in a nightgown? REALLY???

I also found an even older post from my old blog with lists of Easter craft pattern resources, so I thought I'd copy that and put it here:


Easter is one of my favorite holidays and one I gather ideas for all year round. Here are my own favorite books, recipes, projects and ideas for celebrating this holiday.

Favorite Picture Books

All Year Round

All Year Round by Ann Druitt, Christine Fynes-Clinton, and Marije Rowling is one of the best Waldorf books for celebrations throughout the year. Here are the Easter projects included in this book:


Palm Sunday

  • Lenten garden
  • Magic tufty cones
  • A Palm Sunday and Easter decoration
  • Bread cockerels

Maundy Thursday

  • Chervil soup

Good Friday

  • Hot cross buns

Holy Saturday

  • Easter bread ring


  • The Easter garden
  • Easter candles
  • Hare (knitting pattern)
  • Cockered, hen and chick (knitting patterns)
  • Butterflies
    • Cut-out butterfly
    • Tissue paper butterfly
    • Dress-net butterfly
  • Easter eggs
    • Onion skin dye
    • Batik eggs
    • Scratched eggs
    • Pace-egging (game)
    • How to blow an egg
    • How to hang an egg
    • Crepe and tissue paper decorations
    • Batik eggs for children
    • Painted eggs
  • More things to do with eggs
    • Miniature garden in an egg
    • Surprise-egg-box
    • Egg with seeds
  • Pop-up Easter egg card
  • Easter card
  • Simple Easter egg cut-outs

The Easter Craft Book

The Easter Craft Book by Thomas and Petra Berger is a little harder to find but well worth the trouble. It includes an amazing variety of projects. Here is the table of contents:
  • Spring
    • Mother Earth and the flower-children in coloured wool
    • Flower-children made from felt
    • A picture made of fairy-tale wool
    • Transparency made of modelling wax
    • Palm Sunday branches
    • A paper Palm Sunday cock
  • Dough figures
    • Figures made with dough
    • A cock for the Palm Sunday branch
    • An Easter hare
    • An Easter nest with an egg
    • Little bread men
    • Easter wreath made of dough
    • Filled chickens
    • A fruit-cake Easter hare or lamb
    • A Whitsun bird made of dough
  • Easter figures with salt-dough
    • Making salt-dough figures with children
    • A plaited wreath of salt-dough
    • Salt-dough for intricate figures
    • An Easter hare
    • An Easter medallion
    • An Easter tree
  • A festive table
    • An Easter tree
    • Easter branches with eggs
    • A box or eggshell with cress
    • A little lamb made of butter
    • Home-made egg cups
    • Folding an egg-cup
    • Cutting out doilies
    • A plaited Easter basket or box
    • Decorating candles
  • Working with wood and textiles
    • A knotted cloth hare
    • Woollen chickens (pom-poms)
    • Woollen rabbits (pom-poms)
    • A knitted hare -- 2006
    • A knitted chicken
    • A knitted Easter hare as an egg-cosy
    • A felt egg-cosy
    • A felt hen as an egg-cosy
    • An Easter hare as a finger-puppet
    • An Easter hare as a glove-puppet
    • A knitted Easter hare as a glove-puppet
  • Decorating Easter eggs
    • Before beginning to decorate
    • Blowing out eggs
    • Hanging up the eggs
    • Eggs to be decorated by children
    • Colouring eggs with plant dyes
    • Painting eggs with water-colours
    • Decorating eggs with wax
    • Decorating eggs by scratching away the colour
    • Using a stamp on eggs
    • Decorating eggs with trimmings and wool (fabric notions)
    • Decorating eggs with dried flowers and leaves
    • Decorating eggs with quilling
    • Decorating eggs with paper flowers
    • Decorating eggs with straw and wood-shavings
    • Making bakik eggs with flowers and plants
    • Crech and Ukranian batik eggs
  • Working with paper
    • Cutting out concertina paper
    • Easter transparencies
    • An origami hen
    • An origami hare
    • An origami swan
    • Little doves of cardboard and tissue-paper
    • Tissue-paper butterflies
    • Flowers made of tissue-paper
    • Elves made of tissue-paper

Goodies for the Easter Basket

Fun things to make:

More Links

I love the play mat project in
Last-Minute Fabric Gifts: 30 Hand-Sew, Machine-Sew, and No-Sew Projects

Projects and directions you can find FREE online:

knitted Easter egg pattern (worked in the round)

So you'd like to... felt an Easter egg directions and list of wet felting resource books

more directions for Wet Felting Easter Eggs

I love the idea of making a knitted then felted woolly nest for the eggs to sit in... but the pattern isn't free online. But inspiration is free!

© Marie Mayhew Designs

A Jolly Easter Story Poem for Early Childhood by Suzanne Down

Easter stories from For the Children's Hour by Carolyn S. Bailey

Painted Egg Cookies

Friday, March 27, 2015

Easter Crafts

I keep seeing really nice Easter craft ideas on Nova Natural's crafting blog. My three favorites:

Felt Easter Eggs - Sewing Project

Tie Dyed Easter Eggs - Dyeing Project
This is using their beautiful bleeding Art Tissue Paper ($6.00)

Paint & Dye Speckled Eggs - Dyeing Project
I think you could get this same blue color from red cabbage.

I think these dyed eggs are just beautiful! See all the egg crafts on Nova Natural's blog.

Dyeing Eggs Naturally by Martha Stewart

Want even more craft ideas? Try

For the BEST Easter stories, I love

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Homeschool Curriculum Consultants

This page is being moved from the website. Please feel free to comment if you have other suggestions or recommendations, or wish to post a review of someone. This will help people preparing for next year!

Homeschool Curriculum Consultants

Sometimes a consultant is your best bet to help you develop a curriculum which is best suited to your family. Pricing varies wildly between consultants so ask around before you choose. Here are some who are Waldorf-inspired:

Barbara Dewey of Waldorf Without Walls
Jean Miller of Waldorf Inspired Learning
David Darcy
Melisa Nielson of Waldorf Essentials
Eugene Schwartz of Millenial Child

Have you had a good experience with a consultant? Post a review at our Yahoo Group.

Yes, I do offer personal consulting.

The charge for the initial consultation is a flat rate of $99.00 (per family, NOT per child). This is a one-time "getting to know your family" fee. You will receive an initial phone call (usually lasts approximately one hour), assistance with your daily and weekly rhythms, as well as a curriculum plan for the current or upcoming school year including monthly main lesson blocks and personalized suggestions. Each client gets a private Microsoft OneNote Binder with his/her individual recommendations.

From that point onward, the consulting fee is $20.00 per month for unlimited email support. This also includes a free subscription to the website. It is my goal to help you with each main lesson block as you implement it. Books are not included in the fee. I do recommend books for you to purchase, as needed, although I try to work with curriculum materials you already own, or free resources (public library, online materials) as much as possible. I assist with the planning but I do not write your daily lesson plans for you.

You can come and go as many times as you like and you never have to purchase a month if you don't feel you will need it. This helps you tailor the costs to meet your family's budget.

Interested? Please visit the Waldorf Curriculum website or contact me.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Butterfly Muddle

Natalie and Leah invited me to a Sunday morning breakfast picnic today. Becca went over to a friend's house for breakfast and Adam got up early to go out fishing. We sat on the blanket on the floor of Natalie's room and had fried eggs with shredded cheddar and basil, pumpkin bread which Becca and I made yesterday (the BEST recipe I've ever found was from Paula Deen, of all people, but I omit the Streusel topping), and smoothies with frozen pineapple/strawberry/mango/peach chunks and vanilla coconut milk and some regular cow milk and a bit of sugar. Natalie put on some music. She chose bagpipes. It was a very nice breakfast!

Remember when I said I was going to limit the number of gardening projects we did this year? I think I was deceiving myself. I got up this morning and I was thinking about the garden and how we were going to need to make plant markers for the 36 different kinds of plants we are planting and suddenly two words popped into my head: Butterfly Muddle. When I did my Maryland Master Gardener training last Spring I did a lot of volunteer hours in the Children's Garden portion of the Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center: weeding, harvesting and driving produce to the food pantry, and leading school groups. It was a lovely large and cheery garden, with brightly painted raised beds and cool stripy compost bins made of pallets.

They had volunteers paint large stones with the names of each of the plants in their butterfly garden. The stones were painted beautifully and then had a protective coating applied to them to help them resist the weather. One stone confused me: Butterfly Muddle. I found out that a Butterfly Muddle is a shallow dish with water and gravel in it. It mimics a butterfly-accessible mud puddle for drinking from. You also want some nutrients. I've found various recommendations for this. Some say to make a mud mixture with water and plain dirt. Some say to use moist sand with a few flat stones and to sprinkle salt in it now and again. Regardless, all it takes is a pie pan or shallow saucer, and the mental note to keep adding water daily. Also, place the muddle in a spot protected from strong winds, and which is in the sun so that they can warm their cold blood.

Just click on a picture to enlarge it. If we have a birdbath and bird feeders, we should certainly make our pollinator friends feel welcome as well! So the Butterfly Muddle is a project for today.

(Regarding plant markers, I actually don't have a source for large stones so I'm thinking of buying some pieces of tile to paint.)

Last night there was a multimedia art exhibit about bees and beekeeping in the Hughes Gallery in Murphysboro, but we missed it. That's too bad; it looked really cool. It included sculpture, media art, and a live performance and was part of Honna Veerkamp's MFA thesis work at SIU. According to the newspaper, "The exhibit chronicles Veerkamp's first year as a beekeeper and uses sculpture, performance, and media art to explore honeybees and communities." I'm sorry I didn't get organized enough to get us there!

At her website she talks about the All-Species Puppet Parade last year... something I'd love to have us do this year! That's something I cut out of the paper as well. Now I need that Action step between cutting it out of the paper and writing it in my planner... and actually going as a family. If we go back to homeschooling, I will need to be able to take that crucial step. There's a Community Puppet Making Workshop next weekend in Carbondale for puppet-making; the second All-Species Puppet Parade and Earth Day celebration will be April 22nd.

List of Foods We Will Lose If We Don't Save the Bees

The puppet-making is organized by Nonviolent Carbondale and is part of 11 Days for Compassion. I HAD signed us up for the Living Books experience at the library but my husband has asked us not to go because he is not comfortable with the children interviewing people formerly incarcerated. It's too bad, because it's an event meant to break down prejudice. The girls were also going to interview people of different religions and those who are handicapped.