My first Waldorf doll

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This is my practice doll I made before Christmas.  I got tired of thinking about it all the time so  I had to try with what I had on hand, besides I didn’t want to practice with my good supplies.

She is 10 inches and made out of an old t-shirt I dyed in black tea with a dollop of vinegar to hold fast her complection. She is stuffed with miss-matched children’s socks, and one of Jason’s for her head.

She was so much  fun to make.  She is real to life too because under her cloths she is  blemished like the rest of us and the socks in her make her a little lumpy:)

My sock Waldorf doll

She needs some shoes, the poor thing.

Friday’s favorite finds

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I like blogs, mostly art and craft blogs but also home school sites for idea’s, inspiration and help.  I thought I would add my finds here for others to be inspired  maybe find  helpful too .

First off you should know that if you are following a few blogs web sites you will probably want to set up a Google reader. There are other ones too but I don’t know about them. The Google reader holds all the blogs that you like and when you sign into your Google reader the blogs you have subscribed to will   appear in bold and have the number of posts that you have not read yet. It saves you from going into each blog that you follow only to find that there is nothing new there.  It is very handy and the most efficient way to keep up with blogs and websites.  There are other organizing features  too but that’s the jest of it.  You can watch a u tube  video about it here if you want.

My favorite site  is  one pretty thing. This site has compiled and sorted DIY projects from all over the blogo’ sphere. That’s how I found the  Molly Monkey pattern. Some very cool stuff here. They share  a small picture of each project  so you can look quickly through the post until you find one that interests you.  The DIY projects are sorted into  birthday parties, seasonal decorating/ events,  kids crafts, gifts for /granparents, dads, mom’s you get the idea and the best is that they are all free courtesy of bloggers.  This site it the best I have found.

A favorite bread recipe of mine is  focaccia bread. Oh, it is so good! And simple to do.  I am surprised it is so expensive in the stores, but everything has become expensive the past few years. I’ve been thinking that I should consider  making bread more regularly.

I have wanted an IPod for quite some time.  So this past October when Jason heard an employee was selling his, on my birthday and he was facing coming home with no gift he bought it up….  smart move on his part and happiness for me!

I have an app for that…. Arithmaroo1  simply put it is counting balls or boulders  in different shapes, like what you would see on a dice, your hand, or in row’s of fives. The first level is 1-5, then 5-10, 10-20  ect,  perfect for all ages,  way better value than a work book from the dollar +  store  at the price of 2.29 with tax and the exchange rate.  If you or your kids are  in need of brushing up on math skills, I highly recommend the Arithmaroo.

And I would be completely irresponsible if I did not tell you about starfall. It  is  an amazing on line early literacy program, which teaches letters; upper and lower, sounds and reading. It is used by many home schoolers  and parents with great reviews. Perfect for dinner preparation hour computer time and the holiday’s.  You will find printable work pages and books to print off.

There is more in my brain and in my favorites folders but slow and steady win’s the race….. have a good weekend.

“Mine’s Molly”

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A few weeks ago little Roo had her second birthday, and I was at a loss of what to get her.   She’s the third girl and we have so many toy’s  from her older sisters  and  I didn’t want to go  shopping.

So I began to think about what I can make.  A few day’s before her birthday I decided to make her this  molly monkey.

Molly Monkey

Oh, isn’t she a darling? I just love her.  I had the pattern for a few months but the project looked too big every time I thought about it . I was right it was a big project, with all the hand stitching and having  to relearn how to embroiderer, but it was so worth it. Making Molly has been one of the best projects I have ever made. Hearing Roo looking for her ” mine’s Molly”  to tote with her on her travels has brought me delight over and over again. And like any project the hardest part is starting, once I started I could not stop.

The older girls were excited to see the progress each morning and gave some suggestions,” Molly needs real feet mom not these blobs. I’m just trying to get Ruthie  a good birthday”.

The pattern was incredible and I kept commenting to Jason how amazing it was   that this woman designed the monkey and then made it available on her blog. She’s  the one with the real talent I can only credited for the ability to read ( thanks mom). I added a buttoned pocket on the  skirt and a zipper, but no pocket behind the zipper,  it was my first zipper thanks to u tube.  I have wanted to get her a activity doll for a while so I added it to Molly’s skirt ,cool Ah?

My mom made my sisters and I a doll when we were kids and I have had the project in mind for my kids.

I want them to bring a piece of their childhood into their lives and remember the stories they made up with their sisters as I do.  And I hope that they would hold their dolls when I can’t hold them and remember I love them even if they are mad at me.    I’ve seen Waldorf dolls like the talented Miranda makes,  from time to time and wondered about making them for the girls.  I considered buying them but they are worth their price and I want to hand make them.     So this project has become a stepping stone for me. Since  I have recently bought the  doll fabric  from here I’m now committed.  That project will be in the new year.

Do you still have your childhood doll?

The art of art

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I never thought of myself as crafty or creative growing up. In fact I used to ask my sister what to color each and every section of the page, until she got really annoyed for some reason and wouldn’t answer me.  Then I stopped coloring.

It wasn’t until I became roommates with a friend with great talent that I began to play around while I watched her create at the kitchen table, or actually everywhere she went for that matter.

It wasn’t until  found myself in charge of the sewing room at His mansion ministries that I fell in love with sewing and in the past year drawing.   Now I consider myself a copy-cat art groupie. Enough skill to make some decent  projects but not enough talent to make it up on my own..

 

Last spring  I read  drawing with children by Mona Brook  and have since   become a believer in teaching my girls drawing skills and art….. for more reasons than the fun of it, although that is worth it as well.

It was while reading this book that I  come to realize that I can draw!!!  Drawing is a matter of looking at the details and recognizing shapes and it  can be learned .

Furthermore, drawing benefits children’s ability to recognize patterns, shape, spatial awareness, coordination, attention span as well as stick-to-it-ness.   Children are residulant, they have a desire to create and will make many attempt to create the perfect picture.

Encouraging children to persevere with their art project and problem solve will give them the skill of developing strategies, which will carry through to reading, math, and science ( nature study;noticing the details). Drawing with children, is therefore on my recommended list for parenting/educating books.  ( I view parenting and educating as synonymous)

The problem lies in the carry through.

My children  love the art of glue, small pieces of paper and in short a mess.  And don’t get me wrong I love a good o’l hog wild mess myself from time to time. But they are not learning any skill, they’re not  happy with the results of their work,  and I have no use for it but to recycle it, so the mess has no silver lining.

So I have come up with a plan.

drawing station

An art  station, drawing station to be specific. At this table the girls have available a few art supplies,  a board  in front of them which I have taped up simple drawing that I have found from clippings to give them ideas to draw. A book with a variety of different weather scenes and landscapes. As well a few projects that have been completed that turned out well….. The scissors, and glue are gone for other projects that we will work on together…

Now the nitty gritty of my post.

 

I have found a gold mine of doable art projects for kids. These art peices once completed will have actually taught your child different elements of art,  creating potentially  wonderful art that would make great children’s wall art, for your home or be added to their own  portfolio. These bloggers, That artist woman , Art projects for kids and Deep Space Sparkle are real life  art teachers and thier projects are tried tested and true with real kids in a class room. You can choose the age group catagory that you are looking for and look around for interesting projects that inspire you.

I’m  excited because I finally  have an art teacher myself now in the form of these blogs!  The instructions for the projects are great, and because they really do know about art and are talented they are giving me something to teach and focus on during art time rather than the free for all that I was talking about earlier.

The girls have enjoyed looking at the projects  students their own age have complete on the blog too, which give them ideas but also does not set them up for unattainable expectations. ( me too, after all they are just kids and they have only been cutting and gluing for most of their life)

What books or blogs have you found useful for teaching art with children?

Adding hairdresser to my resume

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I have been cutting Jason’t hair for the past 7 years now and the girls on occation. But since  Sunshine’s hair was styled a shorter cut I have been bringing her to the hairdressers.  But I  will be rethinking that at the next hair cut.

 

A few weeks ago I  bought a new pair of hair sissors and added thinning ones to my collection. That’s what got me thinking about styling the girls hair myself. With the stylish, comfortable sisscors in my hand making a soft snip snip sound it made me feel like a real hairdresser, and hairdressers cut hair. So naturally the only people in my life that would let me near their hair were my kids.

I used you utube as my educational source and went to work.   With a pounding heart I styled  Joy’s then Sunshine’s hair…… and today the verdict was in when I brought her to the hairdressers to get it cut shorter( because I didn’nt know if I should risk doing it myself at at shorter length)

Of course I couldn’t help mention that I did her last hair cut and she was  impressed.  She said that I should just keep doing it myself and that I had everything even everywhere.  I’m so excited..  I can add that as one of my crafts…. any one need a hair cut? It’s on the house.

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This past October my mom and grandpa came to visit for a few weeks. It was a great privilege   to have my  85 year old grandpa as our guest. We did a lot of driving, showing him the country side of Southern Ontario, stopping  to have our simple picnics under autumns amber oak trees all the while being entertained by the girls antics.

Because grandpa is deaf  driving and site  seeing was a great way to connect.

However, I had a project that  I  needed some company to work on  and grandpa was just the person for the job. Grandpa  has done  quite a bit of upholstering.   So while some one went to work to pay for my life of leisure, we spent some time ripping apart this chair.

I bought it at a garage sale for $10 this past summer, and it was love at first sight.

I knew that with a new upholstering job it would be a stunning piece for any room in the house and for the kids  to read their books on.   It’s my  first piece, to put give me some experience for the wing back chair in my living room.

It turned out beautifully, don’t you agree? Thanks to grandpa, and my mom’s tutorship.

My grandpa would let me struggle for 30 minuets or so  on folding over a corner, over and over again then say, ” I think you need to staple this piece down first then that corner will fall into place like this, and of course he was right.  I’m pleased, so now I am eying  up the wing back.  Jason says leave it alone, but the gimp is coming off…. so we’ll see.

Foot in mouth disease

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Little Roo has taken foot in mouth to a whole new level….

She really does have foot and mouth disease and I am tired.

I was led to believe that it was not that bad,” not a big deal just a few red spots on the feet and on or around the mouth”.

 Wrong, She has not stopped crying all week.

The   first day she had a fever, then she was miserable, and on the third day I noticed the spot inside her cheek, by bed time she has the red spots on her feet. 

And here we are, two day’s after the spots appeared and she is still a mess most of the time. The poor kid, her mouth hurts to eat, and her feet hurt to walk ( although I have not seen her looking at them or complaining about her feet. Well, unless I am inspecting them that is).

I need a day off.  Have you had experience with this child hood illness? How long will the insanity last?