Saturday, July 11, 2009

A light at the end of the tunnel.......

So just when I thought that I was ready to return to the blogging world, I had to disappear again! Effective July 1, 2009 we moved to Point Reyes, CA. Although we're further from my family and Max's school we are very close to the ocean and are thrilled to have moved here.

The yard needs an incredible amount of work; however, we see the potential and can't wait to get our hands dirty. So far we have counted two pear trees, four apple trees, a huge blackberry bush and potentially a walnut tree. The pears are very nearly ready to be picked and Max cannot wait to harvest our bounty. I also have a fenced veggie garden area, the soil needs a lot of turning and amending but I'll get there in good time.

My favourite thing about our new home is my new craft space, with three windows and a view of our lush garden what can be more inspiring?. I'll put up pictures once I have organized and cleaned up the space better.

Now I hope that I am really back, my internet connection is finally hooked up so her I am!

My sewing machine is finally unpacked, my creative juices are trickling back, here are some projects that I am hoping to try my hand at soon...... picnic blanket from sew mama sew, gathering apron (perfect for harvesting our fruit trees) and this oilcloth grocery tote.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Summer Vacation Has Begun!

As of today Max's summer vacation has begun! This past Friday was his last day of 2nd grade, it's amazing how time flies........ On his last day his class hiked (about 45mins) to Roy's Redwoods near his school. This grove of Redwoods is very special to his class. During the school year every Friday - rain or shine - the entire class would hike to the grove to explore. This was called their Nature Day. Considering how sacred this place had become their teacher though it fitting that they perform their end of the year play there.

All of us parents gathered outside of the redwoods. The call of the childrens flutes beckoned us in and announced the start of the performance. Walking into the grove with the sweet sound of their flutes was truly magical.

The play was written by their teacher and was based on a Native American story.

This was the perfect way to end an amazing school year. I am so very pround of my little Max and can't wait to see what he does next year!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Time Off......

Greetings from Santa Cruz, CA. Just sitting here outside of Coffeetopia on my wireless connection, drinking my latte, with my son and two dogs.

Last night we decided to be spontaneous and take a drive south to SC. During the summer we often come down here to play. Lucky for us a friend has a studio apt that we rent for a song during the warm season!

Today we will be garage saleing and heading to the beach (once the fog clears)

More crafty news tomorrow......

In gratitude for what mother nature has given us.


Friday, June 5, 2009

Something Old and Something New......

I have been doing a LOT of machine sewing lately and a few weeks ago I finally came to terms with the fact that my "old Singer" was on its last legs. In truth it is not my "old Singer" but rather my husbands "old Singer". Many many years ago my husband and I friend started a clothing company. Instead of having someone else make their samples my husband made them himself. I am very proud to say that my husband is a very good sewer and initially taught me how to use his machine. It was an old machine when he bought it and it's even older now!

Anyhow, after many months of the machine shaking shuddering and violently stabbing mybeautiful fabrics I realized that it was time for "old Singer" to retire. The only problem was that 1: I didn't know what to buy and 2: I didn't really have the $$ to spend (especially with the threat of having to move looming). Number 1 was easy to handle, Judy at my favourite fabric shop (which is sadly closing its doors next week) informed me that I should invest in a Bernina. I was warned that unless you buy new, they can be very hard to find and expensive. Tackling 2 was harder - I held a mini garage sale (8 am - 11am) and raised just over $200.

Every day I trawled Craigslist crossing my fingers that something would come up. Many machines were put up for sale but only a few were Berninas and they were at least $400 and ancient!!

Last Friday morning I typed "Bernina" in the search box and lo and behold "For Sale: Bernina 1020, $125" appeared. This was it, this was my chance! I researched the machine and quickly sent an email to the seller telling her of my great need for a new machine and what a wonderful home it would have with me. Thirty minutes later my telephone rang and the machine was offered to me, she even bargained down to $100. One hour later I was on my way to sewing machine bliss. After 2.5 hours of driving I returned home elated with my treasure.

She is beautiful, with many additional feet, bobbins, a cover and all the bells and whistles I could want.

Here she is! My Bernina 1020
It has been a week and I am definitely intimidated by my new toy. Every day I read through the manual and try out a few new stitches. To help me get her mastered, yesterday I visited our local Bernina dealer and inquired about classes that they offer. I think that I may take some in the near future. While at the store I was pleased to find a very similar model (maybe 1008? I can't remember) with a few less stitches and features on SALE for $849.99 reg. $1200. Woo Hoo! What a deal I got on my 1020!
They say that money can't buy you happiness - and I fully agree. But I will say that after screeching in frustration at my old Singer while it knotted up/shredded my projects/vibrated and jumped up and down on my sewing table and then moving to my new machine that whizzes through projects with barely and sound and no fabric shredding - it puts a huge smile on my face. I cannot wait to tackle new projects that were previously impossible to try on the old machine.
In gratitude....

Monday, June 1, 2009

I'm Back!

I took some time off of blogging to put all of my energies into this crazy life I lead.... and some quilting. We have had lots of changes in our home recently and expect more to come. Just yesterday our landlord informed us that he has decided to sell the home that we are currently leasing! Needless to say I am disappointed and more than a little irritated by the thought of having to move, but that's life.

On a much more positive note, Max's Waldorf School recently celebrated May Day with a picnic, Maypole dancing and lots of fun. Here are some pics......
Dancing around the Maypole

Max in his May Crown

Dancing in celebration!

I havelots to share and will be doing so all week! I look forward to catching up on all of my favourite blogs.....

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Another To Do - DONE!

Last week I decided to take a break from the computer, tackle a new project and finish another. During a trip to my local fabric shop I was admiring the quilts on display and resolved to make on of my own. Using tutorials from other blogs here and here I actually finished my very first quilt. It's a doll quilt, it's small, but I MADE IT! I was so pleased with my little quilt that I made another! The second one was larger with 12 squares and it turned out well too!

I did all of the quilting by hand and stitched in the ditch of the seams. My hope is that after a few more small practice quilts I will make one for our friends who are expecting a baby later this year. They don't know the sex yet but as soon as they do I'll get started.

I can't tell you how excited I was to complete my first quilt. I know that mine was a simple first try but I never though that I'd be able to tackle one at all. Yippee!

This is the other project that I finished in the past week. Her name is Ella and she's wonderful. She sat naked for a week and I finally worked up the courage to make her a dress. We love Ella very much and Max can't wait to introduce her to her new Waldorf Doll family.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Our Crayons..................

Yesterday as part of celebrating Earth Day, Max and I recycled some broken up crayons. I had seen this done on other people's blogs and after I found some silicone ice cube trays at the charity shop it was a must-do project!

After melting down the crayons we drizzled the wax into the tray, put the tray into the freezer (to help the wax harden) and VOILA!

New heart shaped crayons!

We are really pleased with how they turned out and can't wait to make more once we track down some more broken crayons. I thought that these would make a great gift or some fun items for a goodie bag. The brown heart shaped crayons look like chocolate!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

Hooray for Mother Earth! Max and I celebrated Earth Day by planting some flowers, turning off/unplugging all of our appliances (except for the major ones that had to stay on!), keeping the lights off, walking to the market and recycling some broken crayons into new heart shaped ones!
In gratitude for the earth and all that she gives us,

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spring Break........

What a wonderful Spring Break we had. Typically we stay local during school holidays but this year my husband mentioned that his friend had a house in Tahoe that goes almost unused! Aha, our Spring Break vacation was found! Here are a few pics of Max's fun.

We found this awesome sledding hill just a few miles from the house.

Although most of the snow at lake level had melted there were still a few patches dotted around. We found this one right outside the back door.

I am so grateful that our friend was generous enough to lend us his home, this trip made our break very special. Lucky for us we have an open invitation to use the house whenever we'd like so it goes without saying that we'll be back to Tahoe very soon :)

On Sunday we did this........

Amazing right!?! We spent Sunday at Stinson Beach playing in the waves and collecting sand dollars.

From sledding on Saturday to sitting on the beach in nearly 90 degree heat on Sunday. Only in California can you do that!

I did do some crafts this past week, mostly making wool felt balls for friends and our school crafts faire booth. My next project will be another Waldorf Doll and some figures for our nature table.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Surprises!

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend!

Max was up bright and early excited to hunt down his Easter basket. I love that Max still has that child innocence where he still believes in Santa and the Easter Bunny. We have decided that if we leave an empty basket and some eggs for the bunny to fill, he will stop by our house. The bunny was nice enough to leave Max some little toys, a book and a few chocolates. Mommies can add to the basket too, and Max saw that I also included a handmade bunny. I found the pattern here at Revoluzza.

Our Easter started with a group trip to our local Farmer's Market where we made up our menu on the fly. It was nice to just go with the flow instead of stress out about the menu and feel like you have to have everything perfect. At the market we also picked up some long bean starts which we will be planting today!

We celebrated Easter Dinner with family and family friends. We have clebrated several holidays with The Howards - it's been fun especially for Max because he associated Holiays with "The Howards". They have all sorts of fun big kid toys and a Nintendo Wii - Max has only ever played video games at their house so he's always very excited when we have holidays chez Howard.

I also finished my very first limbed Waldorf Doll this weekend - her name is Millie. . This was the first full head of hair that I have constructed. I found the tutorial for her hair here at Starry Sheep and I love the way that it turned out. I definitely need to work on constructing clothes, this is not my forte. From a distance they are fine but up close the work is a little messy :) See the wet felted eggs in the pic? Max and I eeked those out on Easter eve, we found the tutorial here.

We are now on Easter break - a friend has a house in Tahoe so Max, myself, a school buddy and his mom will be heading up later this week to hopefully squeeze in some end of season sledding!

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I have been super overwhelmed by life lately - mostly struggling with Max's school. Our Waldorf school is such a huge part of our lives that when you start to question it, your foundation feels very unstable. Trying to center myself and come to terms with the realities of what is and is not possible in our school has been hard for me but I think that I am getting there. In meetings I tend to be the one person who is the "hard ass" asking the hard questions, making parents think about what is really going on - I know now that I can only be that way. It is not in my personality to just sit by and watch things happen. As of yesterday I felt more empowered than I have for the past week so HOORAY!
Onto the fun!
We've got lots on or plate today:

Natural egg dyeing
Wet felting easter eggs
Attempt to make some fabric eggs
Pre-Easter food prep
Easter basket assembly!
Maybe even a quick trip to the craft store........

All fun stuff but also time consuming so I'll post more tomorrow about what I've been up to :)

Lovely Things

Bread is a lovely thing to eat -
God bless the barley and the wheat!

A lovely thing to breathe is air -
God bless the sunshine everywhere!

The earth’s a lovely place to know -
God bless the folks that come and go!

Alive’s a lovely thing to be -
Giver of life - we say - bless Thee!
In Abundance and Gratitude

Friday, April 3, 2009


My brother sent this video link my way. It's amazing and I really wanted to share it. This video really resonates with me right now, and the direction I feel like we (the world) should be going. This is exactly what I needed to lift my spirit.

This video was made as part of a documentry film "Playing For Change". Playing For Change is a movement to connect the world through music. Take a look, you can find out a lot more here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.......

Let's start with the good....

I have been very crafty lately mostly cranking out lavender gnomes. I think that so far I have made 14 and may have the energy left for a few more. The great thing is that I have had a LOT of practice making doll heads - at this point I'm pretty confident that I can tackle a larger sized head.

Aren't they great? A few will live with me, some will be gifts and others I will give to the school for our craft booth.

I have also been working on some Felt Wee Folk. I borrowed the book from fellow Waldorf parent. I really enjoy making these although wrapping the body w. the embroidery thread does get tedious very quickly!

I just love the way that they have turned out, I have made several Wee Folk but these pics came out the best.

PS. Thank you Tammy for the amazing acorn caps, they are just what I needed!

Now for the bad......

After a very trying meeting at my son's school I am feeling very disheartened about our Programs commitment to staying true to the Waldorf pedagogy and its future. I know that I am committed and will continue to attend meetings!

And the ugly......

I hosted our third Waldorf Craft Circle and one parent showed up. Yes ONE. I am bummed but will continue to hold the circles hoping that "if I host it, they will come". This is hard for me because I feel as if I have a gift that I want to share with our parents and they are not embracing it. Despite it all, I will continue because I feel as if this is very important to me, my son, our Waldorf Program and community.

Ending on a happy note, I did receive a beautiful fat quarter as part of a swap and have two Easter swap packages ready to go in the mail tomorrow. I am also working on creating a felt mushroom tutorial - coming soon. :)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What Have We Been Up To?

I have neglected my blog for the past week, but I'm back! What have I/we been up to? Here's a quick overview:

A trip to the dogpark in Mill Valley. This is Rosie - she has a tennis ball in her mouth. Rosie is a very dedicated fetcher :)

A visit to "The Scoop". The Scoop is our very favourite ice cream shop and the local hot spot. They use Strauss Organic milk and ALL organic/as local as possible ingredients. It is a tiny ice cream shop that on warm nights can easily have a queue out the door and down the block. Believe me - it's worth the wait. My favourite flavour is Mexican Chocolate. Yum.

My sister raced and won, this weekend at Redwood Shores, this is a picture of her Varsity 8 Lightweight team taking the boat out of the water (she's in the grey t-shirt). She is a very talented rower who has been recruited for the Stanford Rowing team. We are SUPER proud of her and we're so happy that next year when she goes to University she'll be nearby. My other sister is at University of St. Andrews, Scotland and I miss her terribly.

Spring has definitely sprung!

I have been doing LOTS of crafting. I'll take pics and post about it Wednesday. Tomorrow morning I am hosting our third Craft Circle, I'm crossing my fingers that we have a good turn out, wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Another Jaunt!

On Monday Max was off from school and we decided to take a trip to the Exploratorium in San Francisco. It was a gorgeous day, we have a membership, how could I resist? We arrived at the front door and lo and behold - it was CLOSED! Ack! I suppose I should have checked before we left......
As I said, the day was lovely and the Palace of Fine Arts (where the Exploratorium is located) is a great spot for a stroll and feeding the ducks and swans. Here are some pics of Max having fun :)

Max and this duck made fast friends although it may have been due to the crispy noodles that Max was snacking on.

He also found this wonderful Cypress tree to climb.

I remember playing here as an eight year old when we lived in San Francisco.

The Palace of Fine Arts, designed by Bernard Maybeck, was originally constructed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition. They are currently doing a lot of repair and restoration work so unfortunately we were not able to play under the main dome, maybe next time.

I have not been working a lot on crafts for the past few days but plan on getting back into the saddle asap. I'm inspired to work on a new Waldorf Doll and continue to make my lavender gnomes. What next?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Our Sunday Excursion..............

I am so grateful that we live in a place where so many museums, neighborhoods and cultural experiences are at our fingertips. I spent the first eight years of my life in San Francisco and then moved back on my own after for University. Max was also born in the City and loves to drive past the Hospital where he was born.

We live just a short 30 minute ride north of San Francisco over the Golden Gate Bridge - and yes it is even more spectacular in person. Often we go for quick jaunts into SF, which is what we did yesterday.

My mom, sister, Max and I took a trip to Japantown. This is one of Max's favourite places. He's 8 so for now he loves it for the food and the shops :) This year we plan on attending the 42nd Annual Cherry Blossom Festival (April 21st), George Takei will be the Grand Marshall. Remember him? He was "Sulu" on Star Trek and he's Hiro's father on the TV show Heroe's

Here are some pics from yesterday's trip:
This is the Peace Pagoda, it is the centerpiece of Japantown. The Peace Pagoda was designed by renowned Tokyo architect Yoshiro Taniguchi and donated to Japantown in 1968 by San Francisco's sister city, Osaka.

Max & my sister

At Japantown there is this place called PikaPika where they have dozens of photo booths. Each photo booth is different and offers different styles of pics. Once you take eight differentky themed pictures you can edit each one with stars, crowns, just all sorts of funny stuff. Here are our pics! For only $5 it's worth it!

No trip to Japantwon is complete without Sushi and a visit to our favourite shop, Ichibankan. Ichibankan is the most amazing shopped filled with just about everything. I love all of the funny logos and the style of their packaging. See the cookies shaped as mushrooms? Not only are they adorable but they are tasty too!

These are Max's favourites, little erasers that come in the shape of Pandas to Sushi

If you ever go to San Francisco be sure to visit Japantown. It is a lot slower paced than Chinatown but Parking is a LOT easier and the culture is amazing. They have done a wonderful job of telling visitors about the Japanes Culture in San Francisco, past to present through visual displays dotted all around the area.

Have a great week!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Say Hello To My Little Friend...........

Welcome to Spring!

The little brown bulb lies quiet and warm,
Sheltered from wind and sheltered from storm.
“Awake, Little Bulb,” call the rain and the sun,
“Wake and unfold
Your green and your gold,
For winter is done.
by Paul King

I have two separate posts today so be sure to read on...................

Last week I bought a Magic Cabin Mermaid Waldorf Doll Kit. The person who I bought it from had already started the head and torso. Let's just say that I can see why she was selling the kit. :) The head and torso looked like a pillow/pancake! I was happy to rescue the 'Mermaid to be' and voila! Here she is!

It was fun to take pictures of her with one of my favourite old paintings in the background and the shells/coral that we have collected.

For my first try on a Waldorf Doll with proper arms and a torso I am very pleased. Attaching the arms was not as difficult as I had thought it would be although they do stick straight out! Any ideas on how I can 'relax' them? My one issue with building these dolls is the face/expression, I'm still struggling with how to structure the face.

All in all a successful project - time for the next ..............

Getting My Mail....................

When I lived in San Francisco I always wondered "who in the heck uses PO Boxes, since mail is delivered to your house?" Little did I know that, duh, a lot of small towns don't have mail delivery service and you HAVE to get a PO Box - if you want mail.

After four years I'm still getting used to going to our PO Box and probably only go three times a week - unless I'm waiting for something important, like a package! When you have a package that won't fit in your box the PO gives you a little card to let you know you have a pckage. They must have forgotten my card because I discovered yesterday that I had had a box waiting for me for almost a week!

It was my package from Angela for the Winning Hand Swap! This is a swap that we participated in, in which we had to craft/buy items that represented the four suits - hearts, clubs, diamonds and spades. Below is a picture of what Angela sent to me.

Check out all of these fun goodies! You can see the hearts, the clubs are the St. Pat's clovers, the diamonds were in a little heart box w. chocolates (Max snagged those!). The spades were represented in the decorated box in the bottom right corner

This little box is great. The little jester is holding an ace of spades card and inside the box is filled with picks depicting all four suits.

I hope that she enjoys what I mailed to her. It was actually a pretty hard swap to do once I sat down and really thought about it. Another successful swap! Yippee!!

Thank you Angela!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wee Ones..........

At our last craft circle (which I wrote about last week) we talked about new projects, and skills that we could teach other parents. One skill that I have wanted to work on is the Waldorf Doll Head. My last two attempts were ok but definitely needed fine tuning. So, now that I have practiced building the head I have started to make Lavender Wee Ones. These are the first three that I have finished although I have several bodies and heads pre-made. With allof those bodies and heads on my craft table it looks a bit eery :) For me, attching the head is the hard part, right now they just kind of flop around - any advice on how to remedy that?

These have been a fun new project for me! Their bodies are made of upcycled velour from pants. jackets and dresses (hooray for the 50 cent rack)and stuffed with wool and lavender, the heads are wool, recycled t-shirts and organic outer skin fabric.

Recently I found and bought a Magic Cabin Mermaid Waldorf Doll kit on Craigslist for $5. Once I have assembled my Lavender Wee Ones I think that I will tackle the larger doll.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Great Swap.....

Last week I had writer's block and this week I have to much to write about! First, I must say Happy St.Patrick's Day!

So a while back I mentioned the Handmade Mushroom Swap that I signed up for. I made 5 felt mushrooms, sent them off and in return I was to receive 1 different mushroom from 5 other particpants. Well the long awaited box has arrived and my new mushrooms are amazing! I was so excited that I opened the box right at the Post Office. What I love is that they are all so different, made using different textiles and different crafting styles. Take a look!
From Sonja at HappyGoCrafty. I think that this mushroom is
made from clay and paper, then painted. Check out the great detail!
A crocheted pencil topper from Val at YarnisGras.
This is the exact reason why I HAVE to learn how to crochet! LOVE IT!
Needlefelted 100% wool mushroom from Logan.
The perfect new addition to our nature table.
From Lisa I received this papier mache mushroom.
The two halves actually come apart - it is a little treasure box. What a great idea!
This mushroom came from Rane. Isn't it wonderful? I was so excited that I removed it fom it's cellophane bag before I could take a pic of it all. The mushroom came with the wonderful yarn, tiny shells, acorns and maple leaves.
My intention today was to tell you about my most recent crafty project(s) but with the arrival of my new mushrooms, that will have to wait till tomorrow :)
in gratitude,
PS. Wish me luck at our School Board Meeting tonight! We need to hire a new Waldorf Kindergarten Teacher but the School District wants to make us take a Middle School Teacher with absolutely NO Kindergarten or Waldorf knowledge/experience. With the economy the way that it is the last thing we want is to see a teacher laid off, but we also need to keep the integrity of our Program intact - how can you have a Waldorf K without a Waldorf Teacher??????