autumn leaf stained glass (kids craft)

Monday, October 10, 2011 – Filed under: arts and crafts,autumn,Canadian,kids art,kids crafts,kids friendly ::

In the midst of canning pears, dividing perennials, playing with baby toes and an increasingly curious (and baby squat afficionado… hello mama biceps!) man cub…. we decided to welcome autumn and bring some of the gorgeous leaves falling outside, in.

After carefully collecting a pile my little (though now not littlest one) arranged them on our waxed paper. It looks brown here because it truly is – it’s an eco one but you could use the white stuff for a more transluscent effect against the window.

Then she put another piece of waxed paper on top, and had her first extensive ironing experience. Yay for ironing boards whose height can be adjusted!

these days….

Monday, June 13, 2011 – Filed under: arts and crafts,beeswax,gardening,Uncategorized ::

Oh my, the little mancub is one month. Already. These days of celebrating this new life are filled with new adventures and experiences, and flashbacks to 4 and a half years ago when we did this sort of thing before (such fuzzy, fuzzy memories those are).

Amidst the laundry (how can such a little guy make exponentially that much more laundry?) and the spit up (now, for the first time, I understand about burp cloths), there’s:

:: rhubarb (especially in crisp form, mixed with the last local organic raspberries and peaches frozen last summer)

:: and the last of our windowsill seedlings to put in the garden (our first squash seedling ever – photo above) that is already rife with zuchini blossoms and tomato flowers and these fabulous cinnamon basil seedlings from Toronto’s (fabulous, rare, organic and heirloom seeds purveyor) Cubits on Etsy

:: quick, intense art sessions tucked in between nursings…. how much can a lioncub eat anyway? isn’t his tummy the size of a pecan, or is it a plum? :) this pop art-ish hand craft is from Laugh, Paint, Create

:: enjoying the last of the spring bulb blooms (thank you, giant cedar hedge, for lengthening our spring flowering time)
:: bedtime baths by beeswax candlelight (such incredible shadows!)

:: the fabulous folks at Milkface (you can order online too) who helped us with a new addition to our sling family, a beautiful black linen Sakura Bloom ring sling and then helped us figure it out (again), thanks to just a little too little sleep around here

:: mister organic honey bear, handmade by YarnMiracle, who is being joyfully attacked and loved at the same time, all the time, especially when the mancub is wearing big sister’s much softened suit :)

Wishing you a fabulous week!

for baby:: a rainbow Japanese peace crane mobile

Monday, April 11, 2011 – Filed under: arts and crafts,baby,Uncategorized ::

Just a few days before the earthquake + tsunami devastated Japan, we received a box filled with hand folded paper cranes, something we’d ordered from a Japanese artisan earlier this spring.  My daughter and I had been talking about a mobile for her new baby brother, and had started making one with watercolor painted stars, glued to string… but neither of us was terribly excited about finishing it. Then we stumbled on the idea of using paper cranes – in rainbow colors to fall peacefully and gently from a wool-wrapped embroidery hoop.

The box even had a delightful crane stamp on it!

Each crane was perfect – so carefully folded. so beautiful. I’ve folded a few cranes over time, but none this quite delicately sharp, and certainly not nearly twenty of them at once.

We got out the leftover change my Mister Mister had saved from his most recent trip to Japan. Along with the cranes and stamp, it gave us tangible tools to “feel” Japan, to remember that beyond the headlines and news stories are so many thousands upon thousands of real people, families and children. How beautiful + cruel nature can be all at once.

We used invisible nylong string to attach the cranes in long lines, hanging from the hoop we wrapped in many colors of the rainbow.

Hanging from the ceiling over the place we’ll often use to change the baby’s diaper, we hope it catches his eye, and helps fertilize his sense of wonder, and, as he grows, discovery of color and shape. The cranes are so light that they turn and fly in the breeze, even when the window is closed and the room appears still. They still move. I hope this same resiliency and strength helps a country and its people through such a difficult, heart-breaking time.

a really really big family

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 – Filed under: arts and crafts,family,nature tables,painting,peg dolls ::

As I enter that part of the 3rd trimester where I’m excited/anxious to meet this baby and see my ankles again… my lovely Mister Mister and daughter have started to talk about the joys of even more children. And pregnancies.

Oh my.

I remembered I had a set of unfinished wooden peg dolls of various shapes and sizes stored away and… under piles of yarn and wool… I found them. One by one we painted them up, and created one really big family.

My daughter helped in each detail of the design, and had me needle felt a big orange bonfire, surrounded by stones, for them to stand next to. In a circle, on her (now very very crowded) spring nature table.

I’m so pleased with how they turned out, and hope they fit the bill. At least for the forseeable future.

firsts, and fourth

Friday, January 21, 2011 – Filed under: arts and crafts,crafts with kids,needle felting ::

My daughter was born four years ago today, minus a few hours until dawn… so I’ve been thinking a lot about the number 4, fourths, travelling around the sun four times…

Watching your confidence grow, your strength solidify, your self blossom brings me the most intense joy I have ever experienced. Born at the crack of dawn, you have brought so much magic and light into our lives.  For that I feel truly truly fortunate.

This week, she announced that she wanted to do a needle felted project. On her own. She knew they were sharp needles, she’d be careful. So could I get out some felt and she’d pick her wool roving colors, please? Now?

So she did.

And then there needed to be a baby.

And it was such a time of firsts. And fourth.
And such love.

(by the way, this was one of the most interesting foodie posts I’ve read yet – food topography)

rolls… and reindeer

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 – Filed under: arts and crafts,baking,recipes ::

As we edge towards Winter Solstice, I feel more drawn than ever to baking, and nesting, and hibernating. This week we made some dinner buns (my first ever, I have to admit) and they were not only incredibly fun to make with my little daughter, but also very delicious. That combination is not always so easy to achieve, I’ve found.

I tried to catch some pictures, but the bowl lined with my vintage Vera tea towel was empty so quickly that I just managed to take this one.

You can head over here to find the recipe I used. We used half whole spelt flour, 2% milk, and not as much butter as she called for (though I might use a little more next time).

And then there’s this wooden reindeer – another very child-friendly activity that will yield a sweet winter creature for your nature table. Or your mantel. Or your window sill.

All you need is a little saw, some twigs of different widths, a touch of glue, and an awl to make the little holes required for the legs, neck and antlers.

I finally acquired a small stash of vintage wooden clothespins, and am looking for some young kid-friendly crafts to make using them – any suggestions?

A very special and magical winter Solstice to you.

p.s. you can still enter the giveaway for handmade felted heart pebbles and a Marimekko pillow sham cover!

a winter forest garland (young child craft how-to)

Friday, December 10, 2010 – Filed under: arts and crafts ::

With the leafy trees around here bare naked, it is the evergreens whose beauty we most admire these days. Through the icy cold Ottawa winter, they stand full and strong, a beautiful, refreshing green in a sea of white snow.

This craft just sort of came together. I humbly admit I had no big plans for this, and didn’t even put together the supplies ahead of time. It was all initiated by my daughter, and it was she who put it together in the end.  Those are perhaps teh most beautiful crafts in the end, aren’t they?

She found a wooden tree shape in a drawer and decided she wanted lots and lots of trees. So we found some cardboard, and cut some more trees out. Then she started to paint, using her watercolors to give each tree a different hue.

Some of the cardboard we used took the color less well, so she glued on some white wool “snow”.

Then I poked small holes in the top of each tree with my awl (that was a mommy job).

The best string we could find was for large Waldorf doll-making, so we used that.  Using a rather large, blunt-ish needle, my daughter threaded the string, and sewed each tree onto the garland string, tying knots along the way.

And now we have a little winter forest in our (hibernation) house!