On any given day you are most likely to find us communing with the gnomes and the fairies Under The Old Oak Tree

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Happy Michaelmas!

Our Michaelmas celebration was delayed by a day since on Michaelmas itself Daddy spent the evening at our local Waldorf School's parent meeting for the parent and toddler class and I was at a women's group at church.  We typically try to celebrate the Waldorf (and other) festivals at dinner time when Daddy is home to celebrate with us though W and I do lots of preparations ahead of time.

I'm actually pretty excited that Daddy will be going to the class with W, though I'm sad that I can't be there this session due to my work schedule.  I think it's a great opportunity for Daddy to learn more about Waldorf from someone other than me and it will allow him to better support what I do with W at home.  It's also nice that they are going to have a thing that they do together and the fact that it's at the Waldorf School is just perfect if you ask me!

Okay, so back to Michaelmas.  This was our second year celebrating and of course this year it was fun to make it a bit more interactive for W.  I know in the coming years there will be even more celebration activities that he will enjoy so much.  For this year, I kept it pretty simple.  A song, a couple verses and we added a candle and a couple of new foods to our celebration.

W and I have been singing the Michaelmas song from Come Follow Me daily during our September Circle Time and we sang it multiple times today.  It's fun now as he gets a little older he sings along when I sing a song he knows and I can actually tell what he's singing.  This evening we also sang it for Daddy at dinner time right after we said grace.   W and A helped to collect the asters, leaves and acorns that we used to decorate the table for this lovely fall festival as well.

I also made a rolled beeswax dragon candle for Michaelmas a couple of weeks ago.  We generally light a candle when we eat, so we will use this candle at meals throughout the autumn months to remind us of Michael's strength, courage and protection.  It was fun to make a rolled candle and then warm and mold bits of the wax sheets into a dragon to decorate this special candle.

This morning W helped me to make our dragon bread and blackberry pie.  Unfortunately, a particularly messy situation kept me from getting to the oven when I needed to for our poor dragon.  We are just pretending that he accidentally burnt his own nose and tail while breathing his fire....

W loves dragon bread.  He loved helping to make him, he loves the dried fruit and nuts mixture inside his belly, he loves looking at him and at one point this evening he loved eating the eyes off of him when I wasn't looking.  It was also his favorite part of dinner!

W also loved making the blackberry pie.  He helped to cut out the hearts for the top and he sampled lots of the blackberries for me.  For a while this afternoon he was sporting a little blackberry soul patch.  I wish I had the camera at that point because it was really really cute!

We have blackberry pie for Michaelmas because according to legend when Michael killed the dragon/expelled the devil from heaven, he  landed in a blackberry bush.  It's actually considered bad luck to eat blackberries after Michaelmas.  We will tempt fate and have some today since this is Michaelmas for us!

Traditionally goose is served at Michaelmas, but I stayed with our tradition from last year and made Cornish game hens again with the traditional onion stuffing.  We also have carrots on Michaelmas which is based on one of the traditions discussed here.

This year we also added a special drink for Michaelmas.  W, A and I made homemade ginger ale from this recipe earlier in the week and then let it brew for a couple of days at room temperature before refrigerating it. My suggestion if you make this is to take it outside and open it very slowly.  It probably took me ten minutes or so of opening and closing the bottle to let the gas escape without having a big explosion.  Definitely head the advice given in the comments section for the recipe or it could be a big mess.  It was lots of fun though and we all thought that it tasted really good.  I don't think I ever want to have the store bought stuff again now that I know how yummy this is!  I can't remember now where I saw that it is traditional to have ginger at Michaelmas but I do know that I found this in some of my research this year.  I also added some fresh grated ginger to our blackberry pie this year.

Here is our dragon and our St. Michael picture from our nature table.

Wishing you all warmth, strength and courage in the dark, cold months ahead!
Happy Michaelmas!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Our Early Autumn Nature Table

Our Autumn nature table was not as easy to put together this year as I had anticipated.  Somehow, I can not remember what special place I chose to keep our autumn nature table items safe.  I remember that I did put them away and choose a special place for them while I was putting up the Christmas decorations last year, but, for the life of me, I can't remember or find where.  So, we have basically been starting over from scratch this year.

Here are some pictures of this year's autumn nature table so far.  We have also started putting out some items for Michaelmas including our dragon puzzle and some blue asters.

Also I have done some leaf rubbings which are now framed and hanging up in our dinning room.  I love how they complete the room's seasonal feel (this is also where we have our nature tables).

I leave you this evening with a lovely picture of the harvest moon taken by my husband earlier this week.

Happy Autumn to you all!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More of Our Handmade Holiday Creations

WARNING:  If you are related to me, please stop reading this blog till sometime after Christmas...or you might not get a surprise!

I'm a day late in posting this, but, our handmade holiday creations continue.  I feel like I've been working on lots of other things over the past week (more on those in a later post) but I somehow have also made some real progress in terms of making Christmas gifts too.

I finished the first cute little women's scarf, and I made another one.

And, I have a third one on the needles now...

...but I changed to a different color yarn.  Let's just say, if you are a woman on my gift giving have a fairly good chance of receiving one of these AND you should not be reading this blog till after Christmas!  ;-)

I also painted (with acrylics since the watercolors rolled right off) and polished these maracas with my beeswax polish for W's stocking.

I also made these decoupage coasters with photos of W and W with his Nana and Granddad for Daddy and Nana and Granddad respectively.

I also chose and edited photos to do the same project for Grammy and Boppy and Uncle S.  I used cork mats made for flower pots and outdoor Modge Podge.  I think I am going to have to find something else to coat them with however, since they have remained pretty sticky.  I think I will also just make the next ones with whatever seems to work to seal these.  They have been a pretty fun project so far!

This week I hope to finish at least one more scarf (maybe two) and get started on some hats for the big guys!  I also need to come up with a gift idea for Boppy (my dad).  He seems to be the one person on my list that I just can't figure out what I can make that he would enjoy.  In the past I have mostly given him DVD's but somehow that just doesn't fit into the spirit of the handmade holiday!  Anyone have any ideas for what to make for older gentlemen?

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Elves Are Still Busy At Our House...

Okay, let me start by saying, if you are a member of my family, please stop reading this blog until after Christmas if you want to be surprised!

I finally finished W's gnome hat!  It is really cute and I'm excited about how it came out!  It seems big enough that he should be able to get several years of wear out of it.  I can't wait to see him wear it!  It seems to be just the type of hat that he loves.

Here is the set I will be giving W for Christmas. Mama-made hat and mittens.  After Christmas, I will probably make an i-cord to attach the mittens to each other and  thread through his coat so that they don't get lost.

I have to say, as much as I enjoyed working on this hat, I felt like it took forever to get it done! I have lots of gifts to make for people, so I was starting to get worried that I might be working on this hat forever and not get to the other gifts that I have to make.  You can imagine my relief when I realized that this scarf is a cute, fun, easy and fairly quick knit!  I am working on one right now for my brother in-law's girlfriend and I plan on making more of them for the other women in the family. 

I have also have numerous other items to make.  Today I was thinking that I'd like to have all of my handcrafted items done before Thanksgiving so that I can focus my attention on baking and decorating the house.

Hope your holiday preparations are coming along well!

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Lovely Oak Tree For Our Autumn Nature Table

I've been trying to involve W and A in decorating the tree on our nature table this autumn.  We have been going on daily nature walks and mostly have been bringing in  lots and lots of acorns.  I'm honestly wondering if the neighborhood squirrels will go hungry this year because these two little ones have brought so many acorns into our house.  We have also collected lots of leaves and sticks and gum balls and rocks, but acorns are definitely their favorite think to collect on our walks!  Luckily, our outdoor play area is a little oak grove with several lovely big oak trees.  Unfortunately, part of the area used to be the neighborhood basketball court and is paved.  Still, there's lots of nature there for our enjoyment and we spend lots of time there!

To reflect this we decided that our nature table tree for fall should be decorated as an oak tree.  We started out by hanging some extra leaves from  our autumnal wreath on the bare tree.  We then added some lovely acorns.

I then had the kids paint with red and orange water colors on both sides of some card stock. Once the paintings dried, I traced my oak leaf cookie cutters and cut out lots of paper leaves in different sizes.  W and I rubbed the leaves with some cooking oil which really made the colors pop and we hung them on the tree.

We also added my sample of the wood pumpkins I'm going to have them paint next week.

Now I just have to figure out where I "put away" the other nature table items from last fall so that we can finish decorating our nature table.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Adult sweater to toddler jacket...

This jacket may be one of my favorite projects that I've worked on in a while.  It started while doing some thrift store shopping with W a couple weeks ago.  I found this beautiful red wool sweater in a ladies size small.

I loved it and saw lots of potential to felt it down and make something new out of it.  Then it occurred to me that it would probably felt down to about the size of a toddler's jacket.

So home it came, and into a hot wash it went....three times.  It shrank and felted down to this...

I then cut a slit up the center, blanket stitched around all of the edges with yellow wool yarn and added some button embellishments.  I decided against using the buttons as a closure, because I felted the sweater down a little too much and it's not roomy enough at this point to button up.  I may add some hook and eye closures though.  (Note to time...use a ladies medium sweater to felt down for a 2T jacket!)

I think this will be a perfect little jacket for W to wear for his birthday this autumn!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Christmas preparations continue...

I have been working steadily on Christmas gifts this week, though, I have not competed nearly as much as I had hoped over the course of the week.  I am starting to feel the crunch and worry about competing all of the gifts for our Handmade Holiday at this point.  My husband is teasing me about this, but since all of his gift buying will happen in November (hopefully from either local crafts people or etsy) he is much less stressed out about this than I am.  Of course, he's also trying to figure out everything that I'm making for him and driving me a little batty!  Since he is an occasional reader of my blog I may have to post about the things I am making for him sometime after Christmas.

I will admit, that towards the weekend I did get distracted with making an autumnal wreath for our front door.  I'm going to show you all a picture of it before I move on Christmas gifts, because I love it!

Okay, on to Christmas,  Last week I  mentioned knitting a hat for W. I had hoped to finish it this week, but did not quite finish it.  I'm still really excited it about it though and it has been a really fun project.  Here it is as a WIP.

The one Christmas gift project that I finished this week is a little stocking stuffer for W.  In this month's puzzles out of popsicle sticks.  It's such a cute idea, but I also know that it's beyond W's capabilities for this year so I decided to make a couple for his stocking myself and put my own twist on them.

First I laid out my popsicle sticks and taped them together.  

Then I painted them with watercolors, which made them expand and warp.

So, I flattened them under a large scrapbook while they dried.

I then penciled in a drawing on each one.  I traced a wood cut out of a snail (I frequently trace wood cut outs when I don't feel like I can draw something freehand) and drew in the details myself.  I did draw the bee freehand.

I then traced and filled the pictures in with a black marker.

I removed the tape and polished the pieces with my beeswax polish.

And tied them into little bundles.  I'm thinking I should make some little fabric pouches for these though.

I think these would be a great little toy to take with us to a restaurant for W to entertain himself while he waits.

In other holiday related news, I completed exactly none of the Holiday Grand Plan's week 1.  That means this week I need to complete Week 1 and Week 2.

How are your holiday preparations coming along?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Notes on my wonderful boy at 18 months

This should have been published back in June, but somehow I never hit the publish button on it.  Fun for me to re-read it now a few months later!

My wonderful boy, W is 18 months old and truly remarkable!  For the past year and a half he has enriched the lives of all who love him, family and friends alike.  

These days W is filled with love and likes to show his affection for those around with him with a zeal, his mother and cat can only describe as painful.  He constantly tried to hug and kiss the cat and gets on top of him in an attempt to keep him still long enough for said hugs and kisses.  The cat runs away for a moment, but always comes back for more.    At the moment, I personally have a nose injury resulting from W's head when he tried to very forcefully hug and kiss me yesterday.  We are working hard to tone down the intensity of his gestures and show him how to be "gentle and loving".  I have to admit though, his hugs and kisses are amazing and I love receiving all of the ones that do not result in a cracked nose.

Also, W would rather be outside than inside most of the time.  He loves to go for walks, play in the park, play in the sandbox, play in his kiddie pool, go to the botanical garden, help me in our little garden and go to the farmers' markets in town.  He thinks that creeks are truly joyful places for splashing and exploring.  When we say the word "out" we have to be ready as two seconds later, he is at the door grabbing for the door shoes necessary...just like his mama.  He loves trees and is particularly fond of the crape myrtles in our apartment complex. He finds lots of fun playing in between their branches.

 He also, like his mama, and his grammy loves magnolias, both the leaves and the lovely lemony scent of their flowers.  This past week at the farmers' market a plant vendor told W he looked like a "plant guy".  W vigorously shook his head yes and I agreed as well. This is a very accurate description of   W. After examining all of the plants for sale, W and I chose a lovely coleus from which we are rooting additional cuttings and a dill plant.  W loves to touch, smell and taste different herbs and I think dill might be one of his favorites.  At the botanical garden I have to drag him away from the dill so he does not pick and eat it all by the handful.


Related Posts with Thumbnails
Pin It button on image hover