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Honour the Child

Blog Archive

BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Monday, 2 October 2017
Celebrate your child's birthday with a very special, handmade birthday crown!
Birthday crowns are a tradition dating centuries and across many cultures. A crown marks the child as the centre of our joy and celebration! A birthday crown can be the heart of creating meaningful and lasting birthday traditions for your family. 
Historical record suggests that the first birthday celebrations emerged in Germany ~ where a 'kinderfeste' (children's celebration) was held on the anniversary of a child's birth. This was marked with candle lighting, feasting and often, with the wearing of a special birthday crown.

Why a crown?
Perhaps it reaches back to the earlier tradition of marking the birth day of kings and high persons with parties and feasting and dancing ~ often done in early times in order to surround the leader with people in order to dissuade evil spirits who were thought to prey on them particularly on the anniversary of their birth.
Today, when we mark the day of a child's birth, a special crown may be worn (in the Waldorf as well as other, such as Israeli, traditions) by the child to identify them as the focus of our joy and celebrating! This is not to 'raise them above' or make them 'king for a day' but rather to instill a sense of belonging and being treasured, and having this experience be part of the family's yearly rhythm and traditions.
Making birthday crowns is one of my favourite creative endeavors.
Each crown made at Beneath the Rowan Tree is all natural, and made especially for a particular child.
Combining wet and needle felting, dyed silk, embroidery, beading, applique and other techniques
the crown takes shape (and is adjustable in size, lasting a lifetime!). All materials are ethically sourced and eco-friendly. Each crown heirloom quality to last a lifetime.
It is a delight to work with families to create something personal for their child.
Match a birthday theme.
Capture your child's favourite colours or animals or hobbies...
Some families choose one crown to be worn each year, others do something new each year...
Please visit the Crown shop at Beneath the Rowan Tree HERE
and the Gallery HERE.
Contact me today to plan your special crown!♥
Thursday, 23 February 2017
Every Easter we offer a selection of handmade, natural Easter/ Ostara/ Spring gifts that are ready to ship and one of a kind.

This year we will be stocking on Mondays throughout March.
Each Monday, I will upload new items for sale.

There will be Sweet Somethings, *new* Rhythm Eggs, hollow eggs, egg decorating kits, playsilks and silk toys... 

The first stocking is at 3 pm (est) on Monday, February 27.

This first stocking time is being shared with the wonder-full Lisa from Simple Gifts Toy Shop 
her wooden toys are magical~ all handmade made and naturally created for little hands and hands on learning.

Both shops will upload new listings at 3 pm.
Beneath the Rowan Tree HERE
Simple Gifts Toy Shop HERE

See you then! ♥
Thursday, 2 February 2017
For 10 years, Beneath the Rowan Tree has offered dyed-to-order playsilks, silk toys and canopies in a rainbow of colours and over 50 distinctive colorways for open ended imaginative play.

This week, we discontinued these items in the shop.
It has not been an easy decision, but costs continue to rise and the rising costs combined with importing silk to Canada (weak dollar, high duty)  have made it impossible to earn a living wage dyeing and selling these products as we have done for a decade. It is time for a new approach.
We will be offering a variety of our most popular silk items and colorways on a seasonal, ready to ship, limited stock basis.  We will also offer one of a kind Motif playsilks, hand painted silks as well as pillowcases and other hand dyed home goods.  And lots more felting!
Motif Silk ~ Ponies

Motif Silk, Polar Bears

I'm a dyer at heart, so there will be lots of colourful things!

If you are interested in a bulk silk order, wholesale, or hosting a co-op with a group, I am happy to work out details to dye up your playsilk order. I'm not quitting dyeing... I just cannot continue to sell on a single piece basis. Drop me a line at

Please don't be a stranger! Check the shop often for new items and unique silks.
I will announce stockings on Facebook ( and Instagram (
Your years of support are so deeply appreciated~ what a privilege to be part of so many years of play ~ and we look forward to continuing to serve you with original, creative, natural items for home and play! ♥
Sunday, 6 November 2016
Beautiful, eco-friendly and natural, silk is a perfect gift wrap + gift in one!

Furoshiki are traditional Japanese wrapping cloths.
Used for over 1300 years, furoshiki are delightfully simple to use, and oh-so practical!
Many of the wrapping styles have built in handles for carrying, and all are created with a single piece of square fabric.  Wrap and carry your groceries, your books, your picnic lunch, your gifts for giving.... and instead of tossing out the wrapping~ play with it, wear it, use it again and again!

This is where a Beneath the Rowan Tree silk can come in super handy this holiday season (and all year through). Hand dyed, 100% natural fiber and bio-degradable, silk is a low impact gift wrap option. It is also lovely, available in any colour combo you can imagine AND after opening the gift, goes on to be a staple toy for imaginary play and dressup. If you are wrapping for the grownups, it makes a great scarf, canopy or table cover.
Visit Beneath the Rowan Tree to find your colours and size (available in 11", 21", 35" and 44" squares).

Now, let's get wrapping!
Lay out your silk square in the needed size (your best value is the 35" square~ easily adaptable for large or smaller packages and most play value). If you don't iron, crumple your silk in a tight ball (before wrapping begins) and squeeze for a crinkly appearance.

You will find loads of wrapping styles on Pinterest or with good ol' Google.

Here are a few wrap styles that will come in handy!
This wrap creates a handle and is perfect for anything in a box:
Another great wrap for boxes and books, anything with a uniform shape:
Make it a little more fancy schmancy with a few tucks: 
A gorgeous way to present a bottle of wine for the hosts:
(I had to make due with a water bottle~ a bottle with a neck is much more elegant!)
For the long and narrow gift or box:
For your watermelon gifting needs (or other orbs... also great for baskets) with a handle:
A beautiful cover for book giving (or chocolates!):
Whether big or small, a collection of items can be bundled together with carrying handles:

Here is a great diagram to get your wrapping rolling...
TIP: Do not tighten knots too snugly for little hands to undo easily!

Pretty cool, huh? 
Just another amazing reason to love playsilks all year through!
Get yours at or ~custom orders welcomed and encouraged!

Saturday, 16 January 2016
Hey there!
Remember me?

It's been a while... but some big changes are brewing here at BTRT so stay tuned for more details... soon! Well, soonish because life.

I decided to jump on the Temperature Blanket bandwagon this January...
but while the idea is floating around in the ether, I couldn't find much in terms of the execution.
So I thought I would share how I am choosing to go about it, and you are welcome to use the info, adapt it, improve it!

What is a Temperature Blanket?
It isn't an electric blanket!
It is a conceptual knit/ crochet project.
Basically, you do one row a day, for every day of the year.
The colour of that row will depend on the colours you have chosen and assigned to specific temperature ranges. You create one row in the colour that matches the HIGH temp for the day.
At the end of the year, you will have a one of a kind blanket that reflects the temperature patterns for your specific location.
Colours, temps, design, size are all up to you!

Getting Started...
The first thing you need to do, is get a clear picture of the temperature range for your chosen location.
Here, in Northern Ontario, our temps can easily dip to -30C, however, our daily highs are more apt to be between -5C and -20C (not counting the windchill) during the daytime in deep winter. Our summer highs rarely go above 30C (not counting the humidex).
So my range is from -15C to +30C.

Then I took a peek at the average temps through the year.
(I used this website~ you can enter your specific location for yearly stats).
The statistics are drawn from the nearest weather station~ I know in our case the station is about 60 km away and we are at a significantly higher altitude so rarely have the same weather, but it got me started.

Tip! Take note of the most common temperatures... and make sure you assign a colour you like to that range, because you will see a lot of it!

If you need to catch up on temps from the first part of January, or at any time, you can grab the weather info from your nearest weather station HERE.

Using this data, I set up my temperature range and chose my colours (more on that in a moment!).
Choosing Your Yarn
I decided on 12 colours to reflect the variations for my area.
As I was on a very tight budget, I went with a bargain acrylic from Herrschners~ their 'Worsted 8' brand as it comes in a wide range of colours and is a sturdy workhorse yarn.  As an added bonus, it is fairly stiff before washing, which is very nice for keeping my crochet in line! I bought one ball of each (8 oz for $4 CAD woohoo!).
My colours, from bottom to top are:
Medium Gray
Pale Orchid
Sea Green
(Note: upon arrival Glacier/ Teal are *very* close and Salmon is peachy).

My biggest concern in figuring out how to make my blanket
was the fact that for 2016 there will be 357 rows!!
That is a lot of blanket!
I am choosing to crochet, but I may regret it when my blanket is the length of my house.

The Crochet Crowd offers a chart of average blanket/ throw sizes HERE.
And they have a pattern calculator HERE.

I'm not a calculator kind of gal, but I did decided to shoot for a twin size, with drape  (69 x 90") as my daughter tells me it has to be big enough for two people to snuggle under.

I suggest choosing your yarn, and work up the gauge in pattern, particularly row height, so that you can divide it by 357 and figure out the maximum row height to use (and change hook/needles accordingly).

I want a fairly tightly patterned blanket as I don't have space to waste on holes!
I'm making mine in Granny Stripes.

Here is an option from Attic24 with a pattern

And some eye candy at

I highly suggest looking at a couple Granny Stripe patterns and choosing what suits you best,
my basic recipe is below. 

Here's what I'm doing:
Row Height 1/4"

Worsted weight
G Hook
Finished Size: 69 x 90"

Basic pattern is 3DC, skip two.
Making the 3DC in the sk2 space on the previous row.


CH 250, slip stitch into 2 chain from hook, ch3, turn.
Make a foundation row~ mine was dc in every chain (this was for January 1st), turn ch3.
Proceed with 3dc, sk2 across, turn ch3.
And off you go, repeating this pattern row, changing colours for each day as needed.
We can talk finishing ideas come December!

Are you working on a Temperature Blanket?
I'd love to hear about it in the comments, as well as your tips and ideas! ♥♥

Sunday, 31 May 2015
Things are really hopping around here!

As we await the birth of two new litters of bunnies in the next few days, it seems like a good time to take a breath and update on the developments of our little rabbitry.

First of all, we finally came up with a rabbitry name.  Naming things is a big deal in our family, and this one was hotly contested.  When we stumbled across the abundant folklore which links the rabbit with the moon we knew we wanted to work with that relationship~ look at the moon and you can see the rabbit shape, which in Japanese tales, is making sticky rice balls!  
Bigwig, Top Bunny in Charge (20 lb. Flemish Giant)

The problem is that the sparkly teenage vampires have taken all the good moon names!  We finally agreed upon Flying Moon Farm.
I have been around animals my whole life and spent a number of years active in the dog fancy, running a rescue and so on. But learning about the care and raising of rabbits has been a huge learning curve!  They are truly fascinating creatures.  I have had to let go of my dog & pet mindset as regards breeding and raising stock in order to be able to enter into rabbit raising both ethically and practically.
Rabbits produce. A Lot. And I'm not just talking about 'bunny berries' (poop!). They are made to reproduce~ our entire (North American, at least) ecosystem is based on rabbits being eaten by pretty much everything. SO they reproduce quickly and efficiently, adapting rapidly as needed to environment as generations blur past every 31 days.

This means I am developing breeding plans and goals and keeping a careful eye on keeping them on track. Temperament, breed type, purpose, size are all malleable pieces of a good program. And a plan for those who don't fit the plan. When a single doe could produce 70 offspring or more in a year, you have to have a plan for every one of them: pet, breed, cull, eat.

You can find the following image here: The Easter Bunny Problem
Yes, I said 'eat'. And that is a whole other topic. I have never eaten rabbit.  But when I had to do my first cull a couple of weeks ago, it was a terrible waste to trash a 7 lb. bunny. She had developed signs of an upper respiratory issue and the hard truth is it becomes the life of one rabbit vs. an entire herd. And it was hellishly difficult to do the deed with my own hands. But part of my commitment to these animals is humane treatment, which may include a clean, quick death instead of lingering illness. In taking on the responsibility for their lives I owe them that much. I said the learning curve was big.

I will say that watching them breed, kindle (give birth), develop, grow, interact and play has given me a whole new appreciation and deep respect for the species.  Every facet is fine tuned for their life.  To quote from our current reading, Watership Down:
All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies. And when they catch you, they will kill you. But first they have to catch you. Digger, listener, runner, Prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks, and your people will never be destroyed.

At the present time, I am working on a Flemish Giant breeding program for size and temperament, as well as working in some interesting harlequin coloring (genetics is so much fun!) which I am calling my Giant Tiger Bunny Project~ we are keeping two does from Clover's first litter, Holly and Speedwell, towards this end.
Rowan is growing out her little Holland Lops and is going to try her first rabbit show in June!
She also hopes to keep a kit out of our Rex doe 'Spice' for the sport of 'bunny hopping' ~ agility for rabbits. And, oh my, the science she is learning without even knowing it!
Coco is always smiling!

If you want to follow our learning adventure you can follow Flying Moon Farm on Facebook and Instagram. ♥♥

{I've just got to say... I know that this topic can be controversial. Respectfully, if you don't like it, don't read it. Respectful dialogue is welcomed, but we reserve the right to simply delete comments that are harassing, negative or inflammatory.} So play nice or I will release the killer rabbits.

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