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Honour the Child

Blog Archive

BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Friday, 30 May 2008
Please bear with my mess as I revamp my blog!
I have lost all my widgets in my attempt to improve LOL
Edited to add~ I am back up, somewhat, having lost my dark background... comments or suggestions welcome as I try to puzzle out a new layout and look!
I want to share a real gem of a shop with you! This shop stems from a family based beekeeping business in Oregon. Clear Hills Honey Company are the creators of many wonderful honey products, not least of which are some of the most delicious lip balms you'll ever smooth on in a plethora of flavours! I always enjoy working with Carmela from CHH, and was so excited to try out her newly developed Beeswax Crayons.

A staple in the Waldorf educational system, beeswax crayons are made with beeswax rather than paraffin and have the added bonus of blending more smoothly (like paints) than regular paraffin based crayons. They are completely non-toxic and made with natural pigments, too.

We just received our 5 colour (pictured) set and they are a hit with our 33 month old. The decorative tin was a nice touch, too (5 to choose from)! (Picture of a pair of bees and a turtle, courtesy of Rowan).

The colours are more muted than your usual Crayolas, and the texture is different (they do have a gentle beeswax scent, but not overpowering~ generally I am sensitive to beeswax smelly things and these are fine for me!)~ not soft, although they are softer by nature than regular crayons~ but with a bit of that beeswax 'stick' to them. Nonetheless, they flow smoothly and easily and are definitely a great alternative!

Having looked into making beeswax crayons ourselves and having chosen to run away from the complexity, we admire Carmela and her innovative new product and wanted to share it with others!

I also have to throw in a good word for the Busy Bee Bath Crayons (non toxic, natural pigments)~ gentle on skin, easy to clean up with the included sponge (kids will clean it themselves!) and lots of fun!

So take a peek at Clear Hills Honey Company~ I am sure you'll find something to love!
Thursday, 29 May 2008
Go big or go home.
I always say.
And then I do the math!
I have subscriptions for 12 needle felted Nativity sets + animals.
That is about 130 bajillion figures (give or take a bajillion) to make between now and November.
And my plan is to make a set for our family and a few more for sale, too.
What have I done?!

And so I have begun.
I have plotted out which figures I need to make each month.
Thankfully we live far from everywhere and I can felt in the car (can't read in the car, but I can felt if I don't look up!) and pretty much any where I plant my behind.

The figures are our 'fishstick' people (Andy's design)~ semi-soft needle felted dollies (approx. 4-5" tall). They stand on their own and their sturdy all-in-one construction makes them ideal for toddler play. With expressionless faces in the Waldorf tradition, these little guys allow children and families to engage the Biblical narrative in an interactive way, with drama and imagination. They won't break. They are attractive for holiday display and all natural for play ~ 100% clean carded wool. Professionally dyed, colorfast and non-toxic.

Each set consists of Mary + baby; Joseph; 3 Wise Men/Kings; Angel + Star; 2 shepherds. There is also an animal set of donkey; sheep; camel.

For the benefit of tracking my progress for myself and our subscribers, I will keep updated on the project here on my blog.
At this point, I have 9 Marys shaped and 7 dressed, I'd like to have 15, minimum.
It seems like some sort of joke waiting for a punchline to have 7 Marys and Jesus... now is that Jesuses or Jesi? They don't teach you that in seminary!
Like the old Monty Python sketch about the painting of the Last Supper... "Wot? Only *one* Jesus?"
Tiny & sweet.
That is Ben & Oliver's!
Filled with adorable jewelry for hair and body, all adorned with vintage beads and baubles.
What's not to love?!

Katharine has been on Etsy since December 2007 and has taken her lifelong intrigue with tiny things to new heights in her successful shop. Check it out!
Wednesday, 28 May 2008
I am trying to post daily.
Today I have blog block.
Been so busy getting ready for the BTRT anniversary do-hicky thingy that I haven't had time to pursue some of the features etc. that I would like!
But like an ex-boyfriend who longed to be a writer used to say, sometimes to write you just have to start writing!
OK, that isn't working so well.
Still staring at the screen.
Had an idea and it fled.
I can show you my new horses I made ~ that got overwhelmed by my first attempts at working with locks~ Cotswald to be specific! My Little Pony Eat your heart out!
It's a cop out, I know.
Block remains, but look at the pretty horsies!
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
I tried, I really did! I actually published this without words and then couldn't shut up. I got grounded as a child for not being able to be quiet for 10 minutes. Now my own daughter makes me crazy some days with the chatter and my father's comment? 'Payback is a...' well, you know.

All I really wanted to say was I was a day early on the WW challenge (and failed miserably anyway!). So here is some silk...
Monday, 26 May 2008
Channeling Wayne and Garth again, sorry!

It's almost time for our BTRT one year anniversary bash! We have so many cool guests and lots of great new items in our Hyena Cart shop.
It has been a lot of work getting our own stuff ready, as well as working on collaborations and special features with other folks~ but pop over and see the results!
We are stocking one colour a day for a week... ending in rainbows. Totally corny, but it has been a blast!
I have included a few teaser pics!
Saturday, 24 May 2008
Mr. Bubble & a bottle of Glycerin.
Need I say more?
Friday, 23 May 2008
Spring has arrived, and with it the dandelions! We played today until our knees and fingers were yellow with their juices.

As we ran and rested and played about we discovered something incredible!

Lying in the midst of our dandelions and johnny-jump-ups was a teeny tiny baby! Left by the fairies? Who knows... but the Woodland Nursery was born.

The Nursery is the place where baby woodland creatures can come and find new and loving homes to raise them. Each baby is needle felted and unique. Each is swaddled in squishy soft merino blankets and comes with a birth certificate and a place for the child who loves it to give it a name.
The babies provide a soft, natural toy for children and also an opportunity to learn to care for the creatures of our world as the consider the nature of each animal and its needs. We are donating a portion of the proceeds from each animal to our local wildlife rehab/rescue/ educational center to continue their work of caring for vulnerable wildlife.Raising babies is tiring work!
Thursday, 22 May 2008
First, there were the Counting Fishies and now... Count Your Ladybugs! Below is the full description of this new toy at BTRT.

Firmly needle felted to withstand lots and lots of toddler play! These little bugs are 100% wool and felted all the way through for durability. The cores are Corriedale and the outer is Merino, so soft and touchable! All colours are permanent and non-toxic. The ladybugs are roughly the same size, but
being handmade there is naturally some variation. Each bug is approximately 3" long and .5" high.
These ladybugs are a multi-skill learning toy for toddlers and preschoolers:
~feel the wool, its warm and lively textures. Feel the difference between the dots/ numerals and the bodies. Feel the number of raised dots to help identify quantity.
~practice colour identification

~practice ordering numbers by numerals and quantities (dots)
~match numerals to their amounts (flip the bugs)
~identify numbers and amounts they represent
o simple math
~play imaginatively with the provided leaf and pouch
~props for acting out songs and rhymes
~active play~ stack them, toss the ladybugs on to their leaf, catch them in a jar (with holes for air!)!
~... and of course, much more in the hands of your child!

This set of six ladybugs comes with a silk crepe bag (drawstring, lined, hand dyed, approx. 6" square) and leaf dyed Fairy Silkie (tm) (11 x 11").
(not pictured here)

Not recommended for children who still mouth their toys. Additional ladybugs can be added to customize your set (in groups of three).

OK~ are you sing 'The Ladybug's Picnic' from Sesame Street yet? One, two three, four five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, and they all played games...
Tuesday, 20 May 2008
...because this really makes me giggle!

Daughter pushing her Puppy in the swing.

Daughter getting hit in head with swing.

Let me make it perfectly clear~ the dog is stuffed
(click to read about Puppy) and the kid was not hurt, she laughed~ me, I was shocked that the camera snapped just as it nailed her but we both had a good giggle about it!

I just can't *stop* giggling about it!
Feel free to share you bad parent moments in the comments, it will make me feel less wicked!
Monday, 19 May 2008
Like most things, I go ahead and do and learn as I go.
I have decided to try my hand at producing some ACEOs.

What is an ACEO? Glad you asked! I was on Etsy forever before I knew that one! An ACEO = Art Card, Editions, Originals. Clear as mud, huh? Basically, they are art trading cards. The only rule is that they must measure 2.5 x 3.5". They can be originals or prints, any style, any material. They are great for collecting, trading sharing. they are an opportunity to hold some great art in your hands and even decorate, if only your fridge or desk!

I have been really working on seeing my work as art~ it is just tough when what you create gets worn, spilled on and wiped upon by toddlers. So stepping into producing ACEOs of my work is difficult leap for me in terms of self-perception. But leap, I shall, or at least dip my toes.

At this time, it makes the most sense to produce prints of the photography of my work. Some of them are the work itself, and some the photography that reflects work in progress or action (silk is wonderful for this!). But the idea of felted ACEOs is appealing, too.

So I have a couple listed at Etsy and we'll see how it goes!
Sunday, 18 May 2008
This little sculpture doubles as a trinket dish~ rings or a bracelet can be put safely in the pool.

Needle felted with corriedale and merino and YAK~ yes yak~ The brown is all yak fiber (cool, huh?!), this little sculpture was a fun experiment in making a person as well as trying out some ideas and different styles of felting.

Faces scare me. I mean, making them scares me (not scares me like freaky mascots scare me *shiver*)~ whether painted or felted or drawn, they intimidate me. I am happy with this one, though the nose gave me some trouble. I was so pleased with the effect of the dress due to the very pretty multihued violet/ pink roving.
I love trees. I just do! These are some trees from my favourites~ click on each image to see the full listing in the artist's Etsy shop.
Saturday, 17 May 2008
I rarely share my 'other' life in my blog. Simply because it is my other life and I try to separate my business from my vocation for numerous reasons.
But today I wanted to share my sense of awe and honour that I experience when I am in my professional role as an ordained minister (13 years in ministry).

Today I lead the funeral service for a simply lovely and gracious woman who lost a brief battle with cancer, much to the shock and sorrow of the community. In many ways, after 13 years, leading a funeral can become just another function (you know, put the 'fun' back in funeral~ bad! bad!). I work hard to stay engaged, and honestly feel that a funeral is the richest time for ministry that a minister can experience ~ to reach out and speak to the congregation and community a word of hope. And no matter how tired, distracted, or otherwise disengaged I may become, there is always a moment when I am fully present and fully cognizant of the deep honour I am given in my role.

At the end of most services there comes the time of escorting the coffin/urn from the sanctuary. By dint of my role, I am asked to lead. To take that last walk from public space and gathering with the deceased and to stand over as they are placed in the coach. Or to lead the procession to the grave and say the words. And today as I lead the way for Grace, I was overcome by the gift given to me, to be so close at this holy time, even as I am welcomed into homes and hospital rooms, to the side of the dying or to hold a new baby for baptism. It is a perspective, a place, few people experience and today I was reminded of the honour and the responsibility that go with it, once more as I stood roadside while the remains of this woman were placed gently out of sight and away.

It is a gift to see and touch and feel the preciousness of life, beginning and end and beginning again. And to know that it is holy.
Friday, 16 May 2008
Rowan's birthday is still far off but the time has come to begin thinking about The Charm. When she was a baby I thought long and hard about a birthday gift that could be added to each year, that wasn't bulky or breakable and wouldn't demand a lot of space for display like many collectibles do.

I settled on a charm bracelet. The old fashioned Victorian kind~ a little digging revealed that Queen Victoria loved to wear and give charm bracelets and in 1889 at the Paris Exposition, Tiffany & Co. launched their first charm bracelet and a fashion staple was born. Throughout the 20th century charm bracelets remained popular, from the war era when soldiers brought home charms from far away places for their sweethearts, to the nostalgic bracelets my friends and I had in the early 80s.

What a great idea! However, I went looking for a traditional charm bracelet at the height of the modular Italian charm phase. Add that I wanted something to grow with a child from age 1 into adult hood. Ha! Easier said than done.

But I persisted and finally found a silver link bracelet to do the trick.

For Rowan's first birthday she received a sterling rowan branch charm from Scotland ~ to represent our heritage, her name and its meaning. Last year, a fabulous Etsy seller (Anniepants) made Rowan a lovely little teacup and saucer which marked her love of a good tea party. And now, year 3.

So the hunt begins. She is pretty keen on horses. But then she also has imaginary mice. Her Puppy has become her constant companion, but no charm could really capture his scruffy stuffed self. Her imagination is incredible, but how to capture that in a charm? Or her squeaky voice, or her sense of humour? Or the depth of her eyes? OK~ I probably can't, but I will start looking for that 'just right' charm to capture some small part of her magic in this 3rd year of her life.
Thursday, 15 May 2008

A little collection of robins. Click on any picture to view the full Etsy listing.
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