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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Wednesday, 29 September 2010
That mama bear vibe must be mighty strong!

A little while ago I posted about the need to protect my cub.  And call it the universe, serendipity, coincidence or the Holy Spirit, but the mama bear vibe must be all around me.  Positively, the situation with my daughter is improved and while we are still anxious, our best hope is that things will smooth out for her now at school.

In the meantime, I have had two interesting interactions with folks who did not know our situation, or that we were using mama and baby bear images to help Rowan with her situation and her sense of being safe.

A friend sent us a link from the movie The Bear which was exactly what we needed and at just the right time~ the cub who stands up for himself and the mama who backs him up. I haven't seen the movie in years and this scene, at this time, brought me to tears.

And today, a member of the church told me she had a dream about me.  In it, she and her 8 year old granddaughter were walking in the cemetery and her granddaughter spotted a bear approaching.  The grandmother told the girl to run and tried to pull her away, but the terrified child was screaming and not budging as the bear approached.  And then... in *I* swept, lifted the girl into my arms and saved the day. What a hoot! 

But also, striking, in that she knew nothing of our situation or our reliance on that image of late.

I can live with being a mama bear ♥
Sunday, 26 September 2010
My daughter has turned 5.
She didn't watch any television until she was 2 and then (and now) it was limited and monitored.
Our toys through toddlerhood were almost all natural, open ended, child lead toys.
We won't mention the big plastic Shrek doll that screamed things like "your breath smells like onions" that was a gift to Rowan at age 18 months from a grandparent (and was promptly stashed away).
Most of those same toys are still staples: the wooden tree blocks, playsilks, gnomes and wooden unicorns all see regular play these days.

But I have found with the beginning of Senior Kindergarten, our all natural high ground has eroded a little and I find we are more and more often facing the challenge of finding stable middle ground in our choices for our daughter (and yes, more and more WITH our daughter).

She has an immense and glorious imagination.
She can build castles in the air, or out of sand, sticks, books or anything that comes to hand.
She makes art every day.
But she doesn't know which Disney Princess has the brown hair.

And yes, I want to state the obvious "who cares", but she cares because all the other 5 year old girls care.

And setting aside the fact that my daughter is very sensitive (with that big imagination!) and finds the Disney movies simple to intense and frightening to sit through, she wants to be in the know.

Our choices have never been made to single her out, or leave her out, but to allow her the space and freedom to grow into her true self and her own interests, rather than those imposed by Disney et al. In fact, she will tell you she doesn't *like* princesses, but that doesn't change the reality that in little-girl-world knowing Ariel from Aurora is the currency of play.   Our daughter knows how to play, truly and well, but she lacks the language to engage in the play of her peers.

And so we are stepping down to the middle ground.  And that is ok.

We 'opened' the gifting possibilities for her 5th birthday to include My Little Ponies and Littlest Pet Shop toys (don't get me started on how those creepy little animals look nothing like animals~ we were shopping to spend her birthday money and were both stumped as to why the pink kitties were playing in the mud... I had to read that they were pigs).  I noticed that most of her friends gave her craft kits and supplies, which was fabulous but I had to wonder a little sheepishly if they found her hard to shop for!   I am still vigorously holding back the Barbie river with my finger in the dike, but I have bought us a little bit of time claiming they are not off limits, just off limits until she is 'older'. I am sure the Barbie lobby will begin again with Christmas on the way.

So for us, the middle ground is littered with tiny little plastic bits and big eyed critters.  It has a few Disney stories (along side more original tellings of the tales).  It is about finding a place for being true to our values and goals but also to the social context in which our child swims and which will become more and more important as she grows up.  The middle ground has plenty of opportunities to apply critical thinking and to ask questions about consumerism and simplicity and to explore new possibilities.

This afternoon, as I watched Rowan and a friend play with their little mutant Pet Shop 'animals' I had to smile when Rowan immediately went to get silkies for their pond and wooden blocks for their houses.  And I realized that the middle ground is really about growing into a new stage of childhood that will build on what has come before.

We can live with that.
Friday, 24 September 2010
I am having so much fun making skirts~ I forgot how much I enjoyed sewing (ok, being honest, how much I love buying fabric!).  With some help from the Facebook fans the three styles in my line have names. Super duper chocolate fudgey cool names.

First, is the Kaleidoscope Twirl Skirt™.  I have always been a lover of kaleidoscopes, and the fact that this skirt turns round and round, flaring out in a full cicrcle to show off its many multi-coloured patches reminds me of those fabulously beautiful and simple toys that offer a new vision with each turn.

The Kaleidoscope has three ruffled tiers and a dropped waist.  It consists of over 40 pieces of fabric. It is a LOT of skirt~ the 4T hem measures more than 15' around!  Each skirt fits a wide size range meaning it will see several years of wear. Great for twirling and pair it with some leggings for climbing, swinging, jumping...  Sizes 2T - 10.
The second style is the Carousel Twirl Skirt™, which is a stripwork skirt with a coordinating band on top and bottom ~ reminding me of the carousel with its brilliant display of colours between the top and bottom of the structure (and of course it turns around and around!).  Full circle with a little belt.  Available in doll size - girls' 10.
And finally, the Carillon Skirt™~ a little narrower, this patchwork skirt has 70 pieces of fabric in coordinating prints and designs.  With its bell shape and 5 tiers, it is named for the beautifully ringing carillon towers of bells. This one is best suited for the post-diaper crowd as it is narrower through the waist/ hips. Sizes 2 - 10.
All three styles are machine washable, hang to dry and 100% pre-washed cotton.
All seams are serged for a professional finish and many are top-stitched as needed for durability and style.
Each skirt should fit a growing girl for 2-3 years and is versatile and comfortable~ suitable for every season and reason!

After all, isn't every day a good reason to wear a pretty skirt?!
See our current selection in our Etsy Shop or inquire about customs
Sunday, 19 September 2010
...or the spindle, or the machine... what are you working on for yourself or for your family right now?

I am starting to think towards Christmas, but at the moment I have begun a new sweater for the kiddo.  I have some gorgeous Cassieopia Superwash from Tia of Julibeans in 'Saorise' which is going to be a 'Wendy' Neverland sweater (pattern by Tina of Greenstrings).  I purchased the yarn in a coop without a pattern in mind, but when I saw the debut of the Neverland sweaters, it was a lock!  It may take me a while so I am making the size 6!
Leave a comment about your latest project! ♥
Friday, 17 September 2010
Last fall, Rowan and I went for a walk in the woods.  As we live in northern Ontario, these are serious woods!  We were hunting for acorns and we took  a known trail that leads to a gorgeous vista.  On our walk we heard something in the woods, likely a deer, but it was big and loud and Rowan was already nervous.

She asked me what would happen if we met a bear.

It was, of course, a possibility.

So I told her that if we met a black bear, she was to get behind me and stay there while I acted big and scary.  She asked what would happen if it was a mama bear (with a cub) who was mad.
I assured her that I could handle a mama bear.
She looked at me, and said very seriously, "I know you can Mommy, but I think the mama bear could handle me."
And my heart cracked a little.

There are times we cannot protect our children, when they have to face their own mama bears.
My daughter has had such an experience (at school).
And now , I have placed her behind me so that I can handle it.
So for the next little while I would appreciate any and all good thougths and prayers for strength
while I keep her close and become the mama bear for my brave little cub.
"A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stand in its path" ~ Agatha Christie
Thursday, 16 September 2010
In Waldorf pedagogy the days of the week each have an associated colour, and the colour for Thursday is orange.
Here are some great orange pumpkins to mark the day and season for your home, nature table or just for fun!  I started my search with the Natural Kids Team and went from there...

A sweet pumpkin bonnet and nappies for a baby dolly from Germandolls:
Harvest pumpkins by Chimera:
I love this little elf leapfrogging over a pumpkin by Nushkie:
Boston Beanies has your little pumpkin covered:
And here is a pumpkin that really stacks up, from the EnchantedCupboard:
Happy Thursday♥
Sunday, 12 September 2010
Well, two of them!
Wednesday, 8 September 2010
Eep! I was contacted in July about sending a silk canopy to an NYC magazine for a photo shoot.  I felt pretty hot sending my package out from our little post office to NYC, I'll tell you.  Imagine my surprise to find it was for a fall fashion special... me? fashion?

You betcha~ live and in colour, our rainbow twister 4 x 6' silk is online right now in a fall fashion special on colorful accessories for the season... Time Out New York. Image #4.

Cool beans!♥
Sunday, 5 September 2010
Some days I would give my eye teeth for a different model.
Don't get me wrong, my usual model is a delight, my life's joy and readily available.
But some days...

Today was one of them.
New design needs to be stocked at Universal Mama, where I have been invited to guest for a stocking.
New tee is ready.
Model is reasonably clean.

But model is unreasonably silly.
I finally got a usable shot (?)...
After a LOT of these:
And a couple of these:
I ♥ my model.
She's a keeper.
Thursday, 2 September 2010
In Waldorf education, each day of the week has an associated colour, planet and grain.

Over the next while I am going to feature handmade, natural items that would be wonderful to help mark the rhythm of the week at home with your little ones.  Many of the items come from members of Etsy's Natural Kids Team (search: naturalkids team).

Friday is Green.  And this week I am on the lookout for that fabulous, elusive mossy green that evokes the rich smell of the woods just by looking at it!

Here is a scrumptious moss green baby doll by Germandolls:
Rich, mossy fiber, hand dyed by Chimera:

Pretty Dreamer makes the most fabulous shapes, these trees are no exception!

And how cute is Basil? made by ImogensGarden
 And finally, a weeping willow dolly, isn't she sweet? by Alkelda
Find more green goodies HERE.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010
I was a sew-er (sewist? Seamstress seems too professional!) in my past life (pre-child), a quilter, too.

My very favourite part of quilting was choosing the fabrics, followed closely by piecing them together. The quilting itself? meh. I could take or leave it. And binding, ugh.  Now I have discovered a way to do just the best parts of quilting AND make little girls happy... win!

I have launched a line of girly twirl skirts ~ patchwork, strip pieced~ in fun palettes and for the active girl.  My daughter loves her skirts and wears them for climbing trees, and swinging on the monkey bars all year round.  I love them because they last~ unlike pants that get too short or the waists are too big or too small, but never just right~ these skirts fit and grow with the girl, giving you a good 2 years for the toddler set. Win for the moms!

All skirts are 100% cotton, machine washable (and dryer, too, though hanging to dry will be better in the long run).  Seams are all serged and top-stitched for a professional (and tidy!) finish. Both styles pictured here are made with about 50 pieces of fabric pieced together!

I am working through my (not insubstantial) fabric stash and adding new fabrics, too from some of the hottest designer lines.

There are a couple of custom slots for the patchwork skirts are available in the Etsy shop, and the stripwork rainbow skirts are launching tomorrow at Lily Pad Landing at 3 PM est.
And I am in search of some good names for the patterns, too! ♥
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