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Honour the Child

Blog Archive

BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Saturday, 27 April 2013
Make your own Waldorf style fairy or angel Mobile.
Perfect for a baby nursery, playroom, or anywhere you need a little wonder and colour!
These little fairy mobiles have been around a long time!
I can't lay claim to the idea, and you will find other tutorials out there.
I have two versions in craft books at home.
I have a special fondness for them as I used to make them with my grandmother.

Ours were made with Kleenex and cotton balls back in the day~
ghosts for Halloween, mostly.
But back when you could buy coloured tissues
(do you remember those?! popular for flowers to decorate cars at weddings!)
we made them in pastel colours, too.
We are going to be a little more environmentally friendly, today,
using natural materials and eco-friendly items!
You can, of course, use whatever materials you choose or have on hand!

•  12 x 5" square silk pieces (or as many as you want for your mobile)
•  a small amount of wool fiber, or other stuffing
•  transparent thread OR colour of your choice
•  needle
•  scissors
•  hoop ~ wood, wire, twigs, branch (you could hang your fairies in a line, rather than a circle) etc.
•  yarn, ribbon or any other materials desired to hang and decorate your hoop

{{We are offering DIY Fairy Mobile Kits at Beneath the Rowan Tree.
Kits include: 12 x 5" square hand dyed silks in a gradient rainbow (or custom order silks in colours of your choice); wool roving for making heads; and 6 x 11" raw silk cords (various colours).
We'll let you provide your own hoop and thread as it doesn't make sense for us to mail you a stick and string! Full details HERE. }}

1. Prepare your silk.
Our kit will provide you with dyed silks, ready to use.
If you are doing your own, dye as desired and then snip and tear them to the 5" size.
The raw edges will give your finished mobile a pretty and natural look
(trim the loose threads now and then again when you hang it and it will not keep 'shedding').

2.  Prepare your hoop.
You may want to wrap your hoop or bar in ribbon or yarn, or keep it natural!
(you could even use two twins and make an 'X' with four arms for hanging)
To prepare whatever you plan to hang your fairies on you will need to string it with 3-4 pieces
of your chosen material (the raw silk cords in the kits work well for this!)
to balance the hoop and enable you to hang it once the fairies are strung on.
3. Prepare your strings.
Decide how you want to hang your fairies.
I used a cascading spiral for this sample, but you could alternate heights randomly, use an 'X' or a long branch with fairies all in a row.
I suggest cutting a 24" thread for each fairy, so that you can adjust them as desired when all are finished.
If you want to be super keen you could do the math ahead of time, but not me!
{{By the end of this tutorial you will need about 16 hands to keep everything sorted!
Just so you know. At least one more pair will come in handy!}}
Thread your needle and knot the end of the thread.
I used white thread so it would be visible for this tutorial.

4. Make your fairies!
Pull off a small piece of roving (never cut wool fiber, just pull it apart).
Roll it into a loose ball about the size of a marble.
Place the ball in the center of a piece of silk.
Wrap the ball in silk.
Pinch at the neck, adjusting the folds to your liking.
Using your needle, insert it through the center of the neck
(the knot will disappear in the folds, trim the tail when the fairy is complete).
Then, wind the thread around the neck firmly 3-4 times.
Insert the needle under the thread collar
and push it up and out through the center top of the head.
Do not cut the thread that is coming through the top of the head.
Set aside and do the next fairy.
5. String your fairies.
Once you have decided on  the formation you wish your fairies to fly in,
it is time to attach them to your hoop.
If you are inclined to math or perfection, you may want to measure and mark your hoop,
or you can just wing it and adjust as you go!
Just tie each fairy in its place loosely until are are placed.
When they are where you want them to be, secure the knots and/or add a dab of hot glue.
Trim any loose threads on fairies or strings.
And ta-da!
You did it!
Go hang it up someplace where the light and breeze will make it dance!♥♥
To purchase a kit to make your own, visit BTRT.

Please feel free to adapt (or improve!) as your heart desires.
If you do want to share the pattern, or adapt and share it, or sell the mobiles you make with it, do so with my blessing. It would be wonderfully courteous if you would also include a link back to my blog and credit the pattern to me (Lori Campbell/ Beneath the Rowan Tree).  ♥♥
Thursday, 25 April 2013

Explore some wonder-full Waldorf spaces...

Today's featured spaces are all classroom environments.
(I will be featuring other aspects of Waldorf spaces in posts yet to come).
They boast wide open spaces and loads of natural light
that would be a dream for most Waldorf spaces at home.
Even so, they offer many creative, tried-and-true and well-imagined ideas to inspire our home spaces.

Each of these rooms incorporates light and space,
but also gentle colours and natural materials.
I particularly love the play of textures between wood and wool and silk features.
By using sustainable, organic materials the children are brought indoors to spaces that honour the outdoors and bring them into the rhythms of nature.

These are spaces that breathe and speak the Waldorf/ Steiner approach to childhood and learning.
They look so welcoming and encouraging.
And they look thoughtful and intentional...
each item is chosen and placed with reason and purpose.
And even above the items themselves, or the materials they are made with,
it is this intentionality that is the real inspiration of these spaces!

(Click to view larger image)

1. Crysalis Waldorf School (NSW, Australia)
The tree/ window is incredible~! along with the warm rosy hues.
At home: try a paper silhouette of a tree in the window!
2. Emerson Waldorf School (Chapel Hill, NC)
Every thing has a place, and everything in its place.
Order and careful choice of each feature.
At home: A peg board for hanging silks and dress up clothes, with a shelf for a few special treasures
3. Photo by: Nessman on Flickr  
This space is practically outside, the walls and screens are barely there
for a feeling of being right within the natural setting.
At home: stick to colours from nature and lots of found nature items.
4. Lorien Novalis School (Australia)
The canopy of billowing silk is incredible!
At home: a large silk canopy ca be artfully draped over a corner or table for smaller scale version.
5. Davis Waldorf School (Photo by Syrendell)
Clean and simple.
Natural branches by the window.
At home: look at the space by the window: table, chairs, a few baskets... and you are all set!
6. The Garden of Enchantment (Corona, CA) 
Also part of a larger space, work and play space all together in one.
At home: Make use of limited space by using a focal point (like the canopied area pictured).

Do you have photographs of your Waldorf space at home you would like to share?
We'd love to see them! ♥♥

Wednesday, 24 April 2013
It has been said that God made people because God loves stories.
I wonder if people make things for the same reason?

I know that is what I love about handmade... the stories!
I also LOVE to dye to match (bring it ON!).
And I love to collaborate with other artisans.

I want to share a new shop with you.
The shop is the work of my dear friend Donna~
you will find her at Three Fine Woods on Etsy.
I have known Donna for 19 years, since I was a young pup of 21.
Donna is a little older (she really hates it when I compare her age to my mother's, but its close!).
We attended theological school together and have remained good friends,
more like family, but let's say sisters.
She was MC at my wedding (and stand in Mother of the Bride for rehearsal).
I performed her 30th anniversary renewal of vows with her husband.
We have also been colleagues in ministry to this day.
I met Donna's children when her youngest was about 7...
and now that daughter is also a dear friend
and MY seven year old's very favourite grownup.
And a colleague... (funeral director & minister).

This handmade story has ROOTS.

Along with her flawless crochet, knitting and sewing,
Donna has begun dyeing.
I was delighted to visit last week and see her dye stained fingers to match my own!
All of which leads to the whole loving to dye-to-match AND loving a collaboration bit.
Donna and I have paired her gorgeous cotton muslin swaddling wraps
with my not-too-shabby playsilks
to create a beautiful and natural layette gift!
Wouldn't these make a perfect baby shower gift?
Get all the details HERE.
Be sure to visit Donna at her shop... Three Fine Woods
and check out all of the gorgeous stuff for babies and toddlers!

Have you got a favourite handmade story to tell?
We'd love to have you as a guest blogger! ♥♥

Sunday, 21 April 2013
Well, maybe.

We live in Northern Ontario (well 'near North' ~ Ontario has a lot of North!).
The ice is still on the lake.
But then again, the blackflies haven't arrived...
We are anticipating spring...

My daughter came through the door, in her rubber boots,
holding her 4.5 lb. Papillon under her arm.
This was not unusual (I don't know why God gave that dog legs, he never uses them!).
What was rather surprising was to see that Murray (the dog) was completely wet on ONE side.
His normally perky ear was flattened with water and dripping.
His feathers drooping and sodden.
But just on one side.
"How did Murray get so wet?"
"He rolled in a puddle?".
Hmmm. The reply shouldn't have been in the form of a question.
"Really? And he only got half wet?"
"No. I jumped in the puddle and he got splashed."

So surely spring is just around the corner?
Here are some great spring outdoor ideas to dream about!
1. Teepee (Little Turtles Tipi)
2. Tree Swing (The Original Tree Swing)
3. Handmade Jump Rope (Zany Zees)
4. Arabian Stick Horse (MJM Ranch)
5. Wooden Sailboat (Tweet Toys)
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!

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!).
It is a delight to work with families to create something personal for their child.
Sometimes we match a birthday theme.
Sometimes we go with the child's favourite colours or animals or hobbies...
The crown below was worked from a sketch by the mother, with many symbols incorporated that tell the story of the child's life to date.
And while I do receive more orders for girls than for boys, crowns are just as much for the boys!
Custom crowns are generally available, depending on timeframe and my current customs list.
You can find a custom slot deposit listing and a couple of more standard designs (which can be personalized) in our SHOP.
You can also see the Gallery of finished work HERE.
I would LOVE to hear about the birthday traditions in your home! 
Please feel free to add them to the comment section♥♥.
Tuesday, 16 April 2013
Super duper Viking ships to inspire salty, sail flapping voyages!

As much as I enjoy a good 'Pinterest fail' ~ and I have committed more than one or two ~ I also love a Pinterest success story (and hey! you can follow BTRT on Pinterest right now!).  

These great big beautiful boats were definitely a success with our Friday afternoon homeschool gang.  Our little group consists of 1 eight year old, 2 seven-and-a-half year olds, a six and an almost six year old.  Several have studied Vikings this year and one is just a little nuts about dragons and Viking lore (that's my girl!), so these boats were right in the pocket.
We used this blog post/ pin from "DIY Cardboard Ships".

The author does a great job of sharing how to make the ships and she provides a template (yay!) for making your own.  I don't need to re-invent the wheel, but I will share a few tips from our ship making experience.
  • Look for cardboard long enough to make the sides of the ships~ they are larger than you think!
  • We used an ocean of hot glue to hold it all together... and it worked brilliantly for caulking ship seams and holding tipsy masts in place.
  • Use a utility knife to cut your pieces quickly and easily.
  • We used toothpicks for everything~ they simply slide between the cardboard layers and don't require glue (although we used lots anyway!)~ flags, spikes, spokes etc. We christened one ship 'The Porcupine' for its copious toothpick quills!
  • Lots of popsicle sticks, construction paper, straws, craft glue, markers and extra cardboard were put into service.
  • the adults cut and assembled the basic ship shapes (ha!), the children sketched their figureheads and tails for adults to cut and hot glue on. 
  • Have a hole punch handy for easy assembly of sails.
  • plan on building in a platform for the helm, otherwise it sits too low.
  • the children adapted their ships with flags and cannons, balloons and benches and more...
  • these ships are big! they work perfectly with Playmobil figures and even the kids who usually shun craft time (aka boys) spent a couple hours perfecting their vessels.
At the end of the day, each child had a creative project completed, a new imagination-inspiring toy AND something that represented their personalities!
Thanks Lier at!
What have you pinned and made lately? ♥♥

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