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Handwork on Planning Day (Saturday) was inspired by a really slow internet connection.  I was supposed to be watching and absorbing awesomeness from Robyn and Brian Wolfe on Waldorfish. I checked out the replay on Form Drawing and Temperaments, but because of my rural connection and the overcast rainy weather it took a REALLY long time to watch.  But, I was committed.  While I waited for my computer to load, like the olden days I picked up a project.  A couple weeks ago I had decided to pull together an Autumn Fairy.  Right away I felt I had made the head too small, and wasn’t happy with the colors.  I had to take a break and order more orange roving before moving forward.  Doing and being is done in layers over here, and time does not exist.  But here we are, October 2015.  I’m nostalgic about the past, I have good feelings about the future, and here I Am Now.  Working bit by bit.  Learning.  Grounding into the moment, so that we all don’t slip away with our thoughts.  We are holding down the Home this week as Papa Bear prepares for a Design Show next weekend. AND, our third born son turns 2!  Not only is it Harvest Season, but it is also the season of changing leaves and falling leaves.  What will we let fall away…

So, I followed the Happy Hedgehog post demonstrating the Spring fairy.  Fairy making is enjoyable. They don’t take overly long, and the result is a pleasing, unique energy.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me here.

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I have spent a lot of time writing on many subjects lately, especially spirituality and homeschool, as it is a thread that weaves through the tapestry of my life. The other day I had an opportunity to give to my boy’s choir teacher, because it was her birthday, so I wanted to do a little post about Handwork.  A nice change.

I enjoy knitting, though I am not a professional, nor can I read patterns well, not yet anyway I’m young still.  I love to sew, by hand and machine.  I can probably sew better than I can knit.  Also, I have been trying to work more with roving and felt and had my eye on a Pinterest project.  Here’s a screenshot.

Pinterest felting project

Isn’t it a beauty!  I thought I could make this little felt picture quick enough to gift the next day.  I began around dinner and was done by 10pm. That included eating dinner, and caring for the children.

Getting started with felt

The first thing I did was lay out some undyed grey roving, and shape it into a circle. Then I began the background by adding two layers, upper and lower.  I use special spiral needles from Cedar Ring Circle Co op.

Layering the roving

It didn’t take long to get the two layers down and then I worked on the white candle next and learned a little something.  It is easier to add roving as you go. I added a little too much, but I was able to pull it apart and rework it.  I added the accent colors just like the example above and here it is, but I am not finished yet.

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Next needs to come the solid felt backing, so that I could make this a wall hanging. I happen to have a full sheet of orange, so thankfully that worked.  Be careful when sewing on the backing not to mess up the felted picture.  It is delicate.  I did this part of the process the very next morning after making the scene.

sewing on the felt backing

I added an embroider floss cord on the back and viola!  Here’s the final picture below.  I feel satisfied with my handwork, and we had a lovely gift for the boy’s choir teacher.  She volunteers each week at the church and it is important for my boy’s to practice reciprocity, to a patient and caring teacher.  This was fun.

Candlelight

Feel free to find this project on my Felting Board.

And you can locate me over on Instagram where I post my projects a bit more.

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Here is a recipe from the vault.  Apple Cider Vinegar Herbal Hair Rinse.  I remember the days when my grandmother would rinse her hair with vinegar.  One never forgets the smell.  But vinegar is tried and true, with so many uses.  Get an organic bottle of Bragg’s or whatever is available.  Acquire a nice big glass jar, with a wide mouth.  Use many combinations of herbs to take it a step further.  The following herbs help remove residue on the scalp, including dandruff, and it is good for itchy scalp, natural hair loss treatment, and a home remedy for lice.  Horsetail, rosemary, nettle, yarrow, chamomile and lavender.  Just make a whole large jug, which should last your family a few seasons.  I take a cup of the vinegar and mix it with water in a pitcher, then apply to my scalp in the shower.  Let me give you a reminder.  Do not let this recipe intimidate you.  Before even gathering herbs you do not have, do an experiment solely with vinegar.  Plan, and order over time, meanwhile document your personal research, in a journal.

To be honest, apple cider vinegar is an excellent deodorant.  It smells the first few minutes, but dissipates.  Vinegar is very anti-microbial.  Apply with a cotton ball, or washable rag.  If you find your body is sensitive to store-bought products, give vinegar a try.  Try it under one arm first to be sure.  Remember every person’s body is different, and that is my disclaimer.  If you are looking for a way to be frugal, this is one stop along the way.  Maybe you can find more uses here.  Not that you have anything else to do, but what if you tried using vinegar for as many things as you can.  What if it was a home school experiment?  What if it was a personal challenge?  What if you are trying to save money?  Think about it.  If you don’t do it now, the seed is planted.  Winter is a good time for such projects.

I do have a challenge out  there for active folks.  Those who run, climb, jump, track and play.  Give vinegar a try as your natural deodorant, and see what happens.  You’ll sweat, but the odor will be minimal.  Based on the person though, it does matter what types of toxins release from your system.  You’ll want to consider what you are eating or what medicines you might be taking, or the air you are breathing.

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I come to you today feeling a lot grateful and a little tired.  The rain is pattering on my tin roof, the turkeys are cooing, and life just got slower~  It has been a couple weeks since a friend and I got together and laughingly made soap.  The sense of bonding over making soap for family is a sacred thing.  Women and families have done it for centuries.

In the past few weeks, I have observed nature and people participate in the hustle and bustle.  The end of summer frenzy to collect our nuts and check our stores.  The desire to attend community events, yet the inner-longing to just stay home and look within.  The grace to show our Creator our gratitude by saying so.  And the harvest of a Community, through our beautiful children.  There are so many beautiful babies around ~ And the desire to express our souls through art, which is synonymous with baby-making.

With those thoughts I bring you images of our soap making.  Ever since 1999, I have been keeping a Materia Medica.  A collection of recipes and experiments with herbs, oils and natural remedies.  My basic soap recipe comes from Country Living – Handmade Soap – Recipes for crafting soap at home.  I have gladly purchased essential oils from Creation Pharms, formerly of Boone, NC.  Mike Hulbert wrote the text for this book, and now lives in Michigan with his wife, who is an herbalist.  I have profound gratitude to Beth Jefferies Barnes, who took time out of her day to teach me to make soap, on that Ridge, back in time.

I wish my photos could truly express the richness of these experiments, but I find life is so much brighter and harder to capture.  I have only included two images.  The rest can belong to the art of your imagination.  See yourself with a friend instead.

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One begins by collecting ingredients.  This time I used coconut oil, olive oil, grape seed oil lye, water, rosemary and peppermint essential oils.  Prepare your lye and water separately and safely.  Then, set up your oils on the stove.  Have a thermometer handy to check the temperature of both set ups.  When you achieve the desired temperatures, mix together slowly and stir.  The first time I made soap, my teacher asked me to stir the entire time by hand.  You’ll be ever more grateful for the batch.  Otherwise I use a nice hand mixer, kept only with my craft supplies.  After you reach a consistency where the soap traces, pour into your molds.  I use a loaf mold made of wood by my husband.  I slip a trash bag over the mold and pour into that.  This way the mold slips right out to cure.  Have patience for 4-6 weeks.

If you find you have always wanted to make soap, say it out loud.  Say it several times.  Then, write it down.  Begin by going to your library and finding a book, or searching the internet.  Collect your resources, which you may even have in your home now.  Find a friend who might split the cost with you.  Brew some tea and be a part of this generation learning what our ancestors did, and passing it along.  Remember.  Take Part.

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Welcome back folks.  Today we are dyeing with coffee.  It’s kind of funny because I usually try to keep coffee off my clothes, but this time I really wanted that coffee color on silk.  It came out a super light brown.  I am mostly a Simpler, so the recipe was easy.  A plop or few of vinegar, a pot of second-generation coffee, and the grounds.  Get it to a boil, then take it off the burner to sit.  I will either hand roll hem or take it through the machine.  I haven’t decided.  Here is what came of it.

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Stay tuned to see how our soap turned out.  I can smell it from where I stand.  The soap is curing and I am about to pop it out of the mold.  Also, our next project will be to achieve a pink dye for silk, using food.

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Thanks for joining me here in the studio.  This month we are taking a close look at the Michealmas Festival.  The story of St. George and the Dragon, and Archangel Michael.  With my Margaret Hodges book, St. George and the Dragon to inspire us, we made felt banners as visual imagery.

If you are wondering where I got the large felt, it is actually a Christmas tree skirt.  My mom picked it up at Michael’s on deep discount.  I had no idea what I was saving it for, but now I know.  The white felt is embedded with glitter, which bounces light nicely.  I made three banner flags.  One for the kitchen as you see.  One hanging on the boys bedroom door, and a small one for our nature table.  I got the fantastic verse below from my homeschool consultant and the Thinking, Feeling, Willing program, through Waldorf Essentials.

Brave Saint Michael is my guide
As free and fearless forth I ride
With courage of Saint George of old
I dare to fight fierce dragons bold.

 

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