Thursday, July 10, 2014

First Moon Kit

Both Shanti and myself have tween girls in the midst.  Inevitably, this means that "moon time" or "menstruation" is looming on the horizon.  


Enter the First Moon Kit!!

I remember getting my period at age 12…my mother had talked about it a little bit, about finding blood "down there", and thinking she was bleeding to death, running to her own mother to tell her, (and subsequently having her mother laugh at her).  
Still…we only had one conversation about it, and it was never spoken of again…except for what I read in Judy Bloom books.  
I got mine at a friends house, and I remember feeling such fear.  I told my friend I was sick and needed to call my mom to come and get me.  It was, (horrifyingly), my father who went out and bought me a JUMBO box of no name pads, (that came in one size…BULK)!!!  I felt so embarrassed, and the subject of this was never brought up again in my home.

For my own daughters I don't want them to feel any embarrassment or shame when their own moon time comes.  
I'd like to find a way to honour this transition into womanhood, without too much fanfare, (as my eldest is a bit private about such things).  
So, my thoughts came to making a "First Moon Kit"…
something special to have on hand for when that day arrives.
This is what I've come up with so far...


First thing…this book found HERE
This is the most incredible book for young girls about to enter their moontime.
Lucy speaks about menstruation in such a positive light, and offers such great wisdom.
Every mother of a tween age girl should have this book on hand.
(Lucy is also the author of "The Rainbow Way"…she's an amazing lady).


And then…the bulk of the kit…
organic pads and intimate wipes.
(these could also be reusable cloth pads…menstrual cups.)
Before getting this, have a talk with your daughter about what she might like to use and have those things on hand.


A dear friend told me that her own mother gave her bubble bath when she got her first period, 
so I added some bubble bath and organic dark chocolate.


Raspberry Leaf tea, and moonstone earrings.
The earrings will be her first piece of fine jewellery.

Some other suggestions made by friends are…

Hylands homeopathic menstrual cramp remedy
A journal and a pen
New Moon magazine
Clary Sage, Lavendar and other Essential Oils
Rice Bag
Permission slips to cry or be unreasonable
Cozy slippers
Lip Balm and other pampering items

I love that I will have all these wonderful "gifts" for whenever this day arrives.
All of the things I bought will "keep" in the closet for a year or two with no issues.

Would love to hear your stories…wisdom…or suggestions for those of us entering this phase in our mothering adventures!

With love and light

Maureen



Monday, June 30, 2014

Poppy Dolls

Poppies are one of my favorite flowers. I adore there whimsical frilly faces and their "Alice In Wonderland"feeling in full bloom.


After they are done blooming, I always see little fairy heads. 
Do you see it?!
Nature is the best inspiration for creation. 


We decided to try bringing a poppy doll to life. 
We made a small slice in the stem...


 and inserted a twig for arms.


We folded a leaf and cut a hole for the head.


A sweet little dress!


We tied on some grass for a belt...


and gave her a wild rose for her dress.


A little face and a daisy hat and she was ready for play!
So much fun to create with the bits of beauty that find you on a summer's day.


In poppy love, 

Shanti

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Creating Ceremony for Children...

 I was raised in a Roman Catholic household…my mother, was in fact, a nun for about 20 years of her life and catholicism was a bit of a big deal in my house.  When I was young I loved going to church and Sunday school, but as I got older some of the values that the church held sacred, weren't necessarily values I felt I could support.  Spiritually, we all need to find that place where we can feel free to be ourselves…that space where we can identify.  This is merely one example of so many healthy and beautiful ways to celebrate spirituality.  

My dear friend had decided to take on the task of bringing sacred ceremony to the children of our community.
Every time the seasons change we hold a child specific ceremony.
I wanted to share our experience in hopes that it may inspire gatherings like this for those of you who can identify.


Once everyone had gathered the ceremony began with the ringing of a bell…
time to begin and quiet down.

The stump in the centre with cedar boughs, stones and talking sticks

We all met in my teepee and sat around the table in the centre.  
We honoured the four directions, Mother Earth, our centre, each other.
We smudged with sage.
Stories were told about the sun, about summertime.
A song was sung.
At the end of the ceremony, each child was given a piece of cedar to bury on their property…
it was suggested they could bury it with a wish or intention they had.
And then each child was invited to choose a special stone to take home with them.
The circle was then closed.
Ceremony for children need not be complicated…we do this every time the season changes, 
(4 times a year).  

The purpose of it is to get the children used to the idea of creating a sacred space…
this is especially nice for children who do not participate in organized religion.
There is no age limit…we had babies in arms…moms and toddlers…our community elders.

After the ceremony, we gathered the children and had a summer Solstice parade!



 Luckily we live in a very small town where spontaneous parades are encouraged and let's face it, a bit expected from time to time.


One of our community elders wrote a beautiful song in honour of our celebration.
We sang it on the way down to the village.




Afterwards we gathered for healthy snacks, a visit and playtime.
It was a beautiful event, one that we or our children won't soon forget.


Maureen

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Celebrating Summertime!!



I want to start by stating that I am by no means an expert on anything Waldorf...but, I do try to incorporate seasonal celebrations into our  year, and I also LOVE using beautiful crafting materials with my children and for my own crafts.  Please join me as we explore summertime celebrations in more detail!

Celebrating Summertime!!!


Here in Eastern Ontario, we're lucky enough to have four distinct seasons...each one very different than the other.  Summer for us means lots of trips to fresh water lakes, picnics in the park, the farmers market, camping, bike trips, fishing, gardening galore and the start of putting away the bountiful harvest! 
In the darkest part of winter we LONG for sweet sweet summertime!

Some festivals to mark on the calendar

June 21st Summer Solstice
June 24th St John's Day (Midsummer's Day)
July 15th St Swithun's Day
August 1st Lughnasad First Harvest

Find the celebrations and festivals that work for your family and your faith.
Every year we recognize the beginning of summertime with our Solstice celebration.  I like
bearing witness to the turning of the seasons.  We take time to make some sun crafts, change around our nature table, and usually on Solstice day we eat outside, (if the weather permits), and end the day with a bonfire. 

Here is an easy peasy summer Solstice craft! 
Sun wands

Our first sweet little sun princess modelling the sun wand!

To make your own you will need:
Wool felt, (red, orange & yellow)
Embroidery floss (red, orange & yellow)
Needle
Scissors
Dowel or stick (whatever length you wish...ours was about 12 inches)
Paint & brush, (whatever colour you wish)
Roving or stuffing
Glue gun and glue sticks
Ribbon, (reds, yellows, orange)

Enlist the help of one paint lovin' pint sized helper!

Cut out felt circles of varying widths and colours...find circular things to trace around your house...
you will need one small, one bigger, one even bigger and then two LARGE circles.

Pile them up so they look purdy!!!

Now sew those circles together...I used various colours of thread to compliment the felt, (because I'm a bit craft crazy!!)...if you want super simple though you can use a glue gun, (holds amazingly well for felt)...leave a gap at the bottom for the dowel or stick, (which will be sandwiched between the two large circles of felt)

Next attach your sunny coloured ribbon to the dowel or stick using a glue gun...
I also lightly stuffed my "sun" with roving...sew the bottom shut...and hand over to a lovely
little sun goddess...


Of course she will also require a sunny golden crown!!
(cut easily from some golden cardstock...stapled together at the back)

Here are some summertime verses that I found online...

Come bright butterfly, close to me
Your beautiful wings I should like to see
You fly like a bird, you sip like a bee
But you're really a flower the wind set free
  From The Mystical Kingdom
Combined with a simple butterfly craft, this would make for a lovely morning playtime!

Clapping verse (clap along to the verse)
A sailer went to sea sea sea
To see what he could see see see
And all that he could see see see
Was the bottom of the deep blue sea sea sea
Again...combined with a simple boat craft, you'll start a summer day out with some fun!

And...if you require further summer crafting inspiration come over for a visit...

I wish you all sun kissed cheeks, strawberry stained teeth, bountiful gardens, 
clean fresh water to cool you off,  the smell of a campfire on your clothes,
and magical moments with family and friends!


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Rainbow Dyed Daisies



I love daisies. Their sweet summer faces always delight me as they freckle the fields. I thought it might be fun to use that daisy white as a palette for a rainbow of colors. 
My littlest and I really enjoyed watching them change color over time. It was magic before our eyes! 
Best part... it's super simple.

Gather up some daisies.

Cut the daisy stems below water at an angle and cut them fairly short, so the dye has less to travel up. 
Place 10-20 drops of food coloring into a small vase or jar (or we used tall shot glasses). If you want to do a rainbow of flowers, make one up for each color.
Add warm water to the dye and place your daisies in their new colored drink!


Leave them overnight and wake up to a rainbow!!







Can you tell I was in love with this project?!

So pretty.



In daisy love,
Shanti

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Scrap Fabric Teepee-Part Two




So here is our finished teepee…made entirely out of recycled bedsheets and cedar poles.

I will try to explain the process below, but it was really a trial and error art experiment.
The end result was so very worth it, as it's now the most beautiful thing in my yard!!

So…you will need your basic teepee structure 
 instructions found HERE in part one.

In addition you will need
a staple gun and LOTS of staples
about 12 sheets…I paid about $10 in total at various second hand stores.
(flat sheets are best)


So…take about 4 of your sheets and start ripping them into strips…
I used the most colourful sheets for this part.
To rip make a cut at one end, and just tear down…
they don't need to be perfect, (this is an art project after all)


                  Then start by stapling the end of one of your strips to the bottom of the pole…
start wrapping around and around…gradually covering the pole…
when you get to the end of your strip, staple it again in place.


It will start to shape up like this...


Then switch your fabrics to make a patchwork…keep wrapping and switching...


This is what it should start to look like…keep wrapping until you get near the top…


Now…to attach your sheet panels you will start on one end…start by taking one end of the sheet and
from the bottom up, staple it all the way up.  Be generous with your staples here.
Then go to the other side and pull it tight…you will be able to feel your poles underneath the sheet and 
you will staple there. 
I went the lazy route here and just trimmed the sheets after they were stapled in place 
with pinking shears.


I tried to match the lengths of my panels, by folding them over at the top and again stapling them into place.
Then I took some more strips of fabric and weaved them in and out of the poles at the very top…
stapling them into place all along the way.
(my teepee probably has about 500 or so staples in it)!!


And the doorway was just cut with pinking shears into one of the panels…I just did an upside down U.

But…here is the end result…it may only last a season or two, but the structure itself is solid…
I consider it a giant art project really…
there are so many different ways you can put it together if you choose!


This is a horrible night shot of it, but we strung solar lights on the top, so it would light up at nighttime.
The kids were SO delighted with this!!


We enjoy this structure every single day…
we even added a log table and a sheet for the floor.
Picnics, tea parties, imagination games abound!!

Wishing you many adventures in creativity!!

Maureen

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