The Handwork teacher

I am a mother to two beautiful girls and I teach Handwork and Fine Arts in our local waldorf charter school in Arizona.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Knitted purse pattern to sell at school

I got one of these purses as a gift from a parent this year...she made it and it is just soooo beautful!,,HGTV_3263_3664655,00.html

ice cream knitted bag
very cool!

Monday, December 24, 2007

store items

update on store seems that almost all the items I put in the store have sold!!!
that is so great! the doll I made sold in 3 days I believe.....For $125 I am putting that money towards my teacher training.

Now I need to make more.............................................when I have 8 hours of free time

Winter Break

Wahooooo! School is out! just in time...they were getting really squirrelly...maybe because they were ready to be on break too. Plus I needed some special time with my own kids.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Teacher down on aisle 2

Ok so I was walking with the 8th graders to the 7th grade class and as I was walking my ankle gave way and I fell smack on the ground...kindergarten style. The 8th graders came running to get me and I rolled up and started laughing, they were so sweet and I was so embarrassed, "one child said "teacher down on aisle 2" "ah, I thought I was going down" "wow you really fell"

Friday, November 30, 2007

kind words from one of my 3rd graders

so it was raining today and it NEVER rains here!
it never snows I told myself that if it ever rained and I had class, I would let them run in the rain for the last 5 minutes of class. So today was the day and I told the 3rd graders that they would be able to play in the rain at the end of class. So the time came and all the kindergarten parents were standing outside under the porch and saw us dash outside to run into the play yard...well apparently one of the 3rd grade moms was standing there and was VERY upset that I would let kids go out in the rain with out their jackets on. this made for a bid discussion and all the parents agreed with her or if they didn't they didn't say so. So I brought back the class and the main lesson teacher said "I am already getting complaints about your run in the rain" So I went to the office and one of the moms (who I thought was my friend) just had it out with I told her my feelings on the matter and she said hers (we were loud) and that was that. I went to the administrator and told her what happened and she said this happens every year and I am not alone in feeling that rain is good for the kids and getting wet and drying off in class is part of the experience.

So about 30 mins later one of the 3rd graders came up to me and said "did you get in trouble for letting us play in the rain?" I thought about it for a second and said "yes I did" and he said, "you shouldn't have, you are a really good teacher and you were just being nice to us."
I was so touched, I smiled at him and said "thank you"
I did NOT expect that from this child, he is usually making mischief in my class, maybe that is why he could relate, my action was mischievous and he liked it...or maybe he was right, I felt like I was being nice...cause you know I wasn't running in the rain for my own enjoyment.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

thoughts for the newsletter

I didn't write it but I do believe it.

Handwork opens windows into a world that has almost been forgotten, Eugene Schwartz, author and Waldorf teacher once wrote “we cannot underestimate the self-esteem and joy that arises in the child at the result of having made something practical and beautiful- something that which has arisen as a result of a skill that has been learned. In an age when children are often passive consumers, as Oscar Wilder once said, “know the price of everything and the value of nothing” leaning to knit can be a powerful way to bring meaning into a child’s life”.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

plant dying

OMG I did it!
my first skein!!!! yellow and bright.... I used alum and turmeric powder.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I knit this little farm when I was stuck in the car with the 8th graders for 4 hours... the 8th graders were totally into this little farm and wanted to make one for themselves...I guess that was the make something that was fun for me, occupied my time and that inspired those youth around me.
its not done...I need to make the barn and the animals and a pond.

This is my boiling of sweaters for my 5th grade class. They are making slippers from this material. they cut out a pattern. tracing their foot on paper and making an upper from this pattern on Martha Stewart living site. its not exact, but we use the idea from her site.

flagstaff waldorf school

Blackboard drawing in the 6th grade classroom....its for a play they are writing.
Flagstaff handwork room. very nice!

THe 8th graders came up with us

One of our school policies is for teachers to observe another teacher in the same class (field), this is a form of furthering our education by evaluation. We get 2 paid days to go to another school and check them out… the Wood work teacher, the 8th grade and I went up to Flagstaff (2 hour drive from us) and we played and observed.

We had a great time! Beautiful School and wonderful kids and teachers.....Actually I would say they had exceptionally well mannered students!

I believe that our 8th grade and their 8th grade will be going to each others Middle school dance....That will be sweet.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

felt making


I have been working on my felted person for the example for 7th grade.

check it out

rocking cool site for felt people

Monday, November 5, 2007

sick in bed

yep, the one thing about working with kids is that you get sick more often. I am just recovering from 4 days with strep throat. This is my 3rd time with strep in 13 months. before that I had never had it. My body is getting stronger with each time I get it. But it sure knocks you out.

I have been shaking hands with about 80 kids per they walk into the Handwork room I shake their hand and say good morning/ afternoon ...I am thinking about taking that out of my routine. As nice as it is, I forget to wash my hands after each class and I think I am just getting too many germs from 8 different grades... I mean a Handwork teacher is often working in very close contact with each child...germs!!!!!!!!!!


and pollution in phoenix ...mix it together and what do you get....strep throat, flu and a head cold.

I feel like I am sounding too harsh...but being sick will do that.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

doll kits

I feel so cool making these kits....kind of ....professional


Kewal and I went to a small boutique in our neighborhood and we saw these pumpkins made from cloth and beans. they were really cute but like $50 per pumpkin....yah right! So I marched home and messed around with the took like 5 minutes per pumpkin and I stuck a steam on top and here is the final product....designer pumpkins....yah being paid $10 per minute isn't bad....bahhhhhh!!!!
Kewal I made you the blue one you liked at the store...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Doll making workshop

we ended up having 17 women and 4 kids. Here you can see 2/3's of the class.

Friday, September 28, 2007


I have truly been humbled by the 3rd grade. I had to sub for their class today for the Michaelmas festival and it turned out that they know how to be sweet 9 years...who would have known!
We had 5 hours together and it was fantastic, not to mention my nasty sun burn I got, but worth the experience I gained from spending this day with them...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Doll making workshop

Yep, its the beginning of the year and I am hosting a doll making workshop, Yippps

Saturday, September 22, 2007

finished work in the display case

finished work in the display case.......beautiful!
Yes it is so nice to see all the finished work the children have done. My case is really filling up and its time to start sending things home. I am trying to wait till the whole class finishes their project before we send it home. already some things had gone home or have gone to different classes. Like the pencil cases that the 7th graders made for their 2nd grade buddies....the 2nd graders got them on Monday and are soooooo excited about having them.....I think because they all really love the 7th graders and having something made by their buddies is just so magical to them.

Friday, September 14, 2007

week 4

I had a bad I am NOT kidding, it was bad, it was bad as it could get!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

1st grade story to learn about wool

So my homework idea is to write up a story that you would use to teach first grade about introducing the wool (spinning on the leg), introducing the needles, the slipknot, finger knitting and knitting.

Here is the one I made up

One summer Pedro and his sister Polly went to flagstaff to stay with their Grandparents who lived on a farm. The children had never been to a farm because they live in the city where there wasn’t room for farm land. The children wondered what animals they would see.. The first morning they woke up early, got dressed and ran down stairs where they were greeted with fresh cinnamon buns and warm milk. As soon as they were done eatomg, they put on their sweaters and followed their Grandpa Joe out side. He lead them to a big field where they saw an animal that looked bigger than any animal they had ever seen before. It was white, grey and black. “Grandpa what kind of animal is that?” “those are sheep” and with all the noise they were making the one big animal now could be seen as many smaller animals that were huddled close together. The animals looked very warm and fluffy, as if they were wearing clouds on their back. Grandpa Joe told them it was time to bring them to the feeding meadow and so the children helped him to walk the sheep through the gate into the other field. As they walked Polly pulled out of her pocked a red velvet bag , she had discover something magical attached to the fence and she wanted to put keep it. Along the way she found more and more, it was on the ground, on the gate and even on the dogs collar. Pedro had found something wonderful as well, he had found some very nice sticks and wanted to share them with Grandpa Joe after they were done helping the animals.

When they got back to the farm house, Polly ran inside where she found grandma jewel sitting by the fire, on her favorite chair. Polly was very excited to share her new treasure. “Look what I found grandma” and she emptied the treasure onto the rug. “What do you think it is?” asked grandma Jewel. Pedro walked up to the rug and said “isn’t it obvious Polly, its fluff from the clouds.”

(at this point I walk around with a red velvet bag and have the children each stick their hand into the bag and feel what is inside. Some said “what is that, others said, I know that it is, its stuffing. One or two said its wool Mrs Khalsa. Then I sit down and go back to the story)

Grandma jewel smiled and said “this dears, is wool fleece and it comes from the coat of a sheep.”

“The sheep wear coats? Do they make their own coats?” asked Polly

“No, mother nature gave them a coat when they were born, But we can make a coat from their wool” replyed Grandma Jewel

“I would rather make a toy” said Pedro

“Me too” said Polly

“Then let’s make toy’s” Said Grandma Jewel “First we must spin the wool, we will need some sticks”

“Oh, I have some very fine sticks Grandma Jewel, will these do?” asked Pedro and he showed her his collection of sticks he had found

“yes these are perfect.”

From here I out the wool to gently pull apart into puffs of smoke…some kids said it looked more like spider webs when it wall all pulled out.

Once they are done I hand out Pedro’s sticks and we start to spin on our leg.

And you know what happens after that….

The next class we get some burly yarn single ply. And we learn to make a slip knot.

Pedro wanted to go fishing at the lake, so they got their fishing poles and a bucket.

As soon as they arrived at the lake, Pedro saw a harmless water snake in the lake. Grandpa joe said (I sit on the floor and use the yarn)

“here’s the lake” crossing the yarn on the ground make a lake

“see the snake” point at the yarn that is attached to the ball of yarn outside of the lake.

“grab his head” reach under the lake and pinch the work yarn.

“Pull the thread” with the other hand pull the tail of the yarn.

Slip knot. From here they keep repeating the verse and start to finger knit.

When they are done they wear the necklace home…if they are done really fast and there is more time….as many of them already know how to finger knit from Kindergarten. Then I asked them to start to finger knit their rainbow yarn for their handwork bag. ( I pre made 24 bags for the first and second grade)

The next class we make our knitting needles, wax and felt them

As they finish this they reach into Polly’s velvet bag again and pull out a shell that they will wrap in tissue paper and begin to roll their yarn (with a friend’s help)

As they slowly finish. I can work with 2 kids at a time for beginning to knit.

Casting on . I use a really simple method of cast on.

Then we go back to the farm and talk about lost sheep

So Pedro has to go “Under the fence, catch a sheep, back we come and off he leaps”

Saturday, August 18, 2007

1 week into it

just one week...that's all its been!!!!! it feels like a life time. With so many different classes and personalities and 2 classes in particular who give me I'm not kidding, I wake up at night dreaming about these kids and am haunted by how terrible they are acting. its just 2 grades, the rest are great!

Friday, August 3, 2007

yarn and bags

I made handwork bags for the 2nd and 1st grade. here you can see the dyeing of the 2nd grade bags. I was shooting for orange but the red just took over. there are spots of orange on some of them :)
the rest is all yarn, yarn, girls are pro yarn rollers. Nirnkaar is the most into it. her ability to hold attention on a project is amazing! SDK will do 4 skeins and get bored, NKK will do 6 skeins before she wants to go play outside......amazing!

and yes SDK is in the box of yarn while she sits and rolls her skeins.

I also started to make little skeins for the 1st grade. they will roll a treasure inside the ball of yarn so that when they are done, they will have a sweet shell to keep with their handwork.... its just all in good fun!